calling it sobriety would make me feel like an alcoholic
I should update more. But I have been writing almost everyday in my own personal computer journal so that counts for something. Maybe this is super obvious but it really is helping me out. Mainly I am able to recognize certain behavior patterns and now I can take steps to break them. And I have so far.

I decided to give up drinking for three months. I really hadn't been drinking very much anyways...the last time I actually got drunk was probably St. Pattys. But this is Asheville, Beer City, USA (it actually is, somehow we beat Portland) so I would have a beer or two every now and again. Recently, one of my girlfriends from work got a job with Google in San Francisco so I met her at the Vault for a goodbye beverage. I walked downtown from my house with Louie and we sat outside and talked for a while and I had one gin and tonic. On the way home I suddenly felt depressed. And it was something that was noticeably different from the walk up and it hit so suddenly that it started to stress me out. I was thinking i had pretty much everything under control. But it may have been a combination of feeling like I had to motivate myself to get a real job too and I was nowhere near doing that and and Louie was on his worst behavior ever which he sometimes does when we go to public places. But I could also feel the affects of the drink since I dont drink too much. And I had also had a beer at my house before meeting her. So I blamed it on that and decided to quit for 3 months.

It's been a little over one month so far. And I am really enjoying it actually. Im kind of surprised, I thought I would at the very least be bitter about not seeing friends out as much and being left out of drinking plans. But its actually been kinda great for me. I have gone out once, to a Beats Antique show and it was the most fun I've had in a while. And I didn't drink a drop. On my way to my car after the show my girlfriend called me up from a bar that is on my way home so i stopped there too. It was the usual dance party and she was too fixiated on picking up a random guy to flirt with to boost her self esteem after her nasty recent breakup so I sort of escaped to the dance floor. I had alot of fun dancing but then i felt like a bad friend so i went to find her and tried to have a heart to heart and give her words of encouragement and told her to take the opportunity of being single again to explore her own desires and hobbies but I think it kinda fell on deaf ears. And the guys friends were super douchbags ("if you're not drinking, you're not really 'out'") so I went home.

I never realized how much energy drinking and going out sucks out of me. I guess it has to do with being an introvert. I have to be extroverted at work and extroverted after that if I go out and it really does take a toll that I have never noticed before. So now I am writing alot more and reading some. I walk Louie alot. I have started a pretty big herb garden bc I have a sudden motivation to be less reliant on this corrupt corporate culture and want to learn how to make my own natural remedies and eventually my own soap, shampoos, lotions, and clothes. I am growing spearmint, chocolate mint, lemon verbena, cilantro, sweet marjoram, roman and german chamomile, creeping rosemary, and chives.

Also, I have enrolled in a GRE prep course thats around the corner at UNCA. Last night was the first class and I can already tell its going to suck. But it will be good for me I am going to study hard and try to score as high as i possibly can to see if its possible for me to qualify for any financial aid. I would definitely like to go to grad school but I just don't believe that its worth going into debt to do it. So if I don't get a lot of free and clear aid I won't go, and Im sure i'll be just fine. But its worth a shot. And the GRE is going to be completely changed and reformatted starting August 1. I feel like thats the most impressive motivation I've had lately. Its been three years since college and now I quit drinking and suddenly I am motivated to take the GRE? I think there's a definite connection there.

This is all my own personal experience of course. I think a lot of people can do the partying thing and still stay on top of their work but I am just not one of those. Between paying all my bills my rent and Louie's expenses I can really barely afford to be drinking anyways. So this break is good for my wallet. I'd love to have my own place but right now im in this house with 5 other roommates and ONE bathroom. But its a really nice setup and great backyard for Lou, a firepit, bamboo, a nice little community garden, pretty cool and easy to live with people and all I have to worry about is the flat $460 rent each month. So its wise to just stay here and try and save my money.

Also, I went to the doctor today for a colposcopy (which SUCKS) but on the bright side, I found out that I have lost ten pounds. Hooray.

