Posts Tagged ‘APA format’

There is So Much

March 23, 2019

To write about.

And where to begin?

I almost titled this blog, One Hour, as an homage to something quite big.

I also thought about naming it, “Are you Here?” as I suspect my ex is back in town.

At least it feels that way.

More about that later.

Then I thought I should write about my awesome and amazing Mike Doughty experience and having gotten to see him on Wednesday of this week and how I played hooky from clients and went out on a school night.

I didn’t really play hooky, I just rescheduled them for later in the week, I had one tonight and I’ll see the other tomorrow after my regular Saturday clients.

Then I thought, oh yeah, I should call this, “Vive La France!”

As I bought a ticket to Paris last night!

Yeah.

So.

All the things.

All of them.

So much going on.

Plus, of course, the school thing that is happening and how I managed to get all my papers done and turned in on time and also how I got back some really amazing comments on my last couple of papers.

“Clarity, erudition, adept usage of third person, meticulous APA style,” I could go on, but then I think that’s just ego.

I”m right on schedule with school at the moment and extremely happy about that, despite feeling a little disconnected from school since I did not get much time this week at work to do homework.

The family had the flu.

Like seriously bad, fevers, aches, chills, super bad sore throat, coughing.

I do not know how I escaped, but I did.

I also got my flu shot this year so that might have helped and as soon as the family was diagnosed with the flu at the doctors they called me and said call my doctor and get Tamiflu, which is a preventative medicine that will work if taken within 72 hours of exposure.

So I’ve been taking that all week and seemed to have skated by the flu.

Thank fucking God.

I cannot afford to be sick.

And.

I don’t like being sick.

Even the small part of me that rather enjoys lying around all day in bed.

The rest of me drives itself crazy when I’m sick.

So I’m super happy I avoided it.

But man, work was a tough one this week.

Which made it easy to ask off for time to work with a client.

Yes.

It’s official.

This week I got my tenth client.

I took a leap of faith when the person reached out and offered expanded hours beyond what I have available.

Meaning.

Wednesdays I work from 9 a.m. to 5p.m. then see clients at 5:30p.m., 6:30p.m. and 7:30p.m.

I offered the client a 4:30p.m. slot.

Technically I’m working as a nanny, but I’ve been in conversation for months now that at some point I would slowly begin the transitioning down of nanny hours for therapy hours.

I hesitated for just a brief moment but knew, really knew, that I had to offer hours that would overlap into my nanny shifts.

And the client took the Wednesday slot.

Which means I have to be done at the nanny gig by 4p.m. now on Wednesdays.

One hour less of being a nanny.

One hour more of being a therapist.

Plus.

This new client found me on Psychology Today and was not a referral from my agency, meaning the client is full fee.

Yippee!

The more full fee clients I get the faster I will transition out of nannying.

I mean, I love the family, but $30/hour versus $140 an hour.

Well.

I know what works better for me.

Anyway.

That’s therapy business.

Then there’s Paris business which in a way segues into ex-boyfriend business.

Yesterday at work I was checking e-mails in a brief moment of time when I wasn’t picking up used Kleenex, hydrating some small child, washing dishes, drawing, cuddling, or making hot tea with honey and saw an interesting email from a friend.

It was an e-mail that he forwarded that there was a one day sale happening for round trip tickets to Paris.

Oooh.

I wasn’t planning on going to Paris this year, I’ve been planning on going to Hawaii in July,(but still haven’t done anything about it as I’m waiting on my employers to let me know when they’re going to be in Finland and if, probably not, but if they are also planning on taking me to Helsinki with them)  going to Maui and staying in Paia, where my grandmother was born in 1928.

But.

I was curious about the flights and a little bug got in my ear and so I searched and shit, the price was too good to pass by.

So I picked the best time for me to go, end of the fall semester, in December.

Yes.

That’s right.

I’ll be in Paris on my birthday and for Christmas.

I fly out of SFO on December 17th, landing the next day at Charles de Gaulle on December 18th, my birthday, in the early afternoon.  I’ll fly back on December 27th.

So I’ll be there from my birthday through Christmas.

I will sit in cafes, go to museums (the Louvre, the D’Orsay, the Jeu de Paume, the Pompidou–which is open on Christmas, I know where I will be, wandering the galleries there for sure on Christmas day, the Orangerie, the Palais de Tokyo, the Grand Palais, the Petit Palais, the Musee de l’Art Moderne), walk everywhere, read books, go do the deal with the Paris fellowship, hang out with my best girlfriend from my Masters degree cohort…we’ve already made plans to go to the ballet (I messaged her right after I bought the ticket).

I got the ticket from Air France round trip, direct flights there and back for $579.32!

I still can’t believe that!

My girlfriend asked me why December after exclaiming at the cost of the ticket.

I told her that my birthday and Christmas have been really tied up with my ex the last two years and maybe its better for me to be in Paris then in San Francisco and really just do something for myself.

I always wanted him to come to Paris with me and I had even brought it up in the days before we broke up that I wanted to plan a trip with him there.

It is such a screamingly romantic city.

And he’s such a foodie, he would have loved it.

I’m still sad we didn’t get to experience that together.

She understood.

Plus, I told her that it makes sense with my school schedule and it’s the slowest time of year for therapy clients….the last two holiday seasons were really slow and I hear that it’s that way for most therapist.

So.

Yeah.

Booked that ticket.

