Posts Tagged ‘brunch’

Puerto Rico

December 19, 2016

In the New Year?

Um.

Yes please.

So today was my birthday and like all good plans, hahahaha, plans you are just awesome and always so fucked, it didn’t quite go the way I um, planned.

Free Gold Watch was closed for a private party.

Which they hadn’t advertised and so when I showed up with my friends there was no pinball to be had.

And it was cold.

And I had stood outside for a long time waiting in line at Zazie’s in Cole Valley for brunch to want to stand outside any longer and figure out anywhere else to go.

So.

I called it a day.

And I have no regrets, no hurt feelings, because.

Ha, I had no expectations.

Which is actually a really nice way to roll.

And.

I had such a good time, such a lovely, sweet, warm, cozy, when we finally got seated in the restaurant as we had to wait in line for over an hour, but so worth the wait.

I had a delicious meal.

A lot of coffee.

And the company of some dear friends.

I am a very lucky girl.

Standing on the curb in Cole Valley outside a hopping French bistro waiting in line to have brunch on my birthday, feeling all the love.

I was a little disappointed to not play ye olde pinball, I love pinball, but I wasn’t upset that I was missing out, I had already had such a good time.

And.

My friends sang me Happy Birthday in the restaurant and the entire place joined in.

Wonderfully mortifying and special all at the same time.

Full, replete, and warm, I couldn’t have asked for more.

I also had an awesome talk with my dear friend who came over from Oakland to have brunch, we hadn’t seen each other in months, but sometimes, when there’s a connection, there’s a connection and it doesn’t matter that it was a little while, we were right back in it.

And.

Guess where he’d been?

Puerto Rico.

And guess where the airline I have the voucher for flies to?

San Juan.

Puerto Rico.

Of course, it’s too late to get a flight anywhere, all the holiday traveling, and I’m fine with that, but I corralled my friend on the curb and told him about my Christmas plans changing and that I had to cancel my ticket and now had a flight voucher that I could use to travel anywhere the airline had hubs.

It’s a small airline-SunCountry, so no Hawaii or international travel, except Puerto Rico, some spots in the Caribbean and Mexico.

Hello.

I said to the little map showing off Puerto Rico.

I haven’t seen you in a long time.

I mean.

A really long time.

And I have wanted to go back, to do it right.

To do it sober, for one, to go again to the bio luminescent sea, to walk the cobbled streets of Old San Juan, to swim in the water and lay on the beach.

So as I’m explaining to my friend about the ticket and my thoughts and wondering when he’s going back to Puerto Rico, he just starts smiling and smiling and then.

“Nena, open your gift.”

I looked at him, “ok.”

And opened my gift on the sidewalk outside Zazie’s and screeched with joy.

A travel book to Puerto Rico.

A bag of Puerto Rican coffee.

And a jar of Adobo spice.

OMG.

So made my birthday.

“How the hell?” I was so excited,  smacked my friend with the Adobo.

“I don’t know, but obviously the Universe provides,” he smiled.

We’ll be talking more, he’s got business there and will be going a couple of times a year for the next year and a half, two years, so sometime in the new year there will be a trip to Puerto Rico with my dear friend.

I am so excited.

And though the plans, they keep changing, I will be here for Christmas, I’m not upset about them changing, life happens, things change, roll with it.

Tonight will be an early night for me, despite it being my birthday I don’t need to go and paint the town eighteen shades of red, rather, I get to curl up here in my cozy home, by my sweet Christmas tree and have a little more tea and get a good night’s sleep.

Tomorrow begins my last week with my current family.

It will be sad to say good-bye to the boys, but also I know it’s not a true goodbye as the next family I work with goes to the same private school.

I will see the boys at pick up and drop off and that will be a kind way to ease the transition.

Both for them and for me.

I have some Christmas presents for them and some things that I hope will remind them of me and keep me in their hearts, but I am ready to move onward to the next adventure.

I am also grateful that I have week off from said next adventure.

There will be much yoga.

There will be a little travel over to the other side of the bridge to help out a friend on Christmas Eve day.

There will be trips to the MOMA.

Dare I say it?

There will be naps.

There will be time to figure out my camera and why I can’t download my pictures to my computer.

There will be time to attend to a few school things–practicum applications, resume writing, gathering references.

As well as doing my FAFSA for the next school year and starting to order my books for the next semester.

Fingers crossed.

There will be time for at least one book that is pleasure reading.

There will be time for a ferry-boat ride on the bay me thinks.

I love to take the ferry once in a while, it’s my special solo date gig.

There will be lots of writing.

When isn’t there?

There will be plans that go awry and things that change and I will grow and change with them.

Hello 44 years old.

You look pretty damn good.

Glad we’ve made it this far.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Sing To Me

November 16, 2016

Sure thing pumpkin.

“Alexa, play Mike Doughty, Sunshine,” I said, holding my sick, feverish little monkey in my lap.

Alexa complied, “now playing MIKE DOUTY, Sunshine.”

I always correct her, “Doughty, Alexa, get it right.”

And he sings.

And I sing.

And my charge burrows into my arms and snuggles in my lap and is warm and feverish and sweet and a total cuddle puddle.

I told Alexa to play Doughty on shuffle and the next thing you know, “Sad Girl, Walking in the Rain.”

Um.

Oh my God.

New music.

Yes.

I had forgotten that his new album was released in October.

I hopped onto my phone, tapped my Spotify, and yes, there it was.

The Heart Watches While The Mind Burns.

I am listening to it now.

It’s good.

But I’m partial.

I am partial because I am a wordsmith and I have a tiny crush, always have, probably always will, sorry not sorry.

And because I can carry the octave he sings in pretty well.

I don’t sing all that well, but I can get out a little husky phrasing.

It was a good day for the singing.

My nose has cleared up and though I still have a cold it’s not as bad.

I also made myself get up and go to yoga and about half way through class I could tell I was working through it.

The cold is lessening its grip.

I am hopeful that by the time I get to school this Friday it will be completely out of my system.

Not that I would skip school if I was sick, I haven’t missed a day yet.

I will miss a half day on Saturday, December 10th, a dear friend is getting married that afternoon, so I’ll be missing the last class of my Child Therapy class, but I think that should be ok, I’ll miss the final project presentation of a few of my classmates, but I will have all of my own work done.

It will be the first time I have missed a class.

I firmly believe that most of the battle is won by showing up.

Show up to the screen.

I blog.

Show up to work.

I get a paycheck.

Show up to my notebook in the morning.

I get relief and direction for my day.

Show up to the yoga mat, again.

I get some anxiety out of my body, I feel better and I stand straighter.

I’ll fucking take it.

Show up to a church basement after work, in the dark, sit and get some relief, get some connection, get some not so lonely anymore feeling in my heart.

I ran into an old acquaintance, I’ve known him since the beginning of my recovery and I asked if he had gotten my invite to my birthday party.

I told him to come out.

We suffer from the same loneliness that so many of us suffer from.

I realized today though, as I was lying on the yoga mat, that I’m just used to that pain.

I was born in that pain.

I know that pain so well and how to navigate the dark swell of it as the waves build and peak, that the black silk heavy weight of those waters can pull me down in it’s comforting embrace.

But.

What if.

What if I choose differently?

Maybe I will be uncomfortable.

But I won’t be lonely and when I get used to being happier, which I am getting better at all the time, maybe I won’t sink into that drowned ship of isolation.

“When’s your birthday?”  He asked.

“Sunday, December 18th, pinball at Free Gold Watch in the Haight, I sent you an invite on facecrack,” I told him.  “Please come, and come again on Saturday, it’s good to see you there, and we usually fellowship after the meeting.”

I’m pretty fucking proud of myself for throwing myself a birthday party.

Sunday, December 18th, I’ll be 44.

I’m going to have brunch at Zazie’s in Cole Valley around 2p.m.

Then pinball at Free Gold Watch on Waller Street from 4-7p.m.

If you’re in town, come play!

I made a facecrack invite and invited about 200 people and 20 people are coming!

That’s actually pretty fucking good for facecrack invites.

Folks are pretty busy during the holidays and my birthday is the week before Christmas, I am always at odds with any number of holiday parties and galas and events.

So I decided to do what I really want to do.

Brunch with some of my dearest friends and then pinball.

I love me some pinball.

I’m happy to have gotten such a nice response to the invite too, of course who doesn’t like an arcade for Pete’s sake.

I’m very happy to be doing something fun on my birthday.

Last year was so hard.

Sad girl walking in the rain.

That was me.

I had to work that day and it down poured all day long.

Buckets of rain.

I had made plans to go to do the deal and then get a late dinner with friends and a man I was pseudo dating, for lack of a better adjective or descriptor and on my way to doing the deal, getting soaked, it was coming down so fiercely, he sent me a text and cancelled.

My birthday.

He cancelled on my birthday dinner.

I wanted, just then to get all upset and irate and have a resentment and take some one else’s inventory.

But.

I am reminded.

I don’t want to take his inventory as I don’t want to make his amends.

I cried.

It rained.

On my birthday.

Sad girl walking in the rain/wide brown eyes seek the sunrise/dryer in the morning light.

I wore a sky blue dress and a white crinoline underneath it.

The flippant edge of my dress buoyed up by the fluff of fabric underneath could do nothing against the sorrowful pound of my heart as I walked alone up Church Street.

Solace for me later in the laughter of my friends.

The relationship rapidly unraveled and it did not matter that I loved him very much.

It did not matter that he loved me very much.

It was working, couldn’t work, wasn’t going to work.

Then today, I thought of my birthday prior and the Christmas alone, as my boyfriend at that time of year decided to spend Christmas day with his ex-wife.

Don’t worry about breaking my heart, I’m doing it just fine on my own.

There’s a picture of me that day, Christmas day three years ago now, sitting in the sand dunes in that I got so many compliments on, so many.

I found it sad and sweet and funny too.

Alone.

On Christmas day, taking selfie’s in the sand.

Sad girl sitting in the sand.

Ha.

So.

This year.

Something different.

First.

There’s no man in my life to not live up to my stupid expectations around my birthday or Christmas.

I made my own damn plans.

I’ll buy my own damn flowers.

And.

I’ll take my own damn self out.

Thank you very much.

I also have plans to be with friends over both Thanksgiving and Christmas.

And let’s not forget.

Pinball, bitches.

I’m super stoked to be doing all these good things for myself.

Just because I’m used to being lonely doesn’t mean I’m alone.

And.

Just because there’s comfort in the familiarity of pain.

Doesn’t mean I have to continue to nurture it.

I choose happy.

Damn it.

I choose joy.

 

New York Dreaming

September 7, 2014

My friend is passed out in a food coma in his boxers on the queen size bed in the Air BnB he’s staying at in Brooklyn.

I am super tempted to take photos of him.

SUPER.

But after the amaze balls meal we just had this evening at Peter Luger’s and the fact that he footed the bill and the taxi ride back to the pad, well, it inclines me to be gentle with him.

Besides I love him to bits.

And today would not have been the day it was without his company and guidance.

I did not have to negotiate the subway system.

He did it for me.

I did not have to figure out what to do or where to go.

He knew what I wanted to see and do and we did it.

He asked me before I got here what I wanted to eat.

Steak.

And he made reservations at Peter Luger’s in Brooklyn three and a half weeks ago.

We still had the latest reservation one could have at the restaurant–10:45p.m.–but we got in.

He took me to a place I hadn’t thought to go and was thrilled beyond measure that we went.

Tavern on the Green.

I mean, it really was a dream of a day.

One in which I started out “late” from having needed to catch up on sleep missed from the previous days early up and at ’em after a long travel in from San Francisco.

I slept in until almost 10:30 a.m.

Late for me any way you slice it.

Late for me now, but I cannot go quite to sleep, I had more than one latte at Tavern on the Green, and I am wide awake.

Plus, my body is busy digesting all the tasty that was had at the steak house–iceberg wedge salad with blue cheese (the real stuff) and heirloom tomatoes, thick cut bacon, a half a medium rare lamb chop, a half of a rare porterhouse, a bottle of bubbly water–I am going to be digesting for the next week, I think.

But that’s ok.

The month of eating meat like it’s going out of style (three weeks Burning Man followed by this weekend in New York) and I will be going back to my simpler ways.

No.

I am not a vegetarian.

Although I have played on one tv.

I am just a simpler eater.

I like my food simple and clean and though it was not “dirty” to say the least, it was just a lot more full of meat than I normally eat.

But I am on vacation.

A short, sweet, quick bite of the apple, and then back out.

In fact.

I fly out in less than 8 hours.

My flight leaves JFK at 8:10 a.m.

Current time?

1:38 a.m.

Current location?

Somewhere in Brooklyn, just off the J line at Myrtle and Broadway.

I figure I am going to have to get up in oh, about three hours, get dressed, pack my bag and split for the subway, giving myself about an hour commute time to the airport, maybe an hour and a half (although I don’t think the trains will be busy, I just don’t know how often they are going to be running at 5 a.m.) and then the mandatory hour or so to make sure I check into my flight and go through security.

It’s almost late enough that I don’t want to go to bed, that I could just stay up and watch my friend sleep and listen to the occasional honk of the horn going by, or the whirl of the fan in the window.

It’s warm and sultry and it’s been humid.

Man, oh man, you should see my hair.

I have a lot of it.

It’s curly.

And it’s humid.

It’s like getting twice the hair in one shot.

It was pretty hot today, 91 degrees, but the humidity was so high that it felt like 100 degrees.

I got rained on a little bit, not too bad, just enough to have to dash underneath an awning after a late brunch at Ichabod’s down off of Irving and 3rd Ave.

I don’t know exactly how to explain all that happened today.

It wasn’t much.

But it was all a dream.

It was the fantasy made so real that I teared up a few times, wanted to pinch myself, and thought over and over and over, how is it that I am here?

How did this happen?

And I can trace the arc of it and still be amazed to be this woman, walking around Chelsea and the West Village, drinking an iced cold pressed coffee, dancing about the High Line Park, taking photographs of the skyline, and wearing a hat I bought on a corner from a street vendor who I bargained down to $20.

I felt like I was in a movie.

I laughed like I was in my own life and fulfilled and myself and I cried a little too, with joy, with gratitude to be walking with an old friend through a street fair on 3rd Avenue, eating watermelon out of a plastic cup and joshing with each other about going to that one place, on 19th and Dolores so many years ago, nine, now.

I got to be the woman sitting with an old lover at Tavern on the Green, eating olives with my fingers and watching the French couple at the bar holding hands underneath the ledge while Frank Sinatra crooned  a little song about New York over the speakers.

I watched the horses trot past pulling carriages and tourists and my heart-felt full and when my friend said, “you picked the right hat,” I knew he was right.

He picked it, by the way.

When the subway connections all fell like dominoes and we dashed up and down the stairs and made three transfers to get dropped off two blocks away from the steak house, walking in right at 10:45p.m. when the lighting flashed and the thunder boomed, and the skies opened up again, deluging the streets of Brooklyn with a wash of water from heaven, I knew I was exactly where I was supposed to be.

And the dream.

Well.

It’s done.

It was a good dream.

And it was a lovely movie that I got to star in today.

Now.

Onto other dreams and other goals.

Now to settle my restless heart for a moment, catch a three-hour nap, and off to the airport.

I have places to go.

And planes to catch.

But New York.

I won’t forget you soon.

Though I may not dream of you again.

I am so grateful I got to live through this.

Like a bright stack of gold foil wrapped chocolates on Christmas morning.

You were sweet.

All Things Challenging

May 4, 2014

I did them today.

I tried on jeans.

I rode my scooter all over the city, day and night.

I went to brunch with ladies.

I told a guy that I like that I was attracted to him and should he want to go out for coffee to let me know.

I blushed.

At the last one, anyhow.

But I did it.

Sigh.

Such relief, doing these things, these challenging things, these silly things that make up being alive.

I feel right alive I do.

The scooter ride back home tonight, glorious, smooth traffic, up and over hills, not Castro, but I did do Church and I cannot relate how amazing that view was coming up over the top of Church Street, the dark bowl of Dolores Park just below me to the thick sprinkling of lights downtown to the drape of white ropes flickering on the Bay Bridge.

Amazing.

Then I remembered the first time I ever took a scooter ride along Lincoln Ave, it was about nine years ago and I was on the back of a friends Vespa heading out to the beach.

Never in a thousand years did I imagine that I would one day be taking the same ride, at night, on my own Vespa.

Nope.

That had not occurred to me to even want.

And yet, there I was flying down the road with the stars ahead, the smell of the ocean pulsing over me, the wind whipping by, on my way home from a long, wonderful, life changing day, in the smallest most wonderful ways, to my little spot by the sea.

I woke up this morning a tiny bit on the cranky side, but put a little breakfast in me and some good coffee, write a few pages, meditated a little, get right with God, and the next thing you know, all feels good in the world, and I can do this.

What ever this is.

The first thing on that list of “this” was to put air in my scooter’s front tire, I planned on riding it out all day long and needed it to be performing at it’s best.

I filled up the tire, wiped down the Vespa with a soft cloth, and checked to see how the gas was holding up–just fine.

I gathered the things for my day, including a bunch of clothes that I was taking to a clothing swap a friend of mine was hosting in the outer Noe Valley neighborhood–off Church Street and 30th.

I just realized, I took my longest scooter ride to date, just getting over there.

I did have it broke down into two legs, I had a pit stop to make in the Inner Sunset, and met up to do the deal at Tart to Tart at 7th and Irving.

I got to sit, have a coffee, shake the crazy out of my head, get some perspective, get encouraged to show up and have a fun time with my friends and maybe even get some clothes.

I had absolutely no doubt in my mind I was going to come away with nothing (nothing being two new pairs of pants, a new hat, and a great new scarf) and that I was not going to have any fun whatsoever.

I had a great time.

Caught up with the hostess and got to congratulate her on her new position at work and hear about her travels, re-connected with a friend who I hadn’t seen in some time, and yes, score some clothes.

I was standing looking at a shirt when a mutual friend walked in with a stack of pants and a bag of shirts, took one look at me, and said, “Carmen, you should try these pants on, I think they’ll fit, and they’re brand new, I never wore them.”

What.

I was loath to drop trou, but when I saw them, I thought, hmm, she could be right.

Now I have the hardest time finding jeans that fit and that I feel comfortable in.

Not only did the fit, they fit fantastically, and, hahahaha, they’re “skinny” fit.

The jeans had some stretch in them and they made it over my bicycle calves and thighs and hugged my butt in the most sassiest of manners, I was blown away, all the girls applauded, and I have a new pair of jeans.

Amazing.

That was not on my agenda.

In fact, I also scored a pair of cords that I wouldn’t have tried on either, but a friend insisted and she was right, they fit, and they matched the outfit I was wearing.

Two pairs of pants in one fell swoop and they’re free?

And there was bacon at the brunch.

Hello.

Happy Saturday.

I stayed, sipped tea, caught up with my friend and felt so much gratitude for going, yes the pants were awesome to get, but so was the human connection.

I can and will isolate at the drop of the hat.

To make myself known and available to friends, and female ones at that, is a big, big deal for me.

I left feeling free and open and, well, well dressed, I never took off the jeans, I put my old ones in the messenger bag, and zipped off on the Vespa to Noe Valley where I had some business to attend to.

A little grocery shopping.

A box of salad to eat at the coffee shop.

Fellows to hang out with.

A little bit of reading and some experience sharing with another woman.

And then up the hill a bit further to do more of my Saturday night thing.

“What are you doing,” my friend said to me as I hemmed and hawed and packed my messenger bag and re-packed it.

“Getting up the nerve to tell a guy I find him attractive and does he want to go have coffee sometime,” I said.

He wasn’t supposed to be here, he never comes here on Saturdays, what the heck is he doing here?

I was just talking about him earlier, how is he here?

My friend smiled, “you look like you’re hiding,” she said astutely.

“I am hiding!” I admitted it.

If there had been room in my messenger bag to crawl in, I would have done it.

“I’m going to go, so you can do your thing,” she said, gave me a hug, and then I spent some more time fumbling around while he spoke to a mutual acquaintance five feet away.

Unpack, re-pack, re-arrange messenger bag.

Adjust scarf, take off scarf, re-adjust scarf, take off hat, ruffle hair, stuff hat in bag, oh God, what does my helmet head look like?

“Hey are you going with the guys,” he turned and asked me.

“I uh, no, I have to get my groceries home,” I said.

Lame!

Lame!

Lame!

“Let me know when you guys go dancing again, you didn’t go last night did you?”

“No,” I said, “did not, but I will, let you know, that is.”

Oh my god, help me, please.

“Ok, you have a good night,” he said and started walking away.

“T______,” I bleated out, “wait, uh, I, uh, come here, for a second.”

He turned, walked back to me and I rambled out the most goofy, off kilter, silly, I’m not good at this, but I find you really attractive and you make me laugh, and if you ever want to have coffee and laugh with me or at me, or, um, have coffee, I already said that, and I don’t know if you’re interested or available, but uh, yeah.

Or something like that.

I was blushing.

I think he might have blushed.

He said, “that’s very sweet, and good to know, thank you for telling me.”

He smiled.

I smiled.

Ok.

He walked away to join his friends.

And sigh.

Done.

Doesn’t even have to go anywhere.

I got it out and it won’t sit on my chest any longer.

Dispelling the fantasy.

I don’t believe he’s actually available and he might not be interested, and it doesn’t even matter.

I am so proud of myself.

Socializing, brunch’ing, trying on jeans in front of a room full of women, asking a guy out, getting on my Vespa and tackling the mean streets of San Francisco–have you seen the hills here?

Doing all things challenging.

Aka

Living.

 

 


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