Posts Tagged ‘Christmas Eve’

Small Steps

January 6, 2019

Almost, even, baby steps.

But steps nonetheless.

I have not been exercising for a while.

Not that I’m super out of shape, work five days a week as a nanny, picking up toys, the baby, who is now no longer a baby at two years old, the six-year-old and the almost nine-year old, up and down steps, over to the park and back, and you’ll stay in decent shape.

However.

I haven’t really exercised much since I moved into my new digs.

I’ve been here now three and a half, almost four months.

Part of it is that I’m in a PhD program and the majority of exercise there is lifting a book and turning the page or fretting about having to write a paper.

I’m sure the anxiety of walking through my first semester of the program wore off a few calories, but not really in a way that was healthful for me.

I have been thinking a lot about exercise, partially because a dear friend of mine keeps sending me messages about going to this or that yoga/dance party class.

I keep saying no.

And.

I keep saying I want to.

I don’t actually like exercise.

Until after I’ve done it and then I’m all like, why the fuck don’t I do this more often.

Of course, that feeling often fades and exercise becomes a bit of a chore, but I also know, rather well at that, that feeling better is important.

It’s not just my body that feels better.

It’s my brain.

My brain needs the break from thinking.

Sometimes I just need to get into my body and exercise is a great way to do that.

One of the things I have been telling my friend is that it’s a scheduling thing.

I just can’t see myself getting up early and heading across town to do a yoga class then hauling ass back here and getting ready for work or for seeing clients.

Nothing is convenient.

I looked at pools last night, which I have done enough times to know that it really is a haul to get anywhere that has a pool.

Then I fret about how long it will take to deal with my hair.

My hair is a serious thing.

Not that I do a lot with it, per se, just that I have a lot of it.

In fact, I think my hair is the longest its been in years.

I love my hair and it’s actually easier to deal with when it’s long, I don’t do much with it, it’s just that it takes a long time to de-tangle, wash, condition, and dry.

I have naturally curly hair and if I don’t treat it right it goes bonkers.

So swimming, though imminently appealing is not always the best option for me where I’m living and with the schedule that I keep.

Then.

This morning I had a dear friend over for coffee and he mentioned the gym down the street.

Yeah.

Yeah.

I know.

There’s a gym around the corner.

I walked past it on Christmas Eve at sunset when I went for a little stroll around the block and I noticed it.

And it’s been taking up a little corner of my brain for a while now, but until today I wasn’t really taking it seriously.

My friend happened to park next to it and talked to me about it and how it was a key pad punch in and that it didn’t look busy and that it seemed really reasonably priced and wow was it close.

My friend doesn’t have a gym that close to his place and he works out frequently.

I knew when he was talking to me about it that it was the answer and I had also gotten an e-mail at the turn of the New Year regarding the gym as it was part of the mailing list I got popped on for my old yoga studio.

Too many signs saying, ahem, you want convenient and fits in your schedule?

Here you go.

So.

I went online and found out that it really is quite reasonable and there’s a student discount and I could get a membership for $55 a month.

Which is $30 less than I was paying for my yoga studio.

But I don’t have work out shoes, my brain tells me.

Buy them, you twit.

Today after my friend left I headed to the Mission to see clients and I had nothing really to do until my 7p.m. commitment and I thought, you know, there’s that place in the Inner Sunset that has a pretty good athletic shoe selection.

I went.

They didn’t have anything that worked for me, but I had the idea in my head and I knew when I got home that I would just go online and order a pair of shoes.

I had transitioned to Saucony running shoes when I hurt my ankle about five years ago now, and I wore the hell out of them for a while and I know what size works for me.

Plus.

Oh yeah.

I have an Amazon gift card my employers gave me for Christmas.

Voila!

Free athletic shoes.

And the decision to go to the gym and get a membership as soon as the shoes arrive.

I’m thinking I could even lose a little weight, not that I need to so much, but I wouldn’t mind dropping one more pant size.

“You just keep getting skinnier and skinnier,” my friend said over coffee this morning, “what are you doing?”

Not much, honestly, obviously not working out.

But when I had all the issues with the reflux I cut a few things out of my diet.

I stopped eating a hard-boiled egg in the morning with my breakfast and I stopped having a snack at night.

I think that was really about it.

I’m just basically eating less.

I don’t think I’m still losing weight, but it was nice to hear that from my friend.

I also don’t see myself very clearly.

I will often see myself as heavier than I am or think that I am bigger than I am.

Partially because, well, I was for a very long time in my life.

Anyway.

Here’s to baby steps and ordering new work out shoes and making the decision to join a gym.

A gym!

Ahahahaha.

I am now one of those people who joins a gym in January.

This isn’t really a resolution though.

More like an intention to do just a little more self-care.

The next semester will bring much work with it and I sense that having an outlet will help me deal with the homework.

And maybe.

You know.

Look sexier in a pair of jeans.

Heh.

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Today I Ate

December 25, 2018

An entire book.

I mean.

I consumed it.

I chopped it up and snorted it down like it was some sort of happy drug.

I haven’t read fiction in so long it was an aphrodisiac.

I still feel a little high.

I did just like I said I would and I slept in this morning.

I woke up at 9:45 a.m.!

Holy Toledo.

I cannot remember the last time I slept that late.  I mean, maybe the ARTumnal Airpusher after party silent dance rave I went to in November, but even the day after coming home from a night of carousing and dancing I was still up by 8:30a.m.

I think.

So this morning was nuts.

I believe it was partially, at least this is my excuse, not that I need one, that it was so clouded over.

Dark and stormy.

Grey and misty and wet.

True San Francisco winter weather, not exactly rain, but mist and wind and rainy and all-pervasive.

San Francisco rain doesn’t really always come straight down, it seems to enwrap you and get everything soaked.

Without directly raining all that much.

So I slept in.

I might have even slept longer were it not for the siren song of my bladder yelling out about the big mug of tea I had before I went to bed last night.

I got up and was leisurely.

Like in a major way.

I think it was 11:30a.m. before I actually sat down for breakfast.

A phone call from my best friend was partially the reason, but mostly, I was just going slow and easy.

I enjoyed my late breakfast and wrote a ton.

A lot.

It was lovely.

And though I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do, I did know I was going to need to make a run to the grocery store and maybe see what was playing at the Balboa Theater, which is just up the road from me.

Unfortunately I’d already seen one of the movies and the other I am planning on seeing tomorrow.

But.

La Promenade Cafe was open and so I took my book and settled into a big leather arm-chair by the front window and sank into my story.

I bought this book last summer, a few weeks before I was to start my fall intensive for school.

A day before I got my first text-book in the mail for said intensive.

I only read a few of the stories, it’s a collection of shorts from A.M. Holmes called Days of Awe.

I really like her work, I’ve only read her novels and was happy to find that the shorts were just as compelling and in a way very interwoven, so it felt like I was reading a novel in a way.

I read at the cafe and listened to music and people watched and thought how nice it was to actually be in a cafe in my new neighborhood.

The first time since I’ve moved here since mid-September that I actually did something other than laundry in the neighborhood.

It felt a little like getting settled.

I did another first today too, this one may surprise you, although it shouldn’t considering how busy I keep myself.

I went for a walk around my neighborhood!

Yeah.

I know.

I really haven’t done any walking, unless it was from my car to the house or from the house to my car.

I had gotten back from the cafe, unloaded my groceries, roasted a chicken, made a late lunch, sat on my couch, watched the rain, ate brown butter brussels sprouts and hot roast chicken and listened to Coleman Hawkins.

It was delicious.

The food.

The music.

The rain on the windows.

It felt outside of time, I couldn’t remember what day of the week it was, Sunday, Monday, it all blended together.

My tree looked pretty, I lit candles, it was so cozy.

Then the sun burst out for a few minutes and I thought I should go for a sunset walk.

I quickly bundled up, there was only a few minutes before the sun was going to set, and I walked out the door on 48th and down Balboa towards the sea.

As I got closer, I realized that there was a path that I hadn’t seen before and what do you know, it’s actually a little park!

Sutro Dunes!

I had no idea.

Sweet little wood slat path along the base of the grass and flower covered dunes.

In the twilight it was deeply moving and full of divinity.

It felt really good to just do a little stretch around the neighborhood, to see the Cliff House hanging like an ornament over the ocean, to smell the fresh washed air, to just be.

I am pretty lucky when I think about it.

I live by the ocean.

It is literally a block away from my house.

Although I don’t get down to it as much as I would like, it is always a solace to me and I see it every day when I leave in the morning.

I always say hello.

I am in perpetual awe of its beauty.

And I am not often home at sunset to ponder it.

It was a really lovely little gift to me.

I got back to the house right before the rain began again and settled back on my couch, my first day of really sitting on my couch too!

My first day really using my coffee table like a coffee table.

I drank a second homemade cafe au lait, so decadent to have two in one day at my house, and I read more of the book until I left to go do the deal up at 7th and Irving.

Which was also just marvelous.

Ran into some much-loved fellows and heard exactly what I needed to hear.

Came home, heated up dinner.

And yes.

Yes I did.

I ate the rest of the book.

I read 288 pages today.

It was not a chore.

It was the best feeling.

And guess what?

One of my text books for the next semester did come in the mail today.

I did not read it.

I was tempted.

But I realized, did I want to leave the A.M. Holmes until next summer?

Or was it actually ok to let myself have Christmas Eve without homework?

It was ok.

And it was so lovely.

Exactly the kind of day off that will sustain me for many weeks as I marshal my way forward towards this next milestone of learning and life.

Gratitude this Christmas for all the gifts in my life.

There are so many.

The best, I dare say, may be my relationship with myself and the life I have been given.

Grace.

That’s what it is.

Grace.

I have been blessed.

And may you be as well.

Merry Christmas to all.

And to all.

A.

Very.

Good.

Night.

Not A God Damn

December 24, 2018

Thing.

Nothing.

I have no plans for tomorrow.

Zero.

Zip.

Nada.

I won’t be doing homework.

I won’t be going to work.

I have no clients.

I have no obligations.

I have no chores to do.

I did laundry today and cleaned up from last night’s holiday party.

I have no party to prep for.

I have absolutely nothing to do.

Except.

SLEEP IN!

Oh my God.

I am not setting an alarm for the first time in weeks?  Months, I mean, I don’t know.

It’s been a while.

I already feel like I’m playing hooky by writing my blog at 10p.m. at night.

I can stay up as long as a fucking want!

Although I won’t.

Because I am a creature of habit and I don’t want to blow my entire sleep schedule completely up.

I will have to work this upcoming week and not all of my clients went out-of-town for the holidays and I have group supervision as well as a one on one evaluation with my supervisor.

But hey.

That’s not tomorrow.

Tomorrow there is nothing to do but rest.

I have briefly entertained the idea of going to the MOMA, but I’m not sure I want to go downtown.

It may actually be the only place in the city that’s busy with shoppers and tourists and such.

I may not want to drive anywhere.

When was the last time I did that?

Not drive anywhere on a day off?

I had also thought about taking a nice long walk on the beach, but um, rain.

Looks like it’s supposed to rain most of the day tomorrow.

I could actually spend the entire day in the house and not leave it and lay around in my pajamas and not put on clothes or make up or do my hair.

I could.

I probably won’t though.

I can let myself sleep in a little, but not getting dressed and lazing around the entire day in pjs feels weird.

Besides.

I don’t wear pjs.

No.

I do like the idea of being up and doing a few things and I will do my normal morning routine, I will just not be doing it to the sound of an alarm going off.

I will wake up when I wake up.

There have been times that unscheduled open time freaked me out.

I have not had it in such a long time though, that I think I will manage to not freak out.

Christmas day I will be going out and about.

Not crazy like, but a matinée at the Kabuki Theater, The Favorite, with my person, then meeting up with a few others for Chinese food at Eric’s in Noe Valley, and then downtown to the Metreon for Mary Poppins.

I allowed myself to get wrangled.

Frankly I’m not really interested, but free ticket and not being by myself Christmas night was enough to get me to agree despite my lack of enthusiasm for the movie.

I do expect The Favorite will be fun, I heard it was wicked good and the previews definitely looked good.

I can’t imagine going out to more movies tomorrow.

Two movies in one day is decadent enough, I could read some books, not text books.

Although, knowing me, if the books I ordered for next semester happened to show up I might actually to get a jump on the work.

But I sense that’s not what I should be doing.

Keeping the space heater on, getting cozy with a novel on the couch and sipping hot tea and staring at my Christmas tree sounds about right.

I might walk to the store and buy a chicken to roast.

I really am contemplating not driving anywhere, although it’s likely that I will go out in the evening to do the deal, I could for most of the day just be at home.

It’s a nice home, it is.

I had a lovely time hosting my first little party here last night.

I had ten people show up and all the chili got ate!

All of it.

I had no left overs at all.

Oh, I had some, but not chili.

Anyway, it was lovely, very sweet, and I felt happy to have folks in the house and I made a pie from scratch, crusts and all, in heels and fishnets over silver glitter tights.

I mean.

It is Christmas after all, I had to wear some sparkle.

I found it quite appropriate to be in my kitchen in heels baking pie with my house full of gay boys and girlfriends.

It was good.

Chosen family.

I felt really blessed.

I have some of the best people in my life.

It was so nice too, to socialize.

I haven’t had much of that what with school and my internship and work and all that jazz.

I even tentatively talked going out dancing with a few of my girlfriends in January.

Not New Year’s Eve.

Total amateur night and way too expensive.

If I were to go dancing on New Year’s Eve I’d actually go to a friends party in the East Bay that’s a big sober event and usually a good time.

But not really sure I want to navigate the bridge on New Year’s Eve either.

The girls and I were thinking a little later into the month, although, not too late as I will be starting back up with school the last week of January.

I basically have one month off from school.

My spring intensive starts on January 24th.

So a few weekends of fun before I have to buckle back down with the books.

Two tops.

I will want to give myself some time to go over the materials before the intensive, there was reading assigned before this semester’s start, I can’t imagine that they won’t do the same for this upcoming semester.

Which is neither here nor there.

I am off topic.

Off topic from tomorrow.

My lazy, do nothing, have no responsibility to anything or anyone day.

Oh God.

It sounds so good.

I think I’ll get started now.

Good night.

Sweet dreams.

And don’t bother calling me in the morning.

My phone will be off.

I’m motherfucking sleeping in.

Seriously.

Well, I Almost Did It

December 25, 2017

Not cry that is.

But, sucker for nostalgia, lonely hearts, and Elvis Christmas carols.

I caved and cried a bit.

Christmas Eve alone.

Which is ok.

Really it is.

I’ve had plenty of special this Christmas season.

And I won’t be alone tomorrow.

I’ll be going to the East Bay to meet a friend and see her new place and go out to a movie matinée and a meal.

It will be sweet and the traffic will be easy.

I wasn’t completely lonesome today.

Sometimes being alone is just perfect and needed.

Lonely and alone are two very different things.

I was alone most of the day, although I did get out and do things.

I went to yoga, and it was a great class.

I left feeling so good and literally said out loud, “I have to figure out how to do this more often.”

The yoga studio is super close to me, but my schedule, shocker, conflicts with many of the classes.

I wish that had some early morning week day classes, but so far there’s just one, a 7 a.m. on Tuesdays that just recently started.

I haven’t gone yet as my therapy appointment is a 9:30 a.m. cross town in Noe Valley on Tuesdays.

I figure I could actually do the class if I set myself up right the night before, bring breakfast with me and coffee and have it at work, skip doing the majority of my morning routine, and cram in a yoga class before therapy.

I just haven’t tried it yet.

This Tuesday, however, I don’t have therapy, my therapist is away for the holiday, and I have been thinking that I will go to the 7 a.m. class and see what the timing is like.

A sort of dry run.

I’m not expected into work until 11a.m. so I’ll have plenty of time to do the class and do my morning routine.

I may even get a Friday morning yoga class in this week too, my family will be out-of-town for a long weekend and I have all day Friday off.  I haven’t booked in anything yet though, holding out to see what will arise.

Something will I am sure.

So, yes, yoga today and hot shower and hot latte and hot breakfast and lots of writing.

The lady bug I was supposed to meet with cancelled so I took myself to the Inner Sunset, got a cafe au lait and went to the nail salon.

Manicure.

Pedicure.

Eyebrows.

Lovely.

I wanted to go to Marnee Thai for a late lunch and was surprised to find them closed.

So I headed back home and had a really nice bowl of soup.

I noodled around a little here at the house and knew I should get out otherwise I might catch a case of the sads.

So I stuck a chicken in the oven to roast for dinner and some Japanese sweet potatoes and set off for Ocean Beach.

I saw a few Christmas tragedies happening, a drunken Santa Claus that I had seen stumble into the Fireside Bar on Irving and 7th which is right next door to the nail salon I go to, tumble off the MUNI and bumble his way across the street with “Santa Baby” playing loudly on a boom box and totter into Pittsburgh’s bar.

Which has most of the neon blown out in the sign so it just says “urgh’s.”

How I think that Santa must have felt.

I had seen one other tragic Christmas moment at the nail salon.

A woman walked in looking for a highlighter brush for a hair dye kit.

She was pretty glazed, Valium or something of the sort, and she knocked over a bunch of salon merchandise and then literally sat down on the floor in front of the accessories and mumbled how was she going to do her highlights before the Christmas dinner had to be cooked?

Yikes.

Merry Christmas lady.

But.

For the most part, it wasn’t a bad day, really, just quiet, like I said, and I managed to sneak into Java Beach and get the last cafe au lait of the day before they closed down for the night.

Decaf, I mean, really I like my coffee, but I try to not have caffeine after four p.m.

Then.

I strolled down to the beach.

The sun had already set, but the twilight was so pretty.

I took a lot of photos.

I love, love, love, the new phone camera.

It really takes some nice shots.

IMG_0042

IMG_E0034

The above is not the best shot, it’s a little fuzzy, but the camera does this “live” photo thing that is pretty amazing, it shows my facial movement as I line up the shot and it’s really cool to see it, plus the filters are exquisite.

I liked the filter on this one.

The beach was super quiet and it wasn’t quite as cold as I thought it would be.

I walked for a bit and enjoyed it immensely.

Then I came back to the house and pulled a perfectly roasted chicken out of the oven and had myself a damn fine meal.

I headed back out planning on doing a meet up with my fellows over at the Palace of Fine Arts, but only found folks meandering around the parking lot.

Apparently the facility had forgotten to alert them that the building would be closed for the holiday.

So I said hi to a few folks and then went for one more walk.

The Palace is pretty special and at night it really shines.

IMG_0043

The Christmas lights on the houses around the park too were just beautiful and though I didn’t have the night I was expecting it was a nice walk.

I queued up the Elvis Christmas album in the car and drove back to the Outer Sunset.

And yes.

Sigh.

I did tear up a little bit, but you know, the writing, this little blog, it helps me put things into perspective and I’m not so sad anymore.

Rather.

Just grateful as all get out that I have so much in my life.

Merry Christmas Eve!

May all your Christmas wishes be granted.

 

Frank Sinatra

December 25, 2017

Christmas carols.

Laying in your arms in the glow of the blue lights on the tree.

My heart beat syncopated with yours.

Warm, soft tears slide down my face.

I hope you do not notice.

Content and wrapped in your embrace a softening shelter I did not know I needed.

I think about you.

Love.

And.

Our.

Love.

So many kinds.

Blue love.

Joyful love.

Peanut butter and chocolate chip cookie love.

Christmas carol love.

Hanging filigree ornament love.

Pink bunny love.

Walks on the beach at twilight love.

Butterflies in the garden love.

Flowers wrapped in gunny sacks and tied with twine love.

Candlelight love.

Untold love.

1,000 kisses love.

Tears on my pillow love.

Crows passing red berries in the snow, beak to beak, love.

Love letters love.

Poetry love.

Shameless love.

Not sorry love.

Not safe love.

Hands entwined love.

Squish love.

Passionate love.

Chemistry love.

Alchemical love.

Magic love.

Moonlight love.

Star shine love.

Dressing up in my prettiest dress for you love.

Pink glitter lip gloss love.

Baby girl love.

Dearest, sweetest, tenderest love.

Vulnerable love.

Smash love.

Precious love.

Spectacular love.

Cannot wait to see you love.

Miss you all the time love.

Dreamy love.

All the love I have for you, love.

Christmas Eve love.

Wishing you all the joy love.

All the blessings of love.

All the happiest happiness of love.

For you.

My love.

Wishing you it all.

Merry Christmas baby.

I love you.

 

 

All Things Asian

December 25, 2016

In other words.

Merry Christmas Eve to the person who had to cancel two different sets of plans.

The first, you all have heard me talk about, no Christmas in Wisconsin, didn’t work out had to cancel.

The second set was to go help a friend move today.

But after yesterday’s challenge, and let’s be frank, the whole week has been a challenge, and a lingering cold that just won’t get the fuck out of my body, I cancelled.

I don’t like canceling.

I cried on the phone to my friend.

But.

That’s the way the cookie crumbles.

I did rally though and get out of my house.

The thought of being at home alone the whole day was too much to bear, so I just thought, easy does it, you know where to go and who to see and it can be nice and slow and just take things one moment at a time.

I had a nice breakfast, courtesy of the persimmons Santa left for me, some nice coffee and a lot of writing.

I decided I would venture out to the Inner Sunset, I knew people would be there and that I needed to check in with my people.

But before that.

Yes.

My nail salon was open.

Merry Christmas Eve day manicure and eyebrow waxing courtesy of the sweet mother daughter team at the Korean nail salon I go to.

I popped in next door to Tart to Tart and treated myself to a large cafe au lait, then came back and got all pretty.

For whom?

Why, me, of course.

I may not have a significant other this year, but I can damn well treat myself like I am one.

Because, well, I fucking am.

After the nails I popped over to 7th and Irving and did the deal with a bunch of folks.

It was really good.

I mean.

REALLY.

Heard everything I needed to hear and got my heart warmed up, it’s been aching, although it may just be the tightness in my chest from the cold, I suspect it’s a mixture of both.

Afterward it was definitely time for lunch.

Thai food it is!

I was rather smitten with the red curry duck with plantains I had the other day at Marnee Thai, so I went back to see if they were open, and yes!

They were.

I even was sat in the exact same spot.

Sort of cozy and sweet and one of the servers remembered me and when I had sipped, quite quickly, I was trying to warm up, my cup of tea, she flagged over my server whispered something to her in Thai and the next thing you know my server comes back with a huge glass of tea.

Apparently they know me well after just two visits.

I was doing ok and also not feeling like quite calling it a day, though I did think about it when I stepped back outside, the weather today, for San Francisco, was quite cold.

Is quite cold.

But I decided that I could scooter over to Japan town and catch a movie at the Kabuki Sundance Theaters.

I had worn a lot of layers, in fact I was a polar bear on my scooter, but even in the theater I was a little chilled.

Slight fever.

Which sometimes is actually kind of nice, and sometimes makes everything feel a little chillier.

But the movie was sweet and I was also warmed by the brief, but happy phone call I had with my sister and my mom!

It was such a lovely surprise to see my sister’s name pop up on my phone.

She called to thank me for the gifts I had sent and I spoke briefly with her and then with my mom before going into the movie.

I almost missed the previews, and I like previews.

I went and saw La La Land.

It was the perfect Christmas Eve movie to see, lots of singing, a tender, somewhat bittersweet romantic plot line, and good acting.

I was quite taken.

And yes, I did tear up a bit at the ending.

It was well done and I’m glad I went.

Speaking of glad I went, I decided to double down and go catch some fellows over at Turk and Divisadero and just sit for another hour and absorb the good stuff with a small cast of merry friends who were staying in town as well for the holiday.

It was chilly, but cheerful.

I am definitely glad I went.

And to round out all things Asian for my merry Christmas Eve.

I took myself out to a sushi dinner at my favorite sushi restaurant in my hood–Sushi Raw–over on 19th and Taraval.

Christmas bonus never tasted so good.

I do not eat out very often and I’ve eaten out a lot over the last few days, it’s been lovely, but it will be settling down.

That being said, fuck it’s Christmas Eve and I didn’t feel like cooking, I will tomorrow, I don’t know that I will be zooming around at all, I did push myself a bit more than I thought I would in the name of keeping myself busy and out of my head, so I let myself splurge on sushi.

I had scallops wrapped in bacon.

BACON.

MmmMmmm good.

Miso soup, edamame, and my favorite roll–Caterpillar Roll, which is unagi with avocado.

Lots of hot tea, I was super cold after my riding.

And it was really sweet to sit by myself and people watch.

I was the only person there who wasn’t Japanese.

I am so grateful to live in a community with so many ethnicities and cultures.

And grateful that not everybody celebrates Christmas the ways that “my” culture does.

Or I would have been a little out of luck with all the activities and places and food I had today.

It’s certainly not the Christmas I envisioned, but that’s ok.

It’s the Christmas I’m supposed to be having.

How do I know this?

Because it’s what’s happening.

Reality.

Better than fantasy any old day, even when I think otherwise, even when I had tried to wrest Christmas and it’s traditions into my own idea of what it’s supposed to look like.

I didn’t plan on being sick, I didn’t plan on canceling my travel plans, I didn’t plan on being alone.

But overall.

I never felt lonely today.

Even though I spent much of it alone.

Rather.

I felt held, special, and very privileged to have the life I have today.

I’ve come a very, very, very long way.

Baby.

So very long.

And so grateful for every step along the way.

Seriously.

Replete

December 20, 2016

Full.

Not quite.

But almost.

Stuffed.

I ate some nice food today.

The boys I take care of, at least for the rest of this week, are on vacation from school.

The housecleaner was there today so the mom said take them out to lunch.

Absolutely.

But first.

The park.

It was a glorious, albeit chilly day in the city.

We went to Dolores Park Cafe for coffee and animal crackers.

Well.

I had the coffee.

And they had the animal crackers.

Then to the park, far emptier than normal as the city seems to be fully in exodus mode as the holiday fast approaches.

It was nice, going to work this morning and not having the normal amount of traffic.

It was nice to be at the park with the boys and not have heaps of people sitting in the grass smoking up and drinking beer out of paper sacks, the park was truly under the rule of the local little ones and their minders.

I rather found that lovely.

I got some much needed sunshine on my face and it was sweet to sit in the top of the park and look over the city and feel so much gratitude for my life.

The boys were snuggly and lovely and sweet today, animal crackers always help that, but they are also very aware that I am leaving them soon and they seem to be stockpiling the snuggles.

“Carmen, put your hand back there and keep rubbing,” the four year old admonished me this morning as we sat at the kitchen table and they ate the oatmeal I had made for them.

“It feels good.”

Yes, my sweet friend.

I’ll give you all the back rubs and snuggles you can possibly take on this next week.

The boys mostly dug in the sand box and I mostly soaked up the sunshine and casually trolled the internet to see if there were any movie theaters open on Christmas night in case I decided I wanted to do a movie.

Christmas Eve I now have plans.

I will be meeting my person in the morning at Tart to Tart, doing yoga before hand as the studio is open in the morning on Christmas Eve, then after I do the deal I’m going to head over to Oakland to help out a friend who has to move over the weekend.

We’ll get as much done as possible, hang out, grab some dinner and go to a movie.

Christmas Eve in Oakland.

Not what I was planning, but I am quite sure it will be really nice.

I adore my friend and it will be nice to spend time with her.

Especially as she made such the effort to come see me on my birthday in the city.

Travel to the city is some serious shit, the parking is awful, the traffic is quadruple what it used to be and it’s all around a much harder place to negotiate.

That she made the effort means a great deal and I can make the effort to do the reverse.

Especially as I have no time frame in regards to the holiday anymore.

The rest of it will fall together as it may.

Or may not.

I’m not too worried about it.

All in all, it’s just another day, granted it can be very sweet and special, but I do find that the more I have expectations around it, the harder it can be to get through.

I thought I had eluded the Christmas blues with my plans to fly to Wisconsin this year.

Seeing as how Paris was so heartbreaking last year and the year prior my boyfriend at the time chose to spend it with his ex-wife (that relationship didn’t last much longer than a few more weeks, fyi, although I harbor no grudge or resentment, it was painful to go through that day alone walking on the beach, which is what may very well happen this year too, so I best get the fuck over it), I really can’t make plans for the holiday.

I just seem to get bit on the ass when I do.

So whatever happens I am entirely fine with.

Coffee will be had, that’s about all I know.

After that, no expectations shall lead to no resentments and that will make for a fine Christmas indeed.

And really, after all the love I got in the last day from friends and my employers and the boys, I don’t need to ask for more, I have already been given so much.

Just take lunch and dinner for heaven’s sake.

I ate some amazing food today.

The boys opted for Tacolicious for lunch, which if you haven’t gone is a pretty high end taco joint in the Mission.

The boys had the kid’s plate–fish taco with homemade refried beans and rice and lots of chips and big cups of milk.

I had the pozole, which was good, not the greatest I’ve ever had, but super warm and hearty and satisfying.

I also had the plantains with crema and refried beans.

THAT was hella good.

I was a very happy camper eating that.

After lunch the boys had quiet time and I had sort of a mental break down on the phone with my friend when I realized how tired I was and that I was struggling with the idea of the speaking engagement I was supposed to do tonight, in fact, would be at right now as I was supposed to speak at 8:30p.m.

But I had said yes without considering that I have a super early start tomorrow and I wasn’t feeling all that well, a constant head ache all day, that has just in the last hour finally simmered the fuck down.

I took 7 ibuprofen over the course of the day.

No fun.

I also was running a slight temperature, again, nothing huge, not really all that sick, but it just became clear I was going to need to marshall my reserves to get through the day and also to go to the dinner that my employers wanted to take me out to for my birthday.

The boys were so excited, it’s their favorite restaurant hands down.

They had so much food I don’t know how they crammed it all into their little boy bodies, but man, they did.

I had swordfish sashimi and yes!

They still had it, the persimmon salad with duck breast.

It was amazing.

Persimmons are basically out of season at this point so when I saw the salad, I knew.

It was divine.

And then.

I just got on my scooter and came home.

I don’t know that I am actually sick, but I suspect the emotional roller coaster of figuring out my travel or not travel to Wisconsin, combined with my birthday and having to finish that gigantic paper for school just kind of pushed me over the edge.

I’m going to go to bed early tonight and just call it a day.

I’m sure I’ll be fine in the morn.

I feel better already, just from being home.

Home.

It is such a nice place to be.

Yes.

Even when I was expecting to be elsewhere.

Home.

As it turns out.

Is just where I want to be.

Seriously.

Well, Your Man Won’t Dance

January 13, 2016

But I will.

Oh.

My.

God.

Total nerdgasm.

I was meeting my person at Church Street Cafe this evening after work, grabbing a tea, just about to turn off my phone and I see a little notice on my Instagram feed.

Mike Doughty just liked your photo.

Followed by.

Mike Doughty is now following you.

What?!

Fuck me.

Wet panties.

Wet.

I am a dork.

I admit it.

I saw that man up front and personal when I was a wee lass, at the Eagles Ballroom in Milwaukee when Soul Coughing was on tour for Ruby Vroom.

I saw him solo at Cafe Montmartre in Madison and I talked to him, briefly about maybe booking a gig at the Angelic Brewing Company.

I remember one of my friends, a co-worker, was so in love with him and screamed out his name and belted out his lyrics, then in a hushed moment declared her unending love and the fact that she was high on mushrooms.

He heckled her so hard she left out of pure mortification.

I saw him back a couple of years ago at The Fillmore when he was playing the Ruby Vroom album pretty much solo and I just finished reading his memoir and like a dork, really thought hard about bringing it with and asking for an autograph.

I didn’t.

But.

I did get my own form of mortification.

I was right up front with my man Stark Raving Brad and our mutual friend Dirty was somewhere out there too with another friend, and I was bobbing along to a solo acoustic rendition of Janine when Doughty changed up the lyrics and said “Edna St. Vincent Millay” instead of the  radio announcer’s name and I whooped out acknowledgement.

He startled, obviously surprised that anyone got the reference.

Secret.

Shhh.

I won a gold medal at an 8th grade forensics meet in Wisconsin when I was at DeForest Middle school reciting a poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay.

She’s my kind of woman.

And Mike.

Well.

Gah.

He gave me a nod and a smile.

I wanted to sink below the floor.

Or give him a blow job.

Heh.

He got me through the sads in Paris I must have listened to Yes, And Also Yes until I knew every single song back and forth.

It was a part of my soundtrack.

It still is.

I have it on the stereo right now.

Just a little hero worship.

Or.

Maybe some day we’ll meet.

Love, love made them beautiful at last.

She doesn’t fall in love, she takes hostages.

Let me take you hostage, baby.

Your new song can be 27 Carmens.

Instead of 27 Jennifers.

Bwahahaha.

Oh.

Gack.

I think the closest I have ever gotten to being a douche, but I reframed was when I saw Pete Yorn in the hotel bar at the W down on Mission and 3rd.

I bought him a drink and sent it over to his table.

He had some tiny, skinny, glam doll draped over him and they were both slunk so low down in the chair you could barely tell it was him.

But it was.

I asked the waitress and she nodded.

“Send his next drink from me, but you don’t have to tell him, just a fan,” I said.

Then.

“I mean, I owe the man a few drinks when I think about all the sex I had to Music For The Morning After.”

Then I got good and wasted myself.

Not so much anymore.

The days were darker then.

Not so now.

“You’re on your watch tonight, aren’t you,” he said to me from the deep brown leather chair in the front window of the Church Street Cafe.

I am.

One hour and thirty minutes.

Unless I get some crazy hair up my ass and run over to the 7-11.

I’ll buy a bunch of PowerBall tickets, a bottle or fifteen and then go throw myself in the ocean because my life will effectively be over.

Nah.

I think I’ll stay in.

And do what I did last year.

Drink a cup of tea and say some prayers of grace and thanks and let the clock roll over to midnight and then get on my knees and cry a little out of gratitude.

You know.

No biggie.

Just eleven years of being happy, joyous, and free.

And.

Sometimes depressed, wrecked, ravished, ravaged, and lost.

But never fucked up like I used to be.

No.

Never.

Sometimes so overwhelmed with sorrow that I think I will break.

“Does it bother you that I talk so flippantly about him,” my person paused, looking at me with piercing eyes, gentle, but probing.

“No, it’s ok,” I said.

And it is.

I think he would be proud of me.

“You aren’t going to relapse,” he said, “please, that’s just not in your stars.”

Not so far.

Your love is ghost.

But I still remember the kiss you gave me on that night sitting in the front row at Our Lady of SafeWay on a Friday evening.

You wrapped your arm around my shoulder and pulled me close and kissed my forehead.

I won’t ever forget that kiss.

Or.

The glow of you that last night I saw you alive.

I will always remember.

My dark star.

My heart.

I know how proud you would be of me.

I know how proud you are of me.

I hope you and Bowie are out on the dance floor together.

Toasting our souls with ginger ale.

I heard you whisper, “be the ball, Martines,” to me the other day when I was re-arranging the postcards hanging from my mobile.

I was putting up one I had forgotten I had sent myself from Paris.

On Christmas day from the Pompidou, I ransacked the gift shop and bought a cloth sack, a notebook, two magnets–one of the Pompidou and one of a Mark Rothko I really liked–and postcards.

I had written myself a note, one of congratulations for having made it through a blue period, I think Christmas Eve was the only night I thought I might die of heart ache and sorrow, but I knew, from having walked through it before that I would again.

And.

I did.

And it was Christmas and I was high on art in the Pompidou.

I bought a blue on blue on blue postcard of dense indigo; a smash of rich monochrome, super saturated, intense color.

I got that postcard in the mail, read it, and spun the mobile, looking for a place to clip it.

And there it was.

My post card from Hallowell, Maine.

The one I sent myself the Christmas I went to Maine to stay with your family, their first Christmas without you.

I heard your voice, “be the ball, Martines.”

Yes.

I think I will.

Year eleven.

I hereby declare is the year of being the ball.

The belle of the ball.

The apple of your eye.

The ball to be watched.

The ball to be chased.

Because.

I’m done doing the pursuing.

I am enough.

He knew.

He knew so many years before I did.

Mike Doughty knows.

He liked my street art photos from the Marais.

He’s following me.

Who knows who else will.

This is my miracle year.

I just fucking know it.

Like the clarion ring of a soft finger stroking the string on the neck of a guitar.

It resounds within.

Clear as a bell.

These.

Natural harmonics.

This singing of the spheres.

The lightness in my heart.

This divine glow of love all around me.

All.

Around.

Me.

This.

Love.

 

I’m Glad Your Posting Again

December 23, 2014

He said to me this evening as we exchanged a quick hug before I bounced to catch the N-Judah home.

Yeah, not my bicycle, but the MUNI.

Flat tire today.

I was able to pump it up this morning and it held air to get me to, work, but by the time I was done with work again it was soft and suspect I need either a new tube, as the valve might be leaky, or I need a new tire.

Either way I am covered.

And very fortunate that my bike shop is just blocks away from where I work.

I dropped it off at the shop and then high tailed it in a cab to the Inner Sunset.

I got my God on and hit the MUNI home.

Tomorrow I’ll be taking a car into work, I don’t like how often I have had to take Uber and Lyft and cabs this past week and a half, but between the rain, the flat tire, and it just being that way, I will live.

“White girl problems,” he said to me as I complained that the new teas at Starbucks sucked and they didn’t carry any decent tea.

Yeah, that’s pretty much what I have today.

Which isn’t to say that I won’t get my panties in a twist when something small arises, so I gratefully hopped in the cab and I will gratefully take a car into work tomorrow.

Which also happens to be my Friday.

Oh yeah.

I have a five-day weekend.

I shall be kicking it off by getting picked up by my boyfriend from work and heading straight to the symphony to watch the Charlie Brown Christmas special accompanied by the San Francisco Symphony playing the score by Vince Guaraldi.

I don’t know what I will be doing exactly for Christmas Eve or Christmas or the days thereafter.

I did mention to my guy that I wanted to go down to Big Sur and see the monarch migration, but he’s been sick and is just now after five days of being in it, coming back to a state of normalcy.

I find it too difficult to ask for anything from anyone who is sick, let alone the boyfriend.

I figure we’ll roll with whatever happens.

He actually has standing plans to be elsewhere Christmas morning, so I’ll have that free too.

Sleeping in is about all I think Santa is going to be leaving under my tree.

My tree!

I forgot I had gotten my tree yesterday and was warmly surprised and delighted when I opened the door to my studio and there my little Charlie Brown tree was draped in lights and ornaments.

I plugged in the lights and smiled.

I do so like Christmas time.

I also finished wrapping up presents.

I picked up some things for the boys that I care for today—vintage newspaper boat hats, googley eyed “monster” putty packs, and one brand new wooden racecar for each of them.

I joked with the clerk in the store that I was using my Christmas bonus to buy toys for the boys I care for.

And so the love goes around.

I got a bonus for Christmas and that was such a lovely thing.

I wasn’t surprised per se, I expected that I would get one, but I wasn’t expecting it to be a whole weeks pay, before taxes.

Thank you Santa.

Serious.

I paid off my student loan a few weeks early, threw some in savings, bought some nice food to have around the house and am thinking I may splurge on a New Year’s Eve frock.

As well as paying for the application fee to the graduate school I will be applying to this weekend.

Yes.

That’s right, it’s time to get that going and on track.

I will have time to work on it and I can’t think of a better Christmas present to give myself than a future.

I had a few doubts over the past few days in regards to the school and the direction and am I doing the right thing, but as they say, “willingness without action is fantasy.”

I have to take the action and move forward.

If it’s not meant to be, then that will be made very apparent, but if it’s meant to be I have to do the work.

I can be willing to change and be better, but until I actually take a different action then its just masturbation and fantasy.

Gee, wouldn’t it be nice, if when my body falls apart from being a nanny for over eight years, I have another career I can segue into.

A career where I can be of love and service to the community about me.

Which is always my purpose anyhow.

For which I am handsomely and richly paid, but it is a different kind of service.

So, I will be taking some time to work on that and get it done.

“You don’t want to stop doing all the things that the person who is with you was attracted by, you’ll paradoxically lose that persons interest.”

Well spoken.

So, when I got the pat on the back for getting back in the blogging saddle, I knew it was the truth.

I still got to write.

I don’t suppose or hope or have expectations around my blogging or the morning pages that I do; rather, that I just need to do them.

I don’t have expectations any more about becoming a big, rich, famous writer.

Besides, I’m famous in my own mind.

I do, however, need to cultivate the artistic temperament in me, whatever that looks like in the moment, which is often the writing for me.

But it is also reading, which I haven’t done a lot of recently, and doing activities that inspire wonder and awe in me.

My partner, I have said often and loud, must compliment me, not complete me.

This means, I complete myself, take care of myself and nurture that art girl in me.

Maybe it’s time for an Artist Date as well.

I do have Christmas Eve day off.

So much life.

So much love.

So much gratitude.

Happy Holidays.

Home for the holidays.

Christmas in San Francisco continues.

 

 

Pay Day

December 21, 2013

And like that.

Finally.

I have all the money for Barnaby.

I just made a deposit to my online savings account and without even realizing that I had, I pushed over the amount I owe him.

$1350.

No more.

I am done.

I hate having debt to someone, hate it.

Appalled that I had to take out that loan but there was no way, no fucking way I was going to be able to get back home without it.

Home, where I am supposed to be, though, currently not writing this from my home, rather my house sitting gig in the Mission.

Where there is a cozy kitty and a plush bed and yes, thank you very much, internet.

The guys I am house sitting for got the password to me after a few failed attempts last night, I now am home free and while I am not exactly at home, I do feel a lot better being here and also, I have to say, it is kind of nice to be in the Mission.

To get to see a few folks that I don’t typically see, not since moving out to the beach, and to re-connect with people who I used to see on a weekly basis.

“Oh!” She said to me over tea at Sugar Lump, a cafe on 24th between Florida and Bryant, “you should come over to my house for Christmas!”

We were discussing holidays, family, plans, New Years.

And as soon as she said it, I knew that was where I wanted to be.

There will be two sweet dear ladies there that I know and love, a three-year old who I got to hold in my arms in her first week of life and friends who I haven’t seen for a while, since they moved over to the East Bay, and their son, who is I believe also three.

Rock on.

Really relaxed, really sweet, intimate, in a cozy, cheerful home with dogs and little girls and boys running around, good, good people and good food too.

“Oh, I will be doing all the cooking,” she said adamantly, “I am making all the food I like!”

She’s a vegetarian and her family has just never quite gotten what that means.

“And I know what to make for you!”  She added, smiling brightly.

I don’t eat sugar or flour and she is well aware of it.

Oh my god, to not have to tell someone who I won’t be having the stuffing or that cookie, or no thanks, no pie for me.

Just to sit and have a nice meal and not worry about it and be amongst dear friends.

Sounds exactly like what I am supposed to be doing.

And when the checks for all the families and the money from the house sitting gig hit my account I was excited to see that I am doing exactly what I should be doing.

Paying off my debt and enjoying the little extras that I don’t always get for myself.

Nice toiletries, because it’s nice to have good smelling stuff of your own when you houses sit, some new hair clips, and I was even able to make a quick dash over to Nordstrom’s after my evening duties were finished.

I did not find a thing and I left quite happy to be, well, leaving, empty-handed, but with plenty of money still in my wallet.

I just got the things that I really can use today and decided to put the money in the savings and then see what was left over.

And there is left over.

Yay!

I am not planning on going crazy, but maybe I will get myself a little something for Christmas, I did give myself an experience–the horseback riding–for my birthday, so maybe something along those lines.

I was thinking as my friend spoke of Christmas plans, that I still do want to do a little small something for me, and as I was listening, a sudden thought popped into my head.

I could go on a ferry-boat ride on Christmas Eve out to Tiburon!

Or Sausalito.

Or Angel Island.

How fun would that be?

I am working on Christmas Eve, but just a half day in the Castro, and when I finish I could take myself down to the Embarcadero and catch a ferry out across the bay.

I could wander around the little towns, walk Sausalito, which I normally ride my bicycle through, oh, hey there, that’s a sexy idea, I could take my bike on the ferry!

And then ride the boat back at sunset with the lights of the city, all Christmas decked out, sparkling on the bay.

Maybe a little special dinner at the Ferry Building?

Oysters.

Mmmmm.

Or Slanted Door.

I could go to a movie at the Embarcadero Center, which has some of my favorite art house movies, and call it a night.

I am liking this idea.

I am also liking that I am making a run down to Ocean Beach tomorrow afternoon to drop off a few things at the house and grab some more clothes.

I can get my camera, which I did not bring with me.

If I am going to go out on a ferry-boat, I want my camera with me.

Ooh.

I am excited.

This is exactly what I want to be doing!

Christmas Eve ferry-boat ride in San Francisco followed by dinner and a movie.

Christmas Day dinner with dear sweet friends and their families at a warm cozy house with good food, I can eat!  And a tree and kids and Christmas movies.

Perfect.

Merry Christmas indeed.

 

 


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