Tuesday, October 30, 2012

There's A New Kid In Town

A couple weeks ago I was driving down my street one night when I spotted the sickest lowrider parked up the block. Glancing in my rearview to make sure no one was behind me I screeched to a halt, took a quick look around and hopped out to examine it. Glossy white and resting just above the ground, this meant only one thing: hydraulics. Now I'm no car aficionado, but I am kind of a 90's rap buff *hangs head in bewilderment* so I snapped a quick pic before jumping in my car and going inside.

I've always wanted a ride in one of those things. Bouncing cars are the jam!

It must have been a few days later when I went downstairs to grab the mail, opened the door and came face to face with this business:

Uh hello! It lives on my street?!  Operation Meet The Neighbor in full effect, I ran back upstairs screaming to Chris, 'LOWRIDER AT 12 O'CLOCK. I'M GETTING A RIDE IN THAT THING!!'

Chris: 'Go out there and tell him we think his car is cool. He's going to think it's cool that someone on this street doesn't mind when he starts that thing up and sets off all the alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.' Me: 'What if he thinks I'm a crazy old lady?! I can't do it. YOU DO IT.'  That didn't happen.

Every once in awhile I see the kid in the street. And I know he sees me staring at the car because it's right out my office window and let's just say I'm not shy about gawking out there. In fact we were in the street at the same time once when I was looking after the neighborhood stray cat and he was polishing the car...but I was more concerned about the PITBULL OFF THE LEASH AT HIS SIDE that day.

Maybe this wasn't going to work after all?

This past Friday I went to a local restaurant/bar that just opened by my house. It's a little upscale, great food and a pretty decent cocktail menu, too. The place was jammed so we found a spot at the bar and ordered instead of waiting for a table. Two guys pulled in next to me and my friend and, after they'd had a few more drinks, one started talking to us. Throughout the night, he got all up in her business. Not in a hitting on her kind of way, but like a nosy kind of way.

The next thing I knew he was eating off our dessert plate. Uh, what the hell? I guess I'm done then...

Before long, he starts asking me how long I've lived in the neighborhood. I tell him about 10 years and, in an act of what I'm guessing must have been neighborhood knowledge superiority, he begins ID'ing everyone around the circular bar area providing way more information than anyone needs to know. I'm talking name and history of about 90% of a place that was pretty packed with people. Can you say uncomfortable? Throughout the evening I met a bunch of people who, I come to find out, have lived around me for quite awhile. But I didn't feel good about everybody knowing everybody, many of them badmouthing each other as soon as the other's back was turned. It was stomach turning and by the end of the night I couldn't get away fast enough.

Growing up in a small town, there are some things I miss and most others I am very glad to have left behind. Gossip definitely falls in the latter category. I've realized I don't really want to be known by anyone in my neighborhood. As soon as you become familiar with people in any smaller area (even within a larger city), you become fair game for exactly what I experienced on Friday night. Not my bag, not my bag at all.

So, with that in mind, I've decided to enjoy the lowrider from afar. I'll say hi in the street, give a friendly nod of the head but that's it. If the kid offers to take us for a ride in a pitbull-free car I'll go (with glee!),  but there will be no barbecues or sharing of information. And actually, that's kind of just sad. That you have to be this careful about what you share with others. Sad but unfortunately true that adulthood has proven to be a grown-up version of childhood.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Remember the Time

Fresh off yet another run-in with the playground terrorizer (for reals is it over yet?) I thought I'd peel by and flash some of those pics I mentioned last time. You know, fondly revisit a handful of this summer's countless memories of sheer panic: stomach in a knot, blood pressure climbing, eyebrows fluttering to the floor all around me.

