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Success, Failure...some of my greatest failures have been a springboard to my greatest successes...the terms are truly fluid.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

"Playing" Reporter

Thank Goodness I had gone home to Ann and found her ready to walk and talk as we love to do when taking our small herd of dogs out for a stroll....

We went out for pizza...and I had the fun, clown-on-duty, Jody aka Krinklies the Clown, paint my face...I wound up with lovely curlicues and glitter and green that accentuated my hazel green eyes...I felt more alive for some reason....but I did not look like someone who should be taken seriously.

The talk with Ann allowed me to be a grown up and at least try again with good, kind, handsome, fun-loving Joel who laughs really easily.

I was in the car headed for his place with my trusty black and white dog in the car. I knew dog food awaited us there since I had stocked his house with spare suits of mine and dog food for my puppy.

Five minutes down my backwater roads, I received a call that clearly made me appreciate washing off my lovely glitterfest on my face before heading out of the house. Mike was calling to tell me that something was up in Oakdale. He had been driving through the area on his way home from a business trip, when he had witnessed several streets in downtown Oakdale being swarmed with lit up officer's vehicles and teams of SWAT members. Mike's astute nature even had him guessing (quite correctly I found out later!), that 50 cars were involved.

I didn't go to Joel's after all right away...I asked Samara, my dog,  what she thought I should do and she gave me her look for going for a walk...which told me I was going for "the story". I went after Mike's "Hot Lead"...after all the Central Bureau Chief had hinted that I could get the Stanislaus County area in my zone if I showed some I asked myself..."What do I want to do? What would Lois Lane do?"

I was most of the way through the 40 minutes to Oakdale before Joel called and asked where I was....Even though I had already hinted that I might be going after the story....I felt guilty admitting I was almost to the usually quiet valley town. He laughed in his good natured way, he seemed to know I would just drive.

I muddled my way around a town, I know really well. In all my time here though, I had never been to the Police Station...I called my Ex who had worked in an architectural office here for years. He used his smart phone to set me straight. I made a mental note that I needed one of those smart phones...sooner rather then later.

On the way to the station, I stopped to ask one of the many officers in town what was up. I introduced myself as a "cub reporter on my first story and devoid of my Press ID since my new bosses had not had a chance to send it yet." I was painfully aware that this officer, though really together and intelligent looking...might be too young to know what a "cub reporter" even was...He couldn't have seen Cary Grant in His Girl old flick about reporters working for a paper.

In spite of my professional jacket covered in Samara's dog hair, he treated me as a media person and sent me to the media center. He even gave me a "run down" of what he had been told. I just stood there gratefully writing down the address on the safer side of town.

On the drive over, I worried about Facebook friends who were also old high school buddies that lived in town since a shot was fired according to the officer.

I was so grateful that I had removed my facepaint as I trounced over the yellow police tape to go up to a large command center placed in the middle of a suburban street.

The officers didn't finch at all as they casually looked me over before sending me to the Chief of Police.

A van across the street had a TV station's number on it, but I was the only person around that I could see. The Chief kept walking but assured me he would have a Press Conference in about 20 minutes. He was busy of course but he took the time to jab me in good natured fashion by telling me that since I stepped over the police tape he would have to give me "less then the best" story.

I felt a mix of "playing reporter" and "being a reporter" for scholarly reasons...both sides of me were fighting for control.

By the time I was driving home, I had met the other reporters, talked to locals (let's face it...I had alot more in common with them...) and balanced both taking notes and video of the Chief's well done explanation of what had occurred.

Because of my "playing reporter" I ended my romantic part of the night on a sour note...but it was worth it to me to know I did not pass up an opportunity like this one. My new bosses might not even use my story...but it felt really good turning it in last night...I might have only gone for my own sake for all I know, but at least I did do it...and sometimes "playing" at a cool job can be even cooler then real life!

This morning though, I found myself packing up my dog food an perhaps leaving one of the finest men I have ever gotten to laugh with...playing can get complicated sometimes...

Older...but not always wiser...

