Friday, May 24, 2019

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Part of a writing prompt

Surprise letter. Give me 500 words.


I didn’t really have to ask how she got my email address. It’s not hard. Damn thing is all over the web because I put it there. When you’re a real-estate agent, you want people to be able to contact you. So I put it out, and put it out, and the crumbs I got back I ate like I was starving.

GREETINGS. That was the subject line from a name I didn’t recognize. Not exactly unusual. In my line of work you get a lot of strangers crossing your threshold in every way. I wasn’t always comfortable with it, the meet-and-greet, the hail-fellow-well-met. I’d considered switching careers, but to what? I was born to do this, that’s what my father kept telling me. Then again, he was the Real Estate Duke of Santa Barbara. Me, I couldn’t even sell in Goleta. That was why I was 29, pressing up hard against 30, and still living in their back cottage. Yes, I know what they say about Millennials. I didn’t want to be that Millennial.

They say that a character has to want something. Ground them in that desire. That’s what makes a character believable. I’m here to tell you that’s bullshit. And I’ll tell you another thing: It’s way worse not to want something than to want it with everything that is you. It’s way worse to press your nose against that glass, looking in on life’s snow globe. How do you like that metaphor?

Yeah. Me neither.

I was sitting at Santa Barbara Roasting Company when the message showed up. Jack Johnson was playing on the stereo because Jack Johnson always plays on the stereo around here. He was in my major at UC Santa Barbara, film studies. I don’t remember much about him other than he always had a guitar. And look at him now. That’s where wanting gets you.

Right before it landed, I was watching a family. They all seemed to be doing work of some sort: three of them gathered around one table, mom and dad and younger brother, and then older sister off to the side with her turquoise-cased Mac Air. I was thinking about Steffy. Steffy, who had my heart whether or not she was interested in keeping it. Steffy, who took my love until it bored her and then wouldn’t let me give it to her any more.

Steffy, who was getting married the following week. I didn’t know that because she told me, God knows. Girl practically put an emotional restraining order on me when we broke up. She wouldn’t even give me her forwarding address when she moved out. Just blocked me on email, and phone, and Facebook and Twitter and probably even on sites that I wasn’t even on. Pinterest. Can you even block someone on Pinterest? If you could, then I’m sure she did.

Times my body screamed for her. Times my mind wrapped itself around thin air, talked to no one but itself. Times I reached out and touched thin air, nothing less and certainly nothing more.



Kind of a bitchy statement

It's really easy to live on the edge when someone else is paying for you to do it.

Morning bon mots

ME: I don't think he means to be a cocksucker.
ADAM: He just tripped and there's a cock in his mouth. Happened to me yesterday.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The runaway

I ran away from home tonight.

I'll go back.

Eventually.

Too early

I have this thing where if someone gets too close, I run the risk of shutting down and pushing them aside. It's a protective mechanism and it's not particularly original. I'm just really aware of it these days.

I'm sure I could say more. I just don't want to.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Re-reading MAN NUMBER THREE

Or THE THIRD MAN. Not yet sure about the title.

From the text:

Years later I would understand the significance of what I saw in Jack’s face. I would wish I had seen it in someone far earlier. I understand now that I didn’t look closely enough at Simon when he spoke. It was right there.

“Something different,” I said. “Something more.”

“Yeah,” he said, and nudged my toe with his. My skin crawled with something akin to love, or perhaps it was homicide. I needed to go, to fly, to get the hell out while I still could.

“Well,” I said, “That’s awesome. I mean, if it’s what you want. And I guess it is, right?”

“You sound almost – disappointed.”

Anything but. I couldn’t figure out how he could confuse the two. That’s because it’s impossible to see ourselves the way others see us. It’s like listening to a recording of your voice. It doesn’t sound as though you perceive it. That intimate strangeness, that constant surprise at the people we are.


Batter up


Image may contain: one or more people, people standing and indoor

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Memory

The morning after the first time I ever smoked weed, sitting in a car in Isla Vista, just listening to this song with my friend Kevin. Simple, but not.

My Jack


Image may contain: Allison Landa, smiling, dog

Man

She who dumb enough to play with fire should know better. Or something of that ilk.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Christopher Robin

CHRISTOPHER: But that tree was in Sussex, not London!

POOH: I suppose it’s where it needs to be.

Another one I'll probably delete

And yet you and I fit like clockwork. We exist in some vacuum. 

Friday, May 17, 2019

Abortion rights

What the fuck is happening here? How is Roe v. Wade under fire? I love my child more than anything and yet the reason I can be a good parent is because I fucking wanted him. Jesus Christ, how hard is that to understand?

