Is Exhausted A Principle?

October 23, 2014

I was practicing joy today, I mean I figured, I did happy yesterday, logical conclusion, try joy today.

Yeah.

You may have guessed it, tomorrow will be free, but who knows, I may change my mind when I ride my bicycle into work.

Today I felt joyful riding into work, the sun was bright, but not too hot, I was in my bib overalls, I got a grand and cheerful hello and good morning from a guy doing municipal work on a bus stop and it felt right.

Joy.

Joy to be alive and healthy and riding my bicycle to work.

I kept it that way most of the day, grateful for work, my health, my place in the world, it’s a small place, but fulfilling, joy to have the four-year old stroke my hand at dinner and then kiss it sweetly.

Are you wooing me little man?

We both wore bib overalls today.

There is construction happening at the house and we both had on our “working man” uniforms.

He got home from school saw me wearing my overalls and immediately dashed upstairs to get his.

Add one white plastic hard hat and he was a go.

We went in search of construction sites in the neighborhood–considering where my job is located, there were no dearth of sites to watch–plenty of condos going up on every corner.

The continuation of housing gentrification does amuse me.

I still rue not taking the studio that I was offered at Valencia and 21st seven years ago.

The rent was $850!

I could have been at Valencia and 21st!

But I am where I am and that’s ok.

The bike ride is good exercise, even when I am tired I am grateful for the exercise.

And I felt no little joy when talking to the mom this afternoon at lunch time while the littlest guy was down for his nap.

“Have you been accepted into a graduate program already,” she asked out of the blue.

“No, the application for the school I am interested in has not been opened yet.  I have been to the open house, but admissions for fall doesn’t open until November 15,” I replied.

We talked about the program.

We talked about my undergraduate degree.

She expressed some amazement at the fact that I worked close to full time hours when I was doing my undergrad.

Sometimes I too am amazed, I worked 30-35 hours a week, went to school full-time and also trained at the dojo I studied martial arts at four to five days a week.

Well.

There were some months when it was more like once or twice a week, but ultimately I was training a lot and found the practice super helpful, in hindsight, it held my drinking in check, even though I was running a brewing company and nightclub.

The packed schedule helped me keep up the illusion that I had some control over my life, even while it was spinning merrily out of my control.

I told the mom that I planned on working while pursuing my masters degree and that yes, I had looked into other programs, but none of them were quite the fit that CIIS is (California Institute of Integral Studies).  The fact that I could get a master’s degree in three years and work full-time is appealing.

Although I have heard from more than one person that I will want to only work part-time.

The mom made it clear that they would have room for me no matter what.

That is awesome to hear.

More joy.

In fact, a bit of a relief, to know that I can go and apply to this program and have a source of income for the time that I will be studying.

“We have the kind of household where we are always going to need help,” she said succinctly.

Yes.

I really like the family and I absolutely adore the boys.

They wear me down, they do, but they are also sweet, and snuggly and beautiful and smart and funny and damn good company.

Whether I am reading a story with the family dog and the littlest guy on the couch or having pirate battles on the high seas with the four-year old, I feel that I have been fully integrated into the mix.

Add to that job security while going after my masters degree and I am quite the content lady.

I do have to continue forward with work around my application.

The admissions for fall will open in three and a half weeks.

Not that I need to send it in the day it opens, but I would like to have it done sooner rather than later, I don’t see the point in putting off doing the work to apply.

Granted I am going to need a little time to write the personal essay and do to an academic paper for the writing sample the school requires.  I will also need a letter of recommendation from an academic source and my transcripts.

Perhaps that is what I can do this weekend–order my transcripts.

The essay of why I want to go back to school won’t be hard, hell, I have had some practice writing about that since I was at Burning Man this summer.

What did you do over summer vacation?

I had an epiphany at Burning Man and decided to go to graduate school in an area I have never thought to explore before–therapy.

And I wasn’t even on drugs when I had my come to Jesus moment!

I will most likely address my sobriety and recovery in a different manner than I do here, there’s a kind of, ahem, anonymity, that I practice here that I can let drop when I am writing my admissions essays.

They won’t be made public.

I keep certain things to myself in matters regarding the press, radio, tv, and film.

Not that I am on tv or film or radio.

But this blog is public and I prefer to keep certain things a little, well, private, although you could probably read between the lines if you spoke the language of the heart.

Anyway.

Enough with being oblique.

Back to being exhausted.

Which is not so bad now that I have had a moment to sit and rest and sip some tea and write some words.

Funny how I always feel invigorated after I write a blog.

This too is my joy.

Joy.

Bliss, gaiety, happiness, satisfaction.

All of the above.

Even when I am tired.

I have loads of joy in my life.

Being aware of it and present might be the best thing about it all.

I Choose Happy

October 22, 2014

It’s such a nicer choice than entitled.

I reflected as I listened to someone rant about not being in a relationship and how God, the Universe, the powers that be, etc, owes the person a fucking partner.

Not I, said the fly, on the wall, my head pressed back into the chair, clam and serene as fuck.

I was happy.

Happy that my day went well, long, tiring, but really fulfilling.

I got up and did my deal this morning and had a great breakfast and even had time for a second cup of coffee while I was doing my writing and then off into the great wide world that is the glory of San Francisco in October.

I think October in San Francisco might just be my favorite time of year.

Fall is always a favorite–the air, the coolness, the sun still shines bright, but that lick of chill that makes one pause and stuff a sweatshirt in the messenger bag for the ride home–the smell of burning fires on my ride home, the smell of clover that has just been cut in Kezar Triangle as I rode my bike to work, the stacks of pumpkins, the orange lights making the Conservatory of Flowers look like the Giant Pumpkin from Charlie Brown.

Granted the orange lights on the Conservatory of Flowers may have something to go with the Giants being in the Worlds Series.

Go Giants!

Ahem.

I love fall and this city does know how to do it so deliciously well.

Persimmons are in season.

Halloween is just around the corner.

I’m thinking about going as a jackalope.

Ha.

Or a bunny if I can’t wrangle up some horns.

The season is bright and clean and I have to say it is the one time of year that also reminds me of Wisconsin at certain moments.

