Archive for July, 2012

Part of The Weekend Never Dies

July 20, 2012

It already feels like party town out there.

Things are going to be blowing up this weekend.  I have no idea why.  But it feels like the entire city is on the precipice of crazy pants town.

I actually am rather grooving on the vibe.

It’s not me, it’s the E talking.

I have Soul Wax Nite Version playing on the stereo.  I have my name on the guest list for the Dubtribe show tomorrow night at Public Works.

I am going to go dancing on a school night.

I might be a little cranky on Saturday at work, but fuck it.  I need to get the dance on.

Fingers crossed I will feel this jazzed up tomorrow night.  I find that this is actually the problem most times, I get excited the morning of the show.  I am all energetic, it’s ten a.m. and I’m sliding into my party pants.

Which, are underpants.

My regular pants are always the same pair of jeans.  You can’t have party pants if they are always the same.

But a girl can have party panties.

Oh yeah.

My party panties, yes, fuck you, I am writing about my underwear, get over it and watch So You Think You Can Dance, and we’ll hash out something real serious like later.

Ahem.

As I was saying, my party panties used to be full on briefs in black. Black catches the cocaine the best when you’re doing a bump off a key in the bathroom at the W Hotel.

Fuck my mother, there is nothing worse than doing a bump and spilling that shit into your underwear.  White thong underwear.

Where did it go?

I learned my lesson as I stood up and pulled them up and a little flurry of blow ballooned out the bottom of my underwear and into my jeans.

I don’t even want to let you in on that pair of panties eventual demise.

Sigh.

No, my party pants now a days exist of what can I shake my ass in the hardest and the most comfortable of ways.  I don’t want to be tugging on it, adjusting it, or thinking about it.  I want to get down dirty, sweaty off the hook and drop it down.

I plan on wearing the granny panties tomorrow.

No sexy sexy for me.

Not that I really care.  I have another date with the Mister happening in a few weeks.  The so nice thing about hooking up with some one who is on the same busy ass schedule as myself, I feel absolutely nothing is weird about scheduling out a tryst two weeks out.  We sort of have to.

Busy.

Busy as fuck.

It was slammed today.

I was slammed today.  The day certainly went fast.  I left the house to head up to Noe Valley for my Thursday pre-work meet up with Carolyn.  I got through some more inventory.  One more session and this bad boy is going to be done.

Relief.

Thank you Jeebus.

Out the door at 9:15 a.m. back home at 10:15 p.m.

Whoosh.

The day is right gone.

No wonder I feel like dancing, I need to blow off some steam.  I got a text inviting me to the show earlier and I did not reply right off the bat.  My first thought was, no, I’m going to be busy at work, I will want my rest, I will want to be fresh.

Then the day unfolded.  And unfolded and unfolded.  There were so many e-mails to be answered.  There were so many packages to open, sort through, set out, re-stock, there were so many bicycles to be boxed, photographed, displayed, ridden, talked about.

The shop was closed for two days and we were not really supposed to be working at the retreat–it was a training retreat.  I had to make a few calls out of the “off the grid” in the Mission staff training, to what, work.

People called my cell phone number when they couldn’t get through to the shop because we were closed.

Dudes.

Please don’t call my cell phone number.

Well, unless you’re cute.

I snuck in a few work e-mails and I balanced the books yesterday while we finished up the training and re-organized the store and put it all back and away.  I tried to get my brain organized, but it was a never-ending onslaught.

Both Kai and I were there after close doing bike designs.  Both of us had been on a dead run the entire day.  I ate my dinner upstairs in the Paxton Gate conference room, after work.

I never wait that long to eat, I have places to go and people to see and recovery to get.  But I had not had a dinner break and I knew I would not get home till ten p.m. and I could certainly not do that.  No way Jose.

I could have stayed.  I debated it for a moment.  Then I thought, no.  Have a sit down dinner, drink a glass of water, enjoying the pretty sky as the sun sets over the Mission and then ride leisurely to Rainbow Grocery before heading up the big hill in Potrero to kick it with my fellows.

So glad I did that instead of letting myself get sucked back into the job.

I try to treat my job like it is just that–a job.  It is not my life.  It is not my career.  It is a means to an ends.

Although, I will admit, over the course of the two-day training there were moments of getting swept up into the company’s vision and I did find myself being retardedly nice to people and really helping out.

Had you come in today you probably would have gotten the best customer service of your entire life.  I was on fire.

I would like to continue burning that brightly as the last two days of my work week approach.  It’s been a long haul week.  Video taping for the St. Regis on Monday, meaning I was in the shop at 8 a.m. instead of 11 a.m.  Two days of training at an off site loft in the Mission.  Putting the shop back together after being renovated.

And heaps of so much else, it’s really not even worth writing about.

I would rather think about what pair of panties are going to take me out dancing tomorrow night.

Probably the black silk ones with lace panels.

Or

Dark purple boy shorts with violet lace.

Oh.

Yes.

Excellent.

Let’s get this weekend started.

 

No Burn For You

July 19, 2012

Well.

I thought maybe I was going.

In fact, I opened up my big mouth to my GM today after work and said, it looks like some one may need my nanny skills after all on playa, can I still take time off.

The answer was a resounding yes.

But the Universe was not giving me what I wanted.

I have absolutely no hate for that.

I did feel some disappointment, I realized I had gotten my hopes up and I got excited at the prospect of being out in the dust and doing another Burn before heading to Paris.

However, I also felt really good about myself for saying what I needed.  The interested party could not provide me with what I needed.  Not in any kind of sustaining way.

I have to self-support.  This is horrendously important to me.  I don’t have credit card debt.  I have no outstanding payments due anywhere.  I live entirely within my means. I have not borrowed money from some one in such a long time that I cannot even recall when the last time was.

I have experienced financial insecurity, sure, absolutely.  Fact is, I feel financially insecure right now.  However, my rent is paid and my phone is paid and my groceries are bought in cash and my clothes, toiletries, books, pens, paper, everything I have is paid for in complete full.

