Posts Tagged ‘Cole Valley’

Puerto Rico

December 19, 2016

In the New Year?

Um.

Yes please.

So today was my birthday and like all good plans, hahahaha, plans you are just awesome and always so fucked, it didn’t quite go the way I um, planned.

Free Gold Watch was closed for a private party.

Which they hadn’t advertised and so when I showed up with my friends there was no pinball to be had.

And it was cold.

And I had stood outside for a long time waiting in line at Zazie’s in Cole Valley for brunch to want to stand outside any longer and figure out anywhere else to go.

So.

I called it a day.

And I have no regrets, no hurt feelings, because.

Ha, I had no expectations.

Which is actually a really nice way to roll.

And.

I had such a good time, such a lovely, sweet, warm, cozy, when we finally got seated in the restaurant as we had to wait in line for over an hour, but so worth the wait.

I had a delicious meal.

A lot of coffee.

And the company of some dear friends.

I am a very lucky girl.

Standing on the curb in Cole Valley outside a hopping French bistro waiting in line to have brunch on my birthday, feeling all the love.

I was a little disappointed to not play ye olde pinball, I love pinball, but I wasn’t upset that I was missing out, I had already had such a good time.

And.

My friends sang me Happy Birthday in the restaurant and the entire place joined in.

Wonderfully mortifying and special all at the same time.

Full, replete, and warm, I couldn’t have asked for more.

I also had an awesome talk with my dear friend who came over from Oakland to have brunch, we hadn’t seen each other in months, but sometimes, when there’s a connection, there’s a connection and it doesn’t matter that it was a little while, we were right back in it.

And.

Guess where he’d been?

Puerto Rico.

And guess where the airline I have the voucher for flies to?

San Juan.

Puerto Rico.

Of course, it’s too late to get a flight anywhere, all the holiday traveling, and I’m fine with that, but I corralled my friend on the curb and told him about my Christmas plans changing and that I had to cancel my ticket and now had a flight voucher that I could use to travel anywhere the airline had hubs.

It’s a small airline-SunCountry, so no Hawaii or international travel, except Puerto Rico, some spots in the Caribbean and Mexico.

Hello.

I said to the little map showing off Puerto Rico.

I haven’t seen you in a long time.

I mean.

A really long time.

And I have wanted to go back, to do it right.

To do it sober, for one, to go again to the bio luminescent sea, to walk the cobbled streets of Old San Juan, to swim in the water and lay on the beach.

So as I’m explaining to my friend about the ticket and my thoughts and wondering when he’s going back to Puerto Rico, he just starts smiling and smiling and then.

“Nena, open your gift.”

I looked at him, “ok.”

And opened my gift on the sidewalk outside Zazie’s and screeched with joy.

A travel book to Puerto Rico.

A bag of Puerto Rican coffee.

And a jar of Adobo spice.

OMG.

So made my birthday.

“How the hell?” I was so excited,  smacked my friend with the Adobo.

“I don’t know, but obviously the Universe provides,” he smiled.

We’ll be talking more, he’s got business there and will be going a couple of times a year for the next year and a half, two years, so sometime in the new year there will be a trip to Puerto Rico with my dear friend.

I am so excited.

And though the plans, they keep changing, I will be here for Christmas, I’m not upset about them changing, life happens, things change, roll with it.

Tonight will be an early night for me, despite it being my birthday I don’t need to go and paint the town eighteen shades of red, rather, I get to curl up here in my cozy home, by my sweet Christmas tree and have a little more tea and get a good night’s sleep.

Tomorrow begins my last week with my current family.

It will be sad to say good-bye to the boys, but also I know it’s not a true goodbye as the next family I work with goes to the same private school.

I will see the boys at pick up and drop off and that will be a kind way to ease the transition.

Both for them and for me.

I have some Christmas presents for them and some things that I hope will remind them of me and keep me in their hearts, but I am ready to move onward to the next adventure.

I am also grateful that I have week off from said next adventure.

There will be much yoga.

There will be a little travel over to the other side of the bridge to help out a friend on Christmas Eve day.

There will be trips to the MOMA.

Dare I say it?

There will be naps.

There will be time to figure out my camera and why I can’t download my pictures to my computer.

There will be time to attend to a few school things–practicum applications, resume writing, gathering references.

As well as doing my FAFSA for the next school year and starting to order my books for the next semester.

Fingers crossed.

There will be time for at least one book that is pleasure reading.

There will be time for a ferry-boat ride on the bay me thinks.

I love to take the ferry once in a while, it’s my special solo date gig.

There will be lots of writing.

When isn’t there?

There will be plans that go awry and things that change and I will grow and change with them.

Hello 44 years old.

You look pretty damn good.

Glad we’ve made it this far.

Luckiest girl in the world.

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Things Change

December 18, 2016

Unexpected.

But for the better.

I won’t be going to Wisconsin for Christmas.

I will be staying here in San Francisco.

Although my person was very pro me going to Hawaii.

Who the hell isn’t interested in going to Hawaii.

As it turns out circumstances were just not a good fit for me to travel where I was going and after much heart-felt thinking I realized I needed to cancel.

I booked the ticket through an online site, Kayak, that lead to Priceline, that led to SunCountry and I was afraid I was going to have to bite the cost of the ticket.

$480 down the toilet.

According to Priceline’s little disclaimer about tickets being non-refundable, etc.

However.

Upon the urging of my person I called the airline and explained my situation and the person I talked to was super sweet and accommodating and they cancelled my ticket and gave me a voucher that I can use anytime in the next year.

I can choose to go to Wisconsin if the opportunity is right or I can travel to any of the other destinations the airline flies.

I looked at a few places, I mean, I have a week off, but it’s Christmas and the majority of the places that I was interested in going to were booked full.

So.

I have a year to re-book and that’s cool.

I am super happy that I didn’t lose the money and I am happy that I have a year, well, not quite, I booked the ticket in October, so I need to re-book by next October, but I can still use it.

