It Was The Best of Times

September 10, 2022 by

It was the worst of times.

This Burning Man was the best and the hardest and the most magical and connected and hottest and Jesus fucking christ on a pogo stick, the worst entry and exodus I have had.

And.

I can’t wait to do it again.

Next year I will have all the things.

And do many of the things differently.

First.

No more tenting.

I’m figuring out a better way.

I just can’t do the dust coffin again.

I’m too old, and frankly, for the first time, truly ever, I can afford better accomodations.

I’m not saying I’m about to go out and buy an Airstream.

But I think I can swing a little camper trailer.

This burn I literally put up and took down my camp three times.

It was a disaster.

Fortunately.

I had a lot of lovely neighbors at my camp help me out.

And that was a learning lesson in humility.

I do not like asking for help.

I like helping.

I am really fucking good at helping others.

But asking for help?

Not so much.

I had to ask.

And ask a lot more than I was comfortable with.

I also had no choice.

Like.

When I got sick and had to go to the medics.

I had severe heat exhaustion, vomited, had hideous stomach cramps, dizziness and lightheadedness.

I knew I wasn’t doing well, but until I threw up I thought I was muddling along ok.

This literally happened my first day.

I still can’t believe I wound up in the medical tents on the first day I was there.

And thank god I let myself be taken.

I joked that my first “gift” on playa was a bag of fluids.

But really, thank God.

I didn’t realize how sick I was until I was in the tents.

And the beautiful, sweet people who took me there and sat with me there and helped me get back to camp were angels.

The next day I got to experience a playa miracle when a person who I barely knew magically provided a new tent for me.

Oh, wait, I left that part out.

In a nutshell, I land on playa Friday night at midnight, in a white out dust storm, Gate is closed, I sit for four hours before I finally get to Will Call to pick up my ticket and vehicle pass.

Then I spend an hour finding camp because none of the signs are up and I keep missing it.

Find camp around 5a.m., sit on the corner waiting for anyone to stir to find out where I am located, around 6:30a.m. some folks start getting up, figure out where I’m supposed to be camp, get somewhat situated, connect with the friend I’m setting up camp with, help him get settled and get shade structure up, start to get worried around noon as I haven’t gotten my own tent set up and it’s getting hot and I feel a dust storm coming (enough time on playa you can sometimes sense that shit in the wind), unravel may tent and start crying.

The “upgraded” new tent I had splurged on was a mesh top.

OHMYFUCKINGGOD kill me know.

I bought a dust coffin.

But with no other options.

I set up said dust coffin.

Storm sets in.

Sequester in dust coffin, try to nap, in a my dust mask and goggles and basically I could have just been on the open playa, there was so much dust, I was covered.

I might have slept an hour.

Maybe.

Which is why when I got sick, I got so sick, I had’t really slept in 36 hours, that and not enough food (I actually had been drinking a lot of water) led to the heat exhaustion, plus, well, duh, the heat.

So.

I’m telling my story about the multiple vans I had cancel on me, three separate reservations that all canceled on me and how I had to take my tiny Fiat and make the drive and basically halve the things I was bringing and I didn’t stage my tent and fuck my life, dust coffin, and the folks I was sitting with the next day commiserate, they’d had van cancellations too, and then.

HOLY SHIT.

My friend’s boyfriend goes behind the magic curtain and comes back with a tent, the same tent I used to use, so I know how to set it up, and it’s weather proof–no mesh top, no dust sifting down from the ceiling, “I’ve got a spare, you can use it,” he says.

So, I tore down dust coffin, and set up a new tent.

Two camp set ups in two days, extreme heat exhaustion, long wait to get in, not even on playa a day and a half and I thought, wow, this is really intense.

And it got wierder.

Harder.

Dustier.

And, as always, more magical in ways I could never expect.

I met and connected with new friends.

I reconnected with old friends.

I missed seeing a bunch of folks I for sure thought I was going to see.

I randomly bumped into someone I hadn’t seen in 8 years as I was pulling out on my bicycle from one art piece to head to another.

I got to go on an art car I have always dreamed of getting onto and rode one of the amazing mechanical carousel horses on it.

I danced.

One day, lost in a dust storm, shocker, I know, dust storms, I found myself so far beyond the area I was looking for that I just tried to find shelter to ride it out and stumbled upon a very, very, very lavish camp.

They had amazing music, and, holy shit, A/C.

I mean.

Fuck.

A huge common tent with A/C being piped into it.

There was also a lot and I do mean, A LOT, of drugs being very openly consumed.

I did not give a fuck.

I was sheltered in A/C dancing to amazing music.

I was never offered anything and I didn’t want anything and I didn’t care that there was so much wealth on display, all I did was, every once in a while, stop someone who was cavorting to ask for a water.

I was kept well hydrated and I danced for over three hours until the storm passed.

Then merrily took my tired knees back across playa on my bicycle.

I got to see my original poems hung up in the Museum of No Spectators, that brought big walloping tears to my eyes.

I had secret dream when I was young to see my art in a museum.

I was blown away by that.

Later in the week, with friends and family-an uncle on my father’s side of the family, I walked in my cap and gown and had a dear friend and the architect who designed the art piece, hood me in a graduation ceremony.

It was profound and moving and it meant an awful lot to me.

I also, promptly, got lost on the way back and wound up taking over an hour to find my way back.

Surreal to get lost in a place that I have been to so many times.

I star gazed in deep playa.

I cried in the middle of an art piece that moved me beyond words.

I danced in line waiting for ice.

I met a lot of international folks.

I got to know folks at my camp on a deeper more meaningful and intimate manner than I have ever experienced.

I don’t know how to write about one of the things that happened at camp that profoundly affected me without making it about me and I have been wondering for days about whether I would even write about it, or write a blog at all about Burning Man this year, though I have wanted to process it (my damn therapist had to cancel this week) but I do want to mention it lightly with respect and grace over drama.

I witnessed a death.

I was a first responder and performed CPR.

I was not a hero, but I was present and I am so very grateful that I was of service in the moments I was there.

I was also in shock at what had happened.

I leaned into people at my camp.

And I let myself cry when I could.

I only told a few people about what had happened.

Most of what I talked about was very minimal.

There was one person who heard the whole story, had been there when I walked out of the trailer stunned, held me as I shook with silent sobs and took very kind care of me.

I witnessed the camp come together in a way that stays with me, and I suspect, will always stay with me, to honor that person who passed and hold space for all those affected.

I told a woman who was there in the depths of the experience with me that this camp, which I had camped with twice prior, was now my camp for good, I was a member and I wanted a service position, I would be attending the business meeting and picking one up, commit to coming back, camp with them and be of service.

She welcomed me and suggested something to me and the next day I was elected to that position.

So.

I am going back next year, and every foreseeable year I can.

And I stayed, of course, I stayed, for the Temple burn.

Man burn was amazing and fun and I love me some pyro, yes, yes I do.

Temple was sweet, a touch sad, but not as forlorn as I have experienced it the few times I had been prior.

Honestly, I have only seen two Temple burns.

This burn was soft and sweet and though tears slid down my face a few times, it was not the horrendous vomiting of grief that I experienced after putting my best friends ashes in the Temple my first year.

Sidebar.

Yes. I do, now, know, that ashes are not welcomed there, but I was not aware of that at the time I went in 2007 for my first burn.

I can’t take those back.

And my best friend is always out there for me.

As I packed up my tiny car and got ready to sit in exodus for 6.5 hours, had I fucking known, ugh, I heard music from the camp next to me and I burst into tears.

You always get me at the end Burning Man, don’t you?

It was my friend’s favorite song playing.

It was like getting a soft kiss on my forehead, like he used to do, as I left the burn and headed home.

Tears wet on my face.

Gratitude for the intensity and the humility and the deep connections I made.

Shit.

I didn’t even tell you about the sauna in an Airstream I got to have, but I’ll save that for another day.

It is late.

And I have sleep to catch up on still.

I’ll see you in the dust next year.

You can’t get rid of me.

Seriously.

Burning Man, you got me for life.

Damn it.

A Banner Day

July 28, 2022 by

Actually.

The last two days have been pretty stellar.

I was reflecting on one of the nice turns of events that happened for me yesterday–I went from owing taxes to getting a tax return–and I thought, hmmm.

How interesting that I was in deep acceptance about paying the unexpected tax bill after an enlightening couple of conversations with a friend and work on my scarcity mentality.

And then.

Yesterday, when meeting with the final accountant before my 2021 taxes were filed, did it finally come clear.

I was right!

Fuck.

I mean.

I don’t often dance about going, I was right, I was right, but when one is unexpectedly looking at dropping another 5k towards taxes, when inside you’d been secretly hoping you’d get a return, well.

I WAS RIGHT!

Ugh.

It was a slogging walk through a lot of discomfort though.

Last week, after a bit of prompting with the accounting firm I use, I finally got a set time to go over the return, sign it and file.

When I got the draft of the taxes I was aghast, upset, angry, and in tears.

How was it possible that I owed money?

Ugh.

Again.

Here I was being really diligent about making my quarterly payments and being on time with it all, and aside, doll, it is your first time doing taxes as a private practice and there’s so much to learn about being a business owner, but still.

Fuck.

I really had been crossing all the “t’s” and dotting all the “i’s” but I still owed.

It was baffling.

Especially because in April the accounting firm had dropped a bomb on me and said, oops, hahahaha, looks like you have to pay more in then we realized, and you only have three days to do it before penalty this and penalty that.

It was $9,302.

I wanted to vomit on my laptop when saw that.

I was beyond aghast.

I emailed the accountant and I asked for clarification and I expressed what a devastating thing it was to have just made the quarterly tax payment, and then less the twelve hours later I was being told I owed another 9k.

I was flummoxed.

I got a sincere apology from the co-founder of the firm, who I had cc’d on the message back to the accountant, an explanation for why it happened and they refunded the $900 I had paid for the service.

Great.

And, I still had to pay the money.

So I basically emptied my savings and did that.

Which was why I had turned down the original Burning Man ticket I was going to get.

I can’t go to the event and be there for two weeks and work on playa and help out and miss two weeks of work after taking that kind of hit.

So.

I gave up the commitment, gave up the ticket, and resigned myself to not going.

Things changed over the next few months.

I had a really stellar month in May and a strong month in June.

July, not so great since COVID happened to me and I had to take a week off, but I had secured a new ticket and gotten my gear sourced and I was ready to go.

Then the tax bill arrived.

I was so upset.

Fuck.

I thought I was going to have to bow out completely from going to the event.

I spent some time thinking about it and decided to just pause, lean into the discomfort, think about what I wanted and act like I had the money to pay the bill.

Which I did.

Even if it meant wiping out the savings I had just rebuilt after the April tax kerfuffle.

I even asked the CPA who had drafted my tax filing about the April payment and got a brush off.

So.

I had done a bit of inventory, a lot of breathing, and got very into acceptance, I’ll meet with the accountant with the firm and just fucking sign and pay the fucking taxes.

And.

Oh.

This is good.

I was right.

The firm had missed the payment.

The IRS had not.

The IRS had a record of it and I accessed it, shared it with the accountant and I went from having to pay in $5,761 to getting back $4,340.

Fuck yes!

I was over the moon.

And the week of work I missed with being sick was now made up for and I’m ok to go to the event and.

Woohoo!

Then.

Today.

I got back the final dissertation draft with all the edits properly executed and accepted.

There was only one.

One fucking edit I could not fix myself and I had to chase after help, but I got it and it was returned complete and done and perfect this morning.

So.

I logged into the ProQuest portion of the publication process and I fucking finished the deal.

I chose how I wanted to publish, Traditional versus Open Source, which means I could actually get royalties (though I will not bank on it), my dissertation.

I filled in all the blanks.

I paid for my own hard cover copy to be sent to me.

And I hit the upload button.

It does not immediately get published, the school will gate keep it one more time and make sure all the edits are correct, then once those final edits are affirmed, they will publish it an I will get a link to a copy of the dissertation on ProQuest.

Holy fucking shit.

This last piece has finally fallen into place.

And it was a harrowing last piece of work.

I cannot even begin to talk about how intense it was to deal with the lapse in holding the administration at my school had.

I will tell you what I did get, however.

First, I got an apology from the head of the Writing Center, then my dean, followed by a profound apology from the Provost, in a 45 minute Zoom call where I went over everything that happened and how the program and the school dropped me and publishing my dissertation.

I contacted the provost when things were fucking falling apart in a bewildering way and she helped push through some admin bullshit that was once again damaging to have to walk through.

She also affirmed what I had experienced, did not gaslight what happened, and noted what I had accomplished, the depth of the work I had done and gave me a beautiful, “Congratulations Doctor _______________”.

She promised to make sure that I would matriculate.

And, once the publication happens I will be matriculated at the end of the summer semester.

Considering how batshit the administration of the school is, I won’t expect my diploma until this fall, but for now, all the things that I needed to do are done.

I just need the manager of the dissertation portion of the Writing Center to confirm I did the final edit and send to ProQuest.

I did follow up with an email, although he gets an automatic email from the upload. I saved it anyway, which I have learned, I needed to do with the school.

Which is how I was able to show where they had dropped the ball and how, I hope, they will not for future cohorts.

I really am ready to be done with the institution.

And.

I am ready for my own damn version of graduation.

Back in May when I walked, when I had gotten the approval to graduate, despite the fact of finding out later that there were things missing, I was also missing part of my regalia–the god damn hood.

The one piece of the graduation outfit for doctors that signifies the degree.

The way it works is that your committee chair hoods you at the graduation ceremony.

My graduation was virtual and though we had a little in person reception at the school, it was weak sauce.

And the outfit responsible for getting my regalia to me never sent me my hood.

I got my hood in the mail this Monday.

Two months after my “graduation.”

The Universe is funny.

So.

I am going to have a graduation ceremony on playa, at Burning Man, at my friend’s art piece, the Museum of No Spectators.

I think Wednesday or Thursday of the event.

The art piece has a stage.

I’m not sure how I’m going to organize it, but a little hooding ceremony, a walk out to the Temple in my regalia, and then laying it at rest there.

It feels right.

I had a kind of dark night of the soul on playa in 2014 that led to me applying to graduate school to get my Master’s in Psychology.

This feels like the closing of a circle and a celebration of all the freaking hard work I did to get here.

From playa nanny to Doctor.

I am beyond grateful.

Like I said.

It was a banner day.

Seriously.

Random Thougts

July 14, 2022 by

From COVIDLANDIA.

I should hashtag that.

Do people make money off hashtags?

I felt so much better today than the last five days.

And then this afternoon, it kind of bitch slapped me back down.

I got really tired.

Napped a little on the couch.

I was like, wait, why am I in shoes, put on the bunny slippers now girl.

Bunny slippers, Ziggy the cat and read the last pages of Mike Doughty’s memoir I Die Each Time I Hear the Sound.

Which had fan girl bought like, um, two years ago and never read.

Oops.

Sorry dude.

(by the way, read this, it’s very good and it was pleasing to think about where I was in my life listening to Soul Coughing, or when Mike went out on solo tour and a bunch of us from the Angelic Brewing Company went to see him at Cafe Montmarte in Madison, and one of my girlfriend’s, fucking high as shit, announced to the crowd how much she was in love with Mike and that she was “high on mushrooms” and then he heckled her. Fuck that was great.)

I got busy with a dissertation and living through a pandemic.

I mean.

I managed to get pretty far when it comes down to it, two years, four months, but it still got me.

Ugh.

I have slowly been catching up on the reading, pleasure reading that is.

I finished Jennifer Egan’s The Candy House right before the plague drop kicked me.

Creepy good.

Also, was before the back and forth bullshit with my institute of higher learning.

Aside.

Aside to the aside, there’s going to be a lot of asides, there will be asides to the asides ad infinitum.

I mean.

COVID.

Anyway.

I got an email from the dude at the Writing Center with the final edits to my dissertation that needed to be done and it took me a minute to look at them really today.

But I did.

And I made progress.

And fingers, crossed, now I really am in the final stretch.

I bounced out of bed.

I felt GREAT.

Holy shit.

The headache finally fucking went away.

I took the trash out, the recycling, the compost, I got dressed, like in clothes that don’t scream lounging around the house, I put on sneakers, not my bunny slippers.

I ate breakfast at the table, not in bed watching Atlanta on Hulu.

ASIDE.

Like what the fuck HULU?

Here’s this glorious, witty, sarcastic, pointed, intellectual, insightful, amazing and painful, sad, deeply poignant look at the black experience in America and y’all keep playing that hideous Amazon Prime video with a black man crooning about “coco butter” (or is it cold, cold butter?) and dancing around in a bad 70s disco throw back. I mean, WTF? It was like this very meta, hella meta, am I just woozy with COVID fever? frame to watch Atlanta through. Black man dancing around encouraging everyone to go buy some camping gear?

Hello.

What?

WHATTHEFUCKINGHELL?

I’m sure there’s a Reddit somewhere about this, but it made me sick.

It reminded me of being in undergrad at UW Madison and watching Spike Lee’s Bamboozled in the theater and how people kept laughing at really creepy ass shit and it got more and more uncomfortable and people started walking out.

I think I’m one of thirty people that saw that movie come out in the theaters.

Anyway.

