Posts Tagged ‘BART strike’

That’s What You’re Supposed

August 5, 2013

To do on a Sunday.

She said to me over the phone, expressing approval at my very limited Sunday plans–laundry, reading, some grocery shopping, a commitment, and yes, sleeping in.

Slept past noon.

Of course I did get home later last night than normal, which translates to I stayed up watching Orange is the New Black until it was past my bedtime.

But I knew I had little to nothing on the agenda today.

Aside from the thoughts of what could be kind and gentle and fun for me to do today.

That was the assignment for over the weekend.

Treat myself well.

So when I woke up, already way past my normal wake up time, at 10:30a.m. and went to use the facilities, I contemplated hopping in the shower, but ended up hopping back into bed and sleeping another two hours.

It is a little surreal to eat breakfast at 1 in the afternoon.

But that is what I did.

I did do the laundry and I did do the grocery shopping.

I want to make food for the week so I don’t have to think about it.  I am actually going to cook.  I haven’t cooked in some time.  I have been eating out a little more than I like and I have not sacrificed my abstinence to it, but more so my wallet.

It’s expensive and despite being a little hermit crab (a fierce one, a dear friend commented recently) I do have a kitchen I have access to and I do have some time tomorrow, the family is still in Tahoe and I won’t have but one shift next week.

Possibly two.

Although if there’s a BART strike I am screwed.

I don’t want to think about that at the moment.

But if there is a strike, at least I got a great bag full of groceries from Rainbow this evening.  I won’t be going hungry and I won’t have to resort to going to the Food Maxx, which is just another way of saying I won’t have to eat processed foods all week.

Not that I would anyhow, but that store does not have a lot of options for the conscious eater.

I picked up all the fixings for French red lentil soup: onion, garlic, Roma tomatoes, organic tomato paste, broccoli, carrots, organic vegetable stock, and spinach.  I have cayenne, rosemary, sea salt, and black pepper here at the house.  And I was going to get some brown rice to make, but at the last-minute I picked up red quinoa.


I am going to attempt a new grain I have never cooked before.

My friend Matt was espousing it last night and I have eaten it before and it’s quite lovely, so I thought I would give it a go.

In between cooking soup tomorrow I will be working on my hair stuffs.

Yes, the glitter glue came out today.

I have some fabric flowers I purchased at a discount fabric store in the Mission a few weeks back and I took the glitter glue I got at Flax yesterday and started working on a few pieces.

They should dry over night and tomorrow I will add some ribbons and buttons and who knows what else, whatever strikes me fancy, and some plain hair clips and make me up some playa hair decorations.

It was really meditative and relaxing and I enjoyed myself immensely.

I just sat in my room and listened to French maritime music and glitter glued flowers for about an hour or so.

Yes, I do call that fun.

I also read for about an hour today, getting a good bit into the new Stephen King I picked up last weekend in Bernal Heights at Badger Books.

Then I saw my fears trying to run away with my good day when I came down stairs to prepare for my travel into the city for my 6:30 p.m. commitment at Church and Market, I noticed a number on my phone with a voicemail message.

I was just on point to make the next BART train to the city so I took off without checking it, figuring I would catch it while I was on the train platform waiting for the next BART to San Francisco.

During the entire bike commute to the Fruitvale Station my head told me that my friend had changed her mind and that I was not going to be able to move into the in law or that it was going to take longer than she had anticipated to get it ready for move in.

Some left over fears from last nights perusal of craigslist right before I went to bed.

I was looking for a bed frame and out of aberrant curiosity I looked at apartment rentals and just about fell out my bed at what things cost.

I was ready for the shoe to drop.

Of course, as John Ater has pointed out to me before, there is no other shoe.

My friend simply wanted to know if I had time to meet up with her and a mutual acquaintance.

That’s it.

I called her back and let her know I had to be at another location, but thank you for the invite.

She said, no problem, oh and hey!  Guess what!? The bathroom in the in-law is all set up,  all that needs to be done is putting in the carpet and you could move in!

I was blown away.

Then she said, let’s make sure and hang out and get a meal and see each other this week since you’re going to Burning Man soon.

Not anything like what the fear basket case in my head thought was on the offing.

Love my head, and I think East Oakland is a dangerous neighborhood, add my silly fear factory brain to the equation and that’s a neighborhood I want to stay the fuck out of.

At least I wasn’t obsessing about what to do with all the extra time I have this week.

The time will get filled, I know that without a doubt.

And having had a sweet, well rested, fairly gentle on myself day, I am ready for what this week shall bring.

Bring it on.

Tuesday, It’s a Good Day

July 3, 2013

For a panic attack.

I shit you not, I had my first panic attack in about oh, six years.

Man that was not fun.

In tears, on the floor, trying to desperately regulate my breathing.

All because I am powerless over BART and my life is fucking unmanageable.

Fortunately it was a baby panic attack, probably more of an anxiety attack than anything, but the lead up to it was hella sexy.


I was trying to juggle too many people and too many schedules.

Attempting to figure out how I was going to make it back to East Oakland tonight so that I could bicycle commute to North Oakland in the morning for a nanny gig.

Throw in I had a 6pm meet up at Dolores Park Cafe, followed by a 7:30pm commitment at the Women’s Building.

Add to the crazy I was leaving the house sitting gig, so like a good hermit crab I was going to have to pack up all my belongings and trundle them along with me to the East Bay.

Oh, yeah, and I was attempting to figure out how to pick up the keys to the house sitting gig I am doing starting Thursday, here in SF.

Then, the final cherry on the top, I am nannying on Thursday and Friday here in SF.

Holy mother of God.

No wonder I was freaking out.

All I could do was make a cup of tea and sit down and be grateful that the baby was sleeping.

I posted something to facecrack, then got a few responses but nothing that quite seemed to make the proper connection, in fact, it all seemed to get bigger and more blown out and more complicated the more I looked at it.

Then the mom in North Oakland shoots me a text saying, we’re still on for tomorrow, right?  And I’m in the city until 8pm if you need a ride back to the East Bay.

I do, but I have a bicycle that won’t fit into your car along with the timing on picking up the keys and I suppose I could leave the bike here, but then how do I get from Graceland to North Oakland–it’s seven miles and um, yeah, the BART is not going that away either.

I mean I suppose I could take the bus?

Cue the unset of panic, the baby is waking up, the texts are whistling in, and I just about blew a gasket.

I stopped, turned off the phone, well, I turned it to silent.

Then I realized I could probably ask for some help and guidance and I didn’t need to figure it out on my own, even though I was still trying to figure it out on my own.

I knew in my heart I was going to have to cancel one thing.

Either the pet sit.

Or the nanny in Oakland.

I was going to have to be on one side of the bay or the other.

The back and forth was just not an option.

I wanted to crawl into a five gallon bucket of mint chocolate chip ice cream and cry.

Instead I ate half a bag of baby carrots and some organic humus and I started making the phone calls.

The first three I was in such a panic explaining what was happening that I think I actually did not leave a cohesive message.

I called John Ater first and said the breathing is not working, I can’t catch my breath, but I could hear him in my head, “just breathe, just breathe, take another deep breath.”

I left my inchoate message on his voice mail, tears rolling down my face, talking to myself out loud to breathe and called the next person on the list.

I called four people, left four messages, and on the fifth hit the jackpot.

I got a live person.



She just listened and made some suggestions and asked me what I could do and next thing you know I am telling her all I really care about is meeting this person at 6pm at Dolores Park Cafe and then going to the Women’s Building, that I know everything else will fall into place, the keys, the transportation, where I am going to stay, how it will work.

I don’t know how, but just focusing on that, just getting from 5 o’clock to the baby is getting picked up and then get on bike and go to the cafe.

Just that.

Oh, yes, and take care of the baby.

Which I managed to do and was most likely the reason why I did not go into full-blown attack, I had a responsibility, a little life, a person completely reliant on me.

I knew that he was my only true concern at the moment and that it all was going to suss its way out.

I listened to my friend’s suggestions, made eyes with the baby, flirting with a boy always helps, then took the next action in front of me.

I called the people I nanny for and was house sitting for in Cole Valley and asked if I could stay two more evenings (I work as a nanny here Thursday and Friday).  Dad is back and there is no need for me to be here.

Mom said yes, just clear it with dad.

I text dad.

Dad said it’s a go.

I have a place to stay.


I called the person who had offered to give me a lift if I needed it and said thank you, but I am going to pass, I’m staying put.

Which meant calling the family in the East Bay and saying those words I so dread, “I have to cancel, I am sorry, but I am staying in the city.”

Of course the mom was entirely sympathetic and we worked it out that she is actually going to bring her daughter here.

So I won’t lose a gig, I won’t lose my mind, I won’t be hurting myself trying to shuttle all my stuff to the East Bay and then back to the city and I won’t be having any more panic attacks today.

Thank fucking God.

Just like that, just ask for help, just stop figuring it out.

Figure it out ain’t a god damn slogan.

The show’s officially in town all week, pull up a chair.

I Can’t Believe I Said That

July 2, 2013

And oh, yeah, I said that.

My friend looked at me in the car, “what was that, I have never heard you talk like that before?”

I got flustered.

He was cute.

And then it hit me and I was embarrassed and I was also, OMG, more does get revealed!

When I am flustered I get big and loud and over the top.

“Oh yeah, I don’t do that anymore, bottle of Beam and blow jobs in the bathroom, and bags of coke, I’m all done with that,” I said rashly at the counter of Trouble while I was waiting for my Americano.

I couldn’t even blame the caffeine, I hadn’t gotten my coffee yet, unless you can pin it on the fumes and I was willing to try, but I hadn’t even realized what I was doing.

I have never, fyi, given someone a blow job in a bathroom or drank a bottle of Beam (I mean I have done the aforementioned, but not like I said it, not that way, not like it was Springbreakers gone wild or something).

It was only in hindsight that I saw what I did and why I said it.

The hindsight came really fast, like just maybe an hour later, after we had dinner at Judalicious, which was really good.

Raw vegan food.

And even though I am not currently practicing a vegan diet, I still like my veggies and it was scrumptious.

I am really going to like this neighborhood, I know it.

I got to see the progress on the studio, it’s coming along, I am excited, I am going to have my own little space, my own place to nest in.

“I so want to nest right now,” I told my friend, “I have absolutely nothing, but I also don’t want to have to move anything yet.”

“Slow down.” She said, “but if you do come across something you can put it in the garage.”

I had an offer on a love seat that friends of mine have let me use before when I was living up in Nob Hill, but the space was a little smaller than I remembered (still plenty big for me, just perfect actually) that I declined it tonight.

However, my friend, who will be my landlord, has a small chaise lounge in the garage that I can use and a little table with fold down leaves that I can use for my kitchen/writing-table.

Now all I need is a bed.

And bedding.

And towels.

And kitchen supplies.

And, oh, all of it, but that will come, I am not going to focus on that.

For the moment I am keeping tabs on the BART strike and whether or not I am going to be stuck in the city for the duration of the week.

My house sitting gig here in Cole Valley ends tomorrow.  I will nanny out of the space and at 5:30pm I will be free to go. I have some commitments to cover, after which I was planning to head to BART.

I was expecting to be in the East Bay tomorrow night and then to a nanny gig in North Oakland on Wednesday morning, then stay overnight at Graceland, regroup and head back in on Thursday for the holiday weekend and take care of some sweet kittens up in the Castro Hills.

I don’t think they’re going to allow me to bicycle across the Bridge.

So, if the strike is still on I may end up cancelling my gig on Wednesday and staying in the city tomorrow and Wednesday nights then heading over to the Castro house sit.

Or something like that.

I don’t really know.

I am certain, however, that I am not the only person affected by the strike and I am also certain that should I have to cancel my nanny gig in North Oakland they will understand why.

They had to cancel bringing the little girl into the city today.

I was supposed to have had one charge this afternoon.

Instead I was in charge of listening to a dear friend.

God it felt good to check in and chat and have coffee and tea and conversation and be real about life and who we are and writing.

We’re both writers.


I listened to him, he listened to me, we swapped tales, we hung out, it was great.

I love my friends.

“I know what that was about,” she said, “you were putting on an act, you’re big and tough and brave, but you know…”

“I am a fucking cream puff,” I said, and I blushed.

I literally blushed.

I was ashamed.

Not so much at what I said, I have said worse, but that it took me so long to figure out.

“Dating advice and writing advice,” I asked my guy friend.

“Which one first?” He replied, then paused, “dating first, because the writing thing will be easy and short.”

Which it was, bless him.

He gave me some insights, a lot of which I already knew and some that made sense, like getting out of my routine and doing something completely outside of my comfort zone, routine is good for me, the writing is really important, my recovery is tantamount, and I get stuck doing the same things all the time and not meeting new people.

“You wear your heart on a sleeve,” he once told me about my blog.

And it’s true, I do.

There are times I don’t want to be so vulnerable and I don’t want to talk about what is going on with me and there are things I do not write about here (that goes in my morning pages and nobody reads those, nobody.  Fuck, I don’t even read them.  I write the three pages and then shut the notebook and don’t look back, the act of doing is the relief, I shake all the crap out of my head onto the page and clear the decks for my day, I don’t need to go back and sift through the shit, I just need to clear the channel).

“Oh, my god, I see it,” I said, the blush fading off as the shame lifted and I saw, possibly for the first time, ever, what I do when I find some one attractive to me.

I get brash, I am brazen I say things loudly, overcompensation for myself, for that tender heart, and in essence I believe, it is an instinct that I have of protecting myself.

Because he thought I was cute too.

I puffed myself up, rolled into a fetal position like a little hedgehog and sent out verbal spiky prickles of don’t touch me.

I am a total softy and I don’t want people I just meet to see that.

I don’t want to get hurt, but I won’t get anywhere if I don’t let myself get past that.

I am going to have to if I expect to actually date men.

I need to be vulnerable.

Nobody wants to date a loud mouth, at least I don’t.

I want to be my authentic self and if that means I come across as shy, or soft, or vulnerable, then fine.

I am a cream puff.

So be it.

At least I didn’t eat any today.


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