Archive for October, 2013

I Can Do This

October 20, 2013

I can totally do this.

“You can do this,” the small, still voice in my head said.

Not the crazy chorus of naysayers that usually live up there, and suddenly I saw where and when and how.

Last night after I finished my blog I watched a badly pirated version of Project Runway, hey we all have our foibles shut up, and then regarded the message a friend of mine had sent me about November Novel Writing month.

Or whatever the acronym is.

Basically it is a call to arms, or words, if you would, to write a novel in one month.

It’s totally doable.

I have done it before.

I can do it again.

I will be doing it again.

As it turns out,  I signed up for the thing.

The last time I took a writing challenge it was to do a post-a-day blog back nearly four years ago.

And look at me now.

Blogging away, even at two a.m.

Soul Coughing cheerily singing away about the Chrysler Building, and a hot cup of Bengal Spice tea by my side.  I lit up some candles, ambience you know, and slipped into my yoga pants.

After taking a few amusing photographs of my larger than life hair.

The foggy ride home did a number on it, it is gigantic.

I mean really.

The last time I had hair this big was when I was in Paris and I went and saw LOUISAAAA performing at a club.

I was out until the wee small alcohol soaked hours of the literally underground music scene–the club was a gigantic cavernous underground space–and my hair was smashed with cigarette smoke, sweat, and the vodka fumed breath of thousands of early twenty something grinding away in a night club.

I walked home that night through the chilly mist and felt like my hair was expanding off my head and it certainly was.

I took photographs of myself in the kitchen of the apartment and posted them up.

Partially because I felt sexy for being in Paris and being up at five a.m. at an underground night club, and well, my hair looked freaking amaze balls.

It did not smell good, but that’s the magic of photographs, they’re not scratch and sniff.

I have Paris a lot on my mind.

Harking back to this time last year as the last few days were winding down to my inevitable leaving, because I was given a book tonight “Time Was Soft There” a memoir of a man who lived above the infamous Shakespeare & Company on the Left Bank of Paris, and because of the aforementioned novel-writing month thingy.

First, let me say that I have no plans on writing a memoir of my time in Paris.

Second, let me say that I will be using every single experience, taste, touch, smell, notebook and blog post that I wrote to help me write this novel.

I wrote the synopsis on the website last night after I registered to do it.

I have had this idea kicking around for a while and thought I would be writing a short story but, no.

I am writing a novel.

I am further writing a science fiction novel.

Despite the last science fiction novel I read was when….

No clue.

I don’t really read sci-fi or fantasy.

Although I do love a good bodice ripper sci-fi read once in a while.

And some of my favorite writers, especially short story, were science fiction writers.

H.G. Wells.

Phillip K. Dick.

Frank Herbert.

Ray Bradbury.

I feel the general style of the writing will be something akin to Dick or Bradbury.

I do not put myself at their level, nor will I ever label myself as such, I am however, going to explore writing this genre.

My setting will be Paris.

The Paris of a post-apocalyptic world and the Paris of the near recent past.

Like, oh, beginning a little over six months ago.

I have the opening line.

“The monkey is off my back, but the circus is still in town.”

I have a thematic “man against the world”.

And there will be a love story, the near recent Parisian past will frame the love story.

Despite my not having a romantic liaison there, many, so many romantic things happened to me, not excluding receiving a package with mixed cds in it from a lover back in the states.

The night I got it was raining and I was disconsolate and the rain sluiced down in the courtyard and I was cold and lonely and it was raining in Paris and then I open the package, see the book, cry to find a few Euro tucked in the book, and then the cds.

I made it a quarter through one of the songs and started to leak tears.

Two songs in, maybe, it could have actually been the first one, I was sobbing.

Gut wrenching sobs.

Heart breaking open sobs.

And did I regret things?

No.

I actually wanted to feel some regret, but I knew that the feeling was bogus.

The choice to move to Paris, abandoning so many things, so many loved ones, lovers, and familiar places and faces to embark on a new journey into the unknown, carrying its own kind of romantic peril was totally the right decision.

It was.

My heart got peeled down to cordon and tendon.

I was not just wearing a heart on my sleeve, it was bleeding all over and it was a mass of sinew and song.

I won’t ever forget that night, it was ghastly romantic and it was all in my head.

It usually is.

The stories.

The story was already there.

It was just waiting to be lived.

The places I walked, the people I met, the kindness and sometimes unkindness of strangers, the Trocadero Bridge, seeing people come into visit that I had not really known very well and watch them become my friend and compatriot and supporter over night, all the museums and smells, the chocolate and boulangeries.

Oh.

My.

I have some material.

“Carmen, most writers would kill to have had the experiences you have had,” Alan Kaufman said to me once from his perch in the corner of his room up in the Tender Nob.

And that was seven years ago.

I have had a few more experiences to add to that.

I have a wealth of material to exploit and exploit I am.

“Write a book in a month?  Seriously?”  A friend who I poked to join the challenge e-mailed me back.

I could hear the incredulity in his voice.

Yup.

I did it when I took Kaufman’s class, and I do it every day, here, in this blog.

You think this isn’t some kind of book, The Book of Carmen (versus the Book of Dave, which I will also not compare myself, ever to Will Self, that is just retarded to think that), then you would be wrong.

This is a living memoir.

I am my own version of Anais Nin.

Sexy in my own way, courageous in my failings, leaping again, and again, into the arms of the unknown, fraught and full of angst, but also laughing like a fucking idiot when I do.

Because it is a kind of crazy love, this romance with the written.

