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One month in my Nor Cal home and it was already time to turn around and head back to the one in So Cal. That wasn’t going to happen, though, without one more misty-eyed hike in those beloved mountains, eating a yummy vegan polenta at Cafe Gratitude in Santa Cruz while getting some writing in and then some hang time with Brigit and Aaron.
On my way out of town the next day, I picked up some photos I had laminated for a ladder I was making for one of my Burning Man campmates, Ish, after a touching story he had shared about his having carried out a ladder to the temple the previous year and how he planned to do every year after. It was my first piece of art for the playa and, even if it didn’t end up moving him the way I was hoping, I was quite proud of it.
Home and already back in for an oil change within 24 hours. Taking advantage of the location of my mechanic, I decided to get Korean food for lunch as a trial run, which ended up being quite the foreshadow of how I was to feel about the food it S Korea. Especially the banchan. I didn’t know what most of it was and didn’t like a lot of it, either. I had already been dreading all the seaweed and seafood but that made me even more nervous. At least there was BBQ. Heading home from there, it was time to put up flyers on neighbor’s doors for the block party that weekend that just so happened to fall on my birthday. That wasn’t the original reason I came home, though. It was because a lover was coming to visit. He had even mailed a fun card to me and Jenny about being excited.
The card was super cute but it didn’t stop the feelings of being back and forth about his coming that had been going on for a while. I was overwhelmed with everything regarding S Korea (my recruiter had been upping the stress level x 10) and, more than anything, I had mixed feelings because of the lame way he had given me shit for coming to his hotel and the imaginary drama he had created between me and others during his last visit. At the end of the day, we met in the middle when he still came but got his own hotel. It was fun at first; I really did like a lot about him. Right away I took him to Wonderland for the great sunset but it was the next day when I took him my favorite, our local farmer’s market, that I really felt like I was showing him my world. I don’t know why it’s so entertaining to watch someone who can eat a lot but it was a blast watching him try so much different food. I left him to do his own thing most days while I worked and took care of other business. Also so I didn’t get overwhelmed and panic, as I tended to do. We were together, though, from the evenings on. Our grand finale of a last night started out fun. Meeting up with a friend of mine, acquaintance to him, at the hotel in Liberty Station that she worked and was hooking him at, we took advantage of the free happy hour while waiting for her to get off and then headed to Stone Brewery for a couple drinks. Hot tubbing back at the hotel after that, we then wandered the streets aimlessly with us ladies dancing, sharing a bottle of wine and shaking a tambourine as he sang with that Midwest accent while playing his mini guitar. It may be the closest I’ll ever get to being in a glam-rock music video.
Things took a turn when my girl initiated a threesome. It wasn’t necessarily where my head was at but I thought it would be a cool experience for him since he was so much older and had never had one. I knew he had been married for a long time but still…he was a musician. Most of the other creatives and free spirits I knew had a similar mentality to mine of being a little bit more…adventurous in bed. I supposed being a white male of the baby boomer generation who hailed from the Midwest, all flags that came with some good, created a different scenario. My already being someone with limited patience, something that had been shortened not only from the shit he had pulled previously but even beyond that from exhaustion, I had next to no tolerance for any screw-ups. That meant that I was extra pissed when he left me in the bed to follow my girl into the other room when we were done where she was going to pass out. Still, he was a newbie to it and it wasn’t an uncommon new blunder so I decided I would tolerate it. What I couldn’t tolerate was when he then proceeded to lecture me as if I was in the wrong after he had been shocked to see me start to get dressed. After 7 or 8 minutes of that, I couldn’t take it anymore and I bailed. I would have earlier but I didn’t want to leave her passed-out when she might wake up and freak about my not being there. Which she did an hour later when he tried to snuggle up on her. Well, I went and picked her up and we had our own damn slumber party at my house. Fucking clueless, man. Exhausted and feeling all kinds of negative emotions about his actions the next day, his calls got no love.
It was time for me and my daddy to head to Barona Casino. It was always fun to watch him at the casino, even if I didn’t like to gamble. Constantly having to remind myself that I wasn’t just throwing away money, it was really about spending time together doing something that made him happy, it was worth it. The day after that was my and my neighbor’s low-key block party with just a few of us, my birthday being a sidenote. Well, it was supposed to be but it ended up turning into major drama with others unfortunately. Enough to need it’s own blog post and for Nikki and I to stop talking for God knows how long. *face palm*
Uncomfortable as ever, I headed to the fam’s a couple days later where Mom proceeded to give me the birthday present of a big jacket, boots, gloves and other things she was worried about my having what with me moving somewhere it snowed. It was cute.
With Ishe’s ladder done and packed, it was time to head back up north three days later on the 13th for what may have been the shortest turn around between my two homes to date. It was once again time to meet up with someone coming into town. That time there were no mixed feelings, though. I was excited! A friend from the burn two years before, Minty Crash, had just arrived for her 40th birthday celebration and boy was it ever that! Planning to stay with her the whole time, I joked that her boyfriend and I were the birthday backup dancers (it was also his around the same time) as well as my goodbye. Whatever it was, it was also one hell of a staycation that was much needed and DEFINITELY it need of it’s own blog post. Stay tuned for next week! I’ll tell ya, I’ve never seen a birthday blowout like that. Shit, I’m not sure I’ve experienced that level of party intensity outside of festivals or on the playa. Even in Vegas. Love that crazy gal!
Brigit had told me that it was time to put Meowlie (Molly May Underfoot being her full name) down when Crash and I had spent the night at the house. I felt terrible not being there for it the next day but made sure to jam back on the 23rd for the funeral after dropping Crash at the airport and a quick stop to pick up the King Cake mix B had ordered. The way B put flowers around her body reminded me of burying my Layla. Brigit and Molly had been together for a couple decades. I don’t recall ever seeing her tear up much but she did that day.
The next day was back to the norm of a morning on the deck, writing at Treehouse Cafe and work. Not the day after that, though. It was Mardi Gras and Brigit was throwing a dinner party. First,though, I was determined to take advantage of the good weather by getting out instead of sticking myself in a car. That began with heading to Gilda’s on the Santa Cruz wharf for their prime rib lunch special. I didn’t even dig prime rib but my daddy did, the place reminded me of my parents in general actually, and it had been family-owned for generations so I liked it. At the beach after that, I took advantage of the chance to use the throw my sister had made out of a picture of me and my nieces for my Christmas present. I was mostly doing it to send her pictures but also because I was struggling to figure out what to do with it. I didn’t like the way I looked and it weirded me out that I was on there at all. It felt kind of, I don’t know, douchey to be sporting a throw of myself.
Still having a couple hours to kill, I didn’t know what to do with myself after that. I was so used to working all the time (I had tried but failed that morning) that I didn’t know how to handle free time. Well, kind of didn’t know. There was a place I had seen that looked cool on Yelp so I headed over to write. The place, Roxa Hammock Cafe, worked out great as it ended up being in the same center as where I was picking up fried green tomatoes where I was picking up fried green tomatoes for Brigit’s New Orleans dinner party that night. Besides not having much of a view, it ended up being super crazy cool in general. I was even digging the dude who worked there.
The party was pretty fun. Besides B yelling in my ear at dinner to talk to Rupert on the other side (I’m not the only one with some lungs on me), it was pretty laid back. Rupert, our charismatic and colorful Brit of a neighbor and fellow burner, held most of my attention for the evening as his was mainly on me. I was bummed I hadn’t had a chance to dress more in theme but he represented enough for the both of us. For all of us, actually. Luckily he helped to make sure that wouldn’t happen at the next theme party for me as he gave me a wedding dress that he then helped me ruin for his upcoming Donner dinner party. The day after that was lunch at Henfling’s and then a hike in a different/new part of Henry Cowell. Even though I found myself ill-equipped and wanting to strangle Brigit for leading me to believe it was much more chill than it was (I had switched from my hiking boots to flip-flops) I loved it.
B and A went out of town on the 28th which meant that I had the house to myself for the weekend, the original intention being to watch Meowlie. *tear* I had invited Svetlana and her son up but never got a response so I was on my own. It turned out OK, though, as I ended up hitting Henfling’s for an hour and then having way too much fun staying up drinking whiskey and mending that dress for Rupert’s party while watching Drunk History until 4:30 AM. Who would have known.