I don’t think I’ll stay with my girlfriend, despite knowing she’d let me, I think I want a little more autonomy and she’s got young twins, who are super sweet and adorable, but the house isn’t huge and as much as I loved staying with them, I don’t want to stress them out at Christmas.

I figure I’ll Air BnB in the Marais where they live, it’s super central and I know it well enough, and just be an independent lady at Christmas time in the City of Lights.

God.

There’s more to say.

The feeling of my ex being in town, and wanting him to reach out or to somehow bump into him, it’s big, but I’ve not got time to write more.

I need to get up early, lots of clients tomorrow.

So.

I bid you adieu and I’ll see you on the flip.

 

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Doing This Thing

January 10, 2018

I have officially made the decision to go after my PhD in the Transformative Psychology program at CIIS.

I talked to the dean of the school this morning and she gave me some lovely insights into the program and what I need to do to apply for the program.

I basically have it all covered except for the personal statement.

I need two letters of recommendation, one of which has to come from my academic advisor in my program–he’s confirmed that he will write me a letter and we are meeting at lunch on the first Friday of the school weekend, basically a week from this Friday.

The other letter will come from my supervisor at my practicum site, who actually offered to write me a letter before I had asked him.

I need to e-mail him and say, yes, please do write that letter for me!

In fact.

Hang on a minute, I’m going to go draft that e-mail now.

Yes.

One more thing out-of-the-way.

I was also very grateful to discover that I had been correct in the reading of the PhD application demands–the scholarly paper the admissions department requires can be one I have already written for my current program!

That is super nice.

It’s an 8-10 page paper written in APA format (American Psychological Association).

The dean expressed that they want to see an example of my writing abilities and that I could absolutely use a paper I had already written, it did not have to be an original work.

Whew.

That is such a nice relief.

I really didn’t want to have to write a paper on top of getting my stuff together for this last semester of my Master’s program.

I’ll still need to provide plenty of other things besides the sample of my academic writing and the two letters of recommendation.

There’s also the application fee, $65, so worth it, frankly.

And a resume with pertinent and relevant experience listed.

My transcripts.

I will be very happy to provide those, especially with my current 4.0 grade point average, thank you very much.

A goal statement outlining what I plan to do with the degree once it is conferred.

And.

A four to five-page personal statement.

I mean, that’s a fair good amount of stuff.

But.

Doable.

So doable.

And, as I mentioned, the not having to write a fresh academic paper for the admissions team feels really nice.

The dean told me the deadline was end of February.

Once the application is sent in the admissions team goes through the applicants and decides who they want to call in for an interview.

At which time I would need to give some ideas about what I want to pursue, although said ideas do not have to be concrete, I can change what I decide to do the dissertation on if over the course of the program I find something really amazing and compelling.

But.

I do think I have been narrowing it down and although my idea is big and there’s a lot to explore, I’m super excited by the prospect of exploring it.

I feel like it will help me heal some trauma and in turn, I hope that I will be better equipped to help others walk through their traumas as well.

I’m super happy that I have made this decision.

I felt so freaking good when I got off the phone with the dean, I knew, I just knew it is what I am supposed to be doing.

I’m supposed to get my doctorate.

I am supposed to be of service.

I get to keep learning and growing.

It is fucking exciting.

A little scary too, but I don’t feel it will be that much harder than the work that I have done to get my Masters.

In fact, in some ways I think it will be easier.

The classes are self-directed and timed, I won’t be going into a classroom, I’ll be doing the work on my own, I’ll have my own agency to move at my own pace.

I suspect that I will want to move faster rather than slower.

The dissertation could take longer, the program is designed to be done in two years, but I sense that more than a few folks take longer to get to the dissertation.

I don’t want to do that.

Not to be worried about at this point.

I have taken as much action today as I possibly could in regards to the next steps.

I went to therapy this morning before work.

I went grocery shopping after therapy and managed to have the call with the dean of students from my car before I went into work.

I worked a full day.

Then.

I went and saw two clients this evening.

I e-mailed my supervisor at my practicum site for the letter of recommendation.

And.

I filled in a few more things on the doctoral application.

My god.

I’m really going to do this.

I am going to get my PhD.

Fuck.

My life is amazing.

AMAZING.

Impromptu Dance Party

May 14, 2016

My date cancelled.

And then.

I got my period.

It’s a Friday night.

And.

I’m at home.

AND I DON’T GIVE ONE FINE FUCK!

I finished my Clinical Relationship paper.

It’s done!

Done!

Done!

Oh sweet Jesus, the relief.

Excuse me, I just had another impromptu dance party in my chair.

Happy, happy.

Joy, joy.

11 full pages.

APA format.

References, title page, all the things.

Proper like.

3,744 words.

Thank you.

Thank you very fucking much.

Lucky one.

I am two.

Lucky three, the one for me.

One, two, three I’m on my knees.

Oh my god.

I’m in tears.

This music.

I get high.

I was listening to Masters of Reality, Sunrise on the Surfer Bus, twenty years ago.

Twenty.

In that house on Franklin Street in Madison, my roommates were my boyfriend Justin–he and I shared the big back room–we had a couple of Bengal leopard cats and a tabby (Mia, Tiger, and Porkchop)–and a king size water bed (giggle), Matt, Justin’s best friend, and Naboja–the heroin junkie from Serbia.

God we were wild.