I don’t know where I’ll go and I don’t have to decide right now.

I do know I will be here in the city and who knows what mischief I may get up to.

I figure I will do lots of yoga, buy a book for pleasure reading and go to the MOMA a few times.

Pleasure reading.

Drool.

Because, that shit is happening.

I mean for real.

Because I finished my Psychopathology paper!

My God.

That was a grind.

17 pages.

I thought it was supposed to be 18-20 pages but then I went back into the syllabus and saw that I had made an error, thank God I found that, and the paper “only” needed to be 15-17 pages.

So 17 pages were written.

4,912 words.

I had a friend who was like, what are you going to do to celebrate?

I responded.

Write my blog.

hahahahahahaha.

But really.

This is a celebration right here, right now.

I finished.

I made it.

I am officially half-way through the three-year program and that feels really good.

Despite my sadness at having to change my plans, I know it’s for the best, and plans change, things change, I get to be flexible and I am damn curious to see what is going to happen next.

I do believe that something awesome and fun is going to happen.

And despite a longing to be with my friend and her family I need to do what is best for the situation and that has been done.

It feels rather adult.

I guess one could say I’m growing up.

Which is good since in two hours I’ll be 44.

Heh.

“44!  No!  34!” My yoga teacher was so cute today, we’ve become friends and I invited him and his daughter and his partner to my pinball party in the Haight.

You too.

Come if you’re around.

4p.m.-7p.m. Free Gold Watch in the Haight–Waller at Stanyan.

Bring your quarters!

I’m going to be a Zazie’s for brunch and figure I’ll be signing up there around 12:30p.m. and I just got a text from my person who happens to know the manager, that she gave them the heads up that I was coming in (they don’t take reservations) and she also left me a birthday present!

I’m so lucky.

I’m so grateful.

I get to go to graduate school.

I get to go to play pinball tomorrow with my friends.

I got a voucher for my plane ticket and time to figure out where and when I am going to use it.

So many gifts.

So many.

I’m going to do yoga in the morning too.

It may be my birthday, but I can’t think of a better way to start my year than by taking care of my health and well-being.

God damn.

I really am lucky.

When I think of all the challenges and the things I have gone through to get where I am at, sitting here in this lovely home with my Christmas tree lit up and my school work done for the semester, I am absolutely amazed.

The gift of perspective might be the greatest thing I have in my life.

It is stunning to see how I have changed.

I mean.

Others have seen it and noted it, but I felt it, deep and true these last few days and I am moved by how much I have seemingly grown in such a short time.

Granted I think the seeds had been planted and watered and there was much sunlight of the spirit happening.

But I wasn’t expecting it.

I hadn’t looked for it.

I let go of a defect and found joy in its place and a lightning in my heart.

Love for myself, of myself, directed inward, and there.

A bloom.

A blossom.

A wild, fragrant flowering of brightness inside.

I feel lit up and a glow.

Warm and safe and taken care of.

I have no problems.

I really don’t.

Oh.

Yes.

Challenges, there will always be challenges, and room to grow, I don’t doubt that, there’s always room to grow, but problems, no I don’t have them.

Not now.

Not right here in this glorious moment of freedom.

School’s out for winter!

Ok.

That doesn’t sound as good as school’s out for summer.

But believe you me, after the semester I had.

It is hella sexy.

Hella.

You Mean Your 33rd

December 12, 2016

There is no way you’re in your 40s!

Thanks darling.

That was nice to hear.

I was texting with a friend in regard to my birthday brunch next Sunday at Zazie’s in Cole Valley.

One week left of 43.

Not that I’m counting.

I’m grateful for my age, my authenticity, my life, my person, this body of experiences of heart aches and belly laughs, or sorrow and pain and vast oceans of gratitude, love, and happiness.

I get to encompass so much.

For that I am grateful.

I am also grateful for more affirmations of myself, my abilities, and my work, I received some amazing feed back from my Psychopathology professor today.

I got back my mid-term paper from her.

I was actually a bit nervous, she’s the professor I asked for a letter of recommendation from and I want to impress her (hell fire, I want to impress everyone, truth be told) and she’s the professor that’s got the biggest paper yet to do ahead for me to have the semester of work completed.

I got an “A.”

I was blown away.

Especially as she was explaining her grading scale yesterday in class to a student she hasn’t had before in class; who was asking with the same anxiety that I remember having so well when I first started taking classes with this professor (I will also have her next semester for Trauma), how she graded her papers and assigned grades for the class.

The professor explained and basically expressed that a good grade was an A-.

The a decent grade was a B+.

You don’t want to get less than a B in grad school, FYI.

A B- or a C+ you might as well be failing the class.

That an exemplary, you went above and beyond was what it took to warrant an “A” for her class.

That I got an “A” on my mid-term paper boggles my mind.

After her explanation, which I just summarized, there’s a little more behind how she grades, I was sitting in class thinking I definitely had gotten a B+ for the paper and if I was lucky, perhaps an A-.

I got an “A!”

Fuck yes!

And fuck me.

Now the pressure is more on than before to produce a good final last paper for her.

Especially after the end note she left on my paper: “Carmen, this is by far the most heartfelt, touching, and comprehensive psychopathology paper ever!  You show a deep integration between your personal experience and conceptual understanding.  I appreciate the seamless ways in which you wove in the material from McWilliams (one of the text books I referenced in conjunction with the DSM V)–I can see how much you have made this material your own.  Impressive!”

I just about fell out of my chair.

And.

Yes.

I did indeed tear up.

It just feels so god damn good to be on the right track, to finally, after so many years of soul searching, have a way forward, a goal, an identity (although certainly only a small facet of who I am, but one in which I get to use all that I am), a career path, and that I get to use all those things, all that soul suffering that I went through, to gain access to that path.

Such a gift.

All the pain was not for naught.

All the experience I have and all the resilience.

I’m just stupid grateful.

