Posts Tagged ‘Brooklyn’

20,650 Steps

June 27, 2018

That’s how much I walked today.

I wasn’t even sure I was going to write this blog.

I just got out of a bath at the Air BnB I’m staying at in Brooklyn and I laid down on the bed and closed my eyes and I could have stayed there all night.

I mean.

I think I was lying there for at least five minutes, maybe more.

I got up though to put on lotion.

My skin has been changing a little, getting a little dryer as I get older and I don’t like how it feels, so I got up, slathered on some lotion and figured I would at least make an attempt at writing something.

I really did walk that many steps.

I actually walked more than that, I didn’t carry my phone with me all day, so there were a couple of flights of steps not counted and some pattering around the house exploring, but mainly, I was on the move today.

From flying out last night to landing here this early afternoon to strolling all over Brooklyn, I had quite a day.

I am pretty damn beat.

I got about three hours of sleep on the plane.

Not my best showing.

But I am sure I will catch up on that tonight.

And since I’m not on a schedule I can sleep as long as I like.

I have two plans for tomorrow.

The first is the Brooklyn Museum to see the David Bowie Exhibition and the Judy Chicago show.

The second is to see an old friend from SF who moved here years ago and go do the deal tomorrow night at 7:30p.m.

He and his girlfriend started something up a little while back that apparently is like what recovery is in San Francisco.

I had to laugh, since I’m a regular attendee at a spot that models itself after recovery in New York.

It’s always better where you got the message first.

So I will get a little piece of San Francisco tomorrow night, which is sweet.

It’s nice to still be connected to friends 13 years later.

I don’t foresee as much walking tomorrow as I did today.

The walking was actually not really planned.

I decided to walk around the neighborhood a little after I had gotten settled in and had taken a nice shower to wash off the airplane travel.

One block lead to another and another and another.

I like the neighborhood.

Very residential, lots of row houses.

God, I love the brown stones in Brooklyn.

And I love the culture of sitting on the stoop or in the front part of the brownstone, what would be a yard, but is just a square of cement patio.

I loved seeing so many people sitting out on the stoops and watching the neighborhood go by.

I felt like I fit in.

I could see living in Brooklyn, this part of Brooklyn anyway, I’m not quite as much of a fan of Williamsburg, which is quaint, but doesn’t have the row house appeal of this part of Brooklyn.

Bed-Stuy, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill.

Gorgeous houses.

They get fancier and fancier the closer to the water you get.

By the time I had walked to the Brooklyn Heights promenade I was pretty in awe of the houses.

So pretty.

Of course, I’ve only been here when it’s warm, I don’t know that I could deal with the winters, I know they are vicious.

I had enough winters being in Wisconsin as long as I was.

It’s warm, the day was warm, not too hot, it will get warmer as I stay.

Today was about 80 degrees, by Saturday it’s supposed to be low 90s.

It’s going to be hot, hot, hot.

But I will enjoy that too, when the sun goes down and I’m still outside walking around in a light weight dress.

I wore my bibs out today and got lots of compliments on them.

I also got lots of compliments on my tattoos.

I was actually surprised to not see more folks with tattoos, could just be the part of the city I’m in, who knows.

I had a conversation outside a coffee shop on Lafayette Avenue with a youngish girl who wanted to pick my brain as she was planning her first tattoo.

We had quite the conversation.

I like that I can just fall into talking with people, it feels nice.

I did have a moment of feeling a tiny bit lonely tonight when I was back at the Air BnB having procured food from the Whole Foods three miles away.

That was the last stop on my walk, and I have to say, I was a bit out of it by that point.

But.

I did manage to wrangle up breakfast food, coffee, snacks, cold brewed coffee, bottled water, and fruit for the rest of the week.

I plan on eating breakfast at the house and then other meals out.

Although I only ate one meal out today, and it wasn’t with much fan fare, though I have to say, it was nice to eat it outside on the patio at the joint I went to in Fort Greene.

Dinner I didn’t have it in me to plan, cook, or go out for, I was too tired after getting back from the grocery store.

I made oatmeal and a hard-boiled egg.

I’m sure I will eat out plenty the rest of the week.

Anyway.

I’m happy to be here and excited for sleep and to see what the rest of the week shall bring.

Here.

Let me at least leave you with a few photos:

2018-06-26 17.11.47-2

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2018-06-26 16.50.11-2

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2018-06-26 15.03.36-2

And now.

Now.

It is time for the rest.

Seriously.

 

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And I’m Packed!

June 25, 2018

Just like that.

I have a few more things to toss in my suitcase, but I am 85% of the way there and that feels lovely.

I was just going to leave it for tomorrow, but when I pulled out my suitcase from the closet I just naturally threw some things in and the next thing you know I’m just about done.

I have more outfits than I probably need, but I figure I may want to have day outfits and night outfits.

I also figured out what shoes to wear with my little black dress, which frankly was a relief as I actually did go shoe shopping today and found nothing.

Note to self.

I don’t ever need to go to Stonestown Mall again.

I don’t often frequent malls and there is a good reason why.

I actually bought nothing there and I was pretty damn proud of myself that I got out unscathed.

I met with my person tonight and told him how my brain wants me to ruin my whole trip because I can’t find the proper shoes for this one dress.

We both laughed uproariously.

I was serious and not all at the same time.

And then when I got home tonight from doing the deal I just pulled the dress, put it on and tried on all the shoes.

And I found the ones that worked

I also threw in an extra pair of shoes and an extra dress just for fun in case I decide to go with something else.

But really.

I am totally covered.

One little black dress, two black sundresses, one that is flowy and delicate and could easily translate into an evening dress.

One pair of vintage bib overalls because I fancy them and they’ll be fun to wear when I’m tooling around the museums.

One boho flowy off the shoulder navy blue/indigo dress with purple flowers.

Perfect for brunch at Balthazar.

The new red dress I picked up at Anthropologie which could be both day or night.

I mean.

I have more than enough clothes.

Plus I have my travel outfit picked out and ready for putting on tomorrow.

Something that will be comfortable to travel in and chic enough to land in New York city and blend right on in to the masses.

