California Poppy

Navel Gazing
July 2, 2009, 11:00 am
Filed under: deep thoughts, on writing

I’ve been thinking about the direction that I want this blog to go in for a few days now. My posts have been sporadic, though my life has not been lacking in events to mine for content. Indeed these last few weeks have seen the marriage of my dear friends to eachother, my decision to give it another go with my ex, my anxiety over doing so, and my contemplation about going back to grad school (in light of more layoff rumors). But, I haven’t felt compelled to talk about any of this really.

And today I think I figured out why. The Pursuit of Harpyness had a post today about this article in the Guardian (how I love the Guardian) detailing our cultures recent obsession with self-obsessed females: specifically, female “journalists'” confessionals. “I got a boob job,” “I am alone and miserable,” “I hate my aging neck,” ad nauseum, type journalism.

It’s true, we’ve become saturated with it. Reality shows offer too many glimpses into way too much detail of people personal lives, and we all can’t help but look… like rubber-neckers on a freeway. And I hate it. And I don’t want to be a part of it. But somehow, “memoir”-style writing has become synonymous with the TMI-confessional.

So, what to do about this blog, which was an attempt for me to get back into a daily writing ritual, mining my personal life for content, writing memoir-style posts, as an alternative to the dry health journalism I do all-day, everyday for my 9-5 job?

The answer, I think, is a hybrid of mining my life, but not necessarily in such gory detail, and mining the blogs, news sites, and various events that my life revolves around, and discussing them, for my, and perhaps any lurking readers’ enjoyment.

So, California Poppy is a work in progress. But a work I do want to commit to. We’ll see where we go from here…


Rain, rain, go away…
July 1, 2009, 3:48 pm
Filed under: deep thoughts

Dreary, dreary, dreary, dreary… bleh. I have a serious case of the rainy day blues. It is the first day of July here in Boston. But you wouldn’t know it for looking at the window. The sky is a dark, charcoal gray. I catch the flash of lightning from the corner of my eye from time to time, followed by the distant rumble of thunder. Occasionally a nearer crash of thunder. But always rain. It rained almost every day in June. As of June 23rd, the Globe reported that June 2009 was Boston’s least sunny month in the last one hundred years. And so far, July looks no different. The 5-day forecast calls for T-storms or rain showers every day. Including the favorite American summer barbecue holiday, July 4th.

I know this is just whining at this point, but, seriously, girl needs some sun. I visited California for 5 days in early June and was graced with mild temperatures but lots of sun. Glorious skin warming sun, dry air, fluffy cottony clouds blowing across the cornflower blue skies. Northern California in June may be the closest thing to Eden on this planet. And sometimes, though I love the life I’ve made for myself here in New England, I wonder how in the hell I have ended up trading that blue-skied bliss for humid thunder-filled summers and bone-chilling frosty winters.

Everyone I meet here wonders the same thing when they learn where I am from. Many native New Englanders are plotting their escapes. California is on the pedastal: the place they want to be most of all. In the sage words of Liz Lemon: they want to go to there.

And today, I want to go to there too.

Update: The Globe just posted this graphic detailing the full month’s sunshine totals for June.  Look at all those zeros. No wonder I’m depressed.

Bit of a doozy
June 10, 2009, 2:27 pm
Filed under: life in general, love

So… I did it.  I got up the nerve to call him.  And, it went about as bad as it could have gone.  Seriously.  All the while the phone was ringing I was saying that well-known little chant, “please be voicemail, please be voicemail,” and then, just as I thought I was in the clear, “Hello?”

Crap!  But I recovered from my pre-planned light, breezy message into friendly easy banter… and… he didn’t have a clue who I was.  After two painfully humiliating minutes of trying to jog his memory (tall? brunette? wearing black strapless dress?  YOU gave me your number?” — to which he replied, “I did? Well, I’m sure there was a reason…”)  Anyway, he finally had a lightbulb moment and actually remembered my last name, but the damage was done.  The awkwardness of the whole thing was just too much.  We are supposed to go out to dinner when I return from California next week, but now… I mean, it was sooo humbling.  But this is so my M.O…. falling for the bad-boy bartender who doesn’t have a clue who I am but who I follow around like a golden retriever.

Maybe I can just use him for sex?

