Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category

Just A Tiny Bit

January 13, 2018

Surreal.

I turn 13 in an hour and a half.

I have already received a few congratulations and warm sweet gifts, my god, the thoughtfulness of some people astounds me, though my anniversary is not until tomorrow.

I am grateful that I have this time to reflect and think and be in a place of gratitude and warmth and all wrapped up for the week.

It’s been a week.

I’ve plenty to do tomorrow, but I suspect that it will be done with much joy and laughter and hopefully, no little grace.

My morning will be a typical Saturday morning, yoga and shower and breakfast and coffee and writing.

Then I’m hoping to squeeze in a manicure before I have to go to group supervision at 2 p.m.

Something snazzy and flashy and definitely glittery.

Giggle.

I treated myself to a dress from Modcloth that’s super fun,

It’s also super simple and a bit basic, which is good, I wanted a comfy dress to dance in.

It’s pretty much a little black dress with a scoop neck and a skater skirt.

And.

Glitter.

Heh.

I also allowed myself to pick up some glitter fishnets, because, sparkle.

And thirteen years, thirteen years of working it out and doing the deal and showing up and being of service, well, that deserves some fucking glitter, at least so I think.

I had wanted to wear some fabulous shoes but I also want to dance, so my pink velvet Tretorns will have to do, I think they will go perfectly with a glittery dress and fishnets.

Sexy, but hella comfy.

I’ll wear some heels when I go meet my person in the Castro for dinner on Sunday.

Fancy shoes are great for sit down meals, maybe not the best for hours of dancing.

I mean.

I used to do that, a long, long time ago, when my knees were younger and I had a lot of extra chemicals coursing through my veins to keep me going and ignore the painful, numbed out feet I was mashing into the floor as I stomped along to the music long into the night.

Or.

The next morning.

It’s funny.

I’ll be up much past my bedtime, the party goes until 1 a.m. and as one of the hosts I know I will feel responsible to make sure it all goes off well.

I’m not super excited about coming back from Oakland at bar time, but it looks like that will be happening.

At least I got my FasTrak in the mail and I won’t have to pay cash at the toll bridge.

It should be a pretty quick commute back.

Sunday I do have plans, but they’re all spaced out and I should be able to take naps intermittently throughout the day if so needed.

I don’t care in the end.

A girl only turns thirteen once.

Knock on wood.

I don’t have any reservations made for future drinking or using, but I am quite humbly aware that I have been given a gift and that I need to keep passing it along.

I have seen people drift away and they usually don’t drift into wonderful waters.

I have never had a relapse in my recovery and I certainly don’t want one.

I feel really fortunate to have what I have, the community I am in, the resiliency I have been gifted with, the fellowship, my friends, the love that surrounds me.

So.

Yeah.

I’ll be up a little late tomorrow night, but it’s so well worth it.

It’s been an amazing year when I look back.

New relationships.

Vast amounts of love.

Entering my third and final year of my Master’s program.

Starting at my practicum site and seeing clients.

A new job.

A new car.

Travel to Burning Man and Paris.

Therapy.

Internal growth.

So much of that.

Holy mother of God.

So much spiritual work.

All gifts.

I could never have suspected thirteen years ago when I reached out for help the life I would get to have.

It doesn’t even make sense.

I couldn’t imagine the places I would go or the adventures I would have.

So many adventures.

So much travel.

More travel please.

Friends, art, writing.

Oh. My. God.

The amount of writing, I mean I talked about writing before I got sober and I wrote some poetry and I tried my hand a few things, but I never had a real writing practice, I just talked about it a lot.

A LOT.

The book I was going to write, the poetry, the essays, la, la, la, la, la.

All vacuous words spouted from the vapid drunk girl at the end of the bar.

Now.

Well, I can surely tell a story, and I might hold you hostage to it, but I don’t talk about things I’m going to do for hours on end.

I actually do them.

I show up.

I suit up.

And I’m thrilled beyond words that I have a baker’s dozen of years to substantiate that.

Luckiest girl in the world?

Fuck yeah I am.

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When Was I Happiest

January 6, 2018

Today?

I just asked myself that.

In a prompting kind of way, hey you, you need to write your blog, get your fingers moving on that keyboard, make some fucking magic happen.

Because all of the seven people who read my blog really want to know what I did today.

Meh.

I recently got an update from WordPress that I have once again celebrated an anniversary.

Eight years of blogging.

Eight.

What the fuck did I write about?

So many things, so many thoughts.

I have published over 2,400 blogs.

My average blog is somewhere between 1100-1300 words.

But for the sake of simplicity, let’s just say 1,000.

That means that I have written over 2,4000,000 words.

Over two million words!

Who the hell knew there were so many words in my head?

I never suspected that I would be where I am in now in my life when I started writing this blog.

I was living on Taylor and Washington in a large studio that was on a cable car line.

I was working as a nanny in China Basin.

I made really good money.

More than I actually make now, if you can believe that, because it was all under the table.

I had a very nice Felt 35 racing bike that I did my commute on.

I was horribly lonely.

I felt like all I did was grind at work, I worked at least 50 hours a week.

Which is funny, as I put in about fifty hours a week now and go to graduate school full-time.

But at that time I was going through a lot of weird stuff.

I was desperately trying to get abstinent with my food, which I did do in that apartment, but it took a hot ass second.

I was trying, oh so very hard, to get some head way on my book, said head way has come to naught in many ways, but you know, I started this blog by publishing each of the chapters one by one in the pages.

If you should want to read some really bad writing, well it’s there.

For sure.

I had a friend read the book in manuscript form about four years ago and he told me with no mincing of words that if he didn’t know better he would have never believed that the person who wrote this blog was the same person who had written that book.

My writing, suffice to say, has gotten much better.

That’s what happens when you practice.

You get better.

I have had eight years of practicing this blog.

Some days I am so inordinately pleased with what I have written that I may actually go back and re-read a blog.

But not very often.

I generally throw it down on the page, I”m just transcribing my thoughts, and really, thank god I have some fast typing skills, I’m just writing what I am thinking.

It’s a little like having a one-sided conversation with me.

Hey how was your day?

Let me tell you about mine, and then I’m unleashed upon you.

Or something like that.

I am reflecting as I did my Morning Pages this morning in the place where Morning Pages originated for me, about ten years ago.

Yeah.

If you thought writing a blog eight years in a row was something, check out my history with writing my Morning Pages.

