Archive for May, 2012

Leaving My Heart in San Francisco

May 21, 2012

Today was just a lovely San Franciscan day for me.

I love you so much, San Francisco.

Hearts in the Sky

Hearts in the Sky

I know you love me too, even when you are drunk and wearing a Tigger suit and lime green running shoes.  Ah, Bay to Breakers, so grateful I have never actually experienced you.

I never want to either.

I love San Francisco, but I don’t love excess so much anymore.  Hell, even when I was out there drinking and partying, I had no desire to get dressed up in a costume and do keg stands at 8 a.m. in Golden Gate Park.

It was too early, or it was too late, but it’s always been a little too much.

What was not too much was just getting to have a lovely, sunny, wander about the neighborhood with my ladies.  I saw Beth and Radha today.

I had two ladies, who lunch, but one for lunch and the other for dinner.

SunFlower with Beth–vegetable soup with no noodles, extra veggies, tofu, sprouts, mint and soy sauce.

Uh, super yummy.

Dinner was with Radha at Herbivore, which I have not been to in years, and I do mean years, I will not be making that mistake again.  Wow, it was superb.  I had the lentil loaf with roasted beet sauce, mashed potatoes, braised greens and a mixed baby greens salad.

Again, super yum.

The most deliciousness was simply hanging out with girlfriends, which I need to do more often!  I had such a good time.  Shopped as well, new sandals!  And tights!

Got to love me some Therapy.

That’s Therapy the store.

The other kind’s not bad either.

I also strolled around on my own for a while and took photographs on Valencia street.  Which is one of my favorite streets in the Mission, and it would seem the entire world knows about it now.

Victorians

Victorians

There is of course, good reason for this.  The entire street has cleaned up so much, even just in the last few months, it seems.  These lovely Victorians have been in the process of being repainted and refurbished for quite some time.  It’s nice to see the scaffolding come down and the brilliant hues of the paint glossed across the facades.

Gorgeousness.

I also, got a nice coffee and a sit down with a lady bug at Maxfield’s over on Dolores and 17th Street.  It counts as the Mission, but really, it feels like the Castro.  It was here, at Maxfield’s that I found out I speak quail.

Literally.

I saw a couple of gentleman come in with a quail bag and the bird in hand.  It was a beautiful soft brown with bright black eyes and black spots on its chest.  It had tiny little feet and a bright personality and the softest little pin feathers.  I was a snuggly little thing.

I know, because it came over and said hello to me.

She hopped out of her owners hands, approached me and when I stroked her chest, she popped right up on to my hand, then she quickly scaled my arm and nestled by my chin.

I was just in awe.

Stephanie caught a photo, not the best light, not the most flattering shot of me either, but hey, who’s looking at my goofy grin anyhow, there’s a quail on my shoulder!

Quail

Really, Virginia there is a Santa Claus.

Hmm.

I may be mixing metaphors there, but it was really magical.  In fact, it was just a day so full of beauty and joy and quietness and serenity, I was rather bowled over by the entirety of it.

I also noticed that I was afraid.  Scared and fearful, but I walked through it.

Or should I say, I rode my bike through it.

After the lunch and shopping with Beth I rode my bike up 18th Street to Castro.  I locked up the bike outside the Walgreens on the corner and I went in and asked about passport photos.

I did it.

I pulled the trigger, I took the photos and I have two new passport photos to send in this week with my passport renewal application.

The difference between the two photos is stark.  Young, scared, slightly hung over, versus, bright, cheerful, made up, tattooed, glittered, and lipsticked.

I like the latter better.

I really was scared and it was an interesting emotion to go through.  I just let myself have the feeling.  And it did not kill me.  It did take a little bit of working through it.

I realize that it was a concrete step forward.  A positive, tiny step toward my dream.  I am my actions today not my thoughts.

I am my affirmations.

I am a brilliant, prolific, published, well paid writer.

I am lovable and worthy of love.

I am Calling in the One.

My Beloved comes to me now.

I am financially succesful.

I am a world traveler.

I am going to live in Paris.

I am a home owner.

I am abstinent and sober.

I am an artist.

I love myself.

I write these affirmations every day.  Every single day.

It’s funny what happens when you take action.  When you speak your truth.  When you become your authentic self.  When you dance with the Universe and realize that you were never leading in the first place and that the Universe has a better plan than you.

All I needed to do was get my ass out onto the dance floor.

And now that I am here I plan on getting down.

 

 

Advertisements

Three Years Ago

May 20, 2012

Today, I was in Paris.  I was on my own and I was utterly, fantastically, head over heels in love.

With the City of Lights.

I was also scared to death and worried sick that I would not have a place to live when I got back to San Francisco.

Oh, yeah, and I had a date with a French man that I had met on the Metro to have cafe and go for a walk through Pere La Chaise Cementry.

I did not make out on Jim Morrison’s grave, too boring.

But I did make out.

My French was/is poor, but I understood completely what he meant when he kissed my neck and told me how he wanted to have sex for days with me in his arms.

The French make sexy even sexier.

How could it not, le petite morte, the little death being whispered hotly into your neck under the shade of hundred year old oaks in a quiet corner of the most gothic and darkly romantic places on earth.

Good lord. I honestly don’t know how I kept my pants on.

But I did.

And it’s taken me this long to get my ass back in gear to go?

Hell, I could pack my bags now.

I remember posting some thing silly to FaceBook as I was checking in on my return flight about how I never get asked out by men in San Francisco and I was literally getting asked out every day in Paris.

Ted Ring responded directly and succintly.

“Hello, you live in San Francisco, what do you expect?”

So true.

And still it has taken me this time.  This walk through experience after experience.

The woman I was then was still so scared.  So frightened to embrace what was being offered to me.  I am ready now.

I needed to go through those experiences, I needed to move out of the room on Capp Street and 23rd.  I needed to be in Nob Hill for those two and a half years.  I needed to have my crazy years at Burning Man.

