Posts Tagged ‘Aids LifeCycle’

Huge Relief

September 10, 2017

To change my mind.

To see where I was taking on too much.

To apologize and make an amends to a friend.

To get honest with my person and with myself.

To see where my priorities lie.

To let go.

To surrender.

Such relief.

I have been grappling with something for a few weeks now and I suspect that recent events in my life, like letting go of the idea that I have to go to Burning Man every year for the rest of my life and that I always have to be working toward something, coalesced this afternoon as I rode my scooter into my internship.

I don’t want to do the Aids Life Cycle Ride.

Let me clarify.

If I wasn’t working 40 hours a week, interning 15 hours, and going to graduate school full-time I would be totally down with doing the ride.

But.

I realized.

I am working so hard already and to commit to another commitment seems fool hardy, prideful, and unrealistic.

I like to believe that I am superhuman.

“You don’t have to be Super Carmen,” my person told me, “Carmen is good enough.”

Fuck me.

I forget that all the time.

As if I am not constantly trying to self-improve, do better, live harder, go bigger, I am not enough.

And.

Good fucking grief.

I am enough.

I also realized that I had self-sabotaged myself by committing to do something that would make me re-arrange my already super full schedule and in effect make it so I would not have any days off.

NONE.

Yes, that’s right, I would be working full-time, seven days a week, for the next 10 months.

Fuck that.

I deserve to let myself have a little down time.

To love and be loved.

To not go crazy in my last year of my Masters program.

I mean.

I’m still working six days a week, I’m not slacking.

I rode my scooter to my internship and thought, it’s ok to change my mind, it’s ok to see where I bit off too much and it’s alright to acknowledge that maybe I knew this all along.

That maybe I didn’t buy the road bike when I had the chance because I really knew I didn’t want to do the ride.

I think I was setting myself up to give myself an out.

I had run into my friend who convinced me to ride again a week before I went to Burning Man and his talks about doing training rides made me feel nauseous.

How the hell was I going to fit it in?

I started to consciously let myself know that maybe, just maybe, it would be ok if I changed my mind.

I actually think going to Burning Man really helped me with that.

I realized there, at the event, on a very deep level, that I work really hard to work really hard on my vacations.

Maybe.

Just maybe.

Instead of busting my ass, granted for an amazing cause, and I don’t regret the $95 I dropped to register, it’s a gift that I wouldn’t ask back if I could have it back, to bust my ass on my vacation.

Maybe.

I might want to actually have a vacation.

Like.

Lay on a beach.

Or.

Sit in a fucking cafe and read a book, people watch, drink coffee at ridiculous hours and not worry about getting up at the crack of dawn to ride 100+ miles and then come back from a seven-day ride, for which I would be using my vacation time, to go right back to work.

I mean.

Maybe I want a real vacation.

And.

Then.

When I said it out loud, when I got on the phone with my person, I got to my internship a little early simply so I could have time to talk with my person, I felt the biggest most amazing relief.

I knew in that instant that it was the right decision for me.

“Honestly, doll, I’m relieved to hear you say this, I was wondering when you were going to come to this realization.”

OH my god.

I love that he doesn’t judge me, that he didn’t tell me to not do it, that he let me have my process, and then to have it reflected back to me with honesty, well, that was that.

I’m not doing the Aids ride.

And I am ok with it.

We talked a lot about things happening in my life and I shared about a great deal of joyful things and it was so good to catch up.

I also talked about doing a trip for my graduation.

What that might look like.

Barcelona.

Paris, maybe L’Ile de Re, where my friend has a family home, off the West Coast of France, especially since she was such an important part of my first two years in the program.

That it might be really nice to see her and celebrate the accomplishment.

She was also the person who has said time and again how much I would like Barcelona.

In fact.

My savings account, I have two, one is my prudent reserve, and the second, my travel savings, is called Barcelona.

Not “going to Burning Man” again next year.

Not “doing the Aids LifeCycle ride and spending over three thousand dollars on a bicycle, gear, and who knows how many countless hours on the training.”

NOPE.

It’s named, “Barcelona,” because when my friend mentioned how I should go I thought, that would make a great graduation trip.

So maybe instead of sabotaging my dream with stuffing in more than I can handle, it’s ok to admit I made a mistake.

I told my friend tonight face to face and sat down and talked to him.

He totally got it, and then he added, “I totally honey potted you into agreeing, you know I did, don’t feel bad that you can’t, it’s ok.”

It’s ok.

Sigh.

Fuck.

Thank you.

I apologized again and hugged him and that was that.

I need to apologize to the three people who donated and then I think I’m clear.

I’ll also contact my ride representative and rescind the ride number, the ride will fill up and someone else will get to ride in my stead.

And.

I also contacted my assistant director, who is in charge of scheduling my clients and said, I need to not take clients on Saturdays.  I can do a consult now and then, but no clients.

At least for this semester.

I feel a lot better.

Much clearer.

Much cleaner.

And so relieved to be just regular old Carmen.

Super Carmen gets to put her cape back in the closet for at least today.

Thank God.

It needs a dry cleaning anyhow.

Ha.

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Calendar This

August 6, 2017

Bitches.

I updated my Google calendar today.

Just my personal one, not the one for my internship which feels like I am on it looking at it, figuring it out, all the time.

My personal one not so much.

But.

As days are getting filled I realized that it would be a smart idea to plug-in all my dates and look at my school weekends and get those all listed.

My last year of my Masters program.

Hard to fucking fathom it.

But.

It is.

I started my reading today for my Jungian Dream Work class.

