Posts Tagged ‘John F. Kennedy Drive’

Heading Into The Weekend

May 22, 2015

Wondering what I am going to do.

I have three days.

I don’t have a lot of plans.

There are times when not having a lot of plans can make me crazy, or better, I make myself crazy with the thinking and the trying to figure it out.

I live in San Francisco.

There is always something to do.

Saturday, I am happy to report, I will finally be having dinner at Cajun Pacific.

A small restaurant in my neighborhood, literally, around the corner a block away, UGH.

NOOOO.

They’re closed for a private party on Saturday.

Damn it man.

I was thrilled when my friend suggested it, they are only open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, very small, limited menu, always changing.

I have walked past it a number of times and drooled over the menu.

As I would not be able to partake of a number of the dishes there, but you know, I would enjoy smelling it.

Sigh.

Oh well.

I guess my Saturday won’t be including Cajun food.

I will probably still play catch up with my friend, it just won’t be over a bowl of gumbo.

“I’ve been reading your blogs,” the text read, “you sound lonely.”

Ayup.

But.

It’s not so bad at the moment.

Most of the lonely sneaks in when I am under the weather and my defenses are down.

The cold that I have had for the last two weeks seems to be waning and I am glad for it.

I don’t have plans, but I will do something fun for myself.

Probably go to Free Gold Watch and play some pinball, maybe wander around the Haight a little, perhaps go catch a movie, I’m down for Mad Max, although, it feels like it would just be a preview of Burning Man, but that’s just me.

I have my usual commitments to do and folks to see, but yeah, I do have a bit of down time and since Monday is a holiday I can act like Sunday is not the early to bed day for me it typically is.  Monday mornings are my earliest start of the week and I am up by 6:30 a.m on Mondays.  Which means in bed by 10:30 p.m. on Sundays and then usually my brain is too busy chatting at me to actually fall asleep until midnight (like this past Sunday, that was obnoxious) and I drag a bit at the beginning of the week.

Anyway.

I am wiling to suspend the belief that I won’t have a thing to do and will mope around and be lonely.

NO MOPING.

I really do feel better.

I’ll go to the salon and get my mani/pedi/wax game on.

That’s always a treat.

Hmmm.

In fact, maybe I should do a session at Kabuki or get a massage.

I can’t remember the last time I went to Kabuki, it’s been over a year and a half.

I wouldn’t mind going out to the Banya either, but Kabuki makes better sense for me travel wise, the whole not having a scooter thing, which I thought would be more on my mind than it has been.

I have forgotten it almost completely.

It was just last Friday that I signed over the paperwork to have it recycled and my brain has not had any discomfort around it.

None at all.

So nice.

Not to be obsessed with it.

In fact, I’m not particularly obsessed with anything at the moment.

I don’t have anything that is bugging me or nagging at me.

I just feel like I’m swimming a long.

There’s plenty happening over the next few months, only three months before I start graduate school!

And the not having a lot to do on a three-day weekend is absolutely ok with me.

First, it makes room for me to relax and second, it makes room for surprise and spontaneity.

I’m going to practice saying yes to things this weekend.

I’m going to not plan anything and see what happens.

I bet I can say yes to a lot of things that haven’t even occurred to me to do and I will have a terrific weekend.

No worrying allowed.

Which is a good rule of thumb for me anyway.

“Thank you, we received your addendum to the Diversity Leadership Scholarship, we will be in touch with you in the next two weeks,” sincerely….

Whatever happens, it will be alright.

I felt completely free of anxiety.

I haven’t been brought this far a long to be dropped now.  I am going to graduate school and the money will be there, whether via scholarships or grants or financial aid student loans, however, whenever, I know it will show up.

I have utter faith in it.

I have felt led and ushered along this path and once I surrendered to going to graduate school and pursuing something completely different from what I thought I should do, the path was revealed.

I can have that same faith in the rest of my life.

The relationships with friends, family, with my future partner, with employers with whomever, will happen exactly as they are supposed to be.

I don’t have to look for something or someone to fill the hole of extra time.

It will fill itself without my worry.

There is nothing to miss out.

I don’t have to have FOMO (fear of missing out) in my own life.

I do plenty.

Instead of trepidation I choose excitement and eagerness to greet whatever comes down this weekend, what ever comes to me in this life.

A large raven circled over my head as I rode my bicycle down John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park, the gloaming of the clouds, the twilight fast approaching, I saw its heavy wings flap over me and circle.

I was reminded of my friend who passed and thought.

What would he do?

And I knew that in my being alive, present, here, doing this thing, that I will get to continue having experiences.

There is no running out of them.

That’s just not what I foresee for my life.

Even if I can’t see where it is going.

I know that it is happening.

And that is exciting.

Anticipating a bright forecast for the weekend.

No matter what the emotional weather bears.

