Posts Tagged ‘Church Street Cafe’

Well, That Was No Fun

October 28, 2016

I knew, sort of, but not really, that I might be courting disaster by making the decision I made this morning.

And I made it anyway.

The good news is that I did not get hurt.

But man.

It was an uncomfortable ride home.

I decided to not take my scooter in to work.

I had planned on taking MUNI.

Then.

I don’t know what happened, but I got a wild hair up my ass and decided I was going to take my one speed.

Now.

I love my bicycle and its true I have done tons of wet weather riding in San Francisco.

However.

It’s been a minute since I’ve done any commuting on it and I was seriously regretting it as I sloshed through puddles and got soaked, seriously drowned rat soaked on my way home tonight.

The one upside is that I stripped down completely, threw all my clothes in the wash–prompting an early start to the weekend laundry and also giving the excuse to crawl into my pajamas and put on my very cozy bunny slippers.

I mean a wet, rainy ride home in the rain should be rewarded with fluffy bunny slippers.

Just sayin’.

I’m glad I did it, the bike ride in was actually really nice.

I had forgotten how much I love the smell of clover blooming in Kezar Triangle or the smell of the eucalyptus in the Pan Handle.

So good.

It was also a nice ride as I made it in before the rain began to fall.

I even popped over to Valencia Cyclery and got a detachable fender for the rainy ride home.

And it fell off.

I don’t even know where.

But it fell off and I got drenched.

Soaked.

I was wearing a rain jacket so my body was dry, just from the waist down got wet.

Anyhow.

I won’t be doing that again.

Sometimes memory can play tricks on me.

Like.

Oh, it’s not that bad, riding in the rain, at night, in San Francisco, where I swear people lose their minds when it rains and they drive.

I don’t understand it.

Especially since I learned how to drive in Wisconsin, meaning ice, snow, sleet, horrible driving conditions, I know it’s a little challenging when the weather changes, but it’s crazy out there.

Tomorrow I’ll take the MUNI train in, good old N-Judah line.

It’ll be too long, which is what prompted me to do the bicycle today too, it just takes such a long time to get to work on the train–it’s triple to quadruple the time it takes in comparison to my scooter and about twice as long as me riding in on my bike.

I have a thing for efficiency and using my time well.

I just didn’t want to waste time today.

And.

I needed the exercise, let me also put that out there.

I sort of fell off the beam with the yoga and I haven’t been in about two months.

Well.

Maybe not quite that long, but a month and a half?

Yeah.

That seems about right.

And I will get revved up and say to myself, tomorrow, tomorrow, I’ll go back to the studio and I just can’t get my ass to do it.

I have been praying for willingness, I have put that shit in my God box, I have told my people, both of whom were like, girl get yourself back into that.

I know.

I know.

I am being stubborn.

I’m holding a lot of excess emotions and it’s not fun.

I need to exercise, I’m an active person and when I transitioned from riding my bicycle 15 miles a day five days a week to riding my scooter almost every day, well, the yoga was a huge deal.

I also.

Fuck I don’t want to say it, but it’s on my mind.

I’ve gained a few pounds.

Not a lot.

I’d say three to five pounds.

So either I start working out again or I have to cut down on my food intake.

I don’t eat sugar or flour, I don’t eat processed foods, I don’t eat nut butters, I don’t eat white potatoes, very infrequently do I eat any kind of potato.

I eat hella healthy, but I like to have a snack at night and since I stopped riding my bike and doing the yoga I really don’t need it, but the habit, is well, a habit.

I’ve been telling myself for the last couple of weeks, the snack has to go and/or you have to go back to yoga.

Ugh.

I hate this stuff.

I feel like I am always working to maintain and sometimes I have to work harder to maintain than the majority of people I interact with.

Then I think.

Compare and despair.

And I think about how much work I have done, which shows me that I am capable of doing it now.

I just don’t want to.

Yet.

When I think of all the things I “don’t want to do” and that I do them anyway as they are good for me, I realize again that I don’t know what’s best for me.

I have the feeling I will get back on the mat and I will cry my eyes out.

It’s been leaking out.

I cried a bit today.

Earlier this morning.

When I met with my person tonight at Church Street Cafe.

Now.

I’m just grieving some more.

And it comes and goes and I get angry and then that too passes and I’m just sorrowful.

I am not wallowing in it, which is good, I just don’t want to feel it either.

Yoga breaks me down and gives me access to a lot of those emotions and also it allows me to let go of things that aren’t mine to carry too.

Sometimes I will carry other people’s stuff without even realizing it.

I’m feeling it in my body, there’s stuff there that’s not mine, doesn’t actually matter whose stuff it is, just that it’s not mine, and I need to work it out of my system.

Riding my bicycle today helped with that.

Also talking to my person.

“Girl, get back to yoga, you need to get your ya ya’s out, you have too much energy,” he concluded, looking at me from under the brim of his yellow slicker.

“I know,” I said and ducked my head down, damn you tears.

It was just the rain on my face, I swear.

And I do know.

And when I write it down here, things change, I change.

It’s a step in the direction I need to more towards.

