Archive for the ‘Tattoo’ Category

Surreal

July 15, 2017

Having a Friday off.

It didn’t feel like a Friday.

My mind was confused and wobbly.

My phone has been working oddly, text not ringing through, missed phone calls.

Sleeping in.

I mean.

For me.

Really sleeping in.

Although I awoke, as per usual in the early morning the sun light muffled and opalescent in the fog which reflects back this brightness that is at once soft and dull and too bright to sleep.

I got up and used the bathroom and crawled back into bed.

I looked at my phone.

Too early.

I have hours, literally hours before I need to be awake.

I lay for a while running through my day.

Shhh.

Stop it brain.

Let it go.

Don’t make all your plans right now.

You don’t need to be anywhere but back asleep.

There was a moment when I almost just got up.

Then.

Miraculous miracle.

I feel back asleep.

And I slept for another hour and 45 minutes!

I was shocked.

I hopped out of bed and took a super hot shower.

I pulled up my hair.

No need to wash it when I am going to be getting it done, I mean, that would be ridiculous.

And I did get it done.

I am very happy with it, even though the blow out doesn’t suit my true self, it’s just a little too polished, a little too sleek and slippery, not my real curly textured hair.

But.

I always get the blow out.

It feels so luxurious to have someone spend that much time on my hair, the gentle heat and the round brush and I just close my eyes and drift off.

My colorist did a beautiful job on my hair and no more blond highlights, all back to a nice dark chocolate-brown.

Of course my natural color is not quite as dark as she took it, but the color fades after a wash or two and then my softer highlights begin to show through.

And.

Yes.

The grays too.

They are there, springing up at my temples, in the part on my head, streaks of silver.

At lest they are silver and not grey.

They are pretty little glints in my hair, and really, I have nothing to complain about.

I mean.

I am 44 after all.

It is pretty standard for women to be greying far earlier than 44.

I have good genetics but nature does march on and I have noticed them more in my hair and I am not upset by them, just curious to see how they come in.

Almost as I am with the fine web of lines around my eyes that I see more and more when I smile.

“You are such a friendly person,” the mom I work for said to me yesterday.

We were talking about how security is at airports and how she’s been stopped and what it was like and how I have been stopped and what that was like and that it will tend to happen more for me if I am showing a lot of tattoos.

I told her I forget often times that I have tattoos, even when I am currently thinking of getting another on my right forearm and having the one on my left forearm, the one I got in Paris, touched up (as it will be difficult to take time out of my schedule and hop a plane and go back to Paris to get it touched up), that I will not realize until someone says something or stares.

“You have such a big smile,” she continued, “no one notices the tattoos so much as the smile.”

Such a nice thing to hear.

And from an employer.

I am grateful, so grateful for my employer.

I am also grateful to have some time off.

I’ll be doing a few more yoga classes during the week days.

I will find my playa bike for Burning Man.

I won’t be mail ordering it, haha, not after the last one got stolen.

I will probably also source my Aids LifeCycle bicycle, I have a couple of leads and am going to be pursuing checking them out.

I will be hitting the Imperial Day Spa with a girlfriend tomorrow after my internship, she’s been sick and asked for some hang out time and suggested the spa for an afternoon of detoxing with a good hard sweat and some cold plunge action.

Of course I said yes.

I’ll be going to my internship tomorrow, as per usual and doing laundry at the laundry mat, the washer hasn’t been replaced yet here at the house.

And I’ll go to my 7p.m. commitment on Divisadero.

It’s a good day.

Sunday will be similar to most of my Sundays–yoga, self-care, grocery shopping, meeting with a lady and doing the deal, going to a church somewhere and sitting in a folding chair, cooking some food for the week, writing.

And it will be chill.

As I still have my supervisor meeting at 9a.m. at Fell and Gough on Monday morning.

But.

Instead of going to work afterward like I typically do on a Monday.

I will be going to the MOMA with an old friend who I don’t get to see very often.

I ran into her a couple of weeks ago and we discussed getting together and we both love museums and I have a MOMA membership.

I love that  membership.

It is such a nice thing to do, go wander around and look at art, and to do it with a friend is so nice.

Especially one whom I used to see on a weekly basis and now don’t see for months at a time.

I’ve suggested a MOMA date to a lot of my friends as I slowly start mapping out the time that I have off.

I don’t know what the middle of the afternoon will look like as I still have my internship in the evening at 6:30p.m.

I am sure I will find something to do.

It is odd having the time off from work, like I said, being downtown today on a Friday, getting my hair done, I was all confused and distracted by the amount of business people out and the rushing here and there and the traffic, but it was so nice to sit still and be taken care of for a little while.

I’m going to leave it there.

It was such a lovely day off.

Divine really.

I am excited for more of such days.

And grateful for every moment of this one.

Every single moment.

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Foiled!

July 14, 2017

But not really.

I mean.

Yes, I am a bit disappointed that the Friday 8:30 a.m. yoga class I was going to hit up was cancelled.

Boo hiss.

But.

On the other hand.

I get to sleep in!

Yes!

Especially after a full week and a very, very, very full day today.

It was a good day, but it certainly had some big pockets of anxiety.

Not mine either.

The family I nanny for left today for three weeks.

THREE!

Oh my God am I so excited to have some down time.

I actually.

Wait for it.

I have the whole day off tomorrow!

The whole fucking day.

Can you tell I’m excited?

Like.

Over the god damn moon.

No clients.

No internship.

No paperwork.

Not as though they didn’t try.

Ugh.

I had an e-mail today that I wasn’t paying much attention to as I was busy helping the parents get ready for their trip.

I had to do a lot of monkey wrangling today and the monkeys did not want to be wrangled.

When I showed up the oldest boy was already in his travel clothes with his back pack on his back.

Oh dear.

They didn’t leave for the airport until 4p.m. today.

It was 9a.m. when I showed up for work.

Sigh.

I could tell it was going to be a challenge, but I was game for what was happening, although I thought I might lose it when the two oldest siblings just about killed each other at the playground.

They are really physical kids and sometimes I think they go at it a little too hard, somebody gets too aggressive, somebody pokes too hard, or pulls hair or bites and all hell breaks lose the the sister goes bananas.

