Posts Tagged ‘1965 Vespa’

Sunday Self Service

November 10, 2014

Down by the sea.


That means what you think it means.

At least Mister Sexy has given me a head full of fantasy and as I was told yesterday, “maybe this is just an experience you get to have to see that you have that depth of passion within you.”


Passion needed outlet.

Done and done.


HOT shower.

There is just something about a hot shower.

So good.

This blog could also be called, Sunday Surfers, Sand Castles, and Shadows.

Sand Castles

Sand Castles


Surf’s Up!



There were a lot of surfers out at the beach this afternoon, they all got the memo, the surf is great, the fog is lifting, get it before it’s gone.

The sets looked spectacular and I watched surfer after surfer scooting down to the shore with their wet suits draped in various stages of disarray as they hurried to catch the set before the sun was gone.

And the fog rolled back in.

LIfting Fog

LIfting Fog

Settling Fog

Settling Fog










I too was one of the locals making a mad dash for the waterfront.  I had been in a hazy foggy day almost all day, when the sun poked through I knew I had to get myself outside.

Bicycle rides to go grocery shopping, no matter how delirious the setting (which today was not so much, the fog was tightly socked into the shore and dense and grey, blocking out anything visible, except for the sound of the fog horns which seemed to shiver the clouds wafting inland), does not count as a getting outside situation.

Granted, it is really nice to have a couple of good markets close by and I got what I needed before my noon appointment at the house for tea and reading.

After the hour I spent the afternoon having a leisurely lunch and cooking up some food for the week.

“What is that smell, oh my God, it smells so good!”  My housemate exclaimed when she got home from work.

Italian white bean stew with black olives, onion, garlic, chicken, crushed tomatoes, spices.  Big pot of brown rice. Voila.

Food for the week.

And for dinner tonight.

Plus, of course, the  persimmon (currently riding the trend of raw cocoa, cinnamon, nutmeg and sea salt–sliced thinly and dredged through the spice mix with a hot cup of tea. YUM!) in stacks on the counter.

They won’t be in season much longer and I am stockpiling.

I could have a third title to my blog–Scooteria Sunday–all things alliterative please.

I saw a friend last night up in Noe Valley who recently got a scooter and he’s pretty handy with the tool box, he mentioned that he might be able to give me a hand with my scooter.

Last night was not a fun commuting night for me.

The scooter kept dying.

At one point it fizzled out on Diamond as I was coming up to a stop sign.

The hill was so steep where I was that I was afraid to let go the brake to give it gas to let out the clutch, to fuck me, I’m going to drop it, so I turned the handle bars and let it die, then pushed it over to the sidewalk and up the top of the hill.

Pushing a scooter up a hill is vastly different from a bicycle in case you were wondering.

It was frustrating.

Fortunate for me I was not that far from the top of the hill and I was able to restart and regroup and get back on.


It happened again and again.

And again.

The Vespa probably died on me seven or eight times.

Possibly more, I really lost track.

My friend had a hypothesis that the idle needed to be set a little higher and I agreed with that summary.

I had some plans to get out and about on it today, but between how it was last night and the fog, I was against pulling it out and doing a thing.

Then, the late afternoon sun cut the fog and called me beachward.

I walked collecting seashells and talking to my mom on the phone about her recent hip replacement surgery and how her recovery was going.

I like calling mom from the beach, my toes in the surf, the sun flaming behind me, the surfers running into the water, the salt licking its way into my heart, I am a fire sign, perhaps that tempering once a week of salt water does it for me.

Heals me.

Sears my heart out a little.

It’s good stuff.


Selfie by the Sea

I really do feel so much better with the sound of the surf in my ears, it drowns out the crap in my head and provides tender moments of blissful quiet that reinvigorate me like nothing else.

I have taken to calling my walks down there Sunday Service by the Sea.

I get right with God.

I take some photographs.

I see a friend.

Last week a friend joined me for a picnic and conversation on a blanket when the weather was sublime and it would have been a grave tragedy to not have taken my sacrament.

This Sunday I was walking blithely, watching the shore for shells, when I heard the little whistle of an incoming message.

Was I around?

Do I still want help with the scooter?



Yes please.

I scampered up the beach and exited at the end of Judah and Great Highway, he was across the street on his scooter hanging out in front of Java Beach.

We hugged, caught up and then hit it to my house.

He adjusted the idle and tightened the cable on the clutch.

It was like riding a new vehicle.

So pleased.

So taken care of.

The last title to my blog?

In the alliterative fashion I have composed–Sunday Surprise!

It’s been a weekend of gifts–clarity being the greatest one, then a surprise check from my little girl Thursday’s family for my services to them, a bottle of perfume from a friend today, so not expecting that, and a new book in the mail!  A surprise gift from another friend, who though we both live in San Francisco, at opposite ends of the city we don’t frequently get to hang out.  It was a darling thing to see a package for me in the foyer when I got home tonight.

