Panorama of San Bernardino

Friday, April 30, 2021


This morning, I thought to myself, I'm lucky. So so lucky. I have a home I love, my husband, my sisters and mom, my spoiled shih tzus and a good job. I have my education, my writing, my school and my podcast.

What I don't have that I have wanted: a child, my books published and contentment. The books being published will happen, the child is unattainable at this point age wise, but contentment, now that's the tricky one.

Contentment has always been the hardest thing for me. I am never ever content. It's part of what drives me. "Slow down!" my husband says. "No," I retort back in my no nonsense voice adding, "Never."

What are we here for? That's a question that may be rolling around in your head too. Especially after this roller coaster ride of a year. The pandemic has made many question their lives, including those truly. Inching my way toward middle age has also made me think. What is truly important in life? 

Is it accomplishments? That car you drive? The way you look? The house you own? 


I would argue that we are a sum of what we create in the world. The family and relationships we have, the  lives we touch, the people we help and the creative endeavors we engage in. 

In short, who we are is what we are. But it's more ephemeral than that. How you will be remembered is who you are. We are memories.

And because I write memoir, and love spinning gold out of the dust of my own memories, I'm remembering who I am and who I was. But most of all, my writing allows me to keep reminding myself of who I want to be.

Friday, April 23, 2021

Vacation all I ever wanted

There's a lyric by The Go-Go's that says, "Vacation all I ever wanted/Vacation had to get away". That is how I've felt for the last year. I've been yearning to get away. To "get up and go" (to name another Go-Go's tune). So I'm on vacation. And happy. 

I spent my morning reading and listening to all of my favorite chill out tunes by The Flaming Lips and The Shins. With some X and Sex Pistols thrown in to wake me up.

To vacation is to relax. To chill. To decompress. To read in bed staring out the window. Vacation for me is room service, jacuzzis and lounging on a pool chair in the sun.

Since the pandemic hit, we've all been cloistered indoors. My vitamin D levels were alarmingly low. Pale and bloated, my skin and weight suffered. 

During the early days of Covid, I was stuck inside all day and would work early morning to evening without taking a break to even change my clothes. I bought three sets of satin pajamas and used them interchangeably. 

My dogs were happy to have me home but I have to say, it wasn't healthy. I don't do boundaries very well even during healthy times and my home life and work life became so blurred that I couldn't get away. For some reason, I couldn't stop myself from opening my computer on the weekend to try and get ahead for the week. And I would lose hours and hours and emerge blurry eyed from my den.

The thing that saved me (and by "saved" I'm not exaggerating because my mental health was at risk) was my writing and podcasting. It gave me something to focus on. No matter what, every week I had my master's creative writing class homework due (I'm taking one class a semester for now on the 5 year plan) and every month, a podcast to plan. My creative work gave me an excuse to disengage from work after putting in much more than my required hours. It allowed me to focus on my creative side which is restorative. It gave me a pause from my taxing job where I'm trying to save people from a cruel system of injustice.

For us creatives, that is everything. For some, writing may be a chore but for me, writing is everything. It gives me a place to put everything going on in my head. I never stop, as my husband often tells me, but writing allows me to breathe and gives me space.

Back to my vacation, I'm sitting here writing this staring out the hotel window at the desert view listening to Bowie. 

I have to say, there's nothing I'd rather be doing. I think I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be and doing what I love with those I love. Isn't that what life is all about my friends?

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Today and a list

Today is a day. It's just another day. I am up at 4 am and I've been up since 2 am after falling into bed exhausted at 7 pm. 

Reading through some blogs from the last year, I realize that I've documented a journey. A journey that was not always pleasurable. Yet, I'm glad I've written it. So here's a list. I love lists.

A list of things I've realized during the pandemic:

I am prone to wearing the same thing every day.

A house dress is my preferred attire after satin pajamas. 

Pajamas are for day, a punk rock tee and shorts are for bed.

I like to cook breakfast but not dinner. I'd rather order in or eat toast.

I use a lot of ink cartridges and my printer hates me.

My home office has become my work space and my bed and couch my creative space.

I have some serious intestinal issues.

I drink way too much espresso and left to my own devices, with no one checking me, I will finish a huge box of nespresso in a couple weeks (don't ask me how many pods that is because you don't want to know).

My dogs sustain me while also concurrently driving me insane.

My voice is my own.


Sunday, April 18, 2021

Dogs in my space

My two shih tzus, Frodo and Chewbacca, are awake and tussling with one another as usual. I break it up. Frodo has a back issue, so he can't wrestle like he used to. They growl and circle one another in their dog like way. 

Chewie jumps on the couch and snuggles up against me, his caramel eyes beseeching me to feed him.

When I took Frodo outside this morning, I watched as he tried to lift his leg to pee. I put my hand out to balance him, but his leg collapsed and he leaned against the bush and stumbled as he regained his balance. 

