Archive for September, 2013

You Have to Ask For What You Want

September 30, 2013

Of course, you first may need to know what the fuck that is.

I was talking to the ladies at tea today and having a moment of testing the new waterproof eyeliner I had bought this past week, not waterproof, and having my moment.

I had some questions in regards to what to charge for some services and I got a lot of input, shortly on the heels of some dating suggestions, and I was suddenly just overwhelmed and the tears began to fall.

My girlfriends love me and want what’s best for me, but I have been trained so well to not ask for what I need that I have a hard time articulating it.

I usually know, at least after some practice, some therapy, some more practice, and a lot of inventory, what I don’t want, and that’s a start.

I did not want to go to the interview I had today for a possible nanny position in the NOPA neighborhood.

I felt overwhelmed with the cobbling together of hours and times and needs of families and schedules and how am I going to make this all happen.

“Honey, I am just saying, you don’t have to do this,” my friend said, “you are going to be in demand the minute that you put out there what you really want.”

She suggested that I write it down and really be specific.

I have been thinking about it all day, especially as I did not cancel on the family in the NOPA and their daughter is wicked adorable, 19 months and a little spit fire, but that I could already see myself walking into a situation that may not best serve my needs.

My needs.

What are my needs?

Let’s start with the most basic basics:

1. Rent $1200 a month plus utilities, let’s just call it $1275 as I don’t know yet what my first utility bill is going to be.

2. $239.40 student loan

3. $81.94 phone bill

4. $450 groceries

5. $60 recovery

6. $50 toiletries

7. $25 transportation costs

8. $25 books or magazines

9. $25 writing materials

10. $40 cafes

11. $40 restaurants

12. $125 clothes

13. $40 entertainment

14. $25 artist dates

15. $200 savings

16. $25 misc

Total: $2611.24

This means that I must make weekly $652.81.

This is a bare minimum.  I would like to make more and spend more.  I would like to knock out my debt to Barnaby a little quicker (thus the money into savings, I have about $850 of the $1350 plane ticket saved aside in my emergency fund at the moment).

I am not asking for much with my ideal, at least for the time being, is not a great deal more than that basic spending plan.  I would like to make $800 a week to start out.

Last week I did ok and I will do ok this week as well, closer to the first number than the latter.

I had it once suggested to me that I not pay more than one weeks worth of my monthly income to rent.  That would mean making $1200 a week.

That is doable, but I am not sure as a nanny that I am going to swing that.

What I would like to swing, if wishes were horses beggars would ride, does not seem too far off the mark though.

I want to, sigh, spit it out, have one kid, work with one family, make as a start $20 an hour, full-time, 40 hours a week, with paid vacation and sick time.

I am more than willing to do a share and I like doing them, so if I were to do a share I want $26 an hour for two and I don’t want to do three.

Three is too much.

I can do it, but there is not rest and there is not the kind of engaging I want to have with the children.

What else do I want?

I don’t want to start any earlier than 8:30 a.m.

I don’t want to work any later than 6 p.m.

I want to be treated as an equal and not a servant.

I want to work for people who are smart and creative.

I want my transportation costs covered.

I want to work in San Francisco, the closer to where I live the better.

I have had all these things in the past, I have had them, however, not all at the same time.

I have made stellar money as a nanny, $950 a week, under the table, 10 pto days a years, bonuses at Christmas and my birthday, but was treated like a servant, asked to not use certain bathrooms in the house, was constantly micro-managed, and they had no art on the walls.

I hated working for them.

I have worked for far less and worked for fantastically amazing creatives who blew my mind and I loved working with them.

“Maybe you are trying too hard to re-create that first relationship,” my friend astutely observed when I parried her suggestion with the I want to work for ‘Burning Man’ people cop out excuse I use to justify why I am not working for people that can afford me.

Maybe.

Maybe I am just too afraid to believe that if I ask for more I will get it.

I asked the Mister when he was available to hang out.

I am tired of waiting.

8 days with no contact is a few days too many.

I want to be asked out on a date damn it.

At least let me know when you are going to have time.

So, I took that initiative and asked.

How will anyone know what I want unless I speak up.

I am the reason I am not paid better.

I am the reason I am single.

I am an idiot.

But at least I am trying to do things differently.

Be teachable.

Try.

I mean, I did run off the bathroom at Samovar to wipe the eyeliner from my face and have another good cry, but I got over it.

My friends want what’s best for me more than I do.

So, big breath, I am going to look for full-time nanny work.

I am going to ask those people in my community that I am not currently working for, to put it out there to the parents boards and the groups and the things and the people.

I don’t want to go through Town and Country, I don’t want to work for an agency, although they keep sending me job listings, but I do want to work full-time for either one to two families.

I want full-time hours, not this piece meal, cobbled together work.

It’s too damn much work.

I can’t pretend to not notice that.

I will have to tell the people who I work for what’s going on, but not right yet, not tomorrow, but soon, I feel.  I am going to have to have more than two and a half days worth of work.

I just have to.

My brain hurts thinking about it, but there, I have put it out, to the best of my current ability, to the Universe, I need to be better taken care of.

My current situation does not best serve my needs.

Thanks for listening.

xo.

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Color Me Changed

September 29, 2013

I did two things today that were completely outside my comfort zone.

To do one thing that I really wanted to do.

I, first, turned down tickets to the Opera and two, I turned down a nanny gig this evening.

Why?

I wanted to take myself to the beach and watch the sunset.

Yeah, I know, craven hooker, what was I thinking?

Ocean Beach

Sunset

Apparently I was thinking that I needed to do for myself.

Yeah, I want work shifts, but I just came off five days, including a double and two night shifts, in a row and I have an interview tomorrow.  I want to be fresh for that and I needed a day, and a night off.

Turning down the opera tickets was a little harder, but I was not prepared to head toward the downtown area when it came in.

I had dinner in the oven and was in the Inner Sunset at 7th and Irving just finishing up with my fellows.

I needed to get back to take it out of the oven, eat it, and well, I really did want to go down to the beach and walk by the tides and see the sun go down in my part of the world.

