Archive for January, 2015

Tickets Please

January 31, 2015

I just bought my tickets to Atlanta, Georgia for July 1st-5th.

I leave SFO at 10:30 p.m. on the evening of the 1st, so I will work that last shift before heading out and not have to take an extra vacation day.

I will arrive in Georgia, land of peaches, the morning of the 2nd.

Oh.

My.

God.

I’m going to Atlanta.

Now all I need to do is find a place to stay.

I talked to another friend today who wants to go and we spoke about getting a bigger space for three instead of just two.

I found some things on AirBnB and I think I may have to confirm, but really, it would make better sense to have another person stay with, cut down on the cost of being there.

The plane ticket was $438.

The registration was $100.

I am figuring that housing will be about, fingers crossed less than $500 for the time I am there, I think it could go quite a bit lower, though.

I did find a few things on Airbnb that would be quite affordable for three people, one that caught my eye was $560 for three people for four nights.

That is a steal.

That would be slightly less than $200 for the time there if I split the cost of staying with two other people.

Hell I could even book it and say, who’s in?

My friends could say no and I know that I could find a few other friends who would be down for jumping in the boat.

It’s a bit out time wise, but I suspect that closer to the event, the more expensive things are going to be.

I also wonder about whether or not a lot of Atlanta knows what’s happening in July, but that  when they do, prices may go up and availability down.

I want to book a place as soon as I can.

Which means coordinating with my friends.

Or.

Just making the decision to reach out and take action and book a place and then invite the my two friends to join me.

I don’t have to make any decision tonight.

The main action was taken.

I bought the ticket.

I’m going to Atlanta!

Hot damn.

I get to wear summer dresses and sandals in July!

I know I live in California, but I live in San Francisco, it’s chilly, if not down right cold in July, I’m going to be thrilled to be somewhere hot, to walk outside at night, to be in humidity and warmth.

Oh deliciousness.

I suppose I might change my tune when my hair explodes from the humidity, but who knows.

“You got a lot of hair!” The homeless woman on Church Street said to me around a bite of scavenged burrito.

“I do,” I laughed and kept walking.

The hair it has been getting bigger.

And longer.

And by the time I get to Atlanta and have oh, about twenty minutes in the weather, it will be twice as big, I’ll be able to give Diana Ross in her prime a run for her money.

Let me just take another moment to fantasize about sundresses and sandals.

Ah.

That’s nice.

In fact, I will tell on myself, there’s a pair of sandals I promised myself I would buy when I bought the plane ticket, they’re on sale and I thought, you know, they’ll be perfect for Atlanta.

Hehe.

As though I don’t have other sandals.

I do.

But, I might want a pair for each day I’m there.

“Excuse me miss, we’ll have to check your bag, too many shoes to carry on the plane.”

Bahaha.

Oh.

I amuse myself.

I was thinking when I was riding my bicycle home from a successful end of the week, I actually snuck in a trip to Whole Foods and to the nail salon before going to my Friday night commitment after work, that I just had to put this recovery thing first and the rest would follow.

It’s something I always forget and when reminded, it is such a relief.

Who am I going to date next?

Becomes how may I be of service in this situation?

And suddenly.

I don’t care who I’m going to date next.

What am I going to do about financial aid for graduate school?

Becomes, who do I need to call and check in on?

And suddenly.

I don’t care about graduate school either.

I know this much, I have complete and utter faith that if I take the continual actions in front of me, focusing on what I can do and where I can take action, instead of thinking about it, the graduate school stuff will all fall in line.

If I get in, the money will show up.

If I don’t.

Then I try something else.

I’m young.

I’ve got time a head of me.

I could probably get two Master’s Degrees and a Doctorate before I die.

I’m going to be an old lady, it runs in the family, and I’m down with it.

So, yeah, focusing on what I can do, what action I can take today, just one or two, and it builds up.

It’s divine.

And so simple I forget that it’s often the smallest things that lead to the biggest revelations in my life.

I may troll around on AirBnb a little more tonight, but I have done the heavy lifting for the day.

Now it is the weekend.

Which always goes by so fast, and is quite loaded up with things to do and places to go.

And I want to get my taxes done, that is a priority.

Oh.

And perhaps I should breathe a little too.

Ha.

Just slow it down.

It is the weekend after all.

I don’t need to get too far a head of myself.

Relax.

Enjoy a little down time.

And.

Think about picking up another summer dress.

To go with all my sandals.

Giggle.

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I’m Going to Atlanta!

January 30, 2015

I just registered for the conference.

Woohoo.

I started looking for flights, but as I won’t really be able to buy the air plane ticket until after my direct deposit goes into my account at midnight, I figure, I’ll be waiting until I get home from work tomorrow.

First step on the way to the dirty South.

Hotlanta here I come.

I still can’t believe I will be going there in July.

However, not only may I get to see a lot of folks, some from here in the city, I found out in the last day that another two friends are also going, I may get to see my eldest niece as well.

That would be pretty cool.

I haven’t seen her in about 10 years.

My sister sent me a message that she, my niece is in Atlanta doing school and working for FEMA.

Whoa.

Cool.

It’s a little ways off, 154 days, but the preparation to go has to start pretty quick.

The airlines are averaging about a $475 ticket round trip for the time I am looking at.

There is supposedly a discount through an airline agency that links up to the conference website, but I wasn’t able to navigate it to find out what ticket prices were.  I will be doing more exploration soon.

Ha.

I just figured out the site and I actually found cheaper tickets via another website, not by much, but probably by enough that I will buy my own airplane ticket and by-pass the event site.

Then.

On to housing.

My friend got a hold of me and let me know that he had not actually booked the hotel room.

So we are looking at AirBnB.

I’m sure that something will come up from that.

But again, stuff to attend to quickly.

I suspect that the hotels and motels will be overwhelmed with requests for berths.

There are not hotels with vacancies within eight, nine miles of the venue.

That’s a lot of rooms that have already been booked.

