Special Sauce….

Why is it so hard to like yourself? Is there some reason why people have such a hard time accepting compliments? Why do we try to find the best in other people but turn around and refuse to believe anything good about ourselves? And of course, when I’m saying ‘we’ I mean ‘me’…..

This is my new knowledge quest….I want to appreciate me.

The Christmas Insanity is in full swing. Parties and events etc out the ying-yang. It gets more than a little crazy. On the other hand, it’s a great excuse to get together with good friends you haven’t seen for awhile and eat too much.

We had a house warming party the other day. My roommate, Craig, brought out his personal fog machine and disco light. You might think it’s strange that he owns his own fog machine, but he also owns a Flowbee and actually uses it. Craig is a man of many mysteries……

Five days till I get to pick up the kids…….

Things I learned today:

I prefer top sirloin over prime rib.
I don’t like Jack-in-the-Box’s special sauce.
Sometimes the word ‘shut-up’ means ‘I don’t know how to accept compliments’.
Gum bought at Stater Brothers includes the tax in the price shown on the shelf.

quick recap for the kids:
liking yourself is important and hard to do but we’re never to old to learn, you now have met the one person in the world that bought and uses a vacuum haircutting device on his head on purpose, special sauce isn’t always so special.

time flies when…..

Wow….Thanksgiving is already over and Christmas is right around the corner and I think I see 2003 over my shoulder.

I had a great time during Thanksgiving. I went to see Rhoda is Seattle area. She picked me up from the airport about 10 am Thanksgiving morning. When we got to her house, I went straight to bed since I hadn’t slept in 24 hours or so and I totally missed the big dinner but I hear it was great. She saved me some leftovers, which are the best part anyway, and they tasted great since I was completely over the airsickness by that point. My ankle was only swollen a little because it had been hours since I tripped over the guy seated next to me on the plane as I tried to pole-vault over him to reach the blue-watered, stainless steel potty, and the redness and swelling had really gone down. Of course, choosing to wear high-heels on a flight was a decision I might think twice about next time, but hindsight:20-20. And the great news is that only the two back rows next to the bathroom had to listen to me wretch because the sound of the engine drowned out the sounds for the rest of the passengers. I didn’t have enough time to shut the door behind me if I wanted to make it mostly hit in the toilet so I opted to gross out the people and make the babies cry instead of stinking up the whole cabin with the smell of vomit. After all, I didn’t see any pop-up air fresheners to stick on the wall if I missed….

Enough about vomit…let’s talk about my hair. When I reached my seat, exhausted and shaking, (this time, the guy got up and moved to let me in…) I immediately fell to sleep with my head banging against the window. I don’t know what else happened during the flight since I was out, but for two hours, my hair was stuck in a most peculiar position. How do I know? I know because when I reached the terminal bathroom and looked in the mirror, I didn’t recognize the person looking back at me. My hair was sticking straight up in a few places, not altogether unattractive if you’re a punker with a Mohawk, but I just wasn’t used to it and almost scared myself. I then realized that the people trying not to laugh at me and only smiling and pointing while I walked off the plane and rode the train and walked the mile through the terminal had been kind. They could have ridiculed me at any point but chose not to and let me walk proudly by.

The return trip was so uneventful compared.

Can’t wait for my kids to come and see me. I get a whole WEEK with them!

My job is going well. I really love working out loan problems.

Joe came back from his trek back east. I’m glad. I missed him a lot. There are so many things I like about that guy…..

quick recap for the kids:
when people say that flying is the safest way to travel, they mean statistically, you probably won’t die but there is no rule about puke or hair styles and you should know that right up front, i can’t WAIT to see you all…still like work, the list of things-to-like-about-joe grows longer.

Here we go again…..