I do need to stop reading so many economics articles on the higher education bubble though bc it is kinda killing my GRE prep motivation. Articles like this one:

But at the same time its definitely giving me the courage to shoot for all the financial aid I could possibly get and turn down the opportunity if its just not worth it.

Ok i'm going to be late to work. And its a double shift. And I hate Tuesday nights. But I hate being broke more, and I need to pay my mom back for the GRE class.

(no subject)
Sometimes I think it might be nice to live alone. For now, its almost not a choice just because it is cheaper to have roommates and less stress about bills......since that summer school session where I lived alone I had always told myself I didnt like living alone, but now I am thinking, I could do my yoga, go to work, read, write and practice music and not have to worry about interrupting someone else's daytime nap or date in the living room or whatever. I do love the spot im in now though, its so convenient and spacious it really doesnt feel like five people and two dogs (and two cats who have befriended the neighbors and have yet to make their appearance). Its nice. Life is nice. I like where I'm at right now. I could definitely improve but that'll probably always be the case.

I am also dating a new boy. He is nice and fun to hang out with. He seems alot more stable than those I've dated previously because he a) does not have a crazy ex-wife/ or a burning desire to go to rejoin the military and go to war b)does not live with his parents c)does not have a babymomma. So yay for that. And he looked really cute coming up my porch steps carrying that heart shaped box of chocolates and pralines. Its been like two or three weeks and its really nice that it happened. I had just been talking about how I wanted a totally fresh start with someone new, I was sick of dealing with all the complicated bullshit andI just cut the cord and was feeling pretty fabulous about it. Fabulous seems like a goofy word but I was feeling pretty damn good about things and now im dating again and I still am feeling good. Which is how it should be, relationships should not be tortuous mindgames. It should just be 'hey we like each other, lets hang out'.

I'm reading the Sun Also Rises and Im having a little trouble getting into it. Im about 100 pages in and Im still bored. Is it all just wealthy socialites hanging out and getting drunk and eating? Is everyone going to die or get pregnant or fall in love on page 120? Somethings gotta happen, they're about to go to Spain. I am just not in love with this book like i was in love with old man and the sea. But maybe bc that ones tied to my childhood a little bit, you always love what you liked when you were little.

I should walk Louie and practice that new tune while I've still got daylight.

(no subject)
I sat within a valley green
I sat me with my true love
My sad heart strove to choose between
The old love and the new love
The old for her, the new that made
Me think on Ireland dearly
While soft the wind blew down the glade
And shook the golden barley

Twas hard the woeful words to frame
To break the ties that bound us
But harder still to bear the shame
Of foreign chains around us
And so I said, "The mountain glen
I'll seek at morning early
And join the bold United Men
While soft winds shake the barley"

While sad I kissed away her tears
My fond arms 'round her flinging
The foeman's shot burst on our ears
From out the wildwood ringing
A bullet pierced my true love's side
In life's young spring so early
And on my breast in blood she died
While soft winds shook the barley

I bore her to some mountain stream
And many's the summer blossom
I placed with branches soft and green
About her gore-stained bosom
I wept and kissed her clay-cold corpse
Then rushed o'er vale and valley
My vengeance on the foe to wreak
While soft winds shook the barley

But blood for blood without remorse
I've taken at Oulart Hollow
And laid my true love's clay-cold corpse
Where I full soon may follow
As 'round her grave I wander drear
Noon, night and morning early
With breaking heart when e'er I hear
The wind that shakes the barley

A music lesson I was not prepared for ( due to lack of having a practice space) went surprisingly well. More came back then I thought, and I was able to pick up on new phrases pretty quickly. This new song that we started is called Johnson Boys and I am trying to figure out a way to upload it on here. If you google it, you get about a thousand different versions, since fiddle tunes are so particular to their region. Its all passed down teacher student, nothing formal. I am learning from a man who learned from an old mountain man who learned from another old man. I love that about it. I also love the way my teacher explains everything to me, its so much more than what fingers go where and bowing, he can break down the music theory in a way that anyone could understand. He said that most fiddle tunes are comprised of questions and answers and i thought YES. That is exactly what I think when I listen to music but I had never been able to put it in words. Then he told me I had a good ear and intuitive playing instincts and that all I really needed was, of course, to practice and I'd be on my way to playing. It was awesome.