I realized today when I was writing my morning pages that I did actually have time, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesdays between work and early evening commitments to sit down in a cafe, maybe Tart to Tart or the Beanery at 7th and Irving, and write a 1,000 words or more, and Thursdays.

Well, shit, Thursday is easy, I will write during my charges THREE  HOUR nap.

Friday I have currently booked as a half day, so I can get that kicked out then.

Saturday and Sunday, when I am not surfing, heh, I will also write.

I won’t tell you the rest of the story, but it’s there.

I have it.

I don’t know how it ends.

But I know how it starts.

And I know that I can do it.

Oh, yes I can.

Is That A Dozen Eggs

October 19, 2013

In your bag?

My friend asked me this late afternoon at the corner of Folsom and 24th.

We had coffee plans to go to Philz, but they were over run, so we meandered a short hop to Haus, kitty corner from Philz, and stood in line to get our perspective teas.

Yup.

A dozen organic, free range, omega 3 eggs, from Judy’s Organics.

Along with kale, some of which dislodged from my bag and spilled onto the floor.

Sorry, Haus, I didn’t mean to get organic kale on your floor, but as you’re in the Mission, which although truly gentrified to bits, does still have some of that stale bum urine rankness happening.  So, I don’t feel too bad about it.

I had gone downtown to interview for Healthy San Francisco, which I was informed, repeatedly, is NOT health insurance, but only for preventative care and emergencies.

Ok, I hear you, now, sign me up please.

Because despite the kale and organic eggs (and pinto beans and navy beans and brown rice, brown mushrooms, onion, and garlic, I am going to make a bean stew with the various accoutrements, apples, and almond milk), despite the healthy eating, living, bicycling, and hopefully soon, more surfing, you never know when you are going to get hit by a bus.

And I don’t have health insurance.

It’s been about a year since I have and it was pointed out to me that as an act of self-care I needed to take care of that.

Duly noted and taken care of.

A half hour later I exited the building, hopped on my bicycle and headed to Rainbow.

Because when in Rome you buy the organics at the best place you can.

I am debating becoming a member of a CSA as well–less groceries in my messenger bag–who doesn’t want farm fresh veggies and fruits, organic, dropped off at your door?

I just have no idea when I would schedule a drop off.

I mean, I am home, but I am out more than I am in.

Something to think about.

Lots of things to think about as I head into the weekend, which doesn’t much feel like a weekend since I am working a split shift tomorrow–10a.m.-1p.m. in the Castro, then 8p.m.-2a.m. in Potrero Hill.

It does, however, feel like a week when I am going to make some money.

Money I have plans for.

I went to Aqua Surf Shop today at Sloat and 46th Avenue and looked over wetsuits there and talked to an awesome guy, Devon, who told me he lived at 47th and Judah for 15 years, and I would really like it, about all things wetsuits.

He gave me some great advice and suggestions, including some thoughts about surf boards et al.

Aqua

Aqua

Sunday I am going to head over to Wise Surf Shop on Great Highway and check them out.

Then with the info I have under my belt I shall make myself a wetsuit purchase.

Because I will be able to afford to do so.

I have the full-time work happening.

Thank God.

I have also looked a bit on Craigslist for used suits, but I have yet to see something that will work for me.

I may also check out Sports Basement, since I am going to be in the Mission tomorrow, I decided I won’t be heading back to my house in between my split shifts.

I have a meeting of the minds at Philz on 18th and Noe Street at 1:15p.m.  then free time until I am due up at 26th and Hampshire (I think it’s Hampshire, yeesh, I haven’t been over there in a while, I know it’s at 26th and the hill is steep) so I can scoot over to Sports Basement and maybe REI and that other place I always forget is there at Division and 15th.

Do my wetsuit research.

Funny enough the one place I thought was too expensive, Mollusk, still has the best price for what I am looking for.

That being said I have only gone to two surf shops so far.

I have, as well, done online research, so I am not completely in the dark here.

Granted, I have yet to try one on and that I know is going to be some monkey business.

I did find out from a friend last Saturday that you can purchase a wetsuit and bring it home and try it on in the privacy of your own home and return it if it doesn’t fit.

You cannot return it once it’s gone in the water.

Good information to have.

So much to do.

I am keeping busy I am.

I am also contemplating taking part in the November novel-writing challenge.

I got an e-mail from a friend asking if I was taking part.

I checked it out and thought, nah.

But the thought wouldn’t go away and I do have as story, not a memoir, that I think could be extrapolated out to a novel, and yes, I can’t believe I am saying this, but it is Science Fiction in nature.

My friend who asked shot me another e-mail and said that the basic requirement is 1,000 words a day.

Uh, yeah, I can do that.

In fact, I already do that now.

I typically crank out a blog between 1,000 and 1,200 words every night.

I have some practise with this.

Now, I don’t know if the words will flow as well and I am not sure if I would do the rough draft to the novel on my computer or if I would do it long hand, but I bet I could.

And sometimes what I need is a kick in the pants to get something going.

I have had a little voice in the back of my head asking when I was going to be writing something new, other than my morning pages and my blog, and this may be just the thing.

I think I am going to give it a go and see if a few other of my friends are interested in doing it.

The challenge begins in November and goes through out the month and there seems to be a lot of support around the community that is generating the challenge.

I just need to say yes and set up the profile.

If I can haul $70 worth of groceries on my back from Rainbow to the house without breaking one of my dozen organic eggs, I bet I could write a novel in the month of November.

I really have no idea how that correlates, but it seems that it is taking the action and not thinking.

I am not going to think.

I am going to do.

November novel month here I come.

I’ll be the girl grinding it out in a wet suit.

 

God Is A Three Hour Nap

October 18, 2013

And that is some serious shit.

I wore that little monkey out.

I worked a full day with my new charge today.

We did lots of walking, lots of singing, and lots of stair climbing.

Folks may wonder how I haven’t had a membership in a gym in sometime and have muscles like I do.  The bicycle is the way to a smaller jean size that is for sure and so is having a nanny gig in a place where there are lots of stairs.

Or lots of hills.

San Francisco has both.

My new family in the NOPA neighborhood lives at the top of a three-story walk up.

The ride from door to door is 30 minutes, then add a hike up those stairs not once, but three times today, and I am feeling the work out.

So was she.

I had her walk up the stairs twice.

The third time I carried her.

We first went out to music class over at Masonic and Waller, that in and of itself, just pushing the stroller to and fro was a good walk.

One I was loving today with the beautiful weather, but I did have a moment to ponder what the walk would be like when it gets colder and the rains come.

That could be interesting.

But it’s just one day a week and the rest of the time I will be over in Cole Valley or up  in the Castro (more hills and steps).

The music class was fun and the teacher thanked me for engaging as much as I did.

It’s easy.

Sometimes I find it far easier to interact with a child then I do with an adult.

Smile and they smile back at you.

Read a story, snuggle a bear, sing a lullaby, feed them some apple or cheese, chase them around in a circle.

Easy.

Adults.

Not so much.

After the class we came back to the neighborhood via the Pan Handle and then over to Divisadero, which is shaping up in a lovely kind of way since the last time I was over in that neck of the woods.

Why, there’s a new Bi-Rite there.

Where I promptly dropped $35 on a 1/2 full messenger bag of groceries.

Not my first option to shop, but damn it, when you get me in there I get stuff.

And I was happy to pick up a bag of may favorite coffee, Stumptown, Holler Mountain.

Coffee I have only seen sold at Rainbow and Rainbow is harder and harder for me to get to.  It feels so far away on my bicycle.  It’s a haul to get back a full bag on my bike.

I have done it twice now and it’s not a fun trip.

I have been shopping more at Whole Foods and occasionally at the Other Avenues (which is more expensive than either, but close by in my ‘hood) for food, but neither carry Stumptown coffee.

So, a splurge at Bi-Rite.

I had hand rolled brown rice California rolls with crab and avocado and cucumber, also bought at the store, so lunch figures in that price and add the pristine persimmons and the luscious apples I got, money well spent.

My girl had her lunch and then with nary a peep went down for her nap.

Turned on the lullaby genre on her Ipod player, read a story to her, snuggled with Mister Bear, and sang a song softly to her, put her down into the crib and three hours later, three, she chirped out that she was up.

I had a three-hour free afternoon.

It was glorious.

I did some writing.

I balanced my check book, which is far easier than it sounds, I did some configurations about my finances and made some allowance for myself to get some new clothes, at least a new dress, and saw that I am amply covered for shifts for the rest of this month and probably through the year.

I won’t have to look into working for anyone else.

Which is nice.

I really don’t like having to look.

I made some tea.

I perused their book shelves, seeing that their tastes were quite similar to mine.

I chose a Tom Robbins book, Still Life with Wood Pecker, that I read aeons ago, it seems, and immensely enjoyed kicking through about 70 pages of the book before my girl woke up.

She was happy and giggling and playing with a doll and her bear and having a chatty little conversation with the two.

We got changed out, put on shoes and socks and headed out the door, first to Four Barrel, another happy discovery, there’s a Four Barrel two blocks away from their house, then to Alamo Square for a stroll around the park in the grass with the bright autumn sun flashing down.

“What does a cow say,” I asked her.

“Mooo!”

“What does a duck say?”

“Quack, quack, quack!”

“What does a kitty say?”

“Meoooow!”

“What does a nanny say?”

“?”

“I need a coffee!”

“Cawfee!”

“Exactly,” I said to her and swung her sunshine face, haloed by blonde pigtails up into the air at the coffee-house as I waited for my elixir to arrive.

She giggled.

I giggled.

It was great.

She’s an awesome addition to the mix.

I love having a little girl in the mix.

And the three-hour nap, well, that does not hurt either.

By the time we got back to the house though, she was pooped.

I was too, after hauling her up and down and a stroller and my bicycle at various times with my messenger bag of groceries.

We both collapsed on the top step.

Tired

Tired little monkey

Although quite serious in this photo, soon thereafter I was chasing her down the hallway to her door.

“Home!”

“Home!”

“Home!”

Indeed

Nice to meet your acquaintance, lovey, I look forward to more snuggles and songs with you.

And naps.

Oh yes, nice long naps.

Full Time Work

October 17, 2013

Just landed.

I got out onto the street just now over at Ulloa Street and 41st Avenue to see that one of my families had sent me a voice mail.

My first thought, I shit you not, I did something wrong.

I went to the bathroom in the church, that is also a parochial school, the toilets a little low, the sinks gigantic troughs for washing up, and used one of the back stalls.

Stop it.

Stop thinking about what the message is and just check it.

More work!

Mom called to say that dad got more work and they need me on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Yes.

The very same two days that I am needing hours filled.

Thursdays are now officially covered with my new charge over in the NOPA neighborhood.  We hung out this afternoon for a few hours, went to the park at Alamo Square, and had a gorgeous late afternoon walk past the painted ladies circling the park.

I start my regular hours with her tomorrow: 9-5.

What with the needs of the other two families I will now be covered full-time for the next two months.  After that will continue to take care of itself.