I don’t know that I’ll get my ass in tomorrow.

But I’m going to shoot for Saturday.

My favorite teacher is there and though he has a challenging class, he also has a kind heart and I know he’ll just be happy to see me there again.

He always is.

So.

There.

Committed.

You read it here first.

Yoga.

9 a.m. Saturday.

It’s a date.

 

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Open Mouth

April 16, 2016

Insert foot.

Oh goodness.

Sometimes I just open my mouth and the stuff that falls out.

Heh.

Oh well.

I was told by a gentleman tonight that he would be traveling in Europe for the next three months, in case I missed seeing him around, not to worry.

I replied, “I find you so disarmingly attractive that I am almost grateful for the reprieve.”

Jesus, Carmen.

He’s like um, a child.

I think.

I am going to guess he’s about 15 years my junior, but my, so very pretty.

Oh, all the pretty boys, they do, well, do me in.

I also explained to a girlfriend who had asked after me when noticing I was a bit in a fluster that I was also ovulating.

Happened this morning.

Should have known when I woke late in the night to use the bathroom and I saw the moon setting blood red over the sea.

Just a little reminder that I am human, and a woman at that.

I am grateful for this body, even when it doesn’t act like I want or look like I think it should.

Which reminds me.

Go sign up for the 9 a.m. yoga class at Yoga Beach.

That’s the only time I have to do yoga tomorrow.

I have to meet my person in the Inner Sunset, do the deal, then hop over the Bay to a friend’s house in North Berkeley for her baby’s first year birthday.

Hard to believe it’s been a year since I went and visited her and the proud papa at the hospital with their gorgeous new born.

So grateful to get to take the time out of my schedule to see some friends and snuggle some babies.

I got some damn good snuggles from the boys I work with today, which sort of saved me.

I have had a few moments this past week wondering if it just might not be easier for me to work for a family that doesn’t work from home.

Sometimes I miss my days of autonomy and going to the park on my schedule and not being monitored.

But then I get the best love from the boys and it fades, the desire to look elsewhere for work (although damn, I do miss working with babies) with kids that still take naps and parents that don’t work from home, and I get the biggest hugs and melt.

I mean, I just melted a couple of times today with these boys.

First, at the park, the eldest laid down on the bench next to me and pillowed his head on my lap, and proceeded to tell me that he wasn’t hungry.

In fact.

His exact words were, “Carmen, you’re the best.”

Pause.

“I don’t need snacks, I just need snuggles.”

And then he just cuddled against me and we sat and watched the pigeons try to sneak up on the graham cracker crumbs from his brother’s snack.

And.

Tonight, as I was going to leave, the youngest, galloping out of the kitchen, arms wide open, “Carmen, I love you, I will miss you, I love you, pick me.”

“Of course I will pick you,” and I scooped him up and pressed him tight to my heart.

He laid his head in the nook of my neck and just stayed there.

We had the longest hug, he just didn’t want to let me go.

I left with my heart so full of love.

It was a good day.

Still a little challenging.

There was another play date and it too ran over, but there was more direction in the day and I was able to get a decent break and sit down and chill out for a few minutes before the onslaught began again.

I was done by six and scootered over to Church and Market.

I had plans.

All of them waylaid.

I was going to go grocery shopping.

But sometimes, I swear, Whole Foods, it was too much, too much money, too much attitude, too many people sampling things and frankly, the produce actually looked bad.

I said, screw this.

I left.

I went to get a manicure.

The salon was packed and couldn’t take me.

Ugh.

I wandered around Aardvark Books then went over to the Church Street Cafe and had a tea.

I sat in the big leather chair in the window and daydreamed.

It was good to just sit for an hour and tool around on my phone, no good Tinder updates, sorry, although I have to say sometimes I do wonder about the profiles, dude you are not 35, and if you are, you need to see a doctor because you are aging really poorly.

It’s mostly, nope, nope, nope, oh hell no.

Nope.

Nope.

Nope.

Maybe.

Um nope, good first photo, second one pretty scary.

Nope.

Nope.

Nope.

Oh, you’re cute.

Oh, wait, too many photos of you drinking, or smoking or 420’ing.

And I will ultimately “nope” you if I see the following: women in the photo–either you want to get down with me and your girlfriend or you’re too lazy to post a photo without your ex-girlfriend in it; kids, unless specified that I am cool Uncle “Jake” or some such thing, I don’t feel good about guys putting photos of the kids on a dating website that’s geared toward pretty fast hooking up, I mean, ok, use your cute dog–god damn that is a cute dog! But don’t use your kid to troll, um, gross.

Obvious lying about age, smoking cigarettes, posting in your profile that you really like to drink, yeah, it’s obvious, most guys under a certain age (although that didn’t stop me tonight, blush, blush, blushing), and every once in a while there will be a guy I know that I go, hey, yeah, I have always liked you.

But.

Inevitably I get either a. no response b. a jackass’ery response and a bad joke (are you serious?) c. an “I’m just on here for fun.”

What the fuck does that mean?

Whatever.

Next.

So this is all to say I don’t have any dates lined up for the weekend.

I do have friend time, yoga time, recovery time, and me time.

I’ll take it with much gratitude.

And fingers crossed, I’ll sneak in a manicure too.

Whatever happens, homework anyone, I will have fun.

Be light.

Be flexible.

Be loving.

Be.

Well.

Beloved.

 

 

Vacation!

February 16, 2016

It’s official.

I am off the next six days in a row.

I’m not freaking out.

Yet.

I have had a lot of loud, however, conversation in my head about the kind of exercise I should, would, or could be doing.

It is in fact driving me a bit bats.

But better to be obsessed with figuring out the best work out for my time and schedule than wondering about what I am going to do with all this time.

Just take it easy.

One day at a time and all that jazz.

I do have plans to meet with a ladybug tomorrow and do the deal and things of that nature are happening, but aside from that, my day is pretty wide open.

I have some pretty wide open days coming up, little things here and there, but lots of opportunity to do things and go places and hang out.

And.

Oh yes.

Sleep in.

I have gotten up at 6:30 a.m. or earlier for the last four days.

I am ready to not have an alarm go off.

I will be sleeping as long as I like.

I tell myself it will be a good long time, but it will be whenever my brain wakes up enough to rouse my body from its slumber.

I did take some actions around looking into things.

I went and talked to a woman at Laughing Lotus on 16th and Guerrero and got a schedule.

I also have done a lot of online trying to figure things out.

I have to say.

I am over trying to figure it out.

I got a great suggestion tonight from a fellow to surrender it and ask for direction and see what shows up.

I don’t have to know tonight.

And I can and have been driving myself a little nutty with it.

I have other things to do.

Homework is one of them, but I think I will at least let myself off the hook for that tomorrow and not worry about delving back into the homework right away.

I actually feel like giving myself the entire day off tomorrow to not think about any of it at all.

Just show up for my commitment and let whatever happens happen.

I am sure the day will show up.

It did today and I got to go into work and happily so, on my scooter.

I got my SFMTA Child Care Parking Permit and I am now allowed to park anywhere in the area of the permit for up to 72 hours without getting a ticket.

I can’t imagine leaving my scooter there overnight, but if something did happen, it would be ok for a few days.

And it means that I will be using my scooter to commute to work starting next week when I go back in.  I will want to have some sort of exercise routine in place, but I don’t have to have it right now.

Rather I can just enjoy looking at the day and the fact that I got to walk around a bit outside, have a nice lunch at Herbivore (I’m not a vegan, but I occasionally play one on tv, I actually just realized that everything I had today was vegan, huh) and in between taking care of things at work and meeting my friend for an iced coffee, I also got a manicure pedicure.

And a new vibrator.

Just saying.

I have some down time.

And.

Um.

Ha.

It works well.

Thumbs up.

Ha!

Anyway, I did pop in and out of a few other places, but nothing else caught my eye and truth be told, I haven’t felt too compelled to buy anything.  I will probably still take some time and do some clothes shopping, but nothing on Valencia Street was doing it for me and I was still sorted of at work, so I didn’t really take time to do a lot of looking.

It was better to hang out with my friend and catch up than worry about new clothes or what yoga studio I should check out.

My friend also mentioned ODC and she’s the third or fourth person to recommend it, so that is a place to investigate too.

I keep trying to get back to that and I really just want to let it lie right now, I am not about to go put on my yoga pants and grab a mat and…

Um.

Hahahaha.

Fuck me.

I am in yoga pants.

I put them on after I tried on a new dress I ordered on Modcloth.

I think I need to stop ordering on Modcloth.

I think I need to go down to the fit shop instead.

The dress is cute and it was one of the things I allowed myself to get when I got my tax return, I’d actually forgotten I had ordered it.

However, although it’s a perfect fit, the bodice is bizarre.

It makes my chest look really strange.

I mean.

It is NOT flattering.

Which is a bummer since it perfectly matches my new John Fluevog shoes!

OMG.

They came today and I picked them up from the shop in the Haight.

I am so wearing them tomorrow.

They are magical.

Maybe I should get dressed up and go to the museum and have a little artist date.

Stop thinking and get into some art.

Put on my fancy new shoes and scooter over to the DeYoung.

That would be fun.

I could have lunch at the cafe or I could go to Park Chow.

Oh yum.

Then, who knows.

I am meeting my ladybug at the Church Street Cafe at 6:15p.m.

That’s the earliest I have to be anywhere.

I can really sleep in.

Heh.

Again, I doubt it will be a long slumber, but it will not be getting up at 6:30 a.m.

No, nope, not at all.

Ah.

Perhaps a nice leisurely breakfast, some writing, a walk on the beach, it’s supposed to be nice tomorrow then rain for a few days, so it could be the right time to do the beach for sure.

Life is good.

I don’t have to know anything.

Be anything.

Or go anywhere.

I am exactly perfect.

Right here.

Right now.

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.

 

You Look Great

October 31, 2015

But you look tired.

My friend said to me just a few minutes ago in parting.

We haven’t seen each other in about three months, maybe a tiny bit more.

He’s in full-time school and working full-time.

I’m in full-time graduate school and working full time.

Add to that, doing the deal, and well, it feels like 80 hours a week.

And very little time for anything else.

Maybe some panic.

Maybe some anxiety.

I had that in spades today on my way into work on my bicycle.

I kept praying and breathing.

Deep, slow breathes in and out.

There were a lot of near misses today.

A woman ran, I mean, ran, a red light.

I narrowly avoided getting hit, seeing her just out of the corner of my eye, on her cell phone, oblivious to the oncoming traffic or the fact that there was a red light and she was zooming right along, on her way, on her Friday, got her own agenda, don’t mind me.

“Nice!” I hollered, and kept rolling.

I just had a cab almost pull out on me at 46th and Lincoln as I was turning.

She didn’t see me and I think I scared the crap out of her when I rolled up and turned aside so that she missed me, “hello, I’m right here.”

“Oh my God!”  She said and almost stalled out in the middle of the intersection.

I waved and kept going.

“Always, always, always, please look before you open your door,” I said to the woman at the intersection of Church and Market who flung open her door and nearly knocked me over.

“I am so sorry.” She said and blanched, “It’s been one of those days.”

“I feel you,” I said, “I hope it gets better.”

And I do.

I hope everybody out there has a safe and sane one.

Although I don’t think that’s actually going to happen.

It’s Halloween and the weather is nice.

There is no rain in the forecast and I foresee a lot of mischief and mayhem going on out there.

I was happy to get home alive.

I was happy to get to work alive.

As I said, the anxiety was with me the entire time I was riding into work.

I didn’t wake up anxious.

It just sort of over took me when I least expected it.

I had gotten up early to get in some reading before work.

Doing my normal routine, a little reading, a little writing, some breakfast, some coffee, check the e-mails, dress, etc, get my gear packed for work, and then sit and read.

I read and got in more reading than I expected and was grateful.

I’m still catching up from last weekend’s round of classes and I need to write a paper by Sunday.

So, imperative that I get the reading done.

I finished the chapters in the text-book and got onto the ones in the reader.

I took some notes for things I will probably write on for the paper and got a handle of what I need to do to finish the reading before I write the paper.

Then I looked at my calendar and saw that I had two more big projects that I have to do before the next weekend of classes and I have a big inventory I have booked into hear next Saturday and suddenly the feeling of quiet joy I had at getting in the hour of reading went right out the back door and was replaced by the fear of fuck, I don’t have enough time.

I know this is fear.

So I did the fear prayer and that helped.

And.

I know that creating drama in my head or catastrophizing–I just don’t have enough time to get it all done–is not helpful, that having something to fret about is a way for me to feel like I have some control.

I’m doing something, damn it, worrying, therefore, I have control over the situation.

The fact is.

I don’t have control.

And the worry is not helping me be in the present.

I asked to be brought into the present.

I did not mean that to mean that I wanted a bunch of crazy driving to keep me on my toes.

But that is exactly what happened.

I am grateful that I got my attention on the road and off my school papers and projects and reading.

Being in the moment is a challenge.

But it’s the only place I can get anything done.

“What are you doing for Christmas?” My friend asked me as I was unlocking my bike outside of Church Street Cafe.

“Nothing, I have no plans, I’ll be here,” I told him.

“My parents are coming into town, I want you to meet them,” he said.

“I would love to meet them!” I said, “they must be amazing to put up with you, especially your mother,” I teased my friend.

“She is amazing,” he said and we hugged goodnight.

It was one brief hour of catching up and I wont’ see him again until the holiday break with school.

And that is just how it is.

Hell.

At this point I am really happy when I get the opportunity to call anyone on my phone.

The best it seems that I am capable of doing is shooting out a terse, brief text most of the time.

I rarely, if ever, can make phone calls out at work, and today was like that.

I managed two short tiny calls then had to hop off the phone mid sentence.

The connecting is a desire that I have and I need to stay close to my people, but it is exhausting trying to juggle it all.

I’m doing alright.

I remind myself.

I don’t have to do it perfect.

I just have to show up.

I’m getting up earlier tomorrow than I do on my days working, but I need to meet a couple of ladies in the Inner Sunset and do the deal, then off to do some cooking, and hopefully by mid-afternoon or early evening, I will be settling in with my reader and getting it on.

So I can write my paper on Sunday.

So I can go back to work on Monday and do it all over again.

I feel a sense of deja vu as I realize this is very much like how all my weekends are.

Work.

“I don’t have any time off,” I said to my friend, in response to his, you look great but tired comment.

“I feel you,” he said looking just as harried as I.

We hugged again and we both bounced in our opposite directions.

And here it is Friday, again, with the dance music on my stereo being the only party I will be having this weekend.

Aside from the reading party of one I have reservations for.

I may even decide to not nap tomorrow.

I had plans for one, but you know what God does when I make plans?

Laugh.

A lot.

At least I know the joke is not on me.

And I can laugh along with it.

Or at least chuckle as I sip my tea.

Good night my fellows.

May your dreams be sweet.

And your sleep restful.

Oh sleep.

My darling.

I shall see you soon.

Although I shan’t be in your embrace for long.

I know I shall be soothed.

Good night.

God bless.

God speed.

God damn it.

I Raise You One Sick Day

October 9, 2015

For ten vacation days and….

Actually.

I got six sick days.

And.

Clarification that I did not have the last time I negotiated with the family I work for.

I get the sick days, six, to be actually sick.

Um.

I never get sick.

But I do have accidents.

And doctors appointments.

Which reminds me, note to self, my Healthy San Francisco expires this month and I either need to re-up or look at Medical or Obama Care.

I haven’t experience with either, but they are true health insurance from what I can gather and Healthy SF technically is not health insurance, although, really, it feels just like it.

Suffice to say, I am not going to be covered either way here in a matter of days and it’s time to get aboard that boat now.

“Girl, you have some loose boundaries around your money,” my person said to me tonight with a fierce look in his blue eyes.

I know!

I know.

I really do.

But I am learning and also, to give myself some credit, all this stuff is really new for me.

Despite having been a nanny on my own, sans agency, for a long time, it still takes time for me to figure out everything I need and to than go forward and ask for it as an independent contractor.

That’s what I am in a sense.

I am self-employed, but I have contracts.

I have learned that having a contact brings clarity.

So.

Last night when I realized that I needed some more clarity I took it upon myself to reach out to the family and discuss the next step in our figuring out how to best move forward.

I got great clarity and I am grateful.

I did not get a raise.

But.

I got a raise.

It just doesn’t look exactly how I expected it to look.

I am not getting an hourly increase.

But.

I am sustaining my current benefits despite working less.

35 hours a week when I am not in school.

28 hours a week when I am in school.

With some flexibility to add or subtract.

Like next week the boys have off for Columbus Day.

They actually have Columbus Day and the day after off.

Who the hell gets Columbus Day off?

I don’t remember this as a kid, but the school is a private school and it seems that they have a lot more holidays than I ever remember having.

Anyway.

Next Monday I will work 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. as well as Tuesday.

This is a big shift for me since school started for me and the boys relatively at the same time and I have been working 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. for the family.

I go in at 1 p.m. clean up the breakfast stuff, unload the dishwasher, tidy up, do the boys laundry, recycle, compost, trash, prep snacks, meal plan with the mom, go grocery shopping and marketing, mail stuff, pick up stuff, run errands, make dinner.

Then the boys come home at 3 p.m. and we have our afternoon together, then dinner, baths, then bed time when the parents take over.

Although both mom and dad work out of the office at home, so there is much interaction with the parents.

It took me a little while to get used to that, I’ve typically worked for families that were working away from home, but there’s been enough exception to that rule that when it presented with this family I was not completely unprepared for what that entailed.

But I can handle the shifting hours and it does make it possible to see my person again next week who I normally would not have been able to do.

God it was good to see him.

Those twinkling eyes.

Those wise words.

The shared experience.

And a person that I am genuinely myself with, no masks, no hiding, even when I want to hide, I can’t and I am grateful for his love and guidance and I don’t know how I would have gotten through the last year and a half without him.

I digress in gratitude.

Which for digression is not a bad thing.

We talked about the process of asking for clarity, of what it was like for me to ask for the raise, what it has been like being aware of what I need, also the acknowledgement of how I am moving forward completely above-board and all my tax stuff is transparent and how grateful I am for that.

Frankly, it’s a relief.

I still have fear of getting audited for years that I worked under the table as a nanny.

Be that as it may, I needed to do it that way to get by.

I couldn’t have lived in San Francisco had I not.

I have no regrets about it.

But I do have a choice now to stay in the clear and what with school and financial aid, it just feels right.

Needless to say.

It’s called being an adult.

It’s taken me awhile to grow up and grow towards my financial ideal.

I am still short.

But.

I have come so far.

When I think about the lack of guidance I had in money matters growing up, how lacking my family of origin experience was in regards to financial knowledge, despite watching my mother and step-father have hair pulling, knock down, drag out fights, with tables that got flipped over in the dining room, over the monthly budget, I never learned how to handle my finances.

I’ve learned most of what I know in this last decade.

I really have grown up.

There’s still plenty of growth.

But.

I will acknowledge the growth that has happened now.

I accepted the package the family proposed.

I stay at my current hourly.

But.

I get all the perks that I had before when I was working full-time.

I.e.

I still get the same vacation days!

Which is awesome.

As in I get Thanksgiving and the day after Thanksgiving off.

Hello four-day weekend!

I also get the 23rd-25th of December off for Christmas.

Five day weekend!

Hell.

I could actually make some travel plans.

Plus.

I accrue my vacation days the same way, which means, I get the same ten I got last year and I still get the six sick days, which I now know to actually use when I get sick or need time off for doctors appointments, etc.

I’m getting full-time benefits without working full-time.

This is a really nice perk.

And.

We will follow-up with a review at the end of the year where the family has agreed to look at giving a raise at that time and negotiating moving forward from there.

I think it’s a win.

I certainly learned a lot about myself and my process and I am very proud of myself for the work I did.

Albeit I could have done without the unnecessary drama I brought on myself through anxiety and miscommunication about my vacation days and sick days.

Growth.

There’s always more to do.

But I have to acknowledge the work I did too.

That’s a part of it all as well.

Grateful for the experience.

Even when it was painful.

They say pain is the touchstone of spiritual growth.

I can second that opinion.

And raise my sick days to that notion.

Plus a couple of long delicious weekends in the not so distant future.

Winning.

Your Assignment

July 30, 2015

Should you so accept.

Is to.

Have fun.

Aw.

Man.

Really?

I’m sorry, didn’t you see that gigantic stack of reading I have to do on the table in my little kitchen area–which is also now my study area/work desk/cry in my coffee and stress area.

No.

Fun is out of the question.

“I think you shouldn’t do any reading the weekend,” he said to me at the Church Street Café this evening as lay my head down on the table and the tears seeped out of my eyes.

I sat back up.

“That’s not an option,” I said.

In fact, as I was leaving my domicile this evening to take the N-Judah to Church and Duboce I walked out the door as the mail man was delivering another textbook to my house.

Five down.

Two to go.

And this sucker was a big one.

I spent about an hour and a half reading this afternoon after running some errands and grocery shopping.

Yes, people, I did sleep in.

And yes it was glorious, but at some point the call of the bed faded to the call of breakfast and I got up and went on my merry way.

I was supposed to be harkening to the call of fun, but I did not answer the door when it called.

Instead it took me 90 minutes to read 30 pages in the text-book for Human Development.

I had looked at the syllabus and thought, oh hey, only three chapters to read in this one, no biggie, I can totally knock that out before I go meet my person at Church at Market at 6:30p.m. in fact, I may even have time to sneak up to Whole Foods and grab a couple of things that I couldn’t get between Outer Avenues, my food co-op up on 44th and Judah, and Safeway.

But no.

That’s not what happened.

I was barely able to finish one chapter, truth be told, I did not actually finish the chapter.

The chapter was 50 pages.

The three chapters are composed of 150 pages, slightly longer than I had first surmised.

And I’m still thinking in novel size books, not text books, this tome I was reading, is just that, a tome.

It is a big hefty ass book.

If it were an ass it would be callipygian.

I digress.

The book is a text-book, the language is scholarly, and again, I am finding that the concepts are not beyond my grasp, but that I have to read with a different kind of eye, that I have to slow down and make sure that I am absorbing the ideas.

There are a lot of ideas going on.

And there are a lot of words on the page.

I would say double what a novel is and so, yeah, it’s taking me longer.

I have to remind myself, too, that I am not in the reader mode yet, I am discovering what I need to do, how I  need to sit, where I need to sit for that matter.

How I read.

I mean, yes, I do have an undergraduate degree, but it was in English Literature and well, people I’m a fiction reader, so the reading for that was not so difficult, nor arduous.

I’m reading literal ideas and thoughts, it’s not so much a narrative, but a fact gathering, complying, and understanding.

I’m also getting a very holistic, as in whole picture, view of what my field is going to be covering.

Ultimately I will be a therapist and I am certain that the skills really necessary to have are not going to all come out of a text-book; however, they are going to be based there and the knowledge needs to be firmly implanted in my brain.

I made the decision while reading the text-book for my Human Development course that I was going to need to go back and actively read the text with a notebook and answer the questions that were coming up in the material–it’s summarized at the end of each section with some tidy little bits of what you’ll need to know, and although I got the gist of the material, I couldn’t spit it right back out.

I’m going to either read all the chapters and then re-read them with a notebook or start from the beginning and re-read using a notebook.

Fortunately, I have some.

Notebooks that is.

I picked up some today while I was out doing my grocery shopping.

Four glitter notebooks.

I’m not sure what that says about me.

But I feel that Freud would approve.

And if not Freud, that anal motherfucker, perhaps Erickson.

I feel a plethora of new knowledge getting slid into my brain and despite not knowing how to accommodate it all and how that it’s all going to get in there, I do enjoy learning and I am grateful that I am going to continue to grow in my knowledge base and to continue to be teachable.

So that, ultimately, I can be of service.

That’s where it’s at.

Irony?

I have to enjoy my life a little too.

I need to strike a balance.

I need to have some fun in there.

I may play hooky, for real tomorrow and figure out what that is going to look like and how I will be flexible enough to let it in, the fun that is.

I have been given this suggestion before and I absolutely do need to implement it.

I may not go off camping, although there is a narrow percentage of possibility on my plate, so if I don’t, I need to do something here in town–go to the DeYoung, see the Turner Exhibit; go to Free Gold Watch and play pinball; go to  a matinée–when I was the last time I went to a movie in the middle of the day?

Or take the ferry out to Sausalito and play tourist.

That is always something I enjoy doing.

Fun will be had.

Damn it.

Let it begin now.

Weird Wednesday

July 9, 2015

Like so weird.

I don’t know exactly where to start and I feel a bit off kilter.

Sad.

Annoyed.

Excited.

Anxious.

Happy.

So many feels.

Dude.

Ugh.

Starting in no particular order.

Blew a flat tire on Oak just as I finished navigating the Wiggle.

I had the oddest feeling that something was up with my bicycle too, and for a moment I thought, is it at all possible that she popped my tire.

I mean, it was the weirdest feeling, like someone had sabotaged my tire.

I know I sound paranoid, but I had just had a disconcerting run in with someone at a cafe and it was so odd how the entire interaction went that I wondered if she had.

But no.

That’s nuts.

No matter how uncomfortable I was, no one purposely popped my tire.

Every other Wednesday after work I meet my person, one of my people–it takes a village–at The Church Street Cafe before heading out to my usual Wednesday night thing.

I pulled up right on time to see a prime spot to park my bicycle and I headed inside to grab a cup of tea and see if he was there.

Nope.

But someone else was.

Someone who I wouldn’t have even noticed except that she waved at me.

I didn’t recognize her at first, except to recognize that it was someone I knew from around the way.

Oh.

Then I did see who it was.

My ex boyfriend’s friend.

“Hey you!” She said exuberantly, “it’s been a long time!”

I smiled, “it has, months.”

I was half way to the counter to order my tea, “nice to see you,” and I turned to place my order, but I was hijacked back into the conversation.

“OH!  Just so you know, I’m meeting ____________ here,” she said emphatically.

I stared at her in question, “um, ok,” I said with a half-smile, “that’s not really any of my business, but thanks.”

I turned.

“Well, I’d want to know,” she said to me, “if it was me, I’d want to know.”

I looked back at her as I headed to the counter, “that’s about you, not me.”

Then I ordered my tea.

Great.

My ex is on his way here.

What are the fucking odds?

Then I thought, who cares?

It’s well past, it’s well over and I’m meeting my person and it’s a public place.

The weird thing was the person who was relaying all the non-essential, none of my business information was someone my ex had told me he was no longer in contact with.

What the hell are they doing hanging out?

My brain wanted to go on an expedition.

NONE OF MY BUSINESS.

I reminded myself.

After which the thought came, where is my person?

Oh.

A voice mail, he was running late, but soon to arrive.

I got settled at an outside table.

There was nowhere else to sit and I figured, might as well get it over with, and be right out front and be seen.  I don’t need to hide, even if it was only last week that I got a horrendous load of text messages from my ex in regards to my apparent exorcism of him from my life.

Not my timing.

Not my schedule.

Then again, nothing is on my schedule.

Never has been.

Besides, I figured his friend was busy texting him to let him know I was a clear and present danger.

Ugh.

And right at that moment.

A dear girl friend I had not see in months walks down the street.

She joyfully greets me, I say nothing of the weirdness happening and focus on connecting with her and being present for her and her accomplishments, a new relationship, the news she can go to Burning Man, and her congratulations on my acceptance and scholarships to graduate school.

“Girl, you are just glowing, you are so beautiful, look at life just opening up for you,” she hugged me.

Well.

That was nice.

And it gloriously helped to pass the time until either my person was going to show up or the ex boyfriend was.

My person showed up first, so handsome, strolling down the street in pressed linen shorts and a gingham pink checked shirt with a cashmere sweater draped over his shoulders.

God.

I love my person.

I got a huge hug, my girlfriend got a hug, we had us a little love fest in front of the cafe.

My girlfriend left so we could get to doing the deal and just as my person was settling down in front of me, guess who decided to interject into our conversation?

Mmmhhmmm.

You don’t know this since you read my blog of a piece, but suffice to say, I just paused there, searching for the right word, a word that is not unkind, but perhaps indicative of the actions of the person and no, I can’t find a nice way to put it.

She interrupted us at the table mid conversation, not to say anything to me, but to talk to my person.

My person said hello, then turned to me and raised his eyebrow as she turned away from the table.

She ignored me, she stepped to the curb.

A silver car screeched around the corner and she sprinted across the street, hopped into the car and then it peeled out.

Screech.

Pause.

Big pause.

In the writing, I usually don’t stop, but I did there for a moment.

And.

Now.

Shifting gears.

Point of view totally changed.

Is there anything wrong, Carmen?

No.

I just had a really good talk with my friend who helped me put a lot of stuff into perspective.

In fact, I don’t even know why I was upset, expect that the old tropes, the old ideas, the old, “I’m not enough” or the old shames came back and really, that’s just an old fucking story I tell myself to feel bad about who I am or what I am and there is no need for that.

There is nothing wrong.

It’s all manufactured misery.

My life is amazing.

And I got to end my evening holding hands with someone who means the world to me and be myself.

Yeah.

My life.

It does not suck.

I am loved.

I am taken care of.

I am ok.

And the weirdness.

Well.

There isn’t any.

It’s all pretty much.

Wonderful.

Ah.

Perspective.

Thank you for rescuing me from the bad neighborhood I stumbled into.

My own head.

Hello Gorgeous

March 10, 2014

I said to myself this morning as I looked in the mirror.

That is not my typical response, just so you know.

I felt and still do feel, really pretty today.

Perhaps it was the sleeping in.

I could not believe I slept in so long.  It wasn’t until nearly lunch time that I realized that I had not actually slept in.  It was Daylight Savings time.

Oops.

I still felt good.

Really good.

I went for a bike ride along the beach.  I got some grocery shopping in.

Actually, a lot of grocery shopping in.  I went to three different stores–SafeWay, Noriega Produce, and Other Avenues.  Each had something I needed to get and I really want to stay with this habit of prepping my food for the week.

It is so helpful.

I actually have opened up my fridge a few times and was tempted to take a photograph of all the goodness.

Homemade chili in Mason jars: grass-fed, organic ground sirloin, browned with organic onion and garlic, hot soaked red and white organic beans (navy and kidney) black olives (I know chili does not typically have black olives, but the version I like the best is my mom’s, shocker, and her’s does include black olives and celery), fire roasted tomatoes, cayenne, chili powder, sea salt, Spike, black pepper, organic beef broth.

I also made a pot of brown rice and then packed it all up, froze two batches of it and canned the rest.

Then there’s organic Japanese sweet potatoes, carrots, the rest of the celery, Earth Balance, Nancy’s Organic plain, non-fat yogurt, organic low-fat string cheese, bottled water, Stumptown coffee in a jar for iced coffees–it’s going to be warm this week–unsweetened vanilla almond milk, organic Omega 3 brown eggs, Veganaise, lemon humus, organic strawberries and black berries, and left over Tom Yum soup from Thai Cottage.

It’s a pretty looking fridge.

I remember once a friend coming over to my house in Madison and being shocked at the amount of food in my fridge, and I was living alone at the time.

My fridge then probably looked something like this: cheese, big block of medium or mild cheddar, gallon of milk, mayonnaise–Hellman’s, the big jar, not the small one, I mean why, sliced turkey sandwich meat, potato bread or maybe wheat bread, but probably potato I liked how soft it was, tomatoes, pickles, iceberg lettuce for the sandwiches, beer, couple of growlers from the Angelic–the Bitter and maybe the Nut-brown, but probably the Bitter, Framboise, eggs, white potatoes for baked potatoes, sour cream, bagels, cream cheese, white tortillas, butter, in the freezer, ice cream, ice, vodka, frozen fruit for making frozen margaritas, on top of the fridge, lots of booze, good stuff, you know, top shelf, I liked to entertain.

In the cupboards boxed cereal, Bisquick, flour, sugar, brown and white and powdered, baking chocolate, white chocolate, cherry preserves, fruit in heavy syrup, chocolate chips and nuts for baking, baking soda, baking powder, maybe oatmeal, but not for breakfast, for baking, table salt, molasses, heavy corn syrup, popcorn.

I was a Midwestern kind of gal.

Now.

Not so much, but there are shades of her still here, and I like that, I don’t need to change that, I can just recall fondly when I would make fried chicken and potato salad and corn on the cob with gobs of butter and salt and chocolate cake and drink a big cold glass of milk with it all.

Then.

A cigarette and a beer or a soda.

I liked Coke.

Not the powder.

That came later.

Part of being pretty is taking care of myself, I know that now, I can see it clearly and as my food continues to be clean I am feeling really good and that to me is noticeable.

Plus the warm weather today did not hurt in the least.

It was glorious to ride my bicycle outside, to run errands, to sit and eat the meal I prepped for the road, had a 6:30p.m. commitment at Church and Market, that I ate with a bottle of sparkling water outside the Church Street Cafe.

Used to be that when I was out exercising I would use that as an excuse to eat whatever I wanted.

I remember going with my ex-boyfriend to the gym, he did not need it he had the metabolism of an angry hummingbird, and then after going to the McDonald’s on East Washington and eating a double quarter-pounder with cheese meal and yes, please supersize the fries, with a coke, easy on the ice.

Blech.

So happy I don’t do that to myself anymore.

It’s Spring around here and I am feeling fit and sassy and sexy and gorgeous.

And it’s ok to say that.

I don’t often acknowledge myself as being attractive.

I could today and I am going to let myself have that feeling and take it with me to bed.

I don’t know what the morrow will bring, so revel in these moments while I can.

I have a tendency to see myself differently, I don’t know if it’s body dysmorphia, could be, I am not one to self-diagnose, but I do know that I don’t have a good perspective on what I look like.

I look like me.

I tend to think that I look like how I feel.

I felt good today, sweet, well rested (even if it was just a trick of Daylight Savings, it worked), and pretty.

Happy.

Serene.

I mean, not much happened, but that’s an ok thing too.

A long bike ride, a home-made meal, sunshine, the swell of the ocean waves as they crumbled over themselves.  I saw a dolphin leap through a wave as I was cycling to the grocery store.

How’s that for scenic?

The ride to the grocery store is along the ocean, I take 46th to Lincoln, hop over to la Playa, then ride along the bike path to the SafeWay.

It’s like when I lived in Paris and I got to see Sacre Couer every time I went to the post office or to hop on the Metro at Anvers.

I live a damn good life.

Maybe that’s it.

My life is gorgeous.

Either way.

I will take it.


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