Panorama of San Bernardino

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Life of JEM is on You Tube!

The Life of JEM live video podcast episodes 1 to 7 are up! Go to You Tube! Search Life of JEM! Or click here:

I read a story from this very blog on every episode. I talk writing, witches, food, 80s TV, waitressing and music. I even have an episode about criminal laws and policing where I utilize my criminal defense lawyer self! 

Every episode has a theme and a guest (either in person or by phone and maybe via Zoom soon). People can also call in live to the show and talk to JEM! 

The Life of JEM live video podcast airs live every other Wednesday! 7 PM Pacific Time!

Next episode 9/23. For the live stream, add my Life of JEM FB page! 

If you're interested in being a guest, add my FB page and message me!

Friday, August 21, 2020

Life lessons

Recently, I learned a valuable lesson. Stress is sometimes self created. In my last post, I expressed how frustrated I was with starting my online MFA program. But then I realized, after meeting with my director on Monday, that I had attended the wrong orientation. 

Turns out, because I am in the online low residency program, the students are much older and most are working professionals. They all have really cool life experiences. Most importantly, there is no weekday Zoom "class". Instead, everything is online and I can do it all on the weekend. 

Plus, I'm only taking one class this first semester. My life won't really change. I may have to manage my weekend time better, but I usually write or read all weekend anyway. I've made a pledge to not take on any other new writing projects other than those I already have (i.e., this blog and my video podcast). Unfortunately, I may have to learn to say no to social engagements (which are few and far between with covid already) and fortunately, I've already cut down on my drinking. 

The most exciting aspect is that, assuming travel is allowed, in the next 2 years, I will be doing a month in UNO's summer abroad in Europe. It  is so exciting to imagine writing and taking classes in Europe with my cohort, a dream come true really. Hubby has already said he will tag along for a couple weeks. I'm hoping for Ireland!

So here's to dreams being realized. The best part is always in the journey my friends. What's your dream? Tell me in the comments! 

Don't forget to watch my LIVE video podcast of stories and commentary about my life every other Wednesday at 7 pm Cali time (I have had some cool guests). You can even call in and chat with me.  

Just add my Life of JEM FB page for the live stream, or find it on YouTube by searching Life of JEM. See you there!

Saturday, August 15, 2020

School bell

I start my low residency UNO MFA next week and had a meet and greet "happy hour" for my nonfiction class. It didn't go well. 

I wasn't prepared. I had court in the morning and had to rush in to get my computer fixed after court. I stopped at the store and grabbed chicken for dinner on the way home. Then I got pulled into the time suck that is remote working updating my cases.

My alarm went off and I yelped! The meet and greet "happy hour" was starting on Zoom in 10 minutes. I grabbed a brush, my lipstick and went to work on my hair and face and opted for my black sequined sweater buttoned up over my punk rock tee.

Once I got into the Zoom, I was a little manic. Smiling widely. Too eager. Too talkative. I was clueless about Moodle, their class online system and got a favorite book's title garbled. Everyone except another 40 something woman seemed so damn young. And they were all living in New Orleans taking a full schedule. I bit my tongue when they asked what other classes we were taking. ("None," I would have squeaked. "I'm on the 5 year plan"). All was not lost. I liked the female professor. She had friendly eyes.

Bringing my dog into the screen didn't help lessen the weird tension. Zoom is not built for meet and greet and was more awkward hour than "happy hour". 

Plus, if they say "happy hour", I want a beer and some canap├ęs. When the Zoom ended I had one last question, "What's Moodle!?" Someone chuckled then I was left all alone in the room as it closed. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Somebody in pandemic times

I realized I hadn't written a blog in more than two weeks. The days are merging. At this point, I'm just trying to get through every week to the weekend.

But weekends don't really help. I used to be able to decompress. Now I just work all week and I sleep away much of the weekend. I'm so tired. Nothing is very fun except my podcast but that is every other week.

Work is hard. The anxiety of exposure is difficult in court, but perhaps preferable to working in my little bubble upstairs. In my office, I lose hours and hours lost in my caseload and when I pop out of it I see it as an exercise in futility. I keep on fighting. Fighting for my clients is the air that keeps me breathing. 

Where will I be after this is over? I'm not sure. I've seen firsthand how horrible the world can be. I can't put my blinders back on. I will be forever irrevocably changed.

Up until now, I've tried to remain as positive as I could. But, will this ever really be over?

The pandemic may have shined a light on just how fragile and hard life is. Pre-pandemic, many of us, present company included, were lulled into a false sense of security. It was entitlement. I saw how hard life was for many in my deputy public defender practice but did I feel it? I don't think I truly did until now. 

Now I feel it. I really do. 

Yet, all is not lost. I know that. Art is the answer for me right now. Writing helps me forget. It helps me to remember. It eases my mind I suppose. For that, I am grateful.