I remember it was Claudia making plans out in Boulder to go to Paris that prompted my ‘sudden’ desire to got to Paris.  I had not realized how cheaply I could get a ticket for.  I decided I would join her in Europe.

However, she had other plans and I was trying to hitchhike on to her experience.  A characteristic that I am seeing much more clearly now.  Sort of like a, I really want to do this but I am afraid to jump in, maybe if I hold onto the hand of some one else doing it I will be able to go.

I went.  I went by myself.  I went for ten days.

It was hard.  I was scared.  I was alone.  But I was in Paris.  I walked around and ate way too much–which was how I masked my discomfort–and got lost and found myself.

A little bit of me.

It was like I went, tested it out, and decided I was not quite brave enough.  Not quite bold enough.  Not quite me enough to be Paris.

But I am now.

Three years later.  Here it is again, my dream.  Ask and you shall be given.

Margo was up in Noe Valley tonight and we chatted and she reminded me of the day we went to see Midnight in Paris and how much fun it was to see with me, I just oohed and ahed over ever scene and every street shot, and I remember how it was so good to see the Paris that I remembered up on the screen.

Now, truly, making plans to go.  Truly believing that I can.  I don’t always know how I get to where I am going and I don’t always know the way, but when the desire is honest and alive and it revolves around love, then it happens.

The door may not look like what you expect, Barnaby?

But the door is there and the way is open and I am walking through.

5/19/09

I am at Alexandre Dumas waiting to meet Philipe.  He called me this morning and woke me up……..

I do not know where I am, I am lost again.  however, I have a cafe creme and a croissant and I have had a private tour of Pere LaChaise Cemetaire avec Philipe.

It is now 1:30 p.m.  We met at 10 a.m. and had a cafe, the we walked.  We went to the cemetery, looking for Jim Morrison’s grave.  Which I find funny, as I said, prior, jokingly, that I certainly would not be one of those people that went to see Jim Morrison’s grave.  Best be careful what I vow not to do.

I don’t know exactly when he took my hand or where he first kissed me, but we wandered over two hours holding hands and kissing…..

I never saw Philipe again.  But I fantasized about his dark eyes and wet mouth for the rest of the trip.  I almost pulled an Amelie and posted pictures of myself in the Metro.  I lost my notebook with his number and we missed each other when we were supposed to meet in the Montmartre.

In the end, this was good.  I was not ready to stay in Paris and be Philipe’s wife, he was quite unaware that I had us married with babies and dual citizenship, just like that.

Snap.

I also met Stefan later that evening while I was waiting for Philipe.  Stefan spied me sitting by the Metro watching for the crowds for some time, he even offered me his phone.  After watching me watch the Metro stairs for an hour, he came back and offered to take me to crepes.

And wine.

I don’t drink.

It’s not whiskey, it’s wine.

Uh no thanks, but I’ll have a crepe.  And he took me up to Sacre Coeur.  I climbed up the steps all the way to the top.  The sun was out, the day was hot, the steps were strewn with French people singing and eating and looking out over the city.  Tourists wandered by and I sat in the middle of a pack of semi-drunk Parisiennes on a sunny afternoon singing along with each other passing around bottles of wine.

The city lay spread before me and I wandered into the cathedral and saw the frescoes above my head and had this moment, this exalted moment.

It was ecstatic and unbearable and divine.  Divinity.  I stood under a stained glass bowl of the divine and was showered in love. Bathed in it.  Bowled over by it.  Awe struck by it. Tears rolled silently down my face and I turned back out to the door, walked through the arch into the wide open arms of blue sky and saw the city spread before me like the best love poem ever.

And you wonder why I want to move back.

Oh, Freudian slip.

I have never lived there, but that’s what it feels like, home.

Paris feels like home.

And when you’re tired of running, where do you run?

Home.

Sacre Coeur

Sacre Coeur

Another Baby Step

May 19, 2012

Aside from designing some sexy ass bikes today, I took another wee little step toward my eventual travels.

I printed off the passport renewal paperwork and started filling it out.  Next I need to get passport photos then write a check for the renewal fees and send it all off in the post via certified mail.

I am actually grateful that my passport has expired.  I need a new picture.

Oh my gosh.

I look ridiculous in my photo.  I was also really tired and I had a humongous mane of hair happening.  No make up, bad eyebrows, and oh, about an extra 75-100 lbs on my frame.

Yeah.

I look a little different today.  I am sure it will still look like a passport picture, but it can’t possibly look worse.

I will be taking care of that errand, I believe on Sunday.  After a girls lunch with my chica Beth and some other friends on Sunday. I am so glad that I held onto my Sunday.

It came up last night at the staff meeting that we were again short-staffed on Sunday.  I  had not been approached prior to the staff meeting to work and it was put out on the table in front of the owner and the rest of the crew.  I sat on my hands.

I almost said I would come in.  Then miracle of miracles, some one said they could do it.  I did not sacrifice my weekend!

I am learning.

I am also good at my job.  I sold some bikes today, I did some billing, I helped organize the side-walk sale that is tomorrow.  Oh, god, I have some trepidations about tomorrow, but I am just going to roll with it and see what pans out.

The entire Valencia corridor is having a merchants side-walk sale.  We don’t really have a lot of extraneous stuff to sell, but we are going to off load a few things that don’t really move, and set up the new guy outside with the merchandise table and some funny looking bike helmets.

Partially, I have to admit, just to not have the new guy under foot.

I need a smidgen of a break from him.  I don’t know what it is and this is the first time I am saying it out loud, something is off about him.  He seems like a nice guy, but there’s just something that doesn’t quite sit with me.  I can’t put my finger on it and I am not going to try.

I am glad there’s an extra set of hands around and I will leave it at that.

It’s not my business either.