On calling boys
June 9, 2009, 8:58 pm
Filed under: love, whiskey

So, I met a really adorable bartender on Saturday night. Which, yes, is a cliché. But the boy is hot. And I was actually in my rare sassy/flirty mood and worked up the courage to chat a bit during every drink order/exchange and wound up on the receiving end of a few free Red Stripes and flirty glances, and thought, what the hell? So as I was closing my tab, I joked with him that I was tempted to write my number on my bill. And he laughed in a, that’s-been-done-many-times-but-it wouldn’t-be-entirely-unwelcome kind of way. If its possible to get that much from a laugh. So I did something I rarely do: I asked for his number. Because why the fuck not? And he paused for a moment to consider, then grinned this gorgeous, sincere, huge grin, and gave it to me. On the sly like. Score for me.

So, here’s the rub. It’s now Tuesday. Which is super coy 3-day-waiting-period territory. But I didn’t wait this long out of coolness. I am chicken-shit. What the fuck do I say when I call him? I know nothing about him. Except he wears a silly golfer cap that looks adorable on him. Has tattoos of dice on his forearm (I know, but seriously, its working for him), and he makes a MEAN manhattan. I mean, this man knows his way around a bottle of whiskey. I could use someone like him on my team. Oh, to not be chicken-shit.

Would it be bad to start downing shots of Jameson at 5pm to get the courage to call him?

Yes. Very. Bad.

I’m No English Rose
June 8, 2009, 3:10 pm
Filed under: deep thoughts, love

My ex is English (not British, mind you, English). Something he views as a perfectly acceptable excuse for every emotional inadequacy. So much so, as a belated birthday he just gave me this book, Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behavior as a sort of dictionary/ translation-guide towards his behavior.

Not quite sure how to take that given our recent Hindenburg like disaster of a break-up.

Makes me also wonder if I shouldn’t pen my own guidebook… California certainly has had its influence on my behavior. And I notice the disparities even more now that I’m living in New England, land of the Yankee: self-sufficient, stoic, hardy stock.

So, if the English are emotionally-repressed, Yankees could be described as emotionally… reserved.  And Californians?  Emotionally-free??  I mean, what’s the opposite of repressed?  Uninhibited?

I like that.  Emotionally-uninhibited.

May 28, 2009, 5:46 pm
Filed under: deep thoughts, life in general, love, work

Sometimes it feels a bit as if life is coming apart at the seems.  Today is one of those days.  Growing up, I had toy stuffed dog named CC.  By the time I was ten, she was a bit worse for wear.  One plastic shiny black eye missing, fur matted beyond recognition, gaping hole where her nose should have been, bits of stuffing starting to come out at the seams which seemed held together with one last splitting strand of thread.  Today, life feels a bit like CC.  One small thread away from losing all of its stuffing.

Two days ago I had the last in a long line of “conversations” with an ex-boyfriend with whom I’ve been messing around for months.  It’s been a long, intense, heart-breaking break-up, which came to a head at 1am on a street corner outside a nightclub where our friends were inside playing on stage.  Fueled by a mixture of beer, whiskey, sexual frustration, and I guess just stupidity we finally picked a fight that neither of us would be able to recover from, and like that, the passion and misery that has been my steadfast companion for most of our relationship is over.  Not sure if I feel relieved, or am in utter denial, but I feel… strangely… nothing.

Following that would be yesterday’s one-two-punch of a fight with my boss (she called me insubordinate, which is laughable given that we are the word-smithing business, not the fucking infantry) only 30 minutes after hearing yet another lay-off rumor, this time from a rather credible source, and this time, with a very concerned look directed at me and my office.

And the icing on the cake, that last seam ready to burst and pour out stuffing, I spent the better half of this morning in the bleak florescent lighting of my lady doctor’s office waiting to have myself prodded in the name of a biopsy, and then, sitting in pain on the bus back home (the depressing midday bus going in the reverse-commute direction), fending off phone calls from two creditors curious as to where my American Express and student loan payments were.  Good question.  You tell me.

So today, as I sit at home under the of care of pain relievers and herbal tea, it feels vaguely as if California Poppy’s life is falling apart.  Coming out at the seams, or at the very least, having every potential to do so soon:  Nasty break-up, inevitable lay-off, the c-word (can’t even deal with typing the word, which somehow acknowledges that that possibility exists), flat broke.

Welcome to my world.