Archive for the ‘The Land Lady’ Category

No More Tears

June 5, 2018

What a freaking relief.

Yesterday, last night I should say, because technically yesterday was a vale of tears from morning until about 6:30p.m. when I had to pull it together to take care of my Sunday night commitment, was the first night since my landlady gave me notice that I did not cry myself to sleep.

And!

Oh.

So good.

This morning too, no tears!

I did a lot of work yesterday, and throughout the week when I think about it, to get through the fear.

A lot of self talk, a lot of letting the tears happen when they did.

Granted.

I did holler a couple of times, “stop, just stop.”

But.

For the most part, they just kept on coming.

Yesterday was by far the worst day of it.

Of course, it was pointed out to me later that I had actually time to stop and have the feelings, I have been a busy lady and not being able to do much sitting still when I did have the chance to the emotions just ran away with the house.

I cried a lot.

But.

I think it moved things along and by the time I met with my person up at Firewood Cafe I was almost cried out.

Almost.

I still cried for the first half hour or so and then I slowly started to get relief.

And perspective.

And that it was more than just the threat of losing my place, it was also the past few weeks of busy and go, go, go, graduate, and hang out with my mom, and get all my paperwork turned in so I am really done with school, and have an endoscopy, and maybe I have cancer, but probably not, but maybe, and having to terminate with a client and all sorts of stuff, it was all the things.

All the things needed to have a word with me and then did so in a grand sweeping emotional way.

I seriously thought a few times that I was hormonal, I never cry like this for this long, unless really depressed, but then I’d still be crying and that crying is a different kind then what I was doing.

The crying I was doing was all fear based.

Not so much sadness based.

Fear based and anger based.

I have had some angry moments, let me tell you.

But it got worked out and the more I talked, cried, muddled through, the easier it seemed to be until by the time I walked into the basement of Most Holy Redeemer to take care of my Sunday night gig I was almost wholly myself.

And then!

Oh.

My old friend from my early days in recovery came prancing into the room with another dear friend and it was so good to connect and reconnect and catch up.

She’s been living in London for the last seven years, New York before that, and it was her first time back to SF in ten years.

I mean.

It was good to see her.

And hear her.

And then go out and hang out afterwards with all the friends and people and go to La Meditereanee and have some good food and laugh and get perspective.

I also heard so much advocacy for me getting to be taken care of and that there is abundance and that I do deserve it.

I sometimes forget that.

All the time.

That I am allowed to embrace abundance.

So.

My attitude changed and I began to see this whole thing as an enormous gift.

Oh.

Like many gifts I have received I did not like the wrapping paper it came in, and I have wanted to give it back, but there it is, in my lap, begging to be opened, to be revealed.

More will be revealed.

There’s always more to learn.

I get to take this situation as an opportunity to grow and to manifest what I want in a living situation.

I also get to take this as a chance to let my voice be heard, to not be run over by the circumstances, to advocate for my rights.

I listened again to the voicemail of the woman from the SF Tenant’s Union who reached out to me the day prior to my going in to the drop in session and was assuaged again to hear that what is happening is not legal and I have loads of rights.

She reiterated a bunch of them and I found comfort in that.

I know my rights and I get to speak up for myself.

Not something I have always done.

Not something that I am great at.

But fuck, what an opportunity to learn.

So.

I’m going to get to learn about something new and in the process I will find a new place to live and it will be done with grace and dignity.

At least on my part.

My part is all I’m responsible for anyway.

Speaking of my part.

And taking responsibility.

I have filled out my BBS (Behavioral Board of Science) application for my AMFT#!

Yesterday I got passport photos taken so that I can turn in a recent photo to the BBS.

All I need to do now is get LiveScanned fingerprinting done.

I will be doing that on Wednesday.

The hope is to have it all taken care of and ready to send into the BBS by Saturday.

It was strongly suggested that I send it in registered mail and insure it and track it and make sure it gets signed for.

So a trip to the post office before my internship on Saturday.

It’s a really exciting thing.

Once the BBS gives me my AMFT# I will officially be able to take payment for my therapy sessions.

At which point I will be transitioning from my current internship to my private practice internship.

I am really excited.

It feels so nice to have positive, forward motion actions happening.

And though I do not know how long this hallway of uncertainty is in regards to where I live next.

I do believe.

With all my heart.

That is will be fucking fabulous.

Seriously.

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Still Scared

June 3, 2018

But breathing through it.

Crying too.

Sharing about it.

Letting it go.

Reminding myself that it’s not about me, but that, yes, oh yes, I do have rights.

And quite a lot more of them then I had even realized.

I got up early today, I showered, I prayed and read and wrote and drank my coffee and applied for a Grad Plus Student Loan, since the financial aid I was approved of for my PhD program is shy $3,000.

I got approved.

I don’t know how much that will mean, the school will package the loan for me, but I do know that it will be enough.

I feel quite sure of that.

So with my breath stuck somewhere high up in my chest, I left this morning to go to the San Francisco Tenant’s Union on Capp Street.

