Thursday, May 15, 2014

Jeneice: The Cross Country Tour

Both the movers are named Dave. I have a triple Caramel macchiato in one hand and an aneurysm in the other. I don;'t know how the hell everything is going to get done. But at this point I've decided that the best course of action is to just sit in my scratchy blue lawn chair at the afar end of the living room and be quiet. It feels like the first amount of peace in eight weeks.


 The movers zip around like ants stockpiling for winter. They decimate the pile of boxes in the blink of an eye. That's the good news. The bad news is they can't (for liability reasons of course) move any container that isn't closed. Meaning the bags of clothes and framed posters are passed out the living room window to my mom to load in the back of the truck. My jeans are sticking to my ass and I mange to change into a clean t-shirt in the parking lot undetected.

I thought I would be flooded with memories of our first apartment but I'm not. even standing in the empty rooms brings absolutely nothing to mind. I can't remember where the TV went originally or how we got half of this shit in here to begin with. I just feel done and ready to go.

Sitting on my moms couch I am nearly comatose. Her phone rings and it's Jason. Mine is somewhere not within reaching distance. He chipped a tooth at work. Instead of being on the road at 7am the next morning I waited for him at the dentists at 9 am, ready to decapitate a kitten for a sandwich. By 10, Jason is minus one tooth, we have painkillers and antibiotics in hand, and we finally head toward the interstate. Mom has gone ahead with the truck and Kirby. It is grey and windy, raining on and off all the way through Missouri. Oh, but the feeling of crossing the state line. Finally! 6 weeks in the making and I have left Illinois! I am instantly pumped.

We pull into Elk city about 10pm; Jason is nauseous from his antibiotics, I have to pee, Mom's knees hurt, and Kirby is being a little shit. Mom checks us in and we trudge in behind her only able to ask for the key. We pass out.

The second day is better. Oklahoma soil gets redder and redder as we head west to New Mexico. This is where the magic happens.
Scenery. Actual nature to look at.

We start to climb up. We go through mountain passes with long winding curves all the way to Albuquerque. It literally takes our breath away. Past the city we start to climb again. A 15 degree incline takes us all the way to the Arizona state line, then on to Flagstaff. Jason is driving during that leg of the trip and seeing him set again the red mountains melts my heart. He's never been outside the Midwest aside from our honeymoon and the look on his face is childlike with wonder at what he sees.

Flagstaff is freezing and windy. I don't realize we're in the actual mountains until the morning and I see all the conifers. I don't know why it surprises me; it's probably the lack of sleep and elevation. Driving to Phoenix is an adventure in itself. It's down hill the entire way. We go from 7,000 feet above sea level to 1,000 feet in 2 hours. The temperature rises 30 degrees, the vegetation changes from trees to prickly pears to giant saguaro cacti. The demure shadows in the distance are suddenly in your face; red, massive rock formations.

The freeway is a mass of cars but we make it to 52nd St unscathed. Jason and I sign the lease, get the keys, and he gets to see our new home for the first time. Kirby happily sniffs the baseboards and doors. After a snack he cleans his beard on the freshly shampooed carpet.

The bed is made, the bathrooms have shower curtains and towels. We have the internet. The first morning on 52nd St is peaceful. I spend 20 minutes doing yoga on the patio, unfurling the mat that hasn't seen action in weeks. This is my 14th address since birth. So far it's my favorite.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Westward Ho

It was this time last year I was going in for my last wedding dress fitting. Driving home from Peoria I was giddy peppered with periods of eerie calm. That's all I remember from that day.

Today is similar. Hell, every day since March 12th is similar to that day. I'm like a Lab puppy; flurries of activity interrupted only by the need for a hug or a snack. The eerily calm moments, moments like now, I sit and ponder. I cherish these moments because they will get me through.

I'm moving to Arizona. The red mountains that slap you in the face when you first get on the freeway are incredible. The sun is strong and domineering but the heat subsides to point that you need a coat at night. The Grand Canyon is awe inspiring, the plants are fascinating, and there's no daylight savings time.

I was meant for the West. I was born there, I have yearned for it since I was small, I have been back to visit. I had a shelf of books about the Oregon trail growing up. Every last one was read to shreds.  Stories of people who packed everything and left what they knew behind for the chance at a better life, a fresh start, an adventure, resonate with me on a deeply personal level. Pioneers did it, my mother did it. Now it's my turn.

It's not just the change in location that excites me so much, it's the moving forward. This is the year Jason and I will forge forward, truly on our own. It's the next step in a long line of steps.

That's not to say that Illinois wasn't an important step. I made my best friends here, the girls who have known me for 10 years and they still like me.

I met my husband here. He's a big derp and all we do is laugh. He is my main source of entertainment and frustration. But my love for him is beyond words and I'm so lucky to have found him.

My mom is here. We survived ages 12-21 and now she can't get rid of me. I may be moving but she sees her own exodus from Illinois in her future. I better start spitting out babies to give her something to do.

So long Illinois! You are boring and there is absolutely nothing to do here. But I'll think of you as fondly as you do an ex-boyfriend 10 years after the fact; with the shake of my head, a sigh of nostalgia, and a chuckle.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Part Time Yogi

I think I'm in love with yoga.

I know, I've been in love before; Zumba was a saucy and tantalizing way to shake my butt and be proud. But that only ended in heartbreak (and plantar facitia from all the damn jumping in sub par shoes).

But this...ahhhhh. It's like slipping into a warm bath full of Pop Rocks. Warm and comforting and makes my blood buzz after a nice deep Half Pigeon or Reclining Hero.

Around Thanksgiving I realized that it was getting harder to touch my toes. Normally, any aging adult would be like "Well, yeah. Makes sense."

Not me. I was not happy. Being fat and able to touch my toes has been a point of silent pride as I watched smaller but somehow less limber girls flap about trying to get purchase on their piggies. I would regain my flexibility one way or another.

This isn't the first time I've visited yoga. But with my anxiety at an 11 for most of my adolescent life sitting or standing for any amount of time with my whirlwind of thoughts was far too daunting to do very often or with any conviction. Now as an adult with medication coursing through my veins and brain I can sit with my thoughts and not freak the absolute fuck out. 

I Googled Beginners Yoga and found a 10 minute video made by a lovely Dutch woman. It was simple, a bit challenging, and satisfying. I did it every morning for a week. By Christmas I was bored with my 10 minute morning stretch. I hit Google, Pintrest, the App Store and Tumblr looking for more poses, more inspiration. I found it in spades. Not just new routines but body positive yoga blogs featuring women who had bodies like mine who could touch their feet to their heads and do effortless backbends. Kiss My Big Asana, Fuck Yeah Yoga, Big Gal Yoga, Yoga Journal, Yoga Studio App; the list of awesome and bendy chicks who don't make me feel like a whale is endless. I bought a yoga mat and a strap to help hold my legs when my hands can't reach them.

He thinks he's helping. 

Traditionally, you do yoga so you can successfully meditate. You can't be enlightened when your back aches, distracting you from the divine. For me, it's the opposite. Mediation makes my mind flexible so I can separate from my body, whether it's balancing in Tree or just having a bad day at work. I've often snuck up to the 4th floor stair well on my break to sit in silence and breathe the bullshit away. Or when my brain can't find anything else better to do then get on its hamster wheel and sprint, I take a deep breath and close my eyes for a few minutes. The lack of stimulation knocks the hamster off the wheel and I feel calm again. 

Yoga and meditation are making it easier for me to just be. I can walk in the house to a dusty coffee table and splotchy stove and not hyperventilate over when I should clean up. Any more I just walk right past the offending grime, my head more concerned about taking my bra off than putting rubber gloves on.
It could be said that yoga is making me lazy, but I prefer the term zen.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Saturday the Terrible

Pops breakfast cereal has less sugar than granola cereal and more fiber than raisin bran. Not an advertisement, but an investigation at the work snack shop since I didn't have time for breakfast at home this morning. Work breakfast came to a grand total of $5. For cereal.

My outfit says "UC Berkeley student goes to the vegan coffee shop". If my hair were curly it would add "To organize a PETA protest."

I did a double take, not going to lie.

Dude should have just taken the middle chapter and wrote the entire book about Somni-494. Because that's really the only interesting part. And it's taken me nearly a month to muddle through to this point.

Jeniece (11:53 AM): Once located, do you see blue links below the heading or a gray gear symbol next to the heading?
Customer (11:54 AM): yes

I swear to god this happened. 

Use your imagination for that one. Just know that is was gross.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Nerd Sins and Star Wars.

My name is Jeniece and I have never seen the original Star Wars Trilogy.
I was able to hide this from my loved ones for years, even tricking my husband into an engagement without him knowing.
I am a nerd hipster; I watched Episodes I-III, all the Family Guy remakes, and the fucking STAR WARS CHRISTMAS SPECIAL before I ever saw A New Hope from beginning to end.

Ever dreamt of a 15 minute scene spoken entirely in Wookie? George Lucas delivers, then denies, this gift to the masses.

Why? Because I didn't need to see it. Star Wars is so ubiquitous to our culture that you don't need to watch the series to tell the story. You don't need to see Luke almost take out his own eye to know what a light saber is. You don't need to know that Han shot first to know that he's a badass. But my reasons for not seeing it were growing thin, I was out of Christmas ideas, and Jason was denying me access to his portion of procreation until I saw it.

Bringing marital rape to a whole new, weird, nerdy level.

I broke down and bought the trilogy on blu ray, wrapped it, and when Jason opened it Christmas morning, gritted my teeth and told him I would watch it with him on my next day off.

And we did.
These are my notes.

Why do all the guys wear robes but Aunt Beru wears a denim work shirt over orange paisley like every other 70's mom?

Ewan McGregor does not grow up to be Obi Wan Kenobi. Also, what type of disguise name is Ben Kenobi? At the very least that sounds like a cousin or other distant relation. Not very wily or cunning.

"Sorry Ben. I was too busy playing with this glowy stick thing to listen to you ramble about the forcey thingy"- Luke Skywalker. Thus making it all the more confusing when getting on Han Solos ass about not believing. Child! You don't know shit yet. Reserve judgement until Yoda shows up.

Luke drives his space ship thing like he's British. Which means that Tatooine is a British colony. Long live the queen.

Scene in the cantina; I wonder if Bea Arthur is working tonight (watch the Christmas Special!)

Did that robot just scream?!?

No, I haven't heard of the Millennium Fawl-con . I've of the Millennium Falcon, though.

Why is Han pronounced Hawn but the movie says Han (rhymes with Hand). Is this the Gif vs Jif of the 70s?
I do like how the Millennium Fawl-con has a breakfast nook.

"What are those little black boxes, babe?"
"I think they transmit messages or are roombas." Not even nerds have all the answers.

Apparently George Lucas didn't believe in space bras. Hi Carrie Fishers nipples from 40 years ago!

There are a whole lot of bowl cuts in the rebel alliance.

Fucking hell just shoot already!

Side wipe to me on the couch, looking into Jasons watery, emotional eyes....
Can I go to bed now?

Stay tuned for notes on The Empire Strikes Back. Which will happen when I'm restocked on whiskey.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013; Noteworthy, But Not Batshit Crazy.

The end of the year approach-eth.

Lets break 2013 down.

1) I had a sinus infection and mono. Gross. But I discovered that the NetiPot is better than sex whether you're sick or not.

2) Jason started a job he likes and makes him look like a coal miner. It does nothing for me.

3) He also legally changed his name, putting us on the path to continuing my family tree.

4) We got a new pope who is literally the coolest pope in the world.

5) I got married. In secret. It was teeny tiny and absolutely perfect.

6) I got to see my personal mecca; where children sing Seasons of Love at day camp and there's a dog on every corner. Berkeley CA. My home, my Pittsburgh, my Shangri La. If I could click my heels together 3 times and be there I would.

7) I broke up with my family. First by getting married in secret, then writing them a letter why. Maybe one day I'll post it for all to see. We'll see if I'm invited to my cousins wedding first.

8) I bought my first car! But I changed her name to Tina. Because this is how she acts...

Anxious over the littlest of things. Like taking corners too sharply or extra weight in the back seat sets off the traction control in July and turns on the check engine light. But I love her.

9) I seriously considered getting pregnant, then, to my deep and abject sadness, decided against it. Trying to enjoy being childless by staying up late and cursing but my hearts not in it.

10) Kirby had surgery and Jasons mothering instinct kicked in. Do they have sick days for dogs, like kids do? If not, too bad, he took one.

11) Jason and I made it to 4 years. So far so good.

12) I interviewed for a job in Colorado. Didn't get it. Then got another interview for the same job. Also in Colorado. Turned it down because I got a new job here! Whiplash? You know it.

13) I turned 25. And I'm relieved to not be as young as I was. I may be the only person to think I have a handle on this life thing. Probably because I have such low standards.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Silver, Not Grey

I have silver hair. Just a few scattered so deep within the canopy of my head that you can't see them unless I pull the layers back and point them out. Which happens rarely considering I have at least 3 bobby pins holding my style together at any given moment and disrupting that would be madness.

Just one of a few. This is Yvonne.

When I see people around me (most of them younger) show trace amounts of uncertainty and fear when it comes to their ripening age, I laugh. Then I look them in the eye and say, "I love getting older."

Thats right; I don't hate aging. If anything, getting to 25 feels like I've won a race to not be a child. With arms raised above my head, in 6 days I will be an adult with a long A sound.

I've never understood people who are afraid of their birthdays. You made it through another year unscathed and thats a reason to be happy. Each year I stand a little taller, speak a little more clearly, and the shape my life is taking becomes less blob like and more defined.

But what about my YOUTH? you scream into the night over the strains of the Beatles Birthday Song.

What about it? Here are all the reasons why getter old rocks and being young is for suckers.

1. You don't have to designate a driver when you go out. You can pay for a cab now.

2.  Every year you put between you and the embarrassing stuff you did in your youth means its less likely to shame you. Also, you have had time to acquire embarrassing shit about OTHERS, thus leveling the playing field.

3. Your angst has pretty much resolved itself. So much so that any extra Hot Topic makeup can only be used at Halloween.

4. You no longer give a shit about what anyone thinks about your habits, dress, or job. What's more, others don't have time to give you shit about your shit. Because adults have THINGS to do.

5. The THINGS you have to do are not that scary; paying bills and budgeting is simple math. All other adult responsibilities add an extra 2 hours tops to your existing schedule. But they're a great excuse to not go out to "da club" and sit in your pj's drinking and watching True Blood.

6. Also...

So quit your whining, do a shot and live another day!