there is no better person to be, than yourself

skinny jeans and tennis shoes.
that is what my 17-year-old Bieber-loving cousins wore for their *hiking tour of the University of California Santa Cruz campus.

I decided to not tell them about me - loudly - ripping my tightly flared jeans while trekking to class back in 2001. there is a valuable lesson to be learned when your ass-cheek hangs out of your pants, and I did not want to take that opportunity away from them.

the campus is a forest... the air is freshly amazing, the views are spectacular, and gumball machines plant trees.
my One Direction-enthusiasts learned that one cannot locate something with the eye and say LET'S GO THERE. rather one must simply begin walking to discover the destination. plants and bridges are your landmarks.

so, we got lost a lot.

and saw a penis.

and saw a library. which - from their reactions - is more rare than seeing a penis.

I was far too excited and envious to find the library had - since my departure - built study 'rooms' in the corners, that were outside. they had 2 walls of strong screens... keeping bugs out but letting tree-breezes in.

we trekked our way back to the car, our adventure perfectly timed with everyone's hanger levels. instruments played along the downtown Santa Cruz strip as I pointed out my favorite shoe shops. the lunch-time burgers at Betty's did NOT disappoint and our pleasantly full tummies drove down to the Marine Aquatic Center along the cliffs by the ocean.

upon realizing we could touch stuff at this Aquatic Center, I excitedly shouted "OH COME TOUCH THE STARFISH!". I received a prompt...

so I used my physical strength and superiority to coerce them in to touching the starfish and hermit crabs and those big eggshell things that sharks push out of their vaginas. *cringe

once the old lady went in to detail about the orgy that the jellyfish were having in front of us, I knew this trip had officially become 'epic'.

in other news...
...I somehow keep discovering and then forgetting that the only person one can rely on, is oneself. I cannot continually HOPE that someone else will treat me how I want them to, nor should I expect that. therefore, I vow to date myself; to do what I want, even if it means I do it alone; to not settle for someone else's ideals when I want something different; to not let someone else, let me down.

"Without giving up hope... we will never relax with where we are or who we are."
- Pema Chodron


how to buy yourself flowers

you stepped in poop while walking your dog before work.
then your dog stepped in poop. (what an asshole)
a coworker ditched you at lunch today and did not apologize.
someone visited your cube to ask you what's wrong, because KATHLEEN, YOU LOOK SO TIRED. ARE YOU OK??
you cannot seem to find any POOPING PRIVACY today in the work bathroom.
and work announced more layoffs.


when I see someone walking with a bouquet, I like to imagine it was purchased not for a special occasion; not for a birthday; not for an anniversary; not for an expectation. rather, for a surprise; for a hard day; for I Thought of You; for I Love You.

and sometimes, you have to be your own lover.

so I stood there in the middle of all these Safeway flowers after work, trying to decide what this non-occasion deserved.
Calla Lilies? no - smells like medicine.
Mixed? no - too "get well soon"ish and lacks direction.
Gerberas? no - I need to be able to pronounce it confidently.
Roses? no - I do not deserve those.

wait wait, what? did I really just think that?? what a jerk!


surprise yourself today and help yourself be happy.

in other news...
...Rome has a rash in his paw. probably from all that POOP he keeps stepping in!!
...my boyfriend seems to think 2 nights spent in Lake Tahoe for a 100 mile bike ride, is a vacation.
...I love a dog who has an appreciation for the arts.



he shouted to me.
in the parking lot of an Aqui's Cal-Mex restaurant.
as his parents dragged him away.

HE, is a 4 year old whose mom and dad just bought me a birthday meal.
not the ideal proposal but it warmed my already-melted heart.

spending time with my friends and the people I love made turning 33 pretty rad. it was an excuse to eat ice cream; achieve my worst bowling score; be driven by someone else; go home at midnight because you know what? I am tired! (oh, and to be proposed to in a parking lot)

besides the sore knees after 50 mile bike rides, getting old is not that bad.

in other news...
...my 7th grade teacher told me, "Happy birthday. You have the best posts and live life to the fullest, so I am sure you will have a great day." and you know what? after reading that, my day was even better.
...Romeo experimented life as an off-leash wolf-pack member last weekend, while I was a nail-biting nervous wreck of a 'mom' expecting him to run off with another woman, or break a leg, or get a dog pregnant (impossible), or pierce his belly button, get a tattoo and move to Mexico.
thank you Romeo for always coming back home to me!


