Archive for March, 2014

You Brightened the Day

March 30, 2014

“I just wanted to mention that, Carmen,” he said as he dropped me off at my house tonight, “I almost forgot, but that flower in your hair really brought something tropical with it, you really brightened up the day.”

Here to be of service.

Wearing my flowers in my hair.

I had actually done it on purpose.

It was a deluge this morning, down pour, raining cats and dogs, sloughing out of the sky like it was never going to stop.

I am wearing pink.

I am thinking spring.

I am going to glitter a little bit.

Well, I always glitter a little bit, can’t be helped.

And I brought out my heart-shaped umbrella and was a cheerful girl today.

A happy girl today.

I was told more than once to have fun and while I don’t know that sitting a reading a book for two hours while drinking tea is anyone else’s idea of fun, it is a rich indulgence that I rarely get.

Rare too, that I allow myself the treat.

Today the rain excused it.

I didn’t run out and go grocery shopping–until a bit later this evening when I made my way up to Noe Valley–I did not go on a bike ride down by the sea.  I did go to my weekly meet up in the Inner Sunset at 7th and Irving and get some perspective.

I need perspective.

Often.

And I mean a change of perspective, hearing someone else frame for me what is happening in my life is a valuable thing.

Sometimes I wonder how I ever managed to do anything before.

Life was hard and complicated and it didn’t make sense and I could never figure it out.

Not that I can figure it out now, I make no claim to that, but that I don’t suffer those wild bouts of anxiety about being able to figure it out.  I am so much more serene and getting to share that with others, whether it’s brightening up the day with a pink rose drenched in glitter, or with a smile, it’s nice to know I can.

Now I am at that point in my life where I need to also see what kind of wants I have.

Much of my life I have just done the getting by thing, the struggling thing, which I have often confused with living an honorable life.

That there is something off-color about making money or pursuing goals and desires.

I had been given a suggestion to write down ten things that I want to do and I did not hear it that way, I heard, write down ten things I like to do.

That was easy:

1. Swimming

2. Playing pinball

3. Dancing

4. Reading magazines in cafes

5. Taking photographs

6. Going to museums

7. Going to art supply stores

8. Watching movies

9. Going to bookstores

10. Beach bonfires

This suggestion had been given to me when I had made a panicked outreach phone call when I suddenly had some spare time on my hands and did not know what to do.

Or so I thought.

What I did not hear, what I had to re-hear today, changing the perspective, is make a list of ten things you want to do.

Oh.

Well.

Shit.

And shoot the moon.

Ack.

Ok.

I have sort of done this before, but here goes:

1. Go to Hawaii.

I mean Christ, I am part Polynesian, it’s about time I went, having never gone it would be awesome to see some part of my family history

2. Go camping at Yosemite

Never been, time to go.

3. See the Grand Canyon.

Ditto.

4.Own a Jeep Wrangler.

Preferably a Sport 4.0 Lifted

5. Drive said Jeep to Alaska during the height of the Northern Lights

6. Take the train all the way across the United States

7. Go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York

8. This one got me, I just about yelped when I wrote it down, travel with my boyfriend.

I mean, I did not say where or how or when or what, just that I wanted to travel with a boyfriend.  I have never travelled with another person, I have done the vast majority with a few exceptions, on my own.

I want to share the experience with another person.

9. Go on safari in Africa.

Something about seeing the grasslands and the wild animals, the coffee plantations, I have just always wanted that.  I blame Isaac Dinesen and Out of Africa completely.

10. Got to Australia and New Zealand

I have no idea why, but this has kept popping up in my head a lot lately.  Australia and more Australia.  Something wild and exotic about it has been calling my name.

That’s a lot of travel in the ten things I want to do.

I like experiences.

I like things too, don’t get me wrong, but experience is where it’s at for me.

I did not write I want to own a house, though I do.

I did not write I want to get married, although sometimes I do.

I did not write I want to have children, although I sometimes do.

I did not write I want to get my MFA in Creative Writing at the Iowa’s Writers Workshop or at Columbia or Berkeley or get the Stegner Fellowship at Stanford.

Although I have often thought about those things as well.

I frequently think about doing more travel.

That seems a constant.

I feel my life expanding, exploding, blossoming, like the giant pink rose I wore in my hair tonight, bright and glittery and eye-catching and full.

I am feeling a kind of sweet joy and happiness for the follow through of doing things and taking actions that though I still need prompting to do, I am finding easier and easier to walk towards.

And through.

“You just have to go through to get through,” I told her tonight as she wiped the tears off her face.  “It doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time, it’s going to be long and slow,” I continued, “that’s just how it is with us.”

Or at least with me.

But this slow, long winding path, this journey I choose to brighten even when it rains and squalls and it is grey, I know I can walk through, get through, and do it wearing flowers in my hair only makes the journey that much lovelier.

Richer.

Brighter.

And yes.

Glittery.

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I Am Here to be of Service

March 29, 2014

That doesn’t mean I’m gonna give you a blow job, I told my friend.

Who doubled up in laughter.

Super happy that I was able to help him out, I will probably be helping him out for a bit, he just had a pretty big surgery and has to be on crutches, in a cast, resting for a bit.

I live a block away.

Today all I did was bring him some soda for his tummy which was upset from the anesthesia and the pain killers he was on.

But I will be doing more and I like that.

I am playing it forward.

I told him as much, don’t be proud, let me help out.

I am a busy girl, I got things to do, but when a friend is a block away, I can stop by and bring groceries, plan on dropping off some homemade soup tomorrow, it’s the least I can do.

When I think about all the help that has been given to me, the couches, futons, attics, and beds that I have crashed on, the money that people have quietly slipped into my pocket when I was going through financial straits, the cups of coffee bought, the meals, the endless streams of love that I have gotten to be a part of, the least I can do is go run down to the 7-11 and buy my friend a couple of liters of soda.