I was not disappointed with this decision.

I was immediately grateful when I walked out to Judah and saw the sun pitching itself into the ocean and the light was already spectacular on the N-Judah train tracks.

Train Tracks

Train Tracks

I hustled down the side walk listening to the sounds of Ocean Beach at sunset.

There were the rapid voices of a Chinese church community having it’s Saturday night dinner and I could hear ping pong balls being hit and children’s laughter and the rapid Mandarin rolling out the cracked door.

There was the sound of the train running down the tracks to the turn around.

The sound of the ocean was also louder.

I noticed this today.

I was not sure if it was that the tides are closer in at sunset or in the evening, or if there’s less traffic noise and therefor the sound of the surf is louder.

Either way the sound is louder and I enjoyed the laughter I heard and the chatter of the neighbors and the tourists all heading out to the beach.

I saw a new friend from the neighborhood outside of Java Beach Cafe.

“Going to watch the sunset,” he smiled, nodding at the camera in my hand.

“Yup,” I said, not slowing a bit, there were images I knew I wanted to capture.

“Never gets old,” he said and concluded, “enjoy the sunset.”

“Thanks, I will,” I said and cut across La Playa toward Great Highway.

There was a drum circle of kids in the dunes, a gay couple wrapped up in blankets on folding chairs, a waddle of children running toward the beach, lovers holding hands, runners, a few early evening surfers heading into the water, and lots of dogs bounding in and out of the surf.

I pulled off my glasses and turned on my camera.

TIdes

Colorful

Sunset

Sunset

Coast

Coast LIne

Mirror Image

Mirror

I forgot about the nanny shift, the opera tickets, the world just fell away.

Things are slowly be re-arranged inside, aren’t they?

I stayed until my feet were cold and my heart was warm.

The rosy sky ushered me back home and I sank down at my table and edited my photographs.  More of which may be seen here.

Even when I was writing out the rent check for October and watched the numbers dwindle down quickly in my register, I did not regret the decision.

I needed a day off.

A day to sit on the back patio and read and catch up with a friend on the phone.

A day to sleep in after the head ache I brought home with me last night.

A day to do laundry and the little household things that need to be done on a weekly basis.

What is funny, to me, anyhow, is that this morning when I was doing my writing, three pages long hand, every day, thank you very much, and my morning meditation (just a quick one, eleven minutes, but still any time I can get myself to sit is a good thing), I did not know what I was going to do with the day.

Had I been asked at that time to work, I probably would have said yes.

I am not good with unstructured time.

I feel often that I must go and get and achieve and do.

I forget, more often than not, but not as often as before, that the not doing anything is actually good for me and it allows me to be more efficient when I am trying to get things done.

It is all about balance.

Happiness is not excitement.

Happiness is being serene and calm and present.

I used to think that unless it evoked intense emotionality, the peaks of a roller coaster and the dramatic plunge, that it was not happiness.

Today I know better.

And I can see that I have changed for the better.

I also said I get to go do something fun for me.

I bought tickets to see Mike Doughty play at the Fillmore in November.

I once, and not too far back, would have said that I could not afford it.

But I remembered how disappointed I was with myself the last time he was in San Francisco and I decided I could not afford the ticket.

I can’t afford to not go.

I love Mike Doughty and I swear that listening to his solo album,Yes And Also Yes, while I was in Paris along with a cd compilation a lover had made for me called Something to Write to (there was another, actually, called Something to Move to, that I also frequently listened to) was the sound track to my time in Paris.

He, Doughty, is going to be performing pieces from the Soul Coughing albums.

I am super excited and I dropped the $40 for the ticket without a backward thought or glance.

I also have a number of friends that I know will be going, so that will be good times too.

I am changed.

I am different.

I am slowing down.

Color me content.

Tide

Tide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not Tonight, Dear

September 28, 2013

I have a headache.

Serious.

If I was dating someone I would not be having sex right now.

I might be curled up in a fetal position asking for some cold ice water and a few ibuprofen.

But not blog?

Fuck, I can’t quite do it.

I am tired, which is most to do with a couple of back to back long shifts, but hey, you know what, rent, she is paid.

I made enough in the last few days to cover rent for the next month and have a few bills left over to do a little grocery shopping.

And next week I have full-time work as well.

Plus, I confirmed that I do indeed have an interview on Sunday for a possible position.

I still think they are going to pass on my services, but whatever, take the action, let go of the results.

Which should be the thematic for tonight’s blog.

Take the action let go the results.

I feel the results might be shite, but I write nonetheless.

As I was standing at the N-Judah stop in Cole Valley I listened to the conversation of a trio of French men and thought, well, at least I don’t have to figure out what they are saying, although I sort of wanted to, then I wanted to wittily say something about the conversation they were having.

But they weren’t just French, they were Parisian and that accent and the rapidity of the words, not a conversation I was about to butt into, without making a complete ass of myself.

My tired self.

My tired head ache self.

God I don’t want to finish writing this.

I wonder if I am coming down with something.

I think, though, it is just the hallucinatory feeling of being tired and sort of wired at the same time.

The weekend is upon me and I wonder what I will be doing.

And whom I may be kissing.

OH.

My favorite J. Davis Trio song just came on, “Breath of a Tiny Dragon”.

My head ache could fade off a little here.

Nostalgia.

So much for this song and all the layers of memory and feelings I have when I hear it.

First, I love it, well, because the female doing the vocals sounds a bit like me, she’s doing more of a spoken word vibe then singing, and she does sound like me, or I like her.

There were people back in Madison that actually thought it was me.

I have had people here in San Francisco hear the song and think it was me.

Nope.

But I can certainly sing the hell out of this song.

I love me some J. Davis Trio.

Wish they would do a West Coast tour and bring it up North to San Francisco or even Oakland, anywhere Bay Area would be hella tight.

Shit, I might even go down to San Jo to catch them.

I digress.

My fingers feel funny.

I think maybe I am a little hungry?

Uh, hmm, yeah, duh, I am.

I haven’t eaten my little night snack.

I have such a routine around it though, I always write my blog before I have one last nibble and one last cup of tea.

It’s my ritual.

How the hell am I going to be in a relationship when my blog gets more action than I do?

I suppose I am jumping the gun a little on that one.

Hey!

The Mister’s horribly busy work week ended today.

I told myself, no expectations, no regrets, no resentments, no getting let down.

I do that, I get all worked up and excited and then the let down.

Nope.

I say he’s busy and will be taking the weekend to recover.

I can wait until Tuesday.

Oh yeah, and what was that epiphany I had at Burning Man?

I am the ball.

No more chasing.

The man knows where I live, heck he was the first man to be in my home, he helped move me in, he helped me put together the bed from Ikea, he kissed me on the mouth, soft, soft, sweet, sweet, like persimmons that surprise you with cream and cinnamon in their orange pumpkin hearts.

Sigh.

Head ache is waning.

Is it the ritual?

Is it the compilation of words, or is it now, good Ipod shuffle!

The Belbel Gilberto on the player.

Who knows.

Maybe, perchance, it is because the words pile up and I am relieved to see that I have committed to my commitment once again.

See, I would, oh Chet Baker, I do fall in love to easily too!

I fall in love too terribly hard, for love to ever last.

My heat should be well schooled, because I have been fooled in the past.

I fall in love so easily, I fall in love too fast.

See, easily distracted.

Or dehydrated.

Or tired.

Or sore.

Definitely a little sore too.

I did not actually ride my bicycle in to work today, I caught a ride in with my room-mate.  We hit Trouble for some morning coffee to celebrate a significant anniversary in her life and then she dropped me off at the first nanny gig in the Castro.

I walked from 19th and Sanchez to Cole and Frederick today.

That may also explain some of the fatigue.

I walked a lot, with both my boys, in strollers at different times and then just by myself, because, why, well, I like to walk.

I am on my bicycle so much that I like to take a day off once in a while, slow down, stop and smell the roses.

Or touch the tress.

Seriously.

I do not know what compelled me.

Yeah, I’m crying over you.

I’ll be your saviour steadfast and true.

I’ll come to your emotional rescue.

Is it cheating to just write down the song lyrics to the music I am listening to?

Who cares!

It is strangely applicable and soothing.

As soothing as the bark on the tree I stopped to touch.

I stopped, reached my hand out and looked up into the canopy of leaves, the dappling sun flashing through to throw shadows of dark green on the rich velvet grass.

I sighed and sniffed the air.

I think the Japanese tourists who walked by thought I was high on acid or something.

The girl giggled.

I just smiled back.

I can stop and pet a tree once in a while.

What?

They say, who “they” are is beyond me, but you know what I mean, that sex is the best cure for a headache, that having an orgasm will eradicate one.

The paradox, of course, being that you don’t want to strip down and get naked and intimate and sexy.

But you know what, my head ache is almost gone.

And my blog is done.

Nighty night.

 

I love you baby, and I always will.

Ever since I put your picture in a frame.

I love you baby, and I always will.

Early to Blog

September 27, 2013

Late to bed.

I am up in the Castro—19th between Noe and Sanchez—with no Internet connection.

Boo hiss.

However, the Word Document on my computer works just fine.

So, I figure I will get my blog out of the way, blog be gone!

And then I will watch down loaded videos I have not had time to watch.

The dad also showed my how to access Netflix and all that jazz on their big screen television, but a remote is usually beyond me.

In fact, I was realizing today, I feel like a lot of things are beyond me.

I was looking through Craigslist for jobs and I wasn’t discouraged so much as just not interested in doing any of the jobs that were offered.

It felt like such an investment to even get started.

I had absolutely no gumption, get up and go, or desire to find more work.

I realized that I am just fine being a nanny until something else comes along, not something that I need to figure out or make happen, not something where I go shake the trees or move to another country, France.  Just whatever happens to be the next thing, I don’t have to make shit happen.

I am a good worker and I am a good nanny.

I have a lot of experience being a nanny and so with those thoughts rolling around in my head I did what I needed to do to further my nanny career.

I invested my time and energy into getting myself re-booked to re-up my Child/Infant CPR and First Aid skills; the class also includes adult and AED skills, with the American Red Cross.

I have never had to use the certification, this will be my fourth time taking the class, but it is something that I like having the knowledge fresh in my mind and it makes me a more valuable nanny as far as I am concerned.

I also contacted TrustLine, which is a California service that does a back round check on all childcare providers that register with them.

I have been fingerprinted and cross-referenced and have not ever had a child neglect or abusive situation on my hands, let alone documented.  The service also does a felony background check and keeps updated files on where you live as well as references from previous employers.

I just let them know I had moved, a requirement for the service is that you must fill out a form with a current up to date address.    I finally have one that is listed again in San Francisco and ordered the address update to be sent to my house.

Oh, my sweet little house, where I fell asleep again last night with the door open–the shush of the ocean the best lullaby.

My darling little house by the sea that I really want to keep and stay in.  Which means getting some more hours for the nannying.

Or other work, but as I said, it seems really to be falling toward doing more nanny gigs.

And being healthy is part of my job, not only, I feel setting an example of healthy eating, which I do and I sit and eat my meals with the children I take care of, but also being in good health myself.

Which means health insurance.

Which I haven’t got.

But I do have a San Francisco residency, a bank statement, my tax form from last year, and I can get my employers to fill out a sheet saying about how much money I earn from them weekly.

Thereby fulfilling all the requirements to get enrolled with Healthy San Francisco.

The agency that helps those in the city with out health insurance receive medical care.

I am healthy, I don’t even have a cold, but I would like to have something in place in case anything happens and I also want to get the flu shot and get re-vaccinated for Rubella and Whooping Cough, also known as Pertussis.

I believe I am still up to date with my Tetanus vaccination, but I will get that too if needed.

I have full time hours this week and full time hours next week, but after that I won’t, unless this interview I do on Sunday falls my way.  I don’t actually believe it will, I don’t think that I am the fit they need, but I am going to show up (unless they cancel) and be available.

That is the part that I can repeat to myself whenever I get into the self-pity mode, show up and be available, when have I not been taken care of when that happens?

