Good intentions 2013

Just some things I was thinking of doing in 2013:

books-resources

1.  Read one book a month (except in the case of Les Miserables by Hugo, which may take two; it’s on my list, and in my stack)

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2.  Jazzercise (shopping for this outfit, by the way)

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3.  Yoga

Chakra-balancing-meditation_1

3.  Regular meditation

crockpot

4.  Crockpot Sunday!

5.  And this:

Philippians 4.8

******

And one more quote to end 2012 for me: “Be excellent to each another.”  Party on…and happy New Year to us all.

Out for repairs

Perfect May evening, and I feel about as imperfect as I’ve felt in a while; tired, tense, out of shape, and mentally exhausted; Club Petaluma is upside down with unfinished projects and clutter, and I’m writing cranky poetry, which usually makes me feel better, but that isn’t even doing the trick.   I don’t feel like I’ve completely gotten over being sick from a couple of weeks ago, and I wound up in the ER earlier this week with severe back pain. I never knew that the phrase “pain management” would come to be so familiar to me; I’m well-acquainted with my “regular” pain, but this was new, persistent and scary.  It turned out to be a strained thoracic muscle, but I am glad that I got it checked out, since heart attack symptoms for women can show up as back pain. My mother’s heart attack started out as a bad backache, and resulted in triple-bypass surgery for her, so I’m on the job when it comes assessing back pain.

Being a cranky mess is not the way that I want to spend the summer, so here’s a visual list to get this camper back into happy mode:

When I practice all of these, I feel like this:

Instead of this:

As always, my friends keep me in the game, and this week was no exception.  I was excited to see my friend Tischel receive her Master’s in Education on Saturday at Cal State Long Beach, and it turned into a nice reunion of CSULB work friends:

This week, friends asked about me, called me when I was in the ER, texted me, and made me laugh.  You are gold to me, all of you, and I don’t ever forget how fortunate I am to know you. And now, let’s roll out summer, why don’t we?

Buddha and Groucho and McConaughey, oh my!

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Image via Wikipedia

Strap yourselves in, friends, because I’m going all over the place tonight, and you must be this tall to ride this ride…Onward!

My renters moved in on Thursday – I am just now getting over one full week of cleaning, moving furniture, buying hardware for the bathroom, renting a dumpster, calling for bulky trash pick-up, having an estate sale (no good at haggling, so the next time I have a bunch of stuff to get rid of, it’s either going on Craigslist, or to Out of the Closet, now my exclusive thrift store for donations, you will understand why as you read on) and waiting…for the man to come over to install the dishwasher, the locksmith, the Salvation Army (who, by the way, never showed – boo, SA!), and several minor anxiety attacks later, everything seems to be resolved, except for a couple of tasks – no emergencies, for the moment, anyway.

I know what you’re saying: “Julie! Why did you wait until the last minute to do….EVERYTHING?”  And you would be entirely justified in saying it; I have no defense, just an overwhelming sense of relief that it’s over, and I can relax.  At one point during last week, I had changed my clothes, since I had been cleaning the bathrooms (I was soaking wet and covered in Soft Scrub – yes, I know it goes on the walls and not on me, smarties), went to the store, and when I returned, discovered that the sweater that I was wearing was inside-out, with a gigantic label showing at the back of my neck. Fabulous.

My last night in the house, I thought about all of the memories that were made there, and was a little sad, because I didn’t want to let go of those memories by having someone else come in and sweep them away.  Then I realized that my memories were always going to be in my mind, and nothing could take them away. Reminds me of a quote: “The only thing that remains the same is change.”  (You gotta take your epiphanies where you find ’em, don’t you? A little Buddha, a little Hereclitus, all on the bathroom wall of a poolhall – talk about a state of flux!)

For me, April is a transitional month; no fantastic movies, it’s the middle of the semester at work, and I have no idea how to dress, because the weather feels like it’s in between winter, spring, and summer.  I have a lot going on right now, aside from my new responsibilities as a landlord; started a yoga class last week, and hoping to make it twice a week (Sunday afternoon yoga in the park, can hardly wait), still painting the kitchen, and planning on finishing the two bathrooms by the middle of the year (fingers crossed). I’m also in the middle of knitting two scarves, reading, getting ready to walk the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon (I’ll be walking 13 miles), and…did I miss anything? No wonder I feel a bit…scattered.  Looking forward to yoga (and a little side order of meditation) to help me find my center – and hoping it’s not made of cream cheese, the way I’ve been eating in the last week.

