Posts Tagged ‘Chula Vista’

Sucking Brain Power In One Fell Swoop

May 29, 2015

Gone.

What was I doing?

Sipping tea, looking at photographs on my grandmother’s mantles and walls, hearing stories, trying to not think about the weird e-mail in my in-box about my financial aid for school that puzzled me to the point that I could not read it more than twice without closing the message.

I looked at it again this morning.

They need what?

I already have my FAFSA in.

The school already has my information.

What more do you need?

Some more stuff, some more things.

Oh.

That’s it.

That little button.

That fucking little button there took me changing my password, updating my information, having over five windows open on my screen, toggling back and forth, figuring out new security questions, for almost an hour.

At one point I thought, next they will ask me to stand on my head and and with my right hand point to the true North.

Ugh.

That was obnoxious.

However.

Another thing done in the small but steady range of  actions I am certain I will have to continue to take to get into school, let alone, well, um, school itself.

Actually.

School.

I believe, will be ok.

It’s the minutiae, the small stuff, the obvious stuff, that I don’t always get.

“There, water level, right in front of you,” my cousin pointed out the fountain water-spout.

I was mesmerized by the soda options.

When was the last time I had stood in front of a soda fountain machine?

Coke?

Cherry Coke?

Rootbeer?

Sprite?

All of it please.

In a really big cup with hella crushed ice and a dessert pizza on the side.

Hahahaha.

I had a cup of water and a “pizza salad” without the pizza part–my cousin didn’t realize that I don’t eat flour, or sugar for that matter–and had taken us all to the new popular pizza place down the road.

It smelled divine.

And truthfully, I was too overwhelmed with the sudden abundance of family and how to act and be polite and be me and not melt into the background.

Not that I wouldn’t stand out a little anyway.

Even without the hot pink hair.

“I like your style,” my friend texted, “you got flavor.”

Flavor.

Yup.

I’ll take it.

And I do.

My ex called it “quirky” and I argue, I am not quirky.

Quirky is Zoe Deschanel and kitten sweaters and argyle socks and well, not me.

I rebut quirky with girl has flavor.

“Chicks with visible neck tattoos and pink hair aren’t anything nuts to me,” he replied, “maybe in Iowa.”

Yet.

When I travel outside of San Francisco I do seem to get a little extra attention.

Although not always in a bad way, the TSA agent at the airport was excited by my hair, “awesome hair!”  He enthused and waved me through.

Where I got to find out that I had to sit in SFO for a bit longer than I thought.

My flight was delayed.

Ugh.

Although, as I sat in the terminal linked up to the internet sipping organic, cold pressed iced coffee and having just finished an organic Niman Ranch hamburger (no bun, no onion, no fries, thank you) with a side of, yes organic, mixed greens, I thought, hmm.

SFO.

Worse places to be delayed.

For sure.

The flight was delayed for weather.

That’s right.

Fog.

Carl the Fog was wrapping up the airport tight.

I wasn’t happy to be delayed, but it gave me a moment to look over the e-mail from the FAFSA people.

I still didn’t get it and I decided, not going to boot up my laptop and try to figure it out.

Sit back.

Sip the coffee.

Watch a video.

Then the fog lifted and I was up in the air and before I knew it the plane was descending through the blue skies, clear of fog, lots of sunshine, and low 70 degree weather.

I took off my sweatshirt.

I needed it on the way to the airport and I needed it on the plane, they do always seem so cold, even a short flight.

Sidebar.

Almost one year later.

My ankle hurts when flying.

It swelled up and got tender and I had to stand in the aisle for a while rolling it around and getting the blood flow going.

I really couldn’t believe it.

The last time I flew was December and it was pretty tight after that flight, and still it’s not fully healed.

I really didn’t believe the doctor when he said it would be 6-8 months and possibly a year before it was fully healed.

End aside.

The sun was shining, the fake boobs were on display.

I mean.

Whoa.

I realized as I watched a woman in a low-cut shelf tank top proudly displaying her assets, I am not in San Francisco anymore.

