Posts Tagged ‘babysitting’

Turn On The Heat

November 3, 2017

It’s cold out there.

The rains are coming.

It’s November.

Hello.

The chill in the air, with the almost full moon rising, was spooky and intense, bright and crisp, fall is here, winter is coming.

I hopefully will be getting a car soon, as I noted that there is rain in the near forecast.

I don’t have the time to do it before the rains start and I have some homework yet to do, but I’m pretty decided and as soon as I have the down time I will be getting my butt to a dealership in the East Bay.

Soon.

Not soon enough to save me from some more cold scooter rides home, or wet rides home.

I am still debating riding in to work tomorrow on my scooter, even though there is some rain in the forecast–it’s off and on and not 100% rain all day.

There are windows of time when it’s not raining and they both fall around when I would be going into work and when I’d be coming home.

I get to come home early tomorrow, both of my clients cancelled and instead of trying to squeeze in a consult, like I did tonight when my client cancelled, I decided to take the night off and just come home.

Take a hot shower.

Wash the week off of me.

Cook myself a nice dinner.

Be cozy.

Reflect on my life and the last six months.

My God.

The last six months.

So much love.

So much change.

Some quiet and private.

Some big and public.

Lots of internal change.

Loads.

And just extraordinary amounts of gratitude for where I am in my life and the people I get to spend time with.

I am so lucky.

If the rain stays away and the cloud cover is not to bad, it might be a great night to go down to the beach for the full moon.

It will be full at midnight tomorrow, but I suspect that it will look full when it rises, I thought it was full tonight as it was coming up.

I had to check online to see when it was complete.

Tomorrow.

Midnight.

The witching hour.

Magic.

Love.

The ocean.

Dancing on the beach.

Wrapping myself up in love.

The full moon reminding me of you.

Of promise.

Of joy.

Of laughter that falls from my mouth.

How sustained I am and how loved.

My life is extraordinary, even when I am tired, like I was today and a little bit in H.A.L.T.

Hungry.

Angry.

Lonely.

Tired.

I was hungry since I didn’t have the best lunch, not a bad lunch, no not at all, just not the lunch I’d planned, as the container that my chicken soup was in broke in my scooter basket and I had chicken soup all over my school books, shoes, and paperwork.

Sigh.

Tired.

As I went to bed late.

Not horribly late, just later than normal and up a little earlier to help the mom out at work by coming in a half hour early.

Lonely.

Well.

Sometimes a girl gets lonely.

I was listening to Coleman Hawkins today, late afternoon, at work, the mom had all the kids and I was at the house waiting for an important delivery and doing food prep and cleaning and household stuff.

The music moved me.

The view moved me.

I danced by myself.

Dreamy and slow, folding the laundry, looking out the window towards downtown San Francisco, dreaming of being in another’s arms.

Angry.

Well.

It passed.

But it was there for a little bit.

I got boonswoggled into a playdate/babysitting gig, without compensation.

I felt manipulated, annoyed, angry, pissed off, victimized and aware that, in the passive aggressive text, I had been played.

Or so it felt.

And I knew that I was tired and I knew that I was lonely and I knew that I was hungry, so I prayed and asked for it to be removed and I asked myself what my fear was, and I asked if I needed to manipulate through withholding my honest response, and I asked myself to see the situation with perspective and wait for clarification before getting more pissed off.

Which I’m very happy for.

I also had a snack.

Which fucking helped.

And I took some ibuprofen, too much carrying the baby this week in the carrier, which is how I started out my day, so I was a bit sore and tender all day too, which helped.

Then I had a talk with the mom and we divided and conquered and, yes, I will, in a way be baby sitting–I’m just going to call it an extended play date, but it is for a charge I have already had, who I love so dearly that I am more than happy to help and that the mom is taking two of her three kids, so that I will just have two to take care of, instead of the four I thought I was going to be saddled with, and it doesn’t happen til next Wednesday and fuck if I’m going to be upset about it and carry it forward.

Thank God for spot check inventory.

Also.

Thank God for getting home and making myself a nice hot meal, pan-fried Japanese sweet potato with garlic and pulled meat from a roasted chicken with melted butter.

That along with turning up the heat in my studio and realizing it’s Friday tomorrow and I have wonderful plans for it and I’ll get a paycheck and my health insurance stipend and really, there are no problems.

None.

Just love.

Abundance.

Perspective.

Joy.

And the nearly, almost, not quite, but soon to be.

Full moon.

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Small Reprieve

December 31, 2013

Before the big push.

I just got a message that I don’t have to start work until 10:30a.m. tomorrow, a touch over two hours of extra time in my morning.

Nice.

I will need it as I pack my overnight bag and prepare to spend New Years Eve kissing not one, but two sweet faces.

I will be doing a nanny share in the Mission while two sets of parents are out having two sets of fun.

I will get picked up with one of my charges from my nanny share in Cole Valley around 5:30p.m. then chauffeured over to the other families home in the Mission.

No break for me.

But then there’s the day after when I am finished with the gig at 10 a.m. and have the entire Wednesday free to recuperate and relax.

Perhaps to reflect on where I have been over the last year and where I will be going in the year to come.

That’s me, you know, Auntie Bubba, Girl on the Go.

Maybe I should rephrase that to, Weary Ass Woman who wants to sit still for a moment, but my brain won’t let me.

Not quite as catchy.

And there are lots of places I want to go to and two places this coming year I know I will be going.

The first is Florida and the second is Burning Man.

The ticket is bought for Florida, my family is awaiting, and I already committed to working Burning Man while I was working Burning Man this past year.

Other trips, journeys, whether interior or exterior, I don’t have much of a clue about.

I have some thoughts.

I would love to do a camping trip.

I have never seen the Grand Canyon, or Yosemite.

Could be time to do either or both, neither one are too far away.

Heck, I think I could even take the Amtrack to one or the other.

I wouldn’t even have to do a camping trip like I have it in my mind with all the tents and tricks and pots and pans and sleeping bags and canteens and stuff.

I could take a train, stay in a cabin and go for a walk.

All pure speculation and fantasy at this moment in time.

I don’t have any goals or resolutions for this New Year.

Keep practicing the principles in all my affairs and surrender to what is happening.  Get the fuck out of my own way, stop stepping on my neck, as John Ater has told me countless times. Be kind. Show up. Suit up. Be on time. Forgive.

Myself most of all and everybody thereafter.

Stop trying to control outcomes and just let them come out.

These are not really resolutions, they are just the current lesson plan on my desk in front of me, in this life, in this moment.

Nothing more.

I live a pretty damn good life.

A life of travel and words and photographs and experiences.

I got to add some experiences to my resume of life this year and I intend to do that as much as possible for as long as I can.

This year and next and the one after that as well.

Maybe I will even get that book over there published.

I have given up on my ideas of writing, what it should look like, and just settled into the groove of being content with the act of putting finger to keyboard, to strike the key, to send the message out via the medium, to etch into my brain, more so than the ether, that I am doing just alright.

“There is nothing wrong with waking up single on Christmas morning,” she said and I sat up a little straighter.

Yup.

My story for sure.

Nothing wrong with not having a date on New Years Eve.

Nope.

I mean I dated some one for five years and we planned on getting married and white picket fence and babies and all that fantasy stuff that though I can want or desire is not the same as wanting and desiring serenity and love of self, which may or may not include picket fence, et al; and we NEVER had the midnight kiss.

So, why should I be aggrieved to not have one this year.

Unless you, handsome, sober, sexy, slightly kinky, my age, non-smoking man, should read these words and find me on midnight tomorrow to slap a kiss on my mouth, you naughty man you.

Oops.

I think that’s fantasy again.

Steer clear.

Grateful to have a few extra hours tomorrow to rest to reflect perhaps, but not to wallow in my life.

No I choose to celebrate my life.

I have it pretty damn good.

I just had a resolution, though, pop into my head.

I resolve to spend more time with my friends.

I got a super sweet message from my best friend in Wisconsin about how this time last year I was calling her from the 7th Arrondissement in Paris, watching as the Eiffel Tower lit up with sparkle lights at midnight where I was babysitting for a bunch of folks out having a their version of making merry.

And how despite me not being overseas, we still have not had a chance to see each other face to face since I have returned.

Granted, it’s been seven months since my return, not a full year, but she’s right, it’s too long to have not seen her pretty face.

I was just about to write screw the camping trip.

But, I think I can do both.

Go camping and see my friend.

I don’t have to have it so black and white.

It’s not as though I don’t have options, I do and I can use them, and choices.  It’s not one thing or the other, it’s all things and then some more things that I probably have no idea are coming down the pipe.

The not knowing will not kill me.

Despite myself I am happy.

No need to question it.

Just accept.

Move on.

And enjoy sleeping in an extra two hours tomorrow.

Hang Overs

June 6, 2013

I still get them.

Although I don’t puke any more when they happen.

I do, however, have body aches, or emotional flatness, or mental impairment.

I felt all of that this morning when my phone rang scant minutes before my alarm went off.

Yes, I woke up with a nanny hang over.

Fuck me.

My body was a mess of aches, pains, and irritated muscles that wanted nothing more than to crawl right back under the covers to be dealt with no more.

I had to suffice with a hot, hot, hot shower.

I could not believe how sore my arms were this morning.

They ached brushing out my hair.

Granted, I have a mass of hair now, much more than I have had in years, but you know you have had a work out when your arms are tired pulling a brush through your hair.

I sighed and did it any way.

Back sore.

Check.

Arms sore?

Check.

Neck and shoulders?

Check and double-check.

My friend asked me last night, as I stood in front of him rubbing various muscles in my arms and shoulders, when was the last time I had a massage.

Uh, um, oh.

Not sure.

I scrolled back in time.

Years.

It has been years since I have had a real massage.

It was the AidsLifeCycle ride in 2010.

Yes, that’s correct, that is the last time I was on a massage table.

Although I did get some work done on my shoulder last year at the Burning Man event.  In fact, it was done by my current employer (or one of them, I have five at the moment), who is a professional massage therapist.

She was amazing.

I don’t know that it would be appropriate to go to her for work.  Maybe though, I could trade some nannying.  That is a thought, I always forget that I have valuable skills.

I just got done doing some work, on another project, prior to getting into the writing for tonight’s blog and as I was polishing up the proposal,  I also was looking at the “about page” in regards to how I wanted to pitch myself.

I have a skill set.

I do.

But what was it again?

I had forgotten.  I had to think what were all the jobs that I have done and what did I bring to them all.  The only thing that came to mind is being a nanny and how does one translate those skills into project management?

I mean, really I can manage three babies under 20 months, I should be able to do anything, but how to say that without saying that basically you’ve gone and hired a babysitter for your work.  Not that I am doing the actual design work, I am not, although I saw something I have to bounce off the designer today that made me go, oh yeah!

But babysitter does seem apt.

I have baby sat clients while they waited for their dog to die.  I have babysat criminals on the phone while they have waited for their attorneys to file appeals.  I have babysat co-workers and expedited paperwork and organized and re-worded and explained and taught and I am real good with words, like.

Ugh.

It took me most of the day to get over the nanny hang over.

My body does not feel as roughed up as it felt last week.

All of last week.

But it did take more time to bounce back than I thought.

“You would dig it,” he said to me last night as we were chatting.

Yoga.

I think I would, I think I am getting ready to delve in there.

Yoga and stretching and easing up on the muscles and maybe even working in a massage once in a while, maybe every other month instead of every three years or so.

I felt slow and I took it slow today.

I had visions of getting up and getting going and getting onto the project before I was due in at work.  I had a later start than I normally do, as I stayed late tonight to help cover, but I just could not get my body and brain to connect.

I was just going to have to take it slow and steady and take care of my basic needs.

I did not even check my facecrack or send out texts or get on my e-mails until tonight.

I opened up my g-mail account in the morning and had a mini-panic attack when I saw the plethora of e-mails in it for the design firm and I just had to shut it down again.

I knew that I was not going to be able to do anything until after I got the monkey off to bed.

I had thoughts of navigating the work during nap time, I brought my laptop with me, but the first client of the day happened to be the mom of the little boy I do occasional nanny share work with, and she brought her son with.

Surprise.

Out went that idea.

So, I waited until after I got my charge down for bed.

And that was what actually made the hang over disappear, the last magical hour I got to spend with her in her day.  I wished, not really it would be creepy, just for a moment, to have our time captured on camera.

She was so playful and joyful and silly and I just let her crawl all over me and we played and giggled and snuggled and smooched and talked silly talk and she, as I explained later to the mom, it wasn’t that her language skills devolved, they transmorgified into something so special and unique I knew she was letting me get a sneak peek into her own private world.

I felt honored to be so trusted.

We then did bath time, which include bubble time, which was hysterical as she made little bubble beards on her chin until the bubbles disappeared, then more snuggle time.  Then, we wrapped up with pajama time, story time, lullaby time, and yes, sleep time.

Which then led me to finish that proposal time, get back to my side of town time, and get to the blog time.

My hang over is just about gone, and I believe my mental acuity is back.

Even if I am not always certain how to describe myself and my skill set, I do have the capacity to understand when I feel better.

And better I do feel.

 

Tastes Like Home

May 6, 2013

 

Oh the deliciousness of a minty clean mouth.

Or should I say, the clean and fresh taste of Arm & Hammer baking soda and peroxide toothpaste.

How I do love thee?

Let me count the ways.

I went a grocery shopping today.

A real grocery shop.

I went to Berkeley Bowl.

It was my first time at the Berkeley Bowl West; it’s the closest to the housesitting gig I am doing.  I spent about half of what I am being paid and could not have cared less.

Money well spent.

I got Almond milk and organic apples, Bengal Spice Tea, organic tomatoes, almond milk and coconut yogurt (vegan!), coconut body lotion, coconut lip balm, see a theme?  I got coconut hair conditioner too.

Here’s to my hair returning to pre-France state.

Although I will credit the French with my appealing messy topknot hairstyle, so in chic.  I believe because there is no other hairstyle that can capture my nest right now.  Hoping that a week or so of showering in good ol’ USA water will bring it back to its pre-France rat’s nest.

Yeah, I am a girl; my blog will occasionally have hair product references in it.  Get over it.  I also have glitter nail polish on my fingers.  I un-earthed my bucket of Burning Man cosmetics from the attic at Graceland.

No more hiding myself under a bushel.

Flowers in the hair and glitter on the toes.

Oh.

I saw a nail salon today!  Manicure and pedicure and wax these scary eyebrows please.  And may it not be 100 Euro to do so.

It’s Oakland, so I doubt it.

I saw a lot today.

I was on my bicycle a lot.

I decided to test run the commute from Graceland to the nanny gig, which as it turns out will start tomorrow instead of Tuesday, they need extra coverage.  It was quicker than I had thought and the route is relatively flat, a few small inclines, but overall flat as a pancake.

I will have no problem riding my one speed fixed geared girl all over the place.

Total commute time?

45 minutes door to door.

Well, sort of, I did stop and take a photograph of my bicycle under”Oakland” graffiti.  I imagine I will stop and take more photos of the graffiti before I am done.  I have always been a fan of street art.

I took the ride calmly and stopped at all the lights and checked the directions a couple of times, Google maps you’re good, but you ain’t great.  And as I stated, the ride took approximately 45 minutes.

I bet I can shave off 5-10 after a few weeks ride and once I get used to it, it will go by like butter.  It will also be the exercise my body needs.  Burn more calories then walking and spend less money than riding BART.

I got to the housesitting gig happy to find a typed three-page letter of what to do when and the $200 in cash under a pound of Four Barrel coffee.

Thank you!

I am still a little miffed at the amount of work that covering the house and the dog and the cat will take over the next eleven days, but ultimately, it is the seed money I needed to get myself back in the game of living.

It got me toiletries and a new Kleen Kanteen—I’m going to need a good water bottle if I am going to be bicycling an hour and a half each day—and groceries to round out what is here in the house.

It is not super stocked with what I eat, but there was enough to get me started.

I had lunch with the pup sitting at my feet and the cat winding its way about my ankles on the back porch overlooking a well-groomed little back yard with strawberries growing in pots and fava beans spilling out of the garden bed.

I got in a nice walk thereafter and was tempted to walk the dog all the way to the grocery store, but after getting about halfway there she did what she needed to do and I thought, don’t push it, you may still have some jet lag to deal with and you will need your energy for the Junebug this evening.

I turned around, got my bike and road to the Bowl.

I must say it was love at first sight.

Albeit a bit overwhelming.

I had gotten used to the very limited selection of foodstuffs at the marches in Paris.

Why there was an aisle with just soy/rice/almond/coconut milks that could have been a market in Paris.  I just stood in front of it and smiled.

Nice to be home.

I think folks thought I was stoned.  I just wandered around with a dreamy smile plastered on my face and I walked quite slowly.  There was a lot to see and I was not used to taking in that much information again.  I did not even attempt to go through the bulk area.

I filled my hand basket—Japanese sweet potatoes!  Earth Balance, Yves Ground “beef”.  I am making a vegan chili on the morrow.  The house has a huge stock of dried beans and I haven’t cooked up a good chili in a while.  The weather has turned a little cooler so it does not seem that far fetched to do.

I had my first nectarine of the season.

I adore stone fruit.

It’s coming into season.

I am so happy to have California produce again, I cannot express.

I am not so happy to still be jetlagged.

Once again I thought it was beat, but it was not.

However, I believe I can see a light at the end of the tunnel.  The last couple of days I was tired out around 4pm in the after noon, aka, 1am Paris time.  Today I made it past the 4pm mark until about 8pm.  Then I began to drag and droop.

Fortunately the Junebug, who I got to hang with this eve, was getting into the bath and would be shortly thereafter getting into the bed.

Bunk bed.

Love me a bunk bed.

I could have crawled into the top and dozed right off.

We had us a lovely night.  We sang silly songs and made up a secret language and practiced rhyming words.  We drew and colored and built a house out of multi-colored blocks.  We played kitchen and talked silly.

It was awesome.

And I am so beat I cannot write more or guarantee that this blog is even worth the read.  But as it is my practice I will just put it out there.

Even though the Internet is down and this may not post until morning.

Bonne nuit!

Uh, I mean good night.

And The Word Got Out

April 12, 2013

And the word was good.

Looks like I’m coming up nanny.

Surrender to the babies.

Ok then.

At least they be Burning Man babies.

I got asked by another person from my Burning Man connections about a nanny position.  I said yes, however, I had to be upfront and say, um, yeah, I may have already said yes to a co-worker of yours.

Can we all share?

I want full-time work no matter what.

I have to supplement the extravagant life style I have.

You know, steamed potatoes and canned corn, generic box tea from Carrefour and apples.

Oh, hush, I am not that bad off, I am doing just fine, actually.

I was asked to pick up a Saturday shift tomorrow–the kids in the 7th want to say goodbye to me.  I am totally down with that, not always with the good-bye part, but I really like them, crushed out a little on the six-year-old girl, she is such a pumpkin and now that I think of it, she was my first baby sitting gig I had in Paris.

We made paper cut out snowflakes.

I will also have access to the phone line, free calls to the states!

Not that I feel like I actually need to make any phone calls, people seem to know more about me than I do.

“R….. told me you were coming back, we would LOVE to work with you.”

How the hell did R….. find out?

Who knows, facebook, linkedin, twitter, smoke signals, the blog.

I am one of those people.

Iphone charging next to my laptop.

My poor overworked laptop whose fan goes non-stop and seems to get slower and slower the more I use it.  I use it a lot.

“It’s ok to watch a show on your laptop,” my therapist told me three and a half years ago when I got it, “you are using it.”

“Not the way I want to be,” I said crying.

I was so abashed that I watched downloaded episodes of The Wire and had sex with my boyfriend after ward while using the Itunes app on it to play music.

Man I miss sex.

Segue.

And back to lap top, I was ashamed that I wasn’t doing enough with it.

Now, I can’t live without the damn thing.

I mean, I can, I did for a little while last night, it got so hot and the fan sounded like a vibrator on high-speed, yeah sex on the mind, it’ll pass, hopefully, that I turned it off to let it cool down and I just read for a while.

Reading, that’s a nice thing.

I am just about through all the books that were sent over with my room-mate when he made his trip back to San Francisco, good timing that.  What is left to read is the rest of my manuscript.

And I have a gig in Chambourcy in two weeks, so I know I will get it in there.

I Skype with my laptop, use it to blog, obviously, download videos to it, send out queries, e-mails, and generally live a pretty global kind of life when it gets down to it.

I have also a lot of photography work on my computer, something that has just sort of materialized without me thinking much about it, but yesterday, I realized that I had spent over an hour and a half editing the photographs I took, before I posted them to my photography blog and to my facecrack account.

And I have a full written manuscript on this baby.

I need to back all this up, is what I am realizing and I don’t know how to do that, I am supposing it is probably not so hard as I think it is, generally things are never as hard as they seem.

I was thinking about a day about a week and a half ago when I thought, “whatever I can do today to be happy, let me do that.”

I spent the whole damn day crying and letting go and surrendering.

And then doing it again.

What do you know, happiness came from it.

Work as well.

The ease that this is happening really does seem to point to me that it is the way forward.

I also will share a secret, not really a secret, but if I do get the opportunity to work as a nanny again for Burning Man folks this could be good fodder for the book I have always considered writing about regarding my experiences being a nanny at Burning Man.

“Would you be available to nanny on the playa?”

Yes.

As long as I am paid.

Otherwise, I will be spending my time at Media Mecca with the monkeys I hung about with last year.  And I put it out to the Universe, I do want to work for the Borg, it is true, there has always been a longing to be more than just a participant after my first go about there.

I have every year gone and done work there, I actually don’t know that I could go and not be a working girl.

I am getting ahead of myself, but it is really nice to know that people are thinking about me and want my nanny help, again, I repeat, to be wanted is really nice.

Unless it’s by the creeps on the Metro.

Go away.

And stop sucking your teeth at me, like what is that?

Please, next time, just drop your pants and let me blow you in front of the madame sitting next to me with the sack of groceries next to us because that teeth slurping sound you are making is so sexy I am hot just thinking about it.

Gah.

Can’t you see I’m reading?

Please, and it’s not a manual on how to please you nasty pants.

I digress.

Being wanted is a nice feeling and I have had so many people reach out to me over the last few days, here in Paris for coffee dates and walks and babysitting, dog sitting, and hugs, to dinner offers and tea parties in San Francisco when I return.

Thank you all for thinking of me, of helping me, of saying, yeah, you did do something incredible, you dared, you leapt, you sought, you rock.

I hear you.

And the word was good.

In Paris.

For a little while longer.

 

 

Go To Sleep Little Baby

March 25, 2013

I can hear the sound track to O Brother Where Art Thou in my head right now as I cradle a small 11 month old to my chest.

He has lovely blue eyes swathed with the longest lashes, his mouth is parted slightly, cupid bow pink, bottom just a little glisten of shine on it, breath slow, steady, in, out.  He is warm.

I am ready.

No, not to have one.

I am ready for a break.

It has been a long day.

I joined the family at 1 p.m. today to accompany the mom to the Luxembourg Gardens.

It is 11 p.m. right now and I am still with the kids.

I had thought I would have a little down time in the middle of the day to recuperate, relax, and let down the guard a little.

“Sugar, switch hands with me,” I said taking the little girls paw in mine as we transferred Metro stops and walked along the platform.

