Wow! It’s December already, which means it’s time to pause and look back on what I’ve been up to.
January 2014 found me three months into a new job, as a 24-7 on-call private assistant to a CEO and his family. So, needless to say, I didn’t have much of a personal life to start off 2014!
I was blessed to be roommates with a wonderful retired couple who let me into their home. The man of the house was the most energetic 60-year old I have ever met, a caretaker for his 73-year-old wife with dementia, and loved to cook down-home meals and share with everyone. (I would put on nearly 30 pounds in 2014!)
My love life was on-hold to start the year. I had moved into a place where no visitors were allowed overnight, so I had a lot of time at home with my cat and my housemates. I went out with a couple old flames, but for the most part I stayed home. Due to my unpredictable work schedule, my outings in 2014 were almost always spontaneous. My default attendance button for Facebook events was “MAYBE”.
But on January 17th, I had the best stroke of luck in my life. I found myself at home at 8:00pm on a Friday, and reasoned that I might be able to go into the City for a few hours without getting called out on an errand. So I looked for some event to attend, and after researching probably 20 minutes, settled on a band I had never heard of called “Painted Palms,” who was performing at a favorite venue of mine, the Rickshaw Stop, for a hometown album release party. Their music seemed very “San Francisco”: a bit 60s psychedelic, indie, trippy, so I reasoned I had a good chance of having a fun time.
Since it was so last-minute, I made sure to arrive early to get a ticket. When I got there, there were a handful of people outside. I decided to get in line, and I was the third person in line, behind a pair of guys that seemed friendly enough. We began chatting “Have you heard this band before?” and it turned out one of them, a tall lean guy with curly long hair, knew the band members. His friend, a clean-cut looking guy in a pullover, asked me, “Did you come here by yourself?” I said yes. “That’s awesome!” he replied, I thought a little overenthusiastically, but I could tell he was sincerely impressed through his veil of tipsiness. It had become no big deal for me to go out by myself. It was actually more common than the other way around. I particularly didn’t like going to concerts with other people, because in the past I had missed opening acts, etc. due to the group not getting it together on time. I was happy to be there early, and waiting in line for a show I truly was interested in seeing.
I got a ticket and walked into the mostly empty venue, bought myself a drink, and started checking out the light show, the DJ, and the upstairs area. There were more people pouring in. A couple sat next to me on a sofa upstairs, and I remember feeling quite alone, but determined to have a good time anyway. As I went back downstairs, the music started getting very good, and I started dancing and twirling around by myself. As the first band came onstage, I found a good place to stand a few rows back. The enthusiastic guy found me at some point, and offered to get me another drink. The bands were FANTASTIC. I was entranced and swaying/dancing side-to-side the entire time. Enthusiastic guy danced behind me, and at times, right along with me, and impressed me with his ability to follow my rhythms perfectly. Not too close or too hands-on, changing when I changed rhythms. No guy had ever danced with me like that before. He had my attention.
He never let me have an empty cup, and by the end of the night I was extremely drunk and totally blissed out. The music, the dancing, the libations, the crowd, everything was perfect, and just what I had needed that night. He kissed me, and we made plans to go out in the Mission with his friends to finish the evening out. I stopped drinking, we closed down the bars, and made out for what felt like an hour in the cool air of Valencia street, outside a pizza shop. Having sobered up after a few hours, I drove everyone home and played DJ in the car. Enthusiastic guy sang along with me in the front seat when some obscure Eminem lyrics came on. His friend gave us a raised eyebrow look from the backseat. I knew I had found someone special.
It turned out that enthusiastic guy (Ramon) had been in town just for the weekend, visiting a friend of his from college (they had graduated from Cal Berkeley). I wanted to see him again so asked if he’d like to meet up again on Sunday evening. I joined him and his friend for another concert (a San Diego band, Pinback, that I enjoyed also, at a venue I had been meaning to check out in North Beach). We spent the evening together getting to know each other some more, and I promised to visit him in Orange County, which I did at my earliest opportunity.
He wooed me like a proper gentleman, taking me to comedy and dinner shows, walks at night along the beach, even picking me up from the airport with a rose and rose petals all over the passenger side. We watched movies together and had long talks about our lives, our hopes, dreams, and struggles. We fell in love.
In May, my dear friend Ruby decided to celebrate her birthday in NYC. This was just the excuse I needed to visit a city that had been on my to-do list for many years. I arrived a few days before the group and took myself to see all the sights. I stayed in Queens and took the train into the city every day. I saw museums, the Empire State Building, Central Park, the Statue of Liberty, 9-11 memorial, comedy shows, and much, much more, and ate a ton of pizza and cheesecake. I walked so many miles that I was literally dragging my feet and legs the last couple days of the trip!
I went to Tijuana for the first time with Ramon and his mother. We ate amazingly delicious tacos, a fresh tortilla straight from the grill/oven, and lots of sweets.
I took Ramon on a trip to Idaho to meet my parents, and attend my cousin Jennifer’s wedding.
My kitty started coughing and foaming at the mouth. I took her to the vet and they tried to flush her kidneys, which had shut down. I brought her home for one last night, and stayed up with her all night in the living room on the floor, by the fireplace. She was so brave and sweet. We had a vet come to put her to sleep in the living room, and he was very patient and kind during the whole process. I want to thank the veterinarians and kind doctor for their support during this very difficult, nightmare-ish 48 hour ordeal.
I was burnt out from working every day, and from the death of my cat, so I decided to take a month off of work to recover with my boyfriend in Long Beach.