It really, also gives me a great sense of being useful.

Which I think is one of the most satisfactory things to fill my emotional life.

My brain wants to know, “what’s in it for me?”

My heart, knows better and when I can help out, I am going to.

The feeling of doing a small thing like emptying another’s trash, really is the best high.

Yeah, I know, hard to believe that.

But there’s a deep gratitude here too, I remember, well, what it was like when, it’d be about nine years ago this very month, when I hurt myself horribly at work and for three months, three, I could not lift anything over five pounds.

I could not bend from the waist, which meant that I could not shave my legs, because I could not reach them.

I could not walk without using a cane.

And I could not walk very fast even then.

I could not make my bed or do my laundry.

I could not buy groceries.

And I was destitute at the time, I had very little income following in.

I ate a lot of ramen noodles and when I was feeling rich I ate cheddar cheese sandwiches on country bread with Best Food mayonnaise.

I was given money for groceries, rides here and there, mostly on MUNI, a friend gave me his monthly pass that he got from work and he rode his bike all over, people showed up at my house and gave me pep talks when I had to sell my record collection.

When I had to sell my two Technics turntables.

I cried.

I cried when I sold my music collection to Amoeba.

I remember a friend telling me to buck up, it was just stuff, and the records and cds that I sold kept me in food for another month.

I cried anyway.

I remember when rent was due and I did not have rent and some one out of the blue asked me to edit a history on Russian politics and gave me a check made out to me for $500.

The amount of my rent.

Those were the days, when rent in San Francisco was $500.

Not so much anymore.

It was cheap then, it was rent controlled, and though my room-mate turned out to be kind of a freaky person, he helped me out a lot.

Bought me take out pizza from Zante’s Indian on Courtland at Mission Street, did laundry, bought me groceries, made my bed.

So, this, helping a friend out, is just me playing it forward.

I look forward to getting to know him better too.

Sometimes you know someone peripherally through connections to a lot of other folks, six degrees of separation and all that, and you know you like them and they are cool, then you wind up in the same neighborhood and hey, neighbor, how can I be neighborly?

I get to help and I get to grow in my relationships to another human being.

I need people.

I cannot live in a bubble, despite not wanting to go out and socialize tonight.

I was invited to a little shindig over in Potrero Hill and another in the Upper Haight and I just wanted to head back to my hood, do some writing and chill the fuck out after the week of work.

Then as I was riding my bicycle down Lincoln Ave with the wild wind off the ocean invigorating my senses, I remembered the photograph my friend had posted up on his Instagram feed of himself in a cast and feeling stircrazy.

Voila.

I knew what I needed to do.

I hopped off my bike, sent him a text, got an immediate response, got some soda and for a couple of hours kept him company until the Chinese food take out brigade and Friday night video gang buzzed at the gate.

It was perfect.

I felt alive and helpful and needed.

Isn’t that what everyone wants, to feel needed and appreciated?

I don’t know that I can count my acts tonight as estimable acts, since I am writing about them and I consider an estimable act one in which you don’t toot your own horn, but I will say this, being of service is sweet and rich and brings a kind of depth to my life that I don’t get anywhere else.

It makes me a better person and if I get to help someone out during a challenging part of their life, then bring it on.

I am here to serve.

With pleasure.

 

 

I Am So Glad To See You!

March 28, 2014

The music teacher today exclaimed when she saw me and gave me a great big hug and smile.

It was day one of a new session of Music Together class.

My Thursday girl and I had been in another class, before rainy season, and despite not always being into it, I did get into the class.

That’s sort of the point.

You, the adult, get into something, sing, dance, get silly, exaggerate, and they, the child, learn from your example.

I forget that not every nanny is created equal.

I am a good nanny, sometimes a great nanny, and I get into things.

I dance.

I sing, off-key often, but I do sing.

And I get silly.

I also smile, which is really where it’s at.

Smiling.

There was a set of very precocious twin two-year old little girls–brown eyes, brown hair stacked into little doll house buns on their heads, straight bang cut, long eyelashes–running about the room who had not taken the music class before and they were shy with every one, except their mom.

And me.

I had them crawling around my lap and playing tickle and peek-a-boo and dancing.

I don’t really think about it, it’s just what I do.

After music class my charge and I went up to the front to get the prerequisite hand stamp–today’s was a kitty cat with cymbals–and the teacher repeated herself.

“Seriously, I am so relieved you are back, the class is so much more fun to teach with you and A_____ in class.”  She stamped both of my charge’s little paws and I showed her the video I shot of the little girl singing You Are My Sunshine, while playing the miniature guitar she got for her second birthday.

It’s nice to get acknowledged.

I got a lot of acknowledgement today, actually.

I was stopped last week on the side-walk with A______ coming back from the park and asked if I was a nanny, the mom had seen me with my set of boys the day prior in another neighborhood and wanted to hire me.

Then, today, another mom in the park, Alamo Square, came up to me.

Her little boy actually threw himself at my legs and hugged me as I chased A_____ around the grass and giggled like a mad hyena.

The best acknowledgement, however, came from my charge at lunch today.

“Carmen and A_______,” she said and swayed back and forth in her high chair, then she smiled at me and it just was the best little look.

“Are awesome together,” I said, “high-five,” and she smacked my paw with her wee small hand and tilted her head at me.

“I love you,” she said.

“I love you too, A______, very, very much,” I responded, “want more apple?”

Yup.

Then she napped for two hours.

Thank you God for little girls who take two-hour naps.

Really.

I read 79 pages in a new book, flipped through the latest Vanity Fair, drank three cups of tea, checked my e-mails, and meditated.

I actually dozed off a little at the end of my meditation.

“Naptation” is my word for it.

It’s unbelievable when it happens and really wonderful.

Nannying is not all sunshine and naps and music class, there’s a lot to navigate, but I am constantly being reminded that I do it really well and that I am sought after and I get to get paid to do something that makes my heart swell up.