No fantastic movies, but I did see a good one last week – “Lincoln Lawyer” kept me interested from beginning to end, and not only because these three were in it (someone needs to write a movie and cast Matthew McConaughey, Josh Lucas, and Ryan Phillippe as brothers; seriously, look at them!):

“The Lincoln Lawyer” – good plot, rocking soundtrack, Marisa Tomei and William H. Macy in solid supporting roles, set in Los Angeles, and…sorry, can’t keep my mind on what I’m writing. You should see it – it is good (the book was written by Michael Connelly, also good), and Matthew McConaughey deserves the nice reviews; he also deserves to make more films like this one. And why isn’t Josh Lucas a huge star by now?  What is the holdup, Hollywood? He has shown that he can play both leading man and character roles; give him work, now! Sheesh, what’s a girl gotta do? (Trivia question: both Matthew McConaughey and Josh Lucas have played coaches in two different movies; name those movies! No Googling allowed.)

I will leave you to your Sunday evening ruminations on the state of existence, or the state of blonde, blue-eyed actors who need good scripts, if that’s your idea of a good time. I was thinking of closing with a quote by Buddha, but hey, a little Groucho Marx works too: “Spring in the air!” “What? I should spring in the air, and fall in the lake?” Or something along those lines….you go have a week, now!

Untying knots

Ick, sick at home. I think today is the first day of fall, isn’t it?  If it is, my being sick would make perfect sense. I always seem to get sick when the season changes, and also when the craziness at work subsides.  There is still much to do with my mother’s estate; I am planning on getting her house ready to sell, so now I have to become an expert at “staging,” which, in my understanding, is making a home as presentable and desirable as possible to get it sold. I have had some advice in this area, which has been very interesting for me, as I have absolutely no experience, nor any idea what I’m doing.

At the same time, I am beginning to make some slight progress on the house; the roof will be repaired next week, and one of the bathrooms (the one with walls – long story) is now deep blue and green, with a new sink and mirror.  The next step is new tile, and a new shower..I will definitely post pictures as rooms are completed; my house is a complete “before” picture, so I will be beyond thrilled when everything is transformed.  I know the house will never be completely done, but I already love having color on the walls, and am motivated to put more on other walls as soon as possible.

I had a massage yesterday, with a massage therapist named Mike that I’ve seen twice.  We discovered yesterday that I am a bundle of knots, and that I even have an incredible amount of tension in my jaws and temples.  I have a lot of very stressful, recurring dreams, about tsunamis, giant snakes, insects, rotting apartments  (the same rotting apartment in more than one dream; one that I’ve never seen in real life, and it feels like home whenever I dream about it), and being on the run from the police (I’m not on the run from the police, honestly; apparently, I enjoy being on the run in my dreams, though), and yesterday morning I woke up with my teeth sunk into my bottom lip. Mike tells me I’m holding a lot of tension – yup, biting through my bottom lip would be a good sign of that, I’ll bet. I need to start doing this:

And this:

Ok, maybe not that; maybe this:

I gave up yoga, but now I think I need to start it up again.  It’s hard for me, because I get annoyed at the moves, and I want it to be over – but if I concentrate on what I’m doing, I feel like a new person at the end of the class.

*****

I caught up on “Mad Men” today, and couldn’t help but draw similarities between Don Draper and Jax Teller.  Both are bad boys who are at the top of their social structures, with father issues and big appetites for women and power. Their uniforms may be different, but they fight some of the same battles, both internal and external.  And here they are, just in case you’re more visual than verbal:

Obssessed? Maybe – it is so nice to know that television hasn’t completely gone south, and that these two dramas (and many others I just can’t seem to find time to watch yet) are better than most of the movies I’ve seen this year.

Gotta go – started reading “On The Road,” (never read it, and it’s in my “started but never finished” bookcase), and I’m excited to get a good part of it read tonight.  My rule is to read one fiction and one non-fiction book at a time, and I’m also reading a book of letters between Kerouac and Ginsberg, which I think is a nice complement to “On The Road.”  I don’t know if any of this is interesting, but I enjoyed writing it, so here you go!