After an oil change I went to two different music stores on the opposite sides of town in search of a mute to put on my strings so I could practice in my house without torturing my roommates. Both stores were a bust so I googled it on my phone and found a place in Fairview, called it, and the guy agreed to stay open for me (it was 4:45) and gave me directions. His place is tucked away far far far off the beaten path but I found it and I like it. He said he was on his way over to the Fiddlin' Pig for their Monday night jam session and then he let me look at the violins he was repairing and gave me a rubber mute for FREE. I insisted on paying but he said to remember him when my violin needed work. A small one inch circle of rubber and some kind words made my day. Im excited to practice, he just introduced bow-rocking and it is challenging. Definitely out of my comfort zone which is a good place to be.

julia sugarbaker
Listening to Beach House makes me nostalgic for last spring when I was seeing someone I really liked and everything was new, exciting and easy before it all fell apart. It makes me not want to listen to music with anyone I date ever again. Ridiculous and impossible.... I feel like all these bad dating experiences are turning me into a man hater. I keep wanting to board up parts of myself and Im getting so cynical towards the simpler sex. I gave pessimistic dating advice to Erica at work, who is excited about a new man. I was suspicious because he lives in New Orleans, and I suppose it recalls the whole Oregon/Bob debacle. "Iloveyoumovewithmeohbythewayihaveachildwithanotherwomanthatscoolright?" I felt like she was doing the same things I do in relationships and I wanted to say "Nooooo"... As a general principle, women are risk takers, not men. Men will rarely pick up their lives and leave their precious male comrades to start a life somewhere new in order to strengthen a relationship with a woman they love. What is it that they're offering us again? I forget. I should just be a supportive friend I guess. I'm a terrible liar though, I'll have to find a more creative angle to pull off this supportiveness. I just know that when you find a good guy its just ... easy. And so all this analytical chit chat can sometimes seem superfluous. Like if we have to think this much about it, we must be forcing something thats not even there.


As it turns out, Versailles is going to be transformed into a luxury hotel. Im not sure how I feel about that. On the one hand, I get the impression this will get it out of some kind of bind? Like they dont have enough money to keep up with repairs on the palace? And that this is part of a campaign in France to preserve itself. On the other hand, it feels like the commercialization of a cultural/historical monument. But I guess if the decision is between having a dilapidated shadow of a palace or milking rich fools for their money to keep it in shape then....sure. The french seem to be ok with it.

We are supposed to get alot of snow tomorrow. I'm guessing five inches or more. I'm semi stocked on groceries. I live close enough to walk and buy more if it came to it. The snow wont affect me too much, unless we lose power. I need to spend the day getting my room in order, it still looks like I just unloaded the last box from my car. I haven't done a damn thing. But tomorrow, no work and productivity will ensue. Amy is back from Mexico and promises to lend me her decorating advice, and I could def use that seeing as I severely lack the interior design girly gene. If life and decorating were like an episode of Designing Women, then I'd be golden, but apparently it takes a little more than sassy opinions. You have to care about throw pillows. Who really cares about throw pillows?

new house
I have a new house.Its walking distance from most things (big difference from living 20 minutes away in technically another town!).Its one of those big old fashioned asheville houses that you see around here, it even has the little slat on the door for your mail. It has hardwood floors, four other roommates, one other dog, and one cat. I like it.

