Archive for October, 2013

Turn Around

October 31, 2013

To come back home.

I find synchronicity interesting.

Devastating at times.

Seasonal senses on high alert, emotions, tied to the falling leaves that I scuffle through on the way to the park, the smell of burning smoke, the delicious burnt black singed scent of the  tops of pumpkins whose lids have been cradled too close to the licking flames of paraffin candles, the endless blue that caps the sky, reminding me of all the things I said goodbye to.

To say hello again.

I am back home.

In a new home.

With a heart that still aches and wonders what happened and how and why, but why, well, I could spend my whole life trying to figure out why and then what a shame, no?

To lay upon death’s door and realize that the whys and the whereofs do not matter.

To have wasted precious time sequestering myself away to attempt to ferret out meaning, when it is of no consequence.

In a hundred years will my name be on any lips?

May I never live to live for that.

“Your blogs make me cry,” he said to me.

They make me cry too, sometimes, or that feeling, that elixir of emotions that bubbles up inside me that makes me notice, almost relentlessly so, those things that are magic in my life.

I was walking the boys to the park today, oh my boys, my darling boys, and a mom and her daughter were asking directions at the head of the Golden Gate Park area at the bottom of Haight Street.

She was looking for the Koret Children’s Area.

“Follow me,” I said, “I am heading that way.”

The girl, four, five, long brown curly hair, spirals of chestnut-brown nicked with golden blonde highlights, danced around her mother’s legs and peered out at me now and again with a shy smile and inquisitive eyes.

She wore purple tights with pink polka dots.

I showed them the way and we parted just past the bridge that runs under Lincoln Avenue.

The frame of the arch spanning over the mother and daughter, the playground with its turrets of towers in the back round, the skittering of leaves, and the squirrel that ducked and leapt across the pathway made my heart just stop.

Whallop!

My heart boomed, and without meaning to, without thinking, I said, “Oh God, I want one of those.”

The little girl with the long brown hair clinging to her mother’s hand as she bent over and pushed the hair from her childs face.

Hormones?

Maybe.

I am 40, there are those that suggest I could have a biological clock happening, there is that.

I don’t argue, I don’t agree or disagree, I am just stating the facts.

It was like being bowled over.

Then I thought, is it me, do I just want to be that little girl, do I still have a clamouring for polka dots and pink and sashes and mary janes, carousel rides, furry collars on coats, Paige boy bangs on a haircut, woolen tights, and pigtails, slides, and bubbles and princess trappings and dreams.

Who knows.

I am just here reporting what happened.

It did give me pause though.

There was no having baby, family, or relationships in Paris.

Despite the fantasy that just that would happen.

Oh, come now, like you didn’t see that happening?

Well, you could always get married to a Frenchman and get your papers that way.

Sure.

But I seemed to have come full circle, back to these places and faces and friends and lovers that I wonder, what did I miss that first go round.

Here is this person and that person and here are what our relationships looked like when I was leaving for Paris: the friend, the lover, the Mister.

Now, could I roll them all up into one, I would have the perfect person.

But there is no perfect person and I am no perfect person.

Perfectly fine with that, at least for the moment, who knows what five minutes from now will look like, but let’s not quite go there yet, shall we?

My sensitive dear friend who would stop by the bicycle shop and ask me about my plans for Paris, my lover who I wondered, what if, but hey, don’t go there heart, you are leaving, the Mister who was dressed in love’s trappings, but did not seem to have the sensitive life inquisitiveness that I was desiring, just all the romantic accoutrement of courting at his fingers, nor the passion and ardor I had with the lover.

Six months of distance.

Six months of interactions with all of them.

Some more than others.

Some in surprising tender ways that still cause me pause.

Of course, my filter is slanted, it is all me, it is all one-sided.

I never asked what I could bring, was I more than a pretty face driving away in a convertible.

“You look hot driving my car,” the Mister texted me after I pulled away in his black convertible he was loaning me for the week before I flew off to the land of Once upon a time and far, far away.

I never asked my lover what he wanted, I was too scared to say what I wanted.

“Use your words,” he said to me with a smile, rosy, blown open, skin flush with desire.

I never asked my friend what was it about my writing that made you cry?

What service did I bring?

What lesson am I back here again learning as I re-engage with each one of them.

Some who have traded places the lover to friend the friend to lover?

The leaves today, crisp under my heels, the sun-bright on my cheeks.

I went to the farmers market as the afternoon was winding down and the baby snuggled to my chest was consistently confused as mine and for the first time in some time I didn’t correct those folks who made the assumption that the child was mine.

No, he is just on loan, but I am here, too, repeating this relationship, the nanny.

“You will keep having the same relationships until you learn what you need to learn,” she said to me over cafe cremes in the upstairs loft of the Lizard Lounge in the Marais.

I am willing to learn and I am willing to not shut the door on this past year, I am too, a little misty eyed to think of myself at this time last year, one night away from my last tryst with the lover, the last date with the Mister, the last hug with my friend.

Fly, I think to that brave girl, fly little girl, go find yourself.

Woman returned.

I turned around and found that I am grown.

Girl no more.

Woman.

Soft roar.

Strong walk.

Tender heart.

The child has been subsumed and the woman emerges.

From the hollowed hearts of persimmons and the capped lids of pumpkins.

Turned out topsy-turvy into another new moment.

At the edge of the world.

The foot of the ocean.

I find myself.

And stand anew.

 

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Duck, Duck, Duck

October 30, 2013

Flamingo.

He said with a coy little look.

Oh my god, my little boy made his first joke with me.

I just about died.

It actually topped his new favorite word for me, which when told that he combined two of his father’s favorite foods into one delicious noun: “cheesebutter,” over the weekend when his papa was cooking dinner.

Yeah, baby, put some cheesebutter on that please.

In the back yard of the house in Cole Valley there is a lovely little swath of grass, a couple of Meyer lemon trees, a deck that rises over the yard and a large rattan couch and chair with assorted outdoor pillows and cushions.

When the weather is nice my guy and I will sit on the back porch and I will point out things to him.

“Lemon tree.”

“Grass.”

“Jasmine.”

“Raspberry plant.”

“Clover.”

And he will point out things to me.

“Duck.”

“No, sweetie, that’s a flamingo,” I say pointing to the pink plastic bird abandoned in the back yard, an odd gift from a visiting friend, because, you know, everyone needs a pink flamingo in their yard, right?