I am paid to be vigilant.

I am probably hyper vigilant.

Mom speaks no French and I have seen us get targeted a few times as possible pick pocket marks.

However, we have been fortunate to be left alone today.  Although when I went off to follow the little girl on the playground and the mom got up and left our bags on the bench I wanted to scream.

That is my life there, lady.

My Iphone, my wallet, my bank card, my id.

Not that there is much in the bank or that anyone is going to be able to do anything with my California Drivers licence, but my heart flew up into my mouth when I saw the bags on the bench.  I don’t care that it is an enclosed park, the fence is only three feet high.  Anyone could have reached over and snagged it all.

My worries for naught, I scooped up our things and packed everything into my messenger bag.

I have been carrying and toting all day today.

I have felt a little more like a pack mule today than a babysitter.

I have gotten one hell of a work out.

Chasing the little girl around the park, then carrying her up and down the stairs of the Metro, riding her on my shoulders as we navigated the sidewalks in Paris, holding her on my lap, and yes, carrying her through two Metro Line transfers and up countless stairs as she slept, completely knocked out, across me.

I locked her bum under my crossed arms, tucked her head into my neck, and just sucked it up and carried her.

Flash forward to getting all of us back to the house and mom and dad and friends have a private art gallery show to go to.  I am in for the evening and after bathing the little boy and making dinner for them, I strapped him into the carrier, where he seems most happy, cleaned up the house, and walked around pacing until he conked out.

The little girl got a video, “Horton Hears a Who” and is sleeping in mom and dad’s bed.

And here I am blogging.

After a late night last night, I had a “date” with a Skype friend, I crashed out hard.

I thought I may have a hard time dropping off as the flirtatiousness of the call had me wired, but I was out like a light, knelt down, said my thanks for the day, climbed into bed, started to go to that place in my head and the next thing you know the room-mate is up making coffee and breakfast.

I got up about fifteen minutes after he left, showered, breakfasted, wrote, and out the door.

And the rest of my day has been consumed by all things child.

Earlier, I had a thought, as I was navigating the best way for us to get to the park (mom has an app that suggested we transfer through Chatelet and take three trains).  No thank you.  I have the experience of having gotten lost enough and taken enough of the trains that I took us on a different route, which had us only taking two trains, avoiding Chatelet and Les Halles completely (huge underground labyrinths of confusion) and going in the “back door” of the park, thereby saving us easily an hour of travel time.

Which meant more time in the park.

I could start a business of being a “travel companion/nanny”.

Got plans to come to Paris?

Have kids?

Let me be your guide.

Of course, having done it now a few times for the family, I can say it is exhausting and I should be charging double what I asked.  Oh well, lesson learned.  And I have no complaints, they have tipped me every shift I have worked for them and are friends of friends, so I am not bitter.

Just exhausted.

That being said, I will make a tidy sum tonight and I will not be working a full day for them tomorrow.  Dad is done with work and declared it a family day.  I am thinking the family can do without me for the afternoon and then mom and dad can have their night out.

Which, fuck my mother, I just realized is going to make Wednesday a rough day.

I have my standing gig with the French miss in Courbevoie.

The gig I get up at 7 a.m. for.

Ugh.

Oh well, just keep repeating to self, restful weekend in the country.

I am going to really try to let it be a restful weekend in the country too.  I have been watching myself make plans to come into the city back and forth like a maniac and just thought to myself, is it worth it?  Maybe I can rearrange the meet ups I have made and actually take the weekend to myself.

I would like to go and sit and read the manuscripts my room-mate brought back from San Francisco.  Sit, with a legal pad and a pen or five, a hot cup of coffee, and a dog at my feet, at the kitchen table and really read them.  Make some notes, then take those bad boys into second draft territory.

I do not expect that I would be able to do the full work of the second draft in the weekend, however, I can read them and make notes and I can get a good jump on the work.

I believe this is the way I want to go.

And maybe a Skype date with a certain someone when my room-mate is not in the house to over hear the giggling coming from the kitchen.

Just a thought.

 

Tonight’s Blog is Brought to You By

March 24, 2013

The baby strapped to my chest.

The baby who will not sleep unless strapped to my chest.

I know that I exude some maternal, but I wouldn’t mind being able to put him down to sleep in his crib, but I have tried twice and he has gotten so upset I decided to spare his sister, four and a half and up way past her bedtime, the crying.

It is not the worst way to write.

He smells wonderful.

Baby boy smell is a kind of delicious you just cannot buy.

Sweet Dreams

Sweet Dreams

He is also quite cozy and warm.

Spring, oh Paris, I hear such magical things about Spring, has not quite sprung yet, despite the date on the calendar, it was chilly today and may even snow tomorrow.

I usually bet on Spring making its real triumphant reveal after Easter.

Of course it may snow right around Easter, makes perfect sense.

Breathing in deeply and trying to type at the same time, this is a good practice I feel.

“Why do you want to stay in Paris,” she asked me as I struggled to stay focus and present minded, out of the worry and anxiety that does not serve.

“Ask yourself that,” she continued, “you can make a home where ever you are.  Why does it have to be Paris?”

Tears welled up in my eyes, “I thought, I know this sounds silly, I thought this would be where it happened.  Where my writing would take off, where I was supposed to be, where, I…”

I paused, let me let the not so secret secret out of the bag…

“where I would meet the person I was supposed to be with, where I would have a family, I really thought this.”  I ended with a few tears slipping down my face.

Maybe it is the tick tock of the biological clock.

Maybe it is all the babysitting I have done of late, the only house on the block, so to speak, money wise for me.  Tonight is actually double duty.  I was in the 7t earlier and hung out with my five-year old, who let me know she would be turning six very, very soon.

Her brother had a play date and she was having a rough go of things, so we popped in a video I normally would not have deigned to watch, “Barbie Princess Charm School”.

It was not my cup of tea. but she was not feeling well, and wanted to snuggle and mom had said a video was ok, so after lunch, we put it in, curled up on the chaise and snuggled.