     I had been stumbling through a rough day in which I argued with my new handsome and kindly boyfriend and tried to figure out if I am as mature as I was at 20 when I was successfully involved with a man who was as young and naive as I was...and we always got along...we argued but we always tried to love the other one the whole time...fighting while you love the other...makes a fight less gritty and ruthless...more playful and livable. We never crossed first and I...we never went to bed angry at each other...we fought through whatever was on the agenda as if our very life depended on it.
     Now it seems like too much work...even if I really do care for the guy...I am older now and a little more beaten down by life's inevitability. I have seen relationships come and go and it seems easy to let go if he is willing to let go...a sad truth..age and wisdom added together do not always equal happiness.
     At the end of the day though I was happy to be headed over to his place with my dog, Samara in tow...As I drove along our backwoods roads to his house.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Crime Beat Reporter....

So I have always had this fantasy of being a journalist.

It is real and does something and comes with a certain status in our world since Woodward and Bernstein made all reporters sort of an icon of honesty in a world gone supposedly dishonest!

One of my favorite old movies is His Girl Friday, a Cary Grant movie, about an editor who does not want to lose his ace reporter, and ex wife.

That is my fantasy. My boyfriend, upon hearing I had applied for a crime beat reporter's position, commented on how "sexy" it sounded.

I had to admit that I agreed. It is always a huge plus to know you can do something and if there is one thing I can do it is write.I have always been a writer. Often no one was interested in what I was writing but all the same I know I write well.

I can do dry and precise with little emotion. I can do sweet and I can do funny. And I can write in journalistic style...basic facts.

Anyway, after the Emergency Room and before the million other activities of the past few days, I woke early, at 4 am and found myself checking ino jobs that would keep me close to the man I am now in love in my hometown.

It was a perfect job for me....Crime Beat Reporter for an internet group that other news agencies use to access the outlying areas and their arrest records. I can stay healthy since it did not require standing for hours with a long line of people who needed to be waited on. I can make sure I get mugshots and records and stil take care of myself...

I had attached my Occupy ethnography I had written for a class. I had interviewed officials for it, like the mayor of Santa Cruz and also garnered stories from many members. I had a couple of samples of my writing.

The next day I was delighted to find my prospective employer had read my blog!

Now I am waiting for paperwork to become a crime beat reporter!! I want to wear one of our family fedoras!! And a pencil behind one ear!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


So I got sick again on Saturday...not a big deal but it reminded me of why I am no longer a Supermarket Checker.  I have a problem that requires me to use the restroom or risk lots of pain...I was feeling great so I moved a few boxes with Ann and Mike. They did the bulk of the work yet by the drive home I was hurting something awful. I went home and put on my hotpad and popped some Tylenol, hoping it would relieve me enough to make it to my boyfriend's house later on that evening.

I wound up driving myself instead to the hospital. I hurt too much to make it to his house in Columbia or even back to my house.

I sent out a blanket text to my family, sniveling in the lobby next to a young girl who was cradled in her mom's arms.

I had been having fun hours before because I was with Ann and Mike...but it sure felt different now. I just wanted the cramps to go away.

When I got set up in the private section with the curtain drawn I curled up in a ball, crying and wishing I weren't all alone. I closed my eyes as I read my Cultures in Conflict textbook I had brought along for company.

I think I was lightly dozing when I heard footsteps really close. I looked up to find my new boyfriend there. Then I started really crying. I felt such relief. He was watching my son so I did not even think it was an option.What a pleasant surprise!!

A few minutes later I was shocked to hear my mom's voice in the hall. I started to cry again. I always feel relief when I hear or see my mom and dad. Dad was stuck out in the lobby though. So it was mom who was negotiating a packed hallway to find where I was located at now.

It is funny how when you have company you suddenly feel so much better. I tried to remember why I had told mom and dad not to bother coming down. It meant so much to see mom and Joel I realized that maybe it was just plain stupid to not jump on the easiest way to feel better.

Mom visited for a bit then left to relieve dad who was probably unnerved by sitting in a lobby full of coughing people.

After a battery of blood and urine samples, I was given a pain reliever in my IV.

I was shocked at how quickly the room started reeling and spinning. I could not even walk to the car. Or focus my eyes on an object.

Thank Goodness he and mom showed up! He was stuck with the dubious task of taking me home and getting me to sleep. I remember his voice singing to me in his perfect pitch while my eyes opened and closed at will.

I felt like I got a huge window into what a good guy he is...not a word of complaint as he called my family members to explain what the medical people had said.

