Archive for September, 2012

It Is All A Matter of Perspective

September 30, 2012

Yes, I could be mad that I just had the uncomfortable experience of having lost my Clipper card on BART.  Especially as I just put twenty dollars on it.

Or I could look at it like, hey some one needs it more than me, I hope they enjoy the ride.

Especially since I got to ride home and not work a corner.

Insert the spectacle of the baby working girl.  It is down right painful to see girls out that young on the corners.  She could not have been fifteen and she is obviously young and very scared and my heart just broke when I rode my bike by and saw her standing in a long safety orange sundress.

She was baby faced and had large coke bottle glasses on and no make up.

And there was no other explanation for what she was doing on that corner at this time of night in this neighborhood by herself.

Ugh.

Fuck my lost Clipper card I am not hooking on the street right now.

I also just feel in a good space, a good place, a settled spot.

I am done with work for the week and I have another date with the Mister tomorrow.

I was disconcerted to discover that I had lost the card when I got off the BART, but the message on my phone asking if I was available to hang out tomorrow more than made up for it.

Plus I was grateful to be off the BART with its weirdness.

There was a homeless woman with a dog stashed in the back corner who was trying to lay down low enough below the line of the seats that the camera would not catch her with the dog.

There was a young man who did not give a fuck about the camera and openly rolled a blunt which he sprinkled with some cocaine.  Well, it may not have been cocaine, but it sure as shit was not powdered sugar.

There was the quiet, studious middle twenties Asian guy who suddenly sprang up as if stung by a bee and slammed all his personal belongings on the floor of the train.  Then slowly picked them back up and got off at the next stop as though nothing had happened.

So, overall, in the grand scheme of things, a lost BART Clipper card?

No fucking big deal.

I can say that economic insecurity is leaving me.

I still have moments of feeling like it is not going to be enough, I will go to Paris and something will happen and I will not be taken care of and I will be homeless and alone and abandoned.

Then, I think, nah.

I will be just fine.

I am just fine.

Paris is, as my friend pointed out to me today, 32 days away.

I have 32 days to see my friends, catch up with people I do not see very often–Andrew Sweeney and I are having brunch tomorrow, my AIDS LifeCycle Yoda, and I ran into one of the baristas from the coffee shop I frequented at my last nanny job tonight outside of Rainbow.

She asked how I was and I said great and she asked what I was up to and I told her moving to Paris.

She looked incredulous for a moment, then broke out into a grin, “you said you wanted to move to Paris, and look at you, you are!”

I do not even recall telling her that I wanted to move to Paris, but apparently I did.

Over a year ago when I was still nannying over in China Basin.

There is another thing to be grateful for, not being a nanny, nor being stuck in China Basin.   My god, I was so isolated over there, it was not a fun time.

Though, it was a necessary time, it was important for me to see that I had come to a dead end with the nannying and that I had come to realize how important my writing practice was.

Not that I took it all together that seriously, or so it feels, until recently.

This move, this leap, this country hopping really has brought it home to me how important the words are.

I was talking words with a co-worker today, describing the word tomato and explaining that I was going to become a tomato after all the tomatoes I have been eating out of Graceland’s garden.

Then I paused, reflected, and said, “actually I already am a bit of a tomato,” and I explained the slang meaning of the word.

I think of the slang as being used as a seductive woman, voluptuous, ripe, ready to be plucked.

I do not know that I expressed that last part to my co-worker, but definitely did impart that a tomato was old slang for a woman.

I like the words.

I was also thinking about how I want to write another children’s story.  I wrote one up a few years back about Shadrach, called “Shadrach and The Plum”  which was basically about a little boy learning how to share.  And I got another idea last night.

“What’s in Thomas’ Pocket” about a little boy and the magical things that he finds in his pockets and how the little odds and ends come to help out others.

I will sketch it out.

Lots of writing ideas.

Lots of things to take to Paris to work on.

What if I spent three months just writing?  What about that?  What if in the first month I am there I just take it, the time, and just really get into a routine?

I have a great start here.  I have a practice.  I have my twice daily writing sessions.

What if, since I won’t be working and I give myself that first month off to get adjusted, I also take that first 30 days to establish a third writing practice?

My first is my morning pages.

My second could be my book projects.

My third, is my blog.

In between, I get about Paris, find places to hang with my fellows, eat a little lunch, go to market, meander through a museum.

I like it.

I can say, fuck, I don’t have a job, I won’t have the money, how is it all going to come together?

Or, a matter of perspective, I can gift myself the time and believe that no matter what is lost, there is always so much more to gain–especially when losing my fear of financial insecurity.

And there is so much more to be revealed.

So much more.

32 days until the curtain rises.

I feel like the show has already begun.

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Third Date

September 29, 2012

Oh God, do you have a sense of humor or what.

Really.

WHY NOW.

I am leaving in five weeks.

Five.

Ah, fuck it.  Go with the flow, enjoy the time, let whatever is going to happen happen.

Right.

Like holding hands.

I cannot believe that, I just blushed sitting here at the long dining room table at Graceland writing my blog and I just blushed over holding hands.

But what nice hands.

I like it when the other paw is bigger than mine, and warm and it was unexpected and lovely and taken so naturally and easily and ah, blushing again.

Yeesh.

You may get the impression I like this gentleman.

Damn.

You may be right.

I have always liked him.  No question about that, although, I never saw this coming.  And I certainly have no idea where it is going.  He chuckled tonight as he said, “and here we are becoming friends right before you leave for Paris and I am in the busiest month of the year at work.”

