Posts Tagged ‘Divisadero’

Out and About

June 17, 2018

Just got home.

Long day.

But a good one.

I did lots of writing this morning, which is always good, especially since I had a lot of mornings this past week where I was up early doing things before work or at work early, so I didn’t write many morning pages, or even some days get to them.

Thursday night I was out late at a speaking engagement in Oakland after having worked a full day and then after seeing clients at my internship I drove over to Oakland and checked in there and didn’t get home until after midnight.

And of course Friday I had to be in to work early.

Little sleep and very little time to write.

So today I took some time and it was good.

I got my brain emptied out and let go of fears and anxieties and things that weren’t helping and focused on seeing what I could do today and how to change.

I’m in a lot of transition and change, even good change, can be challenging.

But.

Well.

Nothing changes if nothing changes and I can’t control life and it keeps moving and I either get flexible and rethink my perspective or I get mowed over by my feelings.

Ah feelings.

Yes.

I did have some of those today too.

And I get to be grateful for them, they show me where I need to grow.

And.

They tell me I’m alive.

And.

Well.

Frankly, I quite like being alive.

I mean, its cherry season and I love cherries, and I like that I have a car and that I have nice things in my home and that I have people who love me and whom I love.

I am lucky to still get to live in San Francisco.

I have my health, I’m not lacking for anything.

Alive is pretty damn good.

After my coffee and loads of writing I got myself out the door and over to the Inner Richmond.

Cheap Pete’s had sent me an e-mail yesterday, my new print was framed and I wanted to pick it up.

And!

I took my diploma with me and yes, I did, I got the big fancy pants frame for it.

I worked my ass off to get my Master’s degree, that bitch is getting framed.

I almost went for the super fancy one, but then I thought, hmm, no, I’ll wait for my PhD to get that one.

Heh.

The frame I got is definitely a nice frame and it’s a touch bigger than the frame I got for my undergraduate degree, I’m very much looking forward to putting my diploma in the frame.

I have no idea where I’m going to hang it, I have a lot of pictures and prints and photos and art on my walls.

I may not have a window, but everywhere I look is something pretty to look at.

I suspect I will put it up next to my undergraduate diploma and just rearrange some of the photographs that are around it to make room for the Master’s degree.

I figured out where I’ll put the small framed print I brought back today, I’d do all this now, but it’s late and I’m not going to start hammering into the walls at 10:30 p.m.

Not really interested in antagonizing my landlady.

Speaking of.

I got some amazing advice tonight from  a dear friend.

We went out to sushi for dinner and we talked and talked and talked.

It was great.

I feel a lot better about her perspective on things and she offered to lend me a hand.

That was super cool and unexpected and I hadn’t even thought about asking her for help.

Although I had approached her last week to hang out.

I have realized, recently more so I think as I’ve come up for air from school, that many of my best girlfriends no longer live in the city.

My best friend from school moved back to Paris.

My best friend from SF moved over to the East Bay years ago, first to Berkeley and now even further away in the Berkeley Hills, it’s not that much further, but over the bridge seems so freaking far away.

It’s another world I swear.

Sometimes it feels like another world just living in the Outer Sunset.

Anyway.

I have been making efforts to reach out and to connect and today was really good for that.

After I went to Cheap Pete’s I did supervision, solo then group, which was great and I really liked the people in my group today, my favorite two were there and the two that annoy the fuck out of me had both gone to different supervision groups, so it felt really chill and relaxed and good to be in my group today.

Then.

Yes.

Finally.

I got a car wash.

Poor dirty little marshmallow.

Got it was nice to get into a clean car.

Filled her up with gas and then popped over to the bank to deposit a check and I ran into another friend, who had just opened a brick and mortar flower shop.

We literally talked shop for an hour.

It was so sweet to be in his shop and smell the flowers and talk about him and the changes we’ve seen in the city and how we are sticking it out and then his boyfriend popped in and I love him and it was a party.

An unexpected friend pop up shop of love.

Lots of hugs and then off to the salon.

I got weird parking, good but not where I would normally, so on a whim I tried a new shop on Divisadero and it cracked me the fuck up.

The whole thing painted pink and it was like being inside a Japanese toy store.

I shit you not.

Sequins and sparkles and white and pink.

Stuffed animals.

Huge, oversized teddy bears, unicorns, pandas.

One of the manicurist’s was wearing a head band with bunny ears.

They had a cartoon movie playing on huge television screen.

It tickled me quite a bit.

Then off to do the deal and that’s when I ran into my friend I had dinner with and it was good and I got some great perspective on my situation and really another opportunity to find growth and learning.

It appears said opportunities are everywhere.

I’ve had a good run here in my little home by the sea and though I don’t know exactly what will happen next I do know that it won’t be the crappy scenario my head tells me.

It will be something amazing.

I am absolutely sure of it.

And I’m grateful for all of it.

Even when it’s uncomfortable.

Even then.

 

 

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Big, Full Week

February 4, 2018

But then again, when is it not?

I was just going over my Google calendar and putting in all the things that I have happening this upcoming week.

I swear, I might need to not look at it for a while, there’s a lot going on.

But, I usually do have a lot going on.

I’m feeling the need to organize it as I wanted to see where I had little pockets of time to address things.

Like clothes shopping for D.C.

It was 75 degrees in San Francisco today.

It was glorious.

I wore a sundress.

I loved it.

February always has a run of nice days in San Francisco, it’s like a little mini-summer break, in the middle of what should be winter.

D.C. however is not that warm.

Nope.

Today the high was 41 degrees.