I mean.

The lady can howl bloody murder.

I also know when she’s faking for attention, so there’s that, but like, the rest of the playground doesn’t know that, she sounds like she’s dying but it’s just dramatics.

I let it go as long as I can, hoping they will work it out and once in a while I do have to intervene.

And of course, though it was pulling teeth to get them to the playground, when it was actually time to rally and go back up the hill, we were at the Noe Valley Rec Center, they didn’t want to go home.

Haha.

Ah.

Nanny life.

They did get home though, and by the time I got them across the MUNI tracks at the end of Church Street and heading up the hill on Chenery, they started to get excited.

So too, did I.

I could see the end of my shift in sight and though I was going to have some down time in between my client that I saw tonight and the end of my shift, I was happy that my shift was about over.

It did seem like an extra long day.

Just the anticipation and the anxiety and the double and triple checking the passports and visas and id’s and snacks and last minute laundry, and cleaning out the fridge (I was given three pounds of asparagus as a parting gift and two avocados that hadn’t been eaten.  What the hell am I going to do with that much asparagus?  Soup maybe.) and getting the keys to the house and making sure I had an extra set of car keys if there was an emergency and also co-ordinating the cars and the all of it.

It was a lot.

So yeah.

Four o’clock and I was able to zoom out.

I got a check for the overtime I worked this week.

Yeah.

Overtime.

And I’m interning, but whatever I got to make it through and yes, I am a bit disappointed about the lack of yoga but the additional sleep in time will be nice.

The time I had in between work and my client this evening was spent running errands, post office, zip home, drop off package, collect mail, tidy house, clean bathroom, masturbate, ahem, I needed to de-stress after I sat down and checked my e-mails.

They booked me a client for tomorrow!

NO!!!

I said no clients.

I wanted to have this one fucking Friday free.

What the hell?

I was upset.

I have plans.

I thought about contacting the person I am seeing tomorrow and saying, well, shoot, sorry, I got a client, but then I saw it was a consult and I was like, no, this is bullshit, I marked the calendar clearly and I do not want to take a consult tomorrow.

NO.

I started an e-mail and then I was like, why the hell am I fucking around.

Call my assistant director.

I did.

We cleared it up.

I have tomorrow off.

Which is fucking good since I’m getting my hair done.

Cut and color and a blow out.

Please and thank you.

I laughed with the mom today when she asked if I was doing anything fun, besides working at my internship while they were on vacation.  And I told her I was going to a ritzy upscale salon downtown to get my hair did.

I always feel a bit out of place there, so many ashy blondes with razor cut layers, so much money, the atmosphere is very white, upscale, wealthy, which is fine, I just feel a little out of place, although I like to play like I have money and I hazard I tip better than the majority of the clients, much better.

The cut and color will still be a pretty fucking penny, but I don’t care, hello student loan summer disbursement.

Thanks overtime check from this week and last week.

I got the cash and I deserve to be a little spoiled.

Anyway.

I do like Harper Paige (good grief even the name sounds like ash highlights and toner), I get a sassy cup of coffee, fashion magazines, and the prettiest smock I’ve ever worn getting a hair cut.

And.

I know the colorist.

I have known her for over twelve years and she’s amazing and probably has as many tattoos as I do and we have a lot of mutual friends in common, I mean a lot.

So.

She’s the reason why I’m “slumming” at a fancy pants salon down town.

I’m even going to skip taking my scooter and splurge on a car.

Get all dressed up, wear some stockings, put on some heels and a pretty frock and really play the part, you know, tattoos be damned, I can look hella polished and femme when I want to.

I’m so excited.

It feels nice to take the time and let myself be properly pampered.

I may even book a massage over the next couple of weeks.

I have a tentative MOMA date with a girlfriend Monday after I meet with my supervisor and some lunch dates and coffee dates with friends lined up.

Nothing solid yet, but I’m going to enjoy my time “off” so much.

I’ll still be taking clients.

Just not tomorrow.

Heh.

Here’s to a very well deserved day off.

I mean.

Seriously.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Sunshine & Rain

May 17, 2017

I got both today.

Loads of sun this morning and early afternoon.

Perfect for sitting on the deck of the houseboat and writing and drinking cafe au lait, watching the boats go by, flirting with the boat cats–there are three brown tabbies that nestle on the houseboat that is docked next to this one, soaking up the sun.

The rain was forecasted for tonight and the rain will last, according to the weather, but I am hoping there will be small reprieves when the sun comes out again, until I leave on Sunday morning.  There is a chance for sun again on Saturday and I do hope that happens as a friend and I are going to go hit the Clingancourt brocante and vintage market.

I expect that the rain will push me into the Louvre tomorrow to see the Vermeer show and drift about.

I don’t ever have a plan when I go to the Louvre, go in, get out, drop some postcards at La Bureau de Posts–nothing quite like getting the Louvre postal stamp on your postcard.

Slight aside.

I got an amazing congratulations baby card today in my travels about, one that says congrats on twins in French!  Super happy I found it, I will be dropping that off for sure from the Louvre.

Today I did the Pompidou as my museum.

And there was no need to do another.

It filled me up with art.

I saw a Vassily Kandinsky I had never seen before that I quite liked, I love his early works quite a bit, and this fell into that category.

I also saw some beautiful photographs and I took loads of photographs from the top deck of the Pompidou.

I got some great shots of Sacre Couer and also of the Eiffel Tower, the Eiffel Tower ones I am quite enamored with as the storm clouds were coming in dark and fierce.

The down pour that followed was insane.

I had met a friend at the museum and we ran through the streets, well, ok, I didn’t run, not so much, the ankle is getting better, but it is not racing through the wet streets of Paris better, between awnings and eventually we ducked into a Japanese restaurant.

Some hot tea and a little sushi later, semi-dry, and walking back to the houseboat on the Seine in the rain.

Sometimes when it rains in Paris it is fucking desperate and awful.

I remember when I moved to Paris in the winter of 2012 how bad it was, so cold, so dreary, but tonight it was neither, after the deluge, the rains were misty and softer and the streets got that glow from slick water on pavement and the streetlights, green, gold, crimson reflected on the pavement.