It doesn't quite feel like home yet. I'm laying in bed surrounded by boxes and piles of possessions and Louie is still whiny about being in a new place. He is curled up right by the door and perks up everytime I roll over in bed. This is what he does when I take with me crashing at friends houses and I can tell he wants to go home. To be honest I wouldn't mind it too much either. Going home that is. Its funny though, I never felt too attached to that room until yesterday when I was cleaning and double checking all the drawers. I always loved the yellow walls and the sunlight was spilling in with a late day golden hue enhanced by the butter colored blinds. I finally had an appreciation for the fancy bedspread my landlady put in the room that I had stored in a closet and replaced with a much cheaper sturdier one since Louie's arrival.

Louie is standing at the end of my bed staring me down right at this moment. Now at the door. And me again. And the door.and me.

Moving sort feels like I've given the past year some closure. I'm sentimental and I tend to cling to the past. Maybe bc my future has always been uncertain. New continents, new towns, a new dad, new schools every four years, no dad, oh hello biological father out of the blue, divorced parents, college and a string ofjobs/travel.
Being here is the most grounded Ive felt in a place in a long time.Maybe bc I chose this place, not my family, or my jobs, or school. And I've been as self sufficient as possible. It was a hard adjustment at first and I had some lows like when I thought I was in love with my best friend and he broke my heart and then I totaled my car and landed my self in handcuffs with a dui to boot.and then an old flame from the past waltzed into town to woo me with promises of I don't even know what, but it involved love letters and an invitiation to live together in Oregon. Only to later confess he was having a child with another woman (who lives in nc..."running away"
Might not even be strong enough a phrase, and NO I do not want to be your accomplice, you incredible douche). I loathe that some of my strongest emotions in the past year are tied to men. Selfish, jerkish men at that. I should put that energy forth in my writing, my music and my yoga. It should be giddy excitement about new ideas, a great sentence,finally learning a song or mastering scorpion pose.
I feel like I've come out of it. I'm ok with being alone now, I've made friends with some amazing women (girlfriends! Finally!) and boys and I am getting back to my yoga, book, and music playing roots. I want to be reading the news for cool stories not checking my phone/facebook for some half hearted attempt to probably just get in my pants. I mean its FACEBOOK, come on! Why can't you just show up at my door with flowers if you really want to get to know me?? So unless you wanna kick it like 1932, i am not interested.

I walked out of work one night this past summer. I could feel the humid southern heat, usually an annoyance to me but this time it had the comfort of a blanket and I felt immensely proud of myself for having landed a dependable job, a nice place to live, and the ability to recognize gratitude for both. A successful move.

Ok Louie let's go to the dog park.

(no subject)
Have new computer/access to the internet again! It was a gift. I am super lucky.

I was so excited about family time/Christmas time this year. Thinking about moving to Oregon made me homesick in a way I never have been before. Just thinking about it. Only seeing them once or twice a year seems so hard to do. I never before realized just how attached I am I guess. In Colombian culture, it is typical for the daughters to live at home until marriage (even through college or first jobs). Yet in the American culture which I feel equally a part of and influenced by, Independence is so heavily valued and you are looked at strangely if you still live at home past 18. This cross country moving thing has sparked a cultural identity crisis. I feel like I have struck out on my own, by moving to Asheville by myself and sort of have the best of both worlds here being independent, yet close enough to see my mother and sister whenever I feel like it. And an hour away from my Grandparents if I ever reeeally needed help. And minutes away from friends close enough to consider family.

 I have an unfamiliar dread that rises up inside whenever somebody asks about the progress of the move. I don't really wanna go anymore! Awkward. I still fantasize about living there, like maybe woofing on a farm in the summertime. The landscape still pulls me as does Portland itself....but I feel like I question it so often that it's like I'm trying to convince myself to move there. If only UNCA had a better Grad Program. One measly Masters of Liberal Arts, and a handful of some offered as a satellite campus for WCU is slim pickings. If I didn't feel like I was missing out on scholastic opportunities in Portland, then I wouldn't feel so torn about the whole thing. 