“Duck,” he says again very adamant, very serious, “duck.”

“Flamingo.”

“Duck.”

“Fla-ming-go.” I will say, drawing out the word long, sounding it out for his ears.

“Duck, duck, duck,” he says, giggling and saying the word as fast as his little 18 month old mouth can make up the words.

“Goose!” I throw in for a twist.

He laughs, I laugh, and then he says, of course, to get in the last word, “duck!”

And there it is.

The gist of many my afternoon’s of conversation.

That ain’t too bad when you think about it.

I don’t have anyone breathing down my neck to get a report done, I don’t have an employee calling sick with “stomach flu” or even better, “food poisoning,” I don’t have a boss monitoring me all the time.

Although I am on nanny cam.

I don’t know how often that it is monitored, but it’s there.

They basically have security cameras in all the rooms.

I would too if I lived in their house, it’s a nice house, they have nice things.

But occasionally I know that mom will slip in an observation and say something about my routine or make a comment and I know pretty much that there was some camera watching going on.

However, I don’t believe that they really spend a lot of time monitoring me.

I feel quite trusted and cared for.

Mom makes sure the tea drawer is stocked with teas I like and she has drawn up a contract basically putting me on salary to assure that I am not losing money if she happens to come back early from yoga class or acupuncture or work.

She actually had to work at the office today and wouldn’t it be the same day that I forgot to set my alarm.

It happens every once in a great while and though it did not throw me into a panic (I still made my bed, had breakfast, washed, dressed, read my daily readings, and addressed the powers that be to guide my day) I still was on a hustle to make sure that I got to work on time.

14 minutes.

14.

Door to door.

Up hill.

Well, the hill isn’t all that steep, but it is a grind and my legs know it and to push a little harder this morning to make sure that I got there on time, so that mom could leave on time, was important.

I popped a sweat three blocks earlier than I normally do.

I got my cardio today, I did, I did.

I got to work with five minutes to spare and wiped my brow down and drank half a liter of water out of my Sigg bottle.

I put the bike in the garage, locked it up, and headed up the stairs to the kitchen.

Where my guy was busy putting on his morning oatmeal mask.

He knows how to use a spoon, but usually what that entails is scooping up the oatmeal and then grabbing it off the spoon with his other hand and shoving that into his mouth.

Or eyebrows, or ears.

I find oatmeal on him for hours later.

I always tell him to really enjoy this time, oatmeal masks in the morning, two naps, being pushed around in a stroller, sung to, massaged, held, cuddled, I could go on, he’s living the life, basically.

The mom tells me that she took him in for his 18 month check up and the doctor was blown away by his vocabulary.

He’s a verbal boy, not all boys are.

But he’s got a super smart mom and dad, mom’s got a doctorate, dad’s an engineer, he’s not from stupid folks.

And then there’s me.

I know that the kids I take care of are a head of the curve partially because of me too.

I teach them.

I read to them.

I talk to them like they are people.

I tell stories.

We dance.

I mean, learning is no task, it is fun, when did it become a challenge for me to learn something new?  How young was I when I was informed that I should be careful and hold back and not leap?

Too young.

Anyway, I digress.

The mom related the story of how over the weekend he finally said flamingo.

He would not perform, he would not say the word for me, but he did slip out a sly little quiet “duck,” and I saw a glint in his eye, underneath all the oatmeal.

And two and a half hours later when I was changing his diaper in the nursery we were talking, farm animals, you know, what they sound like and all, “what does a dog say?”

“Woof.”

“What does a cow say?”

“Moo.”

“What does a kitty say?”

“Meow.”

“What does a duck say?”

“Flamingo!”

What?

Oh my god.

I almost dropped the diaper.

I grabbed his toes and said, “what does a duck say?”

He giggled.

“Quack.”

I just about died.

“Flamingo,” I said, waiting.

“Duck!”

“Flamingo!”

It was awesome, made my day, and my day was a long busy, baby juggling kind of day.

But every once in a while he would slip in a “flamingo” and I would laugh.

My boss has a great sense of humour.

The moral of the story is not that there is a silver lining in every cloud.

But there may be a flamingo.

I like All The Bunnies

October 29, 2013

He said chuckling over the pair that are making out on the back of my toilet in the bathroom.

One of my favorite tchokes that I have which I purchased for 8 Euros in Paris at a flea market outside of Pere LaChaise in May of 2009.

I have another couple of bunnies in the mix.

One is a pink glitter bunny that I got at a shop on Polk Street one year for Christmas and when it was time to take down the tree I couldn’t bare to put it in its tissue paper and sequester it in my Christmas box.

Which some of you may be amused to know is a peppermint candy box from the Angelic Brewing Company.

Man that box has seen a few places.

Another bunny is one that I bought at Scout in North Oakland, when there was still a store called Scout next to Bake Sale Betty’s, it is actually a jack-a-lope and multipurpose, it serves as a piggy bank.

Despite me not putting any money in it.

Another bunny, is a squat white marshmallow that looks a little like a Japanese anime cartoon–that, if you ever break into my studio and need parking meter money–is the one with the pennies and nickels and dimes saved for a rainy day artist day treat.

I fill it up and when it’s full I go and turn it in and whatever is left is play money.

The last bunny is also from Paris, I got it at a store in the Marais and it is bright fushcia and I write little notes and prayers on it.

I call it my God box.

I think about Richard Adams and Watership Down, the mythologies he writes about, the stories the rabbits tell each other and how God is a rabbit.

I rather like that.

My God is a little bit bigger than a bunny, but that’s about all I can tell you about that.

Sometimes I react like a bunny and bolt.

Today I just sat through the day.

It was a rough one, the baby was sick, threw up everywhere, in the crib, all over the bedding, in my hand, I caught round two in a cloth diaper that I managed to thrust under his little mouth.

Ugh.

Last week the dance of diarrhea in the jumper.

This week, the puke.

Oh well.

That’s what happens.

You know the rest.

But as I rode my bicycle home tonight down Irving, past the fish markets, the Vietnamese restaurants, the people double parking by Andronicos, and the rally of cars and people looking for parking, it flashed through my head, “God, I love my life.”

This is utterly true.

I can get into the future and I can cram so much into so little that I don’t take the time to be in the present, but being on my bicycle, it’s hard to check out of the present moment.

Really hard.

I run the risk of getting schmucked by someone not using their turn signal and whipping a u-turn in front of me to get parking.