I had a full day, it felt, just working on my calendar, I might have put in an hour on it.

I mean.

I really did do it up, putting in dates all the way up until the Aids LifeCycle ride in June of next year, June 3rd-9th.

I don’t know when graduation will be for school, that will be in May, I know that, but not necessarily when.

I won’t have to do summer school or summer practicum, since I did it this summer, so I’ll be able to walk free and clear and at the rate I’m collecting hours I will have more than double, perhaps triple the hours I need to graduate my program.

They will be just a drop in the bucket of what I have to accomplish overall, but I’ll be able to graduate with no sweat at the rate I am going.

I got to have my first experience with a couple today.

Which is awesome.

And.

Terrifying.

And amazing.

And.

A lot to hold.

I mean, it’s two people and I’m just one, staying in tune with everything that is in the room and it’s not to one person or the other that I need to attend, although I feel like I did a pretty decent job being balanced in my session.

Ultimately, though, the client is the relationship.

That means doing therapy in a different manner and it didn’t feel like there was enough time to get to everything that was happening, but then again, it was an initial consult and I may not be assigned this particular couple.

It was, however, a great learning experience, and as it was a couple the hour counts as two hours for the BBS (Behavioral Board of Sciences) who require at least 500 hours of Couples, Children, or Family Therapy.

It doesn’t matter if I want to be a therapist who works one on one with clients, the BBS requires me to do some hours of work with a family unit.

A couple is a great way to get those kinds of hours.

From what I can tell at my internship there are not a lot of Family hours available.

Nor child hours, but they do both and I have been assigned a child client, same client I did an intake with a few weeks ago, so there is that opportunity to pick up hours there.

Still.

500 hours.

That’s a lot.

Fuck.

3,000 hours ultimately is what I must have.

I’ve got 107.50 currently.

A drop in the bucket.

I know, though, I know it so well, that these things add up.

I just need to keep trudging the road and I’ll get there.

And there is plenty to keep me busy in the mean time.

It looks pretty damn good that I will not be going back to 35 hours a week at my nanny gig when school starts.

The mom and I had a very brief discussion about that, that the family wants me to stay at my current iteration of hours.

Which is 42 hours a week.

Sigh.

I can do it.

I know I can.

I can squeeze in the homework.

The baby will nap and I will read.

There may be times when that doesn’t happen, but I will get used to carrying my textbooks and reader with me and I will adjust to it.

School will be what school is.

Technically it should be easier than the first two years since part of my schedule is practicum, and well, I’m in it.

In fact.

I need to remember to pull my file on Monday when I go in and see my client.

I have a review and grade report from my supervisor waiting for me in the office.

I have to turn it into the school, which is basically turning in what ever grade my supervisor has given me and acknowledging that I am doing the work necessary for the school to pass me.

I don’t know if I get a letter grade for this or not.

I do know that it was more than just a page, more like three or possibly four pages of questions that the school needed my supervisor to weigh in on.

I currently have a 4.0.

I sure as shit hope I got an “A” if there is an assigned letter grade.

I can’t imagine that I would get less than that.

Which is not to be cocky, it’s just that I do show up, I do the work, I participate in my group supervision, I have clients who have rebooked with me.  I have clients that have requested to work with me after doing an initial consult.  I even received a very sweet thank you from one of my clients for the work we have been doing.

Unexpected and lovely that.

Anyway.

There are lots of things to juggle.

But I can do it.

And I am sure that I will still have time to do the pleasurable things that I need to do in my life and fingers crossed I’ll still be able to keep my blog practice happening.

I say that every semester and every semester I have managed to keep putting my paws on my keyboard and click clacking away.

It’s also one day at a time.

All I have to do today is what is in front of me.

I have to live in 24 hour increments or I will lose my mind.

And well.

That might suck for my burgeoning career as a psychotherapist.

Ha.

I can do it one little day at a time.

There is time for it all.

There really is.

And knowing that.

Well.

That’s a power I can’t quite fathom.

But I know without a single doubt.

I am being taken care of.

Completely.

Every single day.

With great love and compassion.

Which is more than I ever hoped for.

Life is full.

And.

Amazing.

Beyond my wildest dreams.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

All The Pretty Bicycles

August 5, 2017

I got another donation today for the ALC!

Aids LifeCycle that is.

I’m registered to do the ride next June, just scant weeks after I graduate with my Masters degree in Psychology.

That’s going to be one hell of a month, let me tell you.

I suspect though, that the riding and training are going to be just exactly what I need to not be too focused on school, graduation, my internship, all of that.

The exercise will be good for me.

Aside from fine tuning my legs and ass.

I miss by bicycle commuter legs and derrier, let me tell you.

Yoga is nice and I’m totally loving my increased flexibility, but my bicycle behind has gone the way of my one speed parked in my garage since I started doing all my commuting on my scooter.

Aside.

It fucking rained this morning!

I heard it and registered it while I was sitting and wrapping up my morning writing.

I remember thinking, “that’s weird, it sounds like it’s raining.”

But I didn’t really think it was raining.

It was raining.

I got to ride my scooter to work in the wet and I was not anticipating that this morning.

It ended up being fine and the rain ceased a bit when I got to the Inner Sunset and Laguna Honda was dry, it did rain a little bit in Glen Park, but it passed by the time I was done with work.

Thank God.

I don’t like riding when it’s wet.

I didn’t like it on my bicycle.

I don’t like it on my scooter.

I can do it on either, although I have not tried riding my one speed to my job in Glen Park.

I could.

But man.

It would be a haul.

