Panorama of San Bernardino

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Mysterious Ways

On Saturday night, we went to the U2 concert.  I had never seen U2 live.  It is surprising considering that I had a long time love affair with Bono in the 1980's.  He slept in my bedroom on the wall albeit on a poster board that was a present from my best friend Tracy. 

I have written blogs about music before.  I would hope dear readers that you know how much Morrisey and the Smiths mean to me.  Similarly, the Pixies, my second favorite band of all time, make me want to run in circles and jump up and down.  Listening to X makes me want to drive fast.  Siouxsie inspires me to dance and wave my hands in their air in the way only a goth girl can do.

U2 always made me sway.  There is something about their music that is transcendent. 

When the guitar went low Saturday night and Bono's voice rose into the air, it felt like the sky had opened up for a moment.  I am a teller of tales, some say I am prone to exaggeration, but when Bono sang "One" I cried.    That is the power of music for me.  It takes me somewhere else.  It floats me away and I am captivated. 

The night ended on a low note.  It took us an hour to get out of the parking lot.  Tracy was more than tipsy and argued with J in the car.  Adrian and I got into a little spat.

The next morning Adrian and I took the moms out to Hesperia again.  Adrian planted some more trees and I laid out on the concrete and sunned myself like a lizard.  We barbequed some hamburgers on the grill and swam in the cold pool.  The last time I dove in, I held my breath for as long as I could and danced underwater.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

High and Low

For those of you who don't know the distinction, there is a high and low desert in California.  The high desert is Hesperia and beyond off of the Interstate 15 North and the low desert is Palm Springs and beyond off the 10 (East) freeway.  Calling the Interstate 10 freeway by its numerical designation with a "the" in front of it is the California way of saying it. 

My father-in-law Alberto bought a ranch house in the high desert in Hesperia about six months before he died.  Alberto became obesessed with remodeling the house.  It was like he was in a race.  With the help of a contractor, Alberto gutted the entire interior and put in red and white tile in the living room and family room.  He bought dark wood floors for all of the bedrooms and painted the white walls with bright colors.

Alberto stained the fence and outdoor bar a warm brown and planted palm trees by the stone rock pool.  In a mere six months, the house was coming together.  Alberto and Orieta started moving their clothes over from the West Covina house.  They planned on moving in the next weekend.

Then Alberto died.  Orieta walked into his bedroom at their house in West Covina and found him dead in his bed.   His arms were crossed over his heart.  I was in court all morning with my phone turned off and it took two hours for the police to reach me.  Orieta's neighbor held her hand while the police questioned her.  I drove over to their house in a panic.  I called my brother-in-law Vinnie who tried to calm me down.  My hands were shaking as I pulled over to have Adran paged at his office  When his assistant put him on the phone, I didn't have to say a word because Adrian knew. 

The last nine months, the house has fallen into disrepair.  Adrian stops by after work sometimes, but the weeds have taken over and the pool is a slight greenish color.  The wood floors have a coat of dust. 

Last night, I drove the moms out to the Hesperia house and Adrian met us there after work.  We went out to dinner at Steer and Stine, a local IE steakhouse.  We played Apples to Apples and I took a Tylenol PM to fall asleep.  Adrian and I took the master bedroom and in the morning, I got up early and walked outside.  Adrian was already up and testing the water of the pool with a PH kit.  

"We slept in the same bed my dad died in," Adrian said looking at me. 

"I wish you hadn't told me that," I said.

"It doesn't bother me," Adrian said and shook his head as he looked out at the mountains.  "It's father's day weekend."

My husband has always been a bit morbid.  It is probably what attracted me to him.  I am a former Goth girl.  I think what he was getting at is that he feels closer to his father out there in the high desert.  Alberto may be dead, but his project lives on.

Monday, June 13, 2011

There ain't no fairy tale endings

I wish someone told me this when I was little.  There are no fairy tale endings.  People don't live happily ever after.  No prince ever comes on a white horse and spirits you away.  Or if they do, years later, the horse breaks down and the prince turns out to be a frog.

The best you can hope for is to get through the drudgery and savor those little moments of happiness that make life worthwhile.  Let's face it, being an adult sucks.  It sucks ass. 

It is much easier to be a child or a teenager or even a young adult.  I think that is why so many of my stories deal with the past because whatever my childhood was, that is, chaotic, scary, happy, adventurous, traumatic, and sometimes surprising, it was better than the day to day drudgery of an ordinary adult existence.  I remember the freedom of it.  That sense that one's whole life was an unknown. 

Now, at about forty, and maybe this post is just a symptom of the almost forty blues, I see life as hard and disappointing.  Most days, I get up and go to work and work hard to get through my court calendar.  My life is somewhat like my calendar.  I have felony settlement conferences, i.e. negotiations, there are sentencing hearings, i.e. punishments and even oral arguments, i.e. fights.  And, like my calendar, I just gotta get through it because tomorrow is another day.

This blog is not meant to be depressing.  It is meant to express how the world can get you down.   One can only hope, I mean I can only hope, to pick myself up again and start over every day.  The goal is to try and be a better person, to treat people with kindness and be positive.

In the end, that's the best we can do.  Just try.  And try again.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Bye Bye Fat Girl

I have my fat girl surgery in less than a month.  Soon, I will be a shadow of my former self.  My only fear is looking like a bobblehead.  That's not really true of course.  My fears contain multitudes. 

One fear is that I will die on the operating table looking up at a florescent light.  They say death is hardest on those you leave behind, but I would be horrified to die from an operation designed to to make one stop eating.  It would a very American way to die. 

Don't take this wrong.  My goal in talking about this is not to trivialize it.  Instead, I want to bring my fears out in the open with the hope that they will dissolve in the sun of recognition. 

This fear of death includes leaving my husband all alone with the dogs and the two moms.  I don't know what he would do without me by his side.  My outgoing optimism balances out his pessimistic and hermit like tendancies.  Plus, I know him pretty well after almost nineteen years and he loves me.   He really loves me despite my round tummy.  What can I say?  I know he is hot as only an Argentine can be, but I am just plain loveable. 

Another fear is that I will get a staph infection and end up very sick.  I read an article by one of my favorite doctor writers Atul Gawande about staph infections and it freaked me out.  I told my husband that I asked my doctor about the risks, but I lied.  When my doctor asked me if I had any questions, I shook my head.  Maybe I don't want to know.

Finally, there is always the fear of failure.  Despite my purported confidence to everyone that everything will go well, I am afraid I won't be able to stop eating.  That I have eaten whatever I wanted for far too long.   That I will will have surgery and give it a go for a couple of months and slowly start sliding back to eating too much too quickly and drinking beer and Diet Coke.

Then I look in the mirror and tell myself, this has to change, you have to change.   There is no more time.  My hand lifts and almost without thinking, I give a sad little wave to the person in the mirror.