Posts Tagged ‘habits’

I Need Off Canvas

February 5, 2019

And its only just begun.

I made myself take a break today (I was at work and the baby took a long nap) after two solid hours of writing, engaging and interacting the three different classes I have on Canvas with CIIS.

Canvas is the tech platform the classes are set up on and why yes, not a single one of my professors uses it the same as the others.

Every single one of them does it slightly differently.

And once again I had the feeling of being on top of things to only realize that I hadn’t checked into one of my classes in a few days since I was so busy posting up to the other two.

Sure as shit.

I needed to post and post pretty immediately.

I wasn’t exactly annoyed, but I was tired and I don’t know that I put up the most relevant post, but what I came to understand from last semester is that it almost doesn’t matter.

I just have to constantly be posting something.

Either a substantive post on an assignment or reading, or responding to one of my classmates.

Pretty much every week I need to be in Canvas posting and replying.

I almost didn’t want to write my blog tonight, I just wanted to come home, warm up, eat a hot dinner and crawl into bed.

But if I’m not going to do school work, and I still might do a little more tonight, I am also not going to get into bed and watch hours of Netflix, as tempting as that may be.

I will watch some.

Just not a marathon.

I need to keep that and social media to a dull roar.

The blogging is going to be helter skelter.

I have no clue when I will have time, but I figure, it’s good to stay as close to it as I can.

It’s good for my brain to unload the day and it’s good for me to have something that is not academic writing.

Besides, I’ve said it many times.

The process of writing the blog really keeps me sharp for when I need to write papers.

And boy howdy, the papers are already coming.

I have two due by next Monday.

I also have a training for my internship in Berkeley on Sunday.

I will need to be careful with my time so that I can do all the things that need to be done and all my life stuff as well too.

When I go on trainings I’m gone for half the day, 45 minutes to get to Berkeley, three-hour long training, and then on average the traffic back has been an hour and a half.

By the time I get home I need to eat lunch, which is late as it’s around three p.m. and I need to go to the laundry mat.

I am still not happy about having to go to the laundry mat.

But I am making the best of it.

For instance, this Sunday while the majority of the country was watching the Super Bowl, I was doing laundry and read 46 pages of material in my Varieties of Scholarly Expression reader.

I also did a paper on Sunday as well.

First one of the semester.

And cooked and organized things and went birthday shopping for my oldest boy charge who turns nine tomorrow.

And.

Oh yes.

I took myself on an Artist Date to Cliff’s Variety in the Castro and I bought art supplies for my Arts and Creativity in Leadership class.

I had a lot of fun.

I probably also spent more than I needed to, but honestly, I really think I needed to do it.

It felt good to say yes to myself and to splurge a little.

I mean, it’s art supplies, not crack.

Although when I was checking out I couldn’t help but giggle at all the glittering supplies I had gotten.

Glitter glue.

Glitter markers.

Glitter colored pencils.

Glitter stickers.

Plus some fancy origami paper (I won’t be doing origami with it, I just liked the paper), watercolor markers, pastel markers, and tiny colorful clothes pin holders.

No idea what I’ll do with the latter, but they were so fucking cute I had to buy them.

It was a nice splurge.

I also yesterday, had a Zoom session with one of my TA’s.

This was good, clarifying, and really just sunk it home, I’m in a PhD program.

I really have a lot of work to do and keep doing.

This is a long haul program.

But.

I am hoping to follow my TA’s cue and do some work the summer after I finish my course work so that I can get a head start into that next semester of work where I will be independent.

She told me what she did and it was basically to not take the summer off and work on her proposal for her dissertation so that as soon as the first day of fall semester hit she turned it in to her dissertation chair and was off and running.

She will likely be done in three and a half years as opposed to four and a half.

I’m all for doing it that way.

Get it done.

I am excited, more and more, as the process becomes clearer to me.

Yes, so much work, but rather fascinating work and I’ll be writing about something I am very interested in.

So, yeah, Canvas.

I have gotten three notifications while I have been writing this blog that something new has been posted in my classes, so I will likely hit it up for a few more minutes before calling it a day.

It’s how I managed to get through last semester without falling behind.

The horror stories of people in my cohort who fell behind is enough to keep me active.

Or.

The people who just dropped out completely or disappeared.

I think we lost five people?

I don’t want to drop out and I do want to get my dissertation through, I want to have a PhD.

I want to be Dr. Carmen.

I really.

Really.

Really.

Do.

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You Did The Thing

February 4, 2014

My friend said tonight over a hot cup of lemon ginger tea.

“That’s the thing, you did it,” he continued, “I haven’t done this, how many people have?”

He was referring to my book, Baby Girl.

He surprised me by pulling the printed manuscript, bound and collated, out of his messenger bag.

There it was, my book, here it is, my book.

It’s sitting on the floor to the left of my “writing desk” while I write this.

“You have something,” he said, “you got to do a lot of work to get it to stand on its own, you might just have to junk the whole thing, but there is something there.”

But the best was hearing, “you are such a better writer, you have come so far with the writing, it’s really obvious that you wrote this a long time ago.”

I did, indeed write it a long time ago.

I started the manuscript in an orange 5 subject notebook 8 years ago this month.

I finished it three months after starting it.

I let it sit for about six months then took it to second draft.

Then I left it alone for a while.

Never printed it off, just had the original manuscript and the “second draft” which was really just me typing almost literally word for word the work from notebook into my ancient PC.

I mean ancient, this thing was so old, running Windows that was registered to DeForest High School, I still don’t know how my friend managed to pull it off my computer when it looked like the thing was finally about to die.

But she did.

And the book lived on.

I re-wrote another draft of it a year or so later.

Somewhere in my head I got the idea that I was a great and capable writer and that I just needed to get this book published and the world would bow and scrape at my feet, throwing money and applause to me while the champagne swirled and the caviar glinted.

I mean I have not an idea why I did that to myself except, perhaps to help manufacture a great deal of misery when those things did not happen and the work just languished and sat and mouldered in a drawer.

“She went to Paris to work on her memoirs,” he said to his friends in front of the Cole Street Cafe as I was walking by with the boys in the double stroller.

“How amazing is that?” He said and his friends looked at me goggle eyed.

Yes.

I did.

And see me back here in San Francisco just doing the nanny thing again.

But you know that nanny thing it gives me the kind of job that I don’t have to take home with me.  It gives me some mental freedom and some space to write, much more so than when I worked in the service industry and thought, you know I’ll write before work.

I was too busy before work sleeping it off from the night before to write.

I did manage a little when I first moved to San Francisco.

I can compile some things I wrote, I won’t get rid of them as they are part of who I am and my experience, but I am, as my friend noted, a much better writer now.

I would not change a thing of the way it all has happened.

Not going to Paris.

Not taking years and years for the manuscript to evolve.

Or devolve.

“You might want to scrap the whole thing and start with a blank page,” he said, “you know, re-write it completely from scratch and see what happens.”

What he means is ignore the draft that I have saved to this computer and to my blog and to my Gmail account and start over from beginning the way that I write now.

Can I do that?

Sure, why the fuck not?

He also suggested that I sit down and read it straight through, I have not done that with a bound copy of the work.

The feed back he gave me was absolute gold.

I have a new idea how to frame the story.

I need to start with the end rather than end with the start.

I need to do a lot of work.

And will it be worth it?

Duh.

I did the thing.

I wrote the book.

Now.

I have to keep writing the book.

Maybe it will be done when I am 95 years old and I will still be talking about that damn book I started working on in my early thirties.

But so be it.

I have a purpose.

I mean I have a primary purpose and I attend to that every day, but I also have a purpose as an artist who predominately creates through her words.

I have an art.

I have a craft.

I have something to sustain me and something that I get to learn from and grow from.

I am excited to have this opportunity.

The best things take time.

They take re-working, you don’t just go in and become a virtuoso over night.

At least I don’t.

I have been practising my craft now for a few years.

I have the time, day and night, devoted to it.

Most times, I admit, I am not thinking that I do this to get better, I am thinking I do this because I can’t not do it, I am compelled and in the compulsion is the subsuming of who I am.

I become something more than just the characters shaping themselves on the screen or to the page.

I become more myself every time I write.

More concise.

More alert.

More aware.

More allowed to be authentic in my person and to sustain this amazing life that I have been granted.

“That is so white trash, I can hardly stand it,” my friend laughed shaking his head, after I told him some of the stories that happened directly after the story arc of the first work.

It was.

I was.

Yet.

I grew and became something more.

“Wait, wait a second, I think I have a picture of him somewhere,” I said and disappeared into the garage to find my old photo album.

I did not find that photo I must have it stashed elsewhere (and I just remembered where!), but I did have a photo of me from not too long after the events in the book take place.

“You look exactly alike and yet, totally different,” he said looking from the photo of me at 20 to the reality of me at 41.

I am exactly alike.

And totally different.

I did the thing.

I am going to continue doing the thing.

Because I deserve all the things.

And this is a part of my journey to get there.

Not Tonight, Dear

September 28, 2013

I have a headache.

Serious.

If I was dating someone I would not be having sex right now.

I might be curled up in a fetal position asking for some cold ice water and a few ibuprofen.

But not blog?

Fuck, I can’t quite do it.

I am tired, which is most to do with a couple of back to back long shifts, but hey, you know what, rent, she is paid.

I made enough in the last few days to cover rent for the next month and have a few bills left over to do a little grocery shopping.

And next week I have full-time work as well.

