Posts Tagged ‘barnaby’

Separation of Church and State

December 16, 2018

And it finally happened.

I am so grateful to report that after much time, many failed attempts, yelling at my computer, yelling at the WordPress chat help, not literally, although I do think I told one of the people on the chat that I was as computer conversant as a tired four-year old.

I really felt like throwing a tantrum with that chat and I excused myself from it quickly when I realized I might, probably not, but might throw my computer on the floor and stomp on it.

So it is with much happiness and relief that I can report my website, my professional website, and my personal blog are no longer connected.


They still are, but not really, not in a way that anyone could figure out and my friend who helped me even made the suggestion to change my face on the profile picture so I couldn’t be recognized that way.

Hence the new icon which is a graffiti photo I took many years ago in Paris.

Six years ago it feels like.

Paris was much on my mind today.

And in many of my conversations.

I went and saw my dear friend Barnaby at his new shop in Oakland, East Bay Tattoo, and he touched up the color on my pink jackalope bunny tattoo that he gave me for my 40th birthday when we were living as room mates in Paris.

We both marveled at how far we’d come since that time in Paris.

We were both trying to figure things out and neither one of us thought that we’d actually be moving back here.

Barnaby landed in Oakland and I in the Outer Sunset.

Six years later he’s the father of two boys and he and his partner own a house in Oakland and he just opened a new shop.

Six years later I’m a psychotherapist, not going to tell you my name though, oh no, I don’t want you finding my website from my personal blog (this baby is dark, no social media, no LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, nada), I’m also a PhD student and I own a car!

I mean.

I remember how I felt leaving Paris when we did, my heart-felt bruised, I felt defeated, broken, I had tried so damn hard to make it work and Paris was not having it.

Not having me.

Although she has welcomed me back with open arms and love every time that I have gone back since.

I feel like I have learned so much about myself from my time spent in Paris.

So my friend and I reminisced and talked about all the things we did there and the conversations and all the things that we have done in the time between and how life is.

You know.

Life is pretty damn good.

Even though.

Fuck my life.

I just found out that my paper is due at 5p.m. instead of midnight.




I must be a little on edge about getting my shit done by all the deadlines.

I forgot, tomorrow is Sunday, not Monday.

The paper is due Monday.

Of course I’ll be working and not really have time to address the paper, so I’ve been planning all along to have the work done by Sunday night and turn it in Sunday night after I get back from doing the deal up in the Castro.


What a goofy little moment of panic.

I was all sorts of mad.



Breathing deeply again.


I will hopefully be posting on a much more regular basis on my blog now that I don’t have any worry about potential clients finding out about it.

I mean.


My most “popular” blog is about cocaine and vodka enemas, not something I want any perspective client to be reading about.

I know how that sounds.

I never have and never will administer or be given a cocaine vodka enema, but I had a friend tell me a story once and I was so horrified by the idea, I’d never heard of it and I guess it’s actually a thing, that I wrote a blog about it many moons ago and what do you know.

It’s the most searched for tag that leads people to my blog.

I have actually thought about deleting it, but you know, it’s actually well written and it does in fact allude to recovery, so maybe someone out there who happens to stumble upon it might get the idea that they actually have a better shot at life without shooting cocaine up their bum mixed with vodka.


There are lots of other things in my blog I’d rather not have my therapy clients find out.

Like I’ve been to Burning Man eleven times.

(Dirty hippy)

(Sex addict)

(addict in general)


I won’t say that any of those things don’t apply, but ahem, you know, I’m happy with who I am and not really shy about sharing.

God forbid a client read any of the blogs I wrote about my brief and tumultuous jaunt on Tinder.

God was that a heap of crap.

With one or two shining moments, but mostly a lot of yuck.

And now.



I don’t have to worry about it.

I can write happily and freely about everything.



I don’t actually write about everything either, you know a girl has to have a few things kept back.

At least for right now.

There may well be a time and place when that changes, but right now, yeah, there are a few things that don’t wind up in these posts and that’s alright too.

I’m just so happy to have my little blog space back.

I don’t mind that it’s gone so dark, it’s like my own little private universe with a few select friends that like to hang out and have a cup of coffee with me and catch up.