There are dorms, apparently, available at a couple of the universities, but frankly, though I am ready for graduate school, I am not ready to stay in a dorm ever, ever, ever again.

I am willing to pay a little more to stay in a spot a little nicer.

Plus, if I’m splitting a room with my friend then we can probably get something decent.

I am super grateful that I bit the bullet and regisered.

The cost is $100.

Just enough to make me know that I will go.

The investment in money is important, but the investment in me and my life is the most important.

I am over the moon that I am allowing myself this trip.

I have been thinking about it since I missed the last convention in 2010 and a lot of people in my community went and raved about it, it was in Austin that year, this is definitely my year.

Oh sweet Jesus.

I just got completely sucked into AirBnB.

I need to stop.

I wont’ be booking tonight.

I can spend time over the weekend checking out all the options and doing the research.

I can also shoot my friend in Atlanta a message and see if he has any suggestions.

I have plenty of stuff to do this weekend.

Might as well add-on one more thing.

The biggest thing is done, I registered and paid for the conference.

The rest of it will fall exactly into place as it suppose to.

The next thing on the agenda is, drum roll please, taxes.

Yeah.

Woohoo.

Time to get those suckers done.

I am awaiting the response from one of the families I worked for to see what, if any, there are declaring in regards to deductions for child care.

I have gotten response back from the two other families and I just need the last and then I may proceed with the taxes.

I am ready with all my stuff.

Once I have the pertinent information it shouldn’t take me much more than an hour to do the deal.

Then I get to do the FAFSA forms.

It was suggested that I apply for financial aid even before I receive confirmation that I have gotten into graduate school.  It apparently will take some time for the application to be processed and the school advisor said the sooner the better to make sure that I can pay tuition when it is due.

I still cannot believe I actually applied for the program.

Sometimes when I am at the park and mediating a melt down between a 2 1/2 year old and a 4 1/2 year old over the same shovel I am so far from doing anything else, it seems absolutely impossible that I could do or be anything other than a nanny, for the rest of my life, amen.

Then I ride my bike and feel a twinge in my shoulder, the same one that has been bothering me for almost a year, or my ankle, yeah, that’s right, my ankle still hurts, and I think, I can’t get done with being a nanny fast enough.

I must have work that doesn’t rely on my body keeping it together for another ten to fifteen years.

Of course, the graduate program is just the first of many steps that will need to be taken before I can be a licenced therapist doing the deal and making decent money.

I figure, and I am not joking, that I’ll be 47 or 48 before I have my own practice.

I’m 42 now.

The program takes three years.

The accruing of hours will probably take another couple of years.

That puts me at 47.

I might even be lowballing that estimate.

I may be 50 before I have my own practice.

Regardless.

I am not afraid of the work.

Work has never really terrified me.

Sometimes, it tires me out.

Today was hard, this week really, has been long.

The eldest boy was home sick again and that makes for longer days.

The upshot?

Lattes every morning this week from Ritual and lunch three times out, paid by the family, once at The Crepe House and twice now at Tacolicious.

That’s a nice perk.

Plus all my fruit this week courtesy of BiRite.

I can hang with that.

Ah yes.

Work.

Taxes.

Travel.

Throw in some sex and I’ll have it all.

I’ll pass on the death bit though.

 

Hatching Plans

January 29, 2015

I just ran into a dear, dear, dear friend of mine.

Someone who has known me for ten years.

Someone who is going to Atlanta in July.

Someone I just made plans to be hanging out with in Atlanta, in July.

Yeah.

I know, Atlanta, July, those two things seem not so amazing, too hot, too humid, but considering that San Francisco in July is fucking freezing and foggy, especially out here at the beach, a fourth of July weekend in Atlanta sound pretty amazing.

Especially considering that there will be lots, and I mean, lots of friends there.

I paid my rent early.

I paid my student loans early.

And this Friday when I get my pay check I will be paying for the convention registration, $100, and buying an airplane ticket to go to the South.

I have never been to Georgia.

I am excited.

I started making some travel plans in my head last night and as I realized that so much of actually getting to said destination has nothing to do with thinking, I had to take some actions.

Action one was writing about it.

When I write it out on my blog, it tends to happen.

Burning Man.

Paris.

Graduate school.

Boyfriend.

Ex-boyfriend.

Ahem.

Having my own place in San Francisco.

Writing.

So much of it happens, trips, dancing, getting a Vespa, because I do the work, the little actions that add up, and it starts with writing it down.

Things can be up in my head for a while and in my head is no good.

All I do is obsess about it.

What ever “it” is.

I will obsess.

Today I choose to take an action.

I asked my friend if he had registered and he had and then I asked the big question.

Do you have a place to stay?

The hotels are already booked out close to the area of the convention and when I was doing some searching I really could not find anything appropriate hotel wise.

I did locate some things on the AirBnB site that might work for me and I have a friend in Atlanta I am sure I could peep who might let me crash on the couch, but I want to be in the thick of it with my fellows.

My friend has to confirm his reserveration.

We might be roomies.

It might be wonderful.

Either way.

I committed.

When I say I am going to do something, then I am going to do it.

That’s one of the most amazing things about the last ten years for me.

When I say I want to try it.

I do it.

Trampoling?

I’ve done it.

I might be too old to do it again, but I did it.

I told my friend that Friday I would register.

And Friday I will buy the airplane ticket too.

The best way to get me somewhere is to buy the plane ticket to the destination.

Then I’m pretty sure to show up even when I don’t know what it’s going to look like when I get there.

Paris.

When I had a little break time at work today, which was not much, the oldest boy was home again sick, I spent some time looking over my calendar for the year.

I can absolutely do Atlanta.

And I can do Atlanta without having to take any vacation days at work.

The conference is July 2-5th.

I have off for the holiday the 2nd and the 3rd, Thursday and Friday, then it’s the weekend, basically I have off, paid for the trip.

Perfection.

When I saw those dates I knew it was on.

Then seeing my friend tonight, sort of sealed the deal.

I am ready for this adventure.

Then I looked up Burning Man.

August 30-September 7th.