I also picked up an extra shift to cover one that was dropped this week, for Saturday evening, with, drumroll please…

Reno!

Oh my gosh.

I get to hang out with the first original boy monkey mine.

Super excited.

It’s going to be a long day Saturday, two separate shifts, one in the morning to early afternoon in the Castro, then a meet up at Philz on 18th and Noe, a long five hours of whatever the hell I want to do, probably wander around the Mission and drink coffee, then a 8p.m. to 2a.m. shift with Reno over in Potrero Hill.

Then that’s it.

I won’t need to pick up any more weekend shifts.

I will work Monday through Friday.

Monday-Wednesday in  Cole Valley: 8:45.m.-5:30p.m.

Thursday in NOPA: 9 a.m.-5p.m.

Friday in the Castro: 9:30a.m.-5:30p.m.

And voila!

I have full-time work.

And am thus one more step closer to not only paying off the Paris ticket to Barnaby, but also to getting myself a wet suit.

I am debating not spending any of my clothing allowance for the next two months to cover it, but then again, I think I can just bite the bullet and get it.

I still want a new dress.

I am secretly hoping for a date with my Joanie to go do some dress shopping in the next week or two.  She has a special event that we are going to be celebrating with some friends and I want to get dressed up for it.

Plus, it’s Halloween.

Not that I have plans, but I am sure there are a number of things going on and unless I plan on dressing up like a Burner, which I already did last weekend, I may want to get a little something or the other.

I am tempted to just go meander through the prom dresses at the GoodWill in the Haight and do something like zombie prom queen or I don’t know.

I can come up with a million ideas for other people to be on Halloween, but I always fall a little short for myself.

I could go as a pin-up girl, I just need to have help with the hair and I would need a vintage dress, throw on a push up bra, toss my crinoline underneath my dress and wear some platforms.

Ah.

I digress.

It’s just nice to know that the work is coming in.

I also spoke with the mom in Cole Valley tonight about her hours and needs and mine as well.  We’ve decided that she is going to put me on salary, that I will get a set amount regardless of hours (I won’t be working longer hours, rather the inverse) worked.

So if she comes home early, which happened twice this week, I won’t have my hours docked.  I will get a set amount.  She wants to assure my services through the winter to when her contract with Burning Man comes back up–she’s seasonal with them–that’s right there are Burning Man seasons.

Ha.

Her contract ended this week and will re-new in March.

So, she’ll be home a lot more.

But she doesn’t want me to go and get work with another family, she wants to guarantee that I will be available to work with the family, and go to Burning Man again next year, so on a salary I will go.

I will still be at the house three days a week, she’ll just be around more.

If I work more, I will be compensated for it, should that come up, which I know it will on occasion, but if I work less, I will be covered.  I need to make a certain amount, which we tentatively discussed today.

She is going to take the weekend and come up with a number and I know her to be fair and I am certain all shall work out just fine, without me having any anxiety about it.

Nope.

Not interested.

Being taken care of.

Now just show up and be of service.

And bug my friend about my book.

Bug friend.

I was thinking, oh, look, she’s been thinking, about nannying and had those old stupid thoughts pop through my mind about career and this that and the other, and for a moment, ok, for a few hours, I was playing the “I should go to med school, I would make a great pediatrician.”

I actually got online and started doing research.

If I spend a quarter of the time on my writing projects and books as it would take to get through med school, I am certain I would be widely published and well paid.

And I won’t have two hundred thousand in student loans to pay off.

Whenever my head decides to research a career I need to look around and realize I don’t have to be anything different from what I am and when I am supposed to change, it will be made really evident.

See the Paris Experiment.

Surrendering to the complete care of getting full-time work and being a fabulous nanny who is learning how to surf and writes a lot.

I mean, come on, look at my amazing life.

Down by the sea, with my bicycle and the waves crashing, the sound a consistent underpinning of my words as I write.

Life.

Well, life is good.

Really, really good.

Just Start Writing

October 15, 2013

Something will come.

It always does.

That’s the nice thing about doing the blog, just open the page, open the template, and write.

I have been sitting here going over the details of my day, not enough sleep, worked a late shift last night to an early start today and I have a little over caffeinated headache, realizing that there were not many details to my day.

It was mellow.

The sun was out.

I did some grocery shopping with my charge.

We went to the park.

I watched the sunlight bounce of the tree leaves and relished the warm sun.

In fact, I was relishing the still rather warm, still night air riding my bicycle home this evening after leaving the Inner Sunset, that and the sharp, pungent smoke smell of a beach bonfire.

Oh, to have a boy to go snuggle down in a blanket by a beach bonfire.

Yeah, I want to get in the surf, but I wouldn’t mind a little interlude on a blanket by the water.

I have been thinking a lot about that, on and off for the last few days, a boyfriend.

Feels like it’s that time.

Not sure where he’s going to come from, but he’s coming and he’s really fucking amazing.

I mean, he’ll be dating me, so yeah, of course he’s amazing.

Then I smiled, today, earlier when I realize how used to being on my own I am and what wishing for a boyfriend is, asking for something to practise spiritual principals on.

Just like when I whinge about money.

Oh look, another opportunity to get some humility.

Now that being said, I do feel a shift in my person life and space.

First, I am living in my own space.

I am no one’s house guest, I am no one’s room-mate.

Yeah, my house mate lives upstairs and we’re friends and I will happily go upstairs for a cup of tea, but my house, my home is completely separate.

I have my own space, really for the first time in over a year.

Second, I am not moving anywhere.

Although I was told by a friend recently who was visiting Paris, that my room was still available there and waiting for me.

