Friday, December 16, 2011

Home sweet home

I am home in SLO. It is so nice to be home in my little house. The heater is going and I am working, as usual. I think I experienced the let down after a vacation for the first time in a long time. I use to so look forward to coming home and resting after family vacations. I guess this solo vacation was a real treat.

Happy Holidays.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

In San Francisco

I know I have been entering up beat and hopeful entries throughout my trip. These feelings were real and so amazing, but as I headed home I felt the heaviness. I landed at SFO with heavy heart, on the verge of tears, feeling sorry for myself that there wasn't anyone I should call. No one waiting for my return home. The funny thing is that one friend did call right after I pick up my car and I called another on my way to see my lovely daughter. I am not alone in this world. I know that. I know that my trip to NYC was a kind of experiment, one that went very well. I can travel by myself and really enjoy it. But, I am alone, un-partnered. These both are true.

Thanks for following me, for helping me connect. I love all of you and look forward to seeing you soon.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Loosing sucks!

I traveled to Brooklyn with a couple other parents and so it wasn't too bad maneuvering the subway.

I am feeling kind of down. This is usually how I feel in SLO, but not how I have felt here in NYC. I am wondering about it. Is it the basketball loss? or the return to real life? or just being lonely? Who knows. Maybe it will pass.

I leave tomorrow morning at 11:00 and arrive in SFO at 5:00pm. I will spend the night with Erica (but will not talk to her as she is writing a paper). Then on Friday I will visit a company in Santa Cruz and get home late on Friday. I suppose I will make a couple more blog entries.

Homeward bound.


This is a fantastic museum. So many famous artists and such a variety. It is huge too. Walked around for about 4 hours. My back hurt some, so I sat and people watched too. There is something about art that expresses emotion in a way I don't use much. I am a fairly emotional person (ok, I am a really emotional person - some say dramatic), but I live in a cognitive/intellectual world. I can see I need more art and artist expression. I have uploaded some of the art I saw today, and a piece I did a while back. Can you tell which is mine? :) the other thing I see in the art is the full range of emotion, from sad to mad to happy. This is one of the only places where all emotion is acceptable. I like that.

Some other random thought:

- I have a hard time deciding what to eat. I think this has always been the case, but I blamed it on others. I want to choose the best thing: most nutritious, best tasting, just the right amount (because I eat all I am served). I find that this standard is so hard to achieve and I am mostly disappointed and frustrated that I wasted these calories on something not quite right. Well, something else strange about me.

- I am so glad I am not driving in NYC. It is impossible. I even feel sorry for cab drivers.

- Twice today as I was walking there was a bunch of NYPD concentrated around one block with lots of people standing around. I wonder what these events are.

Off to a basketball game in an hour or so. Subway to Brooklyn.....Yikes! new public transportation obsession is beginning. Why can't I remember I have navigated this kind of thing before?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Apologies to Erica, Cammie and Molly......

.......I should have gone to Lion King with you three. I missed you so much. I sang along (quietly) and laughed at Timon and Pumba, remembering all the times we watched that video when you were little. But really the show was spectacular. I cried on and off, and not when Mufasa died....just cried because of the beauty.

I had dinner with Kim, Brittany's mom, Kelly, T's mom, and a foreign exchange students of Kelly's (I can't remember his name). It was nice being with people, but in some ways I missed being alone too. I remember a friend of mine told me about getting married or having a boyfriend, that being with someone has to be better than being alone. I think I am finally understanding the joys of being alone. If I am with people, I want it to be people who talk about real things. Rainer Maria Rilke said, "I want to be with those who know secret things or else alone."

I thought I was going to MOMA today, but it is closed on Tuesdays. I went to the Guggenheim instead (see earlier post). I walked 2 miles through Central Park. It was so nice to walk and think. I was thinking about relationships, love, commitment, possession, and intimacy. These are things we sometimes think go together in a marriage. The only one that is kind of negative is possession. But the others we think of as nice to have, but what if a relationship doesn't have all these things, and maybe is only possession. I was thinking about my marriage and any future relationship I might have. How do I want to approach it, and really, now that I enjoy the aloneness, do I even need a relationship? I guess the thing I miss is intimacy, but could it be found without a committed relationship? Or am I just justifying my singleness? Sometimes I wonder about humans and our powerful minds. Do i think to much? is there such a thing?


