Posts Tagged ‘hot’

First Book Ordered

July 26, 2019

And summer is done.

Well.

Not quite.

I still have a few weeks before school starts, but I am already doing just a little reading for this upcoming semester.

I said I wouldn’t touch school books until after my trip to Cuba.

I got back Tuesday night at 7a.m.

My god.

My bed was so nice to get into.

I love to travel, I really do, but there is nothing quite like your own bed.

Especially after sleeping 8 nights on a really hard mattress.  I have to admit I was a little let down when I saw my room, but after doing a walking tour of old Havana with a local architect, I got over that shit.

My casa, in comparison to much around me, was really quite nice.

It is one thing to know about the Cuban embargo.

It is another thing entirely to experience it.

The country is poor.

I mean.

Really poor.

And dirty, the streets are disastrous, the cars are all old and there is no smog control, so much exhaust.

So much.

And not actually that many cars, lots of classics, yes, which was fun, I won’t lie, and super cool to see, but there were lots of horses and carts too.

Horses and carts people.

Traveling from Havana to Vinales one day for a trip to visit a tobacco and coffee farm, I counted more horses and carts than actual cars on the freeway.

ON THE FREAKING HIGHWAY.

More horses then cars.

I am not kidding.

These were some of the cars I got to see and go for rides in.  I actually went for more rides in classic cars than regular cars, I didn’t actually take photos of them all.

Sometimes I don’t want to act like a tourist.

Even though I am totally a tourist, I just couldn’t really bring myself to pose on the cars, it didn’t feel like me.

I did, however, quite enjoy cruising around in them, especially when they had A/C.

It was fucking hot.

It was humid.

So humid.

My hair did some batshit crazy things.

And I was constantly sweating.

Er.

Glowing.

I was glowing.

A lot.

 

As you can see, I was “glowing” quite a bit.

I also learned to wear my hair up real fast.

Real fast.

And I was hella grateful that I had brought a travel umbrella.

I actually didn’t use it that much for rain.

There were some showers and one big storm, with hail!

But mostly, I used the umbrella for sun shade.

I was reminded a lot of Burning Man in that regard.  I usually  bring a parasol for the hot days out on playa.

In fact.

Havana reminded me a lot of Burning Man and in some ways having had the experience of going to the event was actually very handy.

I had to bring everything that I wanted or needed.

There were no stores to buy sunblock or extra toothpaste.

I had to use my water filter bottle or buy bottled water, there is no drinking water from the faucets.

Everyone buys bottled water.

Everyone.

It was really dirty, Old Havana is all cobblestone and dirt roads.

I mean.

500 year old cobblestones ain’t clean.

Plus add dogs, cats, and chickens to the mix, garbage, and potholes everywhere.

I’m super glad my friend who had been before cautioned me to wear really sturdy shoes and to bring anything that I might want because I was not going to be able to purchase it there.

I cannot tell you what it was like to see people queuing up for chicken, or to buy one bread roll.

The black market is a real thing there and I found out that I had participated without even knowing it by eating beef one night.

All beef is allocated to the government, restaurants are allowed to have it.

I had it and that means that it was bought on the black market.

Most of the time though I did stick with Cuban classics and I was quite happy with that.

My casa had breakfast every morning, fruit–usually a slice  of watermelon, some papaya, 1/2 a banana and slices of mango with coffee followed by one egg and one slice of avocado.

No bread for me, which my host couldn’t quite understand, but I’m sure she was happy to have the extra roll I sent back each morning.

I dined in a lot of private restaurants, basically in people’s homes.

And I found a couple of cafes that became my haunts, Cafe Bohemia and Papa Ernesto.

Aside, Che Guevero’s given name is Ernesto.

 

This is Cafe Bohemia.

I was so happy to have Pellegrino and mango blended with ice, which they called frappes.  I had a lot of mango.

A lot.

My poop turned orange.

I know.

But it did!

I have never had orange poo before.

Anyway.

The cafe was a life saver as too was Mas Habana.