Pot growing in the closets, cats running ruckus throughout the house, Matt’s girlfriend and I were arch nemesis (why?  I have no idea, but something to do with drinking the last of my milk and leaving the empty container in the fridge), Justin playing chess and smoking bongs, Naboja running in and out of the house with nefarious friends and black tar (God I was naive).

Justin cheated on me twice in that house.

And I stayed for five years.

(five years of no writing, no poetry, no words, no journal entries, note to self you die when you aren’t writing)

Oof.

The things I put myself through not knowing there was a way out.

However.

It was not all bad, there was sweetness and light and just as I introduced him to classical music and Blues and jazz (he became a total jazz junkie) he introduced me to Soul Coughing and Jeff Buckley, we saw them both in concert together–Buckley touring for Grace at the Barrymore and Soul Coughing on tour for Ruby Vroom at the Eagles Ballroom.

He made me listen to Sleater Kinney–saw them too, at the Union South of all places on campus, tiny little space and they slayed it, fucking killed it dead on the floor revived the bitch, then killed it again.

We saw Annie DiFranco at the Civic Center.

I think Justin was the only man in the audience who was straight.

Although his hair was so long from behind he could have been a girl.

We saw Primus, fucking loved Les Claypool so hard; he turned me on to Sepultura, although I had to be in the mood, once in a while, well, I was.

We saw Beck, Morphine, Cake.

So much good music.

He found a stained glass artist at the Farmer’s Market one sunny Saturday morning, I had closed the Essen Haus the night before, a crazy German restaurant and brew hall I worked notoriously long hours for, and he’d bought a pair of earrings from her.

They were long, almost a tear drop shape, navy blue, with small striations of sky blue and robins egg blue and white at the tips.  I eventually found that artisan again and asked her to make me sets of those earrings.

I don’t have any of them anymore.

Maybe I should look her up again.

They were gorgeous in their simplicity and when I wore my hair up and the sun hit them.

Magic.

That was what there were to me that day.

Magic.

Sex and love and passion and music and youth and beauty.

God.

I was so beautiful

(and fat and ugly and ugly and fat and you better do something about that or you’re going to grow up and be alone forever)

I had no idea.

I woke up tangled in the sheets on the water bed, Porkchop meowing at me, rolled out of bed and took a shower, I smelled like beer and cigarettes and rinder rouladen gravy and weinerschnitzle and schnapps and dirty dirndl.

Justin was not there.

There was no note, it was late, afternoon already, past noon, past one, heading into the golden bright light bouncing off James Madison park and the lake and I supposed that Justin was out throwing a frisbee at the park with the guys.

I showered and enjoyed having the apartment to myself.

I put on my favorite A-line skirt and a leotard, navy blue, and dried my hair into its big mass of curls.

I went into our bedroom and turned on Masters of Reality and began dancing, barefoot, to When Jody Sings (how interesting! I just realized my professor’s name for the Clinical Relationship is “Jyoti” is it odd?  Is it God? Is it counter transference?  Read my paper and find out), the skirt a soft, small print, I mean tiny, it was such a tiny print you almost couldn’t tell it was a print, of navy, red, and green plaid (it had been a house dress of my mom’s that never quite fit me in the bodice, so I ripped off the top and reconstructed it as a skirt) flaring out around my calves.

I love a skirt that flares when I spin.

I danced in the sunlight streaming through the windows, singing the song and delighting in my own self.

Justin was standing in the door way.

Smitten.

The look on his face.

I won’t soon forget.

I can still see it twenty years ago like it was this morning.

“Did you find your gift?” He asked me, smiling, his head tilted, bright eyed (high, oh so high) and lit up.

I paused in my dance, flustered, but pleased that he’d seen me in a moment (a rare one at the time) when I felt truly myself, truly beautiful.

Oh do I ache for her.

(yes, I know, I’m emotional, I got my period, roll with it please)

He walked across the wood floor, that odd way he walked sometimes, high, on the balls of his feet like he was cantilevered forward always rushing off into the future where things were brighter, higher, more rare and real, and he took my hand and led me to the window.

“These,” he said pointing at the earrings.

I had not seen them.

Hanging from the window screen, blazing in the sunlight like the ocean at sunset tonight when I rode my scooter home, thank you God for letting me live in San Francisco and see the fire of the setting sun on the water, thank you, dancing alive and dappled with shade from the oak trees rustling in the breeze.

“Oh,” I said, softly startled, inordinately pleased.

“They are so beautiful,” I took them off the screen and put them in my ears.

“So are you,” he said and kissed me.

The afternoon melted into evening and I wore them that night to work, they matched my dirndl.

And oh.

How far this woman has come.

So very far, across the country, through valleys and peaks and the lowest lows.

My voice broke tonight.

Sitting in the front row, the low lights hiding my face, the sudden tears, but nothing could hide the break in my voice as I described how grateful I was to be there.

Sitting there in that chair there, still not done with my paper (had to do the references when I got home tonight), but almost, the writing was done all 3,744 words, and though I was tired, up at 7:30 a.m. to do the work before I went to work, I was so profoundly grateful.

Who knew I was going to be this woman?

When I scootered off after school on Saturday night I snuck through Minna Alley.

It’s a one way.

There were needles and shit and homeless people and tents and crates and a woman smoking crack out of a pipe, the scent sweet, rotten, rotting, aching with the need to fill that hole that just cannot get whole.

“I was that woman, twelve years ago, sitting on a piece of cardboard smoking from a crack pipe, and now, now, here I am riding my scooter, that I paid for in cash, brand new, riding home from the graduate school that I go to around the corner,” I paused, my heart broke open.

How lucky am I?

Luckiest girl in the fucking world.

And my paper’s done.

And my heart.

Well, once again, it is on my sleeve.

Exactly as it should be.

My love.

Exactly where it belongs.

Just there.

Love.

Just there.

 

 

Upside Down

May 12, 2016

Right side in.

Topsy turvy.

This day has been strange.

However.

I have rolled with it really well, surprisingly so, I feel super settled and though overwhelmed a little, just now, pretty able to just groove along with what is happening.

It did not hurt that I got a full night’s rest.

I was knocked out last night.

It still took me a minute to fall out, but when I did, whoa, I was down.

I think I actually got a solid eight hours, which is the first time since last Thursday.

Yay sleep.

I got myself organized this morning, stripping the bed and washing the sheets, getting into my morning routine, a little breakfast, a couple cups of coffee, some writing.

Oh.

Yeah.

And text my friend who’s place I’m staying at in Brooklyn.

I mean, I should find out how I’m getting into his place when I show up there next Thursday.

Except.

Well.

Shoot.

His travel plans were changed and he actually needs to stay at his room in Brooklyn and I need to find another place to stay.

I really took it well.

I was a little sad at first, I mean, who doesn’t want to save a few bucks on a place to stay?

But then.

I got happy.

Hey!

I get to see my friend, I get to go do the deal with him and see how he’s doing and catch up and grab a coffee and maybe walk around Brooklyn.

I may wrangle him for one of my museum days.

He is an artist after all.

So instead of getting miffed, I just got real.

Ok God.

Where do you want me to stay?

I mean.

I am a little overwhelmed with the decision.

I reached out via the social media and said, hey, what’s up New York?

I have gotten some nice leads.

Suffice to say, and I am not at all ashamed of this, I’m a little too freaking tight on time to give it a whole lot of thought.

The place will find me or I will find it.

Right now.

My mind is focused on finishing the work for school, because I’m not going to have any fun in New York if I still have papers to hand into to my professors.

I got one more in today.

Just a small piece, a page posting and a couple of response replies to the thread online.

Not much, but some motion.

And!

Yes!

Oh, such sweet relief, and I have no idea how it happened, but the APA formatting software that my friend let me download from her, well, I finally got it to open.

I have absolutely no idea what I did differently, but it suddenly happened.

I texted her and got the password to the account.

And voila!

I can now format all my papers in APA style.

No more pulling out my hair trying to figure out citations for the paper, the software does all the work for you, organizing, formatting, my paper will be perfect!

Well.

At least better formatted than the previous ones.

I still have to write the thing.

I made some strides though, small ones, but it was a start.

I put away the one class reader and notebook that I have finished all my reading and papers for, thanks and good night Multi-Cultural Counseling, it’s been fun.

Then I organized my three other classes that I have assignments due for and did the aforementioned posting for the fourth class.

I had five classes this semester.

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

No wonder I am having trouble focusing on where the hell to stay in New York.

Queens?

Brooklyn?

Hell’s Kitchen?

Harlem?

Chelsea?

Wait.

Come back, Martines, not there yet.

Get back to the paper.

So.

I started going through my notes and putting the stickies with scrawled notes and ideas on my notebook.  I started to get the gist of what I am going to write.

Tomorrow I’m going to do yoga in the morning and when I get done I usually have a few moments after my shower to look at things, I’ll take another half hour and keep up the organizing.  Then, come home and review the rest of it.  I’ll take Friday to do the writing, before and after work and the doctor’s appointment.

Then date night.

Because a girl’s got to have some play too.

All work and no play makes Carmen no fucking fun.

I’m listening to Mike Doughty’s Stellar Motel right now, he lives in New York, and as I have been blogging I have had this little question in my head.

“Where would Mike Doughty stay?”

Fucking cracks me up.

Maybe I’ll just message him.

Hey, you got a place you like?

No, you don’t know me, but you follow me on Instagram.

Ha.

I do actually have a lot of connections and folks I know in New York or people that have traveled there and had suggestions.

Everything from my boss saying she like Gramercy Park (um, out of my price range) to go where there’s good coffee shops–Queens, Brooklyn, etc.

Oops.

Ha.

Digressed again.

I am happy though.

I have the opportunity to go to New York and have a completely different experience than the one I planned.

Isn’t most of my life like that?

While I’m busy making plans, God steps in and says, “no, here, this will work better, you’ll like this more.”

Ok, God, so yeah, where should I stay?

Now that I know what you want me to smell like.

OMG.

I found my scent.

I am in love.

Remember, couple weeks back, I dropped my brand new bottle of Chanel’s Egoiste Pour Homme in my sink, yeah, that sad, sad day, I haven’t had any perfume since then.

I have not had the time, or, well, truly, the inclination, to replace it.

I suspected I was needing something new.

And wouldn’t you know it.

I got to work super early today, the traffic was oddly light, and I parked on Valencia and paid for all day parking, still waiting on the permit, in front of a specialty perfume shop that opened a little while back–Tiger Lily.

I walked in.

I told the woman what I used to wear that I really loved.

Issey Miyake Feu D’Issey.

Then I told her about the Egoiste Pour Homme and breaking the bottle and that Chanel had sold me the last bottle and were waiting for restocking.

That I decided I needed a new scent and I was looking for something closer to the Issey Miyake perfume.

I described what I wanted and she and I walked around the store.

She suggested this and that.

And they were nice, but not exactly what I wanted.

Then.

Oh damn Gina.

There it was.

Rose Flash.

Holy shit.

I had a visceral reaction to it.

I shuddered deeply with pleasure as the scent washed over me.

I felt warm and lush and supplicant and hot and fiery and sexy and roses and candles and spicy, all so delicious I could barely stand it.

I was completely transported.

“This one!” I said fierce with the knowing.

“How much?”  I asked, bracing myself for the amount.

“$60, and it’s perfume, not a toilette, so it will last you a while,” she smiled.

“I’ll take it,” I walked over to the counter heady with the perfume.

“We’re currently out,” she said scanning her supply.

Well poo.

“But, it’s a local perfumery and I can get it in really quick, let me have your e-mail and I’ll send you a message as soon as it comes in, and in the meantime, let me give you a sample, I love how you reacted to it!”

Yup.

And I have been dreamily reacting to it all day long.

I put some on at work and the soft warm wafts of scent would envelope me and my mood would just shift and change and open.

Happy.

I feel happy smelling it.

Ah.

So nice.

See.

Something new.

A new smell, a new experience.

There’s something great in New York.

Serendipity.

Love.

Adventure.

There are no problems.

Only different points of view.

Different perspectives and a new opportunity to have a different experience.

Looking forward to it.

Now, excuse me, while I wind down.

I’ve got some busy time ahead of me.

And opportunity to see what happens next.

I suspect it will be amazing.

It always is.

Smacks!

March 11, 2016

$0.99

That is cheap!

I mis read the sign as the car turned onto Laguna Honda.

It reads “snacks” but I thought smacks was pretty appropriate for San Francisco.

I sort of want to smack my own head.

I realize I am going to have to ask for some help with my paper formatting.

I have a dear friend in my cohort, so dear, she’s coming to pick me up in the morning so I don’t have to take a car into class–damn it rain, ease it up–who has some software that I can use to format my papers in APA style, but I haven’t figured out how to get it onto my computer.

So.

Help.

It must be had.

I suspect, no, I know, I know, and frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn, one of the courses is a pass/fail class and yes, I know it’s graduate school, but without having to have an assigned grade I’m sort of like, I don’t give a fuck that it’s not entirely properly formatted.

It’s well fucking written.

It gots a title and stuff.

Bah.

I knew this was going to come up and I just haven’t dealt with it.

I have less urgency this semester, but I also have good habits and I’m pretty much done with all my reading and the two papers I wrote are well written, insightful, and dare I say, informed.

They are just not entirely formatted in the proper manner.

I think between the two of them, there half of what needs to be done, and I have to say I just don’t care.

This may actually be a breakthrough for me.

I made the executive decision to print them off and I’m going to turn them in and I will let both my professors know that I will be getting my APA ass together and the rest of the papers will be properly formatted.

I mean for the perfectionist in me this is a big deal.

There is a grand part of me that is horrified that I have done them exactly right and another part of me that’s totally like, fuck it man.

I wrote them.

Hand them in and move on.

Of course I may change my mind after writing my blog.

The evil nagging voice in me that says, oh, ho, you got time to blog and you went to yoga class today and you were on Tinder, you better get your fucking ducks in a row and write those papers correctly.

Fuck.

Yeah.

Knowing me that’s pretty much what is going to happen.

I don’t like turning something in when I know better.

Ignorance is not really bliss, but knowing that you’re purposely not doing something because you don’t want to deal, well, um, that’s just being childish.

The work is work and I want to show that I am willing to play ball with the big kids.

I mean, my biggest annoyance in class is when a fellow student is being distracting talking or watching something on their lap top that has nothing to do with class.

If I expect others to approach this with seriousness, I suppose I should too.

And I do.

I have done the work, it’s just not up to 100%.

Not that everything is ever going to be perfect.

I can’t aim for perfection, it’s too much responsibility.

However.

I can aim for doing my best and these two papers, with a little tweeking will be better.

Sigh.

Yeah.

I know.

I’ll be doing some more homework after I finish this blog.

But hey.

At least, like I said, I’m getting a ride into school tomorrow.

That’s really nice.

Plus it will be nice to have extra time with my friend.

She’s not in the city, she’s one of the students that come in from out of town.

That still amazes me that so many of the people in my cohort commute in from other cities and states and countries.

My cohort has a man that flies up from Mexico, another from Miami, Fl.

These people are putting in the effort.

I can too.

And despite a longing to go to bed at a proper hour to get the right amount of sleep, I never do fall right off the night before my first day back into a weekend of classes.

I just don’t.

I have laundry in the dryer I’ll deal with.

My lunch and dinner is packed though, coffee ready, tea, all the little things that are nice to have when the day is long and the classes stretch out before me.

Grateful that I get to be in graduate school.

It is a gift.

I’ll get the papers done right and let myself off the hook.

No one is more of a critic than I, but I do suspect one of my professors will have a bit to say if I don’t format the papers correctly according to the standards she’s outlined in the syllabus and her class is not pass/fail, but is in fact given a letter grade.

I do participate a great deal in the class, as I do in all my classes, but half my grade will ride on papers, so I do want to be turning in well heeled papers.

It’s midterm.

I can hardly believe that.

I am half way through, or on the eve of being so, my second semester of my first year.

This is happening.

“You are aware that you have to fulfill a lot of hours after your program, aren’t you,” my date last night mentioned as he shifted in his chair, pushing his glasses far up his nose.

Are you aware that you are two inches shorter than your profile?

Oops.

Ha.

Um.

“Yes, I am, but you know, I’m only going to get older and I’m ok with the amount of work that I need to do, anything worthy having is worth working for,” I replied and smiled.

Because I am a worker.

I do the job.

I get’er done you know.

I am grateful for the work ethic.

It does sometimes mask a need to keep me busy so that I can’t possibly have time to feel my feelings, but for the most part, it is a defect that still serves.

I suppose at some point it won’t.

But.

For today, for graduate school, I’ll keep it for a tiny bit longer.

That being said.

I’ve made my 1,000 words for my blog–my unspoken goal for all my blogs–and I am going to edit this and proof it quickly and publish.

Leave myself a little time to go back over those two papers and put them together with some proper care.

Once more into the breach my friends.

Once more into the breach.

Things Change

February 12, 2016

On a dime.

Or on a nickel.

Or on $5,000.

Um yeah.

Like that.

Fuck me.

I was not expecting to see that in my account this morning.

I was getting ready to write my morning pages, gearing up to do my last edit and go over on my Clinical Relationship paper, first paper of the second semester, make sure that I get the APA formatting correct–still not sure about it, but I used the Purdue OWL and it’s pretty freaking handy–and I thought.

Hmm.

I wonder if that check to the SFMTA has finally cleared.

I mean, they called my employers to go over a last few minute things to make sure that they, my employers, were aware that they were not allowed to transfer the permit to anyone other than me or put it on any other vehicle they may own.

Ayup.

My boss told me this yesterday and I took that as a good sign that my permit was in process.

So.

I checked.

And then I nearly shit my pants.

I am not kidding.

I’m a little embarrassed to say that, but my bowels knotted up.

What the fuck?

Why is my account got that much money in it?

Then it clicked.

My scholarship.

Oh my God!

My scholarship.

When the school sent out a notification that financial aid disbursement would happen on the 10th of this month I was expecting it all to be disbursed.

It was not.

I was confused when I checked out my account after getting a deposit of $477.

I was expecting $1500.

I was hoping to at least pay for one months rent with it, especially since the rent is going up next month.

But.

I was grateful that there was anything left over after paying for my tuition.

And so I just assumed that was it.

I did check out my financial aid page last night, but it was confusing and I just sort of let it go, assuming that was that.  Tuition was paid, be happy.

Then.

This morning.

I checked my online account.

And there it was.

My scholarship was deposited to my account today.

The 11th.

Holy shit.

I haven’t had that much money in my account ever.

Still some left from my tax return and then this new deposit.

My first thought was, it’s a mistake.

My next thought was, is it my scholarship?

It is!

My third thought, ugh.

Wow!

That could buy A LOT of cocaine.

(But never enough, oh no, it would not, in the end be enough at all)

And then.

I laughed out loud.

Once an addict.

Always a fucking addict.

I remember when I first got sober.

I was extremely uncomfortable with anything more than $20 in my wallet.

I didn’t want to have enough to score and for probably the first year I didn’t ever have $50 in cash–what my dealer was selling a gram of coke for.

I don’t even want to know what the cost of it is now.

Don’t bother telling me, I don’t want to know.

I scrolled through my online account and saw, yes, it was my scholarship money.

Hurray!

And the reason it was so much more, the disbursement, I realized, was that there is not a spring retreat.

The cost of the fall retreat came out of the scholarship money, and what was left over was about $1500.

It all suddenly made sense.

And I was blown wide open.

What am I going to do with all this money?

Well.

I am not going to be stupid.

First.

I wrote out the rent and utility check for March.

Just get that the fuck out of the way and don’t think about it.

Then I put the majority of it into my savings account.

I left myself a little bit.

I do plan on taking some yoga classes and the best bang for the buck is to get a year membership at Laughing Lotus.

It costs about $900.

I am going to go in Monday after work and my tea date with a girl friend in the Mission and get the $30 month long deal and see how I feel about the studio and if the classes are a good fit for me and my schedule.

I also still have the option to go to the studio in my hood, the Laughing Lotus studio just has a much greater range of classes and times that seem to fit my schedule better.

I have all next week to explore.

And I have the money to do so.

Wow.

I am so grateful.

So, so, so grateful.

I mean.

Things are being taken care of.

I am ok.

I am better than ok.

Hell.

I got a new pair of Converse delivered to the house as I was cleaning (procrastinating finishing my paper) and getting my stuff ready for work and the impending school weekend.

Black glitter Converse.

I have no needs at all.

I mean.

You know.

The basics, love, food, sunlight of the spirit, recovery, joy, friends, life, etc.

But.

I mean.

After you get a pair of sparkle pony Converse in the mail, what needs does one really have after that.

Oh yeah.

I still need to get laid.

There is some movement on that end.

But really, this weekend is devoted pretty much to school and showing up for the commitments I was asked to do, the sharing my experience, strength and hope on Sunday, the showing up for my cohort and for my life.

I am not going to get worked up about it.

I’ll save that for when I have a little more time.

I almost swung by Good Vibrations tonight on my way home.

But.

I decided.

Really?

Do I need a new vibrator right now?

Let me just hold out through the weekend.

I don’t need to get out of my head that bad.

I did have some conversations rattle around.

Some old talk that was looking to grasp hold and make me miserable and I was like, hey, thanks for sharing, but I’m good with all of that.

Let it go.

Surrender.

And be hella happy that I have money, that I am not homeless, that I have clothes on my back and polka dots sneakers on my toes, be happy that I didn’t catch the flu that the entire family came down with at work, be grateful that I have a week off from that.

Granted, yes, I’ll be heading to work on Monday, but, on my scooter and without the family there is a totally different experience.

I’m ready for it to all begin.

I have my school lunch packed.

I have dinner plans with a classmate for after school.

I have my outfit picked out.

I have my paper printed.

Yeah.

I did finish it, I did print it off, and I have it ready to turn in.

My books are packed, my notebooks sorted, my readers prepped.

And now.

My blog finished.

And.

I am rich.

Well.

Ok, not really, but in other ways I have such abundance and prosperity.

That yes.

I am wealthy indeed.

Flush, you could say.

With.

Experience.

Strength.

Hope.

And a couple extra shekels in the bank account.

Ha!

 

Give It Up

February 8, 2016

Give it up.

Come on darlin’ give me your love.

A little bit of love and some affection.

Keep me moving in the right direction.

God I love music.

Just sitting here listening to Steve Miller.

Yeah.

I know.

I am sure there are better artists and better music, but sometimes just a little old school 70s rock does it for me, and I like to belt it out and sing along and dance a little and be silly.

I also listened to a lot of Masters of Reality this weekend.

I downloaded the entire discography the other day and it really is quite splendid.

I don’t know why I haven’t done so before, I have just always listened to Sunrise on the Surfer Bus.

Which may be one of the best album titles ever.

Plus.

The album cover is a rabbit on a bicycle.

Heh.

You know I like the bunnies.

Fuck.

It’s just such a good album.

I may be putting it back on the stereo to write the rest of my blog.

I listened to the entire discography today in between doing the things that I needed to take care of for school, self-care, work prep, and yes, just enjoying living life in one of the most beautiful places in the world–San Francisco.

It was a glorious day today.

Mid 60s and though the neighborhood was busy, it wasn’t as busy as it would have been if there hadn’t been that sport ball thing happening.

I mean, it was gorgeous out there today.

I did make a point of being out in it for a little while too.

I knew I would not be a happy girl if I just stayed inside all day and did homework.

I did do a lot of homework too.

I have started doing the Applied Spirituality assignments, the professor signed off on my proposal, so I started doing that work yesterday and continued today.

It’s been interesting and I am looking at it differently and realizing that although there is no need for me to improve myself, man I can get on a self-improvement kick like no body’s business, self-acceptance is where it’s at for me, but I can deepen my practice.

So with that in mind I found a spiritual reader that I had forgotten I had and read it after I did my regular routine this morning, my writing, et al, and then I colored for a while meditating on the little card I had in front of me.

We been working so hard 

Come on baby let’s dance.

Pardon me, Steve Miller interruption.

The music’s calling.

What I chose to read is a Just For Today card that I discovered in my wallet when I was looking for something else entirely.

Serendipity.

Just for today I will try to live through this day only, and not tackle my whole life problem at once.  I can do something for twelve hours that would appall me if I felt that I had to keep it up for a lifetime.

Fuck do I know that.

And that’s what I focused on.

Ok.

There are some things that I need to do and I would find it appalling if I thought that I had to do them every day for the rest of my life, I would vomit from the sustained effort.

However.

If I break things down, small pieces, manageable bites, I can accomplish a lot.

Like.

Laundry, grocery shopping (freaking mad house at SafeWay where it would seem the entire Outer Sunset was trying to buy snacks and beer for the football thing), cooking for the week, my Applied Spirituality homework, writing a paper for The Clinical Relationship, doing the deal, going for a walk, making program calls, checking in.

Not checking out.

I was also determined, as I mentioned earlier, that I was going to allow myself some outside time today.

I knew I had to write the Clinical Relationship paper and if i timed it correctly, or well, there’s really no right or wrong, nor a need to be perfect, but if I set myself up well, I knew I was going to be able to have some outside time for myself.

Which is huge.

I love being outside.

Perhaps because I love coming home so much.

But I am over the moon when it is nice out and I am outside.

I actually put sunscreen on today.

It’s February.

I love California.

Just sayin’.

Anyway.

I did all my early work, the errands, and shopping and household stuff and one big phone check in, then I made myself a fabulous lunch and cooked food up for the week and extra for next weekend’s classes, then I ate my lunch outside, in the sunshine.

My feet up in a chair, the sun on my face.

No phone.

No computer.

No book.

No magazine.

Just sunshine.

The blue sky.

My food.

And some Masters of Reality booming out of the stereo.

Then.

I came inside and had to do some praying.

I get fucking anxious before writing a paper and I can at least recognize that I am feeling the dread, but it’s freaky, how intense it is.

I laughed with a friend later this evening when I was talking about the feeling and how I never had it when I was getting my under grad degree and I realized.

OH.

Of course I didn’t feel anxious.

I was drinking.

Even if I felt anxious, which I probably did, I have historically had anxiety, shocker, no?

I wouldn’t have felt it as I was covering it up with the booze.

Boy howdy.

l feel it now.

Grateful beyond words that I have had a sustained and active recovery that shows me my fears are overblown and that I can’t fuck it up unless I don’t do it.