I have September 7th off from work, paid.

The family wants me to travel with them to Sonoma in August.

But not the first week in September.

I could take my vacation, which I haven’t taken and I get two weeks paid off for the year, and go to Burning Man.

Now.

Burning Man still depends on graduate school and the fact that the program I applied for has a one week intensive retreat to start out the semester.

I looked up the dates for the program, but realized after staring at them awhile and toggling between my calendar and the school’s website, that the program didn’t have fall 2015 listed.

The dates were for fall 2014 and spring 2015.

So, not really able to quite tell whether there is conflict in that or not.

I know there’s the retreat week I have to take for the program, but not the dates for it.

I also know there’s a weekend soon thereafter, I’ve applied to the program that is the intensive, so it’s full time school, but only on the weekends, which may or may not conflict with Burning Man.

Plus.

I did have the thought, the family might not be too keen on me taking all my vacation time in the same month.

Then again.

I can always ask.

Still.

Not going to know what’s happening along those lines for a minute yet.

I won’t know until March if I got in.

Although I did get the thumbs up from one of my letters of recommendation that it was being sent off this weekend, which is good.

February 1st is the deadline for the program.

Then next.

The trip to Chula Vista.

Which I was admonished by a cousin to make sure I co-ordinate with everyone in the family so that I could visit more than just my grandmother.

I’m excited by the prospect.

Getting to know my father’s side of the family really feels like a special thing.

I will get a hold of my grandmother this weekend and see what her time frame is too.  I don’t want to make any plans without consulting her as well.

But a spring time visit to Chula Vista seems definitely on the books.

Then a jaunt to the North Woods to see my best friend.

When?

Fuck if I know.

But I know.

It will happen.

Sometimes just saying it will make it so.

And so along those lines.

I am hereby ready to be asked out on a date.

Haha.

No.

Really, I am.

That was the last of my “plans” for the weekend.

Allowing myself to be asked out.

I realized.

Again.

That my picker is broken.

So instead of doing the asking.

I am going to wait to be asked.

Go on.

Ask.

I’ll make room for you, kind sir.

My schedule may look busy, but I’ll squeeze you in.

You have my word.

It may be around some travel plans.

But you’ll like Burning Man.

I swear.

It’s not that dusty.

 

I Dreamt I Was At Burning Man*

January 28, 2015

And I had to leave early and I was sad.

Jesus, I thought when I woke up, what month is it?

Oh yeah.

January.

You know you have it bad when you start dreaming about the event this far out. I blame the early sale of tickets that just happened, the group sales for pre-registered camps that is happening and the fact that I have had just enough time since the last burn to forget anything difficult or challenging that happened.

There was plenty of both this past year.

It’s not an unlikely scenario, the dream.

Go to Burning Man and have to leave early this year.

If I get into graduate school there’s a very good chance that would happen.

Of course, I can’t remember when the fall semester starts and I also don’t and won’t know if I’m in until March.

Until then I have plenty of other things to focus on.

Like I want to go to Atlanta in July as well.

I would really like to see my best friend in Wisconsin too, without a severe ankle injury holding me back from participating in the visit either.

And I want to make a trip down to Chula Vista to visit my grandmother.

What with everything that has happened with my dad it feels like its time to reconnect with my grandmother.

We stay in touch via Face Book, but there’s something better about face to face than over the Internet and I would like to catch up with her and also just give her a hug.

It’s been too long.

So that’s four travel destinations between here and now and the fall.

Plus what ever the dates are for the family I work with to be in Sonoma.

One thing at a time, I suppose.

Burning Man looms the largest in my mind since it is such a time and money commitment. Plus, there is the thought, do I go this year and not work?

I am not currently employed by any Burning Man family, so there may not be any Mary Fucking Poppins on the playa this year, although I do know plenty of the community that have little munchkins that go out.

“What if you, I know, radical idea, don’t work this year,” a dear friend said.

What would that look like if I actually did Burning Man instead of “Working Man.”?

It’s a really good question.

I’m not sure what I would do if I didn’t have some sort of job out there. For me being of service at Burning Man is a huge part of the allure and the community.

I don’t just go to play.

I never have.

Not even my first year on playa.

That was the year the man was burned early and I ended up pulling a bunch of Café volunteer barista shifts so that one of the Man Base crew could go and help rebuild the man before burn night.

It was an exhilarating experience and it turns out that I am a good barista.

Which really should be of no surprise since I like coffee so much.

Then the question arises.

Where would I work/volunteer?

If I didn’t work or volunteer where would I stay?

I adore my peeps at Media Mecca and that’s always the first place I think about camping or working when I think about camping our working at the event.

I did not like being at the 9 o’clock keyhole the last couple of years, it just felt too far away from where I wanted to be and the people I wanted to see.

Yeah, the perks were great, who doesn’t want to spend Burning Man in an Airstream Bambi? But it was like being in a gilded cage. I prefer a trailer to a tent, but if I should only have the opportunity to tent it I will. Even though I have no tent any longer or air mattress or camping shower. All those things I loaned out or gave away to folks when I started staying in a trailer for the event when I was working out there as a nanny.

I get way ahead of myself.

But the dream made me think a lot about it today and what my options are and when and if I should buy a ticket or should I look to the folks I know in the community and find out if I can do some volunteer work for them.

I should just reach out and ask instead of walking around in circles in my head.

There are a lot of dates on the table, in my head, and I haven’t really looked over any of them to see what overlap, if any there is.

Ultimately, the thing to do is take action.

Not sit here in my head and wonder about it.

I need to register for the conference in July if I’m going to go to Atlanta.

That’s the first thing.

The next thing to do is to check in with my grandmother and see if there’s a good weekend to come down for a quick visit.

That is something I could do tonight.

If I can manage to get online, the Internet is currently down and I am in my Word application writing my blog.

Something I dislike, but have gotten used to since the Internet connection out here is so often wonky. I always hope that by the time I finish writing my piece the connection will have resumed.

Some times that actually does happen.