Which is good, tis the season after all.

My heart full and warm as I pause and look at my Christmas tree, at the neat stack of Christmas cards I just addressed prior to getting started on this blog, on the soft candle light in my home, the hot tea in my body, I feel replete.

Not quite relieved.

No.

Like I said, there is still another paper to go.

But.

I am inspired, alight, and yes, a little nervous.

One of my friends from Wisconsin whom I am shortly to be visiting, sent me a weather update about the cold, the snow and the negative temperatures and asked if I was still coming.

I had to laugh, the cold is scary, but not enough to scare me off from my trip.

And.

I am so looking forward to seeing my friends, their sweet boys, the snow, the Christmas lights in the snow, the smell of firewood burning in the cold night air–one of my favorite smells of all time, wood fire smoke on a cold night (only to be super ceded by wood fire smoke from a beach bonfire).

I messaged him back that I was indeed still coming and that I was in fact finishing up my final classes of my last weekend of the semester.

He pinged back that he would send me something to read.

I said, NOOOOO.

Not yet.

Nope.

I have to write this paper and now I have this additional problem of having some big expectations for myself around writing a stellar paper.

I loved his response: “what a good problem!”

He’s right.

If I am going to have “problems” in my life, this is certainly one of the better ones to have.

Heh.

Goodness.

I just realized that two weeks from now I’ll be there, in the snow, cozy in their home, my best friend, her husband, their three boys, and it will be Christmas.

I am such a lucky girl.

Friends.

Travel.

Snow at Christmas.

Wrapping up gift boxes to send to my mom and my sister.

Christmas cards addressed and stamped.

Meaning and purpose and a design to take all the soul suffering and transmute it into the language of love.

How many people get to do that?

I am blessed.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

And.

Loved.

Yes.

Very much so.

Feeling Back To Normal

November 28, 2016

Even if my Internet is slow and wonky.

I’m feeling much better.

Today may be my first official “normal” day since the whole “she’s got lice” fabulousness went down.

So relieved to be back into my own regular schedule and getting out and about in the world.

Even if all the out and about was scootering from one hard ware store to the next.

I went to six, SIX, different hard ware stores trying to get the blue ceramic Christmas tree lights I wanted.

No one had them.

Sad face.

Cole Fox Hardware in Cole Valley.

Nope.

Ace Hardware in the Outer Sunset on Noriega.

Nope.

Ace Hardware in the Castro.

Nope.

The hard ware store on Haight, which I forget what the name is.

The hard ware store in the Inner Sunset on Irving.

Nope.

And more nope.

I even went to Sloat Garden Center.

Nada.

I know, it’s a garden center, but I thought, well, they sell Christmas trees, maybe they’ll sell Christmas lights too.

The one place I for sure thought I would be able to get them, Ace Hardware in the Castro, were out, and the check out person was sad too, “shoot! Those were the ones I was going to get too.”

Ah well.

Next year.

I did find some blue LED lights that will work, they’re going to have to, as they’re currently on the tree.

Yes.

I got my tree.

I just figured what with the lonely Thanksgiving I deserved some cheer.

I even did a tiny bit of Christmas shopping.

A little thing for my mom.

A little something for my friend in Wisconsin.

And my sister’s Christmas present.

I do like getting Christmas presents, cheers me right the fuck up.

I like wrapping presents and sending cards.

I’m a bit old-fashioned.

The running around to find the lights led me to the other shopping and I was grateful for that.

I stocked up on some lip balm that I can only seem to find at one or two places and never quite seem to be in the right neighborhood to procure it.

Today being in Cole Valley I popped over to the Upper Haight, ostensibly to check the hardware store on Haight, but being in the hood, I dropped into Loved to Death and picked up my current favorite lip balm.

My favorite they don’t make any more.

I still so wish they did.

But.

The one that I get is pretty dreamy and delicious—from Tokyo Milk.

I got one pot of Salted Carmel, one of Cherry Bourbon, and one Dark Cocoa.

Oh my, so very good.

Yes.

I taste good when you kiss me.

Heh.

Not that there’s any kissing on the menu, I’ve been so isolated these past few days I haven’t had a chance to get out there, plus, well, it’s not really sexy to go on a date and like possibly have lice.

I mean.

I needed to make sure I was not lousing up any one’s day.

Pun intended.

If you know what I mean.

Anyway.

So I got those and I picked up a couple of lovely little things for my mom and sister and best girlfriend in Wisconsin when I was in Cole Valley, at Pharmica.

Lovely little store I used to go into all the time when I worked in Cole Valley.

OH!

Shoot.

I know where I should have gone.

Cliff’s Variety on 18th and Castro.

They would have had them.

Oh well.

Like I said, next year.

I did rather enjoy zooming around the city on my scooter though, ha, add another hardwared store to the list,  I also checked the hardware store on Divisadero and Fell, I really was all over the place, looking for the magical, mystical, fairy blue lights.

I did finally cave and I bought some regular LED blue lights, unfortunately they are a bit brighter than the other two strings of little blue Christmas lights I have, they are a tiny bit overwhelming.

Ah, nothing’s ever perfect.

It’s good enough though.

It really is.

And my tree is lovely.

It has a nice shape and isn’t too tall or too big for my little studio space, but it is bigger than the one I had last year, which was a gift from the man I was hanging out with at the time.

Irony?

He never saw the tree in my house.

That whole month we were pretty estranged, even with the plans to go to Paris.

I was emptying out my Facebook messages yesterday and discovered a cache of messages between the two of us.

Fuck.

That needs to get deleted.

Don’t read them.

Don’t read.

Don’t.

I , um, I started to read a few, then noticed something.

He had finally taken down the photograph I took of him on Christmas Day in front of the Temple Metro station stop in Paris that he was using for his profile picture.

So.

Yes.

Ugh.

I trolled his Facebook page for a moment.

Then.

I went back and deleted every message.