A new week. *sigh*

I feel a little trepidation for the holidays. I don’t have any money coming in yet and the kids are coming for a week and I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to give them this year present wise. I’m trying to look at it as a great opportunity to help them grow into the next phase of Christmas : giving instead of getting, but only part of me is that grown-up. The rest of me wants to spend a million dollars and buy them everything in the world.

I did get to see the kids for about 15 minutes on Saturday. It was so great to get a hug or two squeezed in when it wasn’t even my weekend. I have the most awesome kids in the world. And it was very accommodating of their dad to let me swing by.

I have meds. I know…we should be having a party, but there’s no time. My head feels a kazillion times better. I might even make it through this week without having a crying fit everyday. I have so much to catch up on that I let slide last week. Thanx to my sister Rhodaƕs persistence, (with out which, none of this would be the same because I would have pulled out all my hair by now and that’s just ugly), I finally found someone willing to prescribe me meds based on my telling them what I needed instead of long and lengthy tests and time which I had none of. (a version of help, help me Rhonda is going through my head…)

I’m looking forward to work. I love it when I feel like I’m helping out someone and getting them the best loan plan possible for them. Now, if I could just do it well enough to buy toilet paper or laundry soap…..

quick recap for the kids:
i’m trying hard to be a grown-up this year for christmas, do you think santa could bring me a grown-up kit? i hear it’s just like ‘accents-in-a-box’, you eat all the product and you end up with one classy, adult personality instead of having a killer british accent like my room-mate craig, (tony, you know that craig was kidding about that whole thing, right? craig just really sounds like that….)it was so great to see you and get and give hugs and kisses and smell your hair, (yes i smell your hair…just wait till you’re a parent), i’m back on drugs which, i hope, is a phrase that i never hear you say unless they are prescription, and even then could you do me a favor and not word it quite like that? stick to the word medication…it sounds nicer.

for the birds….

Today I looked out my living room window and saw a most peculiar thing.

In preface to this little story, I should tell you that my home is now at the top of a small mountain. (I would call it a big hill but that might hurt its’ feelings.)

The Santa Ana’s have been blowing through the area and at the top of this little mountain I live on, we get some wonderful gusts for a few hours every day or so. The patio umbrellas have blown over, taking with them the table a time or two, but all in all I can’t complain about the wind as a factor by it’s self, let alone in conjunction with the fabulous view I have on two sides of the house. I love where I live. Anyway, back to the story….

I had been sleeping all day instead of going to work like I should have been because I’ve had a little touch of the heebie-jeebies or left over cooties or some such thing. In any case, I walked down the stairs, into the kitchen to get a glass of water and then out to the balcony to see the ‘haps’ when I noticed strange shadows floating up and down across the deck. I should interject here that because of the very nature of the heebie-jeebies, one should not always believe everything that one sees while under the influence of said illness. So, after the initial shock wore off and I regained my balance, I shook my head once or twice and then looked again. Sure enough, there they were: bird shaped shadows floating vertically along some unseen tether line. Otherwise, how could they do it? It took me a minute to realize that I should probably look in the sky and see what was happening instead of just staring at the shadows. (A ‘duh’ should probably be inserted here…)And there they were…..3 or 7 or 11 or some such number of fowl in the air around my deck. I could have reached out and touched them, (If I’d had a long broom stick and gallons of more energy than I had at my disposal….), but I opted instead to sit down, heavily and unsteadily, into the nearest patio chair. And I watched. (In the sky, mostly…)These birds were playing some sort of game….a floating game I guess. I’m sure the conversation went along the lines of ‘I can float better than you can.’ ‘Oh, ya? I’ll get within 7 feet of the insane cootie-lady on the deck and come away unscathed!’ They would stay within a few feet of each other and right where the gusts of wind would come riding over the top of the mountain and coast in place with their wings outstretched. Every so often, one of them would bump into one of his friends. I’m sure he got points taken off his score for that. Or maybe not, depending on how you look at it…And sometimes one would tuck his wings in and do a quick nose dive to get in a position beneath his co-coasters. But the majority of the time it was just an unbelievable site of a flock of birds coasting in place about 5 feet off the balcony. It fit the way I feel today….surreal.

