Panorama of San Bernardino

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Saturday hydration

It's Saturday and I'm relaxing. Finally. I know I have to work on my homework and my book projects, but I have Monday off so it's a little less stress. Still, staying on task all the time is hard.

It brings to mind an Audre Lord quote. She says:

“It is never easy to demand the most from ourselves, from our lives, from our work."

She's so right. Excellence is hard. And exhausting. 

Yesterday, I had a stressful day at work starting early, after weeks of the same. Then, after lunch, I crashed. My brain would not process information. I felt as if I was moving a car through fog, hence the term "brain fog", squinting to see. My eyes kept closing and I was nauseous and dizzy.

It turns out I was pretty severely dehydrated. I have been drinking a lot of coffee and not enough water. My husband made dinner and I ate and went upstairs. I couldn't work on anything so I watched TV and slept off and on. My husband urged me to hydrate.

After drinking 3 Gatorades, I felt better. By 9 pm, I was wide awake. My hydration had rejuvenated me. We watched TV and drank hot tea with steamed milk. 

This morning instead of turning on the TV to watch my newest Netflix show, I put on 50s and 60s music and started rolling around the floor with my two shih tzus. They licked my face and I rubbed their furry backs listening to the crooning of Roy Orbison.

Then, I danced in my living room with my coffee. And I remembered to drink a glass of water. 

Friday, February 19, 2021


I have always been an early bird. A morning dove. One who gets the worm.

To my eyes, the sun rising in the sky is one of the most beautiful natural wonders. We all take it for granted. That it rises I mean. 

It's 5 am and I'm up writing. I'm also multi-tasking by starting laundry, and the only sounds are the lull of the washer filling with water and my shih tzu Chewbacca whining.  

In a couple of hours, I do video visits at the jail and my work day begins. 

My cup of espresso's bitterness is cut by one sugar cube. My bitterness is not. I'm grumpy having had a restless night sleep-wise. When I can't sleep I read articles and essays, some legal and some literary, and some both. I also plan my podcasts.

My brain never turns off unless I fall into music. I've found focus is best while listening to ambient music, but my mood is best listening to Bowie.

This morning I'm just here to say "hey". To capture that which cannot be captured. Like trying to write about a sunrise, it's difficult to capture early morning meloncholy in words. 

So this morning, this "hey" is from me to you. It's recognition. I see you. I hear you. I feel you. 

We're all here living lives of "quiet desperation" as Thoreau once said. What I want most is to be a woman who lives a life of purpose and contentment. I'm not there yet. My ambition is a thorn in my side at times. I want too much. I'm overextended and overwhelmed. I'm not content. 

I'm not always kind. But I'm trying. I really am. 

Sunday, February 14, 2021


I am up early on Valentine's Day listening to the Bowie station on Pandora and Stevie Nicks' voice comes on. I think of the lyrics to her song "Dreams" and sing them in my head.

"Now here I go again, I see the crystal visions
I keep my visions to myself
It's only me who wants to wrap around your dreams
And have you any dreams you'd like to sell?"

I have always been a wanderer and dreamer of sorts. I believe in the mystical. In spirituality. In prophecy and fate. In traveling to find yourself. In muses.

Lately, this need to be my truer self that I was has been haunting and hounding me. I am in the house more than I've ever been and I'm restless.

Sleep is a poor substitute for wandering and traveling. I fell asleep early last night and dreamt of Paris. In my dream, my husband and I are wandering the streets and parks of Paris holding hands like newlyweds. 

Then, my dream jumps and we're in the cemetery wandering and staring at gravestones. In my dream, I'm dressed like Stevie Nicks in a flowing skirt with purple scarves circling my neck, pink flowers in my hair and I'm dancing by Jim Morrison's grave. I'm twirling and the wind is whipping my hair.

I awake to the growling of my shih tzu and gingerly crawl out of bed. I want to stay in my dreams of other places. Of other universes. 

I want to be in a different and parallel world where I can drink my espresso in a beret and pretty dress instead of satin pajamas.

Hopefully soon, this pandemic dream/nightmare will end and I can take that trip and be the dreamer and wanderer that I was.  

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

JEM in the IE

The pandemic seems to be waning. People are vaccinating and the world seems a bit more, dare I say it lest I jinx it, hopeful.

It's been almost a year. I keep thinking of that so I don't forget. How reality can change in an instant. One day you're flying for a writing conference and a couple of weeks later, lockdown.

I remember the days when I would meet up with my besties on a regular basis to drink, eat and commiserate. I've been rewatching the series "Sex and the City" and what I love about it most, and what I miss the most right now, are my female friendships and bonding. The show is a guilty pleasure because in some ways what seemed risqué is now passé, and Samantha clearly needs therapy. But I love it despite all that. 

I've always said, I'm a mix between Carrie and Miranda, a writer and a lawyer. Free spirited and quirky, along with somewhat neurotic and controlling. I've always been drawn in by the start of each episode of the series, with Carrie writing and discussing a piece for her column. 

I also appreciate them showing how hard it is to be a writer, all of the financial instability, the writer's block and the deadlines. Then last night, I was watching the episode where they turn Carrie's columns into a book and all I could think was, lucky girl! If only it was so easy!

The other thing I love about the show is that it's a love letter to New York. There is literally an episode about Carrie's love for her city (the one with the sailors). Geography and my love for my hometown are so much a part of me, my life and my writing that I can totally relate. 

And it made me think, is a hometown that you love a healthy tether to the past or a way to avoid a new future?

I guess, we are where we are. And right now, I am where I am. And that's here, getting up and putting on a punk rock tee and sweats to drink coffee in the IE. It's not sexy but it's my city.

Friday, February 5, 2021

It's Friday and I'm tired

It's Friday and I'm exhausted. There's a recent article in HuffPost talking about how we're all hitting a "wall" in these pandemic times. 


After reading it, I realized that I'm in pandemic burnout. It's taken months and months of this work and worry existence and I'm burnt toast.

This has gone on much longer than anyone anticipated. It has been almost a year at this point. How did we get here? It seems as if it was an inch by inch creeping of a lockdown and then extension after extension of the shutdown. 

At this point, I know we all just want it to be over. It's terrifying to see how quickly I've become reconciled to this agoraphobic type existence. Some weekends, I do not leave the house. It feels safe and comfortable inside. 

This is coming from the lips of a girl who is, or should I say was, a social butterfly. What will it be like when I'm allowed to go out into the world to see a concert again? Will I feel as if it's all too much effort? 

To live life fully is difficult, it shouldn't be deadly obviously, but even in a non-pandemic, traveling was always anxiety inducing. I do not sleep well on vacation, but even with my anxiety issues, it was always worth it. 

To have seen the Louvre was like a dream and to stare at the Eiffel Tower from my Paris hotel balcony was magical. A walk to get French pastry in the morning after waking up in my cousin's house near Rouen is something I'll never forget. Traveling with my husband to the wine country in Mexico and finding a Frida winery was the best of times along with watching the Super Bowl with my sisters in Rosarito.

Then, making my way to San Antonio for a writing conference. Meeting a friend for a drink. Watching the keynote address of Helena Viramontes. Doing my own reading at a tiny bookstore and hanging out with my writing friends after at a bar. Eating breakfast tacos in the morning with my roomie.

Those times are from my life before this pandemic. They are memories of a different time, one I hope to get back to soon. 

Soon. Soon. Soon.