I had to look at him at one point and see that not only is this guy fun and really good at making me laugh, but he is a natural at making even a miserable moment easy. Wow. I realized that this guy is exactly what I wanted and needed. Amazing! Like he was tailor made for me!

Friday, January 18, 2013

An Assessment

I wrote this last weekend.

Some days you wake up and have to do an assessment.

How did I reach a point in 11 days of being so into this guy?

We dated on New Year's...and now we had a weekend away together...and on that date I looked around and saw that he is Fun.

This time instead of feeling terrified...I found myself feeling calmer...maybe even pacified and does that just happen?

I don't agree with everything he says...and he doesn't with me...but it is healthy and nice...when we disagree..sort of like a meeting of minds and then a backing off gently. Of course I hae to remember we are on our best behavior.

But most of the time he is speaking exactly what I am thinking and feeling. He is amazingly funny, cocky, thoughtful and intelligent. I seem to have lost track of my list of REQUIREMENTS in a man. That is a list I have been working on and adding to after each guy since Gordon, my Ex hubby and best friend. I am pretty sure though that this new guy fulfills most of what I said if not all of it.

My son helped me craft "the latest" additions to our list while we sat in the sun in the private yard of our little home in Italy.

"Has to like what we say instead of being irritated by us."
"Has to like kids and Disneyland."
"Has to be appreciative."
"Has to want to play and have fun."

I remember adding that he had to have his own kids at home so he would "get" how important kids are to the daily life of a household.

"Has to  appreciate us."

I had to think about that for some time.

How had I become so scarred that I stayed in a relationship where I would even think of writing that afterward?

How strange to find myself, feeling appreciated, honored and loved?!?!

I am amazed at how light every conversation is and how little I have thought about staking out a claim or territory. With my new guy I can simply be...I have no desire for approval or fear of disapproval. WOW...

As If I Had Time....

The precise term escapes me but I feel like I am "careening" towards something fun and I have less control then I ever imagined I did. I have the illusion that having my hands on the steering wheel makes me think I am the one choosing my direction but even that feels like an illusion to me at this moment in time.

I am living with friends who are kind enough to put me up and put up with me...and be lots of fun to boot. I am working away on my classes with my nose in a book at 3, 30 in the morning to make sure I have something done before the household wakes up...and especially before my son hops out of bed.

On my best days I get in a walk with Ann, Spencer and the dogs. I get to watch Jon Stewart with Mike or talk to him before he goes to work. I get to read the political arena's happenings and study, study, study with Spencer and alone on my own work for college.

But now there is a romance that squeezes in there too.

And he doesn't come alone. He comes with 2 awesome, funny, quick thinking kids...which makes it even more fun.

While we have been getting to know one another, (sort of funny to say since we have been friends since September of 2011), there seems to be two versions of what we are. One, where we are a couple figuring each other out and finding an incredible amount of honesty and ease and sparks and affection. We spent along weekend together luxuriating in staying in.

The other version of us is the couple who loves to be with other people. He is as family oriented as I am and I love how easy it is to play alongside him with the kids. We have been to the snow together..Santa Cruz Boardwalk, the movies, eaten out, eaten in, visited relatives and played games at his house. He feels so good.

He gets it. He gets me. Well, I think he gets me.

Gosh what a blast!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Hard is not Easy....

Stirrings of change are everywhere in my life and I feel like my biggest inclination is to hang on to the old with all my heart.

I have been all over the board this fact it might seem like I am an adventurous soul's adventure but it is really closer to the truth to think of me as a housewife who was thrown out of the life she adored. I have been happiest when my feet were solidly planted with no sign of movement except to venture to the store and back and spend my afternoon making cookies.

This year I spent a season on another continent...lived with foreign cultures until they became the "normal" in my mind, was ripped from Santa Cruz...and a man I loved who did not apparently need me anymore...worked at a job that made my body sick...and had the time of my life. I would do it all again in a hearbeat!! It is exhiliarating to spend life on the edge instead of in the safe zone!!

I can't emphasize enough how much I would not have thought any of those ideas are even interesting and they were great in every way. The break up...the living with other people and cultures until I felt like my own peeps were the other and they were the norm...I would in a second live again wih my friends in the little Italian town on the coast of Italy...I would count myself as lucky to spend another 30 days of rain living with my beautiful, lively young cousin and her son in Wales, being lucky enough to swim in the circles that include the most beautiful areas in the world...Porth...and Italy and San Francisco.