I pulled the cashmere brown throw blanket over us, stuffed a pillow into the back of the leather chaise, pulled her into my lap and watched the clouds while she watched the video.

The view was pretty spectacular, out the window to the right–Invalides; out the window to the left–the Eiffel Tower.  Just below my shoulder, one small princess with honey blonde hair and small paws holding mine.

“I am sleepy,” she said, drowsing in and out against me.

“Me too,” I replied, “you can sleep if you want.”

She never did, but we stayed put on the couch all afternoon.

First the video.

Then we played dress up dolls with French paper dolls and sticker activity books.

50 Euro later and off to the Metro to dash over to meet some folks at Rue Madame.

A quiet hour, a refreshed brain, and then back 36 Rue Bellefond to grab a quick cup of tea, eat a banana, send out a memoir query for agency, pack up the computer, grab an apple for the road, and haul ass up and over the hill to the next gig.

The house was way active, the floor strewn with books, papers, legos, barbies, colored pencils.  Mom, dad, friends, phone calls, plans being made and discussed.

I will help them again tomorrow.

Mom and I will go to the Luxembourg Gardens and let the kids play in the park.

I am also on deck to work the evening as dad picked up an extra client at the tattoo convention who is coming back from the North of France special to get a 3/4 sleeve completed.

Then Tuesday I will be here and Wednesday, 9a.m. to 1 p.m. in Courbevoie, then back here so that mom and dad may get out and go to an art opening with friends and have a date as he will finally be done with work.

Thursday I have the early afternoon booked with another kind of work, then I pack up the bags and head out to Saint Germaine en Laye to house sit/dog sit.

Woof.

That’s a week.

Knock on wood, I may actually make all my rent for April in one fell swoop.

I will be tired as fuck, but I will have gotten it.

Why do I want to be here?

I have been asking myself that ever since I was asked earlier.

The language, the culture, the art, the architecture, and because I really, still do believe, that whomever I may be fated to, yes, I believe in Fate, magic, sex, love, God, is to be found here.   My prince, is here, I believe, or on his way, near, so close, I can almost touch.

Yes, I am a sap and that is ok, because fairy tales do happen.

I am living one right now–with my sleeping beauty breathing on my heart.

Strapped tight to my chest and warm as a lullaby on a mid summer night.

In Paris.

Sleepy Baby

Sleepy Baby

That Was Stressful

March 23, 2013

Oof.

I lost the family.

Well, not exactly, the family got lost.

Mom let me go this afternoon saying, “we can get back from here.”

“Are you sure?”  I asked.

I was not certain and I did not like leaving them to get back up and over the hill.

“Oh, it’s fine, I know how, I’ll figure it out,” she said.

Mom is tiny, tres petite, an 11 month old strapped to her front and a four-year old who was having a temper tantrum regarding another ride on the carousel.

I was not comfortable leaving her there, especially when I had her take out her Iphone and put in the map navigator, the phone was almost out of juice and the thought of leaving her to the jackals left me quite uneasy.

We had been approached more than once by the hordes of illegals trying to press wrap bracelets on you, flowers, trinket, geegaws; they trap you with the bracelet, tying it rapidly on your wrist, they will grab your hand, and while you are busy trying to negotiate your way out of it, one of them picks your pocket.

“Let’s see, one pm, to now, um, that’s,” she calculated out loud pulling her wallet open in front of the baby while the little girl whirled in and out between us, “here,” she said handing me 100 Euros, two 50 Euro notes, “that’s for today, I want to tip you, and then we leave 30 Euro credit for tomorrow?”

“Ok,” I said, I quickly folded the notes over and jammed them in my wallet, relocating my bag to the front of my body and pushing my wallet into it as far as I could.  I held it in front of me until I was out of the melee of the park.

“Are you sure I can’t get you back up and over the hill?”  I asked one more time, I knew she was going to get lost.

“No, no, we are fine, I am just going to get us back and go buy lunch at the store and a bottle of wine and we’ll be fine.” She gave me a hug, “I will touch base later about dinner, maybe we will use you tonight, and definitely for tomorrow.”

“Alright,” I said.  I was not going to micro-manage her experience, despite wanting to tell her what to do, she had made the decision.

It is her experience.

If she wants to have the getting lost in Paris experience with two tired children, that is her prerogative.

She got it.

I did not realize that she had called me until I got home, unloading the groceries from my bag.

Shit.

I did not even need to check the message to know what was going on.

Sure enough, they had gotten lost.

She was so close too.

I got her on the phone, but the call continuously dropped as her phone ran out of power.

I had a moment of panic.

Then I thought, she is really close to where she lives, she has a wallet jammed with money, I saw it when she paid me, almost made me want to snatch her hands and say, what are you doing carrying that much cash around?!

She can flag a cab.

She can walk into a cafe or a restaurant.

She is in the Montmartre and there are so many tourists spots there and so many people who speak English, all she has to do is ask.

It took her another hour to get back to me that she had made it home.

I had managed to get her two blocks away from her apartment.

Before her phone died and I was unable to contact her again.

An hour to go two blocks.

Oh, how I know that feeling.

I remembered quite distinctly how lost I had gotten trying to navigate my way from Abaraxas in the Marais to the Lizard Lounge, hours, I had spent hours trying to find one then the other, just blocks away from each other.

It can be extraordinarily challenging.

But, regardless it is an experience, we all get to get lost, and I realize as I sit here at the keyboard, I am just as lost.

I don’t know where I am going.

I don’t know how to get there either.

The best I can do is enjoy the scenery on the way.

I sat in the park, on a bench with his small baby body strapped to me sleeping, the sun brushing the back of my shoulders with warmth while his sister chased up and down the slide and made friends with the kids running around the park at Square D’Anvers.

Mom was off shopping.

She had expressed a desire to do some vintage shopping and I knew of a couple of awesome shops in my neighborhood.  She took my leave for two hours and shopped and I got to stay at the park with the shouts of children carooming off the buildings.  I gave her directions, pointing out the two streets from the park that she would need to navigate to get to the stores.

She came back laden with bags, a successful trip.

I had also a successful trip, just sitting down on the bench in a park, in Paris, for two hours with a baby snuggled to me was a trip.  She suggested we go to the cafe by the park.

We went to Les Oiseaux to grab some lunch.

Unfortunately, Les Oiseaux was like my experience at Cafe Flore, slow, rude, awful service, by a condescending waiter who yelled at us, telling us we were taking up too much space at the tables, which were empty and there was no one waiting to sit down.

The mom looked shocked.

I explained to the waiter what we needed, he came back, after we had scooted down to a smaller table, gruffly handing me two menus, then he dismissed us and trotted off.

“Should we go?” The mom asked.

“I think so, I’m sorry, these cafes so close to the heavy tourist areas can have really awful service,” I said, gathering up her bags and pushing away from the table after another five minutes of being ignored.

I took her a couple blocks out-of-the-way to avoid the worst foot traffic at the base of Sacre Couer.  I had planned on getting her back to the apartment and was thinking that there may be a better way to do it then the way I was going, despite it being the most direct route. But my plans, well, they were ignored.

They often are, I think, I realize, I am beginning to understand, my best laid plans are often, very often, all the time, mis-laid.  I cannot manage another’s life, I cannot manage my own life.

Again, I think, lost, aren’t we all?

Just trying to do our best.

I should just speak for myself, always so busy getting lost, trying to navigate through the world, to be my best, to be kind, gentle, and caring, to be of service and help where I can.

I did not know what to do with myself when I got back, too late to make plans for the rest of the day, too early to do my normal just getting home for the night routine.

I decided to take advantage of the room-mate being at work.

Then.

I took a screamingly hot shower.

While showering I got a message from the mom, safe, sound, back to the apartment, a new book of maps bought, and her phone charging.

Safe and sound.

A good reminder to myself that I too am taken care of, despite not knowing what will happen next, I too am safe and sound.

Here, in Paris.

 

 

 

 

Let Me Know if I Can Help

March 20, 2013

Ah.

Yeah.

I have some ideas.

Ha.

My goodness you are handsome.

And you have an Irish passport?

Yeah, I may have a few ideas about how you could be of service to me.

Trying to wipe the grin off my face, but sometimes, well a girl has to get her flirt on.  Especially when he has those damn eyes.  Blue Irish eyes.

What is that song?

“When Irish Eyes Are Smiling?”

Something like that.

Hmmm.

Off to fantasy land.

And come back, hey, Martines where you at?

Time to get myself into the present.

The moment, the magic, the right now, where the music on the shuffle has just gone onto “Love and Happiness.”

Indeed.

I am feeling the love today, it held my hand.

In fact, when I went to drop her hand, she picked it back up and said, “encore.”

I was babysitting out in Courbevoie this morning, my little French miss of six years.  She is a pumpkin and perhaps a little under the weather or as her mother messaged me, a little sad.  She did not want her mom to leave and it took a little while for us to hit our groove, but hit it we did.

We read some stories, did some English work book exercises, she taught me a new word in French, which was “ongles” for “nails” and we played hide and seek.

Then we had the snuggles.

It was magic.

She was not asleep, but she was so relaxed that it was almost as though she was.  We were going over body parts, head, neck, cheeks, hands, fingers, thumbs, and I don’t know exactly why, but I started to massage her small hands.

Just rubbing a soft spiral of touch on her palm, holding it lightly as she cuddled next to me, her head rested against my chest, legs curled in my lap.  I stopped the massage and she took my hand and said, “encore.”

Again.

I held her soft hand, with the little rough bit of skin where a blister must have been in the padding just below her middle finger and caressed it gently, rubbing small circles.

I looked out the sky.

High, blue, tumbles of clouds, a crow perched on the ledge of the building across the courtyard, trees starting to push out buds of green, I looked down at my watch, the small child nestled against me, and held her hand.

We sat like this, hand in hand, for twenty minutes.

Twenty.

I do not exaggerate.

I have not felt so relaxed in so long.

It filled my heart to over full.

Then, I don’t know why, it certainly is not exactly a song to sing to a six-year-old who doesn’t nap any more, I sang her “Hush Little Baby,” and hummed into the top of her head.

“Carmen” she whispered, “encore, le chanson.”

“D’accord”.

Ok.

I sang “Hush Little Baby” twice more, “Twinkle, Twinkle,” and “Hello Everybody, So Glad to See You.”

All soft, slow, into the crown of her head and gently rocked her back and forth.

I could have stayed like that all day.

Rubbing her small paws in mine, looking out the window, watching the clouds shift and mass up and disperse, the sun wink in and out of the clouds, and the rooks fly about.

However, mom was coming home, there were markers to pick up off the floor, a child to finish dressing, and dejeuner to put on the table, lunch, that is.

After I left Courbevoie I had intended to go to the Louvre.

I figure, if I may be leaving, I should get every damn drop of Paris out of Paris and an afternoon museum visit seemed on the menu.

Yes, I know, I still owe the room-mate rent, but the house sitting gig, the dog sitting, and the possibility of having three babysitting gigs in the next few days, negated the 11 Euro the museum ticket would be.

However, fickle Paris weather, decided to roust out a little chill wind to commemorate the last day of winter and I was not wearing nearly enough layers.  I decided to duck back to the house, eat some hot lunch, and regroup from there, decide where and what I would do after getting some more clothes on myself.

I ate, had tea, did some writing, chatted with the room-mate and checked some e-mails.

Then I Skyped.

Then I smiled.

Damn you.

Took my mind off not knowing what the hell I am doing, how the hell it’s going to happen, and where I am going to go next.

I was in my head so much yesterday and last night, the call was a welcome distraction and when he said what can I do, I really had many a thought, a few of them naughty, and I completely forgot about the Louvre.

It’s fun to have a crush, especially when he has a pretty mouth.

I am an aficionado of the mouth.

“You know your mouth screams,” she said.

“No you don’t, don’t say it,” I interjected, a grin already pulling my mouth up at the corners.

“Blowjob.”

Yes.

It’s true.

I have a full mouth.

I have no complaints about that and I don’t know that I have had any complaints lodged in regards to, however, I will state for the record, that a man with a full mouth is more pleasing to kiss, thin-lipped, small dicked men, take it elsewhere.

I recently got a message on OkStupid, which has only panned out one date in Paris since I have been here, about “small sex, but know how to use it.”

Uh, yeah.

No.

You need to work on your pick up lines there, friend, there may be a reason you are not getting a lot of response.

Tall, dashing Irish man with blue eyes and a pretty mouth, yeah, that can make a girls night.  Even if nothing comes of it, I enjoy the flirting.

And who knows, I am not going to argue for my limitations.

Something may well come of it.

“If he’s the one,” she said, “he’ll follow you to Paris.”

Hurry up, though, I don’t know how long I get to be here.

Until then, bon soir.

Old Habits Die Hard

March 19, 2013

Fuck me.

I was doing it again today.

Trying to figure it out.

I actually only just acknowledged this as I sat down to eat dinner and found myself Googling American companies in Paris.

Eat dinner.

Get off the internet.

The babysitting interview got cancelled, which is funny, as I did not want to leave the house to go to it.  I had put the address into my navigation system, was actually standing on the platform at Metro Cadet having trotted down the hill very grateful for my Paris umbrella as it was coming down in sheets, and I had a sudden thought, “check your phone.”

Sure enough, there was the message, mom’s doctor’s appointment in Neuilly running now two hours late.

Welcome to France, its beautiful, and everyone is running late.

Ok, I exaggerate a little, but the pace here is definitely slower at times and I do feel that there is a distinct lack of punctuality, of course, that is a very American way of looking at it.

So no interview for a possible position, not even a real position, they may be looking depending on whether or not the grandparents find someone to rent their house in May.

Keep looking, I told myself.

I applied for a job today as a copy editor.

That was a new one.

I went on craigslist, which is for me, and I just speak from my own experience, pointless.

I never find anything on it.

I end up roaming all over the place.

I usually feel rotten after spending time looking on it.

I had replied to a nanny position and got a response today, about a week after I had responded to the ad and was horrified to see what they had to offer.

810 Euro a month.

Full time nanny, seven month old, forty hours a week.

810 Euro a month, well, let me break out my trusty calculator, that comes to about 5.06 Euro an hour.

Fuck off.

The SMIC here, which is basically the minimum wage, is 9 Euro an hour.

Please people.

Then I thought, I was going to say yes all day today to the Universe, but I think saying yes to that is saying yes to being miserable.

And there I go thinking again.

I am supposed to be surrendered.

I really am.

Not.

Argh.

I would like to bang the crazy out of my head and smash it with a hammer, but I don’t think that would work either; fallacious reasoning and all.

Nothing is wrong here, don’t look, while I go monkey about behind the curtain of the great and powerful OZ.

There was a gentleman who shared with me yesterday that when he first came to Paris, and he’s British and can actually work here anyhow, he fell in love with a French woman, two weeks later moved in with her, two months later married her, and 364 days later wound up leaving her, 65,000 Euro in debt having been accrued, and he had to go back to London and live with his dad.

One year in Paris.

Sometimes you have to go back to come back.

He said he was just with a curator of a museum in London and they were going through his portfolio and choosing which of his photographs were to go into the museums permanent collection.  He shared that the majority of the work they chose was done while he was living with his dad.

Nothing happens in God’s world by mistake, is the gist of it.

I know that I have not made a mistake in coming here and I know that I have not failed.

What I don’t know is what is going to happen next.

Funny, that I should just get off the phone with someone who was in a similar situation, wanting to know how it’s going to work out.

I was recalling something I read recently; knowing the outcome doesn’t actually make for happiness, despite wanting to know, it doesn’t actually increase my level of joy in living.

I shared with her over the phone that I did not know what was going to happen next for myself either, so I was doing the next action in front of me, making dinner–nothing needed to be known except that I was hungry.  Then I would eat, wash the dishes, and do the next action after that, which for me tonight is writing an earlier in the evening blog than I normally do as I will be up by seven in morning to go to Courbevoie and baby sit.

One gig tomorrow.

One on Friday, one Saturday, another on Monday, repeat of Wednesday, and one on  Thursday.  Then I will be off to the country side to dog sit for the weekend.

Basically this means that my rent for March will actually finally get paid, owe the roomie 90 Euro yet for the month, and I will have groceries and money to put on my Navigo when the month ends.

I don’t know what to do next.

That puts me at the end of the month.

The end of the month when it was suggested to me that if it doesn’t fall together, it’s time to go back to San Francisco.

I don’t wanna.

I can hear the wail in my head.

I cannot see into the future, but damn am I trying.

Old habits.

Die.

Fucking.

Hard.

Part of me just wants to throw in the towel now, say ok, that’s it, I tried, go back to San Francisco and start looking for work now, now, now.

Work, fuck, work?

How about a place to live?

That brought some tears to my eyes.

Ah, humility, how you do you do?

What ever happens in these next few days, I still want to move forward in faith, knowing that whatever happens I am so lucky to be here, so lucky to be, just period.

Just to be.

My life is so different from the trajectory that it was on when I was growing up.  Who would have thought that a poor kid from an unincorporated town in Wisconsin would get to have the adventures I have had, am having, will get to have.

I don’t believe my adventures are done in any kind of way.

I am willing to go elsewhere too, I tell the Universe, as I write down another little prayer and send it out to, away, away, away from my meddling brain still trying to figure it out.

I cannot imagine what is in store.

Hand it over, I hear whispered in my ear.

I know it will be amazing.

That’s all.

It usually is.

Now, excuse me, while I get the fuck out of my own way.

 


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