I would have to avoid the hills, I couldn’t make it up the big hills.

I would have to go around.

Making the 6.6 mile commute to work about 8.5 miles.

This means heading all the way up Lincoln, cut through the Pan Handle, take the Wiggle, hit 17th to Valencia, Valencia to 30th and Church and I would still have to climb Chenery to Fairmount.

It would likely take me 50 minutes on my bicycle.

On my once speed, on a road bike I bet I could winnow it down to 45 minutes.

I can scooter it in 20 minutes and I am not sweaty when I get to work.

If I had a geared road bicycle, which is what I will have soon, I thought I was going to buy one while I was on break from the family, but stuff just kept coming up and the press for the bike was never very heavy on me.

Now that I have two donations under my belt and I am starting to get emails from my ALC representative I’m starting to feel itchy for a road bike.

It’s been seven years since I had my road bike.

It was a Felt 45, 56 cm.

I got it for $500 from a rider on the tour who had upgraded to a nicer ride, he totally gave it to me for such a deal.  Here is the most recent version of the bike that I had on the ride in 2010. Only about $2900. No sweat.

Ugh.

The Felt was great, sturdy, I was able to do all my training rides on it, but it didn’t have the top granny gear, which I want this go around my knees are ten years older, and there were a couple of hills on the ride when I did it in 2010 that I had to stop on and rest.

I didn’t walk a single foot.

I didn’t push my bike.

I never took the sweep vehicle for a ride to the next rest stop.

Although one time the van passed me and the driver told me that she almost pulled me out, I was in an active bonk.

A bonk is what happens when you’re on a long ride and you haven’t eaten enough to fuel the ride, it generally happens on long rides.

I remember well that it was a long training ride that day, I was some where out past the Nicasio Reservoir on my way to Pt. Reyes, it was a century ride I’m pretty sure (100 mile ride) I think, I don’t recall exactly and I was very much looking forward to stopping and eating and my brain was loopy and I was slow and I couldn’t figure out why it was taking me such a long time to climb the hill I was on.

I was totally bonked.

I got off my bike and just about fell over.

My friend saw me and ran inside the deli and got me a loaded baked potato.

I literally was sitting on a parking lot cement curb marker in the middle of some supermarket parking lot in Point Reyes with sweat and tears running down my face eating a hot potato so fast I can still feel what it felt like falling down into my tummy and when the food hit I got high.

I am not joking.

I bonked once on the ride to L.A.

Again.

Thank God for my mentor and riding partner, he saw it happening.

I had agreed to run a meeting on the beach and instead of going to dinner had hustled down to do the hour on the beach at sunset and I am super glad I did, it was glorious, but then standing in line for dinner I began to faint, like weaving on my feet as I stood there waiting for my turn to queue up to the steam tables.

And the line was long.

My friend saw another friend and hustled me over to her and told me to stick my head between my knees he’d be right back.

He came back with two pints of milk.

“Drink this now!”

I didn’t argue, just sucked down the milk, the effect was electric.

I almost threw up, then the milk sugars roared through my blood.

While I was getting re-calibrated my friend hopped back into the dinner line and brought me back a tray which was basically a pile of mashed potatoes.

“I can’t eat this for dinner!” I exclaimed.

“You will eat all of that and then you can have some protein, you have zero blood sugar, you got to get it back up or you’re going to the med tent.”

He was quite right.

Anyway.

I had a lot of adventures and misadventures.

The four flat tires and getting stung by a wasp on a training ride to Petaluma and back.

Now that’s a story.

For another blog.

The point is.

It’s time for me to get the road bike.

I might wait until after Burning Man.

I might not.

If I end up having to do the rental car, which is what it’s looking like, I may eschew the cost of getting a playa bike, as I’ll have to get a bike rack and that’s another couple hundred and I don’t know, I’m thinking maybe I just fucking walk the event like I did my first year.

The road bike has to be and I will invest in a good one.

I have done a little research and I’m getting it narrowed down.

But.

Yeah.

It’s time.

I can feel it in my bones.

Time I got my bicycle on again.

Thank you so much to my two donors!

You rock.

And if you want to donate.

Just click here.

I’ll update you as things move along.

Be assured.

You’ll probably get hella tired of reading about my bicycle adventures.

But.

They’ll be fun.

I promise.

 

A Few More Days

August 2, 2017

Of lazy.

A few more days of being able to do yoga in the morning during the week.

I have signed up for a class tomorrow morning.

I went to one this morning.

My ass has been thoroughly kicked with the yoga.

But.

I feel good too, especially afterward.

Especially when I run into friends in the neighborhood who tell me how good I look and how much weight I have lost.

“You look amazing!  I mean, really beautiful, and you’ve lost so much weight, I mean, you look great!” She exclaimed as she stopped in front of the garage where I was sweeping this morning.

I had just gotten back from yoga class and wanted to do my good deed for the day and so I pulled in the garbage cans, the recycling, the compost bins and I decided to sweep out the front of the house.

It’s not something I have ever been asked to do, but sometimes it’s just nice to do something to care for the house, it’s not mine, but I do live here and I like to pull up on my scooter to a tidy spot.

I was still in my yoga gear, had sweat like a maniac, had my hair up in a big messy bun, and was sweeping garbage into the gutter.

And I look amazing?

You are sweet.

But.

I could also tell that how I was feeling was reflected in how I look.

I am happy.

And it shows.

I think that’s what the “weight loss” is, that I am happy.

It’s a nice thing to say and maybe it is true, but it doesn’t matter, I feel about the same in my body as always, albeit a bit sore from the work out today.

