Posts Tagged ‘jazz’

Today I Ate

December 25, 2018

An entire book.

I mean.

I consumed it.

I chopped it up and snorted it down like it was some sort of happy drug.

I haven’t read fiction in so long it was an aphrodisiac.

I still feel a little high.

I did just like I said I would and I slept in this morning.

I woke up at 9:45 a.m.!

Holy Toledo.

I cannot remember the last time I slept that late.  I mean, maybe the ARTumnal Airpusher after party silent dance rave I went to in November, but even the day after coming home from a night of carousing and dancing I was still up by 8:30a.m.

I think.

So this morning was nuts.

I believe it was partially, at least this is my excuse, not that I need one, that it was so clouded over.

Dark and stormy.

Grey and misty and wet.

True San Francisco winter weather, not exactly rain, but mist and wind and rainy and all-pervasive.

San Francisco rain doesn’t really always come straight down, it seems to enwrap you and get everything soaked.

Without directly raining all that much.

So I slept in.

I might have even slept longer were it not for the siren song of my bladder yelling out about the big mug of tea I had before I went to bed last night.

I got up and was leisurely.

Like in a major way.

I think it was 11:30a.m. before I actually sat down for breakfast.

A phone call from my best friend was partially the reason, but mostly, I was just going slow and easy.

I enjoyed my late breakfast and wrote a ton.

A lot.

It was lovely.

And though I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do, I did know I was going to need to make a run to the grocery store and maybe see what was playing at the Balboa Theater, which is just up the road from me.

Unfortunately I’d already seen one of the movies and the other I am planning on seeing tomorrow.

But.

La Promenade Cafe was open and so I took my book and settled into a big leather arm-chair by the front window and sank into my story.

I bought this book last summer, a few weeks before I was to start my fall intensive for school.

A day before I got my first text-book in the mail for said intensive.

I only read a few of the stories, it’s a collection of shorts from A.M. Holmes called Days of Awe.

I really like her work, I’ve only read her novels and was happy to find that the shorts were just as compelling and in a way very interwoven, so it felt like I was reading a novel in a way.

I read at the cafe and listened to music and people watched and thought how nice it was to actually be in a cafe in my new neighborhood.

The first time since I’ve moved here since mid-September that I actually did something other than laundry in the neighborhood.

It felt a little like getting settled.

I did another first today too, this one may surprise you, although it shouldn’t considering how busy I keep myself.

I went for a walk around my neighborhood!

Yeah.

I know.

I really haven’t done any walking, unless it was from my car to the house or from the house to my car.

I had gotten back from the cafe, unloaded my groceries, roasted a chicken, made a late lunch, sat on my couch, watched the rain, ate brown butter brussels sprouts and hot roast chicken and listened to Coleman Hawkins.

It was delicious.

The food.

The music.

The rain on the windows.

It felt outside of time, I couldn’t remember what day of the week it was, Sunday, Monday, it all blended together.

My tree looked pretty, I lit candles, it was so cozy.

Then the sun burst out for a few minutes and I thought I should go for a sunset walk.

I quickly bundled up, there was only a few minutes before the sun was going to set, and I walked out the door on 48th and down Balboa towards the sea.

As I got closer, I realized that there was a path that I hadn’t seen before and what do you know, it’s actually a little park!

Sutro Dunes!

I had no idea.

Sweet little wood slat path along the base of the grass and flower covered dunes.

In the twilight it was deeply moving and full of divinity.

It felt really good to just do a little stretch around the neighborhood, to see the Cliff House hanging like an ornament over the ocean, to smell the fresh washed air, to just be.

I am pretty lucky when I think about it.

I live by the ocean.

It is literally a block away from my house.

Although I don’t get down to it as much as I would like, it is always a solace to me and I see it every day when I leave in the morning.

I always say hello.

I am in perpetual awe of its beauty.

And I am not often home at sunset to ponder it.

It was a really lovely little gift to me.

I got back to the house right before the rain began again and settled back on my couch, my first day of really sitting on my couch too!

My first day really using my coffee table like a coffee table.

I drank a second homemade cafe au lait, so decadent to have two in one day at my house, and I read more of the book until I left to go do the deal up at 7th and Irving.

Which was also just marvelous.

Ran into some much-loved fellows and heard exactly what I needed to hear.

Came home, heated up dinner.

And yes.

Yes I did.

I ate the rest of the book.

I read 288 pages today.

It was not a chore.

It was the best feeling.

And guess what?

One of my text books for the next semester did come in the mail today.

I did not read it.

I was tempted.

But I realized, did I want to leave the A.M. Holmes until next summer?

Or was it actually ok to let myself have Christmas Eve without homework?

It was ok.

And it was so lovely.

Exactly the kind of day off that will sustain me for many weeks as I marshal my way forward towards this next milestone of learning and life.

Gratitude this Christmas for all the gifts in my life.

There are so many.

The best, I dare say, may be my relationship with myself and the life I have been given.

Grace.

That’s what it is.

Grace.

I have been blessed.

And may you be as well.

Merry Christmas to all.

And to all.

A.

Very.

Good.

Night.

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Turn On The Heat

November 3, 2017

It’s cold out there.

The rains are coming.

It’s November.

Hello.

The chill in the air, with the almost full moon rising, was spooky and intense, bright and crisp, fall is here, winter is coming.

I hopefully will be getting a car soon, as I noted that there is rain in the near forecast.

I don’t have the time to do it before the rains start and I have some homework yet to do, but I’m pretty decided and as soon as I have the down time I will be getting my butt to a dealership in the East Bay.

Soon.

Not soon enough to save me from some more cold scooter rides home, or wet rides home.

I am still debating riding in to work tomorrow on my scooter, even though there is some rain in the forecast–it’s off and on and not 100% rain all day.

There are windows of time when it’s not raining and they both fall around when I would be going into work and when I’d be coming home.

I get to come home early tomorrow, both of my clients cancelled and instead of trying to squeeze in a consult, like I did tonight when my client cancelled, I decided to take the night off and just come home.

Take a hot shower.

Wash the week off of me.

Cook myself a nice dinner.

Be cozy.

Reflect on my life and the last six months.

My God.

The last six months.

So much love.

So much change.

Some quiet and private.

