Friday, December 31, 2004

New Year's Greetings

consider this the virtual season's greetings card i meant to send you but never did:
happy new year from Juice and I to you and yours. may your 2005 be full of sunshine and rest. and remember to cherish each day you have and each person you care for because, as we've recently seen, it can all be swept away at any time. i hope health and happiness fill your life and home, now and always. maintain perspective, don't allow stress to get to you, and be kind to people you don't know. try to spend time with children. trust life. marvel at the universe. and smile more.


Friday, December 24, 2004

Happy Hollow Days

actually, they haven't been too hollow. things have been just peachy lately -- and like a sweet, messy peach with no pit. peaches whose juices run down your chin when you bite into them. happy, blushing peaches covered in fuzz. downside is peaches are out of season right now, so my recent cravings for one will go unanswered.

anyhow, the good news is that i picked up some temp work that will last me through the end of the year and possibly into january, courtesy of my mistress Zee. so big thanks to Zee. i've spent the past week editing textbooks for high-schoolers and have occassionally written content. it's not bad at all -- like one very complicated jigsaw puzzle. i'm moving stuff around on the pages, checking everything against everything else, focusing on the minutiae.

and the best part is that i can relax a little about finances. so i've relaxed, perhaps too much. i've spent the past week dropping dimes on everything i've been meaning to buy but couldn't afford. i've also spent it seeing various friends who've popped into town for the hollow days. it's been pleasant, but hectic. i'm suddenly very, very busy. yesterday held breakfast with (college friend) greg in west hollywood, lunch with (high school) best friend jon-david in valencia, and dinner and drinks with (high school) friends raidis and ann in silverlake. it's been nonstop driving all around. today, i'm resting and will continue to rest until tuesday, which is when work resumes.

other than that, single life is good, good, good. it hasn't been hard to get used to. i cleaned my house from wall to wall, floor to ceiling -- washed that man right out of my hair and home. it was like a ritualistic cleansing, and i was a zen zombie. i've often thought of writing a book called 'the zen of housecleaning.' i really dig being in a clean environment and the satisfaction that comes from knowing i made it clean. call me crazy. (but don't call me to come clean your house, cus that ain't gonna happen.) so with my place all nice and tidy, i've been curling up on the couch nightly, juice across my lap, warm socks on my feet, and watching DVDs on my new 27-inch Panasonic television. oh yeah, that's another great thing that happened -- i found a 27-inch TV on craigslist, called the seller who happened to live nearby. she said someone was coming to look at the TV at noon; it was 11am, so i darted over there, jewed her down to 50 bucks, and hauled the TV out just as the other buyer pulled up to the curb, giving me the dirtiest of looks. but the best part is that i sold my old TV on craiglist -- a Sharp 20-incher that's gotta be 15 years old -- for 60 bucks to some LA transplant who didn't seem to know any better. so yeah, new TV for the new clean living room and the new single life.

i also bought new JBL computer speakers for half price on amazon, and i have a new part-time gig as an SAT tutor. so yes, new stuff all around for the impending new year. and speaking of the new year, i think i'm gonna try something new for that special evening. seems like many of my homies will be out of town when 2005 arrives, and instead of going to some packed club or finding some random party, i think i might just stay at home and smooch juice at midnight. it might sound loser, but it really appeals to me.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Suddenly Single

since when: been almost a week, i guess. things fell apart last weekend during a saturday night birthday dinner at a nice restaurant. it was just the two of us at dinner thankfully, but i'm sure the waiter and some nearby patrons heard our bickering.

why: same reason that any couple breaks up, i suppose -- just not the right people for each other. it's that simple. there was no big drama. no cheating or anything inappropriate. we just found ourselves in too many petty arguments that seemed to spotlight our differences. and when we entered yet another one that night at dinner, i took it as an opportunity to do what i had been contemplating doing for weeks. luckily for both of us, he had moved into a new apartment just days earlier (another indication that our couplehood was nearing its end), so we retracted into our respective corners without much more fanfare.

him: i'm not going to badmouth him here. he doesn't deserve it, because he's truly a magnificent person. he's full of quality and goodness, and i value the past nine months with him. i think we both entered each others' lives at an important transitional time, giving each other just what we needed right when we needed it. but it wasn't something built to last, and i knew that from the get-go. he's still someone i cherish and want to always know. we're gonna do the friends thing, and i'm confident we can. we've since called a truce, unentangled all the belongings, and have exchanged many friendly emails.