Most times, I am stuck sitting on a blog until later in the night when it, the Internet, magically reappears.

Otherwise I would have a little clarity around those dates.

I could look up when the graduate program starts.

I am sure it’s listed somewhere.

I could look and see if the date overlaps with Burning Man.

That would be some helpful information to have.

I mean if I’m going to be dreaming about going I might as well have the specific dates down on my calendar.

There are loads of actions I can take.

I don’t have to figure it out tonight though.

The best I have for the rest of the evening is a snack and a cup of tea and an episode of Broad Church.

Nothing else pressing.

Just a nice mellow evening of self-care and reflection on all the wonderful places I get to go to this year and all the new adventures I have in store.

It’s going to be one hell of a year.

I am feeling it.

 

*This blog originally written on 1/27/15.  My internet was down, apologies for the late post.*

Today Was A Shit Show

January 27, 2015

Actually.

It was a vomitorium.

The oldest boy puking, everywhere.

Just after baths.

Fifteen minutes before I am leaving.

Just after getting home from swimming lessons, a raucous dinner, a crazy younger brother who did not nap and construction on both sides of the house all day.

Plus the housecleaner was there today.

And I made a double batch of the family’s favorite dinner.

Oof.

It was a day.

Not a bad day, either.

Just busy.

Sometimes things happen and it’s not good or bad, it’s just what it is.

Oh and a trip to the market and a trip to the coffee shop and the park.

I mean.

It makes the day go fast.

And I do like being needed.

Although at one point, I think it was when the youngest blew a raspberry at the dinner he normally eats ravenously, “I LOVE IT” is his usual response to said meal, and dumped the entire plate on the floor that I thought.

That’s it.

I’m done.

But the vomiting was still to come.

I was not done yet.

I am glad the day is done and I had a good bike ride through the Wiggle and up into the park and over to 7th and Irving to catch up with friends and fellows and get out of myself for a little while.

Be of service and such.

“You’re single!”  My friend said, after I gave him a big hug.

I missed him last week, but it was Noir City and The Thin Man at the Castro was playing.

We caught up and it was good to acknowledge, that yes, it is true, I am indeed single.

And it feels like it again.

I’m close to saying I’m ready to date, I’m definitely entertaining the thought, although there is no one in mind, it’s just there.

I have no desire, however, to re-open my OkCupid account or to actually activate the Tinder account I had downloaded.

I am going to try it the old-fashioned way.

Let someone ask me out.

I’ll give that a couple of months and if it doesn’t appear to be happening I will actively start asking guys out again.

At the moment I feel that I have to be approached.

I am worth the ask.

“What are you doing this summer?” The mom casually, not really, asked as we headed to the school to pick up the oldest boy for swimming lessons.

Working as much as possible I thought, getting ready for graduate school, hopefully not having to look for another job.

It turns out that I was being felt out about the summer vacation plans for Sonoma.

Oh.

The house in Sonoma.

Pool.

13 acres.

Woods.

Creek.

Llama farm next door.

Llama farm.

Really.

Some where around Glen Ellen, about an hour outside of the city.

The family has taken a month before, but it sounds like they are planning on taking 10 days in June and 10 days in August.

They haven’t gotten the dates set up, they are finding out about the availability of the house.

Did I say pool?

“We would rent you a car so you could come up and go down for the weekend.” The mom explained.

I would work there, staying over night, I believe, I need to check my contract, but I believe I get an extra $50 per day for doing any over night travelling with them.

I would have my own room and bathroom and all my food would be taken care of.

It sounds scary and awesome all at the same time.

I also reiterated with the mom that I wanted to stay with them as long as they wanted and they do want, even when both the boys are in school, I feel that there will be plenty of work that can be done at the house.

Especially since I do so much of the marketing and cooking and general snack and food prep.

“What are you doing when he goes to pre-school,” the savvy pregnant mom at the park asked me.

“I’m heading to graduate school,” I told her, “though the likelihood is that I will be staying on and helping the family part-time.”

“Well, I am at the same school,” the mom said, “my oldest daughter is in the same grade as ________, just in the other preschool class.”

Oh.

Nice.

I like that.

“And I plan on contacting them, because should they not need you, I will.”  She smiled.

That was good to hear.

I’m not going to mention what school that is, but suffice to say, it’s not a public school.

It is good information to have and I know that I certainly have the references to continue working in whatever capacity I will be working in for the fall.

I suspect, again, though, that I will be staying with the current family.

Through the good times and the bad, vomit.

Because I like them and their dog, who always gives me kisses and wishes me a happy hello Monday when I come back from the weekend.

And the snuggle pie boys who yes, are boys and poop and pee and vomit and throw food and splash water out of the bathtub, and fart.

Oh.

My.

God.

The oldest today, after swimming class, was in the car seat and had taken off all shoes, socks, and tossed his whole back pack from school on the floor of the car with all the lunch fixings and containers tumbled about and while I was gathering it all up and grabbing his feisty feet to put them back in their socks, he farted to kill a cow.

I mean.

Holy Jesus on a flaming pogo stick.

It was like sticking my head in a fart oven.

He laughed so loud that he almost peed his pants.

He was the one who threw up all over tonight too.

I am laughing at this all now.

Although at the time I was almost over it.

Poor bunny, coughed so hard it triggered a gag reflex which brought up some phlegm, which grossed him out and then he hurled everywhere.

Everywhere.

Ugh.

I hollered out to the parents, one vomit covered boy, fresh from the bath, so at least he was only in the clean underpants I had just put on him, plus his younger, completely naked brother, who was running around playing 3, 2, 1 blast off with his Meow Meow (his stuffed kitty cat, who he informed me did NOT speak Spanish, when I greeted him with “hola gato.” “No hola!” He trumpeted at me.  “Bonjour mon chat,” I replied. “NO bongor!” he hollered kicking his feet out.  “Well, what language does Meow Meow speak?” I asked.  “Cat,” he said and if a two-year old could roll his eyes, he might have done so.  I mean, duh, nanny, get with the program.) running through the vomit barefoot, to come up and help.