As my charge and I were walking up to the park after her two-hour nap, holding hands, pulling crackers, magically, out of my pocket, singing songs, and looking for butterflies, I was amazed again to have this little life in my hands.

I always get protective at intersections and I lifted her up in my arms and she told me that she loved me again and I responded in turn and I don’t even think about how I haven’t worked more than one day a week with this little girl for the last five months, and she loves me and I her.

I fell for her months ago and I have gotten the I love you months back to, but it’s always so good to hear.

Especially when they say it when you are leaving.

Most of the time the focus is on the parent who has just gotten home, as well it should be, but to hear it as I close the door to their home and haul my bike up on my shoulder to ride off into the Sunset, literally, I ride to the Sunset from work, I carries me forward through the wild rush hour traffic and into the next phase of my day.

“Bye Carmen, I love you.”

Not a bad way to end a day of work, I must say.

Tomorrow I have one little guy up in the Castro, then the weekend.

A weekend I was hoping would include a snuggle fest and some movies, but the schedule is not permitting–his and mine.

I may be waiting until next week.

So it goes.

Things aren’t always on my schedule or time line, but when they are supposed to be, they work out and I don’t have to fuck around and manipulate them to get the results I want.

I did have a wild hair of a moment trying to figure out how I could make Saturday work, but there is absolutely no getting out of the three different women I am meeting, one at noon, another at six p.m., another at 7p.m. and then my 8:30p.m. commitment.

Nope.

I get love there too and I can’t let that go.

The snuggle fest will happen.

More love will happen.

More happy will happen.

I just have to show up for what’s happening today and know that love, well, it’s everywhere I look.

I don’t have to make it happen at all.

I just get to show up and be me.

Silly, off-key, giggly, colorful me.

Authentic me.

 

It Was The Perfect Storm

March 27, 2014

Until my vibrator broke.

ARGH!

Shakes fist at heavens.

Looks at hand.

Meh.

I guess we got to go the old fashion way.

Which is not so bad, it just takes longer and I did not know how much time I had.

I don’t normally have a little knookie when I get home from work, I have other things to do, blogs to write, etc.

However, the car was not in the driveway, the house was dark, and there was no one home.

Upstairs.

The housemate et al, were away.

Do I have enough time?

I ran about setting the stage.

Oh, come now, don’t you set the stage?

I mean, first of all, you got to be in the mood.

I was in the mood, have been for a few days, months, ahem, always, but especially right about now, it’s the time of the month when nature has dropped a little bomb into my system and all systems are suddenly a go and that guy I never would have looked at twice, suddenly looks cute.

All men look cute.

Ok, I exagerrate, not all, how about a lot more than normal.

I have not been on birth control since I was in my mid-twenties, hate what it did to my system and vowed I would not go back to it.  So, I know my cycle really well and what it means to feel what I feel at this time of month–ie sexually aroused.

I use condoms and until I am in a committed relationship, that’s what is going to happen.  I am not going on the pill again.  It sucks.

So, I am alone, the house is quiet and no one is around upstairs.

I am not so worried about them hearing me, although I have been known to be operatatic and I won’t hesistate to say that being vocal or expressing myself vocally is part of the fun.

Don’t try to shush me, please.

It’s more that hearing the upstairs neighbors is not putting me into a sexy good mood, rather quashes it, it does.

A seven year old banging around the house and jumping up and down whilst singing Katy Perry songs does not do it for me.

So when I saw the perfect storm, I took advantage, or tried to.

I mean, I don’t know why I am teasing you, it did happen.

It’s just funny how I felt momentarily betrayed by my vibrator.

NOOOOOOOooooooooo.

Shakes fist at ceiling?

Why?

Why now?

Ugh.

The motor wasn’t broken, but the connection was not working and after a few attempts, half-hearted I admit, I knew it was done for.

Damn you Hitachi Magic Wand.

Third one of my career.

Grr.

I am disinclined to buy another.

Same thing happened with the last two.

They do last a while, I won’t say they don’t but I expect a longer shelf life than what I have gotten from the last two.

I tossed it in the trash and went to the next best option in my bag of tricks.

And yes, mission accomplished, and all before the house hold returned to the homestead upstairs.

Heck, I even got in a shower before the noise started up.

It was a nice little diversion, then to the task at hand, some writing.

Ah, my little sweet blog.

Ever here for me, rain or shine.

I took the train into work today as it was downpouring this morning and I had no inclination to ride my bicycle in.

I did consider it for a few moments, packed my bag like I would, then I looked at the clock and looked out the door, even opening it to really gauge the deluge, and there was no second thought after I saw the rain falling.

I had more than enough time, I would take the train.

And I did.

Making it in to work a few minutes early and dry.

Heck I even got the train back and didn’t have to wait long at all to scoot out here.

The sunset was still happening when I hopped off the N-Judah.

I thought about going down to the ocean to watch the sunset, but I had an intuition, I suppose, or just a scratch to itch, and I went home to find the house delightfully quiet.

I looked at my scooter with much appreciation when I came through the door and thought about when I will go out again, probably next Tuesday in the early evening once again with my friend in the park.

I had aspirations to be riding it this weekend, but I see that it’s too soon for me to make a trip up and over to Noe Valley on Saturday, though I have to be there to meet more than one person.

I booked some back to back ladies for tea and then I have the 8:30 p.m. commitment up the hill.  It would definitely be convenient to not have to take MUNI there or back, but I am not quite ready to do that.  I want another lesson, perhaps two and a guided ride with my friend before I commit myself to leaping aboard and going out by myself.

But that time will come.

I am excited for it.

I had a friend make a sweet comment about how fast it happened and how I am amazing at manifesting things and as I was standing underneath my heart shaped umbrella waiting for the train to pull in I laughed.

Can’t seem to manifest a boyfriend.

But then I thought, exactly how hard have I tried.

I did really go after the scooter.

I took action and took direction and got the license and kept showing up for it.

Not that I am looking to manifest a boyfriend, it was a fleeting thought that made me chuckle.

Boyfriends are not objects or things or vibrators.

They kiss better than vibrators for sure.

I can however, continue to take actions that manifest things in my life, while clearing out old ideas, and sometimes old object, ahem, Magic Wand, and tossing them in the trash to make way for what is next.

What is better.

And what suits me.

It’s always so much nicer than my own ideas.

Best thing I can do.

Clean house.

Opens me up for being of service, not in that way, you pervert you, but to allow in that which makes me happier.

And I as I was told today.

“Go, enjoy your life, you just have today.”

Enjoyment was had.

Really.

I Passed!

March 26, 2014

I failed.

Huh?

I passed!

I got my motorcycle licence today, but man it was a confusing sort of experience, courtesy of the DMV and a weird little stipulation for the licence which stated that if you haven’t renewed your regular drivers licence within the last year, you also have to take the written test for a car.

What?

No!

I did not know that.

Fuck.

I did not study that booklet.

I got to the DMV with plenty of time to spare and re-read a few things that I figured were going to be on the exam.  I waited patiently for my appointment time to be hollered out by the security cop on premise.

And whoa, there needs to be security cops roving about, there was some serious feelings happening, a few of them were my own by the end of the two hours I was there, a man and a clerk hollering at each other right in front of me, a nosy busybody woman who kept trying to engage with me, until I moved, more than one person getting yelled at in the test area to turn off their phone, not talk, and put away the booklet.

I actually watched one woman get booted from taking the exam as she was consulting her phone, whether or not she was looking for test answers I don’t know, in fact, I don’t think she was.

She was doing what everyone else in line wanted to be doing, checking their phone, because the line for the test was super long.

Not to take it.

Not to take the photograph either.

But to have the test corrected.

I get a head of myself here, just a bit.

Let’s reel back to the sweet gentleman who was helping me, expediting everything really quite quickly, I had hopes of not only getting out in time for work, but getting there maybe even a half hour or so earlier than I had told my employers.

But no, those hopes, dashed.

Before said dashing of hopes I was able to pay all my fees–$33 for the licence itself then another $169 for the registration and taxes on the scooter–I got the sticker, I am the registered owner of a 1965 Vespa, it’s all mine, the title is being transferred from my friend to me and I have the receipt all tucked away in the scooter’s little side compartment should I be stopped before I get the real one in the mail.

First thing I did when I got back to the house was slap that sticker on the license plate of my scooter.

My scooter.

Oh my God.

I have a scooter.

It’s not just some fantasy imagination in my brain, this is all really happening.

The motorcycle safety course, the putting the deposit on it, all of it has felt unreal, surreal, fantasy like, the reality is not reality yet.

But it’s getting there.

After I got the sticker I was routed to take a photograph.

WORST photo ever.

I mean bad, bad, bad, how did I get a double chin in this photo?

How?

I was horrified.

But ultimately, I don’t care.

I know what I look like and it ain’t that bad awful photo on my licence.

No.

I cringed when I got the picture back, but I carried all my paperwork and my receipts and my form from the safety course over to the next contestant on the Price is Right.

Er.

I mean.

The next window of harried DMV worker who really could give a fuck.

She was slow, but had a number of tasks that she was doing, including monitoring the test area–she was the one who kicked the girl out of line for using her phone (she had to turn over all paperwork and was told that she couldn’t come back and take the test for six weeks as a penalty. Damn.) as well as processing the test paperwork and correcting the test.

There were two lines just for her.

And she took her time with it.

Oh yes she did.

When I got to the front of the first line she flipped through my paperwork and handed me the tests I had to take.

I was still miffed to have to take them both, but I shut up about it.

I got two wrong on the motorcycle test.

And four wrong on the automobile test.

One too many.

Fuck me.

I of course did not find this out right away.

I had to wait 45 minutes in the test correcting line to find that out.

By the time I finally got to the front of the line it was almost noon, ie, when I was supposed to be at work and I had not been able to take out my phone and send off a text to let the families know I was still at the DMV.

I did not want to get kicked out for “cheating” with my phone.

I was super upset to find out that I had to retake the test.

At first I was just disconcerted.

She handed me back the automobile test and asked me to answer four more questions on the test.

I apparently did not get them right.

Then she said I could take the test again right then and there, but I would have to get back in line.

I could study over the tests with the correct answers and get another test (they have three different versions of it) and try again.

Should I not answer that one within the limits I would have to have a four-week wait to retake, or something like that, I was too mad to hear exactly what she was saying, it also was made clear, I would have to make an appointment to retake the test on another day, versus just staying put.

But I couldn’t stay put.

I had to go to work.

I was in tears and pissed and it was raining and I texted the families and said I was on my way and on my way I went.

Wet and mad as a doused cat.

Not exactly the best way to show up to work.

I eventually got myself together.

Eating a hot bowl of homemade soup for lunch really helped.

Then I realized I did not have the booklet for the automobile test and I would want it to go back and take the test.

Ugh.

Then in rapid succession things happened.

Fell into place and within a half hour of leaving the house with the boys tucked up into the stroller in rain jackets, I had passed the written for the automobile test at the DMV.

Huh?

The heavens parted, the sun came out, I wheeled the stroller over to Fell Street, the baby fell asleep on the way, I got to the office, grabbed the booklet and saw that there was no line.

NO LINE!

There was also a new woman at the desk for the tests.

I walked over and took out my paperwork and asked and she said, go to it, park the stroller next to you and keep them quiet, she handed me a new test and shooed me off.

A snack cracker for the older boy, confirmation the baby was still asleep, and voila, in five minutes I re-took the test, 100% and was out the door with my paper receipt saying I had passed and my new license with my motorcycle upgrade and horrible photo will be arriving in the mail in the next seven to ten days.

