move in day!

28 Aug


the new crib

18 years old…one minute he’s on fire with possibilities. The next his head sags in his hands and a low miserable moan escapes from his mouth. He tries to figure it all out at once. I remember at his age the feverish search for clarity- the slippery nature of focus. Connecting one second, then losing connection, just as rapidly, to what makes sense.

So, we fall back upon the manifestations external logic: the dorm room with its twin beds, twin desks, twin chairs and closets. An adorable representation of a conflicted event. And in the parking lot shout-out sophomores rove the campus.

“Would you like some help?” Oh yes. Carry our boxes, lighten our load, chat up my gloomy son on move in day. Hit him up on his cell.

As I glance around the dorm room I notice the stark contrast between the upperclass men and women and the wild-eyed newcomers. For me it is mostly about my own only-child child, who seems to be mired in wretched unpreparedness.

I begin to question every motive that I have finessed in the last two years. College, relocation, new start, it’s Callie man!” in the face of my son’s utter confusion. Will this really be okay? I wonder.

A sort of grace note, perhaps just to shift the focus from him to me: when it is time to leave the battery in my car is dead, stone dead.  In the early morning fog, I had put on the lights in my hand-me-down 2003 Toyota Echo (in which EVERYTHING is manual – picture me with a hoop and a stick) Swept up In the move-in day excitement, I had forgotten to turn them off.

A security guard brought his car up to give the battery a jump.  “It happens all the time,” he said. Convincingly, there was a plug in his fender for the cable. Cool!

Move in day, CSULB, August 24, 2013. Go Beach! I hope we both survive!


Shedding layers

21 Aug

Shedding layers

Twenty nine years in New York City molds layer upon layer of character. “Exactly what is character?” To be discovered….

I recently moved back to California after 29 years of residing in NYC, mostly Brooklyn. I realized that 29 years is the longest amount of time I have done anything, except suck in air. It is easy to surmise, therefore, that those 29 years have made an indelible stamp on my identity – current word of choice for “character?”

I am staying with my sister at her home in Chatsworth, camping on her black vinyl futon in the room we have dubbed the Guitar Hero Suite.  My son Nikos retires to a Tempurpedic foam mattress in the Whispering Pines Suite next door. I am trying not to be desperate about looking for a job, while Nikos tries not to prepare for his freshman year of college at CSULB. In all fairness, he prepares as much as I facilitate preparation. Otherwise, he stares at his phone or Mac Notebook all day.

My sister is a gem, accepting us without reservations, her arms as open as my plans. Fairly amazing considering the multiple demands placed upon her time daily.

I feel unsettled, cringing almost at my leap into this next stage of my life. I have done this before, but never at this age.  At this age. My newest method of self-defeat. Does everyone wage this war inside of themselves? I have enough self awareness to know that I am capable of self-defeat at any age; too old, too young, not ready, too sensitive, don’t fit in.  Given the crystalized awareness that all is finite, best to move along.

And so, I do. Move along, trying to “stay positive,” that corny, self-motivating motto. Embarrassingly, it works much of the time; a simple phrase to soothe an intensely complex process. Of course! Stay positive. The salient piece of advice I took away from my Zumba Training was Beto’s (the founder’s) ominous warning “you doubt, you die.” Attention Warriors: this is true Latino dance/exercise, true in Call of Duty, and true in real life. Staying positive in the land of the angels.

Home is inside of you

6 Feb

The Las Vegas I remember lies behind this post, bearing little resemblence to today’s sprawl on the Strip. I moved to Vegas as a toddler, when it was a town in the desert, surrounded by mountains.  This is a photograph of the Strip, where my mother danced in the big revues. I am currently revising the first draft of a novel that takes place in Vintage Vegas. I will be sharing thoughts and snippets from the novel in this blog, along with musings on the life of a western transplant living in South Brooklyn.

Brooklyn Meringue Pie

5 Feb

After six weeks of unruly weather that have included a blizzard, snowstorms, snow squalls, sleet, snow showers, freezing rain, an ice storm and anything else that involves water freezing and thawing between earth and sky, we are left with a concoction resembling Brooklyn Meringue.  The snow, which has been shoveled, blown and plowed, sits in formidable mounds throughout the borough of Brooklyn.  Last week’s ice storm left a shimmering glaze over eveything out-of-doors, especially the partially melted snow. When I took out my garbage last week, the ice crackled like potato chips underfoot. My neighborhood, Bay Ridge, has taken on the eerie look of a Tim Burton movie setting. 

In honor of this NYC winter, I am thinking of creating a pie – Brooklyn Meringue Pie. But what should I put inside?


5 Feb

I am excited about starting a blog; a little confused, a little thrilled, a little doubtful. Here we go!