Next time, note to self, if I get Hulu, buy it without the commercials, I think I just back doored this shit to skip paying and get “one month free”.

Now that I wrapped Atlanta, I’m out.

Until Handmaid’s Tale comes back.

FUCK.

Hits a little close to home doesn’t it?

I’m very apolitical on my social, but I can’t get away from it at work, everyone, every single one of my clients, male, female, straight, bi, queer, trans, BI-POC, every one, has been talking the politics.

I can’t get away from it.

And sometimes I get a little paranoid, like, yeah, I got some views, but if you can pointedly target me with cat litter ads.

STOP THAT SHIT PLEASE. IT’S BAD ENOUGH I GOT TO LOOK AT THAT SHIT ONCE A DAY, WHEN I CLEAN THE DAMN BOX. LITERALLY. STOP IT IN MY FEED MOTHERFUCKERS. I KEEP THE CATBOX CLEAN I DON’T NEED THE AUTOMATED ONE, IT WOULD LIKE SCARE MY CATS AND THEY WILL SHIT ON MY BED.

STOP.

Maybe, you can, like figure out my political leanings and be noting that data somewhere.

Like, if you can target me with Cynthia Rowley frocks, yes, I bought one in New York, motherfuckers, you can probably reverse engineer that shit and figure out which way I lean.

HELLA LIBERAL BITCHES.

Maybe I should write from a COVID standpoint more often, I can just be like, I was hallucinating, listening to Big Freedia, and blogging, what?

I also.

I didn’t.

I swear, I did not do it.

But, fuck, I really wanted to.

I, um, donned a double mask, KN95, yo, and washed my hands, and sanitized and went outside to move my car for street parking and on way way back there was like a gaggle of teens in front of the fancy ass boba shop around the corner from my house and there was like a herd of them and I was like, fuck, move, move, move.

I almost yelled, “I HAVE COVID, MOVE BITCHES”.

I didn’t.

But, the temptation.

Fierce.

They must have sensed I was not fucking around though, cuz the tweenage waters parted and I thought, oh, that does smell kind of good, is that creme brulee? Do they make creme brulee boba?

Side note.

Yesterday I kept smelling something weird and I was like, did someone burn something cooking in one of the apartments, though I’ve never had cooking smells before.

Did the cafe next door burn something?

Wait, it’s Tuesday, I think, yeah, Tuesday, it’s closed.

What is that smell?

Oh.

That’s what it is.

This morning when I felt better and blew my nose, I realized it was blood, I was smelling my own damn blood when I was blowing my nose so hard so I could breathe through one of my nostrils.

MOTHERFUCKING GROSS.

Aside.

I used to do a lot of cocaine.

ALOT.

I totes forgot how bad my nose used to get stuffed up from it.

Good grief.

Thank fucking god I’m sober.

Also.

Do you know you have to show an ID to get Mucinex?

I had a wee panic attack, hahahahahahahahaha, fucking freak out, on Saturday when I went from mild symptoms, to oh shit, this got serious and I can’t breathe and my nose is so stuffed up and I can’t breathe and shit god damn.

I tried to InstaCart Mucinex and it was too late to order.

I got some off brand knock off Walgreens that probably only had a placebo effect for all the good it seemed to do on my symptoms.

But I took it and felt “better”.

I got the Mucinex delivered the next morning.

Aside.

WHAT THE FUCKING HELL INSTACART?

HOLY GOD DAMN.

A BAG OF GROCERIES SHOULD NOT BE $94.

AND WHO THE FUCK THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA TO GIVE ME THIS AVOCADO?

SADDEST FUCKING AVOCADO IN THE WHOLE GOD DAMN WORLD.

My buyer must have took pity on this vegetable, cuz there is no reason why I paid $7 for this sad thing.

SERIOUSLY.

When my Mucinex got delivered, and that cost a tidy $40, remember when coke was $50 a gram and my dealer would deliver to me and it was in less than 20 minutes anywhere I was in the city, mostly the Mission, like let me be honest, but shit, he didn’t ID me for the bag.

I told the lady, “I have COVID.”

SHE HAD TO SEE MY ID AND MATCH THE DATE OF BIRTH TO THE INFO ON MY INSTACART ACCOUNT.

Lady, look at my wrinkles.

I put the card down on the step and walked six feet back whilst she gingerly picked it up and compared it to the info on her phone.

Fuck lady.

I’m 49.

50 this year.

Just like say I’m of age and don’t touch my COVID covered ID.

SORRY.

Other random COVID thoughts.

I should start an Instagram page of my cats.

Because.

They are cute.

And because, cats.

But then I had a thought, like what if my clients found my cat page?

And saw that I wear bunny slippers and have a pink couch.

Psychoanalyze that shit.

Nah.

I’ll just annoy my close friends with my cute cat pix.

They are cute.

Also.

Thank goodness for Zoom meetings.

I mean.

I was hella tired and super stoked to see people in person.

Until the person secretary’ing up at the spot had COVID and did I get it from you dude?

Anyway.

I am toggling through day six.

Watching B movies.

Hustlers yo, damn JLo.

And Better Call Saul.

Dragging that one out slow though, it is so good.

And keeping myself up at night planning what to wear to Burning Man.

Aside.

FUCK YOU KEEPING MY BURNING MAN GEAR.

ahem.

My gear is in the garage of guy I had gone on a few dates with who wanted to date me, but well, um, I was not having the passive communication, drove me fucking bats and I broke it off and I wasn’t interested in poly anyhow, not that there’s anything wrong, get your love on people, I don’t judge, just not for me and no I am not going to a sex party, I have hella tattoos and prolly someone’s fucking metamour of a client is gonna be there and yikes, and hey, yeah, thanks for storing my Burning Man gear.

Can I um, get that shit back?

One of my friends said.

How much will it cost to replace?

I threw out a number.

Sounds worth it to avoid the drama.

But.

Uh, shit.

I like drama?

So I reached out and was treated to the same passive communication that drove me crazy last time and then I was like, dude is avoiding me and I hurt some feelings and cool, cool, cool.

Keep my dusty ass shit.

I wanted to buy new boots anyway.

So.

YESSSS MAMA.

I upgraded my tent.

Aside.

One day I will upgrade to a trailer but I ain’t got that kind of cash yet.

I upgraded to a six man black out tent.

Yeah.

Six-man.

I mean, I like some space.

And a new queen size blow up mattress, cuz girl likes her sleep.

And yes.

l did get new boots.

Heh.

I almost don’t know if I can, but fuck, fuck it, why not.

Heh.

I got some platforms from Demonia.

Yeah.

I am that bitch.

They are platform, reflective, purple blue leather (vegan).

BWAHAHAHAHAAHA.

I’m already kind of tall.

I’m gonna tower.

And since I can rock a platform I will have no problem stomping all over the playa.

So.

Yeah.

After a little written inventory about the last cryptic text I got from dude I realized I did not indeed want the drama, and as per my person’s suggestions, I blocked him and I have wrote off my playa gear.

So.

I’ve been a little like a feverish kid in a candy store stalking the inter webs for all things Burning Man.

And honestly, I am pretty set.

I’ve been eleven times, twelve?

Eleven, this is time number twleve.

I know how to do the deal.

I gots a new tent, new cooler, new parasol, new boots, new googles.

I already have closets with out there clothes, what I wear to Burning Man is basically what ever is in the closet and dresser, with my funky playa boots and maybe some fishnets.

I already have a makeup kit.

I already have the crazy hair.

Hella aside.

My stylist posted in her Insta that she would give anyone 5% discount next time they came in if they tagged her in their post with a pix of colored hair/style she’d done.

I was like, hells yes, cuz expensive and give me discount.

Except.

I’ve never posted a story before.

Yeah.

I know.

Shaddup.

I have never been on Tik Tok or Snap either.

Yes. I have seen a TIK TOK, I don’t live in a fucking cave people.

So, I post this photo I took like three weeks ago, but not realizing how to do it and it gets out and I didn’t tag her, she saw it anyway, picked it up, re-posted and hey, girl, discount, and like now it’s on all the social spots and everybody be like

FUCK YOU LOOK AMAZE!

ALLHEALEDFROMCOVIDANDHELLASASSY!

Um.

No.

I took a selfie I was sending to a guy I went on one date with three and a half weeks ago, lying on my bed with full makeup on.

I haven’t put makeup on since last Thursday, my hair is in messy buns like a six year old girl, I’m in fur covered leggings cuz one of my cat’s is white and likes snuggling and I’m in bunny slippers.

There is no sexy going on over here.

And aside.

Why didn’t we have a second date?

Oh wait, you’re still living with your ex.

I got to stop trying the apps, they fucking suck.

I’m down to like, seriously, just get picked up in a grocery store right now, cuz you now I won’t be instacarting any more avocados yo, whilst perusing the produce.

Or.

Maybe, when I’m at the park reading a book.

When I’m not contagious, I won’t be out in the public till I test negative, save the lecture.

Anywho.

Day six.

That was fun.

This Long, Strange Journey

July 12, 2022 by

Is almost at a close.

Guess what?

I have not graduated.

Surprised?

Me too.

I have been excitedly waiting for the diploma in the mail.

Thinking, in the back of my head, when is it a good time to reach out to my university and ask, “hey, when’s that paper gonna drop?”

Mindful of the continuing weirdness that is the pandemic.

Oh.

Yeah.

Hey.

I got COVID.

CONGRATULATIONS!

What a weird ass virus this is.

First, thank fucking God I was vaccinated and boosted.

It was not a fun time.

And it was kind of fun at the same time.

At least the first couple of days.

It started with some ennui, which honestly I thought, oh, this is classic countertransference, exhaustion whilst working with a narcissist.

Look it up, I’m not kidding.

But in hind sight, I think that’s when things were starting to cook.

My brain, that is.

Later that night, last Thursday, my voice was scratchy, but I chalked that up to screaming in my kitchen.

Like, at the top of my lungs, hurt my throat, scare my cats, kind of screaming.

Why?

Well, like I opened with, I haven’t actually graduated.

Let me back pedal a moment here.

Cue June 22nd.

I am in session with a client on video, wrapping up my morning sessions and thinking about a walk and a lunch break, when my dissertation budding sends me a photo of himself holding his PUBLISHED DISSERTATION.

WTF?

I mean, seriously, I felt like I was in a nasty Twilight Zone episode.

My colleague had defended his dissertation in March, I defended last year, mid-October.

I knew that it was too late in the semester to graduate with the fall cohort and that was fine, Spring is a fine time to walk, if you can call the wierdo hybrid video and reception my school had a graduation.

I did it anyway.

I applied to graduate, turned in all my forms, did all my things, or so I thought.

Yeah.

Ha.

It turns out that there was a missing piece.

The writing center, had not received my dissertation.

I did not know this.

I had somehow, don’t get me started on that, I know exactly how I slipped through the cracks, cue a very emotional conversation I had with the Provost this past Friday, yeah, that’s right, when I was on day two of COVID, but hadn’t tested positive yet (albeit enjoying the mildly delightful low grade fever I was running and doing online shopping for Burning Man. Yes! I am going, but that is another blog), my dissertation, had somehow not gotten turned in.

In essence, the last thing that needed to be done, was not done.

I lost my shit when I saw my friend’s photo.

I texted him immediately, how did you do that?

He told me.

He told me information I had never been given despite asking, oh so many times, for information on what are the next steps, please let me know.

Please.

I have a folder of emails, back and forth and back and forth, of weird little lapses that I kept catching and sending back out to the department, hey what next? Hey, did this go through? Hey, what now?

My friend called me and listened to me angry cry and then sent me a bunch of people to contact.

I contacted them all.

I won’t go into detail all the ways I continued to be dropped, but I did, when I met with the Provost last Friday (after reaching out to them whilst continuing to be demeaned, humiliated, and shamed by the administration–amazing how cc’ing the provost finally got me somewhere), who issued me a formal apology and listened with some disgust at what happened, she also congratulated me on graduating and officially pushed through a lot of paperwork to rectify what happened.

Suffice to say.

This morning I received the final step process to get my dissertation published.

Ironically, this morning is when I turned my COVID corner.

I am feeling better.

It was mild and mellow the first two days, but day three, Saturday, it got scary.

It got scary fast.

I was suddenly congested in a way that spooked me.

I realized that I needed some sort of decongestant ASAP and I couldn’t go out, I mean, I tested positive Saturday morning, so quarantining had to continue, and what to do?

I could Instacart, but it wouldn’t get to me until Sunday morning.

And frankly, when my lips started to tingle and I could barely draw a breath, I thought, I ain’t got that kind of time.

I made a couple of phone calls and a dear heart hopped on a scooter and ran over to the Walgreens in the Castro and picked me up some stuff.

I also had a friend, very gently, suggest that if it got worse I go to the ER, and er, that you might be having a panic attack.

I did recognize that.

I was panicked.

And taking big calming deep breaths was out of the question, I was way too stuffed up, and when I panic, I cry, and when I cry I get more stuffed up.

Suffice to say, I did calm down, and it sucked, and it was scary, but I got some strong decongestant in my system, got some scary Mucinex delivered the next day–had to show ID to delivery person, how weird is that? And between Saturday night and Sunday I slept.

I mean.

All I did was sleep.

And sleep.

And sleep.

I had strange dreams.

I drank tons of water.

I would get one nostril slightly clear and breathe through one side of my nose.

My cats cuddled with me, as they are now.

I slept more on than off for 48 hours.

The last couple of days really were dream like and hallucinatory.

I canceled all my clients this week.

I was holding out that maybe, maybe, I could possibly see clients tomorrow and Thursday.

Not like in person, duh, but via video.

But I have little voice quality and I also know better and though it hurt financially, sigh, I have no COVID grant or loan or buffer with the city or state, all those ships sailed long ago, I knew it would be better to take the time off and really heal and rest.

Model for my clients too, give yourself permission to slow down.

Rest is a radical act.

And then this morning, I got back the final email from the Center for Writing and Scholarship.

They blasted through my dissertation (the one they had “never received” even though I have emails in my dissertation file with the addresses of the head of the department, my dean, the registrar, and the head admin with all the forms and things and what have you, and the head of the writing center) and got it back to me with the final check list edits done and the directions to how to upload it to ProQuest.

I am leaving out a huge chunk of what happened.

Mostly, because I don’t have the energy to replay it. It was a nasty, heart wrenching experience and if you want to know about it we can talk in person, suffice to say when this is done I will be distancing myself from the institution for a while.

And that brings me to today.

The dissertation with the email with very detailed instructions on how to proceed.

I read them a bunch.

They don’t make sense, but so much of academia doesn’t make sense.

And sometimes, a lot actually, I have to read and re-read these kinds of academic instructions, they do not come to me intuitively.

Sufficed to say, I’m finally, now, in the final leg of the journey.

And I have COVID.

But, as I mentioned, it has turned and I think I’m through to the other side.

I still sound like Lauren Bacall after a half bottle of whiskey and a pack of cigarettes.

And I don’t have my normal amount of energy, but I haven’t been compelled to just drop everything and nap for four hours.

I read the email a bunch of times and decided, I’ll open it tomorrow.

I texted a friend who has been witnessing this whole thing and he said something interesting and I realized, am I just here at the very end of the longest mile and not pushing through?

Am I scared?

I suppose.

Perhaps it is perfectionism, I was sent a message this morning that stated perfectionism is “fear dressed up in heels and a mink coat,” and, well, I had to laugh; I do love a good dressing up.

So.

I opened it.

I opened the dissertation and I found an error that needs correcting, on page 52 of 267, and I thought, wow, that’s not bad. One little error.

And I tried to correct it and realized I had only opened it in a way that could be read but not edited.

And I paused.

Not because I want to be perfect.

But because I recognized that is enough for today.

I took the whole week off from clients.

Maybe the Universe had plans for me that I didn’t even know I needed to attend to.

I am going to be gentle and mindful, again not perfect, but also, not procrastinating.

Which means that I have done enough today.

I have begun the end.

And I can get one more night’s rest before sitting down at my desk and doing the final steps.

Tomorrow I do the deal.

The damn thing has waited this long.

It can wait one more day.

I’ll keep you posted.

And.

I’m not going to bother to beat myself up about this, I already played that story out, I’m not going to judge myself, I’m just going to be grateful that I have gotten this far and there is not much left to do. I’m not going to have false humility and not talk about what happened and pretend that I graduated with smooth sailing. It’s been a hideous, bumpy, tumultuous experience, and in some way, I am very well aware that I will walk through this so that I can turn around and say to someone going through the same thing, “see I’ve been there, I got you, you can do this too.”

And as the brain fog starts to settle back down and I’m getting a little fuzzy, I’m going to stop here as well.

I have nothing pithy to add.

Just that there might still be time to take a nap.

Really.

There is always time to take a nap.

That is all.

Slow it down

June 21, 2022 by

Whelp.

I might have been ready to buy a house.

But the bank ain’t.

Oh well.

And actually.

Some relief.

It felt like it was moving a touch too fast.

I was beginning to feel anxiety about client’s cancelling and am I bringing in enough and how much is a mortgage payment going to be?

OH.

That’s a lot.

And fuck.

I better secure some more clients.

And shit.

I need to publish a book and can someone bequeath me some money.