Holy crow.

I was amazed.

Did that just happen?

It did.

I have the paperwork to prove it.

And I took my scooter out for her inaugural run in the park with my friend.

I have a bit of practising to do before I am able to run it around town–it’s not an automatic–and I need to get used to using the clutch, but I am on my way.

Scooter Town USA.

Here I come.

I am still in awe that I actually was able to go back, re-take the test, get 100% and be out the doors of the DMV a half hour after I left the house in Cole Valley pushing a double stroller with two little boys in it.

But I am not going to question it anymore.

It really happened.

I have my license.

It’s on.

Snuggle Puppy

March 25, 2014

You’re the one.

Snuggle puppy.

Oh so much fun.

Oooohwheeeooooo.

Or something like that.

I have had the lyrics of a Sandra Boynton children’s book in my head all day, it’s not the worst of her books to have in my head, it could be a sheep says ba, a cow says moo, three pigs in a row say la, la, la.  No!  You say, pigs, they say oink.

If you are just now stumbling on my blog you may be wondering what the fuck is this lady on?

I am a nanny, so I often have weird little snippets of songs or lullabies or books in my head, I can pretty much recite Richard Scarry’s “I am a Bunny” from memory, do an almost perfect recitation of Boyton’s “All the Hippo’s go Berserk,” and tell you a fairy tale at the drop of a hat.

I have snuggle puppy on my mind since I got an interesting invitation for a cuddle and a movie from a dear male friend of mine.

We both have been doing the online dating thing, the not dating thing, the what is wrong with dating thing, the I don’t ever want to date again thing, and I was pleasantly surprised when I got the invitation to watch some movies and have a cuddle snack.

Ah, yes please.

I miss having some arms around me, I do.

And cute boy arms, bring it.

I do wonder if snuggling leads to other things.

Like cuddling.

Or.

Hmmm.

Well, I suppose I just wonder.

I am not opposed to other things happening, I am just going to show up and see what happens.

There’s nothing concrete yet, just some flirtatious messaging.

“One day our kids are going to look back and be able to find all the crazy crap with text each other and all the whack porn we look at, and say, wow, Grandpa Billy sure was kinky,” another friend of mine said to me once as we embarked on a brief affair before I left for Paris.

He was also the one who sent me a stick drawing cartoon of a man and woman in bed wherein the stick man says to stick woman, “how was it?”

And she replies, “read my blog.”

I had some trepidations about writing about the movie and cuddle offer, but then hey, what would I be writing about, it’s what I was thinking about today and it put a smile on my face whenever I did.

Knowing there is cute boy snuggling in my future makes a girl smile.

It helps when the day is long and the boys, my charges, are rambunctious.

Plus, it’s just nice to know someone wants to spend time with me, I like that I am thought of as someone who is a value to others, in their lives, socially, or otherwise.

It makes me feel connected, not alone, and loved.

Nothing wrong with feeling loved.

Or getting loved up.

I am down for it.

Plus, I like to reciprocate.

I love to sit next to a friend and give them a hand rub, show some love, reach out and hug someone, be affectionate, cuddle it up.

I need human contact, I am no good without it.

I am forever grateful that I am in the middle of the boat in my community, that I have any time a number of people who I see and can hug, reach out to, call, love on and be loved back.

It’s pretty damn special.

And I don’t have to wait until Burning Man to get it.

I could be getting it this weekend, snuggling that is, if the chips fall out in my favor.

More will be revealed.

Until then I have some studying to do.

Not much, I don’t feel like I need to read the damn hand book much longer, but tomorrow is the deal.  I take the written test at the DMV for my motorcycle licence.

My appointment is at 10:35 a.m.

I have been carrying the hand book with me for the last week, reading it whenever I had a moment.  I get the impression that the things in bold will be the things that are pertinent to the test, and that has been what I have focused on remembering.

I don’t have work until noon, figure I will be done with the DMV within an hour, hour and fifteen at max, I can’t see the written test taking me that long.  I did the one for the motorcycle safety course in about ten minutes, I was the first one out, and I passed just fine.

That is not to say that I won’t take my time and read the questions, it just means that I am good at taking tests, always have been.

I recall taking a test in 6th grade that I was sure I failed and I got 100%.

One of only two kids to actually pass the test, my teacher let me sit in back at his desk and eat M&M’s while the class retook the test.

I was a teacher’s pet, a bit, I suppose you could say.

I don’t recall many tests where I didn’t do well.

Although there is one in recent memory–when I got my drivers license, I just went and took it and I failed the written, I was shocked.

I hadn’t read the booklet and there’s a great deal of difference between the written test for the CA licence then there was for the WI when I took it.

This time I have read the book, a lot.

I don’t care to fail the test and have to take another morning off to go back and take it.

Every time I see someone on a scooter, I think, they did it, so can I.

And do it I will.

Then I shall celebrate.

With some snuggling.

 

 

Sunshine and Horses

March 24, 2014

Rainbows and Unicorns.

Walking hand in hand on the beach with you my love.

Or horseback riding as the case may be.

Today I went to Mar Vista Stables out by Fort Funston here in San Francisco, down by the sparkling blue Pacific Ocean, and went horseback riding with some dear and darling girlfriends.

“Like lady friends, like romantic?” My housemate’s daughter queried me, later after they had all left.

You know you’re in San Francisco when a seven-year old girl is making those kinds of assumptions.

“No, friends who are girls,” I said, “girls who I love, although not in a romantic way, woman who are very dear to me.”

“Same thing,” she said and went back to her chalk drawing on the cement patio in the back yard.

And she’s right, it’s all the same love.

Just a different facet of it.

I am blessed with some amazing lady friends, not only did I get to go dancing with a great group of gals on Friday, I got to have a second wild adventure today with another wonderful set of women.

I really am lucky.

And I got to cook for them due to unsuspecting events that unfolded on the ride.

Our time at the stables ran over, there were incidents.