Funny.

And I am house sitting in Oakland and he lives in Russian Hill.

For Pete’s sake.

I used to live within a five-minute bike ride of him.  We were actually within the same half mile radius before I moved out of Nob Hill.

We went to the movies tonight.

I had a movie date.

I wore the heels.

I was almost as tall as him.  He is 6’3″.

I like a tall man.

God, that is nice to be shorter than the person you are on a date with.  I have been with plenty of men that were my height, no problem, but something does light up in my endocrine system when with a man taller than me.

I just feel more feminine.  And being a strong natured, strong bodied woman, it is a genuinely unique experience to be feminized by the presence of a man.

Blushing.

Blushing.

My god, blushing some more.

I do not even know if I can continue writing this blog.

Frogs.

And it is almost midnight.

Not that I will be easily falling asleep as I giggle my way along here in the house with the cats.

Note to self, send the Master of the house pictures of his cats tomorrow, he misses the kids.  They were all over me this evening when I got back.  I think they are used to my comings and goings by this point and know my schedule pretty darn well.

They got up in my face, “hey where you been?”

Getting lost on the way home from the movie.

Two adults, two smart phones, one brand new navigation system and still got lost.

Oakland you naughty city you.

A secret–I did not mind so much this getting lost part.

I am comfortable with him.  He is sweet to me.  He took my hand in the theater and I just about swooned.  It was natural and easy and not awkward at all.

I uncrossed and crossed my legs, short dress, high heels, stockings, and suddenly, easily, no thought to it, he took my hand and held it, warm, solid, strong.

Strong.

There was a lot of strength there, but not overwhelming or overpowering, safe.

Blushing.

Ack.

Done with this.

Well, actually, maybe not.  Maybe it is ok to be so affected, so touched.

That was what he said when he picked me up from the airport, that I was more touchable, more approachable.

This changed woman I am becoming.

The change is happening, of course it is, allowing myself this kind of intimacy is not something I do really well.

Not something I do at all.

Truth be told.

I can give away my body, it is not that hard, I can have sex with someone, slightly challenging, getting naked, but letting someone see me just for me.

Lost, directionless, giddy, silly, goofy, and gangly, this is new territory.

I have to say though, he makes me feel beautiful.

I see myself, just for a moment, now both this time and the last time he dropped me off, and there, just for a fleeting moment, I see what he sees.

And I am beautiful.

There is something gone, some filter that I normally have up, some screen, and it is gone and there I am.  And I am amazing.

Is this what they mean to see oneself truly?

I do not think that I see myself very well.

But I like looking into his eyes, green, topaz, gold, and I like the connection.

He took my hand again when we finally made it to Graceland and for the first time since I have been here there was not a single car in front of the house, in fact, it was so isolated that we both thought that it was street cleaning–but I know better.

We sat in the car and talked silly talk, that talk that you talk when it is not really talk, it is to fill the space between the beating heart in your throat and what is going to happen next.

He took my hand and it was warm and strong and I shivered and he kissed me.

My glasses pressed against my cheeks and I wanted to take them off, but his mouth, there on mine, so rich ad soft and firm and just insistent enough.

Neither too much, nor too little.

Ardent.

I am going to blush all the way to bed now.

Happily in the moment, no thought of what comes next other than seeing him on Sunday.

And maybe getting another kiss.

Of Course You’re Not Going

September 28, 2012

As a nanny.

You are going as an artist.

Yes.

That is right.

I am not going to nanny or be an au pair or a teacher or an academic.

I am going to Paris to be an artist.

What do artists look like?  I have a pre-prescribed idea of what an artist looks like, how one moves about, what one does.

Funny thing this.

My idea of an artist does not include a writer.

I consider artists to be painters, photographers, even actors, I consider artists.

But writers, nope, not so much.

Then I pause, insert pause into my own thought, Shakespeare not an artist?  Neruda not an artist?  T.S. Elliot not an artist?

Baloney.

Alright then, Miss Logic Pants, than a writer is an artist.

And by such definition I am an artist.

I write that every day in my notebook, “I am an artist”.

Matt said it to me today when he dropped off his grandfather’s overcoat.  Which, I am loath to admit is too big.  I threw it on hastily in the shop and said it would work, but after numerous trying on of the coat, it really is too big.

I am not happy wearing it.

I would be if I was with a gentleman caller and they draped it over my shoulders.  I would be most happy wearing it; but as just my own over coat, it really is much bigger than I realized.

I still see things out of proportion.

Just like my travelling, my writing, myself, who I am what I do, where I go.

Speaking of going, can all the cars go the fuck away from Valencia Street?  I am glad to be moving out of that neighborhood.  The valet parking, the people looking for parking, the constant flow of traffic right at the time I get off from work, it is disconcerting.

There are so many new things happening in the neighborhood.

Not the Mission I moved into ten years ago.

Or even five.

I find it only slightly ironic that I am moving out of San Francisco after it was just named the best place in America to live.

Well, then again, I won’t be living in America anymore.

Mrs. Fishkin said to me, “how long, how long really, do you think you will be gone?”

I don’t know.

How long does it take a person to allow themselves their own artistic expression?

How long does it take to get myself out there?

I do not even know exactly where out there is.

I saw Sunshine on Tuesday and he told me that the album, with my featured piece, will be released to the public on October 18th.

There.  I can say, there, that is evidence that I am an artist.  There it is.  I have a piece  of my writing that is being used by a musician for his album–and my vocals too.  Let me not to forget that I did perform, that is art.

Of course, there is evidence everywhere that I am an artist.