Anne Lamott–Bird by Bird; Some Instructions on Writing and Life.

I could always use that.

Instructions, that is.

Sunday seems surplus with surprise, sunshine (unexpected), seashore, shells, surfers, self-care, soup, sublime splendor, and love.


I know love is not alliterative.

But when did it ever follow the rules?

You Need Help

June 2, 2014

Starting that?

He asked me in thick, Russian accent.

“I know how to start.”

He came over from next door.

I had not even realized he was there, sitting in the passenger seat of the car in front of the house to the left, watching me trying to start the scooter.

Two quick thrusts and he had it going.

It is me.

I paid attention, however, not just to the thick layer of grease and black grime on the man’s hands, he must have been working on his car in the driveway and had stopped to sit and have a smoke, but to how he positioned his foot on the kickstart.

When I had the opportunity to re-start it later, I placed my foot exactly like he had and it kicked right over.


Yes, come on now, you know there was going to be something to follow.

It died on me a lot tonight.

While I was riding it.

Just suddenly, no juice, motor died.

Good night.

In traffic.

At a stop sign.

As I was about to go through a red light turning green.

As I was turning down Church Street.

The Church street incident was actually rather funny, I just let the scooter coast right to where I was going, parking it in front of the church across from SafeWay.

However, the ride home was a little intense.

It only happened in first gear.

So I wonder about that.

And I was able to restart it without having too much trouble.

It was just trouble in that I was in traffic.

The thee times it happened on my way home I was able to pull over to the meridian or to the intersection in the cross walk and get it going again without interrupting the flow of traffic too much.

I would like to not have that experience again.

It had gas.

So, not sure what’s the deal.

At least she’s started.

In other news.

There is not much news.

Just  a quiet Sunday.

Loads done, writing, photography, hike in the dunes down by Ocean Beach, went grocery shopping, did laundry, made homemade split pea soup with veggies and chicken and brown rice, canned and froze up a batch for the week, totaled up my spending for the month of May, balanced my check book, wrote out my spending plan for the month of June.

You know.


I even sat and read a couple of magazines for an hour with a cup of tea.

It was a Sunday.

There was a minute or two when I felt lonely, but I realized that alone and lonely are two very diffrent things and I am not ever alone.

I need the quiet, but I can get isolated, so I made some phone calls and I let myself be still for a little while, getting in a fifteen minute meditation helped.

There can be a kind of melancholy to Sundays.

There was thick, cool fog, most of the day as well.

At one moment, I thought the sun was going to manage to cut through it, but it never quite pushed off.

I was surprised when I rode my scooter into the Lower Haight and down towards Church Street, to see that there actually had been sun in the city today.

I wasn’t living in the studio this time last year, still getting my feet underneath me living out at Grace Land and working in North Berkeley predominately.

I did not have the fog experience.

It is an experience.

It was coming in full gale force as I was riding back from my commitment this evening.

There is a chilly kind of romance to it, swaddling the trees, the thick clots of it, the smell of sea salt drenching the air, the cold that makes me want to snuggle up by a fire.

I was pretty cold when I got home and hopped into the shower and got in a nice hot de-frosting of my bones.

I get about on the scooter faster than on my bicycle for sure, but the lack of movement in my legs and the sitting on the seat are not inductive to generating body heat.

I’ll be back on the bicycle tomorrow.

There is no point in riding it to Cole Valley.

I will get to work just as fast on my bicycle and won’t be concerned about stalling out in traffic.

I am sure there’s a logical explanation to that as well.

Again,  a surfeit of worry.

Which is nice to have.

I still have plenty of anxiety about other things.

However, as the days collect and the fog condenses, literally around me, I do find myself easing up a little more each Sunday.

I used to cry when I had down time, it freaked me out that bad, to sit still, with myself, or go for a quiet walk on the beach, that was too much me, too much feeling.

I did have a bit of a cry tonight, but really it was just from gratitude for my life and knowing that I may not have the cash and prizes I see others having, I do have a wealth of love in my life when I let myself see it and feel it and experience it.

Even a quiet day in San Francisco, is still a day in San Francisco.

Were I to offer a day like I had today to myself years ago, I would have jumped all over it instead of trying to shy away from it.

Hey lady, how about you cook some homemade soup in your sweet studio by the ocean, write for a while, walk on the beach, drink tea and lounge about with a Vogue on your chaise lounge, and then go for a ride through the Golden Gate Park Panhandle on your vintage 1965 Vespa scooter?

How’s that sound?

Pretty fucking spectacular, if you ask me.

Look ma, no hands.

I mean.

No complaints.


Plus, my hair, you know, looks pretty awesome.

And I’m going to Burning Man for the eighth year in a row.



She is good.

Yes, please, help me start my scooter.

I mean, come on, who has neighbors that know how to start a vintage Vespa?


That’s who.

I have so much.

Especially when I see that I am never, ever alone.

Love is everywhere.

Just look about.

I could be sitting right next to you waiting for you.

It was for me today.