That was nice to hear, but I want to get proficient at surfing and that may take a few years.

So, no Paris for the mean time, although I would love a visit, I would.

Being anchored in one spot is a good thing.

It allows people to get to know you.

I want to be known.

I don’t need to be famous, although it could be interesting, I want to be known.  I want to be seen, I want to be approachable, and reachable and “date”able.

I also want to have my eyes opened.

Because, third, I am tired of dating guys that aren’t 100% into me.

Yeah, I know, folks have to pay their rent and I am not advocating anyone leaving a job, but damn it man, tell me I am pretty, tell me you are thinking about me, let me know you might want to get to know me better.

Let’s talk, shall we?

Now my opinion as to whether any of this will work, is just that my opinion, and my opinions are usually idiotic.

And my perceptions skewed.

This too I was thinking about as I rode my bike to work and a car zoomed past me going too fast, my opinion, and too close, again, my opinion.

Then I laughed, because I realized I was getting dramatic about something that did not happen.

I was startled, but I wasn’t hurt, and I knew it was coming, I could hear the car, and I knew as well that he was going to be close.

But he wasn’t too close.

He didn’t hit me.

So, no need for drama.

I realized tonight, in a not so subtle way, that I zoom close to things, then skitter away, afraid to be hurt, afraid to be known, blind to what is in front of me and ignorant of what is best for me.

Could you just tell me please?

My brain, which is circular in its thinking, twittered away in the park today as I pushed the stroller about being old and being single and not making enough money, and I said, that’s your opinion, now, get present and watch how adorable this little boy is.

And I did.

It was really good to do that.

Children, they do bring you right into the moment, when I most want to escape the love that is right in front of me, it pulls me right back in.

It, everything, all the things, are not on my time line, they are on God’s.

You don’t like that word?

Fine.

Use the Universe and see how it’s all the same and we are all the same, all worried about the same things, frittering our time away worrying about the things that in the end matter very little because we are too afraid to embrace then things that matter now.

I love you.

I do.

You, the reader, that has gotten this far.

Whoever you are.

I love you.

You listen to my rambles and my rants and tell me, “I know, I read your blog,” when I share something with you in person.  You tell me that I wrote something important, but you know, I am just a conduit.

Sometimes we conduct things that are to happen but we can’t see when or how or whom.

The thing that comes to mind is a drawing my therapist had me draw years ago when I first started working with her.

It was my dream home.

There was me and a man, with curly blonde hair (?) and I was pregnant and there was a little boy, with curly blonde hair, in a wagon next to us, a brick Victorian house in San Francisco, a small globe with an airplane going around it, a little picture of the Eiffel Tower, a stick figure, me, on a surf board, a small island with a palm tree.

The house had a back yard with a wrought iron table and a kitchen garden and a sand box and toys and a tricycle, there was a fire-place with a cat on a leather sofa, a library with books, and as study up in the dormer window where I knew I wrote.

Looking out over the city, looking out to the sky, watching the sun play on the roofs, there was a giant dormer window and a big desk, stacks of note books, mugs of pens, a computer and more books.

Lots of books.

I don’t know where or when or how.

But I have lots of time and as I grow I can already see the seeds that were in the picture in my heart blooming.

Things bloom in me when I write.

When nothing else makes sense, just start writing.

It will all fall together.

It has never fallen apart.

That is how I know I love myself.

When I write.

That is how I know I love you.

When I write.

Just start.

Just start.

Just start now.

You Do’t Know How Sick

October 13, 2013

You are until you’re not.

Holy Jesus.

I was a lot sicker than I realized.

And as it turned out so were my employers and their little baby.

Everybody has gotten it apparently.

I did not have it as bad as them, thank God.

I am not a fan of the vomiting thing.

I was super nauseous, but the cookies never did come up, just mostly the exhaustion.

I am not 100% better, but I am so much better that I have an actual real perspective on how bad it was.  Especially after seeing my family being laid so low.

I was supposed to do an over night for them but they are still recovering and getting better.  I worked a little for them this afternoon and got the baby out for a little time in the sunshine and at the park so mom could go out and do a little grocery shopping and papa could rest.

You need to nap after throwing up all night.

Yikes.

So, I actually had this evening off and that was a nice surprise.

I walked all the way up Noe to the very top of the hill after getting done with work.

The air, crisp, cold, autumn air.

It’s getting cold out there.

I relished the sunlight still coming through the atmosphere.  I know that the rain and the overcast days are not too far off, but until they get here I am going to play out side as much as possible.

Surf as much as possible as well.

Before heading over to the Castro this afternoon I spent some time a little closer to my house and went to Mollusk Surf Shop.

I wanted to price wet suits and get a beginning feel for what they have, which is mostly out of my price range, but they are having a sale on Patagonia wet suits and they do have my size in a 3/4 thickness, which is more than warm for my year round surf needs.

Oh yeah, one time in the water and I am already talking about my year round surf needs.

“Surfing is a really steep learning curve, it’s going to take years,” my friend and neighbor said to me tonight.

I saw him at the coffee shop and sprinted over.

“I did it!  I went surfing!” I jumped up and down and chatted him up.

I’ve known him for years, but didn’t realize he lived out here in the Outer Sunset.  A block away to be exact, on 46th and Irving.

Too funny.

And he’s willing to go out with me.

And he’s be showing another mutual friend of ours how to surf and it turns out said friend has a girl friend who also surfs and stores her board in his garage and its a long board and maybe I can borrow it.

Sweet.

“What are you doing Monday?” He asked.

“Fuck, I am working,” I said, in fact I am working a lot this upcoming week, but that’s ok with me because I want that wet suit I saw at Mollusk today.

We ran down the week and he’s pretty much booked all the days I am available and vice versa.

“Saturday, next Saturday,” he said, “I can take you out next Saturday.”

I am working, but only a few hours.

“Yes!  I can do that!” I hugged him tight and made a mental note to self to put down the date in my calendar.

“Perfect, and you are gonna be my guinea pig,” he added.

“I got a gig teaching surfing and I need some practise teaching on some people before I start there, it’s my first teaching gig,” he said and just like that, I have an instructor.

Woot.

“I’m all yours,” I said happily.

Now I have to wrangle up a wet suit by next Saturday.

I know what I want.

I have done enough research and I have talked to enough folks to know what to get–full body, 3/4 thickness, seamed and a pair of booties.  I may eventually want gloves when winter truly arrives and a hood, but I suspect a hood will bug the fuck out of me, so I am going to put that off.

The Patagonia wetsuit is wool lined and double seamed and $550.

But, it’s on sale, according to the guy at Mollusk who totally helped me out, for $347.

And they have my size.

I have looked online and I have been watching craigslist like a hawk, but so far, nothing.

I am leery of buying my first wet suit on-line since I don’t know sizing that well, but it has given me a feel for what is the right cost of things.

I need to check out Wise and Aqua Surf Shops, according to my friend and a few other folks I have chatted up, but if I don’t find anything better, I am going to get that wetsuit at Mollusk.

The board will have to wait for a little while and that I will probably buy used, my circle of surfing peeps is growing and I will ask around to borrow boards as much as I can.

Plus, with a wet suit, I can also just go for a swim in the ocean and get used to the way the water moves and how I move in it.  I can do open ocean swimming and work out my arms even if I don’t have a board, I can get my swim on.

Really, I am amazed at how much better I feel.

Just writing about the surfing has shown me how low my energy has been.

Nice to be getting back into my regular healthy self.

Just in time for Decompression.

I will be putting on my sparkle pony costume tomorrow and heading off to Esprit Park.

My costume will probably look no different from my regular attire, fyi, although there may be just a touch more glitter than normal.

Oh yeah.

Feeling better.

Feeling jazzed.

Feeling grateful.

Thank god the sick is just about gone.

I am over the moon.

Or somewhere in the surf.

Either is applicable.

Cut Yourself Some Slack

October 12, 2013

You did too do things today.

My housemate just pointed this out to me as I finished up my mug of tea and struggled to my feet from her kitchen table.

I got sick yesterday.

I ended up curtailing everything I was going to do and went back to bed.

Granted, it was a lovely clean bed.

I had started out yesterday full of get up and go.

Sort of.

I felt off after breakfast, I still am feeling off, truth be told, not my normal self, I don’t have my usual moxie going on.

Low energy today.

But yesterday?

Stupid.

I did clean the house, sweep and wash the floors, laid down a new carpet in studio, scrubbed the bathroom, the kitchen, did the trash and two loads of laundry.

But it was all through this wierd filter of exhaustion.

I had a second large cup of coffee.

But it didn’t do the trick.

And then a third, that should have been my warning sign, two cups and usually I am zooming, but I was not, in fact, I felt too tired to contemplate riding my bike to Church and Market for my meet up and face time with a fellow and so I made plans to catch a ride with my house mate who was going into the Castro.

I figured I would wander around, maybe go pop through Aardvark Books and get something to read, go to a cafe, sit and watch the world go by.

But, nope.

By the time we got half way to the Castro I couldn’t fathom getting out of the car.

My housemate got out to pick up her daughter from school and I fell asleep waiting for them in the vehicle.

I called and cancelled my appointment, and drifted back to the house.

I pulled on my yoga pants and a sweatshirt and got into my bed in the middle of a sunny Indian Summer day in San Francisco.

I think this is what bums me out the most.

I didn’t do anything, except clean, on my day off, and it was gorgeous outside.

I also knew I had to rest.

I had to spend six and a half hours today in the American Red Cross facility downtown to get my certification, which I did, thank you, and there could be no rescheduling.

So, that’s what I did.

Slept.

There may be nothing more disconcerting than to be lying in bed and look out to the sun and the sky and see such a beautiful perfect afternoon and be absolutely powerless to do anything about it.

The only thing that I accomplished was rest.

Which is important.

And I am lucky, I got to have it.

I did not have to deal with working while sick.

It does bum me out that I didn’t do anything, fun, that is, on my days off.

I did do stuff.

Even today.

I rode from 46th Avenue to 2nd Street and Howard.

I successfully stayed awake for the full six and half hours of the class, practicing on plastic mannequins and spooky looking infant dolls with detachable faces.

Baby mannequin

Faceless Baby

CPR mannequins

Plastic Babies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fortunate for me as well, my partner had a touch of a sense of humour and we quielty made snarky comments under our breaths while the class videos were playing.

There may have been some flirting going on as well, but I wasn’t at my top form.

Another thing to beat myself up about.

I need to be going out, doing yoga, surfing, going to a….

Fill in the fucking blank.

One day off.

One day of being under the weather and my whole life is being frittered away.

Ugh.

I hate where my brain goes when I am not at my physical best.

Yargh.

Anyway.

I passed the class.

I went to Rainbow after and then hauled home $80 worth of groceries in my messenger bag all the way back out to the house.

That is an accomplishment too.

I put in an hour and 45 minutes on the bicycle today.

I got groceries.

I ate well.

I got take out from Thai Cottage last night–Tom Yum soup-hot and sour soup with chicken and a little side of brown rice.

