When you know with certainty there are people who will always have your back in rooms you’re not physically in.
Swapping photos of flirty handwritten notes. 
Releasing our first emerged monarch butterflies with my girls on a stunner of a day. I’m so glad they waited to hatch for when they were here because it was so special. 3 more emerged today! That makes 5 8 total so far!
Inside Out 2 movie & In-N-Out date with R and our mutual gush over the same Disney trailers.
Homemade hot fudge sundaes.
Driving home at night, her recording the Sea World fireworks as “just like honey” plays in the car.
Scoring a killer deal on good skincare. I am such a ho for a good sale.
Being referred to as a “demon with the face of a pretty girl”.
Crispy cross breezes on sunny days.
You have never truly lived until you’ve cried in front of THE original piece of art you’ve always loved in a museum.
Gratitude for our San Diego roots. Yes it’s expensive and also very worth working to be able to keep calling her Home. We are really lucky. 
“I missed your driving”.
Summer sunsets. Jacaranda blooms. Trees filled with red-headed conure giving me Barcelona flashbacks.
His audible delight in my ears.
When your therapist has nothing but good things to say about your growth and progress.
Farmers market flowers, Vietnamese coffee and oversized samosas. Mmmm.
When Dad calls to gossip.
An unlikely butterfly alliance with an 80-something handyman.
Laughing with chosen family/friends who I’ve known for more than half my life – the fact that I share quality longevity with anyone is an immeasurable fortune.
My summer playlist
When an overdue haircut and color touch-up align on the same day and the results make you feel like several Benjamins.
Compliments from random women. Lady compliments just *hit*
The excitement in early Halloween merch drops
A hometown gig for Blink-182 + Pierce The Veil at Petco Park with my girl – who got to check off another of her favorite bands off her list. Her excitement + our subsequent mariachi gritos + a really great firework and pyro filled show in the San Diego skyline = magic. I will never tire of doing these kinds of thing with her. 

 

A steadfast embrace in an airport terminal. Happy is the moment that she comes home. I love my solitude mind you, but our home and space just isn’t the same without her wild and laughter echoing in the walls. The image of our puzzle is only good enough when all its parts are there. Welcome home, baby. It matters where you are. Looking forward to our Invincible Summer.

 

Spring came and went and here we are, Summer. the fuq. The cobwebs on this space need some dusting. I made the best of Spring, truly. She was a flurry of florals, friends and filling the cup with a little more social than I am used to but that cup was pretty empty and let’s just say I filled it with gold. 24kt. Spring in a nutshell…

Scoring really cute bunnies and stationery at the consignment store.
Hockey Emo Nite with R & Mai which was SO much fun even if the home team lost.
An extended visit from my boy B and much needed catch-up and quality time over food, lowriders, coffee, scoring on Record Store Day and those chill convos on the stoop of the house.
Neighborhood walks clad with blooms + free lemons.
A total solar eclipse that happened to have the first point of continent landfall in Mazatlan.
One of my best and favorite ghoulfriends moved to San Diego and is <10 min away.
Stepping out of the shell for a group show and my piece getting snatched up quick.
Art Alive! exhibit at Balboa Park + squirrel feeding.
Getting to see a Space-X launch.
Celebrated a Delicious Devil’s birthday with long distance treats.

Amenra at Brick. Obsessed with how good they are. Utterly visceral and getting to talk to Colin at the merch table? *swoon*
Spending time with R & Mai at home, Mario Karting, enjoying lady house.
A pretty emotionally challenging Mother’s Day – It just isn’t the same when you’re part of The Dead Parent’s Club.
Peony season and putting together one of my prettiest arrangements to date.
Sips and snacks with Frank at The Lafayette.
Deftones Couchella.
A scary ER visit for the girl – thankfully handled. Allergic reactions are scary.
International movie date day.
Emotionally unpacking.
A clear bill of health. These are the negatives I want and look forward to.
R wrapped up Junior year. I can’t even with this child turning 18 and being a Senior in High School soon.
My Tillie and fam moved out and I am just not having it. They were some of the best people I have ever lived next to. So many tears.

R took off to Boston and I got a quickie weekend visit in Portland to see the besties. It was a glorious weekend that felt like I brought California sunshine with me. (I did). It was tons of chill time, catch up, hugs, tears, laughs, great coffee + food like PDX always does, a very rare tiki drink night (for me) and getting to meet new faces I only knew online and it was all so. fucking. good. – eternally grateful for the gifted ticket so I can come up and have this long overdue visit and while it was short-lived it was maximized and beautiful. I have over 25+ years of friendship/family with these lovelies and man, I do not take them for granted one bit. We are so lucky. I don’t know how I do it sometimes, when pieces of my heart are scattered all over the globe like this but I just count my blessings that I am surrounded and loved by some utterly brilliant people – even if from afar. A perfect ending to Spring. I could have done without the nasty AF cold I got when I returned, not the souvenir I had in mind but the one something I brought back encapsulates how I feel about a lot of things as of late.

Summer so far has started off with a much needed break for me to unwind and have some quiet time at home. It has been a lot of sleeping, cat cuddling, trash tv, tending to put off things or nothing at all. And it has been gloriously welcome. And somehow, I am now mothering monarch caterpillars and helping them make it to butterfly stage? Taking care of life is just a fulfilling thing that I didn’t know I needed.

Note to self: clean cat hair off the scanner bed next time.

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As much as it guts me to think there was ever a version of me like that, it also makes me grateful as fuck to know that not only have I survived it, I also persevered. That terrified and broken version of me that frantically scrawled in that illegible metaphor, still found some form of will to say, “I deserve better”.

At the end of the day, despite what anyone says, everything is a choice: Action, inaction, avoidance, reaction, response, showing up or walking away. All choices. I certainly make and own mine and it is a lot more peaceful on this openly flowing side, that spaces out more freely. There comes a moment where an act of surrender is the bravest choice of all. People celebrate anniversaries for joyous and momentous occasions – despite the ache, tears and blood, this is just as much one of mine.

 

2024 started off with a storm and fog of heavy hits:

Gomez ended up at the hospital twice – he’s doing better but definitely starting to show his age and I cannot even fathom what I am going to do when his time comes…. so I am savoring all of his cuddles and wants as much as I can. Grateful I was able to get him on some insurance before all this happens because the veterinary wallet impalement is on a whole new level of ouch. Getting really sick in the middle of all of that – it has been raining so much and as much as I am lucky to live in CA where it isn’t as cold, the “winter” season just does a number on me in so many ways. I am beyond over it. Being sick while dealing with several major crisis and little to no support is just… a lot.

This 28th of February would have been Mom’s 80th birthday. It was the first since she passed away and it came with its set of feelings. I put out some roses and lit a candle for her small vessel of ashes. I know “she” left us far before her actual body did, but something about this one just made it more… final. Truth is I haven’t really even had the time and space to grieve her properly. How can I? Breaks and quiet time are a rarity and when I have had so many large hits all at once? Makes sense why my body just broke down with illness. I sometimes wonder what she would think of me and the direction my life took. Or how she would absolutely love R and the beauty she’s growing into. I know it’s life and all that, but I can’t also help but think of the unfairness of it all. She deserved better.

Took Reza to see ††† for her first time. I can’t even begin to explain the joy of sharing a mutual love for all things Chino with her and while we could have done without the ridiculously long trek to Hollywood, some things are just worth the time and effort. Being out en masse is such a weird thing these days, but getting to see a couple shows the past couple of weeks and getting to feel some bass in my insides was so medicinal. The eye candy of beautiful people was none too shabby either.

I recently started Postcrossing again. Figured I would put that stack of unused postcards to some good use. There is just something in the tangible and handwritten that cannot be rivaled, no matter how hard digital media tries. Emails don’t carry scent, touch, whispered secrets or dried tears. Last month I received one of the most thoughtful Valentine’s Day somethings ever. When someone speaks your level of “attention to detail” language, when the effort is there, it just hits in ways that no amount of pricy gifts or over the top gestures can match. He just gets me. It only makes me miss him so much more.

This longing for Spring is borderline lascivious. I am beyond ready for time to jump ahead, for longer and warmer days. I am compiling a list of things I would like to do in sunnier times. I have to give myself some things to look forward to: nature, things, people… and perhaps travel once more. 4 years ago was the day the world got shut down. Sometimes it is hard to fathom or wrap my head around that it even happened in the first place. It’s an odd dichotomy because there is so much I missed out on. On the same token, had it not happened, I probably would have made so many colossal mistakes while flailing around with an unhealed heart. It gifted me some beautiful connections and even if it was an option, I can’t say I would take it all back if I could. Time is running at a faster pace and none of us have the luxury of squandering it. Not anymore.

Needless to say there has been a lot of introspection as of late. Looking back, looking forward, scouring over things I wrote in my former years, melancholia fueled with reminiscent undertones. I don’t look at myself with the same level of guilt and shame that I used to. Old me was messy, had no boundaries and was treated a lot more poorly than I care to admit. By myself and others. The current version of me is so much more agreeable. Perhaps it’s because while I am always going to remain impulsive, I am also a lot more calculated and methodical in my way of being and response. Such is the journey toward one’s self and always being in a constant state of working, doing, evolving and always striving to be better and surrounding myself with those who carry their hearts with empathy, gentleness, gratitude and appreciation.

It hasn’t come without some glimmers of lovely:

A visit from Brent that couldn’t have come at a better time – He is just effortless and soul healing to be around. And another one around the corner.
A night out for Chelsea Wolfe with Dawne.
So many wonderful sunsets and cloud photos.
When you get a much needed hair cut that makes you feel like a million Benjamins.
Nerding out with Dad about Dune.
When the light at the end of the tunnel gets a little brighter.
Swapping handwritten notes of missing with Him.
Adulting and productive whatnot that always feels good to handle.
Letting it go.
Lucifer finally came out of his 3 month brumation and ate. 3 months of hunger strike was making us nervous!
The spider that has taken up residence under my art desk.
Deleting people off my phone and socials. I am all about noise reduction and getting rid of phony sense of connection, way too many memes and therapy pages. As much as I am all about growth and learning, there is such thing as too much therapy content and toxic positivity. I’m all about seeking peace these days and some ways are best traveled in opposing directions.
Scoring tix to Amenra – an absolute necessity. (I love when rare bands grace San Diego in really small spaces and down the street even better!)
Scratching a hard craving itch. Horchata I love you so.
Sold some work that I had floating around for a while and my newest piece was adopted. Quickly. It always flatters me to move the work and having a couple shows on the calendar in the months to come. Art-ing again within itself – it fills the cup and every bit helps cause Rx cat food and those vet hospital visits were not cheap!
Chai tea with coconut milk
My neighbor Tillie. What a godsend of a human to live next to.
The way He says “how dare you Ms. Garcia!”. I dare. And for him? Often. What can I say, I am a sucker for a British accent.

 

a lifted lid
a trove of treasure beneath me
flashes to carved blue skies
a face pressed into a Cure t-shirt
firmly gripped velvet
colored glass stained lips
the sea and unspoken prose
a cathedral bell score
for our white sheeted heaven
intoxicated by
the scent of crushed violets
the taste of salt
all over
again

 
some of my fav images from 23′

Traveled/Visited: Tucson to see Ginny, Saguaro National Park, Mazatlan with my family + R, Barcelona with my Devil. (again! *swoon*)
Shows: The Cure, The 1975
Bucket list ✔️: La Sagrada Familia

Music / 2023 Albums/Releases:
Sleep Token – Take Me Back To Eden
Labrinth – Ends and Begins
Full Of Hell/Nothing – When No Birds Sang
blink 182 – One More Time
Truth be told, there is just so much damn music in my life. It is a constant of new, old, every genre in the book. And the best part is R sharing in it with me and in some cases, corrupting me with her taste which is always welcome. She got me on some good shit this year. I made a playlist of some of this year’s bangers and they absolutely do not go together but ask me how much I care. I am all about being broad. You can listen to that nonsense here

Favorite Scents:
Chiffon by Solstice Scents
Caramel Oud and Lemon Tart, both by Theodore Kalotinis
Firecracker Pop by Bath & Bodyworks (cause everyone needs a cheapy body spray)
Qaed Al Fursan by Lattafa
Lord of Misrule by LUSH
Stroopwafel by Scent Trunk

Notable Good Moments: 
Road tripping desert adventures with Ginny and seeing the saguaros!
Barbie movie in corpse paint with R
A very overdue visit from Stephen
Taking R to her first Cure show and getting to share it with Brent.
Every. Single. Sinful. Delicious. Thing. About Our trip to Barcelona – I fucking adore Spain.
Hotpot Friendsgiving with the Chicago coven
R turned 17, Lucifer 2, Gomez & Judas 12,  me 49. (the last year of my 40’s. whoa)
A nice dent in debt reduction that was a heavy burden
Listening to R singing in the shower, laughing from the confines of her room and taking her shopping to the Affliction warehouse sale – seeing her smile and be excited will always make my day.

The Hard Stuff: 
Ending a connection – while for the right reasons, still hurt.
Mom making her transition into another realm and ending her battle with Alzheimers
Witnessing the corpse roadkill on the freeway – that is something I won’t soon forget
Almost losing Gomez and the vet bill damage to save him.
Parting ways with “friendships”. It’s a good thing – but going through it and seeing how little people value loyalty and transparency is disappointing to say the very least.
Arriving to the realization that I have trauma that I need to work through, still. Sure, there has been vast improvement but you don’t realize just how deep things like gaslighting and betrayal permeate and seep into things until someone inadvertently walks into your field of land mines. At the very least there is still so much more awareness and accountability for my part – makes navigation a lot smoother.

****
2023 was the year of reconnection. While all were short-lived in duration, I got to see so many of my absolute favorite humans who happen to live far. My sisters all at once along with our Dad, some of my besties, most of the Chicago-coven and my British star. The privilege doesn’t escape me, especially in this day and age where safety, time, health, life, finances are tougher to line up for many. I hope it maintains trajectory because I really needed it this year. I went through one of the most painful things someone can endure and then we went straight into the pandemic so I had to sit with a lot of things, on my own in so many ways. And then my mom died. The fact that so many beautiful reunions came to fruition only makes me prioritize those connections even more – especially with those who value me, my time and are filled with ease & wonder. Life is entirely way too short to surround myself with those who don’t provide selfless care, safety and love. And my circle is fucking MEDICINAL. More, please.


As is with many of my new traditions, I drew my one tarot card for the year: Strength. She got chased by The Sun, The Lovers and the VI of wands. All a wonderful indicator of what is to come. I find it rather fitting and no coincidence that R pulled the exact same one on her deck.

2024? Not sure what I want from her just yet – I know I need to elevate my game in many places – especially career-wi$e, my art, my health. But also know that there’s solace in a place where I can find acceptance in being content where I already am. With who I am. With what I do have. Sure, there is always room for change but I treat it as evolution and growth, not this whole “new year new me” nonsense people like to sign up for.

This foundation, at my core is already solid and the experiences I have endured, good and bad, have brought me to this very moment. I like quite a bit of me – I lean into kindness and honesty and it is because of my experiences and hardships, I know when I see good, when to pick out a phony with greater ease and why I love and protect with the viciousness that I do. One thing I do know: It will be a lot less talking and a lot more doing. Showing the fuck up for myself, for my brilliant daughter and those who are worthy of me, my sanctity and grace.

Consistently. Ferociously.

 

Last year I said “best birthday ever”. Sometimes I have to be careful about the things I say because I just may one-up myself and wouldn’t you know, I sure as fuck did.

One of my besties was kind enough to come stay with R so I could have a handful of days away. When you’re armed with co-conspirators who know how special and deserving this is, paired with the fortune, privilege and sheer will to make something happen, on the morning of my 49th birthday I woke up in a nest of white linen in Barcelona. Wide eyed, fingers in my hair, church bells ringing in the skies.

Truth be told, I could have gone somewhere else but I fell in love with this city so hard and there isn’t enough time to see and do it all – especially when you’re very distracted by such beautiful company. I needed seconds. And thirds.

This time we…

Touched the Mediterranean and collected rocks and sea glass on her shores
Bathed in sunset light and marveled inside La Sagrada Familia. A stained glass and stone masterpiece that photos will never do justice of.
Rode cable cars over the harbor up to a Spanish Castle
Drank sangria and laughed in a bar from 1820 that once housed the likes of Picasso for my birthday
Wandered around a flea market looking for treasures
Shared: delicious food, walks, glances, firsts, words, alleys, art, music, hearts, souls, sin, bubble baths, vulnerable exchanges, wonder and breaths in/on/up against cathedral walls
Laughed, connected, soaked, touched, talked, slept, worshipped, wondered, marveled, imbibed, cried and sighed… with this absolutely magnificent city as our stage.

Such are the moments where the arrivals are brimming with excitement and anticipation. Reunions like no time went by and goodbyes that are a haunting and heartbreaking lullaby. They feel like that moment you put on a song because you already know it is going to reach right into your ribcage and hurt you so good. And then the time to part ways arrives and you feel like a piece of you goes to another part of the world while you take your salt clad lips home. It is all rather poetic in its own, very special way ~ and definitely not for the weak. But I see it this way, I would rather have fleeting moments of exceptional than a lifetime of average. It treats me well. So well I don’t know how to take it in at times and all I can do is brim with tears because I have never felt peace and care like this. Who knew it took a pandemic, hardship and flying half way across the world to collect some of these pieces of myself again. I knew it was going to be good but what I didn’t expect was that this would be even better than before.

And this is what it was… Another monumental set of beautifully effortless memories. Another perfect, Spanish Autumn. A standing ovation.

encore.

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Spooky season magic

Celebrated my babe’s 17th birthday on Friday the 13th: she got herself a much coveted eyebrow piercing, stek dinner, Deftones tickets and Knotts Scary Farm. I normally don’t go for haunts but that was a lot of fun. We need to do that again and next time when we’re both not nursing stupid coughs. Last night I found myself reading old, now private entries, when she was a wee thing, documenting her milestones and things she and I used to say and do. Man did that kick up some dust and feels. Sometimes it is hard to believe I am a parent to an almost adult now. Shit is wild and an absolute privilege to be a part of.

Way too many medical appointments and body related nonsense to count – for both of us! The medical industry in this country is a fucking joke. I hate the ER with a damn passion that’s for sure and it is absolutely criminal that a 5 hr visit with minimal care merits a $16k bill. Thankfully we are both on the mend and the we have insurance, cause woof.

A solar eclipse in October – I only got to see a portion and I snagged that photo from a livestream cause I don’t own that kind of equipment. The energy that entire weekend was weird as hell. The universe is a wonderful place.

Errand running and a dentist appointment in a nun habit for Halloween. “Of course you did”. It got a lot of love and Sister Garcia from the Order of Perpetual Traviesas is happy to oblige. A nun and Elvis walk into a Target and then she got her teeth cleaned by Pinky the Pac-Man ghost… stop me if you’ve heard this one… fuck, I love halloween.

Counting down the days to impending travel, a beyond overdue and deserved break and birthday celebrations of Devilry. The gift of experiences and memories supersedes anything I could have ever been given and I am grateful I get to do this in his company. Again.

Setting up the first Dia De Muertos ofrenda that included my Mom… that was a hard one but also felt right to see Her there, knowing she’s somewhere better, free of so many things. Even Dad approved which felt nice to hear.

Routine establishment and trying to stick to it. Gotta finish what I start.
The feline terrors turn 12!
Swapping lists of wants, what to see, pack, share and do to one another. Encore.
Waking to poetry I inspired in my messages – I will never tire of being His muse or reason those dimples sink deeper.
Finally got to see the 1975 and it was *everything* I had hoped they would be.
Knowing with certainty that all the time, sacrifice and effort will be so worth it in the end.
Candlelit baths
Ice cream dates
Pellucid serenity
The unsettling moments of staying in the present when all you want is to know what is next.
When you’re finally shown your instinct was right because holy shit was that a bullet dodged.
Scoring an Art Deco armoire on the curb for free
When you find something with someone who understands and values your attention to detail, conveys it and only wants more.
Couch naps with Judas during sunset.
Pumpkin carving with R to ofrenda glow and Corpse Bride
All the pumpkin chai lattes
Guilty pleasure trash tv shows
The magic of a 3 ingredient meal
Audio recorded whispers that are the gift that keep on giving.

twelve. more. days.

 


Picking passion fruit in the front yard on a bright & warm day.
An unexpected yet utterly welcome floral delivery.
The symbolism of Autumn’s impending arrival with grocery store pumpkin sightings.
Watching a spider bounce and weave her magic in the golden hour glow.
The rain bringing in a petrichor scented breeze.
Kitchen witchery in the form of pumpkin foam for my coffee and lemon coconut sugar scrub.
The romantic entanglement of a passion fruit vine and a sprig of lavender.
Having my letters/mail referred to as “an experience”.
Training those difficult boundary muscles.
Wet n’ Wild lip liner in shade #666.
Smelling like Lemon Tart and acting like it.
When the things you say+do paint colors on my flesh like an impressionist sunrise.
Walking past a couple of women on an ice cream cone date as one tells the other, “ice cream will always be a good idea”.
Revisiting that one track you had to take a break from because you listened to it into the ground and it being better than ever.
The last, fighting gasp of Summer.
The confidence of a freshly well-executed haircut.
My finding out that “Spain” means “land of rabbits” and the sense it makes.
When the muse knocks on the door.
Eggs paired with Boursin
The bravery of difficult honesty.
Locked pinky finger cab ride daydreams.
Double rainbows on both coasts and on a day a lot of people needed it.

 
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