Winter in San Francisco certainly does not remind me of Wisconsin, but there are certain nooks in the city when I turn the corner on my bicycle and suddenly, the light, the clear air, the flaming sugar maple on the corner, and I could be in Madison, a patch of grass, bright, shimmering, green and lush and I could be heading out to the East side or Vilas Park or Monroe Street.

It’s not always like this for me, but this is the one time of year that does make me a touch nostalgic for Wisconsin.

Apples.

Oh, the apples are in season now too and so divine.

Actually, that may be something to investigate, a field trip, and adventure, a sojourn to an apple orchard would be lovely.

I’m not sure there are any around this neck of the woods, but perhaps some research would bear fruit.

Literally.

It would make a good date for me.

And I go on dates with me too, a suggestion I made to the friend who was pitching a fit about being single.

Of course, I could feel a little bristle when I made the suggestion, but honey, I have been down that bitter road and there’s nothing at the end of the entitlement journey.

Certainly not a boyfriend.

I like taking myself on dates.

In fact, I just thought of one, something akin to the apple orchard thing, I think maybe a cruise down to Pacifica or nearby environs on my scooter might be in order.

I think there are a few farm stands along the way.

Or even a little further down the One.

I have been as North as I could go on my scooter–any further and I would have to cross the Golden Gate Bridge and I’m not certain about doing the bridge on my scooter.

I was also happy when I told my date for this Friday that I would not mind grabbing a bite before the show and that the principle I was practicing was just that, happiness.

So what ever restaurant that looks like.

Although there may not be enough time between getting done with work and the show starting.

I’m not too concerned.

I’ll happily eat at work as well.

The happy started hitting me when I hopped on my bicycle this morning, the high clear blue skies, the scuttle of clouds, the sun-bright, the traffic light, the friend waiting at a bus stop that I waved to as I pedaled my way up Lincoln toward the Pan Handle.

The aforementioned smell of fresh-cut clover in Kezar Triangle the rush of cool air, exhilarating and refreshing, delicious with bright eucalyptus scent as I rolled toward the park, and the traffic, past rush hour, light on Oak Street, so I skipped the Pan Handle and hit the lights all the way to the Wiggle, then up and over to 17th street and then as I was stopped at 17th and Church a dear one of mine rolled by driving a MUNI train.

I waved to her and blew her kisses and grinned like a fool.

Happy.

Then on down 17th, hitting all the lights and a pitch perfect right turn onto Valencia, getting into the stride and rolling through all the intersections with the 13 mph wave for bicycles making my transit smooth as silk.

I wound up at work fifteen minutes early and stretched, drank some water, mellowed out a little from the ride.

Then I put some Pharrel Williams in my headphones and I did a little dance underneath the tree in front of my job while the sun dappled through the Japanese Maples on the block.

I was so happy, I replayed the song and danced my bike across the street, into the garage, and pranced my way right up the stairs to work.

I’m sure I amused the hell out of at least one of the neighbors if not a few of the construction workers on the house next door, but I did not care.

I was happy.

I still am.

It was a great principle to practice today and I am ever so grateful for these suggestions on how to better live my life.

Just the getting to live life can be enough, but I will often forget that it’s not a grind, it’s a gift.

And I like getting present(s).

Gifts make me, well, you may have already figured that out.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

 

 

Just Say Yes

October 21, 2014

Do something different.

Ugh.

But I don’t want to, I’ll be tired, it’s the end of my work week, it’s in a weird location, I don’t have the energy, I don’t want to ride my bicycle home that late at night.

Blah, blah, blah, Ginger, blah, blah, blah.

Wow.

Does my head have a great capacity to conjure up reasons to isolate and stay single.

I have a date Friday night and he’s come up with a fun thing to do, I didn’t have to figure it out, and my firs thought was I don’t want to.

I’ll be tired, etc, etc, etc.

I thought to myself as I was reading the text message, “you’re tired now, does not mean that you will be tired then.”

I cannot make decisions based on how I think I am going to feel four days from now.

Just say yes.

Or at least pause before responding.

Give it a minute.

I was tired when I got the message about the date, let’s go to the Grand Guignol.

The huh?

Oh.

Theater.

Nice.

And spooky theater at that.

Cool.

I was in the midst of dealing with after dinner, after swim class, in the bath tub, tooth brushing, bubbles and soap and cups and washing and two little monkeys when the message came in.

I am exhausted because it’s Monday.

Monday is not only my longest day at work, it’s also my earliest start time.

I was up this morning at 6:30 a.m. to get ready for work and be on time and do all the things.

Including taking a few minutes to sing happy birthday to my little sister who turned 40 today.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

She answered and I got the honor of singing it live to her instead of leaving it on a voice mail.

I also got to explain that the gift I got for her ten days ago has not shipped yet because there was a problem at the gallery with the printing.  I got her something from an arts collective in Oakland and I got a message from the studio that the screen printing was behind and they hadn’t processed the order yet.

I got the e-mail on Friday.

Damn it man.

I had ordered it early enough so that it would get there on time.

But it’s a small arts collective and I really like there stuff and so, I said, hey cool, please send a note with it explaining what happened and please pay for the expedited shipping when it is done.

She’ll get it next week.

At least I know she got the card I sent.

I love sending cards and gifts, there’s just something about it that has always made me feel good.  I like buying people presents and I have to say, I’m pretty good at it.  I pay attention to what folks like and I believe that I often hit the nail on the head with what I get.

I also like supporting local arts and creatives in and around the Bay.

I get a lot of my stuff from here and it feels, to me anyway, even more special if it’s coming from San Francisco.

My mom has a knee surgery coming up, two days before her birthday, and I want to send her some local coffee and some treats from Tartine, since she still talks about when I took her to Philz and Phil himself made her coffee and later that same visit, I took her to Tartine.

Most of the stuff at Tartine I can’t ship to her, but I figure I can send her a bag of Philz Tesora and maybe a package of cookies from Tartine.

I haven’t set foot in that shop in years.

Not really anything in there for me to eat.

Although I do always enjoy walking by and smelling the smells, they are awful good smells.

I’m pretty psyched to also be in the Mission for work as it will lend nicely to buying Christmas presents for folks.

