Sunday, May 31, 2015


Yesterday i woke up early and Cody picked me up to work the Alachua farmer's market.  it was really fun to be on the other side of things, selling the beautiful veggies that i've been helping grow.  this market is for serious shoppers--they keep the gates closed until 8:30 then ring a bell and the crowds flood in, armed with wagons and carts.  the last of the lettuces, some nice okra and eggplants and beautiful herbs flew of the tables.  we realized quickly that "heirloom fingerlings" would sell better then "russian banana potato", tried to give away as many giant zukes as we could and snacked on blueberries.

afterward, cody took me out to eat lunch with the fam at the daily green--they do a veggie trade for food there, so i had a delicious squash/bacon soup and a bacon-raddiccio-tomato sandwich on sourdough.  those kids are super cute, especially the badass sofie (4) who went up the counter to wait on line and order herself a grilled cheese.

after an afternoon of decadent lounging and a smoothie, i pulled myself back together for my last solo Fat Tuscan gig.  3 hours of background music at an italian restaurant.  Michele, the owner, is travelling in Asia right now so it feels like mom's away.  all the people there know me now and its a really relaxed vibe.  i set up on the porch and a russian family's little girl twirled and sang along to my songs.  took a break for ceviche-and-pasta salad dinner, played some more tunes, and then enjoyed my coconut-lime cheesecake.

just a little snippet of the sweet things that come my way.

things are looking good for the move.  i think i found  a place to live and a place to train, probably the most important things for my sanity.  still need a bike.  but its all rolling along in good time.

i will really miss the dojo and my Sifu, but... I will be baaack!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

piling on

ach, starting to feel scared and overwhelmed.  need  a place to live, a bike, a job, a place to work, a balkan band, a source of local veggies and other organic foods, friends to do stuff with, stuff to store stuff in.

i've started to find really amazing supports here in gainesville dammit, just as i am on the cusp of leeaaving.  lame.

last night mourning glories opened for the hackensaw boys at the High Dive.  they stuck around to watch our set and the fiddler complemented my fiddling after.  i had post-show high after and couldn't stop chattering.

and still i keep facing how f-ing thin skinned i am, cry at the drop of a hat.  i got to beat the s%$# out of a punching bag for 15 minutes at the dojo today that felt so great. didn't even realize i was pantingly out of breath as i beat that thing.  sifu was all business today, focussed, clear, efficient.  thank god i didn't have to fight vincent.  its hot.  i'm tired.  this week is a marathon of work and laundry and dojo and rehearsal and shows.  and then the weekend of florida folk fest.

ok, here's some stuff i did this week lest i feel like a useless lump

-passed my tai chi test for part 1 of the form
-opened for the hackensaw boys tuesday
-band practice sunday, monday and tuesday
-got my adrenals working together with my ovaries and thalmus
-gave 2 massages
-worked on monday and wednesday

still to come:
-thursday night 3 hour marathon show
-making food for this weekend

meanwhile, trying to finish all the loose ends of moving and restarting.  keep booking and organizing gigs for the various bands.  finalize tour show and lodging details.  finalize various inter-state travel plans.  

um.....yeah.  the stress is all making sense now.  

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

catch up

i have been slacking of late, but only on this blog.  after that last post things got to kind of a fever pitch of internal struggling awfulness, and i finally decided i needed to do something.  and that something was.....


yup.  the same dojo where i've been doing Tai Chi twice a week offers daily kung fu training.  just drop in anytime before 12 and 7 and you will get to kick your own butt for the low low price of an additional $20/month.  who could say no that?

its actually been really really awesome. it is definitely the most consistently physically challenging thing i've ever done, and i regularly believe myself to be at my limit and find out that...i'm not!   i realized today that one thing i love about it, even though it regularly destroys me, is that it is the one place in my life where i get to show up, every day (M-F), be welcomed with kind sincerity, be pushed to my limits, and the whole time know exactly what i'm supposed to be doing.  almost everywhere else and everything else i do includes some nagging voice--"you're not working hard/fast enough, your being awkward, you don't know enough, you did that wrong, you should be doing X, Y, Z, not J, K, L."  and on and on.  at the dojo, its super simple  (though not easy).  150 crescent kicks on the bag GO.  and that's it.  and much as i may not want to, all that there is to do in that moment is do those F@#%ing kicks.  and when i feel like i just can't, then pause.  and go right back to them.

its also been awesome to have this physical outlet--because my anger tends to run hot and just under the surface.  its likely pretty old, unresolved stuff that gets triggered.  but i'll tell you what, punching  a bag 1000 times in a day will take all that anger right out.  puts things in perspective.

and, i feel stronger; physically, of course but more importantly, mentally and emotionally.  the same issues are still here.  feeling lonely, isolated, a bit at drift in the world.  self doubt, self-loathing, judgments towards me and everyone.  but its easier to just let them be what they are and not get as thoroughly sucked into their vortex of unsolvable mental and emotional tornadoes.

i even appreciate the physical contact, something i'm not getting all that much of these days.

plus, my teacher is super badass.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

i saw the sign(s)

well, i kept an eye out for signs and i called for's the list of today's signs/moments of grace:

1.  a lovely morning bike ride with my friend lizzi to the prairie.  we spotted some horses.

