Posts Tagged ‘Irving Street’

Oops

March 13, 2017

I did it again.

And again.

And.

Yes.

Again.

Until I stopped.

It took about twenty minutes and then every once in a while I would do it again.

But.

It got better.

I went to a restorative yoga class tonight.

I did not know anything about restorative yoga, although I have had a friend recommend it to me.

Now I know why.

It took me a minute to get into it and while I was getting myself there I had the intruding thought come into my head about when I was going to do yoga again.

Fuck.

Martines.

Stop it.

I’m doing yoga and planning on when I am going to do yoga again.

My brain is not a good yoga partner.

There’s a part of me that recognizes, despite my resistance, or maybe because of it, to yoga in the first place, that maybe, especially since it’s been recommended to me by the people I do my recovery work with, that maybe it’s good for me.

And as person who enjoys feeling good I can see that I want to feel good more often.

But it’s hard juggling everything and as I walked back in the door to my house I had a sudden shift in perspective.

Hey, how about you give yourself some props.

You went to yoga.

You actually made it in on a day during your school weekend.

This is a first.

I have been doing yoga on and off for about a year now.

I had a three-month hiatus late-summer when I was going through a very rebellious stage of not wanting to do it and I got out of the practice.

But.

I came back to it in November and have been trying to establish a consistent routine.

That being said, I have never managed to get in a yoga class on the weekend that I am in school, it’s too busy, I’m at school for 29 hours over the three-day weekend and most of the time I just want to sleep if I’m not in class.

So, yeah.

Be happy that I went.

It was good.

Different.

Much slower.

I never broke a sweat.

But I did stretch and I did meditate and I did relax.

In fact.

Twice I nearly fell asleep.

It also felt sweet, spacious and generous to myself, to show up to Yoga Beach, my studio right down the block at 46th and Irving, and take an hour and fifteen minutes just for me.

Not for my job or my school or for family, not for anyone else but me.

I just went to the site to pull it up and whilst looking for a nice photo to connect y’all with and I came across one of me in class!

Heh.

Of course I bet I’m the only person who would know that was me.

I recognized my hand.

There is a certain way I often find myself holding my hand which comes from the years I spent training kung fu.

I also recognized my tattoos.

That feels nice, having connected to the studio enough that there’s a shot of me in a class.

I like that I have met some new people and I like that I am finding myself breathing better, better able to regulate my stretching and sleeping better.

When I go.

And I haven’t been going as often as I’d like.

But.

Yeah.

Fucking big props for getting myself there today.

Especially with one hour less of sleep at the end of a long weekend of classes.

And.

I got through the midterm weekend, got all my stuff handed in, showed up, participated and got the next set of actions for what I need to do to mover forward in my internship.

I’ll be meeting with my supervisor after work on Tuesday at 6:30p.m.

I’m going to interview him for a project I’m doing for my Community Mental Health class and get all the paperwork signed and filled out for the practicum.

I am also going to ask him to recommend a supervisor and I may also ask him for personal therapy recommendations.

I thought briefly of going back to my old therapist, but there were some things that she did that didn’t always sit right with me and though I gained a lot from the time I was working with her I feel like I would be better served with a new outlook and experience with a therapist.

Lots of stuff to do.

Monday tomorrow, back to work.

Meeting with some people, three, this week to do the deal, getting to my regular spots and getting re-connected, I always feel a little off as I don’t do the recovery work as much during the school weekend either, a 11 hour day in school is challenging to do and to then add in other things, I have found little success doing that.

I haven’t had a full nights sleep in four days.

And there is so much to do already.

So.

Pausing.

Breathing.

Soft, slow stretching.

Yeah.

I think that’s a win for my personal self-care.

The studio is not going anywhere, I remind myself and though I may not be able to get back until next Saturday, which will be my first day off in two weeks as per regular when I am in school, I am ok with that.

I went today.

All I have is today.

I am perfect how I am.

Flawed.

Imperfect.

Lovable.

And.

Enough.

 

 

 

I Really Don’t Know

March 6, 2016

How that happened.

I mean.

It’s 9:15 p.m. on a Saturday and how the hell did that all get done?

I do know I started my day with a little anxiety that it would not all get done, that I would somehow fuck it up and the day would be blown.

It didn’t help that someone mentioned House of Cards came out with its season 4.

Fuck me.

I did not need to know that.

Suffice to say I probably will not be watching that until I finish this semester of school work.

The writing is beginning to thrum up and I had to do the first of two papers that are due this upcoming weekend of classes.

I just finished the first one and to celebrate fell into a temporary Hello Kitty polka dot slippers for adults internet black hole.

I do not know how that happened.

Innocently facecracking and then, whomp!

In Hello Kitty never never land.

Get me out!

I had other Hello Kitty experiences today, but I get a head of myself.

I knew when I woke up what I had to do and what I wanted to do and I wasn’t sure they were going to coincide with each other.

I also knew that I had to basically put my recovery first, really, always that first, otherwise nothing else will follow, which meant doing my morning routine, some reading, some prayers, some writing, breakfast, coffee, dress, make up, hat on the hair, out the door out to the MUNI train, or bus, damn it they’re still doing work on the tunnel between Duboce and Cole Valley, and up to the Inner Sunset.

The first half of my day was pretty much devoted to that neck of the woods.

I went to see some fellows at 7th and Irving at 11 a.m.

Then after to Tart to Tart to get down with some inventory’ing and heart laying bare.

Surprised, always surprised, by the insights granted to me.

