Posts Tagged ‘fruitvale bart station’

Maybe It’s the Sexy

August 9, 2013


That is.

Calvin leaned in as he was pulling through another strand of hair and shaping it around my face, and said, “this is the ‘I’m gonna get laid’ hair cut, just so you know.”


It’s about time.

I have not photos for you of the new sexy hair cut.

It’s adult, sleek, and there are no sparkles.

There is also no more green.

Not that anyone has commented on that, but the blue from last year did leave just the greenish tint under the right light that though faded, has stuck it the fuck out.

Now my hair is dark, lustrous, and has just a spot of red in it, which counteracts the green and looks dark chestnut-brown.

I am as close to my natural color as I have been in years.

I also got a nice flattering cut, one that does look mature and refined, although cut in such a way that I don’t have to do maintenance.

Because although I am a girly girl, I don’t really spend that much time on my hair, I just let it go.  I don’t have the patience to muddle with it, I never have.  I will get jealous of a girl who has taken the time to figure out how to flat-iron their bangs, or how to do a blow out; but I have never had the wherewithal to do it.

If I had gotten a blow out today, there would have been photos.

But as it stands there was not the time and I don’t mind that.

I like a nice blow job, who doesn’t?

But, oh, I meant blow out, which had completely different connotations in my day job.

As a nanny.


Enough about the hair.

I just want to focus on the sex bit, the boyfriend bit, the romance me bit, and what does a girl got to do to get a date bit.

I suppose once I am back in the city proper it will be a little easier.

The pickin’s here in East Oakland are not really my flavor.

Not to say that Oakland is devoid of men, it’s not, I just have not found a platform upon which to meet them, unless it is the platform to the Fruitvale BART station.

Of course I will laugh if I meet some awesome person at Burning Man and they are from Oakland and then I will be in the Sunset.

But that is neither here nor there.

Just like me.

Sort of stuck in the in between.

Treading water, so to speak, until I land ashore in the Sunset, a land of fog, quiet, soft cat paws of mist, and the slap and bang of the ocean surf pounding the beach head.

It will be good for me to be muffled and swaddled and caught in the softness of the landscape.  Maybe a place for me that is not so tough, not so edgy, just a crash pad of comfort.



Can’t really do it yet, can’t tell where the money to do it is going to come from.

Can’t tell if I am going to get back from the burn and have full-time nanny hours with the three families.  I know I’ll get three days, outside of that I don’t know.  I do know that I don’t want to commute to North Oakland/Emeryville to nanny although I am in love with my little girl charge there.

That sucks.

And does not all at the same time.

I mean, how many of us can say unequivocably that we love our employers?

Technically the mom and the dad pay me, but the little girl is my boss.

I love my boss.

But will I take an hour and a half to get there to work.

I don’t think I can do it.

It thought about asking them to pay for the commute.

But who is going to do that?

That’s like paying me for three hours a day that I am not working, I mean it will feel like work, but it’s just getting back and forth.


I am exhausted thinking about it.

Maybe a temp agency is the place to go to next.

Keep doing what I can with my friend at the design agency and then look into getting my chops at a few other places around town.

My crystal ball is clouded, foggy, you could say.

I cannot see into the future.

I just have the faith that it all works out.

Today what I have left, aside from trying to get a nice photograph of my new hair, yes I am vain, I have just a few nice little things of self-care to do.

I took care of the hair, I got the phone paid, went to a late lunch with my friend, got a little time in for the design firm, rode my bike over to the Castro for a little of that taking care of business, business, and got back over to Graceland to feed the out-door kitties they dinner.

I am going to miss my some kittens when I leave Graceland.

I will.

Standing on the precipice of a new decade of time in San Francisco with Burning Man to usher me in.

It is the sexy.

The hair.

The age.

The softening instead of toughening.

I am a cream puff and I am getting more and more ok with that.

“You are so hard on yourself, so tough, you need to ease back a little,” my friend said to me today as we caught up and I think I don’t even realize that, I feel so directionless and untethered and don’t know what I am doing most of the time that to even say I surrender to this idea that I am is surreal.

But if I hear it from one friend I hear it from ten.

So like the new hair, which is really just the old hair, I’m going to show that softer side and ease back a little.

Soft is the new sexy.

Is, you could say, the new black.

Crawling Out of My

July 20, 2013

Fucking skin.

I felt it prickle up and wondered if I was perhaps actually coming down with some sickness.

I felt feverish and unsettled and so far down the road in the future that no wonder I was uncomfortable in my body.  Future tripping is not a good trip for me.

Never was, never is.

I did have a little stroll down memory lane tonight though, faces and places of San Francisco  that I had not thought of in some time.  I am coming up on my 11th year of living in San Francisco.

Give or take six months in Paris.

And two and a half in East Oakland.

Oh, fyi, stay the hell out of Fruitvale tonight if you can, there’s an Occupy protest going on that looked like it was getting brisk and uncomfortable.  There was that tingle of uncertain electricity in the air, a balance that could be tipped either way, and I could see the riot gear and the batons dangling and I wondered, how many of the protestors actually live in or around Fruitvale.

I think if you do, live in the neighborhood, you were busying getting your Friday night El Gordo Loco taco truck on.

That place is booming.

Aside from constant vigilance while riding my bicycle down International Avenue, I have to pay extra attention to this corner, loads of people whipping in and out for some toothsome carnitas or al pastor.

It does smell divine.

But I never have stopped.

Even when I was in my I am gonna get crazy with my food mode.

I had that thought today, Enteman’s Chocolate Cake donuts with glazed sugar icing.

One box please.

Followed by crazy.

I deigned to go there.

But I did not.

I stumbled through the uneasy on my skin and said, hey you know, yeah that extra time I have, it’s not a bad thing, it’s gonna be a good thing, there will be loads of things to occupy you and your time.

Tomorrow I will go see a friend whom I have not seen in years, not since, I just realized I left my place up in Nob Hill.  She still lives on Taylor Street.  I am looking forward to seeing her and I also realized that I am nervous too.  She’s successful, does well, travels, has a great job, has money, I am assuming, and I am comparing and despairing.

Which may have accounted for some of the discomfort today.

When I run into people that I knew from my “former” life, I feel almost compelled to prove that I have done something big and bold and daring with my life.

Then I think, oh please, you have done plenty.

If not just in the success of living in one of the most expensive places on earth for over a decade, that has got to count for something.

I don’t have to prove myself, I don’t have to fix myself, and most of the time I just have to sit, drink a cup of coffee and listen to someone else for a little while, listen to their experience and share mine.

My experience is valuable.

Really the one thing that I have that is all mine and I have a wealth of it.

I do.

I sat in the falling gold spiked light at Atlas Cafe on 20th and Florida with a friend this evening, sharing our experiences, relating our solutions, laughing at ourselves.

I sat there in the warm sun getting more and more comfortable in myself, my body, my skin, I don’t have to check out and I can walk through this (whatever this is) some made up story of failure and loss and it’s not going to work out because I can’t see it coming.

Damn it, girl, don’t you know that’s when the most exciting stuff happens?

Some of the exciting stuff can be scary, the unknown, but usually what happens when I ride out the discomfort is that whatever it is ends up being better on the other side, I emerge enriched with another set of experiences.

Sometimes it is just to compare the two places in my minds eye, one full decade apart, the cafe, Atlas, was the first cafe I went to in San Francisco, it is located at 20th and Florida, my first place in the city was a sublet at York and 20th.

It was for two months.

It morphed into a longer time, then the house got put on the market, sold, and owner occupied in a matter of weeks.


We had 30 days to get out and there was no paying our way.

I found another spot, not too far down the road at 22nd and Alabama.

Atlas was still my go to cafe.

I liked the patio where I could smoke and drink my lattes.

I liked the out door tables I would sit at and wait for my dealer to roll by on his way to drop me a few grams of blow.

I drank beer there, ate pizza there, did blow in the bathroom, although it was so close to my house that I preferred to go back to my place and do it privately, had blind dates that I met through craigslist.  It was my go to cafe.

It was my entree into San Francisco.

A decade later it is still there, a stalwart in a sea of ever burgeoning upscale neighborhood joints and eateries, still serving the smoked trout salad, still serving coffee in pint glass mugs.

I felt connected and known.

If only to myself.

I felt back in my skin.

And despite hopping on my bike to hit Rainbow, grab some groceries, and haul them back to the East Bay, I did not feel that I was marking time anymore.

I was just in the moment.

Just me, in San Francisco with my bag full of organic produce, my rolled jean pant leg revealing purple and teal striped socks, my one speed whip and my knowledge of the city.

I wore a hoodie today and a jean jacket; I know what July in San Francisco is like.

The fog flooded through the streets and I rolled right along with its chill breath into the night.

On The Runway

October 3, 2012

That is what this feels like right now.

I am sitting on the runway waiting for the plane to be given permission to fly.

I have had so many people ask me when I am leaving in the last couple of days that I feel compelled to say, “TOMORROW!” and run away from the action.

I am holding myself still.  Letting today be today and just taking what ever comes as it comes.  I am still here.  I am still in this city, or this other city, for a few more weeks.

I want to be present and see what is happening right now as the gift that it is.

I feel greedy and jealous with time and also, lax and lackadaisical, as though I have all the time in the world.

But I do not.

I have a limited amount left and as I gather those people to me that I wish to spend time with it is increasingly clear that I really am moving away.

One indicator was the package I recieved at work today.

I got a pair of Skullcandy Hesh headphones.  I am over the Iphone earbuds, they are too big and they hurt my ears.  After the flight to and from Florida I realized that I needed good head phones and I was going to treat myself to a decent set for the flight to Paris.

And they arrived today.

I rocked them out on the BART ride back to Oakland.

I am liking very much.

As I stood up to get off the BART with my big white head phones perched on my head and the lights of the Fruitvale BART station parking lot winking on the other side of the glass, I realized that I have an end in sight.  I have a few more times on the BART and then that is it.

I am off.

Those white headphones were intended for travel and travel they shall.

I also got a phone call from Henry Hall, an old friend, my oldest friend.  He and his partner just bought a house, they close tomorrow.

I laughed and caught up with him briefly before he was called back to work and I to the road to ride to BART.

I told him, I always expected that he would be the one traveling and I would be the one settling down and having babies.

Although this is not entirely true.

I thought he would be the traveler and I would just be miserable, pining after him.

Pine no more.

I am over that relationship.

I have no desire for him, his life, or his children.

Such a refreshing place to be and I could hear in his voice the confidence in me, that he knew I was going to go, that he knew that I was going to move to Paris.

He said, “why, it’s the next logical step!  It is exactly where you are supposed to be.  Exactly.”

I am grateful my friends have such fire-brand belief in me.

I do too, but it comes and it goes and there are plenty of times when I think this is all pure bravado, I will be on the plane, it will be on the runway, and I will suddenly think, what the fuck am I doing?  Let me off.


That won’t happen either.  It will be much more quiet.

I will sit by the window, I will look out over the water and the hills and the city and I will see those things that I always see and I will feel the rush of the plane lifting off and I will know that once again I am on my way and headed home.

I will remember the first time landing in SFO.

I will remember all the times I left and came back.

I do not believe I will be coming back in the same standing.  I may come back for a visit, to get a work VISA.  But I know not that either.

I have no agenda.


But I have no agenda.

Go to museums.

But, no, I have no agenda.

Walk around in the rain and sit in cafes.

Eat shellfish on shave ice.

Go to midnight mass at Notre Dame.

Sit on the steps to Sacre Coeur.

Wipe the tears from my eyes when it suddenly hits me out of nowhere that I live in Paris.


Just got off the runway and into Fantasy Island.

Stay present Martines.

There are still things to do here.

People to do.

I mean see.

I mean do.

Uh yeah.


Tanya said yesterday I was getting to practice dating before moving somewhere where the men will be all over me.

Kristin said more or less the same.

I am not used to dating, I am not used to seeing more than one person.  I am not sure how this goes.

Brown chicken.  Brown cow.

But I am having fun.

I will have some more fun on Friday too.

I will stay present and not check out and not day-dream about Paris.  I will do things to prepare.  I will take care of myself.  I will make plans to see people and have coffee and exchange information and numbers and Skype.


Acknowledging my sadness over not getting to work more with Carolyn.  It hit me pretty hard tonight.  And I have to say I am so grateful that I decided to go deeper, despite what my head said was not necessary, it really, really was.

Spiritual work, that constant and insistent blow to my ego.

“Your ego is not your amigo,” is what Si Payne used to say.

How true.

That being said, I still do need to ask for help with the move and getting some things together.

I need to get luggage and I need to sell the last of my clothes that are not coming with and I need to go get a decent winters coat, I have been assured a number of times I will want one.  A good umbrella.  Finding out how to put my phone to sleep.

Saying good-bye.

That I do not have to figure out quite yet.

Stay present, Martines.

There are still experiences to be had.

And have them I shall.

You Are The Stewardess of Graceland

August 16, 2012


And I thought I was just a house sitter.

I like this moniker much, much better.

I’m going to Graceland, Graceland,

Fruitvale, BART station, Oakland, California.

Ok, so it doesn’t quite have the same tone as going to Nashville, Tennessee, but frankly, I have never had much need to go to Tennessee.

Oakland, now that’s a different story.

Another story to add to the pile of when life happens it happens wild, wooly, and weirdly.

I am going to be heading off to the great white alkaline dust bowl that is to be Burning Man this year in approximately one week.

Oh my God.

I still have to pack.

And when I get back I will be going to Graceland, to be the afore-mentioned Stewardess to the property.

My friend is going to Chicago to do some extremely important, life changing, big time work.

I will let you guess what could possibly be so important at this time in our nation’s history, as I am about to become an ex-pat and watch the elections from afar, and you may have an idea how important this work is.

I will be taking care of hearth and home for him while he looks after helping those who need to help others to actually live in a palatable country.

Ahem, I digress, I am not much of a politico, but I respect the fuck out of what he is doing and how he is sacrificing his career, life, and comforts of home to do something so important.

So, to be called upon to provide a service to him and his home is a lovely thing for me to do to round out my Bay Area experience of the last decade.

Jesus, it really has been nearly ten years since I moved out here, it goes by so quick, just the wink of an eye and I am almost ten years older, and dare I say, just a tiny bit wiser then when I naively fled the Midwest for this lovely shore.

I am excited to go to Burning Man and I am excited to go to Paris and I am really quite thrilled to be going to Graceland.

Perhaps because I won’t have to pay rent, thus setting aside my first months dues when I get to Paris.

Perhaps because there is a great big claw foot tub for me to recline in and scour all the dust from every nook and cranny on my body when I get back from the dust-apacolypse.

Perhaps because there is a gigantic, and I do mean gigantic kitchen with every single food gadget known to man kind to cook in.

Or maybe it is the garden with its plethora of tomatoes.  I will be heartily imbibing off the vine, especially after the Commissary becomes the “Commiscary”, which it inevitably does on about the fifth or sixth day of the event when the fresh stuff starts to run out and the fruit looks a little like last years and the bloom is off the rose so to speak.

Tomatoes, cucumbers, snap peas, oh my, oh my, oh my.

It could be the enormous washer and dryer, which will be getting a lot of use as I wash the dust from my clothing.  The fact of having laundry on site is so devilishly nice, one must account for that perk, not having to go to the laundry mat, not having to set aside quarters in a little pile of wash money, not having to drag it back and forth.

The allure may also be in the high, high, high cathedral ceilings and the warm wood floors.  Or the golden wine of light that pours through the windows.  Graceland was once a church after all, there still lurks a spiritual essence in the circling heavens about it.

I imagine a quiet afternoon or three nestling on the couch with a book, a cup of tea, and the most divine creatures of all, the Maine Coon cats.


I love me some cats, yes I do.

I regaled the owner with the history of my cattery, which I had actually forgotten about.

Yes, I am a cat lady.  I did breed cats for a while in my early twenties, shut up.

They were not just cats though, they were Bengal leopards, a cat of a different spot, so to speak.  Wild Asian leopards that had been cross-bred with domestics that officially became a breed in the late eighties, early nineties, if memory serves.

Roaring cats, as opposed to purring cats.

Roaring, signifying a cat that still, yes, roars.

Now granted, the roar was not of a lion, but the damn things were talkers like no ones business.  They put Siamese to shame with their parlance.  I once had the cops show up at the house to rescue the neglected child that had been called into the police.

It was not a child, although he was definitely a baby, it was my cat Ren.

Ren, short for Renfield, from Frankenstein (the one that eats the flies, go re-read your Shelley you neophyte).

He was wailing up a storm, I was late from work to feed him and my neighbors truly had called in an abandoned baby to the police.

The cops were literally outside my door about to bust it down when I showed up.

Good thing for the ex-boyfriend who was growing pot in the closet that I got there when I did.

I explained it was my cat and the cops did not believe me, they had heard the “baby” crying and were quite concerned.

And of course, the little brat stopped meowing like his hair was being ripped off by duct tape as soon as he saw me.

The cops wanted to check the premises and I knew what they would find.  I hustled down to the kitchen and got a little scrap of raw meat from the fridge, came back to the cops and said, “listen.”

As soon as Ren smelled the meat, he went off like a small child dipped in diaper rash and colic.

The cops all jumped back and in some disbelief, apologized while my cat gobbled down the raw hamburger and made disgusting little greedy grunting sounds mixed in with, yes, mini roars.

I like cats.

I get to hang with two delightful creatures, bask in the warm glow of sunshine in Oakland and sit in a claw foot tub and soak my weary away.

Yeah, pretty amazing when I think about it, if I choose to think on it instead of just wondering in awe how things like this keep happening.  I would say the Universe is doing a damn good job of taking care of me–

I’m going to Graceland.

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