how i am doing: just fine. i saw it coming this time. it was up to me this time. and given that i had anticipated this ending from the very beginning, i made sure to stay detached throughout. i was never really deeply, dumbly in love, though i was certainly smitten. there were good times, genuine laughs and smiles indeed. but it wasn't love the way i know it to be, the way i want it to be -- where you throw yourself entirely into the relationship and dissolve into the other person (at least in the beginning). it never approached that ardor, partially because of timing, but mostly because i knew in my bones that something else was up ahead for me. (and i think he'd agree that i was upfront about that from the beginning.) so considering all this, i'm not totally crushed. and it certainly doesn't resemble my last breakup, which felt like a nuclear bomb went off in my chest. it's still sad, of course. i feel like the Breakup Queen. this state is all too familiar to me. it's quiet now. the bed is cold. i get lonesome.

what i've learned: the gut doesn't lie. i can't accept a watered-down version of what i want. i won't supplant my needs just to soothe my loneliness. and despite my newfound relationship baggage, i'm still fairly secure in who i am as a person. i'm not all that dysfunctional or co-dependent. i still feel empowered and independent, certainly wiser, definitely stronger. up on the dry-erase board now: the only constant is change.

what's next: i'm going to do something completely radical, something i've never really done before -- be comfortable being alone. this will be a test for me, but i feel like i'm finally ready to embrace it. ever since i began dating some 12 years ago, i've been a serial monogamist, with episodes of sluttiness dispersed in between. there's never been too long a stretch where it was just me. well, now's the time to take the energy that (i've let) boys consume and focus it inward, channel it outward into achieving my goals. i can't allow myself to get off track. my time is now. so no new harems anytime soon. instead, get thee to a nunnery. i know it will be tough, this celibacy. i'm like a guy that way. i schwing. i'm a sucker for a pretty face, a nice smile, broad shoulders, soccer thighs. i always do a double-take when i see a tall, dark-haired man with olive skin walk by. i get distracted by soft hands and full lips. i start to crave the electricity that only touching brings. hmmmm, soccer thighs. i mean, celibacy, yeah. i'm gonna try that. try. coy is the new cool.

so, in a nutshell, i'm ok, really. this is the best thing for me. it's the start of a new year, new season, new chapter. it's growth. it's constructive. and it's welcome.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Reality Bites

my reality certainly does -- still no steady income, anxiety all around, whine, whine, whine. i'm tired of telling my own story, or even listening to myself tell it. i feel like a one-trick pony. people's eyes glaze over when i begin the woe-is-me-i'm-unemployed show. they've heard it before. even the politest ones now grit their teeth and endure. i'm trying to suck it up. i've even come to see this time off as being valuable. only problem is that this time has little value without the funds to enjoy it. if i had some cash to shop all day, get massages and pedicures, that would be something of great value, but i don't. and there i go whining again.

good news is that i found a part-time gig with a company i hope to establish a long and wonderful relationship with. so next week holds some (paid!) training for becoming one of their SAT tutors. i actually had to take the exam, and it's changed over the years. new essay writing section, no analogies, but still way easier than the GRE. should be a fun gig. i've tutored before and have always enjoyed it. nothing beats that instant gratification one gets from teaching someone something. that lightbulb goes on over their heads and it feels like a homerun. but i digress.

i actually wanted to discuss a different aspect of reality, a new addiction of mine that's somewhat disturbing. i've become fixated on reality television lately. it all started when i got bunny ears for my TV set a few months back. before that, my TV was only used for movie rentals. (cable television is not an option, and hasn't been for years.) so now i had channels 2-13 to watch in all their crappy glory. the mainstays of my television watching were 'jeopardy' and 'seinfeld' in syndication. current sitcoms and hourlong dramas didn't really do it for me. i sampled various ones and just never connected with anything, mostly because the writing sucked and i just didn't buy into the relationships these characters had with each other. moreover, i just couldn't relate to these people. too many of today's sitcoms are centered around 'quirky' families, and there's nothing particularly novel or quirky about the approach used to portray these families. it's no 'roseanne' or even 'cosby show.' friend-centered comedies like 'seinfeld' and even 'friends' (which i never found funny) work best for childless, social people of a certain age. ok, my age, my generation. how about making a 'cheers' for twentysomethings?