Keep your laws off my body and I'll do the same for you.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Written just now

The tears came like a monsoon to a desert. I leaned over my discount office chair with its frayed seat and howled in pure, evil silence. It wasn’t just the loss of him. It was the loss of possibility. It was a violation of innocence. It was a crossing-out of every promise ever made to me, not simply by him but throughout my life

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Joni Mitchell, "A Case of You"

I know I've posted this before, but fuck it:

Just before our love got lost you said
I am as constant as a northern star and I said,
Constantly in the darkness
Where's that at?
If you want me I'll be in the bar
On the back of a cartoon coaster
In the blue TV screen light
I drew a map of Canada
Oh Canada
With your face sketched on it twice
Oh you are in my blood like holy wine
You taste so bitter
And so sweet oh
I could drink a case of you darling and I would
Still be on my feet
Oh I would still be on my feet
Oh I am a lonely painter
I live in a box of paints
I'm frightened by the devil
And I'm drawn to those ones that ain't afraid
I remember that time that you told me, you said
"Love is touching souls"
Surely you touched mine 'cause
Part of you pours out of me
In these lines from time to time
Oh you are in my blood like holy wine
You taste so bitter
And so sweet oh
I could drink a case of you darling
Still I'd be on my feet
I would still be on my feet
I met a woman
She had a mouth like yours, she knew your life
She knew your devils and your deeds and she said
"Go to him
stay with him if you can
But be prepared to bleed"
Oh but you are in my blood you're my holy wine
You're so bitter
bitter and so sweet oh
I could drink a case of you darling
Still I'd be on my feet
I would still be on my feet

Let's put it this way

When you decide to be connected with someone again after a long and turbulent period, there are things you can't and shouldn't say publicly. I'm still writing what I'm writing, but for once I decided to take it offline.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Locking down

I'm in the process of deleting many of these posts.

I have my reasons.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Comal

Image may contain: 2 people, including Adam Sandler, people sitting and drink
They were way happier than they look here, but I do like the contemplative nature of this shot. 

Monday, April 29, 2019

Kid's asleep early

Baked, listening to The Police:

Oh, can't you see
You belong to me

That's pretty much it.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Sent this to Washington Post's On Parenting

They're looking for short snippets on parenthood.

Knowing when to harness and when to release. Understanding the push and pull of care-taking, the need to pry one's fingers off while keeping a sharp eye on what you're doing. Making sure you know that I do what I do from a place of love, not a nefarious pool of would-be control. The words that cannot properly express this. The emotions that show themselves when I cannot explain them. You, in the chair, wondering. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

There are worse things ...

Than a husband who says: "I want you to be happy."

Than a kid who sings: "Love yooou," when you leave the house.

Than two completely and totally insane dogs.

Bisnow Commercial Real Estate News

I've accepted a full-time offer as a custom content writer with Bisnow. The company is fully remote and has unlimited vacation ... so I guess that means I need to renew my passport, stat!

Monday, April 15, 2019

Adam's sappy FB bday post

Well, shit. Here we are. Making another year of laughing, crying, wreaking havoc, and a big old bunch of love. My math showed that we've been together now a third of your life, married for almost a quarter. I wish it could have been so much more, but more is what we got. I love you baby, and am so happy we get all our celebrations as a family.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Eleven years today

I wouldn't leave you in times of trouble
We never could have come this far
I took the good times; I'll take the bad times
I'll take you just the way you are


Image may contain: Allison Landa and Adam Sandler, people smiling, beard and closeup

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

I'm teaching my Book Passage class in two hours. I've been nervous for months about it, if I am to be honest, but why? I know my shit. I think the thing that worries me is the length of the class -- how am I going to make the most of it? But my schedule is mapped out and my handouts are in order and pretty soon it will be Go Time.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Texts with Adam

GOOD STUFF?

I THINK. ABOUT MY MOM AND HIM AND SIMILARITIES.

OH SHIT.

YEAH.

FUCK THAT GUY.

IT'S MORE LIKE FUCK MY MOM.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Freedom in commitment

I like my new therapist. Maybe it's because he's a dude. Maybe it's because he's funny and real and gets my sense of humor. Maybe because I can do it from the comfort of my recliner on FaceTime. In any event, he said something that both made sense and made no sense at all: freedom in commitment. 

What does that mean? I always saw commitment as being locked down, tied to something. How can you have both?

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

True believers

I applied for a freelance copywriter position and was asked not only to do free work, but to purchase their product in the name of writing the review. I'm going to put their name out there: Puracy. I want people to know that either these are scam artists or the type of true believers that think everyone should love their product and want to buy it. Either way, avoid.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Out of Dodge

Going to Sac for the night. It's such a weird roller coaster, leaving even for this brief amount of time. I'm learning to just hold on and go with the experience.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Lady Bird

I thought this movie sucked for so many reasons, but let's focus on its boring and formulaic (and, frankly, offensive) treatment of the heavy girl. OF COURSE she's the sidekick. OF COURSE she's obsessed with food and weight. OF COURSE she can't be any sort of romantic interest except for the creepy teacher who nonetheless brushes her off.

I've been heavier and I've been thinner. I'm on that latter end now, but I'll still never be a small girl. And Greta Gerwig ... fuck you.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Cafe la Boheme

I'm sitting next to these two Alcoholics Anonymous guys. I know not because they said it, but because they're talking about God and the seventh step and all this bullshit. There's something about them too, something that on the surface looks clean but really is just a filter covering something even more rotten.

