Archive for December, 2016

I Might Be Feeling It

December 31, 2016

My new hair, that is.

OMG.

I feel like Snow White.

I love, love, love it.

LOVE.

I’m back to my “natural” color.

I haven’t had this hair color in about four years and it was brief at that.

It feels good to be brunette again.

And.

Though I hate to say it, age appropriate, which equals sexy as fuck in my book.

44 you look pretty damn good.

fullsizeoutput_dacYes.

That is a lot of cleavage, Virginia.

But fuck it.

Once in a while a lady is going to feel her oats.

I almost.

But no, I did not, re-load the Tinder app to my phone.

I realize that I don’t really need it and the validation is nice, but it’s not real.

I want someone to see me in real life and go, yes, I want her.

And.

Then.

Ask me out.

That’s the feel of it.

I always feel a little sassy after I have a new hair do and this is no different.

Except that it is.

It feels the most me that I have felt in ages.

I’m not trying to be anyone different from who I am.

Granted I may feel differently when my hair gets curly.

Which it will do.

I got a blow out at the salon and it will last a day, max two, if I don’t go to yoga in the morning and I don’t shower.

Now.

I did shower today.

And.

I could possibly beg off yoga since I’m still sick.

Not as bad as yesterday, I woke up without the tightness in my chest, but I had to bail on dinner tonight with a friend after doing the deal as I could feel it settling back in and the last thing I wanted to do was be out longer and get chilled and have it come back with a vengeance.

Especially since tomorrow night is New Year’s Eve and for the first time in a long time I have plans to go out to a party.

I had been invited to one in the East Bay, and man it’s tempting, a lot of my favorite people will be there.

But.

East Bay.

And no car and I don’t want to BART, even though, yes, it runs until 3 a.m.

I decided to get tickets to a semi-private event at a friends gym here in town.

He’s doing a “Fight Club” themed party.

Which makes sense since he owns a gym.

There will be lots of people I know, some doing the deal, and good djs and dancing.

I’m psyched to go and I want to feel good and healthy for it.

And yes.

I do, um, perhaps want to sport my sexy as fuck new hair.

I’ve been contemplating going back to my natural color now for a little bit now.

I had at first thought about just chopping out the blonde and the pink, but I realized, no, I rather like my long hair and I like that the longer it gets the curlier my hair gets and when it’s short, it tends toward wavy, not curly.

Here’s for curls.

So when I went to the MOMA on Wednesday with my dearest friends, who both happen to be taste makers for a living, one in retail fashion and the other in interior design, I asked.

“What do you think if I went back to my natural hair color?”

And they both gave it a big, big, big thumbs up.

Ok then.

I got home, hopped on the phone and made a call.

I got in!

I was surprised that I was able to snag a spot so close to New Year’s Eve, but it happened and I got great color and an awesome cut.

Harper Paige Salon.

Love you guys!

It was a faster process than going blonde and I was grateful for that as I had some time left on my meter and I skipped over to Sephora.

New hair.

New lipstick.

Duh.

I got an Urban Decay.

Oil Slick.

And.

A new Kat Von D.

Motorhead.

I love how both are dark and sexy and a tiny bit sinister sounding.

I’m rather all sweetness and light at the moment.

But I’ll go with dark and sexy too.

I’m single.

Dark and sexy could catch me a few dates.

Fingers crossed.

And perhaps I am feeling my oats.

But.

This is my year.

I feel it.

I feel it in my bones.

I’m excited for it.

The new contract for work.

Moving forward in my school program.

New hair.

Which is just really, “old hair” but it’s been such a long time that it feels like a new me, just a slightly more polished, a tiny bit more refined (unruly will be on the scene soon when the blow out fades of, but I can say polished for at least the next twelve hours), fresh, and pretty.

It does also feel just that.

Pretty.

Which I’m also down for.

Dear God.

I have just written nearly my entire blog about my hair.

Hahahahaha.

I’m not-self centered, really, bahahahahaha.

Sorry.

So.

So.

So.

Stupidly self-centered.

But also.

God help me, quite happy.

I did something completely for me.

Going blonde, the last time I did it, was for someone else.

Granted I wanted to, but I wanted to even more when he wanted it too.

This was all about me.

How to make myself happy.

How to please myself.

Not about a man, a woman, a job, another person.

Just for me.

It turns out I like making myself happy.

I should remember this the next time I’m feeling remorse.

I deserve to feel happy and I have all the power and capabilities to make myself happy.

No one completes me.

I am complete.

With just a tiny bit.

More.

Um.

Sexy.

Yeah.

Like that.

 

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Out Damn Spot

December 30, 2016

So.

I pretty much stayed in all day.

I did get out for a little while early this afternoon.

But for the most part.

All day inside.

I’m not the greatest at being sick, but I’m willing to call it uncle at this point.

I’m not real sure what’s going on, but I realize I have been sick now for ten days.

I know pretty much the day it started, either on my birthday or on the Monday just thereafter.

I recall not wanting at all to go out with the family and celebrate my birthday with them.

I was running a fever.

I got pretty chilled on my birthday and I know one of the people there mentioned that he wasn’t feeling well, I also know that despite it being my birthday I really didn’t have too much of a problem just coming home and chilling out the rest of the day.

I worked through the cold.

I got through the sads of saying goodbye to the boys.

I made it through a solitary Christmas.

I made plans to do things and get out.

But I have to say that every day this week it’s been harder and harder to get myself out, to do things, to go grocery shopping, to make the deal.

I almost didn’t go out last night to do the deal, but I had gotten a telephone call so I went, and it’s in the hood, up the street a block and a half.

I have something.

I find it annoying.

I dislike being sick.

It feels frivolous.

I know that’s not exactly a mind state that’s helpful to me when I get sick as I sort of shove it back and down.

I figured I was over the cold though, I really did, but it just has stayed and stayed and stayed.

A couple of times I have felt better, went to yoga, got out did a few things, but today after my early afternoon outing I realized when I was leaving on my scooter that I really needed to be at home today.

I had all sorts of ideas and none of them sounded good.

I had my camera with me.

The light was beautiful today.

It makes me a little sad that I missed all the pretty light.

Another indication of sickness, I cry easily when I am sick, leaky little tears, it’s like my heart is trying to send some message to my overwrought, over heated brain, you’re sick, see, you’re crying over nothing, you’re crying because you missed taking your camera out and catching all the pretty light.

