Posts Tagged ‘cafe’

Flanneur

July 22, 2018

Which means, “one who strolls,” in French.

Or something like that.

Google it if you’re not sure.

I am fairly certain, but my French is not that great.

It’s good, but not great.

I know enough French to get me in trouble, its assumed by my accent and the way I talk that I do speak it fairly well, but as I explained to a new English-speaking friend today, I get caught up in trying to say the right word and the rapid fire Parisians are three sentences ahead of me while I am still thinking of the word for “dressing room.”

Which is “cabine,” if you wanted to know, and I did remember, but not before the sales person figured out my French was not as good as assumed.

I actually didn’t really buy anything today, well, food, not that much is open on Sundays.

Oh.

There were tons of shops open in the Marais, but nothing really called to me, except, heh, the shops that weren’t open.

Sunday in Paris is a family day, a rest day, most places are closed and I decided early on today that I would do my best to take it easy today too.

I mean.

I still walked like seven miles, but at an easy, relaxed pace and I did end up taking the Metro home from my final destination as I wasn’t feeling like walking fourteen miles.

I could have, it’s still light out, the sun has not set and it’s nearly 9p.m.

Gorgeous light in the apartment.

My last night alone here, the family returns in the morning.

Then!

I’m off to the South of France at lunchtime.

I’m very excited.

It will be nice to be on a train for a little while, the ride is about three and a half hours, and it will be fantastic to see a new city.

My friend knows the area well, we are staying at her favorite hotel in Marseilles, which has a view of the port.

We will go to the big museum there and have a nice dinner, I’m sure, and on Tuesday we will be taking a car to the markets in Aix-en-Provence, then on the way back to Marseilles we will be going swimming in, I forget the exact French word for it, some secret little beach on the Mediterranean.

So stoked.

My friends return in the morning and I’ve been instructed to be ready to leave for the train station by lunch time.

Not going to be a problem, I’ll just be packing a few summer dresses, my toiletries, and my bathing suit.

I still cannot believe I will be swimming in the Mediterranean Sea!

So happy.

And.

Honestly, I could use a break from Paris.

I know.

What?

Did I say.

I have had this feeling before, I did last time I came, at one point in my trip, I’m done with the crowds, I’m done with being stared at on the Metro (I have a lot of tattoos and though one sees them a bit more than they used to, it is very rare to see a woman with as many tattoos as I have, and it’s warm, I’m showing a lot of skin, not obscenely, by no means, but it’s unusual, and man, I get the looks), I’m done with snotty French waiters.

Not all waiters are horrible.

But I usually have one or two that are assholes and I got that one today at a cafe I met a friend at on Rue Madame.

It’s a damn cute cafe though.

IMG_4246

I had my “usual.”

IMG_4254

I like coffee.

And I like the sparkling water.

I just finished up one now.

Nothing says I’m on vacation like the two of them together.

Plus.

Taking the time to sit still and enjoy them.

I tried to sit a little more today, but it can be hard, my brain tells me that I must go and go quickly and get in as much as possible and do, do, do.

A human doing, not a human being.

But today I let myself sleep in, I laid in bed after I woke up until 10 a.m.

Then a nice long shower, a leisurely breakfast, and some laundry, so nice to have laundry here, I am super grateful for that and not having to cart it to the mat down the block or up and down five flights of stairs.

Then coffee and writing.

I didn’t leave the house until after noon.

I decided I didn’t need to do the Louvre, that had been my sort of “plan” but that I could just walk and see where it led me.

I walked through the Marais.

I walked to the Seine.

It was gorgeous.

IMG_E4210

I mean.

Come on.

I walked and walked and walked.

Then I crossed over this bridge and went into the Latin Quarter, which I don’t much like, way too many tourists, way too many, but it was on my way to where I was meeting my friend and I realized that I had plenty of time to just walk all the way there without being rushed.

And.

I stumbled upon the Cluny Museum!

Never having been, I popped in for a wonderfully air-conditioned visit and saw the famous tapestries.

IMG_E4226

They were beautiful and it was a sweet little detour.

After that I walked over to the Luxembourg Gardens, but needing food I kept my eyes open for the right place to grab a bite.

And lo and behold!

A miracle!

Not only a new organic, locally sourced restaurant, but one with beautiful flowers everywhere, and, and, and!

A non-smoking terrace!

All the cafes, well, except this one, have smoking areas on the terrace, and everyone it seems, smokes, except my friend, thank God, and I made the grave mistake my first night eating outside and my food might as well have been dipped in nicotine.

It was gross.

And I used to be a smoker, so that’s saying something.

But this little spot, was no smoking and I was really happy.

The food was surprisingly good and the terrace was super pretty.

The service was a little spotty, but that was obviously because it was a new restaurant, turns out they’ve only been open three weeks, and I was more than happy to be patient about it.

Which I’m grateful for, because when my food did arrive, the waitress got my order wrong the first go around, it was superb.

Best lunch I’ve had here since I landed.

IMG_E4241

A really beautiful crustless Quiche with vegetables, a green salad and these delicious sausages.

That and the atmosphere, made me super happy.

IMG_E4239

And then I walked through the Luxembourg Gardens before meeting my friend at Cafe Madame.

A sweet, slow, “lazy” day.

Heh.

I still walked 15, 418 steps and climbed 15 flights of stairs.

And now.

Well.

It’s time for dinner and getting ready for my trip tomorrow.

I hope your Sunday is as lovely as mine was.

Bon soir!

 

Advertisements

The Song Hit Me Hard

July 15, 2018

Like a nova in my chest.

A painful sunburst of love, loss, longing.

I wanted to reach out so very much.

I didn’t.

I just sang along to the song in the car driving down Division Street.

Pushing up the hill between Valencia and Guerrero with flashes of sun piercing the July fog.

You there with me.

In the car, in the song, in the spaces between notes.

I managed.

All day.

To out run you.

Out write you.

Out manoeuver you.

I was not going to sit idle with the feelings.

No.

Not when I could drive them off with business and doing.

I am glad I was doing the doings.

And sad too.

I finished the big project, the internship application.

Remember two weeks ago today?

Remember sitting in the cemetery with me when I got the news?

I burst into tears.

Sitting in that green vibrant lushness that sprung from the brows of dead men.

My face.

Your voice sick with concern.

The tears falling without thought of being in public.

It’s a cemetery.

I’m sure there have been tears there before.

You said why don’t we just go home?

And I wanted to.

But there were places to go yet.

Rabbits to burn.

Bridges to cross.

So to turn round.

Two weeks, to the day, a project, another application, another launching of hope onto the sea, a small newspaper boat with a popsicle stick sail, all I wanted.

All I wanted.

Was to reach out and tell you.

I did it!

But you were not there to reach for.

So I moved.

I ran out into the day.

I did things to prepare.

I am going on a trip tomorrow.

I have zero excitement for it.

And it’s Paris.

I should be over the moon, in the tops of the trees, singing the soundtrack to Amelie.

Or something like that.

But it’s Paris.

Without you.

That makes me.

Well.

What rhymes with you?

Blue.

Yes.

That will work.

There is rain in the forecast.

And all I could think about was your eyes in the shower, how bright they are when you are sleek and wet, how much I wanted to fall against you.

Press into you.

Stay hidden.

And seen.

In the waterfall of warmth and never leave that small space.

I saw the weather for Paris.

Rain.

“I love Paris in the rain,” danced through my head.

I would love it more if you were there walking in the rain with me, eyes wet and full.

You weren’t with me last year when I was in Paris either.

Yet, you were.

I remember walking along the Left Bank, hurrying to find cover in a cafe before the rain hit.

Nestling into a corner in the back, connecting to wifi.

And voila.

There.

Your face on the small screen of my phone.

I won’t have even that this year.

In Paris.

I will be sad.

But it will be in Paris.

Which makes it prettier, sexier sadness.

But sadness nonetheless.

And now.

Now that I have stopped running.

The sadness swarms me and I recall you telling me how to run into the feelings.

Have them.

Just have them.

If I can’t have you.

I can at least have the feelings.

There are so many.

So many.

I can’t outrun them all.

As.

I can’t stop loving you.

Not Excited Yet

July 13, 2018

But I’m hopeful I will get there.

I realized tonight when I wrapped up with my last client that I only have one client left to see before I go to Paris.

Paris seems far away and a touch surreal at the moment.

I have been so busy walking through this housing situation that I have spent little to no time thinking about Paris.

Cue standing in the dental aisle at Walgreens this afternoon when I went in to fill a prescription.

Why am I standing in front of the toothpaste?

I have toothpaste at home.

I don’t need toothpaste.

But I kept coming back.

Until I remembered.

Oh snap!

I need travel size toothpaste!

I’m traveling soon.

I leave in three days!

It just has not really landed at all.

I am, of course, very much looking forward to seeing my dear friend.

I miss her so much and it was hard to finish my last semester of school without her.

Friends are so damn important.

It will be good to reconnect, to have lots of time with her, and of course, to have the best and most brilliant of insider guides to the city that I love only second to San Francisco.

I am always so happy that I get to live here.

Yesterday I went and visited a friend who used to live in the city but has done what so many of my friends have done, moved out of the city across the Bay.

She lives high up in the Berkeley Hills and it was a beautiful home and a lovely, stunning really, view of the city, the bay, the fog pushing over Twin Peaks, but I could not imagine living there.

I love San Francisco.

Sure.

It’s changed, but everything changes.

And it’s still, to me, one of the most beautiful places in the world, especially to live.

I also ran an errand and took back a bicycle rack that a friend had loaned me last year for Burning Man.

That took me to Alameda.

Where I did see a few cute houses, but it felt so suburban and removed and I also could not see myself there.

Or in Oakland.

Or in Berkeley.

I see myself in San Francisco.

My focus on finding a place is focused on the city proper.

And let me tell you.

I have been looking.

I have seen a few things, but not much.

I have responded to a few things, but gotten no response.

I do feel like when the dust is settled here and all the paperwork signed and taken care of that I will be throwing all my might behind finding a new place.

I will also officially throw it up on social media and I’m quite hopeful that I will find a good place.

I have been quietly telling a few friends and starting to put the word out.

The fact is though, at this point, it’s so close to me leaving for Paris that I really should skip even looking, I don’t know that I could do anything or get anything together before I leave.

I think it’s time I get excited!

I think it’s time to contemplate what I am going to be doing, walking around in the best city to walk, seeing art, street art and art, art.

Getting to spend time shopping in the Marais at all the little paper shops for notebooks to smuggle home with me.

Gah.

I bought a book today to read on the plane and I couldn’t help myself, I bought a new notebook too.

It was too cool to pass up and I knew I must have it.

There was a little voice in my head saying don’t accrue any more stuff!  I need to get ready to move and the less to pack, the better.

But.

Well.

I couldn’t help it, I bought the notebook.

And I did some writing siting in a cafe waiting for my friend and her new baby to come and join me.

I don’t often sit in cafes in San Francisco and write anymore.

I do the majority of my writing here where I am sitting right now, at a tiny table in my tiny kitchen, heaped high with notebooks and folders and books.

God.

I love paper.

I love writing.

I wrote a love letter in the new notebook.

I think that’s why I decided I had to buy it.

It is perfect for writing love letters.

And it was.

After my friend left I had some down time to sit for a while before I headed into my internship.

To sit outside, in the warm late afternoon sun, with a bottle of sparkling water, at a park in the Mission on Valencia Street that I used to bring former charges too and write a love letter while looking up at the bright blue sky, well, it was something else.

So no regrets about buying the notebook.

It will be used.

I will also buy more when I am in Paris.

Along with my standard pair of earrings, lipstick/lip gloss or eyeshadow, postcards, museum magnets and whatever else small momento I feel I should need.

I am so looking forward to seeing Paris through my friends eyes that I will have to buy something outside of my normal repertoire of souvenirs.

I thought about perhaps buying a market basket, I do love how they look.

And.

Yes.

I have contemplated a new tattoo.

I have one in mind, I will see if it stands the test of time when I arrive.

There’s a shop in the Marais that I get my work done at and I’ll see if they have an opening when my friend is off to a wedding out-of-town one of the weekends I am there, get myself a souvenir that I can wear always.

I like that quite a bit.

Of course.

I will take lots and lots and lots of photos too.

I promise.

Psst.

Here are a few from my recent trip to New York.

IMG_E3788

Back yard patio at a lovely little restaurant in Williamsburg, The Rabbit Hole, where I had the most amazing soup and salad–broccoli cheese consume and the salad was like a deconstructed BLT with avocado and fried leeks.

So good.

IMG_E3777

Bunny rabbit lamps!

From Le Grand Strip, on Grand Ave in Williamsburg.

I swear to God I almost bought them, but not knowing where I am going to live stopped me.  Once I’m settled I may actually buy them, the owner said she could ship them for me.

Bunny lamps!

IMG_E3749

A triptych of feminist Latina women at the Brooklyn Museum.

Why, yes.

That is me in the middle.

IMG_3694

Mural in Fort Greene Brooklyn.

More to come.

Paris soon.

T-minus three days and counting.

But who’s counting?

 

When Was I Happiest

January 6, 2018

Today?

I just asked myself that.

In a prompting kind of way, hey you, you need to write your blog, get your fingers moving on that keyboard, make some fucking magic happen.

Because all of the seven people who read my blog really want to know what I did today.

Meh.

I recently got an update from WordPress that I have once again celebrated an anniversary.

Eight years of blogging.

Eight.

What the fuck did I write about?

So many things, so many thoughts.

I have published over 2,400 blogs.

My average blog is somewhere between 1100-1300 words.

But for the sake of simplicity, let’s just say 1,000.

That means that I have written over 2,4000,000 words.

Over two million words!

Who the hell knew there were so many words in my head?

I never suspected that I would be where I am in now in my life when I started writing this blog.

I was living on Taylor and Washington in a large studio that was on a cable car line.

I was working as a nanny in China Basin.

I made really good money.

More than I actually make now, if you can believe that, because it was all under the table.

I had a very nice Felt 35 racing bike that I did my commute on.

I was horribly lonely.

I felt like all I did was grind at work, I worked at least 50 hours a week.

Which is funny, as I put in about fifty hours a week now and go to graduate school full-time.

But at that time I was going through a lot of weird stuff.

I was desperately trying to get abstinent with my food, which I did do in that apartment, but it took a hot ass second.

I was trying, oh so very hard, to get some head way on my book, said head way has come to naught in many ways, but you know, I started this blog by publishing each of the chapters one by one in the pages.

If you should want to read some really bad writing, well it’s there.

For sure.

I had a friend read the book in manuscript form about four years ago and he told me with no mincing of words that if he didn’t know better he would have never believed that the person who wrote this blog was the same person who had written that book.

My writing, suffice to say, has gotten much better.

That’s what happens when you practice.

You get better.

I have had eight years of practicing this blog.

Some days I am so inordinately pleased with what I have written that I may actually go back and re-read a blog.

But not very often.

I generally throw it down on the page, I”m just transcribing my thoughts, and really, thank god I have some fast typing skills, I’m just writing what I am thinking.

It’s a little like having a one-sided conversation with me.

Hey how was your day?

Let me tell you about mine, and then I’m unleashed upon you.

Or something like that.

I am reflecting as I did my Morning Pages this morning in the place where Morning Pages originated for me, about ten years ago.

Yeah.

If you thought writing a blog eight years in a row was something, check out my history with writing my Morning Pages.

Ten years, going on eleven.

I realized that this morning as I sat in Muddy Waters on Valencia and 24th.

I had a chiropractor appointment this morning and some time to kill before I had to be into work.

So instead of getting up stupid early, I let myself sleep in, packed my breakfast and brought it with me, planning to eat it at the cafe while having a cafe au lait before going into work.

The cafe is much the same as when I first started hanging out at it.

I had moved to a shared apartment in a rent controlled Victorian on Capp Street and 23rd and Muddy’s was the closest cafe to me and the one where I did a lot, and I do mean a lot, of sitting with another woman and reading out of a big blue book.

So many women in that cafe, before my regular Wednesday haunt, as well as my regular Saturday gig and many other times in between.

And it was also the scene of The Artist Way group that I was a part of for a year and a half.

It was an awesome group.

We met for an hour before rolling up the hill to a spot in Noe Valley on Wednesday nights.

We would grab the big round table towards the back of the cafe and anywhere from 6 to 10 of us would sit down for about an hour and share about the assignments we had done from the book.

We did one chapter a week, followed the instructions regarding the assignments, and talked about our experiences working the projects and doing the morning pages.

The book suggests that every morning you take time to write three pages long hand.

Emphasis on long hand.

No typewrite, keyboard, tablet, computer.

My blog does not count as morning pages and never has.

There is something so captivating about writing on paper with a good pen.

I was writing in one of my Claire Fontaine notebooks that I brought back from Paris this morning and I reflected on how it was in that group that I came to the realization that I wanted to go to Paris.

That I actually wanted to move to Paris.

It would take some years before I moved, but by participating in that group I realized how much I wanted to go to Paris and I took myself on a solo trip for ten days after doing the work in the book.

I took myself on artists dates, I went to museums, I bought myself nice paper, I sat and daydreamed in cafes and watched clouds roll by.

I looked out those same windows today and marveled.

Look how far I have come.

Look where I am now.

My best friend in Paris messaged me today about when I’ll be going back.

I have been to Paris five times since I made that decision, and yes, one of those times was to live there for six months.

I have re-written that book.

Although I still don’t think it’s at a publishable place.

I have written poems.

I have performed with djs in nightclubs reciting my poems.

One of them became a recording.

I have lectured on stage.

I have traveled.

I went to Burning Man, a lot.

I traveled to New York by myself as well as New Orleans to go see art.

I have taken 1,000s and 1,000s of photographs.

I have written millions of words.

I think I have a few million more.

I have done morning pages in Paris, London, Rome, New York, L.A., New Orleans, Madison, Wisconsin, Anchorage, Alaska, Burning Man, Reno, San Diego, Las Vegas, and probably a bunch of other places I can’t remember now.

But they all started one night in a Muddy Waters coffee shop on Valencia and 24th.

Opening a door that has led me down this meandering path of creation and love.

How lucky am I?

Luckiest girl in the world.

Wow!

November 15, 2017

What a gift.

My boss totally surprised me today with a gift certificate to go to the spa while they are on vacation.

I was so touched.

I mean.

They’re going to be gone for ten days and I will be getting paid while they are away.

I am basically on vacation too.

Although, sure, not really, I have a lot of obligations at my internship, but, ah, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday of Thanksgiving week, I have, wait for it.

NOTHING.

No clients.

No supervision.

Nada.

l have plans for Thanksgiving, but that’s it.

So even though, yes, I will be seeing clients, I will still have a nice swath of completely free time.

I will, of course, be doing homework, that was my big plan for the time off, and I do have plenty to do there as well.

But.

Well.

Now I have something else to do which will actually feel like having nothing to do, I get to go to the spa.

And not just any spa.

This aint’ the Imperial Day Spa on Geary where I can get into the spa for $25 and hang out all day, oh no, this lovely space is in Pac Heights.

The spa is voted one of the best in the city.

And my boss gave me a $200 gift certificate!

I mean.

Holy shit.

I was not expecting that.

Like I said, just that I get the time off from work and will still get a paycheck is such a gift that to have even entertained the thought that I should get more is ridiculous.

She expressed that she wanted me to have a chance to relax too, to take some time and I just am so freaking touched by the gesture.

And yeah.

I’m so looking forward to a spa day, it sounds fucking awesome.

I just checked out the website and starting drooling.

It’s called International Orange, it’s on Fillmore Street in Pacific Heights, above the, wait for it, haha, Ralph Lauren Store.

So if I’m exhausted from trying on Ralph’s winter collection I can just take myself upstairs to the spa and escape the urban environment.

Ha.

And.

Relax in the Finnish Spa.

Yes please!

And.

Get a deep tissue massage.

Oh yes, that too, please.

Or relax on the rooftop deck.

Although I doubt that it will be warm enough for sunbathing.

So maybe.

I’ll just hang out in the lounge.

In a big fluffy robe in front of the fireplace.

FIREPLACE!

Jesus.

They may not be able to get me out of the spa at that rate.

I can’t decide if I want a facial or a massage.

The place is freaking pricey, I can’t do both.

One or the other, but who cares, they’re both lovely things.

I don’t have to figure it out right now, I’m just thrilled though, that I’m going to get to have the experience and really, it’s sort of funny, I have been thinking about it, going to the spa and getting a massage, I just figured I’d got to Kabuki or the little Thai place in the SOMA I’ve been to twice.

Not some super posh spa in Pac Heights.

I should make a day of it.

Go to some bougie place and have lunch, treat myself to a fancy pants coffee, maybe get a mani/pedi somewhere, although that neighborhood is hella pricey for that, go window shopping.

Buy a Christmas ornament.

There are two stores on Fillmore I actually like to grab Christmas ornaments from.

I usually get myself one every year.

I discovered the shops last year when I was going to Hair Fairies when I got lice from the kids I used to nanny.

God.

That was a shit show.

And the parents paid for the lice to get removed, it cost hundreds of dollars.

Hundreds, I mean I had three sessions to get it all, I have a lot of hair, the first session cost $325.

This will be a much more pleasant way of spending Thanksgiving weekend then the isolation I did last year.

So much better.

Good grief.

I can’t think of a bigger difference a year can make.

I have some really lovely things in my life, last year I was so lonely, crawling with lice, sorry, had to go there, and miserable.

This year I’m loving my boss, have a great deal of love in my life, don’t feel lonely, get to do a lecture and be a part of a community, and I’m going to buy a new car next week.

Who’s life is this?

Oh.

Yeah.

Haha.

Mine.

And tomorrow is my last day at the job for ten days.

I also don’t have clients tomorrow.

I’ll get done with work, come home, cook dinner, see and be seen, love and be loved, hang out with my fellowship, feel the love and go to a god damn yoga class the next morning.

It will be glorious.

One more day on the job.

I’ll be busy, but light-hearted as a feather.

With merry thoughts of a soon to be happening spa date.

Yippee!

Luckiest girl in the world.

So lucky.

 

 

The Not A Date

May 29, 2017

Date.

I mean.

Fuck.

I thought it was a date.

But.

In the end it just seemed to be hanging out as friends.

Note to self.

Clarify.

44 fucking years old and still learning how to communicate.

Ah well.

I had a nice time going to the Summer of Love exhibit and my friend was a good friend, just not the experience I thought I was having.

I didn’t have expectations about it, in fact, when he’d asked me out I was surprised, but I had said yes, trying to keep my word, promising that I would date, I would try.

I am tired of trying.

I am tired of dating.

I don’t want to do it.

And yet.

Here I am trying.

Frustrated pacing the walls of my head, the walls of my room, and just trying each moment to be as honest and upfront as I can.

I can’t have what I want.

I get what I need.

Isn’t that the trope?

Learning, always this learning, this experiencing and I’m not mad or curious or, what resigned, resigned isn’t the right word either.

Acceptance tastes like it.

Humility, most likely that, a tasty snack, a tidbit of humility, mmmm, here, wait, have another helping.

I made my friend feel bad, well, take that back, I’m not that powerful, I can’t claim to be responsible for anyone’s feelings, but I was surprised at the laissez-faire approach to us hanging out together, which clued me into it not being a date.

I expected to be picked up at noon.

I was picked up at 1:45p.m.

UGH.

I have a life, I have things to do, I am important, don’t you know who I am, I don’t want to go on this date.

Oh.

Hahahahhaahahahahahaha.

Joke’s on you lady.

It’s not a date.

My brain.

Oh how it likes to tell me some stories.

I have another “date” tomorrow, but let me tell you, I bet it’s just to have coffee and go do the deal.

It’s not a date either.

Clarity.

I have to ask for clarity.

I have to know that I am beautiful and worthy, that my time is valuable, that I am worth making the attempt for.

I fucking deserve to be courted.

I mean.

That’s what I believe, but maybe that’s a fallacy too, an expectation that I am to be pursued in a certain way by a certain type of man, it just doesn’t seem, after many years of trying to figure this out, ahhaha, ugh, I have not done it any favors, my romantic state or lack there of.

I am still just bumble fucking along.

I get to change.

That’s the only thing I can do.

I can change.

Or not.

I mean.

What is wrong with my life?

Do I need to be in a romantic relationship?

Throat strangles with sadness writing last line, note to self, write about that tomorrow morning.

Fuck.

I wrote a lot this morning.

Eight pages?

Yes.

Eight.

Just wrote and wrote and wrote.

Had a nice breakfast, drank some good coffee, wrote, and waited for the date not date to show up.

And the thing that happened is that I got work done that I needed to do.

So.

A gift, the tardiness of another, my powerlessness over others and their actions held true.

What can I do, how can I use my time and not be mad, not be pissed at my friend who was just taking care of stuff that he had to do.

I set up my voicemail for my internship.

I activated my e-mail account.

I set up my phone line.

I read through the employee hand book.

I discovered I have to also pay to get liability insurance, another unknown out-of-pocket school cost, which makes sense, but was a cost I wasn’t expecting.

Anyway.

I’ll be getting a little bit of money back from the financial aid I applied for, most of it goes to paying for my practicum supervisor, but I’ll get a smidgen that will help with my out-of-pocket therapy costs and this insurance and whatever else comes up.

I still have secrets thoughts and desires about getting out-of-town sometime during the three weeks my family I nanny for will be traveling.

I have a $480 ticket voucher and if I hold steady with my expenditures I might be able to pull off a short vacation, four or five days, somewhere the airlines fly.

I had been thinking San Juan Puerto Rico as a friend does a lot of business there, but I’m not sure I can make Puerto Rico work, maybe.

I don’t know.

I do know I have to use the voucher by October.

I also don’t know when I will get the opportunity outside the three weeks in July.

I guess that’s what bothered me the most.

Having set time aside to go on a date, ok, not a date, I wanted it to go my way, on my schedule, so that I could do all the other things I was going to do, like I totally fucking skipped yoga to get ready.

Note to self.

Don’t do that.

Gratefully.

Tomorrow is a holiday and I’m not working and I will go to yoga in the morning and then to lunch with my person and dump my stupid emotional juju ass baggage about dating and being stupid and annoyed with myself and get it off my chest and then go on another date not date for coffee and laugh at myself.

LOUDLY.

Because I am funny and my little plans and designs get nowhere.

Show up, be of service, stop thinking about myself.

And life will be just fine.

It already is.

I have fucking luxury problems.

Dating is a total luxury problem, I am alive, sober, housed, clothed, fed.

In other words, totally fucking taken care of.

So what?

I have problems in areas I used to never have.

I am lucky.

I am graced.

I am happy, motherfucking free, and joyous.

Most of the time.

And when I am sad or in self-pity or whatever it is, I’m more important than you and your agenda and needs, I see that I am not in humility and gratitude and I can change.

I can awaken.

I can say.

How may I serve, how may I help.

And take the motherfucking focus off myself.

That usually does the trick.

So me and my luxury problems are going to have a nice fucking day tomorrow going to yoga, getting to go to lunch with one of my most loved humans in the entire world, coffee with a friend, a gathering of fellows, some get right with God, and that’s my day.

Or not.

I can’t make plans to save my life.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring.

I certainly don’t.

Obviously.

 

Ooh La La

May 19, 2017

Je suis fatigue.

I am tired.

I was up at 6 a.m.

I couldn’t sleep.

Oh.

I tried.

But gave up the goose around 6:20 a.m.

I popped up and decided to head out to a spot over by the Arc de Triomphe to see some fellows this morning at 8 a.m.

I arrived with plenty of time and was able to grab a quick cafe creme at Comptoir de L’Arc, a little cafe I got turned on to by a friend when I lived here four and a half years ago.

And!

I got a message from that friend today, she’s going to be in town for a quick visit and we are going to meet up at a spot tomorrow with a few other fellows, hang out, do the deal, and go to some French fellowship after.

I am super excited.

I may be super exhausted, but I’m going to sleep when I’m dead.

Or.

Perhaps after I write my blog.

I really did make a big run on the day.

Up so early I felt like I got a scandalous amount of things done today.

One of which has been on my list of things to do in Paris that I never quite got to the last few times I was here.

I went to Marche Aux Enfants Rouge this morning after doing the deal.

I bought cherries and Belle Pomme de Boskop!

My favorite apples in Paris, I believe that they come from Belgium, but they are the apples I used to buy at the market at Square D’Anvers when I lived next to it.

I took my booty to the park nearby, Parc du Temple, sat on a bench and watched the children play in the playground and the ducks paddle about in the pond.

It was spectacular.

Quiet.

Serene.

I had a moment, a Paris moment, and I almost laughed out loud, this, this sitting still on a park bench in a quiet park, off the beaten tourist track, in a sweet neighborhood in the 3rd Arrondisement, may have been one of the highlights of my trip.

It was so serene.

Sometimes a girl has to fly around the world to sit still.

I’m sure I’ll have other opportunities to sit still, although perhaps not tomorrow, as a friend and I are heading to Clingancourt early, but I will give it a shot.

Speaking of friends.

There is nothing, and I mean, nothing quite like bumping into a friend at random in the Marais.

It was amazingly serendipitous.

We walked all over the Marais, chatted, caught up, window shopped.

And.

Ha!

I got my Paris sweatshirt!

Except.

Heh.

It’s not exactly a sweatshirt.

It’s so much better.

And.

It’s so damn me.

It’s a pink satin bomber jacket that I got to have custom patches put on it.

There’s one on the right arm that says Rue Cambon, 1st Arr.

Rue Cambon is where all the fashion house are.

And.

The patch on the back.

Rue de Mauvais Garçon, 3rd Arr.

Literal translation:

Street of the Bad Boys.

Yeah.

I will run with that.

I haven’t had an impulse buy like that in some time and with that I am pretty tapped to with my spending.

I have gotten all my booty and then some.

In fact.

I am a shopped out, museum’ed out, and just about walked out.

My ankle is holding up and I am super glad I go the walking shoes, and I have been careful to not push too hard.

I can easily go too hard too fast.

Which is why I am very happy that I took time today to sit down and watch ducks for a while.

And despite being tired, which frankly makes it harder for me to speak French when my brain isn’t running on a full nights sleep, I got wonderful compliments about my French several times today, and many times over the course of my time here.

I was told by one person that my French was so pretty and where was I from.

He was shocked when I told him that I was from the states.

“But you have no American accent!”

Thank God.

Not that I’m not happy I’m where I’m from, but it does help tremendously to not have the American accent, there is much that is disparaged here about America and sometimes, well, it’s just nice to slide under the radar.

Not that I slide very far under the radar.

I am still quite noticeable in Paris.

I have tattoos you know.

But.

It’s also nice to be recognized.

I had dinner again at a little place by the Musee D’Orsay on Rue de Bac called Cocorico.

The waiter waved me to the table I had last night, the owner came over and chatted with me and we talked about where I was from, again, surprised that I was from America, with my lack of accent, about me being on vacation, that today I was tired, but happy to be eating in her lovely restaurant.

She asked me what I had been doing and I told her, walking and museums and then I told her about the show at the Orangerie and the amazing installation there and she got excited and said she was going to go.

It was a super treat to be chatted with in such a manner, I’m not a local, but I wasn’t treated like a tourist.

She bought my cafe creme for me and when I went to leave she asked my name, “Carmen,” I said, “comme l’Opera.”

Carmen, like the opera.

“Enchante,” she replied, ” je m’appelle Odette.”

I told her it was such a pleasure to meet her and that I was so happy to enjoy her delicious food and I wished her a good night and a good weekend.

I floated out the door.

It’s the little things.

I felt very special.

Thank you Paris for dressing me up in pink satin jackets and making me feel noticed and loved.

It means the world.

It really does.

Nocturne

May 18, 2017

Just out of a super hot shower and swaddled in blankets tucked away in the prow of the sleeping quarters on the houseboat listening to Chopin.

It is sweet and dreamy and all things rainy night in Paris.

I am finally not wet and cold.

It rained.

It poured.

It was a deluge.

I had Mike Doughty’s “Sad Girl Walking in the Rain” stuck in my head for hours.

However.

I was not sad.

I was dreamy.

I was bemused.

I was looking at all the things.

I was seeing the poetry in the wet cobblestones.

In the unexpected flair of a red rain poncho covering an old man as he pedaled his bicycle along the Seine.

I saw the heavy-headed peonies, blushing pink and sweet underneath the floral shop awning, drowsed with rain and nodding on their pale green stems.

I smelled roses, drunk with rain and walked underneath flowering chestnut trees.

I got wet.

Oh.

I got so wet.

Drenched.

Doused.

Soaked.

And yet.

My heart felt light and I strode along the avenues, occasionally lost and adrift in the details of the weather and in the welter of my soul as it beat against my rib cage, sometimes it lives there, underneath my heart, just behind my rib cage, a plummeting bird singing a song, sad and melancholic, beautiful and lyric and like the timpani softly chiming it sings a song just to me.

I was not sad.

I was not melancholic.

I was steered toward that direction once or twice when the rain seemed to overtake me and my feet got wet, but the lightness in me kept me warm.

I was surprised to find, when I finally took shelter in a cafe bistro, that my hands were so cold from clasping the umbrella handle that I could not bend my fingers properly.

I had a quiet dinner in a small bistro on Rue de Bac.

Roast chicken and roasted vegetables, sweet and savory in their juices, a Comte cheese plate with a simple mixed green salad and a few drops of balsamic vinaigrette, a small bottle of Perrier, and a cafe creme.

I sat and almost became melancholic and I can feel a sad story trying to escape my heart and perhaps it is just the poesies of the art I saw earlier still nestled there, but I did not let myself drift there.

You are not alone in Paris having dinner you are with yourself and your company is lovely.

I sat and looked at the rain falling outside, the umbrella stand tilted over, heavy with parpluies, the round wooden bistro chairs tucked underneath tables, more peonies and pink roses on the bar, the old man who tumbled by underneath a large yellow and red and blue golf umbrella, chased by the rain towards home, I presume.

I tasted the cafe creme and once caught my own eye in the long mirror to my side and thought, who is that beauty?

Oh.

Ha.

It’s me.

And that made me, for a moment soften and sadden for all those times when my company was not enough for me, not knowing how rich and good it is, and I longed for another and there was no other and I was alone in Paris eating my steak tartar in a bistro years ago somewhere in the 9th arrondissement in the rain.

Oh.

Paris in the rain, you can be so sad and lonely.

Or.

You can shine with lustre like a rare pearl, polished in the fiery embers of the red lights reflected in the wet street pavement.

I am never alone when I am with Paris.

We are lovers.

Yes.

My own secret language of dreams, and do you really wonder why I have it tattooed on my chest, dream, in French, that is.

I saw you as I walked back to the house boat after my lovely well curated little meal, a single swan in the Seine, in the rain, long graceful neck slightly curved beneath the weight of the glory of being its own perfect self.

Perhaps I too am like that.

In moments here and there.

In the light that reflects from the raindrops, in the light that is cast from the bateaux mouche as they traverse the river up and down, constantly ferrying souls to and fro.

There are times I am lonely.

Yet.

I am never alone.

Unfettered and loved.

I am here.

I am there.

I am in the notes of revery between the keys on the piano, the soft hand strikes the ivory and music resonates, pearling into the air about me like staccato raindrops on the roof of the houseboat.

And so.

I go forward.

Warm now.

Sheltered from the rain.

But not quite a part from it.

As it, like the music, like the painting that blew my heart out in the Musee L’Orangerie today, blew it out, devoured it, rendered it changed and altered and smashed my face with soft tears that drifted shamelessly down my face, awestruck in the face of such grace, is now ground into me.

The rain.

The poetry.

The Chopin.

The art.

The city.

A swan of desire upon my fevered face.

I shall not forget soon.

No.

I shall not.

This blasphemous joy.

Let’s Go Out in The Sunshine

May 15, 2017

But before I do.

Let me write my morning pages on the deck of the houseboat and eat a plum.

In my long black, sleeveless dress with my bare feet (well, one bare foot, my right ankle was still wrapped up in its Ace bandage) up on a wooden deck chair.

Still need to rest my ankle when and where I can.

It’s not nearly as bad, but I can tell when it starts to get cranky and then, it’s time to sit, rest, let it go, not push too hard.

I have sat far more this trip than I ever have any prior time here.

I have to say.

It’s damn nice.

I’m not so freaked out that I’m not going to get to have the experiences I want to have.

In fact.

I’m pretty ok with whatever experiences that I continue to have here as they have been simply marvelous.

I will never forget sitting on the deck and drinking coffee and watching the Batobus go by with their tops heavy with tourists.

Not ever.

Nor the way the tree dander floated on the wind along the Seine as I walked the river this afternoon perusing the book sellers.

I picked up a couple of really great postcards and had some nice chats with vendors.

I walked from the houseboat down past Notre Dame and had lunch on Ile St. Louis.

I finally got the crappy Paris service that folks complain about, but I also recognize that I perhaps went too long before having my lunch.

Sometimes the walking just pulls me along and I have to go another block, see another building, watch another couple entwined around one another.

Paris.

You are so enchanting.

I feel enchanted being here.

Like I am in a fairy tale.

I made up for the crap service at lunch by finding a fabulous cafe on the edge of the Marais with bright blue chairs and red tables and had the most fabulous lemonade I have ever had.

And.

A cafe creme.

When in Paris.

ALL THE CAFE CREME PLEASE!

It’s my splurge.

The lemonade was so tart it made my whole face pucker, it had no sugar, which is right up my alley, since I don’t do sugar, but the crushed ice and the big sprig of mint made it a savory, refreshing and delicious.

Sitting in the sunshine didn’t hurt either.

After some slow sipping and sitting I wandered the Marais.

And.

Yes.

Yes, I did.

I hit the fucking jackpot.

I found a papeterie that carried a ton of Claire Fontaine notebooks.

I bought six.

Heh.

I am a very, very, very happy girl.

I also swung into Abraxas Tattoo.

Yes.

I will be getting another tattoo.

You know.

That’s what I do.

I will be going in Wednesday at 3:30p.m.

I will probably do a big swing through the Pompidou prior to getting the tattoo.

I am getting Anticonformiste in script on my left forearm.

A visiting tattoo artist from Nepal, Manish, super kind and we had a great chat about when I was going to come in and what I wanted, will be doing the work for me.

I expect that the tattoo won’t take but an hour.

So I may do the Pompidou after.

But the Pompidou I will do.

Tomorrow I will start the museum circuit.

I have the four-day museum pass and Saturday I have plans to go with a friend to Clingancort on Saturday and well, Sunday, I fly home.

But let’s not talk about Sunday yet.

Today is just Monday.

So.

Back to the Marais, back to my strolls.

Oh.

The reminds me, since I’ll be in the Marais again on Wednesday I should pop into the Marche aux Rouge Enfants.

The Market by the Red Children.

It is located by a former orphanage where the children wore red coats.

Thus the name.

It is a gigantic food market.

Closed on Mondays, so no journeying though the stalls, but it will be open on Wednesday.

I am feeling that is where I will be getting my lunch and maybe taking it to Place Vosges to eat before getting inked up.

Not a plan, but a thought, I make no plans, they melt away, I am just letting myself really experience Paris.

Walking through the Marais I also swung into a couple of stores and yes, I found the perfect black sundress.

Superb!

I am very happy to have found it, not too pricey, 59 Euro, and my goal of finding a dress in Paris is complete.

It almost never happens that fast.

In one day I found my dress, all my postcards, put a deposit down on a new tattoo, and got Claire Fontaine notebooks!

I am set.

I want for nothing.

The rest is icing on the cake.

Tomorrow I will start the round of museums and get the Paris Museum Pass activated by going to the D’Orsay.

The Orangerie is closed, so I might pop into the Louvre as well, there is a Vermeer exhibition happening that I would love to see.

No pressure to do the Louvre in entirety, not that I could, it is so enormous, I can’t even express it, over two city block long, two wings of art, each wing having four floors, there is no way I will ever see everything in the Louvre, ever.

Not that I need to either, I have seen the things that I want and even the infamous, and tiny, Mona Lisa, but the big draws are always too much for me to deal with, too many people, I like the smaller rooms and galleries.

But the Vermeer looks like a really good show, so definitely I will go to that.

Plus.

I know the “secret” entrance to the Louvre in the Tuilleries that helps to skip the massive lines that are the queue for the entrance under the I M Pei Pyramid.

So.

Just a quick zip in and out.

And no agenda.

Really.

I am so happy to be here and I am having a fabulous time.

Really relaxing and slowing down and enjoying the delicious sun and the walking and the houseboat and the cafe creme.

Heh.

Always that.

Bon soir mes amies.

A demain.

Trop grosse bixous!

A Long Strange Day

May 12, 2017

But.

I’m here.

Whew.

It took a minute.

I have been in transit for a long time and it’s nice to finally be situated, although I won’t be here but the night.

I am at Mama Shelter, 109 Rue de Bagnolet, and happy to have finally figured out the internet, and gotten myself fed and sorted out.

I had an unexpected delay at Charles de Gaulle that threw me for about two hours.

My flight got in right on time, which is awesome, since my first flight had to stay aloft for 40 minutes to be cleared for landing and that meant a sprint, well, a fast hobble, to my connecting flight, which I made, but yes, heh, I broke a sweat to get to.

Yeesh.

I also got a bright orange card to wave at everyone I ran through to get to the gate, I don’t know how I did it, I just did, up and down a couple of escalators, on a train, through the crowds at Heathrow and I made it just as they closed the gate, I was allowed on and even got to bring on my carry one, which technically for the size of the plane was too big.

I got through customs quickly and I got a quirky smile from the French security when he saw my tattoo and got waved quickly in.

Then.

It happened.

On my way to purchase the Museum Pass–pro-tip to any one traveling to Paris, buy the Museum Pass at the airport.  You can buy it at the museum you go to, but you have to stand in line, which is a pain, and the whole point of getting the pass is to not stand in line.

So.

I see my trusted Banque de Postale, which is where I traditionally pulled money from when I lived here and inserted my card.

And it got denied.

I lost my breath.

I got faint of heart.

Hmm.

Maybe I asked for more than my limit.

I tried again.

Transaction denied.

Fuck me.

I started to panic.

I was hot and cold all at the same time.

I had set my travel alert, it should have been able to allow me access to my funds.

Fortunately I got myself together enough to sit down and pull out my laptop and log into the WiFi at Charles de Gaulle and I saw, yup, “suspicious activity” reported on my account and I had to call the bank.

Fuck my mother.

I had the hardest time dialing out.

I finally got some assistance from a very sweet woman at the information desk and together we figured out how to place the long distance, COLLECT, call to my bank.

I am scared to see what my phone bill is going to be, I was on and off hold for ever.

I was finally able to get through to a live person who rectified everything, assured me I would be able to use my card and sent me back to the Banque de Postale to use my card.

And.

Motherfucker.

It was denied again.

I was going to melt into the floor and dissolve into tears.

I did not.

I rallied.

I also noted I was getting marked by a pick pocket, so I gathered myself, looked him in the eye and made sure he was aware that I was aware that he was casing me.

He skulked off and not a minute later a cop strolled by.

I got back on the phone with my bank, more holding, more transfers, three different service people and finally, FINALLY, they over rode the system so that I could use my card.

I kept the woman on the phone with me until I had successfully made a withdrawal, thanked her profusely and then promptly went and bought myself an iced coffee.

Then I went to the Toursime desk and purchased a four-day museum pass.

It’s the first time I bought the four-day one.

I am going to get my museum on people.

I said, screw the train, I’m over it, I had planned on being settled at my hotel and out strolling the neighborhood for a few hours, not stuck at the airport, so I hopped a cab.

And.

Hahahaha.

Got stuck in rush hour traffic.

ARGH.

It’s funny now, but at the time I was just like really, REALLY?

Enough already.

Then.

I just breathed.

I am ok, I have money, I am in a taxi, I’ll get to the hotel, I will brush my teeth and wash and put on some perfume and go have a nice meal.

And that’s exactly what I did.

I ask the super sweet, super friendly front desk guy what his favorite place was in the neighborhood and he directed me to this sweet little bistro Blaise et Brasil.

I had a salmon tartar.

Veloute avec chou (silky smooth cauliflower soup with truffle oil and crisped kale).

Fromage, (cheese plate with greens) two kinds, a Gruyère and another I don’t know what it was, but I made a very happy face eating it.

A bottle of Perrier.

And a cafe creme.

Heaven.

Welcome back baby.

I probably won’t be able to sleep for having had a coffee at 10 p.m.

But fuck it.

I’m in Paris and it felt really good to sit and eat and watch the people walking by and the patrons in the cafe.

I spoke French in totality and in fact, was able to make a funny joke with the table next to me as the waitress brought them my bill and not theirs that I really appreciated the kindness of strangers.

It was sweet.

And I feel settled now.

Writing this certainly helped, it always does.

It is just a damn good way to process all the stuff that happened and help me see, with perspective and humor that I am fine and things happen and I get to roll with it and still be grateful.

Hell my cabbie dropped my fare by 7 Euro when he dropped me off.

Of course, he also gave me his phone number, so maybe he had an ulterior motive, but it was sweet, we were stuck in traffic for close to an hour, I was grateful.

And now.

Well.

I am going to try to get a little rest.

I know.

There’s not much for the wicked.

But.

I shall try.

Bon soiree mes amies!

Bisoux.

 

 


%d bloggers like this: