Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Beginning...

So here I sit sipping a cup of coffee on a Sunday morning. My name's Tara Lowery, and I'm a teacher living in Pasadena, California. And the reason I started this blog is because "it's the worst time in history" or so they say and it seems daily I think, "well, shoot, today's the bottom, it can't get worse than today" and somehow it always does. I thought maybe I'd chronicle this time in my life so I could look back a few years from now on the things I went through in the hopes of being able to laugh about it... or maybe just so I could see that by some miracle I got through it... My mother always says "someday you'll laugh about this" and "keep your sense of humor Tara" and this is my attempt to do both... wow, I sound like Forest Gump...

So again, I'm Tara, and I live one block from the famous Rose Bowl Parade route in Pasadena. Mind you, I live smack-dab in between a wrecking yard with a chain link fence around it with smashed up cars inside, and $3 million post-modern condos that are nearly entirely made of glass. Our apartment complex is from the sixties and the guy who lives across from us, and who's window stares into our kitchen, has probably lived here since then. We call him "Old Man River" and he has a bad habit of dropping his toilet seat everytime he goes to the bathroom. It makes a loud, distinctive sound that echoes into our apartment and although I used to be in sync with his bathroom habits, hearing his toilet lid slam down and bounce, to be honest I don't really hear it anymore.

I live with my boyfriend, Jim, and our cat, Hugo, who btw came from that wrecking yard as a lost, stray kitten, and we live in the shitty apartment above the laundry room for the complex. We liked this idea because it was a free standing apartment way in the back, away from the streetnoise and, so we thought, noise from sharing walls with neighbors. We had no idea we'd have to hear Old Man River and his toilet problems, or the lady next to us's vacuuming that goes on non-stop or the laundry room door that has to be slammed shut, OR that the dryers lint traps would clog causing a high pitched humming noise that's always audible. And since we live in the back we live next to the dumpster, which we didn't realize gets slammed shut twenty-thousand times a day, or that the drunk twenty-somethings who live here think it's fun to throw their beer bottles into it, breaking them as a sport while laughing obnoxiously. Nor did we know that there would be homeless people that look through the dumpster at 5 in the morning for bottles screaming at each other, which sometimes wakes us up. On occasion we hear the dirty hippy lady that lives at the end of the hall talk about how she's gonna move out of here, although she never does. We also live on the dividing line between "nice Pasadena" and "ghetto Pasadena" which makes our apartment what you'd call cheap in the LA area. The bums and their shopping carts only stop to rest in front of the building a few times a week.

I moved here to be with Jim. He's the love of my life, and despite all the shit these days, I still look at his face, and into his big blue eyes and feel myself smiling at how much I love him. He's one of those guys who tries to act cool, but behind closed doors he likes to run around naked and, truth be told, he's really and truly funny! Was that too much?

And then, of course, there's my classroom, which provides countless hours of laughter. I teach 8th grade history to 13 & 14 year olds and the things they say are ridiculous!

Some of my friends say I'm "dirty," I have a hilarious brother who's graduating medical school, I have a "sister-in-law" I struggle with, I have a quirky mom, I have two best girls "Alyson and Barrios," I have the num nuts apartment managers "Sue and Jose" who constantly knock or just let themselves into our apartment, and now I have a therapist "DB" who will round out the cast of characters in my life. Along with Jim, these are the people I talk about the most, and they're the people that'll be filling up the pages in this awesome blog- 33 and life to go!