I got there five minutes before they were open and there were already four other people in line.

However!

Thanks to being proactive, I actually got to go first, since I had filled out the paperwork online, paid the membership fee, printed everything off and handed it over to the counselor.

“I’ll see you first,” he said and asked me what I needed to know.

I told him about my situation and I got back some straight quick answers.

The notice to leave the in-law is in fact, as I suspected, not legal.

It has to be in writing and it has to be for just cause, like I haven’t been paying rent, or I have trashed the place, or I’m doing something illegal.

No meth lab here.

Just me and my notebooks quietly coexisting next to the garage.

I explained that I didn’t have a signed lease.

“Doesn’t matter, she still has to give you a written notice, she still has to have just cause, and the reasons she’s given are not legally binding,” he continued.

I was relieved and also panicked.

“What do I do now?” I asked.

“Nothing, you stay put, you pay your next month’s rent,” he continued, “you don’t have to move out, just keep paying your rent and lay low.”

Ugh.

That sounds horrible, but doable.

I just hate the idea of living somewhere that I am not wanted.

And I realize that’s also a sort of victim attitude or perhaps a martyr attitude.

Neither of which are very sexy in my opinion.

I asked about relocation money and he said I wasn’t to that stage yet, but that I could get there.

I said what if she raised the rent?

He said, and my jaw dropped, “you have rent control, there is only so much she can raise it, has she raised it since you moved in?”

I said yes, told him the amount, and he said, “that’s too much, here’s the percentage that she’s allowed to raise it, you could sue for back overpaid rent retroactive three years.”

Holy shit.

I had no idea about that.

I chatted with my best friend about it, I’m a bit stupid with math, I’ll write you a Shakespearean sonnet in ten minutes, but maths, bah, numerological dyslexia strikes again, and asked what the raise would have been and figured out that it was raised $30 too high.

I mean it’s not a ton over, but I could reasonably say that another raise in rent is out of the question with that knowledge.

What I basically was told was you don’t have to move, you don’t need to move, make her do the work and get everything in writing.

It feels really big and scary and unpleasant.

I suspect though, that it will be a couple of uncomfortable conversations.

She’s not going to hurt me, she’s not going to change the locks on the house, I really actually can’t see that happening.

It will be uncomfortable conversations, and though I’m not happy about that, I can have them and knowing what my rights are really feels good.

Especially just knowing that I have more time to find a place.

I still intend on moving out, it doesn’t seem like this is a good home for me, it’s been what I needed for this phase of my development, but it is time to move on.

I think what the counselor gave me, though, is time.

Time to find the right situation, time to make sure that I am not desperately clawing at unreasonable housing situations, rent that I can’t afford, or room mates that I’m not really compatible with.

I sense that having the awareness that I don’t actually have to more out in 90 days will help me be more expansive.

I hope anyway.

I am still scared and uncomfortable and the crap its stirring up is big, but I am also a capable adult able to have conversations and find solutions.

I can take this to a mediator if necessary.

Though I suspect that it won’t need to go that far.

I think a buy out is reasonable, especially in this market.

This market is crazy, it still stuns me at times, but I have lived here for almost sixteen years, I can’t imagine being anywhere else.

This is home, not necessarily this little in-law, but San Francisco.

So tonight I will practice invisioning what I want.

I will imagine a big room, hard wood floors, living in a house where I probably have roommates, but I also have access to an entire house, I imagine space and sunlight.

Laundry.

Parking.

It can happen.

I know it.

I just do.

I know it’s out there and I’m ready to embrace the next thing.

I really am.

I can be scared and I can still do this.

“Men of faith have courage.”

Courage is not the absence of fear.

It is walking through the fear, it is doing the actions needed despite the fear.

I am brave.

I will walk through this.

Into the bright sunight of a brand new home.

I just will.

A Tire Swing

June 2, 2018

Floating in the air over the dense thick grass of a lawn between a thicket of trees and a few farm sheds and cabins.

A hammock in the background that is almost as tempting, an invitation to loaf, snooze, to fall upwards while laying back, high into the blue skies and the clots of cream fluff clouds drifting lazily by.

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I adore a good tire swing.

This was one of the better ones I have seen.

If not the best.

The swing was rigged from a line of rope strung between two trees, not from a tree specifically, so it drifted back and forth on this kind of clothes line, swinging in loopy circles and ovals.

I did not go for a ride on the swing.

Though I was sorely tempted.

I could feel it in my body, the desire to climb in, push myself up into the air and drift through the warm breezes ruffling through the trees.

It was such a pretty day.

Sunny and warm.

Not typical San Francisco weather.

Then again.

I wasn’t in San Francisco.

I was outside of a small town to the south of Half Moon Bay called San Gregorio.

San Gregorio is tiny.

Population 214.

There’s a general store and a post office.

And then just beautiful rolling mountains.

It’s close to the coast so the drive in was gorgeous and breathtaking.

