Thursday, September 29, 2011


i was restless today. well after taking the time to crew cut the 20+ft hedge front to back. i see daylight in it's yet to be filled in spots which would've made me sad in years past but i'm trying to get better at that whole reining in nature thing... i didn't quite have the energy to consolidate the debris so the nursery has huge mounds of basket weaving material all over- though serves them right for putting hiabiscus near us which got to shaded and then developed whitefly which in turn effected like 5 other plants on our premises, and it's not quite finished on the left side but i need supervision as i'm cutting near a phone line. intermittently my life did flash before my eyes as i took the vista in around me while balancing the humming rotating blades in my hand. but there really wasn't anything to see and there was no transcendent breeze hitting my face either. i did keep telling myself sarcastically, yah, go ahead cut toward yourself with the electric hedgetrimmer. go ahead, do it. i am such an ass. besides it has way worse consequences when i cut fruit toward myself trying to undo years of mom and home EC, and then i went to shower and have lunch. and i managed not to once fall to my death. or hack anything that wasn't hedge. and now i'm all clean and fed and sparkly with nothing to do.

so out of boredom i went to get a latte. and now i'm all twitchy from caffeine-- i vetoed returning my moms purchase to target because i knew i'd buy something more expensive than a latte. and that's where i am. the day just sort of took an unsatisfactory turn in the last 4 hours. i should've gone back outside. that's where my energy was. wandering around the house and thinking about things to pack hasn't been fruitful. i spruced up the artroom, and whatever.. but eh. i need to get rid of the tv (20" boulder. couldn't i buy a small flat screen when i get back? or? no? i mean cuz that would be spending money...) and the printers i've decided... or should i keep one of them? i mean i can't decide. (1 lazer printer 1color printer 1possibly badnozzle color printer) ach. oh and a letter from citbank  to tell me-- $15 per month i don't have $6000 in my account. are you KIDDING ME?!  so now i have to break up with them. totally blows. sure i owe them money but uh...yah. i can't afford $15 either.canNOT. whatassholes.

anyway, i have that korea skype tonight. i'm thinking december and if there isn't anything in busan i'm not sure i'm willing to wait. i could always move mid year. lose my bonus and start again... decisions decisions. or first year seoul. second year busan? hummm. allright i better go. i have more wandering around aimlessly to fit in and dinner and well not much else but still.

Monday, September 26, 2011


i tried to have an adventure today. i think maybe i came out ahead on gas money and good conversation but only grazed the unfamiliar. the book i was reading just didn't cut it either.

i was going to say, i woke up- then remembered what r.california said, that everyone since the dawn of time does this, so why start there? except to say it's exposition. but this time a chime from my phone woke me up in the middle of a dream i never left completely. blinking sleep and lacking focus. started my day because it seemed like the thing to do opposed to going back to bed. this must be a shared experience. filled with regret.

i spent part of that time as the computer hummed and churned awake (not a laptop) for creditcard numbers and pondered transfer balances. but gave up. made breakfast, noting the slightly overcooked scramble and the slightly tinged toast as i headed to the metro. because i have to drive 10min to the station makes me feel like i live in an unreachable place but also mostly absurd to then get on the train when i could keep driving and arrive in non-rush hour circumstances in about 25min. but the firm belief of "journey" and book reading propelled me down into the upper strata of earth. it went well except for the jumbled story i'd put off reading for 12 years. the idea of no 'e' in the entire text must have originally made me purchase it on that merit alone. i was feeling egotistical at the time i'm sure. but no more. goodbye book. i gave you 50pages and i skipped to the end and NO. i can't even think of the money i wasted.

so i rose out of the subway, taking in the pleasant glistening chrome and tiles and out onto 7th and metro already feeling after fighting to find a parking space in the lot (failing) and contemplating not paying the $3rt for my ticket (thievery) that the whole thing was off but i was determined to take it all in. then, i saw the starbucks wouldn't do as it was too small anyway. and grain was running latish. which just gave me a moment to ponder about being in a place i wasn't expected to be in, where there is a routine happening for people who come and go from there everyday. and i was just watching, but even that seemed forced. i wanted it to seem foreign, but i felt welcome to the story. i felt curious. i felt, ok, this is where i am now in the narrative. sitting at a coffee bean staring at a cigar shop across the way.