He was an AA guy. Had been for years. He was an AA guy, nearly a decade sober when he tried to use alcohol to get me to come back to his house with him because his girlfriend was out of town, when we sat at Vesuvio and I'd gone outside to call Adam -- who at 8:30 was already pissed because I was already drunk and almost certainly going to be home late -- and I came back in and he'd ordered me a third Death in the Afternoon. "Drink it," he said.

"Fuck you," I said, and had a single sip.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

From BEARDED LADY


Nails, my mother, the person who cried into the void and gave me life, said. She said it like it was the world’s most important thing, and to her maybe it was. She wore an oversized sweatshirt and leggings, like Flashdance was about to call and ask for its outfit back. She looked at me like I was one of those dust motes shimmering in an irritating way, just something else she would ask Elvira, our maid, to wipe away from the balcony.
           
“Let me tell you,” she said, and you just knew she was about to lay down the intel. “You may never get that chance again.”

I know this was supposed to hurt. I was aware that it was an insult. I was supposed to find a sweet dark corner and lay down my head and cry for all the opportunities missed because I was not only a dork, but an ugly dork.
           
Instead I felt amazing. Matt? He wanted me. It was obvious. He took Tina as a consolation prize, but somewhere along the way he knew he wanted me. He couldn’t just leave this alone. He couldn’t let me be. He was going to keep worrying it like the dogs at the shelter gnawed after their frozen Kongs. Difference was that they eventually get their peanut butter. Him, he got nothing.

Finally, I was sure of it.

Teaching at The Writing Salon

Thrilled to be teaching a class there this spring!

Sunday, February 3, 2019

What do you keep private about your child?

As I watch Baz sleep, I'm thinking about how I write about him. I put up a lot of pictures and stories, both here and elsewhere, but what do I keep off the internet? I'm still sussing that out, but as he grows older and he is more able to express himself, I will have a better idea of how to balance this.

Oh, who am I kidding? When he's 14, I'm sure he'll go through periods of not speaking to me. It's inevitable.

What I've learned from freelancing

You have to use your time to your advantage. If one client is asking a lot for a little and another is more reasonable, you have to shift to what's going to work for you. There are plenty of people who want diamond work for plastic earnings.

It's up to you to determine how best to make your money, but I'm learning more and more that boundaries are the way not only to pay the rent, but to be happy when doing it.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

The trenches

Up at 2 a.m. with a sick little guy, watching The Great British Baking Show and eating peanut butter toast, listening to the rain. If these are the trenches, then the trenches aren't so bad.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Four years ago

I found out.

I took one test, then two, then a third.

I called Adam. "Well," he said. "That was unexpected." We laughed.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

How I've changed

I used to treat my friends like my kids. Adam once said: "You mom all your friends." I laughed, but it was also true.

Now I am a parent. I have a 3-year-old son and two rambunctious 8-year-old dogs. They are the only ones who get the mom treatment. I expect anyone I'm friends with to be adults. Otherwise they get dropped.

This, at 4 a.m.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Reversal



















Philz Coffee, Oakland, CA.

Thoughts

There is something about writing your own shit. There is a feeling of fulfillment you cannot get anywhere else.

That's it for now, I guess. 

Friday, January 11, 2019

This morning's writing


Uh. Mah. Gawd. Was I really going down this rabbit hole of romance? It wasn’t happening at all the way I always thought it might. I mean, I never thought it would happen at all. I figured I was going to be one of these women with longing in their eyes and too many pets and plants in their crowded living rooms, hoping without much hope. It was the kind of life where you were always watching others as they sat together at tables, in movie theaters, in moving cars where they may be laughing or may be fighting or may be locked in their own silences, saying nothing at all, thinking of other people, but still. They were together. They had someone.

Today's Daily OM

We are multidimensional beings and our earthly aspects are a very small part of who we are.
Many of us are familiar with the experience of waking up to the fact that our lives are no longer working the way we have set them up. Sometimes this is due to a shift occurring inside ourselves over time, and sometimes it is part of the larger shift that is currently affecting all humanity. Change is happening at such an increased rate that it is difficult to predict what the future holds. As a result, many of the old ways of planning out a life are no longer applicable, and if we cling to them we feel strangely out of tune with reality. If we are in tune with the energies around us, we will begin to question ideas that just a few years ago seemed sensible. 

In the simplest terms, the shift we are undergoing right now has to do with recognizing ourselves as being more than human, remembering that our earthly aspects are a very small part of who we are. In truth, we are multidimensional beings. When we begin to realize this, the life we planned for a limited conception of ourselves no longer fits. We must meet the needs and qualifications not only of our bodies but also of our souls. This realization dawns slowly for some and with the suddenness of a bolt of lightning for others, and we all must find the way that works for us to integrate this new and larger sense of self into our life plan. 

Sometimes a drastic change feels totally right, and overnight we might decide to sell our home and move to another country or quit our job and begin a second career. Other times, we allow the changes to proceed slowly, beginning perhaps with allowing ourselves to dream of a new life or just to ask the deeper questions that encourage us to discover our true purpose in life. Either way, know that this process is a natural sign of the growth we are all going through, and trust it to guide you to the life of your dreams.