Posts Tagged ‘conference’

The Last Family

March 4, 2017

My friend said this to me tonight.

And he’s right.

My current family is probably going to be my last family.

It is with some disbelief that I said it, but really, I knew it when I started, that they could very well be the last family I nanny for.

They want me for four years.

That will get me all the way through grad school.

Masters and Doctorate.

Doctor Carmen.

I like how that sounds.

Actually.

I fucking love how that sounds.

And I love that this is my last family.

I also love this family.

I really do.

They are fierce, funny, smart, good-hearted and generous, and that’s just the kids.

I got my first baby smile today from the new-born, who, I suppose is not quite so new, being three months today, but still, such a smile.

Made my heart melt.

Plus.

I had just a total scrumptuous day with the little lady.

We went down town, which I might have nixed had I known that there was a conference happening at the Moscone Center, and had a day at the Children’s Creativity Museum that is just behind Yerba Buena Gardens.

We took the J-Church train downtown and got to stroll around and enjoy the weather.

Sunny today.

Rain tomorrow.

Focused on the sun.

So nice to be out in the day and have a fun time at the museum.

And the carousel.

The LeRoy King carousel.

Such a treat.

In fact.

We rode it five times.

The joy on that child’s face was and is indescribable.

I took so many pictures.

None of which I will post here, no pictures of my charges, but safe to say, it was joy, unadulterated sunshiny joy.

We had so much fun.

We ran around the museum.

We went to the Play Circle Park, where the giant slides are.

If you have not been to the Play Circle Park you definitely need to check it out, giant slides, need I say more?

We actually left the museum and park for lunch, normally we would have just eaten at the museum cafe, but because of the conference, it was packed.

Thankfully I know the downtown a little bit and steered us just a tiny bit off the beaten path of the Moscone Center and we hit a nice little cafe for a big grilled cheese for her and a chopped salad for me.

Then.

Yes.

My charge convinced me, and hey, it is Friday, so, fuck it, one more spin on the carousel.

We negotiated one more trip through the museum, mostly to use the bathrooms and she wanted more entry/exit stamps, but skipped the giant slides at the park to take the carousel one last time before heading back.

It was the best time to catch the carousel too.

There was a group of people from the conference on the carousel and they had bought so many rides that we got to take a double long ride.

She was over the moon.

“This is so much fun!” She exclaimed.

She rode three different horses.

A camel.

A giraffe.

And was just a tiny bit disappointed that there were no unicorns.

I mean.

I can understand that.

Or dogs.

“Why no dogs, Carmen?” She asked me, searching through the ranks of animals on the poles ready to have a leg swung over and hopped onto.

“Good question love, I don’t know, but there’s a lion, want to try that?”

And she did.

And it was good.

God.

It was good.

It was good to ride the train back to her house, to push the stroller up the hill, exercise, yah, and to punch in the code to the garage, to fold down the stroller (now that I finally know the trick to collapsing it) and put on a kettle to boil for tea.

I took in the view from the back, it’s an entire wall of glass with a view of the downtown and to smile at my happiness at my job.

I really feel pretty fucking lucky.

I do.

So when my friend mentioned that tonight, “the last family,” it really hit me how far I have come and all the work I have done to be where I am.

Ten years or so ago a friend reached to me and said, “hey you need some extra cash?  I need help at the Burning Man offices on Wednesday nights, there’s a board meeting and I have class, can you come down and take care of J_________ for an hour and a half, two hours tops?”

I said yes.

And though I did not realize it then.

I never looked back.

I relieved my friend her nanny shift every Wednesday for months, occasionally helping the mom and dad she worked for too with a date night.

Then.

I nannied the regional event at the office and then the Christmas party.

And that’s where I met her.

My first love.

She was just six weeks old and I remember how my heart was smote and the thought came where there certainly had not been thought before, “I want to be her nanny.”

As luck would have it.

Fate.

God.

What have you.

I was asked to be that little baby girl’s temporary nanny.

Then.

Eventually I got to nanny for her and another family.

I had a key to the office and would often be there first before any one else got there.

I would lock up my bike in the bottom of the building, climb the stairs, turn on the lights in the kitchen and make a pot of coffee.

I would wander around and look at the art on the walls and the sculptures.

I would tidy up.

I would receive my charges and my day would start.

I could not fathom then the ten years that would follow.

I could not express to myself how amazing the job, and hard, so horrendously hard (when I made it so), but so fulfilling too, yes, to get paid for loving a child is such a gift.

Oh.

Sure.

Teething, tantrums, poopy diapers, potty training, running out of milk, late parents with car trouble, not getting paid enough, being treated like the help (most of my families did not do this, but I had a few that did, grateful I learned how to leave jobs that weren’t a good fit for ones that were), long ass hours.

And then.

The hugs.

The snuggles.

The dance parties.

Oh.

My.

The dance parties.

So many.

The warm soft, sweet bread baked smell of sleeping children.

I remember being in the nursery at the Burning Man offices and I was sitting in the dark with the door open.

I had two babies sleeping on me, one on my right shoulder, one in the lap against my right side, and the office dog, a little three-legged guy, Ralph, that would occasionally herd the toddlers around the office zocalo, nestled next to me, all curled up and asleep.

One of the office managers walked by and did a double take.

“Do you just ooze maternal?” He asked incredulous.

Maybe.

I don’t know what it is, but I am grateful for it and all the tender, sweet moments that I have had.

They are not done yet, but I see a change coming and it is with much gratitude that I reflected on my career, the unexpected career, never ever said to myself I want to be a nanny when I grow up, and all the joy it has brought me.

I am a very, very lucky girl.

I mean.

Really.

Who gets paid to ride carousels?

I do.

That’s who.

I do.

Luckiest girl in the world.

 

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You Look Like

June 30, 2016

Mint chocolate chip ice cream with cherries on top.

He said as I walked by.

“LOVE YOUR HAIR,” he added, giving me the nod for extra special emphasis.

Thanks dude.

Everybody likes to look like ice cream.

Well.

I do.

I did have to laugh a little at myself though for the outfit I was rolling down the street with, or up the street as the case may be, heading to the spot I spend my Wednesday evenings at getting right with God.

I had come home, started my laundry and rubbed one out.

Hey.

Look.

Sometimes a girl has to do what a girl has to do.

Although I could have taken up an offer I was made this afternoon.

“How about ten months?” He texted me.

“Um, hmm, I’ll think about that, let me get back to you,” I replied.

I got back to him a few minutes later, I already knew the answer, but it was fun for a moment to consider.

“Get your year and check back with me,” I replied.

Mother fucker.

REALLY?

Like the third one in a week.

What is up?

Did no one get their birthday last June?

What the fuck is in the air?

My hormones I suppose.

The blood is high, I can tell you what.

My cycle won’t hit until I get back from New Orleans.

Great, I thought tonight as I stripped down to hop in the shower, my breasts a good half size larger than yesterday, great, I’m ovulating or soon will be.

Meh.

I do not need to head of to New Orleans with plans of getting laid, I have other things to think about, do, go to, experience.

Was I heading to New Orleans with a partner, it would be the perfect place to wander romantic in the warm night rains and make out under a lamp post.

Just nibble my neck there and there and then we’ll stroll through the French Quarter and maybe a few cemeteries, because, well, death is sexy, no?

Anyway.

I took care of business, and then laundry and then the shower and in between packing for the trip and being on top of the clothes being in the wash, I had, um, a curious assortment of an outfit as I walked out the door.

And.

I have to say, I pulled it off.

I don’t know how, but sometimes more is better.

Leopard print leggings.

A mint colored nightshirt with candy skulls in pink and white piping, topped off with a sea green sweatshirt and of course a big mountain of cotton candy pink hair with some pink roses and a sequined star clip.

Because sequins.

Hello.

I probably look ridiculous.

But.

Fuck it.

It made me happy and I was cozy as fuck.

Because, bitches, it’s cold out there.

Freaking foggy, chilly, cold, etc, etc, etc.

It was 50 degrees this morning when I got up and socked in with fog, which never really lifted.

It got a tiny bit sunny in the Mission, but the fog that had burned off was rapidly being replaced by 3 p.m. with a fresh batch of cold as fuck rolling in over Twin Peaks.

Hello summer in San Francisco.

They are not kidding.

And the Outer Sunset?

Shut the fuck up.

It was never not foggy out here.

I don’t suppose it ever really burned off.

When I hopped off my scooter and came in and greeted my house, “hello house,” I immediately turned on the heat and lit up some candles.

Welcome to summer, break out your scarves.

I am so looking forward to being somewhere warm for a little while.

I’m sure the heat and the humidity will lose their luster pretty quick, but right now, it sounds fantastic.

A warm run of nights where I can walk outside bare skinned to the air and drift in the warm magnolia scent of summer.

Bring it the fuck on.

One more shift at work and then I’m ghost.

I’ll finish work at 6p.m.

Scooter home.

Grab my rolling suitcase, which is 95% packed, and head out the door to the airport.

I will probably call for a car.

I could try the MUNI and the BART, but I think I’ll also be hitting rush hour commute time and I don’t particularly care to risk being late on the flight.

I would rather get there a little early and blog from the waiting area at the gate.

Tomorrow!

I fly out tomorrow.

My flight is out of SFO at 10:41 p.m.

I’ll have a brief, less than an hour, layover in Las Vegas, then onto Houston, Texas, with another brief layover and transfer.

What with the time change I will arrive in New Orleans at 8:24 a.m.

I’m not excited about the indirect flight, the two change overs are going to wreck me for sleep, but it was worth it to get the discounted ticket, otherwise it was going to be another three to four hundred dollars to fly direct.

I figured that was money for the Air BnB.

Or for the experience of being there, restaurants, souvenirs, tickets to places, should I swing into the New Orleans Museum of Modern Art, it’s actually close to where I am staying, or just for riding around the French Quarter on a street car.

The disjointed travel was worth it.

I’m not upset and it worked out well for me timing wise too.

I’ll hang out and have a nice leisurely breakfast somewhere fabulous in the hood where I am staying and roll into my Air BnB at noon.

A swim in the pool?

