Archive for September, 2015

Just Got The Message

September 30, 2015

My new mattress arrives tomorrow!

Last night on this cruddy one I have had for the last two years.

I am not complaining, it’s done it’s job and I have slept on worse.

The fold out futon shenanigans that I slept on in Paris for six months was by far the worst thing I have slept on.

Well.

Not true!

I just realized.

I have slept on worse, and really, when I compare and contrast, even on a shitty mattress, it was a shitty mattress in Paris.

I had a friend once who said it didn’t matter how bad things were, if you just tacked on the end of the sentence, “in Paris.”

I was caught in a sudden rainstorm, “in Paris.”

I got lost, “in Paris.”

I overslept, “in Paris.”

I have to do my laundry, “in Paris.”

So.

Yeah.

That futon mattress, in Paris, sucked, but it was in Paris.

I have slept on far worse in Homestead, Florida.

Yes.

There.

On a piece of cardboard box that was slid underneath the thin tent floor of the two-man tent I was sharing with a friend, the cardboard scant protection from the sharp coral rock that our tent was set up on.

Even with the cardboard and a sleeping bag, I could still feel that rock underneath my back.

Imagine, I am imagining now, that for months I slept on cardboard boxes.

I have slept on plywood set up on top of milk crates.

I have slept in cars.

I have slept in the back of Grey Hound buses.

I have slept, on the ground.

I have slept on other people’s lumpy couches.

I have slept on the thin, worn out cushions in my ex-brother in-laws fathers’ camper truck bed.

That sucked.

I have slept in far worse places and on many a baggy couch with broken springs.

I have slept in dangerous neighborhoods were gunshots woke me up in the middle of the night.

I have slept on beaches.

I have slept in the woods, “camping” aka “homeless” in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

I have slept in the moldering basement of a duplex on a mattress on the floor.

I have slept cramped against my sister’s small body on a mattress on a floor.

I have slept in the bottom well of an old beater Dodge with a thin pillow braced against the door.

I have slept in far worse places on far worse beds, some which really had no right to be called a bed at all.

I am so grateful.

I have so much.

Do you see how much I have?

I have a full plate.

I have a job.

I have a bicycle.

I have this laptop.

I have graduate school.

(I have a lot to still read, but I’m getting caught up!)

I have stories.

(“Writers would kill to have some of the life material you have, Carmen,” Alan Kauffman said to me with an incredulous shake of his head, “you have had so many experiences!”)

I have love.

My God.

Do I have love.

I found myself pulled up 18th street tonight after work, my feet just knew the way and despite my brain saying, “go home, go read, go study,” I knew that I needed to be somewhere else tonight before I could do just that, go home, go read, go study.

And I found myself at Most Holy Redeemer in the Castro.

And I found myself at home.

I shared my piece.

I don’t remember what I said.

I got my God on.

I got on my bicycle and I got on the way back to the Outer Sunset.

And mysterious coincidence?

Is it odd?

Or.

Is it God?

I ran into a very dear, most welcome, super amazing and loving person on my way home.

“That’s H____________!”

I almost shouted his name.

I could see he was working with someone.

I almost kept riding.

But when you see your person, or I should say, when I see my person, I had to stop, flip a bitch on my whip, and pedal back to where he was sitting with one of my mates.

Oh.

Was it good to see him!

I got the best damn hug.

From him and from my contemporary and we just had us a great big love fest right there on the corner of Sanchez and Noe.

Thank you God for always knowing when I need to see my people.

We made plans to see each other soon and I got a brief, intense, full of love check in.

Then.

Merrily on my way.

Through the autumn turning Pan Handle, through the quiet dark of the park lit only with speculative sodium lamps and the bright white flare of tents being erected in the meadows.

There must be a concert happening this weekend.

I am out of touch.

I have been so busy in my own little world of school and work that I am not paying a lot of attention to other things.

Outside Lands has already happened, so it must be Hardly, Strictly, Bluegrass.

Translation.

Hardly, strictly, ain’t gonna be anywhere near it.

I’ll be in school this weekend.

I made good for the family already, getting them prepped by making not one but two homemade chicken pot pies for them–one to freeze and one to eat Friday when I am not there to make dinner.  Plus I made ginger chicken with hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, garlic, onions, and water chestnuts to wrap up in lettuce for dinner this evening.

I’ll do more prep for them too.

And.

A little for me too.

Although, I am pretty set as far as groceries go since my dear friend helped me out with the pick up and lift back to my place last weekend from SafeWay when I was having my near panic attack.

I do have to do a little more reading.

(A lot, but who’s counting)

But I’m kicking through it.

Every morning before I leave for work I have been reading.

Every evening when I get home I have been reading.

Add to that I have managed, don’t ask me how, to continue with my morning writing routine and my evening blog.

I don’t have to know how it works.

I just know that it does.

And it’s going to work even better.

Even sooner.

I’ll be sleeping on a brand new bed as of tomorrow night.

My life.

It rocks.

And it’s not because I’m sleeping on any.

Rocks that is.

Advertisements

Jam It All In

September 29, 2015

And sandwich it with Freud.

Peanut butter and Freud with bananas.

I got up.

I got going.

Was it really already 9:30a.m.?

There were moments last night when I was awoken and I was satiated with dreams and desire and then I would roll back over and conk out and the dream faded sweet to the other side of the bed and then, the sound of the ocean, the wind through the window and the cool air, thick with the smell of salt fog and ocean.

The hum of the fog horn last night rocked me to sleep.

The sight of Sutro Tower blocked in by fog this morning.

The grey day, but bright awakening.

My body ready to go before my brain.

And then I got it together.

A little routine.

A little prayer.

A little breakfast.

A lot of coffee.

Some Freud.

I am all caught up.

At least in my Psychodynamics course.

I still have two other classes to get my reading on par with what is due and expected by this, my second, full weekend of school.

I will get it done.

Or I won’t.

At least I am better prepared then I was for the last weekend.

I have been doing the work whenever and where ever I can.

Granted.

Yes.

I took some time off last night to howl at the moon.

Really, to just look at it in awe and wonder at the joyful, full, busy, active, god damn good life I have.

I am unrecognizable sometimes to myself.