I am always so stunned when I get to drive down the One, it’s just such a tremendous gift to live next to such beauty.

I am in awe of the Pacific ocean, the sunlight, the green mountains, the twisty curving roads.

The family I work for have friends staying in San Gregorio and they were moving back to Finland, so there was a drive to meet them for lunch at the Air BnB they were staying at.

On a goat farm.

Yes.

I got to go hang out with some kids, not just the ones I work for.

It was precious and sweet, and the sound of the baby laughing in my arms as the goats crowded around me melted my heart.

I love animals.

And I am good with them.

I am not afraid of them or of getting messy, though for a minute I was like, damn it man, had I known we were going to a goat farm I would have dressed differently.

Especially knowing that where we were going was warmer.

Ha.

I was all in black, black leggings, black therapy dress, black, black, black, and the dress is long-sleeved.

It’s a super comfy, but professional little jersey dress I got from the Gap last year when I started seeing clients, it works for nannying and with a simple switch out from my nanny shoes to my “therapy shoes” I feel like I can be very professionally attired to see my clients in the evenings after I finish my nanny shift.

Though perhaps a great outfit for in the city, not necessarily the best for a goat farm.

Three times I had to take the hem out of the mouth of a goat.

It made me laugh though.

And after the week I have had up in my head about the whole 90 days to move thing it was a relief.

Sidebar.

Phone call message from the Tenant’s Union confirmed that my landlady does not have just cause to ask me to move out.  I got the message while I was in transition from nannying to my internship, so I missed the call, but the woman left me a lengthy message addressing all the points I had brought up and she confirmed that legally my landlady does not have the right to ask me to move out.

She encouraged me to get my copy of the Tenant’s Union handbook when I go into my drop in session tomorrow, and that I was protected despite not being on a lease and living in an illegal unit.

That was a relief to hear and also a bit like, ok, here we go, this is really happening, what do I need to do next.

I spent some time talking out loud in the car on my way home, how would I say it, would I write it down, would I ask another person to be there with me, what would happen, I could tell I was getting scared, I don’t like conflict, but also that really I just need to take the emotional bit out of it and be business like.

I have rights, here they are, make counter offer.

Done.

And of course, more will be revealed tomorrow when I sit down with the counselor and see exactly what my rights are.

No need to have the conversation before I have all the information.

Anyway.

Like I said.

A relief to be outside, in the fresh air, in the sun, getting to play with the children and push my oldest charge on the tire swing.

He had trepidations at first, but I had a feeling that once he had a ride he would fall in love with it like I did when I was his age.

And he did.

It was the sweetest thing to watch the simple pleasure on his face as he floated through the air up high, against the bright green of the trees.

Such joy.

It filled me up.

There was a house in Wisconsin that we lived at briefly in all our transitions from here to there (I told my therapist how hard it was to separate this thing happening with the notice to move out with the shame and fear and running away in the middle of the night my mom did on more than one occasion to avoid getting evicted by the police for not paying rent.  I am not my mother, I have paid and I’m not doing anything wrong, but that voice inside that insisted, you’ve been bad and now you’re being punished, took a whole lot of talk to calm down) when my mother had moved us cross-country from California to Wisconsin where she had grown up, in Lodi, a small town 30 ish miles to the North of Madison in Columbia County.

I don’t remember the house very well, we were only there for a brief time, I think she was crashing with friends on the couch until we moved into a small apartment in Baraboo, but I do remember the tire swing.

It was my savior.

This succor from the trauma of running away in the middle of the night, the constant moving, the constant uprooting, the wondering where I was going to sleep next, if it would be safe, was there anywhere that was safe?

The tire swing.

It was safe.

Although it was exciting to go high, really, I just like being held secure in the middle of the tire, arms wrapped around it, swaying back and forth in slow swoops and circles, staring up into the leaves of the old oak tree that it hung from.

I was in that swing every day until we moved.

I can still feel the rope in my hands and smell the faint rubber smell of the tire and see the smooth patch around the rope where many small hands had worn the treads smooth.

My childhood was not one I would wish upon another, but it was mine and to say that there never was joy in it would be a lie.

I was a happy kid when I was allowed to be happy.

I was happy in that swing.

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And I was happy pushing my sweet little boy charge in the tire at the goat farm for his first time ever, quiet and sure that he would be as safely held as I was.

The light dappled down over me and the warm smell of hay arose in my nose and I let my eyes close for a moment as I pushed his small weight towards the sky, remembering again and again that I am loved, safe, and perfectly held.

Now.

And.

Always.

 

First Day

June 1, 2018

No tears.

Since Saturday and the bomb drop.

I also took a few actions today that helped with that.

I became a member of the San Francisco Tenant’s Union.

$35 for a year-long membership.

I think it will come quite in handy.

I plan on getting up early and going to do drop in counseling regarding my landlady asking me to move out 90 days from tomorrow on Saturday.

I also placed a phone call with the Union, of course I did not get a live person, but as a member I was allowed to place a call and get a call back, which I think is very cool.  The Union will not take phone calls from non-members.

