Archive for October, 2011

Tired and Tech’ed Out

October 31, 2011

I have had a technology filled day.  For a gal that does not have the computer skills that I would like to have, today was a full day.

My brain feels overstuffed and I am tired.  Tired I say.  Sort of like my brain needs a nap, like you need a nap after a big Thanksgiving day feast.

First, I had my entry into Mission Bicycle Company.  I had a day of training.  Kai and I sat upstairs in the office and he explained the basic principles behind how a bike is bought and compiled.  Literally we used flash cards.

Fucking brilliant, with these wee little illustrations.  I was pretty impressed by the detailing.  Totally engaged, for about the first 45 minutes.  Then I started to slip, the spokes and the hubs and the wheel frames began to get inter mingled in my brain and the quick books and the google mail calendar and the in voicing and what to do and who to go to and by an hour and a half in I had to just sit back and take in the information in the way that I know my brain can, shut up and listen.

I have felt this over full brain before.  It’s sort of like some one cuts off the top of your head and dumps a lot of information into it, then stuffs the brain matter back in around it and then it takes a while to digest, brain burp, and sort itself out.  Consciously I cannot see how it is all happening, but from an experiential view-point, I know that its working.  I will access information later that I don’t even realize that I have tucked up there and suddenly I know what widget is what and where that bracket fits and how to correctly do something.

However, my brain likes to put on a panic show in the mean time, distract me from the process or something.

You are never going to figure this out, you are stupid, you are in WAY OVER YOUR HEAD, run, run, run.

I am not.  Shush.

I am learning and learning is difficult.  I learn faster than some, slower than others.  But I will tell you this, once I learn it, no matter what the speed, I remember it.  I have a phenomenal memory.  I have nothing to do with this, consciously, I don’t understand how it all works together, but it does.

I have felt this way every time I start a new job.  Too much information, I’ll never do it right, they’ve got the wrong person for the job, etc, etc, etc.  I writhe around in terror that I will be found out for some imposter, the inevitably I am informed by some one above me, that wow, you caught on quick!

My brain, sweet little perfectionist that it is, disagrees.  I should absorb faster, more, better, quicker.

I also get intimidated by technology.  Today was a banner day in the realm for me.  Not only did I do three hours of training at the shop–learning their build process and basics, but also seeing how the computer system works.  Then I also came home after doing the deal and set up my wireless network and my new Iphone.

I had to talk myself into it.  I knew that it needed to be done, especially as I needed to set up the WIFI and I had tried once already and failed.  I needed it set up to get the Iphone going.

It sat there all white and sexy and said, “C’mon Carmen, don’t you want to use me?”

NOOOOOOOOOO.

I want to crawl into bed and cry.

Hmmm.  Probably not going to help the situation.  It’s just a phone, it ain’t gonna bite, and I bet once you get used to it, you’ll like it, a lot.  So do it.

And I did.

Oh, I also got to have some exciting dumpster diving tossed in there to break up the monotony of delving into the tech pools.  That’s right, I threw away the Iphone box with the registration number on it that my phone company needed to change over from my craptastic Sanyo replacement phone that bonked out about thirty seconds after I replaced my old phone, to my Iphone.

Frogs.

Thank God the garbage collectors had not come.  Further, thank god it was in the recycling and not in the garbage.  After five frustrating minutes of digging through the recycling bin I found it.

Aside–I drink a lot of almond milk!

Back to the house, back to the computer, back to the technological no mans land I have found myself journeying into.  And what do you know, I did it.  I got the WIFI up.  I got the phone registered. I got it going.

Then I sort of stared at the Iphone and said, “Hi, let’s be friends, okay?”

Followed by a whisper of, “be gentle with me”.

I will probably spend all day tomorrow monkeying around with it.  Well, I’ll monkey with it during nap time, if there’s a nap time tomorrow, considering K’s M.O. all of last week.  Because there won’t be a nap time when I start on Thursday at the shop.

And I’m excited.  I am.  My brain just got full and it hurt a bit to digest all of it.

I know, pretty emphatically that I can and will handle this.  I just need to make sure that I am also doing my good self-care.  Getting sleep, eating well, making sure my laundry is done, and I get to my commitments.

It’s also sort of exciting to find that I am not the old dog that can’t learn new tricks.  I am learning.  That’s the other awesome thing about this job that was pointed out to me when I was complaining to a friend about brain freeze, I get to learn something new.  I have not really learned a lot of new stuff as a nanny in the last two years.

Oh, maybe a trick or two has emerged, and I have become very efficient at juggling two toddlers and their predilections, but aside from maybe a new version of Wheels on the Bus, I am pretty tapped out in the new nanny skills that can be learned.  At the shop there is a world, a universe really, of things to learn.

I must just remember to be patient with myself and kind.  I was hired for a very good reason, I am good at organization and I get the job done.  Plus I’m good with customers, (kids and animals too) and I will be able to really provide some stream lining and efficiency to their systems.

Tired.

Yes.

Techied out.

Yuppers.

Excited?

That too.

Oh yeah, and guess what?

THREE DAYS LEFT!

Of being a nanny.

 

PS.  In case you were wondering, I still haven’t figured out my Twitter account.  Although I have a cute name for it.  And it took me, oh, I don’t know, six months of daily blogging before I figured out how to tag my blogs.  Sometimes quickly….

 

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Old Lady

October 30, 2011

Ism has set in.

What the fuck?

It is the Saturday of Halloween and I just wanted to come home and eat my little snack and drink my hot cup of tea and crawl into bed.

I’m tired.

Fuck.

I am not thrilled to admit that.  I want my cats and a stuffed animal.  I feel like a sad, dejected, little kid.

I did make an effort, by the by.  I got dressed up.  I went out this early evening to Kirk’s party–1,000 Richard Simmons–which was fun, but just the effort of getting over there made me tired.  This is depressing.

I think, no, I know, the emotional roller coaster is starting to take its toll.  I start training tomorrow at the new job and I still have the old job to finish out.  There’s no space in between and when I think about it, which I don’t really want to, there’s not going to be any true down time for a little while.  However, I won’t be working 50 hours a week, so it may feel more relaxed.

Some one told me today that excitement and worry feel about the same to our nervous systems.  Nervous being the operative word.  I am nervous about the new job.  I know I can totally do it, but it feels like tomorrow is the first day at a new school and I don’t have the right outfit or hair or something to fit in and I don’t know the skills to get by.