2. finding out about theology on tap, another opportunity to plug into the best church in town (United Church of Gainesville)

3. i made granola.  i planted my roselle and spread horse poop in my garden.  i ate my first bean and admired the tomatoes that are coming on.  one curly kale has survived.

4.  i randomly stopped at a friends house to pick up my phone charger and they invited me in for sausage and salad while their adorable naked baby romped with her potty book.

5.  playing solo at the fat tuscan again.  yummy fish/couscous dinner.  moving inside when it got buggy, and encountering a Fan who blossomed with surprise and delight upon sighting me with fiddle in hand.

6.  sky setting me straight and telling me how important i am to him and how much he cares about me.

7. biking home with leftover fish and the last piece of blueberry pie.

Friday, April 24, 2015

you matter

yep, time for another sad n' lonely post.  yay!  i am so damned sick of these pathetic self-pitying pieces of schlock, honestly.  but what can you do.

today i had a plan.  with a friend.  for after work.  i was so excited all day about not having to go home to the dark separateness of my solitary apartment.  we were meeting to go see the senior film projects from 2 UF classes, being shown downtown at the Wooly.  It was really nice.  i guess, i just figured, it being artwalk night and the entire town being out that maybe we'd continue hanging out after but alas.


2 things

1.  i got a message today from a friend that i had randomly reached out to recently on email, and they told me that just this weekend they had been having a particularly low ebb and contemplated killing themselves as well as planning how they would carry it out

2.  biking home with the usual rip-in-the-gut of feeling rejected again and utterly alone in the world, i screeched to a stop at an intersection where i didn't have the right of way, right as a car sped around the corner.  as the car slowed down the tiniest bit, the driver called out the window not unkindly, "watch for the sign".

so, as usual, i have a choice.  watch for the dark gloom (which will find me anyway), or watch for the sign.  when i got home, i reached deep to the very bottom of my mailbox, begging it to deliver.  and, lo and behold, a tiny envelope all the way at the bottom:

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

in the deep dark

One thing that has been happening this year is that i'm learning more about my (mild) depression and (major) anxiety.   The depression manifests as a kind of paralyzed, catatonic state where i don't want to do anything.  it makes it hard for me to trust my own rhythms of rest and activity.

Anxiety is a physical experience above all else.  its like a cord that runs through my skin is being cinched slowly until i feel overwhelmingly uncomfortable and eventually overwhelmed by pain; crazed, desperate to crawl out of my skin and myself.   the other night it was so bad all i could do was curl up in desperation, crying and frantic.  in those moments there's just nothing.  to do.  usually i hit a peak and then slowly retreat from there.  social interactions tend to make it worse, and can amplify it by ridiculous amounts.  often it feels like twin chords climbing up my back and wrapping around my head.  squeezing my head and choking me simultaneously.  there's little rational thought available in these moments.  like a friend once said, its like you reached up to get your tool box down from the high shelf and it slipped, smalling into your head and you just black out with useless tools scattered around uselessly.

Its taken me along time to admit that this is part of who i am.  because there's no on-the-surface reason for it.  my life is awesome.  i'm super lucky and very privileged.  i shouldn't need anything,  especially from other people.
it can get pretty dark in there

things that help, if i can manage to do them:  exercise, eating, hydrating (sometimes there's a bad cycle that happens where i'm stressed and anxious, and feeding myself becomes an insurmountable chore, which feeds the cycle).  tai chi.  meditating.  playing music.  singing.  dancing.  all these can take the edge off but often the full blown version is still close at hand, ready to climb back to fever pitch at any moment.  physical contact is one thing that cuts through it more quickly and deeply than anything.  i think this is why i have always craved it so much.  it is so grounding and gives me such a sense of peace and solidity.  right now i get very little if any physical contact.  and my anxiety cycles have been running pretty quick on top of each other.

i've been thinking about how many of my teachers have dedicated the majority of their lives and energy to the particular thing that they are teaching me:  tai chi, country fiddle, ortho-bionomy, improvisational music, singing.  And how i am dedicating my life to about 15 different things.  so, maybe i'll never be as good as them at any one of those things.  or maybe i'm just that awesome that i can succeed wildly at anything i put a significant amount of energy too.  But most importantly, each one of those things is a life-line for me when things get dark and horrible in the void of my internal chaos. the more lifelines i have, the better.

Friday, April 17, 2015


work at the chiropractor's has been kind of satisfying of late--there's this crazy new complicated insurance thang and somehow i am the one who understands it the most out of everyone there.  i kind of like geeking out on highly complex, detailed systems.  and shuffling papers.  sometimes i pretend that i'm on West Wing, with piles of thing that need to be dealt with covering my desk, things to fax and file and print....and punctuated by lots of sweet and silly conversations with folks on their way in or out.

Playing at Vine!
mmm, vine happy hour plate
and blackfire played at the Vine tonight; that delightfully cozy bakery cafe that was my first gig in Gainesville, and my first regular gig ever, source of my first regular massage clients, and my go to spot for middle of the day cookies.  i love that place.  it really has been like a home for me. Dean and Theresa, the owners are so sweet--it was Dean's birthday so they were having a rare night off, drinking champaign and listening to our music.   theresa (nearly always slightly stressed and handling 15 different things simultaneously) came over, slightly tipsy, afterward to ask when i'm moving and to say that she wanted to do a special event/send off party/final blackfire show at the Vine before i leave.  ....melt.....

also, it must be spring cuz i am getting crushes right and left.