A restaurant I never would have stumbled upon on my own as it was down a super dirty street with a lot of construction on it.

But I had made a reservation to do a tour of the houses in Old Havana and my host wanted to meet there.

It was a fucking oasis.

An air conditioned oasis.

I went back every day from that point on, either for lunch or for dinner.

On my last day I went there for both lunch and dinner.

I was the queen of beverages at every meal.

San Pellegrino.

Mango frappe.

Cafe con leche.

I had the same amazing appetizer each time, sometimes it was just my meal since I filled up on all the bevvies, tostones rellenos–stuffed fried plantains.

OOOOOH.

So damn good.

Mashed plantains made into patty’s, fried, and then topped with smashed avocado and a shrimp.

I was in heaven.

 

Mas Habana was my little haven.

And on my last night, I splurged and had lobster.

Also black market.

But, fuck it, it was my last night and I knew it was going to be good.

It was in fact, amazing, bathed in a beautiful garlic broth and shelled for me.

All I had to do was scoop it up in a spoon and sigh with delight.

The staff was great and my last night discounted my bill, “for being such a nice customer.”

I am a good tipper.

Once a waitress.

Always a waitress.

I had many more adventures, but I’ve got to get up early tomorrow.

So more pictures to come.

And more tales to tell.

I have a few more days before I need to knuckle back down for school, I promise I’ll show and tell a bit more before I get buried in the reading.

Promise.

Havana, Cuba, Baby

April 9, 2019

That’s right.

I am going to CUBA!

I just booked my ticket for July.

Yeah.

I know, Cuba in July is going to be hot, but fuck I don’t care, I like it hot, steamy, warm, bring it on.

You know where it isn’t hot in July?

San Francisco.

It’s fucking freezing.

It’s foggy, grey, dreary, damp, and hella cold.

Especially where I live, right out by the ocean.

It is not pretty.

The nice summer, the Indian summer glory that I hope no one ever really discovers except the locals is mid to late September and early October.

Then its glorious.

But July?

Forget it.

Crap weather.

I was going to go to Hawaii.

That had been the plan.

But.

I kept getting disgruntled when I looked.

So expensive.

The flights have been steadily going up and what had once seemed reasonable and doable began to look much less so, especially when the cost of the tickets easily eclipsed what I had paid for my round trip ticket to Paris in December.

Granted, Paris in December is during the off-season.

But one would think that Hawaii isn’t all that packed in July.

The tickets though and the cost of accommodations was depressing.

Do I want to spend that kind of money to lie around on a beach?

Will I get bored.

I suspected I would.

Would I get resentful and annoyed at the expense?

I think I would have.

Really I was mostly worried about getting bored.

I mean.

Sure, a nice lay around on a beach is all good, but I couldn’t actually imagine doing it for an extended period of time.

One friend said five days was his max and then he was done.

Another friend said a week was way too long and that it felt like paradise with strip malls.

I spent a lot of time on Air BnB trying to find accommodations I liked that weren’t too expensive or didn’t look like my grandmother’s kitchen.

Nothing against my grandmother, I love her, but do I want to spend a lot of money to stay in a place that looks like her kitchen?

No.

I did find one place and it was a bit more than I wanted but I compromised and figured better to stay somewhere that would make me happy.

And the site went down.

And there was a glitch in the dates.

And sorry, we don’t know what’s wrong.

But basically for two days straight I couldn’t book it.

I took that as a sign.

I felt bad for not wanting to go to Hawaii.

Shouldn’t I want to go?

I am sure it’s lovely.

But what do I like to do on vacation?

I like to walk around and see things, I like architecture, I like museums, I like, really like people watching.

I felt flummoxed and a bit baffled at myself, did I or did I not want to go to Hawaii?

When it came right down to it I realized I did not.

And that’s ok!

It’s ok to change my mind and its ok to know that I am a savvy traveler and I would really rather go somewhere more exotic and have an adventure in an urban environment.

I like cities.

I am a city kind of gal.

Don’t get me wrong, I love being out in nature, but when I think about traveling I want to go to a city.

I have always found the idea of Cuba and specifically Havana, very appealing.

All the Art Deco, the Prado Theater, the Habana Vieja (Old Havana), the churches and all the vintage cars, the colonial architecture, Cuban coffee, veranda life, sitting on a balcony or in a square having fruit and coffee, walking around and really seeing something different.

Also, there are plenty of beaches in Cuba.

As soon as my friend said, “strip mall” I knew I wasn’t going to Hawaii.

I wanted something more.

So, yeah, I bought a ticket.

There’s some hoops to go through, you can’t really travel to Cuba on a tourist Visa, you must have a reason to go.

I did a lot of research and the category that best fit me was that I was going to support “the Cuban People” which means that I won’t be staying anywhere or buying anything that has any ties to the military or government.

Fine with me.

I’ll support the local artists and musicians.

I will stay, fingers crossed at Hotel Chez Nous.

You have to love that it’s a “French” named casa.

It’s considered a “Casa Particular” which means a local family that runs a “hotel” or sort of “boarding house”.

The rooms are in two different homes in Old Havana, one that is old school Colonial and the other is Art Deco.

You can’t reserve online, you have to make a request, so I sent off my request and hopefully I’ll be staying there.

The room I want is 45 Cuc, Cuban convertible peso (which is pretty much one Cuc to one dollar) a night!

I request the Art Deco single with a balcony.

That’s my style, sitting on a balcony in Old Havana, overlooking a square smack in the middle of Old Havana.

Yes please.

Bring on the sundresses, sandals, iced cuban coffees con leche, walks along the old port, visits to churches and museums, and yes, some spicy Cuban food.

God damn I am excited

I did not feel excited by Hawaii.

I feel ecstatic about Havana.

Nervous too, I don’t speak Spanish and there are some hoops to jump through to get the Visa but, overall I’m fucking thrilled.

But hell yeah, Havana, baby.

It’s going to be one hot, sexy summer.

Well, at least nine days of it will.

Heh.

 

Where Do I Start?

July 25, 2018

First.

Bon soir!

I have not seen my computer for a few days.

My best French friend insisted that we were to travel very lightly to Marseilles and so, no computer.

Also.

No makeup.

What?

I know I felt naked, until I didn’t.

But apparently, ahem, I still look nice without it.

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I think vacation looks pretty good on me.

It didn’t hurt that I have a tan.

Boy.

Do I have a tan.

The above photo was taken early in the evening yesterday on the island of Frioul.  If you look closely in the background you can see the city of Marseilles.  My friend and I took an early evening ferry-boat to Frioul and strolled around it and took photos.

It was such a pretty place, and it would have been great for swimming had we known.

Next time.

But.

Swimming was had!

I had my first dip, then my second, yesterday in the Mediterranean!

Here I am a touch blissed out:

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My hair is all wet, I am sandy, I went for two swims in the Calanque and it was extraordinary.

First, a slight aside, must get back to swimming, being in the water and swimming felt so damn good.  Screw yoga, I think it’s long past time I get back into the pool.

Second.

Wow.

It was so, so, so beautiful.

A calanque is, well, fuck, I’m not sure I can quite describe it, a sort of wild hill area with dry rocky terrain along the coast that stretches from Marseilles to Cassis, there are all these inlets and beaches and coves, it’s a national park in France and frankly I can see why, they are true treasures.

The clanque that we went to was the Calanque of Sormiou.

It was exquisite.

I mean.

So gorgeous.

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This is the view from the top of an hour-long climb through the hills.

I will not mince words.

It was hot.

I was sweaty.

And I was not exactly happy to be climbing so much.

But.

Fuck.

Once I got to the top.

Wow.

I don’t know how high the climb was, and yes, what goes up must come down, we had to climb back out, gratefully the way is paved and if you have a tiny car and balls of steel you can drive in, but we walked, or climbed.

According to my little app on my phone that counts my steps we climbed.

We walked 26,450 steps yesterday.

Which is 12.4 miles.

And.

We climbed 51 floors!

51!

Ooh la la!

My legs.

But again.

It was extraordinarily beautiful and I’m so glad we did it, even if for a second there my friend made me wear a damp towel on my head for a while, she thought I might be getting close to heat stroke.

I guess I was pretty red in the face.

I certainly sweated a lot.

I think I may have actually lost weight this trip, despite the cheese and charcuterie I have eaten here.

I seriously have walked miles and miles and miles each day.

And swam.

Here.

Enough of my prattle.

More pictures of the beauty:

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I mean.

Come on.

It was like being on a movie set.

Except.

Well.

It was totally real.

Stunning beyond words, even now, looking at these photos, I’m like, really, I was just there yesterday?

Swimming in the sea.

It was truly one of the most beautiful moments, that first cool plunge into the ocean, the taste of the salt, so salty, and then popping up from the water and seeing the mountains arising around me.

I was blown away.

I swam far out until I got a little spooked, and then headed back in to let my friend take her turn.

We didn’t want to leave our stuff unattended on the beach, it has a reputation for thievery.

While my friend swam I unfolded the towel filched from the hotel onto the sand, put on more sunblock and lay back enjoying the hot sun, the sound of the water, the people speaking Italian to my right, the couple canoodling in Catalan on my left, and closed my eyes.

It was glorious.

My friend returned with tales of being nibbled on by a fish, which didn’t exactly compel me to get back in the water, but get back in I did.

Only to be flirted with by some gentleman who tried to tell me that I should be concerned about the sharks.

Thanks man, here’s a pointer on flirting with a woman, don’t tell her there might be sharks in the water, all it does is make a lady want to get the fuck out of the water.

I swam off laughing and telling him he was horrible for telling me such a tale.

Another stint of laying on the beach and then my friend and I packed up our things and began the long, arduous walk back.

I won’t lie.

It was hard.

And it was hot.

Very, very, very hot.

But.

I also would be lying if I didn’t say that there was a part of me that was very proud of myself for doing the climb and having a true adventure with my friend.

We made it back to Marseilles alive, had a late lunch, then went to the hotel and freshened up.

That shower, let me tell you, damn good.

After taking some time to rest we headed out to the ferry-boat and our trip to the island of Frioul.

The first photo I posted was from Frioul.

Here are a couple more, it was truly lovely.

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I have to say, the South of France was very special to see.

And I haven’t even told you about Aix-en-Provence or really about Marseille itself, but you know, I have one last day in Paris tomorrow and it’s time I got ready for it.

Bon soir mes amis!

Bon soir!

I Have A Question For You

April 19, 2017

Why are you single?

You’re gorgeous.

Wow.

Thanks darling.

That was super nice to hear, especially in my nanny regalia, which granted is cute, but not sexy.

I also got the sexy compliment.

Which coming from a FIREFIGHTER made my day.

Did I just turn down sex on a first date with a firefighter?

FIREFIGHTER!

Fuck.

I did.

Damn it.

First off.

I’m going to TMI y’all right now.

First day of a my period is not my sexy time.

It can be, I can and have had great fucking times on my period, but for my first time with someone, my first hang out, yikes, not so much.

And.

I didn’t shave today.

So.

No.

I’m not sleeping with the firefighter.

Right now.

Ooooheee.

God damn.

Smokin’.

And nice.

He was very nice.

We “met” on Tinder.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, like last summer, I think, when I was still using the app, but we never quite connected.

We’re not friends on facecrack but he does follow me on Instagram and, yes, that’s right, I had my first time getting asked out on Instagram.

That was a new one for me.

Kind of fun.

The crazy thing is, we live in the same neighborhood.

Like.

A fucking block away from each other.

Shit.

If it weren’t my first day on my period I would throw myself in the shower, shave them stems and um, heh, go make a new friend.

Ahem.

FIREFIGHTER.

Ok.

I’ll stop now.

firefighter.

Heh.

I feel like Samantha in Sex in the City when she goes to the firehouse.

Of course, in the episode, I think she got stranded naked in the station when the alarm goes off and her date has to leave to go put out a fire.

Not really the outcome I want to have.

Anyway.

Said gentleman, liked one of my posts on Insta and sent me a message.

The timing was pretty spot on, I had just gotten in and I was registering for fall classes.

And I was messaging with some of my classmates about classes and things and I get the message let’s get a coffee.

And of course.

I’m intrigued.

He’s gorgeous.

And well.

I’m trying to be spontaneous.

And we live in the same neighborhood.

I asked, “let’s get coffee sometime or tonight?”

“Tonight.”

Well then.

I suggested tea since it was late and we met and hung out and marveled that we’d never run into each other before, I mean, he literally lives a block away on the same fucking street, but nope, never seen each other in the hood at all.

We flirted.

There was flirting.

There was a lot of flirting.

And I let it stay there.

I am actually rather amazed that I did.

Of course when I got home I got a few more messages.

This time on my phone, I figured we’d gotten to know each other enough that I could give him my number.

When he texted me and asked me why were texting and not making out I just about fell out of my chair.

I told him I had homework.

I told him I was writing.

I got flustered and broke and dropped the TMI bomb.

“That has nothing to do with us making out.”

Oh damn.

I’m not flustered at all, at all, at all.

Ok.

Well.

Maybe a little bit.

I did, before we parted, give him a little information, as he asked the why am I single question twice, I think he may have also been implying that he might want to try out for the position, or perhaps just positioning himself to be, I got to stop, I can’t even go there.

Um.

Where was I?

Oh yeah.

I did tell him I was seeing people, that I had, in fact a date on Thursday, but that I wasn’t exclusive with anyone, not that I would be, the date Thursday is a first date, but all in all, I have to say, um, super fucking validating and fun experience.

I liked his confidence and I liked that I felt confident too.

Even in my nanny togs.

If a man thinks I’m sexy in a long sleeve black dress with black leggings and Converse, well, that bodes well for when I am actually in a put together outfit.

I don’t look slovenly, there’s that, I won’t lie, if I thought I wasn’t looking pretty I wouldn’t have left the house in my work clothes.

But.

I also didn’t feel like trying really hard on a Tuesday night to get all made up and glammed up, especially to grab a cup of tea at Java Beach.

There will be time.

I told him that was very tempted by the make out, but, I decided, for me, that it would be better to go on another date, before leaping into the make out.

So.

I asked for a rain check.

Who is this person?

And.

He said, absolutely.

And we text flirted a little more and now I’m up past my bed time, but, so what, that was fun.

I haven’t had that kind of forward as fuck attention in a while, super fun, super validating, sexy as fuck flirting.

I think the Universe did that one up on purpose.

Thanks God.

I needed that.

And.

Um.

I’ll take hot make out with a firefighter for $200 once I get my get out of Jail free card from my body.

Anticipation is also not a bad thing.

Not a bad thing at all.

Giggles to self.

Ok.

Going to stop this silliness now.

Night.

Sweet dreams.

Or

Incindiary.

Same/same.

Heh.

 

Every Body’s Outside*

May 1, 2014

*This blog written last night, posted this a.m.*

I just got back from the beach and I did not have the time I was expecting to have.

I expected to go down, take a walk in the surf, and shoot some sunset photographs.

Get right with God.

Instead I had to avoid clouds of pot smoke, heaps of garbage, drunken revelers, hipsters, tourists, dog walkers, dramatic high school girls who were underage drinking and texting, empty pizza boxes, surfers coming in from their last sets, and the entire world of San Francisco.

I might exaggerate a little bit.

But everybody played hooky today and went to the beach today.

Except me.

I went to work.