But it was there.

And that thought is there more often than not.

I realized a little something yesterday too, that acceptance for me takes time, and I have been on a whirl wind of a year.

Looking back one year ago, the 28th of October, I was three days away from the grand Paris Experiment.

How far I have come.

To land in the Outer Sunset where the gale winds banged and boomed and the surf roared as it crashed upon the shore last night as I fell asleep, head full of silly sauce and some relief for having written out my continually struggles with my own understanding of my nature.  I was snuggled into my comforter and I really did feel safe and taken care of.

Grateful too.

My head wanted to get busy filling in the empty spots in my weekend, but I resolutely have held out, thinking on and off of my friends words yesterday and my own comprehension and slow acceptance of how I have to change if I expect change to happen.

So, Sunday, yes, this Sunday.

You know what I am doing?

Me either!

I have not put one thing on the day.

No trying to cram eighteen new hobbies into the day or writing a graphic novel in a night, not going to re-edit my entire first manuscript or try to improve myself in any way.

I am just going to let the day happen.

Maybe I will go surfing.

Maybe I will go swimming.

Maybe I won’t.

I am just not going to book it up.

I am going to give myself space to be with people.

Whether it is friends or fellows.

Just holding some space open for the Universe too, to surprise me with.

I have no plans except to not plan it.

I want to.

Oh, yes I do.

But I am giving this up, surrendering to the acceptable idea that I don’t know how best to fill my time.

I don’t.

I am also not going to panic like a bunny and bolt at the first thing that lands on my lap.  Maybe I will try saying, “let me get back to you.”

I have already booked up Friday and some of Saturday, although there’s a big gaping hole in the middle of Saturday afternoon, perhaps a trip to Flax, pick up myself that new notebook that I am itching for, and some, uh, yes, some stickers.

I like ’em, go to hell.

Because the one bunny I don’t want to be is the rabbit that is in front of the grey hounds.

The one that never stops, never rests, relentless circles in the air, a striving for some unknown perfection and speed that can never be reached.

At least not safely, in my experience.

When I go as fast as I want to, I get in trouble.

Just show up, have fun, no expectations, for myself, what the week will bring, or how I “should” fill it.

“I’m late, I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date,” said the white rabbit to Alice.

Nothing, truly nothing, is on my schedule.

I am not late.

I am perfectly on time.

With myself, this experience, and you.

Yes.

Long, Slow, WINDY

October 28, 2013

Night of the soul.

His words rang in my head the whole bicycle ride home, they had been ringing in my head since he said them.

Leaky tears on the corners of my eyes.

Relief.

Given time and given silence.

The truth of my situation comes out.

What happens when I open myself up.

First to those I have to, a kind of unwilling willingness to change because I can’t do it on my own and my heart is breaking and my mind is falling apart and I have thequickbrownfoxjumpsoverthelazydog running on repeat in my head.

Or I am screaming in my head.

STOP IT

STOP IT

STOP IT

The IT was stopped and thus begins this long slow unwinding of self, layers of bandages, sheaf’s of skin, wounds open to the air, a desperate desire to cloth myself in the savvy filling of all my days so that there is not time to stop.

No time to breathe.

Fortunate for my ego, my friend ducked into a corner store to grab a bottle of Pelligrino and say hi to the shop keeper who had just re-opened his store after a bad fire last year at Valencia Street and Duboce.

The tears siphoned down my face.

I don’t want to be right.

And as it turns out I don’t want to be happy either.

Surprise.

I want to be safe.

In some cocoon of white bunny fur, with my eyes closed and soft sunlight creamy on my face.

Sounds like some heroin, or is that just me?

I want to not hurt so badly from the hurt that I have put up with since forever that I am ready to cocoon myself away in the busy.

The busy of writing and taking on more projects.

MORE.

(Side bar–I am re-thinking very seriously the Nano Wrimo thing, aside from the fact that the acronym bugs the fuck out of me, I don’t want to be told how to write my next book.  I don’t want to write on my laptop, I want to write long hand in a notebook and so I will go get myself a new one tomorrow, I tried today, but the day, she escaped with me and that was blown by the wind elsewhere as well–I already have a fucking discipline for hells sake, I don’t need to beat myself into having another.)

The busy of trying new things.

“Oh, yeah, well, I am just going to do some cold water open ocean swimming next week, I need a warm swim cap,” I said to my friend as we cruised the aisles at Sports Basement.

I did my best to not pay attention to his incredulous look.

Or in the act of purchasing the damn thing that I got so overwrought with impatience that I almost chucked the fucking cap in a bin and dashed out the store.

“Stay here, it’s not that long a line,” he said, “what is up with this?”

ARGHHHH.

Running away from myself, the intimacy of being with people.

And running right the way to it as well.

Cram, cram, cramming as much as I can into my schedule.

The irony of it all is that I spent a lot of the day thinking about the principle behind the joy of living.

I was not living joyously.

I don’t let myself do that so well.

I could be wrong, but I recall every crossroad, and the paths that we laid, I hope you’re happy at the end of the day, I hope that you’re happy today.

I realized that I have been so busy, literally figuratively, that I have not let myself just accept things they way there are in their own spectacular way.

“It’s written all over your face, all over your actions, in what you do and how you say it, you….”

“I,” I said interrupting him as the light dawned bright, a shaft of sun out of the West, the sun saying, good-bye the fog is coming, the wind is on its way to clear out the cobwebs of your soul and old habits.

“I don’t want to be in a relationship,” I finished for him.

Although I desperately want to.

But my actions, oh, don’t they say so much more than my words as I try to be so involved in projects and things and stuff that I have left no room for anyone else.

I am so afraid of intimacy and being hurt that I build up this wall of stuff to keep you out.

Out I say.

Out damn spot.

Out.

Stay the fuck out of my heart.

Yet, I bleed, here on my screen, all over my friends, as they put up with my epiphanies and attempt to give me perspective, on my family, on the men I date, or pretend that I am available to date.

“What’s wrong with right now,” my friend said to me a few months back as we sat in the yellow gold sunlight flashing through the high trees in South Park.

What is wrong with right now?

What is in next week that is going to change the way I feel or how I think.

God knows I have tried.

I am so scared of being afraid of fear.

Does that make any sense?

I am so used to being by myself that despite the fact that intellectually I think I would be better off with a partner, I isolate myself to protect my little habits and needs.

What would happen if I let enough time in to let you in?