By the way, I don’t recommend coming off anti-depressants cold-turkey. It really does a number on your head and reality. But I have some great support and I know I’ll come through this alright. Someday I’ll have medical coverage and this kind of snafu won’t happen anymore.

Joe went to Virginia for Thanksgiving. I miss him.

My kids are maybe coming down this weekend and I might get to see them for a few minutes. I miss them.

My job seems to be doing fine. I love what I do. I’m just not making any money at it, which is generally looked down upon in the work world. I’m hoping that through pure determination, I’ll get more successful at it. That and my good looks…..

quick recap for the kids:
i’m feeling insane and seeing things while coming off medication and it’s not really fair that some of the things i’m seeing, i AM actually seeing….looking back on a conversation you kids debated this past weekend….dev, birds could be that one thing on the earth that tyler says doesn’t believe in gravity, therefore making him the winner of that long, drawn-out debate, and i hope i didn’t just open up another whole can of worms, joe’s gone, i might see you all soon, and just because you love to do something and work really hard at it, doesn’t mean you’ll make money doing it and then you have some hard decisions to make.

It's been a busy week and weekend.


It’s been a busy week and weekend. But it was awesome.

My kids came down and spent time with me. It was SO great to see them! We went and saw the new Harry Potter movie, to lunch and had the best bread sticks in the whole world at Pat Oscars and then to the Zainy Brainy store to check out all the new cool stuff. My boyfriend came along and it was just a great day. I wish I could have had more time with the kids but some is better than none and December will bring with it a whole week that I get to spend with them. I can hang on till then.

I’m getting the hang of the new job. I really like working there and doing what I do.

I’m excited to go see my sister over the Thanksgiving holiday.

I’m exhausted and need to go to sleep so I’ll be fresh and perky in the morning. Like I’m ever fresh and perky in the morning, but whatever…..

quick recap for the kids (which is unnecessary since they were with me but since it’s what i do i’ll do it anyway….) :
so awesome to see you guys, loved spending time with you and it never seems like enough and i’m trying to be a grown-up and be patient for december, still like my job, spending thanksgiving in seattle, so, so so tired and going to bed now, promise to not run out of medication next time i see you, don’t promise to be perky in the a.m. ever, but you knew that already. tons of love going your way. mom.

can i help you with that ma'am?

When did I turn into a ma’am? Last time I checked the mirror I swear I was only 19 or so…..
But somehow, I’ve traveled over that bridge (or murky swamp) into adulthood. Gee, it took me long enough to figure that out since really I’m almost 32 and my oldest child is starting high school next year.
But still, it takes me by surprise when the bagger at the grocery store calls me ma’am.
Remember when you were the cool young person at the family reunion? One of the cool people, along with the other cool teenagers in the family….so cool it was hard to even stay in the same room with the old fogies or the stupid young children……so cool you had to even look cool while you slept on the living room floor in the sleeping bag just in case one of the older cool cousins brought home a cute friend of the opposite sex….so cool you couldn’t possibly take part in the talent show without making fun of yourself and everyone else…..so cool you had to make up stories of how un-cool your parents were just to compete with the other made up stories your cousins had…..so cool you would stay lonely out side and peel bark off twigs instead of go inside and play cards with your grandparents even though you wished you did.

