Category Archives: Uncategorized

Tales of a barista

Not a Starbucks barista, thankfully; I’m helping out a friend who runs her own coffee house. Last week felt a little rocky, for more reasons than just being a barista on my own for the first time. This week started out a little rocky, but it’s going better thus far. I don’t think I’m born to do this or anything, which seems to be enforced by the flare-up of my carpal tunnel syndrome pain… So while this works as a temp gig, it’s definitely not my dream career.

What is my dream career, you ask? Hell if I know. There’s the doula thing, which I do well, and which I love (or I think I do…we’ll see how that shakes out); then there’s writing, of which I haven’t done much at all recently. My plan this week was to contact some temp agencies in town on the advice of a freelance writer who started getting her first gigs that way. I haven’t done it yet. If I start doing it while I’m at the coffee house, it’s likely that will reliably bring in my customers so I’ll get nothing done on the temp agency search.

Okay, boring post. Haven’t done any writing this week; I have writing group tonight, so we’ll see how that goes. 🙂

gp


Coming out of the…

Back when I began this blog, I decided I wanted to be anonymous while doing it. There were some reasons for that, and the main one no longer exists. Here I still sit, being my geekpyxie self, day in and day out…

I’m sitting in a coffee shop with my mom, and it has just occurred to me that since that reason no longer exists, I don’t have to be anonymous anymore. Except for the fact that I don’t really want this associated with my name; I’ve spent too much time with paranoid people (especially my mom, actually!) to want to put something like this out there with my name on it.

What I really want to do is start a blog with a pen name. But it needs to be a pen name that I can use for professional writing, since I’m aiming at that for the moment, and I don’t want to associate this with that…

So I need a pen name. Something not already being used by a published author, something not silly or too incredibly strange…but something interesting.

Ideas??

gp 🙂


no goals met, but life is good

For me, anyway. A friend of mine is having some yucky issues, with which I am attempting to help her, but it’s rough for her right now. Thankfully, she has pretty good friends like me, and she’ll make it through okay.

My friend is NOT the reason for my goals not being met. I signed up for this round of ROW80 fully intending to write 10 minutes every day without fail. I don’t believe I’ve done that once since then. It crosses my mind occasionally–usually when I can’t do anything about it–and then it flits away again. I’ve been out of town, and busy, and somewhat lazy in the days needed for recovery from the traveling. Not beating myself about any of it. 🙂

I drove to California with my friend Blyss and had a great ride. Well, she drove. There were a couple of long days during the driving as we took roads a little less traveled, but just being with Blyss and traveling territory neither of us had covered before was pretty cool. One of the highlights of the trip was driving through the Redwood National Forest in California. While we were in the car, it was kind of like, “wow, that’s a lot of big trees. Yay.” Then we stopped in a little pull off point and walked around a bit and really took in the size of these trees, and it kind of hit me–those trees were pretty damn amazing. There was one in particular I really loved where we stopped that had a big knot coming out of it that was almost tall enough to be out of my reach. From different angles, I thought the knot looked like a head of different kinds–kind of a goblin, kind of a grimacing skeleton, kind of a woman with long hair. I got pictures of it plain, and I sat my Wisconsin hat on top of it and took some more pictures as well. Blyss made an offering of tobacco to some of the trees, which is a very “Blyss” thing to do, and I respected it. It seemed like the right thing to do at the time.

The last day I was with Blyss was in Malibu at the Geddy Villa Museum for a symposium called “Excavating Aphrodite” that was a day-long symposium of archaeologists and historians presenting papers and findings of artifacts and proof of Aphrodite and Venus worship in Greece and Italy, including Pompeii. It wasn’t really my thing, and I got in some sweet naps during some of the presentations, but watching Blyss’s head spinning excitedly all day was definitely fun. 🙂 We had a good time, and flirted with a guy during the wine and cheese event after the symposium was done. Well, he was flirting with me, but I think I was assuming he was gay, so I completely missed it. Oh, well… I was heading to the bus station to go to Phoenix that night, so it was okay. Apparently I need to be reminded what it looks like when people are attempting to flirt with me…

Then I spent a week in Phoenix with my sister, her four and a half-year old triplets (!!!), and some family who came to visit her and meet the kids. It was a good time, but it got a little long for me by the time my mom and I left to head back to Seattle. I think I’d been gone too long–two weeks is a long time, as it turns out–and I just wanted to get home. I did that, and then spent the next week at home with Wanda, for the most part. She certainly didn’t mind, and it was a really good way for me to unwind.