It is not just in how I write or what I write.  I still am not so certain that blogging is an art.

There are many mediums of expression and I am not sure that this medium is of artistic relevance.

Then I look at some of the pieces I have written for this blog and I know hands down I have written some really lyrical blogs.  I have posted poetry here.  I have expressed myself and my personality here.

That is art.

I inform my art.

I pay attention to my surroundings, I watch people, I look at their clothes.

Young black woman on BART, early twenties, so magnificently put together I was quietly in awe.  She had the fawn colored booties that look like the rounded hoof of some forest creature bundling her feet, coltish long legs, a slick pair of faded skin-tight denim jeans on, tailored button down shirt in a safari hunter green paired against the color of her skin it reminded me of dark wood with soft moss on it.

Her mouth looked like a ripe squashed plum and her nose albeit upturned was not turned up.  She had neon yellow nail polish and long flat ironed hair, a purse of kid leather in cream with gold accents and her Iphone was the new 5 with a hard pink case and SkullCandy ear buds.

The way her eyes lowered and hovered over the flicker of the screen reminded me of a cautious animal picking its way through the underbrush.

Every thing about her read expensive, quiet, sleek, elegant.

I have no idea where I will go with that image and those thoughts, but she is populated fully in my mind and I can almost hear what her voice would sound like and just like that a character.

Or the character on the corner.

“Bitch be crazy,” she said snapping her gum as I rode by on my sparkle splattered bike.

I was the crazy bitch she was talking about riding along International on my bike weaving in and out and around the street pedaling as fast as my legs would go.

Thursday it is the beginning of really getting it on.

It is always being gotten, and thank god it was not blocking the driveway tonight, but it was going down on the street right in front of the house; every night, but Thursday, it is the beginning of the party for sure.

I am not  a conceptual artist and I do not paint and I do not sculpt, I do take a photograph or two, but I don’t know that I would call that art either.

Is Instagram art?

But I do know this, I am a writer.

I write.

Therefore I am an artist.

And with that I will take artistic licence.

I will steal you words, I will beg, borrow, and take when you are not looking.

And I will go to Paris as an artist.

Struggling?

Absolutely.

But going nonetheless.

Out And About

September 27, 2012

Well, tonight, all I really wanted was to get home, not so much out and about.

However, I have officially changed the thrust of my blog and it is no longer “Life in San Francisco”.

It is “out and about”.

I do not know if that is going to stick.  In fact, I am already wondering if that makes me sound like I am coming out.

Which I am not, just for the record.

Nor am I in the closet.

I am a devout heterosexual.

I like the lads not the ladies.

So, hmm, yeah, that may have to change.  On the lam?

That could work.  I mean I do not plan on being legally in Paris.

Shhh.  Don’t tell.

Although if it happens, I am all for it.

Matt came by the shop today and we caught up briefly between customers and invoices and bike shop chatter.  He and I readily agreed on the fact that I have absolutely no idea what is going to happen.

And today instead of being afraid of that, I am embracing the hell out of it.

My wildest dreams could not have pointed me in this direction a year ago.

Moving to Paris was definitely on my menu, but it was not as real as it is now.  I also thought I was going to be moving to Paris to be a nanny.

I am not going to be a nanny.

I am nanny no more.

I will do other jobs.

I will not say never, ever, ever, but let me put it this way, if child rearing is going to happen in my future, I prefer that it be one of my own rather than some one else’s.  I am not interested in pursuing that career regardless of my abilities or if it could work out well for me.

I also do not want to be a masseuse a waitress or a bike shop girl.

I am not interested in being a working girl, I see enough of them around here to see that there is really no fun to be had corner sitting while waiting for a John at 10a.m.

I am also not interested in being a kept girl.

Despite what some have suggested.

I am no ones mistress.

Just simply my own.

My perspective is limited and my scope is limited and my view is limited.

I limit myself all the time.

“You can’t do that, shouldn’t try this, don’t go there, be careful or else….”

I am tired of putting limits on what I can or cannot do.

One thing that has stuck with me in my mind since my Florida trip to see my mom is something she said about me as a child.  She said that when I put my mind to do something I did it.  I was determined.  I followed through.  I have tenacity.

I am tenacious.

I like saying that word, tenacious.

  1. Not readily letting go of, giving up, or separated from an object that one holds, a position, or a principle: “a tenacious grip”.
  2. Not easily dispelled or discouraged; persisting in existence or in a course of action: “a tenacious legend”

Yup.

I can agree with that.

I also, however, want to be flexible in my tenacity.  I do not want to be stubborn, I do not want to hold onto the old ideas of you do not have enough to do or go or try.

What did Yoda say?

‘There is no try, only do.”

Well, I am going to do.

I am going to just show up.

I am going to get out and about and let things happen.  I do not have to make things happen, which is also an old tired worn out threadbare scraped down to the bone marrow idea.

You see, I have no use for it.

Despite holding onto the thought from time to time that I can make stuff happen.

I cannot make any thing happen.

I can, however, do the work, I can get out and about, I can go shake it, I can get myself into right action and I can let go of the results.

I have a secret I have not shared much about since I have been doing some pretty big amending my ways life style kind of work.

I am not seeing a change.

I was talking to John about how I keep expecting some white lightning moment, some sort of promise to materialize right in front of me.  Some sort of sign.  Some burning bush thing.

I have been doing some hard-core work and I do not feel like I am seeing any pay off.

Ah and there’s the rub, there is not supposed to be a pay off.

I am just supposed to be able to go free and clear with a light conscience onto the next phase of my development.