Please dear God, help me now.

Thank goodness for extra hands when you need them.

I left soon after, the dad helping by cleaning up the various piles of puke.

The mom lining up a Pengu video.

I got the oldest one juice with a little bubbly water and some saltine crackers and wrapped up my day.

It was one hell of a day.

But I made it through and I am grateful for my job.

Even when the shit.

Er, vomit.

Hits the fan.

It cleans up fast.

 

All The Pretty Sunsets

January 26, 2015

In the Sunset.

I live in the Outer Sunset of San Francisco and today was the kind of day that everybody comes out to the beach for.

Clear skies.

Sunny.

Great waves breaking.

Warm.

Not hot.

But warm enough for flip-flops and grilling out and playing Ultimate frisbee in the sand, for tall cans and high jinks, to go cups of coffee from Trouble Coffee and Coconut Club, sandwiches wrapped up in white deli paper from Java Beach Cafe, and the ubiquitous joint or three from a kid on the MUNI who “lives” in the park.

It was as if the entire hipster nation came in from the Mission.

Not that I mind sharing the beach with the rest of the city, the Mission shares its burritos with me, but that I am not always used to it being so crowded.

I did want to be down at the beach, though, it was too pretty to stay at home for the sunset.

I had myself a really lovely, low-key, mellow day.

I had two ladies over, back to back, for tea and writing and reading.

I did my laundry and changed my sheets and took a nice shower and ate a good breakfast, wrote lots long hand, went grocery shopping on my bicycle.

It was the grocery shopping on my bicycle that both confirmed for me that the entire city was ocean side, and also sealed the deal that I would, despite the crowds, go down too.

It was just dreamy.

Riding my bicycle on the Great Highway and the sun warm on my face, the breeze, yes cool, I didn’t want to be in the shade today, which in San Francisco is its own mircro climate, but gorgeous, truly.

January 25th and the temperature was in the mid sixties.

I’ll take it.

Although my preference was to take it easy.

I haven’t had an easy Sunday for a while.

I have been coming and going and doing and being and breaking up and having feelings and you know, stuff.

Today.

Well.

It all fell away, like a dream, I woke up and there was the beach beckoning and my back yard beckoning and I could not but heed the call.

I had lunch on my patio and sat with my feet in a chair listening to Coleman Hawkins on the stereo and dining al fresco in the sun.

It is just protected enough by the houses surrounding it that it tends to be just a bit warmer than if I was outside in front of the house.

It soaks up the sunshine and reflects it back.

When it’s hot, it’s not too pleasant, but it is infrequently hot.

I read a magazine.

I closed my eyes and drifted in and out.

I read more of my Stephen King novel, Doctor Sleep.

I drank some tea.

I listened to the birds.

Ravens.

Finches.

Gulls.

I heard the scream of a hunting hawk.

I heard the faint shush of the sea.

During the day it’s a lot harder to hear, too much back ground noise, but in between the birdsong and the N-Judah train running, occasionally I would catch just the barest hint of surf crashing.

Muffled.

Yet joyful.

When I first moved out here and it was suggested that I take Sundays and allow myself to have some down time and to not make plans, I got really freaked out.

Spend time with myself?

No way man.

I might have feelings.

I have places to be, things to do.

I have to get ahead, man.

However, I am a suggestion monster, and so I did.

I sat.

I got still.

I listened to the sea.

I listened to my heart.

I did cry.

And then something happened.

The stillness sunk in and I started to need it.

I started to crave it.

And then I forgot, sort of, all about it, when I got into the relationship.

I do recall having thoughts about going down for a walk on the beach with the ex-boyfriend, but he wasn’t much for walking on the beach.

I don’t believe I ever asked either, I’m sure he would have been game, but we never did.

Add to ideal.

Ugh.

Yes.

I would like to go for walks by the sea.

I mean, yeah, it’s a stupid cliché.

But it’s also my back yard and I like walking and really, when I live so close, it seems silly to not enjoy it.

I mean.

Come on.

It’s gorgeous.

Sunset Ocean Beach

Sunset Ocean Beach

I had made a few resolutions about today.

Deal with my taxes, meaning, contact my families from 2014 and find out what they are claiming for child care, if they are claiming, and request that information by the 31st of the month.

Done and done.

I sent out the e-mail earlier.

Order a pair of jeans online.

I know my size, I know what kind I like to wear, so order them.

Thanks Ebay!

I found a pair of the normally $175 jeans for $19.99 plus shipping.

$25.88 and I have a new pair of jeans coming to me in the mail.

Next.

Walk to the beach and watch the sunset.

Allow myself to enjoy my neighborhood and not be wary of running into my ex.

Then it happened.

I realized I wasn’t afraid to run into my ex.

It wasn’t like I wanted to.

It was more that, as I was walking down Judah toward the beach, that I suddenly knew that whenever we saw each other next, it would be alright.

The thought of seeing him didn’t make me want to cross the street to avoid him.

Which is a good thing since he lives four and a half blocks away.

I didn’t run into him, in case you were wondering.

But I’m not afraid to.

And that felt nice.

Like.

Oh.

The world.

It has moved on.

And so have I.

I am back into my groove.

I have my jazz on the stereo, my face full of sunshine, my belly replete with tea and good food, the weekend was restful, I got to read, I accomplished the basic household stuff that needs to be done, grocery shopped, and did the deal.

And I got to go for a romantic walk on the beach with the best girl in the neighborhood.

Me.

 

“To love oneself is the begging of a life-long romance.”

-Oscar Wilde

 

 

Retail Therapy

January 25, 2015

I got me some.

And now, like a good therapy session, I am all tuckered out from the effort of being present and in my body.

A body that I still don’t always see that well and when I am thinking it’s a fat body, it’s time to stop the shopping.

Size eleven is not fat.

In case you were wondering.

“Why aren’t I a size ten?” My brain started questioning my blue jean choices, and when I go there I can go there quick.

I did pretty well before the blue jeans began to be too much and I had to call it a day.