I am going to stop booking myself out so far into the future.

I am going to let myself have time.

I am going to let myself accept that there is no better me.

There is no better place.

There is no better body.

There is no better love than what resides right here, right now.

There is nowhere to go.

I am right here.

I accept this flawed human.

Me.

I do not need to move on.

I can stay.

Let the wind in, blow out my soul.

Slough away my sighs.

Open me up.

Again.

Oh, damn it.

Once again.

 

Open The Door To Your Heart

October 26, 2013

To slam it shut again.

I just had something happen that made me realize that no matter how much work I have done and how “good” I understand my own peculiar mental twists and traits, that sometimes instinct, ie fear, takes over, and I turn the other cheek.

I am an idiot.

If I think what just happened was happening and it was, then I got scared and like a bunny dashed off into the night.

How I want something to happen and when it does I flee.

Instinct.

Habit.

Fear.

Working through it again and again and again.

If I could go back I would.

Instead I sent an inept text after shooting a question out into space.

“Please remove my fear and direct my attention to what you would have me do and be?”

If you weren’t afraid what would you do.

I would send the stupid text.

Which was worded poorly, but my ears and my head and I can’t say my heart, my heart knew exactly what was happening, but I was a fool instead.

My head gets carried away.

It believes my heart still needs some saving.

You know, for a fucking rainy day or something.

Get out there, get wet, get in the water.

You might be tumbled upside down for a full minute, but you will pop back up, into the air and sunlight and realize that you were drowning in two and a half feet of water.

That you can always put your feet down on the bottom, it hasn’t fallen out from underneath you, the panic will pass.

The panic is passing.

Both that I did something wrong and did not do the “right” thing as well.

Oh, I know, you all are being very coy here, she’s says to herself.

I was out with a friend having a marvelous day, a surprise day, in a way, I had other plans, plans that I very much was looking forward to and had cancelled on other things to have the time to do it.

But as happens, things change, and my dress shopping with my best girl went out the window and I was suddenly up in arms, but it was so beautiful out and my other friend is at the beach and go, you live out there, see if you can connect.

And we did.

Tea on the terrace, as I like to say.

Talk, tender, funny, sweet, goofy.

Joking about starting another blog because I just don’t have enough time on my hands.

Standing on the back porch to my house I suddenly looked in his eyes and I thought, he’s going to kiss me.

My whole brain went frizzle and my heart sped up, his eyes so blue.

Had I ever noticed how blue his eyes are?

Good Lord.

Then I said something asinine and even while I was saying it, I was thinking, stop it, what are you doing, don’t you want this?

I do.

I mean I am not shitting on any friendship I have by romantically pursuing it.

That is a great fear of mine, fall for friend, possess feelings, oh tender feeling, feelings you damn idiot, grr, and then have them not reciprocated.

I actually asked this friend out years ago, but he said, no, actually, he said yes, then said no after some thought, and stated he wanted to just be friends.

And I was way cool with that.

I adore him.

Grateful to not have lost a friend over an infatuation.

But there it was that moment on the porch.

Did I misread that?

We hung out, got dinner, Thai Cottage, so good.

Saw my housemate and her amazing daughter all dressed up for a Halloween surprise and I decided to go do a Dharma talk and a meditation with my friend who was meeting up with another friend there.

Who I happened to randomly know.

Funny how small the world is.

I actually saw a few folks that I used to know.

And the meditation, a half hour, actually felt like it went by so fast, I could have sat for another stretch and was longing for it, but the talk was good too, so I am not remiss at having missed anything.

Although, I have to say the way my brain just tried to eat itself after having such an endearing space presented to me was powerful to witness.

Feelings.

Whoa man.

I got to that secret sauce, special, warm fuzzy space.

“It sounds like snuggling a bunny,” my friend said to me when I described it.

And it rather is.

I was also able to have some tears drift down my face as I sat in the chair between the meditation and the talk, tears I could not pinpoint directly what they were about, something my new/old acquaintance said about my time in Paris and there they were.

Tears, bright shiny and new.

I recalled that struggling to hold off the tears would only stifle and prolong the pain, so after a brief struggle, that I walked through, the tears, slid down my face, along my chin, down my neck and into the little bowl of my clavicle.

A necklace of tears.

The only true jewels I have.

The pain sloughs away and left me bright, softened, and vulnerable.

Apparently too vulnerable though as I turned away in the car.

I did not mean to.

Damn it.

Compassion.

Have compassion right now, for myself, for the asinine way I was raised and learned and grew, have compassion, for your bright beating heart that gallops so hard to be open and free and so hard to not be alone.

Yet turns, unconsciously at that last-minute, the kiss falling on my cheek, and not where I think the intention was.

I don’t even want to be writing this, but it is my way of making sense.

“I am going to kiss you now,” he said to me.

He said that.

It was like a delayed noise in my head, I thought, what, no you’re not, you’re lying, you don’t want to kiss me, you mean, like a friend, right, like, here’s a nice hug and kiss.

No.

I think what he meant was “I am going to kiss you now,” and kiss me romantically.

A friend does not tell you that they are going to kiss you, they just do.

I turned away and my whole body is lit with wretchedness.

Practice, now, in this moment, being patient with yourself, doll, you are learning.

Ease into the feelings.

Shit.

I guess it’s best that I went to a Dharma talk.

And funny too.

Can I pull myself in and up, like I would one of my little charges, hug myself and say, “hey, you’re ok, there just feelings, have them, they will change,” and then turn my face to the sound of the ocean crescendo and let it lullaby me in my heart.

Maybe he will want to kiss me again.

Maybe the text I sent was not as stupid as I thought, texting.

I should have just called him on my phone and said, turn around, kiss me, I won’t turn away.

Can we try that again?

Please.

Kiss me.

 

And Then There Was This Little Thing

October 25, 2013

Called writing.

Man.

It just keeps coming back and I keep checking in with it and yup, fuck me, I am still a writer.  I didn’t suddenly become a tax accountant overnight, or a lawyer, or a pediatrician.

Ha.

A grateful writer, a, shall I be generous with myself, a prolific writer.

Shall I be honest?

A decent writer.

Maybe good at times, in moments, there are places and spaces I shine.

I have gone back and reread something and thought, you know, that’s not too bad.

And I am not looking for a compliment, nope, I am just thinking out loud here as I got a chance to write two other times today, yup, getting into the practise of when that will be a regular occurence with me, writing three times  a day–the morning pages in the morning, the new novel in the late afternoon, the blog when the day is through.