I cleared my upset tummy, prayed, drank a big cup of tea and got on it.

I read and re-read my notes, and skimmed back over the portions of the texts I wanted to use, then I launched into the writing.

An hour and a half later.

I had my paper.

Granted.

It’s not finished.

I have to go back in and properly cite using APA format.

But, the basic paper is done, five pages, 1,685 words.

My current blog, the one I am writing at this moment currently is at 1,067 words.

Add to that my morning pages and I’m way over 3,500 words for the day.

Not bad.

But if you told me that I was going to sustain that for a lifetime.

You bet your ass I would be appalled.

Yikes.

But I can sustain if for today.

And that’s just what I did.

Then.

Yes!

I had indeed timed it well, small success, and I caught the last half hour of the sunset down at the beach.

I took a big walk around the neighborhood, mailed a postcard to a friend in Wisconsin, called a girlfriend on the phone and made plans for the week of the 15th, and then hit the beach.

The light was amazing and gold orange.

It was the kind of light that you could swim in.

I am so lucky.

I have such an amazing life.

I have a beautiful little home.

A great big heart.

Music.

Friends.

Recovery.

Grad school.

God.

You know.

All the things.

 

Bring On The Paper

February 6, 2016

Writing.

Just kidding.

Well, sort of.

I got home to my new printer!

Yay.

I was not expecting to get it so fast, and I am grateful to have it, I have one class this semester that requires me to turn in papers that are actually printed in hard copy versus e-mailing to the professor.

Interestingly, the final paper is an e-mailed paper, but that’s probably because it’s due after the last weekend of classes.

The timing on my printer arriving is nice.

I was planning on writing my first paper of the semester this weekend after listening to an inventory on Sunday.

The inventory was cancelled.

And suddenly I have all day to write my paper on Sunday.

It certainly will not take the entire day.

It’s a three to five page paper.

I expect to have it done rather quick.

However.

It’s the first class that I have that is requiring all papers to be formal in APA style.

Not looking forward to doing that bit, but I have started reviewing the reading for the paper and have a solid idea what I am going to be writing about as well as having made a few preliminary notes and marked some pages that I will probably use for quoted material from the text books for the class.

So despite the APA formatting, I do expect to have it done fairly fast and I will have a printed dry run on the paper.

I’m super grateful to have the new printer.

I won’t have to ask my employer to print anything out for me again and I like the autonomy of taking care of myself.

I also like that it was delivered to my door and I don’t have to monkey about on my scooter with it.

I had debated going to Best Buy or Office Depot to get the printer and in the end it was just so much easier to order it online from Amazon.

And, like I said, super quick.

I had another box too, in the hallway, and yes, my first pair of shoes has arrived.

My new polka dot Converse.

Heh.

Which reminds me that I have been directed to be a bit frivolous with my tax return, to have some fun with it.

I’ve got a date to go down to the beach tomorrow at 12:45 p.m., sit in the sand, say some prayers, let go a few things, meet with my person, do the deal, that sort of thing.

Then a ladybug coming over to my place at 2p.m.

Then.

Nada.

Sunshine.

Free time.

Frivolity.

I’m thinking maybe a trip to do some clothes shopping in the Haight?

A bowl of soup at the Citrus Club?

I haven’t been there in a minute.

I remember the first time I had lunch there with a friend and how I devoured a bowl of wasabi peas and had the cleanest sinuses for days.

I don’t actually get the noodle soup.

I ask them to substitute tofu for the noodles and it’s like getting a nice double hit of protein.

I should check and see if there’s any good movies out.

I got a nice weekend.

The weather is going to be good.

Close to 70!

And since it’s Super Bowl weekend I suspect that the beach won’t actually be that crowded.

I’ll need to do my standard prep stuff for the week–grocery shopping, cooking, some laundry, etc.

And a little extra since next weekend is a school weekend, I’ll need to cook a little more than I generally do.  My food prep usually lasts a week, when I’m in school I have to do an extra three days of cooking.

But.

There is time.

There is room.

There is money, too, for frivolity.

I suspect I want to be a bit spontaneous.

Be open to surprise.

Be open to being flexible.

Perhaps it’s the Spring like weather, the trees blooming, the blossoms, the new buds, the smell of warmer weather, the sun being out just a little longer every day.

I feel very alive and ready for passion and movement and experiences.

I want to embrace newness and change.

I want to be open to things happening.

I don’t know what it is, but I do know that the old ways don’t work for me and when I am tossing in my bed, last night, an hour and a half after I had gone to bed, lights out, music off, phone off, I was still awake, still ruminating, still a rumble with thoughts, it’s time to let myself gently off the hook and try to let something else occur.

I kept finding myself going back to the same old sets of things that I do and I recognized every time that my mind drifted off that I was trying to change things that I had no control over.

So.

Tonight when I was riding home and suddenly found myself talking it out, like talking it out loud, I knew that it was time to let it all go again and how fortuitous that I get to do just that tomorrow.

I’ll give it over to the sea.

I let it go.

Who knows.

I could pick it up again, those thoughts and doubts and circular thinking.

But.

I think I will at least get a day of reprieve.

And that’s all that I need to live.

A daily reprieve.

The rest will happen, whatever the rest is, I get my life.

This life.

To live.

I get this life to live.

What a spectacular thing to know.

Full of light and frivolity, sexiness, fun, music, love, sunshine.

And just a little bit of glitter.

Because it’s better that way.

Trust me.

 


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