I actually may have found a pair but I was too tired and starting to second guess myself.  I need to enlist a girl friend to go jean shopping.  I am not good on my own.  In fact, it was suggested to me that I either go future clothes shopping with a friend or enlist a salesperson.

That, helping customers fit into their clothes, is apparently one of their jobs.

Who knew.

I started off the shopping with a bang and a special treat for me.

I went to Chanel on Maiden Lane and bought my signature scent–Egoiste–I have not had it for the last month, having run out around my birthday.

I had some expectation that I might get perfume as a gift from someone, but uh, that didn’t happen.

And like the flowers I eventually bought myself, I bought myself perfume today.

I don’t have to wait for a partner to treat me well, not that my ex didn’t treat me well, he absolutely did, but there were things that I didn’t get myself for a moment when I had expectations around the holidays.

Expectation.

Leads to resentment.

Oh my yes.

And I can expect idiotic things too, I realize this all the time.

Like, oh, this is rich, I should be going to graduate school to get a literature degree or a Masters in Creative Writing.

Despite the fact that all the programs that I have applied to turned me down.

I still have this antiquated idea that I am supposed to be doing this thing where I write, make gang loads of money, and I don’t know do something with the English Literature degree I got as an undergraduate.

As though the benefits of studying have to pay off monetarily.

As if it wasn’t enough that it was through studying TS Eliot and Shakespeare, and yes, Tolkien, that I rediscovered God and went from being an atheist/agnostic, to believing in God.

Something that was very helpful to me when I got sober.

And continues to be helpful to me.

But no, I got that degree with the intention of becoming a writer.

Oh.

Wait.

I am a writer.

But, it doesn’t look like how I think it should look.

Neither do those jeans, but hey, you’re not fat either.

Aside.

Even after nearly five years of maintaining an over 80 pound weight loss, I still gravitate to the plus size clothes section and got excited when I walked into H & M and saw that they now have a plus size section.

Hey lady.

Snap out of it.

I am not a size 26 anymore.

I am a size 11.

Which is not the size 10 I eventually got down to, but wasn’t able to really sustain without restricting more than I should considering my energy levels, body type, and the amount of bicycling I do.

End aside.

I shared these thoughts around graduate school today with someone before heading out into the wilds of San Francisco shopping (which were wild, I had no idea that there was going to be a protest downtown or that the streets were torn up with construction projects).

I told her that I was beating myself up for applying to program that had nothing to do with my writing or my literature degree and that I was still holding out on the idea that I would be making it as a writer.

Famous.

Rich.

Worldly.

As though I am not already.

Famous in my own mind.

Rich in love.

Worldly in my travels and experiences.

The perspective is just different.

She laughed at me when it all finally came out, and pointed out to me how important words are to a therapist, the words behind the words, the language that is being spoken, the things that people say when they aren’t actually saying anything, how important that communication is and understanding of language are to a good therapist.

Well duh.

I had not seen it that way and I was astounded by how spot on she was.

Of course!

My gift for language will be used and used better than any of the silly fatuous fantasy I have of what it means to be a writer.

She also pointed out that I am not actually great at being isolated and that perhaps I don’t want to have a career that is so focused on being alone without distractions.

Another great point.

And then, the ringer, how much I can be of service.

She told me things that I don’t see often in myself because I have this idea of who I am that does not always match up to who I am.

I’m getting better at it.

I am.

And I was able to leave Tart to Tart with a smile on my face and be ready to tackle the shopping.

Which I did with gleeful abandon until I was done.

I actually did really well.

Two pairs of shoes, one pair of black leggings, new earrings, new makeup, new hair clips, a new skirt, a new sweater, a new bra, a tank top, a baseball jersey, and a new jean jacket.

Plus the perfume.

In total I shopped and bought at nine different stores and went into at least another six or seven others.

I went to Chanel, Macy’s, Nordstrom’s, Nordstrom Rack, H & M, Urban Outfitters, the Westfield Mall, Zara, Banana Republic, Gap, Anthropology, Claire’s, and Beauty Lands.

No wonder I am tuckered out.

I don’t do this very often and next time I do have to go with a girlfriend for some body perspective, but I can give myself a pat on the back for doing the deal and taking care of myself.

Even if I didn’t find the perfect jeans.

I still found what I need.

The metaphor for my life.

I may not get what I want.

But what I am given is always.

ALWAYS.

Beyond my wildest dreams.

 

It’s My Anniversary!

January 24, 2015

One week single.

I’m ready to date again.

Let’s get it on.

Baha.

Oof.

Really, that’s it, it’s been a week, let me be done and done.

I feel like it’s really been three weeks, the pre-break up break up was more intense than the actual break up.

I was wondering to myself today at the park when is the appropriate time to get back into dating?

Is there one?

Like I care.

I wasn’t really thinking about it, it was just that I realized I was being flirted with and it took me a minute to process that I was being hit on.

What does this guy want?  I thought to myself as I was hanging with the boys, my boys, my charges, at the park.

I think what he wanted was my phone number.

Ha.

I was so obtuse.

Then I realized, oh yeah, I am single, I could say yes if I was asked out on a date, I could go out with someone not my boyfriend, I mean my ex boyfriend.

“I was pulling for you guys,” a friend said tonight.

I think a lot of folks were.

He’s a good guy.

I’m a good gal.

But sometimes it takes more than good intentions to get a relationship to run and as I checked in later with someone on the phone I got to see that I was not getting some things that are important to me and that I will need to get those things in my future relationships.

Like poetry, words, books, literature.

You know, those things really a big deal in my life since I am a writer.

Oh, yeah, I’m a nanny, a lover, a tattooed dragon girl, a bicyclist, a burner, a friend, a sister, a daughter, yada, yada, yada.

I’m a fucking writer.

Let’s not pay any attention to the fact that I applied to a Master’s Degree program that is not literature focused, shall we.

I can have a career and a job and a persona outside of the writing, but at my heart, in my core, that’s what I do.

I am not great.

I am good at best.

When I am at my best.