Now I’m the ‘old people’ but not the ‘really old people’ since my parents are still alive. But as soon as they go, I’m going to be moving up to that station. I just hope it’s a long time coming. Not just cuz I don’t want to be a ‘really old person’ but because I actually like them and would like to have more time with them. And I want to force my kids to take part in the talent show in front of my parents and cousins even though they make fun of me and themselves. And when I see my kids peeling bark I’ll leave them alone after asking them a mere 20 times to come in and hang out with me and those other un-cool old people. And I hope my kids have some really awful stories to compete with their cousins about how mean I am (even if they are mostly true, in their case….) because I do love them and insist that they tell me where they are and when they’ll be home and who they’ll be with……

I learned something else tonight. Again. (I seem to learn the same things over and over again…..what’s up with that??)
And this is what it is: It feels like life sucks most of the time but it actually doesn’t. It’s just that the really sucky parts tend to stick out the most in my mind when the are happening. But really, the good far outweighs the bad and I know that. I just have a hard time remembering when it feels like it sucks. But I’m working on that.

quick recap for the kids:
your mom is older than she thought but probably not as old as you think she is, the sentimentality factor is strong tonight and i’m rambling about family and reunions and other stuff that make your mind buzz into outer space, life doesn’t really suck it just feels like it alot. and i love you tons.

loving my life

I’m finding I love my life right now. It’s kind of amazing.

Yes, I love my life. This is a new thing for me.

Of course there are things I would change if I could, like, seeing my kids more often and having less stress at work, but all in all I feel very blessed, cared for and looked after.

I have so many things to be grateful for that I wouldn’t even know where to start if someone wanted an itemized list.

My stuff from storage will be here on Sunday. I’m excited to see all my old crap again. It’s my crap. I’ve missed it.

I had a tense moment at work today and pulled through all right. I’m proud of myself. I like feeling proud of myself. I hope it happens more often. I like having skills to fall back on.

I heard an old friend on the phone this afternoon and a whole slew of old feelings washed over me. I’m still trying to sort that one out.

My new site, www.leahpeah.com , which name has been derived from an old taunt from elementary school days, is up and running files from my old site www.passepar2.com . The site has a whole new look thanx to my good friend Joseph Crawford. Check it out.

quick recap for the kids:
i like my life, things aren’t perfect but that’s ok, too, counting my blessings, will have too many books and art crap around the house again soon, work has it’s challenging moments but i’m not falling apart and i like that, still in contact with old friends, old nicknames can be put to use later in life so thank those bullies.
much love,

in the HOUSE

So I’m moving in the house this weekend. I love this house. Did I mention that already? I feel like I’m sleeping in a tree house. The view is incredible. It’s so nice to have my own space again. The bulk of my stuff will be showing up next Sunday. My roommate, Craig, has at least 2 entire households of furniture and kitchen paraphernalia to his name, most of which is already in the house, so I think I’ll be fine. It was fun getting to know him a little through watching how he reacted to the stresses of moving with his friend ‘helpers’ that don’t really help all that much. I laughed a lot, only fell down once or twice and broke open only one box, so it’s all good.

The kids came down to the Carlsbad today and I didn’t get to see them which really bites. Their dad had to get back to Simi Valley for something. I sure miss my kids. Can’t wait to see them on the weekend of the 15th.

quick recap for the kids:
i wish i could live in a tree house but this house will do for now, moving into a new house and can’t wait for you all to see it and be there with me, i’m a klutz as usual but nothing too important got broken except some practically irreplaceable glass, miss you guys and can’t wait till you come over.

homeless and moving……

I can’t wait until I’ve found my home and moved into it. Through the generosity of my friends and family, I have had a roof over my head from week to week and haven’t had to spend even one night outside in my car. I have been super blessed. I do have the best family and friend network ever.

Although I’m just a bundle of fun to be with and anyone in their right mind would want me for a house-guest, I can tell when my welcome is wearing on the thin-ish side purely from the days-at-one-place formula.

If I’ve been able to use the same towel for more than three days in a row, my days-in-one-place value is equal to 3. If I’ve not only been able to use the same towel for three days, but also been able to clean dishes up from the dinner table at least two times during the same three day period, the DIOP value rises to 4 although the actual amount of days is the same. If I’ve also taken two to five phone messages in that same period for members of the household who actually live there, my DIOP value rises to 6. If those family members take two to five phone messages for me, my DIOP rises to 9. There are other factors which continue to raise the level, too many of them to name here, but I know if the DIOP level gets to be over 10 then I have only one or two days left. I’ve never actually been asked to leave anyone’s home yet, but I’m sure it’s been a close call more than once or twice. The odds of that happening only increase with the more weeks I don’t have my own home.