In the literal and figurative sense.  All I have to do is show up and do my job.

Then I get the weekend.  Oh joy.

Joy.

I will holler up to Noe Valley tomorrow night, hang out, do a little grocery shopping at Whole Paycheck and get tea with my people.  Then Sunday I plan on being in the Mission, but I won’t be near work.  I will see Beth and a crew of fellows and have lunch at SunFlower–

VEGGIE SALAD HOT TEA

–where the waiter just hollers at me.

Last time I was there, I stopped him mid veggie and said, no Veggie Salad Hot Tea-curry vegetables, brown rice, hot tea.

I regretted it.

So, back to the normal.  The waiter will be relieved and so will my tummy.

Then maybe a nice little meander through the Mission with Beth.  I want to sell some clothes to Buffalo Xchange too.  Especially since I won’t be doing Burning Man this year, I have a few pretty cool things that some sexy young Burner will love, a crinoline, some good boots, a fun coat, a few other odds and ends, some heels I don’t ever wear.

I even dashed over to the SOMA earlier tonight and tried to grab some thing at Nordstrom’s Rack, but there was nothing there, except my new favorite lip gloss.  I got two tubes and happily took myself out of the store before spending money on any clothes that I did not really want.

I am not spending any extra money on anything.  I am sticking as much away as I can.  I really wanted to get sandals for Heather and Fred’s wedding, but there was nothing at the store and I tried the last week to go to Nordstrom’s proper and nothing there and I have found nothing online, so maybe, I don’t buy anything new forthe wedding.

I have a cute dress.  I have a cute pair of heels.  I can just wear them.  Who’s going to be paying attention to what I am wearing anyhow?  I’ll be at a wedding, everybody will be looking at the fabulous Heather.

Speaking of weddings, I got to see Tami tonight and get a preview of her wedding dress–oh to die for–so nice to be happy for my friends and not jealous and not fantasizing about my own dress, which is a good thing, since I’m single.  I am so grateful that my friends are fortunate and loved and gifted and blessed.

I am happy for them, not resentful of them.

Such growth.

Ah, then, I am just in a happy mood. I also ran into Luis, who I have not seen since he moved to New York.  I got to hug him and catch up before he ran off to the show he’s in tonight.  I gave him my card and I’m going to touch base with him before the epic world travels–I am going to go to New York before I leave the country–and with a few other fellows in New York.

Such a lovely surprise.

Made me all warm and fuzzy and happy and a glow.

Luis

Luis

And now off to bed!  I have to get my beauty rest so I can sling me some bikes tomorrow.

Come visit if you’re in the hood!

 

Bigger, Faster, More

May 18, 2012

Good Lord people.

Slow down.

I know, I know, you want it now.  You want it good, you want instantaneous satisfaction, gratification, blow jobs, hot girls, wet mouths, money, money, money, and you want me to give you a foot massage and ego massage and a guarantee and that pretty new bicycle yesterday.

Well, you know what?

Good fucking things come to those who wait.

So, let me just put you on hold while I juggle the eighteen other things I have on my plate.

It was  a long, long, long day.  In and off to a roaring start at work.  It can be a little intimidating when people are out front waiting for you, the shop is full of bikes that have to get shipped out, the server keeps dropping and the phone is jangling off the hook, and sure, I’ll special order that thingamabob that you saw on a blog last night.

Pardon me, while I go heat up a cup of tea and pop a Japanese sweet potato in the microwave.

This is my new favorite lunch staple.  They are so good!  I do not care for traditional sweet potatoes, they are too sweet and they have a consistency that I find off-putting.  The Japanese version has a purple skin and is richer in taste and less sweet.  It almost smells like a pork chop or a hot dog when it is cooking.

Heat that sucker up in the microwave for six to eight minutes put some organic earth balance on it, sprinkle of sea salt and mama is a happy clam.

Except when her lunch gets cold because it’s too damn busy to eat.

I forced myself off the floor to get food today.  I had too.  It was past time and I just threw all caution to the wind and went for it.  Actually reminding myself that nothing was more important than taking that time to feed myself, enjoy my meal and eat it so I could sell some more bikes.

Bikes, bikes, bikes.  Everybody wants one.  We have close to one hundred bikes in queue.  It is absolutely un-fucking-heard of.

One hundred bicycles to be built up while taking sales hand over foot, negotiating frame deliveries and constantly smiling, nodding, affirming, and pleasing.

No wonder we all looked like zombies at the staff meeting tonight.

Thank God that we got some dinner out of it.  And I got a bonus!  I was Yelped!  Thank you Mister Yelper pants, that was $100 bucks that I got for you mentioning my name.

I was not expecting that.  A very nice thing to get acknowledgement from after a full day.  Three of us got Yelped.

Sounds like whelped.

Smells like new shoes.

Eats like Indian Curry.

Staff meal was from Indian Oven, and it was so quiet.  You could have heard a pin drop.  No one wanted to think or talk until some food had been gotten into the system.

You want a bicycle?

Bring me a coffee.

Woof.

I get out of work a little early tomorrow though, to make up for staying two hours past my end time.  I will hie on over to Nordie’s Off The Rack get a new lip gloss and peruse the sandal aisle.

I still have some hopes of finding a sandal.

Me and my big feet should probably just get used to wearing the Converse, especially with it being as cold as it has been.

Cold.

That fog and wind is some wicked stuff.  I don’t recall it being this windy this time last year, but then again, I probably always think that.

Anything to not think about bicycles.

Oh, here we go, hello inbox, hello message from my friend Barnaby–back from New York soon, let’s do coffee and talk road trips and Paris.

Yes, let’s talk me some Paris.

I almost forgot about Paris.

I also told my GM today that it looks like Burning Man is off the table.  I told him I would be around.  It was a hard conversation to have, I actually found myself tearing up, but I am getting used to it.  I am not going to go to Burning Man.