Life is pretty awesome.

I live by the beach in a beautiful, sweet little home, I eat really healthy tasty, good food, I work with bright loving children and I get paid to do so.

My bills are paid, for this month, and I have a roof over my head and a bicycle to ride.

Nary a problem here.

Nope, not a one.

Even without the Internet connection, I can tell this.

I feel genuine and happy and relaxed.

And damn lucky.

To live and love and be loved in San Francisco.

And to get to write, no matter what, no matter where, to pick up the pen in the morning and to write the blog in the evening.

These are huge gifts.

The view from the house, from the hills of the Castro, of San Francisco, the Victorians and the lofts, the lights flashing in the distance, the Bay Bridge, City Hall—it is dazzling and not taken for granted.

I am humbled to be allowed this life.

Blessed with abundance.

Abundant perspective.

*This blog was written earlier in the evening of the 26th and posted as soon as I had some internet connectivity while I was still perky and not tired.   It was, however, edited at half mast, blame any spelling or grammar errors on the lateness of the hour.*

Is It Over Yet?

September 26, 2013

This week?

I know it’s not.

I am just impatient.

I want to hear from the man and the man is balls to the walls busy.

I can’t even explain.

I don’t care to.

His work and him are not really fodder for the blog.

The feelings that come up, though, those, are all mine.

Write about them I shall.

I had him on my mind this evening as I was passing in and out of a luxurious fugue state.

I went to Kabuki Springs and Spa with my room-mate.

Room mate sounds better than landlord.

But what it comes down to is she’s my friend.

That’s what I should say, I went to Kabuki with my friend.

I realized that I had not gone since I did the AidsLIfeCycle training and I went with my friend who I met on the ride.

I will have to go back sooner than three years.

I may also try another spa in the city that I just found out about.  My friend told me about about Banya out in Bayview.

It is a co-ed spa.

It is also a European traditional spa.

It sounded fantastic.

And chatty.

The one thing that I don’t care for so much at Kabuki Spa is that there is expected quiet to be had in the space.

Now don’t get me wrong, I like some meditation when the time is right, and I will admit I did do some this evening, but really, when I am at the spa, I want to chat with my girl friend and catch up and see how she’s doing and you know, catch up.

But the gong got sounded.

Yes, that’s right, there is a gong that you can gently “bang” with a leather-covered mallet to remind the room that it is a quiet space, not a coffee shop.

Banya, according to my friend, is not only co-ed, but it is chatty and conversational and the water is hotter and colder.

I can hang with all of that.

So, of course, my mind goes where it will and I suddenly had a passing, oh, hahaha, getting a body flush now just thinking about it, that is hysterical.

The auto-immune system is working just fine folks, nothing to see here but a little blush, move along now please.

I, er, had a passing thought of what the Mister looks like without clothes.

Ah.

Ahem.

It was a nice thought.

I will leave it there.

And yes, I did go back to that place in my mine where I would like to be in better shape as I hopped off the scale.

I put on the Freshman 15 in Paris.

“I know you are not happy about the weight you put on in Paris,” my friend said to me last night as we were talking yoga and kale.

“But you are eating so well, all you are going to need is a little more added to what you already do.”

She’s right.

That fifteen is going to slide right off.

I have been abstaining now from sugar and flour (again off my relapse that lasted a horrid three weekends) for close to 90 days now.

The weight I gained from that debauchery is gone.

And when I got on the scale at Kabuki I was pleased to see it was a little less than I was expecting.

That being said, it’s not my optimum and I know where I feel good and I want to get back to that.

Not for the Mister, or any other man for that matter, but as I was writing this morning I thought, you know I have worked really hard on a lot of things with fair good success.

I got a black belt in Kung Fu, for instance.

But I was not in recovery and not eating well.

I have the drive and the follow through.

What would it look like if I devoted some attention to that?

What kind of body is lurking in there?

Random thoughts to accompany the mental image of a bare-chested man.

Today became an unexpected spa day, I am now realizing.

I did work seven hours today, but I got off a few hours earlier than I typically would and I only had one baby today, so when he went down for his last nap on the day I made a French press pot of coffee and sat on the back porch in the sun for an hour reading a magazine.

The mom got home exactly at the same time as he woke from his nap.

I left feeling really relaxed and decided I wanted a manicure.

Which is my version of going to the spa.

Twelve dollars, inclusive of a 20% tip, is in toto what I pay to get my nails done.

I can usually afford that kind of treat.

As I was settling into the chair I got a text from my friend saying Kabuki, I dithered and after some convincing when I got back to the house, I went.

So glad.

Aside from steamy fantasy I also got to sit in the dry sauna twice with sliced cucumbers over my eyes with an ice cloth compress, one sit in the hot tub, two sits in the wet sauna, in which I rubbed down my skin to a fine polish with raw salt, and three plunges in the cold bath.

Whew.

I also did the traditional Japanese cleaning before getting into the spa and the saunas.

Then another shower after ward and lots of cucumber lotion on the body.

I finished sitting in a lounge chair deep conditioning my hair and reading a magazine.

This self-care thing is pretty awesome.

Tomorrow and Friday I work.

Then I head to the yoga studio.

I just calculated rent and grocery costs, paid off my student loan for the month, and it looks like there is at least a weeks trial of yoga classes in my near future.

The time is now.

I am thrilled to finally be moving forward with this.

I guess if I can wait years to start a yoga practise I can wait another few days for some company, it will be gone before I know it.

Just like the time I was in Paris.

I was and have been thinking about that quite a lot.

Where I was this time last year and the kisses that had just started between the Mister and I.

I left for Paris never thinking to come back and wistful and dreamy about this man who had kissed me under the blue porch light at Graceland and again at the airport when he dropped me off the next morning, how I felt then, that ache in my breast, but assured in myself that I had to go, I had to.  Not wanting to afford those thoughts of what if…

I never expected that I was going to get to kiss him again.

Of course, I also did not expect to be living in the Sunset District less than a year after I left for Paris.

Maybe the Montmartre district, but not the Outer Sunset.

And yet, here I am.