Frodo turned his head and glared at me. I said aloud, "Frodo you did good, it's ok." Frodo ignored my cheerleading and turned and walked in the house. Chewie followed him inside.

It's 6 am and it's time to feed them their meds. Chewie is on multiple heart medications and Frodo is on multiple medications for his back. Every morning, I wrap their meds in ham and beg them to take it, but at least half the time, Frodo is somehow able to find the pill and spit it out. 

For most of my life, I was a cat person. Then, one look in Frodo's deep black eyes, and I was hooked. Frodo was a small ball of black and white fur that sucked on a blanket and growled like an Ewok. He still sucks on his blanket some thirteen years later. 

Chewie came into our lives a year after Frodo did and soon, he became my little duck, following me around wherever I went. They are my loves, my pet soul mates. 

As they get older, it gets harder. Frodo's back issues make me weep because he just wants to run and can't. It's heartbreaking to watch him struggle. Chewie has rallied and has been doing well on his meds.

Truth is, I want them both to live forever. They are my everything. These dogs in my space keep me present and remind me to live in the moment. They remind me to not get lost inside of my head. They show me what is important in life. And that sometimes, happiness is simply a bowl of food and a pat on the back. 

Saturday, April 10, 2021


It's Friday and I'm in our jacuzzi listening to music of those who have passed. DMX and Bowie. Prince. Too many too soon.

It makes me sad to think of how fleeting life is. How for many, it's full of sorrow. It doesn't matter how much money you have. Life is hard. And for those without, it's even harder.

This morning, I woke up and thanked the universe for being alive. At court yesterday, I was trying to be extra present for my clients. There is so much sadness. My job is hard but I'm always there for my clients. And their families.

I'm so frustrated by the criminal system. People don't  understand how it destroys lives. Even after my clients restore and plead, they're at the state and probation's mercy. Do this. Do that. If not, incarceration. The rest of my clients, those who can't get out because of incompetency, are trapped at the jail or state hospital.

Scream it out, I think, maybe someone will hear. Most of my clients are in what must feel like a hopeless situation, trapped in a cage, while I write this. I can see the moon and stars but they can't. I can breathe fresh air, they can't. 

Tears well up and I swallow, my lumpy throat packed with too many of my own melancholy thoughts. I don't know how much longer I can do this work. My clients need me but I need to find the light in this darkness.

Every day, a little piece of my soul rips off by even participating in this horror of a criminal system. I want to do something in my life that brings joy into the world. Because as I said earlier, life is short, fleeting and all too precious.

Friday, April 2, 2021

Poem at midnight

 Poem at midnight

I'm side sleeping

But not sleeping

Not yet 

Benadryl breath 

Breathe breathe 


Touch pillow

Neck cracks 

Breathe in

Out remember

It's ok

You'll fall

Eventually into




Mind flits 

To quiet 

Ears still

Covered by



Not so 


To dream


The upside to waking up at 4 am is that I'm writing this piece. I had to take a short break from my blog due to the demands of work and school. It seemed like I took a week off but it's been a month. Time moves by so fast, like a car on the freeway that flies by you. That's why a consistent writing practice is so key. 

Relaxation is also important so I took the day off Wednesday and went to the beach to hang out with my twin sister Jackie who was staying out in Ocean Beach with her gal pals. I kinda just popped in, something I rarely do, but I was desperate. I'd been working extreme hours at work and then all weekend on school. 

My brain was tired. I had bags under my eyes. I was grumpy and exhausted. I'd had a form of tunnel vision with everything at work and school along with my writing and I simply could not disengage from my computer or phone. In short, I needed some beach time. 

The beach was lovely. I'd never been to Ocean Beach. It reminded me of Newport from when I was a kid, before it was so bougie. Or Venice. Jackie and I walked to get avocado toast. We walked the vendor stalls in masks with her dog Lizzy and then just sat on the beach. I couldn't relax but I did my best. 

Water has always been my zen so I went into the ocean up to my waist and let it take away my anxiety. The waves came at me. I pulled back and let the water lap and wrap my legs.

We walked the city which helped. I felt like I hadn't walked in a year. Jackie was very kind to me. That helped. I breathed in and out. In and out. Over and over. That helped too. 

I kept thinking to myself, when did I stop having fun? When did I stop being fun? Why am I so tense all of the time? Why do I live in my head and not in the moment? Why am I always time checking myself and on task?

We both love to eat so Jackie and I had huge shrimps at the marina with cocktail sauce and crackers. We shared a cup of clam chowder. We chatted and walked her dog again. Then I got on the road to beat traffic. Almost three hours later, I walked inside my house. (Guess I hadn't left early enough.) I said hello to my husband and mother in law. My dogs kissed me all over. 

At 8 pm, I fell asleep, the imagined sound of the waves from earlier in the day lulling me to sleep.