I don’t really play the lotto, but maybe I better start.

Fun things the brain likes to cook up.

But, as it turns out, I am not in a position to buy anything.

This year.

I had a meeting, phone meeting, with the mortgage broker my real estate agent suggested.

And he was very clear.

Nothing to do here.

No bank is going to touch me.

I’m self-employed.

I need two years of stable income.

It’s not that I’m a risk per se, but that banks are very hesitant to loan money to the person who doesn’t have a proven track record of making money.

Cool.

I get that.

So the agent said, you appear to make enough and continue to make this much and you should be fine to get a loan.

Next year.

So.

The project is on hold and I’m not going anywhere.

Unless, yeah, some long lost relative has some money for me.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

That’s so not happening.

Anyway.

I actually felt a lot of relief when that happened, the mortgage broker saying, not this year and I’ll contact you about this time next year and then we’ll talk.

Gave me a reprieve.

Gave me some relief.

It’s not off the radar, but it’s some ways out.

And of course, time moves quick at my age, next year will be here before I know it.

Still.

Being able to take my foot off the gas and recognize that I don’t have to suddenly work more when I already work a lot, was a relief.

And.

Summer’s tough.

Folks travel.

I’ve had a lot of cancellations with people traveling.

And I’m ok with that.

There are still new clients coming in, I have a consultation tomorrow.

I picked up a new client last week.

Turn over happens.

That’s a part of my business.

Faith that things will move and taking the necessary actions and letting go, gently, of the results, is the best way forward with me.

I also hit up the MOHCD first time buyers program zoom.

Mayors Office of Housing and Community Development.

I had thought I had a chance at some of the loan programs they offer first time buyers.

And nope.

I don’t.

The city counts gross income.

EVEN for someone who is self-employed.

So it doesn’t matter that my business eats about half of what I make, the city will count all of what the business brings in.

Sigh.

So.

I make too much money.

Funny that.

Not quite enough money in some eyes and too much in others.

I did at least save a little time and exited the zoom early when I learned that piece of information.

I looked about my apartment, it’s a sweet little space, and I realized, hmm, I have plenty, I have more than enough.

I live a lovely life.

I have two cute cats.

I have a business that I run and own.

Literally.

I am an SCorp.

Well, my business is an SCorp.

I actually have 1,000 shares if you are interested in investing.

Not that I would ever go public.

Not that I even know if that’s an option.

Totally no clue, but yeah, my accountant filed the paper work for me, my business, to become a corporation rather than a sole proprietor.

Cool.

I have no idea what it means, except, that ultimately it’s supposed to save me some tax dollars.

Ok.

A lot of this is over my head.

I don’t know anyone in my family that is a business owner.

This is all unfamiliar territory.

But there are perks, so many.

I call my shots.

I schedule myself.

I still am loving the off on Fridays gig.

I love my job, that helps so much.

I am grateful for all the other jobs I’ve had as well, they have all served in one way or another–taught me how to listen, how to care take of others, how to watch for cues in the environment, having an open door policy when I was management in the service industry, all the confidences I have held over the years.

It all added up.

I shared with someone recently, that I have been groomed to be a therapist, I was built to be one.

I am grateful for it all.

It hasn’t been easy.

No.

Not at all.

But.

It has been beautiful.

And for that I am grateful.

And that house that I have built to reside in, the corporeal one this soul inhabits.

Well.

It’s damn solid and I am content.

So much so.

A house can wait.

My home is already secured.

I’d Like to Buy a House

June 13, 2022 by

I would say, with some glee, as I forked over a spate of pastel colored pieces of Monopoly money. I liked to slowly developed my prime real estate, keeping a few dollars back in case I landed on someone else’s quick built up into hotels.

I preferred the green properties on the Monopoly board.

Not quite the same high end prices as Boardwalk, but nice places, chi chi.

“You’re just like San Francisco,” I was told once in passing, “you used to be hipster and now you’re bougie.”

Ahem.

I was both annoyed and flattered.

It’s kind of true.

I can’t tell you when the last time I went out for a ride on my flip flop one speed Mission Bicycle, although I could if I looked at my social a bit, I do tend to document when I go for rides now.

I call them “bike’ies” instead of “selfies”.

Just my bike leaned up against some cool street art.

I have a lot of those from when I lived in Paris in 2012 and 2013.

These days, not as many.

I tend to walk everywhere.

Yes, I do have a car, but, um, when you score a good spot in your hood and don’t have to move it for street parking until Friday, you, I mean, I, walk everywhere.

I did take the car out today, early this afternoon.

I went to an open house.

I guess this is when the bougie piece comes in.

Sort of.

I do actually want to buy a house.

I always have, but I never really thought that it would be possible.

Until recently.

I had a talk a few years back with a woman I know who is a realtor and helped a mutual friend buy a house.

I knew how much said mutual friend was making and thought, huh, I wonder, when I get into my private practice, I might be able to swing that.

So I had coffee with the realtor and told her my deal and that I was years out, but intrigued.

She told me to get a credit card.

Which I did not want to do, but build up your credit was the advice I was given.

Before I got sober I burned my credit to the ground and it was bad news bears getting out of that financial hole.

But I did.

And I swore, no more credit cards, ever.

NO.

But, the realtor was convincing, and I knew a few folks who used their cards wisely, paid them off immediately, and built credit whilst also getting airline miles.

Huh.

I could do that.

And, do that I did.

In fact, that’s how I flew to Hawaii in February.

Airline miles on a credit card.

I actually flew first class, I had a lot of miles accrued.

It was so worth it and my credit score has gone up significantly.

I don’t keep a balance, ever on my cards, yeah, cards, I now have two.

One is Alaska Airlines for flying to Hawaii and the other is Air France, for flying to Paris.

I’ll be able to fly free the next time I go to Paris, well, not the trip I have booked December, I already bought that, but the next time.

You know there will always be a next time I fly to Paris.

Anyway.

I have great credit.

My car is payed off, I have no credit card debt, and though, yes, I do have a ton of student loan debt, I have started paying it down.

So.

Yeah.

757 is my score and that’s considered “good” to “excellent.”

Rewind a few weeks back to hearing from a couple of people about their house buying adventures and I thought, huh, you know, I wonder.

I texted that realtor from a few years a go and we had coffee last Friday.

She thinks I can.

We started mapping things out.

I have done some research.

I have looked at a lot of things on Zillow and Bay Area Modern Homes.

A LOT.

My eyes are kind of bugged out from looking.

I’m awaiting a call back from a mortgage broker to discuss my situation and I talked with my accountant this past week.

I don’t make an enormous amount of money, but my business is doing well and as my accountant noted, my income is very stable.

I don’t personally make what my business makes, basically I take home about half of what I make.

But that’s enough.

And it’s also not a lot, by San Francisco standards, and as it turns out I make under the cut off for the Below Housing Market in the city.

I’m not interested in a ton of those homes, but I am interested in some of the first time buyer loan programs the city has.

So next Saturday I’m going to sit through a two hour Zoom workshop and take the next steps to move forward to do the work and paperwork for the city to help with a loan.

I’m excited.

Today I went to my first open house!

It was perfect.

And not quite.

The view made me super happy, but it didn’t have much closet space and it had some dingy ass carpet in the bedroom, not my style, carpet.

But oh, the view.

Stunning.

And lots and lots of light.

Which is what I really want.

Give me light!

I’m looking at industrial lofts in the city.

I like how they look.

I always have.

Polished cement floors, exposed beams, concrete, big warehouse windows.

Something Southern and/or Western facing, a corner unit please.

Which is what this loft was.

The view of Twin Peaks was fantastic.

I want to stay on “this side” of Twin Peaks.

I served my time out in the fog and I want to be on the “sunny side” of the city.

The loft was on Bryant Street in the Mission.

18th and Bryant.

A neighborhood I know very well.

I lived just a few blocks over when I first moved to San Francisco, at 20th and York.

I would day dream about a loft conversion that was happening down the block, not the one I saw today, but actually quite close, and imagine one day living there.

I told the realtor I’m working with, maybe it’s crazy.

But.

I’d love to move on Labor Day weekend.

It will mark my 20 year anniversary of moving from Madison, Wisconsin, to the Mission District in San Francisco.

When I had a two month sublet, no job lined up, about 2k in savings, and a used two door Honda Accord (that I donated two weeks later after accruing six parking tickets) with my life packed into it.

How smashingly cool would it be to land myself in a loft, in the Mission, 20 years later?

Pretty fucking cool.

I can’t know what’s going to happen.

I’m not sitting on a big nest egg–I spent that on my surgeries last year, thinking I was giving up on the idea of buying a house.

But, I do feel like it’s possible.

Anything’s possible.

Right?

I got a PhD, my own psycho-therapy business, a car, I mean.

Fuck.

I have come a long, long, long way from juggling three to four to five jobs, and riding all over the city on my one speed to get from one gig to the next.

Hey, Mister Banker Man, I want to buy a house.

This girl’s got a dream.

Let’s make it happen!

Seriously.

I’m Moving in June!

April 4, 2022 by

He said to me with great vehemence.

Standing a few steps above me, holding his room mate’s cat.

Said cat had darted out from his apartment when he opened the door after I had been incessantly ringing the doorbell. It was my second time trying to get the music to stop last night–the first time one of his friends had pulled back the curtain on the window in the door and waved at me, then went back upstairs–and snuck past me to say hello to my cats.

Ziggy hissed at him, Bunny looked like she was seeing the Creature From the Black Lagoon–every hair on her was at attention, she looked like a gigantic white puffer fish.

I shooed the cat out of my apartment and he scooped her up.

I think holding the cat was helpful for DJ Douche Bag.

Who, in times of feeling generous I now call DJ Bob to my friends.

(I mean, I was young and stupid once too)

Or clients.

“Is that music coming from your house?” A client asked me last week on a video call.

“Nope. That,” I said, “is from the neighbor upstairs, DJ Bob, likes to play a lot bass heavy music.”

“Wow,” my client replied, “that must be really loud.”

Yeah.

REALLY fucking loud.

Last week was kind of terrorizing for me, as far as DJ Bob goes, he was day time retaliating for me calling the cops on his party.

Let me back track a little.

Last week I ran into the master tenant, who I rarely see, and who has assiduously avoided me, only castigating me to the landlord and accusing me to the landlord of making false claims–the landlord has forwarded her emails and his responses to me to see, that there is in fact no music.

There is no there there.

Which made me livid.

I mean.

I am not hearing things.

Nor are all of the many guests that have come over and been agog at how loud it is.

I don’t like being gas lit.

And gas lighting was what she was doing.

So when I saw her come in I opened my door, and said, “hey S_______________, “hey! S_____________” we need to talk about DJ Bob (not his name, duh).

And I explained to her that once again the music was being played quite late, had been despite my best efforts to get it to stop, ringing the door bell, etc. continuing to be played well past the 10p.m. noise ordinance cut off.

And the master tenant looked at me and said, “I was home last night and there was no music being played.”

I was a-fucking-ghast.

What the fuckity fuck bitch?

I replied, yes there was, I heard it, it kept me up, I rang the bell, numerous times. You didn’t hear me ringing the bell?

No, master tenant replied.

Well, I rang it a lot last night. DJ Bob was playing quite late.

Master tenant replied, no he didn’t, he’s not here. There was no music being played last night.

OMG.

Fuck you hooker.

You are gas lighting me.

I replied, well, perhaps DJ Bob wasn’t there, but someone was in his room, someone was playing music, there were loads of people in and out and when I rang the bell I could here the music from the side walk and saw someone standing in front of the window (they are big bay windows) wearing headphones and there were people dancing behind him.

Master tenant said again, DJ Bob’s not here, there was no music being played.

I repeated that there was and that it respectfully needed to be turned off at 10p.m. as per the noise ordinance, please tell DJ Bob to adhere to that.

He’s not here, master tenant said and went inside.

I cannot even begin to tell you how mad I was.

MAD, mad I tell you!

I heard her go upstairs and bang on a door but that’s it.

Then I heard the music, faint, but just there.

And I thought, huh, DJ Bob’s not home, eh?

I went out the back door to my apartment and up the back stairs and every step I took up the music got louder.

Until I was at the roof.

By the way.

I’ve never been on the roof.

But guess what?

DJ Bob has.

There he was, headphones on, back to me wearing his purple sweatshirt, bobbing his head, surrounded by folks drinking and smoking and dancing.

Fuck my life.

This is an Art Deco historic building with a god damn tar paper roof, that managed to not get razed in the earthquake and subsequent fire of 1851 here in San Francisco.

You’re gonna set the damn building on fire.

Or one of your intoxicated friends is going to stumble off the top of a three story building and fall into the street.

I started taking pictures-DJ Bob, the table with the turntables and mixers, the chairs, the liquor bottles lined up on the edge of the roof, the speakers, the people smoking.

All of it.

I was going to take a video but someone gave me a weird look and I got spooked and headed back down stairs.

I went to my silver glitter folder on my desk and pulled out my lease.

(of course I keep my lease in a silver glitter folder)

Wasn’t there something about the roof mentioned in the lease?

Ah.

Indeed.

There it is.

I sent the landlord an email:

Dear (redacted–landlord)

There’s a party occurring at this moment on the roof of the building. Smoking, drinking, DJ sound system. Last night I was once again put in the position of requesting the music be turned down in unit ____. First at 11:30p.m. and then upon being woken up by the music in unit ___ at 1:30a.m. I rang the bell multiple times until the music stopped. 

I just spoke with (redacted) who denied that there was any music being played last night (as she was home) and that once again,(redacted) is not at home. This may be true, however, there is high foot traffic in and out of the room, especially on the weekends–some one and oftentimes, multitudes of people are in the room. Last weekend at 3:30a.m. Sunday morning I rang the bell and a man who was not (redacted) or (redacted) came down and peered out the window curtain after I’d rang the bell and without opening it said he’d turn off the music. I’m not hallucinating being woken up by music and I am furious at being put in the position of defending myself and my experience. 

Today is not the first time there’s been music and partying on the roof, but it is the first time I have investigated it. This party is in direct violation of item number 14.) on the lease regarding Nuisance; number 17.) Regarding smoking in common spaces; and most especially number 21.) Roof/Fire escape (Use of roof and/or the fire escapes by Tenant, tenant’s guests, or tenant’s ivitess is limited to emergency egress only. No other use is permitted, including but not limited to , the placement of personal property.)  You can see from the photos that there is alcohol, alcohol bottles, a table set up, speakers, and other property on the roof. There are people dancing, smoking, and drinking.

Please address these matters. I am bewildered by how long this has been going on.

Warm regards,

(Redacted, PhD, LMFT)

Within minutes I got the following response:

“Please call the cops! NO one is allowed on the roof.”

So.

I called the cops.

Cops came.

Party ended.

Sort of.

Party went to DJ Bob’s room with a fucking vengance.

Fucking hell, this is exhausting I thought to myself.

But I was on a tear.

I went outside and I took some photos.

Then I sent the master tenant an email:

Dear (redacted–master tenant)

I thought I would reach out after our conversation today and let you know that there are a number of folks currently in (Redacted)’s room, there’s a dj spinning in the front window, folks dancing, there’s a lot of foot traffic coming into the apartment, I just ran into a couple of girls now heading into the apartment. There’s quite loud music being played. I’m sending this message now in the hopes that you will address your flatmate and stop the music at 10p.m. 

I’m again requesting that you and your flatmates adhere to the noise ordinance.  Attached you will find some photos of an active DJ in the front window of (Redacted)’s room and a great deal of musical equipment set up. These are photos I just took moments ago.

I am dismayed to always have my experience challenged in regards to the noise. It feels like I am being gas lit when I am told there is no music being played. I would like to invite you to check in with your flatmates about the frequency of people coming through the apartment and again ask that the music be turned off at 10p.m. and not resumed later in the evenings or early mornings.

I will be cc’ing (redacted–the landlord) this message as well as the photos.

Please let me know if you have any questions or would like to have a chat in person. I would like to resolve this amicably and I am more than willing to do a mediation with you, (redacted), and (redacted); either  with (redacted–the landlord) or the SF Community Boards.

Warm regards,

(redacted, PhD, LMFT)

The music stopped at 10:01pm

Fucking thank Christ.

And though it’s been rough during the day all this past week, the music has ended at 10p.m. every night.

Until.

Last night.

Cue DJ Bob on the stairs sweating and holding master tenant’s cat.

I realized pretty quick that he was high and that I was likely not going to get anywhere.

But.

I tried.

Basically, without going word for word, DJ Bob yelled over my calm voice that no one else complained, that when he goes to his friends house and plays til 7a.m. (!!) no one complains, that it is Saturday and he has friends visiting (from Italy, DJ Bob is Italian) and he’s going to play until 11 p.m. when they are going out.

I tried to reason and mentioned the noise ordinance was every day of the week and Saturday was no exception, but got ran over and he kept babbling at me about cops and no one else complains and the street noise.

I raised my voice a little and said, the street noise is not the issue, this is an old building and I feel like I am inside a bass drum, I can’t get away from it, I can hear it in every room of my apartment.

And.

That he was risking the master tenants lease with violating the noise ordinance.

And he shot back that I was threatening the master tenant and that anyway,

I’M MOVING IN JUNE!

Well, fucking thank God.

And.

I’M NOT TURNING OFF THE MUSIC AND MY FRIENDS ARE VISITING FROM OUT OF TOWN AND I’M ONLY PLAYING IT UNTIL 11P.M. AND NO ONE ELSE IS COMPLAINING.

And he ran up the steps in his dirty jeans and sweatshirt with the cat and slammed the door.

And he played the music until 11:30p.m.

Fucker.

So I emailed the landlord again.

Dear (redacted–landlord)

I have just spoken with (redacted) directly and he refuses to turn down the music–“I have friends in from out of town and I will be playing the music until we leave at 11p.m.” I have called the police on multiple occasions now and they either get here well after the music has abated or he sees them coming from the room and stops; thereby triggering a “false complaint.”

I am beyond exhausted by this. I cannot spend my time trying to constantly rationalize with this young man. I can only appeal at this point to you as the landlord.

I need this to cease or I will be leaving the apartment. I pay my rent early, I am quiet, I am respectful and I am an adult trying to explain to a young man who is often intoxicated why this behavior is intolerable. My email to (redacted–master tenant) regarding mediation was unaddressed and I received no response.

I am not a conflictual person but after the interaction I just had with him and his refusal to turn off the music at 10p.m. I am pretty much done.  Either this behavior is dealt with or I will be giving my notice.

Sincerely,

(redacted, PhD, LMFT)

Then I called a dear friend to talk to until the music stopped and I could go to bed.

It’s been exhausting dealing with this.

And.

Please, God.

Hopefully it will be done soon as DJ Bob moves out in June.

Fingers crossed, out to a large, abandoned warehouse in the East Bay in a deserted light industrial neighborhood.

I didn’t express to the landlord the DJ Bob was moving in June as I wanted to convey my need for his intervention as soon as possible.

My worry is that DJ Bob will relentlessly spin his records at full volume until June and I don’t know that I can handle two more months of it.

So, fingers crossed.

I haven’t heard from my landlord, but I am hoping that the master tenant and DJ Bob have.

So far, at 8:09 p.m…..

All is quiet.

Maybe DJ Bob is still recovering from last night, he came in at 5:30a.m., slammed the gate, slammed the door to his apartment and stomped up the stairs.

I, of course, was awakened by the noise as my apartment is on the first floor right by the gate.

I waited with bated breath to hear if the music would go on.

Please God let me sleep.

And I did.

Until 7a.m. when my brain woke me up cheerfully and said, let’s go for a swim.

Which I did.

But not before quietly contemplating turning on my music full blast and leaving it on.

I didn’t.

I just thought about it.

There’s been no music so far today, outside of my own, and I do hope that continues.

If not.

June’s only what?

59 days away.

Sigh.

In A Bind

March 16, 2022 by

And in some tears.

Sigh.

I had another post op appointment with my surgeon this morning.

He checked out my belt lipectomy, “it looks beautiful,” he said, very pleased.

I told him that I have been doing the scar massage twice a day and he applauded that and told me to continue, pointing out that the scarring on my back would fade with time.

The scar there is a bit wider from bending over, stretching, etc.

Basically I was told, keep up the good work and I’ll see you in six months.

“Any questions,” he asked?

“Actually, yes, what is this?” I asked, pointing to a bump I’ve noticed for a few weeks and that frankly spooked me a tiny bit, what is that thing?

My surgeon felt it and said, “nothing to worry about,” he could tell I’d been worrying.

(It’s some surgical instrument he left in there and he’ll need to go back in and retrieve it! Thanks brain, thanks for sharing.)

“It’s a surgical knot, it’s a stitch, it will dissolve with time, it’s fine,” he said, then, “anything else?”

“Yes, actually,” I said. “When can I stop wearing the binder?”

My surgeon smiled at me, “now, you don’t have to wear it anymore.”

Holy shit.

I was over the moon.

Really?

Yes, really.

“I’ll see you in six months,” and off he went on his busy surgeon way.

I looked at my binder, I folded it up and almost left it in the trash in the examine room, but part of me was like, slow your roll, you might want that later.

So I put it in my purse and put on my leggings and dress and cardigan and left the examination room to make an appointment with the receptionist.

“What days are good for you,” she asked.

“Fridays,” I said.

“Ok, that puts us into September, how about the 16th?”

I asked for an earlier spot and she got me in the week prior on the 9th.

I walked out the door, got gingerly in my car and drove home to get ready for my clients.

I shared excitedly with a few friends about not having to wear the binder.

I mean.

It’s been on 24 hours a day for just under five months.

I was so fucking excited to not wear it.

The only times I take it off are when I’m taking a shower.

Otherwise, all day long, all night long.

I ate breakfast without it, went into sessions without it on, checked in a lot with my body, it certainly feels much more vulnerable without the binder on, I can start with that.

Then.

I began to notice swelling happening.

Ugh.

I sort of sensed that would happen, I mean, even with the binder on I swell during the day, by the end of the day the binder is quite tight.

My belly is always the least swollen in the morning after I have slept.

So I didn’t fret too much.

But, boy oh boy, has my attention been there all day, especially as the swelling continued, to well, swell.

By 5:30p.m. I was like, great, this sucks.

Same at 6:30p.m.

My belly felt and looked to me like how it looked pre surgery. I felt scared and tender and I thought, fuck, I haven’t had dinner yet. And some wonderful part of my brain shared, “what the fuck was the point of getting the surgery if it looks the same as before?”

Fuck you brain.

Also.

It does not look the same, the surgeon always shows me the before photos, even swollen it looks different so stop being so damn mean to me.

Then I thought.

Ugh.

I can’t imagine eating like this.

What if it swells up even more?!

I can’t do it.

But.

I also know better than to not eat dinner.

I have an eating disorder, being mindful about eating my dinner and all my meals is really important to me.

So, with some chagrin, I went and put the binder back on.

Sigh.

Fuck.

Tears.

Resignation.

And.

Relief.

Ugh.

It feels better.

And yeah, maybe it is purely psychological, but after being a therapist holding my clients trauma all day, I’m ok with being gentle with myself and being ok with sure, maybe it’s a placebo, but whatever it feels better.

So just do it.

Listen to what your body is saying.

My body is also saying, get a god damn shoulder massage.

But I can’t get a back rub yet, well, I suppose I could have someone work on my shoulders in a chair, but I don’t think lying down on a massage table is quite an option for me yet.

Gotta wait, back.

Anyway.

I have it, the binder on now, and I reached out to a friend for support and it’s ok that I’m a little sad about it and I can realistically understand that it’s just been under 5 months, the full healing arc of the surgery is 9 months to a year.

And fuck.

My arms that I had done in July, still hurt at the end of the day.

They hurt now.

Not so much that I am overly distracted by it, but they hurt and that surgery was done 8 months ago.

So patience brain.

The body is in charge, not you.

Feel your feelings and be ok with process.

Soon you won’t be in a binder.

My friend suggested I take it in small steps, work up to wearing it less and less.

And really, I got to give myself props, I went from 10a.m. to 7:45p.m. not wearing it.

That’s pretty fucking good.

So, gently, slowly transitioning.

Without too many damn expectations.

And being ok with the process.

Listening to my body without judgment.

Poor thing has been judged too much as it is.

Music For Dancing Slow

March 13, 2022 by

Oh bunny.

All the feels.

I have been thinking about you a lot recently.

You’re just in the air.

In my dreams too.

My God. I really have had a lot of dreams about you recently.

I used to not dream so much about you.

I don’t know why now.

But there it is.

Maybe it’s because I was in Hawaii recently.

I wore the necklace that you gave to me, the little glass heart, the one that you handed to me that day we drove to Sonoma to have a picnic.

The day I gave you cuff links, out in the high grass while we picnicked and made out and I was shy about showing you the tattoo I had gotten for you.

You told me a story about having bought the glass heart with a little fold of yellow ribbon in the glass, from a jewelry vendor somewhere in Maui and how it pulled you to buy it and you didn’t know why you were buying it.

For someone you had not met yet.

I wear that heart a lot.

I wear the bracelet with the infinity sign on it, every day.

Every day.

I’m still in love with you, likely always will be, and that’s ok.

You in the ether, ephemeral and close and then far away.

In my dreams, in my thoughts.

I sometimes still think that I will end up back in your arms, years later, run into you and be once more with you.

Hopeless, die hard, romantic here.

I don’t cry as much over you as I used to and I try to date and I’m not always so upturned over you, I can say I’ve moved on, a little, but I “pray, every day, that you’ll be back in my arms once again.

That just spun out into the air from my speaker.

It’s from one of the songs on one of your playlists that you made for me.

I haven’t listened to it in a very long time.

But.

I have been thinking about it.

Because.

Analytics.

What does that mean exactly, you ask?

Well.

Lover.

I could be wrong, maybe I am, but I also wonder, could he, is he, “it was not so long ago that you broke my heart, tears on my pillow, pain in my heart, caused by you, if we could start anew, I would take you back and tempt the hand of fate” is he out there reading my blogs?

Also.

Side bar.

Wow.

This playlist seems a little too prescient.

You made this for me for our six month anniversary, I asked you to make me a playlist for slow dancing with you.

I wanted love songs to dance to and these are love songs, but they’re also predicting heart break.

Did you know, even back then, that we would cause each other so much heartbreak?

So, so, so much.

Someday, someway, you’ll realize that you’ve been blind, yes darling, you’re going to need me again, it’s just a matter of time.

Fuck.

You knew this was going to happen, didn’t you, we would bash our hearts out on each other and hurt each other and try again and again, so many times.

GAH.

Maybe I should stop playing this.

That was like a side bar to the side bar.

Back to the analytics.

So, my blog lets me know a few things on the back end of the platform that no one except me can see.

I can’t see who reads my blogs.

But I can see where in the world my readers are coming in from.

I can see how many reads a day I get.

I can see if someone is in the archives.

And.

I can see what particular blogs are being read.

And.

Well.

I’ve been seeing something recently that makes me think a lot about you darling.

And maybe it’s not you.

But someone, once a week, on Thursdays, which are actually Fridays for me I think (WordPress is on a different time zone so I don’t know if it’s actually Thursdays when the blogs are read), reads a bunch of my blogs.

And two of them constantly pop up.

“Love Songs and Nail Salons.”

And.

“Hello, Stranger.”

It feels like you’re out there, quietly waving to me.

You haven’t called me or texted me or emailed me.

You did connect with me briefly, oh so damn briefly back in October, just days before my dissertation defense, and we could have talked, you called after receiving a card from me, but when I had to go into a client session you left a voice mail and that was it, not another call or text.

Despite telling you I could talk, I sent you a text later after my session ended, but you said you were on “East Coast time” and going to bed and you never reached out again.

I got damn angry.

That riled me up for a while.

Then I had my surgery and had to finish my dissertation and then it’s the holidays and my birthday and that’s when I wrote Love Songs and Nail Salons.

You are intertwined with my birthday and you might always be.

I’m not sure how long this person, you or someone else, I like to pretend it’s you, I like to pretend you’re reading this now.

Fantasy.

Hope.

Idiocy.

You pick.

I don’t care if you don’t want me, I’m here right now, I put a spell on you, because you’re mine.

Boy howdy, you put together one hell of playlist darling.

Shoo bop, shoo bop,

Hello stranger, it seems so good to see you back again, how long has it been?

Seems like a mighty long time.

Oh fuck.

Wow.

That pulled some tears up.

Hmmm.

Yeah.

I still have all the feels.

I am grateful to be writing this though.

You’re not going to read it.

Someone will though.

And maybe that’s ok.

When the love is this strong it doesn’t go away, the grief, the pain, the sorrow, time doesn’t heal all the wounds, the arrows of love from Cupid’s bow, my container to hold it all just got bigger.

You know.

What I used to tell you to make the hurt less, um, hurt”y”.

Sometimes God breaks your heart to break it open and make it bigger, all the better to hold more love.

Can what you’re thinking bring happiness, or will it bring misery?

Honey bunny.

You knew.

You knew we were doomed.

You don’t have to tell me pretty baby, you want me to try and forget you, I’ll do the best I can.

I should have listened to this closer.

I think I was just so damn enamored with you at the time. So fucking in love with you.

I remember when I was told, people will tell you all the time who they are and what they can offer, believe them.

Yeah.

“I want to fuck you,” someone told me recently. He’s not available for anything else, and I heard it loud and clear and expect nothing else from him.

Should that come to pass.

Repeat to self.

When someone tells you who they are, believe them.

I wanted so bad to believe that you would get out of your situation.

But you told me all along, you couldn’t, that you wouldn’t.

And here I am, still, wondering, but maybe….

Ah.

Big, deep breath.

I had a revery once, last March, and I can’t even believe I am going to write this, but I am, because that’s what I do.

(“I could never write a blog,” an ex-lover once told me, “you wear your heart on your sleeve, you tell things about your life I never could.”)

While I was in Joshua Tree being all woo woo with a bunch of girls in the desert doing a guided mediation and a sound bath, how much more woo can you get?

But once I stopped having contempt prior to investigation.

Something happened.

I had a vision of the two of us.

I‘m a fool to want you, I’m a fool to want you, to want a love that can’t be true, a love that’s there, for others too. I’m a fool to hold you, such a fool to hold you, to seek a kiss that’s mine a lone, to share a kiss the devil has known. Time and time again, I said I’d leave you. Time and time again. I went away.

I had a vision of us in Hawaii, living together at the end of our lives, on a lanai, or a porch, you had me in your arms, I had long, long, long hair, threaded with gray and I was so frail, and I died in your arms while the moon set over the ocean.

I can’t get along without you.

Oh love.

Maybe that’s all there is to this love, this exquisite pain that lets me know I have loved and lived and still have so much life yet to go.

I don’t know who’s reading those blogs of mine so assiduously for the last stretch of time, but it’s put you in my mind.

If you ever go, darling, I’ll be oh so lonely, I’ll be sad and blue, crying over you, dear only.

By the way.

I had that vision far before I was even thinking about Hawaii or going to Hawaii, and now having been and knowing how much I resonated with the islands and how much you do too, oh Maui baby, I do wonder.

Maybe one day, some day, far away in the future, in another life, in some other dream, I will see you on a beach somewhere and be once more in your arms.

Unforgettable, that is what is what you are…like a song of love that clings to me, ooh, how the thought of you does things to me. Never before has someone been more unforgettable.

Until then, sweet heart.

Be kind to you.

Love yourself.

Take care of yourself.

And I will do the same.

Are you lonesome tonight, do you miss me tonight, are you sorry we drifted apart?

You gave me something no one else ever has and I will never forget it.

Even if I never see you again.

I will always have you in my heart.

Always.

Because.

Love is strange.

Baby Steps

March 8, 2022 by

I had an in person session today at my office.

It was good.

It was also good to actually meet this client in person as we have never met in person before.

They started with me during the first shelter in place lock down.

I am coming up on the anniversary of that event.

And having some anniversary feelings.

I remember well the week prior, two years ago, things were playing out in the on again off again relationship I had been desperately trying to figure out for years.

Not playing out well, in the end, that relationship ended.

I still have pangs over that.

Why didn’t he figure it out?

Why couldn’t we make it work?

Why?

Why, I am always reminded is not a spiritual question.

It doesn’t help and knowing why is some sort of balm my brain wants to have to explain away the inexplicable.

It just was.

It just couldn’t work.

I just didn’t work.

And no matter how hard I tried I only got hurt.

I have been thinking a lot about relationships, dating, who I am, what I want.

In some persistent way I have always stowed away this thought of marriage, commitment, partnership.

Yet.

I have never really gotten close.

Despite a former “semi” proposal when I was in my mid-twenties from my one and only really “long term” relationship.

Is five years a long term relationship?

Anyway.

Why marriage?

Why partnership?

Wearing a dress, having a ceremony?

Societal expectations?

Family expectations?

My expectations?

Expectations typically lead to resentments.

I do crave company and touch and physical connection, I’m not going to deny that; but historically marriage is actually not great for women.

In a heteronormative marriage that is.

They work more, care take more, do more of the household labor.

Men actually statistically reap huge benefits being married.

Women not so much.

So why do I want it?

When I think about what I want I think about the physical connection of being with a man, I like closeness and, I hate the fucking wording of this, one of my “love languages” is non-sexual physical touch.

I’m cuddly.

Which the last guy I dated did not provide.

I love sex.

Don’t get me wrong, sex is definitely still a need, that drive is still there at 49, and may it be for some time thank you very much, although a touch softer of a demand then it used to be.

But affection.

I crave affection.

Hand holding, massage, leaning into someone, having my head rubbed.

Sigh.

But does that have to preclude being married?

I mean.

I might be putting the cart before the horse.

Am I shutting myself down from potential connection thinking better do it for the long haul?

Also.

What do I need from a partnership that I’m not already giving myself?

I love to travel, I love my home, I have a great space (when it’s not being invaded by the sonic intrusion of DJ Douche Bag upstairs), I don’t share it with anyone.

Well.

My cats.

They do think they own everything.

I keep my space the way I like it.

I have my schedule the way I like it.

I do my own thing.

What do I think I am missing out on?

What if I wasn’t missing out on anything?

