Archive for the ‘Oakland’ Category

Happiness

February 4, 2017

Is  a fucking rare ass steak.

Holy moly.

That was good.

I had a little celebratory dinner out and yes, I got my steak and ate it too.

So divine.

Then I get home and there are flowers.

Seriously feeling special.

So nice to celebrate and take a moment to appreciate the hard work that I have put into being where I am at.

I still have so much more to go, to do, to learn, to be, but how exciting is that?

That I can create and do and be more, that there is more room to grow, that there is more to come, in fact, the best is yet to come.

I firmly believe that.

And.

I can still have today, this moment, this nice time to reflect and let it sink in.

Really let it sink in.

I feel like I took a giant leap forward, but really, it was just doing the same things I have been taught to do for such a long time now.

Show up.

Be kind.

Be yourself.

Be honest.

Be open.

Be humble.

And listen.

And be.

It’s just not nearly as complicated as my brain wants to make it out to be.

It is not.

It is lovely and simple and sweet and that how I feel right now, loved and full of sweetness.

Daisies and roses.

Steak in my belly.

Hot tea in a mug.

Candles lit in my studio in-law.

Music in my heart.

A little Regina Spektor.

And it’s Friday.

And the school sent me my tax documents so I can finish my taxes this weekend.

I am busy, but busy in a manageable way.

Although when I spell it out, it does sound a little crazy.

Yoga in the morning, then a lady will be coming over and we’ll do some work, then I’ll have lunch, I’ll cook up a bunch of food for the week, I’m in class next weekend, a necessary evil to make an extra big batch of food, then write my paper for Trauma class.

After that a ride on the train to the BART.

BART to Oakland 19th street station.

A friend is picking me up from BART around 8 p.m. and we’re going to have dinner and catch up, I haven’t seen him since Burning Man.

Then off to a late night speaking engagement at 10p.m.

Back home via BART and the MUNI.

Sunday, more yoga, then I will be heading to see my tattoo artist at 1:30p.m. to get my star tattoo touched up.

After that I’ll have some opening in my schedule, I’ll probably do some reading for school, take my laptop with me and hit Maxfield’s in the Mission and hang out there until 6p.m.

Do the deal.

And then a double anniversary dinner with friends at Pakwan in the Mission.

There it is.

My weekend.

I’ll get my taxes done in there as well.

That actually won’t take too long as I already did  the majority of them, I just was waiting on one form and since that came in the mail I will be able to finish them within twenty minutes, half hour tops.

I could do that between yoga and meeting with my lady.

Yeah.

I know.

Busy town.

But.

Good busy.

Fulfilled busy.

Happy busy.

Useful busy.

I wont’ be taking my scooter anywhere though, rain all weekend long.

The rain boots will be out and I’ll be doing public transit.

And there will be down time.

Time to watch the rain fall from the streets and the wind ripple through the palm trees on Dolores street while I watch from the big plate-glass windows of Maxfield’s House of Caffeine.

Time to sit with friends and catch up.

Time.

There is more of it then I think or know.

The streets wet and slick, the foyer of a pretty building in the West Portal district.

The soft laughter of shared knowing and the openness of my heart tonight as I spoke out into the dark room, a string of Christmas lights glowing in front of me as I faced the people and shared my self, my story, my strength and the fact that I don’t do it alone.

I can’t do it alone.

I have you.

I have us.

I have fellowship and friends and family and loads of laughter.

So much laughter.

Today at work.

The six-year-old, soon to be seven, so soon, like the day after tomorrow, laughing and chasing me around the four-year old hugging me and dancing around in her tights and balancing on the toes of my nanny clogs as we pirouetted around the living room.

The rainbow sprinkles.

OH.

The rainbow sprinkles.

BiRite Ice Creamery on a Friday afternoon after school has let out.

Strawberry ice cream in a sugar cone with rainbow sprinkles.

How lovely to be a child, hazed out in the glory of ice cream and candied sprinkles.

We sat smooshed next to tables full of people blissed out on sugar and the reprieve from a sudden downpour of rain showers.

The train ride back to the house, the fat bottom clouds scudding across the sky threatening rain, but never quite delivering again.

There will be plenty tomorrow.

And the next day and the next and the next.

Lots of rain in the next week.

But that’s ok.

That’s life.

Stomping puddles in rain boots.

Joyfully popping open my umbrella tonight as we stepped from the restaurant, giddy and full, to walk the slippery shined streets and head home to the Outer Sunset.

Hugs and words to hang again soon.

Such a good life I have.

And I walk in and I can smell the flowers in my house.

So wonderful.

So loved.

So grateful.

Thank you all.

May I mirror back even a glimpse of the happiness I have for you.

The joy, happiness and freedom that I wish for you.

All the things.

All the things.

I wish them for you.

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Unexpected Dance Party

January 8, 2017

I really had not thought that was in the plans for tonight.

I just got back from dancing a good solid two hours at Mighty.

God damn I love House music.

It was so good.

I am going to be stupid sore tomorrow.

I did yoga this morning, ran around all day long and then danced, pretty damn hard, for a good two hours.

I might skip yoga tomorrow and just let myself sleep in.

It’s raining furiously at the moment and I’m thinking I got a good damn work out in, I could be ok with not going to the studio in the morning.

And I’m up late, it’s almost one a.m. and by the time I finish the blog and get to bed it will probably be 2 a.m.

Not that late.

But late for me.

Late for a school girl, a working girl, a busy girl, like me.

I might have been the only person at the club with school books on them.

That’s how I roll up on the club now, bag of text books instead of a bag of blow.

Heh.

I had a pretty good idea that I would be out all day long when I left the house early this afternoon, and I knew I would be taking the BART over to Oakland in the early evening, I figured I might have time to do some reading for school on the train.

I wasn’t expecting to be going clubbing, or I might have left them at the house.

Be that as it may, I did do a little reading, but mostly it was just funny to be out at a club dancing and have all the stuff and things that I carry around with me in my day-to-day life.

But it was worth it.

I got in on a guest list.

Unexpected.

I got free waters all night.

Lovely and unexpected.

I got a ride back from the East Bay to the club.

Totally unexpected.

And.

I got a ride home from the club.

Super grateful.

I mean.

Seriously.

And it was such a turn around from my early experiences in the city with the trains and with Uber.

I have an app on my phone that basically tells me when the trains are running, but this afternoon it was constantly telling me that the train was either stopped or stalled or delayed.

So I took a car to go up to Tart to Tart.

Only to see a train pulling in as my car was pulling up.

Too late to cancel and well, fuck it.

It was a horrible ride and I arrived quite cranky, bad, bad, bad navigation, bad driving, the driver took a speed bump at full speed in Golden Gate Park and I got tossed up in the seat and hit on my head on the roof of the car.

The best part was that the driver shouldn’t have routed through Golden Gate Park, but his navigation directed him there and despite a friendly suggestion that he avoid the park, he did a circle anyway.

Coming out exactly where he had gone in, a nice loop through, a scenic detour, I told myself, be grateful, you’re in a car, it’s a gift, you aren’t wet, you are being carried somewhere, you don’t have to drive, the park is pretty.

Restart your day.

Oh yeah.

That’s a great idea.

So I did.

I just said my morning routine in my head and I started over.

Then I met my friend for a lovely afternoon at the cafe.

We sat and chatted and caught up, she was in Paris over the break from school, and then a walk through the Inner Sunset and lunch.

We parted ways.

I got a manicure.

Then.

The trains, again, running off, I really think that the weather may have had something to do with it.

I got another car.

I needed to make it to the BART to get over to the speaking gig in Oakland.

The driver was not from the city and did not believe me when I suggested he take the left hand lane on Oak instead of the right.

The right feeds to the freeway and always jams up tight.

He argued with me, told me the navigation was right and proceeded to get trapped in the turn lane onto the freeway.

I suggested that he really would have a better time if he got into the left hand lane, he basically told me I was wrong, the navigation knew better, and he was going to stick with the navigation.

I was flabbergasted.

I responded that I have lived in San Francisco for fourteen years.

“I can tell you want to be right,” the driver responded.

“No,” I said, “I want to get to the BART station and not get stuck on the freeway.”

The passenger in the front intervened, “she is right, you are in the wrong lane, and you are going to get stuck going onto the freeway.”

The driver finally acquiesced to changing lanes after the man up front explained it to him.

I was stunned, did I just get a scolding and a talking to because I was a woman telling a man that Google maps didn’t always know the best way to go.

I think I was.

I haven’t had that kind of out-and-out blatant sexism in a while.

And for the first time ever I gave a driver a bad rating.

I had no compunction about it at all.

He didn’t apologize for being rude to me or arguing with me, and even though he was correct, I wanted to be right versus being happy, it was really a jarring experience.

I got out of the car and got to the BART and made it just on time to get to where I needed to be in Rockridge.

The speaking gig went well, I don’t remember anything I said.

Well, I swore a lot, but I tend towards profanity, and I was told it was good.

So that was nice.

Then.

I got talked into the dancing and I just said, fuck it, yes, I’ll go.

Then the ride to the club, the free pass in, the awesome music, the dancing until my knees wanted to buckle and the ride home, all more than made up for a few goofy transportation snags.

It was a really nice way to end a day that had been a bit on the wonky side.

Grateful I got to get right with God and be of service and then to go hang out in the church, the club, and dance and raise my arms and raise my voice and sing and shout and stomp.

God loves music.

Dontcha know?

Seriously.

Music and dancing are spiritual to me and I got right with God.

I got my groove on.

Hella on.

I may also have to get my ibuprofen on before I crawl into bed.

But it was worth it.

Very much so.

Thank you God for House music.

Thank you so very much.

And for always getting me to the church on time.

Always.

Regardless of the navigation.

 

 

Cold And Hella Sore

January 6, 2017

I mean.

Fucking sore.

I got two shots today.

One in each arm.

Flu on the left side.

Tdap on the right.

Tdap is for whopping cough, diphtheria, and tetanus.

Technically I was still in the range to be covered by my last Tdap shot, but new baby in the home where I work and it’s been eight years and so, I got the shot today with the dad at the Walgreens in Noe Valley.

It was sort of a comedy of errors as the pharmacist couldn’t understand why the dad was just getting the flu shot, why I was getting both shots, and who was billing what insurance, and where to stand in line and how to do it and just too many cooks in the stew and too many papers to fill out.

At one point I looked at the dad, who was covered for the whooping-cough vaccine already and said, “betcha they give me two flu shots and you get the Tdap.”

And that was exactly what almost happened.

I intervened on the shots though and corrected the woman, a fourth person in the odd queue of people who had to facilitate the process.

The new family I work with is European and they seem almost as boggled by our American Health system as I do.

“We don’t take that insurance,” the clerk told me when I handed over my card.

“I’m paying for her shots, the dad told the clerk,” who just looked at us and tried to figure out what our relationship was and why we had separate addresses.

It was hilarious.

Until I got the shots.

I know that there is aching that happens, but the mind forgets and my arms got sore pretty fast and now, fuck, it sort of sucks.

Plus a very, very, very cold ride home on my scooter tonight after doing the deal up in the Castro with my person.

“Girl, I’m cold in here, you get yourself home and get warmed up,” he said and gave me a big hug.

I did not want to get on my scooter, but I also really wanted to get home.

It is cold out there.

I know, I know, it’s not Wisconsin cold, but it’s been a long wet, chilly week and the temperature here dropped a lot and is around 39 degrees right now.

That is hella cold for San Francisco.

And add some nice wind chill to that and it felt like I had frozen tears on my face riding home.

I’ve had a cup of hot tea and the heat is on and I’m still pretty chilled.

I could take a hot shower, but I already showered this morning and it’s such a hassle with my hair and I’d rather just not deal with it.

This week has been long, a bit tiring, and a little stressful.

New job anxiety.

But.

I do feel better and better and better with the time I have spent with the family.

They are warm, intelligent, kind people and I feel like I’m being really happily taken into the family.

So grateful for that.

Sore arms and all.

At least I won’t get the flu this season.

My God, though, it’s worse than I remember.

Of course, I also didn’t get both done at the same time.

My arms are on fire.

I don’t want to write this blog!

I wonder if it’s also just being tight from the ride home and tense with the cold, I think once I warm up a bit more I’ll be ok.

I am a bit of a baby when it comes to the cold, I’ve noted recently, be that as it may, I am very happy it did not rain today nor is there any rain in the forecast for tomorrow.

After that.

All bets are fucking off.

It’s going to be a long, wet, wooly, wild, rainy week of storms.

There’s a big storm coming and I am not looking forward to it.

Granted I don’t have to do a lot of stuff this weekend, meet my person at Tart to Tart, do some yoga, hopefully my arms will be back in working order by Saturday.

I’ll be heading over to Oakland on Saturday too, got a speaking engagement in North Oakland.

I’ll be doing the trains and the BART all weekend long.

And probably next week to and from work too, I can’t fathom riding in the rain when it’s been as cold as it’s been.

I’m so grateful I didn’t last night, the feeling of dread that came over me when I contemplated riding home last night in the cold and rain, it was unbearable.

No such feeling tonight when I got on the scooter, just the cold to contend with.

And I did.

And I’ll warm up.

And the rain will pass and it will all be ok.

The train rides will give me opportunity to read.

And not pleasure reading.

That brief time as passed, that window has closed.

I got my first text-book for the next semester in the mail today.

I shall begin the reading for class ASAP.

There’s a good deal to read and school starts the next weekend.

Sigh.

Winter break.

You’ve come and gone so fast.

Oh well.

I did read one book all the way through and a bit into the Don DeLillo, but all the other lovely books I got are going to have to wait until summer time.

C’est la vie.

It was real nice there for a moment.

Damn Gina.

I’m tired.

Cold, and lonely, and the wolves are after me.

Ha.

Just kidding.

Cold though, I’m still cold, time for more tea and a good snuggle under my grandma’s afghan.

Yes.

That sounds just about right.

Night all.

Stay warm.

Snuggle bunnies.

Seriously.

The Good, The Bad

April 9, 2016

The grad school.

It was a tough day.

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, literally.

In deep REM sleep.

I cannot remember the last time I woke up from that kind of REM and I couldn’t remember my dream.

It dissolved on my tongue like soft hazy fog, there, but not there, and it left a bitter coating in my mouth, a kind of taste I could not quite get off my palate.

A longing to go back to bed may have just been the crux of the desire and really, I did wake up on the wrong side of the bed, not the side I normally wake up on and it, the day, felt off, as I unconsciously hit my snooze button instead of the alarm off button.

Hmm.

REALLY?

You never hit snooze.

But.

I had a general dread about going into the day.

I couldn’t pin it right away, but I have since, and suffice to say I am grateful for the TA’s and the professors and the holding space they create for us as we move through the learning of how to become therapist.

I am in the client in this round of the semester and I don’t feel comfortable.

And.

This is ok.

As I wrote about in one of my papers, I am hyper self-aware of what is going on for me and what is up for me, or not up for me.

I had a little mini-break through in regards to some work stuff, but I would have come to that on my own without the dyad work.

However.

I came to realize that I say yes a little more often than I should be with my family and work environment.

I am all flexible when it comes to accommodating the families needs, but hey, oops, some of my needs, especially as I am coming out of a long school weekend, are not being met.

Not by a long shot.

I reflected and realized that I can say, “hey, let me get back to you on the scheduling,” instead of just saying yes in a blanket statement.

Sure, no problem, I can totally do that for you.

Oh, hey lady, do you realize that you just messed up your recovery schedule and your new yoga practice in one fell swooping yes?

Fuck.

I self-sabotaged the hell out of myself without even realizing what I was doing.

Ah.

But I did realize.

And I am practicing acceptance and the action will come.

I can pause.

I can reflect.

I don’t have to answer right away.

There is no emergency.

Ah.

All the learning.

So much.

My brain feels a little full and I am glad that I took some nice measures for myself today.

I took the N-Judah into class tomorrow and realized that I don’t want to do that again, despite the train getting me to my destination on time I spent most of that time, over a half hour, standing on the train and I was wedged in weird and my right knee has been tender all day for the stress I put on in in the awkward position I was in.

In fact.

Pause.

Go get the ibuprofen.

There is no need to suffer and it feels a little inflamed.

Excuse me, be right back.

Much better.

I did not enjoy the experience and I took a car home after class today.

Faster, yes, a bit pricey, but fuck it, I deserve to let myself have an out after a long week.

I mean, really.

It’s been a long week and there is no end in sight.

I have two more days of classes and then back to work.

Ok.

Actually.

There is an end in sight, it’s called Monday afternoon.

And the get together with my playa family has been cancelled.

Side bar.

I got my new holster for the event and it rocks!

Happy to come home to a little gift to myself.

And one of my cohort friends and I made the decision to go and have an adventure, and it will be a kind of celebration too, end of our first year of the masters program in Integral Counseling Psychology at The California Institute for Integral Studies.

Yes.

We are going to go the Steam Punk Masquerade Ball at NIMBY in Oakland on May 14th.

I went last year with a couple of girl friends and had a ball, and danced my ass off.

I’ll wear my new holster.

That makes me smile to think of that, hanging out with my Burning Man people and celebrating with my friend.

End side bar.

There will be time.

There will be pause.

There will be a fucking break.

I’ll have a day and a half off.

I will yoga it up.

I will sleep in.

I will wander around and take a walk on the beach or go to the DeYoung.

I will take care and take respite and I will be ok.

I am ok now.

Really.

There is no emergency, there is no drama, everything is going to be alright, because it already is.

I don’t feel all that surprised by the day and the classes and how I felt going in and the day was a sort of confirmation of some of my fears and also a way through the work and a lot of gratitude for the fact that I have already done so much of the work.

SO MUCH.

And I’m not talking grad school.

I am just talking about me, myself, my life, my journey.

That sounds like I am something to fix, I keep doing this work, but it is rather getting adjusted and making fine, small, tunings that help me stay inline, on the path, moving forward.

In that movement, I can find rest.

I can allow for reprieve and as I see myself having bowed down to the needs of the family before the needs of the nanny, I can act with a little kindness and compassion for myself.

I am doing the best I can and learning as I go.

Sometimes I have to re-experience something to get the full affect.

I’m not saying old behavior, because it’s happened, so it’s current behavior.

What is new for me is to accept that I did it and that I have options in the future.

I don’t have to think about it more tonight.

I made it through my first day of classes for my second to last weekend of my first year of graduate school.

I know.

That’s a bit of a tongue twister.

But.

I’m showing up and doing it.

I turned in two papers and I have done all the reading for the weekend.

I participated in every class and got back some really awesome comments on one of the papers I wrote for my Multi-Cultural class.

I am pleased.

A little tired.

And ready for a cup of tea.

And yes.

Some Project Runway Allstars.

Please people.

The lady needs to decompress.

Heh.

 

 

You Needed A New

January 27, 2016

Cog.

Huh.

I never would have guessed that.

And in my own perverse little way.

I am a little proud of that.

I have ridden my bicycle so often and for so long that I basically had worn down the teeth of the rear cog and that was why my chain was slipping and my crank wasn’t turning.

Brava!

I mean.

I have had the bicycle for three and a half years.

But the last two years, living in the Outer Sunset, bicycle commuting to the Mission five days a week, putting in over thirteen miles a day, usually 14, sometimes 15, why, of course I had worn out my cog.

Damn Gina.

The shop also fixed the flat and actually replaced the tube for free considering that there was no evidence on my tire that I had punctured it, fault lay with the shop and they took care of it promptly.

It was nice to have my wheels back under me.

Especially after the shared Uber ride into work.

My God.

I don’t mind the sharing the resource, I don’t mind going out of my way a little bit to get from here to there–I like to think of it as taking the scenic route.

However.

I am scent sensitive.

No shut up.

I’m not being a fucking pussy about this.

There are two smells that really make me feel like I am going to vomit and I got both of them today.

The first was from an middle age woman with a bad bed head do and an obvious hangover.

The smell of alcohol was not so bad, yeah, I gagged a bit from it when she turned and asked if she could recline the front seat, um, ok?

But it was the smell of cigarettes.

Deep, dirty, skin yellow, brown in the wrinkles of the fingers, nicotine stained.

It was like driving with a sack of formaldehyde.

She reclined her seat, put in ear buds, popped on her sunglasses and fell asleep in the front seat.

The second passenger, though much more dapper and clean, was not a bouquet or roses either.

Nope.

He was a big smelly sack of raw onions.

I mean.

Fuck.

It was like he’d just eaten a raw onion sandwich and then shoved a few shallots under his arm pits.

I was like.

Dude.

The window went down and I got some fresh air, but it was a tasty ride.

So different to be on my bicycle, in the dark night, whistling through the Pan Handle, the rich smell of just turned dirt and the bark of eucalyptus trees.

The smell of evergreens in Golden Gate Park.

And the spot, the one spot, close to the De Young Museum, where Fenugreek must grow–the delicious smell of maple syrup always wafts out at me from the bushes, I invariably think about bacon, the skillet breakfast at a O’Malley’s in Waunakee where the family would go every once in a while for a Sunday breakfast, and waffles.

I could ride back and forth that little bridge a 100 times just to get to smell that again.

But I am too concerned with getting home, the whisk of my pedals beating the air and the sound of the waterfall splashing over Storybrook Crossing keeps me company.

A few critters, who though did not smell as bad as my companions from this afternoons ride, nonetheless, were not to be messed with.

A big rambling raccoon, that startled me in the grass as I turned onto Chain of Lakes and my front light hit his masked face.

And the dog, wait, what the hell, that dog is going to get schmucked crossing Lincoln, I should stop and scoop it up and.

Oh no.

That’s not a dog.

That’s a skunk.

I whipped past and watched the little critter scurry into the underbrush.

Lots of critters out and about.

I thought, as I rode, about how long I’ve been riding my bicycle, riding bicycles in general, in San Francisco.

I have bicycle commuted from the Mission to jobs in the Mission.

I remember, with much fondness the five minute commute I had for a year and a half when I worked at Mission Bicycle Company on Valencia and 18th.

I lived at Folsom and 23rd.

It was such a sweet commute.

I have commuted from the Bayview to the Mission–Palou and Third to 18th and Alabama.

I have commuted from Nob Hill to China Basin and Noe Valley.

I have commuted from Nob Hill to the Mission.

You may see a pattern here.

I do a lot of work in the Mission.

I have commuted from the Outer Sunset to Cole Valley, NOPA, and the Castro.

But the commute I have now, is the longest.

I also, briefly, for a few months when I was in transition and staying out in East Oakland (EAST not West, thank you very much) commuted from 51st and International to North Berkeley.

Yeah.

Like that.

I had some interesting rides.

The prominent scent was not Fenugreek however.

Although it did have a sweet, sickly smell to it, it was not a natural smell.

Nothing says good times like rolling through the valley of crack and prostitution on your way to nanny.

I have ridden a bike up to Twin Peaks.

I have ridden more than one century–that’s a 100 miles–though not for a while now.

I have ridden through parts of the Bay View that I don’t even think people now exist.

I have seen things.

I have been seen as well.

I whistled at a pedestrian about to walk into the street against the light as I was crossing Divisadero on Fell Street.

“Whoa!” He said, “thanks!”

Then, without much thought, he said rather loudly, “holy shit! You’re beautiful!”

Thanks man.

That’s always nice to hear.

Can’t say my ego minds.

Most of the time, though, it’s just me and the bicycle and my thoughts, which fortunately are usually not too loud, I’m in my body when I am on my bicycle, even when the knees hurt and the hips are a little tight and my bag was heavy with stuff tonight, I am in my body and alive.

It really is a gift.

I love my bicycle.

I really do.

March Madness

March 3, 2015

I’m already booked.

What the fuck?

It’s March 2nd and every single weekend is booked.

I have some space to wiggle, but basically, every one of my Saturdays’s for the entire month of March is booked in.

As of this afternoon, I have a graduation celebration to go to, in Oakland, which I had RSVP’d to and then completely forgot until it popped up in my calendar today, that is for this upcoming Saturday.

Then the Saturday following, a baby shower in Berkeley.

The weekend following is my dearest friend’s birthday and we are going to go to Alcatraz to see the Ai Weiwei exhibit before it leaves.

I can’t believe that I am actually going to go to Alcatraz, twelve years of living in San Francisco, give or take a hot second in Paris, and I have never been out to that lonely lump of rock in the Bay.

It’s too spooky for me, frankly, but this is my friend’s birthday and the exhibit is exquisite from all reports, so off to the rock I go.

Then, I may be going down to Chula Vista to see my grandmother and my uncle and an aunt and I suspect a bunch of cousins.

My uncle called and left a message for me about coordinating a time to go to Chula Vista, this month. I hadn’t planned on going so soon, but it makes sense to go when my Uncle will be there and voila, there’s the month.

And the week, well it started off with a bang.

Or a scream as the case may be.

A screaming, shaking, writhing, pee drenched temper tantrum that lasted over twenty minutes in the handicap stall in the public bathroom at Mission playground.

I had been warned upon entering the house this morning that the littlest guy was a bit on the fragile side.

His big brother’s blow out birthday bash was yesterday and the little guy did not have a nap, and I suspect was cupcake hung over with sugar.

He was an intense little guy to deal with and apparently suffered some sort of potty training trauma yesterday at the park with the party and when he wet his pants at the park the melt down went into full overdrive.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

He did not, NO, want his pants taken off.

Poor baby.

They are all wet and the underpants are wet and they have to come off.

We went to the bathroom and it was just a riot act.

I have never had a child scream so loud, thrash so hard or get so upset.

He was a contrary little ball of emotions and the temper tantrum was in full on hysterical while he was half-naked.

I had a shirt cocking maniacal two and a half-year old hollering bloody murder in a public bathroom.

I expected CPS (Child Protection Services) to bang down the bathroom stall and ship me off to 850 Bryant (the jail downtown).

I took everything I had, all my wonderful serene energy, all my patience, all my love, my entire nanny wrangling abilities to get the child into a pair of shorts.

I don’t think I have ever had such a struggle, in 8 years of being a nanny; it was the longest, most intense, almost savage, emotional outburst I have been a party to.

I wonder what the hell happened over the weekend.

I was able to laugh over it later this evening when I was sharing about my day and finding myself so helpless, so powerless over what was happening.

That and the ridiculous box of confetti that was spilled, a huge box, not a little box, of shredded paper that was the packing contents of a shipping box that was thrown wildly all over the kitchen right before dinner.

I used three different vacuum cleaners and attachments to get it all up.

It didn’t help that the cleaners had come in early in the day; I felt I had to get it all up and there was just no getting it all up.

I picked up the youngest boy and shook him by his ankles and tickled his ribs, “who put the quarter in you today?” I asked him.

“Me! I put quarter in me!”

Yeah you did.

Jumping Jesus on a pogo stick.

Let me not horrify you with the bath time saga.

Suffice to say.

It was a wild day.

Happy Monday.

Hopefully that’s out of his system and we can get back to our regularly scheduled program of nanny.

Not as if that’s not busy in and of itself, swim lessons, cooking, laundry, marketing, play dates, ad infinitum.

Life, well, it’s full, that’s for sure.

And that’s the way it usually is.

Full.

Which is nice.

I like being busy.

The busy that has to do with seeing family and friends is a good kind of busy too.

I am busy celebrating life.

My friend’s party in Oakland for accumulating her 3,000 therapy hours; my friend in Berkeley celebrating her baby and having a baby shower; my dear friend’s birthday, my family in Chula Vista.

These things are good and sustain and important relationships that I get to cultivate.

Which means saying yes and going and doing even when I think I have better plans or need to keep some space open for dating.

I’m not asking anyone out for a while, I’m over that, so unless someone crosses my path and asks me out, I have room for these obligations, which aren’t obligations, but joy.

I have heard folks say that they worry about what will happen, how will they have fun without the party and the booze and the drugs.

Let me be the one to reassure you.

Life gets full, really full.

It’s amazing.

I am no longer at the end of the bar at the end of the night talking about the things I want to be doing.

Rather I am doing them.

It’s a privilege, to live this full life.

One I’m grateful for, even in awe of.

March madness it may be, but really.

It’s just a typical month in my life.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

And as per usual.

Hella busy.

 

The Best $29 I Never Spent

February 15, 2015

I didn’t go to the Basement Jaxx show.

I could go right now.

It’s still happening.

But I am danced out.

I went instead to American Steel in Oakland and went dancing with a group of ladies.

I admitted to them earlier today that I was having some serious doubts about rolling over to Public Works on my own when I had been feeling a little wonky about dating and Valentine’s Day and I don’t think I would have done anything stupid.

But.

If I’m not in a good space spiritually, even after mediating and writing and doing good basic self-care, then I probably shouldn’t roll out to a club on my own.

Even if it’s a really good show.

And I was really looking forward to seeing them play.

Not worth it.

I knew I was isolating myself and I told on myself.

I am so grateful I let the ladies talk me into going with them.

I needed a ladies night out.

My plans also changed when I wasn’t able to use my scooter the way that I wanted to use it and it died on me two blocks from the house.

Over it.

I know that there’s a little something or other that needs adjusting and I just need to take it in to a mechanic, but it keeps alluding me, the taking it to a mechanic.

I have to get on the horn and just ask some friends to give me a hand, either ride with me and hang out when it dies or have some one tinker with it.

I don’t know.

I don’t have to know tonight, I won’t be going anywhere else this evening.

Certainly not out dancing more, I did dance hard and my ankle is sore and my knees hurt, but fuck it, it was worth it to get out of my head for a while and into my body.

And I ran into a good friend who I didn’t know was going to be dj’ing the party, Joel Landmine, and man, oh, man, he played what I needed to hear, and he played vinyl and it was mixed just right–from James Brown to Hall and Oates.

That was the best.

I broke a sweat dancing in the room he was playing.

When Joel played Hall and Oates “I Can’t Go for That,” the new acquaintance I met at the going away party I went to this afternoon, went from being an acquaintance to a great friend.

Just from the one song.

It was just right.

We pantomimed the entire song and sang our heads off and I smiled so hard my face hurt.

That’s good times.

You know you’re in the groove when you’re high five’ing a stranger and singing Hall and Oates at the top of your lungs.

I was with my people.

And I got to spend time with girlfriends and talk about dating and how that’s been going, the asking out, which is just wildly funny at this point.

I asked out another guy on the list today.

One who I had put on the list then taken off the list, and I told him that, then, at the going away party, I totally changed my mind.

I was all like, well, he’s cute and he’s taller than me.

Never mind the smoking, he wants to quit.

Ah.

He was flattered that he had made my list and that was fun to acknowledge and actually really easy.

We’re not a match, I doubt we’ll be going on a date, but the relief I felt just for getting another one out-of-the-way was tremendous.

Not because I am stressed about it, but because it’s getting easier and easier and I am getting way past the point of caring.

I’m throwing it all at the wall.

I Facebook friended the guy I met at the party tonight and danced with.

I couldn’t tell if he was straight or gay.

Yeah.

It’s San Francisco.

And my picker’s broken.

I have been known to have crushes on gay men and then the complete opposite, been oblivious when a straight guy is making a play for me.

I really couldn’t tell.

Most straight guys wouldn’t know Hall and Oates by heart, but then again, who’s to say.

He was hella fun.

I suspect I’ll be asking him out too.

And fuck it, so what if he’s gay, I’m not saying that I want to date a gay man, rather, that I don’t need to know necessarily whether he is or not(it’s a way to save face and not take the action), the not knowing in the moment was a protective measure.

I’ve seen it crop up with me before where I will think the guy is gay because he actually might be interested in me and oh, dear, what it usually means is that the man is emotionally available.

And perhaps interested in me.

Regardless, he was fun and I danced like I haven’t in some time.

And I have now asked out six guys in seven days.

That’s pretty fucking awesome.

Each time I got to let go of the results a little more.

Each time I got to see the fantasy get shot in the foot and clear the path toward whom I am supposed to be with.

And yeah.

I got shot down, a lot.

But.

I did get a yes from one of the six guys I asked out and if I hadn’t been trying to take some action, I wouldn’t have gotten that.

The guy I asked out was also interested enough to get a hold of me and ask when a good time to meet for coffee would be.

That’s a great sign.

He wouldn’t have asked for a specific time to see me if he didn’t want to spend time with me.

It’s also just coffee.

I’m dating.

I’m going to date a lot.

I am going to go out and cast wide the net.

Yes.

I do have an agenda.

I want to be in a sober, monogamous, heterosexual, passionate, open, communicative, fun, spiritually engaged, loving, sweet, kind, romantic relationship.

He should have a job as well.

That’s always a good one to throw in there.

But I don’t expect that the first coffee date I go on will yield those results.

I have to do the work.

I am willing to do the work.

I’ll go right now and message Hall and Oates and see if he wants coffee.

Make it seven asks in seven days.

Why not.

It’s just practice after all.

It’s just dating.

It’s not going to kill me.

It might even get fun.

I have faith.

 

Thankful

November 28, 2014

Full of thanks.

Thanksgiving.

On the back of a sporty Harley Davidson, motor rumbling under me, blue sky above me, scuttle of clouds, flash of sun, ocean off to my right, heading down Sunset Avenue, San Francisco.

Thankful.

This is my life?

This is my life.

Quite a bit different from last Thanksgiving when a friend wrangled me an invitation out to Marin to hang out with his buddies from school.

Not that I had a bad time last Thanksgiving, it was just a new time and an uneasy time for me, getting back into being in San Francisco, getting a new rooting in the soil, sandy soil that is.

“What has happened to you,” she said to me tonight as we hugged in the kitchen at a dear friends Thanksgiving celebration.

“I moved out to the Sunset, that’s what happened to me,” I smiled.

Lot’s has happened to me since I have moved to the Outer Sunset and so much of it is so different than what I expected.

I feel constantly and continually surprised by this little community at the edge of the world, the edge of the sea, the edge of San Francisco.

It may just be the best place for me to celebrate this Thanksgiving.

I have a boyfriend.

I have a job.

I have a writing practice.

I have a graduate school application I have to get my ass into gear about and finish up this weekend.

I have a four-day weekend.

Day one.

Well, so far so fucking good.

Go re-read that part about riding around on the back of a Harley Davidson with the sun warm on my back and the Pacific Ocean shimmering in the sun and ask me what don’t I have to be grateful for.

New experiences?

Check.

Friends?

Check and double-check.

So many fine, amazing, and beautiful friends in my life.

Some of whom I got to see today.

And a community that I belong to that has seen me change and grow and evolve and for what may be the first time in a while, certainly in a year or so, Thanksgiving to Thanksgiving, I feel that I belong.

That I am in the right place, that I am in the spot, that I have a spot to come home to and people who want me for who I am and what I do.

I don’t do much, but I do it well and for that I am grateful.

I show up.

On time.

With helpful intentions.

I still think of myself an awful lot of the time, but I am able to be present for others, and for my life, which is one and the same, I think, sometimes, that showing up for my life is a reward and a risk, a dare.

A dare to live outside the box, and sometimes, yes, in the box too.

I felt a moment of gleeful exhilaration on the Harley today.

I was thinking random Thanksgiving thoughts for the past few years, comparing last year to this year and the year prior when I was in Paris and those darn French folks with their ways that don’t celebrate the pen-ultimate American holiday.

With the pen-ultimate American sport–football.

In France it is not football, but futball–soccer.

In French class, Thursday, November of 2012, crying, tears slipping down my maudlin face because what was everyone doing and why were the all in class, it’s a holiday for fucks sake, why are you not having some turkey?

I was crying over a soccer ball exercise in my French class.

I was homesick.

Wow.

Was I homesick if I was homesick for football, which, in case you were wondering, I don’t watch.

I am a fair weather Packer fan, suppose I always will be since I did grow up in Wisconsin.

Twelve years of being, mostly in San Francisco, I am almost a Giants fan (sorry, Gigantes, though, the damn Milwaukee Brewers still have my heart–Cecil Cooper why did you have to give my third grade self that signed baseball?  Robin Yount, why did you have to be so cute? Gangly, yes, but hella cute, you know?), but nowhere near a 49ers fan.

Sorry folks.

But yet, football, a soccer exercise, French class, Paris, what was I doing, so far away from home?

How could I be homesick for something I never really liked?

Especially when I was in the city that I had been pining to be in for so long?

Fantasy.

That’s the haps.

I was fantasizing.

It gets me every time.

I shot the Paris fantasy in the foot and I am good with that and don’t doubt that I will go back, I have friends there, fellowship, and I love Paris, it’s a beautiful town (a little too much dog poo, but you know, every city’s got to have their thing), but I don’t want to live there again.

Nope.

I want to live here, in San Francisco, out by the beach, fog or sun, rain or shine, this is my place and it feels like my time.

The second thing that happened that Thanksgiving back in Paris that made me homesick?

Sons of Anarchy.

Yup.

I had downloaded the episodes on my laptop, this self-same archaic, almost obsolete little machine, and cued one up to watch that rainy night in Paris after having an awkward ex-pat dinner at the Lizard Lounge in the Marais, I had gotten lost trying to find the pub and was still feeling a little sorry for myself if the truth were told.

My room-mate came in blustery from the rain and work and sat for a while then we took a cab back to the 9th arrondissement, to rue Bellefond, he dropped me and went to go hang out with friends in the 18th for another ex-pat dinner.

I stayed in, made a cup of tea, sliced up an apple and had it with some creme fromage and watched Sons of Anarchy.

You know you’re homesick when scenes of the motorcycle gang rolling through the dock yards in Oakland make you tear up.

Yeah.

I am not ashamed to admit it and today, remembering it, I chuckled.

Two years later, one year of living it out, making it work, not knowing what was going to happen or how, just living it to the best of my ability one day at a time, I’m here.

In the city I belong to on the back of a Harley driving down Sunset Avenue heading home to back an overnight bag to go over to my man’s place and enjoy the gifts of being a local.

I’m not a native San Franciscan.

But I am a local.

And I belong.

For that, and so much more I am utterly and completely grateful.

Now excuse me.

I have someone to go canoodle with.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

One Year Ago Today

May 2, 2014

I arrived in SFO and was picked up curbside by a family from my nanny past with their daughter and a good friend.

Burners all.

It was my welcome back to San Francisco.

Or to East Oakland as the case was for the next few months.

I realized today that it’s been a year since I returned from Paris and it’s taken nearly all that time to get myself settled in.

Funny how that happens.

John Ater told me it takes about two years to feel at home anywhere.

I was still a bit of an outsider in Paris, though rapidly gaining a foothold, despite my worst self, and had I made it a little longer, who knows, maybe I would still be there.

But that it neither here or there.

Or anywhere.

I know I will go back, whether for a visit or for something else, I don’t know.

I don’t have to know.

What I do know is that I have been in my current residence eight months now and it too is feeling like my home and my home for a while.

I hope.

I don’t feel the need to move anywhere and despite having lived in San Francisco all sorts of time, I haven’t made it two years in any one particular home.

I would like to be settled for a little while.

I think two years is a good run.

What got me thinking about it all is the May Spending Plan I did today.

I keep track of my expenditures, to the penny, and I add up the previous month and compare it to the spending plan I made the month prior to see where my expenses lay and if I need to set aside any money for something in particular.

When I was in Paris it was this week to week, day-to-day grind, whether I had money in my account, was going to eat, was going to buy a new pair of socks or have a cafe creme with my fellows.

It was tight, tight, tight.

Not so much now.

Of course, I am legal to work here, so that gives me a huge advantage over my Paris self.

Plus, I speak the language here fluently.

Small things.

Heh.

When I got back from Paris I had $10 in my wallet.

The last of my Euro’s that I had exchanged at the Bureau de Change in the Berlin airport.

That’s it.

Nothing else.

My carry on suitcase, my bicycle, which could be considered an asset, although not a liquid one.

In a year I have, not without help, oh good heavens, not without a lot of help, managed to save up enough money to put myself in my own in-law studio–deposit and first months rent–furnish it, go travel down to Florida to see my sister and my mom, buy a scooter, and get a ticket to Wisconsin to see my best friend.  I also went to Burning Man, albeit, I was paid to go, but there are still costs, get a new tattoo, small, but still, pay my phone bill, my student loans, eat well, maintain my bicycle, ride MUNI, drink expensive coffee nearly every day, put money in the basket when it gets passed my way, buy new notebooks, books, magazines, eat out, got to music–Mike Doughty, the highlight of my music experience this past year, Outside Lands, go to movies, go dancing, bought a wetsuit and have gone surfing, go to museums, pay off the return ticket from Paris, and manage to sneak a few dollars into my savings account.

Plus buy some clothes and the toiletries that I really like to have for myself.

Get manicures, pedicures, and have my eyebrows waxed.

I mention these last two things because I wasn’t doing that in Paris, it was too expensive, I was literally living hand to mouth.

There were more than one occasion when I took the money I made and went immediately to buy groceries.  I was only spending my money on the barest of bare essentials.  I was buying the cheapest toothpaste and shampoo I could afford, same with laundry detergent.

The only extra that I spent money on was the Navigo pass.

Rent, groceries, the Metro pass, cheap toiletries, and there you go.

Today, I allow myself better and I am grateful for it.

I would like to continue to thrive, I don’t need to martyr myself for an experience.

The next time I go I am going first class.

I am allowed that.

I allow myself that, I rephrase.

I am grateful for the experience and the shame and guilt for not making it over there has dissipated as I have done a lot of work and inventory and forgiveness of myself and also got some perspective and humility around it.

And a sense of humor.

What the fuck was I complaining about?

I got to spend six months in Paris.

Who says that’s a failure.

That’s like someone’s dream.

Hell, I am sure that spending six days in Paris is someone’s life long dream, probably more than one persons dream, and I got to have six months.

By the time I was forty.

I have so many more dreams I get to live out.

I mean, I really live a charmed life.

I live in San Francisco, the Paris of the West, ahem, and I live in a beautiful space with access to a back yard and sun deck, I eat organic food, I drink nice tea, I have awesome toiletries, I get my nails done, I get to ride a vintage Vespa, I live by the beach, I have an amazing life.

And friends.

And yeah.

So.

One year later.

I could not have predicted any of this, I did not know what was up, down, or around.

But I showed up, put one foot in front of the other, sometimes walking, sometimes pushing the pedals on my bicycle, and I got here.

I can’t wait to see what this next year brings.

It feels flat-out amazing where I am going to go from here.

My base has been built.

I am ready.

Home

September 10, 2013

Home.

I am home.

In my new home.

My wee little space with its scents of varnish and fresh paint.

With its bare walls and possibilities.

The blow up mattress covered in borrowed linens, the ceiling fan quiet, spinning above my head, chuckling the air about my arms as I type.

I am sitting on said blow up mattress pretty tuckered out.

I was up at 8:30 a.m. and off to the races.

I did a quick breakfast at the family home in Cole Valley, checking in with them in regards to tomorrow’s needs–8:45 a.m. to 5:45p.m. three baby juggling festival.

That’s a bit to chew off for my first day back, but after the Burning Man nanny fest, I feel fine dipping right back into it.  Besides, the babies are staggered and I usually have a moment or a minute, rare if I get five, but sometimes three minutes is all I need, to get organized and be just a step and a half ahead of the fray.

Besides I miss my other two little monkeys.

Especially the girl.

She turns two tomorrow!

I have a little present for her and I may spoil her just a teeny, tiny, HUGE, amount.

I have missed her and am still a little uncertain how I will not have her more in my life, though, certain that I cannot do a commute to North Oakland to be with her.

It’s too much travel.

I digress.

I confirmed the nanny for the morrow and I headed out the door to the N-Judah, with a quick pit stop at Peet’s for the biggest iced coffee I could get my hands on, then onto the train.

Off at Market and Van Ness to grab a few dollars from the bank, the bank which I am planning on leaving this month, I am sick of their over the top fees, for either the San Francisco Fire Credit Union or the SF Police Credit Union.

After that I hopped a bus down to Ross.

I was thinking I was going to get some stuffs for the household and then maybe go to Target.  I don’t know that I was thinking, I think I was delaying the envitable, the getting to East Oakland and taking care of the business.

I made a phone call to John Ater and talked about some things that have been on my mind and we made a plan to meet at Cafe Flore on Wednesday.

I will be sure to wear the waterproof mascara.

Then I fled Ross, hit the BART and took it out to FruitVale.

Off and into a cab and over to Graceland.

Where I promptly noticed that the fig tree was in full on flagrant display of abundance and fruit.  I pulled down a sweet dark violet fruit streaked with faint green, broke off the stem, which oozed a sticky white syrup, then bit into the most luscious dark glamorous fig I have ever eaten.

I staggered, startled by the intense lusciousness.

Then up the stairs, into the house, and low, the kittens!

Oh, we had us a reunion.

Damn, I am going to miss those cats.

They just broke my heart with goodness.

I picked through the kitchen grabbing the few household things I had, a mug from Paris, a Tupperware from Japan Town, some laundry detergent, a couple of dish towels, a few Mason jars, and a canister of oatmeal.

I hopped upstairs and realized I had even fewer possessions in the room than I had recalled.

I really had, once again, brought the majority of my life and my belongings out to Burning Man.

“You do travel light,” he said as we sat in the window seat of Peets, the same one I had started my day with, “I have your whole life in my car.”

“Please don’t drive off,” I said with a laugh, and thought, my God, once again my life in his car.

The last time it was taking me to the airport to climb into a plane bound for Paris.

This time it was loaded with my things bound for the Sunset.

As I ascertained the packing of my things at Graceland I did think of him and how this journey, this past year, is now being closed, a perfect loop, a closing of the circle, a finishing of a cycle.

He was there at the beginning and now, here he was again at the end.

I had not thought to have his help to move, my friend whose in-law I moved into this late afternoon, early evening, was supposed to help; however, she had been unable to and at the last-minute I called him.

“Please let me know if I can help,” he said to me on the phone just days before.

“Ask him for help,” my friend said, “it’s ok to ask for help.”

And ask I did.

I had been bereft when my friend said her schedule had changed and I felt abandoned and stupid and how am I going to do this, then I heard his voice in my head, and the offer, I thought, this is how it goes.

This is how it happens.

This is the way through.

He ushered me to Paris and helped me move the last time I was leaving Graceland, who better than to close the chapter and help me start another.

“I look forward to walking on the beach with you,” he said as he left me at the house, the little stack of boxes and bins not doing a thing to dwarf the small space.

“I do too,” I said as I hugged him good-bye.

“Thank you,” I finished.

Thanking him not just for the help but for the warm envelope of his smell.

A smell that leaves me weak in the knees and sends my heart crashing about in my chest.

My, it hurts, this odd aching feeling in my breast-plate, what is that?

But the recollection of leaning into the car to pull out a bin of my things and the scent of him bamboozled me, smashed into me and I almost swooned in the waft of ginger and lemon, spicy bergamot and vertiver, a soft musk and buttery shortbread cookie sweetness, causing that pang, just there.

And I swear to God, that is what I smell on him, I have never been overcome with the smell of someone like I am with him.

I die in recollection.

“Let me know if you need anymore help,” he said in closing.

Oh I will.

It scares me to not ask for that help.

However, it is not help moving my belongings I want.

I am done moving.

I am home.

It is a moving of another kind.

The move of the heart.

 


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