I suspect it will there for me tomorrow too.



Nice Vespa!

April 25, 2014

What year is it?


Fucking awesome!


Then, kerchunk.

I killed it on the hill turning onto Fell Street.


That’s what you get for flirting with the guy on the corner.

Well, I might have killed it anyway, it’s my newest challenge, going up a hill in gear, first mind you, while using the rear brake to stabilize me and then easing off said brake, letting out the clutch and giving it a little gas.

Not too much.

Not too little.

Just the right mix.

I have it down when I am in the flats and am getting proficient enough with it that I can smoothly slow down, down shift, stop, and ease it right back out after the stop and keep moving forward.

Most of the time.

I still have my moments.

Then, I have to think about the fact that today was time number seven, of being out on my Vespa riding, and three of those rides were short with someone else with me.

I took it up to Church and Market today to do a meet up at Crepevine and then head over to Our Lady of Safeway, except that I didn’t.

After my meeting at Crepevine it started to rain.

Not a lot.

But enough.

Enough that my companion urged me to skip where I was going and head home before it did start to really come down.

The rain wasn’t supposed to start until tomorrow, but that’s what happens in San Francisco.

The weather can be a little tricky and I did not want to push my luck with it.

As it happened, I made it back without getting more than just a little sprinkled on.

And I can say that I am getting the hang of it more and more.

I still have what I call my pre-game warm up.

I get nerves.

I get anxious.

I have to breathe through it, roll my shoulders a little, loosen up my body, say a word to the powers that be and give myself more than adequate time to get where ever I am going.

There is a ritual involved to rolling it out and starting it up and I am getting a small routine, but it’s going to be a little longer before I just hop on and cruise off.

Granted, it’s getting easier to will my way into riding.

I expressed tonight at the restaurant that I am more scared than I would like to let on, but then, I have had moments of unadulterated fun, the moving through the park, on John F. Kennedy, has really helped, the green, the lushness, the Chain of Lakes, the Bison in the paddock.

Even, yes, the frisbee golfer warming up tonight as I headed home in the dusk trying to beat out the rain fall.

There’s another thing I can get myself into, frisbee golf.



I like those sorts of activities.

It would require a small investment to buy a couple of discs and I could hop my scooter and be over to the course in ten or fifteen minutes.

My friend’s partner, said friend who sold me the scooter,  got really excited for me when she saw me last, giving me a big hug she said, “it’s going to open up the city to you in ways you cannot imagine.”

I knew she was right when she said it, but I think I am just starting to get an inkling of what that might look like.

I am a bit bummed that there’s rain forecasted for tomorrow, I know, I know, we need the rain, but I would have like to have ridden the Vespa into the Castro tomorrow, met with my friends, then headed over to the End Up for some dancing.

I am not willing to take her out yet in the rain.

I will, I am sure, at some point take a ride in the rain, but unless it’s absolutely necessary, I don’t see the point.  I can take MUNI, not worry about my burgeoning scooter skills, and stay dry.

I had visions of perhaps going to Kabuki before heading out, but perhaps I will save that for the weekend instead.

Dancing is the only thing on the menu, so far.

I had my half day.

It definitely threw me for a loop, getting out of my routine, going in early, leaving early.

I did not care for it and I did not know what to do with myself, but I just told myself, next little action in front of you and see where it leads.

Lead me home, but not quite to the house, I buzzed by, on my bicycle, earlier, I am still riding my bike into my nanny gigs, and hit the Noriega Produce Market for groceries and supplies to get me through the weekend.

I knew the forecast called for rain, so I figured, get the shopping for food out-of-the-way.  Then back to the house, chop up some raw veggies, eat some hummus, have a bowl of homemade soup and do my “morning” pages, which were clarifying and helped me resolve to continue taking next action, which, yes, led to me meditating.

I can stand that.

The quieting of my mind.

Getting into my body.

“You are so hard on yourself,” she said to me tonight, leaning over the table, “you really don’t have to be.”

I don’t even know it.

I don’t see it.

I don’t feel it.

Once in a while I can see I am learning to ease up.

But most times not.

It’s rather like learning to ride this vintage Vespa, it’s a practice, an easing up, a letting out the clutch and an easing off the throttle.

I am so used to going full throttle and riding the clutch with a death grip.

Ease up.

Slow down.

Mellow out.

Be nice to the scooter.


Be nice to me.

I may not have gotten as much done today as I would like (laundry, cooked food for the weekend–black-eyed peas with kale and broccoli, laced with browned organic ground pork and onions and garlic, pot of savory brown rice–turmeric, garlic, black pepper, ginger, adobo, wrote four pages long hand–I had the time, rode my scooter, met up for tea with someone who has a better perspective on my life than I do, worked a half day, finished my library book–Telegraph Avenue, Michael Chabon) but I did do a lot more than I let myself acknowledge.

For today, for at least this moment.

I acknowledge I do a good job.

The best I can.

And that is pretty damn good.


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