“I remember, I remember you, you are a part of my story,” he said to me tonight with a big hug, a huge hug, anniversary hugs are always special and I was grateful beyond words to see my friend slip in the door as the lights went down.

I was a hot mess a decade ago.

A decade.

Jesus.

I have spent a decade of my life doing the deal.

Which is fantastic because it has afforded me everything.

Freud and all.

I would not be in graduate school if I was still out their partying.

Fuck.

I was not partying either, not at the end.

It was not a party.

Not at all.

Maybe if it were still a party I would still be playing.

But the playing I get now is so much more satisfying.

“Carmen!” My five-year old charge hollered as I opened up the door to him after he got back with his mom and his younger brother from kindergarten.

He hugged me fiercely than bounced off my legs and ran through the house, “I have to pee!  I have to pee!  I have to pee!”

I’m not sure what Freud would say about that, I don’t think that’s a stage of development, but I was happy to gather all his gear and his brothers and be there and be present for the boys.

For the family in general.

Although no word if they are going to give me a raise.

I suspect if I haven’t heard I am not getting one.

I care, but I don’t care.

Really still just happy that I asked for it.

Despite a desire for making more money I know I am taken care of and I have enough.

I have rent paid for October and I only have a phone bill that I will have to take care of for the month outside of grocery costs.

My over head is really quite low.

I’m not spending money on pleasure reading anymore.

Gah.

Pleasure reading.

I used to do a lot of that.

I let lapse all my magazine subscriptions.

I haven’t read a magazine in three months.

Seriously.

I am sitting here writing my blog and there is a stack of unopened and unread fashion magazines at hand.

Sorry Vogue, W, and Vanity Fair.

I don’t have the time.

I don’t have the time to finish the John Irving novel I started three months ago.

I don’t have time for anything but Freud with ham and cheese.

I actually just realized i might have some more Freud to read.

Fuck.

I have a book that I haven’t even cracked.

Um.

Ha.

Make that three.

One of which I have to do some reading for and I figure I am going to be hitting up my Theory of Group Psychotherapy tomorrow or Wednesday.

Depends on how much I get done for my Therapeutic Communications course as well–I have a paper due for that before Friday.

And.

Thursday I have a phone conversation to be had as soon as I get home from work with my Human Development partner who was unable to connect with me this past weekend due to unexpected schedule changes with her.

This all is starting to sound overwhelming.

Tonight though.

I refuse to be overwhelmed.

I know.

Intrinsic.

Down in my bones, yo’.

That I am doing the best I can.

I am doing pretty fucking alright.

I am moving and shaking and I am showing up and the days.

Damn Gina.

The days go by so fast.

Wasn’t I just in bed?

Wasn’t I just here eating oatmeal with sweet apples and rich persimmons dusted in cinnamon and nutmeg?

Is it 10:30 a.m. or is it 10 p.m.?

The days they pass.

I came back in tonight, “hello house!” I said cheerily and stripped down in the wink of an eye.

I got out of work a snitch early and hustled home on my bicycle, I had twenty minutes before I needed to be at the next place down the street at 44th and Judah.

I hopped into the shower, washed, shaved, jumped out, dried off, slathered lotion all over myself, threw on some clothes, grabbed my bag and even managed to have enough time to take out the garbage, compost, and recycling to the curb.

Jam it all in indeed.

I’m lucky, you know, to get to do all these things.

Ultimately.

This life, this one here, the one that I am living on such a great, big, grand, rich scale, is one that I should not by any rights have.

If life were fair.

I’d be dead.

Instead.

I get to read some more Freud.

No excuse me while I go bet my Oedipus complex on.

Psychosexual dysfunctions, you’re next.

At least my night reading is interesting.

Heh.

Did I Get It All Done?

September 28, 2015

Fuck no.

Did I do a lot?

Yes.

Including and in no particular order, meeting with a ladybug and teaching her how to do spot check inventory, no need to sit in that dirty diaper all day, change it, change your perspective, get on with your day, walk through the fear.

Please.

And.

Thank you.

Cleaned my house.

Like really cleaned it.

REALLY.

Swept the floors, Swiffere’d the floors ( I know, I know, I used Swiffer as a verb, shut up), scrubbed the bathroom, did my laundry, stripped the bed, even washed and dried the duvet cover.

Which is a pain in the ass if ever there is one.

Putting the comforter back into the duvet cover after it’s washed, that is, pain in the tuchus, let me tell ya.

I even made extra food for the week, since I won’t be doing any cooking or grocery shopping before school next weekend or during the time I’m in class.  But I don’t want to have the experience of bonking out again like I did last time I was in class.  I will have food prepped and ready.

I made homemade pork fried brown rice with peas, carrots, corn, onions, brown mushrooms, garlic, and ginger.

Like that.

Then.

I read.

And read.

And read some more.

I also drank a lot of tea.

Excuse me while I go pee again.

Kidding.

Barely.

I read a lot about Freud, I read more Freud than I have in my entire life up until this point.

I read a lot of Freud, a lot of criticism of Freud and a lot of defense of Freud, that was really good and quite compelling and I find myself actually liking Freud a whole lot more than I used to.

Not that I had many great experiences with Freud prior, just assumptions.

I looked over my syllabi as well.

Although I felt a touch frustrated with how much I still have to read, I read as much as I could.

I switched up spots in my room to encourage better reading consumption.

Moving from kitchen table to chaise lounge.

I read outside on the back porch for a little while, although that was challenging as I found myself just wanting to lie back and enjoy the warm sunshine whenever it poked through the cloud cover.

I read until a friend texted me and we made plans to go up to Twin Peaks tonight and watch the Super Moon rise with lunar eclipse.

It was spectacular.

My friend grabbed me at 6:30 p.m.

Right about he time I was hitting my limit of Freud intake.

It was nice to gel out in the car and not think and let my friend ramble about the new house and new room mates and situations and I wasn’t tuned out, I was just there.

Appreciative.

Grateful.

Held.

Warm.

Because, damn Gina.

I forgot.

