iphone be gone

yesterday, tuesday, 4pm, the early hours of halloween, i found myself stumped,

due to my lack of focus.

it all started when i had hauled all my teaching gear to my crossover vehicle.

– well, the reading manual, so that i could figure out my next plan for the students, and a big fat AVID book, where i would find info to help me conduct a productive note-taking lesson with the kids –

anyway… i put those two texts onto the back floor of my car,

along with my white jansport backpack, a round fluffy Rugrat (Tommy specific) knapsack, the one i recently reclaimed, one that once belonged roberto, long ago, when he was a rugrat himself, and next to my macbook air,

i’m floundering, unfocused…

this is about my iphone; not my afterwork, parking lot life.

well, actually, the parking lot plays a big role here.

before i sat in the driver’s seat, i realized my phone wasn’t with me.

which, honestly, it isn’t unusual that i didn’t have it because i really don’t carry it with me much… whereby on the other hand, it’s actually amazing that i even noticed i had forgotten it… because i really don’t carry it with me much.

you get what i mean?

well now, after noticing the missing phone, i trekked back to classroom, hunted around for it, but couldn’t find anything remotely resembling my 2 1/2 year old white iphone.

hum.

i walked back to the car, sifted through my stuff, again, only to note that the phone was definitely not there.

once again, i unlocked both gates, walked back to class, lifted every paper and book, and found nothing except more papers and books. i stood there, near my desk and wondered.

hum.

and then i remembered that i had been cutting artwork out to hang up in the window so that the sun’s shine made the oily bones of the kids finger prints glow – which was actually pretty cool, a fun project for sure…

i was cutting the hand shapes, letting the fallen pieces of paper gather on top of my desk and when done i threw the paper in the trash.

no! i thought. no way. i did not throw my iphone away.

did i?

back at the car, i texted brad from my computer – thank goodness the internet was available out in the parking lot – then i walked to the trash can.

this is what i texted him, literally:

can you call my phone… i can’t find it… call a few times… i am outside by the trash then i need to go in the class…. keep calling until i answer it… if i call you good… if i don’t bad… i will message on my computer if i can’t find it… or my phone if i do…

he messaged back, OK.

i lifted out what i knew was my plastic bag of debris. the sprinkles of colored paper gave it away. then i walked back towards my vehicle and i placed the trash bag into the back of my car thinking that maybe i was overlooking the phone. something told me i was on the right track, but my thinking wasn’t concise. so, i decided i’d take the trash home and investigate there, just in case. i surely didn’t want to make a mess right there, at my place of employment.

that’d look odd. right?

seriously, though, no regrets.

that’s my motto, you see.

i heard no Old Phone ringing.

in the meantime, i assumed brad was continuously calling me because i hadn’t called or texted him back.

i walked back to class.

nothing.

i walked back to the car.

nothing.

opened the rover’s hatchback.

rifled through the bag of papers.

and then i heard it. ever so faint. my phone, ringing. coming from the trash bag. i stuck my hand inside. swirled it around. and found ‘the missing link’.

yes!

i answered brad’s call as i was walking the semi-heavy ladened trash to the large receptacle in the school’s parking lot.

 

Reality Bites Another Day, S1 E2

Today’s post is the flip side of yesterday’s post Reality Bites.

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Anne, once again, plopped herself down on the overstuffed couch, tossed off her shoes, and turned on the TV. Another afternoon of Reality Bites to fulfill her guilty pleasure. That is, watch the five clueless (about the fact their lives are being recorded second by second, day after day) young college students talk about private matters and, hopefully, do yet another jaw dropping activity. Another day for Anne to lose herself into their world, escaping from her own.

As Anne watched the TV screen, the character named Carrie sat in a quiet corner talking on the phone with her boyfriend. Telling him things Anne was pretty sure Carrie wouldn’t be saying if she knew the world was listening in. As she was talking to him, Carrie was also holding a framed photo of her boyfriend. Admiring his shirtless torso.

What Carrie didn’t know was that a teeny tiny camera had been installed into the frame so that the TV audience was seeing a close-up of her dreamy face as she spoke to her lover.

Suddenly, Carrie pulled the frame away, then brought it right back, close to her face, making her features look magnified. “Whoa. That’s strange,” she began, speaking to her beau, and anyone watching the show, “but I have a freaky feeling that I’m being watched.”