I think some of this is just being really comfortable with my life and starting to find a nicer balance now that I’m not in the PhD mode all the time and have gotten a modicum of space from the last surgery I had and some decent recovery in my body.

Also.

Thank God.

My back is feeling much better.

A very easy weekend, lots of rest, lots of heating pad.

I’m actually using the heating pad right now too.

It is just nice after my day at the office.

I still need to dial a few things in there.

I’m going to pop over to Black & Gold on Valencia and pick up a vintage coat rack I’ve been eye-balling for months.

I could use an alternative set up chargers for my MacBook and a small extension cord by my desk for all the things I need plugged in–not all of my sessions are in person, I still am doing plenty, the majority of my session via video.

And one more hanging plant for my office.

But other than that, it’s such a sweet, welcoming space and I was happy to be there in my sessions today.

I ran five, only one was in person, from my office and one from home this morning.

Tomorrow I will be at home fully, all my sessions are remote.

I will be going in again on Thursday as I have a client that wants to be coming back in person.

This client was one of the last, although not the last, clients I saw in person prior to lock down.

It will have been two years.

I’m so grateful for this small baby step into a different experience with therapy and seeing my clients.

It’s not “back to normal”.

I don’t know if it’s the new normal.

It’s just nice to be getting a little more engagement with the world.

And maybe that’s how I look at dating, partnership, relationships.

Just with some curiosity and lightness and that I don’t have to figure it out.

Figure it out is a shit slogan.

For now.

Everything is exactly the way it’s supposed to be.

It always is, truthfully.

I just sometimes get stuck in thinking it would be better if….

If what?

And why wait to be happy, when…

I am happy now.

And that is good enough.

It really is.

Do I Stay

March 6, 2022 by

Or do I go?

My upstairs neighbor has been playing horrid music all day.

All damn day.

Since 11a.m.

It is now 8:15p.m.

Non-stop, no rest, no break, hardcore electronic, thump, thump, thump bass music.

It is like living inside a headache.

How’s that meth treating you dude?

I’m pretty sure the kid is using, the hours he keeps, the loud music, the people in and out partying, banging the gate, the music that is non-stop.

He’s a DJ.

He’s actually a bagger at Whole Foods, not to disparage anyone in any service industry, but he’s a hobbyist.

Not a real DJ.

Or, not a DJ with any fucking talent.

Then again, even the best DJ on the planet might stress me out if I was listening to it non-stop without being able to turn it off for nine hours.

I’ll get a reprieve at 10p.m. when we play our nightly routine of chicken when I give him a few minutes to shut down the damn system, noise ordinance, and then go out and stridently ring the door bell.

He never answers, but the music does tend to stop.

Not always.

But a few complaints to the landlord–seven emails documenting time of day and levels of noise (anywhere from 12:30p.m. to once at 4:30a.m.) including me recording how loud it was with my phone and sending that in–a complaint filed with the city and calling the cops three times, has helped a bit to get him to comply with turning off the system.

Normally I’m not in my damn house all day, except when I’m in my home office seeing clients during the work week on video, and there are a few weekdays he obviously is not working–Tuesdays and Thursdays, when it’s going off all day long.

But today.

Ugh.

Today I was in the house all day long.

Not my happy place for a weekend day.

But I hurt my back a couple of days ago.

Fuck me.

I am getting old.

I pulled a muscle in my back and it has been a screaming nightmare.

I mean.

Ok.

I exaggerate a little but it has been really painful.

I got it, sigh, hopping around putting on a pair of leggings.

Ugh.

It just went out and I screamed and said, “no!” really loudly.

It was also, wait for it, the first day I was going back into office to see clients in person.

Fuck my life.

I hobbled to my office.

I have hurt my back in this same place before and know that the muscles there are not great.

The first time I injured it was back in 2005 and it was a dozy.

Like super fucking bad.

I didn’t pull a muscle then, I tore a muscle and it took so long to heal.

I couldn’t bend over, I couldn’t lift anything more than 5lbs for literally six or seven months.

I walked with a fucking cane for five months.

It was horrendous.

This was not that, but it spooked me, it was too close for comfort.

So I knew I had to take it easy the last few days and fortunately there has been some recovering, I certainly did not tear a muscle, I have been able to lift things and move around, although watching me put groceries away would have been a hoot if you had seen me trying to get things in the fridge.

Lift with your legs!

I got down too low at one point and just threw things in the fridge.

I also couldn’t load the bottom part of my dishwasher, so doing all the dishes by hand, luxury problem.

And let me not forget the agony of changing the cat box out.

Good grief.

Today I tried to go out for a walk and realized that I had been over compensating with other parts of my back and now the middle part and my shoulders are fucked up.

Gah.

So I just did a very slow mosey around a few blocks and came back home.

I got nestled on the couch with lunch, a heating pad, a book, a cup of tea and just stayed there the whole day.

Around 5p.m. I had had it with the music.

Remember the part about being inside a head ache?

Yeah.

I tried to nap and I couldn’t.

The music was just too much.

So.

I thought, well, hmm, maybe it is time to move.

All my requests about lowering the music have been pretty snubbed and I have kept telling myself, you’ll wait him out, he’s a kid, he’ll move soon, I have invested a lot in my home and it’s lovely and cozy and I don’t really want to move.

Although I could stand a little more natural light and a little less street noise to be honest and my utilities here are pretty high–it’s not really an energy efficient apartment.

But.

It’s a five minute walk to my office.

And I just started going back into my office.

And I like the location.

But.

Headache.

Pounding headache listening to this crap all day long.

So.

Craiglist.

And low and behold what is this?

https://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/apa/d/san-francisco-one-bedroom-gem-in-one-of/7450255496.html

Why look!

(UPDATED EDIT: I just went back to Craigslist after listening to more horrible music and thinking, yeah, maybe it is time to get the hell out of here and the ad changed! The ad fucking changed. It was listed for $2600, after I emailed my landlord the ad changed to $2750. I’m being gaslit, this happened to me when I saw my apartment when I moved in, I believe my landlord did a bait and switch putting an ad on Craigslist for $2750 which is what I had my filters set to on the site and when I came to see it, he showed me the ad for $2850, which is what my rent is, I was seriously confused but I also needed a place so I took it. And fuck, I should have taken a screen shot. GRRRR. I imagine there’s going to be a very interesting email tomorrow from my landlord.)

It’s the apartment across the way from me.

Which is literally the same size square footage as mine.

FOR $250 LESS!

Now it wasn’t always $250 less a month then my place.

No.

When it first went on the market they were asking pre-pandemic San Francisco rent: $3300/month.

They never got it.

The apartment has been empty now for about a year.

The rent dropped to $3100.

Then to $2950.

Then to $2850 about four, maybe five months ago.

How do I know this?

Because I have gone on Craigslist more than once in frustration around the noise of the music.

And the apartment always pops up in my search.

So when I saw it today I was livid.

What the fucking hell?

I furiously texted a friend, I perseverated on it, I pulled out my SF Tenant Handbook and I looked up negotiating a rent decrease. I Googled some articles.

I debated inside my head.

All the while listening to DJ Douche Bag.

My fond moniker for my upstairs neighbor–who fyi is not the master tenant, he moved in last May and has been a freaking nuisance since then.

I know he certainly doesn’t pay as much rent as I do.

And I decided.

Fuck it.

I’m writing the landlord.

I let him know that I needed a few maintenance things done at the apartment and then I made the request.

I let him know I wanted to renegotiate the rent (I had tried once last year in August and he shut me down but said he wouldn’t raise the rent this year).

I reminded him of the obvious, I’m quiet, amiable, pay my rent on time–actually early I literally pay the rent every month on the fifteenth for the upcoming month as this is when I get paid.

I’m a solid tenant.

I also said that it was unreasonable for me to be paying substantially higher rent than that which was being offered to a new tenant to the building and I asked for my rent to be lowered to reflect the rent being offered in the ad.

I also offered to sign a longer lease, 2-3 years, if that would help.

I actually don’t want to move, it’s a fucking hassle, but if the apartment across the way is being rented for way less then what I am paying and the noise upstairs continues.

I’m out.

Despite what I hear on the street about rents going up it doesn’t seem to be that way and the fact that a one bedroom in Hayes Valley in a rent controlled building has been on the market for over a year tells me all I need to know.

It’s time to lower the rent.

Right damn now.

I don’t believe the house party is going to stop upstairs, but if I was paying $250 a month less in rent I do believe I could tolerate it a little better.

And if my landlord isn’t amenable.

Cool.

I’ll be on the market for a new place.

Let me know if you know of anything.

Sans DJs.

Exhausting

February 18, 2022 by

Dating apps are exhausting.

Bumble has informed me I have run out of matches, “that’s all for now!” and change your profile filters if you want to find more folks.

Nah.

I’m a bit over it.

Especially as I didn’t match with all that many guys.

And that’s ok.

I have gone back in with a more discriminating eye and frankly if any one even mentions smoking weed, I’m out.

I can handle the occasional cocktail drinker, but the weed just grosses me out.

And I’m pretty set on my age range, five years younger, five years older.

That makes for a nice span.

Except when the person lies.

There are some guys that lie right from the start and put up a fake age so they will pop up in your search and then the first thing they say is, “I lied about my age, I’m really, blah, blah, blah”.

Fuck off.

I didn’t lie about my age.

I’m 49.

You don’t like kicking it with a 49 year old woman I want you to swipe left.

Swipe away motherfucker.

And frankly if you lie about your age, what else are you lying about?

I found out in a recent phone call.

Not to self, gave out my number a little too fast.

I was getting discouraged with all the not matching.

When I did match with a guy and we chatted a bit and then he asked to move to our phones and we texted a bit and then he called.

Holy shit.

I was on the call maybe fifteen minutes.

He did most of the talking.

And he lied about his age.

He wasn’t 44, he is 51.

And he gave some bullshit excuse why he lied and how women don’t want men his age and he’s actually got all this energy and he does’t look 51, blah, blah, blah.

Without letting me get in a word.

I would have told him if he had taken a moment to catch his damn breath, that I was actually more interested in a guy who is 51 versus 44.

See I figure, 44/45’ish with guys, they still might want kids and I’m out of that ball park.

Oh.

The other thing the guy lied about, he has kids.

Two.

And!

He wants more.

I was like, ok, you’re 51 and you want more kids, cool.

But.

Um.

I don’t.

And I said that really clearly, if that’s what you’re looking for, I am the wrong person for you, I don’t want kids.

I nannied for 13 years, I got my fix of babies (I do still miss a warm baby napping on my chest though, so good).

Plus, at 49, do you know what they call that at the hospital?

A geriatric pregnancy.

No thank you.

Dude rolled right over me, oh, you’ll have lots of babies with me (really, cuz I’m not thinking that at all), a whole bunch, you got time, women having babies into their 70s.

Jesus.

I want to retire when I’m 70, not be having a baby.

I repeated myself, nope, no kids, no thanks, you want kids, you better look elswehere.

And he ran me over again and said we’d have loads of kids and more word vomit.

I was like, I need to get the fuck off this call.

Then he asked where I was in San Francisco and he was telling me how well he knew the city and when I said, “Hayes Valley” he had no idea where that is.

Um, ok, I’m sorry, but Hayes is a super popular little hood and most people that “know San Francisco like the back of their hand” know where Hayes Valley is.

But you know.

Fuck, I’m glad he doesn’t know.

Cuz stalker vibe.

And then he told me his last lie, he’d lied about where he lived so that, again, he would get picked up by a wider range of women.

Not cool dude.

I want someone who is geographically desirable.

I don’t want to date a guy in Martinez.

Or where ever the fuck you actually live.

I told him I had to go and I got off the phone real fast and immediately blocked him.

Then I went back on Bumble, messaged him, thanks for the call but I don’t feel a connection, and I unmatched with him.

So imagine my surprise when he sent me a video message the next day.

WTF?!

Then he texted me twice the following day.

Hello, Iphone, it says blocked, why aren’t you blocking?!

Then yesterday while I’m in a client session he calls, now my phone’s off, but I see the call come through, not once, but twice, later when I’m out of the session.

Fuck you Iphone, block this guy.

I google it.

Restart my Iphone, block again.

Nothing today.

So hopefully he’s gone.

So yeah, just yuck.

I matched with four guys.

One responded with all emoji’s.

I didn’t message him back.

Grow the fuck up.

The other was persistent guy who wants me pregnant into my 70s, like who are you, Hugh Hefner?

The other guy was hot and I thought, jackpot, cool, went back into his profile and shit, I saw the red flag, the little marijuana leaf symbol had “frequently” next to it.

I hadn’t caught it on the first round.

So.

I didn’t message frequently smokes pot guy.

Leaving me with one match.

We have a date on Friday.

For tea.

That is hopeful.

I have not expectations at all.

The meeting for tea and/or coffee, the way I look at it, is a dry run for an actual date.

And maybe I go back on Hinge.

Who knows.

But.

I’m out there trying.

But, damn, it is tiring swiping left all the time.

No, nope, nope, cute dog, nope, NO, is that a picture from your wedding? NO. Next, nope, nope, nope, ew, why are you wearing a mask in the photo? We are not socially distancing on the app, I can’t catch COVID through my phone. No, No thank you, yikes, no to you, sir, smoking that fat blunt, no, to you friend–drinking straight from a margarita pitcher, um, no thanks. PLEASE STOP POSTING PICTURES OF THE FISH YOU CAUGHT, or your kids–does the other parent know you’re putting your kids pix on a dating app? No pictures of you and your ex, especially if you “x’ed” out their face, noooo, no to “love to laugh,” who the fuck doesn’t. Me, I hate laughing, next.

Sigh.

Just needed to vent.

I’ll be back out there tomorrow.

Maybe.

Try, try again

February 14, 2022 by

Ok.

So.

I got back on the damn app.

I had a few moments of wondering if I would run across dude’s profile, but so far nada.

Which is nice.

Also, ran across a former client.

Eek.

Swipe Left! Swipe left!

And.

An ex from five’ish years ago.

Also.

Swipe left.

And, when you match with a lady and she reaches out, I’m on Bumble, and sends a messages, don’t reply in all emoji’s.

Unless you don’t want to go on a date.

WTF?

Folks have some strange behaviors.

I’m not going straight up sober only guys, but I am looking more closely at the whole frequency of smoking weed thing.

And.

I do recognize quite clearly that I have to be direct about my needs.

I am not here to diminish my needs.

I am also proud of myself for the things that I did do with the last guy that I dated.

I clearly stated my sexual needs.

I said when I hadn’t an orgasm.

Albeit.

l did not appreciate the response.

“I didn’t know you were keeping score.”

No.

But, you didn’t check in with me either.

I mean.

I know you came.

But just because I’m a little vocal does not mean I did.

Anywho.

It’s not about taking anyone’s inventory but my own, thanks.

So, I spoke up about my sexual desires and what I like, and that was cool. Probably the most direct and transparent I have ever been.

Also, apparently my drive is still quite high.

I mean, I’m 49, but I still have some very clear needs here.

I also spoke up for non-sexual physical intimacy.

Something I have modeled to a person I’m dating, but never really spoke up for.

I’ll give dude credit, he did articulate that he’d noticed, but he was not able to give what I was looking for.

I am a cuddle bug.

I also recognized that I get excited about dating and connecting.

In this excitement, I down played when was good for me to be hanging out.

Monday nights after a long day of client sessions and driving cross town at 8:30p.m. when I have an early client session on Tuesday morning and then I drive back and can’t find parking where I live.

No good.

That happened the second week we were hanging out.

I ended up circling and circling and nearly crying at 1 a.m. trying to find a place to park.

I did not let that happen again.

So.

Yeah.

I learned.

I learned I can’t down play my needs, dim my voice, or do for another when I’m not taking care of myself.

Basic ass shit.

But.

As my therapist has stated this past week, I did not have healthy romantic models in my childhood.

Um.

No.

And I learned, at a very young age, that when I asked for my needs to be met I would be met with violence.

So I tend to down play them or try to figure them out of my own and I never, ever let the other person know I’m disappointed or sad or whatever “negative” emotion I am having.

Those aren’t allowed.

But.

It’s ok to let another person know how I feel, actually really important, I was disappointed a number of times and didn’t say anything.

Somewhere inside me is a little girl who thinks she doesn’t deserve to have her needs met.

I had someone ask me recently what I need and I was able to articulate it quite clearly.

I mean.

I know what I want.

Now, it’s just a matter of continuing to speak up for it and if the person can’t meet the need, that’s ok.

Dating is going to be about curiosity and exploration.

I’m not trying to find the one to complete me.

I’m complete, thanks.

But.

I am looking for a compliment.

Someone who wants to travel with me–you better have a passport, have fucking awesome sex, make out a bunch, drink a lot of coffee, make me laugh, cuddle, be taller than me, wants to be in a committed, monogamous romantic relationship, and eats their steak rare.

Oh.

And don’t be allergic to cats.

I have two.

They like their steak rare as well.

Heh.

I Dumped Your Whiskey

February 11, 2022 by

Down the drain.

You brought over a bottle with you the first time I cooked a meal for you, a little weird, but I was trying to be a good hostess and you wanted a cocktail with dinner.

So, sure.

But you procure it, I’m not buying booze for anyone.