Emotionally wrung out and also a little remiss that we didn’t finish, I really thought we were going to get it all done in one sitting, I mean, four people on it, that’s so small, but we went pretty deep, and stuff it came the fuck out.

Whew.

So.

I took it easy, meandered out to lunch, said, screw the yoga, go get your nails did.

Done.

Back on the train and the rain started to fall and the wind started to bluster and I’m in flip flops since I don’t want to ruin my pedicure.

which I ruin anyhow.

Sigh.

Then.

Off to the Middle Sunset, just after 19th avenue.

I had an adventure to go on,  a field trip for school.

Which I had to do today.

I had to have an immersed, experiential experience for a paper, the one that I just finished writing, and no, I don’t know exactly how the words come, but they did and I knocked out four pages at 1627 words in 11 point font.

What is up with my professors?

I mean.

Fuck.

I’m glad I double checked the syllabus to see if it was a paper that I could e-mail to my professor or if I had to print it off.

Print it off and hand it in.

Then, I saw that yes it was double spacing on the paper, but fuck, 11 point, not 12 point font.

Fortunately the paper was also 3-5 pages and I wrote a full five in 12 pt.

I did lose a full page when I adjusted down the font size, but I still had four pages.

It was actually a lot of fun to do the exploration and I saw things that I have never seen before and had a little adventure in being a human.

I am also grateful for the weather.

The markets on Irving between 19th and 22nd are bustling and jam packed on the weekends, the blustery winds and rain kept the stores a little less jostled and full.

I was glad for the space.

I went into about four smaller markets before I went into the behemoth on Irving and 22nd, the Sunset Supermarket.

It is huge and it’s all Asian and nothing’s in English and I had my submersion experience for sure.  I was the only woman in the store that was not Asian, I did run into an older white guy buying something and a couple of younger guys out front picking through vegetables and trying to figure out what to make for dinner, but other than that, all Asian all the time.

All the noodles!

All the soy sauce.

All the packages with pandas and Hello Kitty in the snack aisle.

I wandered and looked and felt like the elephant in the room, but also, it was rather cool, to be in a new place, to not know, to be surprised, and to also see how human we all are.

And how little I know.

I mean, there is just so much to learn.

I could not learn it all.

I never will.

I will always be a beginner.

In something, at all times, I will never be entirely proficient at all the things all the times.

There is just no way.

And I can choose to be overwhelmed by it or I can rejoice in the differences and the constant availability, if I so choose, to learn, to explore, to experience.

I also was absolutely and utterly surprised to come face to face with a gigantic tank of catfish gaping and bumping their whiskered faces against the glass fronted aquarium.

There were tanks and tanks and tanks of fish.

Live geoduck.

Stacks of shrimp.

More tanks with lobsters, crabs, urchin.

I didn’t get too close, it was crowded, loud, bustling, and I was getting a touch overwhelmed by the whole adventure, and I also felt that I had enough to write about and it was time to head home.

I left the store, walked around the corner and got the best surprise yet.

I don’t know why I stopped, but I did, I saw something out of the corner of my eye, that’s odd, what kind of delivery truck is that?

I looked at the side of the tank, Chinese symbols, then underneath in small English print (slightly larger than 12 pt, but not by much) I read: Live Fish Delivery Vehicle.

Whoa.

One man stood next to a large tank on the truck bed and scooped a huge net into it and lowered a pile of flopping and flipping and squirming fish into a large Rubber Made garbage can on wheels, while the second made sure none of the fish flopped out.

Extraordinary what I get to see when I go outside my comfort zone and do something different.

I continued in that vein, outside my comfort zone, and showed up for another yoga class today.

Yup.

I had said screw yoga, but as it turns out I made it back to the hood in time for the 4:30 p.m. class and I decided to go and not think for an hour and fifteen minutes and get my yoga on.

I’m sore.

And I was tired.

But I dashed up to Other Avenues after, picked up a few things to round out dinner, and came back here.

Hot shower.

Hot, homemade dinner.

Hot tea.

Then.

Sitting and feeling myself in my body.

I flipped through a few readings from my Multi-Cultural class, did some online research about the demographics of the Inner Sunset, heavily Asian American, and started writing.

And somehow.

It came out.

Even when I wasn’t sure what I would be writing, it just came out.

Grateful for that.

Grateful for this little blog, she (I, I always mean me) gets me in some trouble sometimes, most times though, it’s a delight to have this practice, it helps me process and the practice of writing every day, twice a day, well, it comes in handy with writing the grad school papers.

One down, one to go.

Not tonight, though, no more tonight.

A cup of tea, a video, and yes, sleeping.

I am tuckered out.

T u c k e r e d.

Out.

Spoiled Silly

January 28, 2014

I got to see not one, but two of my favorite people today.

I ran into my darling friend as she had just sent me a text, whistling to me from my phone in my messenger bag, in The Beanery this evening.

Completely unexpected and wonderful.

We sat down over tea and had a good catch up.

Then a little while later I got to hang out with another dear friend at Tart to Tart and have some more tea and talk life and money and cops and tickets and not just getting by, but getting ahead.

I also only had one charge today and I got to take him to the carousel in Golden Gate Park and spend extra time snuggling with him and, oh, dreams do come true, he had a two-hour nap.

He never has two-hour naps.

But he has a little bit of a cold and was down and out this morning far sooner than I was expecting.

I got a two-hour block of time that I was totally not expecting.

Shoot.

I actually read through an entire magazine and cleaned the kitchen and prepped lunch and took care of it all before I delved into my own book I had brought with me.