Out came the sun, and dried up all the rain

yesterday, I felt very small. tiny. itsy bitsy. non-poisonous spider. unimportant.

while digesting this emotional surprise, my eyes began leaking and my face turned in to a giant hive. at 4pm. in the office.
(if I could punch my hormones in the face - if the face were not my own - I would)

I ran to the office-gym-treadmill to fix myself, brushing off my gym-rat buddies along the way.
"good! how are yo-"
"oh I have to blow my nose"
"no, 7 minutes abs isn't possib-" I turn the corner.

concentrating on physical pain will stop one from crying, right?

miles later, my run was done. I rushed back to the gym-rat buddies to apologize for my brashness but halfway through the sorry, my friend tells me a story.

4 weeks ago, he was driving on the freeway when a car on the OPPOSITE side crashed in to the cement divider. luckily the driver was ok. however, the impact of his car in to the divider sent a 2-foot long piece of that divider INTO my friend's windshield, while traveling the opposite direction.
it exploded glass in to his face and barely missed his body while landing in his back seat.
he showed me photos.
he almost died.

things have been properly placed back in to perspective now.

tears redacted.

in other news...
...while attempting to smack an incessant flying BUG, I swatted my own tit. *ouch.
...my boyfriend and my dog had their first alone time together while I was at a party this weekend. fortunately, NO ONE DIED. (but someone DID poop)


toss, turn, worry, and repeat.

the old hard-of-hearing guy shouted. I jumped at the unexpected volume.

the instructor of this Sleep Better class nodded in agreement.
she pleasantly laughed her open-mouth big-teeth Julia Louis-Drefus laugh.

25 supposed insomniacs - me included - sat in a circle staring across the room in to each other's sunken eyes, fidgeting at any discomfort, shaking our stress out in feet and finger tapping. the meditation practice helps my butt realize just how crappy this chair is, and instead of concentrating on my "ocean breath" I am staring at the velvet kitty-printed turtleneck the woman across from me is modeling.

I don't belong here. but I do.

the 70-year-old Bilbo Baggins in the room interrupts our "Negative Sleep Thoughts" brainstorming to ask WHAT CAN I DO TO FALL ASLEEP AFTER A VERY EXCITING NIGHT WITH MY WIFE?


at least the class is free.

in other news...
...dog beaches that are also nudist beaches result in naked people having lengthy (and close) conversations with me about how cute my dog is. thanks. and also, no thanks.
...my 7 aunts recently discussed the definition of 'teabagging'. loudly. while they were drunk. at a busy winery. (I will not be returning)
...#1 reason for Rome to learn how to use the toilet?


blood splatter analyst I am not.

while snoozing my alarm, I notice blood drops on my white comforter. Rome is asleep next to me and immediately I scour him for an injury. he appears fine... and newly irritated that I have woken him with such a stir.
scanning myself, I find no place for blood to escape.
I look at the ceiling and think, I can't believe I am looking at the ceiling.

there is just no way this makes sense.

I demote myself from Dexter status and get ready for work.

while painting my face, Rome meanders in to my restroom to observe. he dog-shakes his head... sending splatters of blood across the walls. the end of his airplane-ear cracked and is dripping. I hang a towel over him and tell him STAY.

the vets were oddly excited to fix him, informing me he would be returned to my arms wearing a babushka - they giggled their way to the back with him. after gluing the cut on his ear, folding and wrapping it on top of his head, he entered the waiting room Girl-with-the-Pearl-Earring style.

the enormous amount of sadness in his face skyrocketed my worry.
he would wear this for 3 days; it is very tight around his neck; do not let him exert a lot of energy; give him 1/4th of this pill, twice a day; $230.
ok ok ok.

after cutting every kibble-bit in half so that he could swallow easier, I told myself I needed to relax. I was convinced his wrap was far too tight and he would suffocate to death during the 5 seconds of every minute that I was not staring at him.

a few friends offered reassurance that he will be ok; others offered Photoshopped versions of Rome in famous paintings; I offered myself a cocktail.
thanks to all of those efforts, I felt much more at ease and left him alone.

Rome got through 2 nights of this before the vet removed it (whew) and I took over with a pathetic Aunt Jemima version.

mm, pancakes.

in other news...
...good thing I do not own a horse.
...today Rome is wrap-free and living it up as an apartment-dog in Campbell, California.
...Van Gogh's Ear is my favorite.



from this place I sit, I hear laughing crows and hummingbird wings.