Enjoy! Someone might as well seeing as whenever I look at them I'm transported back to the moment each was taken and can't help but remember how depleted I felt. How can a person be so unhealthy yet not realize it? Well at least not until their hair falls out. It's interesting you know, how good life is to us. Even though I'm bummed about my hair and feeling wistful about the passing of a summer not fully maximized, I'm grateful for the wake-up call that's making me focus on striving for better balance in my life. Here's to more guilt-free and fear-free 'NO!'s' in the future.  Holler if ya year me.
Let's begin at the end: down to one eyebrow, but starting to feel better. Some color in my face.
Motivating words I happened to walk past on my birthday. A gift? A sign? I TOOK IT.
I passed my citizenship test. With a quarter of an eyebrow they still let me in!
Getting sworn in was one of the most humbling and rewarding experiences. Over too fast.
Another highlight of this summer was the discovery of Aviator Nation
The t-shirt I'm wearing here is one of theirs: super soft with a vintage 70's vibe. 

Before I jet I just want to say thank you to everyone who commented on the last post or emailed to say what's up. Even though I haven't been around all that much, I still read blogs every now and then so it was nice to be remembered and I appreciate all of your kind (and hilarious) words. Here's hoping things are looking up.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Laughter? Not Really.

Last week I was cleaning some summer pictures from the camera when I came across this one. For some reason it really bothered me and I couldn't stop looking at it. Rire aux ├ęclats: to roar with laughter.

This summer was pretty much everything but that.

When I look at this I see someone who is tired, exhausted actually, in despair with too much on her plate and trying to keep everyone happy while forgetting how to properly administer the word NO for her own bloody good.

Remember when I got that cockamamie idea to take the summer off and read books, have bonfires at the beach, and visit a theme park? Those were the days...in my mind. Instead I applied for citizenship, studied my brains out for the test, jumped through more hoops than I knew existed, sat here helpless while my mother suffered two broken arms after a bad fall opening an entirely new can of parental worms I have been avoiding since birth, watched the DMV refuse to renew my license when my green card expired while I was in process--even though they were given all the requisite extension forms and lost them 5 times (ever try to run a business and try to survive in California without a car? uh yeah not pretty), all while working my ass off for the playground terrorizer I mentioned in what I think was the last post.

I guess it was too much for me because sometime around mid-July I looked in the mirror and realized my left eyebrow looked kind of thin. By the time I took the citizenship test in late-August it was barely there and come early September it was g-o-n-e.

It's official: I've redefined the unibrow.

Even though you can't tell in the picture, I am firing on one eyebrow and, just to reinforce it, have mentioned it three times in the past 10 seconds. It doesn't sound like much this losing your hair thing, but it's pretty jarring to have something happening to your body that you cannot control in any way whatsoever. Helpless. I tried not to give it much thought, refused to color that mother in and just went on about my business. As my niece so kindly said to me, 'You mean YOU GO OUT LIKE THAT WHERE PEOPLE CAN SEE YOU??' Um, yes dear I do. At least when I have a driver's license to take me somewhere.

I'll share some summer pics later this week and look for one that shows the brow--you know just for freaking you out's sake because Halloween is coming, after all.

In the meantime I'd like to kiss the ground and my brow, the acupuncture needles and infrared light treatments (and my acupuncturist, but I can't risk scaring her off) because my left eyebrow has grown back in just a month. The dermatologist doesn't quite know what to say about it so I keep on reminding her via screaming in her face, 'ACUPUNCTURE SAVED MY LIFE. THERE'S THIS INFRARED LIGHT THING I'M GETTING ON MY FACE AND IT GOES ZZ ZZ ZZZ. DO I LOOK ANY YOUNGER??' That last part is kind of irrelevant, but the way I see it I'm paying for the visit so I might as well get an expert opinion while I'm there.

The verdict is out on the right eyebrow which has now decided thin is in, but I think (read: hope to God Almighty) we've caught it in time. And just last week I found a big ass bald patch the size of a silver dollar on the left side of my head just by my ear.

Why am I telling you all this? Because THREE PEOPLE EMAILED to say they still follow my blog and no matter what the hell kind of nonsense I'm talking about over here they still want to read about it.  Bless you people, you have no idea how much that means to me. So here you have it: alopecia areata, how to set (or in this case forget to set) a boundary, acupuncture is akin to nectar of the gods and I've got an internal wind. How's that for something to think about?

I'm ba-aaack! (and have no sh*t clue on how this new blogger interface works.)


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