Granted I’m not going to D.C. to participate in outdoor activities, I mean cozy hotel, cozy restaurants and cafes, cozy museums, maybe a brisk walk around Dupont Circle and Georgetown but aside from that I won’t be outside that much.

Yet.

I still have a yearning for some cold travel appropriate clothes.

Plus I will have one nice meal out if not two and I want something appropriate for where I’ll be dining that’s not, well, a summer dress.

So.

Anyway.

Just spent a lot of time combing over my schedule and seeing where I can do things.

Tomorrow is pretty jam-packed.

Coffee in the morning and walk on the beach with my best friend.

9a.m. yoga class.

Shower and breakfast and more coffee after that.

My morning writing routine.

Food prep for the week.

And then.

I have a ten page paper I have to knock out.

I also have a lady coming over to do work at 2p.m. and I will be leaving to do very much the same kind of work cross town with my person at 5:30 p.m. then over to the Castro to get right with God and that is it.

My Sunday.

I won’t have time to do any shopping or the like.

Nor did I have time today.

I did, however, do some nice self-care things for me.

I did go to yoga, my head always says, just sleep in, but my feet were smart, I’d signed up for the class the night before, and I went, and as it is always, I was quite happy after I had done the class.

I had super hot shower, washed my hair, ate a great breakfast, worked on some client emails, did a bunch of writing, and went off to my internship for group supervision.

I was supposed to see a consultation today.

They no showed.

So I took the extra time, went to the bank, deposited a check, went to the car wash and got my car washed and then actually found brilliant parking just off Divisadero a block from a nail salon that I have been frequenting more often.

I got a mani/pedi and the eyebrows waxed.

It felt super nice to have an hour and a half of not moving, just relaxing, getting a little pampered, and then I was off to the spot for the doing of the deal and after, home.

A bite to eat for dinner, confirmation about meeting my friend for coffee, I can’t believe I’m getting up at 6:30 a.m. to meet my friend for coffee.

I obviously love my friend.

I hope there’s a lot of coffee.

Heh.

And that about wraps up my night.

It wasn’t a huge eventful day, but it was sweet and there were good moments of self-care and I had a few phone check ins with the new lady I’m working with and that felt really good.

I’m not going to make it a late night tonight, since I’m getting up early, just a little snack, some hot tea, and a bit of Peaky Blinders.

I’m quite taken with the show.

Just started season 4.

And a good nights sleep.

I’m not really upset about getting up early on my day off, it’s actually a good way to start the week, being up as early as my earliest day, which is Monday.

I’ll have a lot of 6:30 a.m. starts this week.

Monday for supervision before work.

Tuesday, fingers crossed there will be a fucking yoga class to go to before therapy.

Wednesday, a chiropractor appointment before work.

Thursday I can “sleep” in until 7a.m.

But Friday, Saturday, and Sunday I’m back in school for the second weekend of classes for the semester, and that means a 6:30 a.m. start for each of those days as well.

So an early start tomorrow will just prime the pump.

And I’m super happy to see my best friend, our schedules are full and busy and it can be really hard to see each other.

I’m sure the company will be fantastic and I won’t be at all upset about getting out of bed early on a Sunday.

Fuck.

It will probably put me in such a good mood that I will get all the work done I need to do.

Fingers crossed.

Because I don’t have space or time during the week to work on my paper, I have to do it tomorrow.

I’m sure it will get done.

I always get them done.

I just have to sit down and show up.

And.

Well.

Write.

I think I can do that.

And with that I bid you adieu.

Snack, tea, Peaky Blinders, bed time.

Sweet dreams lovey.

Sweet dreams.

You Look Much

December 31, 2017

“Better than when you came in!”

And.

“I remember you from 19th and Dolores, I mean it, you look amazing.”

He said to me with a big grin.

It’s nice to run into folks who remember me from when I first got sober.

I have changed quite a bit.

I mean.

So much.

It’s extraordinary.

Hell, I feel like I’ve changed a bunch in these last four years and certainly since I’ve been in my graduate program with school.

My life really blows my mind at times.

My great job.

My relationships.

My new car.

Um, hello.

I got her washed today.

First of all, fuck, it’s pricey in the city, but oh, man, she looks so pretty when she’s clean and I just know it will keep the life of the car up to take care of it.  I’m pretty sure I’m going to go check out the place on Bayshore that you can get a membership to and get unlimited car washes for $29.99 a month.

I paid $33 today at the one on Divisadero.

I got a wash a few weeks back, my last weekend of classes, at the place on Van Ness and that was $30.

The one on Divisadero did a much better job.

However, $33 is a bunch of money.

If I can get unlimited washes at the place on Bayshore for $29.99 a month, I go once and it’s pretty much paid for itself.

It’s a place called Shine-N-Seal.

It’s a bit out of my way, but I was thinking today when I left my group supervision that it’s worth checking out on a day when I’m getting out of group since I’m in the Mission and the Bayshore is not so far away, maybe a ten minute drive.

And after dropping the $33 at the place on Divisadero I’m ready for something a little more economical, especially since I’m realizing how much I really like having my car and I like having her clean.

Like.

A lot.

It’s super nice.

Plus.

Grocery shopping today, being warm, being able to bring more back than when I’m on my scooter, listening to music in the car, I really dig on that.

Anyway.

I have reflected a lot today how good I have it and I’m super grateful for that perspective.

I also got hella sleep today.

I was up for a little while this morning but then decided screw it, back to bed.

I didn’t go to yoga, I have a hard time committing to the instructor for the class I could have gone today, I just do not like his classes and when the option to crawl back into bed was happening, well, I just rolled with it.

I mean.

Fuck.

I felt like a million bucks today.

Super rested.