But right now, that feels very honest.

I am sad.

I think that’s what does me in the most about being sick, the things that I don’t get to do, even just my normal routine has gotten warped and weird and yes, I do know to be grateful for this time off in between jobs, lucky me, I’m off and I’m ill.

Whoopee.

It may also explain why the massage was wonderful and horrible at the same time.

I needed to get my muscles worked out but I kept getting chilled.

I was probably running a fever.

Low grade fevers for me are hard to recognize, but I do know I’ve been extra chilled all week, I know it’s been cold, but I feel like I’ve been extra sensitive.

Ugh.

And it’s about the only time when I wish, really hard, and then I do know that I am sick, that someone would hold me.

It’s too easy to slide into self-pity when I’m sick and that’s an indication that I’m sick, self-pity.

Erg.

I’m not usually morose about being alone.

Gack.

Anyway.

Today, aside from the sick, was pretty damn nice.

I met with the mom whom I will begin work for on Monday.

We signed the contract, went over the background check, did the little stuff, crossed the t’s dotted the i’s.

I’ll be starting at 9 a.m. on Monday.

Mom may or may not be pregnant.

She’s due tomorrow.

She looked amazing, tired, but good, and we had just a great chat and both she and the oldest have also been sick, it’s going around.

 

Aside.

You know what’s the worst thing about crying while you blog?

Tear splatter on your glasses.

Just going to take a moment and deal with that.

End aside.

 

We talked for about an hour, maybe an hour and fifteen minutes, philosophy, education, emotional rearing, her culture (the family is European and I won’t say much past that as I also signed a confidentiality agreement), the family dynamics and the addition of the new baby.

I feel really grateful to have gotten connected to them, we do seem a great fit, ideologies are similar if not quite the same, I’m sure there will be snags and hiccups and getting used to things, but I’m excited to start the job.

I also realized when I left that I should just go home.

Rest.

Kick this bug in the butt.

Let it out of my system.

It’s all tight in my chest, achy and surreal.

I’ve no cough and I keep thinking I’m going to have one, but I don’t.

And the pain is tightness, but not stabbing, it’s deal-able.

I’m dealing is what I’m saying.

And I’m super hydrated, tea, tea, tea and more tea, and I ate nice warming food today and just lounged about the house.

I finished reading Irvine Welsh’s The Bedroom Secrets of Master Chefs.

I watched a bunch of the OA.

Amazing show.

So sweet.

Just loved how they ended it, super powerful acting and storyline.

I won’t be a spoiler.

I just thought they did a superlative job.

I’ll probably go to bed early tonight and skip yoga and rest.

I’ve an appointment downtown at 1:30p.m.

That’s it.

And it’s to sit in a chair for a long time and flip through magazines while I get my hair done.

So.

I can handle this cold.

See.

I’m already feeling better, I pep talk myself quite well.

A little more tea and then tuck myself in for the evening.

Grateful, truly for the time off from work and for the opportunity to rest and heal so that when the next job begins I will be ready.

I will be.

I swear.

 

Slow Down

December 29, 2016

He said and patted my arm as we were heading up the stairs to the MOMA’s membership desk.

Then he did a mimicry of me and my busy self.

Oh shit.

I had someone else do that to me recently.

I was a bit abashed.

And as I sit here, having slowed way the hell down today, after the MOMA and lunch out with my friends, I came home, and read.

I didn’t nap.

I was actually a little afraid to nap.

Who the fuck is afraid of naps?

I am.

If they are past a certain point of time in the day, then I get afraid I wouldn’t get out of the house again if I lay down (and I did get out for a little while this evening to do the deal, which was super handy).

So I read.

And that was relaxing.

And I roasted a chicken and that made my little studio warm and cozy.

I posted up the photographs I took at the MOMA and I just hung out at the house and was chill.

I am contemplating a yoga class in the morning, but truth be told, I may not go, just let myself rest, sleep, lay about.

Even if it kills me.

Because it won’t be for always and there’s a good chance I will still go out and deal with a few things.

I have been in intermittent communication with the mom in my new gig and we have been trying to figure out a time to meet and talk about the job and sign the contract.

Said job starts on Monday.

But.

Mom is pregnant and due December 30th.

Today is the 28th.

So.

Like any second now she could be going into labor.

In fact, a couple of times I thought to myself today, we’re not going to end up being able to meet, she’s in labor, or she’s about to have the baby.

But I got an email this evening asking if I was available tomorrow or Friday.

I have an appointment downtown that is going to take up some time on Friday, so I said tomorrow.

I will skip yoga, rest, and await her time frame.

I am not about to get pushy with a mom who’s due to deliver at any second.

She gets to set the time.

I get to be available.

And yes, the cold is lingering and it felt improbably worse tonight then it has in a few days.

I think it’s gone and going away and then it’s back.

Annoying thing.

I have things to do.

Places to be.

Ugh.

Shut up brain.

Let it go.

I did my FAFSA renewal yesterday, for my federal financial aid package for grad school next year, and I had this tremendous anxiety over come me when I started to think about all the things I needed to do and how I was squandering my time off and I should be working on my practicum cover letters and applications and arranging to go to open houses and get my resume written and my letters of recommendation.

Boy howdy.

My brain knows so well how to sabotage me enjoying a day off and getting a massage.

Thanks brain.

SHUT UP.

Don’t get me wrong, I had a really sweet day today and saw some yummy art and hung out with two of my favorite people and then got treated to lunch at an amazing Zagat rated Chinese restaurant.

Which was nice.

Since i got a fucking $81 parking ticket on my scooter.

I plugged the meter!

I swear.

I used my debit card, it registered as having charged me for $3.40 cents, hours of time, and I happily traipsed off to the museum with my camera.

I came back and there was a ticket.

For 12:45 p.m.

What?

I paid long in case we decided to stay at the museum and have lunch in the cafe.

I should be covered until 2 p.m.

I used my card, it charged my card, I wrote it down and balanced my check book.

Because that’s how I roll.

I don’t have a credit card, everything by cash and I tally as I go and I also keep a running log in my checkbook register.

You know, those funny little things in the back of a check book.

Yeah.

I use them.

All the time.

I checked, yup, I had put a notation down for $3.40 and then I thought!

Oh hey!

I’ll check my bank balance online and I’ll contest the ticket!