And I did not read them all, no, just the first couple, it was enough and I didn’t need to be feeling anguished, but what I did find, which was good and soft and tender and a tiny bit vulnerable, was that I hoped only for the best for him, that I wished him love and joy and that I was ok.

The reality is I learned a lot from the relationship, even if it some of that learning was painful, I grew like gangbusters.

Pain.

Great fertilizer for spiritual growth.

I mean, like Miracle Gro on steroids.

So.

Happy to be taking care of myself and be out in the world and though it didn’t go how I had hoped, when does it ever? I did have a good day, I got to a yoga class, met with a lady and did the deal, and I got my Christmas tree.

That’s a damn fine Sunday.

I’ll take it.

Please.

And.

Thank you.

 

Almost Clear

November 27, 2016

Not 100%.

But.

95%.

I’ll take it.

It was a big relief.

Although I still feel a little stigmatized and a little off, the last three days of being pretty isolated, being alone on Thanksgiving, it rather got to me a bit more than I think I was even letting myself know.

I had a few crying moments.

Not huge.

Just a softening sorrow that streaked my cheeks and left me feeling a little bereft, a bit alone, a little lost and at wits ends with what to do with myself.

So.

I did more homework.

And more laundry.

The good news that Hair Fairies gave me today is that I can cease and desist with the constant washing of the laundry.

I mean.

I like a nice warm set of clean sheets, and I probably change mine out pretty consistently once a week.

Not once a day.

Shit.

Tuesday I changed them twice.

I did one last big load of laundry when I got back from the treatment and washed it all out again.

They still found lice though.

Not like what they found on Tuesday.

I’m not sure I even wrote down the number from Tuesday, I was so grossed out.

The four people working on my hair, the two plus hours of fine tooth combing, the having to make phone calls and tell anyone who had been close to me, oh hey, um, guess what?

I have lice.

Yuck.

It was bad though.

120 + eggs.

There were more, they just stopped counting at 120, which qualifies as a severe case.

Great.

Plus.

36 live lice.

And they stopped counting the live ones at that point as well.

Shiver.

SHAVING IT ALL OFF!

Was my first thought.

And my second, third, fourth, and fifth.

Hell.

Every fucking time I had a tiny itch I was paranoid.

The woman doing my hair today put me at ease around that though, “your scalp will still itch for a few days, you have micro abrasions and scabs.”

Oh god.

Gross.

But.

At least it wasn’t because I was in severe infestation.

Severe.

How lovely.

Yick.

Anyway.

Today they found 2 baby lice and one egg.

The babies, thank fucking God, were too young to have started laying eggs.

The treatment today was about an hour and half.

And I was upped from 70% clear to 95/98% clear.

But.

Of course.

Not 100% since they found the two babies and the egg.

Fuckers.

That being said, I still got the full on treatment and if it could get rid of over 120 nits and 36 bugs, I was feeling pretty competent that what was done this morning would take care of the two babies and one egg.

Get off my head.

Please.

And.

Thank you.

I have one more appointment.

Sigh.

I will be going back to Hair Fairies at 11 a.m. on Friday.

And pray to God that’s the last time I ever need to go there again.

I’ve had more than an ample experience dealing with this, I can mark it off the check list of life experiences I don’t wish to have again.

Boyfriend decides to spend Christmas day with his ex-wife?

Check.

Boyfriend breaks up with me morning of my ten-year anniversary party.

Check.

Former best friend sells me bunk knock off Vietnam Vespa.

Check.

Which I injure myself on and have to have a month off from work while not on disability.

Check and check.

Lice.

Check.

And.

Check fucking mate.

I’d like some fun now that I’m in the “clear.”

Tomorrow I decided to go to yoga in the morning, signed up before I started my blog, then a couple of ladies will be coming over to my super clean and louse free abode to do some reading and doing of the deal.

And after that.

I am going to go out and get myself a Christmas tree.

I am getting it earlier than I have in the past, but I need a pick me up.

It was a sad lonely holiday.

And though I made fucking really good use of it, I mean, the reading I got done!  It was still super isolating and I missed being around people.

So.

I am going to hop on my scooter after I have lunch and go to an Ace Hardware store in the Castro and buy some ceramic blue old-fashioned Christmas tree light bulbs.

I may swing through Cole Valley first and see if they have them at Cole Hardware, they might and that would save me having to go all the way to the Castro, plus I like Cole Hardware, they’re local and like patronizing them.

The hardware store in the Inner Sunset had the big bulbs, but no in blue, multi-colored, which I considered, but I prefer the blue.

I also picked up two more ornaments for myself while I was in the Fillmore neighborhood.

Which can be a challenging place to shop, very high-end and a bit expensive.

I felt a little out of my league.

But.

I did find a very sweet painted glass toad stool with glitter on it at Nest.

And.

The most beautiful glass hand blown glass swan at Mudpie, a very high end upscale children’s store.

Expensive.

But.

Oh.

So, so pretty.

And though my five-day weekend did not turn out at all, AT ALL, like I had planned, holy moly, God laughs when I make plans, it wasn’t all bad.

I had some long, genuine, sweet phone conversations.

I took a nice long walk on the beach.

I cleaned my house.

I did laundry, a lot of laundry, ahem.

My house smells hella good.

I did so much reading for school.

So much.

I feel really good about that and I started to get some ideas for how to approach my last big Psychopathology paper.

I took a nap.

I mean.

That’s something.

It wasn’t all bad.

It was lonely.

True.

But I was never alone.

I always was taken care of and though there were moments of sadness and tears, I wasn’t drowning in them.

Ok.

Ok.

I did a little bit, I was pretty fucking upset Wednesday morning, but hey, I got through it and didn’t do anything stupid.

Like.

Cut off all my hair.

Or drink.

Or use.

Or start smoking cigarettes again.

Or eat a bunch of sugar.

Nope.

I bought myself sunflowers to remind me to look at the bright side of things.

And I roasted a chicken.

Self-care for the win.

And.

Frankly.

The holidays can only get better from here.

I mean.

Really.

It’s time for fun.

Bring it the fuck on.

Seriously.

 

Sing To Me

November 16, 2016

Sure thing pumpkin.

“Alexa, play Mike Doughty, Sunshine,” I said, holding my sick, feverish little monkey in my lap.

Alexa complied, “now playing MIKE DOUTY, Sunshine.”

I always correct her, “Doughty, Alexa, get it right.”

And he sings.

And I sing.

And my charge burrows into my arms and snuggles in my lap and is warm and feverish and sweet and a total cuddle puddle.

I told Alexa to play Doughty on shuffle and the next thing you know, “Sad Girl, Walking in the Rain.”

Um.

Oh my God.

New music.

Yes.

I had forgotten that his new album was released in October.

I hopped onto my phone, tapped my Spotify, and yes, there it was.

The Heart Watches While The Mind Burns.

I am listening to it now.

It’s good.

But I’m partial.

I am partial because I am a wordsmith and I have a tiny crush, always have, probably always will, sorry not sorry.

And because I can carry the octave he sings in pretty well.

I don’t sing all that well, but I can get out a little husky phrasing.

It was a good day for the singing.

My nose has cleared up and though I still have a cold it’s not as bad.

I also made myself get up and go to yoga and about half way through class I could tell I was working through it.

The cold is lessening its grip.

I am hopeful that by the time I get to school this Friday it will be completely out of my system.

Not that I would skip school if I was sick, I haven’t missed a day yet.

I will miss a half day on Saturday, December 10th, a dear friend is getting married that afternoon, so I’ll be missing the last class of my Child Therapy class, but I think that should be ok, I’ll miss the final project presentation of a few of my classmates, but I will have all of my own work done.

It will be the first time I have missed a class.

I firmly believe that most of the battle is won by showing up.

Show up to the screen.

I blog.

Show up to work.

I get a paycheck.

Show up to my notebook in the morning.

I get relief and direction for my day.

Show up to the yoga mat, again.

I get some anxiety out of my body, I feel better and I stand straighter.

I’ll fucking take it.

Show up to a church basement after work, in the dark, sit and get some relief, get some connection, get some not so lonely anymore feeling in my heart.

I ran into an old acquaintance, I’ve known him since the beginning of my recovery and I asked if he had gotten my invite to my birthday party.

I told him to come out.

We suffer from the same loneliness that so many of us suffer from.

I realized today though, as I was lying on the yoga mat, that I’m just used to that pain.

I was born in that pain.

I know that pain so well and how to navigate the dark swell of it as the waves build and peak, that the black silk heavy weight of those waters can pull me down in it’s comforting embrace.

But.

What if.

What if I choose differently?

Maybe I will be uncomfortable.

But I won’t be lonely and when I get used to being happier, which I am getting better at all the time, maybe I won’t sink into that drowned ship of isolation.

“When’s your birthday?”  He asked.

“Sunday, December 18th, pinball at Free Gold Watch in the Haight, I sent you an invite on facecrack,” I told him.  “Please come, and come again on Saturday, it’s good to see you there, and we usually fellowship after the meeting.”

I’m pretty fucking proud of myself for throwing myself a birthday party.

Sunday, December 18th, I’ll be 44.

I’m going to have brunch at Zazie’s in Cole Valley around 2p.m.

Then pinball at Free Gold Watch on Waller Street from 4-7p.m.

If you’re in town, come play!

I made a facecrack invite and invited about 200 people and 20 people are coming!

That’s actually pretty fucking good for facecrack invites.

Folks are pretty busy during the holidays and my birthday is the week before Christmas, I am always at odds with any number of holiday parties and galas and events.

So I decided to do what I really want to do.

Brunch with some of my dearest friends and then pinball.

I love me some pinball.

I’m happy to have gotten such a nice response to the invite too, of course who doesn’t like an arcade for Pete’s sake.

I’m very happy to be doing something fun on my birthday.

Last year was so hard.

Sad girl walking in the rain.

That was me.

I had to work that day and it down poured all day long.

Buckets of rain.

I had made plans to go to do the deal and then get a late dinner with friends and a man I was pseudo dating, for lack of a better adjective or descriptor and on my way to doing the deal, getting soaked, it was coming down so fiercely, he sent me a text and cancelled.

My birthday.

He cancelled on my birthday dinner.

I wanted, just then to get all upset and irate and have a resentment and take some one else’s inventory.

But.

I am reminded.

I don’t want to take his inventory as I don’t want to make his amends.

I cried.

It rained.

On my birthday.

Sad girl walking in the rain/wide brown eyes seek the sunrise/dryer in the morning light.

I wore a sky blue dress and a white crinoline underneath it.

The flippant edge of my dress buoyed up by the fluff of fabric underneath could do nothing against the sorrowful pound of my heart as I walked alone up Church Street.

Solace for me later in the laughter of my friends.

The relationship rapidly unraveled and it did not matter that I loved him very much.

It did not matter that he loved me very much.

It was working, couldn’t work, wasn’t going to work.

Then today, I thought of my birthday prior and the Christmas alone, as my boyfriend at that time of year decided to spend Christmas day with his ex-wife.

Don’t worry about breaking my heart, I’m doing it just fine on my own.

There’s a picture of me that day, Christmas day three years ago now, sitting in the sand dunes in that I got so many compliments on, so many.

I found it sad and sweet and funny too.

Alone.

On Christmas day, taking selfie’s in the sand.

Sad girl sitting in the sand.

Ha.

So.

This year.

Something different.

First.

There’s no man in my life to not live up to my stupid expectations around my birthday or Christmas.

I made my own damn plans.

I’ll buy my own damn flowers.

And.

I’ll take my own damn self out.

Thank you very much.

I also have plans to be with friends over both Thanksgiving and Christmas.

And let’s not forget.

Pinball, bitches.

I’m super stoked to be doing all these good things for myself.

Just because I’m used to being lonely doesn’t mean I’m alone.

And.

Just because there’s comfort in the familiarity of pain.

Doesn’t mean I have to continue to nurture it.

I choose happy.

Damn it.

I choose joy.

 

Hug And A Squish

September 17, 2014

A kiss on the cheek.

A tear in my eye.

Don’t cry, don’t ruin your eyeliner.

A hug for the mom.

A thank you.

And off into the sunset.

Literally.

On my chopper playa bike with my purse in the front basket and a 1/2 gallon of unsweetened vanilla almond milk that I had left at the house in their fridge.  Right on down the road, well, not really, I rode the sidewalk all the way back until about 41st Avenue, then I turned in and onto Irving to take it all the way down to 46th Avenue.

And home.

I parked my playa steed in the garage and brushed the dust off my hands.

All done.

I said goodbye to my little chap in Cole Valley and gear up to start a new position in the Mission in less than a week.

Today I had scant plans, except the goodbye and the bicycle pick up.

I had a friend get a hold of me and we zoomed around the city and caught lunch, pun intended, at Catch, up on 9th and Lincoln.

The last time I had been there was with this friend and I rather enjoyed the continuity of it and that there are friends of mine that I can go months without seeing (even if we live in the same city my friends are hard people to keep up with, we all have such full lives) and it’s like we are instantly comfortable and relaxed and down for hanging out and shooting the shit.

I must have had five glasses of ice tea refills and we took forever to even look at the menu because we were too busy catching up and getting back into the swing of our lives, dramas, comedies, and situations.

I caught him up on all things work, Burning Man, New York, dating, lack there of, and plans to attend graduate school in the fall.

“What didn’t you write about in your blogs,” also came up as a topic.

There is some stuff that doesn’t make it here, fyi, should you think I lay it all out on the line.

I do, occasionally, keep some things to myself.

That’s when I know I have a friend who is absolutely interested in spending time with me, when they know that I edit and they want to hear about the edits and the intrigues and the life and times.

OH.

Don’t worry.

I still put an awful lot, if not most of it here, you’re not missing much I promise.

We also talked all things scooter, he’s the friend who sold me the Vespa, and I told him about my desire to sell the Vespa and trade it in for something automatic.

We chatted about that quite a bit, on and off with the general catch up that friends need to have.

Then we swung through the Haight and went sneaker shopping and window shopping and cool art book shopping, him, I was just along for the stroll.

After.

A car ride, it is fun to cruise about town in a car, I have to say, it really is.

We rolled over to Hayes Valley, did more window shopping, then enjoyed an Americano from Blue Bottle’s shop on Linden Street.  We sat in the open parkway area and soaked up the autumnal kissed sunshine until I had to make my way to Cole Valley.

I love San Francisco.

It was a treat to be a little tourist gal with my friend today.

We may even hang out again tomorrow if he has a clear schedule at work and go walk through China Town and eat cheap Chinese food with the rest of the tourists.

If he’s not available I may wend my way down to the Embarcadero and actually go out on a ferry-boat.  I didn’t end up going last Wednesday, I got a late start on the day and just didn’t feel like I had it in me to do a late crossing.

I may tomorrow.

I may not as well.

I may just sit in the back yard with a Edward St. Aubyn novel and enjoy the sunshine and the distant shush of the waves on the beach.

I do like the shush sound right about now.

There’s little traffic and the sun has set, and the roll of the waves can be heard in between the slide of the MUNI train rumbling down Judah Avenue.

I like this time of year out here.

It feels all summery and yet, there are few tourists and it feels like the sneaky summer that nobody knows about is happening.

I can leave the back door open to the sound and it’s not chilly inside, the heat of the day still dissipating into the air from the back patio where it’s been warmly collecting itself all day.

Maybe I will take my bicycle out for another ride.

Not too long.

Perhaps a swing through Golden Gate Park, go to the Japanese Tea Garden, hit the DeYoung, go to the Conservatory of Flowers, do a day at the park.

I am sure it will be quiet.

Then swing over to the Inner Sunset for an early evening meet up with some folks and back to my little bungalow by the beach.

I was even proactive today, which means tomorrow is really, truly wide open to anything, and I made soup and brown rice for the rest of the week.

In fact, it’s simmering on the stove right now.

White bean stew with organic chicken, carmelized onions and garlic, zucchini, corn, carrots, a little celery, a little kale, and some slow cooking on the back burner.

It’ll be done and ready for putting away by the time I am done blogging.

Not bad if I do say so myself.

Even my days off I like to get something done.

My goodbye is done.

My bicycle is back.

My staycation hits hump day.

More stories to come.

The Last Big Push

August 15, 2014

And it’s almost time.

Go time, that is.

I made it through a double shift today, and truth be told, it was not so bad, although I had to apparently have some spice and drama to make it fun in between.

I thought I was going to have a nice mellow dinner somewhere in Cole Valley, a nice little sit down and gather myself for the oncoming onslaught of all things Burning Man.

But no, that was not to be the case.

I discovered, oh woe is me, that I had forgotten my charging brick for my laptop at my nanny gig in the NOPA.

How I managed to do that I cannot even tell you, it was right there with the apple and the fresh bag of Stumptown Holler Mountain I had gotten at BiRite this afternoon.

Right there with my notebook, my phone charger, my phone, my bag of pens and my messenger bag.  I had put it all on the corner of the dining room table so that I did not have to carry extra weight in my messenger bag when I took out the monkeys to the park.

I thought I had put it all back in.

But no.

I left the charger on the corner of the table and went on my merry way when my shift ended at 5 p.m.

My way which was graciously paved by the mom of my littlest guy, she offered to drop me off at the home in Cole Valley, but upon finding out that my stuff was still out at my place by the beach, that I was going to go get it after I finished my night gig in Cole Valley, she said she would just run me back to the house herself, save me a trip later.

Thank you!

Such an unexpected and nice gift.

It was when we were heading back that the discovery was made.

She asked me, “do you have everything?”

Then she ran down a quick, down and dirty list of the most important stuff that tends to go overlooked, power cords, phone charger, etc.

I opened my messenger bag and saw immediately that my phone charger was right where it was supposed to be, but not the laptop charger.

And there was only one place it could be.

Back in the NOPA.

FROGS!

She was unable to drive me all the way back, and we both sort of figured that my family in Cole Valley would have chargers galore.

True.

There would be a spare I could use that was attached to the trailer I am staying in.

However, it dawned on me, I am still going to need it when I go to New York, and I am going to need it tonight when I am writing and I will want it when I am in Reno tomorrow night.

And well, dang it man.

I had an hour before I was due in.

The family offered me a vehicle, but upon inspection, it was too much, I just was not prepared to get into the car and drive over in rush hour traffic, I also could not find the key and was beginning to feel a tad panicked.

Not the time to be in an expensive car driving in San Francisco rush hour traffic–my gut said don’t do it and I had the oddest flash of having a stupid accident in their car.

Not what I wanted to do.

So I decided to walk there and back.

I made it just about on time.

I was five minutes late coming back, but pretty much did the deal.

I caught a bus for a part of it, but actually beat the MUNI coming back because of traffic.

I got my charger, made it back to the gig, finished the dinner with the monkey, got him a nice bath and snuggled into some moose footie pajamas, and that’s all she wrote.

I did some sorting of my stuffs, taking a few things that I really didn’t need to have with me in the car for the first leg of the journey, and then ate a late dinner.

Whew.

I am done.

And yet, it’s only just begun.

The plan is to be on the road by 11 a.m.

I will have phone all day tomorrow as we will only be going as far as Reno.

We may even get in there early enough that I can hang out on the strip, or something.

I actually have an idea of what I want to do, if there’s time, there’s a little club that I want to pay a visit to for an hour in the evening.

Otherwise, it will be chilling at the Grand Sierra and taking advantage for one more night of running water and hot showers with strong water pressure.

Tomorrow I will get up here in Cole Valley and take care of the pumpkin, make sure he gets out and we run around the park and expend lots of toddler energy, then away we go.

It’s hard to believe the day is finally here.

I felt a bit like a hermit crab today as I trundled up the stairs to the first gig of the day, my messenger bag already full of gear and bits and overnight stuffs.

But there were pockets of time when time seemed to stand completely still and I had contemplation and serenity, and a deep silence filled with gratitude that once again, I get to go out to the desert and have an intense human experience that just cannot be had anywhere else in the world.

Supreme gratefulness.

There’s little for me to do tonight, except change into my pajamas, not moose footies, that would be something now wouldn’t it?

And have a cup of tea and a light snack.

I am a little too wound up to drop off to sleep right away, so I will watch a show and chill for an hour or so, but not too late, the day will be on me before I am ready for it I am sure.

Time to make the tea and get my butt into some pajamas.

I got places to be in the morning.

Tomorrow, bye bye San Francisco.

Hello Reno.

In just.

T-minus 13 hours.

Quack, Quack, Quack

August 11, 2014

You there!

Hop to.

In line.

There, that’s better.

Yup.

It’s official.

All my ducks are in a row.

I got everything done today that needed to be done so that I may leave San Francisco neat and tidy with all bags packed, or bins, as the case may be.

Now I just need to get through the week and not freak out that there’s really nothing left to do.  I mean, there’s a few things to do, but nothing further that could be accomplished today aside from giving myself a pat on the back and taking a walk down to the beach.

Said beach I did not walk down to and I am now feeling the affects of having just walked a dune.

Meaning.

My ankle is elevated and I have the proverbial sack of frozen peas resting against the left side.

Ugh.

Yesterday was my first day where I did not actually have to ice down my ankle at the end of the day when I was writing my blog.

Of course, I may well have been distracted by the oddball day it was what with getting my eyes dilated and how freaking uncomfortable that was.

But I did not have to ice it and I was quietly pleased that it seems to have taken another small, gentle step forward in healing.

I actually don’t think what I did, climbing one dune to look out over the Pacific, was that hard on it, but it was just enough destabilized movement that it swelled up.

It didn’t hurt when I was walking up the sand, but it was a challenge to remind myself to go slow and to ignore the gaggle of French teenagers changing in the dunes as the sun was starting to lower in the Western sky.

It was my first trip down to the beach since the accident and it was lovely to just breathe the air, it felt super charged and fresh and I felt rejuvenated for having made the small journey.

Most of my day was just that, small journeys.

From my studio to the garage.

Laundry, three loads.

All my stuff ready and washed and folded, put in plastic one gallon storage bags and sealed up, all my socks, my tank tops, my tights, leggings, and panties.

Everything that I am bringing except the few items of clothing that I will be wearing to get me through the week.

Ironically, the last few days before I head out to the playa are my least dressed up days.

All my hair ribbons and frippery.

Yes I said frippery.

Look it up.

All my hats and the goggles, my utility belt, my hair flowers and bows, all the sparkle and zazzle and stripes and polka dots, all the hearts and even my parasol, all set aside, ready to go, awaiting transportation to Cole Valley on Thursday after work.

I had a small epiphany and realized that I was trying to cram too much into the time between the end of my Thursday gig in the day and the beginning of my Thursday night with the Cole Valley family.

Instead of rushing over after I finish in NOPA, I am going to take it easy, relax, walk to the bank, deposit the last checks from the week, and eat a nice last meal somewhere in between NOPA and Cole Valley.

I will show up for the shift at 7 p.m. as the mom requested and do my thing.

Then, when she gets home from her outs and abouts, I will borrow the car to scoot out to my studio and gather up my things.

I will thereby avoid rush-hour traffic and I will just move it all in the  quiet of the evening.

It’s all packed with the exception of the few clothing items I am going to use over the week, my toiletries, and my electric tea kettle and coffee grinder.