A habit I established in Paris, but I was not working full-time hours and making the time seemed crucial and death-defying and terrifying, like, listen here, bitch, you came all this way to sit in cafes and write, you better do it now.

NOW.

Scary, putting that kind of pressure on myself.

Oh, a little delicious too when I think that I basically gave myself a six month experience and now have a fodder of journals and notebooks, notecards, postcards, and letters to refer to, not to mention thousands of photographs, to look back on to pull from to write my next novel.

The days are ticking down and I am really going to give it my all to write this novel.

Fiction.

I still cannot believe that I am going to be writing fiction.

I think it will actually be really good practise for me as I plan on revising my memoir so that it reads more fiction and less me, I haven’t thought of that character as me in so long that what I need to do is separate myself even further from it and let it all out.

Not be afraid to get really crazy with it.

The really crazy is right there for me to run with.

I await my friends edits and look forward to re-working it.

And of course, doing this new piece.

Which, uh, sigh, I have decided to write on my lap top.

I will be hauling this baby around with me to do the work.

After more research on the nano.wrimo website (which, fyi, is shite, really people it is not a comprehensively useful tool for me, I have already spent too much time trying to navigate through it, redesign that sucker, please) I need to be able to upload the work to their site.

Not that I couldn’t take the damn challenge and just write it in a notebook.

But when playing baseball you don’t use a softball, I am going to try to use the site the way it was, poorly, designed and upload my novel from my computer to the website.

I will be better able to track my word count and that seems to be a big part of the challenge.

I have already had the thoughts, which I know better than to believe, that I won’t have enough words.

Jesus fuck.

I have the words.

Whether or not they are great words is not even debatable.

They won’t be great words.

The book will be a rough draft, not a polished, edited, publishable piece.

The point will be to sit down and do the writing, which, when it is boiled down to it, is the most challenging thing.

I keep going back to this idea that I heard from an old room-mate who was a musician that a master musician is not necessarily the person with the most talent, but the person who has put in the most time on their instrument.

He said that it was generally acknowledged a master was someone who had spent about 50,000 hours with their instrument.

Now, I don’t know exactly how many hours I have spent writing over my life time, but I can say, that I have written daily now for five years.

Twice daily now for four years.

That is nothing to sneeze at.

I keep doing this and eventually something masterful will come out from it.

Like it already has, the experience, the joy, just the great leaping unknown of sitting down in front of the blank screen and wondering what am I doing here again and what am I going to say and then, there it is.

In no particular order.

In no particular way.

Love.

Writing.

Life.

Me.

Words that define me, outline, enliven me, connect me with my humanity and desire to be a better person in this world, to live a better life, to be remarkable, remarkably me.

I sound like a god damn pansy ass, but fuck you, I don’t care.

The marvellous life that I have been granted just because I consistently set aside time for myself to put pen to paper or words to screen, I cannot deny myself that.

You don’t have to read this.

Although you might miss out when I talk about sex.

Ha.

Now, when I am sitting here writing, I am not also forgetting that there is other life to be lived, I mean, I got to get back into that water, I have the wet suit, I do.

Booties soon, by the weekend I believe, I will be running back over to Sports Basement, they were having a sale and fingers crossed, the booties will still be there in my size.

After that, more surfing please.

That’s the other great thing about doing the writing, any time I think, nah, let’s just watch a video, there’s a little voice in my head, sometimes in my gut, and often in my heart that says, yeah, that could be nice, but what are you going to write about then?

Sometimes it happens anyhow, but I do strive to do things and go places, partially, I completely admit, to have fodder for the word machine.

So too, do I read.

Then, too, it is such a pleasure.

I found myself actually turning in early last night.

I took a long, hot shower, did the hair, my god it was big this morning, going to bed with even a little damp hair can be risky, and got underneath the comforter with a book.

Unfortunately it was ass, but it was a gift and I wanted to give it a go.

I read through a few pages and blew a raspberry at it, I put it down and picked up the Eugenides I am also currently reading.

Read and write and work and write and sleep and write.

And get laid.

Please God.

And get a boyfriend and go surfing.

Do that recovery thing, but that’s second nature, don’t even have to think about scheduling that, it’s sort of like brushing my teeth, just do it every day.

And then read and write.

And write some more.

Go buy another notebook, fix the fan on your laptop and gird the loins.

November Novel Writing Month I will see you next week.

I Don’t Know Where I Am Going

October 24, 2013

But it smells like sea salt and wood smoke.

I blew a stop sign with tears in my eyes from the wind and the fog rushing past my face, the lights around me haloed in the glimmer of headlights and my heart soared just in front of me, clearing the space for my body to follow.

Flying on my bicycle to the beach.

It is cold outside.

I was bundled up, long sleeves, sweatshirt, jean jacket, fingerless gloves.

But it was exhilarating coming home from the Inner Sunset, the smell in the air reminding me that the cold weather is not just coming, it is here.

It seems a little early, but that could just be me, or it could be that it gets cold here, at the edge of the world, faster, then it did when I was in the Mission District.

The fog has laid claim to my neighborhood and the wind has a bite to it, not a teasing nip, a bite.

It’s not a mean bite yet, but I sense that I am going to be bundling up differently to ride around here when the rainy season hits.

Something that should be addressed soon, the coming November rains.

November is like, uh, next fucking week.

This month is zooming by and no, I don’t know what I am going to be for Halloween.

Probably nothing.

I am not a huge fan of Halloween.

The jackassery wears me out.

Oh, I like to dress up, really, did you see me today?

Flower in the hair, glitter on the nails, sparkle in the leggings, lip gloss, pig tails.

I looked like a juvenile delinquent.

I am a juvenile delinquent, with a few grey hairs sneaking in there.

But I don’t have plans to go do anything.

It falls on a Thursday, which means I will be taking my little girl charge to music class in the Haight and I may dress her up, but myself?

Nah.

Unless I throw on my crinoline just for fun.

I could do that.

Hell, I wear my crinoline any time I feel like I need some fun in the routine.

For it is becoming a routine, slow, sure, steady.

I am finding my way about the work and the neighborhood and the recovery needs are being met and I am seeing how the bicycle is good for getting me to and fro.

I am finding times that work for bedtime and writing time and going to the job time.