so in my quest for entertainment, i turn to the reality show, which are plentiful on the boob. and wow, how easy are those to connect with -- regular folks, real-life drama, less predictability, the whole spectrum of human emotions on display. and the best part is that reality shows are like bite-sized pieces of entertainment where old storylines and character arcs don't amount to shit. you can tune in in the middle and not be confused. following the season isn't necessary, though yes, it can help. the only season i've really been following closely is 'america's top model,' for which justin has called me a lesbian. the makeover shows -- i can't get enough!! 'extreme makeover' i just love. and i dig the wife-swapping shows as well -- 'wife swap' and 'trading spouses.' the nanny shows aren't bad either. 'fear factor' i stay away from since it can turn my stomach a bit and i generally avoid those 'survivor'/'apprentice' type shows where contestants are eliminated each week, because of that whole needing-to-follow-the-season thing. but otherwise, i'm up for anything reality and i'm not ashamed to admit it -- though perhaps i should be?

in any case, i can safely and proudly say that despite my interest in reality shows, i've never once been tempted to join the cast of one (though the free lasik eye surgery and porcelian veneers they give people on 'extreme makeover' are very appealing). but nope, you still won't find me trying out, because despite the potential perks, it's still embarassing to be showcasing your sad and/or nasty self or misbehaved kids on national television. it's akin to being on 'the jerry springer show.' but when you're desperate for your 15 minutes of fame, i guess any which way will do. but hey, as long as it's entertaining, i'm not complaining.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

When a Door Closes, a Window Opens

that's the new line up on my dry-erase board. my mom used to tell me that when things weren't going well. i think its origin is actually biblical, something like "when G-d closes a door, He opens a window." i'm looking for that open window at every turn, but it's as though i'm in a windowless basement with locked doors, or at the top of the empire state building with one open window and no ladder down. this is because the work situation sucks right now. i've made a whopping zero dollars during the month of november and my output has been considerably higher. there were a few jobs i was certain would be offered to me, but no cigar. i've sent out about 30 resumes in the past week and have zero interviews lined up. my temp agency is dry -- "usually no work comes in during the holiday season," so that's a dead end. all my other clients have also told me to expect no new work until next year.

so here i am again in the broke boat, sad that i can't buy gifts for anyone this holiday season. although i've enjoyed the noncommital temp stuff since graduating in may, i see that it's just not workable anymore. i hate the oh-no-rent-is-due anxiety that comes at the end of each month. i'm tired of the feast or famine freelance lifestyle, and i'm very done with living like a student. with that in mind, i've begun applying to full-time permanent stuff. adulthood sucks, but i guess i should join its ranks. i hear it has its benefits, too, like health insurance and 401(k) plans. if anyone knows of any open windows in any company doing any thing, e-mail me.

in the meantime, to earn extra cash i've sold some CDs to amoeba, clothes to crossroads and even considered selling a never-before-used ovum to a barren couple. they pay big bucks for that shit, especially if you have an advanced degree and are healthy. but, sadly, the age cutoff was 27, and here i am at 28. just my luck.

in other news, did anyone see ken jennings lose in 'jeopardy' the other night? it's the end of an era. i loved that guy. he was the shizzle patizzle, walking away with $2.5 million after a 74-day winning streak. he seemed like the nicest guy on earth, too.

my thanksgiving was nice. our plans got rearranged at the last minute, so it turned into a very low-tech night with just mom and pop and a small rotisserie chicken bought at the supermarket just hours earlier. we got tipsy off of wine and found ourselves making treacly toasts that ended in happy tears. i felt the love of the season, and told them that they are always number one on my list of things i'm thankful for.

it's cold in LA in case you angelinos haven't noticed. like really cold, near freezing temperatures. i'm hoping for snow, which i haven't seen in ten years. if i'm lucky, they'll be snow on the ground in antelope valley in a few weeks, which is where my best friend will be once he flies in from new york come december 20. it's been in the teens in antelope valley.

and lastly, is still a go and will hopefully be operative (and lucrative) in a few months time. still ironing out the details of the logo and still need to write content for the website.