So gorgeous.

I got back wet and I had to take a lot of pains to get on the house boat without breaking my ankle, but I did, and I’m dry now and all sorted out.

I took some time to go through my photographs and post those up to my social media and I also took the things I bought today out of their packaging so that I would have more room to smash them all in my carry on.

I am about shopped out.

I spent just about all the money on shopping that I have earmarked for myself.

Um.

Because.

Heh.

I finally let myself buy some French lingerie.

I had to.

I have always wanted to and so.

Well.

I did.

I got two of the prettiest bra and panty sets ever and a body suit.

I couldn’t help myself.

It was trop cher, ma cherie, but I had it in my budget and so I let myself do it.

It felt pretty glorious and truth be told it was really letting myself have a treat.

A treat that I continued to let myself have by also getting a few more Claire Fontaine notebooks and some makeup from Sephora.

Yes.

There is Sephora in San Francisco, but I wanted to buy some here, I try to get a thing or two from the Paris Sephora since it was in Paris in 2002 that I first discovered the makeup store.

I bought a lipstick and some Urban Decay eye shadows.

Sure.

I paid a few Euro more than what I might have at home, but every time I use it, I will think of Paris and that is well worth the cost.

And.

Yes.

I got my tattoo!

C’est très superb!

I got the French word for non-conformist on my left forearm.

“Anticonformiste.”

In script.

It is super pretty and fits well with my other tattoos.

I had fun talking to the artist, Manish, who is visiting from Nepal.

I also got to have some cute conversations with a few gentlemen who walked into the store to get tattoos, one older man who was quite excited by my dragons and then proceeded to show me the one on his arm, beautiful work, and we chit chatted in French about tattoos for a while and where I got mine and how much fun they are.

All the fun stuff.

I have had such a lovely time.

And I still have a few days left for some more.

The rain speaks to me of sleeping in and a slow serene day at the Louvre tomorrow.

A demain, mes amies.

Et.

A bientot!

Number One

April 25, 2017

It’s official.

I have logged my first hour of supervision towards my MFT License for the state of California.

Only 2,999 to go!

Heh.

I’m so happy it’s hard to believe that I could be this excited about having to work so many more hours, free, mind you, or not free if you consider how much I have taken out in student loans to pay for the Master’s in Psychology degree that I am working on, but excited I am.

I also just set up my Track My Hours account, which is a BBS (Board of Behavioral Sciences) approved way of tracking the hours needed to get the license.

It’s happening.

I will be tracking solo supervision with my off site supervisor, once a week.

I met with him today and we talked about being in service to the client, tracking my hours, figuring out what my record keeping was going to be like, confidentiality, my time off for the week I’m in Paris (I can only miss two supervision dates for the semester, Paris will be one of them and Burning Man the other, at least for this semester), and what I want to think about or questions I may have for our next session.

I’ll meet with him two more times before I start taking clients at my internship.

There I will be accruing the majority of my hours for practicum, solo one on one client hours, child hours, couple hours, group hours.

I will also be tracking my own therapy hours, since my program requires I do 50 hours of personal therapy with a licensed MFT as well.

Tomorrow will be my fifth time meeting with her.

I am actually excited to share about getting my first hour of supervision today and what that feels like.

Exciting.

Exhilarating.

Happy.

There’s a very long way to go but I know that I need to acknowledge this milestone, it is a big one, my first hour.

It’s like the first dollar of a new business.

Especially as this is going to be my career, this is what I am doing, this is what I am, a psychotherapist.

I will be licensed and I will have a private practice.

I will also go for my PhD, because, well, I can be of more service in my community, I might as well, as my supervisor at my internship is supporting me in that endeavor.

And.

Ha.

Dr. Martines has a really fucking nice ring to it.

Don’t you think?

I’m really thrilled right now and happy.

I still have loads to do this week, two more papers to write, some more work to get out-of-the-way, but it’s happening, this is happening, one little hour at a time.

One day at a time.

Showing up and suiting up and learning.

God damn.

All the learning.

I also received a verification e-mail from my Couples Therapy teacher, my final paper made it to him.

Grateful that’s out-of-the-way.

And I got a small present, from me, to me, in the mail.

My perfume in a small travel size that I can take with me when I go to Paris.

I ordered it because I knew I would want to smell good when I’m there and it’s another little carrot for me to get the work done so I can go.

I am going to need every single second of that ten days in Paris because life is going to get really full once I get back.

I start my internship the day after I return from Paris.

I will be jet lagged as fuck, but I will be there.

I will also be in supervision that day as well, and a full day of work, and all those things.

I however will be fine.

Ten days in Paris.

So close I can taste it.

I can hear it.

I was talking to my supervisor today about it, he asked where I’m staying, how much French do I speak, what will I do.

I mean.

What won’t I do?

But first.

Here and now.

Therapy in the morning and work and having a conversation with the mom about hours for summer, the kids will not be in school and she wants me to start earlier.

And work more hours.

40 instead of 35.

I’ll be able to do it since won’t be in school.

Neither here nor there, yet.

Just on the horizon.

Day to-day I have my marching orders to get through what needs to be taken care of.

Travel perfume.

Check.

Passport.

Check.

Cute sandals for walking around Paris?

Check.

Place to stay?

Check.

I’ll be grabbing a museum pass at the airport when I fly in and I’ll be off and running, well, walking, one strolls through Paris, not runs, unless one is there to run the marathon, which I am not.

The only marathon I am going to be doing is how many museums can I get to in one day.

If done well, I can get the Jeu de Paume, the Orangerie, and the D’Orsay in one day, they’re all rather close together and accessible.

I can do the Louvre, or not, although if I have the pass I probably will, in one day, and there’s so much that to do anything else except drink coffee, is probably too much.

I’ll do the Pompidou on its own.

I’ll hit the Musee Moderne and the Palais de Tokyo on the same day, they’re right next to each other.

I might go to the Rodin museum.

I will absolutely get myself out to the LVMH that Frank Gehry designed.

And I think I may hit the Musee Marmottan Monet.

Aside from that, walks in the Marais, markets, and Claire Fontaine notebooks.

Oh.

Heh.

And a tattoo.