So great to fit the museum today. It was quite amazing to see the interesting art. There is an exhibit there by Maurizio Cattelan. I really enjoyed it. Here is a video of the exhibit.

I walked through Central park. I have lots more questions. I will write some more later, off to dinner and Lion King.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Tiramisu at Serafina

Dinner was so good. I had a seat by the window so I could watch people walk by. There was even an ambulance that stopped right in front of the restaurant during dinner. I sat there for almost two hours and could have continued to people watch for a while longer, but now I am back in my sweet hotel room in my comfortable bed so I can finish grading.

It seems that the thing I think are so hard are not at all. They are even pleasant. I hope I continue to remember this.

Meeting up with Molly and the team

Molly in front of Rockefeller Center

Colorful sights in Time Square

I spent the afternoon with Molly and a couple of her team mates. It was so nice. It is cold out and we were all missing the california warmth. But, NY is something else. The energy, the people, the sights, sounds and smells. So full. I have a bunch of pictures from today. It was nice to see my girl and to walk around for a bit.

I am amazed at my ability to tell which direction I should be traveling. I know there are people I know that say they have no sense of direction, but I seem to have a pretty good one. I know when I walk somewhere which direction home is. I know which direction is north or east. I am glad for this today, as I could have been all turned around.

Tonight I will go to dinner. I should have said I WILL go out to dinner. I feel like I have to force myself. My little hotel does not have room service, and all I have in here is m&m's. We will see. I might just go hungry. I am really quite silly. Who cares if I eat by myself? WTF do I think it even matters? and to whom? I will go out to dinner tomorrow with Kim, a mom of another player on the basketball team, so tonight is my only chance to venture out alone. I don't think I will make it to the bars as I planned. too chicken.

Mayfair Hotel - NYC

I am in love with my hotel!

I took the train to Grand Central Station. Again, an amazing place. I walked about 10 blocks to my hotel (plus 5 blocks the wrong way initially). I walked up 5th avenue, by Rockefeller Center, past 30 Rock (I thought of you, Erica). Then as I continued where my GPS told me, it got seedier and seedier. I then came upon a hole in the wall with an awning that said "Mayfair." I was a bit nervous, but I was paying $170/night so it couldn't be an hourly rental. As I opened the door it felt like a trip back in time: wood panelling, narrow rooms, small elevator. I check into room 514. As I opened the door all I could think of was, "I am so happy." Here are a couple pictures.

It is about 8 by 10 and overwhelming decorated in this red and white print (it must have a name as have seen it many times). There are three windows which all look out to a brick wall about 2 feet away. It is very dark.

Well. I wanted to post before I went exploring. I am eating will come first.

So cozy.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

oh wow - I made it back to my hotel room - phew!

That was a lot for me. I took bus to Sacred Heart University. There are so many things I don't know. Like where to stand for the bus, how not to get motion sickness (don't read - now I remember), where to exit the bus - you need to exit through the back door, not the front.....Many more things too. It makes me think of the freshman students at Cal Poly. The ones we were trying to recruit for SUSTAIN a couple months ago. No wonder they didn't pay any attention to us. There are way to many unknowns already, who would want to voluntarily do one more. I wonder how to overcome this next year?

Here's a picture of me waiting for the bus....well, my shadow!

The game was pretty horrific. They lost by 20 points! The girls must have been off due to traveling. There were at least 6 of us from Cal Poly. We sat together and were pretty loud. The worst part was that the coaches "talked" to them for one hour after the game. I guess they weren't happy :(

Sacred Heart is a beautiful place. Just like you imagine a New England University.
I was going to go out to dinner tonight, but this area around my hotel is kind of like downtown LA on a weekend - deserted - not at all like downtown San Francisco. I also have lots of grading. so I guess I will order room service (I love room service).

Tomorrow I am off to NYC.

Thanks for reading this. Knowing at least someone is reading helps me keep connected.



I had (too much) breakfast in the restaurant of my hotel. I kept thinking of Molly and how she really hates the idea of going to a restaurant alone. She hates it so much the thought of me doing it embarrasses her. Don't tell her!!