I left a succinct message regarding the situation, that I was planning on coming in on Saturday, that I had done a good bit of reading of the handbook and that I wanted to know if there was anything that my counselor would need when I came in.

I quickly asserted that I had no lease, that the landlady had given me a verbal notice to quit the in-law, and that I had been living here for five years paying rent on a monthly basis, $1200 a month plus utilities for the first three years and $1250 plus utilities for the last two.

I didn’t get a call back today and from the information on the message I may not get a call back before I head in on Saturday.

But.

It felt good to take a small action.

I also put it in my God box.

I wrote a note, I said some prayers, I asked God to take care of it and show me where I’m supposed to live next.

I also did my morning readings and prayer and that always, I mean always helps.

Especially when one of the readings was talking about principles before personalities and I realized how applicable that was to my situation.

I don’t like my landlady’s personality and I have found myself wanting to ruminate about that when it really has nothing to do with my situation, who she is as a person is none of my business.

How she treats me as a tenant is and I am not in agreement with what she asked of me to do.

I am in fear, I won’t lie, that it’s going to get uncomfortable to live here if I find out that I have rights that are due me and when I request for them to be honored I suspect that there will be push back.

But.

Until that happens I am trying pretty damn hard to stay out of that crazy making in my head.

I have already decided that she will tell me I’m not allowed to use the washer and dryer in the garage and that she’s going to want me to get anything I have in storage in her garage out.

My bicycle, my Burning Man bins, my tents.

I also suspect she will ask me to park my scooter on the street instead of next to the house.

But.

Again.

Those things haven’t happened and are not happening right now.

They may.

And if they do I will handle them at that time, worrying about what happens in the future doesn’t actually prepare me for what’s going to happen and so often my experience has been that much of what I’m afraid of doesn’t come to pass.

Thus attempting to stay present and stay in the moment where there really is nothing wrong.

My rent is paid for this upcoming month and I have time to find out what my options are and I have time to look for a new place to live.

Because no matter what comes of the Tenant Union drop in counseling, moving is on the table, on my plate, is going to happen.

It just is a matter of how it happens and when and if I get any sort of compensation to more.

Even if I find out I don’t have to move and I suspect that may very well be an option, I just feel like the landlady will make it hell to live here and I’m not much interested in that.

I feel like the best case scenario is I get some money to help facilitate the move and I am able to make a jump to a bigger and better place.

I have been seriously considering the option of getting a three bedroom house in the Outer Sunset.

I have been doing some Craigslist research and there are some very doable options out here.

I have seen a few other homes that might work in the Richmond neighborhood and one or two elsewhere, one in the SOMA which is a no go, I don’t want to have to worry about street parking and a few in Portola, one in Glenn Park, some in the Outer Mission/Excelsior.

But the Outer Sunset seems to have the biggest amount of choices and I am really liking the idea of having a house.

Granted I don’t have the furnishings for a house, but I believe they will come.

If I can get another couple of folks together I could easily snag a place that’s big, sunny, has parking, maybe even a garage, washer and dryer on site and/or hookups for them.

A few places also have fireplaces and yards.

I mean.

That sounds fucking terrific to me.

Two of the houses I really liked also have Master bedrooms with their own baths.

I could be the Master tenant, pay a little more, have a big room, my own bathroom and then full access to the rest of the house.

It’s beginning to sound more and more feasible to me.

And exciting.

I’m not exactly looking forward to the uncomfortable conversations I feel are  going to occur, but then again, I am feeling very positive that I am heading into a much better housing situation than I currently have.

And for that.

Well.

I am fucking grateful as hell.

90 Days

May 28, 2018

A lot can happen in 90 days.

This is what I tell myself.

A lot can actually happen in a few hours, in a few minutes, in an unexpected conversation with ones landlady.

Oh my God.

I have been asked to move.

I don’t know exactly what to do yet, or whom to share this information with.

I will admit I had an impulse to post up all over social media, but I restrained myself.

I think I was in shock.

I still am a bit, truth be told.

Yesterday though, I was definitely in shock, disbelief, horror, I was freaked out, I cried in supervision when I had to do my check in, I probably should not have been riding my scooter, but in a way it might have been the best thing since I had to focus fiercely on the road for a half hour.

I rode my scooter into supervision yesterday because of the huge Carnival festival that happens in the Mission every year Memorial Day weekend.

It’s a gigantic party and it’s a huge, huge, huge parade.

Where my internship is located at was a designated area of the Mission that was to be part of the route and there was no parking anywhere to be had, I knew this ahead of time and planned on taking my scooter.

I had no idea I would be riding to my group supervision with the information I had just gotten.

I had been actually excited to go to supervision, see the therapists who have watched me over this past year as I have grown comfortable with becoming a therapist and seeing clients there, and share with them the achievement of having graduated.

All that, however, was eclipsed by the bombshell my landlady dropped on me.

She told me she wanted me to move out.