But I want a cookie.

Or at least a pat on the back.

A job well done.

How horrid, I want a reward.

And I know better.

My expectations have been pretty high and my feelings around what I have been doing have been rather flat, tepid, not really there.

A little relief here.

A little relief there.

But I still feel pretty much the same.

I did think I was going to have some earth shattering spiritual fire bomb of goodness.

Well, I did get laid both times right there after having done some amends (I have however done seven and I want more, more, more.  I am greedy too).

That could be ground shaking.

Or bedframe shaking.

Baha.

It just is never what I think it is going to be.

That is the gist of it.

It does not matter what the name of my blog is, Out and About with Auntiebubba.

Oh, fuck, yes it does too.

I need a better tag line.

Auntie Bubba, woman of the world.

Auntie Bubba does it better.

Auntie Bubba, say it enough times and it makes no sense.

I am more than a blogger, more than a bike shop girl, more than the sum of my amends, I am a poet, a dreamer, a schemer, a traveller, a lady, a star-gazer, a dancer, a lover, I am tender, and silly, and I laugh loudly and long.  I am a Burning Man attendee, a participant in the Universe, an active listener.

I am Carmen Regina Martines, you drank my milk, prepare to die.

Auntie Bubba, Where Are You Going?

Filterless

September 26, 2012

“I have no filter,” I said to Kristin gleefully at work today.

I really do not.

I care, but I do not care.

I do not wish to offend, but I just cannot take it all that seriously anymore.

Nothing, none of it, it is just not serious.

Despite having attended two sit down meetings today to figure out how the shop will move forward in my absence and how things will need to change and what systems have to be implemented before I go.

Ah, sure, yeah, ok.

As Tanya pointed out, “they need to be paying you for that.”

I did train some one today and I did not even think about it.  The pay off was not having to invoice a $4,500 line item bill.  Though, I would like some other kinds of compensation, it is very doubtful the company is going to have anything to give.

Tanya seems more excited for me than I do.

So does Jasper.

And Bill.

And Jennifer.

And John.

And Steve.

And why, the list goes on.

I am excited but I am also nervous and the two can become mixed at times to the point where I just get a little anxious.  There is a large part of me that is just ready to go, go, go.

But that is not happening yet.

Tanya also pointed out to me that I have done five years worth of work in this last year and that I really do deserve to be where I am at with the entire thing.

I do not know if that is true or not, but I have done a lot of work to get where I am at.  I can acknowledge that.  I can. I will.  I do.

I have worked my ass off.

The work has also really paid off.  And I am feeling no longer worked over, but worked on.  As though the Universe is working through me and for me rather than I struggling against it, trying to force my own solution, my own ideas, my own way.

My own way sucks.

I have to admit I am still at quite a loss as to what I will do in Paris.

I mean I know I will write.  I write here.  I will write there.

But there is another leap to be made, there is another flight to be had.  I do not necessarily mean that I am going to be moving all over Europe or the world, though that may happen.

I would love to go to Africa, I blame literature, damn you English literature BA.  I feel as though I am forever trying to replicate those experiences that most resonated with me in reading.

“Out of Africa,” Isaak Dinensen.

I can see it.

I would love to go.

I have never had much of a desire to see Asia, but Africa and France, yes please.

I feel a book.

Tanya also said that I have to write about this, about the journey toward this decision, this moment in my life where I decided to jump ship, San Francisco, nanny, bike shop girl, and be woman of the world.

I do not know how that would go.

However, I can admit that I feel another writing project in me.  I do not know what that will be.  I do not know if it is fiction or fact or memoir or poetry.  But there is another book in there.

Of course, I can continue to argue about the one in here–the one on my blog, the one in my computer, the one I have not published for really reals.

I need a template.

I need some one to say, do it like this.

I need some direction.

I need to stop procrastinating.

The book, the book, the book.  The bullshit angst over the book.

Ugh.

What if I just let it go?

What if I just try writing something else and seeing what happens?

What if the book was just a sophomore effort that really is not supposed to see further light?

What if it was just a tool to get me to go where I needed to go next?

What if I do not have to know what to do with it?

Can I be alright with that?

Fact.  I wrote it.

Is not the writing the point?

Can I be satisfied with that?  The writing is enough.  My company is enough.  The words that come are enough.

Yes, I crave the idea of holding onto something solid and real and page turning.

I was thinking, I have been thinking, it continues to swim across my brain soup, of something I read of Pat Rothfuss recently.

Pat and I went to middle school and high school together.  I will always think of him as a sweet pumpkin who drank a lot of Mountain Dew and danced awkwardly with me at Home Coming and dated Dana Chrysler in middle school.

Pat is a renowned writer.  He is successful, he is published, he goes on book tour.

We are Facecrack friends and a bit of a blog post of his popped up on my newsfeed about how he read and re-read his first book.

I have never done that.

I have never sat down with the entire piece and just read it.

That, ack, that gave me goosebumps of horror, which means, I am totally on the correct path.

I can actually hear the argument in my head right now, “you can’t print that off, that would be too expensive and where are you going to get that kind of money.”

What the fuck is that?

That kind of money?

What does an ink cartridge  cost?  A sheaf of paper?  Shit, I could go out right now and do that.  That is what I will do.

There it is.

Read your fucking book, Martines, read it and see what needs to be done with it.  Go forward from there, get re-familiarized with the work.  Read it.

It aint’ gonna eat you.

Save the Date

September 25, 2012

Sunday, October 28th from 2p.m. to 4p.m. in Dolores Park, my going away party.

I just got shivers.

I really am going away.

John Ater suggested that I have a going away party.  Which is not really my cup of tea.  First, saying good-bye, then seeing you to say good-bye, then being vulnerable in front of you.

Or finding out that you might just like me  a little bit.

Or worse.

That you find me lovable and worth of love.

Yick.

But apparently you do and no amount of balking can stop that band from going on.

So, I took the suggestion and asked for help and now there’s going to be a party in the park.

Not like there isn’t a party in the park every weekend at Dolores Park.

I am to have nothing to do with it.  I am just to show up and I guess I am allowed to tell people about it.

However, I am not to monkey with it, try to arrange it, organize it, or send out invites to it.

Maybe just a link?

It felt real when I talked to John about it.  It felt really real when I talked to Carolyn about it.

This is happening.  I am leaving.  I am going away.

Jane came up to me today, she had just gotten back from Paris and she said, “go and don’t come back.”

Alrighty then.

She also said, “I thought of you everywhere I went and how lovely it is and how much you are going to enjoy it.”

I really am.

I am very glad I went brunette today as I looked over my clothes and winnowed out a few things that won’t be going with me.  I had been in a little bit of a dither about what I was going to take with me clothes wise and today I realized that I am truly not going to take  a whole lot.

Some basics and basically nothing else.

I am going to Paris, France, not Omaha, Nebraska.

I am going to the fashion capital of the world.  I will just get my cool clothes on there.

Not to say that I have the purse of a fashionista filled with Euros, although, the way things have felt of late I do feel a career, a job, a something related to burgeoning finances stirring in the air.  So, perhaps, that fashionista may be able to afford something off the rack sooner rather than later.

Paris is filled with designer knock offs and multitudes of clothing stores and accessories and I cannot wait to go a shopping.

The last time I was in Paris I was not this svelte.  I bought accessories–a hat that I still have, a purse that I got rid of, and some earrings.  Plus, a couple of tchokes, a grocery bag–which I use all the time and it will be returning to Paris with me to be used as my market bag–and of all things, a clock.

But what a clock!

Antique from the early 1800s that I found in a flea market.  It is in storage at Tanya’s house.  And it will stay there until I am settled in where I am supposed to be.

I have to agree with Jane, I do feel like I will be going for some time.  I do not feel like this is going to be a three-month sojourn.  I feel like it will be longer.

The possibilities really do seem endless.

I imagine scenarios and know in my heart that they cannot even come close to whatever amazing reality is going to unfold as I continue to show up and do the work.

The work that I have been doing here that has led to this going away party, this inevitable flight of fancy becoming reality.

My leap.

I am sad to say good-bye.

However, I am not sad to say good-bye to San Francisco, more that I am sad to say good-bye to friends and fellows and routines.

San Francisco has not actually felt like home in a little while, despite how good it felt to come back from Florida and how good it felt to return from Burning Man.

It did not actually feel like I was returning home.

I have had moments of being quite untethered.

In my routine, in my place in this city, or in this other city, Oakland.

I have to re-name my blog.  It is no longer about my life in San Francisco.

San Francisco has been the leaping off point, the jumping off point, the boiling nexus in my life.  I came here to find myself.

I did.

I also found more of me than I had ever allowed myself to acknowledge and with that the deepening awareness that I am more cosmopolitan and worldly, not snobbishly so,  some people do not like to travel, but I do.

That is what I mean by that connotation.

I am going to be more of the world.

I am going to see more of the world.

I am going to be out and about.

Auntie Bubba, out and about.

Maybe that will be the new tag for my blog.

Life in San Francisco has allowed me to be colorful and expressive and I have found recovery in my life beyond my wildest dreams.  I have found a way of living that I had absolutely nothing to compare to and a means of continuing to achieve my goals and dreams and desires.

I have gotten to live ten years in one of the most beautiful places on Earth.  In one of the most amazingly diverse and expressive and creative of places as well.  I have danced and cried and slept and seen amazing things here.

I have seen sad things, death, pain, grief, terror.  I have lived, truly lived in this city.

There are still things to explore and places to go, but right now, they will have to wait.

So, save the date, join me as I say adieu to my lovely city by the bay and make to get all trans-Atlantic.

I could not have done it without you.

“Bye Bye Sexy”

September 24, 2012

The owner of Papito said to me as I exited this evening from the restaurant.

Well.

If I was going to give you the thumbs up on your Yelp review, now I have to give you five stars too.

Damn.

I do feel sexy.

I am rocking the new me, the old me, the new do.

I am back to brown.

Hello sexy

Back to Brown

I was going to go blonde, but the blue was too entrenched and Diane suggested we go dark.  Dark feels right.  Dark feels me.  Dark and bold and beautiful.

I feel it.

I loved the blue, it was fun, but this feels adult and womanly and most definitely sexy.

The owner of Papito is French, no irony there.

Basically this is San Francisco–French owned organic Mexican restaurant in Potrero Hill.  It really was hands down the best Mexican I have had in some time.  Funny, too, I had “hamburgesa” basically a hamburger.

But what a hamburger.

Ground chorizo smothered with carmelized onion and sliced avocado, no bun, instead my favorite touch, which is very French, a soft fried egg draped over the top.

Oh my.

Even my food was sexy.

Salty, spicy.

Love it.

“Did you hear that?”  I said with a smile curling my face as I walked out the door with Diane and Calvin.

“Uh, yes!” Diane chuckled gleefully, “maybe you should go back and give him your phone number.”