It gets cold up at Twin Peaks and after we had parked the car and gotten out to survey the lay of the land and make a spot to watch the moon rise with what felt like a great deal of the city as well–I love you San Francisco that so many of you came out to watch the moon rise and lunar eclipse, I love my city–we decided to get back the fuck into the car.

It was that breezy and cold.

The car.

Oh.

It was lovely.

Warm.

Good music.

Good company.

And the moon rise and the orange glow of eclipse as the earth reflected back it’s refracted light upon the surface of the moon, a reddish-orange hue, the burnt umber red floating in the East over the Bay, the sodium lights of the dockyards in Oakland glimmering, the dusky orange of City Hall shimmering in the cityscape, the flash of a red light on top of the TransAmerica Pyramid, the thread of white gold light sparkling on the Bay Bridge as traffic flowed over the top deck, the fog ghosting in over the back side of Twin Peaks.

And I am reminded of how beautiful this city is.

How lucky I am to get to live here.

And yes.

I had a moment or two, perhaps three, when I thought.

I really should be reading my Freud.

But then.

I would look up at the moon and sigh inwardly at my fortune.

And memories.

The times I have come up to Twin Peaks.

The first time I was taken to the top a couple of years before I moved to San Francisco, at sunset, the fog thick and blanketing the buildings, the tops of the Golden Gate Bridge poking through the grey bed, rosy and red and industrial orange and golden in the setting sun, the clouds over the East Bay a spectacular color guard of pinks and royal purples, blushed with persimmons and pumpkins and creamy rosettes of cloud clusters.

I was smitten.

I still am.

I can still see that first sunset and I can contrast and compare it to all the other times, really, not all that many, despite living in the city for over 13 years I can probably count about ten times that I have gone up to Twin Peaks and taken in the view.

Maybe more.

But not that many more.

I remember the time when I moved to San Francisco and I hadn’t been in the city more than a month and there was a huge spectacular meteor shower that was happening and I walked up to Twin Peaks from 20th and York in the Mission.

The meteor shower was amazing.

I counted 56 shooting stars that night.

And.

I wrote down a wish for each one of them in a notebook.

I have that notebook somewhere.

I feel compelled to dig it up and look at those wishes.

See how many have come true.

So many of my dreams have coalesced.

I have lived a grand and fabulous life.

I have lived in Paris.

I have written short stories in cafes in the Montmartre.

I have travelled to Rome and sat at the cafe on the top of the state museum and written in my journal while sipping an Americano.

I have gone to Burning Man a few times.

Nine.

I have loved and lived and grown in San Francisco.

I get to live here.

Who is this girl, this woman?

Who is this person who now gets to go to graduate school and balance all the things with all the other things, which make all the things possible?

She is a woman who once in a while is going to let herself off the hook from Freud.

To play a little hooky and watch the moon rise over this city.

This beautiful city.

My city.

By the Bay.

Panic At The Disco!

September 27, 2015

I mean the SafeWay.

I mean the MUNI.

I mean in the garage.

I mean.

Ugh.

I woke up much later than I had planned, I obviously needed the rest, I remind myself instead of flagellating myself, which is sometimes so much easier to do–beat myself up.

I woke up from a weird dream.

I woke up to the phone ringing and the feeling that I had too much to do and nowhere near enough time.

One foot in front of the other.

Just do one thing at a time.

Breathing, always helpful, do that.

Breathe in again.

I forget sometimes that I have actual clinical anxiety and clinical depression and it sneaks in there sometimes, I have had times when I was on medication for it, but it’s been years since I have and I forget that I can get to that place of anxiety if I am over stressed.

I mean.

I don’t have reason to be stressed.

Please.

Graduate school group projects.

Panic.

Work.

Just asked for a raise.

Just took out 20,500 in student loans.

No biggie.

Living in one of the most expensive cities in the United States, if not the world.

Stress?

What stress?

Bwhahahahaha.

So.

I did what I do.

The next thing in front of me.

Make your bed.

I mean, yeah, I break it down that damn simple.

Make the bed, kneel and pray, read some stuff, say some stuff, go brush your teeth and wash your face, put some clothes on, put the hair in pigtails, stick a flower in that shit, make coffee, make oatmeal with fruit in it–yay! Persimmons are back in season! Sit down, check e-mails, eat breakfast, drink coffee, try to not freak out about already being an hour behind on the day, look about my lovely home, purposely ignore stacks and stacks of readers, books, notebooks, all the effluvia of the student life, and focus on the beauty of your home, eat your oatmeal.

Write.

Write it all out, put the neurosis down, put down the plans for the day, laugh out loud at the idiocy of my schedule, get panicked, but not acknowledge it quite yet, write some more, make second cup of coffee, decided to go do the deal, because really, that’s what has to be addressed, and go out the door and into the world.

Wait for MUNI.

Wonder why I didn’t take my bike.

But then immediately have gratitude that I didn’t, because I did stash my Human Development reader in my bag and I was too overwrought with the feels to actually have paid good attention to the traffic.

Besides the car traffic in the Inner Sunset on Saturday afternoon is idiotic.

I don’t need to die today.

I got on the N-Judah and called my best girl in Castro Valley and had a good commiserate talk about work, school, orientations, doing the deal, dating, more work, more school, not enough time ever, ever, ever.

By the time I got off the train at 7th and Irving I was feeling much better.

Still a bit overwhelmed.

But still trying to just put one foot in front of the other.

I sat for an hour.

I got my head screwed on better.

I cried a little.

I shared.

It was good.

I went to the nail salon and got a super fast manicure, then over to Crepevine for a late lunch and more Human Development reading.

I contemplated going clothes shopping, but I did not have it in me to really shop and I only lasted 20 minutes at Cross Roads.

The good news.

I found four tops–two sweaters, one a Helmut Lang!! And two button downs, which I desperately need.

Then back on the MUNI.

I had the panic creep back in.

I started making phone calls.

I left a lot of messages.

I took out my reader and read the ride home.

I hopped off the train, hopped to the house, hopped on my bicycle and rode off to SafeWay to grocery shop.

While I was in line one of my friends called me back and asked me where I was.

I told him and he said, I’m on my way, go buy some more groceries and I’ll throw your bike in the back of my truck.

Thank you jeebus.

I paid for my groceries and made a second trip through and thoroughly stocked up.