and then she came and we found a starbucks a mile or two away, not within the city proper unfortunately (already mapped and plotted not discovered)- i wanted tall buildings and strange shops, but no, near a food for less and homedepot right on the fringe of city. well there is something to free parking i suppose. and once we drove around the park to see if it was safe and not full of daywalkers i was too sleepy to even desire to be near the water and the fountain and we resigned ourselves to a shaded table on the patio overlooking the street and the mcdonalds back at starbucks (retracing steps). it is urban though just not narrow cityscapes urban...or joss whedons version of los angeles urban, perhaps... but then going there, that seemed forced too, and a movie shoot was happening on a side street near the park (i thought, at least somebody's working)... but then, there was a woman who was shouting angry things on our corner mid latte. unintelligible. angriness. i was in the middle of talking about a girl who is angry with me. who said, 'i am hurt by your words.' but didn't tell me why or give me an opportunity to fix it which made me level judgment in the form of- oh, here is the victim. here is the manipulator. and meanwhile the woman in a red shirt kept gesticulating and barking out words from her gut and head. and we couldn't help but stop and be caught up in them, we literally couldn't keep talking over the energy, and then, we prayed for her. it was all we could do.

bcs the woman was being fed on by her demons, and feeding them in turn. and i'm sure it started out because she wanted to be heard and understood and grain thought, yes, this woman, she wanted to be protected, defended- and she wasn't. and afterawhile in between a ups van and a white truck crisscrossing and blocking our vision of her she quieted down, and then wandered away. and we kept drinking and chatting and then it was time to go. and after grain dropped me off at the station i talked to cathy about journeys and never having the time or space to be bored, to observe, comment or construct... so there i was watching. and then after, took the wrong train, which seemed to illustrate the point as it set me back 20minutes but became merely irritating and illustrative of nothing as it was rather...ordinary, as did the waiting in a long line for my in/out burger... and the slumped into the couch watching episodes of twin peaks because i can't quite manage to cancel n@tflix. and then waiting for wendy to come over and talk about objects and memory and eat chocolate and argentinian sausage and watermelon.

so there it was. that was my day. come fullcircle and still waiting for an answer.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


This morning while I was driving N to preschool, the two dogs that live up the road got a crazy look in their eyes and charged my car. One thumped headlong into the side of the car and the other bumped against the front. What the hiz! I had a little adrenaline rush and honked the horn and cursed while N laughed his head off at the “crazy dogs.” I mean honestly. The dog that thumped into the side is probably off the in the woods somewhere dying a slow death because I haven’t seen him since. The other one is fine. Actually, I’m sure they are both fine, as they’ve done it before to J.Lo and who knows how many other cars. But which came first, the chicken or the brain damage? One must ask himself.

And don’t even get me started on the owner. They are friendly dogs, that’s not the problem. They even stay in the yard most of the time. But clearly, not all of the time. And it’s one thing to follow a walker halfway down the road (which they’ve also done, rather sweetly). But it’s entirely another to charge a moving vehicle for kicks.

Also, on my walk this morning, a part-Chow mix that I never knew existed three houses down bolted out into the yard, barking at me menacingly. And then I decided to be adventurous and go down The Road No Vehicle Ever Travels Down, and lo and behold there was a truck on the road. And a dog chasing the truck. And then the dog started chasing me.

I’m having a Bad Dog Day and feel like it must be some kind of omen, but don’t know what it could be.

What is the nomination for at church and what happens with it once you go to Korea? And you’ll be an awesome teacher! What! Obviously.