I go back to having two tomorrow and that’s fine, but today was a treat to start the week with just one.

I got to walk around the neighborhood and run into friends also out and about.

I got to ride my bike to and from work and not get a ticket.

I got to see dear people I love so much.

I got to live and be alive in my space, my body, my life.

Pretty fucking tight.

I have some things cooking and was able to bounce off my two friends what their thoughts were and it felt really affirming to hear what they had to say and again, I just have to say I am over the moon again and again when I think about the quality of people I have in my life.

I get to cultivate these amazing friendships and it is a blessing.

I looked over my calendar for the week and was also grateful–full-time work this week–and getting to do some other service work as well.

A dance date Saturday afternoon with a darling friend that I don’t get to spend as much time with as I would like and there it is, this glorious work week book ended with my dear, darling, wonderful friends.

Just the solace I can take in some good company and a cup of tea is really amazing.

“You are like me, it’s not the accumulation of stuff,” he said to me over a steaming glass of lemon ginger tea, “it’s getting to have experiences.”

Yes.

Exactly.

Though granted, I wouldn’t mind accumulating a few other things.

I have not said it much, but the recent bicycle ticket and the constant running the gauntlet of doom on Irving and Lincoln Streets has really had me contemplate getting a scooter.

Or even a car.

Car is probably out of my reach right at the moment, but I don’t think it’s actually that far out there.

For the first time in a long while I am really getting serious about having some other mode of transportation besides my bicycle.

I don’t believe I can go back to riding MUNI, but I do want off my bicycle once in a while and I do think that a scooter could be a really nice stepping stone to that.

I recently talked to an old acquaintance about the motorcycle class that the police offer and I think that is something to really investigate.

It’s about $250 for the three-day course.

It’s also worth investigating whether or not a friend of mine who has a car and two scooters would be interested in parting with one of them.

He once offered to sell his older one to me, a black Vespa, but at the time I was in a transition which led to me eventually making the leap to Paris.

Maybe it’s time to call him up and ask if that scooter is still available or for sale.

Getting ahead of myself a little bit.

But not too much.

I am not obsessing about it either, it’s just hanging out on the back burner slowly gathering steam.

I want to have some more experiences too and I think being a touch more mobile will help with that.

There is too, the desire to not be schlepping groceries from all over on my bicycle.

I brought home $45 in groceries and if that won’t slow me down on my bike I don’t know what will.

Aside from the car that nearly collided with me on Irving at 34th on my way home from 7th and Irving tonight.

He totally ran the stop sign.

I mean did not even slow down.

I heard the car coming as I was entering the intersection.

“Stop sign,” I hollered at the top of my lungs, “there’s a stop sign there, stop!”

He squealed to a halt half way through the intersection.

“Thanks,” I said and skirted my bicycle, which I had come to a near complete stop, “thanks for not killing me,” and I rode off, heart in my throat and took a deep breath.

And home.

I mean.

I have been really lucky with my biking in the city, in Oakland, in Paris, yes, I have been hit, but mostly doored–three times, only once knocked off my bike–but without extensive injury.

I have had accidents, cracked my helmet falling off my bike when I overloaded a messenger bag with, yup, you guessed it, groceries, damn thing slid off my shoulder and pulled me over.

There was not traffic other wise I might have gotten run over.

I have had close calls.

But they seem to be happening with more frequency.

I am spoiled.

And I like my life.

But maybe the time is coming for some change.

Maybe the bike needs to be just for riding along the ocean and for quick jaunts to the Noriega Produce Market.

Too soon to tell.

But I do sense a change a coming.

I do believe.

I do.

A change that perhaps includes a motorcycle helmet.

Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

January 26, 2014

It was.

It was.

Lovely.

Really.

I was up so early I sort of wanted to hit myself, but apparently this is what is happening.  My internal clock is up and going off at 7:30a.m. or 7:45 a.m. regardless that it’s the weekend and I can sleep in.

I am up.

The brain is what makes staying in bed tolerable or intolerable.

Is it a chatty Cathy?

Time to get up.

I can’t listen to it.

The talk, the voices, the thoughts, the should have done that should do that, shit, shut up, I don’t want to hear about it.

If I can’t get back to sleep pretty much right away, I am awake.

I used to be able to glide over those voices or entertain them, I guess is the better realization.  I would entertain them, I would lie around in bed and listen to them and converse with them and then, fuck away half the day on fantasy and supposition.

I don’t have it in me anymore to do that.

I get up.

I got up.

I did not even argue with the fact that it was before 8 a.m.

I just got up and got going.

By 9:30 a.m. I had a grip on the day and was already getting into a kind of isolation mood that made me jump at the offer to come upstairs and have coffee with my housemate and her daughter and boyfriend.

I finished my writing and went up.

Immediately feeling better for the company.

We sat about, I snuggled with her daughter, we sipped coffee, the cat lay by the fire, lucky lazy beast, we chatted about this, that, the other.

I was given some suggestions.

I made some calls.

I got out of my head.

Thank God.

Then outside, into the sunshine and an impromptu hang out with the family, the neighbors, another little boy, a family down the block, the bucket of chalk, four hula hoops, and spontaneous planting of wildflowers in the front square of dirt in front of the house.

I drew chalk hearts on the sidewalk.

Hula hooped.

Soaked up the sun.

And basically eased into my day.

So lovely.

Hearts

Hearts

Heck, I even pulled out my bicycle and washed all the dirt and road grime off the frame, polishing her glittery self all up.

