Panorama of San Bernardino

Friday, November 15, 2019

To sleep perchance

I want to sleep. I want to awake at ten am not at five in the morning. On Saturday at least.

They don’t tell you when you’re young, how elusive sleep may be later. I yearn for the days in my younger years when I could sleep until noon. My mom would always wake me up. “Get up Jenny! You can’t sleep all damn day!” I would say, “Mom it’s Saturday!”

Nowadays, and everyday in fact, my eyes open at five in the morning like clockwork. And, sometimes as early as four am. I know that much of it is age or hormone related. I’m in the lovely realm of post menopausal women.

My early rising also has much to do with my two evil shih tzus Frodo and Chewbacca (Chewie). They love to wake me up if, by some divine intervention, I do manage to sleep past five am.

Frodo sleeps on the bed and he will kick me. Like a horse with his back leg, Frodo pushes it out and slams it on the bed. Over and over. Chewie who sleeps on the floor on his blanket, whines. If I am so rude as to ignore that, he barks. Loudly. Over and over. It’s the same thing every morning, and like Groundhog Day. I pop my head up, moan, and get out of bed.

Who has trained who is the question?

Regardless, here I am, awake at 6 am, up for more than an hour. Maybe it’s a gift as this early bird does get the writing worm.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Mercury in Retrograde

The Mercury in Retrograde ("MIR") effect is real. I can tell you. My rudimentary explanation of Mercury in Retrograde is when the the planet Mercury is closet to the sun and appears to move in reverse in the astrological chart.

MIR creates chaos for many people, especially those sensitive to the planetary influences. It can impact communication, emotional mood, productivity, relationships, organization, travel, technology and even such banal things as the signing of contracts.

And, for those who think I am getting too "new age" here, just think of it as a transitionary period and a change of the seasons.

Personally, I felt the shift beginning on Halloween (the first day "MIR"" started). The lights were out. Our power was turned off and I was panicking. Even when the power returned, I had extreme anxiety. Days later, that feeling didn’t go away.

I did my best. I meditated and saged my bedroom. Prayed. Yet, the “opening up” of meditation almost seemed to make things worse and I spiraled in my head. I felt a little lost. Still do.

Even at a conference, I was off kilter. Not feeling exactly like myself.

The funny part is that until this, I have had a good month. October was super productive. I finally finished trying to organize my closet into manageable chaos. It had been a year long project, one my husband Adrian had suffered through, walking over piles in the closet, getting dressed in the laundry room for months. In September, my therapist had suggested that I work on hanging or giving away just 5 pieces a day. Her suggestion worked (what some call therapy, I call magic) and after those three weeks of culling and two full days of organizing, I am almost done.

Singing every morning is always a good sign for me and with regard to my memoir, I finished a draft of my memoir and started work on a second draft. And at work, I was rocking and rolling.

But, with the Mercury in Retrograde all that productivity came to a freeze. I’m spinning my wheels. Everything is going wrong. My usual strong skills of organization at work seem weak. I’m trying but it’s hard. Yesterday at work, I felt it to the point where I had very toxic interactions. I had to leave court to take a walk and decompress.

So tread warily my friends. This shit is real and will end on November 20th right before Thanksgiving, a good sign for the holidays.

Friday, November 1, 2019

The Year Southern California Edison Killed Halloween

Everyone cares about Christmas. And I think, Christmas is all right. I like giving gifts, watching Hallmark Christmas movies and the baby Jesus in the manger, but it’s not Halloween.

Halloween, as I’ve said before, is the best holiday of the year. I adore the scent of leaves and fall, pumpkin drinks and candy. Best of all, goth culture is celebrated. It’s cool to be a witch. I adore the idea of costuming and transformation. It’s fun. There’s an element of play, but also of drama.

This year, Southern California Edison (“SCE”) killed Halloween for me. They might as well have put a dagger in Jack Skellington’s heart. It was the nightmare before Halloween.

They kept turning the power off the two weeks before Halloween due to winds. What was odd was that everyone had power all around us except for our small enclave of a community in unincorporated San Bernardino. North Fontana had power. Even Devore had power. But not us. Our food spoiled and spoiled again. We stopped buying groceries and existed on fast food. If we were too lazy to leave the house, we grilled toast in a pan after lighting the pilot with a match.

Then, SCE turned the power off again on October 29th, two days before Halloween. The winds were pretty strong that day, but I scowled and stomped through the house getting ready for work in the dark.

The next night I fretted. It was the 30th, a mere day before Halloween. Still no power.

“They have to turn it on by Halloween,” I said to Adrian with a squeal of unhappiness as I munched fries from McDonalds for dinner. “Or they will kill Halloween!  And what will we do with all of this damn candy?”

The morning of the 31st came and fires raged in Southern California. I got dressed in the dark and went to court early with witch earrings dangling for a hearing on a medication issue. But the bus bringing the client from the state hospital broke down so my hearing got continued. I went to my other department and finished my calendar bemoaning the power outage. “It just doesn’t feel like Halloween.”

Early afternoon at work, I got a fire alert text and raced home. Luckily, the fire was miles and miles away off the 18 freeway. I took my mother in law to an appointment and drove by the pumpkin patch which was empty and forlorn. The winds whipping my hair, I saw the twenty dollar price tags and walked out and bought a pumpkin at Ralph’s for a steal at 99 cents.

I came home and used the last of my phone battery to play Halloween songs while carving my pumpkin. At four pm, I gave up and texted my mom to stay home.

Teary eyed, I sat my pumpkin on the mantle. His crooked grin mocked me. Adrian says I carve like a school kid.

All I wanted was to do our yearly tradition. Every year, my mom comes over in her witch hat and Halloween appliqué vest. We stuff our faces with pizza and when dusk comes, we fill up our witchy wine goblets and sit in the front of the house on patio chairs playing music with a big bowl of candy to hand out. We have our private committee of two judging the costumes. “That princess was cute,” my mom will say. “I liked the Dalmatian,” I’ll reply.

My mom always talks too much to the kids. “You’re scaring them,” I’ll say. She’ll cackle and laugh.

But this year, no. Alas, I sat in the house with the gas fire in the fireplace debating with Adrian when the power would go back on and whether we needed to buy a generator. By seven pm, I gave up and went to get Chinese food. On the way back, I saw a straggle of teenagers with sacks walking the blocks. The whole neighborhood was pitch black.

Walking into my house, I sighed. “This sucks.” I ate an egg roll by the light of our lantern, then went upstairs. Too depressed to even wash my face, I wiped off my eyeliner with a wipe and took a swig of Benadryl.

“Screw Edison,” I muttered while I dozed off to sleep with my husband snoring beside me. The wind whispered back a “woooooooooooo”. I shivered.

The power came on at 2 am. The day after Halloween.