I also had no problem accepting the compliment.

It’s nice to hear.

My neighbor and her dog went to the park, I kept sweeping and it just lead from one thing to the other.

Hot shower.

Clean sheets on the bed.

Hot breakfast, latte, writing.

Trip to the laundry mat.

Run to the grocery store.

Cook a little.

Write a lot.

Chat on the phone.

Return e-mails for my internship.

Coordinate my schedule for the month.

I have a bunch of consults this week and a probably new client, although I haven’t set anything up yet.  I have been waiting for the assistant director to make the client official.

Although my director did say I could reach out to the client, I feel better waiting for the official look of the e-mail from the assistant director.

I did some research.

I looked over my syllabi for school and I poked around to see if the classes that weren’t posted yet had any of their syllabi in innocuous spots.

Sometimes that happens, a teacher will use a different platform than the one that the school wants everyone to use and a syllabus will get posted somewhere other than the spot I am used to checking.

Anyway.

There was nothing new with school.

I did some personal accounting, adding up my expenditures for the month of July and making a Spending Plan for the month of August.

Which is typically a month where I have an additional financial category.

Burning Man.

I decided this morning to stop being a baby about it and suck it up and be happy that I have enough resources to rent a car and.

Yes.

I applied for a credit card.

I realize I don’t want to tie up a bunch of money on my debit card.

I can and have rented cars before on my debit card, but they typically demand an enormous deposit and the reimbursement of said deposit is almost always a month.

I don’t want to tie up my finances that way.

Especially heading into the fall semester.

Plus.

Well.

I like to travel and I have been lots of places in the last few years, Paris twice, New York twice, New Orleans, Atlanta, and I should be accruing miles for that travel.

But I never have.

I have always found a cheap ticket online and just bought it with my debit card.

Which is fine.

It’s worked well, but I have been thinking it would be nice to be acquiring some miles.

Especially since my dear friend has moved back to France and we’ve discussed probable trips there, and I want to go to Barcelona and I’ll be flying back from LA next June when I do the ALC (Aids Life Cycle Ride.  Hey!  That’s right, I’m riding, you want to donate to the cause?  I need to raise $3,000 it would be great if you donated.  My rider number is: 2713 you can donate here), so I want to start getting travel rewards.

Yup.

That’s right.

I applied for a credit card today.

First credit card I have applied to in 12 years.

I haven’t had one since I got sober.

Cut those bad boys up and threw them in the trash.

I had a lot of debt.

I was very generous when I was drinking and using and I had no problem throwing my plastic around.

That plus.

My first year of sobriety I had no money, like none, I had a bad accident at my first job and was out of work for six, seven months, it took me a long time to get back on my feet and I went over a year and a half without making any payments on those cards I had.

What had been about $12,500 in debt became.

Wait for it.

$112,000.

Yes.

Part of that was back taxes owed the IRS.

But hey, they audited me and took that money right away.

That sucked so hard.

Then there was the pair of panties, the bra and the pair of jeans I had bought using a Victoria Secrets credit card that I never paid on.

It was a sale of $84 that became a debt of $1350.

I cleared it all.

All but my student loan debt.

I had many, many, many conversations with collectors and debt departments and all manner of people who wanted whatever money I had.

I got harassed a lot.

I was mortified.

It was horrendous and I was assured I would drink again if I didn’t take care of it.

So.

After some time.

I made the calls.

I used a script that someone helped me write.

I eventually went and saw a lawyer who took one look at my records, what I was doing and said, “what you are doing is commendable, and at the rate you are going you’re never getting out of it, you need to file for bankruptcy.”

Ugh.

He gave me his services for cheap.

Cheap.

Fuck, it cost me $2500 to file it and for his services.

But.

It went through.

And yes.

I still have debt, but it is just my student loans.

Just.

Bwaahahahahahhaaha.

Excuse me.

Anyway.

I’m worth the investment so I don’t care about the student loans, they will get paid off too when the time is right.

So, to circle back, for eight years I couldn’t have a credit card.

And for the rest of the time I just said, I don’t need one.

I technically don’t.

But.

I would like to not have to deal with the hassle of the car rental and I can rent the damn thing, be done with it, collect some miles on a card, and immediately pay the bill off with my debit card.

That’s what I figure I’ll do.

I’ll rent the car with the card, pay it off right away and then not have to have anything tied up.

That’s the logic anyway.

I don’t know if I can get a card, but I researched and I applied and I’ll just say, I took the action, I’ll let go of the results.

I’ll get to Burning Man one way or the other.

And in the mean time.

I have a few more days of lazy.

Not that I’ve been terribly lazy, just mellow.

Work will start back up for me on Friday.

And of course I have my clients and consults and internship to deal with.

Life is full.

Life is good.

I am happy.

And apparently I have “lost” some weight.

Heh.

 

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.

Kidnapped

July 5, 2017

In the best possible way.

My friend met me for yoga, it being a holiday we both had the day off from work.

It was fabulous to see him and I was very much looking forward to having a coffee with him afterward and catching up with him at Trouble Coffee, which is just down the block from my house.

“Let’s get out of the fog,” my friend said as we left the yoga studio, “let’s get coffee somewhere other than Trouble.”

I balked.

Wait.

What?

NO.

I have plans and schemes and designs and I’m in my yoga clothes, I need a shower and um, like, I have no fucking makeup on and am I going to be one of those people who goes and hangs out somewhere in their yoga gear?

NO!

Except, well, my friend had this twinkle in his eye.