Once again.

I waited a year, yes, yes I did.

I can wait a few more days.

Patience.

My dear.

My darling.

Patience.

All good things come to those who wait.

Maybe I Need to Do It

September 25, 2013

Backwards.

I just had this thought as I was scrolling through the pages of the Ocean Beach Yoga schedule.

A yoga studio that is a block away from my house.

So, let me count all the wonderful things that are within blocks of where I live.

Number 1 and the big one really, Ocean Beach, namely, uh yeah, the Pacific Ocean–three blocks away.

Number 2 a Muni line, the N-Judah–half block away.

Number 3 Golden Gate Park, two blocks away.

Number 4 a whole foods community co-op–one point five blocks away.

Number 5 and it could be six as well, Trouble Coffee and Java Beach Cafe–half block and two blocks away, respectively.

Number 7, lucky number seven? A yoga studio.

I have all my urban needs met–coffee, organic food market, train (if I am not on my bike the N-Judah is fantastically handy), and a yoga studio.

I have a lot, if not all my nature needs met–the ocean, the beach, the park.

I really have it all.

So, I am going to start acting like it.

The job interview for another nanny gig does not hurt either.

I got a referral from a friend for a friend, who happened to do graduate studies at UW Madison!

We spoke today and her family’s needs may not be a great match for my availabilities, but it pointed out to me real fast, that I won’t have a challenging time finding work.

The challenge is to not live my life as though things are not happening.

To keep my pennies to myself like some miser.

There is that idea that I was writing about last night, the why would I want more if I don’t want what I have?  But this, this is slightly different.

If I continue to hold onto the idea that I live an impoverished life and there are certain things, like yoga, I can’t afford, than I will continue to live a life of deprivation.

Instead, I can drop that idea, open myself to the obvious abundance that is surrounding me and have some faith that if I take a month’s worth of yoga classes I won’t not be able to afford rent.

A month of unlimited yoga is $130.

I can so afford that.

I absolutely can.

In fact, I am absolutely going to.

I don’t even have to start out that crazy, try a week and see if I like it.

I have some ulterior motives, as this week has shown me that I do have some qualms about my body shape and size.

Not so much my weight, just more that I could use some toning and sculpting and I would like to knock off that last bit of weight I put on before I get naked with someone.

I am guessing that will eventually happen with the Mister.

He moves slow, but I don’t believe that will be for much longer.

When his work lightens up I want to be there.

And this is more for me than for him, if it’s for him at all, which it rather isn’t.

See, he likes me, he’s attracted to me, I have evidence, he’s told me and nobody kisses someone like the way he has kissed me without being attracted to that person.

The man has braces on, not bifocals.

He can clearly see what I look like.

In fact, he’s known me for years, so he’s seen me at some pretty unhappy sizes.

What I look like is not going to be some surprise.

How I feel about myself will just be for myself and will boost my confidence, make me feel better about being a nanny, being physical fit to deal with the babies is actually a good deal of my work, my body has been sore and I could use some work.

Yoga.

Yoga.

Yoga.

And I love how a yoga body looks.

I have always wanted one.

So, why in the world should I not go and get one.

I can’t afford to deprive myself of something that will make me happy.

Plus, despite the beautiful weather, there will come a time, and it is in the not too distant future, when the rains will come.

November.

I can feel you sneaking in, the fall equinox just happened, I noticed the day today was shorter, and the rains, they do come.

Grey, wet, no sun.

Seattle, quit ya bitchin, San Francisco gets as much if not more rainfall.

I remember one year it was unusually bad and it was something like 43 or 44 days in a row of non-stop rain.

Even a light rain season, is still a rainy season.

And for a lady with clinically diagnosed depression, seasonal depression, and clinical anxiety, exercise is the only way to keep me off antidepressants.

I have been off meds now for just about two years.

I want to stay that way.

So, yoga, I think so.

I also said yes to meeting someone for tea next week Tuesday, although I said no, uh, I am busy, er, yeah.

Then I went to the bathroom, admonished myself, came back and said, “yes, of course I will be happy to have tea with you next week,” I have known her in an acquaintance kind of way for years, but now that I am in the neighborhood, well, damn it, I need to get to know the people.

It is a challenge.

Life.

Love.

Being myself, it is all a challenge.

But there are moments, like earlier, when I was sitting on the bench in the Panhandle with an 8 month old baby sleeping on my chest and a 16 1/2 month older toddler happily playing with leaves and acorns and a sand bucket.

The wind pushed my hair off my face, I could smell the invigorating smell of Eucalyptus, the sun was warm, the bite of autumn just a nibble and not a gnaw, the green of the grass, righteous.

I looked up at the trees and breathed in the smell deep and full.

I looked down at the baby and knew I was lucky and blessed to be trusted with his small self.

I looked at the toddler who was happy and busy and smiling and chatting with me and the dogs and giggling and squeaking (he has “squeakers,” they are retarded cute, making a little rubber ball squeak noise every time he walks.  I seriously want to do a Flash Dance Montage of him stomping his little feet in the shoes, I die every time I think about it) and know I am loved.

“Up, up,” he says to me and cuddles on me now.

I became his person at Burning Man, no going back now.

I looked inward and saw I was at peace, content, serene.

The taking care of me part looks a lot like  doing the opposite of what I tell myself.

“You can’t afford that!”

I can’t afford not to.

So, yoga, here I come.

Trying, one day at a little time to do it different.

If my brain tells me no you can’t.

My action will be yes, yes, you can.

 

 

Time To Look For New Work

September 24, 2013

Oh, I am still a nanny.

That apparently, is going nowhere.

However, now that the big event in the desert is done for a few months, the hours will be cut back.  Plus, I am not doing the North Oakland nannying and suddenly, in two weeks I will go down to two and a half shifts a week.

That is not going to be enough.

So, time to find some new work, or some more work, or I don’t know a lottery ticket.

I don’t buy lottery tickets, though, so that last may not be the best way to secure income.

I find myself curiously unperturbed about the money, it will come, it always does.

I do find the thought of having to meet new families a little disheartening.

Can’t they all be Burning Man people?

The mom in Cole Valley committed to keeping me despite not even needing me much past October in the capacity that we are currently doing–Monday, Tuesday 8:45a.m-5:45p.m. and Wednesday as a half day, 8:45a.m. to about 1p.m or so.

I do have a share on Mondays and Tuesdays, so they are both higher paying days.

Leaving Thursday and Friday open.

If I tell another person I know who works at Burning Man that I would like to work there, come on, I am good a stuff man, I will kick myself.

I feel like I have been obsequious.

The work with my friend at the design firm is not happening and though I am loath to open up Craigslist, that may be the next step.

That and putting it out to the Universe.

“Hey God!  Where do you want me to work?”

“Louder, I can’t hear you!”

And please, make it lucrative, ok?

Thanks.

Shit.

I don’t believe that’s how it works, but sometimes I feel at such a complete loss.

I have had a lot of folks suggest things and careers to me.

“Teacher, you are a born teacher,” my friend said to me one Sunday night.

“OH my God, you are soooo good at massage, I would hire you in a heart beat, be a masseuse, please.”

“You should manage one of those start-up thingys,” more specific with that one please.

“What about being a copy writer or editor?”

I have looked into a lot of careers and had a lot of ideas about what I should be doing.

All I can manage to come up with is that I need to make more money.

At the rate I am going I won’t have my student loans paid off until I am 60.

I think, maybe a little earlier than that.

55.

Let alone have some of the things that I would like to have in my life.

A yoga practise would be nice.

Really nice.

There’s a good studio just blocks from the house.

A scooter.

A new dress.

Paying off Barnaby the money I owe him for the plane ticket.

A floor lamp for the studio.

I am not asking  a lot.

But self-sufficiency and solvency.

I would like those things.

I have never wanted.

Not really, there have been moments where it seemed daunting, where the next job was coming from, the next bag of groceries, the next rent check.

But they have always come, or something has happened to facilitate my care.

If you don’t want what you have, why would more make it better?

I want what I have.

As I sit at this table, loaned to me by a friend, typing away on my laptop, covered in Burning Man stickers, which has been my faithful steed for writing in San Francisco and Paris, travelled with me and blogged in London and Rome, I cannot count myself as a person who is not cared for.

Really, really well.

I am content with a simple life.

My quality of life, my inner quality, is so vast and rich and abundant.

I am not lacking for anything.

I am enough.

I do want to sustain myself though and continue to care for myself and my needs.

So, yeah, more work has to come in.

It can be different, I don’t have to be a nanny, but you know the fall line, that line down a snow-covered mountain that the snowball is going to roll down, that line seems to easily fall toward being a nanny.

“You would make a great doula!”

Or what ever that thing is.

I can’t figure it out.

You have some suggestions, peep me yo.

In the meantime I just look around at my sweet home, decorated with my pictures and postcards, photographs, and drawings, and I see that I am so in the spot.

Some smooth Barry White just came on the stereo.

“Playing your game baby, just you and me.”

Yes.

This is a game, isn’t it?

It’s not about what I have in the bank, it’s where I spend it and the realization that work is not the answer.

It is what I do when I am not working, although doing a good job at my job feels, well, good, duh.

It is this, my writing, in the morning, in the evening, aint’ we got fun?

It’s in the long walks down by the beach.

Or along the Seine when I was in Paris.

It is about taking out my camera and capturing just this moment here, right now.

The work will find me.

It usually finds those willing to do it, no?

The life has to be what I focus on as well.

No more so than now.

If I have spare time to spare, I do have work full-time this week and close to full time next week, then I am obligated, to myself, not you or another, to get out there and live my life that I have been given.

Especially here, in San Francisco.

How fucking fabulous.

I get to live here.

It’s the Paris of the United States.

And if I can’t live in Paris, France.

I happily, gleefully, gratefully live in San Francisco, CA.

Which has never, not in all my years, dropped me on my ass.

 

But, a yeah, you got a job, you know, let me, uh, hear about it, like.

Sunday Slow Down

September 23, 2013

I might as well call it “Sunday Full on Stop.”

What the hell has happened to me?

Where has all my get up and go gone to?

I think it took a nap.

Well, I took a nap anyhow.

Sunday in the Sunset.

A walk on the beach as the fog was clearing.

Clearing Fog

Fog Clearing

fog filter

Fog Filter

 

 

 

 

 

I will say that the walks have been lovely and a great excuse to get my camera out and for me to get out and see what there is to be seen in my new neighborhood.

The beach was quite pretty with the lifting fog pushing up and inland.  I walked a path toward the middle where the sunshine was beaming through and the water sparkled with it.

Froth

Froth

I could not restrain myself and I walked again in the tide.

The water is cold but for whatever reason when I am down there I am drawn toward the surf and I want to have my feet in it.

I am not sure I can imagine the rest of my body in it, it is startlingly cold.

When I was on swim team in high school we kept it, the temperature of the pool, around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.  Occasionally it was warmer around 72 degrees.

And never less than 68 degrees.

You could, or I could anyhow, really tell the difference in the temperature.

To this day I do not enjoy swimming in pools that are warmer than 72 degrees.

It feels off-putting and sweaty.

Yes, you do sweat when you swim hard.

And if the pool is warm, its gross.

Yet, I have not done cold water swimming and I would guess that the water I was wading through this afternoon was around 55 degrees.

That is considerably colder than I have swum in before.

I could do it with a wet suit, I think.

All to come I am sure.

I don’t see living down by the beach without getting into the waves at some point.

I have heard a lot of disparaging things about surfing at Ocean Beach.

That water is too cold.

There are sharks.

The undertow is fierce.

But I see people doing it.

Not a lot of people, granted, but they are out there doing it.

I am sure I will want to find out how to do it as well.

For the time being I am, however, more than happy to just get my toes wet in the surf and inhale sharply with exquisite surprise when the cold water slaps at my feet and the suck of the tide going out pools at my ankles.

It is an intense moment.

One smack dab in the present and no escaping it.

I walked the shore line for a while, then popped up to Lincoln Avenue and Great Highway and took in the windmill from the beach.

It, the windmill, is an institution.

A landmark.

A distinct way to mark the city parameters and a tool that I have used for direction on more than one occasion.

Yet, I have never seen it up close.

Never.

I moved to San Francisco in 2002, Labor Day weekend, and there are still things and places that I have not seen in this lovely city.

I was not going to go.

I thought, whatever, I live here now, I will surely see it at some point.

But then I thought, wait, I am here, I have nothing else planned for the day and why not, it’s just across the road.

Go.

Go I did.

It was not an overwhelming piece of architecture.

But it was cool to see it up close and to walk around it and to wonder what was it there for and was it ever open to be explored inside.  The grounds led me to no distinct conclusions, no signs, except the cement stencilled with Samuel Murphy Windmill est. 1905 over the door leading into the base of the mill.

Windmill

Windmill

You can check out more photographs of the windmill on my other blog devoted to photography: http://www.whereintheworldisauntiebubba.wordpress.com

I thought, as I was taking the photographs there are lots of places that I have not been to or seen in San Francisco.

Perhaps I should treat this great city like I treated going to Paris, going to as many of the sights and museums and parks as I can.

I am close to Sutro Baths, never checked them out, certainly something I could do in the next weekend or two.

I think I will be doing lots of exploring of the beach.

I am sinking into the relaxed way of being out here.

The afternoon lazed away after my walk into a late lunch on the patio in the sunshine with my library book.

Day two of sitting and reading a book!

In fact, I was so relaxed and warm and zoned out from sitting in the sun I actually came into the studio, and like a cat, curled up in the sunny spot at the base of my bed and fell into a light nap in the late afternoon sunshine.

One of my favorite things to do, sleep in a patch of sunshine.

Not something I have done in a while.

I fell asleep with his kiss on my mouth in memory and a smile on my face and a wish for a quick week, he’s busy working and I have a full nanny schedule, until I will get to see him again.

Waking up after a quick snooze I had another luscious meal on the patio.

Then a bike ride through the neighborhood at dusk and some time to get more invested in the community of my fellows out here in the Sunset.

I am quite liking this slow down, despite my protestations to the different, this new way of moving quietly through the world.

I like that I wore flip-flops almost all day long and got sand in my toes and sun on my face.

Sundays are supposed to be a day for rest anyhow.

Grateful to be in a place where I will allow myself to do just that.

 

 

 

Kiss And Tell?

September 22, 2013

I am not one to do that.

ER, um, well, maybe I will break my own little rule a teensy bit.

Sigh.

Yum.

Giggle.

Hehehehehe.

The braces are just fine.

And that’s all that I have to say.

I mean, I want to revel in it, but I don’t want to share it.

The more it means, the more it means I want to be circumspect.

Suffice to say I am not in a mood to do a lot of writing, but old habits, this habit, die-hard.

I had a nearly internet free day today and I was thinking it would be nice to go the entire day without having to  log onto my lap top that would be a nice thing.

Then I remembered, oh, yeah, that blog thing needs to happen.

Then I opened my blog and looked at the stats, I like to do that, and I was reading a blog a friend posted and then, it hit me, this is it.

This is my 1,000th post!

I had talked to my friends about doing a party.

I forgot.

And I got busy being busy moving in.

I showed the Mister my new place, which early in the day was described to me as looking like I have lived here forever.

“Look at you, all beachy and relaxed, and your place is perfect, you look like you have lived out here forever,” she finished poking her head out the back door and scanning the yard.

“It’s so peaceful!” She exclaimed.

It is.

I fell asleep last night with the door to the studio open, listening to the ocean.

Nothing else.

Just the ocean.

I am awed that I can open the door and hear the ocean.

It may become old hat, sometime further down the road, but it is still miraculous to me.

I may be a fiery Sagittarius woman, but there is something to the call of the sea that gets to me.

“You let me know when you are ready for that walk on the beach,” he said to me as we strolled up Judah back to the house.

We had made a quick pit stop for a late bite at Java Beach cafe.

It’s so nice that there is a late night spot in the neighborhood.

There was a thin skein of fog and smoke from a beach bonfire in the air, a group of guys in front of the cafe playing acoustic guitars and a couple out walking their dog.

It was such a California beach town scene, I just about clapped my hands out of pure enjoyment of witnessing it.

I do feel myself getting settled here.

I do feel the lure of the dunes and I walked around the neighborhood more today, taking 46th on foot to Noriega and discovering another little hamlet of cafes and surf shops and a little trendy boutique as well as another organic outpost of a market.

Loving this beach community that I have fallen so serendipitously into.

Then I walked down to the ocean and crossed the Great Highway and headed to the surf.

Standing in the dunes with my face to the wind and the sun, my head soothed by the balm of the noise of the surf, I felt so myself and perfect and there was not a worry to be had in a single part of my body.

I had plans to see the Mister in the evening.

I had my fix early in the afternoon with my ladybug at ye old Trouble Coffee Shop.

I had a scrumptious home-made lunch on the back patio in the sun.

I had a persimmon for dessert that made my whole body sing with pleasure (warm sliced persimmon with sea salt, cocoa, nutmeg, cinnamon) and a cup of Tahitian Vanilla Spice tea as well as a few chapters in a new book in the sunshine.

And then a long walk ending up on the high dune overlooking the sea and the clouds.

Dune

dune

I stood taking it in and decided, that yes, I did want to walk down to the surf.

I pulled off my flip-flops and meandered down the dunes, still damp from the rain that happened this morning, but had cleared off into the vision of the day before me.

I scanned the beach for sand dollars.

Finally locating not one, but three that were whole and unbroken.

Another small treasure to bring back to my home by the sea, of the sea, just for me.

I rinsed them off in the ocean tide and took just one of the three in my hand for my nightstand next to my bed.

A reminder that I am here, unbroken, loved, and taken gently in hand.

As I stood up from the tide I noticed the clouds and then, with an audible gasp, I noticed the reflection of the clouds on the thin skin of water that was the end result of the crashing waves on the shore, the last finger of water that stretched over the wet sand, making a mirror of the sky above it.

Mirror

Mirror

Reflections

Reflections

 

 

 

 

 

I fumbled for my camera and breathed in the fine salt mist as I squatted down to capture the shot.

I knew I looked like a tourist to the folks walking their dogs and I felt like a tourist for a moment until I realized that I had to go to the bathroom and I just had to walk back to the house.

Not many tourists can say that.

I laughed at my inside joke, gathered up my hem on my dress in my hand, pulling it up over my knees to climb back up the dune to the Great Highway.

I turned again and took in the vista, before closing my eyes and lifting my face back to the sun, searing the image of the water and the horizon on the inside of my heart.

Drifting back up the sidewalk I passed Java Beach and thought, I will have to have a cup of tea there soon.

I wasn’t expecting it to be tonight.

I was happy to have it.

The company as well.

The walk back to the house, the fog not so thick, but just there, the smell of wood smoke, the smell co-mingled with the wafer cookie vanilla musk of my companion, intoxicating.

The kiss more so.

The first kiss in my new home.

That is the party for my 1,000th blog.

I can think of no better.

A private party.

Just for me and a few thousand words.

And the flutter of butterfly wings in my chest.

 

Is It Time to Start

September 21, 2013

Dressing my age?

I thought tonight as I looked in the mirror.

No wonder he was flirting.

I look like a teenager.

Ok, let me take that back, no teenagers I know have grey hairs sprouting at their temples.

I was dressed like a teenager.

Bright electric blue eyeliner, hair down, long, curly, grey’s are not so noticeable when I wear my hair down (and they are not that abundant, I am just not used to seeing them on my head.  They started sprouting when I was in Paris right around the New Year), with two big flower clips in it, both purple, one that I covered in glitter glue and the other an iridescent blue/indigo/violet that shimmers underneath the light.

Add to that my striped blue teal, indigo, chocolate, and purple socks (which you can see as I had my blue jeans rolled up, biking you know) and my black Converse low tops and I look like a kid.

Toss in the purple messenger bag and the big hoop earrings with disco balls on them and well, I guess if I was a 27-year-old boy from Ukiah, I would be dazzled too.

I kept poking myself, he’s 27!

Leave him be.

But I could not help it.

Damn cuteness.

Flirting harmless.

I walked away and hopped on my bicycle and thought about dating men my age and what that means and wondered do I need to dress like someone my age?

Then I thought.

FUCK NO.

I am just going to dress like me.

Although I would like a pretty dress.

I am going to see the Mister tomorrow night and the thought of a pretty dress really did something for me.

I might scrape off the glitter nail polish too.

He’s a pretty sharp dresser, has to be for work, and I feel a little like a big kid around him, in my black Converse and blue jeans, messenger bag, and tattoos.

But, I don’t hear him complaining.

Never had.

This is just all conversation up in my head.

And I look what I look like and yes, I will probably be that crazy old lady with pink flourescent hair and a crinoline learning how to ride a skateboard at the age of 65.

I mean, why not?

I am having a good time.

Now, give me a whopping big clothing allowance and I am sure I would dress differently, not less colorfully, but differently.

There is a little longing to grow up, to be pursuing “adult” tastes, but I think that is just a way to cause myself unnecessary grief, a way to beat myself up and try to be happy by being conformist.

I am not a conformist.

Never have been.

Never will be.

“You look exactly how I thought people in San Francisco would look like,” my friend said to me after she had been living in the city for a while.

I was flattered.

I knew what she meant.

Because San Francisco is just not as whack-a-do as people think it is.

Oh, there are some colorful folks out there, a few leather daddies wearing it proudly in the Castro, maybe an art student or five getting creative with their clothes, but I see a lot of uniform in the city.

Mostly yoga pants and running shoes, Northface and Lululemon and Gap and clever tight-fitting leggings that make your ass look great, if you’ve been doing lunges all day long, not my type of thing though.

There’s a framed piece of art that I took out of the box yesterday with my things.

My sister made it and gave it to me many, many years ago.

The first time I saw it I was put off, that’s not me.

But the more I see it, the more I see that her estimation of me was correct.

It is a calligraphy that she did saying “Eccentricity is not just for rich old men.”

I thought, “I am not eccentric!”

I am though.

I belive that eccentricity has more to do with wearing your heart on your sleeve and not giving so much of a damn that I am a forty year old woman that wears irridescent flowers in her hair that she bought at a casino in Reno on the way to Burning Man.

Fuck, the world could use a little more of that if you ask me.

Here is an interesting list of eccentric characteristics (thanks Wikipedia):

According to one study, there are eighteen distinctive characteristics that differentiate a healthy eccentric person from a regular person or someone who has a mental illness (although some may not always apply). The first five are in most people regarded as eccentric:[6]

  • Nonconforming attitude
  • Idealistic
  • Intense curiosity
  • Happy obsession with a hobby or hobbies
  • Knew very early in their childhood that they were different from others
  • Highly intelligent
  • Opinionated and outspoken
  • Unusual living or eating habits
  • Sometimes not interested in the opinions or company of others
  • Strong moral obligations (against infidelity, strong family values, ultrareligious)
  • Mischievous sense of humor

Um, yeah, I could check a few of these off.

I don’t mind being different, I rather like it.

I have always felt a little different, sometimes to my deteriment and sometimes, most times and more often now than ever before, I like the differences.

I like that I have tattoos and glitter in my outfits.

I like that I wear bright colors and I like it that I sing out loud while walking the kids to the park, that I will happily dance down an avenue in Paris twirling my umbrella and signing a song from the Parapluies of Cherbourg (I mean, come on, when in Paris, right?).

I like that I am happy and let myself be silly.

I don’t need to dress my age, who cares a fig about age, aside from wanting knees that don’t feel like they’re arthirtic, which I don’t want to admit to, but man, the knees have been grinding on me, I dress in what makes me happiest.

And I believe that I need to do more of that, if anything.

Dress for happy.

Not for 40.

Dress for love.

Not for conformity.

Society.

Or to get a man.

Just for me, just because.

I want to.

Now, where’s that cute boy?


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