Monday, September 29, 2008

My weekend...

My weekend was great. Friday afternoon I was fortunate enough to be the helper in the car washing extravaganza. The BF and I washed our cars. BF's car is washed once a week and waxed ever two or three weeks. I am in no way exaggerating these figures. My car however was last washed in April. I feel cars should be washed just before you can no longer stand to touch them and/or you can not see out of your windshield because of the layer of grime and dust causing reflection, glare and general sight obstruction. Later that night we had a walk around OB (Ocean Beach) while we waited for our take-out Chinese to be ready. Saturday was restful and ended with a quick drive into Little Italy, near downtown, for a perfectly lovely dinner at a darling Italian restaurant on India Street called Zia Bistro. I recommend the Lobster Ravioli - delish!

Sunday I arose early to shower, dress and head into Balboa Park. A few weeks ago a sent out a mass email to close friends and family informing them of the upcoming AIDS Walk, its importance to me and my participation in it. This was the first year in which I did not see my breath as I walked, also the first year I did not have a walking companion. The fundraiser was well attended by participants of both the 5k walk (me) and the 10k run (hopefully me next year). It was exciting and inspiring to be in a mass of people all walking with the same purpose and sense of importance - A Cure.

As usually I people watched as I walked. There were supporters on the streets as we walked. Some honked horns as they drove past, one apartment had a bubble machine that blew bubbles into the passing walkers. Other apartment buildings had balconies with a smattering of viewers staring down in polite confusion of the mass of oddly dressed hodge-podge of a group taking over the streets. The energy and support was great from within the crowed and as well as those we pasted.

SD also had a much larger LGBT representation than the GR walks I have done in the past. It was interesting to watch. It was also heartwarming. Heartwarming to think that no doubt there were differences in opinions, life styles, and beliefs but that everyone there also had at least one commonality. We all wanted to show our support to the AIDS community and to show our support and hope of a CURE.

During the walk I only saw one thing I was disgusted with. A man that held a sign stating "Face it, Most people get AIDS from Sin". Now there is no doubt truth to the fact that (sinful) actions taken by individuals cause them to be at a greater risk for contracting the disease. I however would also like to point out that innocent babies contract it from their breast feeding mothers, that faithful wives contract it from husbands as do faith husbands contracting it from wives. At one point in the US it was also a possibility to contract the disease from a blood transfusion. When I think of AIDS I think more of the millions in Africa struggling with this pandemic because that was my 'exposure' to the disease. Others may think of the LGBT communities first, prompting signage similar to what I saw. But you are not going to get a lot of followers, you are not going to get people to start asking questions or come to any kind of open realization by stating things like that. I feel there are so much better ways to go about saying you care than to point a finger. Because really that finger can be pointed right back at you. Sin is sin. There is no hierarchy rating one less damning than the next. Anyways all that to say I didnt appreciate the sign.

I also wanted to say a big thanks to all you who emailed me back to give your support and encouragement. I was able to raise $106 through the generosity of those I know and love. Thanks. Next year I really hope to be able to run the 10k. If I can raise $106 for walking, I cant wait to see what happens when I telling you Im running 10K!!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

A week with my mom…

My mother was able to fly out for six days to visit me and explore my new city. We first headed to Balboa Park. Georgia O’Keefe is a favorite with my mother so I was thrilled to be able to go see her work on exhibit at the Art Museum. We wandered the halls, examined great works of art, critiquing and commenting as we went. We also took time to explore and admire other parts of the park like the Japanese Peace Garden, the lily pond and the Rose Garden.

The second full day with my mom felt like the majority of it was spent in the car. We headed north to Manhattan Beach. There we walked the old neighborhood of my parents, took a stroll down the pier and had lunch at an amazing little crepery on the corner of Twelfth street. Eating was one of two things we did there. Laughing hysterically was the second. Lemon seeds were thrown, dropped, and maybe even spit across tables and even onto oncoming pedestrians. After hours of laughing and eating we hopped back into the car and headed north again to LA. The traffic to the city was appalling. If you ask me, too many people wanted to get into LA that day. Once we finally got to the city we walked around gawking at the expensive stores and ridicules merchandise on Wiltshire and Rodeo. We then headed back into the car for more traffic out of the city and back to my apartment.

Day three we decided to be ambitious, after all, Mexico is only 20 minutes south of my place. Well, as it turned out we spent more time trying to get out of Mexico than anything else. It is easy to get into the country, you barely even have to slow down. Getting out is a whole other story. I would recommend that one going to Tijuana bring a great map and a Spanish dictionary. The maps mom and I had were not good, and my Spanish is no bueno. I’ve been in developing countries before. But somehow it was not what I expected. I had assumed that a boarder town would be in a little better condition. As we drove around I felt comfortable with the idea of leaving my car parked somewhere as well as getting out of my car. We couldn’t locate the center of town or any part of town that looked like it was ‘tourist friendly’, so I decided to head back to the boarder. That’s when we stood in line for about two and a half hours. Since our Mexican expedition didn’t go as planned we headed to Coronado Island. There we had lunch at a fancy hotel and walked through the charming town.

Day four mom and I attend The Rock Church in the morning and spent the afternoon in Old Town. An art fair had the streets converted into exhibits and sales floors. We perused the tents, talked to the artists and picked out our favorite pieces. The last day mom was out here we spent in La Jolla digging through antique stores.

Now reality has once again set in. Going to Santa Barbara for a few days before my mom arrival and my mother’s visit allowed me to escape from the reality of not being employed and the feeling of loneliness.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Sunday I dedicated a few hours of my day to volunteer for Survivors of Torture International ( It was great to finally be meeting new people, to talk about things close to my heart and to be doing something productive! I decided that since I’m not doing anything super productive, other than reading and applying to jobs, that it was the perfect opportunity to volunteer. Truthfully I am also hoping that these opportunities will lead to gaining contacts in the fields I am interested in working within, in the hopes of it also leading to a job opportunity. Today I am attending an orientation for new volunteers at International Rescue Committee (IRC). The IRC has offices all over the country, as well as abroad. “One of the first to respond, one of the lasts to leave”.

I am also taking a few days to get away from the reminder that I am not so productive these days – being that I am not working- by heading north to Santa Barbara. Family friends have recently moved out west and I have the pleasure and blessing of visiting them for a few days. I greatly hope it is a time of rejuvenation, faith building and hope. But I also know that tears will be shed in free flowing abundance while I am there. This family friend suffered the loss of her mother, a woman who had special meaning in my life, about the same time my family suffered a loss. We have not seen each other since. I’m hoping I am able to connect, observe, learn, and heal with her over the next few days.