Warning: Whining and Navel Gazing Ahead

I missed a few days. I mean, if you follow my blog you’ll notice that there’s a few days missing.

I don’t know what happened. I just . . . I’m getting the hang of doing this writing will walking, and I just . . . . It’s been too hot to walk? I worked the early shift on Wednesday and had an appointment with my oral surgeon on Thursday morning. But, with time I’m hoping that this will get easier to do.

I have a theme song for my writing. I’ve sort of ritualized the Daft Punk song Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger. I play it when I’m walking just before I start writing. Then I open my copy of Dragon Anywhere software and begin to dictate.

I feel a little short of breath today. I don’t know why. My breathing has mostly been good but today and yesterday I’ve been coughing more than usual, and right now I’m walking uphill. Most of my walks have been pretty level — in my store, at the Riverwalk, so I’m out of practice in walking uphill.

I watched a video about codependent relationships yesterday new channel I discovered called Mended Light which is a therapy channel. I mean, this channel is not a therapeutic relationship, but it’s information on therapy and what kinds of things you might need therapy for. It ends with an invitation to have a consultation with one of their therapists and, of course, if you need therapy they encourage to get it, even if it’s not with one of their therapists. Most of the videos end with Jonathan, the lead therapist saying, “We need your light,” and that’s really uplifting.

I’ve wondered if Thomas and my relationship was codependent, but based on what they say, I think it probably wasn’t, at least on my end. I actually came into this relationship from a very strong place in my life. At the time, my theme song was “The Future’s So Bright,” by Timbuk3. I’ve recently discovered that apparently the song is about nuclear annihilation, but, one in three songs in the 80s was about nuclear annihilation. For me, though, it represented my future as a foreign language translator, living in the city, maybe with a small dog and some adopted kids.

I’d dated a lot, and nearly all the guys I dated were bad news. Liars, cheats, abusers. One was really sweet and looked like a young John Travolta, but he . . . how do I put this? I had to explain a lot to him. He would be, “I’ve heard of this guy who . . .” and then describe someone legit famous like the existence of this guy was news to him. Another guy, every time I said I liked something, he’d tell me how it was bad or wrong. Eventually I gave up and broke up with him. He is apparently now a registered sex offender.

So I’d basically given up on dating. I figured that my best bet was to make my life the best it can be as a single person and if I find someone someday, then I find someone someday, but not to count on it.

So I was in this really strong place. I ended up in a long-distance relationship with Thomas, so I didn’t want to go out of the country for a semester because I barely saw him during the school year as it was. Nearly all of the people in my family who got degrees became teachers, so I figured that would be a good fit. It wasn’t, but I still got fantastic grades, got into the honor society, and would’ve graduated with honors if I’d stayed in school another semester.

I graduated, started on a career track that would’ve led me to becoming a paralegal with a large law firm in Chicago, and married Thomas. Everything was fantastic. Then we moved to Texas.

When we got to Texas, I went into the deepest depression I’d had since middle school. I’d always had a bit of acne, but the climate here made my skin just blossom with cystic acne, which led to massive acne scars.

Thomas had worked with people who’d lived here and they’d led us to believe that San Antonio was a party city. That there were street festivals and things all year. We got down here and there were, like, two festivals — Fiesta and the “Mud Festival,” when they drain and clean out the San Antonio River. I mean, there were more, but no one we had contact with ever told us about them. This was 1993, when you couldn’t just boot up your computer, connect to the Web, hit Google and type in “San Antonio Festivals.”

So my mental image of me getting a job as a paralegal and attending festivals in bodycon dresses was *poof* gone. I did get the paralegal job eventually, though it was in corporate rather than litigation practice, but the festivals didn’t really materialize. And the ones that did, it seemed that it was just “get liquored up.” Woo.

Remember that my experience of drinking is that we don’t do it to have a good time, we do it to mask our misery. Yay.

I’m having trouble remembering what we did on the weekends back then. There weren’t even any parks to speak of. Men’s Fitness magazine, I think, actually ranked San Antonio really low for existence of parks. We visited Friedrich Wilderness Park a lot, but not much else. Well, we joined the zoo and the botanical garden, but didn’t spend a tremendous amount of time there, that I recall.

Even the environment I lived in was depressing. I went from our apartment to a parking lot, to a street, to a different parking lot, to a street, to a parking lot and back to our apartment. What’s not depressing about that?

Where am I? Geographically speaking?

As I’m talking, I’m walking up and down the streets of my neighborhood. I need more steps than usual today, so I’m literally walking up and down the same street, rather than up one and down the other. This is including around the cul-de-sacs and things, so I’ll get more steps that way. I can’t remember if I’m going down or coming back up this street right now. I guess when I get to the end of the street, I’ll know.*

Back to my subject. I was feeling really good about myself and my future and things when I got into the relationship with Thomas. I was in a strong place, feeling pretty self-sufficient, and it wasn’t until the downward slide in Texas, that well, things went downhill.

Well this is a long way of saying that if I had that confidence and feeling that I could be self-sufficient from 1987 to 1992, then that ability is in there somewhere. It’s time to try to get it back. I’m planning to stay in San Antonio another 10 years. Once I’m 65, I can research which schools in which states have which discounts for students over 65 and make decisions then about where I’m going to move to for school.

Again, my plan is to work on my language skills to the point where I don’t actually need the schooling, I just need to get the grades and the piece of paper. Maybe the translation skills training, too, unless I can find it somewhere else by then.

For example, on the beginning of my walk tonight I spent 22 minutes listening to El Ladón del Rayo, the Spanish translation of Rick Riordan’s The Lightning Thief (Germane Amazon Link!). I had to slow it down a bit because the translation is in Castilian, and I speak Mexican Spanish. But that’s a good thing. Getting that degree, if I choose Spanish as my specialization, will probably require me to know Castilian, at least to have a passing familiarity with it, and that’s what I’m getting here.

*I was going back up the street.

Sebastián Yatra, Enrique Iglesias, and Ricky Martin, November 6, 2021

The concert last night was, as expected, awesome. My two biggest regrets were (a) Enrique Iglesias’s outfit was the same color as the stage and so, since I was sitting in the balcony, I kept losing him, and (b) there was no Sebastián Yatra merch.

Yatra, as the opener, went first and he was amazing. I sang, and danced, and looked forward to the days when he will be the headliner. He did “Robarte un Beso,” which is one of my favorite songs of any Latino music. Mwah. While they changed sets, I went walking around the building. I had surgery on my tailbone when I was in high school and now I cannot sit in the same place for too long without it hurting. So I went out to rest my tailbone and asked about the Yatra merch. Bummer.

Sebastián Yatra on the big screen to the side of the stage. This is probably the best photo I took that night.

I returned to my seat just after the lights went down for Enrique Iglesias. Even though he and Ricky Martin are listed as co-headliners, I think that Iglesias might be considered to be headlinier. There was way more merch for him and if I recall correctly, he was on for about half an hour longer. I enjoyed his set, but it was a little English-language heavier than I was expecting in an audience that was primarly Latino. I’m not sure if he was expecting a “whiter” audience than he got, or if he usually does a primarily English-language set, but I don’t actually know that many of his English-language songs.

Then, after another coccyx break, Ricky Martin came on. He performed for an hour and it was awesome. I knew most of the songs and was dancing along and singing along and, well, Yay!

Interestingly, I could have had half of a row to myself. The two ladies who were assigned the seats next to mine were only, apparently, interested in Enrique Iglesias. They didn’t show up until before his set and left right after. I stayed in my seat, though, because I didn’t know for sure that they were gone. I mean, the lines for the ladies’ room was really long. By the time I realized that they were gone, the concert was nearly over.