Some big and public.

Lots of internal change.

Loads.

And just extraordinary amounts of gratitude for where I am in my life and the people I get to spend time with.

I am so lucky.

If the rain stays away and the cloud cover is not to bad, it might be a great night to go down to the beach for the full moon.

It will be full at midnight tomorrow, but I suspect that it will look full when it rises, I thought it was full tonight as it was coming up.

I had to check online to see when it was complete.

Tomorrow.

Midnight.

The witching hour.

Magic.

Love.

The ocean.

Dancing on the beach.

Wrapping myself up in love.

The full moon reminding me of you.

Of promise.

Of joy.

Of laughter that falls from my mouth.

How sustained I am and how loved.

My life is extraordinary, even when I am tired, like I was today and a little bit in H.A.L.T.

Hungry.

Angry.

Lonely.

Tired.

I was hungry since I didn’t have the best lunch, not a bad lunch, no not at all, just not the lunch I’d planned, as the container that my chicken soup was in broke in my scooter basket and I had chicken soup all over my school books, shoes, and paperwork.

Sigh.

Tired.

As I went to bed late.

Not horribly late, just later than normal and up a little earlier to help the mom out at work by coming in a half hour early.

Lonely.

Well.

Sometimes a girl gets lonely.

I was listening to Coleman Hawkins today, late afternoon, at work, the mom had all the kids and I was at the house waiting for an important delivery and doing food prep and cleaning and household stuff.

The music moved me.

The view moved me.

I danced by myself.

Dreamy and slow, folding the laundry, looking out the window towards downtown San Francisco, dreaming of being in another’s arms.

Angry.

Well.

It passed.

But it was there for a little bit.

I got boonswoggled into a playdate/babysitting gig, without compensation.

I felt manipulated, annoyed, angry, pissed off, victimized and aware that, in the passive aggressive text, I had been played.

Or so it felt.

And I knew that I was tired and I knew that I was lonely and I knew that I was hungry, so I prayed and asked for it to be removed and I asked myself what my fear was, and I asked if I needed to manipulate through withholding my honest response, and I asked myself to see the situation with perspective and wait for clarification before getting more pissed off.

Which I’m very happy for.

I also had a snack.

Which fucking helped.

And I took some ibuprofen, too much carrying the baby this week in the carrier, which is how I started out my day, so I was a bit sore and tender all day too, which helped.

Then I had a talk with the mom and we divided and conquered and, yes, I will, in a way be baby sitting–I’m just going to call it an extended play date, but it is for a charge I have already had, who I love so dearly that I am more than happy to help and that the mom is taking two of her three kids, so that I will just have two to take care of, instead of the four I thought I was going to be saddled with, and it doesn’t happen til next Wednesday and fuck if I’m going to be upset about it and carry it forward.

Thank God for spot check inventory.

Also.

Thank God for getting home and making myself a nice hot meal, pan-fried Japanese sweet potato with garlic and pulled meat from a roasted chicken with melted butter.

That along with turning up the heat in my studio and realizing it’s Friday tomorrow and I have wonderful plans for it and I’ll get a paycheck and my health insurance stipend and really, there are no problems.

None.

Just love.

Abundance.

Perspective.

Joy.

And the nearly, almost, not quite, but soon to be.

Full moon.

The Last Piece

March 24, 2017

Falls into place.

And like that.

I have secured all the things that I need to have to start my internship in May.

Yes.

Today I had a phone interview with a potential therapist.  We have been in contact for a little over a week via e-mail, she was referred to me by a woman in my cohort at school and I had contacted her about getting into therapy with her.

As part of my program I must have 50 consecutive weeks of therapy while I am in supervision and taking on clients as a new therapist.

It makes complete and total sense, although I’m not real thrilled about the additional cost of school, now I get to pay for a therapist out-of-pocket, but I am happy to have the final piece settled out.

Her first response was a no, she couldn’t work with my time frame, but a few more back and forth emails and a spot became available.

We had made a time to talk today on the phone and I wasn’t going to get myself too psyched up about it, I figured I might have to interview a few therapist.

But.

She was lovely.

And.

She happened to have gone through the same program that I did five years ago and so can really support me as I move forward through the same process.

I am also, oddly I want to add, but in a moment of reality check, maybe not so oddly, excited about getting to be back in therapy, I have known for a while now, ever since getting back into school, that I need to go back and do some more work.

There are issues to address, traumas to heal, wounds that need opening to air out and to re-heal properly.

And I am ready to do that work.

Especially since it is work that will support me becoming a better therapist for my clients.

I start on Tuesday.

I will meet with her Tuesday mornings at 9:30 a.m. for an hour and then head in to work at 11 a.m.

Super grateful that she is convenient to work as well, I work up in Glen Park and she is in Noe Valley, maybe a five-minute, ten minute tops, scooter ride from her office to my job.

Now if I can just relocate to the Eastern side of the city I will be set.

I love my little studio by the sea, don’t get me wrong.

But.

Check it out.

I work in Glen Park just on the border of Noe Valley.

I have an internship starting in May at 18th and Treat–I’ll be there five days a week.

I have a supervisor I have to see once a week at Fell and Gough.

School is at Mission and 10th.

My new therapist is in Noe Valley at 24th and Church.

And where do I live?

44th Ave and Judah.

Get me back to the Mission please.

Not that I want to move, necessarily, I am cozy here and moving sucks, but fuck, look at the logistics of it, it would make such better sense for me to be closer to work and school endeavors.

I’m keeping it on the back burner.

I’m not actively engaged in looking, but if the right thing happens, I’ll bounce.

I am grateful that all the school and work stuff is located relatively close together, that will make it a bit easier for me.

And there is time to get used to all of it.

I have time.

Things definitely feel like they are gaining momentum though.

I still need some signatures on my paperwork, but all that will happen at school.

In fact.

I am just going to take a moment here and hop over to my Gmail account and e-mail my advisor in regards to making sure I can get that paperwork dealt with.

There.

That feels better.

I am super happy to have it all come together.

I am still going to need to do plenty for the rest of the semester.

I have two weekends of classes yet to go before the semester ends, one in April and one in May.

I have to write one paper for the April weekend and I have three papers due for the May weekend.

Plus, of course, the mountains of reading.

I have been taking my Couples Therapy with me to work all this week and knocking out what I can when I can.

I am so in love with my job and the fact that I have had a solid hour for my lunch, with no interruptions, to sit, eat, have some tea, and then read for a half hour every day (well, except Monday, I had both the older kids at the house) this week.

It is such a huge gift and as I was expressing to my person tonight as we had dinner at Firewood Cafe in the Castro, how lucky I am to be in this job.

Shit.

I sat and listened to jazz and looked out over the bowl of San Francisco as it spilled toward the bay and ate organic fruit from BiRite and sipped my favorite tea at work.

I also have to juggle crazy monkeys on the MUNI, so it is good that I have that down time to regroup and get quiet.

It has been a big year for me already, and it’s just March.

The new job, the new experiences with school, the interviews for internships and supervisors and therapists, all the showing up, all the walking through, it’s been big.

I am super grateful that I have the support and love I do.

And that I have done a lot of my own personal work to move forward.

Some of which I have written about here.

And.

Quite a bit that I have not.

I find that the closer I come to having real world clients, the more and more I have to focus on my self, who I am, and not about who I am engaged with or hanging out with.

Sure.

I’d love to blog some about dating and wild adventures.

But that’s not been on the menu at the moment.

School, life priorities, work, re-connecting with friends.

The rest will follow and the time will go by quick and I will find myself looking back on the other side with complete wonderment.

As that’s how I’m currently looking at it all right now.

In complete awe.

Look at how far I’ve come.

A long, fucking way, baby.

Such.

A.

Long.

Way.

Sweet Heart

March 8, 2017

That’s what I was called today.

Not by a lover.

Nor a friend.

Not a cat call.

Not someone trying to get something from me.

Nope.

MY BOSS.

That was in response to a message I had sent.

For offereing to make dinner and sending the mom and dad fun pictures of the charges at the park on the slide.

“You’re such a sweetheart!”

I’ll take that.

It feels really quite nice to be in my job right now, it’s been just a touch over two months and I really feel a part of.

Sometimes that can be challenging as I am navigating waters I haven’t had much experience with, English as a second language for the kids, but I’m figuring it out and it’s been an adventure.

Most times I don’t have a problem when my family speaks in their mother tongue.

In fact, it’s kind of nice to not know what someone is saying.

Their language is not a romance language.

I know I’m being vague, but I have a signed confidentiality agreement and I feel like if I go into too many details it would not be cool.

I’ll leave it at I’m happy to be with them and I feel very appreciated.

Which just makes me want to do a better job.

I am grateful for them.

I have been grateful for every job that I have had, regardless of conflict or challenge, because they have led here and here is pretty fucking awesome.

I feel good.

I feel serene.

I feel easy in my skin.

I have my school work ready for this upcoming weekend of classes.

I was able to run some personal errands today at work, while running errands for the family, and I was able to grab some toiletries and household things I’ll need for over the weekend.

I was able to run to the grocery store after work before doing the deal and get some fruit and veggies and almond milk to have in the house to supplement the food I made over the weekend for class.

I even got to sneak in a visit with a friend who I have not seen in a little while who I have been trying to hang out with.

Totally serendipitous and partially because I had a cancellation tonight.

My person and I were supposed to meet, but he got the flu and I ended up having a tiny chunk of time that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.

I connected with my friend, got to get my “I’m going to Paris in May,” dork on, and then when the clock was getting late, scoot on out the door, hop on my scooter and zoom zip across town.

And now I’m home.

Cozy.

Sipping hot tea and blogging.

Listening to St. Germaine and dreaming about my trip.

I am so excited to get to go again.

I am remiss that my friend, with whom I had planned the trip won’t be able to go, but hey, she’s got a great reason, she’s close to term with twins and can’t fly.

So.

Yeah.

She’ll be staying here.

I’m sad that I won’t get to experience Paris with her, but I’m cool on my own in Paris, I get along just fine.

And I will have friends there.

Because I have friends that live there and folks I know in the fellowship.

And a friend of mine will be visiting there with his mom.

He was supposed to come and visit me when I was living there but we missed each other.

I’ll get to be his tour guide for him and his mom for a few days, I think they overlap and are either going to London or Rome part of the time I’m in Paris.

I will be there ten days.

Ten days.

Dreamy sigh.

In May.

Another big dreamy sigh.

I’m so happy I’ll be going in spring, especially since the last two times I was there was during winter and it was cold.

And dark.

And grey.

I remember a dear friend of mine saying to me when I moved back how happy she was that I was back in San Francisco, in California, in the sun, that all the pictures I had taken in Paris when I lived there were lovely, but so grey and dark and depressing.

Paris is dark, grey, cold and depressing in the winter.

It is true.

Romantic, gothic, gorgeous.

But.

Cold, dark, and depressing for sure.

So to get to go in May, when the nights are shorter, the days are longer, and the weather is warmer.

Yes.

And more yes please.

Walks along the Seine.

Trips to the Jeu de Paume–the modern art photography museum.

Walks through the Tuilleries.

Walks in the Luxembourg Gardens.

Walks in Bois de Bologne.

Walks in the Marais.

Walks, and walks, and more walks.

And then.

Sitting in cafes.

Drinking cafe creme and people watching.

Then.

More walking.

The marches, the markets, the brocantes, the flea markets, the book stalls, the vintage clothes and jewelry.

Oh yes, that too.

And.

I have friends who are musicians.

I need to go to some nightclubs.

I didn’t do that too much when I lived there, although I did go to one big underground show that blew my lid off.

I knew the dj who was spinning and had no clue the venue was going to be so big and so packed.

It was amazing.

I also know a jazz saxophonist, a blues singer and a jazz singer.

I could get some late night jazz on in Paris.

Yes.

Oh, yes, I could.

I will also get myself a couple of things that I didn’t get to when I was there last.

I need another hat.

I want a market basket purse from either Marche des Rouge Enfants in the Marais or another canvas sack from Le Merle Moquer, my favorite bookstore in Paris.

And something small and whimsical from Fleux, a store in the Marais that has amazing household items, reminds me a tiny bit of Ikea, but super cool, chic, fun, unusual things.

I got my hot pink bunny Pylon bank there when I was living in Paris.

And.

When I was last there I scored a pickle jar lamp that has a miniature Eiffel Tower on the bottom of it.

It is just so quaint and sweet and I adore it.

I turn it on and it always makes me smile.

Ah.

So much to smile about.

Life.

Well.

Life is fucking good.

That’s what.

Seriously.

Life.

Is.

So.

Damn.

Good.

Stars in My Hair

March 2, 2017

And smiles on my face.

Yes.

I got a few more replacement hair geegaws in the mail yesterday.

So yes, that was me with a sequined star in my hair today.

I had a nice hair day, actually, I had a hella good hair day, happens now and again and it was nice to be out and about with it.

I had a special solo date with one of my charges today.

We took buses and trains.

We walked up and down hills.

And we had ice cream.

Well.

She had ice cream, I watched and smiled at her absolute delight in the ice-cream.

We saw dinosaur skeletons and penguins and giraffes and sharks and butterflies.

We went to the California Academy of Sciences today.

We also visited Claude, the albino alligator and we had lunch at the cafe.

It was just the sweetest day and it was with much pleasure that I recalled all the other times I have gotten to go to the Academy and visit it with my charges.

Today was a stellar day especially since it wasn’t a typical day to be at the Academy, there was no school holiday, there were no class field trips, there weren’t even that many tourists.

A few.

But mostly.

Nannies and charges, grandma and grandpa and a stray dad or two.

It was the emptiest I think I have ever seen the facility.

I have been there on a few days when it is horrendous.

Like.

Oh.

The day after Thanksgiving.

Fuck me.

That was intolerable.

Wall to wall.

Lines like no ones business, even the member’s only line was crazy.

My charge was so overwhelmed I think we stayed for all of a half hour.

I think I ended up taking him to a play ground in China Town that was near where I lived at the time in Nob Hill.

Anyway.

Today was smashing as far as there not being a lot of people and it was special to just be with the one little girl.

She and I get a long rather fantastically at this point and she trusts me and that feels good and sometimes I get the angry monkey, but mostly, I get the “I love you Carmen,” lady who will say it out of the blue, when I am least expecting and shine bright my whole entire day.

I also was just feeling beautiful today, light, clear, clean, lightened and getting to hang out with my little girl charge and her giraffe socks, literally, she was wearing yellow giraffe socks with brown spots and little knobby heads, was such a gift.

Today almost felt easy.

I know it won’t all the time, there are challenges, but I just felt good, at ease with myself and I know that has to do with changing how I am little bit by little bit and seeing what I need to see and letting go of what I can.

Tomorrow is another sunny day.

And another after that.

Then the rain again.

But.

I am feeling ok with it all.

The rain will help me get my paper done.

I have a mid-term that I have to write this weekend.

But I realized that I have a bit more free time than I thought and basically have an entire day open on Sunday.

Oh.

I’ll go to yoga, that’s my weekend warrior (pose) deal as of now with not being able to get to yoga during the week, but aside from that I have an empty Sunday.

I’ll crack out the paper and then be done for this next weekend of classes.

I think that is also why I have been feeling good, oh aside from having done all that inventory and moving on from a situation that was not going to be healthy for me to engage in, breaking an old engrained habit, that, I have done so much reading and homework already for the next weekend that I don’t have any reading to do at all this week.

I don’t know that I have a had semester with this much being done.

I have been far more proactive with my reading and papers.

I also, I realized today, haven’t had any male attention distracting me.

I haven’t had a boyfriend or been dating anyone all that much.

Oh.

I have my eye on someone, almost said something tonight, but his friend was so obviously ready to bounce and he wasn’t alone, it was just too awkward.

Hoping I’ll see him Friday and I think I am just going to say something, at least kill the fantasy and clear the path.

Meaning.

Find out if there is something there, I think there is, I’m certainly flirting enough, and if there’s not, if it’s just friends, then to clarify that.

Less to preoccupy my mind.

And hey.

If there is something there.

Well.

Heh.

That would be cool to find out.

Not that I feel any sort of urgency, which is a good thing, it’s just there when I see him.

There’s a little jazz in the air between us.

I like jazz.

Ha.

Life is nice.

You know what, it really is.

Super grateful for it all.

Sunshine.

Stars in my hair.

Little girls in giraffe socks.

Penguins in the water.

Blue morpho butterflies in the air.

Ice cream cones and naps on the train.

A smile on my face.

And a little kiss of music in my heart.

Thanks San Francisco.

It was a super sweet day.

Seriously.

 

Deleting Photographs

November 3, 2016

Listening to jazz.

Specifically Art Tatum.

The scratchy sound of the needle dragging though the vinyl is succulent and the glow in my cozy, sweet home is warm and inviting.

I’m deleting photographs in waves.

I had over 10,700 on my hard drive.

They have all been safely moved to my external drive and I’m now in the process of deleting them off my laptop.

I have to say it’s challenging.

There’s a tiny part of me that wants to not delete them, what if they didn’t transfer?

But they did.

And the photos are taking up way too much space on my laptop.

It’s been running slow, telling me constantly to delete files, disk is full.

Yeah.

Yeah.

I hear you, I’m working on it computer.

Thanks to my special help, it takes a village, it does, I was able to secure my pix and now, ha!  Now I can take more.

Well.

Not yet.

But soon.

I’m figuring January.

I’ll be flush enough to get a new camera.

I’m not sitting horribly at the moment, but I did buy a ticket to Wisconsin and a ticket to Paris this past month, just paid rent, just wrote the check from my health insurance and bought my mom her birthday present.

I’ll be sending that off tomorrow.

I love sending presents.

I love the idea of seeing someone’s face when they get something I have gotten for them.

I like to give.

I’m a giver.

Shocking.

I know.

When I have been in financial straits I tend to make things, and truth be told, I’m thinking about doing that this year.

I’m not really in straits, I’m just not as flush as I would like.

I’m doing ok and I’m not going to stress, but I was also thinking that I love cooking and it might be nice to make chicken soup for friends at school.

Last year around this time I went over to a friend’s house and cooked food for him for what probably lasted him weeks if not a month while he was going through a challenging time.

Cream of broccoli soup with cheddar cheese and bacon.

And.

Chili with sirloin and three kinds of beans.

Plus a huge pan of cornbread.

It was right around this time, I do remember, it might have actually have been Halloween, I remember there were trick or treaters going around and I used candied corn and bacon, because I roll like that, in the pan of cornbread I made.

I miss baking.

I don’t miss eating it, though I can get nostalgic for it.

But I do miss baking.

Sometimes I wish I could just get all the stuff and bake up a storm like I used to when I lived in Wisconsin.

Sugar cookies with frosting.

Brazil nut toffee.

Popcorn balls.

Fudge.

With and without nuts, but frankly, it’s so much better with nuts.

I miss making cheesecakes and pies, pumpkin pies and apple pies especially at this time of year.

I miss that feeling that, warm, soft glowing feeling that I got as I puttered around my kitchen, mixing and measuring, baking, and kneading, frosting sugar cookies.

I do.

I always get a bit nostalgic for it when I’m heading into the holidays.

The photographs I have been deleting also reminded me of that.

I’m currently in the middle of the 1,000s of photos I took when I lived in Paris.

And I have to say.

Fuck.

I’m a pretty damn good amateur photographer.

There were some really good shots.

And I loved seeing the Paris around Christmas time photographs.

The lights were so gorgeous.

Definitely different from what you see in the states, but they had an allure.

I was also so broke when I lived there, taking pictures was all I could afford to do.

Although I did splurge during the holidays.

Mostly on postage.

I sent my family and friends postcards and Christmas cards from Paris.

I found a photograph of my table, one of my favorite perches at the neighborhood cafe at that was on the same corner where I lived, Rue de Bellefond, in the 9th, Odette and Aime.

I had a glass of water.

A cafe allonge, which is basically an Americano, or a black coffee–I was already skimping on the milk, the cafe cremes were just too pricey.

My notebook.

My bag of pens.

And tons of cards and postcards and stickers from the librairie that was by Square D’Anvers that I made myself a nuisance at.

I couldn’t really afford the pens and paper there, but I would treat myself once in a while, I would buy a card or if I was feeling extravagant, a Claire Fontaine notebook, I would wander the aisles and look at everything.

I was very polite to the owners and once that got used to me and the fact that I always bought something, even if it was tiny, went along way.

Bonjour Madame.

Bonjour.

And I would wile away the time in the aisles longingly caressing the notebooks and smelling the good paper smell.

I love paper.

I love books.

I love, love, love the way they feel and look and well, Paris was a hard place for that luxury when I was living there.

When I went back last Christmas I gave myself carte blanche to buy whatever I wanted to paper wise.

I actually had a challenging time with it for a little while.

Grow up poor and in scarcity, even when there is none, even when I had fat Euro, for me, in my pocket, Euro that was not needing to go to rent or groceries, or god forbid a cafe creme, I had a hard time spending it.

For a few days I was acting as though I couldn’t part with them.

I actually forced myself the first time to buy a notebook at a papeterie my first day there.

Yes, there are paper stores there.

Exclusively paper and pens and auto collants.

STICKERS.

God I love me some stickers.

Shut up.

I did get past it and I did allow a few splurges.

But truth be told.

I could have let myself have more.

That’s a thing.

Letting myself have more.

Nice coffee.

Nice candles.

Nice hair products.

It’s ok to take care of myself.

I still want to give, I do love gifting, there is just something about it, but I also want to let myself have things.

Whether it is an experience, which is usually where I spend my money–traveling.

Or.

A nice pair of pants.

I deserve to have nice things.

I am lovable and worthy of love.

Lest I forget.

And the best thing about the photographs?

They remind me, gently of how far I have come.

When I moved back from Paris three years ago I was broke.

I mean.

I had ten dollars in my wallet.

I have come a long fucking way.

Let me tell you.

And I’m so grateful for the perspective.

And that I documented my experience.

The photographs have been a joy to relive.

Looking forward to making more.

Having more.

Allowing more into my life.

Happy.

Joyous.

And.

Free.

Yes.

Yes, please.

Yes, always.

Running Into Old

October 14, 2016

Friends.

Is so very nice.

I saw two people tonight that I have not seen in some time and it was really good to catch up.

“It’s been forever!” I exclaimed to one of my friends, who raised an eyebrow.

“It doesn’t feel like that to me, but then again I read your blogs.”

Oh.

I love that.

It just made my night.

Especially when it comes from people who I respect and admire, who I think are smart, it warms the cockles of my heart.

Cockles.

It’s a word.

Look it up.

Granted it meant not getting home until after 10:30 p.m. tonight, but I really needed to catch up with my people and it was super nice and I feel more connected and seen.

Sometimes I just need to claim my seat.

And I did that tonight.

I also got to relax and come down from work, the breaking up the week between gigs is challenging.

Not just from the standpoint of the differing locations and the different times, but also in establishing my boundaries again with the boys.

It’s something that usually happens on Mondays.

But I’m not with them on Mondays anymore, I don’t see them until Tuesday, then I’m at the other gig on Wednesday and that means the last couple of Thursdays have been a much greater challenge than they used to be.

I’m rolling with it, but by the end of the day I have been pretty worn out.

Of course.

I have my second wind, but it’s like after 11 p.m. and I should be winding down.

But.

I’m listening to

Bon Entendeur.

Fuck it’s good.

So good.

It’s a bunch of French actors who open the set of music with a little monologue, then the music.

Ooh la la.

I’ve been quite into it.

It’s electro, chill, deep house, hip-hop, disco, house, techno.

Um.

Yes.

And.

More please.

My darling French friend at school had put together a Spotify play list for me and one day she added this awesome mix by The Kungs, a French dj–Valentin Brunel–Cookin’ on Three Burners, This Girl and I just couldn’t get enough of it.

I ended up saving all their music to Spotify and listening pretty compulsively to their artist page on Spotify.

I was so hooked.

Then when I ran into them for the mess in the park that was Hardly Strictly melt down for me, I mentioned it to her husband.

She had relayed to me that he was the one who needed to be thanked for the Kungs hook up, he had discovered them.

So I did.

And the next thing you know he’s adding Bon Entendeur to my phone and, well, god damn, it is so, so, so good.

I’m a happy clam listening to it, let me tell you.

There is always something new and amazing to listen to.

I can’t keep up with it all and when I get hooked on something I do tend to stay with it for a while.

I mean.

I am not necessarily embarrassed by it, but I did listen to Mike Doughty’s Stellar Motel for a couple of months pretty non-stop every night earlier this summer.

I got to where I could basically sing a long to everything.

I either want something that I can sing along to.

Or I want something I can groove to when I’m writing.

Once in a while.

I need jazz.

On a Sunday.

Chet Baker.

Miles Davis.

Coleman Hawkins.

Or I need some Regina Spektor, a Saturday night spell of girlishness where I will sing and sway alone in my room.

Sometimes I need The Myna Birds and I need to stomp and shout and be mad melancholic.

Or.

I need some Van Morrison.

Which is familiar and wistful.

Or.

A little Shuggie Otis Strawberry Letter Number 24.

Which is got all sorts of undertones to it, some raw and perfumed with the devil of jasmine on a cold night in the Mission with the fog cool on my heart and the breath of autumn rains soon to come.

At times I need the Bach cello sonatas.

I am an emotional eater of music.

Bon Entendeur really has my ticket right now.

It may be that way since I’m going to Paris in May.

It may be that I like fucking good music.

Probably a little of both.

Oh.

And even though it’s late for me, on a school night.

Tomorrow is Friday.

Thank you God for helping me get through the week.

I do have a lot of homework, a lot of papers that need to get written.

But thank God, I finished the reading for one of my classes–which meant being caught up with the back log of reading I had for the class and finishing the reading that is due for next weekend of classes, so that paper will be easy to write and it’s short.

The other I can do in an hour, max two.

The third, yeah, there’s three.

I’m not exactly sure how to approach.

Depending on how early I get up tomorrow and what the weather is going to be like, it’s supposed to rain, I may knock one paper out tomorrow morning before I go into work.

I bet I can get it done.

Then one on Saturday and one on Sunday.

Totally doable.

Even if I don’t feel like doing them.

I will.

Even if I’d rather dance around in my house listening to god damn tasty French music.

I can probably manage to do a little of both.

Fingers crossed.

Hello weekend.

So nice to see you.

Seriously.

 

Sorted, Satiated, Seduced

July 5, 2016

By my sweet foggy city.

Home.

It is such a nice place to be.

I am so grateful I put it all back in place to when I got home last night.

I unpacked and put away all my little treasures from the trip.

Some flower hair clips.

Two vintage cardigans.

A couple pairs of cheap earrings.

Some stickers.

Two pounds of locally roasted coffee, one from Mojo and other from Hey Cafe and Coffee.

Two pairs of new sandals.

And the little bit of swag from the conference.

I was a little wound up from getting home.

I got the butterflies and the happy sparklers of joy in my belly as the plane flew in over SFO International Airport.

It is this way every time I fly into the airport.

This feeling of happiness and glee.

This recurring knowing of being home, even before I called San Francisco home, it was home.

I still remember, sixteen years later, how it felt the first time I flew in over the city and how giddy I was with it.

Anticipatory joy and love and awe.

Awe that I was coming and getting to see the friend, a man I was in love with, romantically crushed out on, a man that though I did eventually get to have for one one night, was not the man for me.

But.

I will always be grateful for that unrequited love song that yearned in my heart for it led me to this city, this amazing space and land and confluence of fog and love and flowers in my hair and self-discovery.

And.

Of course.

No matter what.

No matter where.

It will always be home because it is where I got sober.

No other place can lay claim to that piece of my history.

So on top of the general body and soul and heart knowing, there is this deep pocket of grace that I am here.

I leave and return.

I tried to move to Paris.

That didn’t work.

I could see living in New York, it has it’s energy and allure and spark.

But.

Yet.

I am here.

And I continue to return and be soaked with gratitude every time.

I could live in New Orleans.

Oh, the hot humid sexy of it.

The big lushness of it, the flowers and trees, the moss in the trees, the drawl of the voices, the funky, bluesy, jazzy’ness of it, the art and the creative.

And also the underground dark scary spooky.

I suppose everywhere has pockets of wildness and dark.

But I could sense it closer to the surface there than a lot of places, maybe any other place I have been.

Death and sex and hot damp over abundant wildness.

It is there just skimming along below the pulse of warm air on your skin.

I can’t quite describe it, it is intense and dark and surreal and powerful and made my skin feel electric at times, the small hairs on the back of my neck rising in silent acknowledgement of the old the, wild, the barbaric yawp.

I feel it at times, in a different kind of way, but a dark wild way, in pockets of Golden Gate park when I would ride my bike through it at night.

Not always, but often, and though a different kind of energy then what I felt in New Orleans which was at once languid and violent, it too has a dark windy animal howl.

I am compelled by both those energies, softly drawn and also quite aware and wary that it is not my space to wander through.

I get to give it a wide berth.

The other thing about New Orleans was the architecture that was so heavily French influenced.

I do have a thing for all thing Francophile.

It is a definite and well defined influence that I really felt drawn too.

Plus, the colors.

Oh, so bright and many.

And that too, is something I find wonderful and compelling about San Francisco–the Victorians and the architecture here, gorgeous and bright and colorful as well.

I also recognized a kind of art and brightness that I normally associate with San Francisco and the Burning Man culture here.

In fact, at one point when I was in a little store on Magazine Street, I recall thinking to myself that I didn’t know New Orleans was such a Burner’s city.

Then I realized that it was Burning Man influenced, though, there may be some of that too–I know Burner’s Without Borders did a lot of work in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina–it was Mardi Gras.

The store was full of costumes and feather boas and masks and at first I thought it was a store like you might find in the Haight that specializes in festival gear and clothing.

Nope.

Mardi Gras.

Either way, it’s dress up.

For me, though, although I flew my personal little self-expression flag high, I was not as comfortable with it in New Orleans as I am in San Francisco.

I felt at times, if I were to live there, I would tone it down a bit.

Then.

I realized.

Nope.

I am not toning it down for anyone.

I am wild and free and wonderful and live a happy, joyous, compelling life.

And so far.

That life has been focused and centered around living in San Francisco.

Even when the fog, Karl, sweetheart I did miss you, is so thick you can’t see the fireworks display in the sky on the fourth of July.

Even when I needed to unearth the heavy sweatshirt today.

Even with the tech kids and the Millennials and the people getting pushed out and the high cost of living.

Even with the extra traffic and the gentrification.

I still love it so.

I still get feathering tickles in my body of joy co-mingled with electric blue sparkles of anticipation and awe, the wonder of it all.

I get to live in San Francisco.

I.

So.

Am.

The luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

Home, Sweet, Sweet

May 24, 2016

Home.

It’s so nice to be back.

Sometimes I go away just to have that feeling again, of how much I love being home.

Home is San Francisco.

Oh.

It could be elsewhere, I did find myself experiencing a very deep fondness for the little neighborhood in Brooklyn that was adjacent to where I was staying in Clinton Hill–The Fort Greene historic area, so, pretty, so many gorgeous brownstones and kids on scooters and the park and the feel of it being a community.

I really liked that.

I could see living in one of those brownstones and sitting on the stoop on a warm night or day, reading a book with a cup of coffee, watching the world go by.

I do like that.

I miss having a place like that to hang out, my place doesn’t have a front porch or a stoop.

However.

There are spots in the neighborhood where I can sit and watch the world go by and I did do that for a little while today after getting back from the airport.

Despite big delays on BART, I still made it home pretty much around the time I thought I would as my flight came in a half hour before it was scheduled, so the time I “lost” on the train wasn’t really lost time.

Plus.

I had my book from the Strand and I pulled that out and started reading and got a good 60 pages into it, popped on my headphones, listened to some Radio Soulwax and just sat.

Sometimes I just need to slow down.

I just got off the phone with one of the women I work with and that was the gist of the conversation, the suggestion to just slow down.

I can get going really fast, I won’t feel, and I will be doing and it tricks my brain into thinking I’m being productive, but sometimes I am just running away from myself.

I take myself wherever I go.

Oh.

There I am again, I thought during a moment of being slightly turned around in Brooklyn and hesitating as to what to do next, literally I was walking around in little circles.

I realized that I was there with me and the “me” was itchy and antsy and getting a little irritated and discontent, which is like my natural state, so I said a prayer asked for guidance and got take out from the Thai place I had dinner at on Saturday night.

Now.

Just stopping and slowing down and letting the world happen, I got to meet Doug and go do the tour of his studio, so even when I seem lost and confused, see, there, I am being looked after and loved.

I sent him a thank you note via e-mail and got just the sweetest response from him today.

He told me the price for the piece I want, several thousand dollars (but he also offered to work out a deal with me, which I super appreciated and despite not having several thousand to drop on an art piece, boy howdy do I aspire to that), and also an invitation to stay at his place the next time I visit–he rents an Air BnB as well, and he said when he comes to San Francisco we must get together.

Also, and I found this so sweet and endearing, that I will make a great, empathetic therapist and I will make loads of money and buy lots of art including his.

That literally brings tears to my eyes.

A very secret wish of mine, to be able to afford to buy the art I love and also to support the artists that I see around me, I love art, it does something to me and creativity and my friends who are artists just blow me away.

“What kind of art do you do,” he asked me outside the doors of the meeting hall, it’s an assumption I get a lot.

But instead of saying I’m not an artist, I said, “I’m a writer.”

And that is a kind of art.

I am creating as I type and when it is right, when the mood is lovely and I am completely transparent I am a conduit and what comes forward is not me, it super cedes me and reshapes me and I am a different person after doing the writing.

In that is great joy.

Yeah.

I want to be an amazing photographer, I am a passable amateur.

Of course I want to draw and paint and sculpt, but those mediums I have never quite had the passion for, the drive for.  I do get ideas and have ways of being in the world that I believe, deep within me, are supremely artistic.

It could just be the way I arrange my hair or hang a photograph on the wall.

But.

I have always wanted to be a patron.

There’s just something super sexy about that.

A dream.

A home, a big one, with lots of light and a studio to write in and a library to read in and rooms for friends to come and do retreats and a cottage in the back and art everywhere and recovery and always the work, the growing the finding of new beauty and subsuming it into my person.

How much art can I hold?

How much love can I give.

That is an art.

The art of smiling, being of service, reaching out, kindness is an act of art.

Art is love.

It is perspective and joy and great waves of sorrow and overwhelming moments of uplift and I can’t comprehend it and maybe, probably, I just don’t want to.

It is an art being myself.

I realize this as I move through the world, how I let myself express myself is an art too.

I can be a living piece of art.

Although sometimes I just need to be a tired human.

The well needed to get refilled today.

When I got home I unpacked my bag and threw my clothes in the wash, I put all my things away, all the notebooks and the few little things I had brought back from my travels and walked up to a little spot in the neighborhood and grabbed lunch.

I sat inside, then I realized I just wanted to sit for a while.

I pulled up a seat at an outside table and sat and watched the ocean in the distance and the neighborhood doing it’s neighborhood deal and then I read for an hour.

Occasionally closing my eyes to the sun and I realized I needed a nap.

So a quick pit stop at Other Avenues for some household stuff and then home.

And a nap.

Oh such a nap.

I slept three hours.

I woke up twice to a text message and to pee, but really, I slept nearly three hours and I can feel I am a bit jet lagged still.

So easy does it the rest of tonight.

Full and grateful heart and a gentle song of jazz on my radio and a little more tea.

And sleep.

In my own home.

In my own bed.

In my favorite place in the world.

San Francisco.

Where my he(art) is.

Impromptu Dance Party

May 14, 2016

My date cancelled.

And then.

I got my period.

It’s a Friday night.

And.

I’m at home.

AND I DON’T GIVE ONE FINE FUCK!

I finished my Clinical Relationship paper.

It’s done!

Done!

Done!

Oh sweet Jesus, the relief.

Excuse me, I just had another impromptu dance party in my chair.

Happy, happy.

Joy, joy.

11 full pages.

APA format.

References, title page, all the things.

Proper like.

3,744 words.

Thank you.

Thank you very fucking much.

Lucky one.

I am two.

Lucky three, the one for me.

One, two, three I’m on my knees.

Oh my god.

I’m in tears.

This music.

I get high.

I was listening to Masters of Reality, Sunrise on the Surfer Bus, twenty years ago.

Twenty.

In that house on Franklin Street in Madison, my roommates were my boyfriend Justin–he and I shared the big back room–we had a couple of Bengal leopard cats and a tabby (Mia, Tiger, and Porkchop)–and a king size water bed (giggle), Matt, Justin’s best friend, and Naboja–the heroin junkie from Serbia.

God we were wild.

Pot growing in the closets, cats running ruckus throughout the house, Matt’s girlfriend and I were arch nemesis (why?  I have no idea, but something to do with drinking the last of my milk and leaving the empty container in the fridge), Justin playing chess and smoking bongs, Naboja running in and out of the house with nefarious friends and black tar (God I was naive).

Justin cheated on me twice in that house.

And I stayed for five years.

(five years of no writing, no poetry, no words, no journal entries, note to self you die when you aren’t writing)

Oof.

The things I put myself through not knowing there was a way out.

However.

It was not all bad, there was sweetness and light and just as I introduced him to classical music and Blues and jazz (he became a total jazz junkie) he introduced me to Soul Coughing and Jeff Buckley, we saw them both in concert together–Buckley touring for Grace at the Barrymore and Soul Coughing on tour for Ruby Vroom at the Eagles Ballroom.

He made me listen to Sleater Kinney–saw them too, at the Union South of all places on campus, tiny little space and they slayed it, fucking killed it dead on the floor revived the bitch, then killed it again.

We saw Annie DiFranco at the Civic Center.

I think Justin was the only man in the audience who was straight.

Although his hair was so long from behind he could have been a girl.

We saw Primus, fucking loved Les Claypool so hard; he turned me on to Sepultura, although I had to be in the mood, once in a while, well, I was.

We saw Beck, Morphine, Cake.

So much good music.

He found a stained glass artist at the Farmer’s Market one sunny Saturday morning, I had closed the Essen Haus the night before, a crazy German restaurant and brew hall I worked notoriously long hours for, and he’d bought a pair of earrings from her.

They were long, almost a tear drop shape, navy blue, with small striations of sky blue and robins egg blue and white at the tips.  I eventually found that artisan again and asked her to make me sets of those earrings.

I don’t have any of them anymore.

Maybe I should look her up again.

They were gorgeous in their simplicity and when I wore my hair up and the sun hit them.

Magic.

That was what there were to me that day.

Magic.

Sex and love and passion and music and youth and beauty.

God.

I was so beautiful

(and fat and ugly and ugly and fat and you better do something about that or you’re going to grow up and be alone forever)

I had no idea.

I woke up tangled in the sheets on the water bed, Porkchop meowing at me, rolled out of bed and took a shower, I smelled like beer and cigarettes and rinder rouladen gravy and weinerschnitzle and schnapps and dirty dirndl.

Justin was not there.

There was no note, it was late, afternoon already, past noon, past one, heading into the golden bright light bouncing off James Madison park and the lake and I supposed that Justin was out throwing a frisbee at the park with the guys.

I showered and enjoyed having the apartment to myself.

I put on my favorite A-line skirt and a leotard, navy blue, and dried my hair into its big mass of curls.

I went into our bedroom and turned on Masters of Reality and began dancing, barefoot, to When Jody Sings (how interesting! I just realized my professor’s name for the Clinical Relationship is “Jyoti” is it odd?  Is it God? Is it counter transference?  Read my paper and find out), the skirt a soft, small print, I mean tiny, it was such a tiny print you almost couldn’t tell it was a print, of navy, red, and green plaid (it had been a house dress of my mom’s that never quite fit me in the bodice, so I ripped off the top and reconstructed it as a skirt) flaring out around my calves.

I love a skirt that flares when I spin.

I danced in the sunlight streaming through the windows, singing the song and delighting in my own self.

Justin was standing in the door way.

Smitten.

The look on his face.

I won’t soon forget.

I can still see it twenty years ago like it was this morning.

“Did you find your gift?” He asked me, smiling, his head tilted, bright eyed (high, oh so high) and lit up.

I paused in my dance, flustered, but pleased that he’d seen me in a moment (a rare one at the time) when I felt truly myself, truly beautiful.

Oh do I ache for her.

(yes, I know, I’m emotional, I got my period, roll with it please)

He walked across the wood floor, that odd way he walked sometimes, high, on the balls of his feet like he was cantilevered forward always rushing off into the future where things were brighter, higher, more rare and real, and he took my hand and led me to the window.

“These,” he said pointing at the earrings.

I had not seen them.

Hanging from the window screen, blazing in the sunlight like the ocean at sunset tonight when I rode my scooter home, thank you God for letting me live in San Francisco and see the fire of the setting sun on the water, thank you, dancing alive and dappled with shade from the oak trees rustling in the breeze.

“Oh,” I said, softly startled, inordinately pleased.

“They are so beautiful,” I took them off the screen and put them in my ears.

“So are you,” he said and kissed me.

The afternoon melted into evening and I wore them that night to work, they matched my dirndl.

And oh.

How far this woman has come.

So very far, across the country, through valleys and peaks and the lowest lows.

My voice broke tonight.

Sitting in the front row, the low lights hiding my face, the sudden tears, but nothing could hide the break in my voice as I described how grateful I was to be there.

Sitting there in that chair there, still not done with my paper (had to do the references when I got home tonight), but almost, the writing was done all 3,744 words, and though I was tired, up at 7:30 a.m. to do the work before I went to work, I was so profoundly grateful.

Who knew I was going to be this woman?

When I scootered off after school on Saturday night I snuck through Minna Alley.

It’s a one way.

There were needles and shit and homeless people and tents and crates and a woman smoking crack out of a pipe, the scent sweet, rotten, rotting, aching with the need to fill that hole that just cannot get whole.

“I was that woman, twelve years ago, sitting on a piece of cardboard smoking from a crack pipe, and now, now, here I am riding my scooter, that I paid for in cash, brand new, riding home from the graduate school that I go to around the corner,” I paused, my heart broke open.

How lucky am I?

Luckiest girl in the fucking world.

And my paper’s done.

And my heart.

Well, once again, it is on my sleeve.

Exactly as it should be.

My love.

Exactly where it belongs.

Just there.

Love.

Just there.

 

 


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