I checked my bank balance.

The charge had not gone through.

What the fuck?

I don’t know if it was user error or meter error, but there was nothing left for me to do but get out my check book again and pay the ticket.

Can’t contest it if I don’t have evidence that I paid.

Because if it didn’t pull from my account, then technically, I didn’t pay.

Sigh.

Cost of living in the city.

Grateful I got a couple of cards from family with cash in them this Christmas.

Oh well, really, I’m not too upset about it, I really had such a lovely day, I don’t want to focus on the negative.

In the grand scheme of things, one parking ticket is not going to break me and what a gift that I had money, disposable income, to pay it off within hours of getting it.

That is something to be happy about.

So too, the option and availability to rest and not push myself.

Sleep in tomorrow.

Don’t set the alarm.

Rest.

Read a book in bed.

Chill the hell out.

And if the mom gets back to me, yes, I’ll venture out and I’ll have a coffee with her or tea and see how I can help and be of service in my new job.

If she doesn’t, it’s all good, I know that I will show up and be ready to go on Monday.

Everything is alright, I didn’t drink or use today.

I didn’t smoke a cigarette or eat a big pile of donuts.

I spent time with two fabulous men who I dearly love and got to see art and eat amazing Chinese food.

I have a blessed life.

Really.

I do.

And I am allowed to slow down, to feel the feelings that need to be felt, and to rejuvenate before the busy gets well, busy again.

Everything, I gently remind myself, is exactly, and I do mean EXACTLY, how it should be.

It always is.

Seriously.

Hurts So Good

December 28, 2016

God damn I got a work out today.

First I did yoga.

And I do not know why, if it’s this particular teacher, I cried in pain the last class I took, and I felt close to tears in this one, maybe I’m old, my body is just not what it used to be.

And when it was.

Well, fuck, I was like 80 or a 100 lbs heavier, so who would have known anyway.

But.

I was stiff and sore and tender after.

Which was not a bad thing.

Especially since I splurged and booked myself a Thai massage today.

OH MY GOD.

It was so good.

I decided to splurge, last of the Christmas bonus, which I also used to pay my January rent a little early, not all of the bonus, but a big chunk, it’s pretty much gone at this point.

I let myself investigate a few options and I decided on this particular place for two reasons, one it was in a neighborhood I’m familiar with and two, it was next to Rainbow Grocery and I love shopping there.

I, in fact, had lunch there.

I got to the spot, the massage place, a little early as I wanted to take my camera out and get some street shots of Erie Alley.

Great graffiti.

Unfortunately, also a little on the edgy side, there’s a big homeless encampment on the street.

I did venture further in than I normally do, but when a dog fight broke out between a homeless guy walking by with his pit bull and a prostitute doing her trade, I was like, ok, I’m out.

I got some great shots though.

Check them out here.

I was happy.

Then.

Rainbow for “lunch.”

It’s not what I would typically have for lunch, but I had a big breakfast, and I had booked the massage at an odd time of day for having lunch–2p.m.

I got myself an hour and a half massage and as I booked during the weekday I also got a free 15 minute foot massage.

Please and thank you.

So, all told, I was on the floor for an hour and 45 minutes.

Yes.

I said floor.

Thai massage, if you haven’t had it, is a little different than traditional massage.

I was on a low platform bed on the floor.

There is a bar over head that the masseuse can use to keep themselves balanced, some massage therapists will massage with their feet.

My therapist used hands and elbows and I think her feet once or twice, I don’t recall.

I was a wee bit blissed out.

Right now I’m also sore, but she worked out some kinks that I have had for, well, years.

I don’t often indulge in massage, I suppose I should more often, I was super tight.

She got into areas that made me want to wail, they were so tender and tight and painful, but my God, afterward, the release was so good.

And.

I didn’t just get the traditional Thai massage, I had gotten myself a package, which for an hour and 45 minutes was $130, a fucking deal.

There was the free 15 minutes of foot massage and the, wait for it.

HOT COMPRESS MASSAGE.

Oh my fucking god.

It was the best massage I have ever had.

She did the big deep tissue stuff on my back and my legs and arms and then wiped me down with big warm towels to get the massage oil off and rewrapped me in blankets.

Then.

She took out these big hot compresses that were filled with some sort of grassy sweet smelling herb.

It was a cross between warm baked bread, hay, and cotton sheets being hot ironed.

It was amaze balls.

I mean.

I can’t even begin.

And then I got the same treatment on the front, deep tissue massage, mostly with her hands and elbows, then the wipe down with warm towels, and after the hot compress massage.

It was like being massage with big loaves of fresh baked bread.

I mean.

I can’t even quite explain.

My only complaint was that the room was a tiny bit too cold.

I am sure the therapist didn’t notice as she was moving and using hot things on my body, but my feet and hands got a little chilled.

Good thing to note.

As I wanted to fully relax but at times I also just wanted to get my hands and feet warm.

Granted.

It was like she’d read my mind and I got an extra hot towel wrapped around my feet for a little while when she did the last manipulations on my back and neck and head.

Fuck me.

Facial massage.

So, so, so good.

And I’m getting warmed up now.

Hot tea.

It really is something that I have noticed recently and I don’t know if it’s the riding on the scooter, I mean, the wind chill is nothing to sneeze at, or if I’m just, well, getting old.

I know that I also tend towards anemia and that translates to poor circulation in hands and feet.

All I know is that after I lost the biggest amount of weight, every year I seem to notice that I chill faster and faster.

I could see moving somewhere warmer.

I thought about that while I was lying there getting the rub down.

Maybe somewhere further south in California.

I’ve occasionally thought about it, I love San Francisco though, I don’t see moving anytime.

But you know, I can understand how people get tired of the cold and the fog, it does get into your bones.

At least into mine the last few years.

And now I’m thinking that I may splurge again and go to either Kabuki Spa and do a hot tub or go check out Banya SF, which is a Russian bathhouse out in the Bayview, I have heard a lot of good stuff about it.

We shall see.

I don’t have plans past tomorrow morning and early afternoon.

I’ll be heading to the MOMA at 10 a.m. to get my art on with two of my favorite, fabulous, and oh so fierce men in the Bay Area.

I can’t wait to stroll the galleries with them and have a nice lunch after.

So sophisticated.

Ahahahahaha.

Me.

Sophisticated.

Shoo.