I won’t get too crazy, my sister, my mom, maybe a little something for my youngest niece.

If I go back to Wisconsin to visit my best friend and her brood, or skulk I should say, I will also stick a couple of things in my carry on.

Anyway.

That’s getting ahead of myself.

And I realized that I was doing the same thing with my initial resistance to the date idea.

Pause.

Respond.

Don’t react.

So I waited to respond to the message and after work I got on my bicycle and I jammed over to 7th and Irving and I caught up with some folks who I have been missing this past month with the new job.

“Are you going to be coming back,” he said giving me a huge hug, “we really miss your energy here.”

I am going to try.

I felt so much better after sitting sandwiched in between two dear friends that I knew my answer to the date question was going to be yes.

Yes, let’s go.

It sounds like fun.

I still had a minute or two of trying to figure it out, I’ll be coming from work, I’ll be this, I’ll be that, I don’t want to ride my bike home from the SOMA that late at night on a Friday.

Blah, blah, blah.

Then I realized.

Hey!

I don’t have to ride my bike home.

I can ride my scooter.

I can ask the mom tomorrow if I can park the scooter in the garage on Friday (I can’t do street parking, it’s only two hour parking and I don’t have a nanny permit for the neighborhood).

Then I can just scooter home after the play and not worry about biking.

Tada!

Solution.

And it had nothing to do with the “problem.”

See, I am the problem and I am realizing that more and more as I feel myself balking at certain aspects of this dating thing.

I am the reason I am single.

So I am the one who has to change.

And I know that initially there’s going to be some resistance.

I just have to walk through it, trust and say yes.

Yes.

Let’s go to the theater on Friday.

I mean, really, when was the last time I went to the theater anyway?

Here’s to changing.

Here’s to dating.

Here’s to saying yes.

Yes, thank you.

I’ll have another.

Oops I Forgot

October 20, 2014

That was the gist of the message I received late last night, after I had gone to bed, in regards to the mornings’ date.

The gentleman in question overbooked himself.

Felt awful.

Had to go work out with his trainer that he booked at same time.

Cool.

Glad to have seen the message this morning at 8 a.m. when my alarm went off.

I suspected something was up when I did not get the promised confirmation message yesterday as was told to me earlier in the week.

“I’ll confirm on Saturday.”

When I got home last night at 10:15 p.m. and there was no message confirming I sent him one, just let me know, I’ll be up for a little bit.

But not that late.

Since the date time was for 9:30 a.m. today.

I wanted to have about 8 hours of sleep and a little breakfast and get ready time before meeting him at Trouble Coffee and Coconut Club before going and walking his dog around Fort Funston.

My alarm went off at 8 a.m. and I saw no text, no call on my phone, I checked my Okstupid profile and yup, incoming message at 1 a.m. saying he’d over booked, scheduled himself to work out with his trainer, so sorry, feel awful, please let me make it up to you.

Yada.

Yada.

Yada.

I got up, went pee.

Went right back to bed.

I slept until 11a.m.

Apparently God wanted me to have some rest instead of a date with someone who over books themselves.

And cool.

Rejection is God’s protection.

No skin off my nose.

I even did the nice thing and sent a nice response, “no worries, have a great day, if you want to hang out, you know where to find me.”

And that was that.

I had a free day to do with as I pleased.

I wasn’t sure what to do and truthfully, though not miffed, I was just a little flummoxed.

First week of trying to date and date is no-show.

Then I thought.

I didn’t say I was going to go on one date a week, I said I was going to try.

And try I did.

I made a date with someone and I set aside time to do so and opened myself up to being vulnerable.

And it felt kind of fun to know that I had a date.

I actually never really thought anything would come of it and a couple of times wanted to cancel, haha, but didn’t as I feel that’s self-sabbotage.

Now the funny thing?

I decided to take some action and tweeted my status as stood up and did anyone want to hang out as I was suddenly free to move about the day.

And what do you know.

I got a response.

And we chatted a bit.

And now I have a date for this Friday.

So there Mister I Got to Go Work Out With My Trainer.

FYI.

Posting pictures on social media of cheeseburger, fries, assorted dips and sauces, and the 49’ers game on your big screen tv does not scream working out with personal trainer, but hey, that’s ok.

Sometimes I get overbooked too doing my nails.

I bear the guy no grudge, in fact I thought it was pretty fucking funny.

And I think that’s what this experience is going to be, a lot of amusing stories and maybe, if a girl is lucky, a date or two with a nice guy.

I would love me some courting.

I don’t expect any.

In fact.

I have no expectations about any of it.

The only expectation I have is that I am going to put myself out there and learn how to date.  I hear that some folks can do it and I have seen a number of friends in my life, women and men, do it, and heck, they seem to enjoy themselves.

So.

I didn’t sit on my ass, I took myself on a date.

First I got cute, because you never know who you might see or whom might see you and I like looking cute.

Then I got on my scooter and drove it up the coast.

It’s awful handy that the coast is just three blocks away.

I went up the Great Highway and hit Lands End first.

It was glorious.

The view, well, amazing.

Lands End

Lands End

I walked along the cliff edge for a while and then decided I was going to do what tourists do, I was going to walk the bridge.

The Golden Gate Bridge, that is.

I have ridden my bicycle over it countless times, but I have never walked over the pedestrian side.

I climbed back onto the Vespa and took Sea Cliff over towards the other side of Lands End and then dropped along Camino del Mar and around Bakers Beach and China Beach, then up and around the Presidio.

The views were astounding and I was so grateful that I had not decided to stay at home and mope.

Not that I really felt mopey about the date cancelling, just that I can get into the habit of staying at home and it’s better for me to get out, do things, take actions, live my life like, this is it.

Because.

This is it.

And when I live so close to so much beauty it’s a shame to not appreciate it.

So I got my appreciation on.

The bridge was packed.

Packed.

But, as I was on a scooter I got motorcycle parking right up close and was able to amble right onto the bridge really quickly.

I got to say I like that about being on a scooter, easy peasey parking.

And voila!