I dream of the days when I’ll be able to empty my own wastebasket or wipe my own toothpaste scum from the sink. Getting to wash my own dirty dishes and sit in my underwear on the couch while I pay my electric bill are only mirages I have from time to time when I dare to let my mind wander a little…..

I hope by the first of next week I will be able to report that I have my very own residence with my very own shower mildew (well, not right away…) and have burnt at least one hastily concocted meal to an unidentifiable chunk of charcoal.

Best to all of you,

quick recap for the kids:
your mom’s good friends and family members might very well be insane or slightly slow because they keep letting me stay with them, i flunked pre-algebra in school and still manage to make up my own formula simply by being homeless; strangely, I miss scum in the sink to call my very own, still unable to cook but don’t worry, i’ll buy frozen meals when you come over.
I love you times 7.

my weekend

I have been missing my family SO MUCH this weekend. Yeesh! Not just my kids, although that would have been enough, but also my brothers and sisters. I’ve talked to all of my siblings except 2 and my yearning for familial contact has almost been quenched….and I should be alright at least until Thanksgiving weekend when I hope to see some of them.

It’s so nice to live closer to my kids. I hope to see them much more than I was able to this last year. They are all growing up so fast.

Went to see White Oleander for the second time today. It brings up tons of emotions. It was wonderfully acted and filmed.

Going in to work for my 2nd week tomorrow morning.

I have the best boyfriend in the world. It rained this weekend. We listened to it together. It was the best time I’ve had in a long time.

Fired my last rental lady and am working through a new one this week. I’m still looking for the best loft ever.

It’s funny how a one hour time change can make such a difference in how tired I am at night.

quick recap for the kids:
missing my kids and siblings, glad i live closer to them, went to the movies, still have a job, like joe, still homeless and additionally, i’m tired an hour earlier than yesterday.

One week down…how many to go?

This week was GREAT! Who knows how often I’m going to get to say that, so I thought I’d put it in bold.

I really did like this past week and I’m finding I really like working with numbers and loans etc. And I feel smart and that’s never a bad thing.
The guy I work with who is the broker is the most honest guy I’ve ever met in the finance world or just about anywhere except my mom who isn’t a guy so maybe that doesn’t count anyway….

Went and looked at Ford F-150’s today. Loved a dark gray one. I just might go back and get it. I loved my old truck and I miss it. Yes, I loved it enough to marry it…..

Going to hang out with friends tonight, work a little tomorrow and look for a place to live by the 1st of Nov.

Talked to someone on the phone tonight who was interested in reading my blog. I told her the address to type in and heard her repeat it exactly as I said it but then she told me she couldn’t get in. I asked her ‘You typed in www.passepar2.com/blog?’ And she said, ‘Oh. I just said it out loud like you did. I have to type it in?’ Maybe she has magic internet fairies at her house, but over here I still have to use my fingers.

Hope you all have a great weekend.

quick recap for the kids:
had a great week, love my job, respect my boss, feeling smart, thinking about getting ‘LeahPeah’, the sister of my last truck ‘Passepar2’, it’s nice the majority of the world has fingers to use on keyboard keys.

The CURSE of the CAR

Our story begins a few months back when our heroine was spending an afternoon conversing with friends. It was an innocent conversation. There was no foreshadowing that day that could have possibly prepared her for her CAR being STOLEN! dun….dun……dun……!
And yet, there it wasn’t, right not where she had parked it only scant minutes before.
At first she was surprised. Then flabbergasted. Then unsure as she thought she may have parked it somewhere else and just forgot. It happens.
After walking up and down the street a few times and looking like a deranged, forgetful idiot (which some say she looks like more often than just then, but anyway) she was forced to call the police to come to her aid.
The dashing, young law enforcement officer, who, just between you and me couldn’t have been more than 21, came over in a matter of minutes, filed a report and even took her to her residence.