“What do you mean?” I asked, skeptical, “it’s foggy everywhere in the city.”

“We leave the city,” he said simply, “my car’s right here.”

“I have to do some writing,” I said feebly, “I don’t have my wallet, I um, shit.”

He looked at me, “you can’t write in the sun?”

Well, fuck.

He had me there.

“Oh screw it, fine, let’s go get some sun,” I resigned, surrendered, went over to the winning side.

My friend didn’t clap with glee, but it was damn close.

I got a great big smile, the door unlocked, I threw my yoga mat in the car and climbed in.

“I don’t have a wallet with me, I don’t have makeup on,” I continued to protest, weakly, as I buckled my seat belt.

“Do you need to go put makeup on,” my friend said with a complete straight face.

“Oh fuck you,” I said, “let’s go, drive.”

“I got you covered, hello, that’s what credit cards are for,” he hopped in and we cruised out of the city and down the Great Highway and onto the 1.

“We’re going to Woodside,” he said and programmed the route.

I have no idea where Woodside is but having been kidnapped that made good sense, you’re not supposed to know where you’re being taken.

And it didn’t matter, I was in a car, the music was playing, my friend was grinning ear to ear and I was happy to see, that yes, indeed, the fog was lifting.

And then.

There was sun.

And it was good.

I mean.

REALLY fucking good.

So happy to get out of the fog for a little while.

We caught up and chatted and talked about his experience doing the Aids LifeCycle.

This past ride was his 9th ride.

He’s going to do one more and then probably move onto something else.

He’s doing a big ride in Toronto this year as well and that may be the next thing for him.

We reminisced about when I did the ride and how ill prepared I was.

First, I was on a borrowed bicycle, one that was way, way, way too big for me.

“Do you remember your first ride,” he laughed loudly, “you show up in cut off jeans and tights, with a huge messenger bag slung over your shoulder, I just shook my head.”

I joined him laughing, “and Converse, don’t forget, I was in Converse.”

God.

I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I decided to do the ride.

I do remember very distinctly, however, crying at the end of that first training ride, I had barely made it the five-mile ride and I was overwhelmed with it.

How the fuck was I going to ever ride 545 miles?

“You will,” he said, “you will, just one step at a time, one pedal at a time, you’ll do fine, you need better gear though,” and he steered me around the Sports Basement racks showing me what I was going to need.

I had no money.

But.

I had a fuck load of heart.

I scraped up money everywhere, I wore old shoes, SiDi clipless bicycle shoes that someone gave me, I got donated a kit from a friend, I bought goofy looking outfits because they were on sale.

I had sponsors from all over the city and the country.

I do not know how the hell I raised the money to ride, but I did.

I don’t know how the hell I did it, but one pedal revolution at a time I did it.

My friend was my mentor.

He got me out, he helped me, he cheered me on, he made up silly songs to get me up hills.

One day, not too soon after I had started doing the training rides he pointed up to this gigantic hill and said, “one day, and not too far from now, you’re going to ride up that hill.”

“What fucking hill?” I asked perplexed, I didn’t see any hills, I mean, I saw a mountain, but not a hill.

“That one there,” he said pointing at the big peak in the distance.

“What the fuck is that,” I asked, followed closely by, “no fucking way.”

“Mount Tam,” he said, “and yes you fucking will.”

He was right.

A few weeks later, maybe a month and a half, I was riding up that fucking hill.

It was a long ride, but I tell you what, my God, the view.

Great.

Out.

Doors.

So much of it, so much beauty, so much joy, so much fucking swearing.

Damn I swore a lot.

I did it though and I laughed with my friend as we talked about all my adventures and misadventures.

And I could feel it, I could feel it fucking stirring, in fact, the thoughts had been stirring for a while.

“I want to do it one more time,” I said over an amazing omelet at Buck’s of Woodside.

My friend just smiled and nodded.

And as soon as the words came out of my mouth I knew I was going to.

“Fuck!  I’m going to do it again!” I laughed and pushed aside my omelet and hugged my friend.

We both laughed like hyenas.

And I am sure as fuck that there is going to be a moment or fifteen when I wonder, what the fuck was I thinking.

But then.

I’ll remember all the beautiful people in my life who I ride for, those alive and those who have passed from Aids and HIV complicated illness.

Later today, after my friend had dropped me back at home, after stuffing me full of joy and omelet and sunshine and promises to help me get a good road bike, I met with my person up in Noe Valley at the Martha Brothers Coffee house on Church Street and Duncan.

I sat on a bench with this man whom I love so much, who I hold with such deep respect and without whom I would not be the woman I am today.

He told me about taking a recent tour through the Aids Grove in Golden Gate Park and how it was to be there and the people in his life and the memories and I took a big deep breath.

“Give me your hand,” I said, “I want to hold it while I tell you something, you’re probably going to be mad at me, but I think that after that passes, you’ll be pretty proud of me.”

He turned and looked at me and took my hand.

“I’m not going to be able to go to Barcelona with you in May because after I graduate from my Master’s program in Psychology I’ll be riding to LA, I’m going to do the AidsLifeCycle ride again,” I squeezed his hand.

I could tell he wanted to give me a lecture, and that did happen a little and we agreed I’d have to let something else go from my life, probably not going to Burning Man next year, but I’ll get to that later, I’m still going this year, but I could tell by the way he held my hand it was going to be ok.

“You are a miracle,” he said.

And I am.

I am also someone who wears my heart on my sleeve, who does things to experience things as much as possible, who dreams big, who goes for it, who loves so, so, so hard.

Because why else live if I’m not going to live it passionately?