I was thinking this morning that I may implement an extra fifteen minutes into my schedule into the day at the beginning by getting up at 6:45a.m. instead of 7a.m. on Mondays, Tuesday, and Wednesdays–to do more of my morning writing.

Thinking about it does not mean that I will, I just found myself with a few extra minutes this morning and really like the pace that I had to do my writing.

Plus, I was thinking of an article a friend had sent me about a person who for the last 13 years has been spending three hours a day doing daily writing.

On top of what sounded like full-time work and raising two kids.

I don’t have the two kids, unless you count the nannying, but I do have the full-time work and I get in about an hour an a half to two hours every day.

I type quite fast.

And I write quite fast.

Some practise at doing both and I can knock out the work far quicker than one would think.

I am not quite up to speed with my fingers finding the keyboard as fast as my thoughts come, but I am not far off.

I can hear the words and there is a pause between the word in my head and the word on the screen, but it is not much and it certainly is not as long as it used to be.

The same for the hand writing, which actually is faster than the typing.

Or perhaps my brain is a little slower in the morning when I am doing the pages.

Regardless, I do the writing and I do the work and it will one day pay off.

It already has in amazing ways.

I feel like people know of me and about me and I am able to share my experiences with a world that I cherish.

I like that my friends have tabs on me.

I like that folks I bump into randomly at 5th and Irving know that I have gone surfing recently and just got a wetsuit.

I find it a way to keep me accountable and not isolated.

Although it is not an excuse to not see my friends.

I like to talk to people face to face and engage that way too.

Much better than reading about it on Facecrack or whatever other social medium you use.

I like that I get information from very diffuse places and people.

I have a lot of odd connections out there to a lot of different kinds of folks from my family to my friends to people I have met at Burning Man, I like the breadth of my community.

But I also like sitting down with a friend and despite being flattered about someone reading about my day on my blog, I would like to see them as well.

I get to see Joanie this Friday and another old friend is coming into town on Sunday and we are grabbing coffee, I haven’t seen her in years, it will be good to catch up.

And I can tell them about the sea and the way it smells at night.

How yes, I look so young and dewy fresh, but it’s just the fog condensation on my cheeks not a new product from MAC.

I don’t know where I am going, I say to myself, but I do know I am going to be writing about it, wherever it is.

Today, it is a room down by the beach lit with candles and filled with music and notebooks and songs in my head.

A wetsuit waits in the closet.

A book waits to be read.

A tea-pot to be filled.

I don’t know how it all works out, but it does.

And I guarantee that the words, despite myself, will continue to come.

Because I don’t know where they are going either.

Just that they are always there for me.

Like the smell of the sea and the soft shrine of smoke adrift in my heart as I sail down the dark streets on my trusty sparkling stead heading off into the Sunset.

I Let You Stick Your

October 23, 2013

Dick in my_______?

Fill in the blank.

I mean, use your own imagination as I am already going way too graphic to start the blog, and sex, though a topic I skate around, is not one that I go into details.

Some things are best left in the bedroom.

Or the kitchen.

Or.

Well, what ever room you prefer.

I ran into an ex today after work, I almost did not recognize him, and that was the first thought I had, “I really let you….”

Ahem.

I don’t apologize for my brain, that’s the way it goes, I just do the reporting.

We caught up for a few minutes.

He has not done much.

I have done a fuck load of things.

Just to break down the basic gist of things, in no particular order since I dated him I uh, moved to Paris for six months, went to Burning Man a few times, rode the AidsLife Cycle ride from San Francisco to LA, went to London and Rome, moved around a few places in the city, took French classes, wrote a lot of blogs, finished a book, learned how I prefer to eat persimmons, got a few tattoos, and made a bag load of friends and acquaintances around the world.

“You know, same old, same old, still living in San Bruno, working for Cisco, keeping out of trouble,” he said eyes torn between my messy fog hair and my cleavage.

Stop staring dude.

Most of the time when I run into someone I used to date or sleep with there is no awkwardness.

There are only two men in San Francisco that I run into that are a little uncomfortable and awkward and I wonder who side it is on, mine or theirs, but it is there.

The one thing that the two have in common, aside from they both slept with me, is that they both slept with me around the same time.

“How’s Shadrach’s mom,” he said, “do you still spend Christmas with his family?”

He remembered.

“I haven’t in a while, but I am still in contact with his family, spoke with his mom fairly recently, she’s retired from teaching, his brother has a two boys now, his dad’s good,” I paused.

“Memory like an elephant,” he said, “nothing escaping this.”

I shivered.

REALLY?

I slept with you.

Nothing physically unattractive, in fact, he’s a very handsome man.

A little heavier set then I recall and a lot more grey hair, and I noted how he compulsively shoved four pieced of gum in his mouth during the conversation which led me to believe he was trying to quit smoking for the umpteenth time.

Just, not really a personality match.

I have a lot.

Him, well, not so much.

There’s nothing wrong with this, we just were not a match and it is really interesting to look at that time and see it right in front of my face at the corner of 7th and Irving.

I hooked up with Mister Gum Popper less than three months after my best friend died.

“Oh, look at you, how cute are you!”  My room-mate at the house said, poking her head into the room, seeing the two of us inclined on the love seat in my room tucked into the huge dormer window of the old Victorian at 23rd and Capp Street.

That was about all the excitement in the relationship.

We looked cute together.

We talked about doing things.

Rather, after a few weeks, I talked about doing things.

He used to surf and had a board in his garage and lived by the ocean and I wanted to learn how.

“I went out surfing!” I told him, remembering suddenly the numerous times I tried to get him to take me out.

“You did not!  Good for you, I haven’t been, well, I haven’t been in, awhile, I guess.” He frowned trying to figure out the last time he went, “we never went out, did we?”

I smiled and shook my head negative sir.

“You are surfing and you went to Paris, just like you said you would,” he finished.

That startled me.

I don’t remember telling him that.

“You really did it, I knew you would, no doubt in my mind at all.” He shrugged deeper into his coat, “well, uh, nice to see you, you, uh, you look amazing, welcome back to the city.”

“‘Night,” I said and turned toward my destination, steering my bicycle up the small incline of 7th at Irving.

I locked my bicycle up and took off the lights.

“I don’t doubt that you are going to,” my friend said to me the other night over a cup of tea.

He was referring to my taking up of the write a novel in a month challenge.

I said I would.

So I am going to do so.

I don’t know exactly where this stick-to-itness comes from, some times I think it is a characteristic failing of people pleasing, but hey, whatever, it is fucking working.