She felt shaken. Odd. Like something was a bit off. Yet, she had no explanation as to why.

“Well,” her boyfriend laughed, “I hope not. I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t want anyone hearing what you plan on doing to me. Not that I’d mind!” He laughed, loud.

Anne was starring into Carrie’s eyes. All she could do was push her body further back into the couch, tensing all her muscles. She let out a deep, unexpected gasp.

blogging writes

me blogging

Way back. Years ago. I had heard the term blogging, yet didn’t quite understand what that meant. Not until I saw the movie about the girl who blogs for a year, cooking everything Julia Childs, and documenting it, allowing readers to be part of her potential goal being met. “Interesting concept,” I thought. Writing down, whatever, and allowing readers to take a peek into your world. The idea intrigued me, although I wasn’t sure how time worthy it would be for others to explore my day-to-day life. Just a regular person doing regular things.

And then Rudy was offered the job in Arkansas.

So, I signed up. It took me a moment to commit. I gingerly hovered my fingertip above the submit button, while thoughts swirled in my head. Mostly about throwing my life into the cyber winds. Could I really put our world out there. “Well, why not,” I told myself. And so I pressed. Ever so gently, barely registering the new page, create your first post.

Thus, blogging was born.

I thought about what it meant to be living life apart from Rudy. About how we were still in a 100% committed relationship. That it was up to me to hold the fort down here in California, to make sure the kids continued to behave without their dad around. And how all the while Rudy solely maintained another household, and did what he needed to do to make it all work. As I reflect back, I remember in the very beginning I honestly did not know what to write to interest readers about our ordinary daily routines. No one would want to know that I had a cup of coffee in the AM and that news was my main entertainment, while Rudy did the same thing across the country. Then we’d both drive off to work, separately. Later, we would return to separate homes, eat separate meals, watch different TV shows. And so on, and so on. Sounded mundane to me.

Until.

One summer, while visiting Rudy, I looked at my surroundings. I was sitting on a couch haphazardly pushed against a wall, in a room that could be described as a bachelor’s pad. I sat there staring at the keys on my iPad until I felt my thoughts. Those thoughts became words on a page, and those words turned into stories. Stories about how I felt in regards to our situation, him living there and me living here. And that’s when I realized that the interest of my stories lay in me, and if I’m lucky with readers who wanted to know more. I simply wanted to document what was happening, as a sort of journal. As a way to gauge my emotions.

And in part, as a way to be heard. Fully.

You see, I am, and will always be, someone who is more of a listener than a talker. Someone might have asked how it was going with Rudy living so far away. Verbally, I would water the whole situation down, just get it out as efficiently as possible. Then, like a focused listener, I would ask questions, casually deflecting attention away from me and onto my companion.

So, not only has blogging allowed me to detail my life consistently, very specifically, and without interruptions, it’s also where I do most of my talking. Which is a great thing because those who are interested in reading about, or trying to understand who I am and how I think get to eavesdrop with permission. And more importantly, our children will forever have a place to read my thoughts, and share them with generations to come. There will be no guessing as to what I was feeling, thinking, and hoping.

These are my stories.

What’s in a Name?

Long ago, naming our children took precedence over everything else…

“I’m pregnant,” I said, in a woo-hoo! kind of way. Rudy smiled that I‘m feeling pretty good right now smile of his as he wrapped me in his arms, and laughed that gentle laugh of his. That laugh that said so much. “¡Gracias Dios Mio!” he blurted, raising his arms to the heavens.

As the initial excitement began to calm, we realized a very important decision was now in order. “What will we name the baby?” we both questioned in unison. We also wanted the surprise element of the baby’s gender, so we needed to be considerate of a boy and a girl.

Fortunately, for the two of us, we knew our children would be given family names. One name from my family, one from Rudy’s. A first name. A middle name. That narrowed down our options, therefore making the process a bit easier.

“If the baby is a boy, how about your name? He could be a junior,” I offered. “No. That’s okay. I’m not sure I like my name enough to pass on,” Rudy stated matter-of-factly.

We pondered the names in our families; the choices: maternal and paternal grandfathers, brothers, and uncles were said aloud. We combined them; one as the first name, another as the middle name, and then switched the order. Nothing felt 100% just right. We moved on to girl names. A just as consuming test – which took months, mind you!