I feel really happy and quite astounded that the day is finally coming that I get to go on this trip that I have had planned since March.

Tomorrow will end up being a touch busier than I was originally going to be, but only because I agreed to be of service and drive my person around town after I get back from my car maintenance service in Berkeley.

I figure it will be nice to help him run some errands in my car and we’ll have a nice lunch together before I head out.

I won’t really meet up with him next week as I’ll be getting in Sunday from my trip at the time we normally meet.

It will be fun to just hang out with him.

He sees me so well and I am happy to get to spend time with him.

I have a package to drop off and a letter to mail, rent to pay for July, since I will be getting back on July 1st I just figure I will pay my rent before I go, like I usually do, a week in advance.

That way I won’t be tempted to overspend on the trip.

I have enough money for my travels and what I want to do, but I’d rather have the rent paid before I go then wait until afterward.

Yup.

I’m ready.

Just a little laundry in the wash now and I’ll put clean sheets on my bed in the morning.

It’s lovely to travel and I have such a good time doing it.

But it’s also, always, really nice to come home.

And nothing is better than coming home to a clean house and a fresh made bed.

I feel pretty squared away on everything that needs to be done and just ready to hop on that plane and fly out.

Super grateful for this time and that I get to go.

I love traveling.

This will be my third time to New York.

I realized today too, that every time I have gone I have stayed at an Air BnB in Brooklyn.

One on Myrtle Ave in Bushwick.

One on Dekalb Ave in Clinton Hill.

And this one I’ll be staying at is on Lafayette Avenue in Bed-Stuy.

It appears that I like Brooklyn.

Or that I like that it’s cheaper to stay there then in the city proper.

I do think there will be a time when I stay in Manhattan itself.

For now though, I am truly happy I get to go and I have a great place to stay and so many awesome things that are planned to do, I’m over the moon.

In fact!

There will even be a full moon when I am there.

The strawberry moon.

How freaking sweet is that?

Warm night walks through New York under a full moon.

I am so very down with that.

Yes I am.

Over the moon seems just about right.

The Best Thing

June 22, 2018

About writing progress notes this week has been this: “therapist out of office next week, rescheduled with client for…”

Therapist is out of office next week!

I’ve one more day of work and one last client to see tomorrow before I get to go to New York.

I’m so excited.

Although it does seem a touch surreal that I will have five weeks off of work, I am ready for it.

I was told recently that my type A ass might have a hard time settling down to relax so to be careful that I don’t over book myself during my time off.

Yeah.

Sure.

Bwaahahaaha.

I’ll take it easy.

I perhaps won’t take it as easy as the average slothful bear, but I will take it a little easy.

I’m so ready for a little vacation time.

I really am.

Ready for all the fun too of getting prepped to go.

Even though the sandals I ordered online came and they don’t fit well, I still have many cute outfits and shoes to wear.

And I have the weekend as well to shop.

I probably will get at least a dress or two and if I run across some cute sandals, well, yeah, I will.

I will be downtown on Saturday getting a hair cut.

I haven’t gotten a hair cut in ten, eleven months.

I am due.

My hairstylist, who I have known for years, but never actually gotten a cut from, has her salon in the Flood Building, so I’ll be downtown on a Saturday and I figure I can do a little shopping for myself and my trip.

I don’t need to, there’s nothing super pressing that I must get, but it will be nice to peak around at things.

I always like having another dress in the closet.

And part of the money I have set aside for travel is always earmarked towards outfits for said travel.

I’ve been saving for a while and I have a nice chunk I can afford to bring with me to New York as well as what I have saved for Paris.

Enough so that I can eat nice food, drink a plethora of iced beverages, mainly iced coffees as I walk the streets of New York, get myself notebooks, one of my favorite souvenirs to bring back from any trip, a few pairs of earrings, a mandatory souvenir as well.  I love having little things like that I can wear or write in that remind me of the trip.

I love my DC notebook.

I love my Paris notebooks.

I have had a New York notebook from my last trip that I got at The Strand bookstore that I filled up with stickers and museum ticket stubs.

I can literally compare notes to my last trip.

I feel that this one will be better.

I know it will be better.

I also have done some of the other little prep type things that one needs to do when traveling.

I put a travel alert on my debit card so when I use it in New York my bank won’t freak out and turn it off.

I made an appointment for a service for my car, the guy in the shop said it would take less than a half hour, I’ll be bringing her over to Berkeley for that on Monday.

I have all my toiletries bought and set aside.

And I reached out to the Air BnB host who said I would be able to check in early.

I will either get to do the full check in right when I get there or depending on whether or not the cleaners are still there, I will at least get to drop my bags.

Which is really all I want to do.

Just not have to drag my luggage all over Brooklyn until 5p.m.

I figure whatever happens I will make a foray out into Brooklyn right away.

I’m thinking of lunch on Dekalb Avenue at one of the restaurants I went to when I was there the last time, then a trip over to the Brooklyn Museum to see the David Bowie Exhibition.

Then a trip to Whole Foods on Lafayette Avenue and back to my Air BnB with food for the next days breakfast.

That’s a loose plan.

I may also meet up with a friend for coffee and doing the deal, depending on schedules and if we can connect.

Either way.

I am super happy I get to have the early access to the Air BnB and I’m hella happy that I only have one more day to go before I can begin the fun of getting my travel on.

The weekend will be full, but not too full.

I will have to do group supervision on Saturday, with my fabulous new haircut, and I’m hoping to get in a mani/pedi and some eyebrow waxing.

Although I might skip that and do the Korean day spa on Geary–Imperial Day Spa–and get myself some sauna time.

I have enough time on Monday after the car to do a mani/pedi if I want to.

I have the whole day off.

I don’t fly out until 11:55 p.m. Monday night.

The only thing I have scheduled for Monday is the service maintenance on my car.

I’m so glad tomorrow is Friday.

I am so ready for my New York adventure.

So, so, so ready!

One Week From Today

June 19, 2018

I fly to New York on a redeye.

I am so very ready.

I was writing about that this morning, how ready I am for some vacation time, a break from clients, a get out of dodge, celebrate my Master’s degree, be away from the landlady scene and situation and just have some fucking fun.

