Posts Tagged ‘Champs Elysees’

Birthday Weekend Wrap Up

January 15, 2018

It was good.

So good.

I mean.

Super sweet and special, and full of so much love.

And dancing.

And hugs.

And love.

I know, I mentioned that already, but it was just a lovely weekend.

I mean.

Not all of it.

Going over the bridge yesterday, the Bay Bridge, the traffic was so bad I had a moment of why the fuck am I going to Oakland to do this party?

But it was worth it.

So worth it.

I had such a lovely time and got to see folks that I haven’t seen in a while and hear great music and dance and giggle and laugh.

I laughed a lot.

I felt very happy, joyous, free.

It was spectacular.

I still feel like that and also a wee tiny bit emotional, not a lot, but a tiny bit, I was surprised just a few moments ago when I was up in the Castro Most Holy Redeemer to find myself having the anticipation and anxiety of getting a little round metal chip with the Roman numerals ten and three ones on it.


Thirteen years.

It still astounds me.

It felt really, really, really special.

I saw folks there that saw me when I first came in, who helped me and talked to me and bought me coffees and bummed me cigarettes and made suggestions about what to do and shared their experience, strength, hope with me, in such strong graceful ways that their message still stays with me.

Show up.

Suit up.

Be of service.

Say yes.

And extraordinary things will happen.

It is astounding how many things have happened for me.

I had an inkling that this past year was going to be a big one, I remember writing about it in a blog that would have been around this time last year, feeling that it would be fortuitous, that big, big, big things were happening.

My God.

Did the big things happen.

They really did.

I am not the same woman who turned twelve, I have grown so much this past year and really walked through some things that I had no idea I was going to get to experience.

I am so loved.

So blessed.


And grateful.

I cannot imagine how, but I feel that this year moving forward will be much the same–full of excitement, growth, travel, love, adventure.


Graduating from one program.

Starting another.

Work of course, internship, of course, recovery, the big of course.


I will go to Paris to see my best friend there, although I don’t have set dates yet, I’m still waiting for my work to sort itself out as far as their holiday, summer, travel.

I may be going with them for part of it.

And I want to do other little trips too.

Fun things.

Weekends out of the city.

New places to go and experience.

I feel abundant.


I feel that my capacity for love has grown and opened wide my heart so much.

I have all these images of things  and words and endearments in my head, I am suffused with this feeling of love and I am so happy for it.

My love.

So happy.

I have a feeling that this year is going to be beyond anything I have yet to experience.

It’s a wondrous thing to have faith and be taken care of and show up and really live.

I mean.

Passionately live.

I am so alive.

I am so lucky to be alive.


I should be dead.


Just scraping along the gutter, in the filth and the muck, trying to make beautiful things and failing.

I have made so many beautiful things since I started this journey thirteen years ago.





I have made huge leaps of faith.

I have made decisions that I didn’t even know I could make.

I have made music, or collaborated in making music.

I have been in a film.

I have made my way into foreign countries, sat in cafes under many different skies, and scribbled away in so many notebooks I lost count long ago.

I have ridden bicycles all over the place.

San Francisco to LA.

Oakland to Berkeley.

The Outer Sunset to the Outer Mission.

Over the Golden Gate bridge numerous times, down into Sausalito and over to Tiburon, and one memorable day, up to the top of Mt. Tam.

And in Paris.

Nothing says amazing adventure like bringing your own bicycle to the city of Lights and taking a ride down the Champs Elysees.


Truth be told I only did that a few times.

The Champs Elysees is cobblestone and that was not a pleasant ride but fuck, it was fun to do it a couple of times and say that I had.

Or past the Eiffel Tower.

I did that ride a lot on Sundays.

I have ridden my bike at Burning Man too, not the same bike, but one that I loved for many years, ridden off into many a dusty sunset to dance at the edge of the desert and sing with joy at the heavens.

I have gotten up in front of people and performed my poetry.

Spoken word in Paris at Le Chat Noir.

In the downtown office of Form4 Architecture for their principle architect.

On stage at The Elbow Room and in the studio of Sunshine Jones.

I have done plenty of mundane, every day, simple, day-to-day things too.

Often times, more often than not, with gratitude for just getting to stay in San Francisco.

That’s some kind of miracle, that I still get to live here.

The miracles are innumerable, the gifts astounding.

I can only keep it by giving it away.

The paradox that I love.

Here out by the sea, in my little studio, listening to jazz, writing to you and letting you know about my day and how important you are to me.

So important.

I am overblown with gratitude.




Thank you for thirteen years.

It’s been freaking amazing.

Well, That’s One Way

April 2, 2013

To stay in Paris–I could die here.

I thought to myself as I hollered out, “hold the fuck on!” And something intelligible that sounded suspiciously like a whoop of pure joy.

I was at the top of Boulevard Haussmann, heading into the 12 avenue turnabout at the Arc de Triomphe on my sparkle pony, er, my fixed gear Mission Bicycle.

It was not exactly a conscious decision, I had taken one wrong turn on my way towards Avenue George V, and it put me headed up to the round about instead of just below it where I would normally cross the Champs Elysees on my bicycle.

Then again, let me be honest, once I realized where I was headed, I did have the opportunity to change my mind, hop off the bike, cross the street in the cross walk on foot.

But what fucking fun would that be?


Besides when I saw someone on a Velibe slowly making his way through the round about, I was like, no way am I going to not do this.

Here’s to having one more feather in my Paris cap–riding my bicycle in one of the more intense traffic scenarios in the world.

I did have a moment, I will not lie, when a bus was coming and a motorists was honking at a woman who was indecisive about merging.

Move, bitch, get out the way.

I was on the side of the honking car, you have got to make the decision and commit.

I committed, rolled past her, stood on my pedals, and whooped some more joy.

I spun around three-quarters of the round about and hit my turn off onto the Champs Elysees, spinning my crank smoothly into the turn and leaning to the right, I almost blew the Japanese tourist, timid on the corner waiting for the light to change, a kiss as I signaled my right turn.

The smile stayed plastered on my face, the adrenalin coursed through my veins, the sun shone on my warm body, my heart beat solid strong and smooth as the pedals turning perfect circles with my sheathed feet in their purple Hold Fast foot retainers.

“Why don’t you take your bike for a ride if the sun comes out,” my room-mate suggested this morning as we were discussing tickets back to the states, money, and what to do about my bike.

I thought in my head, “fuck off.”

I said out loud, “that’s a good idea.”

I had absolutely no intentions of getting on my bike.  I had an agenda and a plan and I knew better.  Besides I have not ridden my bike as much as I would normally ride as I was holding onto it as my last bit of collateral.

I will sell it if I have to.

“Why sell your most prized possession if I’m willing to pay for your ticket and you have a year to pay me back?”  My room-mate said with some wisdom.

Well, because then I would feel obligated to go back to the bike shop, tail tucked between my legs, see I did not make it in Paris, I am a failure, and I sold my beautiful bicycle.  Will you take me back and let me design another.

Then I realized, sheesh, I had to pay a lot of money for my bike, even if I got what it was worth, which I would not, not going to be many takers for my midnight blue sparkle pony whip.  She is a little too customized.

Nice Ride

Nice Ride

I don’t want to go back to work at the bike shop, however.  I realized as I was writing this morning, after my room-mate left and I was alone with the quiet of the pen on the paper, that to sell my bicycle is to be making a fear based decision.

Holding onto the idea that I do not have enough and that there will not be enough is not allowing myself to embrace the abundance and prosperity the Universe has for me.

Hell, it’s only the 2nd of April, all sorts of miraculous things are in the works.

Just because I cannot see them does not mean that they are not.  So, things are not working out the way I want them too.

Usually what I want is near sighted and not nearly as amazing as what God wants for me.  So much so, that I always sell myself short, I say no, that cannot happen and I argue my own limitations.

As the pen stroked the paper it dawned on me bright and clear.

I don’t want to sell my bicycle!

I want to ride my bicycle.

I got so excited, I leaped up and adjusted the saddle and pumped up the tires to 120 psi.

I grabbed my u-locks–one for the frame and the rear rim, one for the front rim–tossing them in my Rickshaw custom messenger bag.  Which just so happens to have been designed to match my bike.

That’s right, bitches, my bag does not match my shoes, it matches my bike.

I got a bottle of fizzy water out of the fridge that I had set aside for the open mic at Le Chat Noir, which I ended up not attending so I could get up early today and take care of some business.  I nearly danced out the door with my sparkle tights on, my sparkle infinity scarf, and my Converse tight on my feet, ready to hit the streets.

The ride, aside from the excitement by Place de l’Etoile, was like signing my favorite song at the top of my lungs in the shower, I had a smile on my face and a, yes, song in my heart.

I had the facile idea that whatever choice I was going to make about the bicycle would be the wrong one.  Knowing, only too well, that I just needed to make a decision, thinking about it was not taking action.

I choose the path of faith instead of fear.

I may be stuck in the hallway of not knowing what is going to happen next, with Paris, with life, with where am I going to live and what job am I going to do, but I don’t care.

I’ll be riding my bicycle there.

Hanging Out

Hanging Out



Self Pity in the Dark

November 14, 2012

It just was not a viable option by the time I was walking through the Tuileries at dusk.

How can a lady be sad when she stumbles upon the glow of a carousel in the corner of the park, lit up and dazzling with children’s laughter and the empty cradles of abandoned strollers.



I had started out my day with my normal practice, which is always a grounding thing for me to do and I took a delightfully hot shower and had on pretty clothes and pretty makeup and I had plans to meet with French men.

Then disaster struck.

The local manicurist.

Or should I say the local understudy to the manicurist?  The local intern?  Soft faced gay Korean man with the longest sweepingly beautiful eyelashes floating over the pale creamy domes of his cheeks.

Soft hands, which oh so delicately held mine for almost two hours.

Two hours!

And twenty Euros!


Fuck, I want a happy motherfucking ending for twenty euro.  I thought it would be five and it would be a half hour, like it is in San Francisco.

I missed the coffee date and I had entered in the wrong phone number for Mathieu and I was late to the point of misery, so I just went and gave up.

I headed off to the Marais instead and met Barnaby at the shop and we went to the Lounge Lizard and despite their lunch service being over, they served us nonetheless.

Tomato soup.


How bad can it be when I am sitting in a warm cafe with my friend in Paris eating a warm bowl of tomato soup on a grey day–which is also drizzled with delicious cheese.

Followed by a scrumptious Cobb salad and a large cafe creme.

I still cried.

A lot.

I am overwhelmed and I do not want to admit it and I am scared and I don’t know how to retrieve the messages to my new little French phone and I don’t want to be a nanny and I don’t want to work in a bar and that is what it looks like for jobs and get over it.

And, and, and.


Barnaby is a good egg.

He listened, he assuaged, he bought lunch, he hugged me, and then we walked back to the shop he to work and I to get centered.

I did not know where I was going to go, except that I was to meet another stranger tonight by the Arc de Triomphe and hang out and go to dinner with some fellows.

I had three hours and nothing to do.

I suddenly looked up and realized, um, you are in Paris, you could take in the sights.


So, that is what I did.

I walked along the Seine.

River Walk

River Walk

I wandered by Palais de Louvre.  And come on.  It is the Louvre.  Can anyone be sad when you are looking at the Louvre?

The Louvre

The Louvre

Then, just off in the distance, past the jangling rings of miniature Eifel towers being hawked by illegal immigrants,  I saw the Eiffel Tower just being lit up against the soft falling haze of dusk.

View of the Tower

View of the Tower

Stop, take a breath.  Look around you.

Pause for Breath

Pause for Breath


Did you see that statue?

Yes, that one there, look.








Or this one here.










Then, oh, then, I walked through the Tuileries as the light was siphoning from the sky and saw the empty chairs and the wet leaves and the sky, heavy, swollen gray and thick pressed down like a soft blanket over the trees and the empty park benches.

It was beyond enchanting.











Leaves on Lawn

Leaves on Lawn




I was in a magical place, in a soft comforting place.

I had a thought, self-pity tries any which way it can, that it would be, oh so much better with some one there to hold my hand and walk, wistfully and romantic through the leaves.

Then a strange man said hello and offered to help me practice my English.

I think he meant his, and I laughed and said, “no, Merci.”

There is always some one if you bother to look.

But my eyes were cast further out, to the twinkly of the carousel lights peeping through the woods.

Carousel Lights

Carousel LIghts

Carousel in the Dark

Carousel in the Dark






Merry Go Round

Merry Go Round





And that was all it took.  The last of the self-pity ran away to clambered abroad the carousel and go for a ride on a giant ostrich with a gold bridle standing proud and erect next to the tea cup and saucer spinning with children.

I smiled, my heart full.

I walked on.

And I saw, you will not believe it, a miniature trampoline park with children bouncing up and down and giggling like mad.

I wanted to take photographs, but I did not disturb the scene, I just let the drifts of laugher envelop me and move me forward and out of the gardens toward the giant ferris wheel at the end of the park which marks the beginning of the Champs Elysees.

Had it been hung with baskets, I would have gone for a ride.

Something to look forward to.

I realized this today.  I may not know what I am going to do for work or for money and I may go back to San Francisco with my tail tucked up between my legs.

I may not be able to make it in Paris without papers and visas and god only knows what else.

But I am here right now.

I have French classes starting on Monday.

I have a room paid for on Rue Bellefond.

I have a camera and I am in Paris.

Every day here is a gift.

No matter what happens.

I will always have the feeling I got looking at the Kandinsky in the Pompidou and I cannot rid my heart of the tumbling children in the trampoline park or the glitter of lights from the carousel in the dusk.

I will always have the crush of Paris twilight breathing against my heart, no matter what happens.

I want it all so badly and when I stop and pause and look around, I realize, I have it all right here, right now, I have it.

I have Paris.

No matter what happens.

I have Paris.









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