Archive for the ‘Oakland’ Category

Trolling Craigslist

July 31, 2018

It has begun in earnest.

Me looking for a new place to live, that is.

I dropped off the signed paperwork to the law office today that my landlady is employing to navigate the buyout.

I have officially been bought out.

I turned over the paperwork and in return I got 1/2 of the payment we agreed upon.

I will receive the other half when I turn in my keys.

I will have until October 31st to find a new place to live.

I actually looked at a place last night, but it wasn’t a good fit.

It was also a room-mate situation and although the price was great and on paper it really looked good, I realized that I was going to have to be really conscientious about what I am able to accept or not accept in a room mate.

I mean.

I have lived alone for the last five years.

I am really used to going to the bathroom naked.

For starters.

And two.

I am clean.

I am not a neat freak or obsessive, in fact, I could stand to sweep the floor a little more often, but I am tidy, my place is nice and I keep my things well.

I make my bed every morning, I wash my dishes after every meal, I like things a certain way.

I realized well I was looking at the place that while I liked the master tenant I noticed that the standards were different and for me to be comfortable I would end up cleaning a lot more and also that I suspected I would spend a lot of time in my room.

So.

I passed.

In the past that would have freaked me out a little bit.

A perfectly decent place, less rent than I pay now, good size room, laundry on site, parking.

On paper, it looks fabulous.

Not so much in person.

And I don’t want to denigrate the place I saw, it just wasn’t a good fit.

I do suspect I will end up with being on my own wherever I move to next.

I’m just so used to it and well, I have a PhD program starting soon, I am going to want and need quiet.

So I have been searching craigslist.

I don’t have to be super on top of it right yet, I do have time.

Part of the buy out was to get myself a little more time to move out, originally I was asked to move out by September 1st, which would have been over the five-day intensive in Pacifica that I have to attend to start my PhD.

Now I have until October 31st.

Which is nice and thus not too much pressure to begin the hunt, but it is there.

I know that there will be a time when I see the place and I am going to want to make a big move on it.

Grateful that I have the first half of the buyout payment to put down a deposit and first months.

And I decided to leave it in my checking account rather than put all the money in my savings.

If I need to I will be able to plop the money down immediately if something comes up.

I am also hoping, really so much so, that I will find my new place by word of mouth or referral from a friend, from my network, which is usually how I have found places.

I haven’t had a ton of luck with craigslist in the past, although I have found a couple of places.

My first being the two month sublet I had in the Mission at 22nd and York when I first moved to San Francisco nearly 16 years ago.

$650 a month for a big room in a big four bedroom house with a back yard and laundry and three levels and a big kitchen and lots of bathrooms.

Even then, I remember being told I was getting a great price for a room.

Rents in SF have never really been low, not after I lived in Madison, Wisconsin (though truth be told rents in Madison are always higher than elsewhere because of the high student population attending the UW), god I remember this one house I lived in, a house, the bottom of it at least, and how much space there was.

Oh.

God.

So much space.

Big bedroom with a walk in closet that had a window.

The closet had a window, in SF that closet would have been someone’s bedroom.

The bedroom had six windows.

Six!

I don’t have one where I live now.

Then the dining room with three big windows, the living room with a huge bay window and a screened in front porch that I alternatively rented or let friends crash on after I had broken up with my boyfriend, I needed help covering rent.

And the kitchen, which was huge, the bathroom was good-sized and yes, had a window.

There was a full basement I didn’t ever really use, except to wash laundry.

A back yard.

And a garage.

A fucking garage.

I paid $750 for this palace and that included utilities.

And I thought that was expensive.

I can’t find a studio in-law in the city right now for under $1600.

And the ones that are that price are shady, nasty, basement dwelling things.

I know that I need light and air and space after living in my little studio for the last five years.

I want a bathtub.

My god it would be nice to have a bathtub again.

I want laundry on site, wood floors, high ceilings, light, lots and lots and lots of light, windows, and yes, I know I’m crazy, a place to park.

I don’t necessarily need a garage or a driveway, I just need to live somewhere that it is relatively safe to park my car and I can park it close to where I live.

Which means.

The Tenderloin is out and that is where most of the “affordable” studios are, $1700-$2000 a month, and I am not, repeat, am not, living in the Tenderloin.

My car would get broke into every other day.

I would be dealing with rampant drug use and homelessness and crazy.

I like being out in the Outer Sunset at this point because it is quiet and though there are homeless folk, there’s not rampant drug use.

I need serenity where I live.

So yeah, not Tenderloin for me.

And before you ask.

No East Bay either or Pacifica or Sausalito.

I need to stay in the city proper.

My schedule is just too tight to navigate anything further out.

So.

The search has begun.

If you hear of anything.

Let me know.

Seriously.

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I Got Asked

March 13, 2018

I answered a phone call today, a phone call with a number that I did not recognize.

I knew immediately it was a number I should answer, it was not an odd ball number from Indiana or Wisconsin asking me if I wanted to renew my health care or a telemarketing scheme from some small town in Florida.

No.