I got lots of laundry done, all fresh linens on the bed, all my towels done, and a run to the grocery store before I left for supervision.

Which was so chill.

There were only two of us so I got to go over a load of my clients and also check in about some school stuff, intern stuff, applying for my intern number, which will happen after I graduate in May.

Some talk about the PhD program I’m considering going into.

Yeah.

I said that.

I am getting pretty serious about it.

My supervisor at my practicum site told me he would support me through the process, he did the same thing I’m considering, like almost to a “t.”

“Carmen I worked full-time, I ran this place, and I got my PhD at the same time, you can totally do it and I’ll write you a letter of recommendation for the program.”

He went to the same graduate school program that I am in.

He also remembers me from 19th and Dolores.

And basically I got, “baby you’ve come a long way,” in no uncertain terms.

I have done a hell of a lot since getting sober, it is incredible when I think about.

Super grateful.

Over the moon grateful.

Blessed.

Crazy graced.

Lucky as fuck.

I don’t know how else to express it, but that I want to keep doing the deal and staying in the boat and doing the work, man I want to live this life and keep getting to do all sorts of amazing things.

Like get my doctorate in psychology.

Because.

Why the fuck not?

I’m only going to get older.

Plus, I can put off my student loans for a while yet, I have a place to accrue my internship hours, I will go for my MFT license and I will be a licensed MFT with a PhD.

Yes, please.

Today I had a few moments before showing up for group supervision, I went to Gus’s Market and got a salad from the salad bar and some stupid expensive blackberries, but gosh they tasted so nice, and a bottle of bubbly water, because I roll like that, and when I was walking down the hall on the fifth floor to supervision there it was.

“Take a Peek!”

A sign on one of the offices.

Oh yes, yes please.

Let me take a peek.

Look at that.

It was a big office, bigger by far than most of the offices I work in out the building.

I totally took a moment today dream my private office.

The space smelled of fresh paint and had a big window, double the size of most of the offices I am in, and it got sunshine.

I envisioned book shelves and file cabinets and a couch and a therapist chair and a place to have a tea-pot and a little mini fridge and oh, I could put down a nice cozy rug and hang art on the walls.

I just got into it.

It’s years away yet, but it’s not that far down the road.

My own private office, my own private practice.

I’ll be Dr. Martines licensed MFT and psychotherapist.

I’ll set my own hours, so that I can go to yoga in the morning and do the deal whenever I fucking want, I’ll make good money, I will have great health insurance and I will take nice vacations, I’ll have parking in the private garage in the building and live in a home that’s not next to the garage and below a barky dog, oh, man, I can see it.

It’s really not that far off.

It was super sweet to just have that moment in the office and I know that I might not be in that office space, but I will be in one, and I’ll be taken care of as long as I keep doing the things that I need to do to stay in recovery.

My life is fucking amazing.

REALLY.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Bach Cello Sonata No.1

October 11, 2017

In G.

And 5 and 6 as well.

Yo Yo Ma.

That is what I am listening to.

It was an intense day and I feel it slowly easing out of my body and sliding to the floor in a big puddle.

I could slide to the floor in a big puddle.

When I need to calm down and unwind I like to listen to this in particular.

It is sweet and I find it wistful, God I miss playing the cello.

There’s a spot about 1:50 into the first sonata and I can feel the bow in my hand, I can see my fingers striding over the neck of the cello and I can feel it between my legs.

I can get weepy thinking about it.

One would suppose that I would be past it, this yearning, but somethings stay with me a long time.

I don’t know that I ever really got over the loss of playing cello.

And I have had it suggested too many times to count that maybe I pick it up again.

I think.

Yes!

Let me do that.

In what fucking time?

I could give up writing in the morning.

I could play music for my morning spiritual fix.

I could not buy a car and buy a cello.

I could go over to Roland Feller and blow my heart out on a cello.

Roland Feller is the luthier for the San Francisco Symphony.

I went once, with a friend who worked out of the Burning Man offices when I was nannying there many years ago now.

He is a professional cello player and gigs about and plays with the San Jose Orchestra.

He gave me lessons for a while and one day took me to Roland Feller.

I would have never known that there was a luthier there.

It is an extraordinary nondescript house next to the Popeye’s Chicken on Divisadero Street.

There is no signage.

You have to make an appointment.

There is a gate and a call box and it looks like some cheap apartment, well, it’s in San Francisco so it’s probably not cheap, but the door opens into this gold mine of classical music instruments.

Violins.

Violas.

Stand up Bass.

Cellos.

Oh and the cellos.

I played a few different ones and I remember one in particular, it was luscious, the sound so rich, so vibrant, it made me quiver with delight.

My friend teased me a little that I was passionate and looked as though I might be having the sexy thoughts.

I had never had a cello quite that caliber ever before in my hands.

It was exquisite.

And one day.

Well.

I have written on this topic before, I will have another cello.

I’m not there yet.

But one day.

And in the mean time.

Well.

I have my Yo Yo Ma and I have Bach.

And Debussy.

And Chopin.

Oh the Chopin Cello Sonata in G Minor.

Oof.

So good.

The Bach is my favorite, but that Chopin is glorious too, passionate and brash and stupendous.

I love that I love classical music.

I don’t look the type.

Except, well, maybe that’s not true.

I feel like I might look the type, that there’s a brazen woman cellist in my heart.

Maybe she smashes herself on her music like I smash myself with my poetry.

Maybe one day the two will get back together again.

I don’t expect that I will ever be great, I never was great, but I had heart, yes, I had great big heart and I knew it and so did my most ardent supporter–my orchestra conductor, Mister Ziegler.

Where ever you are, you meant something to me that few teachers do.

