Joshua Tree: The Planning Continues

I’m going cross-eyed.

Why does it seem like it’s impossible to find the info I want on the internet? I should have taken that stupid class in college back in 1995 about how to search efficiently. Hitting my face on a stripper stage on Halloween doesn’t help with that crossed-eye thing either (yes, the stupidest things do happen to me, no lie).

Kids, heed my words. When you were told not to slap someone on the back of the head while their eyes were crossed because they might stay that way…I seriously think there’s something to that now. No joke.

Anyhoots, it’s looking like there will be multiple plans and I need to be okay with all of them. By okay, I mean that I won’t feel like I’m wussing out not matter which one gets implemented. Knowing your limits and actually using them is important. The desert is less forgiving than Colorado and there is little that can be done in the middle of nowhere with limited supplies. It doesn’t help that apparently there’s not a lot of info on biking TO the park. Just biking IN the park.

According to what is starting to look like Plan A, the route in to the park and back out again will be just over 150 miles total. From Palm Springs, to the southern entrance, to either the Ryan or White Tank Campground, up to Joshua Tree and down to Palm Springs, I’m in for quite the ride. That does not count the miles I will be biking to get to cool shit in the park. That is just the commute.

All you hardcore cyclists might be laughing at me. 150 miles? P’shaw! That’s nothing! I am not a hardcore cyclist and I will have the weight of camping gear too. As much as I might train before I go, it’s still going to be a challenge. The only consolation I have is my own determination and not being ashamed to go slow.

Plan B: to go the hardest way from Palm Springs up to the town of Joshua Tree. Forty miles up a very long steep hill. A hill with about 4000 feet of elevation.

Plan C: to take the bus from Palm Springs to Joshua Tree and then bike around and back down either the way I came or taking the southern route.

Plan D: if it’s too cold in the park(it could happen) then I’m biking my happy little ass to either San Diego or Los Angeles and becoming a beach bum. Which sounds awesome.

Plan E: change my flight and do Joshua Tree for a few days then meet up with the new bf in San Diego. Yes, I said it. Boyfriend. It kinda freaks me out but I’m calm all at the same time. That’s not the topic though.

The past week of negative weather in Colorado has definitely made me lazy and made it hard to be motivated to practice packing. Maybe 3 pairs of underroos? One skirt and capris? 2 pairs of socks? Winter jacket or just a crap ton of layers? It’s looking like the weather is going to be upper 70s and into the 90s but in the 50s at night. That’s going to be such a welcome change.

My roommate says she has a solar charger which will come in super handy. That means I can sing along as I bike! Woo hoo!!! Serious…it’s my favorite entertainment for long rides. My best friend from high school and I would sing songs when we walked to each other’s houses. It helped on those long dark stretches of road.

And I’m sure it’ll scare off any chupacabra.

The big question is: do I bring the violin?

Valentine’s Day and Realizing that You’re Still Broken

avalentines_day1I hate Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day seriously makes me wretch those little heart candies with messages like the girl from The Exorcist(sadly I do like eating them). Could I be a unicorn, spewing rainbows of hearts? Hmm…maybe I AM a unicorn!?!?

Anyhoots, back to the matter at hand. Who the hell thought it was a good idea to make one day about love/romance?!?? Personally, I would not mind if we went back to Lupercalia, the ancient Roman festival that was celebrated around the 13th-15th of February. Getting hit with a bloody goat pelt by a hot naked guy running past me sounds WAY more fun than most Valentine’s Day dates I’ve had. It seems that this singular day has always brought more disappointment than joy for me.

Which is why for quite a few years now, I do something totally non-romantic on that day. Last year, my friend Chris and I checked out the Mammoths and Mastodons exhibit at the nature and science museum. Most years I’m blessed with DeVotchKa having a show on that night, like this year. What better way to forget romance and love than to listen to songs with lyrics like this:

From You Love Me

Now there is an ocean of time
Between your life and mine
You look happy and you’re married I bet
And oh my Lord how you’ve grown
To find me still alone
I am humble
I’m still trying to forget

When you said you loved me
I thought you loved me

That song always gets me like a hole through the heart. Okay…so maybe that song isn’t the best example but it’s a damn good segue to realizing that I’m wonderfully still broken.