Fuck life without passion.

I get to live.

My best friend died this month ten years ago and he’s much on my mind, I did the ride originally for him.

And this time.

Well.

I will do it for him and my person and all the people who I know in my community who still struggle.

But.

I will also be doing it for me.

Because I can.

Because I want to ride my bicycle.

I miss it.

And.

Um.

Ha.

My bicycle bum.

I miss that a lot too.

Heh.

Oh yeah.

It’s official too.

While I was typing this blog I also took a minute, pulled out my credit card and registered to ride.

That’s right bitches.

I am now officially registered for the Aids LifeCycle ride 2018.

Shit.

I better go buy a bike.

What the fuck have I done?

Ha.

One Foot in Front

July 2, 2017

Of the other.

And moving forward and go.

Go.

Go.

It was quite a packed day, but a lovely day, a day of many smiles and laughs and appreciation for my life.

I got up and did a yoga class.

It was mediocre.

The teacher is just not a good teacher.

But I went anyway.

I always have a moment, or fifteen, when I want to email the studio and just be like, get a new instructor!  This guy sucks!

He doesn’t suck, he’s just young and not a good teacher.

He’s a great yogi.

I am I have seen him do amazing things with his body, he obviously has an incredible practice, but it doesn’t translate to being a good teacher.

So I sort of muddle through and just pat myself on the back for showing up and taking what I like and leaving the rest.

My previous teacher, God I miss him, was amazing, so I feel like there’s some disparity there, and I acknowledge that I was gifted with an extraordinary teacher for a while and thank God for that, if I had the teacher that I have now when I started I would have quit.

When his classes have been on other days I have just avoided them.

But.

My schedule is not really too flexible now in regards to when I can get into the studio, 9 a.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. on Sunday are the two classes I know I can make and have been really rigorous about making.

So.

I’ll put up with the mediocre for now.

It will change, either he will no longer teach that time slot, other people’s schedules change, not just mine, or when I can I will take another class and opt out of the ones he teaches.

Until then, I literally suck it up and just go.

Better a mediocre yoga class then no yoga class.

Tomorrow, however, is a great teacher, and her class kicks my ass, but I get a lot more out of it and though I still have a preference for my very first teacher, he really was astounding, I like this teacher and she’s good.

And this week I’ll get to go to a morning yoga class on Tuesday.

Yes.

I will be doing yoga to celebrate the 4th of July.

I have the day off and when I have a day off I want to go to yoga.

And a friend of mine I haven’t seen in a while is going to come to class with me and then we’re going to go to Trouble Coffee and get caffeinated and catch the fuck up.

Super happy I get to see him.

He just got back from doing the Aids LifeCycle ride and he was my mentor when I rode it in 2010.

I still aspire to ride again, just now is not a good time to do it.

Perhaps after I graduate or I get my intern number and can start charging for my sessions.

Anyway, it was good to see him tonight and get in some good hugs and also to let him know I’ll have some weeks off in July and can do lunch.

I’ll probably head down to his job place and hang out with him on his lunch break.

I have that plan with another friend of mine who is also super busy in her life and we connected this past week and I told her the same thing, I will come to you, I will meet you for lunch, let’s hang out.

Whenever and wherever I can I will be seeking out social contact.

I put in 8 hours at the internship today, two of them today and the rest was seeing my supervisor on Monday and then seeing 5 clients.

Ultimately I will be seeing 8 clients.

I could possibly do 10 but I think that would be too much.

I will, however, pick up consultation hours when I have that time off from work with my family.

I will suck up as many of those as I can.

But I will also try to not work too much.

Catch up with friends, hang out, go to coffee, see my dear French friend and her little brood before they head back to France at the end of July.

There is a lot for me to do and see and be allowing myself to be seen.

Happy that is all happening.

Happy I also took care of a bunch of errands today, picking up packages at the post office and dropping off a package to return at UPS.

And I got a big grocery shopping trip in.

And I did the deal.

Which was great and picked up a commitment for Saturdays to keep me connected and not drift off into my internship land too far.

I’m trying to keep it all balanced out.

Sometimes I do better than others.

But I am getting decent sleep.

Eating really well.

In fact.

Yesterday, woo hoo, was my four-year anniversary marking my abstinence from sugar and flour.

That was nice to note.

Getting in the yoga when I can.

Doing a good job at work.

Doing a good job, I feel, at my internship.

Tomorrow I will do yoga in the am, have a nice breakfast and a latte, do some writing and then zip over to Cheap Petes and grab my prints.

I’ll be meeting with a lady at 1pm to do some work and reading and connecting.

Then a quick-lunch here.

And.

Yes.

Some pampering.

I’m getting my mani/pedi/waxing the fuck on.

So looking forward to that.

And.

After that.

A zip downtown to do some clothes shopping.

And like that.

The weekend.

Loving my life so very much.

Busiest girl in the world?

Maybe, but probably not.

Luckiest girl in the world?

Absofuckinglutely.

Everybody’s Got Their Own Agenda

March 24, 2015

I heard her voice in my head as I shouted at the woman who passed me on the right and pushed me into traffic on the commute into work.

I had already had a few moments of uneasiness on my bicycle.

It rained last night.

Not a lot.

But enough.

The roads were slick this morning and as I was pedaling across Lincoln at 20th my back wheel slipped under me a moment.

I righted and breathed and continued forward, cautious, but aware.

Again the wheel slipped, just a touch, rounding a corner in the Pan Handle.

When it’s just damp enough to cause all the street oil to sluice up to the top of the pavement it feels scarier then when it is a full on down pour.

Slick roads are worse in my estimation than rain.

I thought about the rest of the commute and that I had time.

I always give myself ten minutes more than I need to get to work.

I like to get off my bike, stretch out my shoulders, wiggle out any kinks in my legs and drink some water.

I like to also have caught my breath and had a moment to get centered before entering the fray.

Monday’s especially can be a ruckus, especially after having two days with mom and dad, the charges are not always grateful to see me, despite having fun moments after I arrive.

Upon arrival I often hear a “no!” or “go away!” or the pitter patter of feet running to mom and dad.

That’s ok.

I’m used to it kid.

Sometimes I get the opposite response, but not always.

So, lots of time for me to travel my way cross town.

Monday’s are also a challenge for me as a bicycle commuter.

It is the one day of the week that I go into work early and as such I am in actual commuter traffic.

Not just car commuter and Google Bus commuter, but bicycle commuter, traffic.

I will forget, have forgotten, most other days that there are many, many, many more bicycles on the road then there used to be and also that four days of the week I am riding in to work outside of busy rush hour traffic.

Not so Mondays.

I generally am hitting the end of the rush, but I can get caught in it, or catch up to it, almost always on the Wiggle, sometimes in the Pan Handle if the lights are not in my favor.

I was doing alright after negotiating the Wiggle until I crossed Duboce and hopped onto Sanchez.

As I was crossing over Market headed toward 17th, a rider passed me on the right.

DON’T PASS ON THE RIGHT!

I yelled, startled.

Damn it lady.

You’re forcing me into traffic and riding in my blind spot.

Stupid lady.

I didn’t say bitch.

No.

I was annoyed though and thought about giving her a lecture on being polite to other bicyclists.

I mean, I pass cars all the time on the right, except when they are signaling a right turn, then I go around to the left.

Bicyclists and pedestrians, though, I always pass on the left.

And yes.

I am that annoying person who hollers out, “on your left.”

Sometimes I will whistle sharply if I think a person can’t hear me who may be crossing an intersection while looking at their phone screen.

But most of the time I pass on the left and I let you know that I am there.

It’s something I learned on training rides in 2010 when I rode in the Aids LifeCycle tour from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

I learned a lot on those rides.

How to fix a flat, how to carry momentum to get up a hill, how to ride clipless, how to ride a back to back, how to ride a Century (100 miles) what it felt like to bonk, what I needed to do to not bonk, how it felt riding Whites Hill in Marin the first time.

How it felt climbing Mount Tam and doing the Southern Hills Climb.

How saddle sores felt.

I happily will skip having that experience again.

I occasionally rue not having registered for the ride this year, I was thinking about it a lot, but I decide to apply to graduate school and go to Atlanta for the International Conference, and see my grandmother in Chula Vista and go to Burning Man.

That’s more than enough for my plate this year.

And I still have a few ideas up my sleeve for travel.

I learned a lot of courtesy on those rides and what it felt like when another rider did not extend the same courtesy to me.

Sometimes I can be an asshole and need to prove a point and I could feel that come up in me when I saw the woman on her bicycle stopped at the traffic light at Sanchez and 16th.

I wanted to lecture her.

I wanted to tell her how it’s done.

I know better though.

It’s not my place to tell another person how to live their life and I had a flash of a driver yelling out the window at me to “wear a fucking helmet!”

Which doesn’t do much from saving my startled self when I get screamed at.

Hey asshat, when you are so focused on the behavior of someone else you’re ignoring yourself.

Just saying.

So when I coasted in to a stop at 16th and Sanchez I held my tongue.

I looked at the woman.

She was oblivious.

She was not seeing me as I was straddling my bike waiting for the light to change.

She also was fiddling with her phone and had ear phones in, so the likelihood that she heard me holler about passing on the right was nil, and she wasn’t going to hear me and my “friendly” I know better bicycle protocol about passing on the right.

I paused.

And I brought my attention to the road ahead of me.

The trickiest part of the commute, especially when its slick, the turn at Sanchez onto 17th.

There’s a great bike lane on 17th, but turning left I have to cross two sets of MUNI train tracks at a parallel instead of simply cutting straight across.

It is far to easy too slip on them.

I have in the past, but never gone down.

I kept my counsel, the light changed.

The woman hadn’t seen the light change, she was a bit behind me.

I signalled a left turn.

I signalled that I was slowing down, that’s a flat open palm hanging down at a right angle waving back and forth (think of a reverse beauty pageant queen on a float waving).

Then I signalled that I was coming to a slow stop.

A squeezing in of my hand into a ball.

I turned left.

I crossed at a diagonal and made it completely over the tracks with no slippage, I turned my head, the woman was directly to my left, riding in between the train tracks, not even in the bicycle lane.

“It’s your life lady,” I thought to myself and then, out of no where, I should move over, she’s going to pass me and cut me off again at the light.

I could just feel it.

Except.

Well.

She wiped out on the tracks.

She went down.

Hard.

I am still not sure how I avoided hitting her.

She was passing me and her bicycle nearly toppled me, I weaved to the right, and rolled off my pedals, sliding my feet out of my foot retention straps (oh how do I love thee my Hold Fast straps) and squeezing slow and steady on my brake so I wouldn’t slip too.

It all happened in slow motion.

I can still see her right hand, fingers spread, reaching to catch her fall, I can see how if I hadn’t swerved just at that moment, how I would have rolled over her hand.

I shudder.

She broke her basket on her bike and bananas flew into the street.

A car drove over one and the smell of ripe banana wafted over the tracks and assaulted my nose.