 

Camera Time

December 27, 2016

And that’s what days off are for.

Spending a lot of time on the phone with a tech guy figuring out what is the issue and how to fix it.

The issue for me has been that when I got my new camera, the same guy I used to have, just a newer version, my computer would only get halfway through the process of uploading my pictures.

It was really frustrating.

I had a friend look at it recently and he said take it to the Genius Bar.

But.

I did not want to be in an Apple store the day after Christmas, fuck no, so I looked up an appointments for calls on-line and set it up so that I could get tech support when I got back from my yoga class.

Yes.

Back in it after a weird week off with the work and the holiday and the cold.

I still have the cold, but it doesn’t seem as tenacious as it was the last few days.

It maybe all the sleep I let myself have.

I slept nine hours.

I never sleep nine hours any more.

I used to, a long time ago, sleep nine hours and even once in a while I would get a big fat ten hours a night.

No longer.

Thank you grad school and full-time work.

Anyway.

I had a nice yoga class.

A hot shower.

A delicious breakfast.

The persimmons are just about gone and I’m jolly well enjoying them to the last juicy bite.

Then some writing and laundry and the phone call.

It took about twenty-five minutes and then I had to reboot and restart the computer.

I went to the co-op up the street and grabbed a few things.

Came back, unpack my goodies, signaled the computer it was ok to restart, plugged in all the passwords and such and then still had to wait another bit of time while it updated.

But.

I used said time well and took out the left over pork roast from yesterday and made some pork fried rice for lunch.

YUM.

By the time I had folded my laundry and did my dishes, the upgrade had finished and my computer was back up and running with a bunch of slightly different little icons on the dock.

I opened up my Iphoto and hooked up the USB cable from my camera to my computer.

And.

YES!

It took.

Yay.

My photographs all downloaded.

And I discovered a whole batch of photographs that hadn’t been moved over to my hard drive.

Old photos from Paris, a bunch of Burning Man photos, nanny photos and just general out and about in the world, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles.

It was pretty cool to see them, I hadn’t realized they were there.

Another project for this week.

The getting my camera to sync with my computer was a big one.

I need to attend to some school stuff, renew my FAFSA for next year’s round of financial aid, update my Linkedin profile, which I haven’t touched in years but was strongly advised that I want to have a good profile up for school and practicum interviews.

Who knew?

I’m also going to peep my syllabi and buy any text books that need buying.

I want to run over to Optical Underground and see if I can get the lenses taken out of an old set of frames and into a new set.

I have had the frames forever, really like them, but they are old and just not holding their shape, the lenses, however, are fairly recent (I had my optometrist re-lense my current prescription into them).

I’ll probably do that Wednesday since I had a date to the MOMA with two of my favorite men in the universe.

We’ll be meeting at the MOMA at 10 a.m. for a good wander and then out to lunch.

I’m super excited to spend time with both of them, so near and dear to my heart.

Tomorrow I’m signed up for an early yoga class but I’m not sure what the rest of the day will look like.

Definitely more out and about with my camera.

Having downloaded the photographs I was eager to take more.

I posted to my other blog.

Which is exclusively photographs.

I hadn’t put fresh photographs on that site in about two years.

It was high time.

And then I decided I wanted to get out and take more.

It was pretty close to sunset and I speculated that I might be able to make Twin Peaks.

But.

It would be really close.

I hopped on my scooter, went to the gas station, topped off the tank–all of a $1.26–and headed out.

The light was fading fast and as I zoomed up Lincoln Ave I caught a glimpse of Grand View Park.

And I thought, there, that’s where I need to go, I’ve been to Twin Peaks, but I have never climbed up Grand View.

And it’s a climb, there’s no driving all the way to the top.

Although I took my scooter as far as I could, parking it at 14th and Moraga.

Then I scooped my camera and began climbing the flights of stairs to the top.

Which was helpful to warm me up a little.

My God it was cold and windy.

But.

It was worth it.

The views were out of this world.

I am so happy I did it.

My fingers could barely move as I took photos and I bumbled around a bit with my glasses and my feet and trying to line up shots with a steady hand that wasn’t shaking from the cold.

I got a few good ones.

Go check them out.

I hope to continue getting a few good ones.

I can’t promise how often I will post.

The editing takes time and then getting them up to the other blog, although there is not much writing, there is a lot of editing and it takes awhile to put together.

That being said.

I really enjoy doing it.

So I will as much as I can.

Especially this week when I have some free time to indulge in my little amateur hobby.

I love photography.

It makes me happy.

And as far as I’m concerned.

There is always room for more happy in my life.

Always.

Cozy Little Christmas

December 26, 2016

I was talking to the moms earlier and she expressed how sad she was that I was alone at Christmas.

I assuaged her.

I almost laughed, I haven’t felt lonely, despite, yes, spending the majority of the day alone.

I never felt lonely.

Sleepy occasionally.

I actually napped.

A lot.

I don’t nap often and it always feels rather epic when I do.

I blame the malingering cold.

Not enough to knock me completely flat, but definitely, defiantly still there, sitting on my chest with a nasty proprietorship that I am about done with.

Ha.

I foil you cold.

I signed up for a yoga class tomorrow, get out of my body.

I figure one more big night of sleep and some warming up and stretching will make me feel a lot better.

I didn’t get to the studio at all this past week, the weird hours at work, the onset of the cold, the holiday stuff, I got behind and nothing quite worked with my schedule.

Speaking of schedule.

I have been in contact with the new family I will be starting with on January 2nd and since I’m in town this week I’ll be meeting with them to go over the stuff and things and sign my new contract.

It’s for reals.

I am grateful for the week off.

Even with the stupid cold.

I will go to the MOMA.

I may go the DeYoung and the Legion of Honor too,  haven’t been to either in a while.

Maybe one day a ride over to Sausalito too on the ferry, it’s been a while since I have done that as well.

And as I let myself listen to a last few Christmas carols I really am reflectively happy.

Yes, I had other plans.

And I’m ok with the change of them.

I’m not upset that I spent Christmas by myself.

I’m good company.

Really good company.

I got myself a new dress for Christmas.

Oh god damn it’s cute.

From Hell Bunny.

Thank you Christmas bonus.

I don’t think it will get here in time for New Year’s but it might, not that I don’t have a dress, I did let myself get a dress from Ambiance the other day.

Two dresses at Christmas, so nice to do for myself.