We’ll skip ahead along our time line to a week later when, at long last, her car was found. Sans her incredibly important manuscript pages that represented about two months of work. But included in the ‘booty’ left in the car, was an odd assortment of old albums, a fake, leather, silver jacket circa 1983 and a halogen bulb, along with a few pieces of chipped Wal-Mart pottery. Not a fair trade in my book, but finders keepers. If they think they’re getting their slick, moonwalk jacket back, they have another think coming.

Insurance covered the bulk of repairs from when the thieves had taken the poor Ford Escort off-roading, and our heroine was happy to have her little car back. Little did she know that the CAR was now CURSED!

If there is a sliver of glass in the road or a tiny tack with super-puncturing abilities, her tires will find it.
If there is a curb that magically wants to grow six extra inches and then retreat back into it’s normal line before anyone sees, her car will find it.
If there is a wire that wants to go loose and mess with her head, flashing little, tiny lights on and off when they aren’t related to anything at all, they will be found under her hood.
If there is an alternator that wants to give out after only 50,000 miles instead of waiting for the usual 75 or so, it can and will be found in her car.
If there is a tree branch that is waiting to fall, it will continue waiting until her car, about 100 yards away from said branch, will call out to it and say ‘fall now, oh branch. Her car is almost there!’
If there is a slasher walking by, looking for ripe treads to flick his blade against, her tires always look the plumpest.
If there is an ornery home owner that refuses to have anyone encroach even 3 inches into the rosy hued stripe along the curb of his driveway, you can bet her car will be the one that gets towed. After which, our heroine has major flash backs to the whole STOLEN CAR (dun*dun*dun) episode and it’s so not pretty to witness.
And when she gets gas, she swears that right before the nozzle ‘accidentally’ falls off the hose line and sprays fuel all over her suit on the way to her new job, she can hear the car whispering something sneaky to the pump machine.
And if there is a bird somewhere flying over the greater part of the northern hemisphere, it will zero into the ‘secret-bird’s-eyes-only-target-zone’ on the top of her car and leave a semi-white, half-dollar sized, chunky smear where her arms can’t quite reach to clean it off.

It’s evil. Pure and simple.

And now, about $547.00 and 3 months later, she is thinking that since meeting the street on it’s terms and trying to be polite wasn’t the answer (Street, meet Leah. Leah, meet the street)and sweet-talking the car wasn’t the answer (Ok, gray goddess….just don’t attract attention. No birds today. You’re doing great. Good passing! Nice blinking skills!)so the answer must be to just ignore the whole thing until it goes away.


That’s just what the EVIL AUTO wanted her to think! And she did fall into that trap. Sadly, dear reader, her numbed mind was only disturbed out of that alternate-reality-thinking-plane when the front bumper of her car insidiously slapped the car in front of it on the rear end. Now, I don’t know how it is where you live, but where I come from, that’s just uncalled for. Her car didn’t even use the politically correct language. i.e. could I please touch your hind end with my front bumper for the count of about one one-thousand? So, needless to say, the cops were called in for illegal touching, even though there wasn’t any damage done, per se. Now her insurance people are wondering if there is any reason they shouldn’t cut her loose and she finds no real reason she could give them to keep her on as long as she has THAT particular auto in her employ.

I’ve counseled with her and told her in no uncertain terms that the time to act is NOW. She must immediately trade that car in for a new one. I’ve done it in secret, of course. After all, I don’t want her car telling my car anything……

quick recap for the kids:
don’t ever own your own car unless you want to go broke and insane, let your parents fund it for you instead.