Posts Tagged ‘American Cyclery’

When I Put It Out There

June 4, 2015

I get results.

I wasn’t expecting results.

To be honest, I was being a little flippant with my blog last night.

But.

Ha.

What do you know.

I got asked out on a date.

A friend of a friend on Facebook.

Which is not my first Facebook date, I’ve been asked out one other time, and hooked up via messenger with another guy for a few months a few years ago.

But I will say it was my first time being asked out by someone who can’t figure out how he knows me.

I figured it out fairly quick and as of yet, have not said anything about the probably correlation.

I’ll wait until we meet up for coffee on Sunday and see if I’m correct.

And it was also pretty cute how he did it and he did read the blog and it was the first post of mine he ever had read, never followed me before, so that was surreptitious.

I got a few interesting suggestions from the blog as well and despite being a little loathe to go there, I have had Match.com recommended to me enough times that I believe I will also give it a whirl.

I did, about a week ago, start a profile, but I got annoyed with the questions and hopped off it before really completing anything.

Perhaps it is now time to go back and finish.

What I realized last night, after I was blogging and I was messaging back and forth with Mister Facebook, is that I either want to go on a date a week, like I have tried before, or I take myself out on a date.

That way I am getting out and enjoying San Francisco, and it’s environs, and not feeling like I’m just living to work.

Despite loving my job and the boys so very much.

Today we had a little adventure at the Eco Center on 17th between Valencia and Hoff.  We visited the painted turtles and said hello to the Crested Gecko and played with recycled instruments and made noise and had a little parade and when we went to leave the woman at the desk asked the boys if they wanted to hold the gecko.

Oh my god.

Such cuteness.

“THIS IS THE BEST DAY EVER!” My five-year old charge said as he stroked the soft tummy of the little yellow gecko.

Nanny for the win.

My job is something I am super grateful for, but so too is my life, and I do want to make sure I am having fun.

I am focused on enjoying this time before graduate school wreaks havoc with my schedule and my time.

I still can’t quite imagine how it’s all going to go, but I don’t need to figure it out right now.

Right now is about staying in the moment.

Living, playing, dating.

Riding my bicycle.

Then walking it.

I blew out my rear tire on the Pan Handle.

I had just crossed Masonic and all the sudden it went.

I started walking and trying to figure out what to do.

Too far from the Mission to turn around and go back to Mission Bicycle and have taken care of.

Too far from home to walk there and change it myself.

Close to 7p.m.

Is there anything open?

I started running a mental map through my head and immediately came up with American Cyclery, fingers crossed they would still be open.

If not I was going to hop on to the 71 Noriega and get it home that way.

But they were open and the piece of glass that the mechanic pulled out was epic.

In fact, I realized as I watched him pull it out with a needle nose pliers, that I probably ran over that piece of glass yesterday riding.

My wheel felt funny last night coming home.

I inflated my tires this morning and I think what happened was when I bumped up over the curb crossing Masonic that the pressure from the wheel finally hit the tube and the glass popped it–I have Gatorskins on my bicycle, nothing is 100% puncture proof, but they are damn close–normally rolling through glass is not a hazard.

But this piece was huge.

Grateful to have it taken care of.

And still make it back to the hood in time to sit down and work on my spending plan for June and add up my expenses from May.

Pretty much right on track.

Even without having yet received my federal income tax return.

I await it eagerly.

I have had visions of many things in my head to spend it on.

I’m leaning towards a new mattress really hard.

Like a nice one.

Who knows if this dating thing works out I may well want a nicer bed.

Ahem.

I am not going to go there as fast as I did with the last guy.

Take it slow is going to be the method to stave off the madness.

I’m going to go on dates and meet more than one guy and when that doesn’t happen, I’ll take myself on dates and make sure that I meet someone new or talk to someone.

I can explore my neighborhood some more.

Find new coffee shops to hang out in.

Hike around the Sutro baths, which I have never actually done and they’re pretty damn close to where I live.

That could be a nice little bicycle jaunt for me, especially now that the tire is fixed.

The guy I’m meeting with on Sunday is a bicyclist too.

“How have we not met?” He questioned me after I shared some of the things I like to do for fun, many of them a pretty close match to his own lifestyle.

And yes.

I did the Facebook lurk and checked out all the photos, he’s attractive.

“Your hot” [sic]

One of the last texts I received before heading off to be last night.

Even if the date bombs that was nice to hear, as well as the fun of chatting with a new person.

I think I’m ready for this dating thing again.

Who’s next?

You Are The Poppins

August 5, 2014

So it was spoken.

So it is.

Out of the mouths of babes.

Today my charge looked at me and said that, “you are the Poppins.”

My eldest charge knows what my playa name is–Poppins.

That’s the G rated version.

My playa name is actually Mary Fucking Poppins, thanks to PQ’s wife who named me that last year about this time as I was planning the return to playa nanny land.