I matched my bicycle today.

In addition to hooping and chalk art with the upstairs girl, she glittered me good when she was sitting on my lap this morning drawing out figures on some construction paper.

I was talking with her mom and the next thing you know glitter is being sprinkled in my hair.

I was bedazzled.

Stayed with me all day.

Even when I was teary, which is fine, tears happen, fears happen, you walk through them anyway.

Sometimes I make an ass out of myself, sometimes I forget to not wear eye liner on Saturdays, but there’s a person across the table to hand me a paper napkin and say, hey I do this too, even with all this time behind me, I do this too, don’t beat yourself up and don’t believe that you aren’t perfect exactly the way you are.

There is no improving to be done.

Man, though, do like that self-improvement.

It keeps me moving forward, pushing myself to do things, make things happen, go places, bigger, faster, more.

More.

That’s the thing, there’s nothing more that I have to prove.

Y’all been telling me this for a while, but I forget.

I forget so easily.

As though I must improve upon myself every day, every damn day, thank you, or there’s something wrong.

Well, fuck.

Sometimes the only thing that is wrong is that I get a little tired from all of that.

I just need to be.

I was reminded of that, and some surrender.

And I surrendered to the unexpected time this afternoon, when not one, but both people I was going to meet with after my time at Tart to Tart had come to an end, cancelled on me.

What to do?

I looked at the traffic on Irving and went to the cross walk and walked my bicycle across the street.  I stood and waited for the traffic to clear, then got on my steed and edged slowly into the traffic.

Mid-afternoon Saturday shopping, parking, crazy driving melee that is Irving Street and just took it slow, drifting along, no longer on a schedule.

Back down toward the Outer Sunset.

Where I found the house had moved to the back yard and there was a new set of friends drawing chalk art in the back yard and blowing bubbles.

I slipped off my messenger bag, filled up the electric kettle, made a spot of tea, turned up my music, left the door to my studio open and went and settled into one of the big Adirondack chairs in the back yard.

The sun splayed soft about.

The girls ran around blowing bubbles.

The adults talked and nattered, harmless gossip about the neighborhood.

The ravens flew low overhead, the rustle of their oily wings sifting through the air.

I made more tea.

This.

Community.

Home.

Serene and perfect, right in my back yard.

My beautiful neighborhood bustling with child energy and bubbles, like baubles thrown from the heavens just to secretly delight me.

Bubbles

Bubbles

“Have you seen my ticket,” the little three-year old said, her green Tinkerbell princess dress sliding off one brown shoulder.

“Is it in your ear?” I asked reaching into the pink cupped shell, poking a little strand of hair into it.

“No,” she giggled.

“Is it behind your knee?” I asked tickling her lightly behind the crease of skin.

“No!” She shrieked, dancing away and running around in a circle, poking at the bubbles falling out of the sky.

“I think I lost it,” she said, coming back into my orbit by the chair.

I pulled another from the thin air, brandishing it with a smile, “nope, there’s always another one, here you go.”

She clutched the imaginary ticket and ran off to the show.

Three years old and already running off.

It has only taken me 38 years to get back to the realization that I don’t have to run around in circles looking for that imaginary thing that will fix me.

I have it here, always have, I was just too busy running to see it.

I sat back in the chair, sun glazing my cheeks, sipped my tea and closed my eyes, listening to the love shimmering all around me.

Home.

Where my heart is.

Covered in pink chalk dust.

And love.

 

 

Nice, Like Nice With Cheese Butter On Top

January 24, 2014

“Say cheesebutter!”  I urge one of my charges when I take a photographs of him.

It’s a word he made up.

“Cheesebutter, it makes everything better,” I smile and take his picture.

I am going to 850 Bryant tomorrow after I get up and do my daily routine and make sure that I am all nice and calm and serene and in a good head space and spiritual and shit.

And I am going to be nice.

Nice.

Nice.

That was my decision tonight when I was talking to someone about the red light incident on Tuesday and how I did a lot of writing about it and began to not only have forgiveness for the cop but actual compassion, hey, how much fun can it be doing his job?

I mean, my job?

Loads of fun.

Today I went to two different parks, was told I love you by my charge, had my hand-held as we walked through the Pan Handle park, got hugs, had her request that I sing “Hush Little Baby” to her, had her fall asleep in my lap in her rocking chair, had an Americano at the Mill, walked all over NOPA, took fabulous photographs of street art by E. Claire Bandersnatch,

Bandsersnatch

Bandersnatch

Bandersnatch

Bandersnatch

Bandersnatch

Bandersnatch

 

went to Bi Rite for an apple and a bag of Holler Mountain Stumptown, had an amazing lunch with my lady, who slept two hours and twenty-five minutes, and then we capped off the day with a play date at Alamo Square Park and ran into a friend from Music Together class.

My job does not suck.

That cop, he has a job I would not want to have.

So, compassion for a person doing a job I don’t want to do and am really grateful that I don’t have to do.

Plus, as I was sharing with a woman who told me that the same night that I had my ticket incident, she hit a pedestrian in a cross walk, did not see him coming and he flew up over her windshield.

Now that makes one grateful for a ticket.

I did not get hit on my bike ride, in fact, I realized, I was slowed down, I was slowed down tonight riding that same route back home, slow, stopping not “running” any reds, and what do you know, I got to see three cops pulling over another person with a traffic infraction and listen to sirens wailing for another accident down the road.

None of these had anything to do with me except that I slowly, and cautiously rode past them.

So, tomorrow, grateful that I have a day off during the week, I  don’t normally, when I can actually go and spend time standing in line for room 145 at 850 Bryant.

Show up.

Suit up.

Let go of the results.

I know I was at fault and I am just going to go pay the fine.

I don’t have to be right.

I can just be happy.

And nice.

What if my only purpose was to go spread some good cheer at 850?

How many folks resolve to be nice when they go to 850?

I don’t believe all that many.

And I am not going to go and be nice because I think I am going to get off the ticket, I don’t think I can, I ran the red.

Granted, yes I was at a full stop and yes, I did look both ways, and yeah, the light was going to change, but was I in the wrong?

Yup.

So, be the adult and sack the fuck up.

Then I thought about my friend who had his bicycle stolen off the front of a MUNI bus.

I didn’t have my bike stolen.

I got to ride it to my awesome job today.

I did not get hit by a car in an intersection on foot.

I did not spend the last two days in the psyche ward at General.

Loads to be grateful for.

Oh, and like, hey, I have a three-day weekend!

I will pay my ticket then go on up to the Castro to see Barnaby, who just happened to have a cancellation in his schedule and will fit me in to touch up the stars on my neck and add two more for my anniversary.

Yes.

Afterward a manicure.

After that?

Well, I will be in and around the Castro neighborhood, then over to Our Lady of SafeWay to see some fellows.

Then if I have it in me, dancing at Public Works.

I’ll have it in me.

Unless something else awesome comes my way, which it might, you know, I have some special good feelings, like with cheese butter on top good, about tomorrow.

I will get to sleep in tomorrow.

I will take a leisurely hot shower, eat an awesome breakfast, drink really good coffee (I went to Bi-Rite!), write for a while, then take a sunny ride through the Pan Handle, then on down to 850 Bryant to see what happens when I show up and have accountability.

Life, I suppose.

A really good life.

A life built on responsibility, showing up, taking actions, letting go of the results, a faith-based life where I go despite the fear of financial insecurity, because I can afford it and ultimately, the money is not my money, it’s just this energy that I have been given to spread about me.

I shall spread it cheerfully.

Like a warm golden pool of cheese butter over grits.

I am going to love it up tomorrow at 850.

I might get obnoxious with it.

I will have fun with it.

I am actually, haha, kind of looking forward to going.

I will make sure I have a book to read and I will pay whatever I have to pay, and then you know what I will do?

I will fucking leave.

That’s the best part of it all.

I don’t have to stay.

I did not do anything to incur a real “visit” there and I haven’t in just a touch over 9 years.

That, that is what is really nice.

Like, cheese butter nice.

 

 

Have A Safe Ride Home

January 22, 2014

He said somewhat sheepishly and stepped back toward the curb.

That’s right, you fucking shit bag, step the fuck back.

And why don’t you step the fuck up on the curb, you might see eye to eye with me at that point you short little douche bag ass hat.

FUCK YOU.

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?

Hey, and you know what, sign here is not an admission of guilt fuck face, I will see you in court you short dick little pussy man.

And I will wear platform heels just to tower over you a little more.

Did your little dick get all hard writing me that ticket?

What the fuck.

There are fifteen people who I just avoided getting doored by in the last block, not to mention the three, yes, three illegal u-turns in the middle of the intersection looking for parking and you give me a ticket.

Oh, I know, I have to obey the rules of traffic you shit fuck.

But come the fuck on.

I was at a full stop.

Speed of vehicle at time of incident?

0 mph.

At least you were honest about that you ass hat.

I was at a full stop, foot completely on the ground, looked both ways, why, because its god damn Irving Street and I was already jacked up from avoiding the usual idiots trying to make the light.

That’s what bugs me the most.

Really bugs me.

I could have made the light.

But the car ahead of me was signalling to turn and then whipped a bitch the opposite way.

Here I was patting myself on the back for not getting killed and you fucking give me a ticket for running a red light.

Fuck you.

I say a little louder.

What a complete and utter fail.

My bicycle sense has been poking at me all week, I have been riding my brake, stopping at intersections, see full foot down (I call this the Marin School of riding-in Marin if you don’t put a full foot down, not just tapping your toes, but actually come to a full stop with the entire foot down at a stop sign or intersection you can get a ticket) in previous paragraph peppered with expletives, really being careful.

I have just had bad bicycle feeling in my bones.

I was not expecting it to be a ticket.

In fact, as I was riding home, riding my brake, I was thinking that this maybe part of the ongoing soreness in my shoulder–this riding so defensively for upwards of an hour a day every day.

My brake is on my front side and my right shoulder is dying right now.

I actually tell myself to hold my handle bars lightly when I am riding, to not full on throttle them.

I don’t need the stress of riding in my arms that much, I want it to rest in my legs, which can take it, and not in my arms or shoulders, which already get a full on work out all day long pushing the stroller, picking up the boys, heaving, lifting, going up and down stairs, pushing swings, picking up the constant detritus of the boys and their day.

Ugh.

I feel a little better for having said all the fuck you’s.

I know the guy was right.

And I would not have taken that red if I knew a cop was behind me.

I couldn’t decide who I was more mad at, him or me.

I mean, I think it’s a total bullshit move.

I acknowledge I ran a red.

But I didn’t.

I sort of meandered after sitting for ten seconds of the twelve second walk sign countdown and I looked both ways, I mean, turned my head, I really don’t want to get hit by a car and it was not motivated by there might be a cop behind me checking to see that I look both ways before crossing.

I think the dude was a little chagrined.

He certainly looked flustered when he asked where I was riding to and I said 46th and Irving, “Geez, that’s a really scary commute.”

Yeah, I said, one I take every day, and you know I had my foot down.  I was at a complete stop.

I dug my little hole and now I am going to have to go take care of it.

I was so livid when I walked in the house.

I can feel it getting angry in here as I write it out, but I screamed.

Not as loud as I wanted to.

I really wanted to belt one out.

That’s what I do when I get horribly angry.

I scream.

Don’t fucking teach me a lesson you fuck face.

I am so fucking careful when I ride.

The other thing that was funny was thinking, again, as I was riding, up to 19th, that hellacious inter section of doom, that I might want to get a car soon.

That the stress of the daily ride was actually a stress.

I say this as I got startled a couple of times by car’s parking and pulling out.

The feeling of nearly getting hit or narrowly avoiding it is unpleasant and intense.

I had it three times tonight.

Once slipping on gravel at an intersection where there is a lot of construction happening, my wheel slid a little and the feeling of free fall over took me for a minute before I straightened out.

Then again when the two folks pulled the illegal u-turns at 9th and Irving and the third at 18th and Irving.

Three times of yuck.

Then the cherry of my yuck sunday, a nice little citation and an order to appear in court or be fined.

Ass hat didn’t tell me what the fine is for the infraction and my friend who drives a cab and has protested some tickets said, show up and protest it, the cop likely won’t even show.

I have never been to traffic court.

I have never had points taken off my drivers licence.

Ain’t about to let it happen over a bicycle riding ticket.

Kiss my grits.

I probably wouldn’t even show if I knew what the fine is.

But since I don’t I will show up.

Get ready short stack.

I am coming.

Inexplicably Crazy

January 18, 2014

So I took some contrary action.

Might have had something to do with my little monkey who I watched today having the teething of monstrosity.

I felt so bad for the bug, it sucks.

The only good thing about teething, well aside from getting teeth to eat tasty food with, is that the pain is forgotten.

I don’t remember teething, do you?

I woke up a little cuckoo, truth be told.

I knew I was going to be free after five p.m. and I did not have any plans and I was dreading that unscheduled time.

I made a slight plan and did my best to adhere to that.

And I got outside.

I did lots of walking through the Mission today and went over to Capp and 23rd to hang out with some folks for a bit.

Realizing that I don’t really belong in the Mission anymore.

Not that to say I don’t really love being there, but it feels like too much, too much commerce, too much traffic, too many people trying to get someplace fast, fast, fast.

I just wanted to slow down.

Sometimes when I am odds with myself and my day I have a hard time deciding what to do anyway.

I hate to admit this as well, I don’t like riding my bicycle out late at night.

Especially on Fridays and Saturdays.

Actually, I don’t like riding my bicycle any time after 5p.m. on Friday, everybody is out getting their crazy on and it feels frenzied.

I actually stopped short of hitting a pedestrian today who was so absorbed in his little smart phone that he walked right off the curb and right into me.

I was going slow and had the premonition he might make that exact move, so I stopped and gentle patted him on his shoulder as I slid past on my bike.

“Be careful when you cross over the street without looking,” I said and patted him softly.

Which is great.

Because there have been times when I wanted to hit pedestrians for doing just what this guy did.

I think that by the time Friday rolls around I am exhausted from all the defensive bicycle riding that I do.

I am hyper vigilant on my bicycle, despite the increase in bicycle commuters, there seems to be more accidents happening, more people getting hit, more anger on the roads.

And perhaps it is just the Sunset, and I suspect that it really is, the amount of crazy driving when folks are looking for parking spots on Irving is just nuts.

It feels like I am in some sort of arcade game.

Except that I am not.

There is no do over here.

When I left work I still had no direction as to where I wanted to go but I knew I wanted out of the Mission and damn quick, the traffic had already begun to pick up and I whipped down Noe from 19th, hitting 18th, weaving around double parked cars and over to 17th and then to Church Street.

I hit the Pan Handle.

Debated going grocery shopping.

Had no desire to stop at Whole Paycheck.

Debated going to 7th and Irving.

But I already did that today, my brain whinged.

Yeah, and it sort of sucked, so maybe you should go again.

And I knew that I probably should.

I can’t remember the last time I double dipped in one day, but my brain really did feel on fucking fuego.

So, I steeled myself for a stop and instead of turning onto 7th Street when I was riding down Irving, I found myself blowing through the light and winging my way on down the road.

What the fuck are you doing?

I yelled at myself.

Stop.

I have had a couple of moments like that today.

Earlier on my ride into work I had a moment of not wanting to ride through the Pan Handle on the bike path, I would just be taking Oak Street all the way to the Wiggle, thank you very much.

But my head was absolutely screaming at me.

TAKETHEBIKEPATHTAKETHEBIKEPATHTAKETHEBIKEPATHTAKETHE….

I don’t recall every being that loud about taking the path.

I normally do zip on down the road and say, fuck you motherfucker, it’s not commute time, give me the full lane.

But I wasn’t feeling it.

I got spooked.

I took the bike path.

Same thing tonight.

I just knew I wasn’t supposed to ride my bike down Irving Street on a Friday at five o’clock.

I just knew.

I tried to blow it off, that little voice in my head, not the lying one, but the one that when I have a clear channel and have been doing the work, and believe you me, I have been doing the fucking work, I hear and am guided by well.

GETOFFYOURBIKE!

NOW.

O-fucking-k.

Chill.

I abruptly signalled a stop and swung my leg over the saddle, getting off and popping my bicycle up on the sidewalk.

I turned around and walked back to 7th and Irving.

I locked it up in its customary spot and headed out to Crepevine to grab some dinner.

I made a phone call and drank a big glass of water and got some food.

Man.

I don’t know what was going on, but I could not ignore it.

We will intuitively know how to handle situations that used to baffle us.

I guess so.

Something was telling me to slow down.

I don’t have much planned for the weekend but I think I will take the MUNI tomorrow.

The nice thing is that I don’t have to rationalize what happen, I got home safe and sound and though I am home on a Friday night, I am happy to be here, with the smell of bonfires drifting in from the beach.

Maybe I should do that tomorrow.

Go down to the beach in the evening and have a little fire by the shore.

I do feel that a date for me is in the offing.

I wrote about that this morning.

Go to the DeYoung, see the Dieborken exhibit.

Or maybe over to the Conservatory of Flowers.

The Butterfly Exhibit has been extended through March.

Maybe a soak in a hot tub.

Something.

Nothing I need worry about right now.

No worries at all.

Especially since my bike is safely locked up in the garage and the voice in my head has mellowed out with the dinner and the quiet sitting of an hour in a room with bad flourescent lighting.

Crazy like a fox.

Yes I am.

But at least I fucking know it.

I also know what the solution is for it.

Thank God.

Me, A Book, & A Bicycle

July 28, 2013

That was today’s story.

End of blog.

Well, ok, there may have been a little more to today than just that, but not a whole lot more.

I went grocery shopping in the Haight on a Saturday at Whole Foods.

That was exciting.

I was mistaken for a tourist, which was funny.

“Pretty cold, eh?” A store owner asked me as I peeked my nose into a corner store that I walk past frequently when I am pushing the stroller through Cole Valley and the Upper Haight neighborhood.

“Uh, yeah, typical weather, I guess, I’ve got my layers on,” I said politely.

“Oh, you’re a local, look at that!”  He grinned up from the paper he was reading, “I should have noticed you weren’t in flip flops and shorts.”

Yup.

Layers.

It might be hot, humid, and sunny most everywhere else, but here, on this side of town, it’s about 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit, with a thick veil of fog and a chill breeze snaking up your sleeves and under your coat.

I just got back from a bike ride from 46th and Irving.

It took me about twenty minutes.

It is not flat like people have been telling me.

Uh, no.

It’s not horribly steep and I did not stand up on my pedals but once, but it is a steady climb and about ten minutes in, despite the nippy bite of ocean wind and the lowering fog bank, I was warm and breaking a sweat.

I am sure I could cut down that time by about five minutes once I am used to the route.

But that is what about how much time it took for me to get from 46th and Irving to Cole and Frederick.

Twenty minute commute to work.

Instead of a forty minute commute to work.

I will pass by fish markets and sushi restaurants, there’s an Andronico’s, a surf shop, all the little markets and cafes and restaurants on Irving in the inner Sunset.

Although I may not ride my bike through that part of the neighborhood frequently, there’s a lot of traffic coming and going and parking and not much using of turn signals.

But I did not see once prostitute.

Nor one drug deal.

Or hear a siren.

I did get a few cars that drove a little too close for comfort.

But that is going to happen where ever you bicycle.

Other places I rode my bike to today–the Mission and Bernal Hill.

Although I did not ride my bicycle all the way up Cortland, it’s a little too steep for a one speed.

I swung through the Mission, stopping by the bike shop to see about picking up my bicycle saddle, but they were swamped and I had a moment when I realized if I were to stay I would probably end up jumping in and helping them and I had a place to be and it was not at the shop.

I will go by tomorrow.

Sunday will be quieter and I will swing over to my friend’s house and grab the ride and see about getting it outfitted with the new saddle.

It does sparkle.

It will look pretty fabulous.

It will.

I shelved the saddle (having snuck in the back no one in the shop even registered I was there) and sorted out the mail for the design firm, recycled the junk mail, and stealthily left the way I came in without being seen or noticed.

I caught myself contemplating going back and working for them while I have these next two weeks of down time ahead of me.  But I could hear my friend’s voice in my head, “don’t go backwards,” and I knew he was right and I don’t want to be there and there are better things for me to do with my time.

Even if it is just to sit on my bum and read a book.

I picked up a used copy of  Stephen King’s 11/22/63 and headed to Martha’s to await my 4pm check in.

I got a cup of coffee, spiked it with cinnamon, settled down at a table, put my feet up and dissolved into a book.

To only dissolve into tears a little later when I did my check in.

What is it with the emotions man?

I mean they were not as bad or overwhelming as yesterday, but yeah, still there.

“It sounds like you feel like a newcomer,” she said to me, “really raw and vulnerable.”

Yup, that sounds about right.

Really raw and vulnerable.

But not checking out with a vat of ice cream or a bag of donuts.

Just a book and a cup of coffee.

I wondered as I sat there and talked and looked out the window at the sky, just far enough removed from the fog that it was not misty on Bernal, but still chill, the cirrus clouds, high, wispy, tattered, spun across the blue sky, I wondered, if maybe I need to go back on antidepressants.

“You sound depressed,” she said to me.

And that hit a little closer to home than I thought it would.

I will admit I have been feeling blue, but I have been chalking that up to the discomfort of being rootless and getting back to the bay and starting over.

“Hey Carmen,” an acquaintance said this evening, “missing Paris?”

Fuck off.

“A little,” I said and smiled wanly.

“Oh, I’ll bet,” he continued.