Of course, that’s why I’m going in tomorrow.  To get a little jump-start on the job.  I’ll be there for maybe two, three hours tops.  Enough to get my feet wet and hopefully take the edge off when I really get going on Thursday.  But still, there’s some nerves here and I suppose that’s alright, enjoy it and all that.

Didn’t I used to pay really good money to feel like this?  Yech.

I don’t feel like blogging either, can you tell?  This must be the most lackluster blog I have put up in months.  Which is interesting, just to myself, that I have been blogging now on a daily basis for months and months, I’m coming up on 10,000 views on my blog (!) and I’ve been consistent about putting posts up.  Even when, like tonight I have what feels like nada to say.

I am also going to acknowledge that Halloween always feels a little creepy/crappy to me.  It sort of marks the beginning of the end for some old behaviours, and I feel like when the light begins to change and the nip of cold gets in the air, even when there’s delicious lovely sunshine falling all around (San Francisco in October really can be glorious), I get a little on the morose side of town.

I believe that it is a body memory.  It was once explained to me that our bodies have memories and even when I can’t quite explain why I feel adrift and a little lost, it is as though my body, my senses, are re-living those hollow days of fear and suffering that I put myself through.  The lost hours of my soul clattering about in the eves of my heart.

Am I dancing on the edge of self-pity?  Maybe.  But this is just how I feel.  And as I’ve come to realize, feelings, well, they’re not facts.  Today is almost done.  And it was by no means a bad day, it just was a little on the funky side.  I tried to inject some holiday cheer into it and failed.

That’s ok too, let me remember that as well.  I gave it a shot.  I got dressed up, as a doll, and I put make up on and a wig and had fun getting “dolled” up.  But I sort of felt like I was all dressed up with no real place to go.  I realize too, now that I’m writing, I do better with specific plans, I am not good at having loose ends.  It doesn’t work for me to make nebulous plans, and I rather did that tonight.  I was vague, I got myself over to the other side of town with no real set idea as to what I was going to do and it sort of bit me in the ass.

And the $18 cab ride back home was not exciting either, suffice to say, I’m still grateful that I was able to flag a cab in Noe Valley over Halloween weekend.  It is not the easiest time of the year to catch a cab.  I have been hung out to dry on previous holidays.  I was going to take MUNI home, but the thought of waiting was unbearable and I splurged.

A splurge that will soon be ending.

I paid the last months rent on my apartment.  I am now walking into the totally unknown zone.  I have given notice, I will be out December 1st.  I don’t know where.  And I cannot even think about it right now.  I keep telling people and it’s beginning to feel like such a drag.

I saw my fear of myself tonight on the 22 Fillmore.  This older woman, mid 60s, got on the bus with her cat in a carrier strapped on top of a couple of boxes and she had a couple of big old shopping bags with her and she was headed to the Castro with her string of gaudy Walgreens pumpkin necklaces to go spare change it up.

Her cat was even white.

EEEk.

Officially spooked on Halloween.

I am now going to get of the edge of the self-pity ice rink and be extraordinarily grateful that not only could I splurge on the cab ride home, I paid my rent in full today, went grocery shopping for food I love, saw friends tonight, got to hang out with Beth not once, but twice, rode my bike in the sunshine, went to the park (Huntington Square) and sat on a bench in the afternoon sunlight and read a book, ate lovely food, drank scrumptious coffee (more Nicaraguan Sight Glass), did my laundry (oh clean sheets to crawl into), and did my writing–morning pages and blog.

This is a damn fine day, regardless of “feeling” like a little old lady.  There’s nothing wrong with coming home and enjoying my home.  Especially when I start a new job in the morning.

Oh my god, I smell adult–it’s not old lady–it’s responsible adult.
 

Nice Shoes

October 29, 2011

He said to me, eyeing up my legs with a smile, “you a messenger?”

Nope.

“Native”?

Nope.

“How long you live in SF”?

Nine years.  It’s the only way to fly.

He stuck out his hand and shook mine as I leaned up from u-locking my bike to the bicycle parking on the side-walk at Church and Market.  He had also said, “nice bike” when I was locking it up.  I replied that his was a nicer ride, hipper I should add, much hipper, a ridiculously beautiful one gear with racing wheels and clipless pedals.  I don’t remember the brand off-hand, but I knew without a doubt it was easily a $3,000 bike.

He raised his eyebrow and said, “yeah, pretty nice, but you’ve got a good one too, just different style”.

That’s when he looked down, smiled and said, “nice shoes”.

I always laugh when I get that, they are clipless shoes that I was wearing, SiDi’s to be exact.  I had never used clipless before doing the AIDS LifeCycle ride.  It was heavily suggested that I do so once I began serious training, and after the first time climbing Camino Alto I was a convert.

I was scared at first, clipping in and out of the pedals, being that connected to the bike just seemed dangerous.  But I have since discarded that theory, if anything I feel safer on my bike, more secure and faster, for sure.  I also know that my stroke is extraordinarily efficient now and it certainly makes getting up the hills in my neighborhood a lot easier.  A human being clipped onto a bike is considered one of the fastest, most aerodynamic things on the road, I have gotten up to 56 mph down hill on my bike, it is not something that I do often or in the city, but my god is it thrilling (although the bitch of it is, climbing the hill to go down the hill).

I had cages on a one speed before, a gorgeous 1980 steel framed Italian racer,  and although I loved the look, I actually had a harder time with the cages on the pedals than I do with my clipless.  Getting in and out of the clips is totally second nature now and I don’t think about it, except that occasion when I am going down hill from my house to work and as I begin the first part of the descent I like to be fully clipped in by the first revolution of the wheel.  If I am not, I feel off-balance and that is an uncomfortable feeling going down the grade of hill that I live on; extremely uncomfortable.

He introduced himself to me and I to him and of course I can’t remember his name, other than that the smile was nice, I loved his comment on my shoes, I love getting guy props for wearing clipless.  I hear  a lot of female riders who are nervous about it and don’t usually bother.  And  was the same way for sure, totally fear based.  In fact, the first bike that I rode that had clipless was my friend Robb’s.  He loaned his old road bike to me to do my beginning training on for the AIDS ride and I was so nervous about doing it that I went out and had the pedals taken off and put normal pedals on it instead.

It was four months later that I became convinced and have never looked back.

Oh sure, there are plenty of times when I think, gosh she is so cute riding around in platform heels (and I have been that girl as well) or even in Converse.  It can be a little pain in the ass to wear the shoes.  I have to carry my walking shoes with me if I want to get about on foot.  Although, I have to admit I will clickety clack around in them if I’m out for a short trip or doing grocery shopping, there is just no point in taking up space in my messenger bag for an extra pair of shoes.

And I feel like Mister Rogers stopping at the curbside to pop my shoes on and off.  But once I’m in the saddle and on the road, there is no regret for the shoes.  And it’s always nice to get the messenger boy flirt up.  I quite like that I get props from some of the toughest boys out there.  It is some serious business being a messenger in this city.  I don’t envy the job or the lifestyle.

I could play one on tv, though, that’s for sure, and I do often get mistaken for one.  I wear a lot of the gear, the aforementioned shoes, a key fob on a carabiner clipped to my belt loop, a Chrome oversized messenger bag with the phone connected to the top left shoulder pad, and an attitude.  Where I differ is that I will stop for red lights, I have been hit too often, and I always wear a helmet.  Always, see the previous sentence, I have been in too many accidents to now to not wear a helmet.

In fact, if I did not wear one, I would probably be a “donor”.  That’s what a friend of mine who is a resident at General told me they call kids who ride without a helmet in the city, “donors”.  I hit the pavement so hard the last accident I had, going down a hill, that when my head hit the road, and it hit hard, my helmet cracked in half.  I would have been a total donor.  Ah, no thanks.  I’ll keep all my organs today, really, I like them right where they are.

Plus, I have the ultimate accessory,  if you look at my legs, you know these are biker legs.  Beth, my new transplanted Hawaiian friend was lamenting the figure that happens to occur with just a few weeks of bicycling in this city–winnowed waist, big thighs–and how it’s become difficult to find pants that fit her physique well.  She’s right, but it’s such a damn sexy look (she look good tonight!), and I know that I look good as well, that if that’s the price I pay, so be it.  Although, I do get self-conscious about pulling up my pants at every stop I make on my bike.

I don’t mind playing the role of the city girl biker, but I hate flashing my thong, hate it (remember, lads and ladies, to never say you are never going to do something–ie wear a thong, or bicycle shorts–because you’ll end up doing or being just that), I  see too much ass cleavage from all riders on the road and  aspire to not be showing the floss on the ride.

Total sidebar on that note, I have become a convert, I just got my new Iphone in the mail tonight!

And on the bicycle note, I will be going in for training at Mission Bicycle Company on Sunday to get a few hours in before the official start date of next Thursday.  Today was my last Friday with the girls and it went well, despite the dad calling and meddling with the nap schedule.  I said, sure what ever you want, and did not give a good god-damn, it’s almost done!

Now, with my bike legs, my bike job, my new Iphone, my Bianchi mint colored Chrome messenger bag, and my sexy clipless shoes, I am ready to make the ultimate hipster move–move back to the Mission–where it all began some nine years ago with a sublet at 20th and York.

Wonder where I’ll end up this time?

Regardless, I’ll be getting there quickly in my “nice shoes”.

 

You Are A Fantastic Tenant

October 27, 2011

And after talking with my manager, we agreed to let you out of your lease.

Holy crap.  I was not expecting that.  I called up my management company a week a go and told them that I was going to have to sublet my apartment as I was re-locating for work.

I neglected to say that it would be a re-location to the Mission.  I figure that they don’t need to know the logistics, suffice to say that I needed to not be in the apartment, my dear little one bedroom in Nob Hill, any longer.

I told them that I had some one who was interested in taking over the lease and subletting.  And I wanted to know how I was to go about doing this through the proper channels.  I also neglected to mention that I really did not want to deal directly through them, that I wanted to make everything happen for myself and figure it out on my own.  That further, I was postulating about maybe renting it out on Air B-N-B (a site that allows you to rent out your place to tourists and the like), but I was afraid of the work that would be involved, and it seemed a little on the sleazy side and sneaky too.

Complicated.

And I don’t dig complicated, I always fuck that shit up, see my post about the couch!  I wanted to be above-board and honest.

Oh, shit, they don’t allow sublets.  But, Zack, my rental agent, said, hang on and let me check in with Michelle and see what we can do.  I’m sure we can let you out of the lease and your friends can do the paper work etc.  He also mentioned that his boss Michelle may actually have some one interested in a one bedroom.

I’ll call you back.

One week later, I haven’t gotten a call and the couple that were going to take the place changed their minds.  I had another friend get a hold of me and say she had a friend interested, so I arranged my schedule and set up a time for them to come over and check out the place.

(Complete aside, but apartment rental related.  I just found myself trolling craigslist and came across an ad for a free room in Hayes Valley in return you provide services to the main tenant, cleaning, cooking, and massage.  Did it feel like a good fit?  Nope.  Did I find myself copying and pasting that shit into my gmail browser none the less to send a response and ask how I could get in on this.  “Free rent”!  I actually started writing about what a great masseuse I am, I am pretty damn good, and the ick out factor finally kicked in and said, what the fuck are you thinking?!  No. No.  No!  Get of craigscracklist and go write your blog and no you are NOT allowed to trade “massage” for a room, ever. Ugh.)

Then I called my rental agent back today and let him know that I was still waiting to hear what the response was in regards to how to proceed forward and that I was showing the apartment this weekend to some one quite interested.

I got a message while I was out walking with S. (we saw the hawk again today!  Soared right over our heads, low, and I pointed it out to S. who looked up in complete wonder, and said “More” with the sweetest sigh of awe.  Breaking my heart kid).

Hey, Carmen, it’s Zack, sorry it’s taken so long to get back to you, Michelle can be hard to track down.  Anyway, after talking with her, we both agreed that you have been such a fantastic tenant that we decided to let you out of your lease.  You don’t have to worry about showing the place, either, we’ll take care of it.

Holy shit, batman!

Turns out Michelle’s daughter is moving back to the city and needs a one bedroom.  She was the woman who was living here previously!  She’s the one who knocked on my door and said hey, I’m moving out do you want any of my groceries?  I could not believe it.  Zack just asked that I confirm that I will be out by December 1st and they will take care of the rest.