My horse bucked a bit, nipping the hindquarters on the horse in front of me who promptly kicked back, causing my horse to rear and startling the hell out of the rider in front of me.

Who admitted while we were riding down the cliff’s edge to the beach, “I am terrified.  If I wasn’t over the weight limit I would have asked for the pony, I am only doing this for my girlfriend who used to ride.”

Brave boy.

He wasn’t the only person shaking.

One of my friends got tossed out of the saddle.

I did not see it happen, but suddenly the horse was galloping and then another was running and the guide behind us dashed forward slapping the side of his horse with the leather reins bunched up in his right hand to spur her forward.

She was fortunately not injured, but very rattled.

Who wouldn’t have been?

And amazing, cliché as this sounds, despite the nerves and adrenalin, she got back up in the saddle.

Bravest act I have seen in some time.

I would have probably walked back.

Fuck that.

Another incident occurred shortly thereafter with another rider who slipped out of his saddle–it hadn’t been well secured and he just slipped right out and suddenly the horse is running wild and galloping with out its rider.

It was intense.

And somber and I believe we all realized that we were on huge animals, 1,000 lb beings that could have tossed any of us over at any time.

There was more than one sigh of relief when we crested the cliff’s edge on the way back to the corral and shakily climbed out of the saddles.

We all sat and compared notes, noticing that the group was really too large for the number of guides we had with us, the horses were exhausted, and that it was not the experience we had been expecting.

No one, ultimately was hurt and we all left hungry and ready to relax.

There had been birthday reservations made at the Beach Chalet, but after all the separate stops and starts and the getting back on the horse, literally, we had overshot our time and the reservation had been lost.

My friend was quoted a forty-five minute wait and I piped up that I couldn’t make it that long, it was close to two pm and I would be an idiot and not friendly with anyone if I had to wait another hour for food.

Split pea soup to the rescue!

My friend asked the car load of ladies what we wanted to do and I suggested we could come back to my house, I had just cooked up a big batch of soup and would happily host, or their were plenty of restaurants in my neighborhood.

My dear friend opted for soup at my place and we are back to my little studio having tea and chatting and I whipped up a big kale salad with all sorts of goodies and heated up the split pea soup and we all had a meal together.

I felt like not only did I get to help my friend celebrate her birthday, but I had for the first time had a little lunch party at my house, it felt like a housewarming.

I had bought flowers yesterday and I had a room full of ladies who lunch and it was just divine.

Soup and salad and tea.

Sounds sort of suspect and silly, and normal.

Perhaps it sounds bland to you too.

But to me, it was joyous and uplifting and I felt surrounded with love and I was able to provide sustenance and nourishment with love for my friends.

I got to reflect back to them the kind of women I felt them to be and feed my friends.

I used to host great big house parties and dinner parties, and I wouldn’t change those experiences for the world, they were fun and I will always savor the memories–the big jambalaya feast I threw one summer at the house on Willy Street in Madison, or bbq in the back yard at my place on Gorham Street, all the Thanksgivings and Christmas dinners–but this was sweet for its spontaneity and cheer.

We all got cozy and the drama of the horseback outing sluiced away to be replaced by warmth and laughter and sharing about our lives.

The clock ticked down and ladies left and I had leftovers later for dinner, savoring the food that I had gotten to provide my friends with, the spice that I like the most is salt, but this was flavored with love and it blew sunshine all the way through me as I sat outside in the quiet of the back yard with only the ravens overhead and the sound of the ocean shushing in the background.

My life.

My love.

My ladies.

All down by the sea with me.

What a spectacular little weekend I got to have.

It might not have been rainbows and unicorns.

But it was damn close.

Horseback

Horseback riding, Mar Vista Stables

Split Pea Soup and Sex

March 23, 2014

I don’t actually believe very many folks are going to bait into this blog with that title, but you never know.

I mean, I imagine that the first thing that comes to mind is having sex with split pea soup in the equation, but split pea soup is not necessarily a sexy soup.

I mean it’s green and sort of mushy.

Delicious.

But mushy.

Then I think, is that soup hot?

That would burn.

Maybe you’re kinky?

Hot mushy soup instead of candle wax.

Then I thought, well then, how about cold, like that nursery rhyme: peas porridge hot and peas porridge cold, peas porridge in a pot nine days old.  Some like it hot and some like it cold and some like it in the pot nine days old.

Now first off all who the hell likes anything nine days old?

Nine day old peas porridge sounds like salmonella poisoning to me and nothing says sexy like vomiting.

Put cold pea soup, is not sexy at all.

Not even like I am wearing this as a mask to get sexy.

Sexy foods are chocolate and whipped cream, sticky though, let’s be honest, who has had sex with whipped cream?

Raise your hands you kids you.

Uh huh.

And it’s sticky.

Unless you’re hopping in the shower right quick sexy with whipped cream is not sexy.  It makes a good visual, I will grant you that, but otherwise it gets tacky and kind of gross and then you have like lint stuck to you and who wants that?

Or dog fur.

Or gack, cat fur.

“Don’t post a photo of you and your cat!” My friend said over the phone today.

He was asking me to help him look at a few things on his OkStupid profile and I immediately went to you need to change your profile pix, not a good one, take off the sunglasses, show a current photo, you don’t have a beard and the hair cut is much better.

And he replied with the cat insight.

Not that I have a cat photo on my page, but apparently girls do.

“Oh and no kids, even if they’re your cute nieces and nephews,” he added.

I know that one too and told him to do the same, except not with kids, with other women.  I don’t want to see the guy with another woman, whether it’s a co-worker or a sister or an old friend, only pictures of said dude.

As soon as I see another woman I think ex-girlfriend, ex-wife, and it sours me whether or not it’s true.

All this talk about sex and soup and whip cream.

Where is this going?

I basically did my shopping and cooking today, is where it’s going and I was trying to make it sound sexy, and self-care is sexy, split pea soup can be sexy, as long as it’s not cold and nine days old, and I was filled with a kind of warmth, and yes, I dare say it, love of self when I saw my full fridge with healthful stuff in it–homemade soup in canning jars, fresh veggies and fruit and it’s all organic and good and yay.

I suppose that’s where I sort of left it.

I got up late today, almost 11 a.m. before I rolled out of bed, but considering I went to bed at 3 a.m. last night, it makes perfect sense.

I knew I would be busy tomorrow–Joan’s birthday party–and I wanted to get all my stuff dealt with today.  So soup making and food shopping, laundry, and fresh sheets on the bed, flowers in vases, check book balancing, bill paying, and tidying up.

And voila, my day.

No, there was not sex in my day, but you know, as a friend recently commented, I have been baiting my reader with sex in my titles to get a read.  I don’t usually have high readership on Saturdays anyway, so I thought, why not.

I mean, I have sex on the mind, why not put that out there too.

Or at least body contact.

Out at the club last night I sat by my friend for a moment in between dancing and he put his arm around me and I threw a leg over his lap and we hung out.

I have to say, it felt good.

And I wondered, how come never this?

But, he’s a smoker and that’s not a match with me and I know from some experience that guys will let you know if they are interested and I don’t think he is, but we are messaging back and forth on OkStupid to help out both of our profiles.

Apparently the more often you reply the more you get asked out.

According to some blog he read about the site.

I have never even thought about that.

Then when I told him he could use better profile photographs we actually started talking, joking, but I think it could actually be funny, about going around and fake doing things to have that perfect profile shot.

So basically now we need groomers and photographers and more media manipulation on our social sites to get what we really want, personal contact with another human being.

The internet is great, don’t get me wrong, but when I am blogging I am alone, so too when I am on my FaceBook page or OkStupid or Twitter or anything else.

The interconnectivity is awesome some times, although I did not need to see the post my sister just put up about not wearing underwear anymore.

TMI.

Then again, seeing photographs of my niece, pretty cool, especially since, when will I see her next?

Could be awhile.

But I feel that I need to see people face to face and not just over the net to really connect.

I need to watch people too.

I am an artist and I observe.

I take.

Like the small Asian man on the MUNI tonight, with age spots and a mole the size of a quarter on his face the skin on his face sagged and his eyes weary closing against the overhead lighting on the train.

His shoes were worn down and he walked with a bow-legged swagger that made me immediately think sea man and he was far shorter when he stood to get of the train than I thought he would be, almost diminutive in his navy suit and rumpled white dress shirt that was baggy out of his pants, pulled askew on the left side where he had been  scratching his ribs.

And the hat.

Slouched down, yet dapper, a fedora in tweed with flecks of brown and mustard.

That hat said so much.

Would I have noticed that hat had I been engrossed in my Facecrack feed on my phone?

I don’t think so.

I don’t know where all this is going, but I am grateful for these powers of perception whether they are reflecting on soup or sex.

Or hats.

I am writing and that’s the sexy in my soup any day.

I Like It Hard and Fast

March 22, 2014

I explained to her as we stood in the swirling lights of the club.

My music, that is.

Bahahahahaha.

I was asked if I do escatic dance and I said I had gone once and had it recommended to me a number of times but that I did not like the music much the time I went, way too slow and low-key and ambient.

I like it hard and fast.

I like trance and side trance and electro house and French House and classic Detroit dirty four on the floor grind it out and drop it hard.

I like to boogie.

I got some boogie on tonight and my legs are a little boogied out.

I also got a ride home from a friend with a truck who tossed my two-wheel steed in the back and graciously dropped me at the house.

I feel lucky.

And though I did not feel much like writing my blog, I knew I was going to and I realized as I started typing that I would still be riding my bicycle home and not even be writing yet, let alone boiling a pot of water for tea.

“Can you believe I am just going to go home and chill out and maybe watch a bit of a show,” an older man said to me as I was hustling my bike across the street to my friends pick up.

“I’m going to go home and have tea” I said.

He shook his head, “you’re too young for tea.”

Ah.

I love that.

“You should be going out and hitting the after party,” he nodded, “that’s what pretty girls should do.”

Nope, not this pretty girl.

This pretty girl was already up past her bedtime.

Earlier in the evening my darling friend Bonne yawned and I yawned and we both laughed, long week at work, extra hours, what are we doing going out dancing, I think had either one of us not bought the tickets it would have been a done deal, both of us would have gone home to bed.

But we went dancing instead.

And it was good, it was good to get out, it was good to move, although I think I might take an ibuprofen or two here in a minute, I am sore from all the bike riding over the last few weeks, the end of a full nanny week, and yes, dancing pretty solid for three hours.

10p.m.-1a.m.

Not too bad for a 41-year-old lady with cruddy knees.

“You’re older than me?” My friend said incredulously as we were handing over our ids to the bouncer.

I had seen him walking up as I was locking my bicycle to the rack outside the club and we went in together talking this and that, turns out he had been there all day helping the Flaming Lotus Girls get their stuff set up for the benefit.

It was nice to see him and I was not expecting to also get a ride home, which as I said, super grateful for as it winds toward the 3 a.m. hour.

I ran into a few other folks as well, a photographer from the PinHole Photography project who has been bugging me to go play frisbee golf forever and we may finally get out to the course in Golden Gate Park, I should even if he and I don’t hook up.

I haven’t played frisbee golf in over a decade.

It would be fun to get back into it, its great exercise and fun and really cheap.

Like free.

The only cost is a driver and a putter.

You can have a lot more discs in your bag than that, I certainly did when I was playing, but ultimately that’s all you need to start.  There are no “greens fees” and the course is maintained by the parks department.

I have never even walked through the entirety of it.

I did do a piece on it for KQED when I was interning there and it ended up getting air way back, must be five years ago now.