What I noticed, looking around is that most people are eating with each other, yet not talking. How is that different than me? I often wonder this esoteric idea: what exactly is happening when you are "with" someone? How is that different than not being "with?" It isn't like you are touching them? You are seeing them, but you could look at a picture? You are hearing them, but you could call on the phone? What is the thing about location? Maybe there is something about being "near," or maybe we can be "near" with many miles between us. I don't know.

This is what I do miss about being with my friends. I have all these curious questions. To hold them alone is something hard for me.

I will be taking the bus to Sacred Heart University. This IS the hard part. I don't know where to pick it up. I don't know how to pay the fare. I don't know where to get off. I don't know how to get back. Of course all of this is doable, but in my crazy mind, I am obsessing.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Chicago - New York - Conecticut

I arrived! I made it on public transportation. Does a taxi cab count?

Chicago was cold! Connecticut is colder! I am here is Bridgeport, CT, downtown. It doesn't look like that nice of an area, but it is hard to tell at night.

Grand Central Station was CRAZY! For some strange reason, many, many people were dressed up like Santa. This must be something! But the energy in that building is quite amazing. I had to stop and breathe a bit, being a California girl and all. I made it; asked when I needed and then just looked for signs.

I am feeling proud of myself, but a bit lonely. This will be my challenge.

On my way

December 10, 2011

Left SLO yesterday at 4:18….only 18 minutes late (but it was only my definition of on time so who cares?). I actually love to drive. There is a freedom and an emptiness that I like. The idea that I can go anywhere gives me a feeling of choice. I don't go anywhere, but I could if I wanted to. The emptiness has to do with the limitations that come with driving; I cannot read or watch a movie. I can not talk on the phone of work on my computer. In my car I can't even listen to the radio. I mostly just think in my car. Although I think a lot, not many moments am I forced to because there isn't anything else to do. So I thought. I thought of the work I have to do. Most immediately, the grading that is due on Tuesday at 4:00. Then there is getting ready for next quarter. Also the research for SUSTAIN and the NSF grants. not to mention, getting ready for Christmas….oh no! the anxiety was getting high especially when there are so many things to do and I can't do them because I am driving. I then noticed I had a Book on CD in my car, Beloved, by Toni Morrison, so I put that in so my mind could rest. It is really quite the fantastic book. Her writing is so beautiful. The time to San Francisco was very pleasant and went quickly.

I arrived at Erica's apartment at around 8:30. She is in the middle of studying for finals and her house is so clean and neat (see the picture of her closet), the by-product of too many law books to review. We use to call it "cleaning the grout." it seems that during finals week, the grout in the kitchen was unbearably dirty and needed immediate attention. But, it was so nice to see my daughter. She is so smart and thinks about things so well (or maybe it is that she thinks like me). We had some conversations about what it meant to "achieve" something. Dose achievement have a component of competition, being better than others? Does achievement mean you have to achieve by the cultural standards, or can you define you own achievement? Anyway, it was quite enjoyable to converse while eating take-out mexican food.

I went to bed, but of course couldn't sleep. I woke at 5:30 to get to my flight at 8:00am. that is were I am now. over the USofA in a plane full of people I don't know. I often think of what would it be like to be with these people in a situation were we needed each other. Something like an emergency. Who would lead, who would think? Who would cry? who would I be? what are their names? I kind of hope I never find out, but then again. The loneliness of this kind of travel is so evident. Sitting next to someone without speaking. I really don't want to talk to this person, but what is that?

I want to experience traveling alone so I am really trying to be present to the situation. To feel the togetherness or the loneliness. It is an experiment. I noticed this morning as I was repacking how many other people I think of. I remembered my good friend who packs her suitcase so tightly it is like a compressed brick. I don't think vacuum packing it could make it any tighter! I smiled when I thought of her and the times we traveled together on business. Maybe we are all connected by something we don't see or hear, but feel.

More to come.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

An Experiment

I have been separated from my husband for a little over a year. My kids are out of the house since June of 2010. I am on my own. I want to see what it is like to travel by myself.

I would love to be able to meet new people, explore New York, but I don't really know if I can. Well, of course I can, I mean if I will choose to.

I am leaving on Friday afternoon and returning a week later. I will be in Connecticut for 2 days and New York for 3 days. Then a day before and after in San Francisco. Molly will play two game there so I will have a touch point, but I will not spend time with the team or stay in the same location.

I do have a ticket to Lion King on Broadway. This will definitely be a great event.

I hope to post at least once a day, maybe twice.