“I really want to name her after my mom, using her middle name, Elizabeth,” I said, as I felt my heart soften, thinking about naming my daughter after my sweet, kind-hearted mom. “I like that,” Rudy said. “I was thinking of Victoria, after my grandma. We would visit her a lot when I was a kid. When it was time to leave I would always run out to the tree in the front yard of her house and hug its trunk so hard that my parents had to struggle to pry me away. You see, I didn’t want to leave Grandma Victoria. She made me happy.” I became teary-eyed thinking of little Rudy crying, screaming. This was going to be harder than we thought, we suddenly realized. Rudy also liked his ambitious, intelligent sister Cecilia’s name. I considered my middle name Anne, too. Anne with an e.

This serious do-not-want-to-pick-a-name-that-will-harm-the-future-of-our-child-by-picking-the-wrong-name job produced two candidates. For a girl baby. Elizabeth Cecilia and Victoria Anne.

After I had delivered our child, Rudy by my side, and him being overwhelmed by, and amazed with the process of birth, he kissed my puffy – just had a child – face. He had a tear in his eye and quietly whispered “That was amazing! I want to name her Elizabeth Cecilia, after your mom and my sister.” I smiled, lay my head back, and sighed with relief.

Three years later Rudy was in Honduras, with Elizabeth and my niece, a full week before I was to arrive. His sister was getting married. Little did he know that I had a surprise for him. “I’m pregnant!” I cried as I fell into his arms when he greeted me at the arrival gate. Rudy hugged me, Elizabeth hugged me. My niece hugged me. “¡Gracias Dios Mio!” he shouted, as he raised his arms to the heavens.

Again, family names filled our daily thoughts. The name Victoria Anne sat quietly in our minds, waiting for her turn, if we were to have another girl.

“I really admire my dad,” I simply stated. “Yet, in my family all the first boys were named John so I think it’s best to leave it that way.” Rudy, too, admired my dad, and also agreed with my thoughts on why we shouldn’t name a son after him. “Well, my brother Bill meant a lot to me. Before he died in a car accident when he was 19, he always made time for me. Maybe we can use his name, William?” I questioned. Rudy nodded, knowing how much Bill meant to me, having heard my many stories. “I like the name Roberto, which is my younger brother’s middle name, and my blue-eyed uncle first name,” he said, seemingly deep in thought about those he cares for. The name Roberto seemed so foreign to me, like those Spanish intonations just didn’t know how to roll on my OC tongue. I kept those thoughts to myself.

Months later, as I struggled to get off the couch, to answer the phone, my water broke. “My water broke!” I yelled, hoping Rudy was near enough to hear me.

After securing Elizabeth with a downstairs neighbor, Rudy drove me to the hospital to deliver our second child. But wait! Seriously, did we forget something?! Yep. A camera to capture the moment (when I held my child for the first time). While Rudy returned home to retrieve the video camera, I began to hyperventilate. Unusual for me, which made the experience worse. I was given, what I seem to remember as a paper lunch bag, but was probably actually an oxygen mask, to help soothe me. Rudy returned as quickly as possible, within minutes, it seemed, of the birth. “Its a boy,” the doctor stated. Rudy hugged me. “So, what is our son’s name?” I asked him. Rudy smiled, that smile that makes him even better looking smile of his. “Roberto William.” Perfectly named. “I love it,” I said with exhaustion. I was willing to work the name into my life, to roll it off my tongue, to make it a part of who we had become – an interracial family.

Eight years later, I handed Rudy the home pregnancy (test kit) wand. He looked at the + sign. He looked at me, wide-eyed. “¡Gracias Dios Mio!” he gleefully cheered, once again sending his arms up toward the heavens.

Naming our last, and final, child now included the involvement of Elizabeth and Roberto. When I went in for a check up and the nurse asked if we’d like to know the sex of the child, before we could even consider our options, the kids – didn’t scream, but were pretty darn close to scaring the other patients – said, “Yes! Please Mom and Dad?” Rudy and I looked at each other, smiled and gave the OK nod and a thumbs up. “It’s a boy!” the nurse happily told Elizabeth and Roberto.

