Posts Tagged ‘Hawaii’

Happy Thanksgiving!

June 1, 2017

Yes.

I am aware that tomorrow is June 1st and not November.

It has been one hell of a month.

So much happening.

Amazing things truly.

I love my life, I’m lucky, I’m graced, I’m blessed.

And.

I might just being going to Hawaii for Thanksgiving!

Yup.

It will be my first time, unless something unusual pops up and I find myself in the islands, which I am not opposed to, but to tell you the truth, I hadn’t expected to hear the news today that I might be in the islands for the holiday.

My family I work for brought it up today.

I will have off that weekend from school and work, well, since it is work, will let me have the time.

It’s not a real vacation for me, I’ll be working, but, oh, the location does not suck.

Not at all.

And like I said, I’ve never been to Hawaii.

I really should go, I am part Polynesian after all.

Puerto Rican and Polynesian on my father’s side.

German and Scot on my mom’s side.

I had someone tell me once that I was a Polynesian princess mixed with white trash.

Heh.

I might have a little trashy in me.

I definitely have some princess in me, that’s for sure.

Nevertheless, I am thrilled at the idea.

I love that the family really wants me to be included in their lives and I really love working for them.

Tomorrow marks five months of work and it’s been such a great job for me and the parents really appreciate me and the kids love me.

I love my charges.

LOVE.

Both of the older kids were under the weather today and one of them stayed home from school.

Work was huge amounts of snuggling, singing every song I know from my years of being a nanny, and an almost endless repetition of a lullaby that I usually sing to the baby, and all the babies I have ever worked with and a lot of my toddlers too, to the oldest boy while rubbing his back and petting him and just sitting and crooning to him.

He is the sweetest boy and super smart and vulnerable and the request to keep repeating the lullaby and stroking his soft blonde hair, oh, my heart, I just wanted to curl him up in my arms and kiss away the fever.

He got lots of love and I got to be the Queen of Snuggles.

I also got to do some cooking while he was watching a movie, sick days get movies, and I revelled in the cooking.

It feels good to cook, I miss it sometimes, cooking for a partner or my family.

I used to cook all the big holiday meals for my family and oh, the baking, and the stews, the jams and cheesecakes and pies, the cookies and pork chops.

Midwestern much.

Aside.

I said “bubbler” today and the woman looked at me like I was an alien.

Bubbler is water fountain in Wisconsineese.

I made up that last word, rhymes with cheese, bubbler is a total Wisconsin word, there are a few more, but that one slips once in a while into the conversation, or “pop” instead of “soda.”

Once and a while my roots show.

I am, however, not so connected to my Hawaiian and Puerto Rican roots.

My father wasn’t much around growing up and though I always kept in touch with my grandmother, I didn’t have much idea about Hawaii.

I had things from Hawaii that my grandmother would send and I remember boxes of chocolate covered macadamia nuts and once a grass skirt, coming in the mail from my grandmother.

I think we had placemats too and a few books about the islands and where the family was from.

It wasn’t until I moved back to California as an adult that I met my father’s side of the family in a more concrete way.

I remember meeting some cousins for the first time and being blown away by how much I looked like them, how they looked like my sister, and how I was actually lighter skinned than the majority of the family.

“They look like me!”

It was a relief and in a way an almost instantaneous connection that I had not always felt with my mothers Germanic roots and Scottish ancestry.

I was neither pale skin nor blue-eyed, or green-eyed as my mother.

I did not have blond hair.

Nope.

I got tan.

I didn’t really burn.

Well, once in a while, after long ass days detassling corn in the fields around Waunakee during the summers when I was working the crews, I might get a shoulder burn or a heavy crop dusting of freckles.

My mom though, my God, she could burn so easily, such creamy white fair skin.

Yeah.

So coming to California and starting to get those connections to my father’s family was a revelation.

I’m still not as close as I suppose I can be, social media does most of the work for me and there’s still stuff with my father that I have reservations broaching my family about.

I ceded his care when I was in Alaska in the hospital to the head of the administrative at the hospital.

I love my father.

I have exquisite and amazing child hood memories of him.

I also have some pretty awful ones too.

But.

He wasn’t around and when he had the accident that lead to the coma that led me to Anchorage, I went almost more to settle my own heart, then for anything else.

I sat by that hospital bed in the ICU for four night and five days.

He was in a coma the entire time I was there.

I held his hand and talked to him.

I forgave him.

And.

I asked for him to forgive me.

I made friends in Anchorage and the fellowship there carried me when I wanted to collapse into the snowbanks and the cold air and just cry my heart out.

I managed to not get stuck in any snowbanks but I won’t ever forget the dark night sky outside the window of the room the hospital hospitality house put me up in, for families of critical care patients at the facility, and the roughness of the sheets on the bed and how alone I was.

No.

That’s not true.

I wasn’t alone, I had God, I was carried, but I was by myself.

I was grateful, beyond grateful, to be there for my family and to relay messages out to the world and to let my grandmother be in contact with me and my uncle and my cousins and the love seed that was planted there.

I have never talked to any of them about letting go of my father’s care, but I did visit my grandmother that next summer and it meant everything to me to say “I love you,” and in that moment, as I was leaving to get on a plane from San Diego, in my grandmothers arms, I could feel how much she loved me too.

I will always have that moment.

And I look forward to getting to go to Hawaii.

Even if it’s not with my employers, which is sounds like it might actually be, I will go.

I have some more healing to do in that corner of my heart history.

I will swim in the ocean and walk on the beaches and turn my face to the sun.

I will go home again.

Although it has never left me.

Impressed as it is on the cheekbones in my face, the wide plush smile on my face, the curls in my hair, the freckles on the crest of my nose, the wilderness of my hips, the sway in my walk.

I have not forgotten.

I always have had the islands in me.

Always.

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All Showered Up

March 13, 2016

And ready for Daylight Savings!

Not fucking really.

Not really excited to be losing an hour of sleep on the last day of my three day weekend of school.

It’s supposed to rain again tomorrow, I won’t even notice the difference, it’ll still be gray.

That being said, I am sure that by Monday the extra hour of daylight will be lovely.

Just contemplating the loss of the hour is not fun.

Oh well.

Class, again, went well today.

I am feeling the material and understanding it and doing well and I got to say thank you and good bye to the woman I was the therapist for in the last six sessions of class.

It is a powerful thing to do this work and again, a powerful thing to be told that I am doing well.

I sure hope so.

It did feel like I got a lot out of the work and also that my client did as well.

We lost one of our cohort today.

That was sad.

And yet, despite the confirmation for the student that the program was not a good fit, it confirmed, again, for me, that I am on the right track.

I am not always on the right track anywhere else.

Or at least that I can readily see, but I think, I feel like I’m doing alright.

I’m also going to need to reach out to the relatives on my father’s side of the family and get some more information about the family history for one of my papers.

It’s big stuff.

I’m excited to learn more about my family and as I was thinking about it during class, I had two thoughts, one I wonder if my fondness from mangoes has anything to do with the lineage of my family.

And two.

I really want to go to Hawaii.

I have never been and I have been sticking money away for a while now in an online savings account that I have titled “Paia, Maui.”

That’s where my grandmother was born in 1928.

I really want to see that.

I really want to connect to that history and culture and be there.

It may not be for a bit.

I don’t have vacation time for it at this time.

Although I do have the money to go.

I have thought about when would be a good time, summer, fall, winter, I assume that Christmas is a really busy season.

I have a four day weekend in July for the holiday.

Although I was also keeping that tentatively on my plate for a possible travel to Wisconsin to see my best friend and her skulk.

Ultimately, seeing my friend is the priority, Hawaii can wait, but I feel that it is very much in the near future.

New York and Burning Man, my retreat for school, and possibly a dash back to Wisconsin for a long weekend of hanging out with the best friend.

It’s a good year of traveling.

Who knows what else may come into the mix.

Opportunities seem to be everywhere.

But yes, Hawaii, I would love to go and see you.

It really is about time.

There are stories to write here, experiences to be had, reconnection to be made.

I felt that today, sitting in class, talking about the traumas associated with immigration and exile and how displaced people, refugees, slaves, indentured servants, get moved around, how solace is found in the mothering environment.

I feel that I would find solace there.

I just peeped around the interwebs and I can definitely afford to go.

It’s going to be a matter of when.

I have a odd feeling that it may be sooner than I think but I cannot put my finger on why, I know the family I work for is going to be going on a trip around the time that I will be going to the retreat in Petaluma for my retreat, but I actually am wondering if the dates are lined up.

I think they may not be, I think, in fact, that the family may be gone the week before my retreat?

If that is the case, then maybe then.

It would certainly make for a very busy August.

Which reminds me.

Start thinking about what I want to take with me to Burning Man.

I have a very nice set up for the job I will be doing out there, but I know from my own personal experience, there a few things that I will want to have with me.

It’s nice to order them and have them and stock them up and not think about it too much.

Replace my shoulder harness or get it stitched up.

Check in with my OP (Original Playa) family and get the status on my playa bike.

I know it will need some tending to and might as well get things going.

This is also just a way to make busy, I’m aware of that, but it is a kind of busy that I find fun and engaging and a nice mental break from all the school stuff.

One more day.

And thank God it’s a short day.

I will be done by 4 p.m.

Then off to the Castro.

Hang out with my Puerto Rican fairy godfather.

I’ll pick his brains about Puerto Rico.

Another place I would like to go back to.

I have been once, but it was quite some time ago.

It would be fantastic to go back with a little more family history and also to go sea kayaking again and swim in the bioluminescent sea.

All the things.

All the places.

All the reconnecting.

It’s a good life, my little life, down by the sea, that rain is falling and the wind is blowing, but hopefully soon, sun.

And until then.

I will be the sunshine in my own life.

I’m getting pretty good at it.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

Save The Date!

February 3, 2015

I sat down with the mom today at lunch while the little guy was napping and the big guy was still at school and worked out some dates for this summer.

I’ll be helping the family in Sonoma for three weeks over the summer.

The first week will be June 22nd-26th.

I’ll be working as though I’m at their house in the city, same hours, but I’ll be living at the house with them.  I’ll have my own bedroom and bathroom separate from the rest of the house.

It’ll be my first time doing live in overnight care.

Although, technically, that’s not true, I was basically live in care every time I went to Burning Man with the families I worked for.

But this will not be Burning Man.

This will be Sonoma.

They have also requested another two weeks in August, the 17th-21st and also the following week, the 24th-28th.

I’d have a rental car to come and go from the city with, I’d drive up and back on my own, and most likely have the care for the whole weekend in between the August weeks.

I already know I will need to come back to San Francisco on the weekends.

My job is a job and I need weekends off.

The family will also be on vacation at the end of July, the 27th-31st.

Now this is time that interests me.

Not necessarily because I had something planned around it, but because the family will be on vacation with friends out-of-town and I won’t be going.

If I don’t take it as vacation time the mom would probably come up with work for me to do around the house.

Not interested.

I am not contractually bound to vacation at the same time, but it is the polite thing to do and I have two weeks of vacation time of which I haven’t used any since starting.

I have taken three sick days to deal with my dad in Anchorage, but that was it.

Otherwise.

I have shown up and done my job.

Done it well I should add.

The youngest starts pre-school the week of September 2nd.

Both the boys will be in school, but the family will still need a nanny and mother’s helper.  The mom and I basically agreed that I would stay on with them while I was in graduate school, that she would take me for whatever hours I feel I can spare.

Ah.

Job security.

It’s an awful nice thing to have.

And vacation time.

The trip to Atlanta falls on the 4th of July holiday paid days off, so I don’t have to take vacation hours for the trip.

Which, aside, is really looking up to being an awesome adventure.

My girl friend who I am going to be splitting a room with at the Self Discovery Center Bed and Breakfast, just informed me via text that she was able to get on my flight!

We are travel buddies!

I am so stoked.

I’m a freaking dork right now.

We’re totally going to be the annoying people who ask to switch spots so that we can sit next to each other.

Yay!

Yay!

Yay!

Three days with one of my best girl friends ever, traveling, hanging out at a bed and breakfast, catching up, going to see friends, lots and lots and lots of friends.

Like 70,000 or so.

I do not exaggerate.

I also found out the awesome lady in Anchorage who I became friends with when I was up there is going too.

We’ll be having a reunion, I can feel it!

So all of this means, when do I take my two weeks vacation time and what do I do?

I could take that week that the family is gone at the end of July and go to Wisconsin.  I would love to see my best friend from back home.

I also had a fleeting idea of going to Hawaii.

I have never been and I bet July is not really a time most folks are there.

I still am planning a trip down to Chula Vista to see my grandmother, but I don’t think I want to wait until the end of July.

My next thought is, I should take my second week of vacation and go to Burning Man.

I could be there the first week that the boys are in school, the family won’t need me as much and I could go get my dusty on.

I still don’t know the time frame for the graduate school program.

That is the question that for me is up in the air.

I just checked the website again and they don’t have the dates for the program up yet.

So that’s on the back burner.

Burning Man.

What would I do if I wasn’t going to see you?

I suspect that I will go, even if I don’t know how, even when I was in Paris I figured I would be going back for the burning of the dude in the desert.

And I did.

This would be year nine for me and I want to go.

The question is what to do for the week in July?

Take it as vacation time or work odd jobs around the house.

I know I will need a week off for the retreat that kicks off the graduate school program and then if I go to Burning Man, that’s another week.

That could be my two-week vacation all wrapped up with those obligations.

I suppose no plans need to be made right now.

I know I’ll be in Sonoma for three weeks this summer and I know I’ll be in Atlanta for a long weekend in July.

I suspect I will be in Chula Vista for a weekend soon and other than that, I don’t know, I don’t have to know and it’s going to be just fine.

It’s the second day in February, I don’t need to be living in September quite yet.

I’ve got a few dates to go on before I get there.

Some friends to see.

Some adventures to be had.

Some dancing to be done.

Some present to be present for.

In the moment.

Where all the best things happen.

Oh Yeah

December 18, 2014

Tomorrow’s my birthday.

I sort of forgot.

“I don’t care about my birthday, or Christmas, or the holidays, or any of it, I just don’t have it in me,” I told my dear friend today on the phone from the playground before the rain started up again.

No those aren’t tears on my face, it’s just the rain.

Ok.

I lie.

There’s some tears in there too.

I cried a bit more than I expected I would today, it would catch me off guard and I wasn’t prepared for it.

I went back to work today after spending a lot of time yesterday nesting in my little home by the sea.

I cleaned, scoured, scrubbed, swept, did laundry, stripped my bedding, washed it all down, as though if I could possibly control my environment I would feel in control of something.

“If it feels like you’re falling down the hill, you’re in God’s will.”

Falling down that hill.

Not sure where it’s going to land either.

Things aren’t neat and tidy like they are in the movies, a quick resolution of the drama, a tight little bundle wrapped in brown paper and tied up with green jute string.

Nope.

My father’s situation is still stable, no change, according to the phone call I took this morning from the hospital.

I took a few phone calls from the hospital, which is probably why I was in tears more than once today.  Emotionally off my equilibrium.

Caught in the unawares by feelings that I thought had already come out.

I was that crazy lady in the terminal at the airport crying.

I was the passenger in the window seat forlornly staring at the cloud columns rising in the sky against the burnt umber of the sunset.

I was the woman lost at the terminal when I landed waiting for my ride to show up, he was in terminal three I was in terminal one.

I was that person.

I was that woman sobbing in her boyfriends arms.

Then kissing him and hugging him and wanting to crawl under his arm and into his coat.

Which I did do later that night and when he didn’t ask if I wanted him to spend the night, he has to be up ridiculously early for work, but just gathered his things to bring over to my house, I was grateful.

Wet and sad too.

The rain, it just doesn’t stop.

It’s like God is crying for me.

And sometimes I don’t know what I am crying for.

The sadness of it all, the wasted living, the relationship that was truncated so long ago and never fully re-established.

I miss my dad, but I miss him like an afterthought of what a father is supposed to be, like the taste of chocolate, a memory in my mouth.

The velveteen rabbit bank he gave me more solid in my mind than conversations about our lives, hopes, dreams, endeavors.

I know, however, I believe firm and true, that my father wanted the best for me.

So, with all due respect to the man still in the coma, I am going to get about living.

That’s really the only option I have–be true to my life and my recovery and my journey and live it the hell up.

Tomorrow I’ll be 42.

Hell, in two hours I will be 42.

In fact, in Australia, I already am 42.

I was a few hours ago as a friend from Sidney wished me a happy birthday from down under.

What will I do with 42?

In the year past I have done some traveling–Florida to see my mom and sister last January, Wisconsin to see my best friend and her skulk in July, Burning Man, to see that family that is extra special dusty and dreamy, in August, and Anchorage, Alaska, to see my father in a hospital johnny that did nothing to hide the ravages of the years.

I would actually like to go back to Alaska, under better circumstances, this year of my life, to see the long days and the light that lasts almost all night in the summer.

I did not see much of Anchorage, but I saw enough that I am intrigued.

Plus, I met one super fabulous woman and I suspect that there are a few others up that way who may be friends of friends that I could connect with.

I also want to go to Hawaii.

When?

I don’t actually know, but I feel like this passage of time and this experience with my father has brought about in me a hunger to know more of my family and more of my family history–which on my father’s side has a great deal to do with the Hawaiian islands.

“How old is grandma?” I asked my cousin as we sat in the airport terminal having lunch.

One of the gifts of the delayed flight time back (I am sure there are others, but this is the only clear one to me, the length of time it took me to get back was deliriously long–one missed connection by four minutes led to me having to wait an extra six and a half hours in the airport and then the weather was bad in San Francisco and my plane, once I was finally on it, was delayed again and we sat on the runway for two hours, then circled for an additional half hour in the air above SFO) was that I received a call from a cousin who I had not seen in over 30 years.

He called when my grandmother saw my post on facecrack about the flight delay, he was nearby at work and we had a little family reunion at the Phoenix airport over some bbq in the terminal.

“She was 13 when Pearl Harbor was bombed,” he said ticking off the numbers we figured out her age.

My grandmother was on the island when the bombing happened.

There’s a lot of history there to be explored.

That’s something I want to do for 42.

I also want to go to Atlanta, Georgia, there’s a really big convention there in July.

Not that I am psyched about going to Georgia in July, but hey, it only happens every five years and I have yet to go.

It’s time I do that as well.

Other goals?

Well, graduate school.

That’s still on the table.

“I’m a therapists wet dream,” I joked morbidly with one of the nurses on my father’s watch.

I had moments of dark humour sweep over me and sometimes it would sneak out.

But it doesn’t really surprise me that one of my desires is to do therapy as a vocation.

I’m a care taker, a home maker, a protector, a nanny, a confidante, a mentor, it makes sense to add therapist there.

“You’re a child psychologist making baby sitter wages, go back to school,” he suggested with blunt authority.

Yes sir.

That graduate school application isn’t going to do itself.

That’s one thing to aim for in this year of 42, another thing on my to do list.

Go back to school my dear.

I want to see the monarch migrations in Big Sur, go to Burning Man, but not work it, well, at least not the way that I have in the past 7 years, I want to hang glide, got to the boardwalk in Santa Cruz, I want to spend a holiday at my Uncle’s house in Nevada City, see my grandmother in San Diego, maybe see if I can get my mom to come to San Francisco.

Oh.

Yeah.

It’s also time for another tattoo.

Come January 13th or thereabouts, I will need a commemorative tattoo.

Design yet to be decided upon.

And I want to live, live, live, and experience life fully, dance, sing, hold my boyfriends hand, sleep in the crook of his arms, be of service to my friends and my community, laugh a lot, cry when I need to, ride my scooter, go to school, love as hard as I can.

Really.

That’s it.

I just want to live and love as hard as I can.

I think that’s a great goal for this next year of my life.

42.

I say I do.

Let’s get it on.

If I Ever Have Kids

November 14, 2014

I’m hiring you.

Or that was the gist of what my friend said, in not quite so many words.

I ran into a friend today at the Farmer’s Market, he perused the fruit and vegetable stands with me, giving me ample shit for the amount of apples and persimmons I bought for myself as well as running to grab me a coffee from Ritual when I realized the coffee stand was not present at the market.

Had I known, I would have hit up Grand Coffee on Mission between 22nd and 23rd.

A person has to give it to Four Barrel to have the foresight to be setting up, ala Trouble Coffee, in a small walk up space on Mission Street in an area that is so rapidly becoming gentrified I almost miss the used and rent to own furniture stores on the street.

Almost.

I have to admit, I don’t mind the gentrification of the Mission.

Oh.

Yeah, sometimes it gets weird or strange to be in a neighborhood that I have known rather intimately and be run over by some kid who gives me a snotty look as I navigate the stroller down the sidewalk, but for the most part I really like having umpteen coffee shops and markets and art and nice things to look at.

It makes my work environment rather a treat and it was a treat to see my friend and to acknowledge to him later that he was a part of the process of getting the job.

Not directly, mind you, but through the vast amount of encouragement he gave me to find better work.  He and a number of my friends, including the one who did refer me to this current job, all said the same thing.

You can do better.

You can make more money.

You are amazing.

“You are stellar with kids.”

Thanks man.

I appreciate that.

I don’t have any plans to have any of my own, I was asked that yesterday by the nanny I met in the park who knew the boys from their previous nanny, I mean I am just trying to get a date up in here, let alone planning on having any little guys of my own.

Therefor I feel privileged to get to work with all the babies and toddlers and children I have gotten to work with.

It’s been quite a journey.

I really never expected to be a private, professional nanny, it just sort of happened on its own with me struggling against it for a very long time.

But when I acquiesced, said ok, let’s make this the career, things started to happen.

That’s not to say that I won’t pursue other goals, I really have to.

I couldn’t nanny like I do if I didn’t have outside aspirations.

I may not have a book offer, or a book I really feel like putting back out into the atmosphere, but just knowing that I do write and do have books in me and words and blogs and poems and such, it makes the nanny career palatable.

Enjoyable.

I have a well-rounded life.

A life that includes dancing too!

I was able, finally, after much messing around with my computer last night, to log onto the site and purchase tickets to Opulent Temple’s event Gratitude at The Armory, for next Saturday, November 22nd.

I will be doing my usual gig up in Noe Valley until about 10 p.m. then scooter over to the Armory down in the dirty Mission, and get my dance on.

The party goes until 2 a.m.

I doubt I will go that long, but I can if I want to, I can sleep in the following day, or nap, or not, but I have a chill Sunday next week, so far.

I have nothing happening this weekend.

Yet.

Who knows.

The weekend is not quite here yet.

And.

Oh dear.

I did it.

I just downloaded Tinder.

I have no idea if I am going to like this thing, but I am pretty over OkStupid, just not having any luck with it, nor have I gotten asked out over the last weekend, so, time to take an action.

Any action.

I know that action is the key to getting things happening.

I also know that Tinder may not be the thing that gets the date, it’s sort of like saying, hey, Universe, see look, I am trying new things, I do want some different results, what do you say?

Let’s go on some dates.

It could be amusing at the very least.

The app is still downloading to my phone so nothing to report yet.

Hahahaha.

See how impatient I am?

I decided to flip the dating switch and keep trying to do it.

I haven’t gotten much feedback from friends in regards to how they do it, the dating, that is, but I have gotten a lot of encouragement for putting myself out there, for asking guys out.

“You are so brave.”

Or stupid.

I’m not sure which.

However, as I pass another old growth tree in the Pan Handle on my way home from the days journey, I know that ultimately what I do with this life is of little lasting consequence.

Therefor, go for it.

I mean, why the hell hold back.

If there’s something you want to try.

Try.

If there’s somewhere you want to go.

Go.

I, speaking of which, want to go to Hawaii.

It’s come up again for me as a friend recently got back from a trip and the photographs she sent me as well as the coffee mug from Kauai Coffee with a hula girl on it and the tea and well, damn it.

I want to go.

So.

I’m going to.

I think there could be a conference or something I could hook into of like-minded people.

I know I will be heading to Atlanta in 2015 for one, I could probably do the same in Hawaii.

Anyway.

Thoughts for today.

I’m a great nanny.

I’m single and available for dating.

I’m going dancing next weekend.

And I want to go to Hawaii.

Ready Universe?

Go!

Put Your Money In the Bunny

December 16, 2013

Bank baby.

Save it for a rainy day.

Or for your birthday.

Which is the case with my bunny bank.

I have a bunny bank, not a piggy bank.

I actually have um, uh, yeah, three bunny banks.

Heh.

Plus an online account that I deposited to today.  I almost have the money to give to Barnaby to pay back the Paris ticket he bought for me to get home with.

Almost.

Another couple of weeks and I will have it.

I vacillated as I was looking at my checkbook, my birthday is Wednesday, I should, could, would like to, spend money on…

But the fact is I already spent my birthday money, today.

So, I put some more money in my savings account and mentally thanked my friend once again for helping me get back to where I need to be.

My “piggy bank” though is a different story.

I save up my money in my bunny bank, or banks, as the case may be, and the money that I save goes into my paw and I spend it on, once a year, whatever the fuck I want to spend it on for my birthday present.

There was not a great whopping load of cash in the bank this year, but I did get a new skirt and I took myself out to dinner.

Which is pretty much what I was hoping for.

I also took myself out to get a little pampering.

Manicure, pedicure, eyebrow wax.

I won’t have time for it the rest of the week.

Despite taking off on Wednesday, I still have a fairly heavy week, with extra work on Friday since I took off Wednesday.

And I start the holiday house sitting gig on Thursday.

I picked up the keys yesterday and met the cat, Stella, a golden little minx of a girl, orange tabby with the biggest eyes I have seen on a cat.  She cuddled right up to me and I thought, aw, this will be nice to have a little kitten to snuggle with over a week.

The house is also really pretty, a two bedroom on Dolores at 18th.

Right in the prime of the prime neighborhoods.

I will be in the Mission for Christmas.

I will miss my little tree with her twinkling blue lights, but I have really enjoyed having it and I will keep it up until New Years.

Then I think I will take it down and burn it at the beach, let go of the old ideas that I have carried with me over the year in a ritualistic Christmas/Burning Man/New Year resolution/surrender to it sort of move.

Burn it down baby.

But not today, today was not about burning the candle at both ends.

Besides I sort of got to do that Friday night anyhow.

No, today was about treating myself nicely.

Sleeping in.

Not that 9 a.m. is a huge sleep in, but when I normally get up at 7 a.m. it feels luxurious.  My brain really doesn’t care to let me linger in bed once I have gotten around 8 hours and I have no patience for listening to its morning rap of doom, gloom, financial insecurity, and fear.

I just get the fuck up.

However, I took a leisurely morning, writing, drinking an extra cup of coffee, hula hooping, sitting out in the back yard in the sunlight, in my flip-flops (super grateful it has warmed up to a normal temperature), meditating.

I took a walk around the neighborhood.

I went to a couple of art galleries.

I made a nice healthy lunch.

I drank some tea and made some phone calls.

Then I took my bunny bank money and went to the nail salon and Cross Roads.

It was perfect.

I have matching lilac nails with glitter bomb top coat over them.

It’s my party and I will sparkle if I want to.

Dinner down at Church and Market and a good book to keep me company.

Meeting with a ladybug, a trip to Our Lady of Safeway, and a train ride home through Christmas light infused neighborhoods.

So grateful for my life and my lively hood, my friends, and my community.

And my bunnies.

Heh.

I don’t know what that is about, but it is my thing.

I mean last year for my birthday I got a jack-a-lope tattooed on my forearm.

In pink.

Oh yeah.

I have been thinking about another tattoo, a little anniversary coming up in January that I may wish to commemorate, although I don’t have any idea what I would be getting, just that there is the thought in my mind.

Imagine.

I could fly back to Paris for a weekend and get one.

Not currently in my price range though.

I did hear a rumour that Barnaby may be relocating to Hawaii, and well, gee, I have always wanted to visit there, especially since I am a quarter Polynesian and still have family in the islands.

I joke with friends that I have never gone because I am afraid I wouldn’t come back, but somehow the time has just never presented itself to me.  I do think about it though, especially when I see friends posting photos of vacations there and well, hmm, looks like a place I would enjoy.

Who knows.

Just for now I am here.

I am staying and I like it.

I like that I am my age.

I like where I am living.

I like that I am willing to do the work to change, tried a few small things today, took some actions, even updated my Okstupid profile.

One action–forgiving myself for being single.

Another action–being available to the man who wants to spend time with me.

It was suggested I try the online dating thing again and ok, sure, I will.

I don’t know who or how or when and I am just taking actions, letting go the results you could say, but taking action nonetheless.

And taking, foremost the action of taking care of myself which does, yes, mean manicures and pedicures, they are a treat and I like to look put together.

“You have such beautiful lips,” my manicurist said, “what color lipstick?”

I love that.

I who used to never wear lipstick, who carried everything in her jeans pockets, clipped her keys on her belt loop on her jeans, and only wore lip balm.

Getting all fancy.

Carrying a purse, once in a while, ok, I admit it, I still mainly use a messenger bag.

Buying a skirt.

Growing my hair back out.

These are ways too in which I say, hey, look, me, available, looking nice, paying my bills, putting money in savings, living the good life down by the beach, I am available for the man who is drawn to me–I will get pretty for me, but I like dressing up for you too.

Yup.

I am even letting go of what that man is supposed to look like or be or have; although I won’t date a heavy drinker or someone actively using drugs, and my preference is going to lean very much toward a non-smoker and someone with a job and his own place to live.

But really letting go my ideas about other traits and qualities.

They, my ideas, don’t serve.

Most the time, they really don’t.

But the actions?

That shit works.

Even just the action of putting a little away in the bank adds up.

Pennies and dimes, nickels and quarters.

The small, aware actions that I take from flossing my teeth, to making my bed, to sitting in quiet contemplation and asking for direction to do the next thing in front of me, sweep the floor anyone?

These are the things I can do.

These are the things that add up to a life worth living.

And my God, my life is worth living.

So just getting started.

The best, my friends, oh yes, is yet to come.

Post Cards From The Edge

March 29, 2012

I got a postcard from Bethie in my mailbox tonight when I got home!

I love mail.

Not bills, not advertisements, mail.  Cards, letters, postcards.

In fact, I send myself cards, letters, and postcards all the time.  I like to go somewhere and send myself a postcard from there.  I sent myself at least five from Paris.  My favorite being from the Pompidou Museum that I got in the gift shop along with a magnet for the Kandinsky show that was there.

Cheap gifts that you don’t have to find room for in you valise and a really nice surprise reminder when you get home from your trip.  I got my Paris postcards off and on for over a week, ten days after I got back from my travels.  I kept getting nice little reminders of my time and I get little shots of memory from the trip whenever I look at those postcards.

Tonight’s postcard reminded me how much I have always wanted to go to Hawaii, but have never made it there.  I recently watched the Descendents and it really struck me how much I want to go, despite the knowledge of how built up the tourism industry has made it.

My natural state is bare foot.  I am part Polynesian and I have never been.  I adore tropical fruit, mangos, pineapple, guava, papaya, kiwis.   I love raw fish.  Hell, I even like Spam.

Fried Spam sandwich on white bread with mayo, sliced tomatoes, cheese, and fried egg.  Delicious. Or my cousin’s Hawaiian potato salad.  Oh my god.  So good. Let’s talk about died and gone to Heaven.  I think that would definitely be attributed to the Polynesian in me.  Versus the Germanic side of my background–which explains my lech for sour kraut and sausage and mashed potatoes with butter and pan gravy.

I am also Puerto Rican and Scot.

I am just a regular old hodge podge of stuff.

I have never been to Germany, nor Scotland.  I actually have no real desire to go.

However, I have been to Puerto Rico and I really would love to go to Hawaii.  I want to learn more about my ancestry.  I only know odd ball nuggets of things.

My ancestor was supposedly imposed upon to work in the sugar cane fields in Hawaii and was compelled to leave Puerto Rico to do so as an indentured servant.

In lay language, he was a slave.  What I have been told other than that was said ancestor fell in love with the plantation owners daughter and they secretly wed.  He became naturalized when Hawaii became a state and they misspelled his name on the paper work–Martins in my true last name.

It supposedly was pronounced Marteens, like saltines, the person doing the paper work added an “e” and that’s how my name became Martines.  I cannot tell you how many people misspell it.

It ends up being Martinez all the time.

Hell, even teachers who taught me all through high school, not naming names, Mr. Stewart, couldn’t get it right or would mispronounce it.  I bugged me, but not as much as it bugged my sister who would insist on having the “e” taken out of her name to pay some weird tribute to our heritage.

I always wanted to smack her for that.

Drama pants.

It’s on your birth certificate and mine and dad’s, so leave it be.

I have no idea if any of that is true either, family myth or family legend.  My genealogy was not real clear to me, and considering the source is my practising alcoholic father, perhaps not really reliable.

Then, on my mom’s side, supposedly, we are related to Mary Queen of Scots.

I never argued with my mom about this, but I did always wonder, because if that was so, then we weren’t Scottish but English.  Mary Queen of Scots was not Scottish, mom, fyi.

And I know absolutely nada about the German branch, but my mom’s maiden name, Munz, well, that says German if nothing else does.

My family on my mom’s side were bootleggers, extortionists, and whalers.

Excellent.

I basically come from a gang of drunk whalers and slaves.

Right on.

I do know that my grandmother was in Hawaii when they bombed Pearl Harbor and that her maiden name is Ramos.  But I know less than nothing about that side of the family.  I do have a faint, oh so faint memory of my great grandma Ramos holding me, she had a beautiful smile and the prettiest, kindest brown eyes.

I could also just be thinking of the only picture I have seen of her and she is holding me.  She had long dark hair and was brown as a nut.  She was wearing a pink house coat and I was happy, happy, happy in her lap.

I am on the lighter end of the brown spectrum on my father’s side.  Although much darker than the Germanic/Scottish side of my mom’s.  My sister and I rather stuck out like sore thumbs at family reunions.

Unless my cousins Leif and Ezard were around–they are half black.

The American melting pot, I love it.

I spent my first Christmas outside of Wisconsin at my Uncle Boy’s place up in the Sierra’s when I moved here and I will never forget meeting my cousins.

It was spooky how much they looked like my sister.  In fact, I could see all the little anomalies that always had stood out to me when I was in Wisconsin, on my dad’s side, I fit right in.

I have brown hair, brown eyes, and big wide flat feet.

My father would call them Aloha feet.

I also know my name is Kalamena in Hawaiian and my sister’s is Kikeli.

I used to have a key chain with my name in Hawaiian on it that my grandmother gave me.  I wish I still had it. I know where I lost it too, I had it for the longest time, but I gave it to another woman I met at the End Up who was also named Carmen.

I’ll let you imagine that scene.

I also had a grass skirt that my grandmother sent me and place mats and dishes, with clowns and circus animals on them, from her.  I remember how much I loved it when she would give me coconut milk when I was little.  This was in San Jose.  That was where I hail from–born in Palo Alto at Stanford hospital.

San Ho.

I have only been back once.  It was at night and it was for a party at some high-rise condo.  I did not do much sight-seeing.

I would however, love to go to Hawaii.  I bet I still have family there.  I want to hang out bare foot on the lanai.  I want to wear flowers in my hair.  I don’t think I need to learn how to hula, but I wouldn’t mind going to a luau.  Pig roast is damn good.

I worry, though, I worry, I might never come back.

I would go to Kilauea and I would say hey to Pele and I would learn how to surf and I would check out the volcanoes and I would just never ever come home.

Because I would already be there.

 


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