He supported me, he was honest with me, he argued for me.

He brought in my mom and my step father, the fuck (egad, maybe I need yet another inventory on the man, christ), and sat them down and tried, oh how hard he tried, to convince them to not let me quit cello.

Quitting cello was not my idea.

It was my stepfathers idea.

We didn’t have enough money and my parents, god I can’t even say that, the man was never a fucking parent to me, he was a violent misogynistic sociopath, but not a parent, had bought a house in Windsor, outside the school system I was in at the time I was playing cello.

There was no thought of a tutor, I had one actually, that my conductor had arranged with the school and I was given said tutoring for free, but to move away from the school system I would lose that.

And the school that was closest to me, the one that I would attend, DeForest, well, they didn’t have an orchestra.

Oh sure.

They had band.

But no orchestra.

They had cut the funding for the orchestra.

You should see the football stadium though, a work of art that.

Anyway.

My conductor tried to argue that my parents continuing my tutoring or that I commute in to Madison for school and still stay with the cello.

Nope.

There were words, there was fire, I could see how hard my conductor was trying to get through to my parents.

My stepfather hated me playing.

He hated me practicing.

I got lost in the cello, I wasn’t there, I was gone, gone, gone, and he wanted me present and not in my fantasy world.

He also did not like that I read as much as I did, I shit you not.

What fucking parent doesn’t want their children to read?

When I was punished some of the worst punishments were being denied those things that I loved most.

Books and my cello.

Cello was first to go.

“Put it away and go clean the bathtub,” he said.

The the books were taken.

I don’t know what I did, I mean, I have absolutely no recollection of what I had done to deserve the grounding to my room one weekend, but he was diabolical.

I had no problem being grounded to my room, fine with me, I won’t have to look at you.

I’ll read, thank you very much.

But.

Oh my fucking god, the man had removed every single book I had in my room, everything was gone, it was stripped.

Thank God I had one underneath the mattress of my bed.

Fucking stashed my back up drugs thank you very much.

So.

It wasn’t much of a surprise, after the cello was taken and my stepfather and my mom left the orchestra room with me sadly in tow, that once we moved to Windsor I was to be denied academic access as well.

“She’s too proud, she needs to be humbled, she’s not allowed to do it,” he told my mom, who had tried in her own way to get him to give his permission to sway him.

I was trailing behind in the snow walking down Windsor Road in the middle of a cold ass night listening to them argue about me and the invitation I had been given to join an advanced English class-accelerated and an accelerated math class.

I didn’t care so much about the math, irony, I was actually able to attend that, I think my mom might have had a hook up or something with the math teacher now that I look back, but the English was resolutely denied.

I can feel rage in my chest when I think about that.

“Too proud, she’s just too fucking proud.”

And maybe I was.

Pride goeth before the fall.

I have been humbled in many ways, but I still like my books and I still love listening to cello.

And I am beyond proud of how I grew and became the woman I am today.

Despite the horrendous odds against me growing up.

I got out.

And you can’t put me down.

Nope.

I will not be ground down.

I will thrive.

I am thriving.

I am alive.

Happy.

Joyous.

Motherfucking.

Free.

And yes.

Proud.

 

 

 

 

Evaluation

August 8, 2017

Of Trainee.

That would be me.

Psychotherapist in training.

I picked up my evaluation from my supervisor today from the office at my internship.

I zipped up to the office before seeing my client at 6:30p.m.

I have two new client folders that I needed to look at, but not too long, I needed mostly to grab my evaluation and scoot on out.

I almost didn’t want to read it before I saw my client.

But.

Ha.

Well.

Of course I did.

Oh my gosh you guys.

It was really nice.

I mean.

Really good.

I got the best marks.

I mean seriously.

Of the four pages of the evaluation I scored the top score in all categories.

I got fives and fives and more fives.

  1. Serious difficulty with performance
  2.  Needs improvement
  3. Performs as expected
  4. Performs above expectations
  5. Performs far above expectations

Holy cats.

I got fives on everything but for three categories, and for those I still got 4s.

I am blown away.

Feels pretty motherfucking good, I have to say.

And the written comments, swoon, wowzers, you can say I’m pretty happy having read them:

“_________________ is an exceptional trainee, performing far above expectations for a first semester as a trainee.  Her level of enthusiasm, and compassion combine with a natural intuitive therapeutic ability give her a positive edge in helping her clients.  ____________ will continue to grow as a therapist as she gets more experience.”

Exceptional.

God damn that is so nice to see in print.

I need to remember that when I get bogged down in the details and the scheduling and the figuring it out.

You should have heard me as I was putting on my therapy shoes before I left work today to go to my internship, “pick up files and paperwork in room 533, meet with __________  in room 352.”

I must have repeated that five times like a little mantra before I had my shoes on, my scooter jacket zipped up and my purse and scooter basket bag in my hands.

Every day that I go into my internship–five days a week, thank you very much, I am in a different room.

I have it just about down as to where I am going to be on any given day, but I have to say I end up repeating them or double checking or looking at my calendar.

Where am I today?

Speaking of.

I need some tech support.

There has to be a way for me to access my Google calendar from my Iphone.

I haven’t figured it out yet.

I keep looking at my Gmail and trying to find where the calendar is hiding.

I mean.

I have a calendar on the phone, but I also have a personal calendar through my own Gmail account and another through my internship.

I got assigned another client today and I knew what spot to offer her and when I got the confirmation e-mail that she wanted the spot I sent my assistant director, who is in charge of the calendar, a message, but I really want to be able to access my calendar immediately.

I am at my house in the morning on my laptop and in the evening, but I am out all day long for great swaths of time, there has to be a way for me to access the calendar on my Iphone.

Add to list of things to figure out.

Like, oh, getting my paperwork to school by Friday.

I mean.

Ugh.

Either I get up early and go before therapy tomorrow or I go before work Wednesday or Thursday.

Hmm.

I wonder.

I bet I could just go after my client tomorrow or after work on Wednesday.

Oh.

That works.

I usually have something going on right away after work on Wednesdays, but not this week.  I’ll get done with work Wednesday and zoom over to school and drop of the evaluation to the practicum office team.

I also got some things ironed out with my practicum schedule and group supervision and my school schedule.

Once a month, for five months, August-December, I am in school for three days, Friday 9a.m.-8p.m. Saturday 9a.m.-4p.m. and Sunday 9a.m.-12p.m.

I have group supervision on Saturdays from 2p.m.-4p.m.

Obviously there is a conflict.

And I can’t simply get away with not having supervision for that week.

I now have five clients this week.

I will have six clients next week.

And seven the week following.

For every five client hours I have I have to have one hour of supervision.

Having more than five clients I have to go to supervision twice a week.

And.

Now.

I have openings starting in September for Saturdays.

Yes.

I will be taking clients on Saturdays after I get back from Burning Man.

I will see clients from 4:30-6:30p.m.

That leaves me a half hour afterward to zip over to my commitment on Divasadero and Eddy by 7p.m.

I will have group supervision first from 2-4p.m. then clients until 6:30p.m.

If it’s a school weekend I’ll have school until 4p.m. and then zip over to my internship and see clients.

Of course.

Nothing is booked yet, but for the fall semester they want me to run with 10 clients.

So.

Yeah.

Saturdays.

By Spring semester I am supposed to have 13.

Ugh.

I don’t know how that’s going to happen and I don’t need to figure it out right now.

Spring semester will also be much lighter.

I will be taking five classes this semester.

In spring it will be three.

So there will be more space and less homework.

I get so way far ahead of myself.

I keep reminding myself.

Pull back ladybug.

My worst fears about my internship and not being able to handle it have all been conflagrated beyond any sort of reality.  I can look back and see I was anxious for absolutely no good reason.  I was able to handle what was handed to me.

So.

I will be fine and my classes will be good, my work will be good, life will be good.

It already is.

And.

My boss agreed to let me go an hour early on Wednesdays once a month to offset my group supervision and was very sweet about it.

So grateful for my job.

And my life and love and all of it.

Life is full.

Busy.

Yes.

All the things.

But ultimately, I am alive for it all, exquisite and sometimes painful, but so bright and moving and wonderful.

I have no complaints.

NONE AT ALL.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Never doubt it.

Girl Date

May 30, 2017

I totally took myself out today.

I did it all.

First.

I let myself sleep the fuck in.

I mean, I didn’t get up until 9:15 a.m.

So sleeping in, especially considering that I am up three hours earlier tomorrow so that I can meet with my supervisor–whom I would have met with today but it was a holiday.

I totally treated it like a holiday as well.

I went to a yoga class that I used to be able to go before I started my current nanny gig.

I had lunch with my favorite, most loved person in the entire world.

Pause.

Let me just let that sink in.

I got to have lunch with the person I hold in the highest esteem, who loves me unconditionally, who sees me, who supports me without question, who witnesses everything I do, who helps me see when I am self-sabotaging, and how to change that and be better and stronger and sweeter and softer and live my life to the fullest full definition of happy, joyous and free.

I mean.

That is an extraordinary gift.

We met at Souvla on Divisadero and had great big salads and talked and got totally caught up and I revealed myself and there was no shying away from me or judging, only complete sunshine and love.

I am beyond grateful for this man in my life, I wouldn’t have the life I have without him.

He is a human, don’t get me wrong, I am not putting him on a pedestal, he shows me how to be more human myself, more vulnerable, more willing to show up and more present in the moment when I do.

He is the greatest gift and I do not know what I would do without him.

We are even talking about making travel plans together.

We have talked about it before.

We travel in a similar way, carry on only, get situated, go get connected with fellows and then walk and see and witness and art and churches and more art and museums and cafes and sitting still next to each other and also knowing that we both are self-sufficient travelers, that neither of us is afraid to say, give me space, I want to do a wander on my own or nap or whatever.

We have mutual friends in Barcelona as well as Paris.

We are talking about going to Barcelona together and maybe taking the TGV to Paris or Marseille, probably Paris as we have friends there too and I will need very much to see my Parisian girlfriend and her new family.

Next May.

When I graduate from my Masters of Psychology program, a grand European tour with my mentor, I couldn’t really think of a better gift, his company means so much to me.

So.

Yeah.

Lunch was fucking fabulous and we also dished and laughed and I talked about needing to set firm boundaries around any extra nanny work that may try to weasel its way in when my employers are away in July.

And then he went his way and I went mine.

Off to the MOMA.

I wanted to catch the last day of the Matisse/Diebenkorn show.

Of course.

It was sold out, even as a member of the MOMA I couldn’t get in to see it.

And truth be told, I don’t really care a fig for Matisse, and I’ve seen so much of his work in Paris that I didn’t feel that I was missing out.

I could have my girl date with myself just fine wandering around all the other galleries without having to stand in the huge, and I do mean HUGE, line that was queued up for the show.

I strolled through the second floor galleries and got acquainted again with one of my favorite artists in the museum–Clyfford Still–1906-1980.  I adore his work, there is one painting especially that always gets me and I did my stare in awe and wonder at it for a good fair amount of time before taking myself for a cafe au lait at the Sight Glass cafe on the 3rd floor of the museum.

I sat and dreamily dreamed and people watched while sipping my coffee–days off always included cafe breaks and nursing a coffee while people watching.

Then I hit the Larry Sultan photography exhibit, which was extraordinary.

And.

Since everyone was in line for the Matisse/Diebenkorn show, the gallery was practically empty.

Heaven.

I got my art girl dose in heavy-duty.

Then having some time and seeing that the sun had decided to cut through the fog and make an appearance, I strolled through Yerba Buena Gardens, and yes, got another coffee, this time iced, and planted myself on the sheltered terrace of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, sipped ice coffee and watched the clouds scut through the sky.

I am always so overwhelmed and grateful for the gardens and the art and the fountains and though the skyline has changed dramatically in the fifteen years I have been in San Francisco, there is still all this familiarity for the place I was sitting in.

How many times had I gone through that park high or drunk?

Smoking cigarettes and slamming extra caffeine to keep up with the high-end dining restaurant that I worked at, Hawthorne Lane, how many times had I caught cabs in front of the Metreon to go to my dealers or to have myself carried to the End Up or 1015 or some underground party.

So many times.

And the dread and the terror that was just below the surface of my skin, beating my heart with fear as I walked the paths through the garden to work, short cutting on my way to the restaurant to work a double to make up for all the money I blew on blow.

And.

Instead.

Twelve and a half years later.

Coiffed, sweetly dressed, yellow silk flower in my hair, expensive shoes on my feet, Hobo purse in my lap, having just left an exquisite show at the MOMA, I sit happy and serene, joyous and free, in that same space, quietly and consistently showing up to make amends to the area and to assuage that damage I did to myself.

So grateful I don’t have the words.

Although.

I have to say I will always keep striving to find them.

Grateful for sunshine, clarity, serenity, communicating my needs, being emotionally transparent.

For all the good things in my life.

For my life.

God damn.

Life is more than fair, you know, if it were fair, I’d be dead.

And I am so not.

I am exquisitely alive.

So.

Fucking.

Alive.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

All Things Asian

December 25, 2016

In other words.

Merry Christmas Eve to the person who had to cancel two different sets of plans.

The first, you all have heard me talk about, no Christmas in Wisconsin, didn’t work out had to cancel.

The second set was to go help a friend move today.

But after yesterday’s challenge, and let’s be frank, the whole week has been a challenge, and a lingering cold that just won’t get the fuck out of my body, I cancelled.

I don’t like canceling.

I cried on the phone to my friend.

But.

That’s the way the cookie crumbles.

I did rally though and get out of my house.

The thought of being at home alone the whole day was too much to bear, so I just thought, easy does it, you know where to go and who to see and it can be nice and slow and just take things one moment at a time.

I had a nice breakfast, courtesy of the persimmons Santa left for me, some nice coffee and a lot of writing.

I decided I would venture out to the Inner Sunset, I knew people would be there and that I needed to check in with my people.

But before that.

Yes.

My nail salon was open.

Merry Christmas Eve day manicure and eyebrow waxing courtesy of the sweet mother daughter team at the Korean nail salon I go to.

I popped in next door to Tart to Tart and treated myself to a large cafe au lait, then came back and got all pretty.

For whom?

Why, me, of course.

I may not have a significant other this year, but I can damn well treat myself like I am one.

Because, well, I fucking am.

After the nails I popped over to 7th and Irving and did the deal with a bunch of folks.

It was really good.

I mean.

REALLY.

Heard everything I needed to hear and got my heart warmed up, it’s been aching, although it may just be the tightness in my chest from the cold, I suspect it’s a mixture of both.

Afterward it was definitely time for lunch.

Thai food it is!

I was rather smitten with the red curry duck with plantains I had the other day at Marnee Thai, so I went back to see if they were open, and yes!

They were.

I even was sat in the exact same spot.

Sort of cozy and sweet and one of the servers remembered me and when I had sipped, quite quickly, I was trying to warm up, my cup of tea, she flagged over my server whispered something to her in Thai and the next thing you know my server comes back with a huge glass of tea.

Apparently they know me well after just two visits.

I was doing ok and also not feeling like quite calling it a day, though I did think about it when I stepped back outside, the weather today, for San Francisco, was quite cold.

Is quite cold.

But I decided that I could scooter over to Japan town and catch a movie at the Kabuki Sundance Theaters.

I had worn a lot of layers, in fact I was a polar bear on my scooter, but even in the theater I was a little chilled.

Slight fever.

Which sometimes is actually kind of nice, and sometimes makes everything feel a little chillier.

But the movie was sweet and I was also warmed by the brief, but happy phone call I had with my sister and my mom!

It was such a lovely surprise to see my sister’s name pop up on my phone.

She called to thank me for the gifts I had sent and I spoke briefly with her and then with my mom before going into the movie.

I almost missed the previews, and I like previews.

I went and saw La La Land.

It was the perfect Christmas Eve movie to see, lots of singing, a tender, somewhat bittersweet romantic plot line, and good acting.

I was quite taken.

And yes, I did tear up a bit at the ending.

It was well done and I’m glad I went.

Speaking of glad I went, I decided to double down and go catch some fellows over at Turk and Divisadero and just sit for another hour and absorb the good stuff with a small cast of merry friends who were staying in town as well for the holiday.

It was chilly, but cheerful.

I am definitely glad I went.

And to round out all things Asian for my merry Christmas Eve.

I took myself out to a sushi dinner at my favorite sushi restaurant in my hood–Sushi Raw–over on 19th and Taraval.

Christmas bonus never tasted so good.

I do not eat out very often and I’ve eaten out a lot over the last few days, it’s been lovely, but it will be settling down.

That being said, fuck it’s Christmas Eve and I didn’t feel like cooking, I will tomorrow, I don’t know that I will be zooming around at all, I did push myself a bit more than I thought I would in the name of keeping myself busy and out of my head, so I let myself splurge on sushi.

I had scallops wrapped in bacon.

BACON.

MmmMmmm good.

Miso soup, edamame, and my favorite roll–Caterpillar Roll, which is unagi with avocado.

Lots of hot tea, I was super cold after my riding.

And it was really sweet to sit by myself and people watch.

I was the only person there who wasn’t Japanese.

I am so grateful to live in a community with so many ethnicities and cultures.

And grateful that not everybody celebrates Christmas the ways that “my” culture does.

Or I would have been a little out of luck with all the activities and places and food I had today.

It’s certainly not the Christmas I envisioned, but that’s ok.

It’s the Christmas I’m supposed to be having.

How do I know this?

Because it’s what’s happening.

Reality.

Better than fantasy any old day, even when I think otherwise, even when I had tried to wrest Christmas and it’s traditions into my own idea of what it’s supposed to look like.

I didn’t plan on being sick, I didn’t plan on canceling my travel plans, I didn’t plan on being alone.

But overall.

I never felt lonely today.

Even though I spent much of it alone.

Rather.

I felt held, special, and very privileged to have the life I have today.

I’ve come a very, very, very long way.

Baby.

So very long.

And so grateful for every step along the way.

Seriously.

That Was Unbearable

August 10, 2014

It was like getting fucked up.

Without getting the fucked up part.

I mean, I could not have predicted this morning that you would find me in a smoke shop on Divisadero and Haight this afternoon fumbling around the sunglasses looking for something to take the glare off my eyes.

I haven’t been that frantic for sunglasses since early morning raids made on the Shell Station across the street from the End Up years ago to shade my eyes from the suns rays and the moon’s philandering.

It was horrid.

I felt high, but I was not high.

There was too much light in the day and the day being overcast actually made it worse.

I found this out this evening when the light started to fail and it was getting easier for me to maneuver about.

I had my eyes dilated today.

I went into the optometrist appointment excited for the prospect of getting contact lenses for the playa.

Contact lenses, fyi, that did not end up happening.

It turns out that I have an astigmatism in both my eyes, slightly worse in my left eye than in my right, and that means that contact lenses are a challenge to fit to my eyes and when the doc found out that I was only getting them for Burning Man she actually advised me against them.

She told me that the kind of astigmatism I have is poorly treated with contact lenses.  That I would actually see less well with the contacts than with my glasses.

She ran all the tests and said she would see if she could find a proper prescription in stock, which there was not much of, also, apparently, I have an atypical astigmatism, I don’t think I was hearing a lot of the speak, just getting my brain wrapped around the idea that glasses are now truly it for me, that I was not going to be wearing contact lenses at Burning Man or ever again.

“Well, we do have the prescription, but it may not feel very good, I’m going to have you try it out and run some more tests,” she said as I followed her out to wash my hands and insert the contacts in my eyes.

I was surprised at how easily it all came back to me.

I haven’t worn contacts in over twelve years since I had the laser surgery in 2002, but it was like riding a bike, I remembered where to pull down on my lid and intuitively knew that the lenses were right side up and not upside down.

I got both in quite fast and saw immediately what she meant.

The contact couldn’t fully correct my vision, in fact my vision became worse wearing the contacts then with my glasses on.  It turned out that my eyesight was as good with the contacts as they were without.

Meaning that the correction was so negligible that I would have as much sight as if I was just without my glasses, therefore idiotic to bother getting contacts if they couldn’t correct up to my glasses prescription.

It was too much and I said so and no point in getting the contacts.

So.

The doctor said, well as long as you’re here let’s do a full exam and see how your eye health is in general since you haven’t been in for two years.

Ok.

That means dilating your eyes she said.

Ok.

Had I known.

I would have said, fuck no.

I did not notice it at first, I mean I was busy getting lights flashed in my eyes and following light beams with my eyes and staring at small letters and numbers and what not.

But I noticed it as soon as I walked outside.

It was like getting walloped in the face.

I couldn’t stand the glare of the light, just day light, and that made no sense to me, as it wasn’t even bright out, it was overcast all day long and foggy and grey.

But it was horror in my head.

I had to literally shade my eyes with my hand and look down.

I stumbled to the 71 Noriega bus stop and scrambled to find a seat.

I sat down and out of habit took out my notebook to write down what I had spent at the doctor’s office and found I could not focus my eyes enough to see my check book.

I started to panic a little.

How long was this going to last?

I got off the bus at Divisadero and Haight Street to catch the 24 up to Noe Valley.

I couldn’t read what the NextBus app was saying on my phone, I realized I couldn’t read the texts on my phone either or see the number of the calls that had come in while I was looking at tiny letters on an off white screen in a darkened room.

Fuck.

I looked up at the monitor on the bus stop and saw that I had a half an hour to wait.

I couldn’t handle it.

I tried to sit.

I tried to stand.

I couldn’t see for shit.

I looked across the street, squinted, and saw sunglasses in the window of a smoke shop.

I made my way over to the store and for the first time in nine years set foot in a smoke shop.

I spun the racks and pulled out a pair of aviator glasses.

I tried them on.

The immediate relief was so profound I almost cried out, “thank you God.”

I paid for them and I am sure I was not the first person in the store that day to buy a pair of sunglasses as the dude rang me up and took a look at my dilated eyes.

I pulled the weird shaped paper sunglasses out of my purse as I reached for my wallet,  the optometrist had given me them saying I may want them, and asked the clerk to chuck them for me.

I am not sure why I had to tell him that I had just been at the eye doctor, but I had to.

It was the truth.

But, man, it just made me sound like I was high, high, high.

I chuckled and actually did enjoy some of the afternoon walking up Divisadero waiting for the bus, ducking into a few shops and not taking off my sunglasses.

I felt momentarily fabulous and cool.

Although it was bizarre to shop at Whole Foods later on when I did make it up to Noe Valley, I couldn’t read the labels of things and stood in front of a cold case trying to make out the price on a package of organic chicken breasts, I tried to read the label with the sunglasses on, then off, then on again, then I laughed and just put the fucking chicken in my basket.

I was getting stared at.

Crazy lady in the chicken aisle.

No.

Just one with an irregular astigmatism in both eyes and a cheap pair of drugstore sunglasses to hide those pupils.

I swear.

REALLY.

I am not high.

So the next time I think someone’s tweaking in the grocery store or riding the bus.

I am just going to tell myself.

They just got out of an eye doctor’s appointment.

That’s all.

 

God Is A Three Hour Nap

October 18, 2013

And that is some serious shit.

I wore that little monkey out.

I worked a full day with my new charge today.

We did lots of walking, lots of singing, and lots of stair climbing.

Folks may wonder how I haven’t had a membership in a gym in sometime and have muscles like I do.  The bicycle is the way to a smaller jean size that is for sure and so is having a nanny gig in a place where there are lots of stairs.

Or lots of hills.

San Francisco has both.

My new family in the NOPA neighborhood lives at the top of a three-story walk up.

The ride from door to door is 30 minutes, then add a hike up those stairs not once, but three times today, and I am feeling the work out.

So was she.

I had her walk up the stairs twice.

The third time I carried her.

We first went out to music class over at Masonic and Waller, that in and of itself, just pushing the stroller to and fro was a good walk.

One I was loving today with the beautiful weather, but I did have a moment to ponder what the walk would be like when it gets colder and the rains come.

That could be interesting.

But it’s just one day a week and the rest of the time I will be over in Cole Valley or up  in the Castro (more hills and steps).

The music class was fun and the teacher thanked me for engaging as much as I did.

It’s easy.

Sometimes I find it far easier to interact with a child then I do with an adult.

Smile and they smile back at you.

Read a story, snuggle a bear, sing a lullaby, feed them some apple or cheese, chase them around in a circle.

Easy.

Adults.

Not so much.

After the class we came back to the neighborhood via the Pan Handle and then over to Divisadero, which is shaping up in a lovely kind of way since the last time I was over in that neck of the woods.

Why, there’s a new Bi-Rite there.

Where I promptly dropped $35 on a 1/2 full messenger bag of groceries.

Not my first option to shop, but damn it, when you get me in there I get stuff.

And I was happy to pick up a bag of may favorite coffee, Stumptown, Holler Mountain.

Coffee I have only seen sold at Rainbow and Rainbow is harder and harder for me to get to.  It feels so far away on my bicycle.  It’s a haul to get back a full bag on my bike.

I have done it twice now and it’s not a fun trip.

I have been shopping more at Whole Foods and occasionally at the Other Avenues (which is more expensive than either, but close by in my ‘hood) for food, but neither carry Stumptown coffee.

So, a splurge at Bi-Rite.

I had hand rolled brown rice California rolls with crab and avocado and cucumber, also bought at the store, so lunch figures in that price and add the pristine persimmons and the luscious apples I got, money well spent.

My girl had her lunch and then with nary a peep went down for her nap.

Turned on the lullaby genre on her Ipod player, read a story to her, snuggled with Mister Bear, and sang a song softly to her, put her down into the crib and three hours later, three, she chirped out that she was up.

I had a three-hour free afternoon.

It was glorious.

I did some writing.

I balanced my check book, which is far easier than it sounds, I did some configurations about my finances and made some allowance for myself to get some new clothes, at least a new dress, and saw that I am amply covered for shifts for the rest of this month and probably through the year.

I won’t have to look into working for anyone else.

Which is nice.

I really don’t like having to look.

I made some tea.

I perused their book shelves, seeing that their tastes were quite similar to mine.

I chose a Tom Robbins book, Still Life with Wood Pecker, that I read aeons ago, it seems, and immensely enjoyed kicking through about 70 pages of the book before my girl woke up.

She was happy and giggling and playing with a doll and her bear and having a chatty little conversation with the two.

We got changed out, put on shoes and socks and headed out the door, first to Four Barrel, another happy discovery, there’s a Four Barrel two blocks away from their house, then to Alamo Square for a stroll around the park in the grass with the bright autumn sun flashing down.

“What does a cow say,” I asked her.

“Mooo!”

“What does a duck say?”

“Quack, quack, quack!”

“What does a kitty say?”

“Meoooow!”

“What does a nanny say?”

“?”

“I need a coffee!”

“Cawfee!”

“Exactly,” I said to her and swung her sunshine face, haloed by blonde pigtails up into the air at the coffee-house as I waited for my elixir to arrive.

She giggled.

I giggled.

It was great.

She’s an awesome addition to the mix.

I love having a little girl in the mix.

And the three-hour nap, well, that does not hurt either.

By the time we got back to the house though, she was pooped.

I was too, after hauling her up and down and a stroller and my bicycle at various times with my messenger bag of groceries.

We both collapsed on the top step.

Tired

Tired little monkey

Although quite serious in this photo, soon thereafter I was chasing her down the hallway to her door.

“Home!”

“Home!”

“Home!”

Indeed

Nice to meet your acquaintance, lovey, I look forward to more snuggles and songs with you.

And naps.

Oh yes, nice long naps.


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