I will want to do that too.

Perhaps something to commemorate my first hour of supervision.

Yes.

I rather like that idea.

Anyway.

Off to have some tea and get a little rest.

I have much to do.

And do it I shall.

HOUR ONE LOGGED!

Heh.

Sorry.

Just had to say it one more time before I turn in.

It’s kind of a big deal.

 

No More Tattoos

February 20, 2017

There.

I mean.

I don’t know that I can say no more tattoos, tattoos I think will continue to happen, but.

No more tattoos there.

Specifically on my collar-bone.

Whoooee getting my touch up today was not intolerable, but I had some dread going back in, which is fairly unusual for me in getting work done.

Especially with something so small, but the location and the thinness of the skin over the collar-bone, really was, well not excruciating, but challenging for sure.

I have an idea for a tattoo I’d like to get next year but aside from that I have no other tattoo plans in sight.

In fact.

I was thinking that the one I get next year may be it for a good while.

Then again.

A lady can change her mind.

It’s just that I am not feeling the need for more ink.

Granted.

I’ll probably get to Paris in May and go to Abraxas and want a tattoo.

I do like me a tattoo as a souvenir of my travels.

I have two from Paris and one I got in New York.

The rest of my work has been gotten here in San Francisco.

I have had one primary artist.

Barnaby Williams.

He is currently at Tiger’s Blood in Alameda.

I first went to Barnaby when he was the owner of Mom’s in the Haight.

I had made an appointment to get a dragon tattoo from Barnaby.

I walked into the shop into a huge bear hug from the man and big mournful eyes.

“Hey,” he said quietly, “how ya doin’?”

I teared up.

“I’m ok, but um, I don’t want to do the dragon tattoo anymore,” I said, eyes blurred and starting to sniffle, “I want to get a memorial instead.”

He nodded.

Sat down and drew out the tattoo for me.

Two white French Tulips.

(Shadrach’s favorite flowers)

And the last line of the elegy that Dylan Thomas wrote for his father.

Until I die/He will not leave my side.

It was written in beautiful calligraphic script.

The flowers he outlined and used white ink on, white does not traditionally stick very well, but it seems to have weathered the test of time.

I have had the tattoo for 9.5 years and it still looks bright and fresh.

It was the biggest piece I had gotten up until that point.

The other two were small, a cover up on my left shoulder of my name in flames, a cover up that Barnaby later covered  up with a dragon, classic little known tattoo–the cover up of the cover up.

In the end, so far.

Barnaby has done two dragons on me, both left arm and right arm, and a beautiful pink Jackalope surrounded by French Marguerite daisies, my favorite flowers.

I have had work done as well.

By Ross K. Jones out of Idle Hand on Haight Street.

Although when I got tattooed by Ross he was out of a warehouse space in the SOMA before warehouse spaces in the SOMA were at a premium.

Ross tattooed my first set of stars.

Seven stars for seven years of sobriety.

To this day I can say that Ross has one of the gentlest approaches and best bedside manner of any tattoo artist I have had.

I have one tattoo from a guest Chinese tattoo artist at Abraxas in Paris when I was there last year at Christmas, his name was Bin and we “talked” via Google translator.

He did the Reve (pop a circumflex over the “e” in reve and you get “dream” in French) piece on my chest plate.

Despite the area being a thinner place of skin, he was fast, smooth, efficient, gentle, it was quite a bit less painful than I thought it was going to be.

Barnaby has done one star as well–he did number 10, which was a bit bigger than my other ones and I had him do an homage to Van Gough’s Starry Night painting, but I asked him to use yellow and pink in the tattoo (thereby balancing the pink of the other stars that I had and complementing the sky blue ones I have as well).

Danny Boy Smith, at Let it Bleed on Polk Street, has done two of my stars.

Number 11, which I had him do as a black star to homage David Bowie’s passing last year and also my 11th year in recovery.

And.

This current new star, star number 12.

Which is a soft pastel blue with black outline.

I like my tattoos.

They tell me a story.

They are beautiful art pieces.

I am connected to each in memorable ways and each has meaning to me.

They needn’t tell anyone’s story but my own.

I often forget I have them and will be startled occasionally when someone references them.

In Paris it was challenging, albeit not so much the last time I was there since it was winter, when I have shown off a lot of tattoos.

There are plenty of shops and plenty of people with tattoos in Paris, it’s become quite a bit more acceptable, but I have gotten some stares, tell you what.

Especially at the swimming pool or just walking the streets or going through the Metro stations.

I forget about them too, living in San Francisco.

It seems like everyone has one.

But some, well, some are better than others and I can tell the jail tats from the gang tats from the home-made gun tats and the sleeves of suddenly wealthy dot-com kids who made it big in the 90s to the hipster tattoos and throw back retro vintage Sailor Jerry tattoo art that is so popular today with the Millennials.

I was getting tattooed and pierced long before it was popular.

I don’t care about the time line on it, it’s just an observation.

I am grateful though, that I have had such great artists in my tattoo history.

I am proud of my ink.

Sometimes it is a mask to hide behind.

Sometimes it is a shield.

You cannot hurt me I have done the hurting already.

Sometimes it is art.

It is beauty.

The narrative of my recovery and the sheltering sky storms brewed up in my psyche.

Just another indelible way I wear my heart on my sleeve.

I’m serious.

Courtesy of Mat Moreno out of Three Kings Tattoo in Brooklyn.

I have a heart tattoo with cherry blossoms on my left inner arm.

Heh.

 

 

Poetry In Translation

February 6, 2017

Is like taking a shower in a raincoat.

Yes.

I went and saw a movie today.

That was a line between two of the characters.

It was lyric and sweet and the sweep of it was soft and gorgeous.

I was unexpectedly free this afternoon.

I had some things come up and I had to change my plans.

I had managed to get up and go to yoga, even though I really didn’t think I was going to after the late night I had last night.

I had turned off my alarm and just planned to let myself sleep in, but I was up in time to make the late morning yoga class and I went.

I really didn’t think I was going to, even after I had gotten out of bed.

I went and washed my face and brushed my teeth, drank a glass of water, took my iron supplement and flax-seed oil and went to get dressed.

I opened the door to the closet and pulled off my yoga pants from the rack and put them on.

I almost laughed out loud.

It was just so automated, my body telling my brain what it wanted to do and just doing it regardless of the brain that was like, no, you’re not going, my body was like, sorry Charlie, as my hands pulled up my yoga pants and then my sports bra and top, I actually chuckled at myself, I was that surprised.

Sometimes I have smart feet and they just carried me along despite my brains weak protestations that I could just go at another time.

Yeah.

Sure brain.

You get me into some hot spots you know, why don’t you just take a back seat today.

The yoga was good, but hard, I mean, it was a super challenging class, but I found myself letting it be hard and doing what I could to keep up and just being there was more than good enough.

I came back home, changed and made breakfast.

I did some inventory and decided that I needed to change-up my plans for the day, but I was till going to head down to Let It Bleed and see my tattoo artist.

I need some touching up on the star tattoo I got two weeks ago.

But.

Shoot.

It’s not fully healed.

“Nope, I’m not going to touch it, the skin’s too tight, it’ll end up tearing, you’ll scar, we need to wait a little longer,” he told me.

So.

No tattoo for me today.

Suddenly having time, I called a friend in the Mission, let’s hang out, I said on the message.

I started to walk towards the Mission and decided to go see a movie before I headed over to my friend’s house.

I ducked into Opera Plaza and saw Paterson.

It was just the perfect reprieve and the perfect place to watch a matinée on a rainy Sunday in San Francisco.

The theater was actually quite a bit fuller than I had expected and it was cozy, smelling of warm buttered popcorn and the soft warmth lulled me and the movie with its fluidity of images and poetic moments, its small details and artistry drew me in.

I left happy and content and meandered a nice mellow walk to my friend’s house.

We chatted, had tea, he fed me an apple and a thick slice of brie, we caught up, compared notes about this and that, school, mutual friends, life.

It was just right.

Then I headed over to Firewood Cafe up in the Castro and had a big heart to heart with my person about the events of my day and got some suggestions and afterwards we went over to Diamond and 18th and hung out with a big group of fellows and I got to be held and it felt so good to sit next to someone who loves me and gives me perspective and also doesn’t sugar coat anything and yet advocates for me in a way I am not sure anyone has ever done before.

And now home.

Some Jeff Buckley on the stereo, I was just talking about the show that I saw him in when he was on tour with his album Grace last night with my friend in Oakland.

I love you.

But.

I am afraid to love you.

How I heard the news when he died, drowning in a river, the Mississippi to be exact.

I was setting up the Angelic Brewing Company for that night’s dinner service and had cued up Grace to play on the sound system and one of the waitresses walked past and stopped and said, “God, weren’t you devastated when you heard he’d died?  I haven’t been able to listen to this yet, thanks for playing it now.”

I gasped.

I had remembered only that day wondering when he was going to be on tour again, impatiently waiting for his long over due album My Sweetheart, The Drunk.

I ended up giving him a eulogy in my speech class that semester and crying shamelessly during it.

Music moves me.

When he sang Leonard Cohen’s version of Hallelujah during the encore at the Barrymore Theater in Madison I just about collapsed with the joy and the exquisite pain of the music.

But you don’t really care for music.

Do you?

Things change.

But somethings are indelible on my soul and that song, those words, landed and stuck.

I have a great deal of perspective since then and have grown, moved, changed, evolved, but poetry is poetry is poetry.

And when I walked through the streets of San Francisco in the overcast grey and threatening rain I was glad for the light and the rain and the soft forlorn grey and the sweet surreal beauty of the sky over the Opera House, in the alleys of the Mission, the graffiti murals washed clean and bright in the tepid grey of the day, my heart shifted and the bloom of the umbrella over my head sheltered me and led me forward into the heart of the city that I am so-called to be a part of and belong to.

I am.

Even when the day was different then what I expected.

The open window lets the rain in.

The open heart lets the love in.

Thank you San Francisco.

I do so love you.

I do.

Thank you for loving me back.

It has not gone unnoticed.

No.

It has not.

 

Force Quit

January 23, 2017

I can only deal with the spinning ball of doom for so long.

I forced a quit on my Word document.

No biggie.

Just the resume I had spent the last two hours working on.

Ugh.

So not cool.

So not happy about that.

And.

So not prepared to go back and re-do the resume.

Not right now.

It’s too late.

I did, however, get the cover letter done and saved and I have now written out a full resume in detail.

I know what I need to say.

I know how to format it.

I was literally about to click on the spell check and the little death ball started to go.

I am not pleased by this turn of events, but there’s not a whole lot to do right now.

It’s not an emergency.

Yes.

I really had hoped that before I was sitting down to write this blog I would be able to report a successful launching off into the ether my resume and cover letter for the practicum site that contacted me on Friday.

But.

Twas not to be so.

And I was going to start crying.

That’s a default go to when I’m mad sometimes too.

But instead.

I washed the dinner dishes.

I started some water for a cup of tea.

And I took a deep breath.

Crinkle, crinkle, crinkle.

What the hell is that?

Then I realized.

Ha.

I hadn’t taken off the bandage from my tattoo earlier today.

Yup.

I got my twelfth star upon my neck.

Well, technically it’s not on my neck.

It’s on my clavicle.

And yes.

Yes.

That did hurt.

Yes it did.

I always find that amusing, when folks ask, “ooh, did that hurt?”

Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t, depending on where the tattoo is and at what phase in the tattooing one is at.

The body kicks out some adrenalin and the pain gets annihilated pretty quick and then the meditation begins.

I say the Serenity Prayer on a loop in my head when I’m getting a tattoo.

I know.

That’s crazy town.

Who the fuck says prayers while getting tattooed?

I do.

It works.

I sort of go into a slight meditative trance and I zonk out a little.

I don’t feel the pain.

It’s pretty fucking cool.

I felt this one though and was happy it was a smaller star and that the work wasn’t too long.

I was under the gun for less than a half hour.

Although it felt longer.

Time gets a wee bit plastic when I’m getting tattooed.

It looks great.

I’m super happy with it.

