Posts Tagged ‘Crossroads’

I Didn’t Do Much

August 3, 2017

But I did a lot.

I mean.

I really did.

I didn’t even go to yoga.

No.

I slept in, I lounged in bed, I was dreamy and soft and it felt so nice to lie there and let my body be and not spring forward and charge off into my day.

Oh.

I had thoughts of going to yoga.

But they were dispelled for better things.

I took the morning easy.

I ate a lovely breakfast and made myself a latte.

I made some phone calls.

I talked to people I loved.

I got right with God.

I wrote.

I wrote a lot.

I mean.

I can fill a page, the words they stream endlessly out of my finger tips, scrawled across the page, margin to margin, all the thoughts and dreams and feelings there on the paper, my pens in a mug on my table at the ready.

I do go through my pens.

My cheap little guys that I buy at Walgreens.

I am particular.

I only like the Wexford black ink pen.

That’s the generic gel ink pen that Walgreens markets.

I love it.

I begged a friend, who asked me what I wanted from San Francisco, when I lived in Paris, to bring me back pens.

The gel ink is the smoothest and the pen is just the right grip for my hand.

Ask me sometime.

I’ll show you the place it sits on my fingers and the writer’s callous there.

Yes.

I have a callous on my middle right finger from writing.

I rather adore that callous.

I also have a distinct muscle in my forearm, again, my right side, I am right-handed, that is pretty developed solely from doing the writing I do every day.

I love words.

Can you tell?

I did more than write today, although I did not go far from my house.

I made it to the back and sat in the sun for a brief moment in the afternoon around 2:30pm when there was fleeting sun that came through the fog.

Mostly I stayed home.

I did work on the house.

I cleaned out my closet and got a bag of clothes and a couple of pairs of shoes to sell to Crossroads.

I also moved everything in my kitchen, and pulled up the rug that I’ve had for the last three and three-quarters year, it was just a simple rag rug, but it had gotten pretty worn out and a bit ragged and I’ve been wanting to replace it for sometime.

I ordered a replacement on Amazon and it was delivered yesterday.

So.

Everything got moved, and I pulled up the old one, shook it out super hard, I did not toss it, it still has a use for me–I’ll be taking it to Burning Man and lining my tent with it.

I also had a long conversation with a woman who was referred to me by a friend in the fellowship who is going to Burning Man for the first time and she had a lot of questions and I just let her pick my brain for nearly an hour and told her where I was going to be camped and all the fellowship and community that is out there and it felt really nice to share my experience, strength and hope with her.

After I finished our conversation I got serious about re-organizing my space and cleaning, everything got dusted, even all my books.

And I winnowed through my books.

I’ve been wanting to sell a bunch of them for sometime.

I only have so much space in my in-law and though the idea of having a big library and loads of bookshelves is super serious appealing.

MY GOD how I want that.

Someday.

A house with a big library, books upon books upon books, paper, ones I can pull down from the shelf, hardcovers, and read, and inhale and love on.

But.

I repeat.

My space is small and I have only so much room and the stacks of books were starting to collect too much dust and really I haven’t had much time for pleasure reading since I started grad school.

So.

I dusted them all off, sorted through the ones I was absolutely not going to part with.

Like.

My copy of Bastille, Issue #2.

The small press that published my short story in Paris, “The Button Boy.”

Poorly edited, there’s a typo and a misprint.

But.

Fuck.

My short story.

In print.

In a publication.

I can say with no small amount of writer’s pride that my first publication was in Paris.

Not selling that guy.

Then a few books that were given to me as gifts and hold far too much sentimental value to ever let go.

Ever.

And the funny thing is, whatever doesn’t sell, I will happily take back and keep.

There will be some that don’t.

But for the most part I am such a sucker for the printed word, I tend to buy hard covers or first runs, so when I do sell I tend to be able to sell most of what I have brought with me.

There was a little sadness packing up the books.

But.

It’s stuff.

And when I came home tonight from doing the deal up the street.

Fuck was it good tonight!

I was so happy to come into my super clean, super tidy little home.

Fresh and clean and dust free, with a new carpet in the kitchen.

And.

Ha.

A “new” book on my table.

I discovered a book I bought two years ago, right before the first semester of my first year of grad school.

I had never gotten to read it.

Two years later.

I started and I’m 37 pages in.

I have my hopes that I will finish it before my text books start arriving in the mail, because as soon as they do, that’s the end of my pleasure reading.

I assure you.

Sneaking in one more day of leisure before I go back to work on Friday.

Yoga, this time for sure, in the morning.

Shower, morning prayer, writing, breakfast, go sell the clothes, go sell the books.

And then a mani/pedi.

I have a client consult in the early evening.

And that’s it.

The days of leisure and pleasure reading will soon be over.

It’s been a sweet little bite of time off from my day job.

My house is clean.

I did a lot of cooking today too, all my meals for Burning Man are in the freezer as well as covering my first weekend of my first semester, so I don’t have to cook or deal with that.

Yes.

It’s a few weeks out.

But it’s nice to have it done and there won’t be down time soon like I have had.

Sigh.

I have no complaints though.

It’s been a good run.

I feel rested.

I feel rejuvenated.

I feel ready for the next chapters.

And I feel happy having taken care of my home.

My sweet little sanctuary by the sea.

It may be small.

But.

It’s all mine.

And.

I do love it so.

Yes.

Yes, I do.

 

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The Dying Of The Days

November 6, 2016

Tomorrow begins Day Light Savings.

Fall back.

Thank you for that.

One more hour of sleep in the morning.

I can always use another hour of sleep.

I don’t mourn the passing of the day, I don’t have sorrow for the shorter day.

In fact.

I found myself with a kind of sweet, smokey soft nostalgia for it today, as the day was blurring down around the edges as I rode my scooter home from the date, the errands, the living and doing, the what all I could cram into my afternoon.

I had a nice day.

I had a nice date.

Not a swoon, oh my God he’s it, date, but a nice date.

Will I see him again?

Probably not.

Menlo Park is a little ways away.

And he’s not quite the guy for me.

I was intellectually engaged however, and really had a nice time listening and talking and we did have a nice lunch in the cafe at the MOMA and enjoyed a couple of cups of coffee.

A friend messaged me and said, if he doesn’t get you at least two cups of coffee, it’s over.

I laughed.

Double fisting coffee.

I suppose it is better than double fisting vodka and IPA’s.

Heh.

The date was a nice guy and smart, but I wasn’t physically drawn to him.

There was no zing zip for me.

It felt like making a nice new acquaintance.

But that doesn’t spell chemistry for me and I don’t believe I will be pursuant of it.

Not that I am at this moment pursuing anyone.

I’m not on Tinder, yes, I have hopped on and off it enough times that who the hell knows where I am, but not on the app, not on a dating site, not on the prowl.

Open though.

To possibility.

Magic.

That’s what it felt like when I was on my way back out into the world this evening.

I got done with my date and ran to Buffalo Exchange with the rest of the clothes I hadn’t sold at Crossroads–my bosses toss outs.

All said.

$20.

A free manicure and a nice cup of coffee.

Thanks boss lady.

Then I went grocery shopping and came back to the house.

I roasted a chicken and did some homework and headed back out the door to see some fellows and sit and listen and share if it seemed appropriate and be in the world.

It was on my scooter ride into the NOPA neighborhood that I got that feeling of magic.

The feeling of surprise and possibility.

Back lit by the smell of wood fires and the misty foggy chilly air.

It was like the whole world was smudged with it.

It was very romantic.

I am a sucker for romance.

And sweetness and surprise.

On my date today I was completely caught off guard by this flirtatious older man, totally flirted with me, asked me my name, asked about my tattoos, told me I was a walking piece of art.

He must have been in his late 70s early 80s.

I imagine he was quite the man about town in his day.

I smiled and chatted a little with him when my date got up to refill our coffees.

And then returned to my date.

Who did have some really cool things to talk with me about and in a way did make me feel very special, he was quite enthralled with my recovery story.

Very edited version that I gave to him.

“You should write about that!” He exclaimed at one point, “that’s just, you are, well, you have an amazing story.”

Thank you.

I have written about it.

I write about it all the time.

Ha.

Just check out my blog.

No wait.

Don’t.

I get myself in trouble here sometimes.

I get hot-headed and I have become a lot more circumspect in my writing, but once in a while I have been known to go on a tear, but it never serves.

I get to keep the focus on me and my experience.

Anywho.

I digress.

I was talking to my date about a trip he had been on and the older gentleman leans over and hands me a folded menu from the MOMA’s cafe.

“It was a pleasure to meet you!” He said and smiled brightly.

I looked at the menu.

Oh!

It was the sweetest thing.

A note.

Written in calligraphy.

“Carmen is beautiful.”

I can feel my heart swelling as I write the sentence.

I felt beautiful today.

I wore my favorite dress.

My hair was cooperative.

It can be a little untidy and unruly.

But today it was pretty in its unruliness.

I felt in myself, of myself and complete settled in my skin.

I don’t always and though I did have some nerves before the date, they dissipated.

The note made my day.

I tucked it in my notebook that I carry in my purse and when I got home I put it up on a plate in my kitchen displayed with my other little things that are flotsam and jetsam, moments of magic that I collect like a little squirrel to nibble with thoughtful contemplativeness and private enjoyment.

A post it note from my best friend about a necklace she gave me years ago that is a bike, an old chopper with a banana seat like my playa bike, that says how she saw the necklace and thought of me riding my bike happy and free on the playa.

A map of the Metro in Paris.

A note from a good friend that was stuck in a bag of Stump Town coffee that, paraphrasing here, that he expressed how much he was grateful for me and knew I was having a hard time–I was in that horrid month when I was out of work with a severe ankle injury two years ago–and how he loved me and he knew I would be taken care of, and folded up in that note a $50 bill.

The wedding invitation to a dear friend that’s coming up.

God I wish I had a date for that, but nothing so far.

Magnets from the museums I have been to–The Louvre, The Pompidou, The Musee D’Orsay, the LACMA, The Metropolitan, The MOMA, and many others.

Multitudes of postcards.

A thank you card from a friend that I love, the colors on it are so rich and lush, all pumpkin and gold and burnt orange.

Love letters to myself.

Yes.

Yes, I know how hokey that sounds.

But yes, I do often send myself postcards with little sweet notes.

In the vein of buy your own damn flowers.

Cook your own damn meals.

Write your own fucking love letters.

As I was leaving the spot tonight to ride back home towards the crescent moon sailing a little fuller in the midnight blue skies, I saw a fellow I don’t always talk to, but have always appreciated seeing around.

He had said something that resonated.

I told him that I had a dream about him.

He chuckled and I looked at him, “not like that wise guy.”

I told him a little.

He shared a little.

We had a moment.

It was magic.

And in that moment I realized that I have softened a little further.

Melted a little more.

Allowed more mystery into my heart.

I don’t know where I’m going.

I only know where I’ve been.

But.

Today.

Tonight.

That is just perfect.

Just like me.

And beautiful.

Just like me.

Trust me.

I have a note to prove it.

Heh.

 

The Empresses New Clothes

November 4, 2016

I got some hand me downs today.

Let me say it’s been a hot second since that has happened.

I used to get them in elementary and middle school.

High school once in a while too.

Hated hand me downs.

Tossed away, given away, old grumpy clothes that weren’t pretty or bright, that were already tattered.

By the time I was in high school though, I was buying my own clothes.

Mom’s rules.

She paid for school supplies.

And as soon as I started working I paid for my school clothes.

I think I got the raw end of the deal in hindsight, but you know, whatever.

I was frivolous with my first real paycheck.

I bought a brand new leather jacket with a removable rabbit fur collar.

God damn I loved that jacket.

Loved it to tattered bits.

It was my own version of the Velveteen Rabbit.

I spent my entire summer earnings on that jacket and I did not give any of the fucks.

It was mine.

And it was fucking glorious.

Top Gun had come out the that year and it reminded me of the leather bomber that Kelly Mcgillis wore in the movie.

That was probably the last time I wore a hand me down.

At least for a while.

Now.

Well, fuck, we just call it a clothing swap and throw all our stuff in a pile and go hog wild and wow, this will work great at Burning Man!

I have gotten some sweet pieces from clothing swaps.

And.

Today I got a bunch of clothes from my boss.

It’s funny, I don’t always have a real good feel of my size, I think I’m bigger than I am and then I obsess about how I look and who the hell wants that?

I try to stay off the scale.

And I have felt that I put on a little weight over the last few months.

And I did.

Like two pounds.

OH NO!

I laughed my ass off when I weighed myself, not something I do very often, it’s not necessary for me, I can get all wrapped up in the stupid number and then be wrapped up in the idea that I’m not enough, and well, that shit is shit.

I’m a beautiful woman.

I’m not stupid.

But.

Often times I just don’t see it.

Oh, I see it, but I don’t act it.

I remember an ex boyfriend years ago looking at me from across the kitchen table at his house.

“What?” I asked him, “what are you staring at?”

“You really have no idea how beautiful you are do you?” He asked.

I blushed.

He got up from the table, straddled my lap and smashed me with his mouth.

God.

He was a good kisser.

We could make out for hours.

I miss make out.

It’s been a while since I have been properly kissed.

Anyway.

I digress.

I was two sizes larger than I am now.

But I was perfect and beautiful and he couldn’t keep his hands off me.

Note to self.

You are exactly the way you are supposed to be, the body is exactly how God wants it, relax.

So.

My boss has money.

Obviously.

And nice clothes.

And good taste.

Granted.

Not my taste.

And we’re not the same size, but we’re not that far off either.

She’s maybe two sizes smaller.

So.

Her jeans.

Not a fit.

But I took them anyway.

“Take them, try them on, give them away, sell them, they’re yours,” she said and dumped a huge pile of clothes on the table.

Fuck yes.

And she was totally correct.

A lot of them are not my style.

The jeans are so not a go.

She’s shorter than me too.

But.

They’re Vince Camuto.

I can sell that shit.

I also scored a sweater that surprised me, I wasn’t expecting to like it, but I was thinking, hey lady, you’re going to Wisconsin for Christmas time, a sweater might be a nice thing to have.

I mean I have two.

But I’m there a week and it gets cold and I’m going to want more than a couple.

So I tried it on, also a Vince Camuto.

And it fits!

And it’s cute on me.

Score.

I also scored three super cute long skirts that I thought, yes, these too, I will wear them in Wisconsin.

Skirts in winter?

Fuck yes.

Layered over wool tights or fleece lined tights, which I do in fact own quite a few pair of, paired with my black engineer boots and some layered thermals and a sweater.

Perfect.

Super stoked for the new clothes.

“New.”

Heh.

I’m not so picky anymore, nor so tied to it being new.

I have plenty of re-sale shop clothes, clothing swap clothes, vintage clothes.

I’m happy to accept the gift.

And I may not get much for the clothes, Crossroads doesn’t always take what I bring in, but they usually take a few things, and I’ll get a free lunch from it or a manicure.

I’m down with a free manicure.

Any old day of the week.

I might do some clothes shopping this month, I thought to myself this morning as I was sitting and sipping some delicious coffee.

I was sent a package of Stumptown Holler Mountain from a friend who commiserated with my grad school and full-time work hours.

Thank you my friend.

So good.

I “splurged” on the second cup and heated up unsweetened vanilla almond milk and made a cafe au lait and sprinkled it with raw cocoa and cinnamon and nutmeg.

Swoon.

I was happy.

Just a little.

Then I did my numbers for the month of October and tallied my expenses.

After that I did my spending plan for November.

Not bad.

Not too bad at all.

I may even have a few ducats to actually buy some new clothes.

Not much.

I don’t need much, especially after the windfall today.

But I could use a new pair of jeans.

Perhaps this weekend I’ll do that.

I was invited to go dancing tomorrow night and that’s a possibility.

And I have a coffee date and MOMA visit on Saturday.

Which makes me laugh.

I think folks have finally figured out that I have a membership.

In exchange for a coffee in the Sight Glass Cafe that’s inside the MOMA I will happily escort you into the museum for a free companion ticket.

I can take up to two people in with me at a time.

I can always handle doing another stroll through the 7 floors of galleries.

Always.

And perhaps I will get dressed up too.

I have some options.

And tomorrow.

Yes.

Is Friday.

Yay!

Making it through the week.

One

Little.

Baby.

Step.

At.

A.

Time.

 

Panic At The Disco!

September 27, 2015

I mean the SafeWay.

I mean the MUNI.

I mean in the garage.

I mean.

Ugh.

I woke up much later than I had planned, I obviously needed the rest, I remind myself instead of flagellating myself, which is sometimes so much easier to do–beat myself up.

I woke up from a weird dream.

I woke up to the phone ringing and the feeling that I had too much to do and nowhere near enough time.

One foot in front of the other.

Just do one thing at a time.

Breathing, always helpful, do that.

Breathe in again.

I forget sometimes that I have actual clinical anxiety and clinical depression and it sneaks in there sometimes, I have had times when I was on medication for it, but it’s been years since I have and I forget that I can get to that place of anxiety if I am over stressed.

I mean.

I don’t have reason to be stressed.

Please.

Graduate school group projects.

Panic.

Work.

Just asked for a raise.

Just took out 20,500 in student loans.

No biggie.

Living in one of the most expensive cities in the United States, if not the world.

Stress?

What stress?

Bwhahahahaha.

So.

I did what I do.

The next thing in front of me.

Make your bed.

I mean, yeah, I break it down that damn simple.

Make the bed, kneel and pray, read some stuff, say some stuff, go brush your teeth and wash your face, put some clothes on, put the hair in pigtails, stick a flower in that shit, make coffee, make oatmeal with fruit in it–yay! Persimmons are back in season! Sit down, check e-mails, eat breakfast, drink coffee, try to not freak out about already being an hour behind on the day, look about my lovely home, purposely ignore stacks and stacks of readers, books, notebooks, all the effluvia of the student life, and focus on the beauty of your home, eat your oatmeal.