You left it on the counter when you left and I did think, hmm, do I really want this in my house?

But, I figured, well, I have neutrality and I’m certainly not tempted, so I put it in the cupboard over the stove behind the bottle of Bragg’s Amino’s and the bottle of balsamic vinegar.

And mostly forgot it.

Until recently.

I threw your toothbrush in the trash.

Granted. It wasn’t your toothbrush, it was an extra one from the dentist that I asked you to use when you asked me, “Can I kiss you,” and I said, “only if you brush your teeth.”

The combo smell of dinner at Absinthe with a client and three whiskey Manhattan’s on your breath was just too much for me to entertain kissing.

I composted your homemade raisin oatmeal cookie vanilla ice cream sandwich.

Yeah.

That went away too.

I’m not exactly mad.

Although I am a touch flummoxed.

What happened?

I mean, on one hand I have a pretty good sense, we weren’t quite as compatible as perhaps we were both pretending to be.

I’m sober.

You’re not.

It’s been a long time since I dated anyone who drank.

So there’s that.

But it was some other things too.

Not taking me out last Friday was definitely a disappointment.

Especially when I showed up at your house dressed to the nines, because as you told me last Wednesday night, “we’ll do something fun on Friday and have sex.”

Excellent.

Something “fun” on Friday turned out to be a well done steak on a plate in your house while you drank whiskey and smoked weed.

I can handle the booze to a point, but the weed, man, I don’t like it.

Especially when I asked from the beginning, literally I said it on our first date, I am allergic and I hate the way it smells, you can’t smoke weed around me, I can handle you drinking, but pot is too much–you also can’t snort cocaine off my boobs–to not have it smoked around me.

But I suppose when one is in their home, doing their thing, smoking their weed is par for the course.

I didn’t say anything when you lit up while we watched a movie, which, fyi, 1917 is fucking phenomenal, but I did pull away from you on the couch.

I just super hate the way it smells.

I recognized, from working with my therapist in a session earlier that day, that I wasn’t letting you know when I was disappointed.

I was also really disappointed to find out that you were going to go away for the weekend.

I guess you forgot that you had offered to help me move things into storage over the weekend too.

Sigh.

I mean, I understood, you had to go spend the weekend with a client in Tahoe.

Awesome.

Get your client on.

“Do you ski?” I asked.

“No, we’re just going to drink whiskey, smoke weed, and hang out in the hot tub.”

Ok, then.

You wanted me to spend the night, and that had been the plan, and Tahoe meant up early and hitting the road, so we compromised and I said I wouldn’t spend the night, but I would still come over.

But you know, I still thought we were going out.

And I did at least manage to say I was disappointed that we had to change up our plans.

I can see, however, that I was diminishing my feelings.

We had the sex.

Thanks.

I left and let you get sleep for getting up early to go drink whiskey and smoke weed and hot tub.

Aside.

WTF?

Maybe it’s just me, but my choice would have been hang out with a hot woman who’s fun and smart and creative and hella good in bed.

So, maybe I don’t drink whiskey.

So, maybe I don’t smoke pot.

But.

Fuck.

I have moves, and I have energy.

I am also five years older than you and have a lot more energy.

But this is not about you, I’m making this about me.

Meanwhile, I figured that like the other time you went out of town and didn’t text me while you were away, you’d do the same this time.

I also, honestly, didn’t feel like fishing for attention.

So I didn’t text you either.

But then when Monday came, when you told me you’d be back from Tahoe, I thought you’d check in with me.

Nope.

Nothing.

Crickets.

Zilch.

Five days with absolutely no contact.

Five.

I thought about texting, but truly, I think I’d already came to the conclusion that there were things that just weren’t working for me.

And.

In your actions, to not reach out, you spoke mighty loud.

You made a choice, which is your right, but it was a disappointment.

And.

It’s been fucking weird as hell, as each day has drifted by, that you didn’t text or call.

Not once.

Not after 11 times hanging out.

No phone calls.

No text messages.

I have questioned it, a lot, but I figure this is God doing for me what I couldn’t do for myself.

Ultimately you were saying it loud and clear, before the lack of connection, when you decided to Tahoe it up.

You don’t want to hang out with me.

And after this week, and the disappointment of last week.

I don’t want to hang out with you either.

I also have plenty to process with my therapist tomorrow.

Plenty.

Until then.

I hope you’re ok, like you didn’t drown in the hot tub or anything.

And I guess it means I’m still single.

I think I’ll pause for a moment before I jump back in.

Give it another day, but I do figure I’ll try the damn dating apps again.

And I’ll keep practicing speaking up when I feel something and not diminish it.

And I’ll eat my next damn steak rare.

Never eating a well done steak again.

That was fucking egregious.

Your graduation application

February 4, 2022 by

Has been successfully submitted.

Oh hell yeah it has.

The guy I’ve been seeing helped me double check that my transcripts showed the full credits for my program earlier this week.

Like, super fast, I’m all fumbling around on my phone, don’t know what I’m looking for, can’t find it.

“Here,” he said, “I’m good at stuff like this,” after he watched me bemusedly for a few minutes.

I handed him my phone.

30 seconds late, “here you go.”

And there it was.

My unofficial transcript.

Showing, oh quite clearly, that yes, I do have all the credits needed to graduate.

Fuck yes.

Good god damn.

I’m fucking going to graduate.

With my PhD.

I’m a doctor baby.

It’s still so surreal.

It’s been months since I defended my dissertation, and was named doctor at the defense, but because of the lateness in the semester and all things pandemic, the paperwork did not go through until the second week of January.

And then I was twiddling my thumbs.

What now?

What next?

Let’s go people.

Then I got an excited and gushing text from a former TA saying, hey it looks like school is going to do graduation in person!

“Are you going to be there?”

Um yes.

Hello.

But am I?

Because there were some wonky administration/tech issues with the website and I couldn’t use the graduation application portal.

It didn’t work.

Fucking technology.

So, I follow up with admin at the school and I’m told, go check and make sure that you have enough credits on your transcripts and then when you find out, email such and such person.

Which is what I was doing in the kitchen at the man’s house.

In fact.

It was he who encouraged me to check it via my phone.

I’m so phone adverse when it comes to certain things.

I have all my passwords on my laptop and sometimes I would just rather look at the larger screen and see the big words and images and not be scrolling my tiny phone screen.

Well.

It’s an Iphone, so not that tiny.

But still.

I like doing the computer.

But he was like, just do it now.

So I did, and I drop the transcript ball–why is the registrar page so challenging to navigate!? And then he gently intervened, and there it was. All the glorious credits with all the accompanying “A’s” and I saw I had enough and I emailed the tech person and then I did a happy dance around his kitchen.

And then he fed me steak.

Thank you.

Then.

I’ve waited all week to hear back.

And I thought tonight, well, what the fuck am I waiting for, go back into my student account and just check to see what’s happnening.

AND!

BOOM.

There it was.

The portal was blue.

The screen showed that I was allowed to apply to graduate!

Holy shit.

It is actually happening.

It also asked me to verify my name and how I want it to look on my diploma.

Bring that bitch to me.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans later, give me that damn piece of paper.

I have so fucking earned it.

I am over the moon.

My best friend from Wisconsin may even come out and watch me walk.

And my mom.

And my people in my recovery community.

Y’all come on by now.

I don’t yet know if it will be in person, pandemic fingers crossed please, but if it is I am also hoping that they do it at the same theater that they did my Master’s program graduation.

That would be hella swell.

Because, ha, it’s a ten minute walk from my house!

I won’t have to worry about parking.

heh.

Big sigh of relief.

It’s on.

I’m graduating.

Sunday, May 15th, 2022.

I’ll be a doctor for real.

I Would Follow You

January 17, 2022 by

To Wisconsin.

He said, underneath the heat lamp at the outdoor cafe.

On our first date.

There have now been four dates.

Tomorrow will be number five.

And that is all you need to know about him.

I would like to spill all the words and looks and the synchronicities and the eyes, oh, the eyes.

But.

I am not going to.

I spill so much of my heart on these pages.

“You wear your heart on your sleeve,” an old lover once told me, “I could never write about the things you do, share the things you do, it’s what makes you a good writer.”

I don’t know about that necessarily.

I think a good writer is just one that writes.

I still write every day.

In the mornings.

Three to four pages, sometimes just one or two, but I always write.

I don’t show up here as often, sometimes I think it might be time to hang up the blog, but I just keep holding onto it.

There is something here still for me.
I am not sure that there is anything here for you though.

I just keep letting you go.

I don’t know who shows up to read these ramblings any more.

I don’t know who you are.

I do know that you still read the words.

Sometimes you search me out.

Sometimes you find me on some old social media post I thought I had scrubbed away.

Sometimes you find me with esoteric search engine terms.

You keep finding me.

And I keep writing for ghosts.

This time.

This time though, I am writing for me.

About a month ago I sat down in front of my computer with too much eye make up on and a bushel of glitter and my hair wild and I did my dissertation presentation for a friend who is a film maker.

It was not as good as when I defended my dissertation and was awarded my PhD, that feeling of being so in the moment and not even realizing the camera was on was not with me when I did it for my friend.

But.

He got the gist of it and he liked it and he said, yeah, we can make this into a film.

It had been suggested to me by one of my former supervisor’s that I make the dissertation into something, a one woman show, a documentary, a film.

He said I had it, that he could watch me present the work all over again, would pay for it and that it was better than a lot of what he’s seen on Netflix.

I mean.

Fuck.

What a great compliment.

And also.

Fuck.

Scary and wonderful and am I really going to do this?

I mean.

I just finished my PhD.

I have a full time therapy practice.

Shouldn’t I just be taking long walks on my days off?

Just looking at the sky and the city and breathing without the pressure of a writing project on my shoulders.

Just walking around and watching the birds wheel in the sky.

Just listening to music on my Airpods and smiling that I don’t have to go anywhere, don’t have a deadline, don’t have to do another draft or edit or more research.

I can put away the research.

I have shelved the books.

I can let it go.

Or can I?

There is something here.

There is a story and I do think there is a movie and so does my friend.

When I started writing my blog, twelve years ago now, I would sometimes get a line of words in my head or a phrase and I would know, that’s my blog.

That’s the line.

That’s my way in.

I don’t actually need anything more than that.

Just the line.

What follows after that line I never know.

I just have a feeling for what has to be written in the next moment, the next breath, the next beat of time.

And I kept thinking about how my friend sent me the info about how to write a screen play and how it should be a certain kind of way and I was like, well, damn, I don’t have the “ending” you’re supposed to have.

But who ever does have the ending that they’re supposed to have?

What if it wasn’t bad timing lover, friend, soul mate, what if it was just that we weren’t meant to be, not really, not ever and we stole something, took away light from the moon and carved out a tiny moment in the soul of the world and hid our love.

But it couldn’t stay.

We weren’t meant to be together.

We never were.

Because we aren’t.

So I let it go again.

Let you go again and choose something else, I look up at the stars, the moon be damned, and find a new way forward.

It is dark and it is new and I don’t know where it’s going.

But when I put my hand on his back last night I thought I might just find a new way through.

And I might just have an ending to my story that has hope.

It may not be the fairy tale ending.

I have had my heart broken too many times by the fairy tale.

It will be a different story.

A new story.

And yes.

It will be a love story.

My love story, though.

My way through.

My way out.

When I chose to walk out the door to my apartment and take a right and not a left and meet him at the corner of the street and take a deep breath and say.

“Hi, it’s nice to meet you.”

And really, really mean it.

It really has been so nice to meet you.

I don’t know if we’ll ever go to Wisconsin.

But that you would follow me there.

Well.

That is one hell of a way to start something.

Something that begins with hope.

When Jody Sings

January 10, 2022 by

I remember dancing to this song from Masters of Reality in a red and blue gingham check skirt that I had made from one of my mother’s old house dresses.

I was wearing a navy blue leotard body suit with long arms and had a black sweater or cardigan tied around my waist.

I remember the sun shone through the windows of my bedroom on Franklin Street in Madison.

The light dappled through the trees and I was wearing blue stained glass earrings in the shape of elongated tear drops.

My boyfriend of two years, at the time, had hung them in the window from the screen so they caught the light and put me in front of the window with his hands over my eyes.

It was likely the best gift he ever gave me.

I felt beautiful wearing those earrings with my hair down and long and curling.

I was twenty one.

He had introduced me to a lot of music that I had no clue about.

I also introduced him to a lot of music he had no clue of–jazz and blues mostly and some classical.

The music I had grown up with, my step-father’s much played genres.

My boyfriend at the time, the blue stained glass earrings boyfriend, turned me onto what I would now consider classic alternative music.

Jody Sings is from an album called Sunrise on the Surfer Bus by Masters of Reality.

I had never heard anything quite like it and I loved the album.

He also introduced me to Soul Coughing, Jeff Buckley, Beck, Cake, Morphine, Annie DiFranco, Tori Amos–all of whom we saw in various concerts.

To this day I get some kind of sneaky cred for having seen Jeff Buckley live in concert on his Grace album tour.

I will never forget his rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” it blew my soul open.

I broke down into tears when I heard of Buckley’s death weeks after he had passed.

He introduced me to Phish as well, not that I ever became of big fan of them, and a lot of heavy metal, Pantera, Sepultera, and the like, as well as Primus, who I wouldn’t call metal, but I was fucking blown away by when I saw them in concert.

I don’t know why this week I thought of Master’s of Reality, it just popped into my head.

Listening now, fyi.

And I suddenly remember that girl dancing barefoot on the warm summer sun wood floors in my bedroom.

I didn’t know that my boyfriend was in the doorway watching me dance.

I spun around with my skirt flaring out and caught him staring at me in the doorway.

The look of love in his green eyes still haunts me if I think about it too long.

He loved me, more than I think he even understood, especially after I broke up with him five years into the relationship.

He never really knew me though.

I was nascent.

I was incandescent in my beauty and I never knew it either.

And as the relationship went on, painfully, unhappily, co-dependently on years after I should have left him, I gained weight and gained weight and suffered deeper and deeper depressions.

I had no idea I was depressed.

That 21 year old girl had no idea how dark life was going to get.

My boyfriend cheated on me, twice.

He got caught growing marijuana in our house.

We both wound up with felony charges.

Mine got dropped.

He went on probation.

He went bonkers when he had to stop smoking pot.

He started drinking really heavily.

I realized I was in love with another man.

Who, now I can see, oh can I see, quite clearly, was unavailable and the love was always going to be unrequited (though he told me once quite drunk how much he was in love with me), which was my way of staying safe.

The love of the unavailable man.

My music, blue stained glass earring boyfriend, lost it when I broke up with him.

Lost it.

Hit me.

Spit on me.

I ran off into the night.

One very cold January, Wisconsin night, dark as sin, snow piled so high, no cars driving down East Washington at that late hour.

I ran out of the house in my flannel nightgown and made a phone call to the police from the payphone in front of the grocery store a block away.

I was terrified.

It was a long, scary night, and a story for another night of blogging.

He stalked me for a few years.

I got a restraining order.

He broke it and because he was on probation for growing pot he went to prison.

He’s married now.

Two kids, wife–former classmate of mine in high school, my how the world is small.

House in Sun Prairie, I looked him up a few times years ago.

I don’t wish him harm, he was in a terrifying place and lost his mind.

I grew.

And I also stopped being available to available men.

There are many other reasons why.

I needn’t list them to underscore how the things I did to protect myself came back to haunt me later.

Oh siren song of unavailable men.

It’s been one year today, one year since I saw you last, my love.

My former lover.

And things.

Well.

They are a changing.

New therapist.

New year.

New PhD.

New dating attitudes.

New healing.

I’ve had three dates with three separate men this past week.

I have a second date with one of them tomorrow.

I don’t know where any of it’s going to go, but I do know, that I am moving on.

So when I hear this album, it’s still playing, but we’re almost to the end.

It’s only 45 minutes long.

I can still be that beautiful barefoot girl with the long hair in the long skirt dancing on the warm wood floor, my hips swaying, my arms in the air, ecstacy.

I’m 28 years older.

28 years wiser.

I have been to hell and back.

I have put myself there.

I have rescued myself.

I have had so much help.

I will never repay it no matter how much service I do.

I feel like I am breathing again.

And the grief that once choked me has finally lessened it’s grip.

Maybe it was the warm green eyes of the man on the date last night who said, “I would follow you to Wisconsin,” maybe it’s just God, maybe it’s the music.

Maybe it’s love.

The love I have chosen for myself and the realization that I can hold space for that beautiful girl because I finally belive.

Really believe.

That I am a beautiful woman.

Worthy of love.

And.

Worthy of an available man.

Jody Sings

Lucky one
I am too
Lucky three
The one for me
One, two, three

I’m on my knees
Jody sings
I get high
When she rings
Clouds roll by
Jody sings
I get high
When she rings
Clouds roll by yeah

Lucky one
I am too, yes I am
Lucky three
The one for me
One, two, three
I’m on my knees
Yeah, yeah, yeah
On my knees
On my knees
On my knees
On my knees

Jody sings
I get high
When she rings
Clouds roll by
Jody sings
I get high
When she rings
Clouds roll by
Yeah

When Jody Sings, Masters of Reality, 1992

Love Songs and Nail Salons

December 11, 2021 by

Today I was out and about.

I got my nails did!

It was so lovely.

I haven’t been to the nail salon since a few days prior to my surgery.

Now.

That’s been approximately 7 1/2 weeks.

A long time for this lady.

I love getting my nails done.

It has been a splurge of mine and also a bit of a living amends that I have been making for a while now.

So to go nearly two months without is saying something.

I don’t indulge in much.

No alcohol.

No sugar.

No drugs.

No flour.

I mean.

Let a girl get her nail salon on.

However.

Nail salons are also emotionally intense.

First.

One is held hostage for an hour to an hour and a half while the toes get painted and the finger nails are polished up.

And one, I mean I, I am forced to sit still and feel all the feelings that wish to flit through my mind.

And then there are the love songs.

I mean.

Is it just some romantic comedy trope, but do all nail salons have some sort of love song loop or playlist?

My salon does.

So I spend the entire time listening to love songs and trying to stay out of the dangerous neighborhood of my mind that is you.

You, my darling, you.

I seem to get more and more space from my heart ache and loss and longing for that old unrequited love siren song.

But get in me in a nail salon and I get teary.

Sigh.

I really am trying to more on, but I did seem to get walloped by it today.

Maybe it was just that I haven’t gotten my nails done for a while.

Maybe it’s that my birthday is next weekend.

49.

I am going to be 49 years old.

How the fuck did that happen?

My birthday last year was basically in lock down.

But we managed to spend most of the day together.

You cleared your calendar and I felt pretty damn special.

I won’t go into the details of the morning, although I can remember it very, very well.

We were supposed to go to a fancy French restaurant…..

Aside!

I’m going to Paris next year for my birthday and Christmas!

I figure, 50 years old is a milestone year and since I celebrated my 40th in Paris, why not my 50th?

I booked myself a pretty Air BnB in the Marais District.

My favorite neighborhood to stay in.

And it turns out to be a five minute walk to my best friends home!

I was in Paris for my 48th birthday too.

Missing you, although I was dating someone else.

A very short lived relationship.

I keep fucking hoping that one of these days I will actually be in Paris with a partner, not longing for unrequited love to come swoop me off to Cafe Charlot.

I mean.

The cheeseburgers there.

Divine.

Anyway.

We were supposed to go to a fancy French restaurant, but shelter in place happened again literally the day before my birthday.

So you scrambled and found a sushi place that was doing take out in Half Moon Bay.

We drove to Half Moon Bay and held hands and listened to our various playlists and I sat next to you, while you drove, intoxicated once again with you.

Trying.

Really trying.

To stay present and in the moment.

And I did pretty good, in hindsight, I know I was just compartmentalizing like a mad woman, but for that afternoon I managed ok.

Although, you caught me looking out at the ocean once and you knew, you always did, that I was sad.

We parked in Half Moon Bay’s cute little downtown and walked around and went to a florist shop and I got a painting that I just looked up at and a Christmas ornament–currently in a place of honor in my bedroom.

We walked past this ridiculously cute bed and breakfast and fantasized about going there next year.

“Let’s take a whole weekend next year for your birthday,” you said.

Which would be this year.

Except.

I broke up with you again.

I’ll never forget you saying, “I am so tired of breaking up with you,” the last time I saw you in person.

I’m tired of it too.

So.

I wasn’t too thrilled to be in the nail salon listening to love songs.

But.

I didn’t die.

I didn’t burst into tears.

I’ve definitely done that before.

Although.

One did slide down my face.

See.

The story goes.

I’ll be single forever and I’m getting old and you were the one and I can’t have you and I’m going to wither and die on the fucking vine.

But.

The thing is.

That is just a sad story my brain tells me.

Yes, baby, I miss you.

And baby, it’s cold outside.

And baby, I’ll always love you.

But I don’t have to be held to some cross of martyrdom and sadness alone and lost in my fantasy world of you, pining for some day, some day.

I’m allowed to be with someone.

And love will find me.

I know it will.

Even if I am haunted at the nail salon with love songs that make me think of you, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t other love songs out there for me.

Someone is singing one for me right now.

Maybe I’ll hang some mistletoe in my doorway and wait for the caroler’s to come.

I’ll be waiting.

Patiently.

By my pink Christmas tree.

Yeah.

I did that too.

heh.

I figure that I couldn’t go out and get a live one this year, too soon since the surgery, too much lifting and even thinking about getting one on the roof of my car was too overwhelming.

So I ordered a fake one.

And since, I mean, it’s fake, why not just fucking embrace it and really go fake.

I got a 7’5″ pink glitter Christmas tree.

I know.

I am not fucking around.

And today I decorated it.

It is beautiful.

And though, I thought, wouldn’t it be sweet to have you over, it would always be sweet to have you over, I can’t imagine that after 11 months of not seeing each other, you want to come over and look at my Christmas tree.

Even though the two ornaments you’ve given me are hanging up.

No one knows but me anyway.

Sigh.

Merry Christmas lover.

I hope you are well.

I still think of you.

You are often every where I look.

But like I said.

One day soon.

I’ll have a love to keep me warm.

I will weather the storm.

I thought you ought to know my heart’s on fire.

Listen to this blog on Spotify.


Back at it!

November 23, 2021 by

After nearly four weeks off, I went back to work today.

I started out this morning by guest lecturing (remotely via Zoom) at CIIS in the Clinical Relationship class on erotic countertransference in the clinical dyad.

That was fun.

I did that for about an hour then transitioned to my first client of the day.

Fortunately for me, a phone session.

Followed by another phone session.

Followed by a video session.

Then a break.

Phew.

Break much needed and yes, yes I did, I took my first unaccompanied walk!

It was just a block, don’t freak out.

And I went super duper slow.

Like.

Ridiculously slow.

I walked to the mailbox and mailed my rent check for December.

It felt great to be outside.

Though intense, and I walked back much slower than I had walked to the mailbox.

Then I had lunch in bed.

Now.

I will say that was my only meal in bed and for that I feel pretty happy.

I had breakfast at my “desk”, aka, my kitchen table and tonight I had dinner in my living room sitting in my reading chair.

Normally I like to sit on my pink velvet couch and enjoy the view of the night sky out the window framed in soft yellow string bulb lights.

However.

My couch is too low to sit on comfortably and get back up from.

By the end of my sessions tonight I was definitely feeling stiff and I had gotten a bit swollen up, but I really didn’t want to eat dinner in bed.

Although, I will say that I did not force myself to write this blog at my desk.

I’m writing from bed, propped up on pillows, three behind my back, two underneath my knees.

I can push myself a little, but I’m not a masochist.

And I know that going too hard back into things is not good for my healing.

Gratefully I am in a profession that is not too active.

Granted prior to my surgery I have a times found this challenging–being so sedentary.

Before becoming a psychotherapist I was a nanny, in fact, I nannied a good way into being a therapist–nothing says good times like juggling full time work with full time school and getting my hours to become a therapist.

In a sense, until very, very, very recently, I was working six to seven days a week.

So this down time I’ve had recovering from the surgery has also been surreal.

Lying in bed watching a lot of videos.

I did some reading too, but mostly I think I just slept and watched videos and tried to not be in self-pity when the weather was screaming gorgeous out.

I literally missed the best weather of the year indoors for three and a half weeks recuperating.

That being said.

Once I am fully healed up I will be outside and moving and doing all the things.

My next post-op appointment is December 10th.

At which point my surgeon will let me know when I can start exercising again–more than just walking.

I sense it will still be a slow journey towards being as active again as I was prior.

I cannot wait to get back into the swimming pool.

Or!

To go out dancing.

My, oh my.

I have missed dancing.

I mean, pandemic quashed that in a major way, though I definitely had a lot of private dance parties by myself in my kitchen.

Then I had a burst appendix in February, followed by my first surgery, the brachioplasty, followed by the belt lipectomy.

My dance moves have been severely restrained.

I have a friend who is all about the dancing and keeps sending me invites and I’ve had to turn them all down.

I had a teensy narrow window of opportunity when I was feeling better resourced after the brachioplasty and able to move my arms without feeling like they were going to rip apart, and I had just defended my dissertation, that I could have possibly gone out.

But.

My friend was out of town and I spent that weekend getting my household prepped for the next surgery.

Considering how slow the healing process takes, it will likely be March, April, May of next year before I’m really able to hit a dance floor again.

But it’s there, just on the horizon.

And today gave me just a tiny glimpse of hope for that.

In a sense, I had a full eight hour work day.

I lectured for an hour, then had three sessions, had a break and then did four more sessions.

That was a pretty big day to start back in.

I’m tired.

And also.

Just a smidgeon exhilerated.

It was so good to see my clients again!

I missed them.

And I missed my morning routine.

It felt really nice to make my breakfast this morning, make a coffee, sit at my desk, read my emails, eat, drink my latte, write my morning pages in my journal. Rather than get up, make breakfast, bring it back to bed and crawl back into bed for the majority of the day.

Sure.

I was stiff sitting at my desk and had to keep my core still, but fuck, it felt so damn good to be back to a semblance of my normal routine.

I am also grateful that I have a late start tomorrow morning.

I will let myself sleep in and I will take it very slow in the morning.

I also normally have a late session on Mondays, but not today, and that helped.

I checked in with my person at lunch too and let him know how my day was going and said out loud that if I felt like it was too much I would cancel on my evening sessions.

I did not have to do that.

I did have to be careful to sit still and be really gentle getting up and out of my chair in between sessions and taking bathroom breaks.

And I did it.

Such a relief!

I got through my first day back.

Such simple joy in getting back to my routine.

Grateful.

Seriously fucking grateful.

I’m back in the saddle again.

New York State of Mind

November 7, 2021 by

It’s interesting what a little down time and sitting in my bed for, what now, twelve days?

What it will do to your mind.

I’ve been bed bound recovering from a surgery.

Third surgery this year.

Kind of crazy.

I have not had any surgeries in sobriety until this year.

I am no longer afraid of the pain pills or of becoming addicted to that shit.

I do not like them.

No.

I do not.

Ugh.

Gross, wonky thoughts, horrible nightmares, weird mind meanderings, drugged sleep.

Not for me.

When I was out there using and drinking and smoking and fucking around I liked the up all night kind of drugs.

Cocaine was my spirit animal.

This girl liked to party all the time, party all the time, party all the time.

I didn’t like the slow track.

Never have.

Likely never will.

I have a good girl friend who tells me I drive like her step mother.

Now in some vernacular circles that might come across as an insult, not in this case.

Her stepmother was a rally race car driver.

What my friend doesn’t know is that I slow down when I have folks in the car with me.

heh.

Anyway.

I will also add that pain killers, they do work you know.

I have found myself asking for them.

But only right after the surgery.

The first surgery this year happened in early February.

Burst appendix.

Well, it wasn’t burst until I was actually in the ER.

Then it burst.

Guess that’s a lucky place to be if you’re appendix is going to pop, might as well be where it will be taken care of.

I eschewed the pain meds, I said, no thanks, I’m sober, don’t want any, no way, no how.

Except.

Well fuck.

It was surgery.

And coming out of it was excruciating.

Apparently when I came out I still said no to the pain meds on offer, I have no memory of this.

However, after about twenty minutes or so, maybe more, maybe less, it’s hazy, I couldn’t take it.

The nurse who was typing up a note looked at me and said, “honey, you’re dying, let me give you something.”

Tear leaked down my face and I nodded yes.

Oh sweet God.

Was the relief immediate and welcome.

That was the only time I took anything.

I refused the rest.

But after having gone through that experience I realized I could handle surgery.

And not relapse.

Thank fucking God.

I also realized I was tired of my belly.

The loose skin from the weight loss.

Weight loss I’ve sustained for years and years and years now, twelve I think.

I was too old when I lost the weight for my skin to bounce back.

It just sagged.

I have always been self-conscious about it and it was disarming to lose all that weight and then be left with a body I still had to come to terms with.

I think that’s why a lot of folks actually gain the weight back.

The skin is depressing.

I did a lot of work.

I did a lot of praying.

I did a lot of acceptance.

And I had beautiful body experiences.

I have dated men who were stunning.

My ex for sure.

Gorgeous and hyper fit.

And I still felt self-conscious.

Not as much as I used to.

But it would happen.

No matter how many, “thank you God for this beautiful body” prayers I said, I still felt something.

Sometimes is was dismay, like if I hadn’t been messed with as a kid would I have drown myself in a sea of sugar to cope with the feelings that wouldn’t ever leave me.

Add weight to protect myself from the world, from the predatory gaze of men in my family or on the street on in school.

Would I have been just a normal size kid?

A beautiful body to match my beautiful face.

I used to wish that I could just cut off my head and put it on another body.

And yeah.

The work has worked and the acceptance has worked and I’m hella grateful for this body that I have been given to walk around in and ultimately, that it saved me, it took the brunt of the mental and emotional pain I was in and held it for me.

Thanks body.

And.

I also wanted something more.

Something transformative.

Like all my tattoos.

A new story for this body.

A new experience.

The appendectomy and the healing that happened and the focus on that part of my body pushed me to inquire about skin reduction surgery.

I have talked about it for years with my therapist.

I have dreamt about it, if I win the lotto type dreams.

So.

I talked to my GP.

And she agreed.

And she referred me to a plastic surgeon at Kaiser.

And I stood naked in front of a mirror and took 365 degree photos of my body and the sagging skin on my stomach and upper arms and sent a stranger photos.

My first naked selfies.

Probably my last.

And I met with the surgeon and he asked me why I wanted the surgery and I told him my reasons and I told him about all the work I have done and how long I’ve been abstinent and how much I wanted to do it, with tears on my face.

And he said.

“You’re the perfect candidate for this surgery, you really are, you deserve to have this surgery done.”

And he said.

“But your insurance won’t cover it, Kaiser won’t cover a dime of it, believe me, I have fought for this for many a patient.”

He asked me one other question, “does the skin on your belly prevent you from walking?”

Um, no.

And he said unless it was so much skin that it prevented my mobility my insurance wouldn’t cover it.

And he ended with, but I still think you should do it and I’m going to refer you some numbers of colleagues in the Bay, as Kaiser in San Francisco is not doing any cosmetic surgery at the moment due to the pandemic.

I took naked selfies for no good reason.

Ugh.

And for all the right reasons.

I called all the numbers and I got no after no because pandemic, because booked up, because on vacation, blah, blah, blah.

So.

I decided to go out of pocket.

I found my own surgeon.

Dr. Kenneth Bermudez.

And he is special.

He is fabulous.

He was amazing to meet and he’s been a dream to work with.

He was not cheap.

I blew all my savings.

I’ve been saving to buy a house.

But instead I decided to remodel the one I live in.

I also used student loans.

I ain’t gonna lie.

I figure I’ve become a great therapist, I have a full client load, I have a lovely business that I have built and worked on and put my heart into creating.

I can afford it.

I will make the money back.

So we set a date, July 16th, to do a brachioplasty, belt lipectomy, and butt lift.

There were some complications which meant that I had to derail the surgery a bit, turns out I was anemic and the surgeon wouldn’t due the full surgery.

But we compromised.

He did the brachioplasty.

And I’ve been recovering from that, pretty well, too I think.

It’s been rather extraordinary to not have the wings of skin hanging off my upper arms.

My arms are still healing and it was painful to go through the process, but man, it was worth it.

After a month and a half of healing I got an iron transfusion to accompany the plethora of iron supplements I had started taking in July.

And my surgeon set my date for the belt lipectomy for October 26th.

hahahahahahahaha.

Right after my PhD dissertation defense.

Can I just say that whole thing was stressful as fuck.

I successfully defended.

I am a doctor.

Huzzah!

And I pretty much turned right around and started getting myself prepped for the belt lipectomy.

Big ass surgery.

And in hindsight I am grateful that there were complications with the first surgery, I don’t think I could have dealt with both my trunk and my arms being inoperable.

It would have been too much.

So I went in 12 days ago and got it done.

He removed 7lbs.

7lbs!!

Of loose skin and tissue.

Fucking amazing.

I’m still too swollen to see much of a change, but I am excited for getting healed up enough to see the difference.

And wear clothes and buy new clothes.

And walk outside of my house.

I’ve been pretty bed bound for the last twelve days.

But.

I am happy to say.

That once again, I got off the pain meds really quick.

I was on Percocet, which is basically Oxycodone.

I hated it.

I mean.

In the beginning I took it without thought because I was in so much pain.

And I slept a lot, a lot, a lot.

But after my six day post-op follow up appointment I felt ready to titrate off the shit.

I went one more full day on the meds, going longer in between taking the pills.

And I had a plan to wean down and cut the pills in half and be off of them by this past Friday.

But.

Ack.

I remember one night, Tuesday it was, one week after the surgery, where I realized that I didn’t need them and that I didn’t want to continue taking them and I was afraid I would become bodily addicted.

So I stopped cold turkey.

And yeah, it wasn’t fabulous, the first night, Wednesday, was hard to sleep and I stayed up until 3 a.m. watching videos, but I got it out of my system and I haven’t had anything since this past Tuesday.

Four and a half days now.

Just Extra Strength Tylenol, lots of bubbly water, and videos.

Movies, series, cooking shows.

And for some reason.