I also ran into an artist whose work I really admired on playa at Burning Man and got to thank her face to face, never having officially met her at the event, and I got to dance.

Dancing being the main draw of it.

The Space Cowboys threw a great show and I was thrilled, although the first set did start out sort of slow, the second slayed it and the third put me over the top.

I was not so enamoured with the fourth set and wandered off to grab some water, get my messenger bag screen printed (the Flaming Lotus Girls were screen printing for donations), take some silly photographs with Bonne and then the text came with the offer for the ride home and that was all she wrote.

I do like it hard and fast, but I can’t do it all night long like I used to.

The knees are just too old and they don’t like that it.

I wish I could.

But there’s nothing wrong with dancing a little less maniacally and coming home to have tea instead of coming home to host an after party and wonder when it’s appropriate to kick the strange guy out of my bed.

“I used up all my drink tickets,” I told the man as I waited for the light to change at 13th and Mission, “I like going home to drink tea.”

Getting to go out and play for a while and then come home and take care of myself is the best of both worlds and I certainly wake up feeling much better than I used to.

And I get to sleep in tomorrow, which I was not expecting, I had a commitment to meet someone in the morning at Tart to Tart and they called in sick.

So I have no plans for tomorrow until I am due in Noe Valley at 7p.m.

I can sleep in all day.

Not that I will, but it’s nice knowledge to have.

And with that, this lady is heading to bed.

Where I shall fall asleep.

Hard and fast.

It’s Almost Friday

March 21, 2014

It’s almost time to dance.

Oh Jesus.

I am ready.

I am ready.

I need to shake it out and shake it hard and let my hair down, and probably put it back up because I will get hot, then let it all go.

I am going to tear it up.

At least that’s what it feels like right now.  Tomorrow, well tomorrow, I could be punked out and my energy may be low and maybe, it’s been known to happen, I won’t be feeling it.

But I will go anyway.

Because I bought tickets.

I was ruminating earlier that sometimes I have to purchase something to go and the guilt of having paid for it will be the motivation.

What?

I paid $18.05 to go dancing (tax, etc.) online.

I better go.

I want to go and that should be enough impetus, but sometimes it is not.

I was talking about not riding my bicycle as much when I get my licence and how that has played out in my head as an anxiety producing thing about not getting enough exercise and the person I was checking in with asked what kind of exercising I like and  I said swimming.

Then she told me about a friend of hers who pays to be in a league and shows up for swim practise.

Swim practise!

Can you imagine at the age of 41?

Maybe.

I am a good swimmer and I do enjoy it and that’s an option, especially with having a vehicle to get me there and back.

Sometimes I am loath to go do something physical because I know afterward I am going to be on my bicycle and I am not up for the commute.

Though, truth be told, I have noticed that I am faster, quicker, and more agile on my bike of late.

I have dropped a pound or two and I can feel the lightness in my body and I can see more muscle tone in my legs and in my upper waist, my lower waist is never going to be what I want it to be, unless I get surgery, which should the money ever happen I might.

I will always, as long as I do what I am doing today, just for today, have loose skin on my body.

And instead of wishing it away I can be profoundly grateful for the visual evidence of what I used to weigh and how hard it was to get through the day.

How stressful it was to hike up Bascom Hill in Madison.

I hike up a great deal of hills in San Francisco, once a week a really steep one, pushing my bicycle up ahead of me–why I will get to climb it tomorrow–up Noe to 19th, and I don’t need to pause for breath three or four times.

I had an old friend tag me in some photographs from days gone by when I used to work at the Angelic Brewing Company, where I hit my top weight, maybe 282 lbs, maybe more.  I didn’t get on a scale for a long time after that and I believe I could have been heavier, but I wasn’t about to find out.

I know that a few years later I had dropped down to 250 lbs.

I know that because I weighed myself at my black belt test.

I was a 250 lb 29-year-old woman getting her black belt in Shaolin.

No wonder I wasn’t fucked with.

Well not much, I remember one of the bartenders, Kurt, joking about how we should turn off all the lights and jump out at me to see how I responded in the dark brewery.

Ah, no thanks, friend, no one needs to die.

Then I managed to get down to 214/215 lbs when I moved here to San Francisco.

Courtesy of a little dietary aid.

Er, I mean, a little bag, or two, of cocaine.

I remember a dear, dear friend asking me if I was using coke to lose weight.

Well, sort of, I admitted, I loved that I wasn’t hungry, but I couldn’t, at that time, admit that I was just plain old addicted to the shit.

Then I stopped.

And wow did the weight come back.

I ate to stuff all those feelings and stuff myself I did.

I bounced back up to 275 lbs, maybe more.

After that I did a lot of restricting and white knuckling, then one day someone suggested I try something else and after a couple of false starts I found a solution that works for me.

And I got right sized.

Which is not to say that I got to the size that I want to be at.

Nope.

Not at all.

What I got was a certain kind of freedom from obsessing about what that certain size should be.  I got a perspective that allowed me to see that every day, no matter how heavy or light, I was exactly how I should be and that change was going to happen and I might get bigger or smaller depending.

But I would always be right sized.

I believe that’s called humility.

So, when the brain beats me up and says my body is not as attractive as it could be, I get grateful for all the evidence to the contrary, I worked really hard to be the woman I am today and I am gorgeous.

I am not photoshopped, I have wrinkles, I have laugh lines, I have saggy upper arm skin and loose skin on my tummy, but I also have that as evidence I can look at every day and see what an amazing woman I am, how much effort I have put in, in small little steps, to be where I am at.

And where I am at is wearing a sleeveless size medium dress to go dancing in tomorrow night with a pair of leggings and some Converse.

Because although you might not think that my upper arms are sexy.

I do.

And flaunt them I shall while I get my groove on the dance floor.

Because being content in my body is the sexiest statement I can make.

And I am hella sexy.

Just watch me break it off tomorrow.

Because, it’s on.


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