And I had a little time after I got done to head to Maxfield’s House of Caffeine and crank out a little homework reading before meeting a friend for tea and then heading over to do the deal at Dolores and Dorland.

It was great to catch up and I am grateful we made the time in both our busy schedules.

I heard just what I needed to hear and then hopped in a car back here, heated up some dinner and started working on my cover letter and resume.

I am bummed that the little death ball started rolling.

Super bummed.

I feel like there is probably a solution to fixing the Word document.

I think it needs to be updated to my MacBook Air, which might be the problem.

When I first opened it I got a little notice, but I wasn’t paying it any attention and just zoomed ahead.

I rather wish, now, that I had paid some attention.

Eep.

OH!

Oh yes!

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!

Ha.

I decided I would try to re-open the Word document, just to see if maybe I might find it somewhere and voila!

The application retrieved my previous work.

Yes!

I just managed to spell check it, edit it.

And.

YES!

I sent it off.

Done.

It’s done.

I don’t know if it’s done fantastically.

I’m sure there could be improvements.

But.

I really feel good about what I wrote and how I put together my resume.

On one hand I have no relevant experience, I’m in graduate school, this is my first stab at applying to intern and I don’t have any clinical experience.

Except.

Holy moly.

You remember that little reference to twelve stars and doing the deal and all that.

Yeah.

Like that.

I have over a decade of experience being of service in the community, I have volunteered my time, happily I might add, for many a service position and I have worked one on one, week after week, month after month, years after years, with many women.

I have been super fortunate to be so situated that I have gotten to be a part of a big, beautiful, vibrant, amazing community.

You bet your ass that’s relevant experience in the field.

And.

Um, yeah.

Nanny for ten years and maybe I could say that I have some experience seeing how the dynamics of family systems work.

Just maybe a little insight there.

I was pretty forthcoming and it felt right.

And it’s done.

I have officially sent out my first resume and cover letter towards internship.

Feels pretty fucking good.

I’m happy I got the work done and I’m really happy I was able to retrieve it.

And yes.

It’s been properly saved.

I suspect I have to do some sort of update for the Word application to work well, it’s from 2011 so yeah, that’s probably what’s happening.

I shall figure it out.

I need to for sure, I will be writing more papers and this won’t be the first resume I send out.

Not by a long shot.

And each cover letter will be different, depending on what site I apply to.

So, definitely a need to rectify that.

But not a need to do it tonight.

Nope.

My weekend is done.

And now it’s time to have one last cup of tea and an apple and maybe catch a few minutes of a show before calling it a night.

What a nice way to end my day.

Seriously.

Off On A Jet Plane

July 1, 2016

Well.

Soon.

But not quite yet.

I’m sitting in the terminal at SFO waiting to be able to board the plane.

I have a little time.

I have e-mailed my people, checked in, got accountable, and popped my headphones on.

I figured, I’ll blog it out and by the time I finish it with the writing it will be time to hop onto the plane to Vegas.

Then.

Houston.

Then New Orleans.

Yeah.

It’s a lot.

But.

I got a super sweet message from the woman that I am renting a room from in the historic mansion in the Treme district this morning, asking after my travel itinerary and when I would be getting in.

On the Air BnB site check in is for noon.

But.

When I told her that my flight was coming in at 8:40 a.m. she said, hop in a cab and come over, I’ll be here to let you in.

I don’t have to kill a couple of hours wandering around with my luggage!

I’m freaking stoked for that.

Seriously.

Makes up for any weirdo timing with the flights.

And honestly, it’s not a big deal.

I am super lucky I get to go.

I was in the Lyft car on the way to SFO and I was like.

Who is this woman?

And.

Where is she going?

How is it that this is my life?

I am the luckiest girl in the world.

I can’t get over it.

I will add.

My alcoholic mind added, so kind, so sweet, always thinking about me and my welfare, “who is this woman, traveling ALONE.”

Fuck you head.

I am happy traveling alone.

I am good fucking company.

I got the Skull Candy Hesh headphones on bumping some Green Velvet and I am happy as a clam with my company.

“You have done this before,” the woman behind me said in awe, as I kicked off my shoes, pulled off my jacket, set my laptop in the bin, hefted my roll on up to the conveyor belt and waited to be waved through the body screening device, pulling my boarding pass and id out of my bra.

I smiled, “I have done this a few times.”

It’s awful nice that.

Getting to travel.

I felt a bit like a rock star as I surveyed myself in the mirror before leaving the house.

“I love you and I forgive you and you look fucking amazing.”

Stuart Smalley strikes again.

Short flowered mini dress, chambray blue shirt, black leggings, Converse, hot pink mountain of hair, pink glitter rose clip, hoop earrings, a few choice star tattoos peaking out, black sweatshirt, blue jean jacket.

“Nice art,” the security guard said.

“Thanks,” I replied.

I still got the pat down.

I just don’t look like your typical traveler.

And hey.

Whatever.

I’m hella happy to be my glittery, pink, tattooed fucking fabulous self.

Rock star.

No I can’t play an instrument.

(cello once upon a time)

I can’t really sing.

“That hasn’t stopped me,” my friend said with glee as we walked out of the Paul Simon concert.

But.

I can swagger.

And I did just that.

Once I was through the gate, I pulled the earrings out, slipped my watch back on, slid into the Converse, hit the Green Velvet and sashayed down the terminal to my spot at gate number 74, United Airlines to Las Vegas.

And!

This is freaking crazy.

Sitting here, happily charging all my electronic devices, downloading an episode of OITNB (Orange is the New Black) and I look up from my laptop because there is someone staring at me with a baby.

OMG.

It is one of my best friends!

Heading out on a flight too.

We are not going the same place, but crazy.

Serendipity.

Especially since we were just texting early this week about getting together for coffee or doing the deal or whatever we could fucking figure out.

When you have a friend with a kid under two who also happens to be a doctor, well, it’s hard to make plans.

So to see her in front of me?

Fuck yeah.

She’s off to feed the baby then we will get some catch up time until I board my plane.

I have about an hour to go.

Super excited.

I haven’t even left San Francisco and it’s a fabulous trip already.

“Carmen, I love you to the moon and back 100 times,” he said to me, curled up in my lap, “I need to tell you since you’ll be traveling and I’ll be traveling and I need to let you know that you are in my heart.”

Oh my god kid, you’re killing me.

“I love you too, _________, to the moon and back,” he held his hand over my mouth.

“Wait,” his eyes got big, “I love you to the moon and back google plus times!”

Oh.

Fuck kid.

I guess I got trumped.

I don’t even know what that number is.

Is it a number?

Maybe I’ll just go google that.

Heh.

I thought infinity was the biggest number.

Both the boys were sweet and adorable, although loath to leave the house, they typically can sense when stuff is up and added to me traveling, the family is also traveling.

I was thinking about that when I was doing a bit of last minute rearranging with my luggage, is it going to rain, is it not, best to add this, take out that, swap out, and have this extra…that and, god, it’s nice to only have to pack for myself.

I can pack quick and fast and have traveled light and know how to do it and make it work.

And.

There’s my friend.

Off to go catch up.

Then.

Time.

To.

Hit the next leg of the journey.

I’ll see you in New Orleans!

One More Day!

May 18, 2016

One more day of work.

Then.

Off to New York.

I have made some decisions regarding my trip.

One.

I am not taking the subway to the Air BnB when I get into JFK at 10:30 p.m. at night.

I don’t feel like showing up to the place after midnight.

I’m going to get a car.

I am going to let myself not worry about navigating the trains, I’m going to let myself have a little experience, see the city from a car at night.

I think the view alone from a car will be worth the splurge.

I am also going with a good amount, obscene it feels like, of money.

I have saved all semester and I have a comfortable little cushion to let myself spend and the luxury of not being anxious about making the right train and transferring to the right line is well worth the cost of a car.

In fact, I’m also going to take a car to the airport when I return as well.

My flight back is way early, 7:30 a.m.

Which is awesome since with the time change it puts me at getting back to SFO around 9:30a.m. and I took the whole day off from work.

I’ll probably train it back to the house from SFO.

I’m hella comfortable with that commute.

But in New York, I’m going to let myself have the experience of not being anxious about train times and getting here to there.

I will take the subway while I’m there, I won’t be on a time frame, it’s loose and flexible.

I want to go to the MOMA, the Guggenheim, the Whitney, but if something comes up and I miss one of those because I am having some other grand adventure, than cool.

I’m going to be flexible.

I um, heh, want some souvenirs, because that’s how I roll.

And I did actually come up with a tattoo piece that I may go have checked out at Three Kings in Green Point.

If I can get it for a good price I will.

If it seems like it would take up too much time and energy then I won’t.

I do want a pair of earrings, or three, a bunch of notebooks, bunch of stickers, postcards from the museums I make it to and what ever the hell floats my boat.

I would love a sweatshirt and I always love getting a hat from the city I visit.

I don’t actually have the one I got there two years ago, I am not sure where it got off to, but I don’t have it.  I do have the one I got in Paris in 2007 and I love wearing it, I am always reminded of the street where I got it, the time of day, and how I just fell in love with it.

I’d like a good New York cabbie hat or fedora.

God damn.

I am excited.

Coffee galore, walking, oysters at a restaurant somewhere, photographs, graffiti, I want to make sure I bring my camera and rechargeable batteries.

I am also thinking about getting one of those brick recharger deals.

I drain a lot of juice on my Iphone when I take photos or when I use it to navigate anywhere.  And if for some reason I’m out and about in a part of town and don’t feel like subway back to Clinton Park, I’ll get a car and that means having my phone powered up.

I will be out on the town.

I will not be hanging at the Air BnB.

That is simply to have a place to sleep and do my blog at night.

I plan on being up and out and going the majority of the time and it would be handy to have an extra bit of juice for the phone.

I met with a lady this evening after work and told her about what I was doing and why and her whole face lit up.

“That’s like bucket list stuff for me,” she said her face glowing.

Girl, if I can do it, so can you.

So grateful that doing nice things for myself helps the women I work with give them the allowance to do the same things too.

Travel was such a dream for me when I was younger and I am so grateful that I am allowing myself more and more to embrace it.

I was writing this morning about where I want to go and things I want to do.

Take the Empire Builder Train Line.

Go to Paia, Maui–see the place where my grandmother was born.

Go to Burning Man in 2017 since I can’t go this year.

Go to Hudson, Wisconsin and see my best friend and her family.

Those are the tops on the list, but there are so many others.

I would love to go back to Alaska and really see it during the summer.

I still want to see Venice and go back to Rome for more than a weekend with more than the 50 Euro I went with.

I am still in awe how that happened.

Rome for 50 Euro.

Cape Town, South Africa.

Toulouse, France–I owe it an amends to be seen truly instead of the drunken, hung over stupor I did it the first time.

So many places.

And you know.

I’m going to go to all of them and more.

Because I am alive, I love myself and I am fucking awesome.

Yeah, yeah, I know.

But for a woman who came from where I did to be where I am at it is only by grace that I am here and I feel like I owe my God the happiness and joy I find in traveling.

It fills me up, it lights me up.

New places, new experiences.

New faces.

New art.

God.

I can’t wait to just cram my face full of art.

I’ll have something to compare the new MOMA to when I get back.

I haven’t been to it yet, not having really had time to what with school and work.

But I will when I get back.

Especially since I won’t have to be doing homework every weekend.

Hell.

I’ll also do some little trips around here.

Why the hell not?

Get on a train and see where I can take it.

Scooter down the coast.

Or up it.

I’m not sure about taking my scooter over the bridges, but I could see going around the coast  a little.

Oh summer vacation.

I am so happy to meet your acquaintance.

Feels funny to say that at the ripe old age of 43, but there it is.

One more day of work and then some play time for me.

I have so earned it.

Seriously.

School’s Out For Summer!

May 16, 2016

I’m done!

I’m done!

I’m done!

Take that Psychodynamic Lacanian theoretical paper, I see you, raise you a parental confrontation, a castration complex, and further, you can’t squash my jouissance.

Ha!

I slay you paper dragon.

“That was fast!” my friend in cohort text me back after I gleefully texted her to let her know I had finished my Psychodynamic’s paper.

It was.

And still I am surprised at how fast I can write.

It doesn’t always mean it’s good, I’ve some modicum of humility, not much, but some, but it does mean that I am capable of doing the work in an efficient manner.

And.

Not to put too fine a point on it.

I had done the reading.

I had taken good notes in class.

I participated in class.

So when I needed to review the material and I did not know what I was going to write on, I did not in fact, write on the topic that I was going to, I google searched it and there were too many theoretical papers already out there.

So.

I used an experience from my youth and wrote about that.

I actually thanked God after the paper was finished for being able to use the traumatic event to write a positive piece.

I am amazed.

Constantly.

By how the wreckage and dreck of my past can be put to use.

“Carmen,” a famous writer once told me, “most writers would kill to have the material you work with.”

Meaning that I have lived a lot of life and have had a lot of experiences.

Some of them dramatic, traumatic and packed with pain.

Pain that I have been able to turn to something else.

If not gold, a kind of beautiful word garden that I can pick and choose what I will present in this bouquet of meaning and language.

I love poetry and words and sonnets and prose and sex and eros and flowers and life and apples and culture and French and travel and all these things add up to something, more than who I am and all of them inform me and build me and shape me.

I am so many things.

I am over the moon to be finished with my first year of graduate school.

I am officially a second year student now.

I am proud of the effort I put in and aware that I did not do any of it on my own.

It was with joy and humor that I spoke with one of my friends today from my cohort.

“Oh, don’t worry,” I said, so and so and I messaged and text and I know people are skyping, I’m totally fine with going over the take home with you.”

We did it together.

I had already turned in my final but I was more than willing to help my friend.

And when I think about all the help I had getting through this first year I am blown away with gratitude.

Friends who bought me groceries when I had to go down in hours at work and I hadn’t gotten my financial aid disbursement yet.

Friends who let me study in their living room when there was a kid’s birthday party here at the house with some many children it was like being inside a bouncy house trying to study.

Friends who bought me readers from Copy Central.

Friends who gave me rides to and from classes.

Friends who commiserated with me about the amount of work involved and how they did it, my nurse and doctor friends, my lawyer friends, my fellows in cohort.

My employers for being flexible and once a month letting me have off on Fridays so I could go to classes all day.

All the people who cheered me along the way and said, you can do it!

I did it.

Thank you friends!

I couldn’t, really, have done it without you.

That is not to down play the amount of work I did.

I did a lot of fucking work.

I showed up consistently, I didn’t miss a single class (which also helps me in writing the papers, let’s be honest, it’s a lot easier to stay on top of things if you are in the classroom, the importance of every class when it’s an intensive full time program taught on the weekend is huge), I did all my readings, well almost all of them, I may have missed an article here or there, but I really read all the books and texts and the majority, over 95% of the readers, I turned in every paper on time and I showed up for every project I had to present on time and prepared.

Yeah.

I know.

Fucking perfectionist.

“Now you can relax,” a friend text me.

Yeah.

Sure.

How though?

It’s going to take me a minute to unwind from all of this, I already know that, it feels very surreal to have all the work done when I consider that over the past year there was always something I had to be working on.

Going back to full time work is going to feel like a vacation.

Speaking of vacation.

New York in four days!

OMG.

I’m fucking going to New York.

I can finally get excited about it.

I have all my work done.

“That paper isn’t due yet, though, not for two weeks,” my friend text me when I said I was going to do the Psychodynamic paper today.

Yup.

Except that I will be in New York next weekend and I don’t want it over my head and I didn’t want to have to worry about carving out time after I got back from the trip either.

Although.

Heh.

I was a smart cookie.

I’m going to be coming back really early on Monday morning, flying out of JFK at 7:30 a.m.

What with the time change it will be 9:30 a.m. or something like that, and I asked off for the whole day from work.

Yup.

A full day to decompress from the trip and not force myself right back into the grind.

I’ll get to ease back in.

Super grateful I planned that out.

I have also made loose plans for the trip.

Friday I will get up and walk around Clinton Park, the area I’m staying in, grab some coffee and eat some breakfast and then make my way around Brooklyn.

I’m just going to wander.

I have an 8p.m. date with a friend to go do the deal in Williamsburg at Northside, so I figure  I’ll just mosey about Brooklyn all day Friday.

Hit the vintage shops.

Hit the coffee shops.

Wander around the Brooklyn Botanical garden.

Maybe pop into the Brooklyn Museum.

Go to book stores.

I’m very tempted to also hop over to Green Point and see if I can get into Three Kings Tattoo for some fresh ink.  I wouldn’t be able to get a tattoo that day, I’d have to go back after the consultation but they’re open late and I was thinking late Sunday I could get the work done.

It’s a thought, I have very tentative ideas about a piece.

I just like the idea of getting a piece done there, as I have in Paris now twice, it would be fun to add New York to the geographic map of my meandering travel life.

Then Saturday hit the city.

I want to go to the Guggenheim and the MOMA.

I know that’s a lot of museum to do in one day, but I’m on my own and I’m good company and I walk fast, I take the subway into New York, I hit the MOMA first, it closes earlier than the Guggenheim which will be open later, then onto the Guggenheim.

I drink lots of coffee.

I see art.

I buy notes books and take pictures of graffiti and get stickers.

I walk.

I soak it the fuck up.

I eat what ever I want.

Raw oysters.

I drink bubbly water till the cows come home.

I go do the deal somewhere if it makes sense to do so.

I plan on doing the new Whitney on Sunday and then walking the High Line Park and wandering around the little independent galleries around Chelsea.

If I decide to get a tattoo I head back over to Green Point and do that.

Part of me also wants to go to Coney Island.

But I’m not sure.

And I think that’s something to do with another person, ride the Ferris Wheel, go on the tilt-a-whirl, ride the Cyclone, seems like I would want a person to do that with.

Museums and walking about and exploring though.

That’s the deal.

That is my celebration.

I gave myself a trip to New York when I headed into the beginning of this semester.

I am so glad I did.

I am so excited to do this for myself.

I’m so grateful I made it through the school year.

Here’s to the beginning of my awesome summer vacation.

I have no idea where it’s going to go.

I just know I earned it.

And.

It’s going to be fucking awesome.

It already is!


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