But  can’t stop, don’t want to stop, got to do it, so here’s me doing it, person who writes.

Along with that important tidbit is that I am a reader.

Someone who I didn’t even know was following my blog posted a quote from TS Eliot’s Four Quartets, the specific line was from the poem “Little Gidding.”

I read his comment, thought, why is that familiar, what is that?

Googled it and was abashed to realize it was Eliot, one of, if not my favorite poets, and it was from the Quartets, which are my favorite of his pieces.

I have a deep fondness for J. Alfred Prufrock, The Love Song of, as well, but there is something in the Quartets that pulverized me when I first read them in Professor Serena Pondrom’s TS Eliot class.

I went from being an atheist to being an agnostic, to actually, like Eliot having a sort of come to God moment and now relying so much on that faith that I can’t live without it, can’t do anything without it.

I use love as a short hand for God.

In case you were wondering.

I don’t belong to a religious group, though baptized Lutheran and brought up lapsed Catholic, I don’t belong to any denomination, just that I know I have a God and I’m not it.

That worked for me for a long time, then it had to get bigger and love seemed the best way to get at it.  To experience love more fully was and is to experience God more fully.

The quotation was about moving through desire to a fuller understanding of love.

Not less of love but an expansion of love beyond desire…

The line prickled at my heart, piercing my skin, I looked up the quote, and sat and read, out loud, every line, and cried.

It was so perfect.

Sappy.

You betcha.

But all me.

It made me realize on a very deep level that one thing I need in any future romantic relationship is this love of words and the written word, for books, and essays, and poems, and art.

I can’t live without it.

And I realized that I think, let’s put that into quotations, “think” I am not good enough to attract a like-minded individual.

REALLY?

I’m still not enough.

Fuck you brain.

I am too smart.

Jesus in a gravy boat.

Where does my brain come up with this crap?

I have a vocabulary that even I am impressed with, I read, I write, I use the things that make the words that tell the story.

I am intuitively intelligent and observant and have a really good memory and I like to learn and I like to talk to people about books and movies and songs and art, oh but, I’m not quite good enough to inspire a creative or an academic or what?

Nice try negative self-esteem.

Get off my ass.

Oh and by the way, didn’t you read that blog a few days ago where I finished and turned in my application for graduate school.

Yeah, because I’m dumb and nobody smart wants to date me.

Not to say my ex wasn’t smart, I’m not saying that, but he was smart about things that didn’t interest me like I am smart about things that don’t interest him and when you have two people who can’t communicate, one is smart about getting the fuck out.

Rejection is God’s protection.

Part of me being quiet around the man was that we didn’t have a common language, outside of one very obvious one, wherein we could build the relationship.

I tried some of the things he was interested in and he bugged me to make sure I was blogging, but we couldn’t find common ground and that led to the dissolution of the relationship.

Or at least was a part of it.

After reading the Eliot poem and crying I asked that I have that removed too, that idea that I am smart, but not smart enough.

That I am enough.

I always have been.

I always will be.

With or without a Master’s degree.

 

 

 

I Just Wanted To Tell You

January 23, 2015

I think you’re fabulous.

Really.

I know you don’t know me.

(I do a little, by sight, around the block, in the circles, you know.

But no, I don’t know you, although I do know your name and that you seem kind and sweet.)

But I really wanted to tell you that I think that, that you are fabulous, really, everything about you, I just thought I should tell you.

I smiled and said thank you.

This stranger, not a friend, a passing acquaintance at best, but someone who has seen me show up for the last few years, out of the blue, right when I am making my strides, the come back kid.

Come back to fabulous, baby.

We’re all waiting for you.

It felt so nice to hear.

I didn’t even tell her that her timing was fabulous, really, that hearing from her after the past week was such a nice thing.

I just thanked her again and smiled and let her give me a hug.

I mean I had no idea volunteering for a commitment would illicit such a response.

I am not sure if it was the relationship, though, I do think in its way, it totally was, that finally got me to figure out my routine in conjunction with work and living out by the sea.

Small aside.

I, for a hot second, considered a place out in the produce market neighborhood which is sort of an industrial wasteland of railroad tracks, low-income housing, and warehouses that most folks have no idea exist.

A long time ago, eight years, I believe, I worked as a customer service rep at one of the produce markets.  My room-mate got me a part-time gig there.

The pay was shit, but it was pay, and it was easy, and I got all the free produce I could possibly eat.

That was the pay off really.

Yes, sir, I was literally working for food.

I know the neighborhood, and the place available is in an artist/work/live space.  I considered it, not because I want to move, but because if it’s less than what I am paying, than that might make sense with graduate school tuition looming.

But it is not cheaper and I am staying.

Much to my relief, really.

Why live in a neighborhood where I would have to bicycle commute through one of the filthiest homeless thorough fares in the city–under the bridge at Cesar Chavez and the 101/280 split.

There is a bike path there, but it is not fun to commute through.

Anyway.

The bicycle commute I do, though longish, is not bad, and my rent is good and my location, down by the sea, with the buttery moon cusp crescent sinking into the indigo sea as I write, is divine.

In fact, I shall be down by the sea this weekend.

It’s a good place for me to go.

Just sit, with a book, in the sun.

Or walk the shoreline for a while.

The weather is actually predicted to be 70.

I’m there.

I want to continue giving myself space to feel out any other feelings that may be coming down the pipeline.

Today was pretty mellow.

One small, brief, slightly petty argument with the ex in my head which I promptly realized was fear, and was able to quickly let go of, and nada.

Just some serenity.

A busy day at work didn’t hurt.

Nor some check ins with friends.

I have some unexpected and really nice responses to the writing that I have been doing here.

I appreciate the feedback my friends, I really do.

And then to be given such a sweet and unexpected, out of left field really, compliment, was just the cherry on my love sundae.

That’s what I have been feeling a lot of lately.

Ha.

I just realized something, and it’s akin to when I adopted my feral cat Uni.

I had been praying for love.

But not very specific.

I was given a cat.