Yes, I do owe on my student loans.

But that is a debt to which I make payments every month and I whittle it down.  I whittle slowly, but whittle nonetheless.

The family sounded so sweet and so dear and I actually rather hit it right off with them when they called me this evening.  But they could not give me what I needed.

I “think” I should feel weird about asking for what I need and for charging for my services on playa.  But frankly, child care is serious business, and anyone who tells you different is either ignorant of what it takes or has not ever taken care of a child.

There is a survival guide that is given out to each and every person that goes out to Burning Man.  The ticket holder when purchasing their ticket is legally warned of the very real possibility of death or severe illness that can be indicative of the harsh environment.

You have to be prepared for it.

Then add in a child to the mix.  That is a hard job.  Being a nanny in normal day life is a challenge.  Being a nanny on the playa is double that.  There are ways to do it and do it well, but you have to be prepared.

Oh, that’s not to say that there is not fun to being a nanny on playa, but it can be really exhausting.  For me to take time off from work and not be supported out there and work without support is a no go deal.

I accept, then, that I am not going.

I made it pretty clear that I am willing to go, willing to be of service, willing to help.

But I have to help myself first.

I don’t know who I am trying to convince here.  I am experiencing some sadness at not going.  I was fairly resigned to it, then Megan sent me the nanny post and I got excited and I started making plans and trying to figure things out.

I knew that figuring things out is not my milieu, or my business, but I was beginning to dabble.  I was getting some big ideas, I was having some thoughts about ways of making it happen.

Making it happen.

In other words, manipulation.

Manipulation, which never works for me.  I resign.  I am resigned.  I am not going.

Deep collective sigh.

Funny, how hard it is to let go of certain ideas.  I wanted to be there for Shadrach’s anniversary.  I wanted to visit the temple.  I wanted.  I. I. I.

Want.

Mine.

More.

Me.

Nothing selfish here folks, just keep moving on by, nothing to see, nothing to look at.

The all about me show will now re-commence.

Then there’s the all about taking care of myself mode, which is really different.  Although, I used to have a tendency to confuse the two–self-care versus selfish.

Self-care means to nurture that which needs attending to so that I may better be of service to my community.

Selfish is magical thinking, not doing the work, manipulating to get a desired outcome.

I am doing the work.  I am letting go without being dragged.  Because, honestly, had I bent and said, ok, I’ll nanny for you in exchange for a ticket and some meals (no support, no lodging, no water, no transport, no money, no compensation), I would not be taking care of myself.

Further, I would be compromising myself and my health.

Sure, I could do it.  I could take out a credit card and run up some horrendous debt and go play in the playa.  But I would not be living the kind of life that I have grown accustomed to.

Knowing the value of what I earn.

Living within my means, even if they are currently quite slender.

Respecting my needs and not trying to get something from people who cannot afford to give it to me either.

The people who are looking for a nanny–they volunteer with the organization–they don’t get paid to go either.  It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever for them to pay for a nanny.  They can’t afford it.

I heard what they said and I thanked them for considering me.

I got back some really lovely compliments, they had heard through the grapevine about me and were supperaltively sweet and understood completely that I had to take care of myself.

It was a really great experience to honestly say, this does not work for me.  Thank you, but no thank you and leave it at that.

No Burn for me.

No burdening of others.

Despite the sadness I am quietly assured in my choice to be my own best advocate and not a burn out.

Even if that means pining for the playa inside, I get to experience the feeling without burying it and I get to be accountable for myself, my recovery, and my own personal care and happiness.

Really?

Not a bad trade off at all.

You Are A Dreamer

July 18, 2012

Carolyn told me this tonight.

I am.

I dream.

I dream big.

I get in over my head and get crazy with ideas and then comes the follow through and then I beat myself up for not “following through”.

But as I open my heart to growing and experiencing I also let myself reach out for a little help from my friends and from those, like Carolyn, who have so much more perspective than my very limited scope.

More will be revealed.

It always is.

Today the staff retreat went well, and no one was harmed with any cinnamon inhalations.  Although, I must admit, I found myself tempted to stuff some in a baggie and dropped it like it was hot in the middle of a “break out” session.

Funny, when you are told, get wild and creative and what comes out, then to be told that was an entirely outlandish idea.  But, I spoke up and said, hey aren’t you asking for the outlandish right now?

Uh, yeah, um, take that back now please.

I got swept away in the vision of the owner and dreamt of going to Paris as their operations director and got all excited, eventually yes, there will be even more global recognition and more of a foot print and expansion and better margins and yay, go team go!

Then, that insidious piping voice, you just don’t have much follow through, ugh, get out you little beast.

What if I’m doing it wrong, what if this is my chance, what if I am fucking it up?  What if I’m walking away from being on the ground floor of something amazing and revolutionary?

What if that is not what’s important?

What if following my dreams fucking is?

That is the god damn follow through.

I have it. I have it in spades.  I have it falling out of my pores.  I am more committed to be open and vulnerable and intimate and true and honest than I have ever been in my entire life and if I am supposed to be with this company than it will reveal itself.

I am not going to get stuck in fear, yes, there is the fear, yes, there it is again.

Hi, fear, I see you.

You can come out from under the bed.

“Are you afraid they are going to eat you?”  Carolyn said when I told her I was afraid of spiders.

This is just another stupid spider.

Once upon a time there was a young woman, about 31 years old, sitting up in her bed on 22nd and Alabama.  She was not asleep.  She was huddled in the bed, high, oh so high, on cocaine.

Cocaine cut with kerosene.

Cocaine cut with baby laxative.

Cocaine, cocaine, cocaine.

I was on the end of a pretty epic three-day run.  Yeah, I know, three days, that’s not such a long run, but I was just starting to see how unmanageable the using was becoming and I had never gone three complete days before up all night, up all day, up all night, up all day, heading back into the night.

It was early to mid afternoon of the third day.  I had about a 1/2 gram left.  Not much, but plenty, but enough, you could argue.

I was thinking, if you could call it thinking, about the fact that it was almost gone and I should stop and I needed to stop and it was getting a little out of control and maybe I had a problem, when I looked up.

There it was, the largest spider I had ever seen in my entire life.

HUGE.

I could not take my eyes off it.

I could see the mandibles clicking and the little tiny hairs on the legs and the eyes, the facets and the planes, I could see a slick thread of webbing playing out it’s jaw and it was working away at a web.

I gagged.

I closed my eyes.

I looked away.

I looked back.

It was still there.

I rubbed my eyes really, really hard.

It was still there.

I breathed in deep, said, you are seeing things and it’s ok and yeah, ok, yeah, it’s time to stop, no more, you might be done here.

Open eyes and the fucker is still there.

Clickety clacketey drooling out a spindle of slime slick silk between its mandibles.

I said to myself, “self, you are done”.

That fat lady officially sings when the spider in the corner has not gone away after repeated entreating of the heavens to remove the hideous vision seared on my eyeballs.

I am done using!  I vow with great vehemence.

I close my eyes.

Open.

Still there.

Ah, fuck it, if I’m going to hallucinate fat spiders in the corner, I might as well finish the blow.

I turned, keeping an eye on the beast across the room, floating near the ceiling like some fat bloated monster from the dark Mirkwood forest, and leaned over to pick up the cd jacket that had the last bit of coke on it.

And there it was.

The spider.

It was the tiniest, tiniest, wee little thing on a gossamer micro filament of threaded web dangling in front of the lamp light bulb.

I was not hallucinating.

I was seeing a shadow.

“You don’t have follow through,” is a big fat ugly shadow of a half truth.

I followed through that day by shoving the rest of that cocaine right the hell up my nasal cavities.

Party!

Today, my follow through is to continue dreaming, continuing exploring.  Because I will tell you this much, I will not be an 85-year-old woman who has not had a life worth writing books about.

I will follow through.

I will move to Paris.

Just you try to stop me.

The Cinnammon Challenge

July 17, 2012

Seriously if you have not watched this. Go watch it now.

SERIOUSLY.

NOW.

“‘cuz this aint’ no botox yo.”

Fuck.

Oh fuck, I just watched it again.

So, tomorrow, we have a cinnamon challenge at work.

Ok, so perhaps I exaggerate a tiny bit.

We have a staff retreat tomorrow.

In the Mission.

Only in San Francisco could you have a business hold a staff retreat at 17th and Mission and get the fuck away with it.

Personally, I did my staff retreat already.  I went to the Russian River, bitches.  I don’t need to get my refresh on.

I sold three bikes today, invoiced the hell out of some bills, and got a raise.

What?

That’s right.  Totally out of the blue.  Not a huge raise, it felt more like an acknowledgement of a good job well done, that’s repetitive, but that’s what it felt like.

Of course my brain went to, “oh shit, I’m in trouble”.

They put cameras in over the weekend at the shop.  No more picking my nose at the desk.

Ha.

So, of course, like the paranoid person I am, I think, oh shit, they caught me doing something on camera.

Yeah, my job.

Jesus.

I love how my brain is so crazy.

Crazy.

Tomorrow we will be doing a remodel on the front of the shop.  It will be closed for two days while they do the work and the staff will be holed up at a loft somewhere on 17th street.

Come holler at me around lunch time, we can take a walk through crack infested waters.

Or go bowling at the new bowling alley on 17th and Shotwell.  Why can’t we have the retreat at the bowling alley?

Now that would be fun times.  Get your nine pin on.  Of course, bowling for me is a case of one strike and eighteen gutter balls.  But the shoes are fun.

I asked the event co-ordinator if we were going to do ‘trust falls’.

It was partially a joke, but part of me thinks that there is going to be some cray cray bonding team building sort of exercise.

Which will probably end up looking like some thing akin to a Burning Man staff retreat or event.  That’s the ethos of my General Manager.  He’s a Burning Man guru.  He started his own camp years ago, in fact, I stayed at his camp the first year I went out to the playa.

It was pretty amazing.

Camp Stella.

I love me some Camp Stella.  They are awesome.  The guys at camp also gave me my playa name–Ophelia–and they are the only ones who call me that, to this day.

No one else out on playa as I never gave it out again as my name.  Although if queried I will respond to it and give it out, but I’ve been Carmen on playa for the rest of my time there.

I have a brewing bubbling bit of excitement happening, although it may be too early to say anything, I was tipped off to a possible nanny gig on playa this year with a family that works for the organization.  I responded to a staff e-mail that my friend Megan Miller tipped me to.

Megan was at the Russian River this weekend with me and asked what my situation was on Burning Man and I explained that since Action Girl was no longer working for the organization, I did not have a set up.  In fact, I was not going.

Although, I made it clear that should the Universe want me there, I want to go, I just need support.  I cannot afford to pay out to go.  I need food, water, shelter, etc.  I also need some money, but I might be able to pick up something here and there out on playa if I were to go.

My main concern with not going this year was that I could not afford to spend the money to get there.  Technically I still need some sort of financial compensation, but the hours that the family are looking for are quite a bit less than what I was doing with the Junebug, so maybe I could pick up some extra elsewhere.

This is all pure speculation, but I did say I could if they wanted to work with me I would be open to negotiating.

I would love to get another Burn under my belt before leaving for Paris.

I really would.

Ok, Universe, if you want me to be of service out there I am down for doin’ the deal.

That’s all I can do on that front.

Now, back to the cinnamon challenge.

Here’s another off the chain one here.

This woman is crazy.  Did you see the size of that spoon?

“Is this ok, this is Glozell, I have a spoon, cuz I don’t know how much you need to take, I don’t know.”

Shit girl.

You know now.

I want to pee my pants.  This shit is fucked up.

I watched this with my co-workers when I joked about doing the trust falls, and my one of my co-workers said, “screw the trust fall, we should do the cinnamon challenge”.

I don’t know about that.

I just about did the hot tea challenge snorting with laughter watching this last video.

Over and out.

Poor baby.

Tomorrow, if you hear any screams coming from the Mission District, don’t get your panties in a twist, it’s not a bad crack deal going down, it’s us snorting the spice cabinet out our noses.

For realz.

It might be more enjoyable than the retreat.

Ah, my old friend, contempt prior to investigation, you raise your ugly head again.

I am sure it will be just fine, and I bet I will learn something new.

And I bet I won’t have to snort grated tree bark out my nose to learn it.

 

Holding Space

July 16, 2012

I have to give myself props.

I held my own this weekend.

It was hard.

Harder than I thought it would be and, easy, so easy, why have I not done this before?

I went to the Russian River for a three-day weekend.  The traffic coming and going was pretty fierce, it ended up feeling more like a two-day weekend with the travel time that was eaten up there and back, though.

I did not succeed at everything I set out to do.  My food was a little sloppy, I grazed a little more than I ever do.  But I did not have sugar or anything else that triggers my own special brand of crazy.  It was just freaking challenging to have a bowl of cherries or strawberries or slices of pineapple every where I went.

Or the ribs.

Good grief there was some meat at this house party.  In fact, when my people get together, they bring the food with.  There was funnel cake, there was German chocolate cake, carrot cake with cream cheese, ribs, peach stuffed sausages, fried egg sandwiches on toasted sourdough with sliced sweet one hundred cherry tomatoes and spicy arugula.

We had so many beverages I was in the bathroom every other minute it felt like.  I certainly got my sparkling water intake on, that’s for sure.

I also got my love on.

Self-love, self-care, and self-nurturing came for me first.  I got up at a pretty normal hour every day that I was there.  I ate a good breakfast each day–day one, kamut with cinnamon and nutmeg, sliced apple, and chopped walnuts accompanied by many cups of coffee.  Day two I had brown rice with warm banana and strawberries, almond milk and cinnamon.  Delicious.

I wrote each day I was there.

I blogged each day I was there.

Despite not having any internet connection, I still wrote my blog.  And I took loads of pictures, loads.

I also did my morning pages.

And I meditated.  I sat on the grassy hill above the house each morning and I gave myself twenty minutes to sit and be still in my body.

I went for walks.  I discovered an old tire swing in the woods.  I smelled the trees over head.  I listened to the birds chatter.  I saw deer, raccoon, vultures, hawks, wild turkeys, and Piglets.

Well, Ms. Piglet is not much of a wild animal, the sweetest pit bull ever, I got some nice snuggles with her, although she does snore a little.

I let myself go swimming.

I sat in the hot tub, not once, but twice.

I showered and did my make up.  Because even out in the country under the looming redwoods, I like my glitter.

There were times I could have gotten caught up in the deliberate manufacture of misery and instead, I breathed and kept to myself.

I shared about moving to Paris.

Sometimes I just sat quietly and watched.  It was fascinating to see how we all got along with one another.

I even got in the hammock.

Hammock Time

Hammock Time

 

Yes, I lay in that hammock and listened to the babble of the stream, not once, but twice.

I also danced and sang and hot tubbed and laughed my self silly.

My favorite moments were the quiet ones though.  Mary and I talking about Paris today sitting on the back patio enjoying the last moments of sunshine before packing it in.

Bonne and I standing together in the river holding hands.

Joan and I sitting in the hot tub the first night before any one else got to the house, out under the stars.

Getting to know Deke better.

Hugging Rick.

Talking to Byron about traveling.

Some times I got over whelmed and when that happened I walked off.  Not too far, just down the road a few minutes, up the path outside and above the house, or I sat with a glass of sparkling water and just observed.

I am so glad I went.

I am so glad I have such good friends.

I am also glad that I am at ease in my own skin, that I have follow through, the I showed up for myself and held to what is important to me.

Some one once questioned why I wasn’t making more money and when they asked if they could give me an honest assessment of my financial situation they said, “you know, from what I see, you just don’t have much follow through.”

That stung.

But after taking a moment to actually access what I did this weekend, I saw, and quite clearly at that, I do have follow through.

I held my space.

I took my time.

I gave what I could give.

I did damn good.

I am not always great at autonomy or saying what I need for myself, but my God, I have done a lot of work.  Getting to see how much I have matured and seeing how far I have come gave me a glow that I can attribute to more than just laying about in the sun.

Although, that certainly did not hurt, laying out by the beach.

Sunbathing

Breaking out the swim suit

 

I took the time off from work and now I have a busy week, six days ahead of me.

But I can do it.

I have follow through.

And the honest assessment of having grown the fuck up, despite not having the bank account of an adult.

I have the habits of a mature woman.

I took the space I needed.

I gave myself the gift of being in my own skin, gave it time and silence, and then more, ultimately, wonderfully, was revealed.

Just The Way You Look Tonight

July 16, 2012

Every thing is meant to be—exactly how it is.

 

Sometimes that means sitting quietly in the hammock waiting for Mark to herd the cats out to the Russian River.

 

Sometimes it means getting into the water, despite, or perhaps because of the fact that one does not go to the river and not go for a swim.

 

Sometimes it means hanging back so that you can get the shot, or the shots.

 

I took over 350 frames today.

 

Voluptuos

Leopard print

Record amount of frames for me.

 

I am beyond the moon for having taken the time to actually continue to hold the camera, to continue to point, shoot, shift, sit, watch.

 

I can get shy sometimes.

 

I don’t want to draw attention to myself, as though if you actually notice me you might scurry away.

 

Things that stuck with me today:

 

The 10 month old baby blue pit bull that was at the beach getting coached by his very proud papa into the water.  As the dog paddled out to his owner, from the profile of his head he looked like a grey hippopotamus.

 

Megan and Deke lying next to each other on the beach.

Sunbathing

The lovely ladies

 

Jayne smiling with the wind pulling her hair away from  her face twisted in the passenger side seat of the Cabriolet Volkswagen.

 

The feel of wind floating on my eyelids and the white, red, white, yellow flash point of the sun against the skin of my closed eyes as I leaned my head against the warm leather in the back seat of the Volks.

 

Joan standing in the bamboo with a red balloon.

 

Bonnie and Rick standing together in the dark kitchen picking at fruit in a bowl.

 

Mary sweet, reluctant, then suddenly bold in a cowboy hat with a white sheepskin on the leather couch in the rental house.

 

Guns a Blazing

Shoot ’em up cowgirl

Jayne’s soft neck as she leaned over the cutting board slicing pineapple.  The secret smile on her face.

 

Piglet curled up on the edge of a chaise lounge.

 

The smell of Esteban, Cree’s two month old baby boy.  And how he followed the swing of my earrings and thrust his tongue out the side of his mouth with that new baby smile that you tell yourself is actually the baby connecting with you and not gas.

 

Or so you do hope.

 

His eyes, deep blue, with dark black pupils, the iris so blue to be almost violet.

 

The way the warmth of the house captures you on the threshold between the porch and the kitchen.

 

Joan eating cherries in the kitchen window.

 

Marc walking back out amongst the party of ribs, heaped with ribs, sashaying about the patio.

 

Ribs, it’s what’s for dinner.

 

The sound this morning as I sat in mediation on the hill above the house of a buck in the yard just down from me.  Being able to sit so still that a deer walked within five feet of me and I could hear the grass, dry, sweet, almost hay like in ripeness, crackle under his hooves.

 

The Mermaid at the River Festival.

 

 

The swan boat on the water.

 

Cold pink grapefruit Perrier in a  red wine goblet laced with sliced strawberries.

 

The whisper and giggle of girls down the hall.

 

A circle of light that spilled on Byon’s face as he smiled at Megan.

 

Clover walking, like the human incarnation of the deer, picking her way  through the gravel to the chaise lounge.

 

Molly, the little girl dancing on the deck.

 

The porno shoot.

 

What?

 

The porno shoot.

 

Last night, Mark, in his divine clown silliness, dropped a fur throw over his bits, picked up a cowboy hat and from  out of nowhere he pulls a glass gun shaped a touch more phallic than should by any rights look.

 

Then Jayne.

Then Bonnie.

Then me.

 

Joan directing, fluffing, “drop you chin, tilt your head, elongate your leg, shift, pull down the skein of your imagination and get into it.

 

We set the stage and the next thing you know, I have many photographs of my sexy ass friends doing sexy, funny, and stupendously, joyously funny and intimate moments.

 

All we needed was some low light, an extra cup of coffee, Rick’s resoundingly ridiculous, crispyity fantasy funnel cakes.

 

Caffeine, sugar, Joan directing, Bonnie fluffing.  Porno shoot at Ok Corral.

 

Maybe that’s what I will do, put together a little calendar and raise the ruckus with these photos.

 

I will say this much, I want to blow them up, I want to frame them, I want to kiss the foreheads of these luscious people.

 

I will long remember tonight, even without the photographic evidence.

 

Moments sublime.

 

I am graced with love.

 

Graced I say.

Furry throw anyone?

Leather couch, throw pillow

 

 

 

Let The Good Times Roll

July 16, 2012

 

Up here in the Russian River zone having a 70s esque cowboy/girl porno shoot on the couch of the rental house seven and a half miles outside of Healdsburg California.

 

Magic Marc

Magic Marc

It is Jayne’s 40th.

 

The music is not what we were hoping for—the house despite having three bedrooms, an enormous kitchen, four different televisions, a hot tub and other assorted amenities—there is no Ipod dock.

 

There are innumerable people dithering about making phone calls and we just say let it go and it’s all going to be what it is going to be.

 

The stereo is an ancient dinosaur but it does boot out the tunes.  97.7 FM the Rock/Santa Rosa.

 

It is like being at the country house of my mom’s friends in the high summer when I was about five.

 

Except there is no booze, drugs, or sex.

 

There is the drama of not having the music be right up our alley, but really in the grand scheme of things, we do have tunes.  I have been places where there is not even a radio station to listen to and everybody was bummed that the boom box was out of batteries and the tape deck ate the cassette and we would just sit around in the dark next to the fire and be happy conversing with one another.

 

It is a huge help that Mark is so game to be a silly goose.  He had striped down to some athletic shorts for the hot tub and got caught up posing on the couch with a fur pillow oh so strategically located.

 

That’s what happens when you get a gaggle of kids up from the city to the river.

 

The traffic was horrendous, but I am like a dog, “are we going for a ride, we’re going for a ride, yes, yes?  Awesome.  Oh look cows.  Oh trees. Oh smell that.  OH.”

 

I am not the best driver, well I am a good driver, but when I drive it is not about enjoying the ride, it is not about the secret special route, unless it is a faster route, it is about getting from one point to another.

 

Fast.

 

Now.

 

Quick like.

 

When I am the passenger, however, I actually relax.  I sit back, I get into the music, I get into the scenery, the flash of a black charred wild oak tree underneath the blue press of sky deep into the Marin hills.  The sweep of the vultures wings, the striation of the feathers and how you can tell when it is a turkey vulture or a true hawk.

 

I saw dozens of vultures and three hawks.

 

Deer.

 

There are deer here.

 

Joan and I got tot the house first.  I went right to the hammock between the two old growth redwoods toward the front of the property, next to, I kid not, the babbling of a brook.

 

I closed my eyes and despite the two coffees I had on the road I could have drifted right off into the song of the brook and the soft wind whisking through the boughs.

 

Divine.

 

A moment of absolute stillness when the hammock found its sway and the hook stopped creaking and there was not a sound, not a car, not a squawk of noise from the street, just pure quiet and the song of the water slipping over the rocks.

 

I might have stayed there all the rest of the day, I had not even brought all my gear inside the house, the hammock had arrested me on sight.

 

Then I heard, “ahhhhhhhh” very loudly from the back of the house.  A cry of pain?  Did Joan bump her toes, drop something in the kitchen?  I swung my legs out of the hammock and dashed up to the house to investigate.

 

Joan had not in fact hurt herself, she had just submerged herself in the hot tub.

 

I striped out of my San Francisco resort wear, underneath the many layers I was ready, I had put my swimsuit on this morning after getting out of the shower at 8:30a.m.

 

It was ten hours later, the traffic was horrendous and took twice as long to get here than normal, and I was ready to get down to business.

 

I had put on my swimsuit, pulled out my flip-flops, and put my sunblock on, I sat down to  write my morning pages and got really excited about the idea of getting out to a part of California that was actually sunny.

 

It was not sunny today.

 

It was foggy.

 

It was cold.

 

It was misty.

 

I thought, maybe I should put on a pair of tights just to do the laundry.  Then I realized that I should also put on a shirt and socks and real shoes.  Despite being quite content in my bathing suit and cut off blue jean skirt and flip-flops, I was in fact sitting in my room with the space heater going full blast.

 

Um, probably not quite so warm out there then, I realized looking out the window, in the Mission and it was foggy.  Does not bode well for dashing across the street in the little attire I had on.

 

I pulled the black tights out, the button down shirt, the sweat shirt, the jean jacket, and a pair of socks.

 

I took the laundry over to the mat, half a block down and one block down, and I wished I had worn a scarf as well.

 

July my ass.

 

It is fucking winter.

 

But not here, not here, right up the road outside of Healdsburg.  The time is currently 11:47 p.m. and I am in my swim suit, and flip-flops.  It is not summer time in the Midwest hot, but it is certainly warmer than anywhere in San Francisco.

 

Tomorrow off to the Russian River after breakfast with friends—Mary, Jayne, Bonnie, Mark, Joan—to go inner tubing.

 

I’m going to drift down the river, soaked in sunshine.

 

In fact, I’m already gone.

 

Yes, I’m already gone.

 

Heaven’s knows it wasn’t you that set me free.

 

Me, I’m already gone. 

You Look Parisian

July 13, 2012

With that beautiful mouth.

He said, staring at my lips, then he sort of shook himself and smiled, “when?”

November.

“We have time, to uh have coffee,” he said and smiled.

Uh yeah, well get on it.  I gave you my number FOUR years ago.

How does my mouth make me look Parisian?

Do I care?  Nope.  I love the compliment.  It was sweet and disarming.  He’s sweet and disarming, perhaps a little slow, like four years slow, but a nice guy nonetheless.

Anything really going to happen?  Super doubtful, but I happily accept the compliment.  It was nice to hear.  And honestly, it was not the first time this week that some one said I looked Parisian.

I love it.

I get that response when my hair is in a loose bun and there are wisps and curls escaping around my face and I am wearing minimal make up and lip gloss.  I love my make up, but I have been toning it down a little bit since my allergic eye reaction to whatever it was that was affecting me.

So, I look French.

Lovely.

I have been practising my French, a few pages on the pronunciation from the New French Self Taught book I got at my local laundry mat.

Giggle.

I have also practiced by reading the museum fold out map that my friend Dennis gave me.  Les Musees de la Ville de Paris.  It is this little tiny wallet fold out with descriptions of the museums in French and in English.

I adore the picture for the Maison de Victor Hugo.  Partially because I stumbled upon the museum completely by accident.  I wanted to visit Place Des Vosges as it has one of what I consider the most iconic and beautiful parks.  It is really just a grassy square with gravel paths, put the houses bordering the park are these fantastically gorgeous row houses nested one to another with flower boxes and wrought iron window treatments.

I went to a cafe along the park and had the meal that I ate oh so often when I was there three years ago–Croque Madame avec salade et pommes frites et aussi un grande cafe creme.  Basically a grilled ham and cheese sandwich (Croque Monsieur), the Madame has a fried egg a top of it, with french fries (with mayo, yes I do, and if nothing else that says I am totally a Francophile I love my fries with salt and mayonnaise.  Screw ketchup.  Way too sweet) or salad.

I sat for awhile listening to the clatter of cups on saucers and the conversations of spoons in soup bowls.  The madame and monsieurs from the waiters.  The sing song laughter of children playing across the road.

I leisurely, oh so leisurely ate my meal.  I wrote in my notebook.  I took a photograph of my meal when it arrived.  It was lovely.

Lunch @ Cafe Hugo

Le petit dejeuner

It was simply scrumptious.  Partially because it was so simple.  The best things are simple.

Easy.

Light.

Ok, well, maybe a fried ham and cheese sandwich with egg on top is not a “light” meal, but it is simple.

I like the simple.  The elegant.

This to me is an elegant meal.

Civilized.

I stayed until a very noisy group of tourists were situated next to me and my idle was broken by the loudness.

I paid my check and wandered off and completed my turn around the square to discover Victor Hugo’s house.  It was a free tour day.  Of course I went.

Les Miserables.

I remember translating that from the English to the French my senior year in high school.  We also went to a rendition of it at the Civic Center in Madison.  It was certainly an experience to actually be in the writer’s house.  To run my hand along the balustrade.

The wood was dark and the stairs creaked and I wondered, did Hugo side step that one that bent and cracked when stepped on.  How often did his hand trail along the railing, look there the sky, the roil of clouds and light and blue, the grass in the park, the curl of the lamp-post and the gas light from the flame inside.

I climbed up all four flights.  No one was on the fourth floor.  The wall paper was heavy damask.  The wood dark.  The house heavy with silence.  It smelled old, but not old in a disquieting way, just old in a dry cotton way as though the constant thoughts of the author and his writings had somehow held the house there in a state of perpetual stillness.

I don’t know that I will ever forget that rail under my hand and the shiver that went up my back when I realized my hand was touching his hand.  A ghostly premonition and a substantiation of my writers soul.

“What are you going to do when you get there?”  He asked, his sweater askew on his shoulder, as he leaned toward me.

“What I do here, except in Paris.”  I replied with a smile.

I will walk.

I will sit in cafes and write.

I will work where ever I am supposed to work.

I will wander through museums.

I will work on my French.

I will live.

I will have experiences.

I will tell you stories about them.

I will be scared and I will walk through the fear.

Today, I shared my fear inventory with Carolyn up in her kitchen in the foggy mists and cool air of Noe Valley.  I cried.  Then I laughed.  Then I cried some more.

I let go.

I got some perspective.  I was shown how overblown my fears are, unloved, alone, abandoned, dirty, homeless, poverty-stricken, dead in a gutter.

I am also afraid of spiders.

“Are you afraid they will eat you?”  Carolyn asked.

I died laughing.

When something is said out loud it take the sting out of it.

I realized, yes, silly as that sounds, I am afraid they will eat me.  Big whopping spiders out of the land of Mordor.

Eek.

Damn you Tolkien.

Damn you baby sitter who let me stay up late watching a movie that was about a town eaten alive by tarantulas.

Jesus mom, did you have to have a boyfriend with a pet tarantula?

“Are you afraid they will eat you?”  That piping voice, sweet, sympathetic, just tinged with gentle laughter.

Yes.

Of course, not, how silly.

I am afraid of the boogeyman.

There really is nothing to fear but fear itself.

Did Hugo have fear?

I bet he did.

He wrote anyway.

As shall I.

Looking all Parisian with my hair swept off my face and my lip gloss freshly applied.

That’s half the battle anyhow right?

Looking French.

How Does The 11th Sound?

July 12, 2012

It sound pretty fucking right on.

I just got off the phone with two of my good friends.  Both of whom talked me off the ledge.

Granted it was not a very high ledge, as I swung my legs over and they hit the sidewalk, but I have vertigo and the height seemed a lot higher.

Everything seems a lot higher when you are trying to figure it out on your own.

Barnaby is on a road trip–doing Route 66 backwards on his motorcycle–for the next month.  Then he’s off to Paris for about 4-6 weeks.  Then back to the states, then back to Paris sometime between the 30th of October and the 1st of November.

He will have a confirmed dates for me in the next week.

I will have a date to shoot for buying my ticket.

My ticket which is now going to be round trip.  I had not thought about this.  I thought I would be saving some money buying a one way ticket.  Apparently that arouses suspicion, though, duh, why hadn’t I thought of that?  And unless you have a fair amount of money, which I don’t, they tend to think that perhaps you are trying to stay in their lovely country as opposed to just visiting it.

Barnaby said get a round trip ticket.  Make it for a six month return.  That way if for some strange reason they round me up and deport me I’ll have a return ticket.  The odds of an attractive 40-year-old woman who speaks French and has a strong work ethic, and numerable bankable skills, is pretty doubtful.

Add to thatsober, responsible, clean, respectful, and I should not have any problems, the tattoos my arouse a little attention, they did last time I was there, but I am moving in November, not exactly the warm weather season, no ones going to see my tattoos.

Barnaby said the same thing that John Ater said–what’s the worst that happens?  It all falls to shit, I can’t find a job, which is nonsense everybody believes I will get employment, under the table, and you have had a three-month vacation in Paris.

Oh boo hoo.

You get sent back to San Francisco.

Not as though I would get deported to Milwaukee,  Wisconsin or Omaha, Nebraska.  I would get sent home to San Francisco.

You there, you’ve been naughty, off to San Francisco with you.

San Francisco likes naughty, or so I’ve heard, I’d be welcomed home with open arms.

Speaking of naughty, the dragon has been poked.

Hmmm.

That’s more of a pun then I intended.

The sleeping dragon has been awakened.

Or poked, whatever.

Hehe.

Anyways, the libido is a-fucking-wake.  Wow.

And back to the topic at hand.

Paris.

The 11th Arrondissement.  The Bastille.  It is a fairly working class neighborhood and pretty central.  It is close to the Marais and the City Center.  I don’t know it super well, but it’s quite central and I like that.  Barnaby has an apartment now and he’s negotiating a two bedroom with his agent.

I told him I was freaking out and he and then Joan, both said it all again.  You have friends.  The worst that happens, you spend three months hanging out with a friend who knows Paris really well and will get me plugged in with all the important folks I need to get plugged in with.

I am in good hands.

Shit, I usually am, as long as those hands are not mine.

Ha.

Speaking of taking direction and saying yes, YES, I got the day off.  Oh, excuse me, I got the days off, that’s right, three days off in a row.  Three days to go up to the Russian River and hang out with my lovely friends, I’ll be leaving the city around 1p.m. on Friday afternoon and heading up with the lovely and dear Joan.

I still am in a little shock that I actually got the time off.

I work my ass off though and I don’t ask for much, I think that helped me out. Frankly, who cares why it worked out.  I asked and I let go the results and I got back a surprisingly wonderful affirming yes.

I also was told that the Saturday evening party theme is the Great Gatsby via Burning Man.  I love it.  I am already thinking about the black velvet bowler hat with the cabbage rose and the black ostrich feathers that I also added a pink glass bird too with pink dyed ostrich feathers.

It is fabulousity itself.

A pretty dress, I don’t have a flapper dress, but I have enough accessories to have fun with it.  I want to play dress up!

I get the best of all worlds.  Three lazy sunny days on the Russian River, a hot tub for evening, and a dress up party for the evening of Jayne’s birthday, and the house has an outdoor sound system.  Dancing!

I can afford to do this.

I can afford to go to Paris.

I cannot afford to live in fear.  Every time I say, yes to the Universe I feel like I am being met more than half way.