Granted I have not spent a lot of time in Southern California, but I did immediately see things that I have not seen in San Francisco (and I’m sure I have seen fake boobs in SF, I’m sure they exist, they’re probably just hidden under thirteen layers of clothing and a black hoodie and infinity scarf-every woman could have fake tits and I would never know), enhanced cleavage, spray tan or fake tan, blow outs, high platform sandals, skin-tight jeans/jeggings, I still stood out.

I probably always will.

But I have stopped being so concerned with how I look.

As stated previously, I dress for myself and to make myself happy.

And I was happy I got my stuff packed and on my way with no delay this morning.

I also remembered to wear my clogs so that I didn’t have to struggle with going through security.

It wasn’t until I was sitting in the lounge waiting for the flight to board that I began to sense some side looks and stares.

And I realized that I usually do get them when traveling.

I have a moment or two of feeling singled out, then I thought, whatever, I’m a good-looking woman and who cares if I have pink hair and tattoos, they look pretty and I have flavor and so there.

Ah.

My brain is coming back, the FAFSA website has not won.

Now I can bring my mind back to hanging out in San Diego.

I’m ready for some more sunshine.

PS

As I am editing this blog, my grandmother came over and said, “your hair looks so pretty up like that, it looks like a flower.”

#winning

Don’t Freak Out!

March 4, 2015

Freaking out!

Not really.

Not any more.

Not after talking my own self down off the ledge.

That’s not my tax return, I thought when I saw the mail waiting, all sly and innocuous next to my motorcycle helmet on the bench to the entry way to my studio.

I’M BEING AUDITED!!!!

Fuck my mother.

Fuck me.

Fuck.

Fuck.

FUCK!

Wait.

Calm down.

Go inside, open the letter, don’t freak out.

I said.

DON’T freak out.

There’s nothing wrong.

My house, lovely, sweet, clean, pretty, go light some candles and stretch out and roll the back roller on your sore shoulder and take off your earrings and hair geegaws and make a cup of tea.

And relax.

What ever is happening it’s for a reason and you are ok.

I need money for grad school!

You haven’t been accepted yet, relax.

Please.

Ok.

I guess I should open the letter and see what it says.

It says IRS, run away and hide, but.

I didn’t.

I opened the missive and read it.

I didn’t make sense at first.

I had to read it three times before I got the gist of what I was supposed to do.

Either, a.) call the 800 number listed or b.) go to the website listed and fill out the little form there.

What is it?

A confirmation of identity.

Oh.

Huh?

I remember, way back when, I think it may have actually been when I was applying for financial aid the first go around, that’s right, way, way, way back, when I was 17 going on 35 and trying to get into school and it came up then.

I had to verify my identity.

I am not the only Carmen Regina Martines in the world.

Even with the last name being spelled slightly different from the average bear.

And I’m not sure it’s true, but there was some weirdness when I was first working, like the very first job that I had that I had to fill out tax papers for, that I have more than one social security account.

Not number.

But two accounts.

Again, I put it to the weird spelling of my last name.

No I am not Mexican.

No, I do not speak Spanish.

Family legend, according to my mother, and maybe I’ll actually get this confirmed when I go see my grandmother, that there was a misspelling on an ancestors citizenship papers.

That the correct spelling is Martins, but it was pronounced, I’m going to spell this phonetically, Marteens (think saltines), and thus, the immigration people threw an “e” into the spelling and voila, Martines.

So, once I got my under pants un-bunched.

I’m not being audited.

Whew.

I went to the website and verified all my information and hopefully that will clarify everything and I will get my federal return back post-haste.

I have been watching my bank account like a hawk since my state return landed over two weeks ago.

I filed on February first.

When the rest of the world was watching the Super Bowl, I was doing my taxes.

Anyway.

Quite glad to have responded the way I did.

I didn’t fret needlessly.

I didn’t stash the envelope and not open it.

I followed the directions and breathed and went to the website and got clarification about what was needed.

So often in my past  would make an assumption, usually based in fear, and run with it.

And so often, I was to learn, and am still learning, really, that assumption was all about making an ass out of myself.

I will jump to many a conclusion without sufficient evidence to back it up.

I’m grateful I got to see myself respond with such serenity.

Yeah.

There was some dread when I saw the envelope from the IRS, I mean, come on, who doesn’t blanche a little when the tax man cometh.

But it was just a generated piece of computer mail that was to make sure I am who I said I was and that I live where I say I live.

That’s all.

Nothing more.

Quote the raven.

Never mind.

Er.

Never more, I mean.

And back to my regularly scheduled business.

Looking for airline flights to go down to San Diego to see my grandmother.

I checked in with my Uncle who wants to co-ordinate his trip with mine and we briefly discussed what dates make sense and how we would get there and for a hot second I thought, ooh, if he drives, I could skip the air fare and save some money.

But, then I realized, it’s out of his way to come and get me and I am not going to be able to take a lot of time off from work.

I’m saving my vacation days for the retreat for graduate school.

And, fingers crossed, for Burning Man.

I’m not going to buy a ticket until I hear back from the graduate school, another response, rather than a reaction.

My first reaction was to ride with my uncle, my second to buy a ticket, tonight, but then after the stuff with the IRS letter, I realized, I myself am missing some vital information.

If I can avoid taking vacation time I will.

I will go down and do a quick weekend visit.

If I get into graduate school, that is.

Because I would save my two weeks of vacation for the retreat that the cohort does in August and the other week for Burning Man.

If, however, I don’t get into graduate school, there’s no restrictions on my time and I could take a longer trip down, not that it would be much longer, I don’t want to over stay my welcome and I suspect that I should probably just make my trip a short one–more for myself than anything.

I can get overwhelmed with family stuff pretty easily and I need to test the waters and before I leap full on into the family reunion.

I could, also, I am realizing, take a day or two from my sick days.

I haven’t used them all up.

And, then, there’s also the thought, when I get my tax return I could just ear mark a part of it for an extra day off from work.

If I go slightly over my paid days off it’s not like I will suddenly be homeless and in debt.

What would it look like if I just had faith I was being taken care of and book the time I want?

I’ll know more soon.

I should know by tomorrow, Thursday at the latest, whether or not I got into the program.

Until then.

I’m fine.

I’m not being audited by the IRS.

And my rent is paid.

And I have clothes on my back.

New glasses on my face.

And faith that I am always being taken care of.

Despite the fear factory in my head.

I’m just fine.

Perfect, actually.

Thanks for asking.

March Madness

March 3, 2015

I’m already booked.

What the fuck?

It’s March 2nd and every single weekend is booked.

I have some space to wiggle, but basically, every one of my Saturdays’s for the entire month of March is booked in.

As of this afternoon, I have a graduation celebration to go to, in Oakland, which I had RSVP’d to and then completely forgot until it popped up in my calendar today, that is for this upcoming Saturday.

Then the Saturday following, a baby shower in Berkeley.

The weekend following is my dearest friend’s birthday and we are going to go to Alcatraz to see the Ai Weiwei exhibit before it leaves.

I can’t believe that I am actually going to go to Alcatraz, twelve years of living in San Francisco, give or take a hot second in Paris, and I have never been out to that lonely lump of rock in the Bay.

It’s too spooky for me, frankly, but this is my friend’s birthday and the exhibit is exquisite from all reports, so off to the rock I go.

Then, I may be going down to Chula Vista to see my grandmother and my uncle and an aunt and I suspect a bunch of cousins.

My uncle called and left a message for me about coordinating a time to go to Chula Vista, this month. I hadn’t planned on going so soon, but it makes sense to go when my Uncle will be there and voila, there’s the month.

And the week, well it started off with a bang.

Or a scream as the case may be.

A screaming, shaking, writhing, pee drenched temper tantrum that lasted over twenty minutes in the handicap stall in the public bathroom at Mission playground.

I had been warned upon entering the house this morning that the littlest guy was a bit on the fragile side.

His big brother’s blow out birthday bash was yesterday and the little guy did not have a nap, and I suspect was cupcake hung over with sugar.

He was an intense little guy to deal with and apparently suffered some sort of potty training trauma yesterday at the park with the party and when he wet his pants at the park the melt down went into full overdrive.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

He did not, NO, want his pants taken off.

Poor baby.

They are all wet and the underpants are wet and they have to come off.

We went to the bathroom and it was just a riot act.

I have never had a child scream so loud, thrash so hard or get so upset.

He was a contrary little ball of emotions and the temper tantrum was in full on hysterical while he was half-naked.

I had a shirt cocking maniacal two and a half-year old hollering bloody murder in a public bathroom.

I expected CPS (Child Protection Services) to bang down the bathroom stall and ship me off to 850 Bryant (the jail downtown).

I took everything I had, all my wonderful serene energy, all my patience, all my love, my entire nanny wrangling abilities to get the child into a pair of shorts.

I don’t think I have ever had such a struggle, in 8 years of being a nanny; it was the longest, most intense, almost savage, emotional outburst I have been a party to.

I wonder what the hell happened over the weekend.

I was able to laugh over it later this evening when I was sharing about my day and finding myself so helpless, so powerless over what was happening.

That and the ridiculous box of confetti that was spilled, a huge box, not a little box, of shredded paper that was the packing contents of a shipping box that was thrown wildly all over the kitchen right before dinner.

I used three different vacuum cleaners and attachments to get it all up.

It didn’t help that the cleaners had come in early in the day; I felt I had to get it all up and there was just no getting it all up.

I picked up the youngest boy and shook him by his ankles and tickled his ribs, “who put the quarter in you today?” I asked him.

“Me! I put quarter in me!”

Yeah you did.

Jumping Jesus on a pogo stick.

Let me not horrify you with the bath time saga.

Suffice to say.

It was a wild day.

Happy Monday.

Hopefully that’s out of his system and we can get back to our regularly scheduled program of nanny.

Not as if that’s not busy in and of itself, swim lessons, cooking, laundry, marketing, play dates, ad infinitum.

Life, well, it’s full, that’s for sure.

And that’s the way it usually is.

Full.

Which is nice.

I like being busy.

The busy that has to do with seeing family and friends is a good kind of busy too.

I am busy celebrating life.

My friend’s party in Oakland for accumulating her 3,000 therapy hours; my friend in Berkeley celebrating her baby and having a baby shower; my dear friend’s birthday, my family in Chula Vista.

These things are good and sustain and important relationships that I get to cultivate.

Which means saying yes and going and doing even when I think I have better plans or need to keep some space open for dating.

I’m not asking anyone out for a while, I’m over that, so unless someone crosses my path and asks me out, I have room for these obligations, which aren’t obligations, but joy.

I have heard folks say that they worry about what will happen, how will they have fun without the party and the booze and the drugs.

Let me be the one to reassure you.

Life gets full, really full.

It’s amazing.

I am no longer at the end of the bar at the end of the night talking about the things I want to be doing.

Rather I am doing them.

It’s a privilege, to live this full life.

One I’m grateful for, even in awe of.

March madness it may be, but really.

It’s just a typical month in my life.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

And as per usual.

Hella busy.

 

Save The Date!

February 3, 2015

I sat down with the mom today at lunch while the little guy was napping and the big guy was still at school and worked out some dates for this summer.

I’ll be helping the family in Sonoma for three weeks over the summer.

The first week will be June 22nd-26th.

I’ll be working as though I’m at their house in the city, same hours, but I’ll be living at the house with them.  I’ll have my own bedroom and bathroom separate from the rest of the house.

It’ll be my first time doing live in overnight care.

Although, technically, that’s not true, I was basically live in care every time I went to Burning Man with the families I worked for.

But this will not be Burning Man.

This will be Sonoma.

They have also requested another two weeks in August, the 17th-21st and also the following week, the 24th-28th.

I’d have a rental car to come and go from the city with, I’d drive up and back on my own, and most likely have the care for the whole weekend in between the August weeks.

I already know I will need to come back to San Francisco on the weekends.

My job is a job and I need weekends off.

The family will also be on vacation at the end of July, the 27th-31st.

Now this is time that interests me.

Not necessarily because I had something planned around it, but because the family will be on vacation with friends out-of-town and I won’t be going.

If I don’t take it as vacation time the mom would probably come up with work for me to do around the house.

Not interested.

I am not contractually bound to vacation at the same time, but it is the polite thing to do and I have two weeks of vacation time of which I haven’t used any since starting.

I have taken three sick days to deal with my dad in Anchorage, but that was it.

Otherwise.

I have shown up and done my job.

Done it well I should add.

The youngest starts pre-school the week of September 2nd.

Both the boys will be in school, but the family will still need a nanny and mother’s helper.  The mom and I basically agreed that I would stay on with them while I was in graduate school, that she would take me for whatever hours I feel I can spare.

Ah.

Job security.

It’s an awful nice thing to have.

And vacation time.

The trip to Atlanta falls on the 4th of July holiday paid days off, so I don’t have to take vacation hours for the trip.

Which, aside, is really looking up to being an awesome adventure.

My girl friend who I am going to be splitting a room with at the Self Discovery Center Bed and Breakfast, just informed me via text that she was able to get on my flight!

We are travel buddies!

I am so stoked.

I’m a freaking dork right now.

We’re totally going to be the annoying people who ask to switch spots so that we can sit next to each other.

Yay!

Yay!

Yay!

Three days with one of my best girl friends ever, traveling, hanging out at a bed and breakfast, catching up, going to see friends, lots and lots and lots of friends.

Like 70,000 or so.

I do not exaggerate.

I also found out the awesome lady in Anchorage who I became friends with when I was up there is going too.

We’ll be having a reunion, I can feel it!

So all of this means, when do I take my two weeks vacation time and what do I do?

I could take that week that the family is gone at the end of July and go to Wisconsin.  I would love to see my best friend from back home.

I also had a fleeting idea of going to Hawaii.

I have never been and I bet July is not really a time most folks are there.

I still am planning a trip down to Chula Vista to see my grandmother, but I don’t think I want to wait until the end of July.

My next thought is, I should take my second week of vacation and go to Burning Man.

I could be there the first week that the boys are in school, the family won’t need me as much and I could go get my dusty on.

I still don’t know the time frame for the graduate school program.

That is the question that for me is up in the air.

I just checked the website again and they don’t have the dates for the program up yet.

So that’s on the back burner.

Burning Man.

What would I do if I wasn’t going to see you?

I suspect that I will go, even if I don’t know how, even when I was in Paris I figured I would be going back for the burning of the dude in the desert.

And I did.

This would be year nine for me and I want to go.

The question is what to do for the week in July?

Take it as vacation time or work odd jobs around the house.

I know I will need a week off for the retreat that kicks off the graduate school program and then if I go to Burning Man, that’s another week.

That could be my two-week vacation all wrapped up with those obligations.

I suppose no plans need to be made right now.

I know I’ll be in Sonoma for three weeks this summer and I know I’ll be in Atlanta for a long weekend in July.

I suspect I will be in Chula Vista for a weekend soon and other than that, I don’t know, I don’t have to know and it’s going to be just fine.

It’s the second day in February, I don’t need to be living in September quite yet.

I’ve got a few dates to go on before I get there.

Some friends to see.

Some adventures to be had.

Some dancing to be done.

Some present to be present for.

In the moment.

Where all the best things happen.

Hatching Plans

January 29, 2015

I just ran into a dear, dear, dear friend of mine.

Someone who has known me for ten years.

Someone who is going to Atlanta in July.

Someone I just made plans to be hanging out with in Atlanta, in July.

Yeah.

I know, Atlanta, July, those two things seem not so amazing, too hot, too humid, but considering that San Francisco in July is fucking freezing and foggy, especially out here at the beach, a fourth of July weekend in Atlanta sound pretty amazing.

Especially considering that there will be lots, and I mean, lots of friends there.

I paid my rent early.

I paid my student loans early.

And this Friday when I get my pay check I will be paying for the convention registration, $100, and buying an airplane ticket to go to the South.

I have never been to Georgia.

I am excited.

I started making some travel plans in my head last night and as I realized that so much of actually getting to said destination has nothing to do with thinking, I had to take some actions.

Action one was writing about it.

When I write it out on my blog, it tends to happen.

Burning Man.

Paris.

Graduate school.

Boyfriend.

Ex-boyfriend.

Ahem.

Having my own place in San Francisco.

Writing.

So much of it happens, trips, dancing, getting a Vespa, because I do the work, the little actions that add up, and it starts with writing it down.

Things can be up in my head for a while and in my head is no good.

All I do is obsess about it.

What ever “it” is.

I will obsess.

Today I choose to take an action.

I asked my friend if he had registered and he had and then I asked the big question.

Do you have a place to stay?

The hotels are already booked out close to the area of the convention and when I was doing some searching I really could not find anything appropriate hotel wise.

I did locate some things on the AirBnB site that might work for me and I have a friend in Atlanta I am sure I could peep who might let me crash on the couch, but I want to be in the thick of it with my fellows.

My friend has to confirm his reserveration.

We might be roomies.

It might be wonderful.

Either way.

I committed.

When I say I am going to do something, then I am going to do it.

That’s one of the most amazing things about the last ten years for me.

When I say I want to try it.

I do it.

Trampoling?

I’ve done it.

I might be too old to do it again, but I did it.

I told my friend that Friday I would register.

And Friday I will buy the airplane ticket too.

The best way to get me somewhere is to buy the plane ticket to the destination.

Then I’m pretty sure to show up even when I don’t know what it’s going to look like when I get there.

Paris.

When I had a little break time at work today, which was not much, the oldest boy was home again sick, I spent some time looking over my calendar for the year.

I can absolutely do Atlanta.

And I can do Atlanta without having to take any vacation days at work.

The conference is July 2-5th.

I have off for the holiday the 2nd and the 3rd, Thursday and Friday, then it’s the weekend, basically I have off, paid for the trip.

Perfection.

When I saw those dates I knew it was on.

Then seeing my friend tonight, sort of sealed the deal.

I am ready for this adventure.

Then I looked up Burning Man.

August 30-September 7th.

I have September 7th off from work, paid.

The family wants me to travel with them to Sonoma in August.

But not the first week in September.

I could take my vacation, which I haven’t taken and I get two weeks paid off for the year, and go to Burning Man.

Now.

Burning Man still depends on graduate school and the fact that the program I applied for has a one week intensive retreat to start out the semester.

I looked up the dates for the program, but realized after staring at them awhile and toggling between my calendar and the school’s website, that the program didn’t have fall 2015 listed.

The dates were for fall 2014 and spring 2015.

So, not really able to quite tell whether there is conflict in that or not.

I know there’s the retreat week I have to take for the program, but not the dates for it.

I also know there’s a weekend soon thereafter, I’ve applied to the program that is the intensive, so it’s full time school, but only on the weekends, which may or may not conflict with Burning Man.

Plus.

I did have the thought, the family might not be too keen on me taking all my vacation time in the same month.

Then again.

I can always ask.

Still.

Not going to know what’s happening along those lines for a minute yet.

I won’t know until March if I got in.

Although I did get the thumbs up from one of my letters of recommendation that it was being sent off this weekend, which is good.

February 1st is the deadline for the program.

Then next.

The trip to Chula Vista.

Which I was admonished by a cousin to make sure I co-ordinate with everyone in the family so that I could visit more than just my grandmother.

I’m excited by the prospect.

Getting to know my father’s side of the family really feels like a special thing.

I will get a hold of my grandmother this weekend and see what her time frame is too.  I don’t want to make any plans without consulting her as well.

But a spring time visit to Chula Vista seems definitely on the books.

Then a jaunt to the North Woods to see my best friend.

When?

Fuck if I know.

But I know.

It will happen.

Sometimes just saying it will make it so.

And so along those lines.

I am hereby ready to be asked out on a date.

Haha.

No.

Really, I am.

That was the last of my “plans” for the weekend.

Allowing myself to be asked out.

I realized.

Again.

That my picker is broken.

So instead of doing the asking.

I am going to wait to be asked.

Go on.

Ask.

I’ll make room for you, kind sir.

My schedule may look busy, but I’ll squeeze you in.

You have my word.

It may be around some travel plans.

But you’ll like Burning Man.

I swear.

It’s not that dusty.

 


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