Ok.

But I am traveling.  And I will be saving money by not going to Burning Man.  It’s an expensive venture.  I still have these little hold out thoughts, what if, or I should try, or don’t be stupid you could….

Fill in the blank.

Fact is, yeah, I probably could.  But I don’t know that I want to work that hard.  I also don’t know when or how or why.

Small secret, or not so small secret, depending on who you talk to.  I got a lot of perks when I went.  I was in a nice camp, my lodging for the last two years was taken care of for me, my food, my water, my ticket, and I was paid to be there.

That being said, I worked my ass off.  It’s hard work.  I did not take vacation and go play.  I took vacation time off from a job and went and worked another job.  There is no job this year.

The job I have doesn’t pay me vacation pay.  If I don’t get paid to work the event and I don’t get paid for the time off I take to go to the event and I have to bring in my food, lodgings, water, and gear with me, it sets me back financially.  It would me tapping into my meager savings.

Not going to do it.

Those savings are for plane tickets, train tickets, road trips, food, post cards, batteries for my camera, getting my passport renewed, student loan payments, and oh I don’t know, life and what ever it should throw at me while on the road for a year.

I can’t give it up for some time on the playa.

I have lived the Burning Man dream, now it is time to live the European dream, the travel dream, the go try a new experience dream.

God damn it.

I want both.

If you figure it out, let me know.

I am done trying.

I am going to keep my nose to the Paris grindstone and leave five years alone.  Last year was my best year at Burning Man.  I am retiring on a high note.

And the Universe, if the Universe wants me out on playa this year, will conspire to make it happen.

Until then, I will go help put together another bike.

And another.

And another.

And another.

 

Bashed

May 17, 2012

Feeling a little blue and sad tonight.  Change is a foot.

And not where I was expecting it.

It looks like Burning Man is being taken off the plate for this year.  Although I had a wild and crazy scheme burning me up this morning…I’ll do a Kickstarter platform and fund my way in and I can do that book on being a nanny at Burning Man….

And, and, and.

And I really want to go, but I am not in the same place I was last year.  Nor is the family that I nannied for the last four years.  Situations change, jobs change, and change, well it fucking happens.

I am a little heart broke right now and I think I am just now seeing it.  I have so much happening, and most of it is in my head, thank you very much, that the idea of not going to Burning Man actually freaks me out more than the idea of moving to Paris.

I can see Paris happening.  I can see traveling the world happening.  I will be going.  I will be getting.  I will and it don’t matter how.

It will just happen, one foot, in front of the other foot.  Hup, two, three, four.

I checked in with a confidant about an idea I had, I have had before, about doing the Burning Man nanny book, and although she did not squash the idea completely, she did give me a reality check.

Some thing to the effect of, I have watched you get great ideas and get excited and then they go nowhere.

Ok, the go nowhere language is my own.

My idea, do the Kickstarter around the book on nannying at Burning Man and get money to go by doing that, shift the focus from doing it to travel the world, but to travel to and from Burning Man and do a book out of it.

Sounds like the other idea I had.  Or the idea I had about being a dj when I first moved to San Francisco.  Sounds like being a photographer, or a travel writer, or a veterinarian, or a make up artist, or a massage therapist, or anything other than, Carmen, works in a bike shop girl.

Oh heart breaking.

I am such a human.

I do, it’s so spot on, get really excited about things and then they don’t happen or I get stuck or I don’t know I sabotage.

Thank god for my fellows.  Thank god for listening to someone else for an hour.  Thank God for knowing what my true purpose is no matter what.

In the grand scheme of things, so what if I don’t get to go to Burning Man?  Life will continue, Burning Man will happen with our without me.  Something else will present itself.

Or God will make it really obvious and I will go.  I can only make do with what I have right now, the resources I have in front of me, which are not figure it out.

Figure it out always fucks me up.

Radha looked at me when I told her about my idea and how I had been pulled back down to earth and she hugged me and said, “honey, at least you have ideas”.

Jesus.

Very true.  I do have ideas, boat loads, bucketfuls, hundreds.  And I do try them out.  Most of the fail me abjectly or don’t pan out and I think I look like an idiot.

But you know, if I hadn’t had tried being a kung fu master I never would have gotten my black belt.  If I had not tried to be a journalist major I would never have gotten my degree–granted it was English Literature, but I got a degree.  I am not an actress but I got to perform in a play in Los Angeles.

I am not a singer but I got to perform with one of my favorite performers of all time–Sunshine Jones–last Sunday.

I also know, because I went and made an ass out of myself that I don’t want to be an accountant, or a veterinarian, or a therapist, or a dj, or private chef, or a caterer, or a make up artist, or a paralegal, or a film assistant for porno’s (whoa do I not want to do that again).

Some times that not knowing can be just as powerful as the knowing.

I know, too, that I won’t be 85 years old tottering around wondering, if only I had investigated that, career, plan, travel, that kind of love.

For instance-I know that online dating does not work so well for me; that I am not interested in being the secondary in a poly-amourous relationship; that one night stands no longer work for me, if they ever did, that I can’t sleep with some one who is married, that I am not a lesbian, that I don’t like sex with more than one person at a time, that some one who is a bad kisser will probably be untenable to date.

I know these things because I took a chance and I tried to do something different.

I am finding out what works for me.  I am trying.

Yeah and I get great big screaming ideas that run away with my heart and then bash into a wall and I get elated and over the top and dramatic, but you know-

Fuck it.

I love that about me, that I am willing to have my heart-broken in everything.

It allows me to get a bigger heart.

My friend was right and I love her for pointing it out to me.  And maybe I will still put together that book and maybe I will still try to do a Kickstarter for it.

What I won’t do is trying to figure it out.  I probably won’t be able to swing Burning Man.

I can get mopey or I can say, hey, I got five fabulously awesome and amazing years–how many people out there can say that?