Maybe the wise thing to do is just to stay put and work on my writing (really devote to it this time) and put out feelers for other avenues like study for the GRE and do job shadowing. I definitely have opportunities for those things which I have stupidly not taken advantage of. So, I should just integrate myself into the bookworm community here and chat it up with some public health folks at the hospital and just see. And if in 6 months or more I'm still flailing about in Asheville I'll put feelers out again for opportunities in Portland. In the meantime I should keep squirreling away cash. 
Boring entry, but Im pretty sure Im the only that reads it anyways.

Day One
Ugh, I hate that stupid picture of me laughing like an idiot but I tried to change it once already and dont care enough to figure it out right now. Not sure but i think my computer hates me. In order to get back in the habit of posting i think i shall start with this:
Today I ate some kind of Kashi cereal with Rice Milk. I usually hate to eat cold things in the mornings, but today was an exception (fascinating, i know!). hmm maybe just a list would be mo' betta

Kashi with Rice Milk
Leftover Hamburger Helper ( kind of sketched out by it and may or may not suffer food poisoning as a result. i'll find out for sure in 24 hours)
Baked Lays
1 Highland Oatmeal Porter

and dinner will probably be

Turkey sandwich with
pepper jack cheese
ninja porter mustard (the local brewers ninja porter transformed into yummy mustard that i picked up at the farmers market)

goat cheese coconut pineapple fudge (also from the farmers market and amazing despite the gross sounding combo)

Dont you remember you told me you loved me baby
You said you'd be coming back this way again, maybe
Baby Baby baby baby ohhhh baby
i love you

hello stranger
 It has been forever and a day since I last visited these old pages. I am too private of a person sometimes, I've been confiding in my compostion notebook journal.

So here I am and sooo much has changed. For starters I graduated from college in May 2008 and have been waiting tables and traveling since. No desire whatsoever to jump into a career and nobody has really pressured me to thanks to our current economic status. I am happy with my decision I got to go to France and South America but now I actually find myself wanting to be back in the classroom again. Mailed off applications to UNCA and Portland State University for their postbacc programs, portland state has the program I want, UNCA is my safety. UNCA has no grad school though so ultimately I may just be wasting my time taking a semester of classes here, I'm not sure. And there is a very very interesting to me Non-Profit Management Certificate at PSU that I could work on if I wanted to go ahead and move there and get a job and get settled. And also bc Bob has asked me to move in with him there. So wild the connection that we have, we aren't even officially "together" but now that he's moving across the country for grad school he's afraid he will lose me and so came the big question.

Whoo, I would rather, I would rather go blind, boy
Then to see you walk away from me child, no

Etta James says it with alot more sass and soul than I can. I am making Bob a bunch of CDs to ease the loneliness of a new city. At least until I get there (maybe? probably?). So far I've come up with what may be misconstrued as sad songs or love songs but I feel like they are just songs everyone should hear before they die:

Id Rather Go Blind  Etta James
Dont Let Me Be Misunderstood  Nina Simone
Sea of Love  The Tom Waits version
Moonlight Mile  Rolling Stones
Sinner Man  Nina Simone
Superstar  Sonic Youth
Crossroad Blues  Robert Johnson
Ive Been Loving You Too Long  Otis Redding
Wild is the Wind  Nina Simone
How Can You Mend a Broken Heart  Al Green
Love in Vain  Rolling Stones version
I'll Be Your Lover, Too  Van Morrison

...any other suggestions? im sure there are tons i am missing

I still have yet to really tell anyone mainly because I am waiting to hear from the schools, but its just occured to me that I should just go ahead and move in January and go for that certificate bc then i will have a good shot at establishing residency by the time school starts and my loans that I am going to take out wont be so tremendous. So maybe after Bob reaches Pcity and calls me and we talk about all this I will have more answers I still have alot of Portland questions but they're mainly for him "how much is the pet deposit" "what is my share of the rent/utilities" "january may not be the best time to make a cross country road trip/move especially with a furry sidekick ( who is at this moment asleep at my feet in some sort of dead bug position, HA!)".