It was an Oakland number.

Therefor local.

Therefore, necessary to answer.

I am a well-trained monkey, as part of my recovery I stay connected to people in my community by phone.

I often give out my phone number to complete strangers.

Women!

Only the ladies, thank you.

So that’s what I thought the number was.

A support call from someone, someone who I gave out my number to, some one who I may have recently met.

Happens quite frequently and when I am able, I answer those numbers.

It was not who I was expecting.

It was, in fact a woman, and it was also a stranger, but not from my fellowship.

From my school!

I got the call!

I got the call!

I got the call back to go in to interview for the PhD program.

I have made it through to the next round.

I mean.

I am going to sound a little cocky, but I am fairly certain I’m getting in.

Nonetheless.

It was thrilling to talk to her on the phone and to set up a time to go in and interview.

I will be interviewing with the department on Wednesday, March 28th at 10 a.m.

I have already cleared it with the mom to go into work late that day.

And.

Yes.

Yes, I just did.

I finished it before I started to write this blog.

I sent in the Diversity Scholarship application.

I got my financials together to show proof of need.

Hello.

I could just say I’m a nanny and I live in San Francisco, doesn’t that prove need?

But I sent in my tax forms to be transparent.

And the application itself as well as the personal essay explaining a little bit about me and what I am going to do to further diversity in my community.

I think I wrote a pretty good essay and I just let it flow.

Here’s what I wrote:

Diversity Scholarship Application

My name alone should alert one to the applicable nature of the scholarship, Carmen Regina Martines. I am Hispanic, Puerto Rican, Polynesian as well as Caucasian. I am a melting pot, I am a mix, I am the person who straddles the line between. And in that space I have an important role to play. I have dealt with the internal racism of my family, the white part as well as the non-white part, apparently neither side of my family wanted a “half-breed” a moniker one set of grandparents gave, while the other referred to me under their breath as Hapa Haole, a prettier way to say half-breed.

I am neither and I am both. I have found myself often wondering to which side I truly fall, not realizing that all along I fell along with the Puerto Rican and Polynesian parts of me—at least physically, if not spiritually (your  great, great-grandmother was a witch, my mother told me, on the islands she was well-known and revered). My great, great-grandmother was a midwife and a medicine woman, in other words, a witch. I have brown skin, brown eyes, curly brown hair, wide flat Polynesian feet, a wide Puerto Rican nose, full lips, I have been called a “wet back” I have been told I should go back to Mexico (I am neither Mexican, nor have I ever been to Mexico). I have had my name constantly and continuously mispronounced and misspelled. An Aunt, my favorite aunt on my mother’s side of the family recently spelled it wrong on social media, an aunt who lived with my immediate family for years.

If my own family cannot spell my name, then who can? I can. I lead by my example, I lead by strength and resilience, and I spell my name out to the world and I keep correcting the world until it sits up and listens, I am not here to be quiet any more. I am here to meet the two worlds halfway and instead of being somehow lessened by who I am, I become more. I have advocated for myself to get into the ICPW program at CIIS despite extreme financial hardship when I applied, I won the Diversity in Leadership award and that helped greatly, and then I won something else, I won self-advocacy, I won my voice, the full strength of it and I have every intention on using it, growing it and advocating for others, especially women, especially now, to step into their power and find their voice.

I began that journey by getting sober and abstinent from drugs and alcohol, and though I never felt different __________________, I will say I have felt different in school where I found myself to be the “only” quite often in my cohort. I grew strong first in _____ and then in school and I believe that between the two I have created a kind of crucible for change that I do not believe many have the capacity to manifest. I plan on carrying forth this deep identity and passion, my voice, my person, my experience, forward in my studies to help others embody their own power and story, and also to create new narratives, while not letting the old stories die, but rather to have them inform the new. I do not wish to stare at my past, but rather to acknowledge where I have come from—extreme poverty, neglect, violence, abuse, racism, classism, and sexism, and show how those defects, thrust upon me by others to create the worlds they needed to move through, are in actuality, assets by which I have grown, and grown through.

I have a roster of multi-cultural clients at my practicum (soon to be internship!), some full; some half, some mixed ethnicities, all with their own traumas around diversity. I am so situated to hold those stories and help reframe them in meaningful strength based ways. I believe that the continued furthering of my education will only help me to continue as a strong voice in my community, in recovery, in San Francisco, in California, and yes, I do believe, that it does ripple out, one person to the next, throughout the world, landing where it is most needed and welcomed. That is what I believe.

 

Ta da.

Hopefully that works.

And though, it’s not the essay I was planning on writing, it was what came out and I am happy with it.

And now.

I am happy to wrap this up.

I have done enough work for today.

Supervision, before work, work with a screaming baby (poor little guy has a UTI!), two clients, and all the work on the application.

I am done.

I am good.

I am so happy it’s all in.

And.

I go the interview!

Yes.

It’s Late

October 30, 2017

But not really.

It just feels like it is.

I had a half lazy day, half busy day, and a “I was half way out of it day,” at one point from going to bed so late last night.

2:30 a.m.

I cannot remember the last time I went to bed at that hour.

I had gone out dancing with a dear girlfriend.

We met up in the city at Brenda’s Meat and Three where I had wrapped up a delicious dinner with my person, cheese grits with shrimp, bacon and tomato.

My God.

It was so good, I could have licked the bowl.

The server laughed when I said that, and added, “I’ve seen it happen.”

I do not doubt it.

I once licked a plate at a meal out with friends, but I suspect I was a little tipsy when I did it.

The grits were just that good.

I will be having them again.

And I got a lot of compliments on my costume

I went as a sugar skull from Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).

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It was my first time trying to do the makeup.

I think I did pretty good, all things considered.

The place that I stop at, Ulta Beauty over by the Nordstrom Rack and Trader Joes shopping area, was out of Halloween face paint.

I was like.

Seriously?

You guys are a freaking makeup store!

It’s three days before Halloween and you’re already sold out?

What the heck!

But.

I’m a clever girl.

First I asked what the lightest foundation that they had in the store was.

I’m brown-skinned enough that a very light foundation is going to look close to white on my skin.

Then I got a finishing powder that was tinted with green to pull any redness from my face and then another that was a translucent white powder.

Then I pillage the NYX cheap makeup.

Big white eyeliner, big black eyeliner, a pink one, a turquoise one, and a liquid eyeliner in lilac with glitter.

And I found a really cool blue lip gloss that was matte and had glitter in it.

I have no idea when I’m ever going to use this make up again.

But the end result, though not professional caliber, well, I thought, was pretty damn good.

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I actually got a lot of compliments last night, both at Brenda’s and at the dance.

My friend also had a great costume, she was a Hip Hop Zombie.

Which was apropos as we were going to the Time Travelers Ball in Oakland.

Great music, lots of old hip hop, lots of funk, so early electronic, old 80s and late 70s movies playing on the wall, great light system, a small fire in the courtyard, in a portable fire pit.

I ran into a few folks, from, yes, of all places, Burning Man.

I didn’t recognize the woman at all who came up and squealed at me, and how she recognized me with all that makeup on, I have no idea, but she did.

It was a good time.

And.

Heh.

Although I did not make the top three prizes in the costume contest, I did win an honorable mention and was given back my entrance fee and an open bar tab.

Which for me was hilarious to contemplate.

I had a La Croix.

It was tasty.

Heh.

And.

I had fun and I danced a lot, so much so that I was afraid I was going to break a sweat and my make up was going to slide off my face.

It stuck though.

It stuck really well, it took a lot of make up removing wipes and washing my face to get it off, in fact, I didn’t get all the white eyeliner off, man I tried, but I gave up the ghost at some point.

I was also up late as it was 9 hours a head in Paris and my best girl friend from school sent me a message on What’s App about having a Face Time session and I just said, fuck it, it is super hard for us to co-ordinate our time, so screw it, yes, I had a Face Time session this morning around 1:45 a.m.

It was so good to see her face and hear her voice.

Oh, how I miss her.

We got caught up and talked about all the things and made some tentative plans to see each other in the new year.

She may be coming back for a training and I’m pretty sure I’ll be in Europe in July and I’m going to make sure I go up to Paris and spend time with her.

I was in tears when I got off the call, it was super hard to hang up.

But man, it was late.

And I had lunch date that I wanted to be ready for.

I was going to sleep 8 hours, I was.

I set my alarm for 10:30 a.m., which is unheard of for me, but I figured, I can skip yoga, I got a workout dancing, and I want a full nights sleep.

of course.

I was up at 8:30 a.m.

Which is why it feels late right now when it’s not really.

I’m glad for it though, I did a ton of writing and I had a leisurely breakfast and a quick phone call with my best friend and plans to connect later.

Which was sweet.

So sweet.

And then off across town to Mario’s on Columbus and Union.

I hadn’t been there before, but it was classic, pure North Beach Italian Cafe and bar.

It was so good to see my friend and we chatted about all things art and kindness and words and poetry and talked about Burning Man, since that’s where we met three years ago, and projects, and life.

I am enthralled with that aspect of my life, that sometimes, out of nowhere, because I am moved to connect with someone, a new relationship happens.

It startles me every time.

It was like that with my best girl in Paris, we were sitting next to each other, an empty seat between us, at the first year retreat for our school.

And we turned to each other and we’ve never turned away.

The loveliness of it still astounds.

The people in my life who I love, who I consider my family, my loves, my friends, I am so, so lucky to know.

Beyond lucky.

Graced.

I am graced.

And tired.

Just saying.

I got a lot of other stuff done today too, grocery shopping, lots of cooking, lots of homework.

But really.

It was the connecting with my friends, with my people, with my loves, that made the most impact on my today.

An hour-long phone conversation sitting on a bench in the sunlight (the only sunlight that I got to see, man was it cold and foggy today) at Washington Square Park.

The confirmation of love.

The power of poetry.

The great gifts of kindness.

The art of being human.

It gets me every time.

Every time.

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.

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.

 


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