An awful lot of what I have watched has been set in New York.

I have always wanted to live in New York.

And in some ways I sense it’s a good thing I didn’t when I was till actively drinking.

I think New York might have been the death of me, San Francisco nearly was.

So I never made it there.

I never moved there.

But I have thought of it often.

A brown stone in Brooklyn.

A therapy practice.

Seasons.

Granted.

I know winter there is not the bucolic cinematic scene that I watch cozied up with my fuzzy blankent.

Winters are brutal.

But spring, summer, fall.

Oh, wouldn’t it be nice?

I am nostalgic for a place I have never lived in, though I have visited three times.

And I fit in.

I fit in quite well.

I love the characters, and the character of the city.

I also know it can grind a person down and I know a lot of folks that have moved away.

But there is something about it.

Even now, on the cusp of turning 49 I think about moving to New York.

Though I sense you have to be young to make it in New York and really get established.

I am too old.

I have my one bedroom rent control apartment in Hayes Valley and my office is a five minute walk away.

I have the fog and the cable cars and the trolleys, the ocean, the multitude of beautiful hills and vistas, the Victorians.

Sure.

Yeah.

There’s homelessness and rampant drug use and shit on the sidewalk and some guy in the neighborhood who walks around with a super huge sound system strapped to a rolling cart, but there is still beauty.

So much beauty.

And just like I fit in New York.

I fit in San Francisco.

I’m in year twenty of living here.

So.

I don’t think I’m moving to New York anytime soon.

But there is something there.

A life maybe, running parallel to the one I am in now.

That once in a while I can just see out of the corner of my eye.

So when I’m ready and fully healed up I think it might be time for another trip back.

Which might be a bit yet, I do have to heal and I am going to Hawaii in February for a conference.

Maybe in the summer.

A four day weekend.

A stay at some swank hotel or a cute Air BnB in Brooklyn.

Until then.

I’ll keep watching videos.

I’m still on bed rest.

But I’ll keep the dream alive.

New York, you’re so often on my mind.

Hello Stranger

November 29, 2018 by

I’m back!

Oh my God, I’m actually back.

Wow.

This feels so surreal.

It also feels weird because WordPress has once again changed some things on the site and the layout I’m used to using has changed.  But so far, well, so freaking good.

It is nice to be home.

I have missed you!

I have been busy, I won’t lie.

So busy that it makes me wonder how it is that I can even take the time to be sitting here in front of my computer not working on homework.

My God.

The amount of homework.

It is horrendous.

There is literally not a day.

Ok.

There was a day.

That I don’t do homework.

I didn’t do homework on Thanksgiving.

I almost did, but then I just cut myself some slack and said, no, take the day off or you’re going to be pissed.

And the day was taken off.

I went to a movie!

In fact, heh, I went to two movies!

I cannot remember the last time I saw a movie in the theater, probably last Christmas?  And to see not one, but two in the same day was crazy.

I went with my people to a matinée at the Embarcadero Cinemas, which I love.  I do adore a good art house space, plus, there is just something pretty about that part of town when it is emptied out, as it was being a holiday.   The view of the city, the Embarcadero, the bay, the Bay Bridge, the downtown skyscrapers and plenty of parking, which in and of itself is a miracle.

We saw At Eternity’s Gate, the Vincent Van Gough movie with William DaFoe.

First of all, DaFoe is a fucking genius, he’s got the Oscar on this one.

Second.

Horrendously sad.

But I mean, you know it’s not going to end well, the man cuts off his ear for fucks sake, it’s not like this is going to be a happy movie.

Yet.

It was a gorgeous movie, Julian Schnabel did amazing work.

It’s filmed on site where Van Gough did his paintings, Paris first, than the South of France in Arles, and the light he manages to capture is just exquisite.

It felt like being in one of Van Gough’s paintings.

So much beauty.

So much grief too.

I was in tears and the ending just had me with tears pouring down my face, but ultimately, it was such an extraordinary work of beauty that I was grateful to be able to see it.

And I was grateful to reflect that I have gotten to see a number of Van Gough paintings in person.

Although I have never been to the Van Gough museum, I have seen his works in the Louvre, the MOMA New York and the MOMA San Francisco, and The National Gallery in London.

That’s pretty damn good if I think about it.

I am blessed with having gotten to see the amount of art I have seen in my life.

There is so much more to see.

So much more.

Speaking of art, I had hoped that during my down time from work with the holiday I would get to the MOMA, but I did not, too many other things were happening.

Lots of homework, internship work, seeing clients, seeing friends, running errands that needed desperately to be run, clothes shopping–I hadn’t been clothes shopping in so long it felt kind of crazy.

I’ve lost a little weight the last few months and really had to get new jeans.

And I’m not complaining about that at all, it just took forever for me to have the time to get to it.

You may see a theme here.

Busy.

The new internship is going well and I feel like it will grow me into a very healthy private practice therapy business.

Which is also part of the reason why I haven’t been blogging here for some time.

I’m not much of a tech person, not really, not at all, and for my internship I needed to build a website.

Now if I had the money I’d just hire a friend to do it, in fact, when I do have the money I will most likely do just that, but in the mean time.

Well.

Shoot.

I already have a blog on WordPress, I’ll just use WordPress.

Except.

Ugh.

I didn’t realize that I had inadvertently connected the two, my professional website with my, very private, thank you very much, blog.

I mean.

Some of you out there know who I am.

But most of the people reading my blog don’t know who I am.

I am anonymous here and I always have been, since it allows me to pretty freely write about what ever I want to write about.

Oh.

Sure.

There are things y’all don’t know and that will stay like that for ever, thank you.

But.

I am really transparent here.

I write about all sorts of things.

All sorts of things that no therapist wants their clients to know about.

So you may imagine my horror when I realized that you could access this blog through my professional site.

I don’t believe I let that oversight go more than a few days.

The horror I felt though when I realized that the website I’d worked on so hard was linked to my personal blog was no bueno.

I mean.

Yuck.

I don’t believe any of my clients found it.

In fact, I do wonder if anyone actually did figure it out.

It wasn’t very obvious, but for a couple of days the “About Me” was my “About Me” blog from this site, which isn’t exactly scandalous, but it is sassy and certainly not anything I would want a therapy client to read.

NO.

So once I fixed that I spent too much time trying to figure out how to separate the two entities.

I spent too many precious minutes and hours away from my homework on the help chat.

And then WordPress went down, well, it didn’t go do per se, but the administrative support did and really, the couple of chats I did have done nothing for me, except taunt me with the fact that there was a way to separate the two from each other, but I couldn’t figure it out.

Like.

My understanding of technology is a five-year olds.

So for a while, like a petulant five-year old, I just stopped trying.

Then I started reaching out to friends.

I have had three-hour long sessions with friends and nothing was accomplished, except for me to get more frustrated.

I wanted to blow up the site.

I wanted to pull my website, but I’d fucking bought the domain and paid for two years of hosting.

I wanted to delete my blog, my baby, this guy, but really?

No way.

l have over 2,500 blogs on this site and they are valuable to me.

More about that later.

So.

My best idea was to lay as low as possible and not write any blogs while I was getting it all sorted.

And yesterday.

I think.

I hope.

Fingers fucking crossed, I figured it out.

Well.

Not the real solution.

But something that would allow me to be anonymous here and not have any tie to my professional site’s identity.

For now it seems to be working, so I’m not going to jinx it.

And hey.

Look at that.

I got to run.

It’s time for me to get ready to go to bed.

I have early supervision now before work and I’ve got a six am start.

Blah.

But hey.

It’s so nice to be here again!

I am.

So fucking nice.

I promise, I won’t be a stranger no more.

Nighty night.

Musings

July 17, 2022 by

From COVIDlandia.

And what I am hoping is my last day of quarantine.

The COVID test I took this morning showed the barest, faintest of lines.

I flirted with saying, I’m all good, and running out willy nilly.

But.

I figured one more day in quarantine and taking care to not infect others might be the ethical thing to do.

As opposed, to, oh, I don’t know, randomly licking people and running away saying, “I have COVID!”

I have these thoughts once in a while.

I did go outside briefly today, masked, of course, to go to my office and water my plants.

Oh.

Such sad plants.

I felt so bad.

Poor babies hadn’t been watered in nine days.

No one is at the office on the weekend, so I figured I was safe and I still wore my mask inside just in case and no one was there.

Just my sad little plants.

I gave them all a good watering and then shut the office back down.

Next week I will be doing all my sessions remotely, I figure, just be safe.

I don’t need to expose my suitemates to anything.

I do hope to test negative tomorrow.

I had a moment of thinking, ooh, I’ll go swimming tomorrow if I test negative.

Yeah.

I don’t know about that.

Sounds great, but considering the amount of congestion and aching lungs I have experienced over the past nine days, maybe swimming laps is not the course of action to take on my first day back into the world.

I’ll get up and stretch again and do minimalist yoga.

I’ll go for a walk.

I’ll prep food for the week.

I will dream about all things Burning Man.

Yeah.

That thing.

I am going.

I haven’t really written about it.

I’ve been tied up with all things FINISH YOUR FUCKING DISSERTATION.

I mean.

It’s finished, I mean, finish jumping through the hoops that your school forgot to tell you to do even though they approved you to graduate.

Oh.

You’re missing something and we forgot to tell you?

OOPS.

I mean.

The profound apology from the provost helped, but like, dude, I’ve not actually graduated yet.

Which is also why Burning Man is on my mind.

I “graduate” eye roll, at the end of summer.

That is when I will officially matriculate.

I returned the dissertation with the few edits that the writing center indicated needed to be done; for the pain in the ass y’all have been, you could have just fucking fixed them and moved it along, in 274 pages there were five things that needed to be attended to.

Anyway.

I’ll be connecting with the guy at the center who is the last gate keeper to getting it published on ProQuest on Monday.

Pending his final stamp of approval I will then upload it and that’s it.

It will get published and I will matriculate.

At the end of summer.

Which means.

I get to graduate.

Again.

And this time.

I’m going to do it my way.

At Burning Man.

Yeah.

Where my graduate school journey started back in 2014 when I had a dark night of the soul.

I left Burning Man that year distinctly altered.

I quit the job I had been working.

Got a different one.

And applied to graduate school to get my Master’s in Psychology.

I got in and started in the fall of 2015.

I managed to go to the event in 2015, 2016, and 2017–somehow figuring out how to balance full-time nanny job with full-time graduate school.

I graduate from my Master’s program in May of 2018 and went right into my PhD program in August of 2018.

I could not manage the event whilst doing my PhD program.

My first year missing the event since I started to go in 2007.

I mean.

I managed to go even when I moved to Paris.

I still do not know how that happened.

But my PhD program started each semester with a week long intensive and it was the same week as the event and the amount of work that I had to do to get ready for the intensive was too much for me to even think about going up pre-event.

The year I went in 2016 I didn’t even go for the event, I was up for in the desert for four days and left before the gates even opened.

The PhD work was too much.

Not to mention working full time, plus.

So, I missed 2018 and 2019.

And then the pandemic.

Knocking out 2020 and2021.

Although I had people who asked if I would consider going to “Plan B” the unofficial event last year, you know that one that was not sanctioned by the org, wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

But.

I was too close to defending my dissertation, I had also just had the first of my two major surgeries, and it was too much.

This year I had been prepared to go months ago.

I was going to help run and manage a kitchen on playa for an art project a dear friend of mine is builidng.

But an unexpected tax bill, what the fuck accountant?!

And the looming paying back of student loans dissuaded me.

I hung up my apron and prepared to sadly not go.

Except.

Well.

There was this day three weeks ago, a month ago, I don’t know, time is wonky for me still, when it was hot out.

Like hot.

Like 93 F.

San Francisco rarely gets hot.

Even now, in the middle of July, I am wearing a hoodie, and it’s not because I have COVID, it’s because I live in San Francisco and fog.

But it got hot that day.

I remember a couple of last minute client cancellations led me to having a leisurely lunch and left enough time for me to go for a long walk.

Without a sweatshirt.

Without layers.

In a sundress.

And bare legs, I wasn’t even wearing leggings.

Oh my, my, my.

Speaking my fucking language.

Only thing about summers in Wisconsin I really miss–warm nights without having to wear layers, sundresses all day long, hair upswept in a messy bun, humid wind kissing your skin.

Sigh.

This day in SF wasn’t like that.

It was more like Burning Man.

Hot.

Dry.

Warm wind.

I was walking down Laguna crossing Fulton, and I was just drenched in sun and hot wind and I sighed, “oh, this feels o good.”

“Just like Burning Man,” a little voice in my heart whispered.

And like that.

Like that.

I decided to go.

I reached out to a bunch of folks.

I asked after tickets.

I received more than a few offers.

Some of which I couldn’t quite comply with the asks, pre-burn, build week, nannying, work duties, etc.

But one of them I could take and so I did.

And like that.

I had a ticket.

And plans began to brew and things began to fall into place.

Like fast.

Sometimes when I know that I’m supposed to do something, everything just falls into place.

If it’s meant to be you can’t fuck it up.

If it’s not meant to be you can’t manipulate it into happening.

This was definitely meant to be.

And although the loss of revenue missing a week of work being sick with COVID has definitely stung, it hasn’t made it impossible.

My ticket is paid for and my vehicle pass and I’m accruing all the gear that I need.

And maybe a few flowers to stick in my hair.

Like you do.

Or, ahem, like I do.

I got some boots, a new black out tent, a folding camp rocking chair, a new cooler, a new parasol, a new bicycle (I miss my old steed, I was looking at old phots of the event and I will miss that ride, but hopefully my new bike will be up to muster), a new queen size air mattress.

I’ve rented a cargo van with a friend that will be traveling in from Utah and I’ll be picking him up in Reno.

He’s got stuff in SF that I will bring up for him, so right now we are splitting costs on the rental.

I almost thought about stuffing my little Fiat with all my things, mounting a bicycle rack on the roof.

But.

Ahem.

A girl likes her clothes.

And also, unobstructed views whilst driving.

So.

I agreed to the van.

Which I think will actually come nicely in handy.

Provide some shade for my tent as well as be a place to hole up in if there is a dust storm.

And plenty of space for my friend’s gear, plus another if we wanted.

Originally a mutual friend from Marin was going to ride up with me, but he’s bailed.

In all the preparing and list writing and chatting with a good friend of mine who has graciously accepted to take care of my cats, I suddenly had an idea.

Perhaps it was a vestige of COVID fever, perhaps divine inspiration.

I realized, huh, if I matriculate at the end of summer, that means I’ll be “graduating” on playa.

HOLY SHIT.

I can have a graduation party.

At the best party in the whole fucking world.

With all the friends I couldn’t have come to my graduation.

Because I was only allowed three people at my weird ass hybrid zoom graduation reception at my school in May.

I contacted my dear friend with the art project and he’s going to help me plan a ceremony at his art piece!

I’m going to graduate on playa.

I am also going to walk in my full PhD regalia–robe, funny hat with the pom, and my hood.

Oh yeah.

Then I am going to burn it at the Temple and leave the institution behind and move into whatever next phase of life I am supposed to be having.

This year is special too as it marks my 20 year anniversary of moving from Madison, Wisconsin to San Francisco.

My best friend from Wisconsin rode shot gun with me in my little two door Honda Accord packed to the gills, rode I-80 all the way to the Bay back in 2002.

We were gassing up in Nevada getting ready to go through the Sierra’s and she said, looking at some dirty hippy with literally a cardboard sign, begging for a ride to Burning Man on the exit ramp to the gas station, “we should go.”

“Where?” I asked, toggling the nozzle of the gas pump to get every last precious drop into my tank.

“Burning Man,” she replied.

I looked at my car, stuffed full of my life and the soft pack of a super sized duffle strapped to the top and thought, no fucking way am I taking all that I own out to the desert in this car.

I laughed and got back in the car and we started to drive towards Tahoe.

My friend tried one more time to convince me, “this might be my last chance to go!”

______________ “I’m not going, it’s impossible, I can’t take my car out there with all my stuff, and I have to pick up the keys to my sublet in the Mission,” I replied.

And then I remember pausing and thinking, how do you know about Burning Man?

I had read about it in a 1995 issue of Spin magazine.

And yeah, I was definitely down with going, just not right then.

“What do you think Burning Man is?” I queried my friend.

“It’s a radical feminist movement where they BURN THE MAN!”

If I could have fallen out of my seat laughing I would have.

In some ways, my friend is actually right, Larry Harvey and all that he is and that they burn a man, yeah, but there is a very heavy lift that the women in the organization have done quietly behind the scenes for a long time.

Believe me.

I have seen some things.

Anyway.

We did not go that year.

But every since I started going, my friend gives me shit, that she missed her time.

She wasn’t wrong.

She got pregnant just after leaving San Francisco, literally that weekend, and then had three boys.

One who just graduated from highschool.

What the hell?

And here I am, almost 20 years later, all excited about going out to that thing in the desert again.

Where I will graduate into my next level of life.

Or just have a quiet spiritual experience while I ride my bike far out into the edges of the playa to look at the stars.

Who knows where this life is going to take me next.

But I’m down for it.

I’ll be there.

With flowers in my hair.

Seriously.

And maybe a glow stick.

Heh.


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