The Golden Gate Bridge, established in 1937,

 

1937

1937

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

spanning the bay, slightly shrouded in light fog, crisp wind blowing, but not too bad (I have certainly ridden over it in really nasty fog and high winds), just enough to blow my hair about my face in a sexy manner.

I felt really filled with joy and gratitude looking out over the view.

I live here.

I live here!

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

How freaking amazing is that?

I took a few photographs.

I played tourist.

I called my mom from the bridge because I wanted to share with her the experience and it made me giggle to be calling my mom from the Golden Gate Bridge, I don’t know why, but it felt sweet to do so.

I went to the gift shop after walking the bridge and I bought myself a souvenir–a refrigerator magnet, what else?

And I scooped a little something for my mom too, since I had called her while I was on the bridge and her birthday is coming up soon.

I laughed as I was checking out and said something in regards to the compulsive gift buying.

The clerk smiled and said, “where are you from?”

I laughed harder.

Then I leaned in, “here, I live here, in San Francisco, Ocean Beach.”

We both laughed.

I rode my scooter back along the edge of the world full of joy and lightness and gratitude.

I came home and put my magnet on the fridge and cooked up some soup, it’s Sunday after all, and had a late lunch on the back deck with the sun on my face and the sound of the neighbor playing jazz piano.

How good is my life?

So good.

And I have a date for Friday.

I don’t think he will be cancelling.

And if he does, well.

I live in a pretty incredible place, I can probably figure out something to do.

 

On The Road Again

October 19, 2014

Honey, I just can’t wait to get on the road again.

Baby.

Ooh.

Yeah.

That’s right.

I got back in the saddle, I hopped back on the horse and I rode her all over town.

My Vespa that is.

Yes, my Vespa, not his Vespa, my Vespa.

Because a lady can change her mind and that’s ok.

There was a time, and not too long ago where I would have said ok, I said I’m going to sell it, I’m selling it, or whatever it was I was doing or thinking about doing, even though I had some doubts, because I said I would, I would.

I wasn’t allowed to change my mind.

Which meant I wasn’t allowed to make mistakes.

Which means I have to be perfect.

And man.

I tell ya, perfect is a hard state to achieve and maintain.

Having neither achieved or maintained said state ever, I should know.

Having tried to maintain that state of perfection all my life, I should really know.

I was unsettled this morning about the scooter when I woke up.  I prayed.  Yeah, I do that, weird huh, but it works and I’m not about to change the efficacy of something when it works, do it.  So I asked for some direction and did some writing and then I did a sitting meditation on top of it.

What did I need to do to get the scooter ready?

I should put air in the tires, I should dust her off, she’s basically been at a stand still since June 4th when I sprained my ankle trying to kick-start it, I should maybe, if I can get it started, top of the gas in the tank.

Then I sat.

There were two things bothering me at the edge of my brain.

One of them had to do with a piece of mail I had gotten the day before yesterday.

The other was that I sort of wanted to ride my scooter.

I mean, I was sort of jealous of the dude that was coming to buy it.

I was also concerned that the whole plan to sell the scooter, turn around, put a down payment on another and then transfer the title, get new insurance for the new scooter, pay extra taxes for a new scooter, and the getting my scooter dealt with, felt all too complicated.

That knowledge coupled with the piece of mail I received, which was an offer for a credit card, sat with me.

Now.

I haven’t gotten an offer for a credit card in a long time.

Like, oh, seven years to be exact.

I picked up the VISA pre-approved credit card application and smiled, I had forgotten, though not truly forgotten, about my bankruptcy filing that I did, yes, you guessed it, seven years ago this month.

October 15th, to be exact.

I filed for and was granted a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.

I did some stupid things, drinking a lot and doing a lot of cocaine fueled those stupid things, and I had to pay for them when I first got into recovery.

But I did not.

I did not for about a year.

I was really destitute my first year of recovery, I am still uncertain how the hell I got through, but I did, I was graced and I got through and after that first year I had to start cleaning up the wreckage of my financial history.

“We must lose our fear of creditors no matter how far we have to go, for we are liable to drink if we are afraid to face them,” she quoted to me as we sat and drank coffee in the kitchen of her house.

Fuck me.

I owe a lot.

I was scared.

It was hard.

I made a lot of phone calls with a script I had help writing, I made amends and repaid what I could when I could where I could.  I repaid my best friend $1100 for rent.  I paid off the IRS.  I paid of Victoria Secrets (the pair of jeans and the bra that I had bought on my credit card for $128 eventually cost me $785 after not paying on the Victoria Secrets card I had taken out right before I got sober, but I paid it off–said pair of jeans, fyi, I sold to Buffalo Exchange for a whopping $15 store credit, or $8 cash, I took the cash and bought some groceries).

I made payments to VISA and MasterCard and another card I had, maybe another separate VISA account?  Not even sure, but I made payments.

Sometimes five dollars a month.

Sometimes twenty.

I finally, after a year of doing this, maybe a year and a half, took the advice of a room-mate, saw the free lawyer at the San Francisco Public Library, who told me to file bankruptcy, and I set the wheels in motion.

It cost me $1500.

It cleared me of over $68,000 in debt.

Most of it interest.

The original debt might have been around $12,000 or $13,000, I’m hazy on the numbers.

Anyway.

The only thing I owed on was my student loans, which they won’t absolve, and I have spent the last 9 1/2 years paying my way in cash with very few exceptions.

The plane ticket back from Paris.

And this scooter.

That’s what got me.

When I saw that piece of mail saying I was pre-approved, my first thought was, now I can buy a new scooter and get on this thing.

Then I thought.

Wait.

What?

Why go into debt when I am almost completely done paying off the Vespa?

I have two payments left, I could probably pay it off right now if I wanted to, why go into debt buying a new one?

And then.

It’s so cute, my Vespa, that is.

I sat.

I meditated.

I got quiet.

I thought, felt, asked, listened.

It seemed to be that it was not the prudent thing to do.

I sought further instruction.

I rode my bicycle to 7th and Irving and sat at Tart to Tart and did some reading and spent some time talking about where I am in my life and what’s happening and dating and work and then I rode home on my bicycle.

I was beginning to feel, honest, in my gut, that I was not supposed to sell the Vespa.

I made lunch.

I sat on the back patio and flipped through a Vogue and watched the sky and then I went and got the keys to the scooter.

Act as if.

I pulled it out.

I dusted her off.

I wiped her down, put air in the tires, and decided I would try to start her up and take her to the gas station down the street.

I used my right foot, not my left.

Guess what happened?

No, really guess.

Ha.

She started on the second kick.

The engine-turned over, I gave her some gas and then I let her sit and warm up.

I went inside, put on a jacket, grabbed my helmet, my messenger bag and my wallet.

I hopped on my scooter.

I had not forgotten how to ride it.

I knew within a minute, less probably, of being on the scooter, I knew by the first stop sign I reached at 46th and Irving, that I was keeping her.

I was grinning ear to ear.

I took her to the gas station, topped off the tank, for a whopping $3, and rode her back to the house.

I parked in front of the garage and called the man who wanted to buy her and said, I apologize for the late notice, but I have decided to not sell my Vespa.  I hope you understand and I am sorry if I have inconvenienced your schedule in any way.

He was super sweet about it and that was that.

I rode her to the grocery store, just to get a little more comfortable on her, through the park, and then back to the house to unload my bag.

I rode her up Lincoln to Cole Valley, then to 17th Street, up and over the hill, god damn the view, then up and over Diamond Street to St. Phillips in Noe Valley.

And like that.

I’m back in the saddle again.

It was a bit rocky at points.

I killed it twice.

But I restarted her without a hitch and breathed through the entire thing and whooped with joy more than once.

Grateful that I am allowed to not be perfect, to make mistakes, to learn from them, and to literally get my butt back in the saddle.

I have to say.

I am more than a little proud of myself for doing it.

Walking through some fear.

It does a girl good.

Note to self.

Remember that tomorrow on your date!

Which I will enjoy, no matter what, because I will know that I have a gorgeous little scooter waiting to take me for a ride when it’s done.

Vroom!

Vroom!

Perfect Hair Day

October 18, 2014

Being wasted on a couple of little boys.

And no.

I don’t mean immature men.

I mean little boys.

I am working late tonight on a Friday.

I don’t mind it all that much as I was able to start late.

Two p.m.

I slept in last night after an engaging back and forth with a friend for a while last night as he sat contemplating life, the universe, loss, love, narcissistic thinking, eccentricity, egoism, moving on, and what comes next.

I couldn’t tell you what comes next, except that I am eager for my friend’s return and also for the weekend.

I have a looker tomorrow for my scooter and I am hoping that it will be a sale.

Especially since there’s not a thing wrong with it, except that I haven’t started it in a month.  My friend who sold it to me started it up a few weeks back, but I am fairly certain it was really about a month ago.  It may take a little effort to start it.

Hard to sell a scooter when you’re afraid to kick-start the engine.

I am also concerned that said buyer has never ridden a clutch scooter before and will have no idea how to work it, but, hey, neither did I and I learned.

I do wish it had worked out better for me, but there’s always the fact that I took action and tried it out and gave it my best.  I took the Motorcycle Safety course, I got my licence, I learned how to drive a clutch and for a few moments I was riding a beautiful vintage Vespa.

You know.

Until I broke myself, well almost, I suppose a sprain is not a break–it’s worse, trying to start the thing up.

If it sells tomorrow I will be pleased and I will turn around and take myself up to Vespa San Francisco and see about getting a new one.

One that starts with a push of a button and a turn of a key rather than a kick starter.

I obviously won’t have enough money to be able to buy it straight out, but I will have enough from the sale of my own to be able to put down earnest money and then do a payment plan.

I have been looking at the Vespa as a forced savings account.

I would not have been able to afford to buy it out right from my friend, still owe two payments on it, but being able to pay a down payment and then do monthly payments with him was like saving for the real deal.

That’s the hope anyway.

Who knows what will happen.

Me and my perfect hair day are not going to worry about it all that much tonight.

I am here for another three and a half hours then a Lyft ride home.

A Lyft ride in and then out again.

It was nice to not have to ride my bike into work today, although it did feel a little strange to be riding in a car to work.  I also did not go straight into work, I headed over to Capp and 23rd street for a little doing the deal and saw some familiar faces I had not seen in a while and heard some good stuff.

I do miss my Friday night peeps, but that cannot be helped.

I also am a bit bummed that I will be missing Mike Doughty’s show for his album release of Stellar Motel is tonight at the Chapel on Valencia Street.

I thought it was next weekend when I said I would work for the family tonight.

Oh well.

Next time.

There’s no further news on the dating front either.

But that’s ok.

I still have my date lined up for Sunday and that gives me a week to take another action or five or six or whatever actions I need to take to let myself be asked out or make myself available for the next date in this dating game I am playing.

I was scrolling through my Facecrack friends and came across a few faces that I may have to ask out, some guys that I think would say yes, some that I am pretty sure if I said I was available would be down.

I feel that a lot of it, a lot of the dating thing, is just being available and getting out of my typical schedule and space.

I keep expecting to run into someone on the Mission while I am working, but then again, most of the folks I probably want to date have jobs during the day and aren’t hanging around the Mission playgrounds and neighborhoods.

I mainly see moms and other nannies in my line of work.

It’s not exactly the hot bed of dating.

In fact, much of the time when someone asks me what I do I wonder what they think.

Like it’s any of my business what someone thinks about what I do.

Sometimes this is the hardest job I have ever had.

And sometimes, like now, it’s pretty easy and sweet.

I’m sitting in the kitchen with a nice cup of tea on a very nice chair next to an exquisite table with pretty things all around me, being paid for my time, watching the monitor of two sweet little boys sleeping.

The rest is, however, well-earned.

It was quite a busy day for me since I started late and I was not able to do all the stuff that I normally do while the youngest one is napping.

I did show up to the house a little bit before the family got back from school pick up, so I was able to get a good start on things, but you know, I had to keep it moving.

And potty training, though not disastrous, was darn close and bath time was a big negotiation, but in the end when both the boys were snuggled into my lap in striped pajamas and we were reading Dr. Seuss’s “The Places You’ll Go” and one boy has his hand in mine stroking it softly and the other has his head underneath my chin, then well.

The perfect hair day was perfect.

I got to nestle with small, delectable humans and provide love and comfort and ease to them.

I’d say that’s a pretty damn good day.

Regardless of how my hair looks.

Slumber Party!

October 17, 2014

I am sleeping in tomorrow.

I don’t have to be at work until 2p.m.

I am working until midnight.

It’s still a long day at the end of the week and it basically shoots my Friday night in the foot, but I didn’t have plans, so I said I would help the family and let mom and dad go to a friends going away party.

I’ll get a couple of extra hours of overtime and I’ll also get a ride to and from work tomorrow via Uber or Lyft, probably Lyft since I have it on my phone.  I have a couple of friends that work for Lyft and since they handed me a couple of coupons to use it, its the ride app I have on my phone.

I think I know one person who drives for Uber too, now that I think of it.

Either way, it’ll be nice to sleep in and get a ride to work.

I am actually thinking that I may head into the Mission earlier than I need to be at work at see some folks at 23rd and Capp Street.  I haven’t been in that neck of the woods in a little while and it will be fun to catch up with folks.

I’ll catch a ride down there around noon, hang out for an hour, maybe grab some lunch, definitely a coffee, then off to work.

Which will still be plenty of work as it’s the time of day the transition happens from nap time for the youngest and pick up time from school for the eldest.

It will feel like a short day, however, since part of it will be while the boys are sleeping.

They are such cute bunnies, I can hardly stand it.

Today the oldest one told me again he loved me and tackled me with a hug and did it in front of the mom!

I felt really special, really accepted, and really lucky.

Last night when the mom and dad had friends over for dinner I was introduced as the miracle worker and “absolutely magical.”

I have to say it is really nice, super nice, to quote the youngest whose favorite superlative is “super,” to be so appreciated.

And taken care of.

Today, for instance, I headed to Walgreens during nap time and got a flu shot.

“It’s covered under my health insurance,” I told the mom, “I just have to get over to Kaiser on Geary to do it.”

“Don’t take time out of your schedule, just go over to Walgreens and we’ll pay for it.”

Thank you!

So, now I am immunized for influenza and I didn’t have to travel half way across town on my day off to take care of it.

Sweet.

Tomorrow marks four weeks since I started and I can say that I am thrilled to be working for the family and the feeling seems mutual.

It’s a hard job, I won’t say that it isn’t, but I am so well compensated for my efforts and I adore the boys so much and really like the parents, that it works.  If I was doing this amount of work for another family that didn’t treat me as well or compensate with all the extras that have been put out so generously on the table, I would not be happy.

But as it stands.

I am happy.

There are going to be challenges and there are times when I think I won’t get it all done, but that’s ok too.  Overall, this job is working out and I am thrilled to have a stable job.

That is something too, a stable, set schedule with one family, in one house, no traveling to three different locations each week to make it work.

It is pretty ideal.

And now I can focus on getting my dating on.

No other nibbles, yes, unless you count the sweet but not ever going to bother even responding to message I got today on my OkStupid profile–he lives in South Carolina, but has family in San Francisco–I can barely fathom dating someone who live in Oakland, let alone another state.

Hell.

Sometimes I wonder about dating someone who lives too far away from me here at the edge of the city.

My preference is someone in the neighborhood, with a job, recovery, big sex drive, no children, single, healthy, happy, wait, did I say in my own neighborhood?

Yeah.

Until I get some wheels under me.

Besides my bicycle.

I do have someone coming to look at my scooter on Saturday, although he’s never ridden a clutch before so I am a touch nervous about him actually buying, but he says he’s interested and I said I would make time for him to come over and see it.

I spoke with the mom about the scooter possibility, (the plan is to sell my Vespa and buy an automatic with the money I get from the sale) and whether I could apply and use the address at the house and get a nanny parking permit (did you know the city gives those out!), but she said, don’t worry about it, we’ll just make room for it in the garage.

Right on.

Just another reason to love my job.

Indoor scooter parking.

I do feel like the scooter issue is going to work its way out and I don’t have to worry too much about it.  If the guy wants it this Saturday, and he’s willing to buy without knowing how to ride it, then that’s his gig.

I learned.

So can someone else.

And I had a thought too, I might just take it and hang out with it at Trouble Coffee and Coconut Cafe in front where the parklet is and put a for sale sign on it.

Between all the hipsters at the coffee shop and the folks with some disposable brunch money going to Outer Lands for pricey food, somebody will want it.

I am positive.

Things are looking up.

Date for the weekend.

And sleeping in for tomorrow.

Plus, it’s pay-day!

Here’s to a very happy Friday.

I’ll certainly be well rested for it.

Any Boys Lately?

October 16, 2014

My friend texted me this evening as we were checking in about life, travels, speeding tickets, bumps on the head, and the Giants getting closer to that wild card slot.

“I haven’t been reading your blog, so I’m not in the loop.”

Well.

Funny you should ask.

I am taking action.

In addition to the date I have for this Sunday I returned, just a few minutes ago, a phone call from the gentleman I met at Decompression on Sunday.

Of course, I am presuming that he, like the rest of San Francisco (can I just say that was the best bike commute home!  Everybody inside the bars and taverns along Irving watching  the game, not a soul in the street, I flew home on my bike) was watching the Giants game when I rang him up.

I hadn’t even realized that I had missed a call yesterday evening, being preoccupied with other matters and it wasn’t until I had finished my blog last night that I realized there was a voicemail from a number I didn’t recognize.

I had recently given out my phone number for other purposes and supposed that the number was from a woman I had just met with and exchanged numbers with.

Wrong.

It was from J.

From Decompression.

Well.

Hello.

I thought I would return his call earlier today, but the day got a way from me at work, lots to do, little down time, much running of errands and cooking (homemade from scratch baked macaroni with three cheeses and pan sautéed garlic mushrooms, thank you very much), and going to the doctor’s office for flu shots, and the playground, and the usual dinner, bath, helter skelter time at the end of the day.

I have to say, just an aside really I don’t want to write my whole blog about nannying, that I am always a bit stunned when it is time to go, I am that busy.

I usually walk out the door, down the steps, open up the garage door and grab my bicycle and wonder, did that really just happen?

Did I just work a full day?

It goes by super quick.

Anyway.

I didn’t get a chance to return the call all day and I will say I almost talked myself out of it.

“He kissed like a dead fish,” kept running around my head.

Let’s be nice, I say.

First, the kiss was a little unfortunate since I was reserved in the kissing department as it tasted of beer.

I wasn’t really into delving into that.

Second.

I need to take action and actually, since I made the vow publicly in my blogging forum that I was going to attempt one date a week, I pretty much felt like this would qualify.

“Go where there’s interest.”

My friend’s follow-up text.

J. is definitely interested.

So, return the call.

Done.

I’ll line up a date with him and fulfill the commitment to myself to try to change and take actions asserting said change.

I left him a message and then turned on the lap top.

And wouldn’t you know.

Another message.

This time from someone I met at Burning Man.

Apologizing for not getting a hold of me sooner, and would I be interested in getting together now that he has some free time in his schedule.

Ah.

Yes.

You happened upon me at a good time.

And holy shit.

It looks like I am dating.

Not dating exclusively, not dating with any expectations around it, just dating.

It reminds me a lot of all the foot work that I did to get the job that I am currently in.

I started looking for a more viable option to my situation in January, I interviewed with families in Cow Hollow, the Marina, the Haight, and entertained queries from families in the Mission and Noe Valley.  As well as being head hunted by an agency out of Marin.

I did lots of work on my resume and collected letters of reference and investigated contracts and wrote out what I wanted and how I wanted to be treated.

In essence, I did an ideal, a work ideal, and then I took action.

I said yes to jobs that turned out to not work for me.

I got hired, not once, but twice, for families that after some consideration, decided they couldn’t afford me.

I kept the faith and kept trying and when I wasn’t looking, the right fit came at the right time, but it wouldn’t have if I hadn’t done the work.

Same with dating.

I figure anyhow.

And J. just called back.

You didn’t know since the blog appears seamlessly written, patting self on back, but just had a seven minute phone call wherein I had to turn down the offer to go out-of-town for the weekend.

Too fast friend.

And I am already booked in for this weekend.

And he’s booked in next weekend with family stuff.

But I said, call me when you’re free and we’ll go from there.

I am just putting it out there and trying.

Just having returned a call, and having a slightly awkward conversation on the phone is already feeling good, action generally does.

It’s when I sit and think that it fucks me up.

Here’s to not thinking.

Just more action.

I amused myself as well earlier.

I figure I am going to have fodder for the blog for a good while with the one date a week thing–whether it is in the finding, the making myself available, handing out my phone number, responding to profiles on-line that I normally wouldn’t, or just the misadventures thereof–it should make for some good reading.

I had a moment when I was riding my bike to work, pondering when I would return J.’s call and I laughed out loud.

It’s a bad romantic comedy, but the gist was, my dating goal sounds like a movie script: Boyfriend by Christmas.

I see Drew Barrymore starring.

I’ll just start with a date this weekend and trying to take another action tomorrow when it feels right and applicable to do so towards making myself available where the interest is.

You interested?

Now’s a great time to get in on this.

I’m not turning anyone away.

Come on in.

The dating waters are fine.

 

I Don’t Like You!

October 15, 2014

That’s ok kid, I know that’s not what you mean.

What you mean is, I don’t like that my mom leaves when you show up.

Nobody likes that.

I understand the correlation, but you like me.

You do.

How do I know?

You told me so.

Oh my heart.

It was a full day, a good day, a big day for staying at home and in pajamas as long as possible since it was also rather a grey day, a dreary overcast day, threatening, so it seemed at one point, to rain down on the city, so pjs and snacks and stories for the late morning into early afternoon, naps and quiet time.

It was a busy day because it was the second day off from school for the oldest boy, so I had two guys on my hands today and lots to do.

But somehow it all got done.

In addition to it all getting done there was also pirates, swashbuckling adventures on the high seas, telescopes, eagles nests, scurvy!

How does one get a little pirate to eat their zucchini?

Scurvy.

Arrrr.

There were also sea monsters, astronauts, space ships, zip lines through the jungle, excavators, working guys, and coloring of maps, hiding of secret pirate treasures and the unearthing of said booty.

Plus, pooping.

And peeing.

On the potty.

Potty training is happening for the two-year old and it’s going pretty smashingly.

Actually having the older brother around while using the little potty has been super helpful.

That and food bribes.

They love grapes.

So, use the potty, get grapes.

Not a bad trade-off.

And the trade-off to being told that “I don’t like you” this morning was a very happy, contented sweet little guy crawling into my lap, the older boy, the four-year old, after dinner.

“Can I sit in you lap,” he said already crawling into my arms.

Then he tucked his head down underneath my chin and snuggled with me, “I love you.”

Heart melting.

“I love you too.”

We sat and watched his younger brother fling fish about and rice and the happy, I mean very happy, family dog snuffle it all up like the best vacuum cleaner ever.

Then it was bath time, pajama time, rescue on the high seas time, submarine ship time, make pretend avocado sandwich time, more using the potty time, marching band time, and last but certainly not least, snuggle in nanny lap time while I read them Dr. Seuss’s “Oh the Places You’ll Go.”

Not a bad day for Mary Fucking Poppins.

Not bad at all.

Lest you think that all I do is the deal with my nanny charges, whilst hoisting the pretend Jolly Roger on the stroller on the way to the park, I did also confirm that I have a date on Sunday.

Yup.

Coffee at Trouble.

Hike at Fort Funston after.

Not that I will be hiking any huge hills, but the paths around there should be just fine.

I’m not really sure that this is going to work, he’s an acquaintance/friend I have known for years, but we rarely see each other off of social media since I moved out of the Mission.

I am not certain there’s chemistry there, but, well, like I said, trying the different things hoping for different results.

Instead of doing the same thing expecting different results.

The difference, it is subtle, no?

Yet huge.

I don’t expect he’s the one, in fact I don’t suspect that any man is the one, that just puts a whole house load of pressure on any guy that I am dating.

Not really a fair proposition.

However, I do suspect that he’s part of the process and that it will lead to where I am supposed to be.

I am just dating.