How many people actually got off their asses and went to Burning Man?

I know scores of people who are still talking about getting it together to go.  I went five years in a row.  I fought in Thunder Dome.  I watched a meteor shower over head while floating through the hot springs.  I sat on top of a four-story throne that I climbed underneath the black dome of velvet sky and hollered out my name.  I flew a kite on playa, rode dragons, danced, sang, roller skated, hula hooped, trampolined, wrote poetry, fell in love, found my soul mate, fell out of love, lost my soul mate, broke my heart, cried, flew in a small prop plane above the mountains, left my best friends ashes at the Temple, watched the Man burn from the inner circle, ate a lot of dust and got to do something that only a handful of the world’s population have gotten to experience.

I am better for it.

And if there’s no Burning Man this year, that’s ok.

There’s still Paris.

Oh My

May 16, 2012

Paris may be back on the plate.

Perhaps it was never off.

I saw Barnaby tonight.  He’s in town for one night, then off to New York, then back in a week, then off again traveling, road tripping, doing what talented tattoo artists get to do–travel and get paid to do so.

Barnaby will be here in the states for the next five to six months.  His apartment in Paris is currently sublet to some one for six months.

Then he goes back to Paris.

And maybe….

I’m going, going, back, back, to Paris, Paris.

It could very well happen.  He’s got a place and I would have a place to stay.  I am seriously contemplating it.  He totally threw down an offer which I am not quite sure how it would all pan out, but comes down to, you have a place to stay, repeat, you have a place to stay.  He’s got a two bedroom.

The timing is pretty spot the fuck on.  I don’t know whether or not to jump up and down in glee or sit quietly in the corner with my little ‘secret’ and pet its wee head.

Is it true?

For reals?

For really reals?

Could mama maybe actually be celebrating 40 in Paris?

I am looking right at my passport.  I found it earlier in the week when I was looking for a hard copy of my poem ‘While You Were Sleeping’ to give to Sunshine for the show this past Sunday.  And there it was.

Of course I would have it with my most important papers–my poems and my manuscripts–duh.  Why I had not thought of that before I will not be able to guess, I kept looking in the same two spots thinking that’s the logical place to put it.

I am looking at my passport with its one stamp–one–from Paris.

My next one will have a lot more stamps.

A lot more.

I am thinking about how I went into a tattoo shop in Paris and wanted to get the tattoo of my passport stamp on my inner left wrist.  But the shop did not have any openings for a walk in and it was the only shop that I knew of repute in Paris–it was the one Barnaby had referred me to.

I am thinking, I bet I could get that tattoo done this time around.

It feels sort of surreal and out of left field, but that’s how the Universe rolls right?

You show up, you put a foot in front of the other, you do some work, you let go of the results.  You fall on your face, you look like an asshole–

I asked someone out tonight, and guess who said no–

then you get back up and you try again.

Some times Barnaby seems like he’s joking with me and sometimes I think he’s serious.  I plan on having a big cup of coffee with him and finding out if he’s serious.

It feels like the offer is too good to be true, but then again, he’s suggested it before, so maybe it is the real deal.  I have also known Barnaby for over seven years and he has not bullshit me once.

He’s always been pretty point-blank and direct.

I am cautiously optimistic.

FUCK THAT.

I am super over the top excited–I could really be headed to Paris in less than six months.  To live.  With someone who speaks English, has an apartment, knows people and is a friend.  I could still travel and have a base.

I could take that bicycle trip to the South of France that I have always thought about doing.  I could do some writing in a cafe or five hundred.  I could go travel about to other places in Europe.  I could country hop.

Where’s my French/English dictionary?

Exciting.

Freaky and scary, but I have to say it feels right.  It feels good.  I don’t know a thing.  I really don’t.  I don’t know how or when or why.  I just know that I will be leaving San Francisco for travel purposes, to live abroad, to be a vagabond, a gypsy, a wanderer, a traveller.

I want to see things.  I want to take photographs.  I want to make art.  I want to write.

I want to have a museum pass and go to every museum in Paris and wander through the galleries.  I want to sit in a cafe and watch the locals.  I want to go to market and buy fruit.  I want to ride my bike.

Oh goodness, I would so bring my bike with me to Paris.  I can see myself whipping around on the streets now on my sparkle pony.

Eek!

I want to see snow in Paris and Christmas lights.  I want to go to midnight mass at Notre Dame on Christmas Eve.  I want to be Tata Bubba en Paris.

Peeing my pants just a tiny bit.

Tiny, little bit.

Barnaby hurry up and get back from your tattoo convention in New York!

We have a lot to talk about, mon ami.

 

 

Close To Home

May 15, 2012

I stayed in the hood today.

I had plans to go on a bike ride with Beth out to the beach and it did not coalesce.  I kept close to the home fires.  I took care of what needed to be taken care of though.  I did not sit idle.

I did not even sleep in.

This was unexpected.  I thought I would for sure sleep in.  I am feeling it a little now, but my body clock was insistent this morning and once I was up, I was up.  I was also afraid that should I allow myself the luxury of not getting up at that time I would have spent the entire day in bed.

As I wanted to get out and see Beth I decided to get up and get my morning moving.

Unfortunately my body had other plans.  I got up and took care of my morning routine and it was very, very rudely interrupted.

I was in the middle of doing my meditation and I had been inspired by a few things I heard yesterday over in Oakland, and I thought, I’ll up my meditation a little.

You know, take it from ten minutes to eleven.

Whew.

Getting crazy up in here.

I made it to six and a half and my body came knocking.

I won’t go into graphic detail, but it became real apparent, real fast, that I was going nowhere fast.

Ugh.

I cancelled on Beth and made the best of a crappy situation.

Pun entirely intended.