So, back to my original point…no writing goals met. I’m working as a barista for the first time ever–first full shift today by myself, and it’ll probably be a double. And I am doing pretty okay, if I do say so myself. 😉

gp


Figuring everything out

Not that I could figure out EVERYTHING…but I’m figuring A LOT of things out. A couple of really good friends have both pointed things out to me, and asked pointed questions about my feelings about many things in the last few weeks. It started in literary terms (being my own main character), and has continued as those pointed questions that make me think about the reasons for my thoughts and reactions to everything in my life.

See? Everything. 🙂

These friends are…well, they’re my angels. They will tell you that they can’t take credit for the transformations I’m working on, and since I’m working on taking credit for good things in my life (as well as learning to not blame myself for the not-so-positive things in my life), I will not give them all the credit. I’m doing the work; they are the women providing the catalysts for which I’ve been looking.

Thank you to Torrey and to Blyss. Ladies, thank you from the bottom my my soul for your words and your support. ❤

gp


Sunday afternoon…trying to figure out my main character

And no, I don’t mean a main character in one of my stories. I mean ME.

In the past year or so, I’ve been spending a lot of my freee time with one friend or another helping them out. I do some babysitting, the occasional house cleaning, some dog walking, and a lot of general listening to the stories of their lives on any given day. I knew I was working hard at all of these things, but doing them made me feel good, which meant that doing these things where what I needed to be doing. Add the hated job, and I was busy, and pretty worn out.

Yesterday, after I spent some time talking to my writing group friends about why I haven’t been able to write lately, and how I can’t come up with ideas, and how I’m just kind of feeling empty, one of my friends opened her mouth to say something to me. Then she closed it, and I proceeded to make her tell me what she’d been thinking about saying.

She said (paraphrasing) that I’m not being the main character in my own life.

As soon as she said it, I knew she was right. Exactly right. She couldn’t have been more spot-on if she’d tried.

All the helping and listening and everything I’ve been doing for everyone else has made me the sidekick.

As the day wore on and I spent it helping in the coffeehouse, I bounced that (and some other things) back and forth with my barista friend. I realized that I’m angry about the sidekick-yness of my life, and that while I’m mainly angry at me, I’m also a little angry at some of my friends for (unknowingly) taking advantage of me. This anger is plainly illogical, and I need to work through that, but I’m having a pretty hard time with that today.

In church this morning, we sang one of my very favorite songs: “Blue Boat Home”. It’s got lyrics about sailing throughout life, never knowing a harbor or port, and loneliness, and finding things that help you along your journey. It’s about the journey, I guess. I started sobbing, and I couldn’t stop. Someone eventually passed me a tissue (it was my mom’s, which I could tell because it smelled like the gum she keeps in the bottom of her purse), and there were comforting hands touching me as I let it out.

Turns out that the numb feeling I’ve had for a while now–the one I’ve not mentioned to anyone, but noticed myself–was my reaction to the loss and grief and panic I’ve been putting away somewhere over the past few months. I’ve had a couple of friends sick with cancer, a cat that died in the beginning of January, an unspecified stomach-type ailment mid-January into February, the loss of my job in the beginning of February, a birth to support in the end of February, and the unsurety of life in general–I pretty much put all that away.

Fast forward to this week, when I dropped my dose of my anti-depressant by 10mg, spent an entire day at the “naked spa” with a good friend, saw glimpses of emotion about things, and put some things off I shouldn’t have put off (job search stuff, mainly). I guess all of that worked together to bring about my writing group convo and today’s breakdown/through.

I’m drained. I want to go home, lie around with Wanda (the cat), and sleep. Or read. Or play solitaire. Or watch “Supernatural” on Netflix and cross stitch. Or a little of all of that.

Problem? I am supposed to hang out with a friend tonight after choir. I don’t want to. I think that sitting with her will make my anger bubble up and boil over, and while I need to express my feelings about all this to her, I need to do it in a more level-headed manner so that I don’t hurt her feelings any more than might be necessary. It might even be helpful to write out some of the things I’m feeling so that I can figure out how to express myself in the best way possible.

In the meantime…I wanna go home.

Oh yeah…writing. Didn’t for a few days, but picked it up again on Wednesday. Nothing substantive, but words all the same. Going to sign up for the next round. 🙂

gp


leap day was busy!

Errands for the coffee-house, then errands for a friend with a new baby, then back to the coffee-house, where I spent the remainder of the day. I was going to be writing my resume, but ended up watching Downton Abbey series 2 instead. Ended up skipping the second part of my resume/networking thing this morning for lack of resume. All my own fault, but I’m not really feeling guilty about it. 🙂

I did have an awesome day/evening with Blyss. Really like that girl.

Oh, and yesterday I didn’t get to write, but today I’m at writing group to make up for yesterday, as well as writing for today. Solutions!

gp


First day back

Today was my first day back into the life a semi-normal person. Now that it’s been a week since I got laid off, I’m officially back in business. It’s time to get off my duff and get going!

First thing: new schedule. I have it roughed out, and will kind of go with that for a little while, and adjust as needed.

Second thing: business plan. Don’t quite know what that’s going to look like yet, but I have myriad sources to whom I can turn.

Third thing: website. Gotta set that puppy up so it looks professional, and then get the word on me out there!

In between these things, there is making a baby quilt, cleaning out as much of my crap as possible, getting organized, and figuring out what else I’d like to do before the doula biz picks up. No one’s paying me to write at the moment, but practicing is in the schedule every single day, whether it’s my 5 minutes or longer chunks of time. I want it, and the only way I’m going to get it is if I work for it. 🙂

gp


suggested: 5 minutes per day

One of the kind responders to my ROW80 update yesterday told me to try to fit in just 5 minutes of writing per day. It’s interesting; I have always aimed for 10 minutes, or 15 minutes, but never for just 5. I believe I can do 5, whether it’s here, in a story somewhere, or in a drabble-type stream of consciousness-type thing.

Not right now, though; I’m working. 😉

gp


and now…

…on with the show.

The 10th anniversary of the September 11th, 2001 attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon was a hard day. My church co-hosted an interfaith service titled “Ashes to Hope” with about 10 other church/mosque/temple-type places, and while it was amazing, and incredibly well done, and really well-attended, it was also gut-wrenching. The first half was dedicated to prayers of many different faiths and remembrances of the victims, the attackers, families, first responders, and children who were affected. The Four Fathers–an a cappella group from my church–sang the most beautiful song about the children and their prayers  (the link is rehearsal footage) for “who will help” them and how they’re supposed to live and love… I cried like a little girl with a skinned knee. Thankfully, the second half of the service was about hope, rebuilding, building communities, and learning to move on and do our best.

The best part of Sunday was sitting with friends from church in a coffee shop afterward talking about our lives, memories of growing up, our families, and everything else that happened to fall out of our mouths. After that broke up, a few of us went for dinner and talked and laughed even more. It was amazing, and so much fun.

Now, as I sit in the library waiting to go to work for the day, I’ve got this feeling of…well, weight would be the word…sitting over my head and on my chest. I’m not sure if I’m tired, or still feeling all the grief and swelling of emotions from Sunday. I feel the need to move on and get away from it, and yet I feel the need to go home, get under the covers, and get lost in it. It’s proving very difficult to get around–or through, or whatever.

For the moment, I think I need to drink some water, and possibly some more coffee. Simple solutions are a good way to start, right? 🙂

gp


thursday/wednesday

My usual work week is Tuesday through Saturday. This week, because of Labor Day, I worked Monday as well. So technically, it’s Thursday. Generally, however, Thursday is my Wednesday, so therefore yesterday was Wednesday, and so is today… Two hump days in a week. What’s a girl to do? 😉

I’m listening to “The Mummy” again, since I didn’t finish it last night. I have a training in 5 minutes, so I might not finish it tonight, either.

You Need A Budget? I’m totally buying it tomorrow after I get paid. I really, really like it. Two thumbs WAY up!

And…the Packers beat the Saints! Go Green Bay! 🙂

gp