1264547548_3844_fullNo matter how much work I’ve done on myself, there’s always more. Broken hearts are the gifts that keep giving.
In my most recent inquiry into “why I can’t find Mr Right/what do I keep doing wrong”, I have become acutely aware that the break-up from May 2010 STILL haunts my subconscious and heart. Hooray…? Now what the heck do I do about it?

Let’s take the way-back machine to that time to set the stage:
We talked about having kids, buying a home, moving in together, career moves, big vacations…you know, the stuff that makes you think that this is it. You’ve found the love of your life and it’s going to be awesome with this person. He challenged me. I can say I’ve never been more scared than to be upside down in a kayak trying to get out for the first time ever. Yeah, I know, not so scary especially since we were in a pool, but for me that is HUGE. We woke up together, went about our day, and then came back to one another to dream beautiful dreams. There weren’t too many days where we didn’t see each other. He was all the cheesy stuff romantic people say about having a best friend and a lover. He was my favorite person to be with even when we were pissed at each other.

We started as friends. I fell in love with his cherubic face and how those beautiful blue eyes looked at me. 

Apparently I was so in love I didn’t see the signs. I figured he was just so super busy with work and stressed that he just didn’t have the energy for me. So I tried harder to accommodate him and his schedule until his work finally lightened up. It didn’t get better.

At the end of April 2010, while I’m getting ready to go to a conference I ask if we could talk more about moving in together. Both our leases were up in August and I wanted to know what we going to do. That’s when he dropped the bomb on me. He didn’t think he was ready for any of it. I was dumbfounded.

I cried for the whole month of May. I would wake up and cry while I was trying to get ready for work. Sometimes I would cry between clients. I would cry while eating my lunch. When I made it home for the evening, I would make dinner and cry more. Sometimes I would read a book or watch a movie so I could stop crying for a while. Then I’d crawl into bed and cry myself to sleep. Repeat for next 31 days. I cried a good portion of June too, but not as much on a daily basis. I was in shock and dehydrated.

Does that sound unreasonable? Does it hurt when your spouse dies? Is it worse to know that they’re still alive and they just don’t love you?

Looking back, I started to wonder why it tore me up so much. It wasn’t the first time love had gone awry for me.

It hit me yesterday. It was the real potential of a future. All the talk about what we might do or wanted to do together. In past relationships, there was never any talk about that. There was talk of vacation plans or whose parents house we were spending the holidays at but it all felt mundane. He and I would stop to look at houses walking back from brunch. I believed that we would do all the things we said. I really believed with all my heart he was my best friend and lover and we could do anything.

Which explains why I get pissy when a guy I’m dating doesn’t pull through with what he says he’s going to do. Or why I also get fidgety and nervous when he tries to get me to commit to an event more than 3 weeks out. Or how I seem to find the stupidest thing to nit-pick over so I don’t get attached. How about not letting him push me out of my box? Yeah, I end up just pushing back. Does it seem like we get along really well? I’ll figure out a way to sabotage it because having you be a lover and best friend is not going to happen. You get to have one but not both.

Because if you had both that means you could rip my heart out like he did.

It amazes me how much that has influenced every relationship since. I’m not sure how to un-program it from my brain. At least the awareness of that moment and those habits can help me recognize when I’m doing it so I can stop. Maybe unprogramming happens when a friendship turns into loving partnership again. Perhaps it’s the moment when I feel I can trust someone to honor my hopes and dreams.

And maybe someday my Nino will magically appear and we’ll live happily ever after…


Did I mention, he moved in with his girlfriend?

Of which, I’m happy he finally has made that jump but that nagging question hangs out in the way back of my mind with a meek little voice, “what’s wrong with me?” NOT that I want him back, oh no, but I think it’s a valid question to ask. Without asking questions, there’s no impetus to find answers, therefore no reason to grow as a soul having a human experience. The soul wants to love unconditionally. It’s being human that makes it a bit more complex.

Either way, this little gypsy is going to dance her little butt off at the DeVotchKa concert on February 14th. I’m going to sing with all the songs and forget that there’s a holiday about love. I’m going to forget that I’m a hopeful romantic for one day. And I’ll probably weep during one song which I’m allowed to do since I’ll be in a sea of couples.

Valentine’s Day can go bugger off.