I meant a boyfriend, I hollered at the ceiling when the little white furry nugget that was Uni as a kitten kneaded on my chest and put her small white and pink face under my chin and purred so loudly that I was smitten with love.

Smashed with it really.

I realized that I have been praying for love a lot recently, even before the break up.

Not his love.

No.

Just love.

Ok.

Maybe a little for his love.

But again, I was unspecific.

I was just lighting candles, I like candles, shaddup, and when I light one I usually ask for love.

Not money or sex or prestige.

Love.

God for me is love.

So whatever conduit he decides is where it’s at.

Of course, I have been absolutely showered with it, bathed in it, swept along with it, flooded with it.

Love.

Everywhere, like rich golden sunlight and warm sandy beaches and it’s poured out from my community like a river of buttery goodness–affirming me, my process, my person, who I am, what I stand for–smothered in it, love.

From friends and family and community and my fellows, those I know and those I don’t know very well.

It’s been a virtual love fest.

I laugh.

God, my God, has a funny sense of humour.

I am back on the beam.

Back to my fabulous self.

Reconnected with that which is the most important to me.

My self-love and acceptance of who I am.

I don’t need to forgive him.

I never did, not really, he’s just doing the best he can.

I needed to forgive me.

And I am just doing the best I can.

I hid my glitter under a barrel and apparently it burst out, a love bomb explosion of fabulous.

Nobody puts Baby in a corner.

Least of all myself.

I promise I won’t glitter bomb any of my friends, or myself, but I won’t hide who I am either, nor get small, nor not speak up for who I am and what I am.

I am fabulous.

Hear me roar.

Or whatever sound glitter makes.

 

 

Work It Out

January 22, 2015

I’m finding my groove again.

The fog seems to be lifting and my life, rich, full, busy, any other adjective that subscribes to big and content and happy, insert here.

The unfriending of my ex on Facebook was really helpful.

A couple of times during the day I had moments of expecting a call or text and then I thought.

Ha.

I bet he doesn’t even realize.

Not that it matters if he did.

Because what he thinks of me is none of my business.

My business is me and getting down to the taking care of me that is needed on a daily basis.

Today really was mostly about showing up at work and doing a good job, meeting with a dear heart after work, reading some out of an important piece of literature with her, drinking tea, sharing experience, strength, hope, then going to see some fellows in the neighborhood.

I may have found a new Wednesday night deal.

I am grateful for it.

I also ran into an old friend I have not seen in over a year, some one very dear to me and it was so good to catch up.

I was quite tempted to do a bit a late night fellowshipping with the crew there, head down to Java Beach, play some Cards Against Humanity, but  I knew that I needed to come home, write, eat a little snack and get on with the end of the evening.

It was a long day, but the sadness seems to be lifting and there’s some excitement and I realized, as I left the house with a flower in my hair, glitter socks on my feet, pink lipstick and hot-house blue eyeliner, that I was back.

Here I am world.

And I sparkle.

So get prepared.

I don’t believe I lost myself so much in the relationship that I lost my identity, but I will say, I did tone it down a little and I don’t care that I did that.

Something learned.

God, the past months, all the learning, about myself, not him, myself, that I did.

I have to show up for myself, advocate for my needs, know my needs, know what I like and dislike, realized I am up for some things, but definitely not others, still be wiling to try new experiences.

Some of which I won’t be trying again.

Thank you very much.

And if you want further clarification you best have my phone number because I am not putting that out on my blog.

Please.

I don’t write about EVERYTHING here.

Only in my morning pages.

Only in my private notebooks do I write about everything.

Suffice to say, I deserve to give myself props for putting things out there and going the extra bit and trying new things.

I may not be able to hang with a straight pepper diet, but I can still be spicy.

Just saying.

I like that I am also of service to those around me by showing up and being honest with what has happened and letting people in and showing those in my fellowship, in my community, that I didn’t have to do any thing idiotic to negate the experience, or not feel around it.

Although, there was an hour or two, especially on Saturday, when I felt like it was the best I could do to just show up.

If I hadn’t bought tickets to Public Works and invited a bunch of friends, some who came into the city, I would have stayed home and burrowed under the blankets and watched videos.

Aside.

Transparent!

So very good.

If you haven’t caught it, check it out.  I was very, am very, impressed by it.

End aside.

I realized today that I spent most of Saturday being in a little bit of shock and denial and also a bit of self-deprecation.

Sunday I was emotionally hung over.

Monday I was recovering.

Tuesday I took him off Face Book.

Today I wrote out more stuff, shared it with another, then resolutely turned around and helped another person who was going through the wringer.

That’s what I do.

That’s what works.

And of course, I am tired.

Not exhausted, but tired.

I had a moment at work when I thought, why, despite having Monday off, does this week feel so damn long?

Um.

Because.

Maybe I didn’t really have a weekend.

I didn’t really have a day off, I was recovering from the break up and going through the feelings and facts are facts, sometimes this work is the harder work than just showing up at my regular day job.

I do the work.

That I have to acknowledge.

To myself, mostly, but it’s not a bad thing to write about.

I really show up and I do the work.

It’s simple.

But not easy.

When I was having an argument in my head this morning while I was making coffee about my Face Book page and what about 90 days with no contact precludes posting on my page and I, uh, you, uh.

Fuck.

Fuck.

Fuckity fuck, fuck, fuck.

If I am having a conversation with some one who is not in the room with me I need to take some actions.

I sat down and took them, and I felt better.

Fast acting relief.

So grateful it comes at the end of a pen, not a pipe or a straw, or a bottle.

I got balanced out and I was able to go about my day and show up for the delicious little boys I take care of and cook a really nice meal for the family, and go to the park and sit in the sun and listen, really listen to the sounds of the playground while I drank a coffee.

My equilibrium is back.

And I am so grateful for that.

I’m certain there will be more feelings, but they are easing and the forgiveness I have granted myself around the experience and the relief I have of being just me, just my pink sparkly self again, is vast.

Life.

It keeps happening.

And all of it.

Truly.

Is amazing.


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