But as I was bound to the bathroom, hey why not clean it?  I did just that, swept, scrubbed, shook out the rugs, went to the laundry mat, did the wash, and by about that point I felt confident enough to head over to Rainbow.

I did some shopping and ran into Matt in the bulk food aisle.  We chit chatted, caught up and internally I laughed.  I was in the middle of Rainbow having a yoga/spirituality/musical performance talk with Matt.

Ah, San Francisco.

How far I have come in my life.  I did not even cringe while we talked about floating and inverted yoga poses, praying before performing, which I did a lot of last night, or where the cartons of almond milk were kept.

Matt was excited about his soy creamer.  I was excited about re-stocking my organic ground nutmeg powder.

I had a good chuckle and we hugged and went on about our business.

Being stuck at home, so to speak, I did manage to get out a little today, was actually a good thing.  I had a lot of stuff to take care of.  I did my spending plan for May, yeah, I know, we’re half way through the month, but better late than never.

I paid my student loans.  I balanced ye old check book.  Laundry was done.  Old e-mails addressed, then out of nowhere as I was finishing up my spending plan, the sun came out.

I did not have the time nor inclination to go muck about in the day.  But I had a half an hour before meeting Tanya and Coco at Muddy Waters.  I whipped out my sparkle notebook, made a cup of tea and sat in the sunshine and did some more inventory.

I am almost done, with this portion, anyway.

Oh, am I seeing patterns.

Yuck.

Then again, oh, my gosh, what a relief to acknowledge those things that are not working for me and get prepared to shed them.  I know I probably will have to do some acceptance work around those same characteristics, but I am ready to do so.

Then I called my mom.  It was a short, but sweet check in.  I am going to have to sneak in a visit to Florida before I leave on my world adventure.

Something that came up for me as I was writing today was how often I have squashed my own authentic self to please another, or because I was looking for acceptance, or worse yet, approval from my peers–to the extent that I was in friendships that did not work for me simply because I was so flattered that they would deign to be my friend.

How often I stayed in relationships that don’t work because I am afraid that there won’t be enough.  The fear and reprisal I put myself through.

God I am so grateful for inventories.

I don’t always like doing them, but working through it allows me more and more freedom.  I also got the perspective of realizing, again, how much I have.  That maybe having scares me more than not having.  That it’s safe to not have, to be in scarcity.

That abundance actually freaks me the hell out.

It is completely antithetical to how I was brought up.  There was always a lack of something.

But I am not a child anymore.  Despite holding on to childish ideas, and I have so much.

I really do.

My health.

A home.

Warmth.

Friends.  So many friends.

Love.

Self esteem.

Yeah, I know, the blog is getting boring, but that was my day.  Simple.

The realization being that simplicity does not equate with poverty.  Simple is good.  Simple is clean.  Simple is just being in my own skin.

Being my authentic self without apology and realizing that I will make mistakes, but that’s ok, I’m doing the best I can with what I have.

I try to do things.

I take action.

Again and again.

I am my actions, not my thoughts.

Good Lord That Was Fun

May 14, 2012

Retarded good fun.

Good clean fun, the way it was meant to be.

I am still a little giddy and I don’t know how I am going to sleep.  It’s 1:31a.m. and this ‘young’ miss is up way past her bedtime.  But my gosh, it was worth is.

I had just a wonky, weird, out of whack day.  I was over in Oakland–saw a dead possum eviscerated in the middle of the road in the hood–not all the way deep in the hood, but I was in the hood, in the early afternoon.

Then I BARTed back across the Bay.  I got a late, very late lunch on, then rode my bike like a banshee back through the Mission and then I was in the Fillmore kicking it with Thomas.

Then I made a mad, mad, mad crazy dash back to the Mission, picked up a package at the shop–oh I learned my lesson about having anything sent to my address–and was in and out of work before they could capture me and wrangle me into work.  Then off to down town to return some shoes that did not fit.

Damn it, why’d you have to give me such big feet, God?

It’s tough on a fashionista when she can’t get the sandals she wants.  I surely frustrated the kind gay Asian man at Nordestrom’s with my desires for a cute sandal in a wedge.

Just a note to the shoe world–feet are not like ears and noses.  Meaning that they don’t grow as you get old like your nose does or your ears do.

Cartilage, people, cartilage.  Bones grow, then they stop.  I have had big old feet all my life, I did not grow into them and thank God for the internet, at least there is a little bit of hope out there, but the majority of large women’s shoes fall into two categories–hookers hooves or grandma’s orthopedic insert land.

I am not a tranny and although I am in my 40th year of existence, I am no granny.

So, how come I can’t find me no shoes?

I actually chose a pair, went to the counter, then realized as the clerk was ringing me up that I was just shopping to make myself feel better.  I did not actually like the sandals, too grandma, and I was not going to wear them and so what if they were on sale if all they were going to do was languish in my wardrobe.

I stopped the clerk, apologized, said I can’t afford to purchase them, and thanked him for his help, rapidly walked out, abject and abashed, and left WestField Mall to hijack myself back to the Mission to do a sound check at The Elbow Room with Sunshine Jones, Siouxie Black, and Patrick.

Sound Check @ The Elbow Room

Patrick and Sunshine check their levels

I clambered up on stage and did a little run down.   Sunshine told us what he was looking for and I realized I did not have enough material with me.  I bashed home on my bike, dashed up the stairs, pulled out a couple of additional pieces and rode like crazy back to the club.

I whipped up to the corner as they were finishing and locked up the bike–which I was happy to say made it through the evening without getting anything stolen off it.  Man, there have been some bicycle seat stealing mofo’s out there recently.

We walked down the street and hit SunFlower for a late dinner and confab about what we were going to do at the show.  I got some delicious curry tofu and vegetables with brown rice and hot tea.

Then, yes, like the good crazy woman I am, I got a big, JUMBO, cup of coffee at Muddy Waters on Valencia and 16th, at 10:15 p.m.