I scream-sneeze, and Romeo rushes to the door to ensure I am still alive.

it is not a horrible day.

last week, we visited the beach together. it humbles me to see Romeo excited to simply get in my car, regardless of the destination. in a lot of ways, I feel that same lost joy.
it does not matter where I go, because in being there, I will be happy.

sometimes I suggest an adventure to someone other than my dog, and in return I hear...
Is it supposed to be fun?
Will it be good?
Have you been there before?
Does it have decent reviews?

DOES IT REALLY MATTER? "it was the best of times, it was the worst of times" are both nothing without times. just go, and decide for yourself.

in other news...
...in a recent gym competition, I ranked 3rd (out of 12) for my 3 minutes and 10 seconds plank. I felt proud.. until the trainer told me the winner recorded a time of 5:30. NO ONE TOLD ME WE COULD TAKE STEROIDS.


it was a run-by pooping

my purse, gym bag, pair of heels, laptop bag, and a set of keys juggled to the ground as I unstuck a note taped to my front door.
after blaming the note for everything wrong in my life (I was hangry), I read the bubbly-written letter aloud to Romeo.

even HE rolled his eyes at the number of "OMG"s in this thing.

in summary, a fellow tenant threw a bag of dog poop in to my patio and broke something.

I cannot say Romeo's poop has ever broken anything. (EVER). I mentally applaud her rock-digesting pup while racing to my patio to see the damage.

a decorative light was smashed... glass pieces lay beside the guilty poop-bag defendant.

over the next 24 hours, I marvel at the fact that a stranger's bag of dog poop was
a) hurled in to the air
b) hurled in to MY PATIO and
c) broke something.

I was (and still am) pretty amused.

since she offered to fix it, I told her it was simply from Target and not a big deal.

the next day, I returned home to a gift on my door step. she not only purchased the replacement bulbs, but wrapped them in tissue, placed them in a bag, and included a card.


in other news...
...2 pink Peeps is what I had for breakfast. I am pretty sure Easter candy exists because someone said HOW WILL WE GET FAT BEFORE NEXT CHRISTMAS??
...I spent 10 minutes earlier watching cat videos. on CNN. so, you know... it was NEWS.


365.242 days in a year

Heather always covered her face with both of her large hands when she laughed.
I remember that the most.

each step she took was long, quick, and clumsy - her tall frame loomed over most people. the pale skin on her cheeks instantly painted pink at the slightest bit of unwanted attention. she was a quiet comedian... who did not laugh when I forgot her 17th birthday.

we met at our neighboring lockers at school that morning and after noticing I held no present, card, sweet treat, flowers, nothing... she largely spun around and stormed away.

immediately I knew what had happened and felt an enormous disappointment in myself.

the following year I stumbled in to school carrying balloons, gifts, and freshly-dropped-in-the-parking-lot cookies... excited to show her I cared and remembered.
(yes, I admitted to dropping the cookies. yes, we ate them anyway.)
she was incredibly happy to vote, have her job at Safeway, and start life after high school.

Heather unexpectedly passed away that summer.


on my book shelf lies a stack of new, ready-to-be-given birthday cards. they are there as a vow to my friends, my family, myself... to not forget another birthday; each passing day is a gift - 365 'passing days' is a celebration!

Happy 33rd birthday Ms. Lane!


pew pew

BUT IT'S ONLY 11am!!

my 12 year old cousin shouted at me as she found me eating a Thin Mint cookie from her pantry.


while my aunt and uncle drank their way through Carmel over the weekend, I 'teenage-sat' their 16 and 12 year old kids... ensuring no one lit their farts on fire or ate an entire bag of Lay's potato chips.

it was a pretty simple gig really. except when we all decided to go shopping, and I lost my car keys.

OH, I HAVE THEM. the 16 year old said.

WAIT, WHY DO YOU HAVE TH..... then I see his driving permit in his other hand.

enter first hot flash.
my hands and pits are instantly sweaty and my face flush. just yesterday I was wiping their butts (exaggeration), and now I am racking my brain over my car insurance policy and imagining all 3 of us dying because of my poor decision-making.

I quickly interviewed him on his experience.

after hearing all the right answers, we were set to go. until the 12 year old thought of a question for me...


