Posts Tagged ‘Castro’

We Were Talking

August 10, 2017

About you tonight.

Oh you were?

“Yeah, we were saying that you’re doing too much,” my friend said and gave me a hug.

Well.

Of course I’m doing too fucking much.

And I’m ok with it.

I am a busy woman.

But pockets of time present themselves to me and I get stuff done.

I managed to sneak in making a pot of soup in between a phone call, work, and covering my Wednesday night commitment.

I am good like that.

I also, wait for it, dropped off my paperwork to the school practicum office!

Killed two birds with one stone.

I had the mom ask me to take the oldest boy out on a solo adventure with me.

We went to the Exploratorium today down on the Embarcadero at Pier 15.

On the way, we swung into my school campus, rode, “the slowest elevator in the world,” according to my 7-year-old companion, and dropped off my evaluation to the woman who runs the practicum office.

We chatted a bit and it was nice to down load a little about my experiences and how it feels to be running with clients.

I have seven now.

My charge was as patient as a 7-year-old could be and after three minutes of chat I corralled him and we made our merry way to the FMarket trolley.

We also stopped in at the Peets Coffee across the street from my campus and I got a large nonfat latte and he got a steamed milk with whipped cream.

He was so cute.

It was adorable hanging out with him all afternoon.

When it’s just he and we have the best times.

We played all over the Exploratorium, the museum of science, art and human perception and had marvelous experiments and adventure and looked at all the things and played with all sorts of miraculous contraptions.

It really was great.

We ate lunch there and he ate most of my lunch because it was tastier and I happily shared and he cuddled with me hard and fell into a bit of a food coma and collapsed on my lap and hugged me and said, “scratch my back,” and I did and it was fabulous.

There’s nothing like a seven-year old boy snuggling on my lap to make me happy, he just loves me so much and it makes my heart super full.

He can be a total handful when he’s around his siblings, but one on one, oh my god, melt my heart.

He literally sat in my lap the entire way back.

We took the FMarket all the way into the Castro then hopped on the 24 bus and rode it to Church and 30th.

He’s a big fan of the Beatles and walking up the hill we sang Beatles songs and held hands.

Mostly “I Say Hello and You Say Goodbye,” over and over again.

I’m not much of a vocalist, I mean, I can sing, everyone can sing, but my little guy can really sing.

I was happy to hold my own and actually harmonize a bit with him.

And when I couldn’t hit the high notes, well, he did.

I feel pretty in love with the little guy and it was so nice to have the day with him.

We got back to the house a tiny bit before mom and his siblings and I got dinner going while he played Legos.

Dinner was pretty simple, I made his favorite dish, organic ground beef pan sautéed in good olive oil with garlic and onion, sea salt, rosemary, black pepper, and a bechamel sauce that I make right as the beef has browned up and then I put it over brown rice fusilli or whatever non-gluten pasta I wrangle up out of the pantry.

The boy loves it.

It’s amazing to watch him inhale it.

I love cooking.

It’s a nice perk to my job.

I know some nannies who would be horrified to have to cook, but I do really like it.

I love my family and I love making them dinner.

In fact, the mom told me that they, the kids, were excited to come back from their big trip and eat my food.

That was nice to hear.

The mom let me go a few minutes early and since I had dropped off the paperwork to my school I was able to slip home, do some practical stuff, eat a quick dinner, make a pot of soup and take a phone call before heading back out the door to my next gig.

I know I am busy and it was sweet to hear my friend and I looked at him and said, I get it, I do, I am busy and it’s a lot and yeah, I’m probably doing too much, but I don’t feel like I have much of a choice.

Although, that’s not necessarily true.

I could quit school and have oodles of free time.

But.

I would just be a nanny.

And I want more.

I am too smart and too driven to just stop here.

I want this.

I have been groomed for it, or so it feels.

And yeah.

This last year of school is probably going to be full tilt boogie.

But.

I know.

I know without any doubt.

That I will get through it.

I haven’t felt anxious at all about my schedule and the things I need to do.

It feels like it’s all falling right into place.

I can’t fuck it up.

I can’t manipulate it into happening.

If it’s supposed to happen it will.

I just get to show up today in the best way I know how and do whatever work is in front of me.

And yes.

When I can.

Well, yes, a girl will like to play.

And I shall.

No worries.

It’s all happening.

All the things.

All the.

Wonderful.

Amazing.

Awesome.

Things.

Oh, yes, they are.

Thank God.

 

How Did I Do All That?

April 17, 2017

I mean.

I am not really sure, but man, it flowed, lovely and smooth from one experience to the next.

Until now.

Sitting here at my table doing my little evening routine, listening to some old school-house music, Tortured Soul, in my bunny slippers, it is Easter after all, with my belly full of warm homemade soup, I am rather astounded.

I am.

I got a lot done.

There is still so much more to do, I have so much paper writing yet to attack, but I know how I am going to handle two of my papers, which is a relief, sometimes just knowing what I am going to write about makes the process so much less stressful.

It’s still anxiety making.

I mean.

I have three papers due.

Yet.

I took a huge leap forward today.

It started slow and it started with not wanting to get out of my bed when the alarm went off, but I knew that danger, and I knew I wanted to go to the earlier yoga class this morning, I had to be up in the Castro to do some homework by a certain point and going to a later class wouldn’t have worked.

And.

I just knew I needed up and out.

The class was hard, but really good and I’m grateful I went.

I had a lovely breakfast here at the house (organic oatmeal with banana, cinnamon, nutmeg, raw cocoa, sea salt, and blueberries; a soft-boiled egg,  and an amazing toasted coconut/almond milk latte) and did some morning page writing.

I checked my syllabus, packed my books, got my notebook, my class folder, and put on some makeup, pulled my hair up in a bun, hopped into my rain boots and headed to the MUNI.

I caught the N-Judah to the J-Church.

I read the entire time.

I finished two chapters in my Trauma reading.

As well as getting into a third on my ride back from the Castro.

I got off the train at the Castro Street Station and marveled with glee at the little rainbow lights lining the escalator.

How I do love you San Francisco.

I do so much.

I strolled through the main drag with my umbrella and my rain boots and smiled at all the fellas in their Easter finery.

I ran a couple of errands then went up to Firewood Cafe.

I met with my person and another friend for lunch then we adjourned to another friends apartment up on Noe and 19th.

God.

Rent control.

How I envy folks who have it.

The apartment is a huge one bedroom with front room, dining room, big bathroom, hard woods, fireplace, huge kitchen.

I was definitely having some apartment envy.

It was the perfect place though, the big couch in the front room, the table, the chair I put in front of the couch.

We all got settled and I started the recording on my phone.

And this time I got it!

I got a half hour session of a Couples Therapy dyad.

“You’re good!” They both exclaimed after we finished the session.

Thank you guys!

It felt really good.

I had a few moments when I was unsure which way to go or what to say, but I didn’t think to hard about it and I noticed my counter transference and actually noted to myself in the session, “hey!  That’s countertransference! Remember that!”

Of course, now, in this moment, I have no solid clue what it was or what it was in regards too, but I knew I had it and I used it in the session and I know that when I go back and listen to the recording again I’ll be able to hear it in the recording.

So happy I got that out-of-the-way.

And while I was on the train riding to the Castro to meet with my friends who were going to help with the project, I had an idea about what to write for my Trauma paper.

Very happy about that.

Part of my “stress” if you want to call it that, is that I need to listen to things again before I write the paper, I can’t just pick up a book or a class reader or an article or my notebook and get the information there.

I have to take an extra step for each paper and listen to a recording, break down what is happening in the recording and use it for the papers.

It is a lot more work than a normal paper for me.

That being said, I feel so much more competent about what I will be writing about and I feel a lot better about the state of my papers.

No.

I did not do any paper writing today.

Although I did write a lot.

I thought about it, but I also didn’t want to stress myself out about it.

If I got to it, great, but that I did so much footwork for the material that will go into the writing, for two different papers, is huge.

I actually accomplished a lot.

Plus.

I got to see two wonderful men in my life who mean so much to me and have a nice Sunday lunch and walk underneath the cherry trees in the Castro and be seen and be helped.

It was truly lovely.

I hopped back on the train and was heading back to the house and my smart feet actually hopped up when I hit Church Street Station.

It was ten of four.

Oh!

I could go check out a spot I used to go to way back in the day.

And I did.

And it was good.

I got to see some folks I haven’t seen in a long time and get grounded and then hop back on the train and come home.

Home.

Home to cook my soup.

I made homemade hot and sour soup today.

I took a large Mason jar of my chicken stock (made from last weeks roasting chicken), 1 bag of large wild caught shrimp, a container of organic tofu that was cubed, a small box of Hen of the Wood mushrooms, a small box of crimini mushrooms and tossed them in my soup pot.

I added a good heavy splash or five of Bragg’s Amino Acids, instead of soy sauce, loads of fresh ground white pepper, some rice vinegar, ground ginger, garlic and sliced in a fat organic carrot and some chopped Swiss Chard (I would have used bok choy, but the store was out and the chard actually worked really well).

I put it on the stove, set it to simmer and then realized it was going to be at least an hour before it was ready.

I could do more reading.

Or.

I could sneak in another yoga class.

Yoga won.

I slipped into the studio three minutes before it started.

It was not Vinyasa yoga, like I did this morning, but restorative.

I could not have done another Vinyasa class.

But restorative, lots of slow, soft, warm stretching, yes ma’am.

It was perfect.

I got back, tasted the soup, oooh, added a little more white ground pepper, lit some candles, put on my bunny slippers and had myself an amazing dinner.

The soup was so good.

Umami bomb.

I am astounded and I have a new favorite.

I am very happy how my Sunday went.

Not upset that I didn’t get the writing done I was thinking I might, but I got the things done that I needed to do and I did exquisite self-care.

Happy day.

I saw friends, chosen family, ate delicious food, did yoga, not once, but twice! Made tons of progress on my homework and walked underneath blooming cherry trees in one of the prettiest cities in the world.

Where I live does not suck.

Nope.

I am the luckiest girl.

I really am.

And now I’m ready for Monday.

Night all.

xoxoxoxo

 

 

My Face Hurts

February 3, 2017

From smiling so much.

I got the job!

I can’t believe that I am this freaking excited to get a job that is not a paying gig.

I mean.

Seriously.

I’m over the fucking moon.

It’s not official, yet, but I got it.

My interviewer made it clear that I got it, he’s going to push through all the paperwork and have the offer for me by end of day on Monday.

I asked that it happen before the applications to CIIS for their practicum sites was due.

February 10th.

If I apply to the sites that the school runs and get into one of them it doesn’t matter if I got into another site, I have to go with theirs, their rules, their program, their hours.

Which are not a great match for me and my needs.

My needs, which include, keeping my full-time nanny job so that I can stay in San Francisco and go to school.

The interview went so well, it sort of astounds me.

We talked a lot, we had so much to say, I was a little nervous, but it all fell away and the words, I have no idea where they came from, they just fell out and I could see how excited my interviewer was and he pretty much said, this is it, you are perfect for us and I want you on board.

He and I went over the process, and the details and then we just talked and I felt inspired and I told him about wanting to proceed forward with a PhD through the East/West Psychology program and it turns out, he did the same thing!

He was so warm and inviting and I like the space and I like what the institution is doing and it’s a nonprofit, which it has to be for me to do my practicum hours.

And.

Oh yes.

I can intern there too after I graduate, in fact he spoke to me about longevity and staying with them while I did do work on my PhD and that if I so chose I might be able to segue straight through with them the entire way of my degree, PhD, that is, I’ll finish my Master’s while I’m there.

I’m going to have my own office!

I’m going to get keys and the key code.

And.

I’ll be seeing clients and accruing hours by this summer.

I can start this summer!

I don’t have to wait until fall.

Which is really huge.

It will give me more time to collect hours before I graduate.

The program requires that I do 235 hours to graduate.

But.

I can garner up to 1300 of the 3,000 hours while I’m in the program.

I don’t know if I’ll be able to do all that and do my recovery and do my full-time nanny job, but every hour I can get is going to help.

Being able to start in the summer is a huge game changer for me.

And.

Heh.

I talked to him about doing my Community Mental Health project on the Institute.

He said absolutely, and so, two birds one stone.

Although that paper is less a concern for me than getting the placement, it’s like a nice little cherry on the top of my practicum Sunday.

I will be able to do my trainings and supervision while I work and I will be able to get what I need to graduate and also establish a client base and a practice for myself.

He talked to me about staying in the non-profit track for a while, that it was on the table, that if I worked in a non-profit for ten years I would get student loan forgiveness.

Ten years may seem like a long time.

But it’s not.

Especially if it cancels out my student loans.

Most especially if I go for my PhD.

Which I am.

That’s a lot of money forgiven.

Anyway.

I get ahead of myself.

I am just super happy and excited and relieved that I don’t have to go anywhere else, don’t have to do another open house, don’t have to do another interview, don’t have to fill out any more applications, or write another cover letter.

Or buy more interview clothes.

Heh.

Although.

I have to say.

I love, love, love my new “interview shoes.”

I will be wearing them a lot.

Maybe, um, ha, absolutely, to my new job.

I’m going to have my own office!

I know I already said that, but, my own office.

God damn that sounds so nice.

And.

While I’m on the topic of my new office, I should mention, it will be in the Mission.

Yes.

Very happy about that too.

Now if I could just find a place to live in the Mission.

I’m serious.

The commute to and from work and school is enough that I would love to cut it down.

I’m going to be working 15-20 hours at the practicum site.

I’ll be working 35-40 hours at my nanny gig.

If I can find a place that is more central I’m going to jump on it.

So here’s it out to the Universe.

I’d really like to be back in the Mission.

Or Bernal/Noe/Castro.

Heck.

SOMA could work too.

My nanny job is Glen Park.

School is Mission and 10th.

My practicum will be at 18th and Treat.

Somewhere in the middle of that.

A new home?

Yes, yes please.

Gently lifting that one up and I have no expectations and I love my home, I do, it’s so sweet and so cozy and pretty and I love the neighborhood and all the folks I have gotten to know in the last three years, but man, I could stand a shorter commute.

I’m a Mission girl at heart and though things have changed, and they probably will keep changing, I’ll probably always be a Mission girl.

It was the first place I lived in the city.

It is where I got into recovery.

It is where my heart is.

Yeah.

Goals.

And so much happiness right now.

Just pure.

Unadulterated joy.

Funny that.

How service to community opens one up.

Happy, really happy to get to do my part.

And thank you to all my friends and family who sent me love and light today as I took another big step down this path.

I love you very much.

So.

Very.

Much.

Yes.

I do.

 

 

Feeling Back To Normal

November 28, 2016

Even if my Internet is slow and wonky.

I’m feeling much better.

Today may be my first official “normal” day since the whole “she’s got lice” fabulousness went down.

So relieved to be back into my own regular schedule and getting out and about in the world.

Even if all the out and about was scootering from one hard ware store to the next.

I went to six, SIX, different hard ware stores trying to get the blue ceramic Christmas tree lights I wanted.

No one had them.

Sad face.

Cole Fox Hardware in Cole Valley.

Nope.

Ace Hardware in the Outer Sunset on Noriega.

Nope.

Ace Hardware in the Castro.

Nope.

The hard ware store on Haight, which I forget what the name is.

The hard ware store in the Inner Sunset on Irving.

Nope.

And more nope.

I even went to Sloat Garden Center.

Nada.

I know, it’s a garden center, but I thought, well, they sell Christmas trees, maybe they’ll sell Christmas lights too.

The one place I for sure thought I would be able to get them, Ace Hardware in the Castro, were out, and the check out person was sad too, “shoot! Those were the ones I was going to get too.”

Ah well.

Next year.

I did find some blue LED lights that will work, they’re going to have to, as they’re currently on the tree.

Yes.

I got my tree.

I just figured what with the lonely Thanksgiving I deserved some cheer.

I even did a tiny bit of Christmas shopping.

A little thing for my mom.

A little something for my friend in Wisconsin.

And my sister’s Christmas present.

I do like getting Christmas presents, cheers me right the fuck up.

I like wrapping presents and sending cards.

I’m a bit old-fashioned.

The running around to find the lights led me to the other shopping and I was grateful for that.

I stocked up on some lip balm that I can only seem to find at one or two places and never quite seem to be in the right neighborhood to procure it.

Today being in Cole Valley I popped over to the Upper Haight, ostensibly to check the hardware store on Haight, but being in the hood, I dropped into Loved to Death and picked up my current favorite lip balm.

My favorite they don’t make any more.

I still so wish they did.

But.

The one that I get is pretty dreamy and delicious—from Tokyo Milk.

I got one pot of Salted Carmel, one of Cherry Bourbon, and one Dark Cocoa.

Oh my, so very good.

Yes.

I taste good when you kiss me.

Heh.

Not that there’s any kissing on the menu, I’ve been so isolated these past few days I haven’t had a chance to get out there, plus, well, it’s not really sexy to go on a date and like possibly have lice.

I mean.

I needed to make sure I was not lousing up any one’s day.

Pun intended.

If you know what I mean.

Anyway.

So I got those and I picked up a couple of lovely little things for my mom and sister and best girlfriend in Wisconsin when I was in Cole Valley, at Pharmica.

Lovely little store I used to go into all the time when I worked in Cole Valley.

OH!

Shoot.

I know where I should have gone.

Cliff’s Variety on 18th and Castro.

They would have had them.

Oh well.

Like I said, next year.

I did rather enjoy zooming around the city on my scooter though, ha, add another hardwared store to the list,  I also checked the hardware store on Divisadero and Fell, I really was all over the place, looking for the magical, mystical, fairy blue lights.

I did finally cave and I bought some regular LED blue lights, unfortunately they are a bit brighter than the other two strings of little blue Christmas lights I have, they are a tiny bit overwhelming.

Ah, nothing’s ever perfect.

It’s good enough though.

It really is.

And my tree is lovely.

It has a nice shape and isn’t too tall or too big for my little studio space, but it is bigger than the one I had last year, which was a gift from the man I was hanging out with at the time.

Irony?

He never saw the tree in my house.

That whole month we were pretty estranged, even with the plans to go to Paris.

I was emptying out my Facebook messages yesterday and discovered a cache of messages between the two of us.

Fuck.

That needs to get deleted.

Don’t read them.

Don’t read.

Don’t.

I , um, I started to read a few, then noticed something.

He had finally taken down the photograph I took of him on Christmas Day in front of the Temple Metro station stop in Paris that he was using for his profile picture.

So.

Yes.

Ugh.

I trolled his Facebook page for a moment.

Then.

I went back and deleted every message.

And I did not read them all, no, just the first couple, it was enough and I didn’t need to be feeling anguished, but what I did find, which was good and soft and tender and a tiny bit vulnerable, was that I hoped only for the best for him, that I wished him love and joy and that I was ok.

The reality is I learned a lot from the relationship, even if it some of that learning was painful, I grew like gangbusters.

Pain.

Great fertilizer for spiritual growth.

I mean, like Miracle Gro on steroids.

So.

Happy to be taking care of myself and be out in the world and though it didn’t go how I had hoped, when does it ever? I did have a good day, I got to a yoga class, met with a lady and did the deal, and I got my Christmas tree.

That’s a damn fine Sunday.

I’ll take it.

Please.

And.

Thank you.

 

Almost Clear

November 27, 2016

Not 100%.

But.

95%.

I’ll take it.

It was a big relief.

Although I still feel a little stigmatized and a little off, the last three days of being pretty isolated, being alone on Thanksgiving, it rather got to me a bit more than I think I was even letting myself know.

I had a few crying moments.

Not huge.

Just a softening sorrow that streaked my cheeks and left me feeling a little bereft, a bit alone, a little lost and at wits ends with what to do with myself.

So.

I did more homework.

And more laundry.

The good news that Hair Fairies gave me today is that I can cease and desist with the constant washing of the laundry.

I mean.

I like a nice warm set of clean sheets, and I probably change mine out pretty consistently once a week.

Not once a day.

Shit.

Tuesday I changed them twice.

I did one last big load of laundry when I got back from the treatment and washed it all out again.

They still found lice though.

Not like what they found on Tuesday.

I’m not sure I even wrote down the number from Tuesday, I was so grossed out.

The four people working on my hair, the two plus hours of fine tooth combing, the having to make phone calls and tell anyone who had been close to me, oh hey, um, guess what?

I have lice.

Yuck.

It was bad though.

120 + eggs.

There were more, they just stopped counting at 120, which qualifies as a severe case.

Great.

Plus.

36 live lice.

And they stopped counting the live ones at that point as well.

Shiver.

SHAVING IT ALL OFF!

Was my first thought.

And my second, third, fourth, and fifth.

Hell.

Every fucking time I had a tiny itch I was paranoid.

The woman doing my hair today put me at ease around that though, “your scalp will still itch for a few days, you have micro abrasions and scabs.”

Oh god.

Gross.

But.

At least it wasn’t because I was in severe infestation.

Severe.

How lovely.

Yick.

Anyway.

Today they found 2 baby lice and one egg.

The babies, thank fucking God, were too young to have started laying eggs.

The treatment today was about an hour and half.

And I was upped from 70% clear to 95/98% clear.

But.

Of course.

Not 100% since they found the two babies and the egg.

Fuckers.

That being said, I still got the full on treatment and if it could get rid of over 120 nits and 36 bugs, I was feeling pretty competent that what was done this morning would take care of the two babies and one egg.

Get off my head.

Please.

And.

Thank you.

I have one more appointment.

Sigh.

I will be going back to Hair Fairies at 11 a.m. on Friday.

And pray to God that’s the last time I ever need to go there again.

I’ve had more than an ample experience dealing with this, I can mark it off the check list of life experiences I don’t wish to have again.

Boyfriend decides to spend Christmas day with his ex-wife?

Check.

Boyfriend breaks up with me morning of my ten-year anniversary party.

Check.

Former best friend sells me bunk knock off Vietnam Vespa.

Check.

Which I injure myself on and have to have a month off from work while not on disability.

Check and check.

Lice.

Check.

And.

Check fucking mate.

I’d like some fun now that I’m in the “clear.”

Tomorrow I decided to go to yoga in the morning, signed up before I started my blog, then a couple of ladies will be coming over to my super clean and louse free abode to do some reading and doing of the deal.

And after that.

I am going to go out and get myself a Christmas tree.

I am getting it earlier than I have in the past, but I need a pick me up.

It was a sad lonely holiday.

And though I made fucking really good use of it, I mean, the reading I got done!  It was still super isolating and I missed being around people.

So.

I am going to hop on my scooter after I have lunch and go to an Ace Hardware store in the Castro and buy some ceramic blue old-fashioned Christmas tree light bulbs.

I may swing through Cole Valley first and see if they have them at Cole Hardware, they might and that would save me having to go all the way to the Castro, plus I like Cole Hardware, they’re local and like patronizing them.

The hardware store in the Inner Sunset had the big bulbs, but no in blue, multi-colored, which I considered, but I prefer the blue.

I also picked up two more ornaments for myself while I was in the Fillmore neighborhood.

Which can be a challenging place to shop, very high-end and a bit expensive.

I felt a little out of my league.

But.

I did find a very sweet painted glass toad stool with glitter on it at Nest.

And.

The most beautiful glass hand blown glass swan at Mudpie, a very high end upscale children’s store.

Expensive.

But.

Oh.

So, so pretty.

And though my five-day weekend did not turn out at all, AT ALL, like I had planned, holy moly, God laughs when I make plans, it wasn’t all bad.

I had some long, genuine, sweet phone conversations.

I took a nice long walk on the beach.

I cleaned my house.

I did laundry, a lot of laundry, ahem.

My house smells hella good.

I did so much reading for school.

So much.

I feel really good about that and I started to get some ideas for how to approach my last big Psychopathology paper.

I took a nap.

I mean.

That’s something.

It wasn’t all bad.

It was lonely.

True.

But I was never alone.

I always was taken care of and though there were moments of sadness and tears, I wasn’t drowning in them.

Ok.

Ok.

I did a little bit, I was pretty fucking upset Wednesday morning, but hey, I got through it and didn’t do anything stupid.

Like.

Cut off all my hair.

Or drink.

Or use.

Or start smoking cigarettes again.

Or eat a bunch of sugar.

Nope.

I bought myself sunflowers to remind me to look at the bright side of things.

And I roasted a chicken.

Self-care for the win.

And.

Frankly.

The holidays can only get better from here.

I mean.

Really.

It’s time for fun.

Bring it the fuck on.

Seriously.

 

Replace A Permit

April 28, 2016

But let me start the blog by saying.

Acceptance is the answer to all my problems.

Good lord.

I had this odd feeling to read that little bit in my favorite book, not a book that I talk about much, well, here, but I do talk about it a lot, I read it daily, I have a sort of morning routine and it was suggested to me last time I met with my person that I read it.

“Ugh,” I said, “I just read that, I mean, literally, I just read that.”

“Read it again,” she said and continued on making the suggestions.

Of course I totally didn’t read it, I already have my morning routine, I don’t need another thing in it, don’t you know who I am?

Don’t you know how fucking busy I am?

Don’t you.

Um.

Heh.

Shut the fuck up, Martines, and take the suggestion.

And I remember to do so this morning, it was just the oddest little reminder, hey you, remember that thing that was suggested to you?

Yeah, that, read it.

It will come in handy today.

I did my regular readings and then I flipped open the book to that part and I read it again, for the who knows, 100th time, at least, and of course.

I got something from it.

“There are absolutely no mistakes in God’s world.”

Oh yeah.

Thank you.

Yes.

Exactly!

I promptly forgot that, but it came back to me as I prepared to launch out into my day.

Already feeling like I had had quite a day.

Morning routine, little kneel down, say the good words, get the acceptance on, ask for some guidance, ask to be of service, help me get to work safely and home safely on my scooter, be patient, kind, tolerant and loving, you know, the basics.

Breakfast.

Coffee.

More coffee.

God damn I love coffee.

Thank you God for coffee.

I digress.

Writing.

Face Time with Saturday’s date.

Slightly awkward, bad connection, he caught a screen shot of me with my mouth wide open in what looks like a classic horror movie still.

Or.

A really bad blow job face.

Ugh.

Erase that now, I asked.

I don’t think he erased it.

We chatted, it was a bad connection, so phone check in re all the things.

Then off to scooter to the optometrist to pick up my fancy schmancy new prescription sunglasses.

My first ever pair of prescriptions and I spent a pretty penny on them, most expensive pair of glasses I have ever bought, but the frames are gorgeous (I actually rued not getting them as a straight up pair of frames with my regular prescription, I think they may look better as just plain glasses, but oh well, I got them now) and I was absolutely astounded by how good everything looked.

Like.

Man.

I should have done this sooner.

They are fantastic.

I could see everything clear and crisp and there’s not glare on the road and whoa.

Plus, it’s nice to have sunglasses, I haven’t really worn a pair of them, outside of that thing in the desert, since I started wearing glasses again right before my 40th birthday.

Yes.

So lovely to see.

Even though.

Sometimes.

I see things I don’t want to see.

Or I see things that are missing.

LITERALLY.

Fuck me.

My child care parking permit was not on my scooter this morning.

Really?

REALLY?!

Where the fuck is it?

I’m not going to be able to park on the block at work without the permit, I’m going to get tickets, I’m going to have to ride my bike again, I’m so used to the scooter, I don’t want to.

I.

Shhh.

Acceptance.

Ah.

Big old sigh.

It’s not like I got hurt or lost something that can’t be replaced.

Even though when I told my employers, the mom acted like I wasn’t going to be able to get another until the permit expired in November.

Well.

I guess I’m getting back on the bicycle and bike commuting again.

Grrr.

I have to meet my person in the Castro tomorrow night at 18th and Diamond.

I hate that hill on a one speed.

Frogs.

Except.

Hmmm.

I bet I can still ride my scooter in.

I did today and the parking meter dude zipped right past me without bothering to stop and he did not chalk my tire.

“I bet they’re used to seeing your scooter and they know that it’s got a permit,” the mom said.

“You could park it in front of the garage if you think you’ll feel better about it there,” the dad said.

“I think it’s ok and I’ll figure out what I can do to replace it, if I can replace it, and if I can’t, I’ll be riding my bicycle back to work again,” I said, thanking them and getting on with the work that needed to be done.

Run to the market, get fixings, run to Lucca Ravioli, get tortellini and pesto for dinner, make a vat of broccoli soup, cook up some rice, make snacks for the boys, God, they were adorable today.

“I’m going to marry Carmen when I grow up,” the youngest said today.

Now that’s a first, it’s always been the six year old who has said I was his betrothed.

Then.

“No, you can’t, she’s too old for you,” his brother said.

Ouch.

I mean, yes, of course.

“Besides, I’m marrying Carmen, you can marry somebody else,” he finished.

Oh my God.

The cuteness.

He tugged on my hand later as we were walking to the park.

“Yes pie,” I asked looking at him, “what do you need?  Do you need a snack?”

“Nothing,” he replied, “I just need to kiss you.”

Oh.

Heart melting into puddle on sidewalk.

Then he kissed my hand.

Love my job.

Sometimes it just astounds me that I get to do this job, that I am entrusted with these two children, that I have gotten to have a little hand in raising them, loving them, being there for them.

And I have loved all the children I have nannied.

They have all left a little impression of themselves on my heart.

Some bigger than others.

Fingerprints smudged with childish laughter, the first I love you’s, the first smiles, the first hugs, the moments when they fall asleep on my shoulder, soft and heavy and luscious with the smell of sleep.

Luckiest girl in the world.

My little love bunnies.

My heart is full.

Deep and satiated with happy.

And it turns out the I can get a replacement permit from the SFMTA for the small fee of $18.

Although I will have to show up at their office, to do so, it has to be done in person.

Fine.

I can spend a morning doing that.

I think that’s called “adulting” or something like that.

I can accept that.

I was primed to do so this morning.

May I always be so flexible.

It really is the easier, softer way.

Something like this would have wrecked me for weeks, now, today.

Not so much.

I have other things to think about.

Dream about.

Plan for.

Papers to write.

Articles to read.

Ships to sail, tattoos to get, check books to balance, kissing to be had, dancing to be done, bills to be paid, life to be lived.

One beautiful.

Infatuating.

Glorious.

Day at a time.

 

Bring It

February 15, 2016

It was brought.

Of course, I don’t remember what I brought.

But it was brought.

It’s best when I don’t recall what I said, then I know that I was speaking from love, from my heart, that I have become a conduit for the message and not the mess.

Because, frankly.

I am often the mess.

There’s nothing wrong with that.

Life.

Well.

It’s messy.

My heart, it’s a messy place, but at least I get in it, I try, I stumble, I get hot and flushed and flustered and say something and cry.

And that’s in school.

But hey, I’m going to school to be a therapist, processing the pain is a part of it.

Being in the pain, meeting you in the pain, holding your hand and walking through to the other side.

Or just through the Castro.

I had the distinct pleasure of hanging out with a girlfriend who’s husband is out of town for the weekend she came with me to the Castro.

We had Philz.

Which might have been a mistake, I am not sure how I am going to fall asleep tonight.

I am a bit keyed up.

A wonderful early evening with a dear friend, a meal with my fellows, and meeting new friends and having old friends surprise me and so many hugs

So many.

My day was filled with hugs.

That is such a gift.

I gave a Valentines Day card to each person in my cohort and it was just the best feeling.

Plus.

Well, when you’re told to bring it, I do and I was all gussied up, my new teal dress with the big flare skirt and the sweet heart neckline, loads of flowers in my hair my black and cream cardigan with the hearts on it (I literally wore my heart (s) on my sleeve all day long) and it was so much fun to deliver Valentines to my cohort.

I felt like the Valentines Day Fairy.

I got such wonderful response and it felt really good to give and not have asked for anything in return.

The return was the feeling I had when I was writing the card and thinking of the person and wishing them light and love and joy.

It was more for me, I think, in the end so much of it is, but I also know that the gesture touched a lot of my classmates and that felt special and joyous and I am grateful I took the time to write them all out.

31 Valentines.

Whew.

I also got a surprise text from an old friend back in Wisconsin wishing me a happy Valentines Day.

There was a time when getting a Valentines Day wish from this man would have been a loaded gun to point and shoot at my unrequited love trigger.

Today.

It was just a sweet message.

Not an offer to fall into fantasy land.

Not an invitation to get miserable for the love I did not “think” I had.

I have so much love.

I mean.

I was inundated with it today.

These are your friends.

Plus.

I gave myself lots of love.

I took some actions and really let myself feel the love that was there for me, I was available to take it in, to touch, to hold a hand, to pat a shoulder, to be present, to be of service.

It was an amazing day.

I practiced good self-love too.

I treated myself to lunch out during my school break and ended up having the most amazing lunch with two of my girlfriends from the cohort and a professor and a TA and it was just out of this world fun to hang out and eat lunch and connect with these incredible, smart, talented, creative women.

I felt like I held my own and added to the conversation.

I want to bring my best forward and I really felt like I was able to do that.

On the day that celebrates love I choose to do just that.

I will choose to do just that again tomorrow.

I choose it for this moment.

For all moments.

I may falter.

I may forget.

But I have faith that I will always get back up and dust off and do it again.

I may get heart broken.

But the heart grows bigger.

And that’s good.

I had a basket full of love to give out today and it felt extraordinary.

The noise of love.

The thrush in my heart.

The swallows swooping in the skin of sunset.

My face lifted to the smattering of stars riding into the indigo night.

I run rampart through the cacophony.

I am a part of this world, I don’t feel separated, I feel joined and loved and blessed and lucky.

Oh, so god damned lucky.

I have a vase, a Mason jar, but who’s counting, full of flowers on my table that I let myself buy for myself on Friday, I participated in class, I showed up, I was my best self, I tried.

I dressed pretty for myself.

And to say.

Hey, this is me and I’m done apologizing.

And I let the day happen the way the way the day was supposed to happen.

I got a pinky promise from a drag queen sitting in the window of a restaurant to continue to be so fabulous, “Girl you got it in that dress,” she said.

Snap.

That’s something coming from someone as fabulous as she was.

I mean, I was flattered.

And best of all?

I am almost there.

One half day to go.

I’m going into work at 9 a.m. and I plan on being done by 2p.m.

Then.

Six days off.

Six.

Oh glorious time off.

Time off that I have promised to let myself enjoy and have fun and continue in the vein of self-love and self-care.

Valentines Day is once a year.

But my love.

The kind that sustains me.

Is always.

Forever.

Valentines Day.

Every day.

Times infinity.

To the moon and back a thousand times.

Like that.

What’s Next?

September 9, 2015

Today it was getting up an hour before my alarm went off and getting myself sorted out.

I didn’t have to go into work until 1p.m.

Which was nice and also a touch annoying.

It was a later start than I was anticipating and I am going to probably have to dial it back at least a half hour with the family to work with my schedule.

Suffice to say I still got my deal in tonight, zipping up 18th Street to get right with God and hang out at the Castro Country Club for an hour.

Not a place I get too much, but a space I am grateful for.

All the rooms.

All the recovery.

All the change that is about to happen in my life as my school semester starts officially on Friday.

That’s three days from today.

Eeep.

I don’t even know what I am supposed to have read for this weekend.

I am not behind on my writing, having done it all before heading out to that thing in the desert, but I haven’t looked at the reading that I need to do in preparation for the first weekend in school.

I already feel behind.

However, since I didn’t have to be at work until 1p.m. today I did get my ass down to Copy Central on Mission and 2nd and pick up my last reader for the semester.  I also sorted out my student loan deferment paperwork and got that all summarily taken care of.

My ducks are sort of in a row.

I have an idea of what needs doing, but I have yet to crack open the syllabus on three of my classes to be completely clear.

I suppose I will do that after I finish doing this blog.

I am grateful I got the reader, and even more grateful that when I did look at the syllabus for the class there was the delightful notation for the first class that said, “no reading necessary for first class.”

Hallelujah.

Ack.

The more I think about it, the less time I have.

I was supposed to get back to San Francisco on Saturday, that was the original plans.

You know what God does when you plan?

Laughs.

And I will chuckle right along with God as I was given a pretty awesome playa experience, loads of magic, lots of all the things and I have nary a regret.

Although, despite what some thought upon reading my last blog post, I am NOT dating anyone.

I had a playa romance, I suppose you could call it, but I didn’t marry the man.

I am still a free and single lady.

A busy as fuck lady.

A lady who would happily date the gentleman who I spent time with, there is no question there, but a lady who is not pursuing.

“Be the ball, Martines,” he said to me.

I am doing just that.

I am done pursuing.

I get to be pursued.

I am fucking well worth it.

And in the spirit of said worth and in the spirit of having taken the events of the weekend in stride, with sweetness and kindness, with all the deep sexual connection and the magic of the moment, I have changed the header on my blog.

It no longer reads “Girl On The Go.”

I have changed it to.

“Woman Of The World.”

My partner in crime during the last days of the burn mentioned on more than one occasion how I was so obviously a woman, and, a wise woman at that.

It didn’t make me feel old or wizened.

Rather, experienced and grateful.

I am a woman.

Sometimes, most times, more often than I would like, I have to ask for help–but that is a mature thing to do and acknowledge.

That I cannot do it all alone, that I cannot be entirely self-sufficient.

For not only is it impossible for me to figure it all out, I just fucking can’t, it takes away the service of allowing someone else to share with me their experience and in turn allow them the sacred expression of sharing their experience with me.

Nothing I have been through is wasted.

Every pain.

Every sorrow.

Every trial, tribulation, and challenge.

Has given me an experience through which I can objectively view with compassion and gentleness, to be given so many experiences so that I may help another may truly be the greatest gift I have been given.

In that vein.

Then.

I continue forward.

As soft and sweet and open as I can be.

There is something luscious in the acknowledgement, finally, of being fully alive to myself as a woman.

“Before you travel and do something momentous, take a photo of yourself, then take another when you have gotten back and compare the two,” he told me as I prepared to launch out on my first solo trip to Paris in 2007.

“You will see that you have changed.”

I looked at myself in the rest stop bathroom at Donner Pass and I smiled in awe.

I had changed.

There it was.

This new openness and sincerity on my face.

I was not hiding behind any mask.

Of course, it may have been the lack of makeup, the surfeit of hormones from having been bathed in sexual attention for days, or the tan skin from being out in the desert for over a week.

I cannot say with any certainty.

But the change was evident and it made me happy to see and acknowledge it.

I was comfortable in my skin and delighted in my life and grateful.

Oh.

So grateful.

For the man, for the moment, for the movement of my heart, the ticking hands on the face of the world, this life, this ability to see through another lens of self and self-discovery and beauty.

The beauty of connection.

With myself.

With another person.

With the Universe and the world that I walk about in.

I don’t need to know what’s next.

I just need to show up for it.

I show up to the page.

I write my blog.

I show up to work.

I am of service.

I do the deal.

I help my ladies.

I ask for help from my people.

I go to class and do the best I can.

I let go of all the results.

I can’t do it.

Maybe God can.

I think I’ll let him.

In short hand.

I am powerless over outcomes.

I am only capable of taking action.

I don’t need to know what’s next.

Except that I have faith in becoming more me.

And hope that I will not wall up behind the fear of everyday life and the expectations therein.

Woman of the world indeed.

Officially a grown up.

Who knew it would be so.

Well.

Nice.

And That’s A Wrap

July 20, 2014

And an unwrap as well.

Just finished up the work week and look its already Sunday.

Sigh.

However, I can’t complain, I can’t, I was taken care of nicely this week and I will be paying my August rent a little early.

Why?

Because, like, it’s almost Burning Man, dude.

“Hey my camp is looking for an extra ticket if you can spare any.”

The message said.

Puhlease.

I don’t even know you.

Yes, I “liked” your photo on my feed, it’s hard not too when it was some awesome art by some friends of friends that I know from the event, it was a great photo.

But I don’t know you.

I am not likely to find you a spare ticket.

But thanks for telling me I’m attractive and we should meet out on playa.

Yeah, I’ll be getting right on that.

And in other news.

Oh, yeah, that’s my news.  Burning Man.  Burning Man on the brain, I leave in three weeks, so, you know, it’s timing for me, getting things done, in between living my regular life and working my regular job.

Getting ready for the event can feel like a job itself, exhausting before you’ve even made it out the door to the car to drive to the burn to sit in line to get in to work an enormous amount to set up your camp then go have some fun.

No wonder folks get so fucked up out there.

Not all folks.

Not this folk.

My biggest prep is usually getting underwear.

That’s my “burninform” so to speak.

I always jest that I wear the same thing at Burning Man as I wear in San Francisco, just without pants.  So my biggest spend is underpants and bras.  Because I am out there longer than the average bear, or unicorn, or dragon, I mean, it’s Burning Man, it could be a bunny, or an alien too, I go through my clothes differently.

Last year I realized that I had just enough socks, but not enough underpants and bras.

I had fresh underpants for everyday of the week, but I alas, had many a day where it was hot and gross and dusty and when I had the opportunity to take a shower the last thing I wanted to do was put on dusty, sweaty, crusty underpants.

So I had a few days where I went through more than one set of panties.

Cue Nordstrom’s Off the Rack.

Where you can get all of your Burning Man needs met.

Or at least mine.

Because where else are there going to be a plethora of odd colored flashy panties on sale?

No one else wants those fuchsia underpants with the purple and yellow polka dots?  And they’re only $2.93?  Hand them over.

This is also where I get most of my outfits.

My uniform consists of colored tights, colorful underpants, and tank tops.

Throw in a pair of boots and something to stick in my hair and I am set.

That and some makeup.

Boom.

Burniform.

I add my utility belt, a Sigg bottle on a carabiner, and some lip balm, a bandana tied around my right wrist, I wear a watch on my left (it may be playa time for most folks, but I am working and I am on a schedule, I must have a watch on pretty much all the time.  It’s the last thing I take off and the first thing I put on, that or my glasses, but if it’s not first, it’s a close second), my goggles on my left thigh–I use them as a garter belt, and some sunblock.

I picked up three bras, four tank tops, one nightshirt (a girl can’t live on Hello Kitty alone), and three more pairs of underwear, some bath gel, and a cheap tube of mascara–waterproof, and I am pretty much done.

Aside from that, I have all the baby wipes I need, my hair stuff is set, I have boots, I have socks and tights, I have scarves and bandanas, and the majority of my toiletries.  I only lack for a container of hand salve and I will pick that up when I see the kind I like.

My make up kit is set too, although the mom I worked for tonight offered to get me anything I wanted from MAC at her costs.  Aside from working for the Burning Man organization she also is a free-lance make up artist and as such gets huge discounts at MAC.

Oh god.

I don’t know that I needed to know that.

I began formulating things in my head.

Slow your roll, I said to myself.

On more than one occasion today.

I also got unwrapped today.

As in I took off the last Ace bandage and for the first time since the accident walked without the aid of a cast or crutches or walking boot or ankle brace.

Just a sensible pair of Saucony’s and a pair of socks.

I felt naked.

And delicious.

And scared enough when the occasional twinge came, then throb, then shooting pain, to slow it the fuck down.

I left the house feeling pretty good about it and really strong.

That lasted for a few hours, then the inevitable, the ankle got sore, I got tired, I had to slow down.  I used the escalators in the train stations, I slowed down in the store.  I sat down and rested.

I only went a few places today–my house to Tart to Tart on 7th and Irving, Nordstrom’s Rack downtown, then to my job in the Castro.

In a way, the most I walked was around the store at Nordstrom’s from the underwear department to the dressing room.

It wore me out though.

I was not limping by the time I got up to my gig in the Castro, but I was walking very slowly.

I took it as an opportunity to be really present.

I felt that I saw everything.

Things that are normal and invisible because I am moving to fast most of the time to see them.  The color of the MUNI uniform, the smell of the air as the fog moved through, the sun when it sprayed through the trees at sunset, the view.

Wow.

Sometimes I forget how amazing the view is from the top of the Castro.

And now back home.

Home.

My little spot by the sea.

I lit some candles, I made some tea, I sat down with my ever-present bag of frozen peas and I got really grateful for the experience of the week and how doing the work and showing up has made it possible for me to be doing the work and showing up.

That is the sentiment I meant to express, not a typo, the latter.

Tomorrow I will show up again, pay my rent a little early, break out a Burning Man bra for fun, go see a lady friend for reading and recovery, and then show up for my lunch date with the brother of my friend who passed.

All without my ankle wrapped.

So I can be sure and go slow and be present.

The best gift.

Living in the moment.

Fingers Crossed

May 8, 2014

The Vespa starts tonight.

I just tried and it wants to, I know she wants to.

Yes, my Vespa is a girl, I don’t know her name yet, but she’s a she.

My bicycle is too.

I got her, the Vespa, when I got home tonight, tucking my bicycle in the garage, hoping that I would not have to ride it on Friday.

Yes, I know tomorrow is Thursday, but I wouldn’t ride my Vespa to my Thursday gig if it was running–there’s no where to park it.

I have a place to park it at my gig on Friday.

In fact, the mom told me that her landlord, who was curious about the Vespa when I rode it in last Friday and parked it up on the sidewalk against the house (not in the way of the garage or blocking it at all, just up along side) and asked my employer who’s it was, it turns out that I can get a nanny permit to park it up there.

Apparently there are so many families that employ nannies on the block that they lobbied the city to allow them to let their nannies have permits to park on that specific block between Noe and Sanchez at 19th.

I have never seen another nanny in that neighborhood.

Doesn’t mean there aren’t, I just haven’t seen anyone else pushing a stroller up and down the hills.

Maybe they stay inside.

Anyway, I can apply through the city to get a nanny permit.

Hysterical.

I will do it too.

Although the mom made it clear that I probably can just park it, when it’s running, fingers crossed, tonight, in their part of the garage when I come into work.

I will be going back to Cole Valley next week Monday through Wednesday and if I decide to ride it in to work, they have plenty of space by their garage up on the sidewalk for me to park it.

I am not certain that I will though.

The bicycle commute from where I am to Cole Valley is less than twenty minutes.

The one to the Castro is between 30-35.

I give myself about five to ten minutes leeway on both commutes.

I prefer to be early to on time.

On time for me is early.

This can be a great way to work up a resentment when I start thinking, where are they–insert anyone here–at two minutes before 6:30p.m.  Or whatever time said person, insert anyone here, shows up.  If you show up on time you’re late, if you’re a little late, your really late and if you’re more than five minutes I am going to freak out.

I once had it suggested to me that I try to let myself be late for something.

I don’t think I was able to.

I am sure that I can associate some tragic event from child hood, insert 1,000 different things here, to explain this, but I don’t feel like digging around the memory banks at the moment.

My friend said he gets done with work at 8p.m so he will be here between 8:30p.m and 9p.m.

I expect him at 9:15p.m.

That way I don’t get mad.

Just my crazy way of handling the world that does not run on my schedule.

Which is fine.

I could stand to relax a little.

I dare say I am a bit beat from the extra mileage this week.

I normally only have one day of riding into the Castro.

Three back to back days of hill climbing and pushing myself to make it on time have left me with some sore legs.  Plus, if I want to head to the park I have to go down hill, which means coming back up hill–pushing a stroller.

It’s not bad, I am not complaining.

The ache means I am alive and I am glad for it.

Achy legs made me remember that I have been entertaining the idea of more hill climbing on a bicycle.

I am contemplating doing the AidsLifeCycle ride again, a friend of mine has never done it and she wants me to train with her.

I think it would be great to do again, even though I currently don’t have a touring bicycle, I could get one, and I know better how to train for it then I did when I went on the ride in 2010.

This thought led to another thought about 2015, some other travel plans that I am hatching with some friends to go to a convention in Atlanta, Georgia.

In yes, July.

Ha.

I can’t imagine how nice and toasty that will be.

But a lot of my friends are going and though it’s over a year away, I like the idea so much of going that I already have started to do a little bit of research about it.

I won’t be late to this event either.

Through this small bit of drama with my scooter, which is like nothing when it comes down to it, I have been made more and more grateful for my bicycle and that I have options.

There’s the MUNI of course, but my bicycle is such a stable stand by.

Even if I end up only using my scooter on the weekends for recreational purposes, I am ok with that.

There was a time when I only had one mode of transportation–my feet.

I didn’t even have money for the bus.

I have come a little way since then.

I have a great bicycle and I know how long it takes to get just about anywhere in the city.  Not that I am always interested in getting up to Twin Peaks, but I have done it before on a bicycle I could again.

I don’t have a reason to and I am not running out the door to find one either.

I would like a break, though, from the bicycle riding.

And I do want to have the Vespa up and running by the weekend, I have been really grooving on having it for getting about on the weekends.  Plus a friend who recently bought a house in the Bayview is having a birthday get together and I haven’t been yet to his place.

Yeah, I could ride my bike.

But fingers crossed.

I won’t have to.

 

 


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