I had a nice morning writing and drinking cafe au lait.

I opened cards and gifts from family and I talked to my mom on the phone and chatted and messaged with other friends and dear hearts.

I made turmeric spiced garlic brown rice and I roasted a pork roast.

Oh my god.

The roast.

I very infrequently buy pork or steak, it’s just spendy for me and if I get meat, I typically get a chicken, I can stretch a chicken into a weeks plus worth of meals, but you know, Christmas.

So I picked up a pork roast at the SafeWay the last time I shopped.

And what with the Adobo my darling friend gave me from Puerto Rico and the persimmons Santa sent me, fuck me, I made an amazing pork roast.

I seasoned it with sea salt, black pepper, the aforementioned Adobo, Spike, a tiny bit of tarragon and then slow cooked it for an hour and a half.

While it rested I made the rice.

Then I sliced up some persimmon, layered them over the top of the roast, added a tiny bit more salt, and yes, raw organic cocoa.

While the rice was cooking and the roast was resting I went for a walk down to the beach.

The waves were heavy and crumbling and loud.

There were a few folks out with their pups and one surfer trying to paddle out past the break.

I walked for a while.

Then perched in the dunes above the beach.

I was not sad.

I am not sad now.

I reflected, rather, that I have done a lot for myself, with the help of a lot of friends, over this past year.

I dis-entangled myself from a love relationship that was woefully not working.

I went to New York in May and saw all the art and things and friends.

I went to New Orleans and saw all the art and the things and made new friends.

I went to Burning Man, briefly, yes, but I went and saw all the art and the things and made new friends and saw old friends.

I rode my scooter all over the city.

I mean all over.

I successfully got through the first semester of my second year in a three year graduate school program.

I saw Mike Doughty and Paul Simon live.

I started doing yoga.

I finished a two year plus job with grace and love and got referred kindly to my next position with rave references.

I comported myself pretty damn well.

I told lots of people I love them.

I do, you know.

I sat up in those dunes happy with myself, alone, but not lonely and it struck me so resolutely how lonely I felt last year at Christmas with the man I was in love with and then the year prior with an old boyfriend, alone on Christmas as he chose to spend it with another.

I was not in pity for myself, I remember walking that same stretch of beach tears running down my face, in a white dress, my hair in braids, the wind so cold, the sun bright, brilliant, but cutting.  I took a picture of myself in the dunes that year and all the responses were the same, my god how beautiful and all I could think was my God, I’m in a relationship and alone on Christmas, my God how lonely I am.

Alone.

But not lonely this year at Christmas.

I came home from my happy gambol along the beach and lovingly put the roast in the over to sear at a high temp for a half hour and carmelized the persimmons and my goodness, my house may have never smelled better.

I read for a while then pulled out the roast and dug in.

It was beyond description.

So good.

And I had saved a Rau Raw Chocolate drink to have with it.

Best Christmas dinner ever.

Seriously.

I had a sliced persimmon after dredged in sea salt and raw chocolate, cinnamon and nutmeg, and a big mug of Bengal Spice tea with cashew milk.

I was full and happy and warm and cozy.

I read for a little while longer, so many wonderful new pleasure reading things to get through, then.

I had a thought.

My how nice a nap might be.

So.

I did.

Merry fucking Christmas.

I curled up underneath my grandma’s afghan and watched the Christmas tree.

I drifted off, warm, safe, held.

Wrapped up in love.

Alone?

Yes.

Lonely, no.

Loved and taken care of.

Loving to myself and to others.

The best Christmas miracles are always the little ones.

Seriously.

So, mama, don’t be sad that your baby was alone on Christmas.

I had a beautiful day and when I reflect on all the people who love me.

Well.

I am surely blessed.

So very much so.

Wishing you and yours the same.

Always.

And.

Forever.

 

 

Last Christmas I gave you my heart.

But the very next day you gave it away.

This year I’ll give it to someone special.

All Things Asian

December 25, 2016

In other words.

Merry Christmas Eve to the person who had to cancel two different sets of plans.

The first, you all have heard me talk about, no Christmas in Wisconsin, didn’t work out had to cancel.

The second set was to go help a friend move today.

But after yesterday’s challenge, and let’s be frank, the whole week has been a challenge, and a lingering cold that just won’t get the fuck out of my body, I cancelled.

I don’t like canceling.

I cried on the phone to my friend.

But.

That’s the way the cookie crumbles.

I did rally though and get out of my house.

The thought of being at home alone the whole day was too much to bear, so I just thought, easy does it, you know where to go and who to see and it can be nice and slow and just take things one moment at a time.

I had a nice breakfast, courtesy of the persimmons Santa left for me, some nice coffee and a lot of writing.

I decided I would venture out to the Inner Sunset, I knew people would be there and that I needed to check in with my people.

But before that.

Yes.

My nail salon was open.

Merry Christmas Eve day manicure and eyebrow waxing courtesy of the sweet mother daughter team at the Korean nail salon I go to.

I popped in next door to Tart to Tart and treated myself to a large cafe au lait, then came back and got all pretty.

For whom?

Why, me, of course.

I may not have a significant other this year, but I can damn well treat myself like I am one.

Because, well, I fucking am.

After the nails I popped over to 7th and Irving and did the deal with a bunch of folks.

It was really good.

I mean.

REALLY.

Heard everything I needed to hear and got my heart warmed up, it’s been aching, although it may just be the tightness in my chest from the cold, I suspect it’s a mixture of both.

Afterward it was definitely time for lunch.

Thai food it is!

I was rather smitten with the red curry duck with plantains I had the other day at Marnee Thai, so I went back to see if they were open, and yes!

They were.

I even was sat in the exact same spot.

Sort of cozy and sweet and one of the servers remembered me and when I had sipped, quite quickly, I was trying to warm up, my cup of tea, she flagged over my server whispered something to her in Thai and the next thing you know my server comes back with a huge glass of tea.

Apparently they know me well after just two visits.

I was doing ok and also not feeling like quite calling it a day, though I did think about it when I stepped back outside, the weather today, for San Francisco, was quite cold.

Is quite cold.

But I decided that I could scooter over to Japan town and catch a movie at the Kabuki Sundance Theaters.

I had worn a lot of layers, in fact I was a polar bear on my scooter, but even in the theater I was a little chilled.

Slight fever.

Which sometimes is actually kind of nice, and sometimes makes everything feel a little chillier.

