Posts Tagged ‘cafe’

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.

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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.

 

 

Number One

April 25, 2017

It’s official.

I have logged my first hour of supervision towards my MFT License for the state of California.

Only 2,999 to go!

Heh.

I’m so happy it’s hard to believe that I could be this excited about having to work so many more hours, free, mind you, or not free if you consider how much I have taken out in student loans to pay for the Master’s in Psychology degree that I am working on, but excited I am.

I also just set up my Track My Hours account, which is a BBS (Board of Behavioral Sciences) approved way of tracking the hours needed to get the license.

It’s happening.

I will be tracking solo supervision with my off site supervisor, once a week.

I met with him today and we talked about being in service to the client, tracking my hours, figuring out what my record keeping was going to be like, confidentiality, my time off for the week I’m in Paris (I can only miss two supervision dates for the semester, Paris will be one of them and Burning Man the other, at least for this semester), and what I want to think about or questions I may have for our next session.

I’ll meet with him two more times before I start taking clients at my internship.

There I will be accruing the majority of my hours for practicum, solo one on one client hours, child hours, couple hours, group hours.

I will also be tracking my own therapy hours, since my program requires I do 50 hours of personal therapy with a licensed MFT as well.

Tomorrow will be my fifth time meeting with her.

I am actually excited to share about getting my first hour of supervision today and what that feels like.

Exciting.

Exhilarating.

Happy.

There’s a very long way to go but I know that I need to acknowledge this milestone, it is a big one, my first hour.

It’s like the first dollar of a new business.

Especially as this is going to be my career, this is what I am doing, this is what I am, a psychotherapist.

I will be licensed and I will have a private practice.

I will also go for my PhD, because, well, I can be of more service in my community, I might as well, as my supervisor at my internship is supporting me in that endeavor.

And.

Ha.

Dr. Martines has a really fucking nice ring to it.

Don’t you think?

I’m really thrilled right now and happy.

I still have loads to do this week, two more papers to write, some more work to get out-of-the-way, but it’s happening, this is happening, one little hour at a time.

One day at a time.

Showing up and suiting up and learning.

God damn.

All the learning.

I also received a verification e-mail from my Couples Therapy teacher, my final paper made it to him.

Grateful that’s out-of-the-way.

And I got a small present, from me, to me, in the mail.

My perfume in a small travel size that I can take with me when I go to Paris.

I ordered it because I knew I would want to smell good when I’m there and it’s another little carrot for me to get the work done so I can go.

I am going to need every single second of that ten days in Paris because life is going to get really full once I get back.

I start my internship the day after I return from Paris.

I will be jet lagged as fuck, but I will be there.

I will also be in supervision that day as well, and a full day of work, and all those things.

I however will be fine.

Ten days in Paris.

So close I can taste it.

I can hear it.

I was talking to my supervisor today about it, he asked where I’m staying, how much French do I speak, what will I do.

I mean.

What won’t I do?

But first.

Here and now.

Therapy in the morning and work and having a conversation with the mom about hours for summer, the kids will not be in school and she wants me to start earlier.

And work more hours.

40 instead of 35.

I’ll be able to do it since won’t be in school.

Neither here nor there, yet.

Just on the horizon.

Day to-day I have my marching orders to get through what needs to be taken care of.

Travel perfume.

Check.

Passport.

Check.

Cute sandals for walking around Paris?

Check.

Place to stay?

Check.

I’ll be grabbing a museum pass at the airport when I fly in and I’ll be off and running, well, walking, one strolls through Paris, not runs, unless one is there to run the marathon, which I am not.

The only marathon I am going to be doing is how many museums can I get to in one day.

If done well, I can get the Jeu de Paume, the Orangerie, and the D’Orsay in one day, they’re all rather close together and accessible.

I can do the Louvre, or not, although if I have the pass I probably will, in one day, and there’s so much that to do anything else except drink coffee, is probably too much.

I’ll do the Pompidou on its own.

I’ll hit the Musee Moderne and the Palais de Tokyo on the same day, they’re right next to each other.

I might go to the Rodin museum.

I will absolutely get myself out to the LVMH that Frank Gehry designed.

And I think I may hit the Musee Marmottan Monet.

Aside from that, walks in the Marais, markets, and Claire Fontaine notebooks.

Oh.

Heh.

And a tattoo.

I will want to do that too.

Perhaps something to commemorate my first hour of supervision.

Yes.

I rather like that idea.

Anyway.

Off to have some tea and get a little rest.

I have much to do.

And do it I shall.

HOUR ONE LOGGED!

Heh.

Sorry.

Just had to say it one more time before I turn in.

It’s kind of a big deal.

 

Sexy Got Her Homework On

March 27, 2017

And her yoga on.

But not her sex on.

Well.

Not true.

I took care of business after my second yoga class today.

Yes.

I said that, two yoga classes today.

I have never done that before.

It’s not that big a deal and at the same time, it sort of was.

I went to my normal 9 a.m. Sunday morning class and got a very good sweat on and proceeded to watch my entire day change in the span of a few text messages.

When I got back from my yoga class I got a cancellation then after I got out of my shower and was getting my breakfast ready, my coffee date cancelled.

So.

I sent a lover a message.

And.

Nope.

NO response.

That kind of day.

So.

I got to do extraordinary amounts of self-care.

Which was needed and much cleaning and house hold attending.

And.

Cooking and grocery shopping.

This next few weeks is going to be busy.

I will be working two weeks straight for the family, the dad will be leaving Thursday for a business trip out-of-town so I will be working next Saturday and Sunday.

It’s actually going to be three weeks of work and school before I have another weekend off.

It’s going to be intense.

So I’m grateful I had today all to myself.

I was good company.

I took some extra time this morning for my writing and I made myself the most delicious coconut/almond milk latte and decided to just let the day unfold and not worry about anything.

I knew I also had to get a paper written for my Trauma class, my step-father made it into a paper this go around, and do cooking and food prep.

But I didn’t force myself or stress.

I just took each moment as its own little exquisite experience.

I washed all my bedding and did two loads of laundry, even washed the rugs in the bathroom, and swept, vacuumed, washed, polished, and cleaned my whole house.

It looks so nice.

I also went grocery shopping for two weeks of food.

I will probably have to re-up on fresh fruit, but I have enough coffee, eggs, oatmeal, brown rice, almond milk, organic carrots, frozen blueberries, and prepared food to get me through the weeks to come.

I roasted a chicken today and I made jambalaya.

I froze the majority of it and canned the rest of the chicken soup I had leftover from last week.

I have meals for days and I feel happy to have dealt with it.

I didn’t leave the neighborhood.

Although I did take my scooter to the Safeway on Balboa to get my groceries.

I wasn’t going to take it further, I knew there was going to be one more episode of rain and sure enough, there was, but not before I had run all the errands I needed to do and the next week and a half looks like sunshine.

That is going to be super helpful, I have my first therapy session with my new therapist Tuesday before work and I have an appointment to see my advisor at school Thursday before work.

The before work, work begins.

In actuality, I realize, it began already last week, I have been doing things before work for the last couple of weeks since the last school weekend.

Which reminds me, I need to swing by the post office before work in the morning and pick up a package.

I think work is going to be pretty busy, not just with working next weekend, but also, its Spring Break for the kiddos, which means I won’t have reading time for school work.

I feel like I’m ok though, I have done a lot of the Couple’s Therapy reading already, finished all my Trauma reading and I wrote my Trauma paper today.

I had some push back on it.

I realize I have been having some feelings of, “over it,” move along, I’m tired of this stuff.

It can get exhausting looking at the trauma minefields in my life history and how I got through some seemingly unscathed, but the patterns of the things I did to survive stay with me, little bombs of shrapnel on my psyche that explode without warning and leave me tired on the side of the road picking the stuff out of the pockets of my emotions.

“I feel brutalized,” I was telling my person yesterday at Tart to Tart, that place has seen a lot of my tears, about an incident that happen last week and how I felt and why I was angry.

We did a lot of work around it and I got some very good suggestions and I took them, I’m still taking them, I will keep taking them as the days move forward.

I hadn’t realized how much I was carrying until I said out loud that I felt brutalized and that it reminded me, I later saw, of my step-father and my mom and some stuff that happened to me growing up.

All the things that happened growing up.

Glad I start therapy on Tuesday, Jesus fuck.

Of course, under the lens of my graduate school work, of course, a lot of stuff is going to come up, the pot just keeps getting stirred and things pop to the surface, so when I sat down to write my paper I realized just how much I didn’t want to write it and I let myself start out that way.

And.

Five pages and 1,562 words later.

I was finished.

In fact.

I finished it so fast that I realized I could go to the restorative yoga class tonight at my studio.

Yes, I had already practiced today, but the restorative is really meditative and relaxing and it’s not about getting a work out, it’s about being in your body and supporting different parts of it that don’t typically get support or rest.

It was just so what I needed.

I came home, lit some candles, checked my messages, saw nothing from anyone, and said, well, I’ll just take care of me and took care of me.

I am actually a little surprised that I had so much sexual energy today, I just finished my period yesterday, but as I am getting older I can tell that sometimes it comes out in different ways energetically.

I also had some fodder for fantasy running around my head that I just let myself have.

I could say it was counter transference from the work I did today, which is another entire blog and far to clinical for me to delve into here.

Or.

I could just say.

After getting flowers, a home cooked dinner, and a restorative yoga class I was just in a yummy, dreamy space.

And I let myself go there too.

Yes.

Thank you self-care Sunday.

You rocked.

Ready for the next weeks work.

Bring it on.

Carmen, Let’s Not

December 22, 2016

Talk about it.

“It makes me sad to think about it,” he sighed and leaned into me.

I had just chased him down from the kitchen to the dining room into the living room where we collapsed on the leather couch by the Christmas tree.

He was full of wiggles and silliness, but underneath was far more sorrowful than I had even realized.

“The Santa in the van bag,” he said looking at the back of the Christmas tree, “that’s from you, isn’t it.”

“Yes, doll, it is, but you have to wait until Christmas day, but yes you guessed right, there’s a present in that bag for you and one for your brother,” I said and stroked his hair.

“Are you really going to be done on Friday,” he asked me.

“Yes, my sweet boy, I am, that is my last day,” I answered him, my heart swelling up.

I have said many good byes over the years to my charges, but most of them, I think, I could be wrong, but I think, didn’t realize that I was saying goodbye for good. I have not had the experience of being with older kids, older, ha, 6.5 years old and 4.5 years old, still so sweet and young (although completely dastardly about the potty talk, my God, little boys like to talk about poo, I had an idea, but shit, hahahahaha, pun intended, they do!) and so tender, but so much more cognizant of what is happening to them and around them.

“Carmen, I don’t want to talk about it, it just makes me sad to think about it, I’m going to cry when you leave,” he said looking at the Christmas tree and holding my hand.

OH MY GOD.

Child, you are breaking my heart.

I seriously do not know how I wasn’t a slobbering mess on the couch.

I mean.

Oof.

So much love and bitter sweetness, this saying goodbye.

I won’t lie, there’s also a part of me that is ready for the next adventure, I am, but I am also having all the feels.

Every damn one of them.

I have gotten, with both boys, this past week, to have quiet moments with each of them that have just blown my heart to smithereens.

Reading and cuddle time with the littlest and though has officially phased out of the nap stage, he still gets awful cozy around quiet time and just wants to cuddle on my lap and read stories.

I am super grateful that I have had this last week with them, pretty uninterrupted with other jobs, school, or life stuff.

Oh.

Life stuff is still happening, but I have gotten to work full-time hours with the boys, breakfast to dinner the last three days and though occasionally a goofy handful, there’s not really been tempter tantrums or drama.

Knock on wood.

Tomorrow and Friday I will have short days with them.

Tomorrow I go in early and I’m just edging into up past my bed time with my early start, but I had to write, not having written last night.

My blog got laid.

Ahem.

And so I had to write tonight.

I don’t like taking too much time off from it, and though the lack of sleep my affect me a bit, I’ll be out early as well.

The mom is taking the boys to A Charlie Brown Christmas matinée at the San Francisco Symphony.

I”ll do breakfast, a dash out to the park, lunch, baths probably and then get the boys dressed up in their finest.

Their finest is pretty fucking cute too.

Little velvet blazers.

Ugh.

Adorable.

And, AND, bow ties.

I mean.

Seriously, the cute factor is off the hook.

So I’ll be out by 1:30 p.m.

I have a meeting with my person and then a bit of free time before doing the deal.

I’m thinking that once I finish up with my person I will head over to Folsom and 14th, right around the corner from Rintaro.

I’m not going to go eat high-end Japanese street food, although there’s always  a desire to eat good like that all the time, it’s pretty outside the box as far as what I want to drop money wise on food.

No.

I’m not going to be grabbing a bite.

Rather.

I discovered a new Thai Massage place that had just opened and it had a bunch of grand opening specials listed on the chalk board outside the store front.

Including a free ten minute hot/dry sauna.

Oh yes, I’d like that please and thank you.

I’m thinking that I’ll book myself a massage for Friday after my last day with the boys.

I’m getting out early on Friday as well.

I think by 1 p.m.

The boys and I will do breakfast, maybe go to the park, but secretly I think I will take them to Ritual Coffee and get a last latte with them and get them little steamed milks or hot chocolates and we’ll sit on the big carved ship bench parklet in front of the cafe and play pirates.

Then the house, one last lunch with my monkeys and then they, lucky boys, are going to a private showing of Star Wars at the Roxie Theater in the Mission with a friend and classmate whose mum rented the theater for his birthday.

Nice birthday party if you can get it.

Heh.

I was, at first, a little upset that our last day was going to be cut short.

Then.

I had a change in perspective and got really grateful.

What better way to leave?

On a happy note, saying goodbye may make the boys a little sad, but hey, they’ll be heading shortly thereafter to Star Wars on the big screen.

That should provide a little distraction.

And.

It’s not a final goodbye, they will be in my lives, probably more so than many of my past charges, as the new family I work for attends their school.

I will get to see them and hug them and watch them grow bigger.

“You’ll visit us though, right?”  He asked, worriedly taking my hand, “please visit us, as much as you can.”

Oh bunny.

“Yes, as much as I can, I won’t be leaving your life, I promise,” I hugged him and though I teared up, I did not cry.

Saved that up for right now.

Parting is such sweet sorrow.

That I shall say goodnight.

Till it be morrow.

Much Better Now

November 5, 2016

I opted out of dancing tonight.

I opted out of a girl’s dinner.

I just wanted to go home.

It was a long day.

LONG.

It was a hard day at work and despite wanting to process the shit out of it here, it’s not my business to share.

Suffice to say it’s been a challenging week and I’m super grateful it’s done.

I went to do the deal after work and just felt at peace, sitting in a folding chair in a church and listening.

Sharing.

Letting go.

Solution is not trying to figure out what I need to do next, it’s just doing the next thing in front of me.

And despite wanting to socialize a little, I really just wanted to come home.

Yes.

I know.

It’s called isolation.

I just needed to recoup myself from the week.

I will go fellowship tomorrow night.

I will.

I already promised myself that I would.

And I really like the spot that folks go to on Saturday night after my thing with the people who got that problem like, wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

They head up to Brenda’s, a soul food place with fried chicken and grits and lemon pie on saltines cracker crusts.

I can’t eat much.

But I did have a damn nice bowl of red beans and rice with andouille sausage last week.

And.

Conversation and lightness and sweetness.

Which I need.

I do also have a date tomorrow.

I know.

Like I said.

Word got out I have a membership to the MOMA.

He messaged me last week while I was people watching in the cafe and sipping my coffee.

I agreed to a date for the following Saturday, which is tomorrow.

I’m not real hopeful, to tell the truth.

Not to be pessimistic, it’s just that I don’t see it as sustainable.

He doesn’t live in town.

Story of my mother fucking life.

Ha.

Albeit, he’s not super far away, 22 miles, 25 miles, where the fuck is Menlo Park anyway.

Anyway, he works in San Francisco, thus the connect, so I figured, oh, just fucking practice, just go out.

I could have gone out tonight, I could be dancing right now, but I did, I did, I did, just needed to come home, to take a scalding hot shower, to take care of myself, to let the week slide of my shoulders and down the drain.

Sometimes it’s easier for me to commit to going out on a Saturday then it is a Sunday, I’m realizing this, as I write, maybe that’s what I will suggest, next time let’s make plans for Saturday.

I’m not so beat from the work week.

I realized today too.

I have been working more hours than I did last semester.

The new family that I split my time with has asked me fairly consistently to work an extra hour here, and extra half hour there.

Mondays I work 9 1/2 hours to 10 hours.

I’ve been working more, of course I am a little more tired.

And I have not gotten as much reading done as I need to do.

But I’m not here to beat myself up.

Yes.

There’s some hulking big papers on the horizon and I sort of don’t give a fuck.

I’ll write them, I’ll get a bit anxious, and then I’ll do the work, like I always do.

Always.

I have two papers due for the next round of classes.

One I will write on Sunday.

The other I will write next Saturday and Sunday–it’s a big one and will probably take me two days to kick through it.

Which is fine.

I will have a clear weekend and another week to knuckle down on the reading.

Tomorrow is probably my last day to have any “free time.”

I’m going to get up and do my morning routine and writing.

I am going to scooter to my nail place and get a manicure.

I’ll go on my MOMA coffee date and see what happens.

Depending on timing I may go grocery shopping before I hit up my 7p.m. commitment.

I really don’t think the date will go that long.

I’m not trying to jinx it either, just, I don’t have expectations.

Which means I won’t have resentments.

Fingers crossed.

I don’t resent my decision tonight either.

Both offers, the dinner and the dancing were last-minute invites.

I hadn’t made plans to do anything tonight, so it wasn’t like I committed and now I’m feeling sorry for myself.

Nope.

Happy to be home listening to my G. Love and Special Sauce.

Because sometimes I need to go back in the day.

I had an ex-boyfriend in my early twenties who was a huge G. Love fan.

He introduced me to them and once in a while he would amuse the hell out me singing about his “baby’s got sauce,” it always made me laugh.

I was with him for five years.

Longest relationship of my life.

And it’s been a long time since.

It’s still hard for me to believe that.

I can allow that to make me sad.

Or.

I can celebrate all the wild and winsome adventures I have gotten to have because I was able to go, sure, I can go to Burning Man.

Paris.

Rome.

New York.

Los Angeles.

Sure.

Let me have that adventure.

I’m down for a road trip.

A side trip.

A walk in the woods, along the creek, underneath the moon or the bright sunshine.

I was riding my scooter home along the park, Golden Gate Park, I always ride home along the park, and I was pondering to myself how I felt.

Did I feel like I was self-sabotaging?

I mean how am I supposed to meet people if I just come home from doing the deal after work on a Friday?

Then I rounded the corner that ends the Pan Handle and begins the long slide of park toward the sea and I saw something glowing through the trees.

What is that?

I looked up.

Is that a kite?

NO!

Oh my God.

It was the moon, a slice, a thick buttery slip of crescent blooming golden buttercup through the pines.

My heart just jumped.

How small my concerns, my worries.

How silly.

When there is a moon like that sailing through the trees.

In the scheme of things me not going out dancing is so small it is fucking laughable.

I take my shit way too serious.

I let the moon glide me home along the road, the mist of the sea rising to meet me as I zipped along, light and joyous and thankful for all that I have.

So much.

So much love.

So much gratitude.

So much.

I have.

It astounds.

Really.

It does.

 

Deleting Photographs

November 3, 2016

Listening to jazz.

Specifically Art Tatum.

The scratchy sound of the needle dragging though the vinyl is succulent and the glow in my cozy, sweet home is warm and inviting.

I’m deleting photographs in waves.

I had over 10,700 on my hard drive.

They have all been safely moved to my external drive and I’m now in the process of deleting them off my laptop.

I have to say it’s challenging.

There’s a tiny part of me that wants to not delete them, what if they didn’t transfer?

But they did.

And the photos are taking up way too much space on my laptop.

It’s been running slow, telling me constantly to delete files, disk is full.

Yeah.

Yeah.

I hear you, I’m working on it computer.

Thanks to my special help, it takes a village, it does, I was able to secure my pix and now, ha!  Now I can take more.

Well.

Not yet.

But soon.

I’m figuring January.

I’ll be flush enough to get a new camera.

I’m not sitting horribly at the moment, but I did buy a ticket to Wisconsin and a ticket to Paris this past month, just paid rent, just wrote the check from my health insurance and bought my mom her birthday present.

I’ll be sending that off tomorrow.

I love sending presents.

I love the idea of seeing someone’s face when they get something I have gotten for them.

I like to give.

I’m a giver.

Shocking.

I know.

When I have been in financial straits I tend to make things, and truth be told, I’m thinking about doing that this year.

I’m not really in straits, I’m just not as flush as I would like.

I’m doing ok and I’m not going to stress, but I was also thinking that I love cooking and it might be nice to make chicken soup for friends at school.

Last year around this time I went over to a friend’s house and cooked food for him for what probably lasted him weeks if not a month while he was going through a challenging time.

Cream of broccoli soup with cheddar cheese and bacon.

And.

Chili with sirloin and three kinds of beans.

Plus a huge pan of cornbread.

It was right around this time, I do remember, it might have actually have been Halloween, I remember there were trick or treaters going around and I used candied corn and bacon, because I roll like that, in the pan of cornbread I made.

I miss baking.

I don’t miss eating it, though I can get nostalgic for it.

But I do miss baking.

Sometimes I wish I could just get all the stuff and bake up a storm like I used to when I lived in Wisconsin.

Sugar cookies with frosting.

Brazil nut toffee.

Popcorn balls.

Fudge.

With and without nuts, but frankly, it’s so much better with nuts.

I miss making cheesecakes and pies, pumpkin pies and apple pies especially at this time of year.

I miss that feeling that, warm, soft glowing feeling that I got as I puttered around my kitchen, mixing and measuring, baking, and kneading, frosting sugar cookies.

I do.

I always get a bit nostalgic for it when I’m heading into the holidays.

The photographs I have been deleting also reminded me of that.

I’m currently in the middle of the 1,000s of photos I took when I lived in Paris.

And I have to say.

Fuck.

I’m a pretty damn good amateur photographer.

There were some really good shots.

And I loved seeing the Paris around Christmas time photographs.

The lights were so gorgeous.

Definitely different from what you see in the states, but they had an allure.

I was also so broke when I lived there, taking pictures was all I could afford to do.

Although I did splurge during the holidays.

Mostly on postage.

I sent my family and friends postcards and Christmas cards from Paris.

I found a photograph of my table, one of my favorite perches at the neighborhood cafe at that was on the same corner where I lived, Rue de Bellefond, in the 9th, Odette and Aime.

I had a glass of water.

A cafe allonge, which is basically an Americano, or a black coffee–I was already skimping on the milk, the cafe cremes were just too pricey.

My notebook.

My bag of pens.

And tons of cards and postcards and stickers from the librairie that was by Square D’Anvers that I made myself a nuisance at.

I couldn’t really afford the pens and paper there, but I would treat myself once in a while, I would buy a card or if I was feeling extravagant, a Claire Fontaine notebook, I would wander the aisles and look at everything.

I was very polite to the owners and once that got used to me and the fact that I always bought something, even if it was tiny, went along way.

Bonjour Madame.

Bonjour.

And I would wile away the time in the aisles longingly caressing the notebooks and smelling the good paper smell.

I love paper.

I love books.

I love, love, love the way they feel and look and well, Paris was a hard place for that luxury when I was living there.

When I went back last Christmas I gave myself carte blanche to buy whatever I wanted to paper wise.

I actually had a challenging time with it for a little while.

Grow up poor and in scarcity, even when there is none, even when I had fat Euro, for me, in my pocket, Euro that was not needing to go to rent or groceries, or god forbid a cafe creme, I had a hard time spending it.

For a few days I was acting as though I couldn’t part with them.

I actually forced myself the first time to buy a notebook at a papeterie my first day there.

Yes, there are paper stores there.

Exclusively paper and pens and auto collants.

STICKERS.

God I love me some stickers.

Shut up.

I did get past it and I did allow a few splurges.

But truth be told.

I could have let myself have more.

That’s a thing.

Letting myself have more.

Nice coffee.

Nice candles.

Nice hair products.

It’s ok to take care of myself.

I still want to give, I do love gifting, there is just something about it, but I also want to let myself have things.

Whether it is an experience, which is usually where I spend my money–traveling.

Or.

A nice pair of pants.

I deserve to have nice things.

I am lovable and worthy of love.

Lest I forget.

And the best thing about the photographs?

They remind me, gently of how far I have come.

When I moved back from Paris three years ago I was broke.

I mean.

I had ten dollars in my wallet.

I have come a long fucking way.

Let me tell you.

And I’m so grateful for the perspective.

And that I documented my experience.

The photographs have been a joy to relive.

Looking forward to making more.

Having more.

Allowing more into my life.

Happy.

Joyous.

And.

Free.

Yes.

Yes, please.

Yes, always.

No Date For You!

September 5, 2016

No soup either.

I chose a pork chop instead.

I was in the middle of class today and I received a text message from tonight’s date regarding where and when to meet.

Um

Uh oh.

Zeitgeist.

Now.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with Zeitgeist, it’s great, lovely picnic tables, outdoor seating, lots of port-a-potties, good location, the Mission and all.

But.

Um.

Yeah.

The last time I was at Zeitgeist I was wasted in the beer garden and well on my way to scoring some blow from my dealer.

I was smoking cigarettes like there was no such thing as lung cancer, or a brighter tomorrow, and over tipping the bartender to over compensate for my lack of self-esteem.

And well.

He was hot, in a beer goggly kind of way.

I haven’t been to Zeitgeist in over a decade.

Seriously.

I am 11.5 years into recovery and I think the last time I was at that bar was a few months before I got sober and put it all down, thank you very much, the dancing on the picnic tables was fun when the weather was warm and the nights were boozy, but no thank you.

But thank you for the offer.

When I responded that Zeitgeist was not an option for me on a first date I got a long, drawn out pause.

I mean.

Let’s get something straight.

If I have a reason to be at a place serving liquor or where there’s drugs and extra curricular activity happening, Burning Man, a concert, a club with a good dj, then I’m all set, I have a reason to be there.

But a date.

Nah.

Meet me at the cafe s’il vous plait.

Bars ain’t no good for me and Zeitgeist doesn’t have any appeal either for music since they don’t do shows there, fuck they don’t need to, they have an outdoor beer garden and you can smoke.

Well, you could the last time I was there, who knows now, regardless, not the place for me.

My potential date quietly and vaguely backed away from the meet up.

I asked for some clarification, not that I gave a shit, you don’t want to hang because I don’t drink, no biggie, you got your heart set on a pitcher of pilsner and a smoke in the beer garden at Zeitgeist on a Labor Day weekend, do it.

He had made a soft ball pitch, underhand, slow pitch, not fast, that maybe he would consider hitting Dolores park.

Which didn’t have much appeal to me, but I could if enticed.

There was no enticement though, again a vague rather back out.

I finished up my day at school.

Hurray for getting through the first weekend intensive of the semester!

And.

I sent a text asking for clarification.

Did he want to meet or not?

The answer was a no.

And like that I was free to go about my day.

We were both congenial in our response and that felt rather adult.

It also reminded me of the things I have been writing about regarding the want to attract an adult male partner.

Sobriety is pretty high on that list, followed closely by not smoking, gainfully employed, self-supporting, age appropriate, local…

I was grateful to turn down the date and be honest about what I want and need.

The first step in manifesting a mate, yeah, I know, hocus pocus, but fuck you, I’m giving it the old college try, all things considered I have manifested stranger–hello three seater Cessna plane ride home from Burning Man this year (you do realize my stuff is still on playa gathering dust as I type), why not a sober mate; is to know what I don’t want.

I don’t want an active drinker, drug user, or cigarette smoker.

I do want someone who is emotionally available, strong, powerful in themselves, aware, intelligent, creative, funny, affectionate, will bring me flowers…

I could go into further detail, but suffice to say, said partner is not going to want to take me to Zeitgeist for my first date.

Nope.

Truth be told, it was nice to have the afternoon to look after myself once school had wrapped up.

I took my time, chatted with a few friends in my cohort–man, I am liking how well I have been getting on with everyone–and slowly took my leave of campus, tucking my books and notebooks into my scooter basket and zoom zipping to the Outer Sunset.

I dropped off my school bag at home and headed back out on my scooter to do some grocery shopping.

I decided to cook myself a nice meal: boneless pork tenderloin pan sauteed in orange and rosemary infused olive oil with tarragon, garlic, sea salt and pepper; accompanied by thinly slice brown butter (ok, ok, it was Earth Balance, but brown butter sounds so much nicer) brussels sprouts, brown mushrooms, and white corn.  I served it over a little bed of brown rice and happily tucked into the deliciousness with some sparkling water.

After that I was a good school girl and read for about an hour and a half.

There is a lot of reading this semester.

A LOT.

And despite wanting to sit it out for a minute, I knew that it would be a better use of my time while I was freshly fed and hydrated and relaxed in my cozy little home, to get in a little reading time.

I do better with retaining the material if I do a half hour to an hour and a half at a time.

More than that and my eyes cross.

I read for a bit over an hour, took a break, then went back and picked up a different book and read for another 30 minutes.

Perfect.

Some hot tea, some blogging, some relaxing.

I’ll watch a little Mr. Robot, have a little snack, a cup of tea, and sleep in tomorrow.

I won’t be setting my alarm for 6:30 a.m.

I will be resting.

I don’t have plans for tomorrow.

Like none.

I suspect I will spend most of my time in the neighborhood.

A walk down to the beach, perhaps.

A long sit in the sun, if the fog lifts, in the back yard.

And.

Yes.

Very likely.

More grad school reading.

But.

Hey.

If you’re a sober male, appropriate age and local.

(non-smoker)

Let me know.

I’m around.

And.

I like coffee.

You?

While Not A Disaster

March 10, 2016

It was not the date I was hoping for.

Oh well.

I acted with integrity.

I was nice.

I engaged and I knew pretty much from the first minute it was a no go.

Despite that.

I was courteous, polite, funny, I showed up and I had a date.

I am dating.

Not anyone in particular, obviously, and I turned down the second date ask, it was not going to happen and I was not going to even sugar coat it with a maybe.

I just replied thank you for coming out and I really appreciate the effort, he came from West Oakland and on my time frame–I’m heading into a long school weekend and my weekend will not be for dating–but no thank you.

Nice and succinct.

I got a nice reply back and then.

Ugh.

A barrage of text messages.

Hey.

Look, listen, and learn.

Nobody owes anyone anything.

It’s nice to meet and talk and get to know someone, but hell, people, we all know when we’re not attracted to someone and despite my atrocious behavior last week I wasn’t going to tell this guy to assuage his feelings, sure, let’s try for another date.

I have done a double dip with a few guys that I was pretty much like, I don’t think there’s a connection, but I one guy, well I super respected the man, and he was a friend of friends and we were nice friends slash acquaintances, but after two dates, it did become so obvious that I wasn’t attracted that it didn’t seem fair to even try for a third.

But this guy?

Nope.

Dude.

I said no thank you and was kind.

Don’t make me go down the rude road because there were red flags, a lot of them.

Things I am learning.

Make the date on my time, in my hood, in an well lit area with friends in the background.

I felt a lot more secure in myself knowing the cafe was full of faces I knew.

Granted.

I was sitting with my date outside, I didn’t think it would be fair for him to be scrutinized by the crew, but it was a nice feeling knowing the crew was there in the background.

Especially since, well, you know, I’m on a date with a person I have never met before.

I guess what has surprised me, and it shouldn’t, is that I am myself on this silly app.

I am just Carmen, flaws and all, I’ve got full body shots, you get to see me in my curvy glory, in my silliness and my pink hair at Burning Man.

I am up front immediately about not drinking or using.

I am transparent.

So.

Not every body else is going to do that.

And that’s ok.

I’m just trying.

I had an interview and wasn’t interested in having a second date and said so and I am hella happy with myself for trying on a semi-school night.

I don’t have to figure out how to date.

I just have to do it.

So.

Tinder hello, I’m trying.

And maybe I will give OkCupid another shot, I’m dipping my toe back in.

I am also absolutely not opposed to being asked out in person.

That would be the bees knees.

The cat’s pajamas.

That would rock.

“Carmen, when I grow up I’m going to figure out how to marry you,” my little six year old prince said to me as he sat snuggled in my lap having “dessert,” Greek yogurt with frozen blueberries.

“You’re the best,” he said emphatically, wrapped his arms around me and kissed my face.

Oh sweet jesus, little boy, you are breaking my heart.

I am so lucky to have this job, to care for these boys, my heart so full of love for them today.

And with a lucky break in the rain we actually got out to the park with a couple of baseball gloves, the t-ball bat and some bouncy balls

It was such a nice time.

Just getting to be outside, in the fresh washed air, the clean smell, the light grey and pearly, the sun pushed through the clouds momentarily and we all basked in it.

Super lit up with golden light and the glossy pearlescent love carried me up into the clouds.

I am graced.

And.

Hey!

I got my psychodynamics reading done!

Yes.

I still have my Ethics class to read for and I need to print off my revised papers, but I am almost ready for this next weekend round of classes.

I am also looking forward to seeing my friends in the cohort and getting caught up.

I like having this community and new found fellowship.

I’m not best’ies with everyone, but I feel a great deal of mutual respect and compassion for the work that we as a whole do.

I also had one of my classmates reach out to me in regards to Burning Man.

He has never been and wants to pick my brain, so we’re going to hang out Saturday and I’ll drop the down load on him.

Although it can be challenging explaining it to someone, I do love talking about my experiences there and it’s home.

I had some one on Tinder get a hold of me and say, hey, “you going home this year?”

Yup.

So is he.

Group sales for Burning Man tickets happened today and he got his ticket.

We compared some notes, it was cute.

No date.

But I think there may be.

And I’ll get better at it.

And I’m sure I’ll mess it up too and that’s ok as well.

As long as I’m trying to have fun and not be too serious about it and when I’m not attracted, to not agree to spend more time with the person.

And if they’re not attracted, to not pursue.

Walk away and leave him alone.

Stop banging my head (heart, really, it’s always my heart) on the closed door and walk to the open one.

There is an open door.

And it’s just waiting for you to walk through it.

I just have to keep walking.

Because I have no clue which door is going to open and when.

But when it does.

Well.

I’ll be ready.

Because I’ll have been trying.

I don’t get the results unless I do the work.

Here’s to trying.

Putting it out there.

And accepting that it’s not always going to be great.

But.

I bet it will be.

And sooner than I think.

Life.

Yup.

It’s pretty god damn good.

 

 


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