I’m so excited for TV over the next few days I can’t barely stand it. Although I ponder Netflix’s decision to not update its Parks & Rec selection to include Season 3. Because duh, I’d like to see it again. Who doesn’t need more Rob Lowe and Adam Scott in in their lives, I ask you. Like I have time to watch it anyway. But just knowing that it’s there…

And of course it’s a bad week for technology. The whole “w” scandal with qwikster and the gross overload of information now available on Facebook. Kill me. My brain just can’t handle it all.

love to you,



so maybe don't mass consume 2 blogs on korea while watching the office and try to go to bed at 11. it will have your mind racing over the waters and in the classroom for at least an hour and a 1/2.+. in addition to some pesky prayer council emails. i feel like i've been vomiting words since last week on that front with low returns. it doesn't necessarily mean, i know, that i shouldn't have written the 1000 missives. but there is a lingering sense of futility. we have to find new blood. and i've gotten 3 nominations so far. we have to come up with application and interview questions too. there's questions about whether an email address should be registered to 1 person or 4+. there's questions about whether or not people start panicking when they receive everyones prayer requests aka how does one person intercede about it all? they guiltily delete the emails and feel like a crappy person. that's how. but maybe that's me. i don't think it is. but still. another small battle to fight. along with passive emails trying to usurp authority. and another not communicating at all. and meetings and going here and there. i'd honestly rather pack. even if its not my stuff.

well anyway, back to korea, which is another thing i'm waiting around about in between charging lattes as my only (insane) indulgence. i know i should stop. i'll stop. i swear. and also imagining myself trying to communicate with 4yr old korean kids who don't know a word of english. hmm. teaching? note to self: get books on teaching kids... wait i'm going over to do what? it's not just a prolonged vaykay? on the face of such anticipation it's hard not to check out of the life i'm living. that promise to start painting is lying mid-brushstroke, the quilt is close... so frickin close. why not finish up the loose ends and pack up everything right now? oh nevermind i can't even afford my car payment... and let's not get started on netflix. which i must decide about by saturday. i'm sure i care about my lattes more right? besides they were part of the sleepless ill feeling during the day of having watched a sad korean drama about an old woman and her effed up grandso the night before- it doesn't go well for either of them... which led to a completely scandalous period drama where no one was actually a stick redeemable. except for the kid who just wanted to find work shining boots. in the end i can only hope he found a better life outside the book. the whole thing left me feeling dirty.

meanwhile i'm staring at a note that says "go walk". definitely part of my problem. and the eggs are gathering dew waiting to be broken. so i'll go.


Monday, September 19, 2011

the fake backdrop of my life

I did mention earlier there’s a lake up the street from our house. I sort of gave up on the idea though. Since there’s a no parking sign out front. And a ridiculous hand-painted sign that says, “You need a key.” Which is exactly what my teenage neighbor said to me when I mentioned the closed-off lake. "Oh, you need a key.” What. What key! I hate the cryptic holding of information. Like what are you, the Wizard of Fucking Oz? Anyway, although there’s a no parking sign and a you-need-a-key sign, there is no actual sign that says you can’t hop the fence. So N.Lo and I parked the wagon, which luckily wasn’t towed, and climbed over/under the wire that I can barely take seriously to check out the lake.

There’s a paved parking lot that is seriously overgrown and a spray-painted swastika on the pavement for which I have no words. But there is a lake! It exists! No really it does. I did not paint this scene on a scrim.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011


movie days. so my friend-quaintance matt who won that am@zon contest is shooting his new film and was just commenting on how not-film friendly LA is. you'd think. but then there are so many. eagers. hopefuls. that you wonder if it comes down to cash. because of the hassle. and the repeated requests. sigh. and how disrespectful they can be of people's things. grips for instance. but matt is mr. nice guy. how you can say no to mr.nice guy? i dont think you can.

i did get up at 7. we even cleaned the house. polished the furniture. washed the curtains. but then i like any excuse that's going to get me to clean. i even washed the windows! but then i woke up a little congested with a tinge of sore throat? that's what i get. also, i made lovely round pancakes for one of their scenes... but then of course one of the actors was an 1hr.20minutes late. if you would believe. totally outrageous.