But the movie was sweet and I was also warmed by the brief, but happy phone call I had with my sister and my mom!

It was such a lovely surprise to see my sister’s name pop up on my phone.

She called to thank me for the gifts I had sent and I spoke briefly with her and then with my mom before going into the movie.

I almost missed the previews, and I like previews.

I went and saw La La Land.

It was the perfect Christmas Eve movie to see, lots of singing, a tender, somewhat bittersweet romantic plot line, and good acting.

I was quite taken.

And yes, I did tear up a bit at the ending.

It was well done and I’m glad I went.

Speaking of glad I went, I decided to double down and go catch some fellows over at Turk and Divisadero and just sit for another hour and absorb the good stuff with a small cast of merry friends who were staying in town as well for the holiday.

It was chilly, but cheerful.

I am definitely glad I went.

And to round out all things Asian for my merry Christmas Eve.

I took myself out to a sushi dinner at my favorite sushi restaurant in my hood–Sushi Raw–over on 19th and Taraval.

Christmas bonus never tasted so good.

I do not eat out very often and I’ve eaten out a lot over the last few days, it’s been lovely, but it will be settling down.

That being said, fuck it’s Christmas Eve and I didn’t feel like cooking, I will tomorrow, I don’t know that I will be zooming around at all, I did push myself a bit more than I thought I would in the name of keeping myself busy and out of my head, so I let myself splurge on sushi.

I had scallops wrapped in bacon.

BACON.

MmmMmmm good.

Miso soup, edamame, and my favorite roll–Caterpillar Roll, which is unagi with avocado.

Lots of hot tea, I was super cold after my riding.

And it was really sweet to sit by myself and people watch.

I was the only person there who wasn’t Japanese.

I am so grateful to live in a community with so many ethnicities and cultures.

And grateful that not everybody celebrates Christmas the ways that “my” culture does.

Or I would have been a little out of luck with all the activities and places and food I had today.

It’s certainly not the Christmas I envisioned, but that’s ok.

It’s the Christmas I’m supposed to be having.

How do I know this?

Because it’s what’s happening.

Reality.

Better than fantasy any old day, even when I think otherwise, even when I had tried to wrest Christmas and it’s traditions into my own idea of what it’s supposed to look like.

I didn’t plan on being sick, I didn’t plan on canceling my travel plans, I didn’t plan on being alone.

But overall.

I never felt lonely today.

Even though I spent much of it alone.

Rather.

I felt held, special, and very privileged to have the life I have today.

I’ve come a very, very, very long way.

Baby.

So very long.

And so grateful for every step along the way.

Seriously.

Bunny Slippers

December 24, 2016

And the Glee Christmas album.

Fuck you.

I had a hard day.

Shit.

I had a hard week, but today really took the cake so to speak, even though I told myself to not go into it having any expectations I still didn’t expect it to go the way it did.

Oh well.

It’s done.

Christmas by myself this year.

Sadness in my heart.

And.

Yes.

Thanks Santa.

A cold.

I have it off and on all week, I’ll have moments of being completely fine, then like last night, I woke myself up coughing.

Happy holidays!

And here’s some rain too.

Yay!

Fuck.

It’s actually kind of funny now that I’ve made it out the other side.

I’m home.

My Christmas tree is lit.

The house is clean.

I have my bunny slippers on and my feet are finally warming up, it rained on me on the way to work, despite the weather report showing no rain, it rained, and wet feet at work.

Yuck.

And work.

Well.

It was hard.

Hard to say goodbye.

Hard to believe it’s done.

And my time was wonky.

The mom and I had some miscommunication about my hours and I had down in my calendar totally different hours than the ones she was expecting me to work.

I mean totally off.

Even though I double checked all week-long, I guess I missed the memo and yup, my last day of work I was a half hour late.

Mortifying.

The only time I have ever been late.

My last fucking day.

And.

Instead of getting off at 1 p.m. when I thought I’d be getting off, she had me down until 3:30p.m.

There were groceries getting delivered and soup to be made.

Ugh.

I was aghast.

I mean.

I didn’t have plans per se, I was going to book myself a massage, but the place I was planning on going was closed, then I thought maybe I’ll girl treat myself and go to The Balm store on Valencia and buy some eye shadow and get a manicure.

Nope.

Instead I was making broccoli soup and roasted cauliflower.

It was not how I thought my last day would be.

The boys spent most of the day with the mom and I spent most of the day cooking and cleaning.

It was really hard guys.

I mean really awful hard.

We never had a moment alone.

I wasn’t able to take them out to the park or to the cafe or anything.

Thank God I had a lot of solo time with them earlier this week.

In retrospect, maybe it was for the best, as I burst into tears a few lines ago, I might have done that all over them.

“Carmen I hate you!” Sound of slamming door. “It’s your last day,” little sob of sadness, as the youngest did the first big cry of the day.

“Carmen, I love you, I didn’t mean that at all, I love you, cuddle me,” he demanded and crawled into my arms.

That was about the amount of cuddles that I got.

It was, like I said, an odd day.

I stood in the kitchen standing up in a corner, hiding, and crying over a pot of broccoli soup while the neighbors dropped in and the family opened Christmas presents.

The boys colored.

I cooked.

The boys did quiet time.

I cleaned.

I was sad, I am sad, but I also know how much the boys love me.

The little guy was nonplussed when I left at 3:30 p.m. today, the boys had a classmate whose parents were throwing a birthday party at the Roxie Theater and the movie was Star Wars.

The boys were dressed up.

The oldest had saved up all his allowance and had gotten a flight suit like the one Luke wore piloting his ship and he looked so handsome, it about broke my heart.

The little one was dressed up as a Storm trooper, raspy talking voice box mechanism and all.

“Tell Carmen goodbye,” his father prompted him, “she’s leaving, this is her last day.”

“She’ll visit,” he said, glibly, playing with his helmet.

“I will visit, I promise,” I kissed his forehead, “I love you, bunny, have fun at the party.”

The mom couldn’t say good-bye to me, she apologized and excused herself with tears in her eyes, “I understand,” I said as she walked back to the office, “I might be a little teary in here.  Thank you for everything, so much, thank you.”

I got my jacket on, grabbed my purse, I’d turned in my keys already, put my nanny clogs in my scooter basket liner, pulled on my scooter jacket and walked to the door.

“Let me give you a hug!” The dad jumped up, and then ugh, I did tear up, I wasn’t expecting that.

“Thank you for the last few years, you’ve been amazing, whoa, you’re like in armor!” He said and patted my jacket.

“Yup, safety first,” I smiled.

Then I looked at the older boy, he’d paused in the costuming and looked at me.

“You’re going to visit, right?” His eyes great big brown eyes saucer plates of sadness.

Ah, fuck, cue some more waterworks, I swear I am going to get through this blog, I am.

“Of course I’m going to visit, I promised you.” I looked at him, his eyes full of tears and my eyes too, he was too far away for me to hug and maybe that was alright, it has to be, it’s what happened, “I love you, I will always be in your life, I promise.”

I blew him a kiss and walked out the door.

I made it three doors down then crumpled up and cried for a minute.

Then I got on my scooter and went to the post office.

Santa had tried to get the post office to deliver me a package yesterday, as I don’t have a chimney for him to descend, but the postal person failed to get it through the gate.

So off to the post office.

Nine people in line and two grumpy, tired, over worked workers.

“What do you mean it’s too late to get it there overnight?” A woman screamed at one of them.

High, holy, hell, this package better be fucking worth the ninth circle of hell I just descended into.

Then I realized.

I’m done.

There’s no job to go to, no plane to catch, since I cancelled my travel plans, all I had to do was stand grateful in line that I had already sent my packages and cards and that I was a lucky girl to be getting packages.

Lucky indeed.

Turns out Santa sent me some end of the season persimmons.

THANK YOU SANTA!

So nice.

Christmas persimmons.

See nothing’s wrong.

In fact, I should wrap this up, “Baby It’s Cold Outside” is playing, my bunny slippers are warming my feet, and the tears are drying on my face.

Happy Holidays.

I hope where ever you are you know how loved you are.

Seriously.

You.

Are.

So.

Loved.

I Can’t Quite Believe

December 23, 2016

That.

Tomorrow is my last day with the boys.

I only cried three times today.

Grateful for that.

I didn’t need to stuff my feelings.

It was a challenge.

I cried when I wasn’t expecting it.

I felt a bit blown out and a bit tired and a lot sad.

The boys also had great big screaming tantrums, so that was fun, albeit completely understandable.

The tantrums didn’t, of course, start until after we had gotten back to the house and I needed to get them ready for A Charlie Brown Christmas at the San Francisco Symphony.

I mean, really, sort of figured it would happen.

Just needed to have the monkeys fed and changed into their navy velvet blazers and bow ties by 1 p.m.

No biggie.

Except they were emotional too.

They know.

They know I’m going to be gone tomorrow.

That’s it.

No more nanny.

“Carmen, please visit us,” the older boy stopped, took my hand, tugged on it, as we rounded the corner from the park to the house, literally stopping me in my tracks as I pushed his brother in the stroller.

“________________, I’m right here, right now, with you, and,” I paused, reached down, hefted his 6.5 year old body up, great work out, being a nanny in case you’re ever wanting to switch careers, “I love you and I promise tomorrow is not the last time you will see, I promise.”

I had lifted him so that he was eye level with me, we rubbed noses, he wrapped his arms around me, and we just stood and hugged it out on the corner.

Oof.

It was like that all day.

The park was barely the park.

Mostly the park was both boys trying to sit in my lap at the same time.

They eventually did get up and play and run around and chase pigeons, but all they wanted to do was sit with me, on my lap, or leaned against me.

The youngest gets me the most, or at my heart the most, his small face this plate of silence and sadness.  He just oozes it, it breaks my heart to look at his face and every time, like, um now, fuck, I see his little face in my head, I just start crying.

Which is challenging to do when writing a blog, the screen gets blurry.

Ugh.

Oof.

I am super grateful I have the feels, it means the boys mean something to me and it’s important I grieve the loss and the moving on and yeah, I don’t know what tomorrow is going to be like but I did make sure to have plans to have dinner with a friend and maybe I’ll go get a mani/pedi afterward and just take it really sweet and easy.

I got a nice Christmas bonus.

Slight aside.

SERIOUS ADULTING.

I got my Christmas bonus yesterday and I couldn’t open the card until I had been home for hours, there was something daunting about it, and I realized later that I was loath to open it because it really would signal the end of days and I can’t quite seem to wrap my mind around not going in to work next week and seeing my little guys.

But.

I did open it and I was quite grateful for the gift, really.

And then.

I did the adulting.

The first thing I bought with my bonus?

Dental insurance.

Then I put a little in savings.

I met with my person after work today and she plunked the kleenex box down in front of me, “today the last day or tomorrow,” she asked.

“Tomorrow,” I said and reached for a tissue.

We had tea we talked all things recovery, it was really good.

Then she said, “that’s great about the dental insurance, that’s a beautiful gift to give yourself, but get something fun for you too.”

I took her suggestion.

It took me a hot minute though.

I was going to go book a massage and when I went they place was closed for the holidays!

Ugh.

So I went to Rainbow and bought some, for me, expensive body lotion I really like by Pure Organics and a Rau raw chocolate drink.

Then I pondered where I was going to go.

There was a little voice in my head that said, go home, hide, stick your head in the sand, get all isolated and shit, watch some videos and let the squirrels in your head run amok.

I was like, ooh yeah, I’ll catch up on Black Mirror.

But.

Well.

That sounds fucking depressing.

Jesus, Martines, that’s not a good idea.

I just about laughed out loud.

So.

I rode my scooter over to the Inner Sunset and I made myself park close to a spot that would pretty much guarantee me doing the deal, then I went and cashed my Christmas bonus check and went to Green Apple Books.

I had not bought anything when I was there the other day, I was just browsing to kill time until I met my date at Park Chow.

This time I let myself buy.

God  damn do I love buying books.

And pleasure books, oh lord, I get to do some pleasure reading.

Not much, just a week, so what ever I knock through between now and New Years is what I get.  Maybe even a little less, I’m going to need to order my books for the upcoming semester sooner than I realize, I know it.  But.  I’ll have seven days of freedom, I think, where I can read.

I bought three books.

The new Don DeLillo, Zero K.

Cormac McCarthy, Child of God.

And.

Irvine Welsh, The Bedroom Secrets of The Master Chefs.

I’m drooling just typing out the names and looking at them on top of my stack of notebooks makes me very happy.