I’ve got some followers who know me in my personal life as a real bona fide person, and I’m cool with that, but the rest of the world can keep right on thinking of me as Auntie Bubba.

I’m very.



Cool with that.


January 11, 2014

To sanity.

One could say that is always on my mind.


Never knew how crazy I was until it stopped.

Or I was willing to listen to what others had to say about the whole thing and take some basic suggestions and voila!


Or some bright semblance of.

I believe I am still cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, however, it’s a kind of crazy I have been busy treating for the last 8 years and some odd days.  I can sort of take it to the bank because I have been taught how to treat it.

Just like I did today.

Took my paychecks to the bank and took the money I owed Barnaby to Barnaby.

I like that, see that sentence just there, it’s in the past tense.


I don’t owe him money more.

The debt has been paid and it’s done.

So nice.

I rather enjoy being accountable and taking care of business and I am grateful to not have any more of that debt over my head.

It was good to see Barnaby again as well, give him a quick hug, he was in the middle of doing a tattoo, so I did not stay long, just long enough to say I needed to see him when I got back to San Francisco because I have a need for some fresh ink.

I have a couple of stars to add to the seven on the left side of my neck.

“What happens when you have 50 years of sobriety,” my best friend asked me when I got five butterflies on my shoulder to acknowledge the anniversary.

“Will you have 50 butterflies?”  She asked, half serious, half in jest.

“I might,” I said with a smile.

Heck, at that time I had only one sleeve, not two, and I did not have any idea that I was going to have the tattoos I currently have.  Although I did know I would have more.  I still know I will have more, and yup, not particularly positive what they will be either.

Just that I will be adding a couple stars to my small galaxy.

I gave Barnaby another hug, pulled out the envelope (that just happened to be in some stationary that I bought at a book shop while out with Barnaby one day wandering through bookshop stalls in Paris) that I had put the cash in, said thank you, and I will call when  I get back.

Then I hopped on the bike and headed down to Photo Works to pick up the restored photograph.

$165.18 and a few tears later I have the original photo and the three restored prints in my possession.





I felt overwhelmed with joy.

I don’t know how it works, I really don’t, but it does.

To see the photograph restored seemed a sign of my family being restored to me.

And I did not realize until I looked at the photograph again that it was not my grandparents wedding!


It was my great grand parents wedding photo.

Which made it even more special.

Levi and Dolly.

If I have children that will be their names.

No more French names (Madeleine, Ophelie, I am still partial to those sweet names, I am, but) for me.


I felt something stir in my heart, sweet, and kind and it’s funny I am slightly distracted as I write this, the photographs on the back ground of my computer screen are from my first week in Paris, which seems to add a sense of poignancy to the entire endeavor as well.

How far I have come to go back home.


A story that I am a part of, a narrative that continues to grow and surprise me with its abundance and depth and detail.

I don’t know a lot of my family history.

A smattering here and there.

I know that Dolly and Levi barely knew each other, according to my mom, it was just this side of a pre-arranged marriage.  I know that we used to go to their house in Lodi on Christmas Eve after mass at the Catholic church in downtown Lodi.

I will always remember how drowsy I felt and how hard I tried to stay up to partake of all the goodies in the house and how it smelled so good, like gingerbread and spice and how I never made it.

I always fell asleep.

I don’t know that I could have been more than four or five in that memory.

I just remember the house, the warmth of it, the smell and the nest of coats on the bed covered in a chenille throw.

I don’t know if I burrowed into the stack of coats, but I think it’s a good possibility.

I do remember going back out into the cold and getting settled bleary with sleep into the back seat, the glow of the house lights falling on the snow, the frost on the window in the back seat, lacy and thick, the shroud of a cloud passing over the bright full moon and then asleep.


I know too that my mom has very fond memories of her grandparents and lived with them after an accident she had when she was a little girl and had a long, slow convalescence after falling into a furnace.

She had severe burns all over her legs and still to this day has the clear, tight, skin of a burn victim in splotches on her legs that I never thought unsightly, even though I could see the veins below her skin and the skin seem so tight and translucent over her legs.

They were just my moms legs and they were comforting to me.

So, with a full, achy heart this evening, I returned from my travels about having made a pit stop at 7th and Irving for an hour, then home on the bike, the fog so heavy it was like riding through soup, to unload my treasures.

I framed my copy of the print.

I have my mom’s and my sister’s copy ready to go for the trip as well as the disc that the photograph is on.  I am going to download it to my computer to have it in my own files.  Then give it to my mom so that she can make copies for any of her siblings if she should want.

Restoration was not what I was looking for nine years ago.

I just wanted it to stop.

Stop it did.

And it continues to amaze me.

Fulfill me.

And fill me.

I have been given so much.



More Will Be Revealed

January 10, 2014

She told me many years ago, perhaps seven?


That feels about right.

More has been revealed and I am sure there is more revelation to come.

I am thinking about my imminent trip down to Florida.

I fly out on a red-eye in a couple of days, leaving SFO at 11:56p.m. on Saturday night to fly to Atlanta, brief layover, landing in Orlando, Florida at 9:30 a.m.

“Get up really early on Saturday so that you sleep on the plane,” my friend suggested to me.


I will try, but I am doubtful that I will get up earlier then I have already planned.

I have a few things to take care of before I fly out on Saturday.

First is to get that photo from PhotoWorks tomorrow.  They called me up earlier this week and said that they needed more time to work on the restoration, it would be ready Friday evening.


Which is perfect, I end my work week in the Castro at 4:45 p.m.

I also have another errand to run tomorrow.

I have $1350 in cold hard cash in an envelope in my wallet with Barnaby’s name all over it.  He will be in the Castro tomorrow at the tattoo shop he does work out of when he is in town and I will be walking up to it at some point in my day to hand over the money.

I am super happy to have it and I am super grateful that I will get to repay it and then go back to having no outstanding debt.

Well, except for my student loans, but they, though they count, don’t really count.

ACS Student Loan Services is just a nameless entity that I send an automatic payment to every month.

Not a personal face with a history that I have to, I mean I get to, engage with.

It will be nice to see Barnaby and not feel that I owe him anything besides gratitude for the experience and the promise that I too shall  play it forward when the time comes.

Take some one in, help them on their adventure, buy them a meal in a cafe, help someone else with a dream.

I also want to talk to Barnaby about a small tattoo I would like.

In a few days I will have to add a few stars to my neck.

At least that’s what I am thinking, two more to go with the seven I have.

Hard to believe that 9 years ago I was heading back from London preparing to go on my last crazy cocaine run.  I was just going to meet up with a friend at Blondie’s No Grill and Bar in the Mission, down on Valencia between 17th and 16th.

I was just getting away from the week of being with my mom in London.

I was just going to have one.


As was the case I had more.

More always being the magic number.

More last three days.

Until I did not have more to give, could not take anymore, gave the fuck up and asked for help.

I got it.

In spades.

And I have not turned back since.

It has not been easy, but like anything worth having, hard-won, and I do not regret a single day of the work, not a one.

My life is pretty outrageous when I look at it.

Oh, the places you’ll go.


What about the places I have been over the last few years?

I can’t imagine what comes next.

This Florida trip will be my first for the year.

Other places I will go are Minneapolis/St. Paul when I fly into the airport on my way to Hudson, Wisconsin to see my best friend this summer.

Don’t have the ticket, but it’s not far in coming and as I await the best dates for my friend I am happy to sock some of the money away that I would have been channelling to the debt I owed Barnaby into the plane ticket back to the land of dairy, cheese, and currently bone chilling temperatures.

But that’s ok as I will be there in the summer.

I will probably fall over from the humidity, but I will welcome the warm nights and the hanging outside without three layers on in July.

I will, of course, be going to Burning Man.

It was fun to watch all the silliness as the theme was finally announced.

I loved getting excited for my friends who will be going for their first time and I will get to go for my 8th year in a row.

I am also thinking about going to Coachella.

Not sure how, but I have always wanted to go and I never have.

I don’t have experience with Indio, California, how to get there, what to do when there, or whom to go with, but I feel that if it’s in the mix, and it does feel that way, that it will happen.

Just putting it out to the Universe, I am willing to go.

That’s three little trips to look forward to this year.

I am pretty ready for the Florida trip, only a few things to do to prepare.

Get the photograph and the prints I had them make from Photo Works and frame and wrap the ones for my mom and sister.

Get a manicure and pedicure.

That I always do before travel anywhere.

Even if it’s cross city travel.


Then figure out my way to the airport.

I think I am just going to MUNI train it to the BART.

I will of course, have to pack, but since it’s a short jaunt, the packing will be quick and I will do it same day as travel.  In fact, I have the majority of what I am taking already going through the wash cycle now so I don’t have to worry about doing laundry right before I leave.

Really, like so much of my life in recovery it’s just about showing up.

Show up.

Take the next action in front of me.

More will be revealed.


Working Girl Holiday

December 17, 2013

Which means I am working the holidaze.

Sort of thought that might happen what with all my families staying in town and that the two big days, Christmas and New Years Day, fall mid-week.

I ran down my schedule with my two main families before I left this evening to head over to the Inner Sunset for a little of that doing the deal.

Full week this week, with additional hours on Friday to make up for taking off Wednesday.

Full week next week with the exception of Christmas day.

Yes, I will be working Christmas eve and the day after Christmas.

Christmas Eve will be a half day however, although I shall be house sitting, but that shouldn’t be too much work.

A hassle, yeah, a bit, but making hay while the sun shines and also helping out a friend who’s going home for the holidays.  So, I don’t mind too much.

Though I find it really interesting how everyone makes it out to be this big deal–oh bring your laundry, and it’s a vacation for you.

No, frankly, it ain’t a vacation.

It’s work.

It’s work to get myself and my things over to your place via bicycle or train or what ever vehicle I take.  It’s work to rearrange my schedule for a week to be in a different part of town, figuring out a different commute, because I am working regular, real regular during the time of the house sitting gig.

Plus, there’s only so much shit I can get in my messenger bag.

I’m there seven nights.

I must have my laptop, nach, ain’t gonna not write this blog, I need clothes for the week, and toiletries.  I can usually get three to four days of clothes in my bag, but it’s hard to stretch a whole week.  I will probably have to do a bomb run up and over and down to the beach at some point mid-way through.

In fact, had I known how much work I would have with the nannying, I probably would have said no to the house sitting gig.

Now, I will just look at it as the last extra bit of money to pay of the ticket to Barnaby, who, what!  Happens to be heading into town this week.

Just got the message today asking me if I wanted the stuff in storage, uh yeah, if you’re coming, I’ll take it.

Though I only recall a few things being in storage.

Obviously nothing I have missed horribly, since I can’t remember what I left there.

So, it will be nice to have the money for him when he’s here.  He’ll be around until January 15th and then off to Hawaii.

That’ll be a change after Paris.

The week after, the week of New Years, will be my really big money week though.

Regular hours on Monday and Tuesday, i.e. 8:45 a.m. until 5:30/6p.m.  Then Tuesday, which is New Years Eve, I will be doing an over night from 7p.m. until noon the next day.

I’ll have half the day off on New Years and be right back into my Thursday and Friday gigs.

What holidays?

Good thing I took off my birthday.

And I don’t believe I will pick up anything on the weekends, I have enough on my plate, trying to still keep room open for things to happen, loosely scheduling Saturdays and keeping Sunday wide open.

I don’t have a plan yet for Christmas day.

I was invited to a Christmas night dinner.

I will keep that on the shelf, I may just stay in the Mission, the invite was for the Bayview neighborhood.  I know I have some friends that will be staying in the city and I believe that there are a number of people who will be popping in and around the Mission.

All this working and this planning on how to get from one gig to the other makes me really grateful that I went out and got a Christmas tree and wrote cards, which is partially selfish.

I love getting mail.

I mean, love it.

I guess I am just old-fashioned.

And when I send out Christmas cards I usually get a few back and it’s fun to get them in the mailbox.

Today I got one from my sister.

That was sweet.

I actually cannot recall the last time I received a card from her.

For a moment I was nervous to open it.

Not sure what I thought was going to jump out at me.

But it was perfect, simple, sweet.

And I realized how I am looking forward to going down to see her, it’s been, well, awhile is a good start, um, nine years?  Almost nine years, since I saw her last.

That time was incredibly brief as well.

I think I had dinner and cocktails with her and my mother at the Weary Traveller in Madison on Willy Street.

She left early and then I went to the bar to meet with my friends.

It was my 32nd birthday.

So, yeah, considering I will be 41 on Wednesday, it has been nine years since I saw her.

There’s going to be some catching up I am certain.

The time it sure does fly, especially when my life is so full.

These last, almost nine years, have been so full I wonder sometimes how it is that I have done and gotten to do as much as I have.

Because my head, trusty little brain always sowing the seeds of doom, tells me I don’t get a whole lot done.

That’s a kind of resistance to the true nature of my life that allows my ego to beat me up and shame me into thinking I don’t have a great life or I haven’t accomplished enough.

When I list it out, though, I see someone who consistently shows up, for my writing–twice a day–for my charges, for my blog, for my friends, not always for the dating, but I am at least aware of that and putting in the work to change, for new adventures–Paris, surfing, horseback riding, trampolining, learning how to ride clipped into a bike, learning how to ride fixed gear, for the women in my life that I am honored to work with, I show the fuck up.

I can acknowledge that.

I am a working girl.

Working hard at living my life as to its fullest potential.

One small sweet day at a time.


The Check Cleared

June 1, 2012

I have $0.37 in the checking account until payday.

The check cleared!

The check I wrote to the State Department for my passport.  I don’t give a hoot about how much is in my account, I’m going to be just fine.  Rent is paid, the phone is paid, that pesky student loan is paid.

My passport is paid.

I had this irrational thought that I would be denied a passport.  ‘They’ were going to find me out, see through my application, deny it, and I would be thwarted from traveling to Paris, let alone move there.

I mean, really?

I actually entertained this idea.  It felt a little like holding my breath.  I did not even realize that I was hanging onto this idea until I was checking my account and saw that it had cleared.

I was ecstatic.

I don’t know a time that I have been that excited to have a check go through the bank.  I am funny.

I also checked in for a while today with Barnaby.  I may end up staying a couple of weeks longer in October, we are trying to co-ordinate it such that we either fly over together or we meet up in Paris after he’s gotten there.

Of course, I could go early, but it feels better to show up around the same time.  He won’t know until July his exact travel dates.  I will hold off on buying a ticket until then.  October and November are not times that people travel to Paris, so the ticket should still be quite manageable.

Really, all I want is to be there for my 40th birthday.  I want to get up early on the day of my birthday and go to a cafe and have a cafe creme and then walk about the city.  Go see the sunrise behind Notre Dame, wander through the markets, maybe even, oh, hold on tight, get a Christmas tree.

That is a ritual I used to do on my birthday, I would get my Christmas tree.  I liked to have it up one week before Christmas and one week after.  Perfect amount of special.  I find that if you get the tree too early, it sucks the anticipation and the joy of Christmas out a little.  I don’t like the idea of getting ready for Christmas as soon as Halloween is over.

I don’t need two months of Christmas cheer, two weeks does me just fine.

Maybe I will go to a matinée.  Maybe I will walk some where.  I will certainly write.  Maybe I will buy myself something special.  I like hats.  A scarf?  French women love them some neckerchiefs.

Ah, I get ahead of myself.

It’s exciting.  But it is also exciting to be here, present in today, in San Francisco, on day four in a row of seeing my darling friend Joan.  I have missed her!  She just finished with her first year of nursing school.  I am just blown away by the dedication of people like Joan slogging through to their dreams.

It makes me want to reach for mine that much harder.  I know I will make it to Paris, just like I know Joan will make it through nursing school.  I love that I get to see her during her break.  I will fill the well with my friends laughter and have it to slack my thirst when she’s back under the grind of study and examination and labs and internships.

The world is beautiful and this blog is going to be short.  I have had a long day, it’s ll:30 p.m. and I want to get ready for bed time.  I was out just a bit later getting to fellowship and also just chatting with Joan.

Genuine friendships are difficult to find, to cultivate, to nurture, and when you find them, uh, excuse me, when I find them, I have to not grasp tight, but be gentle and unafraid of the changes and growth that happens.

I was not happy to hear of Joan leaving the city and my sphere of San Francisco for Castro Valley.  Where is that anyhow?  But I am all for my friends working toward the goals and dreams.  It is an honor to be her witness.

I have some pretty stellar friends.  I am graced.

Thanks for being my friend, Joan, I love you to bits.

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