That had been part of my stress, figuring out how I was going to get all the grocery shopping in for myself.

Not only to have groceries in the house, but also an adequate amount of things to cook and prep, because next weekend I’ll be in school full-time and I won’t be able to do any cooking or grocery shopping.

I left the store with an over full messenger bag, a super big thing of toilet paper, and two more bags of groceries.

My friend was parked right next to where my bike was locked up.

We tossed it in the back and I just about burst into tears.

I started hyperventilating a little in his car.

I started the full on panic attack and practiced breathing and staying in the moment and my, look at the ocean, look at how pretty it is (look at the ocean and everyone at the beach, they’re not worried about having their Human Development reading done, asshats, they’re having fun in the sun), look at the sky, look down in my lap and let the tears fall.

My friend talked me off the ledge, dropped me at the house and gave me hugs.

I wiped the eyeliner off my face, hey, hey, Tammy Faye, and went ahead and did the next things in front of me.

Put away the groceries.

Balance the check book.

Heck.

I even made food–black bean and chicken chili with corn, yellow bell peppers, onion, garlic, spices, and a pot of brown rice.

Then.

I sat my ass down with a cup of tea and an apple and I read.

And read.

And.

Yes.

Read some more.

I finished all the chapters in the fucking Arnett book of hell, thank you Human Development.

Plus a bunch of articles.

Then I faced my Waterloo and opened the Power Point presentation my Human Development partner had worked on and I dove in.

I actually got a lot done.

A ton.

I was elated.

How the hell did that happen?

Next thing I know, text from a friend, how you doing, almost done?

And I was.

I ran out, grabbed some sushi, thanked my friend for talking me off the ledge, and in turn gave him a quick hand moving some stuff into his new place.

Then.

Home again home again.

Jiggedy jig.

I gave my friend a Mason jar with homemade chili in it and got back in the saddle.

I communicated with my partner about our project and lined up the readings for tomorrow.

And.

Guess what?

No more panic.

Because.

As noted before, and as I will, I am sure, note again and again.

It is the showing up that is the deal.

I showed up to do the reading and it got done.

When I am in my head though, where there is no time and the world is collapsing around me and I am just not ever fucking enough, then I am screwed.

I don’t see how far I have come.

Oh.

And baby.

I have come so far.

So very far.

I am so lucky.

Perspective is what I have.

Much preferable to panic.

Let me tell ya.

And love.

I have lots of love.

Thank God for friends.

Love you all so very much.

I could not be doing graduate school without you.

Seriously.

And Drumroll Please

September 26, 2015

It was a good day.

I have a brand new Casper mattress coming in the mail.

What?!

I received a text today asking for my address.

I thought someone was sending me flowers.

Nope.

Holy shit batman.

The Universe really was listening.

I am just a little stunned.

(just a little fucking stunned, just a little)

And.

Relieved too.

I had actually decided earlier today that I was probably not going to get the mattress until next semester’s disbursement.

I wanted to make sure that I could make it through the next few months.

I received my first financial aid disbursement and it was about $1300 less than I thought I was going to get.

Oh yeah.

That’s right.

The “retreat”.

AKA graduate school boot camp.

I had forgotten that was going to be taken out of my tuition bill as a fee.

So what I received was $1555.00

Basically one months rent and utilities with a couple of weeks of groceries thrown in.

I was not going to get a new mattress with that tiny bit of wiggle room.

I decided I would pay rent right away and I waffled on actually paying for November as well, but I want to see how October plays out and if I can keep the $1500 in my savings and collect a little interest on it before I use it to pay rent.  I want to see how long I can go without using the money.

Granted.

If I need to.

I absolutely will.

But it feels really nice to have a little cushion behind me.

I let go the idea of getting a new bed and wrote my pages this morning and expressed a great amount of gratitude for my life, and I won’t lie, I did actually write another affirmation about the mattress–along with about fifteen other ones–as well as a gratitude list before I hopped on my bicycle and headed in to beard the lion.

Otherwise known as.

Doing my year review with the family.

And it went well.

They balked at giving me a raise.

I got to let them have their experience and I said what I needed to say, I came into the job under my ask, at the same amount as the outgoing nanny, I expressed how they themselves have stated I was the best nanny they have ever had, and that I only expected to get better at my job.

I also said how grateful I was for their flexibility with me.

They have agreed to keep me at 35 hours a week and continue to pay my health insurance, which is huge, and I wasn’t sure I was going to be getting that.

We also agreed that we would see how everything plays out and stay at 35 hours a week until the end of the year.

I won’t have to look for supplemental work and I won’t have to look for another family.

They will deal with me being unavailable every third Friday while I am in school.

We tied it up with them saying they would think about a raise.

And.

I am good with that.

The fact is.

I am going to be taken care of and I will be fine even without the raise, though it’s nice to get and I don’t recall having had a single job where I didn’t get some sort of raise after a year.

The flexibility with my schedule is the coup and the still getting my health insurance covered is huge.

And.

When the boys are on school break, I will work more for them, I will work my 40 hours like I was all last year and be of service to the family.

Win.

WIn.

Win.

Then I had myself a busy day.

I earned my keep.

I made homemade pizza for the family and for the family that came over for a play date.

Four boys.

Two three-year old boys and two five-year old boys and one delicious 8 month old baby girl.

So much deliciousness.

The baby let me cuddle and snuggle her and the three-year olds let me read them stories and the five-year olds helped me “prep” dinner, and the parents had a visit and the dog kept me company and I did the laundry and marketed too and set them up.

I did my job.

I did it well.

And I felt really good about how the conversation went and grateful that I asked.

Now I get to let go of the results and know implicitly in my heart that all is taken care of.

I mean.

Hello.

I really thought I was getting some flowers delivered, I did not expect that the message was, the Universe reads your blog and wants you to get some good sleep for graduate school studies.

Fuck.

Can’t come soon enough.

I have so much work to do this weekend.

I was trying to not be hyperventilating on my bicycle ride home.

I had taken the time to do the deal and popped into Our Lady of Safeway right at 8p.m.

So grateful I got my God on.

That hour reset me, refreshed me, and despite having anxious thoughts plague my ride home, I knew that I was going to get it all done and it was going to be ok.