And I wonder why I am not tired.

I am also just jacked up on exhilaration.  The show really went off.  I was nervous.  But as we were headed back to the club, Sunshine stopped me and Siouxie and Patrick and we all got centered and committed to just having a fun time.

Lady Beth was waiting by the door, looking smokin’ I have to say, and we all ascended to the second floor.

Dub Mission was getting its reggae soul on.  Not exactly my style, but we got into it and had a little dancing before getting on stage.

I have to reiterate I was a teeming ball of nerves, but I was glad to be there and I guzzled a big glass of grapefruit juice over ice and got my ass up on stage.

And we got it on.

It felt so good to be there with my friends and just hang out.  It was just a little party on stage.  And off, some dude down in front was way into it, so into it that a couple of people asked  if we had brought him with.

Ah, no.

He came on his own volition and yes, he was feeling the music.  I could not tell if he had some assistance from a little, ALOT, of Special K, but he was getting it the fuck on.

In fact, after the show he came up to me and let me know how much he was feeling it–how he felt that he had to express that feeling in his soul.  I smiled and said I could appreciate his appreciation.  Then he tilted his head and asked how he knew me.

Odd thing, I knew him too.

I said, well, you know, I get around a lot in the Mission and I work on Valencia, you might have seen me riding around on my bike, and oh snap.

There it was.

Tweaker boy from about three weeks ago who came in and sat his happy ass down in a corner of the shop in the middle of a crazy ass day I had with Kristin.  It was so busy, I had thought he was with some group or other designing bikes.  It was the Saturday Kristin and I had that was busy beyond belief and Mister Tweaker Pants sat his self down by the recycling and nodded along to some music on his Ipod and counted the frames on the wall until he was asked to take the party elsewhere.

Hello again, you are quite the dancer.

And let’s gently leave it at that.

The show felt really good, I think the poems went off alright, I got into the groove and it was really an amazing experience to be on stage with a, well, with a musical legend, when it gets right down to it.  It was an honor to be included.

I have some pretty awesome friends.  Siouxie slayed it and Patrick was composed and sweet and got into the violin.  Sunshine did what Sunshine does and I just grooved up on stage. I had a lot of fun.

A lot.

And now I get it.  The rush was pretty amazing.  It was scary to feel my hands go ice-cold and yet have my face be all hot and I got rather lost in the lights, which, honestly, was a kind of comfort.  It was hard to see the people in front of the stage.

It went off well.  I think anyhow.

And I was asked to perform again.

Repeat.

I got asked to perform in another show.  Holy crap.

June 15th at Club 222.

See you there.

Thank God it’s Friday

May 13, 2012

I mean Saturday.

I mean Friday.

It’s my Friday!

And I actually have a full on weekend.  I have two days off in a row, back to back.  I already have Sunday pretty full booked in, but there’s a wee bit of wrangle room in there.  I am holding space for myself on Monday to do the mundane, tomorrow is my fun day.

I will be heading over to the other side of the Bay to Oakland tomorrow to see Jolie.  I have not seen her in years, years!  She and Josh were up in Noe Valley tonight and I got to get in a good catch up session and I will be going over to Lake Merrit tomorrow to do a little speaking engagement and get into the sunshine and out of the fog.

Boy howdy.

That’s right, I said boy howdy, it got foggy tonight.  I knew it was coming.  I could feel it in the air when I rode my bike to work.  I had a pricking in my thumbs.  Basically the recipe is this, two nice days of warm weather equal one shell shocker of a foggy evening.

I don’t know a whole lot about the weather, but I have paid enough attention to it in the last ten years of summers here in San Francisco to sense a pattern.  I think the heat inland pulls the fog in and it always, always, catches you off guard.

It was super sunny when I left the house and it was almost hot as I got on my bike, but I felt a tiny little nip in the air as I was hopping into my pedals, and sure enough, when I turned down 19th off of Folsom I looked over to Twin Peaks and there it was, just a scrim of dirty grey in the air.

Fog.

It was coming.  I was very happy that I had packed my sweatshirt and jean jacket and a scarf in my bag.  I had plans to hit Noe Valley after work, and despite the two neighborhoods being so close to each other, they really are two separate micro-climates.

Nothing says funny like being a San Franciscan who knows what is about to happen to the poor pod of tourists from the Midwest who are out flip-flopping around in their sandals and tank tops thinking they are in California and it’s going to stay warm.

Not so much.

I rode my bike past a couple shivering their way up 24th street and I actually felt bad for them.  The woman was obviously freezing, light summer dress, no coat, no scarf, bare arms, bare shoulders, flip-flops.  She and her boyfriend were huddled together and I almost hollered out, ‘welcome to San Francisco’.

But I am not that mean.

Work was chill.  Sold two bikes, designed another, did a bunch of invoices, trained the new guy some more and got visits from Mrs. Fishkin and ladybug Eve, who smelled deliciously of cupcakes and, well of Eve.  I could eat her right the hell up.

I also got a visit from Alex and Shannon and

LaRoux!

OMG

That’s right, motherfuckers, I said, OMG

Check it out:

Shop Cat

La Roux checks out the computer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seriously.  Stupid cute.  And so tiny.  Alex and Shannon have a new baby.  They also brought me a cup of coffee.  Dude.  My friends seriously rock.

Speaking of friends, I got to see Kevin and Beth tonight, which was a super nice surprise and the best text to get at the end of the day as I was getting ready to leave the shop.  Then, the surprises kept coming, Josh and Jolie, and Mick.

Ahhhhhhh.

My heart feels good and full and life is smashing.

And Margo.  I got a good check in with Margo and we talked a little shop talk about Kickstarter and my travel project and  making a video with Johnny Carroll.  Which reminds me, I need to get a red and white striped sailor shirt.

I am going to write a spoof on Where’s Waldo.

I need a sailor shirt.