I never need apologize for my reliance on something other than myself.

Faith.

Faith in my self.  In my dreams.  In Paris.

Here’s to all the fantastic things in my life that I have.  I mean, really, come on, who just gets offered a room-mate in Paris?  Confirmed room-mate.  I don’t have to do any work.

Well, I do, I will, and I am, but I don’t have to go find it, it’s being taken care of.  The $2300 in the bank with more than cover a round trip ticket and some left over change for my first weeks there, and more money will come.

I can always ask for help too.

Donate to my help-me-move-Paris account–here’s my Paypal information.

I am half serious people.

New opportunities to be of service will arise.  Things will happen.  The think, ah yes, that’s right, the think, the think to do is to not think.

The thing to do is what ever small action is right in front of me.

For the rest of the evening that will be editing this and having a little more tea before heading toward the bed and the book on the night stand table.

I never did Call in the One having two night stands flanking my bed, but hey, they make great spots for my evening reading.  Tonight I have an Esquire and Cormack McCarthy’s All The Pretty Horses.

Sweet.  Easy.  Doable.

The 11th Sounds Good.  That’s how the 11th sounds.

I say yes, let’s do this thing.

Keep Saying Yes

July 11, 2012

I saw the lovely, and talented, Jayne Matthews this evening.

God she is a doll, gorgeous, and just back from being away for weeks upon weeks.  She asked if I was going to be able to make her birthday party.

She and a gang of friends are heading up to the Russian River this weekend.  I said, “no, I’m working.”

Then, she looked at me.  You know the look, yeah, that one.

What the fuck is my problem?

Wait a minute, what is more important?

Spending time with my friends before I move to Paris or trying to make another few dollars to give myself the illusion that I am going to be secure when I move?

Duh.

Get your fucking priorities straight, Martines.

I told my friend, let me see what I can do.

I will try.

Fuck that noise, I am going to do more than try.  I am going to get it off.  I deserve a three day weekend in a big house with a bunch of people I love and adore.  BBQ, tubing down the river, sleep over, dancing, picnic baskets (say that with Yogi Bear inflection please, when reading), swimming, sunbathing.

RELAXING.

What?

What was that?

RELAXING.

Oh.

Yes.

I say yes.

I say hells yes.  I say, if realizing that the whole point of moving to Paris is to move to Paris because life is short, then I have to apply the same logic, if you can call that logic, to spending time with my friends.

There is a point to being responsible.  There is a point to self-care.  This is taking care of myself.  This is nourishing my heart, my friendships, my time is important.  Too important and too short to waste it all on the shop.

I have to do this.

Or things of the same nature.

Paris is not a death sentence.  It is a dream to which I get to apply every suggestion I have ever been given and then some, but it does feel like the death of my time in San Francisco.  And when things end.  I want them to end with a bang.

BANG.

I want fireworks of love and music and poetry and lazy lazy lazy summer days drifting in an inner tube in my poor bathing suit that has not been worn in an actually, yes, that is right, two years.

I bought it in hopes of a weekend conference I went to two years ago down the Peninsula and it rained.  I brought it with me to Wisconsin last summer, but I did not go swimming.

Swimming.

Oh, how I miss you.  I miss being in warm water.  I miss diving below the surface and through that shivery spot where the water runs cool and your skin brushes the pocket of water that has not been warmed by the sun.  I miss the smell of river.  I miss diving in and out and floating and drifting.

Weightless.  Buoyed.  Held.

And I want to pass this up to hold some one’s hand while they decide on the two shades of blue, either it’s 5010 or 5002, gah, Cobalt or Ultra-Marine, what do you think looks better?

I don’t know.

Just fucking pick one.

It’s just a bike.

Yeah, I know, you spend a lot on something, let’s make it perfect, but sometimes you just have to pull the god damn trigger.

Here’s to me pulling the trigger on a weekend out of the city.  A weekend.  Not a day where I drive to Sonoma and get lost and blow a wad of money on a City Car Share.  A real weekend.  One of those weekends that you write about later.

There, that is perfect.  I need some fodder for the blog machine.  Aside from the needed rest and relaxation, I will have new material to write about.  I will get new experiences.  I will cultivate my relationships with those people I find so dear.

I find these people dear.  I love them.  They have carried me.  They hold my hands every day.  They help me do new things.  They support me when I don’t know what I am doing.  They loved me before I was capable of doing it for myself.

I am honored to be included and I owe them my company.  I do.

I called Joan and asked if it was not too late to hitch a ride.  I told her that I was actually mortified at my own behavior.  That I have lived for so long in this self-imposed financial fear that I say no to things that I want to do because I cannot ask for myself what I need.

Well, screw that.

Hey, Universe, I am saying yes to my friends.  I am saying yes to the Russian River.  I am saying I believe that I will be taken care of.  I am saying I have the faith to walk through this idiotic fear of not having enough.

You know what I won’t have enough of?

Friends.

Relationships.

Time to say to those that I hold near and dear, I love you.  I love you.  I choose you over my fear.  I choose this experience over financial security.

I say yes to the Universe.

I walk toward the open door.

Or the inner tube as the case may be.  The bonfire at night with the warm air brushing my skin. I say yes to a sun dress.  I say yes to flip-flops.  I say yes to a road trip with my Joan Pie, windows rolled down, radio on loud, singing my heart out.  I say yes to laughing with my friends and dancing and sharing my secrets and eating fruit from road side farmer’s stands.

I say yes.

Now, fingers crossed my boss will ok the time off.

If I can’t get off, then, no harm no foul, I was going to work anyhow.

But, maybe, maybe, he’ll say yes.

Say it with me:

Yes.

Louder.

YES!

Ok, I think the Universe gets it.

I did the foot work.  I already e-mailed my boss.  Now the rest is out of my hands.

Please, Sky Daddy, can I go?

Pretty, pretty please, with an anodized red crank on top.


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