Ten years, going on eleven.

I realized that this morning as I sat in Muddy Waters on Valencia and 24th.

I had a chiropractor appointment this morning and some time to kill before I had to be into work.

So instead of getting up stupid early, I let myself sleep in, packed my breakfast and brought it with me, planning to eat it at the cafe while having a cafe au lait before going into work.

The cafe is much the same as when I first started hanging out at it.

I had moved to a shared apartment in a rent controlled Victorian on Capp Street and 23rd and Muddy’s was the closest cafe to me and the one where I did a lot, and I do mean a lot, of sitting with another woman and reading out of a big blue book.

So many women in that cafe, before my regular Wednesday haunt, as well as my regular Saturday gig and many other times in between.

And it was also the scene of The Artist Way group that I was a part of for a year and a half.

It was an awesome group.

We met for an hour before rolling up the hill to a spot in Noe Valley on Wednesday nights.

We would grab the big round table towards the back of the cafe and anywhere from 6 to 10 of us would sit down for about an hour and share about the assignments we had done from the book.

We did one chapter a week, followed the instructions regarding the assignments, and talked about our experiences working the projects and doing the morning pages.

The book suggests that every morning you take time to write three pages long hand.

Emphasis on long hand.

No typewrite, keyboard, tablet, computer.

My blog does not count as morning pages and never has.

There is something so captivating about writing on paper with a good pen.

I was writing in one of my Claire Fontaine notebooks that I brought back from Paris this morning and I reflected on how it was in that group that I came to the realization that I wanted to go to Paris.

That I actually wanted to move to Paris.

It would take some years before I moved, but by participating in that group I realized how much I wanted to go to Paris and I took myself on a solo trip for ten days after doing the work in the book.

I took myself on artists dates, I went to museums, I bought myself nice paper, I sat and daydreamed in cafes and watched clouds roll by.

I looked out those same windows today and marveled.

Look how far I have come.

Look where I am now.

My best friend in Paris messaged me today about when I’ll be going back.

I have been to Paris five times since I made that decision, and yes, one of those times was to live there for six months.

I have re-written that book.

Although I still don’t think it’s at a publishable place.

I have written poems.

I have performed with djs in nightclubs reciting my poems.

One of them became a recording.

I have lectured on stage.

I have traveled.

I went to Burning Man, a lot.

I traveled to New York by myself as well as New Orleans to go see art.

I have taken 1,000s and 1,000s of photographs.

I have written millions of words.

I think I have a few million more.

I have done morning pages in Paris, London, Rome, New York, L.A., New Orleans, Madison, Wisconsin, Anchorage, Alaska, Burning Man, Reno, San Diego, Las Vegas, and probably a bunch of other places I can’t remember now.

But they all started one night in a Muddy Waters coffee shop on Valencia and 24th.

Opening a door that has led me down this meandering path of creation and love.

How lucky am I?

Luckiest girl in the world.

Well, I Almost Did It

December 25, 2017

Not cry that is.

But, sucker for nostalgia, lonely hearts, and Elvis Christmas carols.

I caved and cried a bit.

Christmas Eve alone.

Which is ok.

Really it is.

I’ve had plenty of special this Christmas season.

And I won’t be alone tomorrow.

I’ll be going to the East Bay to meet a friend and see her new place and go out to a movie matinée and a meal.

It will be sweet and the traffic will be easy.

I wasn’t completely lonesome today.

Sometimes being alone is just perfect and needed.

Lonely and alone are two very different things.

I was alone most of the day, although I did get out and do things.

I went to yoga, and it was a great class.

I left feeling so good and literally said out loud, “I have to figure out how to do this more often.”

The yoga studio is super close to me, but my schedule, shocker, conflicts with many of the classes.

I wish that had some early morning week day classes, but so far there’s just one, a 7 a.m. on Tuesdays that just recently started.

I haven’t gone yet as my therapy appointment is a 9:30 a.m. cross town in Noe Valley on Tuesdays.

I figure I could actually do the class if I set myself up right the night before, bring breakfast with me and coffee and have it at work, skip doing the majority of my morning routine, and cram in a yoga class before therapy.

I just haven’t tried it yet.

This Tuesday, however, I don’t have therapy, my therapist is away for the holiday, and I have been thinking that I will go to the 7 a.m. class and see what the timing is like.

A sort of dry run.

I’m not expected into work until 11a.m. so I’ll have plenty of time to do the class and do my morning routine.

I may even get a Friday morning yoga class in this week too, my family will be out-of-town for a long weekend and I have all day Friday off.  I haven’t booked in anything yet though, holding out to see what will arise.

Something will I am sure.

So, yes, yoga today and hot shower and hot latte and hot breakfast and lots of writing.

The lady bug I was supposed to meet with cancelled so I took myself to the Inner Sunset, got a cafe au lait and went to the nail salon.

Manicure.

Pedicure.

Eyebrows.

Lovely.

I wanted to go to Marnee Thai for a late lunch and was surprised to find them closed.

So I headed back home and had a really nice bowl of soup.

I noodled around a little here at the house and knew I should get out otherwise I might catch a case of the sads.

So I stuck a chicken in the oven to roast for dinner and some Japanese sweet potatoes and set off for Ocean Beach.

I saw a few Christmas tragedies happening, a drunken Santa Claus that I had seen stumble into the Fireside Bar on Irving and 7th which is right next door to the nail salon I go to, tumble off the MUNI and bumble his way across the street with “Santa Baby” playing loudly on a boom box and totter into Pittsburgh’s bar.

Which has most of the neon blown out in the sign so it just says “urgh’s.”

How I think that Santa must have felt.

I had seen one other tragic Christmas moment at the nail salon.

A woman walked in looking for a highlighter brush for a hair dye kit.

She was pretty glazed, Valium or something of the sort, and she knocked over a bunch of salon merchandise and then literally sat down on the floor in front of the accessories and mumbled how was she going to do her highlights before the Christmas dinner had to be cooked?

Yikes.

Merry Christmas lady.

But.

For the most part, it wasn’t a bad day, really, just quiet, like I said, and I managed to sneak into Java Beach and get the last cafe au lait of the day before they closed down for the night.

Decaf, I mean, really I like my coffee, but I try to not have caffeine after four p.m.

Then.

I strolled down to the beach.

The sun had already set, but the twilight was so pretty.

I took a lot of photos.

I love, love, love, the new phone camera.

It really takes some nice shots.

IMG_0042

IMG_E0034

The above is not the best shot, it’s a little fuzzy, but the camera does this “live” photo thing that is pretty amazing, it shows my facial movement as I line up the shot and it’s really cool to see it, plus the filters are exquisite.

I liked the filter on this one.

The beach was super quiet and it wasn’t quite as cold as I thought it would be.

I walked for a bit and enjoyed it immensely.

Then I came back to the house and pulled a perfectly roasted chicken out of the oven and had myself a damn fine meal.

I headed back out planning on doing a meet up with my fellows over at the Palace of Fine Arts, but only found folks meandering around the parking lot.

Apparently the facility had forgotten to alert them that the building would be closed for the holiday.

So I said hi to a few folks and then went for one more walk.

The Palace is pretty special and at night it really shines.

IMG_0043

The Christmas lights on the houses around the park too were just beautiful and though I didn’t have the night I was expecting it was a nice walk.

I queued up the Elvis Christmas album in the car and drove back to the Outer Sunset.

And yes.

Sigh.

I did tear up a little bit, but you know, the writing, this little blog, it helps me put things into perspective and I’m not so sad anymore.

Rather.

Just grateful as all get out that I have so much in my life.

Merry Christmas Eve!

May all your Christmas wishes be granted.

 

Someone Loves You Very Much

December 6, 2017

She said to me and gave me a big hug, “such beautiful flowers!  I saw them backstage.”

I smiled.

I am loved.

I feel pretty astounded right now.

As I sit in the quiet of my home after a very nerve filled night, did that all really just happen?

Surrounded by love, engulfed in love, friends came out, unexpected classmates came out, hell, one of my professors came out.

I wonder if I can get extra credit for doing the lecture?

I jest.

Sort of.

I got there right at 4 p.m.

Literally found parking a quarter of a block away.

How the hell that happened I don’t know, but it was magic, just like the rest of the night.

Surreal.

Overwhelming.

Wonderful magic.

There were flowers waiting for me when I arrived.

I felt so special, so touched, so very loved.

I got a chance to connect and talk with all the performers, to get up on stage early, to feel what it was like to wear a wireless microphone and have something clipped to the back of my dress.

Very glad I wore a cardigan to hide the battery pack, that was serendipitous.

I got to get good and nervous.

I got to practice breathing.

And praying.

I did that a lot.

A couple of times in the bathroom in the green room and then again kneeling down by a couch when everyone was in the wings, just to get centered, just to ask that I carry the message, not my mess, that I be of service, that I let whatever was going to come out happen and not get in the way of it.

I was so pleasantly surprised by the community that came out.

The show, as predicted, sold out, and at one point there was a line of hopefuls sprawling out from the door.

I think everyone got in who wanted to get in, but I was far from that area, having had time to connect with friends I retired to the back stage to calm down and drink water.

I could not eat.

In fact.

I didn’t eat dinner until I got home a little while ago.

I just didn’t have it in me and I didn’t want to have food get my stomach upset.

I ate a banana before showing up and that really did tide me over quite well.

The nerves made it impossible to have any appetite.

I was told later that my nerves did not show at all.

And I know that to be the truth because when I got on stage they completely dissolved.

It really helped to be under the lights.

I couldn’t see a single face in the audience, I could barely see the balcony seating area, it was all just a melding of lights and laughter and voices.

I got to tell my story and it felt pretty damn good.

I added to the narrative I wrote.

I subtracted.

I got into it.

I haven’t really a good clue what I said.

But I apparently invited the entire audience to come to my graduation in May.

OMG.

I didn’t remember doing that until afterwards when a woman came up to me and asked to hug me and said, “I want to come to your graduation!”

I was like, oh snap, I did do that.

I met so many lovely people.

I was told so many lovely things.

It seems almost too much to even tell you what was told.

I wish you could have been there.

I really do.

I’m still pretty jazzed up from the experience and I’m not really sure how I am going to wind down.

Some hot tea I suppose.

Writing this always helps.

“You are such a writer!” One of my friends told me after, “you tell such a good story, it’s just so obvious that you write.”

That was a compliment.

I do like to tell a story.

I have told a few.

I am sure I will tell a few more.

I was asked, “what’s next?”

I don’t know.

I have to nanny in the morning?

I was asked to keep doing the storytelling, to do something else, to perform.

“We put you in this spot for a reason,” one of the producers told me as I was waiting in the wings, getting reading to descend the steps and go up on the stage.  “We wanted to build a crescendo, we really believe you are going to pull it all together, you got this.”

I think I did.

It was divine.

And it was more than me, as it usually is when I get out of my own way, I just got to become a vehicle for the words and the story flowed and I was happy telling it and excited and sad and oh so grateful.

So, so, so grateful.

I got asked about my blog.

I told folks the name, but I don’t think anyone will really find it.

Since I’ve gone off social media with it, it barely registers.

And that’s ok.

I thought about that a little tonight.

There were times when I wanted something big and important and fascinating from this blog–money, fame, applause, who knows, but something that would make me renown and also pay my rent.

Or buy me a house.

You know.

But that didn’t happen.

If anything, the reverse did.

It became a vehicle for something small and special and unique and sweet and mine.

Also, yours, really, it’s yours too.

Do you know how much you inspire me?

You do.

I love you.

I so do.

Perhaps I imagined you out beyond the footlights, a smile on your face, happy listening, to my little story.

Maybe you laughed a little.

And maybe in some small little way.

I got to be closer to you.

To another.

To this love and song and poetry that carries me forward.

An on ending stream of gratitude and grace.

Yes.

Grace.

And.

Happiness.

Joyfulness.

Freedom.

And love.

OH.

Yes.

That.

The love

So much love for you.

So much.

Oh, That Thing

November 30, 2017

I completely and totally forgot I had to send in a bio for the lecture series I’m participating in next Tuesday.

Jesus, like in six days.

Don’t I still have homework to do?

Oh my God.

I have so much going on, I’m so tired, I’m fucked, how is it all going to happen?

I mean.

I’m fine.

It’s just going to be a push, it will come together.

I only wish the people who are in my group project would chill the fuck out.

I don’t actually give a flying fuck about my final group project for Transpersonal, I have so many other things on my plate but one of the people in my group has been sending out these huge text messages about how we need to talk to each other and make it cohesive and blah, blah, blah.

I got the text and lost it.

Not on her.

Not in general.

Just kind of in a melting, I don’t have energy to even read this text kind of way, to coordinate a time to talk about the project when I am busy thinking about this other project and all the papers I still have to write and all the things.

My God, all the things.

But.

Sigh.

Breathe.

It’s ok.

It’s all working out.

I just have to do what ever the next thing in front of me is.

And.

You know.

Be gentle about it, be nice about it, be kind about it, not blow up on my friend in the group because she wants it to work smoothly.

I just already know how much energy I have to give to any certain thing and the energy it took to respond was about all I had to give.

I did get the bio done and I did send it off to the producers and I got a big thank you and that they quite liked how I had written it and then a nice thank you for participating and that they are really happy to have me as part of the project.

I am too.

Even though it means having a full schedule this week, I’m on board.

Here’s the event again if you don’t know what the hell I’m talking about:

People Who Usually Don’t Lecture.

It’s going to be a fun night and I’m grateful I get to do it.

I’m excited and a little nervous too.

I have been practicing and I started carrying the lecture with me, I did a little work on it today at work when I had five minutes of down time.

And it was seriously, the only five minutes of down time I had all day.

It was a full tilt boogie kind of day at work.

And even when I got home from work.

I did some food prep and then did a bunch of homework.

I finished half of the online assignments for the Psychopharmacology portion of my class.

The other part is a final paper on the Human Sexuality aspects of the class.

I should be able to finish the rest of the online stuff either tomorrow or Friday.

I was just too tired after coming back from my evening commitment and the business that had to be discussed after the meeting, end of the month stuff.

Sigh.

I really wanted to bounce, but was basically wrangled in and I’m grateful for that, there were things that I was able to help with, but I was so tuckered out that I considered not writing my blog.

Work really zapped me.

But.

It wasn’t horrible, just full.

The dad’s been away on business for two days and juggling three kids and her own private business has made the mom super busy and in turn me super busy.

And also, super validated.

Really sweetly validated.

The mom has just been nice as pie to me and it’s nice to be told that I’m doing a good job and that I am so appreciated.

And!

Oh my God.

I don’t know if it will work, but I had mentioned that my supervisor thinks I’m going to have to quit being a nanny at some point and devote a year of my life to working, probably unpaid, at a school to get my child hours and how that rather stressed me, I get anxious when my finances are threatened, and hey, privileged white guy, I’m super stoked that you were able to get all your hours in one year because you didn’t have to work a job to pay rent, that you had money from other sources.  Bully for you.

I don’t have money like that.

I don’t have a year to not work.

Unless somebody has some for me to take a year to work unpaid, um, it’s just not fucking happening

It’s like the dirty little secret of getting your MFT license, you have to accrue a lot of hours, 3,000 to be exact, and most of them are completely unpaid.  I’m basically volunteering 10-12 hours a week for no money.

So unless you have some outside income, family, spouse, etc, it’s hard to get those hours quickly.

It takes time to acquire them if you have to work a full-time job.

And I do.

I have to work a full-time job to support my continued living in San Francisco.

Frankly I don’t know where I would go anyway.

All my support systems are here.

There really is no where else for me to go.

Anyway.

I shared some of this with the mom and she said, “it’s too bad you can’t get hours for being a nanny.”

OHMYGOD.

The thing is.

I could.

It was suggested I check it out and I talked to my supervisor about it and he said, yeah, it’s possible, but most families won’t want to deal with the paper work, the supervision, etc.

I told the mom that and she said, “I don’t have a problem signing something.”

Holy shit.

Now.

This is not to say that it’s going to necessarily happen, but options, baby, options.

I’m going to research it further.

As though I don’t have enough to think about.

Anyway.

That’s it.

I’m done.

Good night.

I have to get up early and move the car and shower.

Sweet dreams lovelies.

Sweet dreams.

 

Taking Bribes

November 27, 2017

I’m serious.

I dangled a manicure in front of my face to get myself to sit the fuck down and write my Transpersonal Psychology final paper.

It took a minute.

Granted I started the day off wonky.

Fuck my life.

I was supposed to wake up to my best friends call this morning for breakfast and I remember as I rolled over thinking, “why haven’t I got a call yet?” as I went to check my phone, thinking maybe I had a few more minutes of…

Oof.

Fuck.

I had been called, and texted.

Shit.

Shit.

Shit.

I had the volume off.

I don’t know how that happened and I was so mad at myself, miserable with it, and I sent off a quick text hoping my friend was still in the neighborhood.

And.

Yes.

Though breakfast was off the table, only time for a quick coffee, but thank God.

I would have been devastated if I had missed seeing my person.

Dear God it would have been a much different day.

Suffice to say I got some sweetness, not enough, I’m going to miss my friend who is traveling now, but thankful, so much so, that I was able to get a little face time.

It meant the world.

And once I was up I got going.

Striped my bed, washed laundry, did some writing, drank more coffee, ate breakfast, tried not to think about the work I had to do today, but didn’t really succeed at that.

I get anxious before I have to write an academic piece.

My blog?

Pshaw.

I can’t hardly wait to write this, or my Morning Pages, but an academic paper where I have to cite sources and have an idea about what the fuck I’m going to write about.

Um.

Anxiety.

So cleaning, and cooking, did food prep for the week, although, really, there wasn’t much cleaning after yesterday.

And a cursory look over my calendar for the week.

My hopes for next weekend being a time that I will devote to my other three papers vanished as I looked it over.

Fuck my mother.

I have to do the dress rehearsal for People Who Usually Don’t Lecture, for four hours on Sunday and I have my last Webinar for CBT.

Ugh.

I might be able to get one paper written that day in between the dress rehearsal and the webinar, I’ll try.

I think I can do my Drug and Alcohol paper that day, it’s pretty straight forward, compare a 12 step recovery meeting with a Harm Reduction therapy model.

Which means attending a meeting and participating in the harm reduction group that we had in class last weekend.

No problems there.

I basically have it all written out in my head anyway.

I still have to do citations, but I won’t have to do that many, and it’s a smallish paper, five to seven pages.

I’ll knock it out in an hour and a half, two hours tops.

Today, when I finally settled down to write my paper, it took less than two hours.

I had to do everything else that had to be done in the house before I could start, like I said, sparkling clean house?

Must have a paper to write.

Heh.

I had done some cursory work, looking over notes, then I got serious, after I had met with my ladybug and did some other reading and get right with God stuff, and she’d gone back out into the rain, I dove in.

Not true.

I ate lunch.

Then I dove in.

Meh.

I lie.

I washed the lunch dishes.

Seriously, I was like an anxious bitty dashing around my house looking for anything to distract me.

Then I sat down and wrote my paper.

WAIT.

No.

I didn’t.

I wrapped my charge’s birthday present, she turned five today, I got some super sweet photos of her at the carousel with her family, for taking into work tomorrow.

A pink glitter notebook and a big packet of stickers.

Unicorn stickers.

Bunny Stickers.

Funny animals in hats.

Flowers.

All the fun stuff.

Then.

Aha.

I wrote my paper.

Wait, um, no, I hemmed and hawed and then suddenly.

Oh!

I had a sudden surprise idea.

I pulled out a deck of Tarot cards.

I know what that sounds like, shut up.

But.

I really decided that that’s what I was going to do.

Active Imagination.

It’s a form of Jungian Dream Work that helps the person to engage with the unconscious.

Jung developed it for people who couldn’t remember their dreams.

We had done it a few times in class and I thought, well, heck, this might be a way to launch into the paper.

So.

I sat with the deck.

I asked it a question about love.

And.

Wow.

Did I get an answer.

About strength and fire and love.

Sensuality, star shine, holding on.

About perseverance, about not giving up, about staying strong and in the light.

It was a beautiful moment and suddenly I was in, I was in the paper, I was finding all the citations, I was following this beautiful serendipitous thread through my notes, finding poetry that I had written in class, seeing connections, making leaps, and voila!

I did it!

Fucking wrote the paper in about an hour?

Maybe it took total an hour and a half with the citations, and the editing.

But once I got moving, I was in.

It was amazing.

It really always amazes me that I can kick out a paper that fast.

Grateful does not even begin to express how I felt.

And yes.

I did have time to get out and go to the nail salon and get my nails done.

I even popped into my spot on 7th and Irving and got right with God.

That was fabulous.

I drove home listening to my current favorite playlist, “Music for Slow Dancing,” and talked to my best friend until I found a spot to park my car.

Yes.

I found parking in my neighborhood, block away, not bad, considering everyone’s back from the holiday.

And it was a small spot, it wouldn’t have fit a bigger car, so happy I have a little gal and not something bigger, it’s really so much better in this city.

I double, triple checked that I wasn’t parking on a street cleaning side and then I walked home in the warm, dark night, thinking sweet thoughts to myself.

My life is pretty good.

Oh.

Sure.

There’s still more work to do.

But.

I will get to it.

For now.

I can take the rest of the night off and have some tea and watch a video and get ready for the week.

I’m back in it tomorrow, full-time work, clients, and getting ready for the lecture.

But it’s all good.

It really is.

I’m happy.

Joyous.

Free.

And.

Loved.

Luckiest girl in the world.

 

And. End Scene

November 13, 2017

I made it!

I got through the school weekend.

Only one more left in the semester.

Holy shit.

Very excited about that.

Although not at all excited about the extraordinary amount of work I will have to produce for the last weekend of classes.

Four papers.

One final group presentation.

Plus wrapping all my online CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) webinars and assignments and doing all the work for my online Child and Elder Abuse class.

Whew.

It’s a lot.

But.

I’ll get it done.

I always do.

I did have a moment today, though.

I was pretty wiped out by the class, a lot of emotional content for me was coming up, shocker that, go get a degree in psychology and watch the stuff surface, and I really couldn’t even decide what the hell I was going to do with the day.

I had some ideas.

Maybe I’d go shopping.

But.

I’m trying to hold out from purchasing anything as it looks like I’m getting quite close to actually putting down money on a car.

My application for a car loan was approved and I can go into the Fiat dealership in Berkeley and get the Fiat 500 Pop that I’ve been eyeing.

It seems surreal that it’s actually happening.

I even transferred the money out of my savings account today.

I am not sure exactly when I’m going to go and get the car, the dealership actually offered to deliver it to me!

But I want to go into the dealership and go with a friend and make sure I’m doing all the things correct.

I have never bought a new car before so it’s all completely outside the scope of my experience.

Anyway.

Clothes shopping, though tempting, did not seem like the best idea.

I vacillated between rushing out and getting over to the Mission by 12:15 p.m. to do the deal, or just taking it easy and seeing where God wanted me to go.

Rushing is not what I wanted to do and so I meandered towards the Inner Sunset.

I realized I was super hungry and though I needed to do grocery shopping and I could just make food when I got home, I was too distracted and it felt like too much and when a friend in cohort asked what I was doing for self-care today, it struck me that I had no good answer for her.

“Maybe yoga?” I replied.

And it struck me that maybe I wanted to treat myself a little.

So.

I went to Marnee Thai in the Inner Sunset and got my favorite dish there–banana curry with duck and brown rice and a big mug of tea.

It was perfect.

And I did do some clothes window shopping and even tried on a few things, but didn’t buy anything.

Instead.

I went and got a manicure and perused a trashy magazine.

I got a decaf, yes, I’m that person, past a certain point in the afternoon I go decaf, cafe au lait at Tart To Tart and finally did my numbers from my spending plan for October and then did a spending plan for November.

After that.

I went grocery shopping after and that felt very good and proactive.

I did some work around the house and attended to a few small things and did some food prep.

Then.

Yup.

I wrote.

I wrote a lot.

I re-wrote the narrative completely for the “People Who Usually Don’t Lecture” folks.

I meet with them again tomorrow in between supervision in the early morning and work.

I think I had been dreading doing that work and not having an idea of how to get it going, but as I finished balancing my check book and I was sitting by my computer, I just did it.

I just kicked it the fuck out.

Then when I finished it I realized I could make the 6:15 p.m. restorative yoga class at my studio.

Yippee!

I scurried into my yoga gear and walked over, getting nice and settled in as they dimmed the lights and light the studio with candles.

So pretty.

So relaxing.

Such a nice gift to give to myself.

An hour and fifteen minutes later I came home, made a hot dinner and proofed my narrative.

I just sent it out a few minutes before starting my blog.

Super fucking happy.

I’m going to go take a shower and chill out.

Fuck yeah.

 

Oh.

And here’s the piece in its entirety, I may still change it, but well, I thought you’d might like to read it.

Enjoy.

 

Running Away From Myself

I ran away from home to San Francisco. I was 29 years old. I had just graduated from college with my undergrad degree in English Literature, which would translate to a career of asking “wilt thou like fries with that?” I had also just gotten a black belt in Shaolin Kempo Karate, and I had won an award for a manuscript of my poems from the UW Madison Book Store. I was on my way. I was going to be the next great American novelist. I had a plan.

I was going to find myself in San Francisco. A friend later told me that she was quite concerned for me, one does not find themselves by moving across country in their two door Honda Accord with all their possessions and a two month sublet in the Mission District. I, however, was convinced that I needed to move to San Francisco, it was home, Madison, was not. I never considered it to be running away from myself. I just thought I was getting the hell away from the craziness of my family.

I was running away from my mom who was smoking crack, from my sister who was shooting crystal meth with dirty rigs, from my homeless father, who would spare change for beer money outside the brewing company I was the manager at. I had been to San Francisco to visit a friend the year prior and knew it was where I wanted to be. I moved here Labor Day weekend of 2002. I had a blast. I drank, I danced, I partied, I went to clubs, I cut lines at 1015 and DNA Lounge, and one day did blow in the bathroom with a friend, maybe it was the Mezzanine or the bar at The W Hotel. I had arrived! I made so many new friends my phone could barely handle all the numbers. I was having the time of my life.

Then I started to have repercussions from all the partying. Drugs are like that, fun, fun with problems, then just fucking problems. The problems led to me getting really creative with my money, stashing it in my bra or sock or back left pocket of my pants so I wouldn’t spend it on coke. But inevitably, after a few drinks, I would call my dealer. And the money ran out, really, really, fast. I was gregarious and the life of the party, and as a dear friend told me later, “just because you didn’t go to prom in high school doesn’t meant that you get to be the prom queen now.”

Yet, I kept going. I got ominous warnings from my friends, I got warnings at work, and I pissed off my roommate for bringing the after party back from the clubs at 4 a.m. I accidentally did a line of meth in the bathroom at the End Up one night, with a new friend who I thought was giving me cocaine and two days later found myself still awake deconstructing Laura Croft in a trailer in Brisbane where my new best friend was making banana walnut pancakes in the kitchen.

I still don’t know how I got home. I started making deals with myself. Don’t drink tonight; I noticed I was quick to call my dealer after a beer. But didn’t you see how hard my job was, what assholes I was working with, and how much my feet hurt? It had nothing to do with the three grams of blow I did the night before while dancing at DNA Lounge in platform Steve Madden heels, no, it had to do with the head manager at my restaurant giving me a shitty section where I had to run all night long to serve my tables.

Things spun out of control. Faster and faster. One night I was just going to go home and a friend convinced me to grab a bottle of wine from the restaurant and go back to her place. A bum outside her door spare changed us as we were going into her apartment, I gave him a cigarette. Hours later when I left, he was still there and he offered me some crack cocaine. Of course I smoked it. And twelve hours later I found myself hiding on a piece of cardboard between parked cars on Minna Street smoking rock with a homeless man who was angling for me to become his girlfriend.   It had to stop. It had to.

I tried a number of ways to control and enjoy my drinking and using, but things just never took. No matter what I did. I lost that fine dining restaurant job, I lost friends, and I lost a lot of dignity. I left a $500 a month rent controlled room in a large Victorian house in the Mission for a room on Potrero and 25th for more than twice the rent. I figured I wouldn’t spend my money on cocaine if my rent were more expensive. I was wrong, was I ever wrong. I remember waking up one morning for a lunch shift and wondering what I had done the night before and when it finally came to me as I was getting out of a cab in front of work I was so overwhelmed I leapt out, and ran and vomited in the bushes before going in for my shift.

Finally, on January 10th, possibly the 11th of 2005, I hit the bottom that would change my life. I went to the restaurant I used to work at to see a friend, I wasn’t going to drink. Nope. I wasn’t, but the bartender put up my regular, a double dirty martini on the rocks with extra olives and a pint of Sierra Nevada. I drank a sip of the beer and called my dealer. I rang a friend, he met me out, and we went all over the city and at one point ended up at my house. He left his drugs with me, “you won’t do them will you?” He asked as he left. I did them. I stole from my friend and in that moment I made the decision, I was done, I don’t know why stealing a few grams of coke from a friend was how I smashed into my bottom, but it was. I made a cry for help. And it was answered.

It came from unexpected places. I thought I was just going to go to rehab. Instead I got introduced to a community and an amazing fellowship, and I drank a lot of coffee, a lot, I still do. Twelve years and some change later, notice my star tattoos? One for every year I’ve been sober, I still don’t know how the magic all happened, I am grateful beyond belief that it has. I get to do and be someone I never even knew I wanted to be. I am a nanny, I’ve been one for over a decade, I get to give children the kind of love and attention I missed getting as a child. I’m also a third year graduate student in psychology, I go to a full time graduate program on the weekends at CIIS (California Institute of Integral Studies) which is located on Mission and 10th in the SOMA. The back of the building abuts Minna Street.

That same street where I gave a homeless man a cigarette, and he smoked me out with crack, I was once again twelve years later. I will never forget coming out of my Psychodynamics class at the end of the semester, holding a paper I had just gotten an A+ on and hopping on my scooter to go home. As I pulled out, I heard the roll of a lighter be flicked and the inhale of breath, there was a girl, a young woman, hair up in a messy bun, eyes downcast, smoking crack on a piece of cardboard between two parked cars. She was I and I was she. I can never, not now, not ever, express the tremendous gratitude I felt in me at the moment. As I zoomed off on my scooter, from my grad school program to my little studio by the sea. I was no longer running away from myself. I was just going home.

Burnt Out On Writing

November 6, 2017

But not really.

This is my fourth bit of writing today.

I just finished and sent off a paper for my Jungian Dream Work class.

I did a bit of reading for that class yesterday and I did more reading for my Psychopharmacology and Human Sexuality class as well tonight–it was my “break” in between writing the two papers I did today.

The first was not really a paper in the sense of the word, in how I write for classes or how I write my blog.

It was my lecture piece for “People Who Usually Don’t Lecture.”

They asked me to write a sort of narrative of the story I told them when I interviewed last Monday.  I am to go in again tomorrow and see them.  They wanted a written piece to look over before I met with them again.

The first piece was 8 pages long and clocked in around 2,500 words.

Too long.

So I edited and parsed it down.

A lot.

Cut it down by 800 words and got it timed to 9 minutes rather than the 13 minutes I timed myself reading it.

But it still feels a bit too long and though focused, to unfocused, too much and not enough, I felt like I didn’t really get into the juice of it.

Maybe I have just heard my own story too often and I’m a bit jaded it about it, it was hard to write without making it pretty and full of images, I don’t have a problem producing a grand amount of words, I always argue that it is harder to write a short paper rather than a long one.

I feel a little frustrated with it, I worked a long time on it, much longer than I wanted to spend on it, I don’t know if that just means I have a lot at stake in the project and I want to be a fucking perfectionist, which is not what the narrative is supposed to about.

I can easily, however, speak extemporaneously and I think that is what will happen, I will get up on the stage, I will take some general directions as to what I am supposed to talk about and I will talk.

I am sure the producers will have suggestions and desires, I got a message just a moment ago from the main contact that they have received it and are looking forward to seeing me tomorrow and they will have edits and suggestions then.

I’m not sure if this means they read it and already have things to change or what.

I am a bit done with sitting in front of my computer, although, that’s exactly what I am doing now, a bit tired of sitting at my little table.

Although the view is nice, I have a beautiful bouquet of flowers and I’m listening to some great music, some slow dancing music, and feeling a little tender and soft and sweet looking at roses and lilies and thinking about dancing with someone.

Dreamy.

I did do other things than write today, thank God, I had a fantastic morning, really did, and I was awful grateful for the falling back of the hours for Day Light Savings, despite not really liking that it got dark at 5:30p.m. tonight, as I went to sleep late last night.

I got lots of house hold stuff done, laundry and fresh bed sheets, compost and recycling and trash out.

I got in a great stretching session on my foam roller and did some PT for my shoulder that I have been neglecting to do, and then went to a fantastic, albeit difficult as fuck, yoga class, and sweated my ass off.

Serious sweat.

Sweat all over my mat.

Euphoric sweat.

I came home and felt amazing.

I took a smoking hot shower and then had a great late breakfast and a lovely unsweetened vanilla almond milk latte and wrote four pages free hand.

Then met with a lady and helped her do some inventory.

A successful hour of that and then some food prep for the week–roasted a turkey breast and went and did a little shopping at the co-op up the street from me.

I did a phone check in with my person and confirmed that we are meeting tomorrow morning at the Martha Brothers Coffee shop on Church Street.

I have solo supervision at 9a.m. in Hayes Valley and then the follow-up with the People Who Usually Don’t Lecture producers at noon.

My boss is letting me come in tomorrow at 1 p.m.

In between supervision and meeting with the producers I have some time, so I will be meeting my person at Martha’s and getting a good face to face check in.

I am super glad to get to squeeze that in.

It’s going to be a full day, a full week, school’s in session next weekend, which is why the push to do the schoolwork on top of the writing that I did today.

I feel like I’m doing ok, doing the best I can, getting to what needs to be done.  I’m 1/2 way through the Jungian Dream Work reading and I turned in the paper tonight that’s due for the weekend.  I finished all my Drug and Alcohol reading, and I got into the reading for Psychopharmacology and Human Sexuality.  I had to take a break though and be ok with it all at a certain point, there was just not much more attention I could give it.

I just wanted to write my blog and not worry about it, I just wanted to dump my head and shake out the contents and then go have a snack and a cup of tea and watch a video and not really worry about school or this narrative for the project, I keep telling myself that just because I don’t like the writing as much as I like, say my blog, or writing a poem, that it wasn’t bad and that I have a few weeks to work on the story and do what they want, they want to hear the story I told them last week, just as shorter version.

I can do it.

It will be fun and it’s nice, actually, to have something creative to work on that’s not school or regular work or client centered work.

And that’s it.

That’s all she wrote.

That’s all I got.

Oh.

I could probably squeeze something else out of my brain.

But let’s give it a rest.

Shall we?

It is Sunday after all.

A day for rest.

hahahahaha.

Sigh.

People Who Don’t Usually Lecture

November 1, 2017

Holy crow.

They picked me!

I am so blown away and honored.

And nervous, fuck, if I think about it too long I might get myself in trouble, but overall, wow, wow, wow, just amazed.

People Who Don’t Usually Lecture is a lecture series that is a kind of anti-TEd Talk where the focus is on people’s personal stories and journeys.  They were given my name by my mentor and friend who commissioned some sonnets from me after a chance (chance, my ass, that was grace, God, the universe if you will) encounter at Burning Man.

They have been doing the series in Tel Aviv for the last four years or so and have gone global this year.

There will be shows in New York, Buenos Aries and, yes, here in San Francisco.

I interviewed with them today before I went into work.

I wasn’t even sure what the hell I was going to talk about, and if I think on it real hard I know that I told a good bit of my personal story, my journey, how I got from here to there and back again, but I didn’t choose my word so much as just let them come out, I just asked to be a channel and let what needed to come out come out.

I’m not sure how I got to be so lucky to be a story-teller, but I did.

I do think it has something to do with remembering to say yes to things.

When my friend had first mentioned it I was intrigued, but really had no clue what was being talked about and I sort of forgot.

Then we had lunch this past Sunday in North Beach and I got a bit more of the back story.

It sounded fascinating.

So, yes I was nervous taking my scooter up into the hills over Dolores Park to meet with the people who run the show.

But, well, you know me, half the battle, three-quarters, 7/8’s haha, of the whole deal is just showing up.

Take the action.

Let go of the results.

The results are God’s anyway.

They really seemed to like my story and I saw one of them was moved to tears, more than once and it was amazing to watch their reactions and then to hear them say they could listen longer and wanted to know more and that they didn’t usually offer a spot the day of the interview to a lecturer.

But.

Well.

They did to me.

Oh my God.

I’m going to do a lecture!

It will be short, ten minutes, and I will be speaking with others in the community, I believe my friend will be one of the lecturers as well.

And when I had mentioned our poetry project and creativity and my experiences I actually got a soft, but firm, no, that’s not what we want, we want your story.

They talked to me about what they had heard and themes that came up in my telling my personal journey, I think I talked for about twenty minutes or so, straight before they started asking questions and collaborating with me about what they would like me to focus on in my story.

I will be covering the thematic of resilience and gratitude.

Two things I have in spades.

Oh.

Do I ever.

I have to write-up my narrative for them to go over by Monday morning.

I will go in and speak with them again and they will go over my story and give me pointers on what they want me to focus on.

I have to write-up the piece and get it to them by Monday a.m.

I will go in at noon next Monday and see them again.

I have the rest of the week to think about it and then to write it out.

They asked me to give them a ten minute piece.

It will be off book as well, so even though I will have a narrative to hand into them so that they can help me polish and pull out the tasty bits, I will be on my own up on that stage.

Just me, myself, and I telling a little story about how I got where I am today.

I am so honored and a bit in awe.

A bit in wonder.

I’m grateful, so grateful I get to do stuff like this.

It will just be ten minutes of my life, but I suspect it will be a lot more, it will be a gift to my community, without whom I wouldn’t be where I am today and certainly not fucking asked to give a lecture before hundreds of people.

The lecture series will be held at The Chapel on Valencia Street in the Mission, Tuesday, December 5th.

I’m not sure of the time yet, but in the evening.

I’ll have a dress rehearsal there on December 3rd and then do the deal on the 5th.

I’m really over the moon.

And though I, of course, it is my story after all, know what I’m going to write about, I don’t know exactly what I am going to write about.

Which is fine.

I’m ok with extemporaneous speaking I did it through high school as well as debate, as well as doing French forensics and poetry.

I’ve spoken in front of loads of people, I will be able to do this too.

It’s a little scary, it’s on stage and I know there will be a lot people there.

But.

Really.

I just need to show up and open my mouth, just show up and ask to carry the message, my journey, my story, my resiliency, and not the mess.

I’m good at the mess, I want to carry the message.

Which is often that, if I can make it through the terrors and traumas of my life, then so can you.

And.

Not only that, I can share how, I can share my experience, I can share my hope, and that I did it and how I’m happy now, have been happy now for some years, and I’m loved and my life is fulfilling, rewarding, and full of service.

Life is not a vale of tears and when it is, well, it is gold, a kind of coin I can spend helping another in their struggle by sharing how I got through.

Which is the greatest gift, after all, isn’t it?

Having experiences to share with others.

Love and gratitude tonight.

So very much.

I’ll keep you posted.

Night all.

Sweetest dreams.

 

 

Hello Monday

October 31, 2017

You weren’t so bad.

Time went by quick.

When I thought it was going to drag.

There was plenty to fill the hours.

Supervision before work, work, a couple of clients.

Some sneaky grocery shopping in between work and supervision and again in between work and clients.

Sometimes I am amazed that I can get in as much as I do.

I am pretty efficient.

I just excused myself from a group conversation with my cohort along those same lines.

The thread of the conversation was in regards to using the pre-2021 regulations versus the post 2021 regulations for the BBS requirements to get licenced.

The lean of the conversation was that it was impossible to get all the hours in the amount of time listed.

I believe that I will get the hours in.

I have faith.

And if I don’t, well, fuck it, I will have at least tried.

I am sure that many in my cohort will scoff, but a few, well, they know me and when I set my sights on something I tend to get it.

There is much work to be done.

So much work.

But I feel that it will happen.

Or course.

I dream of coming into money so that I didn’t have to work while I’m trying to get my hours.

It would make such a huge difference if I didn’t have to work to support myself on top of doing my internship and gaining my hours.

But, for the moment, for today, it is what it is.

I have to work today.

Well.

I have to work tomorrow.

Although.

I have something exciting to do before hand.

I will be going to the Mission District to interview for People Who Don’t Usually Lecture.

I had lunch with my dear friend yesterday, it already seems years ago, and we talked quite a bit about the project and how he knows the producers and the people behind it and how my name came up.

It was really quite the story to hear and I was so struck by how serendipitous my life is.

Some may call it luck.

I call it grace.

Either way.

I am excited to be considered and I’m interested to see what they ask me and what they want to know.

I suspect that they have been on my blog.

I had a spike in readership the last couple of days and though I have no idea who reads the blog, it is unusual to get a lot of reads without there being something pretty specific behind it.

Unless some one was missing me and just wanted to catch up on my life, I think it was probably the people behind the project.

I have no idea what they may think of my little blog.

Sometimes, most times, I don’t know what to think of it, only that it fills me and feeds me and that I want to continue doing it for as long as I can.

I could do this all my life, it feels.

What a gift, that, the desire to write every day and the gift to myself to give myself the time to do so.

Sure.

I could read some homework, but this settles me, winds me down, helps me ease into the evening.

And as such is more proactively self-care than doing my homework.

Oh.

I’ll get my homework done, I always do, but it does feel nice to give myself a tiny bit of a break from it.

Tomorrow will also be a kind of break too.

It’s Halloween and since I’m doing the interview I won’t be doing therapy and I also don’t have clients tomorrow night, it’s a “short” day for me.

It should be pretty fun too.

My charges have begged me to dress up with them.

So.

Yeah.

I will be dressing up.

Albeit, not quite like what I did over the weekend.

But I will wear a fun dress and bring some flowers to stick in my hair and I’m going to bring my make up kit too.

So that after I do the interview, no way in hell am I going to the interview in super big makeup, I will go to work and do a little makeup.

I will also help my charges too.

The big guy is going as an astronaut and won’t really need any makeup.

But the little lady is going as a unicorn and well, I think some glitter make up might need to make an appearance.

I know she’ll be over the moon if I do that, so yeah, I’ll be happy to indulge their sweet whims.

The oldest was particularly concerned that I dress up.

I was not going to and I had an outfit picked out for tomorrow to do the interview, black skinny jeans, soft cashmere sweater in grey, from Paris, my black high-heeled Mary Jane Fluevogs, but well, I guess urban chic is not going to be the order of the day.

Instead.

I will be wearing one of my Hell Bunny dresses.

It’s super cute, and it’s so totally Halloween, I think my charges will be super happy that I am in it.

Here’s a shot of it.

It’s called the Idaho Dress.

Why?

Fuck if I know, but it’s hella cute.

It’s got Day of the Dead skulls on it just like the dress I wore over the weekend, it’s from the same company, but they are different colors and the style of the dress is slightly different.

I am super happy to wear it.

I think I will have a very fun time with my charges.

They will have a little Halloween parade at school and then it’s off to trick or treat.

Not exactly sure where we will be going, but I have been asked to accompany them and I can’t think of something sweeter than taking a child trick or treating on Halloween.

So grateful for my sweet little life.

And that the hours passed quickly today.

All the things my friends.

All the things.


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