A soak in the tub?

A fresh change of clothes, a sexy sundress.

And then off to explore a little and a late lunch before for going to the conference and hitting the registration and the big night get together.

I’m so ready.

Saturday I am really going to play by ear.

I know where I will be in the evening, at the conference, but I really do want to do a little exploring, walk, shop, dine, see what New Orleans has to offer, and also, what do I have to offer to the city, since I am such a taker.

How can I go and best be of service to the situation?

Make amends for the time previous I was there and my behavior, it was not so pretty.

I’m wild with excitement.

And I’ll keep you posted on all the adventures.

Promise.

See you next from the gate at United Airlines flight 455 SFO.

Happy.

Joyous.

Motherfucking.

Free.

Tickets Please

January 31, 2015

I just bought my tickets to Atlanta, Georgia for July 1st-5th.

I leave SFO at 10:30 p.m. on the evening of the 1st, so I will work that last shift before heading out and not have to take an extra vacation day.

I will arrive in Georgia, land of peaches, the morning of the 2nd.

Oh.

My.

God.

I’m going to Atlanta.

Now all I need to do is find a place to stay.

I talked to another friend today who wants to go and we spoke about getting a bigger space for three instead of just two.

I found some things on AirBnB and I think I may have to confirm, but really, it would make better sense to have another person stay with, cut down on the cost of being there.

The plane ticket was $438.

The registration was $100.

I am figuring that housing will be about, fingers crossed less than $500 for the time I am there, I think it could go quite a bit lower, though.

I did find a few things on Airbnb that would be quite affordable for three people, one that caught my eye was $560 for three people for four nights.

That is a steal.

That would be slightly less than $200 for the time there if I split the cost of staying with two other people.

Hell I could even book it and say, who’s in?

My friends could say no and I know that I could find a few other friends who would be down for jumping in the boat.

It’s a bit out time wise, but I suspect that closer to the event, the more expensive things are going to be.

I also wonder about whether or not a lot of Atlanta knows what’s happening in July, but that  when they do, prices may go up and availability down.

I want to book a place as soon as I can.

Which means coordinating with my friends.

Or.

Just making the decision to reach out and take action and book a place and then invite the my two friends to join me.

I don’t have to make any decision tonight.

The main action was taken.

I bought the ticket.

I’m going to Atlanta!

Hot damn.

I get to wear summer dresses and sandals in July!

I know I live in California, but I live in San Francisco, it’s chilly, if not down right cold in July, I’m going to be thrilled to be somewhere hot, to walk outside at night, to be in humidity and warmth.

Oh deliciousness.

I suppose I might change my tune when my hair explodes from the humidity, but who knows.

“You got a lot of hair!” The homeless woman on Church Street said to me around a bite of scavenged burrito.

“I do,” I laughed and kept walking.

The hair it has been getting bigger.

And longer.

And by the time I get to Atlanta and have oh, about twenty minutes in the weather, it will be twice as big, I’ll be able to give Diana Ross in her prime a run for her money.

Let me just take another moment to fantasize about sundresses and sandals.

Ah.

That’s nice.

In fact, I will tell on myself, there’s a pair of sandals I promised myself I would buy when I bought the plane ticket, they’re on sale and I thought, you know, they’ll be perfect for Atlanta.

Hehe.

As though I don’t have other sandals.

I do.

But, I might want a pair for each day I’m there.

“Excuse me miss, we’ll have to check your bag, too many shoes to carry on the plane.”

Bahaha.

Oh.

I amuse myself.

I was thinking when I was riding my bicycle home from a successful end of the week, I actually snuck in a trip to Whole Foods and to the nail salon before going to my Friday night commitment after work, that I just had to put this recovery thing first and the rest would follow.

It’s something I always forget and when reminded, it is such a relief.

Who am I going to date next?

Becomes how may I be of service in this situation?

And suddenly.

I don’t care who I’m going to date next.

What am I going to do about financial aid for graduate school?

Becomes, who do I need to call and check in on?

And suddenly.

I don’t care about graduate school either.

I know this much, I have complete and utter faith that if I take the continual actions in front of me, focusing on what I can do and where I can take action, instead of thinking about it, the graduate school stuff will all fall in line.

If I get in, the money will show up.

If I don’t.

Then I try something else.

I’m young.

I’ve got time a head of me.

I could probably get two Master’s Degrees and a Doctorate before I die.

I’m going to be an old lady, it runs in the family, and I’m down with it.

So, yeah, focusing on what I can do, what action I can take today, just one or two, and it builds up.

It’s divine.

And so simple I forget that it’s often the smallest things that lead to the biggest revelations in my life.

I may troll around on AirBnb a little more tonight, but I have done the heavy lifting for the day.

Now it is the weekend.

Which always goes by so fast, and is quite loaded up with things to do and places to go.

And I want to get my taxes done, that is a priority.

Oh.

And perhaps I should breathe a little too.

Ha.

Just slow it down.

It is the weekend after all.

I don’t need to get too far a head of myself.

Relax.

Enjoy a little down time.

And.

Think about picking up another summer dress.

To go with all my sandals.

Giggle.


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