Wow.  Show up, be honest and let go of the results.  I did not have to manipulate anything and I could not have asked for a better outcome.  Unheard of, I’m breaking a year lease five months in.  Thank you God.

Now, I need to find a room.  Or, I need to just take honest action and let go of the results.  Honest action is not touting my massage skills.  That should never, ever, ever be a factor in trying to find a room-mate situation.

I will admit I am nervous.  Thus far, I have not had much luck, craigslist not withstanding.  I also have two cats.  And an estimated budget of $600 for rent.  That makes me nervous.  But I keep saying, over and over, that it will happen and I just need to continue taking what ever little actions I can take.  I keep telling people and I have posted twice to craigslist in the rooms wanted section.

I have texted my entire phone book and e-mailed every one on my yahoo and gmail accounts.  I have posted it on Facecrack and sent messages out from there too.  Some thing will happen.  I know it.

In the mean time, I will continue to enjoy my space, especially since the floors fixed (thanks Thomas!) and the couch is gone and I’m going to be able to get back my deposit and move out with a clean rental record.  Fucking fantastic.  It’s nice to not be leaving any wreckage behind.

That hasn’t always been my M.O.

My side of the street is completely clean!

Craziness.

 

Notorious Nanny

October 25, 2011

As I went to bed last night I had the idea that maybe I should put together a nanny guide.  A book that would help families navigate finding nannies and perhaps help them to avoid some of the unnecessary drama that can come from having a person take care of your child.

I fell asleep putting together a proposal for Chronicle Books.

Of course, when I woke up I had forgotten most of the ideas I had.  But the basic idea is still there.  Then I thought, could I use the families I have had as examples of what to do and not do?  Would I be affecting any of them adversely or their children?

Then I thought would I be able to write about the shit that happens too and use that as examples of how not to treat your nanny or your child or your spouse.  Would it just become a big opinion piece?  Or would I just want to rant.  I would also want to throw in some bon mots about nannying at Burning Man, because, how many people out there do that?

I mean there are people who are just now hearing or learning about Burning Man and it’s headed into its 27th? year.

One of my favorites is the night that I met JuneBug.  She was six weeks old.  She and mama and Harley were snuggled on the black faux leather love seat in the nursery at the old office on 16th and 3rd Street.  There was a big ‘no drinking’ sign posted on the door to the nursery and a height requirement of under 5′ to get in.  I think a couple of moms had a wee glass of wine, but it was a pretty chill space.

I remember looking at Harley holding Juni and thinking, I want to nanny her.  A month and a half later I was.  It was pretty freaking awesome.  And totally unexpected.

The other thing that I remember just as vividly is about twenty minutes after the bug and her mama left a rather intoxicated woman with a large tumbler full of vodka came weaving into the nursery wearing a purple feather boa and waving around a large blue dildo.  She slurred, “where’s the baby, I want to see the baby,” as she set her tall glass of booze down on the Play Skool picnic table and thumped down the dildo right next to it.

I was sitting on the floor coloring with Jones and keeping an eye on a couple of drowsy toddlers who’s mom’s had left to go dance with their papas.

“Not here,” I said.  Now get the fuck out and take your plastic penis with you drunk hooker bitch, is what I wanted to say.

Really, I know it’s Burning Man and I’m used to the shirt cocking and the passing about of the drugs and the critical tits parade and all that, but do you have to walk into a child specific area with booze and sex toys?  Come on now.

Would I be able to write about things like that?  I wonder.

And would I be able to have perspective on my current employers.  Who again, admonished me to keep K. out of all public spaces for the week and to use the sanitizer wipes they bought in bulk last week.  Note to parents, active ingredient 40% alcohol.  Your kid’s getting drunk on this shit.  OH, and by the way, did you happen to read the poison warning on the back that says to not allow children under the age of two to use?  I’m pretty sure there’s a reason for that, but don’t mind me, I’m just the nanny.

I could also make it a resource guide.  Best bathrooms in the city, library music classes, fun things to do with the kids, free days at the zoo, the museums, directions to the Cable Car Museum–a little boys dream come true, best parks, stores with child friendly areas, etc.

I may have to give myself a little time to decompress before attempting a book.  But I have a few good ideas about what a parent might want to look for in a nanny and also some guidelines for the nanny as well.  I could make the first half for parents and the second half for nannies, how to negotiate pay, do taxes, or not, how to write-up a contract and get paid time off and vacation, what to look for in the homes of the families you interview with and what to avoid.  How to ask for what you need.  Where to go to get certified in child/infant CPR and first Aid.  Information about places to go on field trips to in and around the city.

Hmmm, I seem to have a lot of ideas, as I’m writing I think I could really actually see this.  A sort of field guide to being a nanny–Nanny 101.  Then again, I’m sure there area gazillion websites out there.  Just tossing around some ideas.

I believe having had pretty polar extremes with the families I have worked for–the Burning Man clans and the Sanitizer Freaks, I could come to a nice middle ground of nanny advice and bon mots.

Who knows.

I do know this though, I only have nine days left to nanny.  My last day will be next Wednesday, November 2nd.  I agreed to work three more days with the families to help transition them to their next care situations.  Then, I turn around and start working immediately at Mission Bicycle Company on the 3rd.

And I’m still looking for a place to live come December 1st.  But so far, the anxiety has been pretty small, giving myself the weekend off from worry was pretty key and getting that couch out of my house was huge, felt like a really positive action to take.  I am enjoying the fuck out of my space for every single minute that I get to be here.

I could be like what’s his face, from Star Trek, the Price Line Negotiator dude, William Shatner! And get you the best deals on your nanny.

Nanny negotiator strikes again!  For just a small percentage of your child’s college fund I will help you navigate the waters of finding a nanny.

 

 

Taking the Weekend “Off”

October 22, 2011

I am officially giving myself the weekend off.  I am not going to worry about work or where I am going to live.  I am not going to worry about money.  I am not going to worry about how hard it is to find a living situation with cats.  I am not going to think about the fact that I am about to make next to nothing to get by on.

I am just not.

I give myself the weekend.  Oh, don’t worry, I have shit to get done, the work of daily living will take up its proper amount of time.  I will have to go grocery shopping.  I will have to do laundry.  I will have to do the deal.  Actually, let’s change that up, I get to do all these things.  I also need to take the bike into the shop and have my wheel taken care of.

Aside–don’t think I didn’t have a moment or two of absolute glee thinking about how well taken care of my bike will soon be.  I will have access to a beautiful mechanics station.  Not that I know shit about the maintenance of my bike, but I am about to learn.  I am excited to get the opportunity to learn some bike maintenance, it has certainly been suggested to me before.

But aside from those things, and doing my morning pages and writing my blogs, I have “nothing” to do this weekend.  I am not meeting with Cass tomorrow as she is visiting San Diego this weekend, so I will be sleeping in.  Hopefully, I have a tough time letting myself lay about in bed, although it always sounds really dreamy and lovely.  My bladder or my grumbly belly usually wake me up and poke at my consciousness until I’m too awake to wallow around in bed.

I am not setting the alarm and I am letting myself get up when ever I want to.  The bike shop opens at eleven am.  The repair should not take too long.  I may meet up with Beth in the Mission after I get it taken care of and go for a bike ride.  I was thinking earlier, now that I’m writing about it, that it would be nice to ride out to the ocean and head out to Java Beach for a cup of coffee and then take as stroll down by the ocean, it’s been a minute or two since I’ve ridden out to Ocean Beach.

I also want to go out to a movie and I want some sushi sometime this weekend.  I am allowing myself to eat out and to get some entertainment in my diet, I have been neglecting that and I don’t intend to do that any longer.  I have also been debating a massage.  I haven’t had a massage in years, literally years, and it’s time.

My brain would like to do some fretting and some craigslist stalking and some apartment porn looking, but the fact is, my rent is paid for the rest of the month and I will have money to pay for next months rent.  I don’t have to go further than that.  I won’t be dropped on my ass.  I have said it once and I will say it again, if God wanted me to get the job at Mission Bicycle Company God was going to take care of getting me a place to live that I could afford so that I could afford to work there.

My ego has been trying to pipe up all day and really, I am just not that interested.  Yeah, what ever, not making enough.  I am making exactly what I am supposed to be making, it’s what is happening.  I need the experience of being a worker amongst workers.  I need to go small to go big, I feel it.  And I know I am really going to like working there.  Fuck, I am already coveting a bike.  I wonder what the employee discount is?

I am extraordinarily grateful that I will be working 9-5 in the Mission.  That is a huge perk.  I will be back where I feel most comfortable in the city, I will go back to being a Mission girl.  I have loved being in Nob Hill, but let’s be honest, it’s a fucking challenge living up here without a car.  It will be nice to not have to haul groceries up California Street on my bike.  Really nice.  It will be nice to not have to cross a lot of cable car tracks on my bike and feel that haunting moment of free-floating wheels when the tracks are slightly damp.

God, 9-5.  I have not heard anything sexier this week.  A regular joe 9-5 job.  I am truly liking it.

There’s a lot I am liking.  Not being isolated in China Basin, getting back into the fellowship I have missed these last two years, running into friends on the street, all my favorite coffee shops, all my favorite book stores, ah hell, I even miss the hipsters.  Shhh…don’t tell them, I can’t handle their disdain.

I will have one week of full employment with the girls then a half week following.  Then that’s it.  I’m through.  I will nanny no more.  I feel adventures in the wind.  I also have an idea I may meet the One soon.  Some thing about recognizing how unhappy I have been in my job and taking the actions to rectify that, well, that just screams grown up who would make a good partner to be romantic with.  I don’t know maybe it’s just me.  But I certainly caught  a few curious eyes and a smile or two when I was walking down Valencia after my interview.  I think the dating pool in the Mission may do me a fair bit better than it has up here in Nob Hill.

I don’t know, but I smell something interesting this way comes.

Until then, I repeat, more to remind myself than anything else, I am on a work and rent worry free weekend.

AS

OF

NOW.

FEAR

October 19, 2011

FEARFEARFEARFEARFEARFEARFEARFEARFEARFEARFEARFEARFEARFEARFEARFEARFEARFEARFEARFEAERFEARFEAR

I don’t even like typing that out.  I was going to do it more, you know, artistically express my angst, but my left hand got annoyed typing it on the qwerty board on my lap top.

John Ater hugged me tonight and said, “you know, you’re over reacting, you need to take a look at what that’s about.”

And the fear rose up in my throat and the panic danced a dance on my rib cage and then, I got it.  Oh.  I am afraid that if I tell the mom’s that I haven’t gotten a job yet that they will try to wrangle me into working more for them.  I am also afraid that I am not going to get the job in the Mission or that it’s not the right one for me or that I will hate it or that I won’t have a place to live because I won’t be making enough money to afford rent anywhere.

Well.  That’s just fun times, now, isn’t it?

I have been keeping it to myself at work that I have been interviewing for a job.  A job that I thought I would have sewn up tonight so that I could stop fretting over it.  No such luck.  I got a text one hour before I was to leave straight from work to said interview stating that the time was not going to work out for this evening and that we were going to do it on Thursday.

I went fucking ballistic.

I am not kidding.  I sort of wish I were.  It’s embarrassing to get so overwrought.  I had a lot of really ripe things I wanted to reply to the text.  A lot of really, “no body puts Baby in a corner,” type crap.  I picked up my phone.  I put my phone down.  Pause, Martines, pause.

PAUSE DAMN IT!

I went into the bathroom at work, shut the door and screamed.  I walked back out and went to pick up the phone again.  Nope, still too hot for me to respond.  I took a number of deep breaths.  I went to the bathroom and sat on the toilet and had an unnecessary pee all the while yelling at God.  Something along the lines of, “hey lay off, I’ve fucking had enough”.

I washed up, breathed in again, walked out, picked up the monkey, hugged her, and told her it had nothing to do with her.  I put her in her high chair and fed her dinner.  Grilled cheese and sweet potato fries.  She actually ate some of it.

Will miracles never cease?

I went to pick up the phone again.  I got pissed off.  I opened the phone to send a text.  I shut it.  I opened the phone to call the person who sent me a text.  I shut my phone.  I picked it back up and called John Ater.  I cried, I explained how pissed of I was, I cried some more, I was so fucking mad I wanted to scream some more and throw my phone.  But I kept it to myself, look, K’s actually chewing her food, don’t make a scene, don’t upset the apple cart, man.

John suggested I breathe.  Ha.  I told him I had been screaming in the bathroom and yelling at God.  He laughed.

I told him to fuck off.

Then he said, hey, how about you’re grateful that your schedule’s been changed, so that the drunk driver that was going to hit you on your bike riding to the interview, isn’t going to now.

Fine, put a nice little spin on it, just give me some perspective, will ya?

But, I found some air and then some more and then I got through the rest of dinner.  I asked John how I should respond to the text.

“No problem period,” is what he said.

Ugh.

I responded: No problem.

I breathed.  Then I sent another text, what time on Thursday?

6:30pm.

Great, thanx!

And that was that.

Then I proceeded to ride my bike to my commitment, act a fool, cry and rant and rage and get it off my chest.  Which prompted John to ask me what I was over reacting about.

Fear.  Fear that I will bow down to the god of financial insecurity and say yes to working for these people more when I really don’t want to.

And why would I not want to work for them more? Why?

Dad presenting me with two full canisters of anti-bacterial wipes this morning and the admonishing “no public spaces”.

Mom, we have company coming over tonight and want to make sure that she doesn’t disturb us, please wake her up early from her nap so we can make sure she doesn’t wake up after we put her down.

I could go on, but why?  I already know why I don’t want to be there.  I am just barely hanging on to I love the girls.  There is no joy, there are no park outings, there is no running around, there are no swings or slides or jungle gyms, or digging in sand boxes looking for buried treasure, there are no balloons, there is just anti-septic spray, hand wash, hand wipes, anti-bacterial soap, and interrupted nap times that lead to moody unhappy little girls.

My fear is that I will fold, I will be too scared to say no and I will resent myself and I will hate myself and I will hate them and then I will take it out on the girls.

I cannot do that.  I cannot do it for their sake and I cannot do it for mine.

Here’s my vow then, when they ask, because they will ask, I will say no thank you, I am not available.  I will not give them reasons, it’s none of their business.  I will say thank you for the offer I appreciate it (thank you for sucking all the joy in being a nanny out of my job so that I could realized earlier than anticipated that I don’t want to be a nanny any more).  I will say my last day is officially one week from Friday.  I will not live in limbo.  I will walk off the thin ledge that I have been walking along and just believe that the suspension bridge is under my feet.

Just because I can’t see it, does not mean that it does not exist.

I am being carried, I just need to stop struggling to have evidence of it.  Really?  When the evidence is quite clear in front of me.  I sit here at my desk writing my blog on my lap top listening to music (a cd I bought in Paris the last time I went) on my Ihome player, I just paid my health insurance for another month, my phone works and is paid for, my bed is made with fresh sheets, there are candles burning on my hearth, my cats are fed, I showered today, my clothes are clean.

Well, my sweatshirt could probably use a washing since I used it as a snot rag earlier, but you get my drift.

In other words, all is right in my world.

There are no problems and I am not broken.

I’ll see you, happily and serenely, Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

Action, ACTION, Wallow in Self-Pity,

October 17, 2011

More action!

Ah, the excitement, the nerves, the tears, the drama.  I don’t even like drama.

And there really is nothing happening.  Like really, nothing happening.  It was just another Sunday, except that I had a lot of feelings, oh, play that small violin for me please.

I woke up still flustered and slightly unprepared for day.  Slept through three snooze alarms.  I did not have to really get up to my alarm, but I wanted to make sure that I did my morning writing and not shirk that.  It does keep the hamsters in my brain busy on their little wheels.

Oh, and I enjoyed some more Sight Glass coffee.  I have to say, this is some divine stuff, go get you some.

I wrote, I ate breakfast, I took what small actions I could take that made sense without getting squirrel pants on and wasting my morning on craigslist looking, looking, looking, despairing, despairing, despairing.  The first thing I did was send a thank you e-mail to the owner of the company I interviewed with on Saturday (and I did get a response from the owner!  I don’t know what the status of the job is yet, but he relayed that both he and the general manager were very impressed with me.  That’s always good to hear.) expressing that it was nice to meet with him and talk about the company and where it is going.

I know that I probably won’t hear anything from them for a couple of days and in that time I am just going to have to sit in the in-between.  Wait in the hall way and just let that be ok.  And breathe.  Arin mentioned that to me today, hey, lady, breathe.  Oh, yeah, fuck was forgetting that part.

Then I headed out to the Mission to do a little shopping before my afternoon commitments.  I went to Therapy, hahahahaha, and bought a white button down blouse that I have been wanting for a while.  It was not on sale.  It was not that expensive, $60, but I had to argue myself into buying it.  One thing that I have been making a point to do is not walk about with an attitude of scarcity.  I have the money to buy the shirt. I knew I did, I did a spending plan at the beginning of the month and I know to the cent what I can afford.

When I am in fear, which appears to be constantly, good lord, I can get really frugal.  And frugality is fine, but I don’t have to live in an all or nothing world.  I deserve some nice things and I needed the blouse.  I also went and got socks today and an umbrella.  I needed both and I had the money to buy them.  Another action I took was to put some money in my savings account.  I must make myself a priority.

Then off to meet my fellows.  And talk with Lord about the room.  And what do you know, it was already spoken for.

Thank God.

What a relief and at the same time it made me really scared and nervous for what is going to happen next.  I did not like living there.  I had the experience and I don’t need to have another.  Even when my head says, “oh, it wasn’t that bad, really, you could make it work”.  It was that bad and I don’t want to ever live there again.

There, I said it, and now I can let it go.

I was talking with John Ater on the phone in the BART station and I was telling him about having found the couple that will sublet my apartment and how I was trying to figure out if I could swap out rooms and I could feel the panic rising in my body.  John asked me what action I needed to take next and I said, well, I need to ask Lord if the room is available and….I got interrupted.

“Right now, what is the next action you can take right now?”

Oh.  Well, get on the train.

Fuck you.

I got on the train.  And the next actions kept happening.  I shared with people today that I was looking for a place.  I talked with the couple again this afternoon and confirmed that we would be moving forward with them taking over my place.  We agreed to a December 1st move in for them.  That gives everyone involved time to give notice where they live and it give me about six weeks to secure a new place to live.

I have the money coming in to pay my rent for November and that’s all I need to be concerned about.

After fulfilling my obligations in the Mission, Arin met me at Four Barrel and we went to open studios in the SOMA.  And I cried. A lot.  Arin is some one I trust and love and although it feels humbling to admit that once again I don’t know what direction I am heading into, it is also really amazing to have some one in your life who can tell you with absolute conviction that the depths of my communities will carry me through.  That I am not where I was two years ago, that I am not moving backward, and that it is important that I realized and acted on getting out of the being a nanny career, rather than stumble forward doing something I don’t like anymore.

I needed that validation today and I needed a good cry and I got both.

And some more humility.  That humility train just keeps on rolling through town.

When I got home tonight I made myself a simple dinner and decided that I could not afford to check out and watch down loads on my computer, as much as I longed for the couch and the cats and the wallowing of self-pity.  I needed to take more action.

I took all the suggestions that John Ater gave to me.  I posted an ad to craigslist stating that I was looking for a room for December 1st.  I e-mailed all my contacts in my yahoo and gmail accounts.  I posted another status update to Facecrack about needing a room.  I privately e-mailed some one that I thought may have an opening in their space and let it go after that.

I wanted to gack out on my various accounts and facebook and I knew that the next thing to do was prep my food for tomorrow and take care of the cats.  And that’s what I did.  My life is organized and complete.  I have food in my stomach. I have clean clothes.  I have a beautiful new blouse.  I have a clean home to love and occupy for the next six weeks.

And I have only TEN DAYS left of being nanny.

That is pretty fucking awesome.

Tired And Slightly Overwhelmed

October 16, 2011

I was up late, tossing and turning and regretting the late night, 7 pm, iced coffee I had last night.  Jesus, I think that means I am old.

Then I was up early.  I think I got maybe five hours sleep.  My body clock woke me up five minutes before the alarm went off and I got my hustle on.  In the shower, laundry running, making breakfast, French pressing coffee–Sight Glass totally delivered, dreaminess, doing my morning pages, another load of laundry, washing, folding, taking out the trash, sweeping the floors, de-furring the furniture (really, whose bright idea was it for me to have not one, but two white cats?), scrubbing the stove, mopping the kitchen, cleaning the bathroom.

Basically prepping the house for the showing I had this afternoon for a subletting situation since I am going to have to move as I cannot afford the apartment any longer.   And they liked it, and really, what’s not to like, it is a dear spot, and I cannot believe I just moved in and got it all so nicely arranged and re-arranged, Calling in the One arranged, and now, I’m looking at leaving it (I guess I called in the apartment for another couple–anybody want to hire me?  I’ll come in set up your place and then you and you’re boyfriend can move into it), so much for getting another bed side table.

Sigh.

But, it’s just stuff.  Stuff that can be re-had and re-did and re-feng shui’ed and what ever else needs be done.

I remember being in tears once a few years back, about six if I recall correctly, as I stood selling some of my favorite books.  My friend that I had come with me for support said, “Carmen, it’s just stuff, you’ll get it back if you’re supposed to.”

He was right, it was just stuff and I needed to eat.  I was on disability and they had fucked up my claim and I had no money and had been subsisting on ramen noodles and the charity of friends.  I had even quit smoking, god cigarettes have gotten expensive, and I couldn’t remember the last time I had bought my own coffee, and I just had to have a good cry.

I could not have imagined that some years later I would be in my own apartment in Nob Hill typing away on my MAC laptop writing a blog.  It had actually been suggested to me at that time that I was perhaps a writer and should be pursuing that as a career choice.

But I chose not to hear that, I chose instead to get my undie’s in a bundle and look into going to veterinary school.  The same person who had suggested, maybe you’re a writer, said, before you go making that kind of decision and fretting about what you are going to do for the rest of your life, maybe try working at a vet office for a while and see if you like it.

Wise, wise, wise woman.  I hated it.  Love animals, hate working in a veterinary office.

Not to say that I let myself out of the situation when I realized it, oh no, I clung to that job with all the strength of a pit bull.  I was tenacious, I would make it work.

Then I lost my mind.

You think I kid, I do not.  Nothing, really, nothing says sexy like being in the Muddy Waters on Valencia and 24th crying on the phone with the intake nurse at Kaiser Hospital who was simultaneously trying to get me to calm down enough to come into the facility and be seen in the immediate care facility on Geary St. as well as trying to suss out whether or not she was just going to have to call an ambulance to come get me and just haul me off to General, as I was on the brink.  I did not know at the time that I was having a panic attack, it was not my first, I had been having them for weeks at that point, I just thought I was losing my mind.

Yeah, those were good times.  And that’s what happens to me when I stay to long at something that does not work.  So, even though I have had some more offers for nanny gigs, I think I’m going to hold off.  And even though I have had some more feedings of humble pie, I have to admit that I won’t be pursuing a career at this time involving going to school for make up application or for skin care.

Even though people say that I would be good at it.  I think I would be good at a lot of things.  But right now, it looks like I am supposed to be good at taking action around doing my writing.

I told the couple that even if I did not get the job, that I had my second interview for today, I would still most likely have to move and the place would be there’s. Oh, and I met with the owner, it went really well, he seems excited, as do I, but until the papers are signed and the general manager comes back from his weekend trip, there is nothing for me to do.  I believe I got the job, but I have not been officially offered it.  Until that happens, I am still on my same track.  I have rent paid for today, there is food in my stomach, I have a place to sleep tonight, and hey, it’s pretty spotless at that.  So,

Take the next action in front of me. Finish my blog, do the dishes, do what’s in front of me.  I am tired of this line of “work”, but it appears to be working, at least it keeps me calm enough to keep muddling through.  That and maybe, oh, I don’t know, down load the picture that John Ater sent me for the book cover and start working with it.  And stop thinking, although it is really hard not to, because it’s all so bizarre how things are unfolding–I could not script this shit.

Here’s the funny thing about the couple, not funny ha ha, but funny none the less, is this–the couple happen to be in a situation that is so serendipitous I am a little spooked by it.  The girl lives in a studio on Church and Market and the guy, guess, just guess where he lives, and I swear I did not know this, the girl friend told me last night that she thought that her boyfriend just happened to be living in….

…my old room on Capp St.

We could literally swap rooms.

I think I told someone yesterday that if I got the job, oh I did, it was Tami!  That if I got the job, that God would provide me with a place to live.  I had this conversation with her at a little cafe on Church and Market, across the street from where the gal lives, who happened to be talking last night to a young woman I knew was looking for a one bedroom a few months ago.  I asked this lady is she was till looking and she said, nope, a place had magically, weirdly appeared.