I am very, very, very excited.

I just have four more days of work and one more day of supervision before the fun begins.

Work was pretty mellow and I had a late start, which was nice.

So, yes, I did sleep in.

However, today was it for sleeping in.

The rest of the week I’ll be up early doing therapy tomorrow before work.

An early music class for the baby on Wednesday and who knows what Thursday and Friday look like but I’ve already gotten the heads up that my help will be appreciated.

There’s a lot to do for a family of five traveling to Europe for five weeks.

So I’ll probably go in early on Thursday and Friday.

But really.

I am just fine with it.

It’s the final push before the down time starts for me.

I have a fairly light schedule this week too with clients, so it’s not too bad, going in early a few days, not bad at all.

Considering, as well, that I’m paid for the full five weeks that they are gone I have no qualms with the extra helping.

Besides, it will make the week go by faster.

I figure I will also sneak in a little extra doing the deal, tomorrow I have a client cancellation so I’ll hit something up at 8 o’clock near my hood.

It’s always a good thing for me to do, get in a little more recovery before I travel and also when I am busy, keeps me in balance.

Plus.

I will be getting some personal things together, planning my outfits for the trip and my accessories and toiletries, et al.

I almost bought a new suitcase last weekend but did not as they didn’t quite have what I wanted at Nordstrom Rack.

I don’t really, really, really need a new suitcase, but I’m a touch concerned, and have been for the last two trips, that one of the wheels on the suitcase will soon be meeting its end.

It might be a good idea to look into it.

I’ll be downtown on Saturday getting a hair cut, so maybe I’ll poke around.

I’ve got my shoes, dresses and accessories pretty much sussed out in my brain.

I’ve been watching the weather and it look like low to mid 80s.

Which is perfect for me.

Warm.

But not too warm.

Just about perfect.

I’m envisioning lots of walking around in sandals and sundresses.

Not something I would have done here today, super foggy this morning and cold and windy now.

Hello summer in San Francisco.

The warmer weather is definitely a draw for New York.

And the art, and the fine company I will have, and the culture, friends, recovery, warm air at night.

Heh.

And the big ass bathtub at the Air BnB.

I am taking myself some bubble baths, let me tell you.

Depending on when I check in I figure I will be making a trip to Whole Foods, stocking up the place and then going out and exploring a little, maybe do the deal if I can connect with a friend of mine early enough.

I need to hear back from the Air BnB host as to when I can get in.

The check in on the site is listed at 5p.m.

I get into JFK at 10:30 a.m.

I reached out and asked and the host had said it was not a problem to do an earlier check in and we’d connect closer to the date.

I figure I’ll reach out in the next few days and see what the deal is.

If I can’t get in as early as I would like, which is basically when I get there, I figure I’ll be there by noon at the latest, I want to be able to at least drop my luggage off.

I think the late check in has to do with making sure the unit is cleaned for the next guests, my suitcase should not get in the way of the place getting cleaned if that’s what needs to happen.

Anyway.

I am quite sure I will be fine whatever happens.

I feel really quite happy, I have to say.

Good dreams last night.

Feeling settled about what next actions I have to take regarding my living situation.

Four days away from a five-week vacation from work.

And though I will have clients during that five weeks, only for the two weeks in between New York and Paris.

The down time will also be good for me getting prepared for the private practice internship.

I have my next meeting with my new supervisor July 11th.

Very exciting.

Life is exciting.

Wonderful things feel like they are happening and I am no longer in dread about going on vacation knowing what I know from all the foot work I got to do regarding my living situation.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

Four days from my real summer vacation.

The count down has begun!

What Day of The Week

May 29, 2018

Is it?

Holidays are funny.

I don’t typically have Monday’s off.

It does not feel at all like a Monday, but it didn’t quite feel like any other day of the week either.

I didn’t have to go to work and I didn’t see clients.

Instead I got to sleep in.

I had signed up for a yoga class and did not end up going.

Two days of back to back yoga after a long absence made for one sore lady this morning.

I figured it would be better to let my muscles take the day off too.

I took a nice long hot shower and washed my hair.

I was about to get my lazy breakfast on with coffee when I got a startling text message from the Air BnB host in New York who I have, or I should say had, a reservation with.

She had cancelled the reservation.

Apparently the city of New York and its zoning did not allow her to rent out the unit and had alerted Air BnB and they forced her to take it off the site.

No more reservation for me.

I got an immediate refund.

Which was nice.

I had to make another reservation!

I spent the majority of the late morning scrolling through the available places.

I decided.

Just a few minutes ago.

On a place in Brooklyn.

Bed-stuy.

Or Bedford-Stuyvesant as it’s better known as.

The house is on Lafayette Avenue and is a big beautiful brownstone.

Exposed bricks.

Modern kitchen.

Full bath.

FULL BATH.

The bathtub looks as big as my bathroom.

I think I may have just booked it for the bathroom.

It’s a big place and I probably don’t need that much space, but fuck it, it only cost a little more than the place in Harlem I was going to be staying at and it’s much bigger and prettier, in my opinion.

I like the idea too of being completely in the house.

It’s not a room in a hosts house.

It’s the whole house.

Once in a while a lady has to splurge.

I’m super grateful for it.

I think I will have fun and I like Brooklyn.

It’s on the edge of Bed-stuy, close to Bushwick, it’s got a nice hip, up and coming neighborhood feel to it.

Ok.

Really it’s gritty and urban, but also hipster cool.

So there will be bodegas and some edgy areas, but whatever.

I’m not really afraid of all that.

What I really wanted was a nice, clean, big place to stay, and the town house was just remodeled.

I almost don’t really care what neighborhood I’m in.

Well.

Almost.

I didn’t want to stay in Hoboken or Queens.

I did not want to stay in Jersey.

I wanted to be close enough to cool shit, but not so close that I was going to pay an arm and a leg to stay in the Village or Chelsea or Soho.

I can take the train to those spots.

I’m happy.

And in a way, the whole not getting the Air Bnb where I had originally booked reminded me today of my current situation with being asked to move out.

I thought I was in the perfect spot for what needs to happen next in my life.

But.