That she had been planning on talking to me about it for a few weeks, but didn’t want to “spoil” my graduation weekend and stress me out.

Thanks.

You stressed me out anyway.

I find it really interesting that I had decided to pay my rent a week and a half early for next month too, I usually do pay early, by at least a few days, but something compelled me to do it earlier than usual and I believe I may have sensed something in the air.

A few weeks ago my landlady had the property inspected as she was planning on doing a re-financing of the house, “I’ll finally get that window in the studio,” is what I thought.

That, apparently was not what she thought.

Oh, there’s going to be a window, but it’s not for me.

She told me that she was originally going to give me thirty days, then I had paid rent for this upcoming month, like I said, I like to pay it in advance, and since it might take me a little while to find a place that she thought she’d give me 60, no, 90 days to move out.

That now that I was done with school, I got into a PhD program you rotten whore, oops, did I say that? She was happy to have “helped” support me through the Masters program by letting me live here.

Helped?

I have helped you lady pants, like, I pay the rent.

I pay utilities.

I am a model tenant.

I pay rent in advance.

I have ever since I moved in.

I take the trash out, I keep my studio clean, clean, clean.

I am sober, no partying down in my little den.

I don’t smoke.

I am a fucking full-time nanny who has a part-time internship and I, until recently, also attended grad school full time.

Meaning.

I’m not around all that fucking much.

Who could ask for a better fucking tenant?

Oh.

And I don’t have any pets and I don’t complain about the dog that you got a year ago that barks and whines and cries and then gets yelled at for barking and whining and crying.

I don’t know what is worse.

The barking or the yelling at the dog to stop barking.

Considering the year of great noise I should get a goddamn discount of the rent.

Ugh.

Anyway.

I took in what she was saying and let her do the talking, I was in shock and also trying really hard to smile and nod and not say anything to just listen, to absorb information.

I was also in my scooter jacket about to get on my scooter and go ride across town to my internship, I couldn’t process what was happening.

Which was probably a good thing, I didn’t get argumentative, I didn’t freak out on her.

I did find a silent, hot core of anger later, but more about that at another time.

She explained that she’d gotten her re-financement and was going to be doing a major remodel on her house, ripping out the kitchen and the bathroom in her unit, putting in a deck, building another in-law in the back yard, pulling out the kitchen in my unit and making it a one bedroom with a bath (and maybe a hot plate), and that she needed me to move out so that she could move into my unit while the remodel was being done on her unit.

I quietly congratulated her on the refinance and asked again about the move out date, September 1st, the 15th at the latest, she needed to know as soon as possible when I was going to move out so that she could get all of her contractors lined up and ready to go.

Oh.

Ok.

Glad to hear that you need me to hustle.

Good information.

I’m only deep diving into the most expensive city to live in for rentals in the United States with a dearth of options, where closets get rented as studios, and people curtain off living rooms for extra bedrooms, where adults live in dorms with shared bathrooms and communal spaces that are marketed towards tech kids in the FiDi and Mission districts.

Sure.

No problem.

Let me get right on that.

I decided to cry instead when I got to supervision.

Oh!

And hey, she also noted, you can pay your last months rent from your deposit if that helps you consolidate your cash to get into a new place.

Hmmm.

Thanks.

I think.

Don’t you owe me the deposit back with interest, isn’t that what you told me when I moved in, “I’ll be putting this in an account that will gather interest and I’ll give you the deposit plus the interest when you move out, just make sure you give me a 30 day notice.”

See.

This is where it gets tricky for me.

I never signed a lease.

I live in an illegal in-law unit.

It has a kitchen with a full size working gas range and a full size refrigerator, but no window and no ventilation.

I cook and open up the back door to ventilate.

I am also pretty damn certain that she didn’t pull permits to do the work on the in-law when it was remodeled, but I’m not 100% certain.

What I am certain of, however, is that in her nice, sweet, off-handed way she was manipulating me into thinking I was getting a deal and that she was being kind to me.

Oh, and you don’t have to pay for July’s rent either.

And while that’s a lovely offer, I think that you, madam, are not within your rights to push me out, at least not without a written notice, or some sort of compensation.

So.

I got myself onto the San Francisco Tenants Union webpage.

They have open drop in hours and I will be going to get myself some counseling to see what my rights are.

I may not have a signed contract, I may not have a lease, but I had a verbal agreement and over four and a half years of cashed checks with “June rent and utilities” written into the memo.

I have a paper trail.

And I know I have rights.

I just don’t know exactly what they are.

But I will.

And when I do.

Watch out.

I am mad and I am not going to be manipulated into rolling over.

I am going to move.

That is going to happen.

But I am going to do it in a way that advocates for my rights.

I am not going to get pushed out.

So.

Yeah.

If you hear of anything for rent in San Francisco.

Not Berkeley or Oakland or in the East Bay or over in Marin.

IN SAN FRANCISCO.

Do me a favor and let me know.

Thanks!