I am going to do it.

I walked around the Irving area scoping out coffee shops and cafes.

I have an idea where I will be doing a lot of the writing and went there later this evening and had tea with a ladybug and did some reading with her as the fog swirled in from the ocean and the temperature dropped another few degrees.

They have a good tea selection and just the right amount of anonymity, I’ll blend in and be left alone, I think.

My thoughts then went to the other man, the other man I slept with around the same time as my ex-when Shadrach died, he had once lived across the street from Tart to Tart on Irving and as I sat in the window sipping my tea I looked over and realized his apartment, where I first met him, was across the train tracks, directly in my line of sight.

I worked with his room-mate for a while and knew him through her.

I ran into him the Saturday before Shadrach was pulled from the life support.

He came up to me and said, “you look amazing, your hair,” he gestured at my head, “wow.  And you are like the incredible shrinking woman, you are smaller every time I see you.”

News flash, friend, I dropped more weight.

But that is neither here nor there.

He was a bright spot in my week, the only bright spot in a week drowning in tears barely hid beneath the fog I would watch out the window on the third floor; it ceaseleesly billowed over the tops of Twin Peaks and rolled heavy, somnolent, and drear toward General Hospital.

He invited me to a movie with friends and we went to the AMC on Van Ess and watched some stupid comedy and I leaned on his shoulder the whole time.

Afterward he tried to flag me a cab and none would come.

“I would invite you home, but I don’t think that’s a good idea,” he said as another taxi with its car full zoomed by.

“I know what you mean, but I could use some not a good idea,” I replied.

I think sometimes had I not slept with him, we might have dated, I sort of blew it.

But I didn’t.

I wanted to be comforted.

I was.

The ex was also a comfort.

All we did was watch movies and lie in bed.

And unfortunately, not have as much sex as I thought we would at first, it petered out.

He was depressed, living at the edge of the ocean, anxious, on Antabuse, not my way to stay sober and I don’t recommend it, heavily smoking, working a job he hated, getting money regularly from his parents, eating out on coupons.

The best he could do to comfort me was wrap up under an old quilt in the basement in-law studio he was living in and sleep with me.

I watched a lot of movies and broke up with him a couple of months later.

“You needed the comfort,” a confidant said when I asked what the hell I was doing.

I suppose I did.

What I have found since, is that action is my comfort.

I like to sleep in, who doesn’t, but I have to do things too.

I have to get out there and be remarkable.

I want to live.

Even if that means walking cold through the streets of Paris lost.

Or riding my bicycle through the heavy wet fog of the Outer Sunset.

I want to do.

And be.

And grow.

Compassionate.

Kind.

Generous.

Sexy.

Abundant.

Travelled.

Well read.

Well written.

And loved.

Yes, that.

Always that, the love thing.

But you know.

Loving can stop your fear.

That’s the true comfort for me now.

 

But it’s not always that clear.

It’s Getting Busy In Here

October 22, 2013

I would like to say “up in here,” however that would slant my meaning a little the sassy way and that is not what I meant.

Not that I am opposed to it, mind you.

No, what I mean is that the next few weeks just got booked solid with work.

One of the dad’s picked up a contract that will go through the month of November and probably through the middle of December.

Add on to that there will be a work retreat for the two moms in the second week of November.

I am working a lot.

This is good.

Off set that wetsuit cost.

Pay some student loans.

Stick some money in savings.

Buy a plane ticket somewhere warm for the winter.

I am just thinking out loud here, but there are some folks I would like to see and one of the families will be in Puerto Rico for a week in January and I thought, hmmm, I have an anniversary of mine to celebrate maybe I will go somewhere that month to celebrate.

Maybe.

Just things on the horizon.

I am also filled with story thoughts.

November is the next week!

The first of the month is Friday and that will begin my month-long adventure in novel-writing.  Which just happens to coincide with the busiest work that I have had on my plate in a while and the Mike Doughty concert on November 6th.

That week is going to be off the wall.

That is the same week as the retreat.

I shall, however, have extra scratch should I want to get some swag at the concert.

I used to not think much about grabbing t-shirts and such at shows, but there have been a few times that I wished I had.

The Jeff Buckley show I saw at the Barrymore in Madison.

Soul Coughing in Milwaukee.

The J. Davis Trio out of Chicago, their show especially when they were promoting the New Number Two, definitely would have liked some merch from that.

Goldfrapp at the Fillmore.

There’s a few more shows, I have a set list somewhere from a Pete Yorn show I saw before he broke out, again in Madison, and I certainly have plenty of memories about shows.

The show were Michael Franti pulled me from the floor up onto stage and sang and danced a song with his big lanky, sweaty, body draped over me.

Being behind the booth with Donald Glaude New Years 2003, San Francisco.

Yup.

There’s some good times in there.

I am looking forward to seeing Doughty.

I have seen him once solo, at a Cafe Montmartre in Madison, which was sweet and very intimate, despite friends who were there shrooming their brains out who kept professing their love for him.

Yeah, it will be a busy week.

It will be a busy month.

The novel idea is a great idea and I did find the time in my schedule, the dribs and drabs of the hours that will come to mean so much to me as I attempt to cram one more thing into my schedule.

Because I am going to try to grab some hours devoted to working on my other book as well.

I will write the novel long hand.

I have been back and forth with this in my head for a couple of days, well, basically since I signed up for it.

I don’t want to drag my laptop around and I am leery of writing a rough draft of a manuscript on a keyboard.

It is too easy to hit delete and lose thoughts, movements, ideas or feelings.

A rough draft is the cutting of the cloth, you want lots of it to drape your suit of story from.  You don’t want to have to go back later and add stuff.  I don’t anyway.  I want a big swath of material.

Which is the thought behind writing it that way and also that I don’t want to drag around my laptop to work each and every day.

Partially because it is a little heavy and a bit of a nuisance and partially because I want to stretch the life of this laptop out.  I have been experiencing some more difficulties with it and I am getting the feeling that there may be a new laptop in my future before there is a new surf board.

The notebook is the way to go.

The only nuisance with it is that I will need to word count my book into the format for the website.  And I wonder if I will need to transcribe it by the end of the month.

I was doing a little poking around the site to see what the parameters were, but it is unclear at this time whether I actually use the site to write the novel, or I just use the site to track the progress of the novel.

Should I decide to write the rough draft in my laptop I would save it first to the laptop anyhow and then upload to the site.

In both scenarios, there is a word count.

With a notebook, there is me counting the words.

I can make a fairly good guess at how many words I get out on a page and when the fire is hot in my hands and I am a conduit of the muse, which is really always what it feels like, I sit down and the words come from somewhere outside of me, I can write about eight to ten pages long hand in an hour.

I have written so fast before that my hands have cramped to get the words out.

There is a kind satisfying adrenalin rush that comes with being overcome with the word.

It is spiritual in nature and overwhelming.

I feel a little used by it, but outrageously wonderful when it is happening.

There is a high involved.

I won’t deny it.

Even here, the tip tap typing and clack of the keyboards provides me with some sort of visceral fulfilment.

My day is not complete without the words.

The sentences stacking themselves up.

My friend mentioned last night that if I write on average 1,000 word posts (they tend to be a spot over I think, but I will go with that estimate) and I have written over a 1,000 blogs, that in essence I have written over a million words.

A fucking MILLION.

Whoa, damn Gina.

What the fuck is that?

That is not me.

Not this lazy bitch that would rather watch Breaking Bad and House of Cards then type out a story.

How I got here I don’t know, but I have to say, I rather like it.

I think I will stay awhile.

Even when it gets busy, the getting is always good.

Getting some may never have been better.

Well….

You Can Do Anything You Want

October 21, 2013

As long as you accept the consequences of your actions.

There are some consequences I am down with, although I don’t particularly like them, I accept them.

Such as, the alarm is set for 7 a.m. and I have a full week of work ahead of me and should have been in bed but just had a friend leave.

Should I have sent said friend off into the Sunset, literally, that is where I live, or sit back, sip another cup of tea and know that the cost, a little less sleep, is well worth the little more friend.

I will gladly sacrifice that, hanging out with someone who is important in my life, to a few less hours of sleep.

Besides I slept in today and I don’t feel anything like sleepy yet.

I am sure that will bite me in the ass tomorrow sometime mid-afternoon when the boys are in between naps, but that is tomorrow, not right now.

Right now is pretty damn good.

Today was a good day.

Not a lot got done, but so much did as well.

Number one on the list?

Got the wet suit!

I went to Wise Surf shop over on Great Highway and sucked it up, literally and figuratively and got into the dressing room and tried on suits.

Wet suit shopping though not as fraught with emotional hang ups like swim suit shopping, is still a challenge and there is still getting nakedness happening.

Although I kept the bra on to climb in the first half of the suits.

I tried on O’Neill and Excel.

I ended up getting an Excel.

Fit better in the shoulders and it is now hanging in my closet.

I still am a little in awe that I actually went and got it.

But as I rode my bicycle over to the store seeing the sun breaking on the waves in patches where it drifted through the clouds and the fog, I knew I was doing the right action.

And I also knew, pretty much to a dime, what I could spend on the suit.

I came in about $50 under what I was aware my budget was.

Which means I can also get a pair of booties before I go back out.

I just got the suit today.

I had a tentative date to go surfing with my friend for next Sunday, but he had forgotten he had outstanding plans, so I may wait a little longer, but I know I am going.

I am also ecstatic to report that he is going to loan me his long board for a few months.

Yes.

I have a wet suit and access to a surf board.

Now I just have to get my butt down to the water.

Step by step it is happening.

I have had a really nice Sunday, I am still reflecting, as the taste of my bean soup is sparking on my mouth, I also cooked up a big pot of soup–red kidney beans, white navy beans, onions, garlic, brown crimini mushroom, Seitan, lots of sea salt and black pepper and hours on the stoves cooking down.

A second pot of brown rice on the stove and I have food for the good part of the week.

I am quite glad to have taken the time to cook.

And to see my friend.

He was in the neighborhood having coffee with a friend of his, shot me a text, said, what are you up to and came over.

And we talked about shoes and ships and sealing wax, cabbages and kings.

Love and sex and death and money.

Genomes.

Writing.

He is almost done with my book and I am tickled by what he said.

Horrified too.

I know that the work is not as good as it could be and grammatically is probably a nightmare.

There is too, that vulnerability of having someone who’s critical voice matters to me.

In his own way, without meaning to, he’s my reader.

I don’t know how better to put that.

I have people who read my work, but as he’s been reading my blogs and a consistent supporter of my writing, I find that I consider him my reader.

That does not mean I write to him as an audience, oh no, gentle reader (to steal from Stephen King), I do not.

I wear that old heart on the sleeve, but there are still some things up my sleeve that I don’t reveal here.

There always will be.

My heart is open.

But my brain is not always.

Besides, my brain is best as a servant not as a master.

If I were to start thinking of any one person as having influence on what I write I’m screwed.

“Hi mom.”

“Hey, former employer who found out that I wrote about her mother’s underpants.”

(sorry that, but lady, you could have stopped reading at any time and it really was disconcerting to see your mother in her underwear while I was your nanny)

“Hey dude I slept with who lied to me about being single.”

“Hey friend who I want to sleep with, but am not quite, maybe soon, maybe not, ready to accept those consequences.”

I mean, add to the list.

Anyway.

I trust my friends thoughts and his steady unasked for support of my work.

This, this thing I do, this writing thing that I cannot stop doing.

Look at all those damn notebooks.

“Remember when I was at your house and I wanted a tea-cup and all you had were notebooks in the cupboard,” a recent friend said to me over coffee.

I do.

Those notebooks are in a big container in the garage.

I would write if you did not read.

I would accept the consequences of staying up “past my bedtime” to write this blog.

I would accept the consequences of sleeping with you too, but that’s another story for another night.

Life is short.

Love is lasting.

Sex is good.

Friends are better.

I got a wetsuit today and made soup.

I had a cup of tea with my friend and talked.

I listened to music and wrote.

I may not be very good at any of it, but I accept the consequences of doing that too.

Because if I had everything I ever wanted and never had to struggle or work for what I have, then I wouldn’t be a remarkable person.

I am remarkable.

And I accept those consequences too.

Believe that the mistakes you make are better than the ones you don’t risk because you were afraid to take them.

Accept.

Go forth and make some mistakes.

Stay up late.

Kiss the wrong boy.

If you’re kissing him he’s the right one right now anyhow.

I guess what I am saying is that for the most part I may not choose to stay up past my bedtime very often anymore.

But when I do it is well worth it.

It certainly was tonight.

 


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