I asked for a raise.

I asked for a review.

I got a great review, by the way.

I got tons of thank you’s and I love you’s and sweet little boy hugs.

I got a beautiful ride home through the park on a Friday night.

I got a gift coming in the mail.

SERIOUSLY?

Seriously.

I also have the gift of getting to go to school.

That is a gift too.

I am graced.

I am loved.

Don’t let me ever tell you different.

Loved I say.

And What Are You Up To

September 25, 2015

Tonight?

Not what I was up to last Thursday.

Ahem.

I am studying.

Or should I say, I was studying.

Sigh.

Not getting hickies tonight.

Oh well.

I knew well what I was getting into when I decided to pursue graduate school–no more reading for pleasure for a few years, limited social interaction and engagement, and lots of studying, outlining, underlining, and digesting of ideas, theories, and studies.

I will also get to add to that, navigating student financial aid, technology, online facebook pages for my cohort, never thought I would use social media for graduate school studies, but my cohort has a group on facebook and I actually do use it.

Said hickies have faded and left little trace of their previous engagement.

All that is left is a warm feeling and a few sweet thoughts.

He goes one way.

I go the other.

Nothing wrong there.

No expectations.

No resentments.

Life meandering on its way.

I’m not maudlin, upset, or concerned.

I’m focused on what is happening in front of me.

Which is mainly getting all my Human Development reading done before the weekend.

I have one chapter left in the big text-book and a lot of articles in the reader, but I have successfully finished all the reading that I need to have done to outline the chapter and do the presentation with my partner next week.

I will go back over the reading again this Saturday and perhaps one more time before I do the presentation.

Grateful to be getting the work in and done.

Grateful to be carving out the space here and there to navigate said reading.

A little here.

A little there.

The stuff and things they get done.

I haven’t really addressed the reading for any of my other classes yet, but I will.

I will get to it.

I always do.

I don’t sit idly by.

I don’t take many breaks.

I get the job done.

Speaking of job.

I expect that at some point tomorrow, since it has not happened yet, didn’t happen today, I will be sitting down with the family and doing my year review.

I have no more anxiety around it.

Which is a relief and I don’t have expectations of myself, except that I show up and be honest and come from a place of gratitude for my job, for the boys, for the gift of having a job while I am in graduate school that seems like it could well carry me through all the way from this first semester to the last.

That is my hope.

Although.

I know.

Well.

I know well.

That whatever happens.

I am taken care of.

I have no doubts.

With that qualification I await the morrow with some interest.

Tomorrow is when the school disperses the financial aid.

I have my fingers crossed that I will get the rest of my tuition bill paid for and that there will be a few thousand, two to be specific, two thousand, left over after my tuition is covered.

I really want a new mattress for my bed and I have been eyeing the Casper full size for the last three months or so.

But.

I wonder.

Would it be better to sit on the money and see how I do under my own power with the hours that I am working at work before I spill out the money?

Should I sock it away into savings and have a nest egg?

Sleeping well is important, but could I wait until I do my taxes in January?

That seems so far away.

I have been quite frugal the past few months and am doing alright with my finances.

I will be paying my rent for October when I get my paycheck tomorrow.

That’s also something I need to keep in mind, the paychecks for the next few months will be smaller to reflect the fewer hours I am working.

I feel like I can afford it though.

The full size is $750.

That would still leave me sitting on $1250, which is basically one months rent, and I could sock that away into my savings, where I currently have one months rent, and then have a little prudent reserve to see how I do with the navigation forward.

I keep looking at my bed.

It’s a nice bed.

But.

It’s an Ikea mattress that is two years old and was not meant to be the end all and be all of mattresses.

I had thought I was going to replace it this spring, but I did not.

Sleep is important.

My brain will do better with quality sleep than without.

I could write it off as a study aid.

Baha.

Doubtful, but it’s a nice thought.

I don’t have many needs.

I live a small life.

But.

It is a full life.

A quality life.

I like my food organic.

And yes.

I do drink expensive coffee.

I probably drop $60 a month on coffee beans.

But my, they are so delicious.

I also rarely buy coffee out, although I do have it on a fairly consistent basis.

Today I had a lovely iced coffee from Grand Cafe on Mission Street on my way to the Mission/Bartlett Farmer’s Market to shop for the family.

The family sports my coffees.

I don’t take advantage of it, though there can be a tendency in my brain to want more, after a certain point I just can’t do a big coffee after four in the afternoon.

I have a lot of perks at work.

I am well aware of how lucky I am to have a good job, that I get to live in San Francisco, go to school in San Francisco, live in the best city in the United States, one of the best in the world, and live as well as I do.

Yes.

I live in a studio.

But it is by the sea.

In the most salient place for me to be.

The best place for my soul to reside for the time being.

At least for the next three years.

And after that?

Who knows.

I am too focused right now on the here and now.

Where the reading is.

Just there.

On the other side of my laptop.

Now.

If you’ll excuse me.

I have some more reading to do.

See you tomorrow.

I’ll let you know if I get that raise.

Sometimes The Universe

September 24, 2015

Conspires in my favor.

I found out, in rapid succession, that both ladies I was scheduled to meet with, one on Friday evening after work and the other Saturday morning, have had to cancel

On top of which my person isn’t available either this weekend.

Oh.

Don’t you worry your pretty little head.

I still have plenty of shit to deal with.

But now I have a little flexibility in my step and I am very grateful for that.

I still have two ladies to conspire with on Sunday, I’ll be getting my deal in, but I will also be getting my homework on.

I have a project for my Human Development class that I must have the work done for by this Saturday so that I can confab with my partner on Sunday.

I was feeling a little bit of a squeeze when I received my partner’s e-mail this morning before work.

“I’m working as hard as I can,” I felt like yelling at the screen.

Not as though she would have heard.

I know everybody is doing it to the best of their abilities.

I am not the only one working hard.

But my timing is sometimes weirder than others and I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to address my partners questions until almost 10 p.m. tonight.

Which is exactly what I just did.

Despite my work hours being seven hours a day instead of 8, I feel like I am working double overtime.

I get up and read before school.