After I had satiated my book desires I went to dinner.

I treated myself to Marnee Thai and fuck am I glad I did, it was awesome.  I took the suggestion of the waitress and had a red curry with duck and plantains and brown rice.

Swoon.

It was good.

A bit pricier than I would have typically spent at my little secret spot out here in my hood, but Thai Cottage is closed for the next few weeks for the holidays and I smelled goodness wafting from the restaurant when I passed it on the way to the bookstore.

My nose knew.

After the dinner I still had some time and I popped into Ambiance.

And yes.

l bought myself a pretty dress for New Year’s Eve and decided that I would commit to going to a New Year’s Eve party some friends of mine are throwing in the Mission.

Yup.

I’ll be going stag to a New Year’s Eve party, and I don’t fucking care, I’m going to dance and wear platforms and my new dress and be pretty and not give a damn about being single, because I’m allowed to have fun and be happy.

I don’t need to be partnered up on the holidays.

That’s not worked out so well for me the last few years.

Jesus Christ on a pogo stick, not well at all.

No.

And tomorrow.

Well.

It will be here soon and I’m sure I will have all the feels about it and just breathe in and out and hug my boys tight and smell the napes of their necks and kiss their faces and it will be alright.

It will.

I am lucky to get this opportunity.

I am literally paid to love.

Not a bad job if you can get it.

Seriously.

 

Carmen, Let’s Not

December 22, 2016

Talk about it.

“It makes me sad to think about it,” he sighed and leaned into me.

I had just chased him down from the kitchen to the dining room into the living room where we collapsed on the leather couch by the Christmas tree.

He was full of wiggles and silliness, but underneath was far more sorrowful than I had even realized.

“The Santa in the van bag,” he said looking at the back of the Christmas tree, “that’s from you, isn’t it.”

“Yes, doll, it is, but you have to wait until Christmas day, but yes you guessed right, there’s a present in that bag for you and one for your brother,” I said and stroked his hair.

“Are you really going to be done on Friday,” he asked me.

“Yes, my sweet boy, I am, that is my last day,” I answered him, my heart swelling up.

I have said many good byes over the years to my charges, but most of them, I think, I could be wrong, but I think, didn’t realize that I was saying goodbye for good. I have not had the experience of being with older kids, older, ha, 6.5 years old and 4.5 years old, still so sweet and young (although completely dastardly about the potty talk, my God, little boys like to talk about poo, I had an idea, but shit, hahahahaha, pun intended, they do!) and so tender, but so much more cognizant of what is happening to them and around them.

“Carmen, I don’t want to talk about it, it just makes me sad to think about it, I’m going to cry when you leave,” he said looking at the Christmas tree and holding my hand.

OH MY GOD.

Child, you are breaking my heart.

I seriously do not know how I wasn’t a slobbering mess on the couch.

I mean.

Oof.

So much love and bitter sweetness, this saying goodbye.

I won’t lie, there’s also a part of me that is ready for the next adventure, I am, but I am also having all the feels.

Every damn one of them.

I have gotten, with both boys, this past week, to have quiet moments with each of them that have just blown my heart to smithereens.

Reading and cuddle time with the littlest and though has officially phased out of the nap stage, he still gets awful cozy around quiet time and just wants to cuddle on my lap and read stories.

I am super grateful that I have had this last week with them, pretty uninterrupted with other jobs, school, or life stuff.

Oh.

Life stuff is still happening, but I have gotten to work full-time hours with the boys, breakfast to dinner the last three days and though occasionally a goofy handful, there’s not really been tempter tantrums or drama.

Knock on wood.

Tomorrow and Friday I will have short days with them.

Tomorrow I go in early and I’m just edging into up past my bed time with my early start, but I had to write, not having written last night.

My blog got laid.

Ahem.

And so I had to write tonight.

I don’t like taking too much time off from it, and though the lack of sleep my affect me a bit, I’ll be out early as well.

The mom is taking the boys to A Charlie Brown Christmas matinée at the San Francisco Symphony.

I”ll do breakfast, a dash out to the park, lunch, baths probably and then get the boys dressed up in their finest.

Their finest is pretty fucking cute too.

Little velvet blazers.

Ugh.

Adorable.

And, AND, bow ties.

I mean.

Seriously, the cute factor is off the hook.

So I’ll be out by 1:30 p.m.

I have a meeting with my person and then a bit of free time before doing the deal.

I’m thinking that once I finish up with my person I will head over to Folsom and 14th, right around the corner from Rintaro.

I’m not going to go eat high-end Japanese street food, although there’s always  a desire to eat good like that all the time, it’s pretty outside the box as far as what I want to drop money wise on food.

No.

I’m not going to be grabbing a bite.

Rather.

I discovered a new Thai Massage place that had just opened and it had a bunch of grand opening specials listed on the chalk board outside the store front.

Including a free ten minute hot/dry sauna.

Oh yes, I’d like that please and thank you.

I’m thinking that I’ll book myself a massage for Friday after my last day with the boys.

I’m getting out early on Friday as well.

I think by 1 p.m.

The boys and I will do breakfast, maybe go to the park, but secretly I think I will take them to Ritual Coffee and get a last latte with them and get them little steamed milks or hot chocolates and we’ll sit on the big carved ship bench parklet in front of the cafe and play pirates.

Then the house, one last lunch with my monkeys and then they, lucky boys, are going to a private showing of Star Wars at the Roxie Theater in the Mission with a friend and classmate whose mum rented the theater for his birthday.

Nice birthday party if you can get it.

Heh.

I was, at first, a little upset that our last day was going to be cut short.

Then.

I had a change in perspective and got really grateful.

What better way to leave?

On a happy note, saying goodbye may make the boys a little sad, but hey, they’ll be heading shortly thereafter to Star Wars on the big screen.

That should provide a little distraction.

And.

It’s not a final goodbye, they will be in my lives, probably more so than many of my past charges, as the new family I work for attends their school.

I will get to see them and hug them and watch them grow bigger.

“You’ll visit us though, right?”  He asked, worriedly taking my hand, “please visit us, as much as you can.”

Oh bunny.

“Yes, as much as I can, I won’t be leaving your life, I promise,” I hugged him and though I teared up, I did not cry.

Saved that up for right now.

Parting is such sweet sorrow.

That I shall say goodnight.

Till it be morrow.


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