I laughed, “not a bad idea, like I have the time.”

But I must say this does bode well for Paris.  I like getting hit on by sexy French men.

I remember something Cass said to me last year about this time when I was trying to figure out what the hell I was going to be doing, at the time I was already contemplating working in Paris as a nanny.

She said the French find older women attractive, there is not the obsession with youth like there is here in the U.S.

Good to know.

I do not represent the youth vote at this time, if I ever really did.  I was always ahead of my age, although I do not mind not looking my age, ever either.

I am glad I went back to my natural color.  Low maintenance.  I do not want to have to worry about the hair when I go.

Frankly, I do not want to worry about anything.  I want to take the first month just for me.  I want to write and get adjusted and work on my book.  I want to not look for work. I want to wander.  I want to get a museum pass and go every day to a museum for a week.  I want to meet my fellows–expats and Parisians.  I do not want to look for work at all.

Let work look for me.

I am a catch.

I am sexy.

I am extraordinary, if I do say so myself.

So, if you want me, court me.

Come after me.

I am taking a month.  I am taking time to get settled.  It is not going to seem real and it is going to be surreal and bizarre and I will feel like I am in a dream and it will be wonderful and hard and fuck if I know what it will be.

It will be what ever it will be.

I just know that I want to have some time some time to explore, myself and Paris.

I do not want to seek out employment until it becomes necessary.  I feel like I have a month.  I will have a month. I do not need to live large.

The living large will be just the fact that I am there.  The living will be in the daily get about on the Metro finding my way from this point to that point.  Walking my neighborhood.  Finding the markets.  Going on dates.

I will date in Paris, I can tell already.

I am getting my practise on here.

Despite coming home alone on the BART tonight, I feel mischievousness in the air.

Maybe it was just being flirted with that blatantly.  What I find interesting, too, is that it was not slimy, it was not rude, it was undeniably French, that’s for sure, I do have just enough experience with being flirted with by a French man to know that, but it was not off-putting.

Philippe.

Wouldn’t that be funny, to run into him again.

I could always use another make out session in the Pere LaChaise cemetary.

I do not usually find cemetaries sexy, but there is sexiness in death.  That is what the French call an orgasm after all, le petite morte, the little death.

What better place than beside a crumbling archangel underneath a century old tree canopy and a wet burnished sky?

I feel like it may be time to hand over all my colorful bright crazy clown clothes and San Francisco glee and go black, charcoal, dark navy, hunter green.

It is not just the falling of the light, the scattering of fog slipping along the edge of the horizon, it is the chic thrown together uniform that I find European women seem to have.

I have enough color splashed on my body as it is.

I will never be demure.

Even naked I shout, “look at me!”

Dragons and cherry blossoms, stars and butterflies, tulips and peonies.

I am quite simply always going to be dipped in crayola hues despite the darkness of my tresses.  But I can and I will embrace this new sexy.

This womanly movement, this getting older, this getting into my skin, soft and starting to show its age.

My face, my smile, my eyes, my hair, saying hello to a new me, a new age.

I am going to embrace the hell out of being forty.

I am truly only getting better.

Hello sexy.

Here I come.

 

 

Bring Me Judd Nelson

September 23, 2012

But only the Judd Nelson of The Breakfast Club.

I bought tickets to go see one of my top all time favorite movies at the Paramount Theater in downtown Oakland for next Friday.

I am quite excited.

I may wear some dark eye liner, “I like that black shit,” and channel myself a little Ally Sheedy.

I never did really quite connect with Molly Ringwald’s character.

Sheedy’s though, I got her real well.

The first time I saw the movie was at my cousin Arielle’s house.  She and my sister were really quite tight.  I felt like the third wheel, but once the movie started I did not care who was there.

In fact, I don’t remember anything else about the company I kept that night.

I was enthralled.

I watched it twice.

Once the first time with my sister and my cousin, and then the second up late, with the volume turned down low after every one had gone to bed.  I must have been up until three in the morning.  My first late nighter as a teenager.

I was a pretty good kid.

I did not drink.

I did not do drugs.

I was not a truant.

I toed the line.

I was rebellious in ways that were quiet and under the radar and most likely annoying to a lot of the people around me.  I was a know it all, a book-worm, a debate team captain.

I was smart, but not smart enough, is how I always looked at it.

I could not figure things out.

And I missed a lot of things like dating and slumber parties and boys and gossip; hanging out at the mall or going to the movies with girl friends.

When those things did happen, they felt so momentous that they are almost entirely etched into my memory.

Watching Beaches with a car load of people at the drive in on outer East Side of Madison.

Going roller skating with Jim Bloomer at the Roller Drome.

Man, was I embarrassed by Jim.  He was cute, he was one year older, he kissed me quite well my junior year, but he was a dork.

Despite the lessons I learned watching The Breakfast Club, I did not really learn anything.

Watching that movie was an ethereal experience as it had absolutely no bearing on my life or my experiences in high school, but I was still marked by it.

The fantasy of being like that.

The fantasy of dating.

What that looks like.

I have a date for next Friday.  This will be date number three.  We have been to dinner twice–Flour and Water and Plum–and now it is time for the movie.

Will we hold hands?

Do I lean into him?

Aren’t movie theaters were you go to make out?

I went on a movie date with Jim once too, with friends of his, I don’t remember the girl’s name, but I think his friend’s name was Jeff.

Jeff and his girlfriend made out the entire time.

I could not tell if I wanted to make out with Jim or not.

I did, but I did not want to be ostracized.

Jim was the towel boy for the football team.