Also, I have yet to break the news to Ben. I think Ben still thinks i'm waiting around for him. I think he thinks we are in some kind of fake relationship. I told him I wasnt and tried to explain certain feelings of regret I had for allowing our friendship to shift into this other much more complicated thing but he didnt quite understand. HE TOO also gave me the " i dont wanna lose you" speech about a week before i heard Bob's but as usual he has done zero to prove himself. Always only ready to make plans when it suits his own selfish schedule, rarely considering my own, but I am not even mad, he as always been like this, why did I expect him to change? I have been here in Asheville for almost a year now, you've had plenty of chances. And now I just dont have those feelings for him anymore despite the constant platonic love I will always have for him because he is my friend.

Bob stepped up and said all those things I always thought existed between us and then he took it and extra step and totally MANNED UP and put himself out there. To be fair though I dont think I could have seriously considered making the move if it wasnt such good timing in my life and i wasn't already applying to schools again AND if PSU didnt have such awesome programs AND the schools i applied to in NC didnt  lack the things I was looking for. So as crazy as it all feels, it also feels right. I have a deep connection with Bob (after five years i stillll cant get over the name though, haha) but it is not an infatuation. I do not feel like some lovesick puppy following a man around. It just feels solid and makes sense and sometimes he takes the words right out of my brain and says what I am thinking. It is just so important when you can really talk to someone and truly exchange ideas and reach new places in thought or just feel that commonality in another human being. It is hopeful. I feel like he is very smart and just as independent as I am and I think I can live with that. I wouldn't want someone clingy or that I couldn't learn alot from. This may be totally boring to someone new to the situation  so sorry.

Anyways he is going to fucking love these cds, im sure of it.

over break...
Has been a very very nice break so far. Let's see...I got in Wednesday night, (WOULD'VE been early afternoon but I'll explain that some other time) almost no traffic which was awesome. No one was home yet so I made some dinner, then everyone came bearing beautiful gifts of beer. After two Killians I passed out on the couch and woke up to everyone leaving the next morning. Then I went book shopping and bought these:

The Poisonwood Bible  Barbara Kingsolver
Cold Mountain  Charles Frazier
The War of the Worlds H.G. Wells
Jarhead  Anthony Swofford
A Fine Balance Rohinton Mistry
Medea and Other Plays  Euripides
Webster's Pocket Medical & First Aid Dictionary

Then I went to the library and checked out The Sound & the Fury and As I Lay Dying and some movies: Rushmore and Maborosi. That night we went to the airport to pick up Mikey. We saw Jeff Gordon and took pictures with him and let me tell you that guy looks waaay taller on television. 

Saturday night was the Christmas party at my Tia Betty's house. Once again free beer and food. Kiinda got drunk so I cut myself off and we left around 6:30 and went to Wal-Mart to pick up some snacks then went to the movies to see The Pursuit of Happyness. And I didn't misspell happiness, that's just the title of the movie, you'll get if you go see it and it is a GOOD movie, so I recommend you do. 

Sunday night was the Christmas party at my Tia Cecy's clubhouse. It was cool they just moved and its kind of right outside downtown on the southside and the clubhouse is on the rooftop of a the parking deck next to their new building they just moved into. I mixed a Gin & Tonic and discovered a mixed a drink I actually didn't like. Bleck. Shoulda stuck with the wine spritzers. I guess I should explain these rounds of Christmas parties my family does. It's called the Novena and its a Spanish thing were we get together at different people's houses about three of four different nights before Christmas and say these traditional spanish prayers. We also sing. The last party is Christmas Eve and it lasts until midnight when we put Jesus in the manger and open presents. 

I have been surprisingly busy, it seems like the days are just flying by. I've visited with lots of the family, watched movies and kinda started reading Diary of Anne Frank (which, amazingly, I have never read) and I also need to put together my mom 's Christmas present, get and wrap everyone else's and also practice piano. I was going to work over break, but this semester sucked balls so I figured, fuck it. I am just going to do exactly what I want to do for an entire month.


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