Displaced Stay At Home Californian in rural N. Carolina

The Many Faces of Joy

The Many Faces of Joy

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


This week I have been homesick for the West Coast.  I have missed the moderate winter and the sun every day.  I have missed the mild weather and the ability to take kids to the park in February and not freeze.  I have missed my family and my friends.  I miss the general outlook of people who live on the West Coast and the melting pot of my friends there; French, Canadian, Belgian, Brazilian, Spanish, Mexican, Vietnamese, American, Chinese, Korean, Hmong, Iranian, and the list goes on.  I miss the early spring that doesn't seem possible unless you are from California and then it is taken for granted.  I miss the quality and quantity of Asian restaurants.  I miss walking down the street and hearing 10 different languages being spoken in the same block.  I miss walking my kids to school and walking back home with them after school.  I even miss the bicycle riding singing Chinese lady, warbling vibrato and all.

I spoke with someone at work today that was calling from San Francisco and I had a physical yearning to hear her talk about the traffic on Market Street and how difficult it was to find parking and navigate the traffic and how she would never do it again. I told her I understood because I was from there.  She could have cared less.

I was talking to a co-worker today and I was telling her about a wedding I am going to in October and how she should come with me because she has never been to California and all the fun we would have and she laughed and said, "you are such a California girl".  But she is right, I am a California girl.  And even though I live here now and there are so many good things about this place, I still so strongly miss the old place.  And while I don't miss it all the time when I do miss it, it hits me in the gut and sticks around and makes me wonder if we will ever find ourselves back there again.   I know they say you can never go back to the way things were but if we went back would it feel like starting over or would it feel like we had never left?  And if I went back there, would I miss this place, the new place?

I've live in a lot of places in my life, but I always made it back to the West Coast.  That was my center of gravity.  That was my home base.  I have a new home base now and it doesn't always feel like home base. . . . at least not this week.

Friday, February 6, 2015


I'm packing for a little get away - deciding which uncomfortable boots to bring and packing makeup that hasn't been opened since 2012 and so I turned on the television.  I hardy ever watch TV during the day but I never turn it on in the morning.  But I'm packing and drinking coffee so I decided to turn it on.

They had a segment on a popular television show with a doctor talking to 5 skinny ladies about their cholesterol.  They had done a blood test on each lady - and they revealed their good cholesterol and their bad cholesterol and they talked about how to increase exercise and eat better.  Two of the ladies were super defensive.

Anyway - the doctor doing all the bossing around had clearly had some work done on her face in the last 10 years or so.  And I had a realization - that I never really thought about a doctor getting work done - a face-lift or a rhinoplasty or a chin implant or even something as simple as botox.  

 Is there an age when the switch flips?  All of a sudden I will hate the way I look?  As I inch closer to my 50's I notice more and more woman around me having work done on their faces.  And yes, we can tell you have had work done.  I could care less what I look like, I really don't  And while I've never really cared, will there be a day soon that I really have the light shined on my face and I will want to have someone cut my hairline and pull my skin up and cut it off and then sew me up so I can spend a month wearing face-bandages and then 2 months of looking bruised and swollen to only turn 80 someday and have my throat and face look ridiculous?

But a doctor?  How can I take health advice and how to better myself by someone who is not happy with themselves?  Would you?

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

IBS for the working mom

As I write this, I realize that I'm 46 years old and I'm not sure if I'm lactose intolerant or if I suffer from irritable bowel but whatever the case, it was never something I had to focus on when I was a SAHM.  (for Joy acronyms refer to older blog posts please) But now that I share work space with other adults and I am relied upon to stay in my seat and not spend every 20 minutes running to the bathroom I think that this is something I need to get looked at.

When I lived in Portland I used to go every day to this block downtown where they had these amazing food carts.  I loved King Burrito and this Indian food cart.  I could only get my buddy Pat McDade to join me occasionally for a spicy biryani and spinach paneer or some daal with spicy chutney and samosas but every time I would indulge I would spend the whole next day paying the price.  And that was back when I had my own office.  

One day one of my supervisors who will remain nameless for obvious reasons walked into my office very early in the morning, that was my secret, coming in early to do work before everyone else came in, and she said, "it smells like Indian food in here, are you eating Indian food for breakfast?"  To which I replied, "I had Indian food yesterday".  She didn't bother coming back in my office for the rest of the day.