Plus, I confirmed that I do indeed have an interview on Sunday for a possible position.

I still think they are going to pass on my services, but whatever, take the action, let go of the results.

Which should be the thematic for tonight’s blog.

Take the action let go the results.

I feel the results might be shite, but I write nonetheless.

As I was standing at the N-Judah stop in Cole Valley I listened to the conversation of a trio of French men and thought, well, at least I don’t have to figure out what they are saying, although I sort of wanted to, then I wanted to wittily say something about the conversation they were having.

But they weren’t just French, they were Parisian and that accent and the rapidity of the words, not a conversation I was about to butt into, without making a complete ass of myself.

My tired self.

My tired head ache self.

God I don’t want to finish writing this.

I wonder if I am coming down with something.

I think, though, it is just the hallucinatory feeling of being tired and sort of wired at the same time.

The weekend is upon me and I wonder what I will be doing.

And whom I may be kissing.

OH.

My favorite J. Davis Trio song just came on, “Breath of a Tiny Dragon”.

My head ache could fade off a little here.

Nostalgia.

So much for this song and all the layers of memory and feelings I have when I hear it.

First, I love it, well, because the female doing the vocals sounds a bit like me, she’s doing more of a spoken word vibe then singing, and she does sound like me, or I like her.

There were people back in Madison that actually thought it was me.

I have had people here in San Francisco hear the song and think it was me.

Nope.

But I can certainly sing the hell out of this song.

I love me some J. Davis Trio.

Wish they would do a West Coast tour and bring it up North to San Francisco or even Oakland, anywhere Bay Area would be hella tight.

Shit, I might even go down to San Jo to catch them.

I digress.

My fingers feel funny.

I think maybe I am a little hungry?

Uh, hmm, yeah, duh, I am.

I haven’t eaten my little night snack.

I have such a routine around it though, I always write my blog before I have one last nibble and one last cup of tea.

It’s my ritual.

How the hell am I going to be in a relationship when my blog gets more action than I do?

I suppose I am jumping the gun a little on that one.

Hey!

The Mister’s horribly busy work week ended today.

I told myself, no expectations, no regrets, no resentments, no getting let down.

I do that, I get all worked up and excited and then the let down.

Nope.

I say he’s busy and will be taking the weekend to recover.

I can wait until Tuesday.

Oh yeah, and what was that epiphany I had at Burning Man?

I am the ball.

No more chasing.

The man knows where I live, heck he was the first man to be in my home, he helped move me in, he helped me put together the bed from Ikea, he kissed me on the mouth, soft, soft, sweet, sweet, like persimmons that surprise you with cream and cinnamon in their orange pumpkin hearts.

Sigh.

Head ache is waning.

Is it the ritual?

Is it the compilation of words, or is it now, good Ipod shuffle!

The Belbel Gilberto on the player.

Who knows.

Maybe, perchance, it is because the words pile up and I am relieved to see that I have committed to my commitment once again.

See, I would, oh Chet Baker, I do fall in love to easily too!

I fall in love too terribly hard, for love to ever last.

My heat should be well schooled, because I have been fooled in the past.

I fall in love so easily, I fall in love too fast.

See, easily distracted.

Or dehydrated.

Or tired.

Or sore.

Definitely a little sore too.

I did not actually ride my bicycle in to work today, I caught a ride in with my room-mate.  We hit Trouble for some morning coffee to celebrate a significant anniversary in her life and then she dropped me off at the first nanny gig in the Castro.

I walked from 19th and Sanchez to Cole and Frederick today.

That may also explain some of the fatigue.

I walked a lot, with both my boys, in strollers at different times and then just by myself, because, why, well, I like to walk.

I am on my bicycle so much that I like to take a day off once in a while, slow down, stop and smell the roses.

Or touch the tress.

Seriously.

I do not know what compelled me.

Yeah, I’m crying over you.

I’ll be your saviour steadfast and true.

I’ll come to your emotional rescue.

Is it cheating to just write down the song lyrics to the music I am listening to?

Who cares!

It is strangely applicable and soothing.

As soothing as the bark on the tree I stopped to touch.

I stopped, reached my hand out and looked up into the canopy of leaves, the dappling sun flashing through to throw shadows of dark green on the rich velvet grass.

I sighed and sniffed the air.

I think the Japanese tourists who walked by thought I was high on acid or something.

The girl giggled.

I just smiled back.

I can stop and pet a tree once in a while.

What?

They say, who “they” are is beyond me, but you know what I mean, that sex is the best cure for a headache, that having an orgasm will eradicate one.

The paradox, of course, being that you don’t want to strip down and get naked and intimate and sexy.

But you know what, my head ache is almost gone.

And my blog is done.

Nighty night.

 

I love you baby, and I always will.

Ever since I put your picture in a frame.

I love you baby, and I always will.


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