otherwise what else- it's hard to articulate everything else. because this is where the stories are. sunday for instance we prayer walked and found some new uncharted places and ladders to climb.. it was prayer through the inbtw places. i think we found the walkway over the theatre. lots of debris. and then patrick said that his kid had said that jesus had cleaned the place out, or vacuumed it out and cathy and i started crying because of this other thing that happened a while back with his kid screaming and feeling unprotected, but now he feels ok and it was a beautiful thing. and then patrick started crying. it's akin to that moment when i said, He is my Father, He is my King- and then literally a split second later thunder rumbled. after that i got coffee with wendy. then i went to cathy's to kill things on xbox. and i went home and worked on my quilt which a little um slapdash but it's mostly holding up. though my stiches are inconsistent and sometimes wonky. whatever- gettin'it'done'. but it made for the best day. i made gf blueberry pancakes too. totally epic.

also i'm filling up the back of my trunk with stuff to give away which you know is one of my favorite things to do. things are finally loosening from the hold of stasis and breaking away. things like to hold on. they make themselves invisible. a tableau that says, you don't see me. i am just a part of a picture. it's years difficult to get some things to go. where you look at something. you even pick it up and touch it and think maybe next year. and the triumphant object fades into the distance. meanwhile mom just stares at me unready to have me start packing for her. if i had boxes...

anyway, i also just got this:
Hi there, they have arrived and they are gorgeous! Thanks so much for the extra ones - they shall be stars in a childrens show! all the best Shona (ps I have tried to press some of my own and they are brown crispy blobs so all respect to your skills!)
yea! mmm. validation.
oh and that was the other thing. rachel wanted to see if i could work friday and sunday and i have two prayer/church related meetings. i told her initially till 7 fri and after 1 sunday... but then i thought, i can work around it. change it... but by then it was too late. im a little like, oh idiot! and alternately, um God?  because it is a job. even if the other is an unpaid job. and i don't want to be chasing after money when i shouldn't be. but still.

besides that, korea paperwork- tabbed, labeled, charts made, spending and saving grafts (ok its on a yellow piece of paper with some lines), and to do items...must photo for you. i sent my fingerprints to the fbi. im sending away for my duplicate diploma from CSUN... we'll see. it'll be official if i actually get a job offer. mwah. or speak to my korean recruiter... ?!

whatelse? kitten curled up by the oven.

more quilting. supervising film stuff... trying not to be sick?

Sunday, September 11, 2011


So as you know, through texts, pictures and live video conferencing, I endured a veritable Four-Alarm Hair Emergency on Friday. I mean, I’ve been clipping away at my hair like it’s a friggin’ bonzai tree for over 2 weeks now. All stemming from a decidedly hair-brained notion to cut it sort of like Amber-from-Parenthood, who now has her hair blonde, buzz-cut on one side and flippy on the other. She looks completely badass. And had I not made a grave misstep during that first cut, I might have achieved the look. (Sans buzzing. I wasn’t willing to go that far.)

But I didn’t part it far enough to the left. Which was…fine. Sort of. For a minute. After some conferring with pen-friends, I flipped over the part to the right side, and sort of wore it that way for awhile, all the while trimming and trimming, trying to even it out here, or take out a little weight there, or whatever. It never really looked right for two weeks. But I was *fine* with it. Clearly.

Until Friday, on the brink of a full moon and at the height of my apparent Crazy, when I could no longer tolerate that damned right-side part. Killing. Me. So I flipped it back over, parted it where I should have in the first place, and did a little tweaking to make it work. And a little more tweaking. And a little more. Omg.

There’s an upcoming rock-star party in October for J.Lo, hosted by yours truly – well so far hardly anyone is coming, but that’s another post for another day, in which I direct a voodoo curse toward evite. But for a moment I thought I’d be going as Justin Beiber. And then it was like, no – Flock of Seagulls. No, no, no. And then, I thought maybe I had landed myself far, far outside the rock-star circle and directly into 1987 as myself. Which might have been cute, big emphasis on might, back in fourth grade. But it was not a look I wished to revisit, ever, ever, ever again.

Commence Four-Alarm Hair Emergency.

So after a fair amount of frantic texting, some more cutting and pondering and administration of Quaaludes, several hours of my life were literally whittled away and I landed on what I have now. And I am ceremoniously laying down my scissors. Not just because I like it. But also because letsbehonest. There ain’t much left.

Wasn’t I just growing out my hair earlier this year? Hmm.


pinned-up penelope



pioneer penelope


100_1565 (2)

pondering penelope



paradoxically-parted penelope



positively perplexed penelope


and finally,


forever yours






penelope pixie punk

Saturday, September 10, 2011


I finally found myself in the Tobacco District with a camera. And it was at twilight.


Friday, September 9, 2011


: something (as a hardship or penalty) resembling an act of penance (as in compensating for an offense)
On trial: Credit Card debt. Currently hovering at... 16,000. Before I became unemployed (2 1/2) years ago it was at 9,800. Granted I've put taxes on here, some stuff right before I got laid off that I was sure I could pay off, my car insurance... All of that spiked it up there but the padding was provided by meals out, nordstrom rack occasionally, and starbucks and who knows what else. Let's be clear, I've gotten so much better at saying- NO in the last year. But still now the gas is going on there too.
And frankly this penance could not come at a better time... as I've finally been cut off from govt. cheese, and CA still has the 2nd worse unemployment rate next to Nevada, and that there are no jobs in sight. Since a job that i actually wanted back in June didn't come through almost precisely 2 years to the day my last job interview didn't come through. And as this preacher said, you Mendacious, do not have control over the recession. No sir, i do not. Which makes me think to that carefree time in the back of that van broken down by the side of the road in Costa Rica and we were all talking about the economy and doing our part to stimulate it before its epic meltdown...But anyway, all that besides, I've wanted to teach overseas on and off since grad school. Japan. Iraq. Taiwan. All have been open to me at one time or another and finally now South Korea. I'm walking through that door i think. It's time. 
On the spiritual side you can blame that fast I took in August and a tiny status update on FB and a mere suggestion from a friend-- and honestly it calls to abandon everything i care about- but not in the nihilistic sense, mostly in the God's hand and care and control sense. Which was a bigdeal for me in August... that taking what I want when i want it thing. It also calls for budgeting, goal setting, new experiencing, epic blogging and a trip to southeast asia as a reward when i'm done. That's win/win? I mean if i move to Busan I'm a days ferry ride from Japan...Shanghai China, HongKong, Tokyo... need I say more!? Oh and when i'm done I'll be about 5,000 in debt still... with my options open to me and hopefully no creditcards in sight.
Let's think about it. It might just be a good thing.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Month of August in Photos Pen,

I'm a little late flying into september already Pen, but enclosed below you will see what was the main preoccupation with August... clearly muffins and kittens. Flaxseed/Apple, banana quinoa and Twist, and marley and one really particularly hot day. Oh and Thorne and a really good rice/bean/cilantro medley...I was fasting and freaking out about finances... i'm much calmer now bcs i think i'm going to korea though none of the paperwork is done and i dont have a contract... still it's going to be a few months... so right now i'm going to , go make breakfast, go finish painting a set, and then to the beach... after that... ? figuring out skype..consolidate balances. getting through this current heatwave so i can make more muffins...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Monday, September 5, 2011



chocolates. my favorite kind. from a northern chocolatier, which makes them taste even better.


n.lo’s new preschool folder. bright, happy. may his experience there be as such.


k.lo’s kindergarten folder. quickly filling. also bright, happy. full of knowledge. just like her.


candle with epically lovely wax spillage. formed during a viewing of better off dead.


up to season 1, disc 2. this is happening.


latest book club selection. my pick. meeting: sept 16, on the back porch.


stack of unread cook’s illustrated, provided by much-loved relative.


text photo of ew magazine, provided by friend. love exists there. I canceled my subscription, which hurts. but fall tv is coming, and that is good.