It appears that I am not.

Instead of getting scared, which has happened, I am not unaware of the enormously expensive renters market in San Francisco, I am attempting to be in acceptance and faith.

Faith.

The opposite of fear.

Faith, that thing that lends itself to me when I think I have walked into a corner.

Faith is what I had when I made the leap and moved to Paris.

Faith is all I had when I returned from Paris broke with only $10 in my pocket and a couple of part-time nanny gigs.

Five years later.

I am in the highest paying nanny job I have ever had.

I have just graduated with my Master’s Degree in Psychology.

I have just recently bought a car.

I have gotten a private practice internship.

I have great love in my life.

I have a life.

I have things.

Sure.

I’m afraid that I will lose these things.

But when I think that I had to leave Paris and come back to San Francisco and I knew not where I was going to live, I least expected it to be the Outer Sunset.

Really, the Outer Sunset?

I’m a Mission kid.

But no more.

Now, I shit you not, I am looking almost exclusively at places in the Outer Sunset.

I want to have a place to park my car for one.

And two, well, it’s been almost five years of me living out here.

It feels like home.

Even if it’s a little bit uncomfortable to be in my current home right now.

San Francisco is home.

And I don’t want to be anywhere else.

This is where it’s at for me.

Although I keep hearing from friends who are planning on leaving.

My tattoo artist today, a friend I’ve known for years and years, did a touch up on my heart tattoo, and admitted that even though he’s San Francisco born and bred, he and his partner are looking to leave.

Chico.

Ugh.

Not for me.

Frankly the Outer Sunset, a hinterland of nothingness when I moved to San Francisco almost 16 years ago, is fucking Shangri La in comparison to Chico.

I just know I will be taken care of.

I just do.

I will find a place.

Or.

A place will find me.

I must have faith, take small actions, and just live each twenty-four hours to the best of my ability.

I think I will be happily surprised.

I believe more will be revealed.

I believe that I am not being dropped.

I am being carried to the perfect place.

The absolute perfect place.

Bank on it.

 

 

No More Tattoos

February 20, 2017

There.

I mean.

I don’t know that I can say no more tattoos, tattoos I think will continue to happen, but.

No more tattoos there.

Specifically on my collar-bone.

Whoooee getting my touch up today was not intolerable, but I had some dread going back in, which is fairly unusual for me in getting work done.

Especially with something so small, but the location and the thinness of the skin over the collar-bone, really was, well not excruciating, but challenging for sure.

I have an idea for a tattoo I’d like to get next year but aside from that I have no other tattoo plans in sight.

In fact.

I was thinking that the one I get next year may be it for a good while.

Then again.

A lady can change her mind.

It’s just that I am not feeling the need for more ink.

Granted.

I’ll probably get to Paris in May and go to Abraxas and want a tattoo.

I do like me a tattoo as a souvenir of my travels.

I have two from Paris and one I got in New York.

The rest of my work has been gotten here in San Francisco.

I have had one primary artist.

Barnaby Williams.

He is currently at Tiger’s Blood in Alameda.

I first went to Barnaby when he was the owner of Mom’s in the Haight.

I had made an appointment to get a dragon tattoo from Barnaby.

I walked into the shop into a huge bear hug from the man and big mournful eyes.

“Hey,” he said quietly, “how ya doin’?”

I teared up.

“I’m ok, but um, I don’t want to do the dragon tattoo anymore,” I said, eyes blurred and starting to sniffle, “I want to get a memorial instead.”

He nodded.

Sat down and drew out the tattoo for me.

Two white French Tulips.

(Shadrach’s favorite flowers)

And the last line of the elegy that Dylan Thomas wrote for his father.

Until I die/He will not leave my side.

It was written in beautiful calligraphic script.

The flowers he outlined and used white ink on, white does not traditionally stick very well, but it seems to have weathered the test of time.

I have had the tattoo for 9.5 years and it still looks bright and fresh.

It was the biggest piece I had gotten up until that point.

The other two were small, a cover up on my left shoulder of my name in flames, a cover up that Barnaby later covered  up with a dragon, classic little known tattoo–the cover up of the cover up.

In the end, so far.

Barnaby has done two dragons on me, both left arm and right arm, and a beautiful pink Jackalope surrounded by French Marguerite daisies, my favorite flowers.

I have had work done as well.

By Ross K. Jones out of Idle Hand on Haight Street.

Although when I got tattooed by Ross he was out of a warehouse space in the SOMA before warehouse spaces in the SOMA were at a premium.

Ross tattooed my first set of stars.

Seven stars for seven years of sobriety.

To this day I can say that Ross has one of the gentlest approaches and best bedside manner of any tattoo artist I have had.

I have one tattoo from a guest Chinese tattoo artist at Abraxas in Paris when I was there last year at Christmas, his name was Bin and we “talked” via Google translator.

He did the Reve (pop a circumflex over the “e” in reve and you get “dream” in French) piece on my chest plate.

Despite the area being a thinner place of skin, he was fast, smooth, efficient, gentle, it was quite a bit less painful than I thought it was going to be.

Barnaby has done one star as well–he did number 10, which was a bit bigger than my other ones and I had him do an homage to Van Gough’s Starry Night painting, but I asked him to use yellow and pink in the tattoo (thereby balancing the pink of the other stars that I had and complementing the sky blue ones I have as well).

Danny Boy Smith, at Let it Bleed on Polk Street, has done two of my stars.

Number 11, which I had him do as a black star to homage David Bowie’s passing last year and also my 11th year in recovery.

And.

This current new star, star number 12.

Which is a soft pastel blue with black outline.

I like my tattoos.

They tell me a story.

They are beautiful art pieces.

I am connected to each in memorable ways and each has meaning to me.

They needn’t tell anyone’s story but my own.

I often forget I have them and will be startled occasionally when someone references them.

In Paris it was challenging, albeit not so much the last time I was there since it was winter, when I have shown off a lot of tattoos.

There are plenty of shops and plenty of people with tattoos in Paris, it’s become quite a bit more acceptable, but I have gotten some stares, tell you what.

Especially at the swimming pool or just walking the streets or going through the Metro stations.

I forget about them too, living in San Francisco.

It seems like everyone has one.

But some, well, some are better than others and I can tell the jail tats from the gang tats from the home-made gun tats and the sleeves of suddenly wealthy dot-com kids who made it big in the 90s to the hipster tattoos and throw back retro vintage Sailor Jerry tattoo art that is so popular today with the Millennials.

I was getting tattooed and pierced long before it was popular.

I don’t care about the time line on it, it’s just an observation.

I am grateful though, that I have had such great artists in my tattoo history.

I am proud of my ink.

Sometimes it is a mask to hide behind.

Sometimes it is a shield.

You cannot hurt me I have done the hurting already.

Sometimes it is art.

It is beauty.

The narrative of my recovery and the sheltering sky storms brewed up in my psyche.

Just another indelible way I wear my heart on my sleeve.

I’m serious.

Courtesy of Mat Moreno out of Three Kings Tattoo in Brooklyn.

I have a heart tattoo with cherry blossoms on my left inner arm.

Heh.

 

 

Take The Fucking Drama

June 17, 2016

Out of it.

Oh my god.

What a fucking concept.

I laughed and almost slapped my own forehead.

Instead of getting worked up about work, I just thought, fuck, all I have to do is show up and be of service, I don’t have to ask anything, I don’t have to do anything, I don’t have to be stupid and pushy, I can ask for what I need the next time it comes around.

No need to do it today.

Just having done the work around it, the internal re-arranging of my perspective was the relief.

My boss doesn’t have to change.

My boss is never going to change.

She doesn’t have to.

I do.

I change.

And today I decided that creating unnecessary drama before a three day weekend was stupid.

Idiotic really.

When I was going to get off work early today and be eating out with my boys and drinking pricey iced coffees.

Oh Stumptown how do I love thee.

Yeah, I know, it’s not San Francisco based, but fuck, they have good ass coffee.

I am all out of the coffee I bought in New York.

Frankly, I have to say I was disappointed with the Gorilla Coffee I got, the roast was far darker than I like and just a tiny bit charred to my taste.

The coffee I had at the cafe when I popped into it was great, but they were out of the beans that I wanted.

Now.

Variety, in Williamsburg, that stood up to the test.

In fact.

It was like being transported back to the cafe and the talk I had with the barista and then the getting together with my friend and doing that thing I like to do in church basements that evening.

It was a sweet reminder every time I ground up a batch of the Variety beans I brought back.

Maybe I’ll find some hipster coffee in New Orleans.

Fuck me.

Total digression.

I’m all over the place.

Like always.

But.

I’m a tiny bit at loose ends.

Having a clear three day weekend ahead of me.

I got free of jury duty for tomorrow and the family is out of town visiting aunts and uncles and grandparents in the Midwest.

I spent the day keeping the boys on the move and out of the house, hence the Stumptown, I popped into Atlas Cafe on Alabama and 20th.

I have so many fond, and not so fond, memories of the cafe.

It was my first heavily visited cafe, being a block and a half away from the first place I lived in the city, 20th and York.

The first time I go there I ran into someone from Madison who had moved to San Francisco years before me and I had had a class with at University, a TS Eliot class that was amazing and also challenging beyond comprehension, most of the class dropped, including the guy I ran into at the cafe, but I stuck it out and though it may seem odd, that was were I began to believe in God.

That coupled with the course on fairy tales I took the next summer and there, a chink in my armor.

A place where the light got in.

Not for a while though.

Just ask my dealer.

He made a few deliveries to me at Atlas Cafe as well.

I have a nodding acquaintance with the bathroom there.

And a fondness tinged with nicotine nostalgia for the back patio where once upon a time a lady could smoke a cigarette with her espresso romano–a shot of espresso with a lemon twist.

God damn.

I don’t smoke anymore.

I forget that sometimes.

I can forget many things easily.

Use to weigh over 80lbs heavier.

Forgot that.

Used to do drink every day.

Forgot that.

Used to not be able to not spend the money on the bag or pick up the phone to call my dealer to do a little delivery.

“Fuck, you’re guys faster than pizza delivery,” a friend “complained” as he had to scramble to get to the cash machine when my dealer showed up less than fifteen minutes after I had placed my “order.”

He was pretty quick.

Grateful for other things today.

Explained how grateful to be less of what I was and somehow so much more, humbled by the grace that I have been given, bowed head, loved, shined on so that I can turn it out and shine it forward.

That this body is no less and no more than a conveyance for love.

And hopefully sex once in a while.

Oh my God.

43.

STAWP with the hormones.

Oh.

I suppose I’ll rue the day when they go away, but seriously, the sexy sex chemicals in my blood stream.

I don’t have the screaming baby keening ache that I had for a few years, no, it’s been replaced by a last ditch ovarian siege where I am smoking out any guy with the testosterone to hang with me.

FUCK ME!

That’s what it feels like all the time.

ALL THE TIME.

Ok.

Maybe I exaggerate a little, but seriously, the body and the brain in collusion are trying real hard to get this lady some action.

Let’s go out and find some trouble….nothing’s sexier than regret.

Heh.

Were I to stumble upon that I might be smote.

So.

Until then.

The yoga.

The masturbation.

Thank you rechargeable Hitachi Magic Wand.

The hair geographic, which will happen Saturday.

I have a tentative date, blind date, Tinder date, not to hook up, which he made that clear, thanks, I think, but hey, you know, just trying, and I wonder if I should warn him about the impending pink hair or just spring it on him.

Fuck.

Who cares?

The drama.

There is none.

If my worst fucking problem is that I want to get laid and no one has thrown their hat in the ring, then my life is a fucking cake walk.

Rent is paid.

The phone is paid.

I got a yoga membership at the studio.

I got that thing in the church basements doing it’s deal for me.

I got happy, joyous, free.

I got friends.

I got good coffee in the cupboard.

Light in the soul.

Shine on my heart.

I ain’t got worries.

All I got.

Is three day weekend and endless fun.

Let’s see what kind of silly I can get up to.

Want to come along?

I promise.

Good times.

Seriously.

Home, Sweet, Sweet

May 24, 2016

Home.

It’s so nice to be back.

Sometimes I go away just to have that feeling again, of how much I love being home.

Home is San Francisco.

Oh.

It could be elsewhere, I did find myself experiencing a very deep fondness for the little neighborhood in Brooklyn that was adjacent to where I was staying in Clinton Hill–The Fort Greene historic area, so, pretty, so many gorgeous brownstones and kids on scooters and the park and the feel of it being a community.

I really liked that.

I could see living in one of those brownstones and sitting on the stoop on a warm night or day, reading a book with a cup of coffee, watching the world go by.

I do like that.

I miss having a place like that to hang out, my place doesn’t have a front porch or a stoop.

However.

There are spots in the neighborhood where I can sit and watch the world go by and I did do that for a little while today after getting back from the airport.

Despite big delays on BART, I still made it home pretty much around the time I thought I would as my flight came in a half hour before it was scheduled, so the time I “lost” on the train wasn’t really lost time.

Plus.

I had my book from the Strand and I pulled that out and started reading and got a good 60 pages into it, popped on my headphones, listened to some Radio Soulwax and just sat.

Sometimes I just need to slow down.

I just got off the phone with one of the women I work with and that was the gist of the conversation, the suggestion to just slow down.

I can get going really fast, I won’t feel, and I will be doing and it tricks my brain into thinking I’m being productive, but sometimes I am just running away from myself.

I take myself wherever I go.

Oh.

There I am again, I thought during a moment of being slightly turned around in Brooklyn and hesitating as to what to do next, literally I was walking around in little circles.

I realized that I was there with me and the “me” was itchy and antsy and getting a little irritated and discontent, which is like my natural state, so I said a prayer asked for guidance and got take out from the Thai place I had dinner at on Saturday night.

Now.

Just stopping and slowing down and letting the world happen, I got to meet Doug and go do the tour of his studio, so even when I seem lost and confused, see, there, I am being looked after and loved.

I sent him a thank you note via e-mail and got just the sweetest response from him today.

He told me the price for the piece I want, several thousand dollars (but he also offered to work out a deal with me, which I super appreciated and despite not having several thousand to drop on an art piece, boy howdy do I aspire to that), and also an invitation to stay at his place the next time I visit–he rents an Air BnB as well, and he said when he comes to San Francisco we must get together.

Also, and I found this so sweet and endearing, that I will make a great, empathetic therapist and I will make loads of money and buy lots of art including his.

That literally brings tears to my eyes.

A very secret wish of mine, to be able to afford to buy the art I love and also to support the artists that I see around me, I love art, it does something to me and creativity and my friends who are artists just blow me away.

“What kind of art do you do,” he asked me outside the doors of the meeting hall, it’s an assumption I get a lot.

But instead of saying I’m not an artist, I said, “I’m a writer.”

And that is a kind of art.

I am creating as I type and when it is right, when the mood is lovely and I am completely transparent I am a conduit and what comes forward is not me, it super cedes me and reshapes me and I am a different person after doing the writing.

In that is great joy.

Yeah.

I want to be an amazing photographer, I am a passable amateur.

Of course I want to draw and paint and sculpt, but those mediums I have never quite had the passion for, the drive for.  I do get ideas and have ways of being in the world that I believe, deep within me, are supremely artistic.

It could just be the way I arrange my hair or hang a photograph on the wall.

But.

I have always wanted to be a patron.

There’s just something super sexy about that.

A dream.

A home, a big one, with lots of light and a studio to write in and a library to read in and rooms for friends to come and do retreats and a cottage in the back and art everywhere and recovery and always the work, the growing the finding of new beauty and subsuming it into my person.

How much art can I hold?

How much love can I give.

That is an art.

The art of smiling, being of service, reaching out, kindness is an act of art.

Art is love.

It is perspective and joy and great waves of sorrow and overwhelming moments of uplift and I can’t comprehend it and maybe, probably, I just don’t want to.

It is an art being myself.

I realize this as I move through the world, how I let myself express myself is an art too.

I can be a living piece of art.

Although sometimes I just need to be a tired human.

The well needed to get refilled today.

When I got home I unpacked my bag and threw my clothes in the wash, I put all my things away, all the notebooks and the few little things I had brought back from my travels and walked up to a little spot in the neighborhood and grabbed lunch.

I sat inside, then I realized I just wanted to sit for a while.

I pulled up a seat at an outside table and sat and watched the ocean in the distance and the neighborhood doing it’s neighborhood deal and then I read for an hour.

Occasionally closing my eyes to the sun and I realized I needed a nap.

So a quick pit stop at Other Avenues for some household stuff and then home.

And a nap.

Oh such a nap.

I slept three hours.

I woke up twice to a text message and to pee, but really, I slept nearly three hours and I can feel I am a bit jet lagged still.

So easy does it the rest of tonight.

Full and grateful heart and a gentle song of jazz on my radio and a little more tea.

And sleep.

In my own home.

In my own bed.

In my favorite place in the world.

San Francisco.

Where my he(art) is.

Doing All The Things

May 23, 2016

I mean.

Seriously.

I broke it off today.

And I don’t feel broken, albeit tired, albeit a little keyed up from the day, but so in love with myself and the gift I gave to myself of doing this trip.

Now.

Don’t get me wrong.

I have had some moments of dis-ease (disease) and had to quietly pull myself back and get real and be grateful for all the things I have been given and all the experiences I have gotten to do.

Twice over the last two days or so I had moments of wishing I was not alone having a meal or walking through Brooklyn.

I wanted to be with someone.

I wanted to be holding a hand.

I wanted to be sharing conversation.

I wanted to be coupled up.

And those things are not wrong, that’s just human nature.

I just have to tread carefully in those areas because I can fall into the self-pity pot all to easily and frankly I’m all for avoiding potholes at this time in my life.

I’m being a good girl.

I mean I am being a very, very, very good girl.

I did no Tinder’ing while I was here, frankly the idea of trying to figure out how to hook up with someone out here was just too much to even fucking contemplate.

And yeah.

I like sex.

A LOT.

However, I don’t need it that bad.

I’m not desperate.

And I’m not an addict.

Although I play one on tv.

Just kidding.

Oh.

And I had the opportunity.

Believe me.

It was on the table.

However.

I turned down the offer after finding out said offer was not in my best interest–really too complicated and stupid to even write about here.

And.

I also ran into someone I met at Burning Man in 2013.

“I’m sorry, I know it seems I’ve been staring at you for the last hour,” he said to me sidling into my space yesterday afternoon after we had closed up and said the prayers and did the deal.  “I mean,” he eyed me up and down (I can’t remember the last time I was that blatantly, to my face, scoped out), “I really like your look.”

“Thanks I said,” and I his, let me be honest.

“And I remember where I know you from,” he added, “you go to Burning Man, you’re hair’s different, but I recognized your tattoos.”  He paused, “you’ve gotten a few more I see, and you’re hair was blue the last time I saw you.”

He handed me his card and asked what I was doing the rest of the day.

My friend swooped in, “Hey, _______, I see you met Carmen, she’s one of my oldest friends, I’m stealing her back now,” he said and took my elbow.

I mean, tall, dark and handsome was tempting, but my friend, my old friend, my friend from the early days of the crazy, he was who I wanted to spend time with.

And there was a time when I would have ditched a friend in a heart beat for a piece of action.

Not so much now.

My friends are treasures and I don’t get out here often, twice in the eight years my old friend has lived here–we caught up at the deal in Atlanta last July and I usually see him for a minute if he gets out to SF, but he’s busy, I’m busy, so no getting busy for me.

And I’m grateful for that.

Then.

Another gentleman who had reached out to me this trip.

I texted him back.

“Hey, when you get a chance, give me a call,” I wrote earlier this afternoon.

I was surprised to not get a call for awhile then just a few minutes back, he finally did.

“Ah, I knew it was coming,” he said to me on the phone, his voice thick with the chagrin and the knowing of what I had decided I was going to tell him.

“You’re first year is a gift I don’t want to intrude on,” I summed it up, “I don’t date guys when they’ve got less than a year.”

It’s not my place, I don’t want to mess up anyone’s shit, and yeah, I know my pussy’s not that powerful, I’m not the reason some one relapses or stays sober, but I see a lot of folks that get focused on the dating deal and not doing the deal and I respect and like this guy.

So after consulting with the powers that be, “I need to tell on myself,” I told my person as I walked around Chelsea today after an amazing afternoon at The New Whitney Museum.

“It’s just really nice to be told how beautiful you are, that someone who is attractive finds me so compelling, I mean, it’s super ego feeding and I know that I can’t see this guy, I know it’s not right, it’s just, well, yeah, tempting.”

“Good on you for telling on yourself, and now you won’t do that, because that’s not the woman you are,”  I was told.

Yup.

“Get your year,” I said, “don’t let me interfere with it.”

He knew, he told me that was what he thought I was going to say.

He was sweet.

And I hung up the phone feeling like.

Well.

An adult.

Perhaps an adult with the hormones of a horny sixteen year old girl, but an adult.

I wear my heart on my sleeve, but I don’t want to hurt anyone.

Sometimes it’s inevitable and someone gets hurt and I can be sorry for that and still not engage, and that’s what an adult does too.

And sometimes God blows magic fairy dust all over me and I am suddenly Alice in the looking glass.

“OH, I was just about to bring that in,” he said as I was snapping pictures of this spectacular piece of sculpture art in the front area of one of the historic brownstones in Fort Greene Brooklyn.

“I love it,” I said, “It just, well, it’s amazing.”

We started to talk.

He was the artist, Doug Beube.

He told me a few things, we chatted about me and my travels and being a nanny and a grad school student and then somehow onto Burning Man and I asked, I don’t know why, serendipity, God, what have you.

I told him about my favorite piece from last year-Storied Haven.

And then.

He cocked his head at me and said, “I don’t suppose you want to see my studio?”

OH my God.

I was so floored.

“I know, trying to get a beautiful woman into my house, and all, but,” he paused, “I think you’ll like it.”

I joked, “as long as your studio isn’t in your bedroom, I’d be honored.”

I was not only honored.

I was blown the fuck away.

The man’s work is amazing.

AMAZING.

I was in tears a number of time, over awed by the depth and breadth and beauty of his work.

I took a lot of photos-they’re up on my facecrack page and on twitter and intstagram, and I’d put them here, but they just do not do them justice, my photos, so check out his website.

www.dougbeube.com

So good.

He works with old books and cuts them up and remakes them and he does photography and organic art and found art and these cunning little sculptures and so much political art that was poignant and beautiful, so insightful, so thoughtful, it was just such an over the moon experience.

I mean I got to go to the Brooklyn Museum, the MOMA, and The New Whitney and then, to top it off I get a private tour of this amazing artist out of nowhere?

Who is the luckiest girl in the world?

Me.

Hands down.

And perhaps I should change that up as I realize I have been a woman.

A proud woman, a respectful woman, a woman who looks the world in the face and who above all is not afraid to smile and thank someone for their contributions.

We all want to be seen.

And when I am allowed to see someone and the things that they do that make them artists, I am so very grateful.

I am blessed.

I am graced.

I am loved.

Thanks New York, thanks Brooklyn, thanks to my friends who drank coffee with me and the ones I called and said, hey where should I eat today, and all the friends who said, hey check this place out and to all those people who smiled at me in the city and said, “nice outfit!”

I like being seen too.

It’s been special New York.

Thank you.

From the bottom of my heart.

Which I left in San Francisco.

Time for me to go back home.

But you will not soon be forgot.

I promise.

Kisses.

And.

Big.

Big.

Big.

Love.

 

Day Two

May 22, 2016

New York.

I’m beat.

I mean.

I walked so much today, I started to get shin splints.

But I couldn’t bring myself to get on the subway again after getting off it in Brooklyn at the Barclay Center stop.

I had gotten switched up on the trains as they were doing construction and the line that I was supposed to connect with was suddenly no longer available and I could have done another transfer but wanted off.

I wanted to walk.

That’s the best way to see things.

On foot.

I took loads of photos and saw some awesome graffiti and paste art that I wouldn’t have if I had been on the train.

That being said, I am pretty proud of myself at having navigated as well as I did.

The train system is smart and pretty easy to figure out, but I did find myself having some anxiety this morning as I headed off to the big city from Brooklyn.

And I realized now that it was my first time by myself figuring out how to go from one point to the other.

And I did fine.

I did get turned around, but, haha, not on the damn train, on the sidewalk.

I am so freaking dyslexic, I read my navigation backward, I literally look at the screen and go right when I should go left.

I am so grateful for the navigation and map apps on my phone.

I would have been wandering around in desperate circles.

I am a total know it by mistake person and a land mark person.

Oh.

That church there, that’s where I need to go, or I can go on this block, or I will remember, as I did earlier when I was at Union Square, which way I came the only other time I was there and did the deal at the Seafarer’s Union hall, but ask me if it’s North or South, East or West, and I am at a complete standstill and close to tears, if not in tears.

I don’t have pet peeves per se.

However.

Ask me to be your navigator and I will be a very unhappy lady.

Don’t hand me the map.

Don’t ask me to figure it out.

Just don’t.

You want a happy traveling companion, do not ask me for directions.

Or.

Expect to get lost.

Getting lost for some is fun, an adventure, a party, but for me, it just produces a lot of anxiety.

I know from a lot of self work and a lot of introspection and a lot of having done the deal and some outside therapy that has, oh, a little to do with needing to control my environment and being in fear.

It’s a safety thing.

I get it.

I let myself be gentle with myself when it comes up.

I have, however, been on the receiving end of some not so nice words having gotten lost with people.

It’s not comfortable.

I’m very well aware of it, but it will still catch me totally off guard and then I’m like, fuck, I’m lost, how did that happen?

But today, mostly, I just got lost in things I love.

I got lost in books.

Oh.

The books.

Stacks and stacks and heaps and piles and floors and aisles of books.

So many yummy books.

Oh.

The smell.

Such a good smell.

Not my most favorite smell in the world, wood smoke, bonfire, fire wood burning in the fireplace on a cold night, but right up there.

The clean, crisp, warm smell of paper and book binding glue and I just perused the aisles at The Strand and was a very happy lady.

My friend that I met today suggested popping into it.

And my.

What a good suggestion.

I actually put down all but one of the books I wanted to buy.

Not from a place of frugality, although, that did rear its head a bit, but more from the perspective of, oh, wait, how much weight do I want to carry around?

And.

Can I get this book in San Francisco?

The answers were obvious.

But I did buy some notebooks, yay!

And some stickers.

Double yay.

And a magnet.

And one book for the flight back.

So that was nice.

My friend departed before me, off to work on his film project, and left me with directions to get to the MOMA.

Which I promptly forgot when I was on the second floor of The Strand.

Where did he say to go?

Get out the phone.

Map it out.

And yes, still spend way too much time when I got off the subway walking the wrong way down the streets.

Seriously I have a problem.

I did, however, make it to the MOMA.

And started at the top.

Rothko.

Although, to be honest, not my favorite, not in my top ten Rothko’s at all, I didn’t like the lightness of the colors he used, I like the deep oranges and greens or the super dark brick reds almost black or the indigo violet blue ones, this one, though luminous and gave me a pause to look at, was not something that held me for very long.

I was drawn to Van Gough’s Starry Night.

Me and too many other tourists, good grief, too many, too many, too many fucking tourists.

Which is probably why I enjoyed the walk home through Brooklyn so much, like that, “home.”  I have caught myself saying that a number of times, I’m heading home, I’ll be home soon, or I’m at home, and it’s the Air Bnb I’m staying in.

Off all the places I’ve been in the city, I actually like this neighborhood and Greenpoint the best, there’s a mix of cultures and ethnicities that make me happy and I feel right at home and yeah, there’s projects, but I have been in the projects before and I just put on the walk and I am not bothered.

If I were to move to New York, which I don’t foresee, at all, the winters, yo, I would live in Brooklyn–but not Williamsburg, too white, too many hipsters and man buns and women reading tarot in a way too serious manner selling over priced hyper curated vintage and emergency sage smudging kits.

Dude I think I had seen it all at that point.

REALLY?

You’re selling emergency smudging kits?

Where am I?

Santa Cruz or Brooklyn?

I feel better in this neighborhood with the barber shops and the families and the hair salons, the little bodegas and the funky art and the graffiti.

But that’s just me.

I’m often at home where ever I go.

And yes, I got asked for directions again.

This time in Greenpoint by a woman from the city trying to figure out what train to get back on.

I had to laugh.

And.

Of course.

I helped.

The blind leading the blind.

I also walked, because I had a funny feeling about being on the train past the point where I had gotten off.

I don’t know why, I don’t have to know why, but I had to turn around when I was heading down the stairs to the underground, it felt wrong.

And it was raining and I was tired and I thought, shoot, just call a car, but no, the walking.

The brownstones and the lights within, the big leafy trees, the sound of the rain falling like that, the smell of wet sidewalks.

It was a nice way to sort through my day and recall all the lovely art I saw.

I only got to the Rothko before digressing.

The ones that stood out for me, Andrew Wyeth, Christina’s World, that stopped me in my tracks.

The two Klimt’s I saw, Hope II, Adele Boch-Bauer II.

The Mondrians, three of them, just stunning.

The Hopper, House by the Railroad.

Stumbling upon the Monet Water Lilies, I did not know they were there, at least this version of them, and I was brought to tears to think that I have gotten to see them in Paris and in New York.

How lucky am I?

The Seurat, Evening Honfleur, brought me to tears.

I was so startled by it and just stood transfixed.

I don’t always know that is going to happen with me and art.

I get something deep within, I am moved, I am transported, I feel deep joy.

And gratitude.

From my humble, poor, meek beginnings.

To a bit of a traveler and a bit of an art junky.

It’s so nice.

I’m so lucky.

I really.

I’ll say it again.

The luckiest girl in the world.

And.

All tuckered the fuck out.

One more day New York.

Let’s make it smashing, shall we?

I hear you have some art for me to see.

Next stop.

The new Whitney.

But first.

Bed.

Night y’all.


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