“Bradford,” I said. “Let’s name him Bradford in honor of our marriage. Named after the place where we were married. Let’s have his first name be a surname, like Palmer, on All My Children.” Huh? Rudy’s expression wondered. “Bradford? It sounds like Buford. Like an overbearing rich guy,” he sneered. I laughed. I was really keen on the idea, even though it diverted away from our family names. I figured I had some months to get Rudy used to the idea. “I think Ramon would be good. It was my brother Scott’s middle name. Remember how, a month or so before he died, he shook your hand? A gesture that said ‘I like you. I can see you care for my sister. Sorry if I was ever rude….’. I think to honor his memory would be great. It was also my paternal grandfather’s name. Double great.” Rudy listened, really took to heart in what I was saying. “I want to use my middle name, Antonio, too,” he confirmed. “Well, I have, also, always wanted to give a child of mine two middle names, just as my parents did with my older brother Jim,” I added.

We spent months bouncing names around, listened to the input of soon-to-be big sister  Elizabeth and big brother Roberto.

When our third child was born, our son, was named Bradford Ramon Antonio.

All three children’s names warm my soul when I say the names out loud, or if I hear them as they float into one ear and gently, quietly, climb out the other.

An Ode To Writers

The following conversation occurred several years ago. It still holds true today. Writing isn’t a quick job, or hobby, but rather it takes time to ‘Get to the Point’ as multiple thoughts are jotted down. Which are then arranged and rearranged appropriately, followed by tons of editing. And editing is what takes the most time before hitting the PUBLISH button. I applaud those who have written and published their work, garnering a reader’s want for more. Bravo.  

“Are you done yet, Mom? You said we would watch a movie together.”

My son was sitting, waiting patiently on the couch.

“One minute. I just need to edit this. Make sure it makes sense. Includes all the important details,” I respond, not looking his way.

“It really has surprised me how much time it takes to write one piece,” I add, to myself.

I finish. Half an hour later.

“Movie?” she questions.

“Yeah. But hold on. I am working on something.” His eyes are focused on the laptop’s screen.

“Okay. Let me know when you are ready.” I walk back to the desktop computer. Open my post. Re-read it for any errors. Make sure it’s coherent.

I find a flaw. Or two.
A misspelled word.
A sentence that needs a pronoun.

“Mom? I’m ready,” my son says.

“One minute. I just need to edit this.”

i hate arguing!

Especially with arguments that are so pointless. So full of time wasted, time that could be better spent talking about the problem. Solving the problem in a mature manner.

I hate arguing so much that I will literally state to my opposition, “I am not going to argue. Arguing is pointless.” And when the person I am addressing continues with their argument, I will say, “I’m serious. I will not argue. Talk. Yes. Argue. No way.”

Most times those words from me stop a yelling match, and instead bring forth calmness, or more likely the subject is changed entirely, which is fine anyway, because whatever it is that was being argued was completely not worth the effort. Seriously. And yes, I know, I will never land a part on a reality show because I wouldn’t produce enough drama to entertain an audience. But, whatever. Yelling sucks, talking repairs.

Today, though, my words didn’t work. Rudy kept ranting and raving about this and that (something about texting. See! What did I say? So mundane…) and I couldn’t take it. I just couldn’t listen to his nonsense, so I left (to my hair appointment).

And, after my hair felt all shiny and new, instead of returning home and confronting Rudy and his argument, I drove straight to the beach. Crystal Cove State Park, to be exact, and I sat there breathing in the salty air and listened to the crashing of ocean waves. Destressing myself, until balance was again restored.

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daphne

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Quiet, reflective, attentive, and a person of few words define me. Which, I believe, has impacted my interest in both the social and psychological aspects of human nature.

I like being quiet. You see, I learn quite a bit when I turn off my voice and tune in my ears.

I’m reflective, thriving on what I see around me, applying what is helpful, learning from mistakes (sometimes my own, but mostly made by others) and deflect from what might diminish the powers my soul.

I find if I look someone in the eyes when they are telling me a story, a secret, a worry, or any other type of human emotion, my attention rewards me with a meaningful relationship. Whether it be for a moment, or a life time.

A person of few words doesn’t mean one has nothing to say, rather, for me, it’s that what words, what I’m trying to say, needs to be worthy of revealing because I’m not trying to prove anything to anyone, except to myself.

Me. A quiet, reflective, attentive person. Interested in human nature. Especially my own.