“Are you ok?” I asked, stopping, looking back, “do you need help?”

“I’m ok, I’m ok,” she stood.

I watched her pick up her bicycle and shakily run her hands over her body.

“Are you sure?” I asked again.

“Yeah, thanks,” she said and waved me off.

The car that had rolled over the banana was stopped a few feet a head of me.

I rolled up on her.

“She ok?” The driver leaned out the window.

“Yeah, she’s ok,” I smiled.

The driver smiled.

“Whew.”

Be careful out there kids.

I was a little discombulated but so grateful that I hadn’t yelled at her.

That I kept my lecture to myself.

I am certain she learned what she needed.

That’s the thing.

We all learn exactly what we need when we need it and I can’t hurry any one’s process up.

Mine included.

I can be right.

Or.

I can be happy.

And today I was very happy to make it to work in one piece.

Very happy.

So Close

April 5, 2013

I can smell the Prego!

I am going to Rome.

I have not purchased the ticket, but the money is there.

Thank you!

Thank you!

Thank you!

Or should I say “prego!”

I think that’s the word for thank you.

Grazi is the word for your welcome, right?

Hehe.

I have no understanding of the Italian language.

My only interactions with Italians has been in North Beach, and that felt rather like a show, come watch the Italian guys do their crazy thing and don’t forget to tip big!

I did rather like going to The Steps of Rome in North Beach when I was still eating sugar.  It was a great place to take a date, have an espresso and something sweet.  I never knew exactly what I was ordering, but it all tasted delicious and I did not mind being flirted with by the Italian waiters.

I remember once getting this enormous chocolate dusted ball of hazelnut ice cream.

I ate that right the hell up.

There was a waiter from the Angelic Brewing Company that came out and visited, Michael I think his name was, and we went to the bar tucked away in the alley–Specs–ate wedges of cheese cut from a large wheel on saltine crackers, then drank pints of Guinness.

After that it was up to Steps of Rome for coffees and desserts.

Now, I am not drinking, or eating dessert.

Or, oh hold your breath, eating dairy.

Day five people.

I do not know that I can call myself vegan yet, or if I will forever and ever amen, but as the lactose is shaking its way out of my body I am feeling a lot better and after reading up on dairy addiction, hello morphine in milk!  I was pretty down with giving it a go.

Plus sexy monkey in New York is vegan.

I hear they taste the best.

Ahem.

And onto other breaking news.

Not ashamed that I am being motivated by a man.  Whatever it takes, if that is a character defect working for me, then so be it.

Anyway.

I will be getting the airline ticket once the funds land in my account.

I have done a lot of internet searching and jumping about from site to site to train to airplane and it makes better sense to fly then to take the train at this point.  The Thello trains do have a 35 Euro fare, but nothing available the times I can go.  After plugging in various different dates and times into the matrix the best I can get is 100 Euro each way.

This is not a bad price, but considering I can get a plane ticket from about $215 American, and it won’t take ten to fifteen hours each way to travel.  Rather it would be two hours.

I think I will be hitting the plane.

Between the generous gifts of two friends in San Francisco, I will be Roma bound within the next few days.  Hard to believe.

Yet, I woke up saying yes and there it was, after I got back from my mental relaxation session at the American Cathedral, a sweet message from a friend who I haven’t seen much of or went about much with in San Francisco.

But sometimes you create a bond with someone.

You may forget that bond.

They don’t however, and the miracle is, I get to pay, or play, it forward.

I know it.

In fact, I promise, here and now to do so.

Nothing would make me happier.

Well, knowing where I am going to live and what I am going to do for work, would be the cherry on the hot f (gr)udge sunday, but I know better than to expect that answer anytime soon.

I did take a moment last night as I was laying in bed just about to drop off to sleep when the New York question popped into my head.

What if we hit it off?

What if I just move in?

I ain’t got much, a rolling suitcase, some notebooks, and a 20lb bike.

He’s got a spare room.

What if?

Of course I have not brought it up again.  There are a few people other than my head I need to check in with.  Including, said gentleman.  What a lark, I love that I can even consider this, that I can even say, hey, yeah, I will take you up on that.

You are cute.

This could work.

Sounds like a recipe for crazy.

But who the hell said I was sane?

It would be saying yes to an entirely different circumstance than any I have said yes to before.  And the thought of “you can’t fuck it up if it’s meant to be and you can’t manipulate it into happening” went dancing through my head.

There is no right.

There is no wrong.

There are no mistakes in Gods world.

When I think of all the places I have gone because I said yes to doing something that I was afraid of I think, my God, I am one lucky bitch.  I have gotten to do things simply because I said, ok, I’ll try that.

Nanny for us?

Ok.

Go to Burning Man with us?

Ok.

Cue flying in a four seater Cessna above the playa with a pigeon.  Or sitting in the front row of the burn circle on Burn night, not once, but three times over the six years I have gotten to attend.

Ride my bike where?

Ok.

I don’t have a bike.

You’ll help?

Ok.

Suddenly flying down the hills coming into Santa Monica, going over 55 mph on a Felt 35 Road bike, clipped in, so connected to the wind that I cannot feel anything but alive, burning with joy, bicycling at the rate of the speed limit on the way to doing 569 miles for the Aids LifeCycle from San Francisco to LA.

I can live with you where?

In Paris?

Ok.

Cue the last five months of my life here abiding at 36 Rue Bellefond, 75009, Paris, France.

Let me say yes, again, and again, and again.

Yes.

Yes.

Yes.

OH God.

Yes.


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