Write.

Write it all out, put the neurosis down, put down the plans for the day, laugh out loud at the idiocy of my schedule, get panicked, but not acknowledge it quite yet, write some more, make second cup of coffee, decided to go do the deal, because really, that’s what has to be addressed, and go out the door and into the world.

Wait for MUNI.

Wonder why I didn’t take my bike.

But then immediately have gratitude that I didn’t, because I did stash my Human Development reader in my bag and I was too overwrought with the feels to actually have paid good attention to the traffic.

Besides the car traffic in the Inner Sunset on Saturday afternoon is idiotic.

I don’t need to die today.

I got on the N-Judah and called my best girl in Castro Valley and had a good commiserate talk about work, school, orientations, doing the deal, dating, more work, more school, not enough time ever, ever, ever.

By the time I got off the train at 7th and Irving I was feeling much better.

Still a bit overwhelmed.

But still trying to just put one foot in front of the other.

I sat for an hour.

I got my head screwed on better.

I cried a little.

I shared.

It was good.

I went to the nail salon and got a super fast manicure, then over to Crepevine for a late lunch and more Human Development reading.

I contemplated going clothes shopping, but I did not have it in me to really shop and I only lasted 20 minutes at Cross Roads.

The good news.

I found four tops–two sweaters, one a Helmut Lang!! And two button downs, which I desperately need.

Then back on the MUNI.

I had the panic creep back in.

I started making phone calls.

I left a lot of messages.

I took out my reader and read the ride home.

I hopped off the train, hopped to the house, hopped on my bicycle and rode off to SafeWay to grocery shop.

While I was in line one of my friends called me back and asked me where I was.

I told him and he said, I’m on my way, go buy some more groceries and I’ll throw your bike in the back of my truck.

Thank you jeebus.

I paid for my groceries and made a second trip through and thoroughly stocked up.

That had been part of my stress, figuring out how I was going to get all the grocery shopping in for myself.

Not only to have groceries in the house, but also an adequate amount of things to cook and prep, because next weekend I’ll be in school full-time and I won’t be able to do any cooking or grocery shopping.

I left the store with an over full messenger bag, a super big thing of toilet paper, and two more bags of groceries.

My friend was parked right next to where my bike was locked up.

We tossed it in the back and I just about burst into tears.

I started hyperventilating a little in his car.

I started the full on panic attack and practiced breathing and staying in the moment and my, look at the ocean, look at how pretty it is (look at the ocean and everyone at the beach, they’re not worried about having their Human Development reading done, asshats, they’re having fun in the sun), look at the sky, look down in my lap and let the tears fall.

My friend talked me off the ledge, dropped me at the house and gave me hugs.

I wiped the eyeliner off my face, hey, hey, Tammy Faye, and went ahead and did the next things in front of me.

Put away the groceries.

Balance the check book.

Heck.

I even made food–black bean and chicken chili with corn, yellow bell peppers, onion, garlic, spices, and a pot of brown rice.

Then.

I sat my ass down with a cup of tea and an apple and I read.

And read.

And.

Yes.

Read some more.

I finished all the chapters in the fucking Arnett book of hell, thank you Human Development.

Plus a bunch of articles.

Then I faced my Waterloo and opened the Power Point presentation my Human Development partner had worked on and I dove in.

I actually got a lot done.

A ton.

I was elated.

How the hell did that happen?

Next thing I know, text from a friend, how you doing, almost done?

And I was.

I ran out, grabbed some sushi, thanked my friend for talking me off the ledge, and in turn gave him a quick hand moving some stuff into his new place.

Then.

Home again home again.

Jiggedy jig.

I gave my friend a Mason jar with homemade chili in it and got back in the saddle.

I communicated with my partner about our project and lined up the readings for tomorrow.

And.

Guess what?

No more panic.

Because.

As noted before, and as I will, I am sure, note again and again.

It is the showing up that is the deal.

I showed up to do the reading and it got done.

When I am in my head though, where there is no time and the world is collapsing around me and I am just not ever fucking enough, then I am screwed.

I don’t see how far I have come.

Oh.

And baby.

I have come so far.

So very far.

I am so lucky.

Perspective is what I have.

Much preferable to panic.

Let me tell ya.

And love.

I have lots of love.

Thank God for friends.

Love you all so very much.

I could not be doing graduate school without you.

Seriously.


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