Saturday, January 29, 2011


I have been working away this month trying to make sense of it all. At times, I've felt like I've almost had some sort of ephinany about life and love and loss and just as soon as that enlightened feeling sweeps over me knowing that my future is partially in my hands, my parents did not do the best that they could have  raising me, and there is no such thing as the perfect mate, the feeling fades just as fast as  it came. I wish I wasn't in the car driving to work when that happens. Or if I were, I wish I had someone to talk to about it. Maybe it's time for therapy.

I wake up at 5AM every weekday morning to get ready and go to work and for awhile now, I don't remember how long, I've been leaving my alarm on for that time to wake up on the weekends, too. Without it, I don't think I would of been able to get to the farmer's market in Irvine before it closed down at Noon. Actually, that's what lead me to seek out a farmer's market closer to work. El Segundo has one on Thursday nights after work so I can't miss it. I buy my bread there from Old Town Bakery. 3 loaves are $10 there, but I fould out today they sell the same in Irvine at 3 for $12.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

In one hand and out the other

On Wednesday, I took time off from work to travel to El Cajon in order to pick-up my mother's remains and the dozen death certificates I paid for. Then, I disposed of her car by selling it to a local wrecking yard for $500. My boss seemed relieved when I told him I don't have to go to El Cajon anymore. I don't remember telling him I still need to travel to upstate New York in the spring in order to bury her ashes at her request. He left me a "deepest sympathies" card on my chair at lunch on Friday. In the AM, he shared a story of his mother's pancreatitus with me and a co-worker.

While driving home to Orange County on Friday night going south on the 405 freeway, my head was compiling the list of things I needed to get done over the weekend when a rapidly repeating bell tone alerted me to the "Service Needed - Stabilitrak" icon lit up on my dashboard. What a way to start a weekend.

After I got home, I checked the web to see how bad the problem could be and found these horror stories of other Equinox owners who said their car wouldn't even start after this service light came on for them. Even though I couldn't make an appointment because the problem occurred after the service department at Guaranty Chevrolet closed at 6PM, I knew after reading other peoples experiences that I must get this problem fix immediately. I mean, I live in Southern California and I can't be without my car.

I arrived at about 8:15AM on Saturday morning without an appointment and Paul wrote up the work order and seeing that the sky looked as though it was going to rain, I said I'd wait for my car. I got bored watching football on tv in their waiting room (not a fan), so I checked out a few of the cars they had in their showroom to kill time. After that, I went and talked to Paul to see where my car was in the process of being repaired.

After waiting about 45 minutes, the mechanic determined that the problem ended up being the failure of the EGR valve (which was kind of no surprise because many of the electronic components in engines these days are interconnected), and they had the kit on hand to fix my '07 Equinox. About a total of two hours waiting and four hundred-something dollars later, my car was fixed, washed (which I didn't ask for), and my keys were handed back to me with a smile.

Money - in one hand and out the other.


I'm convinced my cat is a part of a terrorist plot against me. I can sit in my computer chair at my computer desk in the living room anytime of the day or night and all of the sudden a fuzzy white cat will appear out of no where on my lap vying for my attention.

Let me remind you that that cat furr and computers do not mix. I especially hate getting it into the nooks of my new HP keyboard or in my ancient Trackman marble mouse.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

And so it goes... on and on.

In summary: It took a total of 8 and a half days over a three week period to pack and move 13 years worth of accumulation from an efficiency apartment that was maybe no more than 300 square feet located El Cajon about 100 miles North into a storage unit 10x15 in size in Santa Ana. This occured on December 8-12th, 18th-19th, and 25th-26th. Thanks for fucking up my and Stephen's Christmas, Mom. I'm sure there is more shit coming down the pike from you shortly, I'll just have to discover it first.

On Saturday the 25th, after packing my SUV full of the stuff that didn't make it onto the moving truck the weekend before, I took the long way home from El Cajon in order to visit Stephen's Grandma Linda. After all, it was Christmas.

The 805 North was all clear for me to merge right onto the 15th North, so that was a sign and further impetus that a drive to Lake Elsinore was called for. I got Stephen to call his grandma on my cellphone while I drove to make sure she was home and not visiting other relatives like she infrequently does. Luck would have it, she was home.

Even though Linda is not a relative of mine by marriage, she is a blood relative of my son's and has played the role of family more to me than my own blood relatives have. Family is a strange word to me. Many of my family, especially the men, are estranged. I really can't put my finger on the reason why this fact is the way it is in my family, but it feels weird. Warmth, closeness and communication are generally lacking to me in a family sort of way. Part of the reason this is what it is is due to my mother's purposeful isolation. My 'family'... aunts, uncles, cousins, my cousin's cousins, mostly live on the east coast and some are in the south. When I was pregnant with my son, I'd swear I'd never treat him like my mom treated me.

So visiting Grandma Linda was nice. She fed us dinner...Stephen had homemade chicken enchiladas and I had a turkey pita. Linda used to be a professional cook for local hospitals and the Chino Women's prison for many, many years before she retired, so this woman knows how to feed a crowd. We visited for about four hours and I got updated on Stephen's side of the family. I heard the sad and pathetic story of his cousin Jessica and how my son's father (who is addicted to meth) and his wife were living in a tent by the lake when the lake swelled up with rain and they were flooded out after being evicted from an apartment they were sharing with some other druggies, I'm sure, in Hemet. Blah blah blah, yadda yadda yadda. I have no sympathy anymore for a man who treats himself and others with such disrespect. They only time he's paid child support for Stephen was when the money was seized from his bank accounts. When Stephen was growing up, visitations where always at Grandma Linda's where I knew he would be cared for.

Linda made a crazy prediction about how she thought her brother would die next. Ick. I have a dead woman's belongings in my car and she's talking about her brother like that. On the first Thursday of the move, I got to view my own brother's apartment in Escondido for the first time. It's full of comic books in plastic bins which are pretty much junk to me, but a side business to him. And then I pictured me having to deal with all his crap. It's inevitable. His health issues are 2000 times worse than mine.

Anyway, it's New Years day and instead of watching the Rose Parade in an endless loop, I thought I'd suck down some hot black breakfast tea to get my blood flowing and try to stay warm and dole out this blog entry that has been rolling around in my head for a bit. Work has been a bitch to catch up with since I took time off and also went to the doctor for my swollen foot, which turned out to be nothing. Discussing my foot over lunch with my boss, it was a day and a half off of work for the two doctor's appointments, the blood work and the x-rays for him to tell me he doesn't know what's wrong with my foot or how to fix it. That instills in me a hell of a lot of faith in the medical system, she said sarcastically. After talking to my friend Manny about my swollen foot, a 300+lb man who went through his own brand of foot issues, he told me that his dad said your arches start to fall at age 40. Well, shit I'm 44. So, after my last doctor's appointment where I got the news that my blood work came back normal and the x-rays showed nothing and yet I was still dealing with swelling and pain... I drove to CVS and bought some arch supports and placed them into my new sneakers. Funny, my feet haven't hurt much since.

I still need to figure out what to do with my mom's '97 Buick. I'm not confident its in good enough condition to sell. The steering wheel adjustment lever is broke off so the position it's in now is so low to the seat, it's even uncomfortable for me to drive. And I'm not sure if I can jam a flatheat screwdriver in there to such a degree as to adjust the thing either. I already know the a/c is busted. I don't know what mom did with the $1k she borrowed from her sister to get it fixed. And she told me other things are busted on it too... it needs work. I should just get it off of the property and junk it. Save any other seniors in her former complex or anyone else for that matter from having to deal with that shitty vehicle. Stay tuned.