I am going to dork the hell out for this video.  I am almost embarrassed with glee at the stupid fun that I have planned for it.  Hopefully, I can keep it somewhat contained so that Johnny has something to edit.

Sometimes when I think I am being funny, no one else does, and hopefully that’s not the case here, but I almost don’t care if it’s not funny to you, it tickles me to death.

That being said, I actually need to write the script.  This will be my first go at writing a script.  I am not quite sure how, but I will rough it out and I think I know enough people who do know what they are doing that I can get my idea across.

It will be good fun.

Embarrassing?

Oh yes and that too, but I will walk through it.

It feels so good to be into the weekend that I feel that I must caution myself to just chill it out and not get too over enthused.

Then again, I am actually going to be doing a sound check at The Elbow Room with one of my favorite djs of all time and performing a piece that I wrote with him to a live audience, tomorrow.

OMG

Again.

I sort of fall in and out of remembering that I am doing that, less than 24 hours from now I will be behind a microphone.

Crazy.

Life is pretty rocking right now.

 

Really, a weekend?

May 12, 2012

Well, not yet.

But I am going to have one.  Yes, yes, yes. Soon.

I will have two days off in a row.  Only, of course, after I work a good Saturday with me and the GM and the new guy.

I feel sorry for the new guy.  It might get messy.  He might be being thrown to the sharks.  Oh well, sink or swim, dude, sink or swim.

I designed two whole bikes from the ground up and sold them, thank you very much, today.  Plus, sold another that I had designed on Tuesday, and pulled one in from Los Angeles.  Four bikes.  Not bad for a Friday.

But the nicest part of my day was breakfast with Jeff.  We bumped into each other last Sunday after I had the crazy Sunday Street action happening and was way grumpy and just needed to sit and get centered with my people

And I am not talking my bike people.  For which, I am beginning to develop a little crew.  Some guy raced past me yesterday while I was out locking up a bike and I got a shout out, “nice bikes, Carmen!”

No clue who it was, did not recognize the voice, just that it was  a guy.  However, I did recognize the rims and the frame, one of ours.

Kind of fun.

When I saw Jeff I got the bestest hug and a suggestion that we get together and do breakfast.  We confirmed earlier this week and we met at Boogaloos for repast.

I had my favorite–the Zydeco–without the corn muffin, substitute grilled tomatoes, god I love you San Francisco, with black beans, scrambled eggs, salsa, and andouille sausage.  Loads of coffee and good old fashion catch up time with my friend.

I have known Jeff for seven years.

Jesus.  Seven.

We have grown up together and it is so nice to have some one in my litter that is still in the same town as I.  Lots of my litter mates have moved away.  I miss the little buggers.

Jeff and I sat, drank coffee, compared diets, sugar, no sugar, talked about our favorite homeless people–his is Kimberly, mine is Walter, aka Crazy Jose–dating, travel plans, and made plans to hit a yoga class at Laughing Lotus.

I saw the beautiful Astrud last night, with smashing hair, my God it was fantastic, and her outfit!  Christ, the girl can dress.  Bright blue jumper dress paired with canary yellow mesh shirt and a red cardigan and flat red leather sandals; paired up with her super short, sexy, newly cropped pixie in white blonde, I was blown away.

I want to be so styley!

Astrud gave me a couple of free passes to Laughing Lotus on 16th and Mission and I passed one to Jeff.  I know myself well enough to know that I won’t go unless someone is there with me.  Jeff will get me to go.  He promised to look up classes on-line, we will compare notes and then have a yoga date for some time next week.

Scared.

I don’t know why yoga scares me.  Maybe it is just the thought of adding in another thing into the mix.

Beth reminded me tonight that it’s not a bad thing to add more to the mix, just as long as it’s not work.

Good fucking point.

She also pointed out that ‘taco’ is slang for vagina.  Fish taco anyone?

Now, that makes sense, I get it, Manic-Taco at OkStupid.  But still, Manic pussy does not sound like good times to me.  It sounds like smoking meth in a porn booth down in the Polk Gulch.

Mama is going to pass on that one.

Beth also told me I am giving up too soon on OkStupid.  I did not delete my membership yet, but I have not gotten any nibbles yet for this taco.

Ahem.

Anyway.

Seeing Jeff put me in a really great mood to go into work and slay it.  I got so much done.  I was only momentarily annoyed when I got back to back designs, when I had planned on eating some dinner.  However, I had been given the distinct honor of being requested.

That was fucking cool.  And she designed one sexy bike.  In fact, Carlos, my co-worker, pointed out to her, that I was obviously happy with the bike build when the customer asked, because I did the happy dance.

I did.  It’s a nice bike.  Glossy white frame, chrome components, white rims, silver hubs, Brooks Honey leather bar tape on a white bullhorn to match the Brooks women’s honey leather B17 saddle and I got to pull out the Plemsco honey leather toe straps to pull the entire thing together.

We both did the happy dance.

It also was helpful that I did some additional writing this morning before heading out the door and into the day.  A little inventory that had to be done.  I called Carolyn, dropped it on her voice mail and was able to sail off into the sunny day, the stunning day, without a resentment in my head.

Such good relief.

All in all a really lovely day.

And I got some nice photographs.  I also popped into Cross Roads and poked around tonight after work, and although nothing jumped off the racks at me, I did happen to notice they are having a contest.

A fashion photography contest.

I do not know jack about fashion photography, but I do know I had taken some good photographs recently that might work for it.

Sure enough.

I went through the photographs I took last Thursday of Jayne Matthews and found a really divine one that I think will work for exactly what they are looking for.  She has a super cute sense of style and is quirky and adorable and sexy and I got a great shot.

I dropped her an e-mail asking if she’ll sign a model release and if so, I’m going to enter the contest.

I mean, why not?

Things are happening.

I like.


%d bloggers like this: