Sunday, July 24, 2011

I Can't Drive

My first car was a 1991 Ford Escort LX that I named Mollie.  I purchased Mollie before I even had a license.  I didn't get my license until I was 18.  I wasn't in a super hurry to get a car or anything, but it got to a point where if I wanted to go anywhere, I had to do it myself.  I failed my driving test the first time.  I didn't even get to finish my test, I messed up so bad, the lady had me go back to the DMV.  The second time, I barely passed.  I think I had one more error I could make before failing again.

The first thing I did when I got my license was drive to my friend April's house in Mollie, rocking out to No Doubt's Tragic Kingdom.  Mollie gave me the freedom to come and go as I pleased.  I could go to friends' houses without having to take a bus or get a ride.  I could drive to and from work.  I could take care of myself.  One night I was driving on the 8 east in San Diego when my check engine light came on, the car turned off, and at 2 in the morning, was able to take an off ramp and park in a parking lot.  She wouldn't re-start.  I called Jody and he came and picked me up and dropped me off at home.  At 6am, the tow truck dropped Mollie off in front of my house.  I don't remember what exactly happened, but it would require a new engine.  I sold Mollie to one of Jody's co-worker's for $600 and he put a new engine in it for his daughter.  I was completely devastated.  I cried when they towed her away.  I didn't take care of her like I should have.  I was completely naive to oil changes and tune ups.  I hope where ever she ended up, she was taken care of.

My second car was a 1992 Pontiac Sunbird.  It was a white convertible.  I thought it was cute and I needed a car.  Almost immediately, I started having problems with her.  I didn't even name her.  She cost me so much stress and headache, I actually came to resent the car.  It was my fault for not shopping around and I know that.  I am such an impulse shopper.  You would think I would learn from my mistakes.  

My third car was a 1998 Plymouth Breeze.  She was gold and I named her Dorothy.  I made sure I took car of this car.  Made sure all my oil changes, tune ups, ect was taken care of.  She was a good car.  She was also a grandma car.  At least that's what most of my friends said.  But I didn't care, I felt safe in Dorothy and would rather feel safe then not.  I had Dorothy for five years.  As good as she was, her repairs were becoming more costly and soon becoming more than what she was worth.  So I traded her in for my current car, BoJangles, or, BoJo for short.

BoJo is a 2003 Blue PT Cruiser.  He was the first car I purchased without a parent co-signing and the first car I felt had a male personality.  I always wanted a PT Cruiser because it had an old car look to it.  Again, I made sure I kept up on maintenance and took good care of the BoJo.  I was smart enough to purchase a warranty for BoJo and thank the heavens I did.  Between sensor and CPU problems, Without the warranty, I would have had to put in $7k-$8k in repairs for him in the last year.  My warranty expired in April of this year.  Just in time for my transmission to start leaking, my CPU to crash, my sensors to give out.  I have been in Tucson for 28 days.  I have been to the mechanic seven times.  I  have paid $2k in repairs and I am getting to the point where I am ready to move on.  Part of me is extremely sad about that.  I love BoJo, but I don't have the funds to shell out $500 every three months.  Also, with the last break down, I don't know that I feel safe.  Even thought the Service Manager and the mechanic both have reassured me he is safe to drive.  

So I am thinking that after I pay off the debt I have accumulated from his repairs, I will be looking into getting a new car.  I think I want a Honda.  But I am not sure.  I have some time to think and consider.  I am also taking suggestions.  

I will say that I think BoJo is finally fixed.  Just in time for me to run a red light, which I swear was yellow, Getting my picture taken by the lovely red light camera, and barely miss hitting someone making a u-turn who obviously didn't look to see if more cars were coming.  From what I understand, Arizona law is you have to serve a person with a ticket in person.  That if they send it via mail, I am not obligated to pay it.  So, I will have to see if I even get one.  Apparently the camera also can tell if you were speeding.  Well, when I saw the light turn yellow, I stepped on the gas.  I don't know if I was speeding, but I may be ticketed  for speeding too.  Opps!  I am just so over cars and driving right now.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Two anniversaries have happened in the last week, week and a half.  On July 7th, Derek and I have been married for eight years.  Even though we spent the 7th year and the beginning of our 8th apart, we are both very excited what the rest of the year will bring us.  We have both done a lot of soul searching, a lot of growing up.  I think we are both kicking ourselves for wasting the last year.  But who knows what would have happened to us if we didn't experience it.  I think about it from time to time.  Would we still be married?  Would I be in Tucson? We will never know and there really is no reason to dwell on it.  As hard as the last year was for me, I am thankful for it.  I really am.

The second event, for lack of a better term, was on the 15th.  On July 15, 2010, I released the first Hello Nessa episode.  The show that I started for three reasons.  The first was I still wanted my foot planted in the podcasting community.  Second was I needed a place to vent my frustrations.  And third, I really had no idea who I was or wanted to be.  All I knew was I was lost, frustrated, and hurting.  As most of you can tell, I am an emotional girl.  I was so scared that me showing that side of myself would scare some of you off, or, like in elementary school, I would be teased relentlessly.  I was surprised, grateful, and humbled by the support and love I received from my listener pals.  I was able to connect with you, share your stories, be supportive.

I originally got into podcasting because the podcasters I interacted with took their time and made me feel like I belonged and made me feel like I was apart of something special.  I wanted to do that for others.  I wanted to interact with people everywhere and have them feel as important as the podcasters I loved made me feel.  I hope I have succeeded; even on a small scale.

As some of you know, I have been a podcaster for four years across three different shows.  It wasn't always fun, and lets face it, some of it was drama infested and almost ruined it for me.  But I was encouraged to keep going and my voice was important.  I am so very grateful for those who did and continue to encourage me, support me, and have shared their lives with me.

Donna Suggarz from Big Silly Homo asked me what was my favorite episode I did.  The first one that came to my mind was episode 15 called Ally.  I discussed my thoughts and feelings on the gay youth committing suicide.  Having one person contact me and say, "You made me think."  was worth it.  I have done 54 episodes over the last year and I am proud of every single one of them.  Each of them have given me an outlet to express my self.  They have given me an opportunity to grieve, an opportunity to celebrate, an opportunity to connect with my listener pals, and lastly, understand myself a little bit more.

As I tackle more subjects, I will be honest as I can with you.  As the bad parts are tackled, there will be more room for me to let in the good.  And as those good times happen, I will share them with me as long as you'll let me.  So, as I reflect on this journey to get to know myself, what have I learned...I  have learned:

Letting my guard down is so very hard
Sometimes you need to face the bad in your life to heal and to appreciate the good
I will eventually like myself

Am I perfect, no.  Will I be?  I hope not.  I am learning to embrace what makes me, me.  And I am finding that I am not so bad.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Between the Two

I had a hell of a time trying to come up with a topic for this week.  The more I thought about it, the more blocked I became.  And no fiber jokes, thank you very much.

So I took to the twitters and said I had pod-block.  Both Big Fatty and Virginia suggested that I talk about the differences between San Diego and Tucson.  Great idea that I should have totally thought about.

I think the first thing I really noticed between the two cities was the traffic lights.  In San Diego, the cars turning get the green light first.  In Tucson, the straight-a-way cars get first dibs, then the turning lanes get to go.  Keeping on the subject of cars; In San Diego, when you have to have an emissions test, you have to make an appointment, pay $60-$100 bucks (depending on the car) and the test takes 10-15 minutes.  In Tucson, you don't make an appointment, you can check online the wait times at the stations, the test costs $12.25 and took less than two minutes.  Then the DMV!  i don't know if I lucked out or what, but here in Arizona you don't make an appointment.  You get your number and wait.  I was called to the window before the lady had let go of the number.  I re-registered my car and had my new license plate in hand in 10 minutes. I got my picture taken and had my Arizona driver's license in hand and registered to vote in five.  California DMV?  Forget it.  You have to make an appointment to get a number to wait.  It takes forever, costs more, and they mail your plates and license to you.  It just seems like Arizona is more organized.  I was only out of the house for maybe an hour and a half with driving time.  I was amazed!

People seem more relaxed here in Tucson.  Like it's too damn hot to be stressed and angry.  And they're nicer than people you would run across in San Diego.  Like today, I was at the Safeway, or Vons Southwest, and a guy smiled and asked me how my day was going.  The other day, I went to a "Tucson Institution" called Eegees.  They do slushies and sammies and I told the cashier I had never been there.  She told me what was popular and what she liked.  She didn't sound like she was forced to do it.  She even pointed out a menu I could take home if I wanted.  When I rented a car, the agent pulled out a map and outlined where I was looking to go instead of selling me the GPS rental.  She also gave me her pen because it was purple and she could tell I liked purple.  I haven't met one person that was rude or indifferent.  Its bizarre.

As far as geography is concerned, Tucson is flat and surrounded by mountains.  Where I lived in San Diego, it was a valley, lots of hills, and windy roads and I would get lost all the time.  Everything here is pretty square and easy to navigate.  I haven't been lost once.  Makes me feel more confident about my move that I am not stuck in one spot because everything is hard to find.  Also...I don't have to get on a freeway or highway to get to the airport.  In San Diego it was the 125 to the 94 to the 5.  Tucson is heaven for a driver like me.

Mom and pop places seem to thrive out here too.  There are the McDonalds, the Chilis, the Pizza Huts.  But there are just as many family owned joints that are making it.  I love that.  San Diego...Not so much.

Big Fatty specifically asked about dust storms.  I have not witnessed one, but there was a "SEVERE WEATHER WARNING" for one that said when it starts, you pull over to the side of the road, turn off your car and lights and wait it out.  Heather in Phoenix told me that if you keep your lights on, someone may try to follow you and rear-end you.  I am sure I will be caught in one eventually, but so far so good.  Everyday that I have been here, there has been some sort of weather warning.  Between the heat and the monsoon storms, it's heat this, flash flood that.  But I am getting used to the heat and everything.  Today it was 90 and I felt like it was cooler.  Well granted 90 is cooler than 100, but I wasn't immediately sweating.

All in all, I would say that Tucson has a small town feeling to it.  I don't feel like everything is so smashed together.  I like the vibe of the city.  OH and people are fat here!  LOL!  I should say fat, a better description would be chubby.  At my old office, we had a ton of itty bitties and a couple chubbies.  In my new office, there are more chubby girls than the itty bittys.  Probably because its TOO DAMN HOT to go outside.  :)

I think that's a good place to stop.  I am digging my new home, I don't miss San Diego so much as I miss my sister and my friends.  But I am finding my nitch here.  I dig it.

I do not, however, love my upstairs neighbors.  I have decided they all weight 700 pounds and are doing Sweating to the Oldies work outs as noisy as they are.  JEBUS!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Five Hours and Fifty-Five Minutes

This is how long it took me to drive from Santee, CA to Tucson AZ.  Derek had worked things out with his job to come with me for a few days because I was overwhelmed.  The long drive and the thought of being alone kicked in and I was stressed out.  So at 4:00 am, Derek and I climbed into BoJo (the car) and set out on Highway 8 towards Yuma.  The animals behaved themselves wonderfully and the drive went off without a hitch.

This drive really had me freaked.  I had never driven further than Palm Springs, and half way home from that trip I was ready to die.  But I managed to keep calm and focused, even after 3 hours of sleep, and not get lost once!  It would actually be hard to get lost since it is one highway for 75% of the time.

We arrived at a Circle K gas station down the street from my new place at 9:55 am.  We stopped so I could pick up another 5 hour energy drink and Derek could get a doughnut.  I called my new place's leasing office and made my way down to sign everything and get the keys.

We got in and I set the litter box up and we unloaded the car of what little contents it had.  I drank what was probably my 10th bottle of water and laid on my new bedroom floor waiting for Todd (the work husband) and Chris (work husband's cousin in law) to arrive with the Uhaul.  They arrived at noon when it was 104 degrees.  I have found that when it is 110, 113 degrees, 104 is damn nice.  I never thought I would ever walk outside ant it be 100 degrees, I would think wow, it's nice out.

Todd, Chris, and Derek unloaded the Uhaul in record time, an hour tops.  I started unpacking, made the bed, found towels for the boys so they could shower.  Derek played Mario Kart while Todd and I joked about co-workers and laughed.  Then came the goodbye I didn't want to make.  I took Todd and Chris to the airport.  Over the last six years, I have considered Todd to be my best friend.  He was my work husband.  He made sure I was ok.  And here I was, hugging him good bye telling him that his next wife better not be a bitch.  I really hope that he and I keep in touch.  I love the kid.  He is a kind soul.  He's just a good man.  I miss seeing his mug already.

On Derek's last full day here in Tucson and my third day here, we decided that we would go to this 32,000 square foot antique place up the road and maybe find me a dresser.  We went to lunch and as I got back on the road, my battery light came on.  I said, what the fuck!  by the time I finished that sentence, my check engine and oil light came on and the car died.  I managed to get BoJo to the side and luckily there was a tree!  We waited for the tow truck to take us to my local Chrysler dealership.  The good news is, Bojo didn't break down on my way here.  The bad is it cost $1,300 to fix him.  The CPU that feeds the power to the car died.  I am so glad my new commute is less than one mile.

So I dropped Derek off at the airport on Wednesday and came home and slept.  The heat does take a lot out of you and plus I hadn't slept right due to the move, being in a new place, and dealing with Jazzmin who has decided that meowing at 4 in the morning is fun.  Early Thursday morning, I experienced my first monsoon storm.  Thunder, lightning, and rain that fell so hard, I thought it was hailing.  Eddie, a twitter pal and a Tucson resident, said I will learn to love them.  It just scared the shit out of me.  The thunder shook the house.

I went to work on Thursday and met my new co-workers.  It is a very small department right now.  And the building set up is so bizarre.  But I feel good about the people I am going to work with.  They seem to have my sense of humor and really made me feel welcome.  I don't regret my move at all.  I do miss Derek and my friends a ton, but I feel good about my choice.

I was supposed to start work on the third, but because of license issues, I can't start until Tuesday.  All this time off has me a little bored.  And with it being 113 yesterday, I don't feel like climbing into my car and heading out.  So I am learning how my direct TV works and playing Mario Kart.  Looking at different places on Yelp that I want to go to, waiting for it to be cool enough to take Maggie out to play.  Who knew 100 degrees would be cool enough.  It is currently 12:41 am as I write this and it is 92.  Ugh.  Everyone told me, it would be hot, but Christ on crutches!

So, while Derek was here we made it a point to visit different places while he was here.  I was surprised how open he was to try different things.  Instead of immediately shunning things, he gave it a try.  We ate at little mom and pop places and talked about us a lot.  It was really like how he and I were in the beginning.  We both have let so much of our anger and frustration go and found we really do have love and adoration for one another and both want to share that with each other.  I miss him terribly.  He is coming to visit at the end of the month.  Then he will move here at the end of August.  Just in time for our divorce to be final LOL!  But Derek has said he is going to ask me to marry him again.  I can't explain how I feel to know that Derek fought for me once and was willing to do it again.  I know he loves me and I am sad that I ever doubted that.  But whatever is out there has given us a second chance to be together.

My friends, a magical thing happens when two people find each other that normally wouldn't have.  If you know in your heart that what you feel is right and true, I say chase after it.  We all deserve to be happy and complete.  You never know where you will find the person who sparks that happiness inside you.  If could be in the produce department at Vons, It could be someone standing in line with you at the DMV, it could be someone you met on the internet.  I believe things happen for a reason and have purpose.  If you are lucky to recognize the chance presented to you, embrace it!  Even if the happiness is just for one week, one month, forever, embrace it.  This has been the lesson I have learned over the last few months and I share that with you my listener pals, my friends. - Samson, Regina Spektor (with lyrics)