I write before school.

I do my morning routine.

I go to work.

I do the deal after work.

I come home and read.

I blog.

I might sneak in fifteen minutes of video or perhaps a conversation with a friend.

Then I do it all over again.

I will say this much.

The three years of graduate school are going to go fast.

Whiz.

Motherfucking.

Bang.

The days are full and the weekends are not times to relax.

They are time to do the work.

I will now have alot, for me, extra time to get my project dealt with, so my partner is not carrying the brunt of the work and I will also get caught up on all my reading.

I am almost there.

But.

I have miles to go before I am completely on par with the next weekend of classes.

I have one plan for Friday night after work, then all day Saturday to get it done.

I may let myself sleep in a little on Saturday though, roll around in bed, drift in and out, get all sexy in the sheets.

Once in a while a little extra sleep is a nice thing.

Especially when the Universe has given me the nod to do so.

I will also, fingers crossed, be celebrating my year review.

Although it was not discussed at work, there was no time in the day with the boys and the parents schedule, I do believe we will be having the conversation on Friday and I am good with it.

Good with whatever happens.

Good.

With it all.

“Carmen, I love you,” the smallest guy hollered to me as I went tumbling down the stairs to climb onto my bicycle and ride like a comet out to the Outer Sunset so that I could toss myself in the shower before my commitment tonight at the Sunset Youth Services on Judah and 44th.

I squeaked in a shower and it was so nice.

That’s what life feels like right now.

Squeaking in as much as I can wherever I can.

In fact.

I may just pause here for a moment and go throw a load of laundry in the wash.

Excuse me a sec, ok.

Nice.

Always a bonus to get something else taken care of.

Now to figure out how to get some groceries in the mix and I’ll be doing ok.

Busy.

I don’t know when I won’t be busy and sometimes that does make me feel a little overfull with all the things, but I am also gifted to have all the things, and it’s nice to know that there is a balance in there and I know it.

I’m grateful to be able to do all these things and that I get to live in San Francisco.

I mean.

Really.

I live and work and go to school in San Francisco.

I was checking in with a friend and we were discussing some of the fellows in my cohort and how many of these students commute in from all points, literally, from as far away as Miami, Fl, and how I am lucky that I live here in the city.

Granted.

I do bitch a tiny bit about the commute from the Outer Sunset, but it keeps me healthy, all that bike riding, and as a friend said recently when I expressed that I haven’t owned a car since I moved here in 2002 (13 year anniversary the beginning of this month!), I have no carbon footprint.

Although.

I may have offset the entire 13 years by the one joy ride in the 1972 Mach 1 Mustang that I got to ride around in on Sunday.

Damn that was fun.

I’ll take another please.

What else?

There isn’t much else.

There isn’t much time for much else, is there?

Or is there?

Life is always throwing me some sort of curve ball, just when I think I have a routine, or something figured out, I don’t have anything figured out at all.

It’s all topsy-turvy all the time.

I suppose I should be used to it by now and sometimes I actually am.

I feel like right now, despite my shaky start to the day, that I have some equilibrium.

I have love.

I have a home.

I have the setting moon.

I have a bicycle.

She’s smart ass whip and she’s all mine.

I have a strong, healthy body.

I actually have relationships with my family, not always close, but I have them.

I laughed out loud the other day catching a random post on facecrack from my oldest niece.

Which deserves a shout out here since she is the reason my blog is called “Auntie Bubba.”

I sent her a certain gift for her birthday that she had dropped a hint that she would like, so I went on Amazon and ordered it.

Then I promptly forgot, because, like yo’, I’m busy, duh.

I almost didn’t see the post either, but there it was and I laughed out loud, almost snorting coffee out my nose when I saw the photo of her holding the gift in front of her very happy face.

The caption read.

“Auntie Bubba is best Bubba!”

That may be the greatest compliment ever.

Busy.

Yup.

That’s me.

But squeezing in the love wherever I can.

The Universe conspires for me.

In case you were wondering.

I am the best Bubba after all.

Hello.

Almost

September 23, 2015

But.

Not quite.

Bah.

I could not get it together to ask for my raise today.

The balking is fucking killing me.

I know it.

All my friends know it.

Fuck.

FUCK.

Fuckity fuck fuck fuck.

There.

Now that’s out of my system.

It doesn’t even matter at this point if I get the raise, I just need to ask.

That’s it.

ASK.

Martines.

Get it.

It’s not that big a deal and the relief I will get from just doing the foot work, opening up my mouth and saying the words, is going to be worth more than the monetary gains.

Then again.

I could also practice some compassion for myself, I don’t like asking for things I need, never have, probably never will.

But.

If I don’t ask I won’t get what I need and I do need to bring in some more money and I am worth the ask.

Hell.

I’m worth more than I am going to ask for, but that’s another story.

I did, however, ask for a review, a yearly review to be arranged between myself and the parents by the end of the week.

I should get a review.

I also need to get something in writing and that has to be discussed.

My contract expired and I am just going a long on a wing and a verbal agreement, a vague one at that.

No good.

I know better.

To give myself a little credit the parents were not readily available to my yesterday or today.

I wanted to talk with both of them and typically both of them are at home in the office working everyday, but that has not been the case either day and it has just felt way too much to just address one parent without the other.

So.

I opened my mouth, just like I did last night, right as I was leaving and said I would like the review for the year to be worked out for the end of the week.

I need to sit down with them and do the ask, I can’t just spring it on the mom in line at Trader Joes.

I can’t.

I did a little foot work and for that I am grateful.

Little bites.

Just a little bit at a time.

Not enough to leave a bruise, but a sharp little nip of teeth to remind me that I am better when I am focused on what is in front of me and distracted by the money.

I have been distracted by my finances for too long.

I just don’t want to think about it anymore.

I suspect that won’t ever be the case.

But.

I don’t have to fret.

I don’t have to be in anxiety.

I suppose it’s just old habit, old hat, old ways of being, the pretending that by worrying about something I am manifesting some sort of control over it.

I don’t have control over anything.

I don’t have control over what you think of me.

(I hope you like me!)

Nope.

No control.

I wish you would make me feel better.

Oh.

You can’t do that either.

Well.

Fuck.

I guess I’m here again, same old song, another day.

I was almost there, almost to self-forgiveness land, but I got a little waylaid and realized after a quick check in with a friend, that I am still actually quite mad at myself.

Would I leave if I don’t get the raise?

I could.

Not that I wouldn’t make it.

I would make it.

Just.

The thing is I don’t want to just make it.

Can you save me?

Come on and save me.

If you could save me.

From.

The rest of the freaks.

That suspect they could never love anyone.

I am sick of just making it.

I am tired of working hard to work harder.

I am being melancholic.

Yes.

Guess who got her period this morning.

Relief.

I knew that lady was about to visit and i know that I am just a touch sensitive, emotionally, and physically, out damn spot, and tired too, of the self-imposed misery of the anxiety.

I don’t want to think about finding other work either.

But.

There are other options.

Hell.

I was offered a place a substantial rent drop of where I am living now.

I turned it down.

I had my reasons.

Ask me in person if you really want to know.

There are 100 and 1 choices to be made.

There are many paths to wander down.

Come on and save me.

Why don’t you save me.

If you could save me.

From ranks of the freaks.

That suspect they could never love anyone.

Except the freaks who could never love anyone.

Let your hair down.

Shake it out.

Let the day go.

She is not all that.

She is just a day.

It is alright little lady, you do the best you can and sometimes sitting in a dim room with the heat and flash of the Castro strobing it’s lights outside the second story window is exactly where you’re supposed to be.

If I have done nothing other than sit for an hour in an uncomfortable chair and resonate with what the person in front of me is saying then it is a good day.

A god damn good day.

I remind myself.

As I look around at what I have.

I have so much.

Do you see me?

I have so much.

So much.

Love.

Kindness.

Joy.

Light.

I don’t have to be maudlin, I’m just human.

I’m just a little spiritual being having a very human experience.

Bless you little heart for being a tender thing.

I am afraid of rejection.

I am afraid that at the end of the day.

(At the end of the bar at the end of the night, another night at the end of the bar)

I am not enough.

That I am not lovable.

That I am not good enough, pretty enough, smart enough.

Not a good enough nanny, student, lover, human.

Not a good enough woman.

(Still such a little girl)

Forgive yourself sweet heart.

You’re doing just fine.

You are perfect.

Imperfectly.

Perfectly.

Perfect.

Don’t Tell Me How To Do My Job!

September 22, 2015

Or anything else either.

I am feeling a touch overwhelmed.

Can you tell?

First, I had too many people, two, but who’s counting, tell me what to do today while I was working.

Hey, you know what?

I didn’t fucking ask.

Further.

I don’t want your opinion.

And lastly.

Yes.

I did some spot check inventory and some checking in with myself and I understood pretty damn quick as I cramped up in KidPower Park (crack power now!) that I had just ovulated.

Great.

I’ll be getting that friendly reminder in the next day or two.

Which is fine.

It’s on time, it’s doing what it does, the body.

I just knew there was something up with me when I got overly sensitive to the three-year old throwing a temper tantrum on the sidewalk as I pushed the stroller through La Mission, the great gentrification thereof, and it’s nearby environs.

People do not always like kids in the Mission.

The hipsters don’t want to get out-of-the-way of the stroller and no one wants a screaming three-year old disturbing them while they taste artisanal chocolates at Dandelion or while they are getting their haircut at Fellow Barber, or god forbid while they are on a sneaky Tinder date early happy hour at Bar Tartine.

No.

And nothing says good times like a three-year old screaming at the top of his lungs while flailing his feet in the stroller.

“IWANTABAGEL!IWANTABAGEL!IWANTABAGEL!IWANTABAGEL!IWANTABAGEL!IWANTABAGEL!IWANTABAGEL!”

Sorry kiddo.

No bagels to be had at 4:30 p.m. on a Monday afternoon in the Mission.

Oh.

I know i could have gotten him a “special treat” at the coffee shop, but I was just stopping in to grab a thank you card for someone who had sent me a Bicycle Coalition Membership!

That was a nice thing to get in the mail.

Especially since I have no extra money and I apparently, I will get to the bottom of this later, I owe money on my account with school?

Anyway.

I had not found out that information and I am not certain to the credibility of it and I am trying to not panic at the thought of owing $3,478.

I mean, huh?

Oh.

Fuck.

I don’t want to write about this right now.

I am still writing about a bagel.

“Honey, I’m not getting you a bagel right now, we’re going to have dinner in a half hour,” I said as I paid for the card.

“IWANTASPECIALSNACK!”

“I made you a special dinner,” I cajoled, accepting the change and rapidly wheeling the stroller out the door and over to the park.

I had agreed to go to KidPower Park as the boys also wanted to stop by the Eco Center on 17th between Valencia and Hoff.

“She made chicken pot pie!” The five-year old gleefully jumped up and down.

“IDONTWANTCHICKENPOTPIE!IWANTABAGEL!IWANTABAGEL!IWANTABAGEL!”

UGH.

I had made chicken pot pie.

And roasted cauliflower.

And I was not about to bend on the bagel.

Once in a while a bagel is great, but not right before dinner and I knew I couldn’t justify it and I headed off to the park with a wailing, flailing, screaming child.

“He needs to get out and walk,” a man told me, who was also trying to hand me some sample of something in front of a store.

“No thank you,” I said as I went past.

“He needs to get out and walk,” the man said again, louder, stepping up to me.

I wheeled around with fire in my eyes, “I’ll thank you to NOT tell me how to do my job.”

And I walked away.

Grr.

I hate responding to people like that.

I don’t like being mean and I don’t like it when people assume I don’t know what I am doing, or try to offer help and I realized by the time I got to the park as was booting a homeless man out of the playground who was digging through the trash with a stray dog running around him, that I was about to go on a tear.

I asked the man to leave the play area and was told, “get a job!”

“I have a job, this is my job, you are in the way of me doing my job, get out of the children’s playground with the dog or I call the cops.”

I didn’t raise my voice, but I was dead serious.

He left.

He muttered some things best left unsaid.

I have called the cops three times in the year that I have nannied the boys.

Addict shooting up in the playground.

Pack of adolescents smoking pot and crack in the playground.

Homeless deranged man masturbating on the corner, I mean full on pants around his ankles, dick out and in hand.

Oh my fucking god I did not need to see that.

I got myself under control and then bent over double.

Ouch.

Oh?

Oh really.

Sigh.

Well, that makes more sense.

And I didn’t even need a third person to get pissed off at.

Generally I find that if I call three people an asshole in one day, I’m the asshole.

I got there a little faster today.

Hello.

And.

Happy Monday.

Happy anniversary to me too.

Well.

Almost.

Tomorrow makes one year with the family.

I mentioned it tonight before I left.

Which means tomorrow I ask for the pay raise.

I’m going to need it if I owe money on my tuition bill.

I can’t imagine why I have an outstanding balance and I can see that, obviously, something has been applied to it, since it would be a lot more than $3,478.

But.

I thought I was actually getting back some money.

That once my scholarship and subsequent loans were applied there was going to be an offset of about $2700 to my bank account.

I guess I need to call the financial aid office tomorrow and find out what is happening.

Perhaps my loans have been applied, but not yet the scholarship?

I know that the disbursement was to happen this Friday, although I received the letter from my federal student loan lender that my financial aid loan was applied to my school.

That must be it.

That is the only thing that makes sense.

The loans were applied, but my scholarship won’t be disbursed until Friday when the school disburses funds.

Whew.

That’s a relief.

Anyway.

There is nothing wrong.

Even if I do owe money.

It will come from somewhere.

I have a month’s rent in the savings and that will cover some costs and I suspect I will be taken care of anyway.

I always am.

I do the work.

I show up.

Even when someone tells me how to do me how to do my job, I know that I am doing a damn fine one indeed.

I have nothing to worry about.

Not at all.

Life is good.

Really.

I insist.

I don’t even need a special snack to know that.

Super Sonic Blog Post

September 21, 2015

I have no idea what I am going to say except that I am going to say it as fast as I can.

And.

I hope to be done within a certain time frame because I am up past my bedtime on a school night and really, I should just be getting under the covers.

But.

It seems wrong to not write a little.

To not wear my heart a tiny bit on my sleeve.

Did you see the moon set?

It was a glorious firebrand smoldering over the inky black sea.

Did you smell the bonfires on the beach?

I did.

It was a glorious day in San Francisco.

I spent a lot of it reading.

But I tried to get out a little and I gave myself breaks and no, I did not get as much done as I had thought or hoped.

I’m alright with this.

I’m ok to keep doing a little in the morning before work and a little more at night before I go to bed or before I blog.

I am ok to let myself have a little life experience.

Go for a ride in a car.

See a room.

Hang out with my fellows.

Get my God on.

And.

Commune with the beach and the waves and the stars.

I saw two shooting stars tonight.

I wished for the same thing on each one.

“I wish to stay sober.”

I say it soft, under my breath, in the dark shadow of my heart, the dreamsicle orange of the moon descending with love below the horizon of my tender sweet soul self.

The first one I saw I almost wasn’t sure was a shooting star, but it had the trace of tail and was bright enough that I was certain.

The second one made me gasp out loud, it was long and low and the tail was bright orange.

It was an emissary.

Promise of bright things to come.

Love.

Taking care of myself.

Doing my reading.

Graduate school.

Dreams of travel and shoes and ships and sealing wax.

Cabbages and kings.

Poetry and nursery rhymes and the sound of the ocean crashing just beneath the beach line of dunes.

No.

I did not do what I set out to do this weekend and yet I had a fabulous weekend.

A weekend that went by so fast that I cannot believe it is Sunday night and time for me to wrap it all up tidy in a neat bow of words and images and thoughts and soul strivings and stirrings.

I was flexible this weekend.

I gave myself allowance to do and be and see and be seen and that has to happen in my life just as much as the work or the work won’t be worthwhile and all I am doing is living to work.

Rather.

I want to work to live and give myself a little allowance sometimes to play.

It is almost as though I am convincing myself that I have this leeway, this lassitude, this wayward time with time.

And.

I do.

I am efficient.

I am quick.

I will have to work a lot next weekend.

I have a project with another classmate that I have to prepare for and I don’t want to leave her in the lurch with the work.

But.

I also realized today when I looked over the syllabus for the one class I dread the work the most, my Human Development class, that I don’t have to have the paper done for that class until October 13th rather than the 2nd.

I have a little tiny bit more time.

I do have to be honorable and not screw my partner and get to the reading so I can properly outline the chapter that we are presenting to the class, but I can see that it will happen.

Little bits and pieces at a time.

My first appointment on the day was late, and so I read a few pages there.

I got up about 15 minutes before my alarm went off, so that added another quarter of an hour this morning.

I read for an hour after my lady bug left my house.

I made lunch at home and read.

I read after lunch.

I checked in with my person and told him what was happening in my heart.

No expectations.

Going slow.

Staying in the present moment.

I read some more.

I went up to the corner store and bought a few household things I needed to get.

I came home and read more.

I got a ping and headed out the door to do the deal in Mill Valley.

Did you see the bridge today?

Did you see the clear skies?

Did you stop at Fort Point because it was too irresistible to not stop?

I did.

How grateful am I to live in such tremendous beauty.

The sumptuous bay sparkling and spun with boats and cargo ships, yachts, sail boats, windsurfers, seals, seagulls, waves, sunshine.

Rolling into Marin.

The hills sweeping, swept with Eucalyptus and the warmth of a day that spells all that is summer and sexy and San Francisco and if it were like this all year round it would be even more expensive to live in.

And when the sun shines.

I have to make hay, I have to let my skin soak it in.

I ate my lunch outside today in the back yard, blissed out with the warmth and the happy sounds of the neighborhood.

I did not read my stuff outdoors, it’s too distracting and too easy to just lift my face skyward then down into the pages of the text and yes, I could have read more, but I let my heart be my guide and look.

Look at that.

I am happy.

Joyous.

Free.

And just made it in under the wire to get enough sleep to get up and do it all over again tomorrow.

And.

Go to my job too.

Life.

It is good.

Full as fuck.

But so good.

SERIOUSLY.


%d bloggers like this: