Posts Tagged ‘Christmas in San Francisco’

Cozy Little Christmas

December 26, 2016

I was talking to the moms earlier and she expressed how sad she was that I was alone at Christmas.

I assuaged her.

I almost laughed, I haven’t felt lonely, despite, yes, spending the majority of the day alone.

I never felt lonely.

Sleepy occasionally.

I actually napped.

A lot.

I don’t nap often and it always feels rather epic when I do.

I blame the malingering cold.

Not enough to knock me completely flat, but definitely, defiantly still there, sitting on my chest with a nasty proprietorship that I am about done with.

Ha.

I foil you cold.

I signed up for a yoga class tomorrow, get out of my body.

I figure one more big night of sleep and some warming up and stretching will make me feel a lot better.

I didn’t get to the studio at all this past week, the weird hours at work, the onset of the cold, the holiday stuff, I got behind and nothing quite worked with my schedule.

Speaking of schedule.

I have been in contact with the new family I will be starting with on January 2nd and since I’m in town this week I’ll be meeting with them to go over the stuff and things and sign my new contract.

It’s for reals.

I am grateful for the week off.

Even with the stupid cold.

I will go to the MOMA.

I may go the DeYoung and the Legion of Honor too,  haven’t been to either in a while.

Maybe one day a ride over to Sausalito too on the ferry, it’s been a while since I have done that as well.

And as I let myself listen to a last few Christmas carols I really am reflectively happy.

Yes, I had other plans.

And I’m ok with the change of them.

I’m not upset that I spent Christmas by myself.

I’m good company.

Really good company.

I got myself a new dress for Christmas.

Oh god damn it’s cute.

From Hell Bunny.

Thank you Christmas bonus.

I don’t think it will get here in time for New Year’s but it might, not that I don’t have a dress, I did let myself get a dress from Ambiance the other day.

Two dresses at Christmas, so nice to do for myself.

I had a nice morning writing and drinking cafe au lait.

I opened cards and gifts from family and I talked to my mom on the phone and chatted and messaged with other friends and dear hearts.

I made turmeric spiced garlic brown rice and I roasted a pork roast.

Oh my god.

The roast.

I very infrequently buy pork or steak, it’s just spendy for me and if I get meat, I typically get a chicken, I can stretch a chicken into a weeks plus worth of meals, but you know, Christmas.

So I picked up a pork roast at the SafeWay the last time I shopped.

And what with the Adobo my darling friend gave me from Puerto Rico and the persimmons Santa sent me, fuck me, I made an amazing pork roast.

I seasoned it with sea salt, black pepper, the aforementioned Adobo, Spike, a tiny bit of tarragon and then slow cooked it for an hour and a half.

While it rested I made the rice.

Then I sliced up some persimmon, layered them over the top of the roast, added a tiny bit more salt, and yes, raw organic cocoa.

While the rice was cooking and the roast was resting I went for a walk down to the beach.

The waves were heavy and crumbling and loud.

There were a few folks out with their pups and one surfer trying to paddle out past the break.

I walked for a while.

Then perched in the dunes above the beach.

I was not sad.

I am not sad now.

I reflected, rather, that I have done a lot for myself, with the help of a lot of friends, over this past year.

I dis-entangled myself from a love relationship that was woefully not working.

I went to New York in May and saw all the art and things and friends.

I went to New Orleans and saw all the art and the things and made new friends.

I went to Burning Man, briefly, yes, but I went and saw all the art and the things and made new friends and saw old friends.

I rode my scooter all over the city.

I mean all over.

I successfully got through the first semester of my second year in a three year graduate school program.

I saw Mike Doughty and Paul Simon live.

I started doing yoga.

I finished a two year plus job with grace and love and got referred kindly to my next position with rave references.

I comported myself pretty damn well.

I told lots of people I love them.

I do, you know.

I sat up in those dunes happy with myself, alone, but not lonely and it struck me so resolutely how lonely I felt last year at Christmas with the man I was in love with and then the year prior with an old boyfriend, alone on Christmas as he chose to spend it with another.

I was not in pity for myself, I remember walking that same stretch of beach tears running down my face, in a white dress, my hair in braids, the wind so cold, the sun bright, brilliant, but cutting.  I took a picture of myself in the dunes that year and all the responses were the same, my god how beautiful and all I could think was my God, I’m in a relationship and alone on Christmas, my God how lonely I am.

Alone.

But not lonely this year at Christmas.

I came home from my happy gambol along the beach and lovingly put the roast in the over to sear at a high temp for a half hour and carmelized the persimmons and my goodness, my house may have never smelled better.

I read for a while then pulled out the roast and dug in.

It was beyond description.

So good.

And I had saved a Rau Raw Chocolate drink to have with it.

Best Christmas dinner ever.

Seriously.

I had a sliced persimmon after dredged in sea salt and raw chocolate, cinnamon and nutmeg, and a big mug of Bengal Spice tea with cashew milk.

I was full and happy and warm and cozy.

I read for a little while longer, so many wonderful new pleasure reading things to get through, then.

I had a thought.

My how nice a nap might be.

So.

I did.

Merry fucking Christmas.

I curled up underneath my grandma’s afghan and watched the Christmas tree.

I drifted off, warm, safe, held.

Wrapped up in love.

Alone?

Yes.

Lonely, no.

Loved and taken care of.

Loving to myself and to others.

The best Christmas miracles are always the little ones.

Seriously.

So, mama, don’t be sad that your baby was alone on Christmas.

I had a beautiful day and when I reflect on all the people who love me.

Well.

I am surely blessed.

So very much so.

Wishing you and yours the same.

Always.

And.

Forever.

 

 

Last Christmas I gave you my heart.

But the very next day you gave it away.

This year I’ll give it to someone special.

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.

Scrolling Face

December 4, 2015

Crack is not going to write my blog.

Ugh.

I have just had a flat day.

The most exciting thing about today was riding to work in a down pour and saying  the serenity prayer on a loop in my head.

You know it’s gnarly weather when I get off my bike to cross the street on foot by the MUNI tracks, Sanchez and 17th.

They are the worst.

I have nightmares about them.

I got to work fine but it was stressful, the sound of the rain on the road and the woosh of the cars going by, getting soaked before being a quarter of the way there.

But I did get there and there is where I will be doing a lot of being.

Tomorrow that is.

It’s the mom’s birthday so I will be going in at my regular time and staying three hours past so that mom and dad can go out to dinner at Michael Minna.

Go dad.

I am going to take a car in.

I took a car home.

The dad paid for it.

And I felt weird because part of me just wanted to be on my bicycle and now how the hell am I going to get my bicycle back?

I’m riding back in to work on their dime, which is cool.

But I have my bike in the garage and it’s a little cluster fucked.

I could, I suppose, just leave it there the weekend.

I’m not going to be using it.

I’ll be on my scooter during the day Saturday and hopefully that night I will be hanging with a friend for sushi and Christmas tree hauling.

If he’s not sick.

Sick sucks.

Lot of folks been sick this flu season.

So far.

Knock on wood.

I have not.

Grateful for my health and the flu shot I got a month ago.

Anyway.

I figure, I wasn’t supposed to be on my bike coming home and it did throw a little snag in my evening’s plans, but I was happy to get a ride home–the rain has stopped but the streets are still wet and slick and it’s cold and dark.

Not the best times for riding a bicycle.

Despite working longer hours tomorrow I am super happy it’s Friday.

The week has gone by in a rather stretchy, long, nebulous way.

I think it’s because I have homework looming.

Probably.

And I miss my friend who’s been sick.

And the days are short and the night’s long.

It’s holidaze.

Although I do like the lights and the trees and the present wrapping and card writing.

I picked up my holiday stamps today while out running errands with the boys.

I have no idea why I like cards so much.

I’m a paper kind of gal.

There’s something about writing a card, wishing a sentiment, placing the stamp, putting it in the mailbox.

It’s special.

Even the boys, ages 3 and 5, know that it’s special to mail something off, they argue fiercely to get to be the helper who puts the cards in the post box.

And the oldest one is constantly folding paper and stapling it and drawing and now writing on it, making “books” and sealing envelopes.

Cards and letter writing is special.

All writing is special.

Plus.

There’s something about sending a card, I know how good I feel when I get one in the mail, I actually prolong opening personal mail until I am fully in the house and all my bags and sweatshirts and stuff are put away, lights are on candles lit, music playing.

I like ambiance you could say.

And then.

I open the envelope.

Savoring the feel of the paper.

The contents of the card.

Or note.

Or letter.

I know I am a tad old fashioned.

I can’t seem to help myself.

And I don’t think I want to change it now.

I remember being sad when the e-card phase was happening.

I don’t like getting a fabricated video card or a weird GIF with family members heads cut off and stuck on elves.

I would rather get something in the post.

Then.

When I get the card I string it up on a piece of curled green twine with a little bit of red ribbon and possibly a silver bell and hang the cards in cascades down the string.

They are a cheap and easy Christmas decoration and they make me feel good and special and loved.

Viscerally loved.

Perhaps that is why I love them so.

And the best cards.

I save.

I’m a little picky.

But that’s me.

Some I know are instantly going in the recycling after the holidays are past.

Some, however, go in a special stack and once in a while I will go through them and be filled with love for that person and their thoughts.

I am really blessed.

I have so much love in my life.

I am always taken care of.

See car ride home.

And even when the wrapping paper is not what I want it to be, the gifts always astound me.

So whatever I can bring.

Whatever small song of love I can send out into the world.

I will.

It just takes a moment.

Putting pen to paper.

Placing the Charlie Brown Holiday stamp in the top right corner.

Throwing some glitter in there.

It’s not Christmas without glitter.

Just sayin’.

And posting the cards up in the mail.

Not quite letters for Santa.

Or.

Romantic love letters.

But love nonetheless.

In letters bold and sweet and still swooping in my funny cursive across the red envelopes.

A Christmas wish for you.

Like bright chinaberries against the snow.

And the low light of the North star in the sky.

Helping to find your way home.

I wish you love.

Joy.

Happiness.

Prosperity.

Abundance.

And more.

Love.

Always yours.

Carmen.IMG_7440

 

 

And A Very Merry Christmas

December 26, 2014

To you.

The day is winding down.

The tree is slightly askew.

But I bought it that way, don’t fret.

My nod to a Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

Or a “humility tree” as I learned when I was up in Anchorage; where, yes, I was given the opportunity to place the one and only little red bulb on the bent bough.

One of just a few memories that popped into my head as I reflected on my day and watched the surf pound the sand.

Yes.

I spent Christmas down by the sea.

Not all of it.

Although, I suppose I could argue that I did, considering how close to Ocean Beach I live.

My guy had obligations that took him out of the city today, so I made the big Christmas dinner last night: bacon wrapped baked rib eye w/blue cheese butter and pomegranate reduction, garnished with garlic mushrooms and pomegranate seeds; tossed salad with romaine hearts and black olives, cherry tomatoes, and organic radishes; baked Japanese sweet potato with sea salt and whipped butter; baby asparagus with shaved parmesan cheese and prosciutto; and last, but not least, marscapone infused with cinnamon and nutmeg and the last of the season persimmons and medjool dates stuffed with Roquefort blue cheese and topped with strawberries.

Yeah.

I roll like that.

Notice, if you will, because although I don’t bristle when folks exclaim, “oh my God!  What do you eat if you don’t eat sugar or flour?” that I did not make a thing that required said ingredients.  I always find it funny that, I must not eat well if I exclude those food items or things that have those food items in them.

I eat damn well.

And I did as well tonight, with  my guy back from his trip, but simpler so that we could actually eat before it was too late.

Tonight we had breakfast for dinner: scrambled eggs with garlic crimini mushrooms, asparagus tips, a bit of left over prosciutto from last night, parmesan cheese, paired up with chicken apple sausage and yogurt for the man, and marscapone cheese for me, with strawberries and blackberries.

My guy also got toast.

I bought the tiny little loaf of SemiFreddi’s at the store yesterday.

Perfect for slicing up some toast and using some organic small vat butter.

And yes, I talk the talk, but I can attest to the quality of the food not just because I ate it, but so did he and he washed the dishes too.

Good man.

Good God damn.

I am a lucky girl.

I thought today, again, as I walked down to the beach with a blanket and a book that a dear friend had given me for Christmas, my lunch (left over salad from dinner last night and an apple–I can’t eat like I did very often add to that I had oysters and tartar the other night and the Absinthe burger–no bun–after the symphony on Tuesday night, I have eaten well and richly for this week), dressed in love’s trappings–flip-flops on my feet, a light sweatshirt and a sundress, adorned with some sunblock Santa left underneath the Christmas tree.

I have had a lovely week.

I really have.

Even when my head has gotten in the way.

I was able to step out of if, do some writing, do some inventory, and get readjusted really fast.

I know that the holidays are the holidays and that I treat them as such, just another day I get to have on this planet.

Just another moment, yes, layered with memories, but just another day of opportunity to practice love, service, gratitude.

This is water.

The surf crashed, the waves unfurled with all the winter magnitude and majesty of Ocean Beach and I held the small book in my hand and was quiet for a little while.

My friend had gifted me David Foster Wallace’s commencement speech that was published in essay form, “This is Water” and I had read the book in two sittings, perhaps fifteen minutes each, between last night and this afternoon at the beach.

This is Water

Contemplative Christmas by the Sea

I could choose to see the garbage in the dunes and be unkind in my mind about litter bugs, or I could look at it as a sort of point of focus that brought all the beauty of the sea and sand and ocean together.

Sometimes when I see something ugly I have to choose a different perspective to appreciate what I have.

I could grouse about the tourists who couldn’t wait to get off the beach and take their 7-Eleven pizza box with them.

Or I could be grateful that today, instead, I choose to feed myself well, organically, and lovingly, and with kindness.

That I took time today, despite it’s Christmas, because it’s Christmas, to do laundry and put fresh sheets on my bed, to meditate, to write, four, no six! Six pages long hand.

That I called people I love and left messages and that I just showed up for whatever the day was going to give me.

That is the gift.

The amends.

The way of living that I take, or try to the best of my ability, to take daily, to live a honorable and will lived life.

Yeah, Christmas can throw it all into high relief, the gift buying, the special foods, the racking your brain over what so and so would like, the juggling of everyone’s schedule, sending gifts out, parties, dresses, expectations.

Oh, expectations.

Or, as someone said to me recently, “white girl problems.”

I had some and I let them go, drift away on the sand and the tide and the sea and I paused as they danced into the air on the backs of the speckled brown wild plovers dashing in and out of the surf, and I said, goodbye, I don’t need to see it that way and the world tilted, the shift happened, the perspective changed.

Gratitude.

Mile and miles and miles of it.

For my family, my health, my little Charlie Brown Christmas tree, for getting to go to the San Francisco Symphony with my honey for the Charlie Brown Christmas special, the lights of City Hall all festive and bright as seen from the roof top balcony of the Symphony building.

Christmas in San Francisco

City Hall San Francisco

Grateful for beautiful silver earrings from my boyfriend in the shape of wings, that remind to be angelic, sweet, gentle, with myself and the experience.

Grateful that my grandma and my uncles headed up to Anchorage Alaska to see my father, so that he was not alone on this Christmas.

Grateful for my sister and her family and my mom and her partner down in Florida being close.

For though I was alone part of the day, I never felt lonely or lost or out to sea when I allowed myself to see exactly the gifts that I have in my life.

And oh, there are so many more than the ones listed, they are just a drop in the bucket, a speck of foam on the cusp of wave unfurling out at the shore.

My life, my love bucket full, my grateful heart, my friends, and family, and employers, and fellowship, my boyfriend, my perspective, a blessing.

Graced with gratitude for it these gifts.

Merry Christmas to all.

And to all.

A very good night.

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.

 

 

Brown Paper Packages

December 22, 2014

Tied up with string.

These are a few of my favorite things.

“Upcycled” is how I like to think about it when I wrap my Christmas packages in brown paper deconstructed from SafeWay grocery bags and brown paper sacks from CVS Pharmacy.

I cut the bag up, pull the handles off, flip it inside out and wrap whatever present I have at hand that needs a spiffy new look to it.

I put a name tag or holiday tag on the package.

Then the piece de resistance, green jute string.

I also occasionally use fabric and ribbon remnants.

I have a little Christmas box and it was unearthed today.

I got my Christmas tree.

It’s definitely a Charlie Brown type of fella, but he’s got some style and panache and some adorable blue lights adorning him.

Before

Before

After

After

A Few of My Favorite Things

Tied up with String

Blue Christmas

Blue Christmas

And despite the fact that my Christmas tree has blue lights, it’s not a blue holiday for me this year.

I have someone to share it with and that’s first in some years.

I quite enjoyed wrapping up his presents while he lay napping on my bed this afternoon–poor bunny’s been sick.

He did rally like a trooper and helped me go to the Sloat Garden Center and get my tree.

I warned him that I was about to dork out.

I closely inspected all the trees, the pickings were far slimmer than I recalled from last year.  Then I realized that last year I had gotten my Christmas tree far earlier than this year.

That whole weekend trip to Alaska threw my schedule off.

And despite the decorations and the lights and the Christmas carol’s being sung, the stockings all hung by the chimney with care, it hasn’t felt like Christmas until about today.

I feel settled and at ease with what is happening with my father.

I got through my birthday, which, yes, though a day of celebration was such a surreal experience as it was the day I got the news about my father, plus it’s just a loaded day.

“Don’t have any expectations about anything,” I told myself.

Which is the best suggestion I can give myself at any time.

Expectations lead to resentments for me and the last thing I need on top of my already merry-go-round mind is some resentments about the expectations I have around the holidays.

And with a few years of having done this deal and been an orphan as such, although not really an orphan, I have done a few things for myself that speaks to good self-care and holiday joviality.

Last year I worked at half day on Christmas eve, then I rode the F-Market train down from the heart of the Castro to the Embarcadero and caught the last ferry from the terminal to Sausalito and then hopped off, walked a few yards, snapped some photographs, and hopped back on the ferry to San Francisco.

The year before I was in Paris and that was both monumentally mundane, as I helped a visiting friend locate a store open in Paris on Christmas Eve that could fax some paper work to her job, and unbearably magical–walking into Sacre Couer for midnight mass and the entire church is signing the first Noel in Latin.

Yeah, that’s not really a bad way to spend Christmas Eve.

The year prior I took myself out to the San Francisco Ballet and saw the Nutcracker for the first time.

I got all dressed up and took a cab.

I was unbearably homeless and lonely.

I was house sitting for a friend.

One of the sweetest gifts I got that year was a tiny black framed print in aquamarine that says: “Happy is a home that shelters a friend.”

I was pretty much a wreck that year, but tried to muster through it.

Of course in hindsight I can look back and see that I was being stripped down of all the things that I needed to let go of so that when the opportunity arose to go to Paris I was pretty much able to up and go.

The year prior to that I was living in Nob Hill.

And that was the first year that I allowed myself a Christmas tree.

I had a small studio and it overlooked the cable car line on Washington Street at Taylor.

The cable car guys would rumble by and certain operators would wave or flirt, or ask me what I was eating, my window really was just at eye level with the cable cars.

That year I was struck dumb with love and light and joy when I turned off the lights in my little studio and the Christmas lights on my tree twinkled and winked at me and the bulbs lit up the ornaments which cast Christmas colored shadows on the walls and ceilings.

Then.

Oh then.

A full cable car rattled by and all the passengers on the car were signing Christmas carols.

I felt my heart swell and the magic of Christmas kissed my forehead as I settled down for a long winter’s nap.

I can and do get a tiny bit sentimental and I think that’s ok.

There’s love and joy all year round in my life, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t want to celebrate and decorate and do up my own tiny little scene.

I have some Christmas goodies in the fridge to make a Christmas Eve dinner: warm spinach salad with bacon and Roquefort Blue Cheese, cherry tomatoes, and chopped apples; mini-rouladen–thin sliced black forest ham, slathered with a cream cheese and rolled around a dill pickle spear; asparagus with prosciutto, (I am now seeing a proliferation of pork products in my dinner I was not aware of until just now, ha), roasted Japanese sweet potato, and filet with some of that Blue Cheese reduced down and mixed with softened butter and fresh pressed garlic sautéed with baby Portobello mushrooms.

Yeah.

I like to cook.

Then  Christmas night dinner–caesar salad with grilled chicken and bacon, berries–strawberries and blackberries– and mixed cheeses, which I am going to do a little swing through ye olde BiRite tomorrow while on the way to the park with the boys, I’ll probably get my man a small Acme batard or sweet roll, a relish plate with marinated baby artichoke hearts, black olives, cornichons, deviled eggs with organic paprika, and yes, Virginia (ham is not on this menu), a duck.

I have not ever made duck before, but I am going to give it a go.

As I said, I like to cook, if you haven’t noticed from previous blogs and I am quietly thrilled to be able to make a few things for the man.

And have a tree.

And someone to hold my hand and snuggle with while I watch the lights twinkle in the dark.

Happiness.

Happy home for the holidays.

Happy indeed.

Christmas in the City

December 25, 2013

In the city by the bay.

Oh.

Oh.

Oh.

Yeah.

Like that.

What a gorgeous day today was.

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

Simply and unutterably, almost intolerably, beautiful for December in San Francisco.

I was almost done with my half day of nannying in the Castro, and though my little elf was a jolly doll to hang out with, I was ready to start my Christmas.

I took a load of photographs today, of which I just spent the last hour and a half sorting through and posting, some to facecrack, and one to my photography blog.

I may post more there, but as my computer was not happy about all the photographs and the blogging platforms and the down loading and shut down on me without my permission, I must say, I don’t know that I will be putting up a lot more photographs tonight.

But I will sneak in a few for you, because, well, it’s Christmas time and one of the gifts that I continue to give to myself because it makes me happy, and when I am happy I am a better person and damn it, that’s actually important.

“What principle are you practising today,” she asked me over the phone as I called to check in on my way to work.

“Brotherly love,” I said with a smile, I had already said good morning to every single person I had seen on my walk (since I was just a few blocks away house sitting already, I decided to leave the bicycle there and walk to the nanny gig) and smiled at them.

I continued to do that to the best of my abilities, wherever I went, to whomever I saw.

I have to say that by the time I made it to the 8p.m. at 2900 24th street I was a little blown out and had about enough of that principle at that time of night on Christmas Eve, but when the bum chatted me up not once, but twice, I just smiled and said, yes, you’re right and let it go.

I was reminded that I get to practice something on a daily basis that not most people practise, except, well, maybe, at Christmas  time.

It’s some how allowable to smile and say something bright and cheery at Christmas time.

Although, I do have my fur rubbed the wrong way when I am expected to suddenly throw showers of money on panhandlers because it’s the holidays.

Man, back off, I just paid my student loan payment today, don’t hassle me, I am working.

“Merry Christmas,” I said, and smiled instead.

That felt much better, let me tell you.

I even bought my little charge a Santa hat, he was all dressed up in Christmas colors, and I just couldn’t help myself.

I popped into the Walgreens at Castro and Market and picked him up a little velour red cap with fake white fur trim and a snowball pompom and watched faces light up with utter joy every time he hollered, “HI!” from his stroller.

The word is in contention for his first word, he waves and jumps up and down and wiggles and it is adorable.

He charmed the clerk so much once I had the little hat on his head, she came out from behind the counter to bat her eyes at him.

I felt like I was doing service, being of good cheer, and spreading some cute baby love to those around me.

And I took a ridiculous amount of photos of him.

I flooded mom’s phone with text messages and photographs.

Made me quite happy to do so, he’s such a photogenic child, it really is amazing.

Santa's Helper

Little Elf

Christmas Elf

Christmas Elf

Ornament

Ornament

I probably took 50 or sixty shots of him and the neighborhood today.

I left around 2:30p.m. in the afternoon with my time set up for Friday and a card with an hour and a half session with a body worker!

Yes, there really is a Santa Claus, and he wants me to get another massage.

Thanks boys!

I drifted to Castro and Market and hit up the F-Market line train down to the Ferry Building at the Embarcadero.

F-Market

F-Market

Shadow Selfie

Shadow Selfie, Ferry Building, SF

I wandered through the building headed toward the opposite side, taking in the crowds and the last-minute shoppers, the frenzied shop keepers and the bags and strollers, the tired children smacked out on sugar, the multitude of languages being spoken, French, German, a lot of Italian, and good old USA Midwesterners.

For a moment I thought about turning back around and saying forget this.

But I went through the building and headed outside, the light was gorgeous and I went to the ferry terminal, spoke with a gentleman there and bought the last round trip ticket out of San Francisco to Sausalito for the evening.

It left me with an hour to kill so I went back inside.

Hoping for some Hog Island Oyster action.

But they were swamped, the line too long, and the restaurant closing down.

So I just walked through the stalls and went to Book Passages and bought a magazine and a 50 cent postcard.  I sat in the book shop and flipped through a Nylon and wrote myself a little holiday note.

My tradition–to send myself postcards from my artists dates, it’s a cheap souvenir and I always remember what I did that day when I come across the card later.

I got up after a bit, checked my watch, ferry leaving in fifteen and headed to the terminal.

On my way I happened to pass the San Francisco Sea Food Company, and there they were, my Christmas oysters sitting fat and plump and tender atop some ice in front of the store.

Oh damn.

I bought five Blue Points and tipped the girl in the apron behind the counter and smiled, wishing her a Merry Christmas and a speedy end to her day.

Three oysters drenched in lemon juice.

Two oysters smothered in hot horseradish cream.

Oh heaven.

Thus fortified, I ducked over to the ferry, walked up the gangplank and set sail for Sausalito.

The $20.50 fare for the round trip worth it from the moment I stepped aboard.

The skyline.

Skyline

Skyline

The Bay Bridge.

Bay Bridge

Bay Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge.

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

Then the cold wind whipping my hair around my face, thankful for my new warm scarf from my housemate, the tears streaming out of my eyes from the air blowing under my glasses, but my heart, so full.

To let myself do things like this and not listen to the head when it says, listen, it’s ok, you know, just stay back at the house with the cat and watch Sex in the City reruns on cable.

Because, you know that says Merry Christmas like nobody’s business.

I chatted with tourists from Houston, Texas and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

I took photos for other folks.

I flirted, in a not too serious way with the boat hands and got smiles from grizzled ferry-boat operators ready for their Costco t-bones and six packs.

Then I got a quick walk, and I do mean quick, it was only a twenty-minute layover before the ferry turned back and there would be no more running for the night, around Sausalito and a few more photographs.

Skyline, Sausalito, CA

Sausalito Skyline

Back on the boat I thanked the operators again and headed back outside.

I munched an apple I had bought yesterday at Rainbow Grocery, a beautiful deep crimson red Arkansas Black Heirloom apple, and watched the dark indigo sky swallow up the bay.

Then, well, you know me, more photos.

Alcatraz

Alcatraz

Bay Bridge

Bay Bridge

Skyline

Skyline

Magic.

It was absolute magic and the best gift I could have given myself.

Merry Christmas friends.

May all your dreams come true this year.

Love to you from San Francisco.

And to all.

A good night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All The Pretty Lights

December 24, 2013

“Slow down,” I told myself, as I navigated the Wiggle back “home”.

Home, is where the house sit is.

I was up at 7th and Irving after work taking care of a commitment and having some last-minute check ins with some ladies, good to have service to keep me steady no matter where I lay my pillow.

But I am ready to have home be my home again.

Out at the edge of the sea.

Where it is warmer.

This house, though more than quadruple the size of the place where I live is constantly cold, it gets little to no direct sunlight and is an interior apartment, it stays cold.

Plus, like so many of the older Victorians in the city, it does not have insulation.

Even on nights when it is not that chilly out, it feels cold.

Oh, boohoo, I can hear my friends from Northern Wisconsin pipe up.

But, if you think about it, no one, and I mean no one is sitting in a house in Wisconsin that registers the same temperature as the outside temp here.

Nope, most folks like there interior domicile to probably be around 68-70 degrees Farenheit.

This place does have lovely gas heaters in the old fireplaces in the front and back rooms, so at least when I am in the bedroom the warmth sticks and me and the kitty can get cozy.

Of course, the internet it is not working so good from the back or front room.

Haha.

So, I am in the kitchen with the chilly air, no heater in here, nope.

Oh well.

I at least chatted with the guys who I am sitting for and got the television on, it had to be reset, so it wasn’t just a matter of turning it on and off, but once I did, I spent close to fifteen minutes scrolling up and down the 700 plus channels.

Nothing to watch.

Nothing to see.

Screw that.

I turned it off and realized what a time suck just that was.

I could have been nearly done with my blog and already enjoying my evening snack and finishing up Bad Santa.

Oh my god.

So fucking bad, so fucking good.

Billy Bob Thornton is fucking brilliant.

I am about half way through, and truth be told I may wait until after Christmas to continue watching it, it’s a little dark, but I am glad I downloaded it.

Tonight instead of the 700 plus channels of dreck, I shall be watching a Downton Abbey Christmas special.

Now that is up my alley.

I will also try to down load another version of Elf, the one I got was not good quality, that and Holiday Inn.

My plans seem to be holding steady for the holiday, but who knows what may happen, God laughs when I make plans.

Tomorrow I am working until 2p.m. then I am off for the rest of Christmas Eve and Christmas day.

I am off to the Ferry Building, off to Sausalito, off to take photographs of the skyline from across the bay.  Off to eat oysters from Hog Island when I get back from the ferry ride and there’s a very good probability that I will hit a 7:05 p.m. movie at the Embarcadero Theater.

Either 12 Years a Slave.

Or The Dallas Buyers Club.

Leaning more toward the latter.

But I’m just going to play it by ear.

Same for Christmas, although my plan is a little more concrete.

I will meet my lady friend Beth at 2900 24th Street at Florida, hit a cafe for some coffee, either Philz or Haus, or SugarLump, whichever happens to be open, I think Philz is typically open until about 2pm, if memory serves.

Then hang out for a little bit and after ward ride our bicycles over to Christmas dinner with friends.

Simple.

Easy.

Hoping that I won’t stick my faulty agenda in there anywhere and just show up.

Half the battle, that, just showing up.

I do that fairly well.

The city is empty and when I did slow my roll down, following the arrows on the street unconsciously along the bike route, I spent a lot more time looking up and out at the houses, the pretty Christmas lights and how people had decorated their homes.

I felt extraordinarily grateful to be looking at and appreciating all the pretty lights.

One of my favorite games over the holidays was one I played with my sister when we were on road trips to and from Milwaukee for my step-fathers family Christmas, or to and from Lodi for my mother’s family Christmas.

I much preferred the trip to Lodi, although there were not nearly as many lights, Milwaukee being a city and Lodi a tiny town of 2,200, maybe 2,300 folks.

I would stare out my side of the window into the dark inky indigo night speckled with stars, God’s Christmas lights, and count the strands adorning the homes as they flashed into view taking this turn or that as we headed from my grandparents home back to Windsor.

Sometimes it was very, very, very cold and it felt as though the world was under a glass dome of ice, but I always remember getting used to it.

The only time I believe I ever felt scared about the cold was my sophomore year in highschool, the school district actually shut down for two or three days, the temperature with wind chill registered at -70 to -75 degrees Farenheit.

I remember that cold.

It was deep and hit fast.

The dog did not want to go out to pee.

I did not want to outside to walk the dog.

It was a chore to get to the mailbox.

I remember sitting huddled on the couch in what we called the library, and had we any money it might have been, but it was more like the only room in the house that we could possibly keep moderately warm.

My room might as well have been outside.

I was beneath the attic and my closet door opened to the attic door which opened up a flight of non-insulated stairs.

I could see my breath when I walked in my room and my parents never let me leave the door open to collect any of the heat that might be rising from the downstairs.

It was Siberia.

When my mother and step-father divorced, my mom actually took the room and I moved into her old one.

Not nearly as cold.

In fact, I don’t remember being cold in that room, I remember being warm and that is where so much of my adult person seems to have been raised.

I am still quite childlike and I still tend to listen to the little kid in me that is nervous about not having enough, even though I completely do, I have so much.

I was admiring the lights, thinking of all the gifts in my life and sailing around the corner of the street, Christmas is here and though I don’t know how it’s supposed to all go down, to plan or not to plan, it’s here and I am grateful that though it is a little chilly in my abode, it ain’t no -70.

Wishing all my friends and family in colder climbs warm cheery hearths and loads of love as the Christmas day approaches, I am thinking of you with so much love in my heart.

Well, I am not cold anymore.

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.

 

 

Zoom Zip, and I Wake Up

December 20, 2013

Zoom zip.

Waking up in someone elses bed is always a little disconcerting, especially with Stella staring you in the face.

“Hey lady, time to eat,” her great big eyes seemed to be saying.

I am house sitting for friends and they have a gorgeous girl orange tabby.

With really big eyes.

Spooky eyes, like she can see right through me.

Yesterday was an interesting day and I hopped out of bed ready for another different day, a day totally outside my routine, a day when I don’t know if I am coming or going or a little bit of both.

“You have to surrender to what’s happening,” she said to me on the phone as I walked hand in hand with my charge through Cole Valley.

Another anomaly to add to the day.

Being in Cole Valley, I never nanny in Cole Valley on Fridays, but since I had my birthday off this Wednesday I was asked to cover there, then hop on my bike, whiz-bang and hit it to the Castro, where I do normally nanny.

Funny thing?

I am house sitting at the border of the Mission/Castro neighborhood.

I rode out of the hood to Cole Valley and then turned around and rode right back.

Yeah, definitely a little discombobulated.

Sometimes, though, I think, when I get off-balance, it allows for serendipity to happen, chance to break out, luck falls like bright copper pennies, or a surprise Christmas tree done up with garland and bows, baubles and bulbs, on the corner of 19th and Noe, love falls into the between times, and magic happens.

That is the attitude I am taking today.

Not necessarily the attitude that I took last night when I couldn’t get online and things weren’t as I expected them to be at the house and I had to leave as soon as I dropped off my bag of overnight stuff and fed the cat.

I headed back out into the night, got myself some dinner and made a grocery list.

“We’ll have the fridge stocked for you!” He said with great enthusiasm.

Well, it was stocked, but not really with things that either a.) appealed or b.)things that I could eat.

Mostly that last one.

Though, praise the sweet baby jesus, they do have plenty of coffee beans, a good grinder, an excellent drip cone and REALLY big mugs.

They, too, must like their coffee.

In hindsight, I am very grateful for the turn of yesterdays events which led me to unexpectedly get up a half hour early and pack up my overnight bag, take a super hot shower, and have a good solid breakfast.  It made it that much easier to leave straight from my nanny gig in NOPA and go right to their place.

So, when I did have to turn around and head back out, it was just to Church and Market, not to Ocean Beach.

No insignificant thing.

I had dinner at Crepevine, headed up to Our Lady of Safeway, met my fellows, got my head on straight, then went to the new Whole Foods on Market and Dolores.

Another thing to be grateful for, the new WholePaycheck, which saved me the trip to Rainbow.

Although, I do think I will still make a sojourn over to Rainbow, it’s been sometime, but I don’t have to unless I want to.

Perhaps a little something special for Christmas dinner?

Can’t imagine what, food is comfort and nourishment for me, no longer indulgence.

I am usually just as happy, if not more so, to eat my regular meals and my regular diet then to celebrate the season with some extra helpings of rich food.  The comfort I get from not obsessing about what I am going to eat and how much or how little of said food, is of very high value to me.  I would much rather make the celebrating about the people in my life, rather than the food.

Besides I have baked enough holiday cookies for a lifetime, anyone who knew me from 1992-2002 can attest to that.

I made so many cookies that decade I could be covered for not only this life, but probably another six.

“Well,” she continued, as I crossed Frederick Street at Cole with my little charge this morning, “it sounds a lot like me, pack in as much as I can so I don’t have to feel.”

Ah.

See, I was thinking that I was fending off economic deprivation by saying yes to the house sitting.

But, I can see, that though there is some veracity in that, what is certainly more telling, is my response to that perspective.

Fuck.

Fuck me.

I don’t want to feel.

I don’t want to be lonely at Christmas, my family spread far and away, my friends doing their family things, the town emptying out, the quiet in the air, despite the prodigious hum of commerce in certain neighborhoods, the city is already far more quiet than is typical, so I didn’t think or reflect when asked, “would you housesit?”

I just said yes.

I know better.

I need to pause and let the information settle and get back to the person.

John Ater chuckled at me, “slow down! Breathe, there’s nothing wrong, you got your information, and now you know.”

“Besides, you’re getting paid to make mistakes, not everyone can say that, now can they?”

How true.

I received my compensation via Paypal this morning, managed to get online, and now, as I sit in the hills above the city thinking about the rest of my time at 18th and Dolores I think it’ll be just fine.

It will be outside the routine and I will be in the Mission for Christmas.

Which, really, when you think about it is pretty fabulous.

Christmas in San Francisco.

It has a nice ring to it.

 


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