Dude.

We aren’t friends, now stop it.

“Do you have any girlfriends you can lean on right now,” she asked and sipped her tea as I pulled my eyes away from the high feathery clouds and back to her green searching gaze.

“I do.” I said and thought how I got to see Joan and Tami this week and that was really good.  How I got to see my lady Jennifer last night and how good that was.

I had also called another friend earlier today to ask what she was up to.

“Just got done with work…dinner?  coffee? are you still in town?….”

The text read when I wrapped up at Martha’s and just as I was putting down my phone and turning off the ringer, she walked in.

Saved by the friend.

We went to dinner.

I met her daughter.

We headed out to the ocean and I saw the room.

It’s looking good.

It’s all looking good.

“You are doing the work, I can see that, it sounds like you just need to be gentle to yourself and work on acceptance.” She said and I nodded.

Nothing in my world is a mistake.

Not myself.

Not where I live.

Not who I am.

A room by the ocean, a bicycle to ride, a book to read, time to accept the reality of my life and to honor the gifts therein.

And my friends.

Thank you for my friends.

Again and again and again.

there is no there there.

June 16, 2013

Yes, Ms. Stein, I believe you are correct.

A friend quoted that to me this evening when I related the news to him that I am moving back to San Francisco in September.

That while being at Graceland is love, East Oakland is not my flavor of cherry.

I need out.

And an out I was given today.

I went out to the Sunset and saw the in-law/studio in my friend’s house.

It is going to be just right.

I can’t quite see how every thing is going to fit together and it is not huge, but it will be all mine.  There will be a kitchen with gas range and a refrigerator and cupboards and tile, a finished separate bathroom and a living room/bedroom space with a full closet.  There will be a back deck and a door that opens out onto it.

There will be sunlight and the sound of the ocean roaring in the distance instead of the sound of cars drag racing and tires squealing.  There will be a place to put my bike, a place to hang my photographs, a place to put up my pictures.

There is space for a kitchen table/desk.

There is a room of my own.

There, just there, on 46th Avenue between Judah and Irving.

Two blocks to Golden Gate Park.

Two blocks to the beach.

Trouble Coffee, which I can already see being the best kind of trouble as my friend led me on a little tour of the neighborhood, where we popped into to grab Americanos.

We went by the new vegan/vegetarian raw food restaurant where she got an astounding fresh pressed super food smoothie.  And then to the co-op, that though just a little bit expensive, was like a small version of Rainbow.

Where we ran into a friend I had not seen in years, who hugged me, smiled, and said, welcome to the best neighborhood in the city.

I kept getting misty eyed today.

First coming into the city over the bridge with music playing on the stereo, the fog shrouding everything muffled in summer swag, the skyline of downtown, the Bay and all its glory flashing in places were the sun could still get through.

Then as I stood on the corner of 46th and Irving and smelled the sharp salt tang of the ocean, there she is, the sea, the beach, the waves cresting, breaking, the muffled roar of the water pounding the sand.

Home.

There is no there there.

There is not comfort in East Oakland for me.

I don’t feel safe.

There, I said it, I don’t feel safe.

I do when I am indoors, but I don’t feel safe anywhere but, and truth be told, I don’t always feel safe inside either.  The other day, mid-afternoon writing some e-mails out before heading into San Francisco there was a domestic dispute happening and a window pane was smashed and screaming was being done and on the side-walk there was screeching and bitch calling and ranting.

I was afraid to open the blind.

Just let me go on noticed.

I will continue to stay as long as I need to, but knowing I had an out was such a tremendous relief I could not stop the tears from falling when my friend and I worked out all the details.

The studio won’t be ready to move into for two more months, possibly a week or two longer, but that puts me right at coming back from Burning Man.

I have a September 1st move in.

I will get back from the event the 3rd or the 4th and I may need, will need, I am sure, to decompress a few days before moving into a new home.

That being said, I do not have a lot of things to move in.

“I have absolutely nothing, except the clothes on my back,” I said to my friend.

“You can borrow the chaise lounge in the garage and the blow up bed until you get stuff together,” she told me.

She also said that the space would be completed, that I would have a place to stay, that I would be able to do a month to month with her, she’s going to put it all down in writing.

And if it’s not finished, I can stay on her couch until it is, but it will be.

I believe her.

We talked yoga and surfing and running on the beach.

I don’t plan on jogging anytime soon, bad knees, but I do plan on taking walks on the beach.  And yoga sounds smashing.  And being in San Francisco.

It’s not that far either.

I can ride my bike from the Mission to Ocean Beach in about 25 minutes.

I have done it plenty of times.

It is also not that far to the Cole Valley nanny gig.

The gig that is currently one day a week, but will become three days a week after I get back from Burning Man, after we all get back from Burning Man–all my families are going.

I will let go the gig in Oakland.

I will let them know that when I have a full down load on the place.

I don’t want to commute to Oakland to nanny for them.

I love the little girl, she is such an amazing child, but part-time hours are not going to be a draw for me to get on my bike pedal from the Sunset to take a BART train to Oakland to nanny.

No thanks.

I may see if they are willing to come to SF.

And that is all in the future.

Granted, the near future, but it is not a conversation I need to have with them yet.

The only conversation that matter today was when I asked my friend, “will you have me?”

And she said yes.

So here is yes to moving back to San Francisco, Trouble coffee, foggy mornings, cute tattooed surfer boys, and the shush and thrum of falling asleep to the lullaby of the ocean.

Sunset here I come.

There is a there there.


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