He also knows his playa name, his papa’s and his mama’s and many of the participants that are going or working or camping there.

The little guy has been saying, “we’re going to Burning Man,” quite a bit lately.

He’s again, entirely correct.

We are going to Burning Man.

In 11 days.

Eek.

He was dressed, partially for it today, showing off a pair of grey furry monster slippers with three toes and orange claws.  Way too cute.  He has a bear hat and a raccoon hat, a dragon suit, I saw some face paint at Flax on Saturday, and I am thinking I might have to go get some of that for dressing up on playa–little fox face, little bunny rabbit, or a cat–oh the cute.

He’s also got goggles, a back pack, his own camelbak, and plenty of other gear I haven’t seen yet, but I know is accumulating in neat, tidy piles in the garage.

Which makes me realize, Jesus God, that I am going to unearth my Burning Man boxes this weekend, because, um, when else am I going to pack.  I will have just this last weekend to organize, though I know it’s all going to come together quickly as it usually does.

The trick of it will be working the full week, saying goodbye to my little guy, I am holding off on saying goodbye to my little girl Thursday for a few more days, I got a message from the mom that they could use a little help the week following my return, so I will be seeing her two more times before our end is up, and then getting all my gear over to my family’s home next Thursday.

Or possibly next Wednesday.

I’m not quite sure how I am going to work it.

The mom did offer me use of her vehicle, so I could probably do it all on Wednesday night and live out of my messenger bag for a day or two until we get settled on playa the afternoon of the 16th.

It seems like a lot.

But it will just unfold and unroll and next thing you know I will be taking photographs and watching the sunset kiss the Calico Mountains.

And I got two more things out-of-the-way today, not having planned for either.

First, I got my ticket and early arrival pass.

“Don’t lose it,” the mom said as she handed over the envelope.

Nope.

That would suck.

To get all the way there and suddenly be like, oh, snap, I left my ticket on my table at home in San Francisco.

I did hear of an acquaintance who had to have a friend break into her place in New York and FedEx her ticket to Reno where she drove back to pick it up after having landed at the event and realized just that, she’d left the ticket on her desk at home.

Ack.

No thank you.

I put my ticket, after taking a photograph of it of course, and early arrival pass in the same safe place I put them in last year.  I did not to have taken them out once after they were put into their secret special sauce spot last year and I did not even bother to look until we got to the gate and then I took them out, having just a moment of panic that I had not looked in said secret spot until that moment.

It’s a safe place.

The second thing I got.

My bike!

My playa chopper is ready to roll once again thanks to Tyson at American Cyclery, thanks man, you freaking rock!

He fixed it and it works and hopefully my ankle will work and I will have ready wheels when I arrive.

I had some trepidation to even get on the bike when I picked it up from the shop, I couldn’t bring myself to get on it or even put myself in the saddle.

I had started to limp again about mid afternoon.

The time is getting a little longer, imperceptibly, every day, the time of day when I notice my ankle start to ache is getting just a tiny bit further out into the day.

Tomorrow marks two months from the injury.

Two months not on my bicycle.

Two freaking months.

It’s hard to believe that.

That first month was horror, and I don’t even know how I got through it, well, yes I do, all my amazing friends and family who took care of me, but looking back, it’s a dark blotch on the calendar.

“Are you ready to dance yet?” My friend asked me tonight as I settled into my spot at 7th and Irving.

“Nope,” I sighed, “and I got invited to go dancing twice this past week!”

I am ready to dance, but I am cautious to do much more than tap a foot.

I was listening to some Paul Simon and I wanted to dance around with my boys and I could muster it for a moment or two, but eventually I just sat down and held them alternatively in my lap and bounced a bit to the music.

I miss dancing and exercise, and walking without pain, and my bicycle, but I know I will be back on the dance floor, back out into the world, back in the saddle soon.

The saddle I get on first will most likely be the gigantic white sparkling banana seat on my chopper.  I don’t think I am going to pull out my one speed until after Burning Man.

I don’t want to risk irritating the ankle, I want to be there for my family and on top of my game.  My little guy is more active and it’s going to be an entirely new experience out there with him being so mobile and engaged.

There will be lots of playing and cavorting and hanging out and rides in the red Radio Flyer wagon, and perhaps some bicycle rides, I wouldn’t mind rigging something up so that my bike had a carrier and maybe an umbrella.

Or a parasol.

I am “the POPPINS” after all.

I have a name to uphold.

 

And Back To Our Regular Programming

July 16, 2014

Sponsored by:

Sack o’ Peas!

Frozen sack of peas, mind you, but a bag of peas none the less.

You know it’s been a day when you are actively fantasizing about getting home to put the leg up in the air and throw down some frozen vegetables on it.

Not sure what was up but it was a sore one today.

I went slow.