 

 

It’s Just Stuff

August 21, 2012

Life is weird.

The land lady just knocked on the door.

Note to self, thank god you didn’t itch that scratch.  Good gravy, that could have been awkward.

She was showing off the room to some one.  The woman who was going to move in changed her mind.

So much for getting the bed frame out of the room.

Then I thought, well, I’ll just put it all on Craigslist and make a few bucks for the travels.

One person responded.

And once I realized that the only thing that she wanted was the chair I had promised Beth, I saw that it was not going to happen.  Selling shit is obnoxious and a pain and I don’t have the patience for it.

So, I thought, well, Mrs. Fishkin did make a strong point, it’s nice to have a bed.  Sure, if I could have fit it in the back of Tanya’s suburban.  Everything else fit just fine.

Of course, everything else was four-foot by three-foot–one mid-sized plastic bin, about the size of a laundry basket, one bank box, one large box filled with photographs and odds and ends that are dear to me.  One spice rack designed and built by my Grandpa Munz.

It all fit in the back seat of her car.

That’s what went.

The bed frame is in the hallway between the houses.

The desk no body wants.

The night stands are still standing.

Beth will get the farm chair and my patchwork quilt.  Sarah might take the rocking chair.

You want something?

Come and get it.

It’s just stuff.  I am not taking stuff with me to Burning Man.

Well, I am taking some stuff, mostly clothes, make up, and bedding.  Knowing that I will not be needing the bedding when I get back is rather a treat.  I am taking a duvet and all the pillows out to the playa.  I will have the most rocking bed platform ever.

I’ll trash it after the event.  Nothing is really worth the saving.  And I have nice accommodations at Grace Land.  No lack of bedding there.

So, you want some stuff, I got it.  A desk, a few lamps, some night stands, a bed frame. All nice, pretty, curated, but in the end just stuff.

I am probably going to leave the microwave for the land lady.  She’s already pawed it over a couple of times.  It is cute, I will admit that.  It’s a ‘retro-wave’ microwave that I got fresh out of the box from a guy in the Castro who had gotten two because he was not sure which one worked better in the kitchen and he never got around to returning it back to the store.

A total steal at $60 bucks.  If I think of it in money my brain gets all possessive.

“Hey,” my brain hollers, “hey, don’t you know what I paid for that stuff?”

“Don’t you realize what that stuff is worth?”

“Hey, you, you aren’t listening!”

I am not.

It is just stuff.

I got to have it for a little while and now it’s some one else’s turn.  One day I will have more stuff, different stuff.

Stuff.

Say it often enough and I begin to see just how silly it is.  I was surprised to find myself possessive a few times over the last few days, god damn it, I work hard for that stuff.

But really, what I have worked harder for is the experiences that I have gotten to have. I am letting go of lots of stuff for better stuff.

The stuff that makes life grow.

The stuff that makes me thrive.

Now, granted, I won’t tell you no fibs, I did go out and buy some stuff today.  I bought a brush and a mirror.  I bought some make up and some socks.  I bought groceries.  I bought a nice smelling candle and I bought a pair of sunglasses.

Stuff to take to the playa.

I am a creature of humble comforts, but there are certain comforts I do like.  Lotion, nice smelling stuff, coconut oil, picked up some of that stuff too.  Hair stuff, I like looking pretty, you know.

Glitter.

Yes, shaddup, I bought glitter.  I was a little out of hand with it today.  I laughed, I am either having a second adolescence or I am going to Burning Man.

Then I realized that my first adolescence was such shit, that in essence I am really having my first, or allowing myself to have one at all.

So I bought some Hello Kitty sleep wear.

Oh, that’s right bitches, I am rocking the Hello Kitty hot pink terry cloth boy shorts and the black and pink Hello Kitty Sleep shirt.

Me and Hello Kitty

Rocking the new pjs

Goes really well with my bright blue hair.

Perhaps I have gone over board just a little bit, but what ever, it too is just stuff.

I am having a good time having a little fun.

I also stuck every fucking cent I would have spent on rent into my savings account.  Oh yeah, I am a responsible girl, I am.  I may have Rainbow Bright hair and a heavy hand with the glitter spackle, but I put away rent money into my savings account.

I said I would.

And I did.

I also set it up so that my student loans will automatically pull from my checking account.  I won’t have to think about sending in a check or making a payment.  I just set it up to do it automatically.

So basically I paid rent and my student loans today.

I is responsible.

Cheerfully, brightly, colorfully so.

So, here, today, for a limited time, all my stuff to you–FREE–all you have to do is come and get it.

Love.

Faith.

Friendship.

Intimacy.

Poetry.

Grace.

Family.

Recovery.

You want some?

I got some.

I also have a rocking chair, a vintage art deco hot pink standing floor lamp, a pedestal oak plant stand, a vintage wood night stand, a shabby chic pink (I painted it, duh) scalloped night stand, an awesome (it totally works!) space heater circa 1952, a farm-house table that I use as my desk, with folding down leaves, and some other accoutrement.

I am going to leave the Retrowave to the landlady.

It’s the right thing to do.

In return, all I ask is a hug, maybe a kiss upon the cheek, and the promise that you and I will stay close as I go out and accumulate the stuff that really makes my world run–

experiences.

 

Happy, Shiny, & Blue

August 20, 2012

Oh my.

Oh my.

Oh me oh my.

I just got back from the salon.  Diane @ Solid Gold just did me a solid.  I have the most amazing hair right now.

AMAZING.

Blue

Blue

I can now officially say I am ready for Burning Man.

Not to say that I have not busted my ass today to get ready.

I was up this morning at 7 a.m.  after getting to bed last night around 1 a.m.

I needed to clean the room, clean the bathroom, take out the trash, make it pretty, and get the boxes out of the room and on to the back porch before Casey came over to see the room.

I wanted to make sure it looked nice and I also wanted to address the things that I needed to address to get myself ready.

Mainly doing laundry and packing up the last bits and pieces of my life.

Casey was promptly here at 8:55 a.m. with her lovely man and I showed her the room. She loved it and we chatted until Aurora’s son got here to do the translating.

I was a little concerned that it was not going to happen when I found out that Casey has a cat.  I know what happened to me when I said I had cats.  And sure as shit, that’s exactly what went down.  Aurora firmly put her foot down.

I knew it and was a little remiss that Miss Casey had not mentioned that she had a cat, I would have skipped even bringing her over to see the room.

But then something magical happened, Casey and Cesar went into the kitchen and talked with Aurora and while I was puttering around not getting in the way, Aurora changed her mind.

Casey has some persuasive skills.

I do not know what happened.  I do not know the gist of the conversation, but it happened and it is happening and the really lovely thing was that I had absolutely no stake in the outcome.

Granted the outcome ended up being spectacular and a bit surprising.  I did not see it coming.  I thought, this is probably not going to happen.  Casey has a cat, a boyfriend, and then, bang, magic, she got the room.

I am so glad for her.

I am leaving my mattress and box spring for her and the contents of the bathroom/kitchen.  I will be taking my bed frame and my photos and my pictures tomorrow to Tanya’s and putting them into storage.  Everything that is going into storage is on the back porch waiting for tomorrow to be moved.

Three p.m. I will meet up with Tanya, with my blue hair!  And we will move my wee little life over to her place.

My life is not wee, as Alex and Shannon so deftly pointed out.

And I agree.

My life feels really amazing and full right now.

The rainbow bright hair does not hurt!  I was going to go pink, but then Diane showed me some things that she was thinking about and we went blue.  It is actually three or four shades of blue with green and teal, then on the right side, which the picture does not really show, is a rainbow panel–teal, bright yellow, magenta, and green.  It looks wickedly hot.

I love being my authentic self.

I love that I have two different kinds of glitter nail polish on and blue hair and polka dots.

I am a little kookoo for cocoa puffs, but my god, I am having one hell of an experience.

And I work hard for this, being my authentic self and the journey to get there has not been an easy road.  But as they say, nothing worth having comes easy.

The weight loss was hard.

The couch surfing was hard.

The not knowing what I was going to do for a job was hard.

Allowing myself to be vulnerable and say I am enough and I am lovable and I am worthy of love and I do love myself and I forgive myself, that was the hardest part of it all.

I will flail and I will fall and then I will try again.

And I may not succeed, but I will keep trying.  And I will have detractors and there will be people who do not like me or my blue hair or my glitter or my myriad tattoos.

That’s ok.

They get their experience.

I get mine.

Some times I feel that I have had many past lives, some times I feel that there is some greater plan than this, some times I feel memories lurking on the edge, dreams that seem more real than real.

But what I know is this.

Here.

Now.

This is it, people.  I have really only this time and I am not going to sit quietly in the corner and not be seen.

I am not trying to be seen so much by you, but by me.  Letting myself out of the corner, turning around, and embracing the fact that I like eye make up and wild colors and giggling and flowers.

I am having fun.

I do things to that I don’t always like, but they clear the way for things like smurfette hair and pink star tattoos.

I meditated today–eighteen minutes.  I took quiet time, I read from my daily readers.  I did a lot and I mean a lot of writing.

I wrote on those note cards I was not excited to buy at the store.  I wrote and wrote and wrote and cried some and forgave a lot.

Man, did I do some forgiving.  Of myself, of my mom and my dad and my sister.

Oh, my god.

I have one sister.

That is it.

One dear sibling.  I miss my monkey.  I miss my Pooh.  I was so ashamed of some of the things that went down between us and I have not seen her in over seven years.

Time to amend that.

Time to amend a lot of things.

Holy cats.

I have a lot of mending to do.

I had no idea.

I am working on the willingness.  I wrote so much today.  I wrote until I could not write any more.  Then I did some more arranging and ran some errands and ate a really nice lunch.

Then I went blue.

Who says you have to be 85 to be a blue hair?

What the hell are you waiting for?

Go do it.

Go get yourself some authenticity.

You are enough.

I am enough.

Can’t you tell?

I am bright fucking blue!

 

 

 

Pulling the Trigger Slowly

July 23, 2012

I told my land lord’s son today that I was moving to Paris in November.

He asked that I give his mom a month and a half.  I am fairly certain he will tell her any day now and I will make it official.

If it’s official in my head is it really official?

I made the decision after writing my blog last night that I am going to buy my ticket, round trip, with my next paycheck.  It will be a fairly “big” check.

Bahahahahaha.

Ah, that’s knee slapping good fun.

It will be larger than it normally is as I worked six days this past week, one of which was over ten hours and I took very few breaks, in fact I don’t think I actually, with the exception of the days we were on retreat, took more than five minutes on any given day.

That is how I roll.  I work through my lunch.  I work through my dinner.

I told Stephanie today that it feels like I am always eating at work.  This is true.  I have a snack there, lunch, and dinner.  I get up early before work, about two and a half to three hours before I have to be in, and I eat breakfast.

By the time I get to work, it is high time for a nibble.  Then lunch, then yup, I eat dinner at work too.  I never go home after I get done with work.  I am always off to another destination a meeting of fellows, if you will, and I cannot wait to eat dinner until I get home, that would be nuts for me.

I would end up not having supper until 9 or 10 p.m.

And a hungry bear I would be.

You don’t want to poke the hungry bear, I bite.

So, I eat at work.

Where the hell am I going with this?

Ah, yes, working extra hours.  This next pay period should have a few of them on there, plus, as we have our hours processed on the 1st and the 15th, I will have extra hours because this month is 31 days.  So my pay schedule will have a few more hours than normal.

Buying the ticket will make it a tight month, but as I reasoned out last night, doing it will truly put the Burning Man fantasy to rest.

I have to do the foot work and I did two things today toward that end.  I e-mailed a stranger in Paris, who came recommended to me from some one who heard I was moving and I told Cesar that I was moving.

I also told Cesar that should his folks be interested they could acquire my furnishings. I don’t really feel like moving much of it.  I will of course be putting some personal effects in storage.

The lovely Tanya has offered me that and I will be taking her up on it.

I just realized I did a lot more for moving to Paris today than just those two actions.  Although, those actions “feel” the most concrete.

I also investigated air fare and found what looks like the best ticket.  I looked at tickets with a three-month turn around.

I do not expect to actually be back in San Francisco in March of 2013, unless it is to visit and register for a work Visa, but that seemed to make the most sense when I was looking.  Simply from the stand point that my passport gives me three months to be in France.

I want to be there longer.  I want to go to the South of France.  I want to see Toulouse, I want to bicycle through the country side.  I also feel like I owe some living amends, so to speak to Toulouse as I was drunk as a skunk when I was there and I did not really get a chance to explore the city.

But, first Paris.

And London.

And where ever else in Europe or beyond I am supposed to be.

I also saw lovely, darling friends today and expressed my gratitude for them in my life and that was wonderful.  I had a cup of coffee and a quiet half hour in a cafe reading a book–Cormac McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses–then later lunch with Stephanie at Sunflower.

The waiter sees me coming, “veggie salad, hot tea!”

Yes please.

Divine.

Then off to Dolores park for the San Francisco Symphony performance.  It was delicious to sit in the grass and get some sunshine and read some more and I called John Ater and had a fantastic check in with him.

I listened to the symphony and read and snoozed a little in the grass.  When the bladder made itself known, hot tea, I headed back to the hacienda and had a session on the back porch with a cup of tea and an Esquire magazine.

Then, oh, wait for it, I took a nap!

Just a quick snooze, but my, it was luscious.  45 minutes of lying on my bed and just enjoying the warmth dissipating from my skin into the surrounding air.  It got windy today and the chilly fog was blowing in over Twin Peaks, but my little nook is in a really protected spot, so I got lots of unadulterated sunshine before my nap.

I drowsed, chatted with my mama on the phone about my upcoming visit, I will be swimming.  Holy cats,  I cannot imagine how hot it is going to be in September in Florida.  Then a little dinner and off to meet Meg at Ritual.

I have not been in Ritual on a Sunday late afternoon in some time.  It was jam-packed. But a table magically appeared right as my Americano came up and we settled in for an hour.

It was wonderful to get to know Meg a little better and as we wound up our time together the sun blasted in behind me through the open door warmly whispering across my neck and I smiled in absolute joy when Meg told me how inspired she was by my experience and just the fact that I was moving to Paris.

And so I am.

If only to show those that I love who come up behind me that it can be done.

You can have your dreams and eat them too.

They taste like cafe creme and smell like French perfume and they dance to accordion music along the Seine and ride like bicycles with baskets to markets with bright trembling baskets of pomme vertes and they will run before me with great joy as I chase them along the cobble stones and through the flea markets in the outer arrondissements.

Pulling the trigger softly, but pulling it nonetheless.


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