Although the park sand box did seem like a kind of baby Rivera with most of the kids slathered in sunblock and sporting sweet little sun hats, many bare toes, a rare sighting of miniature pink huaraches that were so sweet I wanted to snatch them off the little girls feet, and sun umbrellas with nannies and grandmothers peeping out from underneath them.

It was a day of unheralded warm weather.

That won’t last much past tomorrow, maybe tomorrow afternoon.

We almost never get three days in a row of hot weather in San Francisco.

The heat inland sucks in the cool air from the ocean and then the confluence gets stuck in the Bay and whomp!

San Francisco is slathered in fog.

Which is why July is so freaking cold here.

It’s hot and summery everywhere else, it’s July in California, but the city sits swaddled in chilly fog like some grand dame at the opera in a pashmina.

It was a gorgeous day.

I spent quite a bit of it outside with the boys.

Although one little monkey had a three-hour nap in the middle of the day, which is when we should siesta a little anyhow, and I was inside for that.

Thanking the heavens that the employer has a soda stream.

Something that I have never been compelled to use, except at Burning Man with them last year, until yesterday.

Yester day it was hot too and I broke out the crushed ice and the carbonated water, plucked a Meyer lemon from the tree outside and had myself some effervescence.

I love bubbly water.

Especially when it’s hot.

I also had an iced coffee when I got in to work this morning.

I brewed extra when I made my morning cup and had a great big glass of crushed ice with pour over Stumptown Holler Mountain and organic full fat, whole milk.

I don’t normally drink milk, I drink almond milk, unsweetened with vanilla, but since I had taken all my supplies home last night thinking I would be at a different venue than the one I was at, I had no supplies.

I dipped into the milk in the fridge.

Holy bats.

That was a treat.

I could have licked the glass clean.

It might have been that I was also pouring sweat from the bike ride coming into work, but man, that was a tasty way to start my day.

Tomorrow is supposed to be hot too, I will probably also brew up the extra bit of caffeine and let myself indulge at my Thursday gig as well.

That’s my idea of indulgence, really.

It is nice, too, to be sitting here at the studio with the door to the back yard open and my feet in flip-flops.

I don’t often walk out the house without a layer or two stashed on my person, but not tonight, there is no need, currently anyway, it will drop, I can feel the cool sliding in through the backyard, but my instincts about this seem right on, I think tomorrow will be one more day of warm, then mid to late afternoon, it’s going to get chilly.

I was just reflecting that there must be something else for me to write about aside from the weather, blowing bubbles in the park, and the sense of serenity that floated around me all day long.

But aside from the internet not working, yes, this blog is being written on my laptop in hopes that at some point it will come back up, maybe it played hooky too at the beach today.

The only other thing that comes to mind is my ink.

And I did reflect on that a bit today, as there was so much skin on display out there.

I saw a lot of really bad tattoos.

A few good ones, too, I won’t lie, but I have to say, I got a lot of comments about mine.

Something about them does incline folks to comment, what I have discovered is how I respond to certain people certain ways and how I deign to not respond to others.

Homeless guys really like to talk to me about my tattoos.

I suppose homeless guys really like to talk to anyone, but I seem to invite comment.

Then again so many of the homeless folks that I interact with on my daily get out to the park are homeless due to what seems to be drug use and drug use, active anyway, seems to affect a person’s filter.

Like they don’t have one.

Maybe once upon a time certain types of people were the recipients of tattoos, now a lot of folks have them and it seems unnecessary to make such a big deal about it.

I don’t mind a compliment, but I am not interested in it becoming a topic of conversation that then segues into us being new best friends.

Especially if you appear to have not washed in the last few weeks.

A bath in the sink at the Page Street Library branch does not count either.

I do try to not be a snot about it, they’re nice tattoos and I spent a lot of money-getting them, and I got the friends and family discount too, but I do like to keep a little bit of a distance from it all.

Tomorrow I already have my sunny day outfit picked out.

One will be able to see the ink, but it should be a little more offset.

That’s it, that’s all to report for today.

Now, fingers crossed, ankles too, let’s see if I can get this up online tonight.

 


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