I was scandalized by the thought of the further ostracization that would happen to me if anyone knew I was on a date with Jim.

I am not the mature woman I am today.

And Jim is married with babies and a wife, so I am certain it all worked out the way it was supposed to be.

But I remember the taste of guilt in my mouth.

That taste of want and need and desire.

I had friends who had gone all the way.

Shit I had a sister who had already been pregnant once and was preparing to get with child yet again (that niece just turned 20 this month).

Yet I could not reconcile my hormones, Jim’s hormones, and the social level I would have slunk to had I gone on a more public date with him.

We watched Pet Semetary.

It was awful.

I was really disappointed.  I had read the book and I loved Stephen King.

How come all his movies have translated so poorly?  They really are schlock.

Jeff and his girlfriend were the real horror story at the theater.  I could barely take my eyes off them to see what was happening on the big screen, which was not scary in the least and annoying in the most.

Did Jim even try to hold my hand?

I do not recall.

The last time I went to a movie with a boy I slept with him that night.

Ok, so that probably will not be happening.

It was also the last night that Shadrach was alive, if you can call being in a vegetative coma alive.  It was the night before his parents were to be informed that there was no hope for him, that the coma was going to be permanent, he would not be waking up, and they needed to decide what to do.

I was exhausted.

It had been a week of very long days, very long nights, bouts of crying that shook me until I fell asleep.  Haze.

I remember the fog falling over Twin Peaks and the light of the sun spilling gold and yellow on the grass in front of General Hospital.

I went to sit quietly for an hour and I cried the entire time.

Some friends were going to see a movie after I they invited me.

Rick.

Rick invited me and Jim and another friend went.

I was so tired.

I leaned into Rick’s shoulder and just soaked in the warmth.

I should have gone home that night.

Who knows what could have happened.

To this day I wonder if I actually would have ended up dating him had I not slept with him that first night.

Maybe.

Maybe not.

But I needed comfort and I took it.

I remember most the warmth of his shoulder.

The sex was not memorable.

Neither was it horrible, it was just what it was.

That was five and a half years ago.

I have been to movies with guy friends and girl friends and fellows.

But I have not been on a date with a guy to go see a movie in a while.

I’m up for holding hands right now.

Maybe a good night kiss.

Maybe a shoulder to lean on.

I am excited to see the movie and to see how I have moved on, forward, and out from that place I was in over twenty years ago when I first watched the movie and completely fell for that circle of kids, angst ridden and rebellious and golden in celluloid time.

Because when I think about it I can see that I am just like them at the end–I have shed some skin, a lot of it, and have embraced my true self–it may not look like Molly Ringwald–but it does look pretty wonderful.

And just a tiny bit French.

 

Welcome Back!

September 22, 2012

San Francisco opened wide her arms to me.

It was lovely.

I did a few things San Franciscan today–rode the BART, 16th and Mission looking sexy as always!

I remember the first time I got off the BART at 16th and Mission, oh what a different experience.

Well, not much of a different experience, but I suppose I could just say a different perspective.

I pretty much flagged a cab as soon as I could and got the hell out of there.  And it was broad daylight in the middle of the afternoon, mid-week.

God only knows what my reaction would have been on a Friday night.

Now, eh, it’s just the 16th Street dirty old Mission BART stop.  A little crack here, a little crack there, a very very very heavy prostitute who was so fucked up her skirt was up around her waist and her panties were all up her bum, plaid orange and purple, and there was some cellulite happening all around.  SEXY.

Welcome home!

There was some one pissing against the trash barrel and some one doing the soft-shoe crack crab shuffle.

You know the one, where the ground is just really intensely interesting, like did some one, please Jesus, please, drop a rock on the ground.  If so, I will gladly clean up that litter.

I hopped on my bike and went toward 17th street, to hit yet another iconic, San Franciscan treat.

Good Vibes.

Yes, that is right, I broke my fucking vibrator.

Damn Gina.

It was old any how, it had not lasted as long as I would have liked, but hey, I got a decent pay check, I can splurge a little.  And I made sure to pay off my student loan for the month and set some money into my savings account.

As my next check will be negligible.

Negligible.

I was down South and missed five days of work.

Although my mom did stick some folded walk about money in my pocket before I got on the plane!

Thanks mom!

That is groceries for the next two weeks.

Seriously.

Which was another stop I made in my San Francisco meanders–Rainbow.  I got me some Almond milk, some organic plums, some new crop organic Gravenstein apples, some Judy’s large organic brown eggs, a couple of Japanese sweet potatoes and some Nancy’s organic non-fat plain yogurt.

Deliciousness!

I just finished up a bowl of chopped apples with sea salt and fresh grated nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and a plum with a snick of yogurt.

I love a late night snack right before I do my blog.  And a nice big mug of tea.

Makes the words come out happy.

I also went to Body Manipulations–the oldest piercing shop in the city.  Spectacular.  I had my nose ring clipped down and re-adjusted.

So glad I finally did this, it has been bugging the high holy hell out of me for months now, it constantly slips and it looks like I have a wee silver booger on the rim of my nose.

Totally distracting.

Rainbow.

Check.

Body Manipulations.

Check.

Good Vibrations.

Check.

Afternoon sexy sexy?

Check.

That’s right, mama, welcome back to the city that says, nice to see you, now let’s get some.

Ahhhhhhh.

Perfect way to come home.

Then to top the tryst, yes, that’s right, Chinese food!

Let me say it again.

Ahhhhhhh.

I got some good steamed brown rice and broccoli and shrimp and a pot of green tea.

Afterwards I went to a cafe that was not the drive through at a Dunkin Donuts, I thought he was kidding when he said you wanna Dunkin Donuts, he was not kidding.

Not that it was bad, mind you, it was just laced with the smell of donuts, which is not how I roll anymore.

I met with my lady bug and we had us a damn good chat about taking care of ourselves and what that means and how it looks.

Awesomeness.

Then I saw a whole posse of my friends at Our Lady of SafeWay.

If you don’t know what that means, don’t worry.

If you do, you know I was right at home.

After I checked in with my people I did what San Franciscans do oh so well.

I got on my fixed geared bike and I ran some red lights.

Not too many, I don’t want to die before I go to Paris, just enough to get me to the BART on time so that I could make it back to Fruitvale, Graceland, and all things house sitting.

It is nice to be back and it is awesome that I gave myself the day off.

I am so stubborn about working myself to the bone that I forget that there has never been a person on their death-bed who says, gee, I wish I had worked some more.

Nope, I don’t believe there’s a one.

My name may be now officially added to that list.

Not to say that I am not ready to go back to work, I am, in fact I almost went by the bike shop to say hey to Carlos today, but I figured I would get sucked in and there’s time enough for that tomorrow.

Tonight, I still have a few minutes to unwind and get ready for the week.

My one day work week.

Ha.

I am only scheduled tomorrow–Saturday–then I have Sunday, Monday off, which are my normally scheduled days off.

I think I can handle that.

Man, coming home should always be this lovely.

Always.

Soft

September 21, 2012

It was unexpected, the amends thing.

What happened.

How it went.

The delay in the renegotiation of Carmen.

I became something else today, some one else today, some one different, more approachable, more…

“Touchable,” he said in the car driving me home from San Francisco International Airport.

“Yes,” I nodded, in the dark, the freeway whisking past, the giant girders of the freight yards in Oakland looming in the shadows, the lights of the city pearling around me.

“More in touch with the moment,” he added.

Did he just say more touchable?

Yes, I believe he did.

Will Chase, not that Will Chase, told me at Burning Man this year he was glad to see me in a different work position as I had always been so untouchable.

I see a thematic here.

My mom and I had a fight this morning.

It was terrifying and sad and hard and I saw the wall, I saw the wall so clearly, so distinctly so about to be raised.  I could feel the bridge being hauled up over the moat and I could see myself retreating back into the dark.

And then I stopped.

A voice in my head said, “be the adult here.”

Then it added, “or do you want to come back and make amends for this later?”

I was about to detach by dropping a brick wall.

I was about to detach by dropping a machete.

I took a really deep breath and realized that I had to be the one that made the move.  It did not matter what I felt, it did not matter who was right.

All that mattered was clearing the air and communicating the best way I knew how, and it was not pretty and it there was a lot I did not say, but I made the approach and I sat and listened.

I was not the child cowering in a corner.

Nor was I the teenager that split last night and walked the block having a phone conversation with a boy about stealing a golf cart and going to make out on the back nine.

Of course, that was never really an option, said boy being in San Francisco and said golf green being in a 55 and up retirement village.

The only “boys” about were good ole boys.

And there was to be no making out with them even if I had gotten the oogley eye or two from a couple of them.

No you can’t look at my tattoos closer up pervert, shoo.

I really did have a moment last night when it got to be too much and I left the house and made some phone calls.  I cannot stand to be around my mom when she is having a fight with the boyfriend.

Weirds me right the fuck out.

They had kissed and made up by the time I was up and about this morning.

However, the charge was still in the air and I did not realize it and I walked right into it and my mom got angry.

Which with just a few thousand miles perspective I can suddenly see as a fear response.

She was afraid I would withdraw my love again.

And she might have been right, except I was more interested in being happy, joyous, and free.

I was more interested in being happy than right.

The woman, and I do not say woman lightly, it did happen, it happened like he said it would but not like how I expected it to go, got up from the kitchen table and made the approach.

I cannot in my life time remember approaching my mother ever to make it right.

The attitude has always been run away or ignore it until it went away.

But it never really went away and running away from myself is no longer an option.

We had rocky communication, but it was communication and it was a new kind of beginning.

And she freaking over shared beyond belief and it does not matter.

I am not there anymore.  I can truly love from a distance.

I can ask for help, should the time or place arise.

Not that I want to or am counting on doing so.

I also absolved her of the money.

I forgave the debt.

Once upon a time a similar debt was absolved for me and I ran it by John Ater and it felt right to do so.  My mom’s company was enough.  I do not need blood money.

Nor money that felt like it could have strings attached.

Nope.

I let it go.

And I feel even more free for having done that.

Even more open and available.

I have held onto this idea for so long that I should get this money that I never even realized the great big rock of shit I was holding onto that got in the way of me being open and available to true financial success.

I open my arms to the abundance that is all around me, I dropped the imaginary and I made myself available to what is truly supposed to be mine.

What ever that is, however that may come, it can come now, there is a space there for it.

My chest feels free, I can breathe.

Maybe it is just being out of central Florida, maybe it was seeing the girls on the corners tonight, maybe it is just one more thing cleaned up so that I may move forward towards Paris.

I do not know.

I do not care.

I have softened.

I have grown touchable.

Pausing to insert theme song from Rocky Horror Picture Show, Susan Saradon singing, “touch-a-touch-a-touch me, I wanna feel dirty.”

And now back to our regularly scheduled program of enlightenment and Stuart Smalley aphorisms.

sincerely yours,

A soft touch.

 


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