Maybe my requests about life switched somewhere along the line...I think I stopped having to control in stone what I wanted and allowed the more open wish of "what Bigger Forces think is best..." Sort of like that Chipmunk's song, "Santa, bring us what you think is best..."

When I let go and allowed that...I seem to have gotten some harder stuff but way more fun if you ask that one of the secrets to life?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Back To School...

My term is about to start and as soon as my school money came in, I bought my schoolbooks. Here's hoping they come in quick enough to actually turn in the first assignments for class. Eastern and Cenral European Politics, Ecology and History of Oregon, Public Policy Problems and Ecofeminism are my classes this term and they look like an interesing batch. Ready to dive into one of my last terms with OSU....

Dinner and a Movie, Auld Lang Syne Style


     When my date came to pick me up from my house, (Make that Mike and Ann’s place), on New Year’s Eve, I had already been dressed for hours. For a real date, (to be honest…these are rare and far between for me) I had bought special underwear, (to reduce any lines in my dress), and fresh mascara and eye liner. I had even tried on a few dresses before choosing my black English heels and a smooth lined burgundy dress. I had been careful to make sure that I had actually applied foundation to my face, which is usually something I never get around to doing. Basically I went “all out” for this date.


     He made it worth every moment by caring about how nice I looked. Even though he had been busy with huge and important activities all day, he had gone out of his way to keep me posted on the countdown to getting ready too. I smiled when he sent me a text about getting the reservations at the restaurant he wanted.


     When he arrived to pick me up he found me with Mike and Ann by the bonfire. They had been building it for the party they suddenly found themselves hosting. The front of my legs, which faced the fire practically roasted while the backs of them were blue with the chilly, icy evening air.


     I was swept off my feet and found myself in a favorite restaurant that he somehow magically divined as a place to take me.


     Everything was perfect…the conversation….the honest openness. I know more then once I found myself raining on my own parade by feeling paralyzed with fear. I can feel it deep inside. Mike, always rather astute, even said it aloud to me, “You sound like you are starting to fall for this guy, Terri”.


      The fact that I felt fear told me oodles about my own intimacy problems but it could not seem to squelch the much more powerful layer of blissful, playful, fun I was experiencing on the evening.


    We talked for so long. I could talk about anything and everything. He did not always understand my take but he carefully considered everything crazy that came out of my mouth with an open mind, and oddly, with an open heart. This was a far cry from the off-the-cuff rejection I had grown accustomed to in my last 4 year long romance. It was funny how much he got out of me by asking lots of questions about my take on things.


    He said it was so “easy” to be around me. I guess it has been awhile since I have been with someone who was so like minded. The last guy I was with had many similarities but oh, so many more differences, that I think I had grown accustomed to a much more tactical, if not hostile attitude towards romantic partners. This night I was suddenly in an environment that required no pre-planning or carefully thought out structure in my verbalizing. I could just be in the moment in ways I had not been romantically for a long time and it was incredibly freeing.


    I found myself laughing harder and longer then I have in a long time. I also couldn’t help but feel shock and surprise at how relaxing it is to be with someone who said things I was thinking so often. As a psychic, I am used to living in a world where I am alone in reaching out to try to make the other person feel understood and appreciated. Yet with no obvious effort, this guy repeatedly expressed exact words I was already thinking in my head as if he was in their with me. Now I know why I unnerve people so often.


     In the movie Groundhog Day, Bill Murray’s character spends months reliving the same day over and over. Since he is in love with a girl he works with in that specific day, he spends his days memorizing everything she likes, wants and needs. By the end of the movie he has turned into her perfect guy since he has built up many of the same interests through living and enjoying them for so long.


    This date seems to have been living his own life but coincidently he has experienced many of the same things I have…and what we don’t share in common we seem willing to explore with conversation…sort of sharing our separate interests. That makes this guy thrilling to say the least.


     We were so preoccupied at the stroke of midnight on this New Year’s date, we had not even noticed though we were wide awake. Now that’s the way I want to bring in EVERY New Year. What a blast!