I am going to try to have one date a week.

That is the goal.

Once a week, go on a date, whether it’s for coffee, to the movies, out for dinner, playing pinball at Free Gold Watch, going dancing, walking the beach, hiking in Muir woods, making out on a cable car, walking the labyrinth at Grace Cathedral, going roller skating on Sundays in the park swing dancing (not that I do either of the later very well), going to the Conservatory of Flowers, taking in the view from the top deck of the DeYoung Museum, eating a bowl of pho, walking around North Beach, going to the big kite store in China Town, swinging on the swings at South Park, seeing a show, walking along the Embarcadero, going to the Farmer’s Market, taking a ferry to Sausalito, what ever it is.

I am going to do one date a week.

Until something happens.

I might crack.

I might get a boyfriend.

I might have some hilarious stories.

I might be kissed.

I might get flowers.

I might hear some really bad jokes.

I might have to sit through some odd dates with odd ducks.

But I will be out there doing it, rather than sitting at home twiddling my thumbs and wondering why a girl is going home early on a Friday night.

Not that I can do anything this Friday though.

I am working for the family so that mom and dad can attend a friend’s going away party.

The nice thing about it is that I won’t have to start on Friday until 2 p.m.

I could actually go out Thursday, if I wanted to.

Thursday’s are a tough night, close to the weekend, but not quite, so I don’t want to count on it, but it will be awful nice to sleep in on Friday.

And Uber to and from work.

The family is going to cover that so that I don’t have to ride my bike home at midnight.

I asked the mom the details about the evening and said I would like to have an Uber home or a taxi cab and as I did not want to ride my bike home at midnight through drunk infested waters in the Mission, and she said of course!

And before I said anything about just taking MUNI in for work, she said, “and you’ll Uber to work too, we’ll cover it.”

Damn Gina.

Thank you new family.

I’m feeling the love.

It doesn’t hurt that it’s wrapped up in adorable little boys either.

Especially when I get the hug and squish at the end of the day.

Today was a good day.

And a date for the weekend.

Not too shabby.

Wet Behind the Ears

October 14, 2014

I was in the pool today for the first time in over a year.

I went to La Petite Bailene in the Presidio today with my charges and their mom and got in the pool with one of the boys for his swimming lesson.

My how things have changed.

I taught swimming lessons when I was in high school.

It was NOT La Petite Bailene.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the facility, in fact, I was sort of blown away by the entire set up of it.

They have all the bells and whistles.

And when the little guy got upset, who wouldn’t get upset, suddenly in a new place with a new teacher and a new environment that even for an adult was really stimulating, there was suddenly a lifeguard pool side calling out his name and blowing bubbles down on him like some magic pixie fairy.

God damn.

I did not grow up on swimming lessons like this.

In fact, I cannot remember not being able to swim.

I was just tossed into the water.

I was a water baby.

My mom did say her heart dropped out of her mouth when I was just dropped into the water the first time by the instructor, but then I popped back up and paddle about.

Babies have an innate floating ability until about 4-6 months.

Infants can be taught how to swim.

The phase does pass and then there’s all sorts of techniques to help teach kids how.

I was blown away by all the stuff they had.

The pool in DeForest was a great pool and it was always a refuge for me when I was there, but it did not have the bells and whistles of La Petite Bailene.

I just pretended I did not know what I was doing and let the instructor guide me through the class.

It was fun being a “novice.”

I was completely at ease, although my charge was not so much, clinging and upset, but by the end we did coax a high-five out of him and I suspect that given a few more times in the water, he will get excited to be swimming and having a blast.

I was looking over the posters in the lobby of the facility and all the classes offered and I thought, this is a fucking racket.

There is no way it should take this long to teach a kid how to swim.

No way.

But then I reflected on the nature of the classes and the availability of pool time that most of the kids get and it’s just not the same for a city kid like it was for me in high school.

We were always in the water and I was always teaching.

I think we also ran three-week sessions where the kids would come in every other day or every day and they got the bulk of the learning down.

The lessons at this facility are only offered once a week.

I don’t think most folks can swing more than that out of a busy family schedule.

It’s a lot to get to the pool.

But it was a fun distraction and a great way to pass a large chunk of the day.

I didn’t mind driving cross the town to get to the class.

It was nice to sit and be still for a minute and see the city from the seat of a car instead of the seat of my bicycle.

My legs got a work out yesterday and today and I am feeling it.

So a nice sit in a car seat as a passenger was a treat.

A treat I will get once a week for the next three months–we are signed up!

And it does make the day go by super quick.

The boys were hungry for dinner when we got back and after unloading them, feeding dinner, and doing bath time, it was all the sudden time to go.

I did not get the typical break in my day as it was Columbus Day and school was out, so I had both the boys, but I did not mind, as I said, the day passed quickly and the sitting in the car did feel like a break, it’s a luxury to sit that long when one is a nanny.

It was nice, too, to be in a pool.

I was quite tempted to dive around myself and cavort a little, but there was no opportunity for that with my charge, I think there will be once he has a little more time, but it did make me think that it wouldn’t be a bad idea to go swimming once in a while for myself.

Not open ocean swimming like I have talked about, I don’t think I want to work that hard right now, but in a pool would be nice.

There’s a couple of pools in the Mission and the one at 19th between Valencia and Guerrero has lap swim.  Maybe the next time I am in the park I will check it out, see if there’s a time that makes sense for me to do some lap swimming.

Just a thought.

I have plenty going on in my life as it is.

Trying to date.

Doing the deal.

Living life.

Writing.

I forget the time commitment I have to do the writing and I do it every day, which is why I probably forget that it too eats a good portion of time.

Time that I do not resent or regret, it makes life for me better, my therapy, the pen and the paper, my outlet, the blog, my connection to something outside myself which seems to speak to me through the writing here.

I don’t necessarily have to cram in more stuff.

Unless it’s fun.

I was told tonight to do one fun thing a week.

Swimming could be construed as fun, now that I think of it.

Or going on a date.

That’s supposed to be fun right?

I’m just going to leap into the deep end and find out.

I might even make a date for this weekend.

Get my fun on.

Paddle about and try to keep my head above water.


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