All these things will be going with me, but I use them on a daily and nightly basis, so they stay out until the last-minute.

I have room set aside specifically for the last few things and then Thursday I can just pop the last couple of things in the bin and load my bins up into the car.

It won’t take long.

I have three medium-sized bins and one small bin.

I’ll also have my messenger bag with my laptop and travel toiletries and my makeup box.

That’s it.

I travel small.

In fact, I had a moment of panic when I placed all the bins in a tidy little stack in my closet, do I have enough?!

How is it possible that 19 days worth of clothes and supplies are in those three bins?

I don’t know, but I do know that’s exactly where they are, all 19 days worth of my needs.

Including two new books to read (I do have down time when my little guy is napping and I do writing and reading and all coloring in that time), my boots, and my headphones.

I still have to pack my music cube, but that goes last along with the teapot.

In between the packing I cleaned the house, took care of the compost, watered the plants and checked in with my housemate.

She’s going to water my houseplants for me.

I also let her know I would be dropping off the rent check for September Thursday evening before I left.

It will be the last thing to take care of–paid the phone bill, Healthy San Francisco, and my scooter payment already.

She assured me that she wouldn’t deposit the check until the first.

Not that it matters.

The funds will be there.

I don’t feel right about even tempting fate with that.  I just want it done and not have to think about anything financial while I am out there.

I even went to the grocery store and picked up a few supplies there to help with my food for the week.  I cooked up a pot of pinto beans with organic pan sauteed chicken breasts and onions and garlic, some fine chopped carrots and a little broccoli snuck in for “greenery.”

That and the ever faithful pot of brown rice.

I canned it and froze it and my food is all stacked up and ready to go for each shift of work that I have this week.

And

That is it.

I am in the homestretch.

T-minus five days.

 

And I Got A Job!

August 7, 2014

With people who you would think I would know.

I mean.

We know so many of the same people it was kind of spooky.

But spooky in a really wonderful, awesome kind of way.

They are friends with the folks of my first infamous nanny share–Reno and the Junebug.

They are friends with my darling friends in the Mission over yonder and they are Burning Man people.

Thank you Universe for Burning Man people.

“I can’t believe we haven’t met you before,” the mom said, shaking her head a little in disbelief.

I didn’t even need to send them my references–they had just gotten back from a family vacation with my personal reference, and they knew both sets of parents from my first share.

It felt like family right off the bat.

Loads of books, music, art, a big rambling flat in the Lower Haight.

And a scrumptious bunny rabbit with the cutest little toes ever.

I wanted to munch them.

There is just something divine about baby toes, especially baby girl toes, oomph, such sweet goodness.

The eyes, big, blue, saucers of curiosity, and her big dazzling smile, won me right over.

They understand about me going to Burning Man, since all of the aforementioned folks, them included, are Burners, they even had my favorite poster up on their kitchen wall–the one from the Metropolis themed Burning Man.

Love that poster.

The location, pretty damn perfect too–close to Duboce Park, the Alamo Square Park, and not to far out from the Kids Kingdom park in the Pan Handle.

Plus, I already know how long it takes to ride my bike to that neighborhood–about 25 minutes–from my house, although it may take a bit longer since it’s been two months since I have been on my bike.

I can only imagine that my legs are going to be screaming the first week I get back on my one speed again.

The only drawback, and it’s not even a drawback, is that they don’t have another family to do a share with and a share is what they want and what I want.

I make more money.

The family gets a financial break.

I also find that a share is better for socializing the kids and it’s more fun too.

Then the not a drawback, drawback, dawns on me as an opportunity to be a benefit to my current little boy in Cole Valley.

I threw it out there as a suggestion that we could all work together until they found a suitable share.

My little guy in Cole Valley is 2 and a half and the family I met with last night want, and I do too, a share with a child more her age, which is just shy of one.

The mom in Cole Valley has a contract with the organization until October.

I posited that perhaps we could all do a share together until her contract ends and that will give my new family a chance to take the next few months to find an appropriate fit for their little girl.

“We also want to make sure that you like the family!” The mom exclaimed.

Lady, I liked you on sight, but now I think I love you.

It made me feel so good to hear that they would be taking my needs into consideration and that they really respected me as a nanny.

Plus, the mom gave me the best compliment when I told her what had happened with my littlest guy getting into pre-school so early.

“Well, that’s a huge compliment to you,” the mom said, “you realize you must have had a huge part of that.”

I won’t argue how much or how little, it’s not my place, and it doesn’t feel right, but I know I had some hand in it and it felt so nice to have the acknowledgement and to hear that she was expressing her frank opinion of my skills being top-notch.

I heard the respect in her voice for what I did and it made me aware of what an asset that really is, I mean, I know in my head, but it hit my heart.

She also asked, “do you want kids?”

“Sometimes, but I don’t have a partner, and I can’t imagine having a child without a partner,” then I paused and looked at her daughter who was eating a banana and going to town mashing it in her little paw, “and I have children, I am very lucky to have the children I have in my life, I will always have them.”

And then I got teary.

I laughed at myself, said something mildly self-deprecating about being emotional, but the mom waved it off, “no, no, I appreciate that so much, I love that you love what you do, it shows, and that’s what makes you great.”

Thanks mom!

Who knows how it’s all going to work out, but I do have faith that it is.

The transition for my guy in Cole Valley will happen, I will work a full-time nanny share and I will work where I need to work, the work is to be had.

I have gotten so many sweet compliments from the families I have worked for, on all sorts of social media channels and text messages, and just loads of love.

It feels pretty fucking awesome to be held in such light.

I hope to continue to deserve it.

I hope to continue doing what I do.

Giggling and signing (please, yes, no, love, banana, mama, papa, bottle, milk, drink, the always popular, “more,” stop, thank you, and my secret weapon–“toilet), and singing, and dancing and going to the park, and yes, going to Burning Man.

Who’s lucky?

This girl.

I mean.

This nanny.


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