i can blog again!
i've been dying to blog but i've been crazy busy and the house i moved into has very limited connectivity sooooooooooooooo.........i had all this stuff all bottled up inside me and no where to put it!
i've been going through pure unmitigated hell lately so i've been trying to find the blessings in all this. i hate pollyanna theology and am a confirmed atheist. but i do believe in finding the good things that come after* suffering.
blessin's: (that's the way we say it down south, we generally drop the g at the end of everything.
i got my new library card from berkeley public!!!!!!!!!!! and guess what: it's tie dyed!! yes, YOU CAN choose a tie dye pattern honoring the legacy of hippies! red, green, blue, yellow swirls adorn my new card. and i spent many happy hours there yesterday and today. i love libraries. one of the first thing i always do when i move anywhere: find the closest library!
it's only 5 blocks from my house!
i moved in with a burner couple who are way cool. we camped together in 07 and this year too, and they'd come to a party at my house. i don't know them well, but i like their vibe. the woman of the couple has really clear boundaries and an amazing way of putting rich concepts into words. i'm loving getting to know them. her partner walks around nekkid at home so i've gotten to brag to my friends and fam that i'm living in a half naked hippie commune (either delighting......or horrifying them and confirming their worst fears about what would happen to me if i moved to cali! ha!)
at first i was shocked. then i realized, hell, this is why i moved to cali: to BE SHOCKED out of my southern complacency and hum drum living. now i just feel happy to see him so comfortable in his own skin!
it's really messy and cluttered here but they are way laid back about it. at first i thought it would drive me crazy and not be a good fit. but i like them so much that i tend to just overlook it now. i'm not sure i could handle it forever but for now it works. i'm a huge slob in my car but in my home i tend to be neat and organized.
however, i'm a hoarder and i come from generations of hoarders so i recognize their addiction. there is stuff EVERYWHERE! but they are very non-judgmental about my shit and my stuff being everywhere so it's all good. and i feel very grateful for this opportunity!
this housing fell into my lap just when i needed it most. i had just found out about my landlord attempting to illegally evict me from the place where i was living before i went off traveling -it's been confirmed to be illegal! met with a lawyer who specializes in landlord/tenant law- when i met up with them at the burner party and they told me about this place.
that was just a week and a half ago! i can't believe all i've lived through in such a short amount of time!
curses: last saturday i had to go get all my stuff from my condo. i found the tenants had stolen much of my furniture and other belongings, and they'd trashed the place. they argued with me and my movers over my own stuff - truly amazing shit! the lady started threatening to throw us out while we were moving my stuff even though i'd waited patiently and foregone accepting an out of town consulting gig just to accommodate her schedule!
i'd asked a friend to come along and be a witness. i honestly thought it would all go down okay since i'd warned the subtenants that i was bringing a camera and a witness to document their shitty behavior. i figured they'd be well behaved on camera and with my friends around.
but noooooooooo, she actually started throwing my furniture around and blocking our way by stacking up stuff in the hall so it would take us longer and cost me more (caught on film!!!) and threatening all kinds of crazy shit** while we were trying to pack up. i called the police AGAIN!!!!!!!! on her. it was truly amazing the way she lied and tried to get them on her side.
i told the police she'd hidden my furniture in her car in the garage and locked it up so i couldn't get it. they wouldn't even bother to come look; they said it was a civil matter and that i'd have to sue. which i'm doing. it's just amazing to me what shitty people can get away with!!!!!!!!! at least i have photographic evidence!
then i found out the other roommate (who'd trashed the property as well and stopped paying rent) was going around spreading lies that i had "kidnapped his cat and held him hostage." this is truly outlandish.
he had left his cat abandoned while he worked long hours and left town. the cat was so sick that the other renters had had to pay to take him to the vet since he refused. the poor cats eyes were running so bad and were so infected that one was glued shut! the litter box was overflowing, and the smell was so bad his housemates were refusing to pay rent since they alleged they had to spend the night elsewhere.
so when i arranged to take the cat to a no-kill shelter, he started.........well, trouble! amazing how crappy people can treat their own pets but if you intervene on behalf of the animal, they shoot the messenger! i found out he'd done this so many times before in colorado that his former roommate had the exact same situation with him!
i will NEVER trust another person like him again! i have learned my lesson!
blessings: i am walking my new neighborhood and loving it. there are really cool shops close by and banks and BART and grocery stores within walking distance. i've been walking 3 miles a day for over 10 years now so i'm in good shape to get wherever i need to go.
i found a million stores which cater to new americans (a more inclusive term for immigrants) of middle eastern or south asian countries. there are posters for persian, pakistani, iraqui, and indian cultural events everywhere. that's exciting to me. i love meeting and befriending new americans. like my parents before me, i have always been involved in immigrant outreach and have benefitted from knowing people all over the world.
when i was a kid growing up, my parents would always invite international students from local universities and visitors from all over the globe (friends of friends or colleagues) to our large welcoming home. dad and mom would help them find jobs, tutor them in english, and mom would cook southern meals for them and try to learn their language and how to cook their favorite dishes. i loved it. i never thought of it as unusual.
(now i look back on all the africans we had in our home growing up and all the cross cultural friendships we made and realize that was very uncommon for the south in the 60's!)
anyway, it just makes me really happy to be in such an international city. i have always loved berkeley! long before i visited here it was a symbol for me of the power of community organizing, of youth rising up to fight an overpowering and unjust military dictatorships: our own imperial presidents!
i was thrilled that my son took a tour of cal berkeley uni when we visited the bay area as a family for the first time. and my daughters and i have since found many favorite "root locations" here: internet cafes, thrift stores, used book shops, parks.
curses: car trubs force me to walk and bike; and i don't have enough money to replace my car till i sell my house in the spring. but i'm excited about learning more about car-free culture and bike culture. there is no better place in the world to do that than berkeley!!!!!!!! in fact, one of the first people who befriended me here - a fascinating man my father's age, a community advocate and architect for affordable housing - educated me about the car-free culture movement. so i should call him up again!
last night, my lover was telling me about the european "slow" movement which values centuries old city planning around pedestrians - rather than the car dominant culture like the america of post WWII. (i'd known of the slow food movement and practiced it myself.)
and i'd already been researching scooters for months so i didn't feel as horrible as i thought i would when i had to say goodbye to my trusty little corolla who'd taken me everywhere. i've loved her well and will miss her sporty red, progressive bumper stickered, knocked about frame. but it feels almost cathartic to let her go. maintaining a car in san francisco is EXPENSIVE!!!!!!!!!!
i'm so happy tonight.
even though last week was one of the worst of my life, good things are coming my way.
curse: the illegal eviction and threats from the tenants and landlord were causing my IBS and PTSD to really act up! especially since i'm very frightened of lawsuits and lawyers and courtrooms due to my ex's nonstop legal battering. but i was brave, researched the law, asked the lawyer a million questions, and documented EVERYTHING! and i feel confident about everything turning out okay. so my health is gradually improving through meditation, stress reduction exercises, healthy outdoor walks, and lots of great sex.
plus, my loverman and my boyfriend have just continued to be so amazingly supportive.
the persian and i live so close now to each other's neighborhoods (AND we're making up for lost time while i was on the road) that he comes to see me every couple of nights and we have wild wonderful fanfuckingtastic sex till the wee hours.
his wife's out of town*** so we're hanging out at their place all this weekend and next week. we're going to have another day of the feast of all senses. (we have our own private holidays that he just makes up. yesterday was cupcake wednesday and he brought me my favorite: chocolate!) next weekend, he's taking me to a burner halloween party in marin at some fabu artist's beach house. it lasts all weekend, plus we're going to madonna's concert next weekend too! i'm soooo excited! madonna's one of my biggest sheroes; even if she is a bitch. every woman needs to pull out her inner bitch more often. (and what other woman can take as much credit for putting kinky sex and women's assertive sexual pleasure at the forefront of popular culture, fashion and lyrics!!!!!!!!)
and my sweetie, my boyfriend, has called me each day to encourage me. he's been on the road again with his band. a long distance relationship suits me fine. i miss him but i can have my (cup)cake and eat it too!
tuesday night, the my new burner housemates took me to a poly potluck. and i got hit on by a lot of guys (none of whom interest me but it did my self esteem good.) it was at a beautiful house in the hills overlooking the bay. awesome hottubbing under the stars in their gorgeous back yard too.
life is soooooooooo damn sweet!
*note: i didn't say "because of" suffering. i've spent decades developing my theology/philosophy of suffering and i don't believe we cause it nor do i believe that some god or force is looking out for us. i believe suffering is random and i reject the notion prevalent in much of buddhism, christianity, islam and new age that we cause our own suffering. to believe that, you'd have to believe that women, children, the poor, sexual minorities, the disabled, and people of color deserve more suffering and that's just bullshit.
** i had told her to please hold my mail for me since next week is my birthday and my friends and family always sends cards and presents and checks. she actually said in front of my movers (and witnesses) that she'd throw out my mail. what kind of cruel person won't keep your birthday card from your own mother for you! what a crazy freak!
***we're not cheaters; we're both in an open relationship. (: yippeeeeeeeeeee!