I could not have loved her more than I did at that second in my life. not bothering to answer her question, we headed to the store together.

and truthfully speaking - after being instructed to STOP dancing while driving - my cousin is pretty good!

in other news...
...in case you were wondering, the permit rule requires 1 licensed, over 25-years-of-age person be in the car.
...after giving me a hard time about a Thin Mint at 11am, my younger cousin proceeded to pour 3 tablespoons of syrup on her waffle. and then ate a donut. HMPH.
...an epic Nerf battle seemed to be the proper celebration for no *new dents on my car.


blue and bluER

on Thursday, Romeo was 6.
on Friday, Romeo was 7.

weird how birthdays work that way.

since he can not speak English, I told everyone we saw IT'S HIS BIRTHDAY TODAY!! (after about the 5th time, I felt crazy. not a BIT crazy. rather, full crazy)

everyone reacted in the same happy manner though, saying something like OHH IT IS?? HAPPY BIRTHDAY CUTIE! (which was weird coming from the dusty and decrepit "zombie" man in my complex) then I would walk away proudly as Rome made a birthday-doo.

truthfully speaking though, I strongly dislike pets' birthdays. it reminds me that Rome is not forever - he has an expiration date.
I hate that.

as a kid, I would spend maybe... one day a month mourning my at-that-time-alive cat's future passing. we would lay on my day-bed together buried in stuffed animals and frilly pillows. she would purr, I would cry.

what a waste of a perfectly good ball-throwing, roller-skating, cat-playing, dirt-throwing, mom-yelling day.

so rather than curling up in bed with Rome (sans stuffed animals since I am old now), we went for a long walk together.

happy birthday to my favorite pooper!

in other news...
...you know those moments in shows and movies where brave (or stupid) people (or blondes) open doors in dark places?.. goosebumps and chills wave through your body? within a matter of a few seconds, these people have determined going in this room, turning this corner in search of a murderer or alien (or whatever Dr. Who is looking for) is a necessary thing.
it takes me 10 minutes to kill a spider.
in bright light.
after mapping out a detailed plan AND backup plan.
with NO scary music.
...I made cheesecake for the first time. also? I ate HALF OF A CHEESECAKE for the first time.
...Rome's birthday walk led to 1 mile's worth of blue and bluer trees.


January's Jupiter

did anyone else notice how clear the sky was last week?
(before, you know.. the clouds and rain came to town)

the stars were CRISP... considering I was viewing them from my own eyeballs-minus-telescope in a light-polluted suburb. there was an especially bright planet near the moon which... after confirming with my Sky Map app... I discovered I had *accurately guessed it was Jupiter

inspired by that, my Dr. Who-infested evenings, and insomnia... I opened my Sky Map app last night while waiting for sleep. sometimes I imagine how different it would be living in a city... like San Francisco or New York. where having a car is a hardship; living spaces are smaller; one-way streets are everywhere.

then I see the stars.
what's SAN franCISco?? LOOK out there! it is fascinating. completely different. an endless amount of wonder and curiosity that goes beyond any unfamiliar street or losing-of-sleep. I roll over in bed to see what people on the other side of the world have above them.

Neptune, Mercury, the Sun... and a Capricornus that looks like Romeo doing yoga.

silly Romeo.

in other news...
...LED street lights will be installed in San Jose. they will NOT contribute more to light pollution (yay).
...luge. or as I like to call it, HOLY SHIT!!
...I KNEW Bob Costas had poop in his eye. I DON'T know that vodka will help with that...


"you dress terribly"

my coworker leaves fashion magazines on my desk when I am not around. I can take a hint.

so in an attempt to better my work appearance, I decided to pick 2 'looks' out of the magazines. after plucking apart my closet and wondering why I still have this 5-year-old-sleeves-are-slightly-too-short turtleneck... I THINK I found a few things.

likewise, after back-to-back skirt-wearing days, I rushed home to throw on my Levi's, grab a 6-pack of Marzen, and eat a pizza. (almost turned in to a girl there)

in other news...
...nylon. first produced for a toothbrush. then for women's legs. amazing how much more comfortable the toothbrush is.
...you know what is a bad idea? farting in a closet.


5'8, 210lbs, male with short hair, dark plaid long-sleeved button shirt


a feeling of dread rushed through me and I quickly made sure nothing fell out of my pockets. the mysterious guy that had just passed by me during my late night walk with Romeo had decided to turn around, walk back toward me, and get my attention.

after facing him, I scan his features, height, and clothes - I am going to be able to accurately describe this man if need-be.


Romeo gets this a lot and normally it is not a question that causes alarm. but in this case, it is dark. really dark. too dark for him to have any interest in the breed of my mutt that would require him to change direction and catch up to me.

How did you even see my dog? I asked him.
he did not answer.
He is Beagle Pug Chihuahua.

OH, BEAGLE CHIHUAHUA while watching Romeo pee on something.

No, Beagle PUG Chihuahua.


clearly he was not listening to me and this convinced me further that he did not care about what he was asking.


Actually he is almost 7.

OH REALLY. He bends down to let Rome smell him and I imagine myself punching him in the throat if he hurts him. Rome obliges, sniffs his hand, and looks at me for direction: bite? no bite?

Ok well, have a good one! I say. sweat has soaked through my clothes during that short exchange and I zip my jacket down a bit as I walk away from him and closer to street lights. turning my back to him was uncomfortable but moon-walking to the corner was a bit far.
glancing back to ensure I was not being followed I see he is still standing there. staring.

JUST WATCHING he shouted. I walked faster.

TIGHT LITTLE ASS! I walked much faster.

upon arriving home, every lock was locked, every blind was blinded, and I stared out my peep-hole for 20 minutes.

needless to say, I have changed my walking route.

in other news...
...Olympics start tonight! I am happy to have Polina Edmunds (figure skater) to root for... she is a sophomore at my high school, Archbishop Mitty. proud!!
...does anyone ELSE find it ironic to cast Robert de Niro in a role that calls for paralysis to half of the face?


how does that make you feel?

"my office moved" my doctor said as she escorted me through the halls.

upon entering it, I realize it looks exactly the same and that I might possibly be having an Inception moment.

"the windows are slightly bigger" she added. oh ok. (very slight)

her uncomfortably sanitary couch is my 'safe' place.
safe to say what I want; how I feel (no matter how stupid); that dumb thing I did last night that I do not understand. she does not judge or gasp; compare or look at me in a way that makes me feel wrong. instead she listens, prompts me to find answers to my own questions, remembers the names of people in my life, and laughs when I say something funny.

(I bet she has a lot of friends)

coincidentally, her waiting room could not be more opposite (I exaggerate. it could be more opposite).
it is a room shared with other doctors and is typically decorated with someone that is sobbing, someone that is talking too loud about personal stuff with a stranger (who is trying to get away), someone still in their pajamas, someone complaining loudly about the water cups being cone-shaped, someone deciding this is the best place to dump everything out of her purse and clean it. on the ground.

sigh. those stupid cups.

in other news...
...the big spider I smashed in my bedroom last week was more impressive than this year's Super Bowl. at least I did not dirty my shoe for it.
...being stressed, worried, not sleeping, and not eating is resulting in me doing dumb things to my boyfriend. or is it the other way around?
...how do you stop a Ruferee from throwing flags on the play?


putting out fires

"for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so"
Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2

the mind is a powerful (evil and wonderful) tool.

it can turn a prospective birthday party in to a mental breakdown.
it can make a catastrophic hospital visit, calm.

in 3 months, I turn 33 (I think). my mind writes my 'birthday party' story as such... I am turning old, living alone, with a sad dog, no kids, behind on everything that is 'normal', without any real quality to entice people to celebrate, anyone that does come does it out of sympathy.
I will cancel it the day before.

2 years ago I visited my uncle at the hospital. instructed to say my final goodbye, I stood next to him... with tears threatening, my mind took a photo of myself there - in that room at that very moment - and put it in a 'box'. I imagined that box getting smaller. further away. like zooming out in Google maps. that frantic emotion was contained and I was able to talk to him.
he improved and is still with us today.

both of those examples may make you question my sanity... but Mr. Shakespeare was right. thinking is what makes something good or bad.

consider me in training for the good side. I hope you join me... if you are not already there.

in other news...
...today smelled like rain. just smelled. (drought still happening)
..."your feelings result from the messages you give yourself. In fact, your thoughts often have much more to do with how you feel than what is actually happening in your life" - David D. Burns, M.D.
...I was slightly disappointed Romeo sold-out.


John wears pants

1. cleanliness
2. wrinkle-level
3. amount of dog hair

my criteria for dressing for work is not complicated. in fact, it takes me longer to squeeze in to a biking spandex outfit than it does for me to assemble a few pieces for my average work day.

(I think I just took a stab at my own fashion sense and put-togetherness. BURN... to myself.)

a close friend and co-worker of mine spends much more time fine-tuning his appearance and it always gives me a reason to trip in to his cube and see what's on the 'menu'. my admiration for his looks has made me more aware of my clothing purchases so that I can spend the same little time I normally take getting dressed, but look better (even if just by a fraction. or a dog hair).

in other news...
...there is no better way to get me biking-motivated than to tell me some lady stole my QUEEN OF THE MOUNTAIN ranking on Strava. you're going down woman!!!
...everyone else is feeling better, and I have now absorbed the sickness and resemblance of Smeagol
...3 bike rides and 1 triathlon are on the 2014 horizon thus far. mmm I smell sunscreen!