I swear I did.

I took the boys to the Golden Gate Community Gardens and we just wandered around the boxes looking at the plants and literally stopping to smell the roses.

We saw, in no particular order, giant Fava beans, sugar snap peas, snow peas, Echinacea, chamomile blooms, dill, rosemary, mint, teeny tiny cherry tomatoes, zucchini, squash blossoms, lavender, red lettuce, curly-headed lettuce, golden chard, regular chard, red chard, broccoli just beginning to bloom, radishes, gigantic leeks, strawberries, kale, lot of kale actually, every plot seemed to have some.

There were also wild flowers and nasturtiums, and Queen Anne’s Lace, and geraniums, petunia’s, violet, wood violets and African violets, lots of roses, and last but not least, especially in the boys minds, pinwheels.

They had a merry old-time just blowing pinwheels.

It was the perfect kind of morning to meander through the gardens.

They just recently opened and there was only a solo worker there who waved us right in when I asked if we could walk through and enjoy the plants.

I rather wanted to pick some of the plants, one strawberry plot was so rich and heavily laden with berries it seemed wrong to not pluck any off the plants, but I discouraged the boys, and myself, from touching anything with our hands.

Instead we practiced, “touching with our eyes,” and though I will admit I did take a little tiny leaf of mint from a peppermint bush, we left without disturbing any of the plants.

It was a sweet, serene, walk to the park, the evergreens along Kezar stadium flagrant with fragrance, my eldest boy scooped up fistfuls of evergreen needles and pine cones as we strolled, and then we came over to the Kezar Triangle park that was newly renovated a few months back and the entire thing was empty.

I fed the boys snacks on the bench carved out of a gigantic piece of redwood and then let them run amok in the grass while I hobbled behind.

The fields were fragrant and still damp from the morning dew, the fresh-cut grass sticking to all of our shoes, but the smell.

Oh so good.

And I don’t know what plant or pairing of plants that were planted in the border gardens but it smelled heavenly, like thick just harvested honeycomb in the sun rich and sweet.

I could taste it on my tongue and I just wanted to sit there all day.

San Francisco is a lush, sweet, intoxicating smelling place (not always because people are walking around openly smoking pot either), jasmine and sweet grass, honeysuckle, buckets of lavender growing in so many yards and porches and stoops.

The Charles Grimaldi trees, the little trees that have the gigantic golden bell blooms that look like faerie hats, all the citrus trees–lime, Meyer lemon, oranges, tangerines, then the plum trees–that for many years I mistook for cherry trees-and the Eucalyptus (which though not a native species is still such a fragrant and deeply intoxicating smell to me that I never fail to indulge with deep breath when I am in the Pan Handle Park and the leaves are dropping from the trees in showers of scent) proliferating in the parks.

It was a good smells kind of day.

I always think that good smells presage good fortune.

Today I felt fortunate.

To have a good job with little boys who I love and I can say pretty truthfully, love me.

Same goes for my little girl Thursday who we ran into yesterday at the carousel in the Koret Children’s Playground in Golden Gate Park, such a peach, I love hearing her say my name.

I love whenever they get to that point.

The littlest monkey doesn’t have my name down yet, but I get the love, the snuggles, the laughter, the silly faces and the goofy boy antics that crack me up.

He has recently taken to walking around with his eyes squinched shut until he bumps into something.

It is the goofiest little game.  It’s rather as though he’s time travelling or something.

He walks in a relatively straight line, for an 18 month old boy who just recently mastered walk (God, I remember when I was swaddling him for naps and he couldn’t crawl yet!), hands slightly out in front, eyes shut, until he can’t help but open his eyes to see what amazing surprise awaits him.

He usually gasps in glee.

It’s quite a sight.

Poor thing bonked into a door though, an hour before pick up, smack, with his head.

It was almost like watching a stand up comedian slapstick hit himself, except, he really did bonk his head a good one.

I tried to not laugh, but a giggle might have escaped me.

On our way back from the park I swung into American Cyclery to talk with Tyson about my playa cruiser and where we stand with it.

He’s had it for a while, but knowing that I was going to Burning Man, and knowing when Burning Man is (oh my god I leave in a month–leaving San Francisco the morning of August 15th, a Friday to Reno, overnight in Reno, then landing on playa early to mid afternoon on the 16th, eep!) he’s not gotten about to it.

And he wasn’t in the shop, having taken his first vacation in 3 years.

But the guy at the register assured me my bike was safe and Tyson was on it.

Although he admitted he didn’t think he’d touched it much since I had dropped it off.

Tyson will be back next week and I will use that as an excuse to walk over to Kezar and smell the grand smells of this beautiful city I am blessed to get to live in.

Today felt really good for that.

Grace.

Love.

Gratitude.

Being taken care of.

Despite myself.

Getting to be a conduit for the good stuff.

All the things.

She told me.

You deserve all the things.

Especially if they smell good.

Dinner & A Movie

January 9, 2014

I had an unexpected end to my work day with the mom coming back early and an electrician tearing apart the kitchen.

No dinner for me at work today, plus a late end to my work shift, and a “I’m not sure where to go” mentality had me running out the door with a low-fat string cheese stick in one hand and an apple in the other.

I jammed out on my bike thinking I would make it over to 5th and Irving and see some folks at St. John of God, but well, the Universe had other ideas and what do you know, I thought there was something funky with my front tire this morning.

Flat.

I hopped off the bike looked up the street secretly crossing my fingers.

Yes!

American Cyclery was still open.

I trotted up the street to sneak in my wheels before they could close shop and had a nice chat with Tyson Mitchell, the owner of American Cyclery, while one of the mechanics pulled off my front tire in less time than I could adequately ogle the new Brooks saddles they had in stock.

We talked bicycle commute, the new passing law (which maybe one in thirty cars this morning which passed me may have actually abided by), wherein a vehicle has to give the bicyclist three feet, biking over the bridge, when tourists get in the wrong lane and end up going through the tunnel and onto the freeway headed toward the Golden Gate Bridge, and various other bicycling related odds and ends.

I snacked on my string cheese and ate my apple, but that is not a sufficient dinner for me, while the tube was changed out.  The tire is still good, although getting close to its end and it’s been a great tire, Vittoria Rubino, the original front tire on the bicycle, and I did not have to replace it, just got a charge for the tube and not even for labor, and a discount!

I sent him a Facebook message thanking him and I think I am going to go YELP him.

Not something I do often, but they were great and man, working in a bike shop is not the way to get rich, you got to have passion for it, so, whatever I can do to help, I will.

My night routine already thrown I waffled as to what to do next as I hopped on my fresh fixed bike and my stomach grumbled at me for more food.

I decided to hit it home.

I would be too late to go where I had intended and too early for anything else unless I sat around the 7th and Irving neighborhood for another hour and a half and I just did not have it in me to do so.

Home.

I came back, made up a little more food, a cup of tea and down loaded a movie.

Yah.

Date night.

I even know where the sexy stuff is kept.

I could get lucky.

I could also just go to bed a tiny bit earlier then I have the last few nights as I have been up a little later and a longer nights sleep is nice.

I say that now knowing, like I do when I say I am going to take a nap today, that the scenario is unlikely, but hey, it’s a nice thought.

Other nice thoughts happened today as well.

When I realized this morning that I was trying to make busy work for myself when there is no need to do so.

Ah, you sneaky little habit, isolation through being too busy, you almost got me.

I have been embracing the career nanny angle, and what do you know, it’s really nice.  When I am absolutely in there doing my job and I don’t need it to be anything but my job and I am not obsessing about how I am not making a career from writing or what ever else I can scheme up, why, I am having a great time at my job.

The naps today helped.

I had nap time where I actually was able to sit and read the New Yorker and have tea and do a little writing.

I only had one charge in the morning.

And then my morning writing brought clarity.

I was looking over the City College course catalog last night trying to figure out how I could cram an American Sign language class into my schedule, maybe Thursdays if I move some stuff around, when I realized I was trying to make myself busy.

Fact.

I “speak” enough sign language right now for my current employment.

No one is asking me to get better at it.

Further, I don’t have a job I am trying to get.

Yes, I am interested in getting more proficient, but I don’t have to right at the moment and there are better things I could do with my time.

Like, I don’t know, be available to be asked out on a date, or hang out with friends.

“More of this,” my friend said, leaning over the bowl of bean soup I had placed in front of him, “more spending time with my friends.”

Yup.

I know what you mean.

But I am not about to give up the blog, nor the morning writing and I have a few other “habits” that are absolutely not going to change, so I don’t have that much more wiggle room in my schedule.

To pick up an additional thing to squeeze into my week is silly.

It’s crazy making.

And I am crazy enough as it is.

When I realized this.

Well.

Shit.

More serenity.

I marveled at my day.

I was not anxious.

I was not hanging out somewhere in the future, I was right there smelling the wetness of mulch underneath the trees in the Panhandle, I was right there holding my charges hand, happy to be outside in the air, scented with rich loamy earth and bright eucalyptus.

There was so much of nothing being wrong that I almost got worried.

Then I laughed to myself, this is what it’s supposed to feel like.

Just this.

Simple and serene.

I did not over react when I got a flat tire.

I did not freak out when the kitchen was inaccessible.

I just sort of drifted through and did the next action in front of me.

I like this way of living.

Mellow.

“It’s a little sleepy on this side of town,” Tyson said to me as he rung up my tube, “but I have been living over this side for years now and love it, I’m actually in Marin now, it’s a different vibe, slower.”

It is.

And I am down with it.


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