I ate about half of it before falling back into bed to odd dreams and deep slumber.

This evening when I got back to the house from the class and the outing to Rainbow, I heated up the rest of the soup and added a nice organic egg right at the end, so it was lightly poached and dreamy rich when I broke the yolk, that with a persimmon and a cup of tea.

Not too bad.

Yeah, and some writing.

So, cut yourself some slack.

I am not often sick and when I am I just have to slow down and sure, I can be disappointed that my days off weren’t what I would want them to be, but overall, I am well taken care of.

And now I go into my long week.

That’s just the way it is.

It won’t always be like this.

Never stays the same anyhow.

Even I know that.

Even when it feels like it won’t change.

It does.

This too will pass.

When I feel better I will surf again and try the yoga and let the universe know I am available for dating.

Until that time, more sleep.

More tea.

More sleep.

More sleep.

More sleep.

 

Blog Down!

October 11, 2013

Blog down!

This is the no blog blog.

Mama is sick.

I tried to get out.

But nothing doing.

After a half order of Thai Cottage hot and sour soup and a little brown rice I am back to bed.

I have to go do my CPR/First Aid class for re-certification–six hours of fun with strangers and plastic mannequins–tomorrow.

I have to.

So.

Later gator.

I am back to bed.

I Want To See More Of You

October 10, 2013

I told the Mister tonight.

“But I am not going to chase,” I finished.

No.

I am not.

Because, this woman is worthy of pursuit.

We went to Ebisu tonight and I made the “sushi face”.

This is the face my friend said that I must look like when I have sex, although we had never slept together and we will never as far as I am concerned, it was an apt observation.

The sushi was good tonight.

I couldn’t help making the sushi face and rubbing my knee when I got happy.

I have no idea where this comes from, I’ve mentioned it before in previous blogs, but yeah, when extremely happy eating something I have noticed myself rubbing my leg, usually my upper thigh, in small concentric circles, a soothing self-caress of luxuriousness.

It’s like eating velvet, good sushi, and my hand wants to pet something.

When I think of good sushi I do as well think of textures, soft, creamy, lush, rich, succulent, there’s a transportation that occurs.

Good sex is like that too.

“What do you want?” I asked him over the second course of the meal.

It all came out at different little moments, orchestrated it seemed to just pique the appetite onto the next place.

I had closed my menu, I was too distracted to eat, I had been thinking and talking about this conversation with myself and a couple of my good girl friends, for a day or two.

Or week.

Shhh.

I realized that I just had to bite it today or be in that ambivalent space and I am sick of the vagueness.  I have so much clarity around other things, my job, where I am living, being back in San Francisco, that I don’t want to be vague about my dating life right now.

I know what I want.

I want a committed relationship.

“I want freedom,” he said, “to work, to play, to hear music and go out to see art, to eat good food, to do yoga, to be of service and help out in my community, to spend time with beautiful attractive women,” he paused.

The crab rolls had arrived.

Crab hand rolls in nori with roe.

So good.

I mixed my wasabi in my soy sauce and watched how he ate the roll, it was not something I had experience with, not a traditional roll that I could eat with chop sticks.

I picked it up, dipped it in the wasabi spiked soy sauce and revelled in the juicy sweet crab and the pop of roe in my mouth, the nori a delicate delivery device, almost more so than the seaweed taste, a crumbling sheet that melted across my tongue just as it was subsumed by rich, savory crab meat.

Divine.

“Like this, now,” he finished, gesturing across to the restaurant and to me.

Ok.

Well, you are not looking for commitment or a girlfriend.

Gotcha.

But you are looking to spend more time with me.

That was obvious.

We walked around the Inner Sunset chatting and catching up before going to sushi and so much of the conversation had to do with things that were upcoming and finding time to see more of each other.

He paid attention, ordered me food he knew I liked, I just put down the menu and acquiesced to be taken care of, it’s a nice feeling to let go of trying to figure out what to eat at a new restaurant.  And he knows my dietary restrictions, and has always been conscious of it, which I find utterly endearing.

Besides, when you are out with someone who is as grounded in the San Francisco food scene as he is, there is no need to worry.

He has never taken me out to a bad restaurant.

I have never had a bad dining experience with him.

I just have not had as much time with him as I would like.

“What would spending more time with you look like?”  I asked him.

“Well, like this, except you would call me, ____________(his nickname amongst friends), and you would probably carry a tissue on you, everyone who I spend time with does (he has allergies and what he doesn’t know is that I bought a fancy box of kleenex last week when I thought he was going to have some time to see me and stashed it in my bathroom. ), he laughed and gently blew his nose to the side.

“I can do that,” I smiled and we continued enjoying the sushi, the company, and the green tea.

After the meal we walked over to 7th and Irving and spent a little time in those environs.  Then homeward toward the ocean.

“You were really brave,” he said as we crossed back over to the car after our time in the Inner Sunset concluded.

He was referring to when I went to Paris.

“I really admired that you did it, it really took a lot of balls, you have to respect that,” he said and looked at me as I stepped off the curb to cross the street.

“Thank you,” I said and smiled, “I am really proud of myself, for going, for trying, I don’t regret it, I never will, and I don’t know that I am moving back, but I will be going back.”

I can continue to be brave and ask for what I want, I thought to myself as we drove through the bustling early evening traffic.

We drove back along the crowded Irving Avenue blocks, past the busy pho shops and tea houses, the Asian five and dimes, and lotto stores, past the Giant Super Market at Irving and 22nd, over the Sunset Avenue, toward the ocean, the crescent moon a beacon over the water.

