Posts Tagged ‘Chet Baker’

Running Into Old

October 14, 2016


Is so very nice.

I saw two people tonight that I have not seen in some time and it was really good to catch up.

“It’s been forever!” I exclaimed to one of my friends, who raised an eyebrow.

“It doesn’t feel like that to me, but then again I read your blogs.”


I love that.

It just made my night.

Especially when it comes from people who I respect and admire, who I think are smart, it warms the cockles of my heart.


It’s a word.

Look it up.

Granted it meant not getting home until after 10:30 p.m. tonight, but I really needed to catch up with my people and it was super nice and I feel more connected and seen.

Sometimes I just need to claim my seat.

And I did that tonight.

I also got to relax and come down from work, the breaking up the week between gigs is challenging.

Not just from the standpoint of the differing locations and the different times, but also in establishing my boundaries again with the boys.

It’s something that usually happens on Mondays.

But I’m not with them on Mondays anymore, I don’t see them until Tuesday, then I’m at the other gig on Wednesday and that means the last couple of Thursdays have been a much greater challenge than they used to be.

I’m rolling with it, but by the end of the day I have been pretty worn out.

Of course.

I have my second wind, but it’s like after 11 p.m. and I should be winding down.


I’m listening to

Bon Entendeur.

Fuck it’s good.

So good.

It’s a bunch of French actors who open the set of music with a little monologue, then the music.

Ooh la la.

I’ve been quite into it.

It’s electro, chill, deep house, hip-hop, disco, house, techno.




More please.

My darling French friend at school had put together a Spotify play list for me and one day she added this awesome mix by The Kungs, a French dj–Valentin Brunel–Cookin’ on Three Burners, This Girl and I just couldn’t get enough of it.

I ended up saving all their music to Spotify and listening pretty compulsively to their artist page on Spotify.

I was so hooked.

Then when I ran into them for the mess in the park that was Hardly Strictly melt down for me, I mentioned it to her husband.

She had relayed to me that he was the one who needed to be thanked for the Kungs hook up, he had discovered them.

So I did.

And the next thing you know he’s adding Bon Entendeur to my phone and, well, god damn, it is so, so, so good.

I’m a happy clam listening to it, let me tell you.

There is always something new and amazing to listen to.

I can’t keep up with it all and when I get hooked on something I do tend to stay with it for a while.

I mean.

I am not necessarily embarrassed by it, but I did listen to Mike Doughty’s Stellar Motel for a couple of months pretty non-stop every night earlier this summer.

I got to where I could basically sing a long to everything.

I either want something that I can sing along to.

Or I want something I can groove to when I’m writing.

Once in a while.

I need jazz.

On a Sunday.

Chet Baker.

Miles Davis.

Coleman Hawkins.

Or I need some Regina Spektor, a Saturday night spell of girlishness where I will sing and sway alone in my room.

Sometimes I need The Myna Birds and I need to stomp and shout and be mad melancholic.


I need some Van Morrison.

Which is familiar and wistful.


A little Shuggie Otis Strawberry Letter Number 24.

Which is got all sorts of undertones to it, some raw and perfumed with the devil of jasmine on a cold night in the Mission with the fog cool on my heart and the breath of autumn rains soon to come.

At times I need the Bach cello sonatas.

I am an emotional eater of music.

Bon Entendeur really has my ticket right now.

It may be that way since I’m going to Paris in May.

It may be that I like fucking good music.

Probably a little of both.


And even though it’s late for me, on a school night.

Tomorrow is Friday.

Thank you God for helping me get through the week.

I do have a lot of homework, a lot of papers that need to get written.

But thank God, I finished the reading for one of my classes–which meant being caught up with the back log of reading I had for the class and finishing the reading that is due for next weekend of classes, so that paper will be easy to write and it’s short.

The other I can do in an hour, max two.

The third, yeah, there’s three.

I’m not exactly sure how to approach.

Depending on how early I get up tomorrow and what the weather is going to be like, it’s supposed to rain, I may knock one paper out tomorrow morning before I go into work.

I bet I can get it done.

Then one on Saturday and one on Sunday.

Totally doable.

Even if I don’t feel like doing them.

I will.

Even if I’d rather dance around in my house listening to god damn tasty French music.

I can probably manage to do a little of both.

Fingers crossed.

Hello weekend.

So nice to see you.



Walk Away

March 26, 2015

Let him go.

Those were the words in my head when I saw my friend sitting outside the burrito joint on Judah and 44th smoking a cigarette.

He doesn’t see me.

Which doesn’t mean that he didn’t see me.

He did.

I saw him.

And we did the weird, uncomfortable, yet oddly enough, familiar dance of people who need to be in the same place at the same time who don’t have anything to say to each other.

Which says volumes.

It did not hurt as much as I thought it would.

I knew he’s been around and I know, know without a doubt, that he won’t have anything to do with me even if I did approach him.

Which I have been directed not to.

And if you know anything about me, have read even one of my blogs or seen me around the block, you know, that the one thing I do well is take a suggestion.

Leave him alone.

Walk away.

Let him go.


Again and again it comes down to surrender.

Gratitude as well.

I am grateful for the time I got to have my friend in my life, for the words and books, the conversations, the music, the poetry of our time together, the love, the in bed the out of bed, the growth and the loss.

And the grief and joy and weirdness that is life.

One day, I hope, I’ll run into him and the past will have passed and we will be able to smile at each other, have a hug, share a moment, maybe get a cup of coffee.

Or not.

It is not for me to decide.

I choose, respectfully, to move on and keep moving forward.

These dreams.

True dreams of Wichita.

….Where you stand with keys and your cool hat of silence, while you grip her love like a drivers liscence…

These dreams lead me forward.

I know, in my heart, of hearts, of hearts, that I am not alone and that my circles of friends and lovers and relationships and employers and family may change and melt and merge and coalesce in different ways.

I have loved so many people.

And so many of them are no longer in my life, my daily life, not because they have died, although a few have, but because life has happened and they moved on or I moved on.


I get to still hold space for these people within me.

That is the fallacy of my thinking prior to having gone into recovery, that I would always have to hold so tight to anyone in my life, regardless of whether or not they were good for me to be holding tightly too.

I get to let go, softly, gently, even though I have not always done so gracefully or graciously, I get to let go even too, of that thought, that I have to move on in a certain way or manner.

I don’t have to do anything perfect.

The only thing I can do perfect is love all those in my heart and hold them, whether they know or not that they are held there.

In some ways I believe, a person is truly alone, there is no one who is ever going to know the exact depth and weight of my life or my soul or my heart, there are some that will get more inside my sphere and I will get to share with them to a greater degree than others, but on some levels, there is always this alone.

There is not, however, this loneliness.

I am not lonely.

Which is a lovely revelation to have.

I am never truly alone.

And it is not important that anyone other than myself know the inner workings of my heart.

It’s my heart.

I do hope that I can share some of it with you.

There is that.

That I can love you and that you will know it, even if we are not together.

Even when we used to be so close.

Where I does not exist, nor you, so close that your hand on my chest is my hand, so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

“Sit next to me Carmen,” he said in his sleepy cat voice, fresh-baked from his nap, small sweaty head imprint on his pillow. He rolled over in his ‘big boy’ bed and made room for me next to him and then tucked his Meow Meow under his arm.

“Sing me a song, Carmen,” he said, opening his raccoon fringed eyes, brown and soft and sweet, at me, before shuttering them down again, the weight of his eyelashes pulling his lids shut.

I sang him a song.

My sweet boy.

I have so many songs to sing, but they all sort of come out sounding the same and that, too, I believe, is as it should be.

I don’t know how to change you, so I change me.

Sometimes the lyrics to the song will be different from what I think and I will forget the refrain or chorus, or make a jumble of the words, but the feelings remain the same.

Instead of sorrow I feel joy.

And perhaps it is tinged by a touch of sorrow, but the sadness makes the joy that much more bright and palpable.

When I think of all the people I have met in my life and all the people I have shared a moment with, or a year, or more. When I think of all the people who’s hands I have held or the hugs given and received, whether they are to be given or received again matters not, I have been given the gift and to ask for more is greedy.

Though, I suspect, I will be given more, I think my purpose is still evolving and I know that I have more in me to let out.

More heart to wear on my sleeve.

More love to give.

More love to receive.


Time after time you’ll hear me say that I’m so lucky to be loving you.

Silver Lining

July 28, 2014

“Look on the sunny side of life,” Mister Chet Baker crooned as I grumped back into my studio this afternoon.

I really wasn’t interested in looking on the sunny side of life or seeing the silver lining, but it sure was funny timing, that song coming on just as I was battling the self-pity tears.

I never even got to get a good self-pity party on, hadn’t even donned my little hat with the upside down frowning faces in yellow and the sad pom-pom sitting askew on the pointed tip.


I pretty much got perspective immediately.

And information that I was grateful for.

Though upset when I first had gotten it.

I just wanted to go to the grocery store.

Not the one that is a block and a half away from my house either, the one that is four blocks away from the house.

I had decided this morning after getting up and feeling pretty good with my ankle, did the alphabet in my bed with my toes (this is a rehabilitation exercise, you’re supposed to imagine that you are holding a pencil in between your toes and write the alphabet with it-helps to work the ankle and rebuild the muscle) and stretched and it felt good.

Good enough to seriously entertain riding my bicycle.

I was nervous about it, I realized after eating breakfast and having coffee while I was writing my morning pages, but I figured, you know, time to get back on the bike, and four blocks was going to be easy.

I turned over the load of laundry in the dryer and proceeded to stare with longing at my bike.

Give it a shot.

You can do this.

I feel good.

I feel strong.

I got this.

I feel nervous and maybe I don’t got this but maybe I am going to try anyhow.

My bicycle needed a touch of maintenance, I haven’t ridden her since the night of the accident, June 5th, so seven and a half weeks, no bicycle riding for me, that is a length of time.

I haven’t gone that long without being in the saddle since I started riding in the city eight years ago.

I have missed my sparkling speedy whip, I had fantasies about riding it to work this week, I am really over MUNI, but I thought, start slow, go to the market at Noriega and 46th and see how you feel, if you feel ok, then maybe a ride along the Great Highway.

All flat, all easy, nothing that I would have thought twice about riding in the past.

I went to my bike, “hello friend, I’ve missed you,” I patted the saddle and lifted my two u-locks off the handle bars and pulled her away from the wall.

Both tires needed air, I pumped them up and felt scared again, maybe this is too soon.

Maybe I should just forget this.

Maybe I should just chill out and stick my foot on the pedal and shut it.

I swung my right leg over and slipped my foot into the Hold Fast strap (foot retention device on the pedal similar to a cage, but adjustable and much cooler looking, if I do say so), I adjusted it to fit my Saucony.

I was uncomfortable with how my foot felt in my shoe and how it fit in the Hold Fast, so I adjusted it a little and fantasized about wearing my Converse, which I know better, but I am just going for a little bike ride.

I could hear the story in my head as I told the doctor in the ER.


So, no Converse, just stay with your good shoe, and open up the strap.



On to the left foot, the injured foot.

I back pedaled, took my right foot out of the Hold Fast strap and set it down, steadying myself, I placed my left foot into the strap on the pedal.

I felt wildly unbalanced.

I never set down my right foot when I am at a stop.

I am left footed.

Right handed, but left footed, don’t ask me why, but I kick better from my left foot, and I have always planted my left foot down on the pavement when on my bicycle and at a stop.

I sighed, it feels weird, but I can go slow and maybe I will just turn the pedal over and not wear the strap at all.

I got off the bike and went inside to grab my messenger bag.

I said a prayer and went to it.

I took my bike out into the world.

I opened the garage door and swung my leg over the top bar.

I put my right foot in the strap, squared my shoulders, looked for traffic, and pushed off.

I put my left foot on the top of the pedal and pushed down.


Oh ouch.

I pedaled one more revolution.

More pain.



I had gone five feet.

I got off my bicycle and walked it back to the garage.

Ok, God, I got it.

I am not supposed to be on my bicycle.


My heart hurt, I really wanted my freedom, I really wanted my wheels underneath me, I really wanted to go grocery shopping at Noriega Produce Market.

I shut the bike up in the garage and went inside to take a minute to collect myself.

I turned on the stereo cube and the song that randomly comes on, Chet Baker, there’s a silver lining, just look on the sunny side of life.

I couldn’t help to break a chagrined smile.



I can do that.

I am not on crutches.

I am not hobbling about in a walking boot.

I can walk to Other Avenues, it’s just a block and a half away.

I have money to buy groceries.

I paid rent for August already.

I have a job to go to tomorrow.

I turned off the stereo, walked outside and headed to the closer market.

I turned the corner from 46th to Judah and saw a man in a motorized wheelchair climb up the little hill between 46th and 45th.


I get it.

There’s nothing wrong.

And I will get back on my bicycle.

Just not this week.

And until then.

I am able to walk and I get to ride MUNI and I get to go to work.

Silver lining.

Another way of saying perspective.

I got mine today.

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