I didn’t write this until nighttime on November 7, partly because of time change. It’s 6:12 but feels a lot later now. And also because I’ve finally started reading The Last Graduate and I’ve had trouble putting it down.

Dream Journal 4/24/2021

So. I’ve been cleaning and now I have a headache. Let’s see how much writing I can do before I have to go hide in a dark room. I told this all to Evelyn to cement it in my mind so that I can remember it now.

Just as a little background, Jenny Lawson, writer of books like Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, lives in San Antonio. She owns the Nowhere Bookshop bookstore in a kind of suburb of San Antonio called Alamo Heights (it’s its own town, but if you address things with “San Antonio” as the address it will reach it’s destination). Because of COVID, the bookstore has never been open to the public. They do curbside pickup and mail order and, of course, there’s the Fantastic Strangelings Book Club, which supports the bookstore.

Anyway, it’s Independent Bookseller’s Day today and to celebrate they were having a sidewalk sale, and Evelyn and I were going. I’m 95% certain this is what inspired these dreams.

First off, I was in a restaurant sitting at a table deciding what to order, when I noticed a coworker sitting at a bar. She had a cup of, like, espresso in front of her, but she said she wanted a full-sized cup of coffee.

I saw that the pot (which was one of those little moka pots they use to make stovetop espresso) still had coffee in it, so I gave her a full-sized cup of that and went in search of things to make another pot. I went to the end of the counter, where the singer J. Balvin was sitting and asked him where the measuring spoons were and he informed me that the Spanish word for measuring spoon was “culebra.” I made a little serpentine wave with my arm and asked, “¿Culebra?”*

He was kind of like, “Don’t ask me, I don’t make the rules.”

As I went back to my table, I realized that Balvin had just written a book and that I could have it autographed while he was here. I asked the guy who owned the restaurant if they would hold my table while I ran out to buy a copy.

He pointed to the line at the host’s table and said that the rush was about to start and that if I wasn’t back by then, he’d give my table away.

So I promised that if I couldn’t see a copy from the front door of the bookstore, I’d come right back.

After hurrying as fast as I could with my path being blocked by a large woman who looked like my Aunt Georgia from behind, I reached the bookstore and the entrance was now a sitting area and you can’t see any books from the door.

Later, I had another dream related to Nowhere Bookshop even more directly. I dreamed that Jenny Lawson herself was moving to my neighborhood, only it wasn’t where I’m living now, it was where I was living when I was a teenager. In real life, there is an empty lot at the end of the street but in my dream it was a marshland with a little grotto with a tiny waterfall there. I was admiring the waterfall when Jenny walked up to me.

I didn’t want to fangirl all over her, so I introduced myself, said hello and then took off.

So, as it turned out, the sidewalk sale turned into a “come-in-and-browse” sale and, instead of maybe seeing Jenny through the window, as I had expected, she was actually in the store and was talking to people. And I got to meet her. I told her about my dream, by way of offering to leave her alone, but she seemed approachable and friendly and I’m still fangirling, nearly 12 hours later.

I Think I’m Going to End Up Doing a Music Series

This is probably going to be pretty short because it’s just an announcement about an upcoming focusy/seriesy thing that I’m considering. Since my last post two months ago (!), I’ve seen three concerts. Well, two concerts and a performance on the Try Guys tour. I’m not sure if that’s technically a concert or not, though there was music. I also think I need to finish up my Happy series.

I’m also *this* close to buying my ticket to see Maluma in September. I’d really planned to go out today, but I went out with my friend Evelyn last night and didn’t get back until I don’t even know. 11:30? And then I had nightmares about the government deciding that I was an undocumented immigrant from Nicaragua all night. I ended up oversleeping and then not being worth anything until after the box office closed.

So at the rate I’m going, Weird Al, the Try Guys, the B-52s, Happy, and Maluma should hold me for a while. I may also make some posts about my own personal history regarding music. I may not. We’ll find out when we get there.