“Friday, I want to go,” I said.

Some mutual friends are having a bonfire down at Ocean Beach.

“Yeah, and I want to go see the Bulgari exhibit at the DeYoung, maybe I’ll get us tickets,” he said as he pulled up in front of the house.

My little house, all decorated with Halloween ghosties and cackling witches, spider webs and pumpkins–my housemates daughter is 7–and I giggled a little as he took my hand, without meaning too, thinking about how startled I had been coming home the night before and the ghost in the door way “boo’ed” at me.

“We’ll figure out time,” he said and kissed the side of my cheek.

Then my mouth.

The kisses soft, sweet, firm, ardent.

“Good,” I said after, smiling at him, “I want to see more of you, but I am not going to chase you.”

“I know, I have a responsibility here,” he said smiling.

“I like your tights,” he said out of nowhere.

(Good, I wore them with you in mind)

“I like you, _____________” I said, using his nickname.

“Hey!” He smiled at me as I climbed out of the car.

“Call me when you want to see more of me,” I finished and waved as I pulled the gate shut behind me.

I want you, but you have to want me too.

I am worth it, Mister.

But I won’t chase you.

I am the ball.

The man who wants me will come for me.

Until that time, I am free, available for dating, and oh yeah.

Surfing.

Retainer

October 9, 2013

I may be going on a retainer for my Cole Valley family.

The mom’s contract with work is closing and seasonal, but she still wants me.

However, her time needs are going to be different.

She asked me what I thought if my hours were smaller but I still was paid the same.

I would say, yes, thanks, because otherwise I am looking for another job.

I don’t want to and I don’t think she wants me to, scratch that, she absolutely does not want me to look for another family to be with full-time.

I cannot make less money.

No.

I am amenable to the idea.

I have worked flat rates for families before.

Although in the past it was pretty much a I start at 8 or 9 a.m. and work until 5:30 or 6p.m. and if I get done a little early I get paid the same amount.  I was basically working 40-50 hours at a set rate, a salary basically.

To not have full-time work and then try to figure out how much is fair, I’m not sure how that will all suss out.  But yeah, I am fine with working less and making the same amount.

I still have to supplement.

It has not been full-time work ever with this family and sometimes that is frustrating, but mostly, it has worked out.  Especially when I am not worried about it.  I keep showing up and the money accrues.

That being said next week is going to be busy.

I am working Saturday through Thursday.

I could say I am working Friday through Thursday, now that I am thinking about it.

I basically have a six-day run.

One day, though, is not really at work nannying, Friday is my re-certification class at the American Red Cross.

Saturday is the overnight.

Sunday is Decompression.

I will be in the Castro for the overnight, then maybe pop over to Decompression for a while, or not, who knows.  Then go back to the Castro at 7p.m. and work a few hours.

Monday will be back to my “normal” work week.

With the addition of the new family in NOPA a half day in the afternoon on Wednesday and a full day on Thursday.

Long board and a wet suit.

I just repeated that to myself when I was writing it down.

Long board and a wet suit.

Every extra bit counts toward that goal.

I will need to get back into the water before I get my own gear, so I will be getting ahold of my friend and seeing if I can catch some more time in the water with him soon.

I could go Thursday afternoon.

Trying to figure it out is not going to help me write this blog.

I was also trying to figure out the yoga as I came home from my day and there was a spare yoga mat leaned up against my door.

My housemate is a fairy godmother.

She just knows.

I hopped on the studio website for Ocean Beach Yoga and I think I can pull off a class this weekend.  Possibly Thursday or Friday.

The weekend is pretty much out.

But I do so want to start doing this and stop talking about it.

Especially when the Universe drops a yoga mat off at my door.

I can take hint you know.

I have plans tomorrow, that hopefully includes some make out, otherwise I would tomorrow after work.

Dinner and discussion with the Mister.

I just got to ask the guy what he wants and say what I want.

We may have different agendas

I can’t read his mind and he can’t read mine and I have just been going on the assumption that he is super busy with work all the time, and you know, when you can’t remember your last day off and you work 12-15 hour days, I feel it is safe to assume that, but maybe there is something else that I am not aware of.

He’s going to pick me up after work and we’ll probably head over to Nob Hill and then grab some dinner afterward.  I have Thursday off with no commitment until noon and I don’t know if that will actually happen as the lady has not called to check in with me once since I met with her last week.

Doesn’t bode to well for that coffee date.

Which is why I made the date for Trouble Coffee, it’s in my neighborhood, if she fails to show up I still am nearby.  And maybe I can go to the yoga studio before my commitment in the evening, or even surf, if my friend’s around.

I will have to touch base.

I know that if I don’t go this weekend the ocean is not going to go away and my chances won’t have evaporated, I just want to commit to going once a week at least in the beginning.

Making new habits can be hard.

I have lots of willingness, but sometimes not enough action behind it.

“Willingness without action is fantasy,” a good friend of mine has said and I completely agree.

I can fantasize about a wet suit and a long board and hopping up on the waves, but the longer I wait to get back in the water the longer it’s going to take to get up on the board.

I have not fantasies about that.

I don’t expect that I will get on my feet for a while yet, but I am going to try.

I can also not obsess about my schedule.

I am going to follow through on the surfing and the yoga.

It is time.

I am going to also not wig out about this week and what my timing is like.

I remember once asking someone how they balanced all the people in their life.

He said he just focused on the one in front of him.

That’s all I need to do.

My intent is to surf and do yoga this week.

However that happens.

And get kissed.

Yes.

Let me give some time to that as well.


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