Her friend looked up at me and said, “wait, what, you’re moving out of your one bedroom?  My boyfriend and I are looking to move into a one bedroom!”  Turns out they have been looking for some time and have not found the right place.  Guess whose place is the right place?

Mmmmhmmm.

God is funny like that.

So, after they came over and we talked for a while, they love the apartment, really how could they not, it is adorable, I called the land Lord at my old place and left a message.  I hemmed and hawed awhile.  What is the right, christ, I know better, decision? Do I want to go back to living there, is it the “right” fit.

Ugh.  Stop thinking.  Stop the madness.

So, I just said, take action, let go of the results.  If it’s not where you’re supposed to be, there will be something else. I picked up the phone and left a message with him.

I don’t know what this situation is like there any more, there are different people living there than when I was there.  But it would be five, FIVE, blocks away from the job.  The chandelier I installed when I lived there is still hanging in the room.  In fact, the garland of roses I climbed up onto a chair on top of my bed to intertwine around the chandelier is still there.  How crazy is that?

So, I’ll keep you posted, I don’t know if this is another bless it or block it moment, but I do know this, it’s fucking surreal.

I could possibly be moving right back to where I was two years ago, I could have a new experience with the space.  I could also not.  I don’t know what to make of it all.  And as a friend of mine said today over the fast and furious lunch I had before my interview, don’t think of it as a move backward.  Think of it as getting to have a new experience with the place.  Hell, I am a much different person than I was two years ago (lighter by a bit as well!).

I’ll see the land Lord tomorrow and let you know then.

Cray cray.

Now What?

October 14, 2011

Blush is out.  Nice facility.  But it is a private institution and thus cannot receive federal financial aid.  The cost of tuition-$8,600.  I don’t have that kind of cheddar.  Aveda appears to be out as well.  I cannot cover the costs of tuition without additional loan monies, which I don’t have.

If I did, I would probably be flying to Paris right now.

I don’t know what to do.

In the midst of this, I had an interview last night with a very small, very unique, very new business in the city that I believe I could really help.  I love the product, the location rocks, and the money is nada.

I would have to move out of my apartment.  I think I’m going to have to move out of my apartment anyhow.  Go back to living with room mates.  Live on shoe string.  But, I would be making a distinct difference in the company infrastructure and getting in on the ground floor of something that could really go places.

The person I interviewed with really wants me–it is nice to be wanted, it is nice to have my skill set acknowledged and sought after.  Now he’s pitching to the owner.  If I got the position I would start November 1st.  The day my contract with my current families ends.  I would only work 40 hours a week.  That in and of itself would be refreshing.  I have worked 50 hours a week for the last year and my previous nanny position was 45 hours weekly.

Though, truth be told, I don’t believe that there were many weeks where I actually was there for every hour of those 45 to 50.  However, the constraints of knowing that I was accountable for those hours made it feel like I worked every one of them.

And I had a quiet, sneaky, hey where did you come from thought as I was sitting in the upstairs office talking with the General Manager of the company, what if I took those extra ten hours and I wrote during them?

Shut, the fuck up.

Ah, excuse me, young lady, aren’t you trying to go to school for a make up career?

Yes, I am, and I appear to be getting blocked.

Remember bless it or block it?  Well, I am feeling totally blocked.  I got the denial letters in official forms today from Sallie Mae and Patelco stating the obvious due to my bankruptcy and various other nefarious things on my credit report (all of which have been cleared up, thank you very much) I am ineligible for any kind of financial assistance from them.

Unless I get a high interest rate credit card and pay for school that way, I don’t really have any options.  And frankly, that’s just not an option.

On the bright side, my credit rating is higher than I thought it was.

Yip-fucking-ee.

But, what if I, humor me now, change my mind, yet again, and help run this business and have fun at my job and just be a worker amongst workers and I write.  Not just my blog and not just my artist pages, but I also build in that additional hour to my craft.  I could work on the second draft to The Iowa Waltz.  I could perhaps land some free-lance work.  I could try being a writer.  I could get the formatting taken care of for Baby Girl and get it up on Smash Words.

Instead of talking about it and running away from it, I could actively do it.

John Ater has told me time and again that I don’t need a Masters to write.  Maybe the idea of going to make up school was put in my head to help me facilitate removing myself from being a nanny–remember it was my conversation with K’s family about going to school that gave them the go ahead to put her into pre-school a year early.

I mean, I got jobs nannying if I want them.  I have recommendations coming out the whoo ha.  I just don’t think I can do it anymore.

No, I know I can’t do it anymore.

What if I go small to go big?

I hate, hate, hate, hate this.  It feels so similar to everything else I have done–maybe I’ll be a veterinarian, a paralegal, a nanny, a make up artist, maybe, maybe, maybe, ad infinitum.  I see a pattern, do you?

What if I practise having faith that I’m supposed to publish and find ways to do this.  I hate eating humble pie as well–although it is the only pie I allow myself to eat anymore.

To be back again at square one and see the same thing staring me in the face: “psst, hey you, yeah, you, sitting at your keyboard with stacks of notebooks every where and pots of pens and piles of paper and manilla envelopes and stamps and fancy paper clips from Italy, you look an awful lot like a writer, you know”?

Maybe you it’s time you acknowledge and pursue.

I am a tool and I feel like I am being used like one.

John Ater sent me the proof for the photos we took.  There’s one that popped right out and I can see it’s the cover.  I can see the sadness and the anxiety and the fear in that photo–maybe I got to go through this week of absolute craziness to get to that photo–the photo that will be crafted into the cover for my first book.

Hey, what if this is the moment I have been waiting for all my life?

God damn it.

And all I really have is this at the end of the day, what is the next action in front of me?

Back to the simple. Go do the dishes because I don’t even know if I got this job.  I may be whistling in the dark.  But I took action and went and interviewed and I updated my resume and references and sent them to the General Manager as he requested, before I wrote my blog tonight, to make it pertinent to the job being applied to.  I took action, the results are not mine and they never have been.

I took action around school, too.  I explored, I researched, I interviewed, I toured, I applied.  I don’t have any answers or ideas left.  I have the ego of a tiny squashed gnat.

Anybody need a room-mate?

Fuck.

Fuck, fuck, fuckity, fuck, fuck, fuck.

And, yes, you can quote me on that.


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