This experiential creature will be living.

As fully as I can.

Saying yes to everything.

Nice Vespa!

April 25, 2014

What year is it?

1965.

Fucking awesome!

Thanks!

Then, kerchunk.

I killed it on the hill turning onto Fell Street.

Ha.

That’s what you get for flirting with the guy on the corner.

Well, I might have killed it anyway, it’s my newest challenge, going up a hill in gear, first mind you, while using the rear brake to stabilize me and then easing off said brake, letting out the clutch and giving it a little gas.

Not too much.

Not too little.

Just the right mix.

I have it down when I am in the flats and am getting proficient enough with it that I can smoothly slow down, down shift, stop, and ease it right back out after the stop and keep moving forward.

Most of the time.

I still have my moments.

Then, I have to think about the fact that today was time number seven, of being out on my Vespa riding, and three of those rides were short with someone else with me.

I took it up to Church and Market today to do a meet up at Crepevine and then head over to Our Lady of Safeway, except that I didn’t.

After my meeting at Crepevine it started to rain.

Not a lot.

But enough.

Enough that my companion urged me to skip where I was going and head home before it did start to really come down.

The rain wasn’t supposed to start until tomorrow, but that’s what happens in San Francisco.

The weather can be a little tricky and I did not want to push my luck with it.

As it happened, I made it back without getting more than just a little sprinkled on.

And I can say that I am getting the hang of it more and more.

I still have what I call my pre-game warm up.

I get nerves.

I get anxious.

I have to breathe through it, roll my shoulders a little, loosen up my body, say a word to the powers that be and give myself more than adequate time to get where ever I am going.

There is a ritual involved to rolling it out and starting it up and I am getting a small routine, but it’s going to be a little longer before I just hop on and cruise off.

Granted, it’s getting easier to will my way into riding.

I expressed tonight at the restaurant that I am more scared than I would like to let on, but then, I have had moments of unadulterated fun, the moving through the park, on John F. Kennedy, has really helped, the green, the lushness, the Chain of Lakes, the Bison in the paddock.

Even, yes, the frisbee golfer warming up tonight as I headed home in the dusk trying to beat out the rain fall.

There’s another thing I can get myself into, frisbee golf.

Free.

Yeah.

I like those sorts of activities.

It would require a small investment to buy a couple of discs and I could hop my scooter and be over to the course in ten or fifteen minutes.

My friend’s partner, said friend who sold me the scooter,  got really excited for me when she saw me last, giving me a big hug she said, “it’s going to open up the city to you in ways you cannot imagine.”

I knew she was right when she said it, but I think I am just starting to get an inkling of what that might look like.

I am a bit bummed that there’s rain forecasted for tomorrow, I know, I know, we need the rain, but I would have like to have ridden the Vespa into the Castro tomorrow, met with my friends, then headed over to the End Up for some dancing.

I am not willing to take her out yet in the rain.

I will, I am sure, at some point take a ride in the rain, but unless it’s absolutely necessary, I don’t see the point.  I can take MUNI, not worry about my burgeoning scooter skills, and stay dry.

I had visions of perhaps going to Kabuki before heading out, but perhaps I will save that for the weekend instead.

Dancing is the only thing on the menu, so far.

I had my half day.

It definitely threw me for a loop, getting out of my routine, going in early, leaving early.

I did not care for it and I did not know what to do with myself, but I just told myself, next little action in front of you and see where it leads.

Lead me home, but not quite to the house, I buzzed by, on my bicycle, earlier, I am still riding my bike into my nanny gigs, and hit the Noriega Produce Market for groceries and supplies to get me through the weekend.

I knew the forecast called for rain, so I figured, get the shopping for food out-of-the-way.  Then back to the house, chop up some raw veggies, eat some hummus, have a bowl of homemade soup and do my “morning” pages, which were clarifying and helped me resolve to continue taking next action, which, yes, led to me meditating.

I can stand that.

The quieting of my mind.

Getting into my body.

“You are so hard on yourself,” she said to me tonight, leaning over the table, “you really don’t have to be.”

I don’t even know it.

I don’t see it.

I don’t feel it.

Once in a while I can see I am learning to ease up.

But most times not.

It’s rather like learning to ride this vintage Vespa, it’s a practice, an easing up, a letting out the clutch and an easing off the throttle.

I am so used to going full throttle and riding the clutch with a death grip.

Ease up.

Slow down.

Mellow out.

Be nice to the scooter.

Fuck.

Be nice to me.

I may not have gotten as much done today as I would like (laundry, cooked food for the weekend–black-eyed peas with kale and broccoli, laced with browned organic ground pork and onions and garlic, pot of savory brown rice–turmeric, garlic, black pepper, ginger, adobo, wrote four pages long hand–I had the time, rode my scooter, met up for tea with someone who has a better perspective on my life than I do, worked a half day, finished my library book–Telegraph Avenue, Michael Chabon) but I did do a lot more than I let myself acknowledge.

For today, for at least this moment.

I acknowledge I do a good job.

The best I can.

And that is pretty damn good.

 

I Killed It

April 6, 2014

No.

I mean.

I literally killed it.

Like, um, four times.

Heh.

Learning how to use the clutch on the scooter.

But learning I am and I now feel comfortable enough to go out on my own tomorrow.

Not very far.

No.

Just up and down the block, get the feel of it, get used to rolling off the throttle, using the clutch, moving from 1st to neutral, neutral to 2nd, not killing it.

But killing it.

Now, figuratively.

Because.

Soon.

Soon, I will be zipping around this seven by seven tract of city like no body’s business and it’s going to be on.  Of course, there’s a learning curve, and I did not want to get on that curve today, nope, not at all, in fact, I had more than one fleeting thought about how this was all a mistake and what was I thinking and who needs a scooter and I am crazy.

I ate my dinner anyway before my friends showed up.

My friend came over with his girlfriend to help me practice.

And I thought as I hugged her, this was a mistake, the eating of dinner, I am going to throw up.

The feeling stayed with me as I promptly killed the engine on the scooter taking it from neutral to first and letting out the clutch to fast and leaping forward a little and whomp, there she goes dying.

I got to slow down then.

Stop.

Back it up against the curb.

Practice finding and using the kill switch.

Practice rolling on and off the throttle.

Practice squeezing out the clutch slowly.

My friend noticed my biggest error right away, I was using the clutch like it was a brake.

Aha!

Makes total sense, at least to me, I am used to squeezing a lever on the handlebars on my bicycle, it means I am engaging the brake on the wheel.

Eight years of habit is a hard habit to break.

And I have to learn how to brake by using the foot brake on the Vespa, the right side has a foot brake on the floor board of the scooter.

The clutch is on the left, the throttle on the right and the right front brake and then the rear brake is on the floor on the right side.

Ugh.

Dyslexia girl strikes again.

What my friend did was genius though.

He just paced right along side me on his scooter.

He went slow, watched for traffic, had me start out in neutral, ease off the clutch, go to first, give it some gas, and practice stopping and starting every ten to fifteen feet for a while.

Then when I was getting the hang of it, I took it into second and went a little bit faster.

Not that much faster, though.

I got passed by cars.

Bicycles.

And, mortifying.

One guy on a skateboard.

But what ever.

I got it.

I stilled killed it at a four-way stop sign when I got overwhelmed with the sunlight and the cars and the turn and just fritzed out my brain.

And that’s ok too.

I am learning.

And I got the thumbs up to do some practising on my own.

l feel like I can do that tomorrow, take her out, just zip, slowly, up and down the blocks.

My neighborhood is actually perfect for that kind of practise.  It is so residential and there are stop signs just about every block.  I couldn’t bring the scooter over 25 mph if I wanted to before I would be braking.

I can just do exactly what I did today.

Get on, start the engine, I literally have to kickstart it.

There is not engine on switch.

I put the key in the scooter, turn it, to make sure the handle bars have gotten unlocked, and kick down the lever to start the engine.

It is pretty awesome when I think about it and I really do see myself becoming a pro at it.  I just have to practice and allow myself to be a novice at something.

I learned how to drive a stick shift when I was fifteen.

I did the same thing then as I did today.

I stalled out  the engine.

I didn’t understand the feel of the clutch and the sound of the engine and when I needed to shift.  Mostly I was also mortified to make any mistakes.  Especially with my mom in the passenger seat telling me how to do it.

She made me drive up and down the drive way at the house in Windsor.

What I did not realize when I was first learning was that too often I was putting the car into third gear, first and third being close together on the gear shift, I didn’t know the difference, until, one day, it just clicked.

But by that time I was in a panic to not drive anymore.

I had stalled out at the four-way stop sign in Windsor and had traffic behind me and mom yelling at me in the car and I just wanted to give it up forever and who needs to drive anyway?

I somehow managed to make that left turn, just like today.

And after that it got easier.

And my uncle Jeff took me out in his truck shortly thereafter and was so laid back and easy-going and just explained it to me and I got it.

Same thing happened today.

I got the throttle and easing up and off while using the clutch and I got used to using the foot brake.

My friend was wonderful and patient and encouraging and so was his girlfriend, who had learned from him as well.

There was even a few moments when I was not terrified that I was going to kill it, never worried about killing myself, just the scooter, and I really enjoyed riding, the park is beautiful and I was riding along John F. Kennedy and hey!

I live in San Francisco and I own a vintage 1965 Vespa and I am riding it through Golden Gate Park wearing a sparkle helmet.

Whoa.

Life is amazing.

Even when I killed it.

I was killing it.

 


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