Posts Tagged ‘Louvre’

Hello Stranger

November 29, 2018

I’m back!

Oh my God, I’m actually back.

Wow.

This feels so surreal.

It also feels weird because WordPress has once again changed some things on the site and the layout I’m used to using has changed.  But so far, well, so freaking good.

It is nice to be home.

I have missed you!

I have been busy, I won’t lie.

So busy that it makes me wonder how it is that I can even take the time to be sitting here in front of my computer not working on homework.

My God.

The amount of homework.

It is horrendous.

There is literally not a day.

Ok.

There was a day.

That I don’t do homework.

I didn’t do homework on Thanksgiving.

I almost did, but then I just cut myself some slack and said, no, take the day off or you’re going to be pissed.

And the day was taken off.

I went to a movie!

In fact, heh, I went to two movies!

I cannot remember the last time I saw a movie in the theater, probably last Christmas?  And to see not one, but two in the same day was crazy.

I went with my people to a matinée at the Embarcadero Cinemas, which I love.  I do adore a good art house space, plus, there is just something pretty about that part of town when it is emptied out, as it was being a holiday.   The view of the city, the Embarcadero, the bay, the Bay Bridge, the downtown skyscrapers and plenty of parking, which in and of itself is a miracle.

We saw At Eternity’s Gate, the Vincent Van Gough movie with William DaFoe.

First of all, DaFoe is a fucking genius, he’s got the Oscar on this one.

Second.

Horrendously sad.

But I mean, you know it’s not going to end well, the man cuts off his ear for fucks sake, it’s not like this is going to be a happy movie.

Yet.

It was a gorgeous movie, Julian Schnabel did amazing work.

It’s filmed on site where Van Gough did his paintings, Paris first, than the South of France in Arles, and the light he manages to capture is just exquisite.

It felt like being in one of Van Gough’s paintings.

So much beauty.

So much grief too.

I was in tears and the ending just had me with tears pouring down my face, but ultimately, it was such an extraordinary work of beauty that I was grateful to be able to see it.

And I was grateful to reflect that I have gotten to see a number of Van Gough paintings in person.

Although I have never been to the Van Gough museum, I have seen his works in the Louvre, the MOMA New York and the MOMA San Francisco, and The National Gallery in London.

That’s pretty damn good if I think about it.

I am blessed with having gotten to see the amount of art I have seen in my life.

There is so much more to see.

So much more.

Speaking of art, I had hoped that during my down time from work with the holiday I would get to the MOMA, but I did not, too many other things were happening.

Lots of homework, internship work, seeing clients, seeing friends, running errands that needed desperately to be run, clothes shopping–I hadn’t been clothes shopping in so long it felt kind of crazy.

I’ve lost a little weight the last few months and really had to get new jeans.

And I’m not complaining about that at all, it just took forever for me to have the time to get to it.

You may see a theme here.

Busy.

The new internship is going well and I feel like it will grow me into a very healthy private practice therapy business.

Which is also part of the reason why I haven’t been blogging here for some time.

I’m not much of a tech person, not really, not at all, and for my internship I needed to build a website.

Now if I had the money I’d just hire a friend to do it, in fact, when I do have the money I will most likely do just that, but in the mean time.

Well.

Shoot.

I already have a blog on WordPress, I’ll just use WordPress.

Except.

Ugh.

I didn’t realize that I had inadvertently connected the two, my professional website with my, very private, thank you very much, blog.

I mean.

Some of you out there know who I am.

But most of the people reading my blog don’t know who I am.

I am anonymous here and I always have been, since it allows me to pretty freely write about what ever I want to write about.

Oh.

Sure.

There are things y’all don’t know and that will stay like that for ever, thank you.

But.

I am really transparent here.

I write about all sorts of things.

All sorts of things that no therapist wants their clients to know about.

So you may imagine my horror when I realized that you could access this blog through my professional site.

I don’t believe I let that oversight go more than a few days.

The horror I felt though when I realized that the website I’d worked on so hard was linked to my personal blog was no bueno.

I mean.

Yuck.

I don’t believe any of my clients found it.

In fact, I do wonder if anyone actually did figure it out.

It wasn’t very obvious, but for a couple of days the “About Me” was my “About Me” blog from this site, which isn’t exactly scandalous, but it is sassy and certainly not anything I would want a therapy client to read.

NO.

So once I fixed that I spent too much time trying to figure out how to separate the two entities.

I spent too many precious minutes and hours away from my homework on the help chat.

And then WordPress went down, well, it didn’t go do per se, but the administrative support did and really, the couple of chats I did have done nothing for me, except taunt me with the fact that there was a way to separate the two from each other, but I couldn’t figure it out.

Like.

My understanding of technology is a five-year olds.

So for a while, like a petulant five-year old, I just stopped trying.

Then I started reaching out to friends.

I have had three-hour long sessions with friends and nothing was accomplished, except for me to get more frustrated.

I wanted to blow up the site.

I wanted to pull my website, but I’d fucking bought the domain and paid for two years of hosting.

I wanted to delete my blog, my baby, this guy, but really?

No way.

l have over 2,500 blogs on this site and they are valuable to me.

More about that later.

So.

My best idea was to lay as low as possible and not write any blogs while I was getting it all sorted.

And yesterday.

I think.

I hope.

Fingers fucking crossed, I figured it out.

Well.

Not the real solution.

But something that would allow me to be anonymous here and not have any tie to my professional site’s identity.

For now it seems to be working, so I’m not going to jinx it.

And hey.

Look at that.

I got to run.

It’s time for me to get ready to go to bed.

I have early supervision now before work and I’ve got a six am start.

Blah.

But hey.

It’s so nice to be here again!

I am.

So fucking nice.

I promise, I won’t be a stranger no more.

Nighty night.

Flanneur

July 22, 2018

Which means, “one who strolls,” in French.

Or something like that.

Google it if you’re not sure.

I am fairly certain, but my French is not that great.

It’s good, but not great.

I know enough French to get me in trouble, its assumed by my accent and the way I talk that I do speak it fairly well, but as I explained to a new English-speaking friend today, I get caught up in trying to say the right word and the rapid fire Parisians are three sentences ahead of me while I am still thinking of the word for “dressing room.”

Which is “cabine,” if you wanted to know, and I did remember, but not before the sales person figured out my French was not as good as assumed.

I actually didn’t really buy anything today, well, food, not that much is open on Sundays.

Oh.

There were tons of shops open in the Marais, but nothing really called to me, except, heh, the shops that weren’t open.

Sunday in Paris is a family day, a rest day, most places are closed and I decided early on today that I would do my best to take it easy today too.

I mean.

I still walked like seven miles, but at an easy, relaxed pace and I did end up taking the Metro home from my final destination as I wasn’t feeling like walking fourteen miles.

I could have, it’s still light out, the sun has not set and it’s nearly 9p.m.

Gorgeous light in the apartment.

My last night alone here, the family returns in the morning.

Then!

I’m off to the South of France at lunchtime.

I’m very excited.

It will be nice to be on a train for a little while, the ride is about three and a half hours, and it will be fantastic to see a new city.

My friend knows the area well, we are staying at her favorite hotel in Marseilles, which has a view of the port.

We will go to the big museum there and have a nice dinner, I’m sure, and on Tuesday we will be taking a car to the markets in Aix-en-Provence, then on the way back to Marseilles we will be going swimming in, I forget the exact French word for it, some secret little beach on the Mediterranean.

So stoked.

My friends return in the morning and I’ve been instructed to be ready to leave for the train station by lunch time.

Not going to be a problem, I’ll just be packing a few summer dresses, my toiletries, and my bathing suit.

I still cannot believe I will be swimming in the Mediterranean Sea!

So happy.

And.

Honestly, I could use a break from Paris.

I know.

What?

Did I say.

I have had this feeling before, I did last time I came, at one point in my trip, I’m done with the crowds, I’m done with being stared at on the Metro (I have a lot of tattoos and though one sees them a bit more than they used to, it is very rare to see a woman with as many tattoos as I have, and it’s warm, I’m showing a lot of skin, not obscenely, by no means, but it’s unusual, and man, I get the looks), I’m done with snotty French waiters.

Not all waiters are horrible.

But I usually have one or two that are assholes and I got that one today at a cafe I met a friend at on Rue Madame.

It’s a damn cute cafe though.

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I had my “usual.”

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I like coffee.

And I like the sparkling water.

I just finished up one now.

Nothing says I’m on vacation like the two of them together.

Plus.

Taking the time to sit still and enjoy them.

I tried to sit a little more today, but it can be hard, my brain tells me that I must go and go quickly and get in as much as possible and do, do, do.

A human doing, not a human being.

But today I let myself sleep in, I laid in bed after I woke up until 10 a.m.

Then a nice long shower, a leisurely breakfast, and some laundry, so nice to have laundry here, I am super grateful for that and not having to cart it to the mat down the block or up and down five flights of stairs.

Then coffee and writing.

I didn’t leave the house until after noon.

I decided I didn’t need to do the Louvre, that had been my sort of “plan” but that I could just walk and see where it led me.

I walked through the Marais.

I walked to the Seine.

It was gorgeous.

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I mean.

Come on.

I walked and walked and walked.

Then I crossed over this bridge and went into the Latin Quarter, which I don’t much like, way too many tourists, way too many, but it was on my way to where I was meeting my friend and I realized that I had plenty of time to just walk all the way there without being rushed.

And.

I stumbled upon the Cluny Museum!

Never having been, I popped in for a wonderfully air-conditioned visit and saw the famous tapestries.

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They were beautiful and it was a sweet little detour.

After that I walked over to the Luxembourg Gardens, but needing food I kept my eyes open for the right place to grab a bite.

And lo and behold!

A miracle!

Not only a new organic, locally sourced restaurant, but one with beautiful flowers everywhere, and, and, and!

A non-smoking terrace!

All the cafes, well, except this one, have smoking areas on the terrace, and everyone it seems, smokes, except my friend, thank God, and I made the grave mistake my first night eating outside and my food might as well have been dipped in nicotine.

It was gross.

And I used to be a smoker, so that’s saying something.

But this little spot, was no smoking and I was really happy.

The food was surprisingly good and the terrace was super pretty.

The service was a little spotty, but that was obviously because it was a new restaurant, turns out they’ve only been open three weeks, and I was more than happy to be patient about it.

Which I’m grateful for, because when my food did arrive, the waitress got my order wrong the first go around, it was superb.

Best lunch I’ve had here since I landed.

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A really beautiful crustless Quiche with vegetables, a green salad and these delicious sausages.

That and the atmosphere, made me super happy.

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And then I walked through the Luxembourg Gardens before meeting my friend at Cafe Madame.

A sweet, slow, “lazy” day.

Heh.

I still walked 15, 418 steps and climbed 15 flights of stairs.

And now.

Well.

It’s time for dinner and getting ready for my trip tomorrow.

I hope your Sunday is as lovely as mine was.

Bon soir!

 

Filed!

March 4, 2018

I did it.

I got my taxes done.

I am so happy to have that out-of-the-way.

Especially since I will be getting a return!

It’s not a ton, but it is $2500 and that’s nothing to sneeze at.

That’s a ticket to Paris and walk about money.

I’m still waiting to buy my ticket, I would like to get that out-of-the-way, but I am waiting for my friend in Paris to confirm some family times.

I have the whole month of July to travel so I can be flexible regarding when I go.

My friend’s family has a summer home on L’ile de Re, off the West Coast of France.

I am more than willing to wait a couple of days for my friend to confirm what dates will work best for her travel and for the two of us to go to her family’s summer home, without the rest of the family–it would be just so much fun to have her to myself.

I may have to pay more for the ticket, but considering that I will stay with my friend the entire time I am there, I am fine with paying anything extra to get the ticket.

I think it may be toward the middle or end of July, she’s checking in around July 20th for us to be on the island.

If that’s the case, I’m thinking the 11th of July through the 25th.

I’ll have to be back to work by the 30th and I will want a few days to get over the jet lag.

I always have it so bad on the way back.

A little on the way there, but not as bad as the way back, man, that shit is awful.

Nonetheless.

So, so, so worth it.

I have missed my friend so much and it will be really good to reconnect with her.

And I want to see her version of Paris.

A Parisian’s version of Paris is going to be much different from mine.

I am excited too to see some of the things I didn’t get to the last time I went there, I still very much want to see the Frank Gehry building-The Foundation Louis Vuitton– that I have wanted to see the last two times I was in Paris and just never made it there.

Granted.

I did lots of other things, I always do, but it would be lovely to see it.

And.

I think that in summer it would be exquisite.

It’s located just outside of the periphery in Paris, in the Bois (woods) de Bologne.

Which I haven’t been to either.

It’s supposed to be really pretty, the woods, and I would love to see it.

I like that every time I go to Paris I find something new to explore.

Then again.

I think that I find new things to explore where ever I am.

I can find new things in my neighborhood if I let myself.

I am a curious creature.

And I love having experiences.

I also love going back to a place, like Paris, that means so much to me, that I have lived in, that I have gotten to have amazing growth in, spiritual and emotional, in no ordinary way.

I have walked through a lot of fear there, I have learned how important it is to let myself enjoy and explore and to allow myself more and more of the experiences that beckon to me.

I also love shopping there.

My God.

So much.

Not that I often buy  a lot of things.

But I always get something there, mostly Clair Fontaine notebooks.

But.

I also have four pairs of earrings from there, a cabbie hat, a satin jacket, a lipstick bag, in which still have one lip gloss from my last trip there, although it will soon be gone, postcards galore, prints from the Jeu de Paume as well as one from the huge flea market, Clingangcourt, an antique clock from another flea market, and a ceramic of two bunnies kissing from the market in front of Pere La Chaise.

I’m sure there are other things too.

And of course.

The cafe culture.

Just to sit in a cafe and sip coffee, write in my notebook, observe people, oh god, it’s damn good.

And with my friend I can only expect that it will be amazing.

I want to go to some places I haven’t seen yet.

And of course, I will want to hit the Pompidou and the Jeu de Paume.

I’m not sure about the D’Orsay, it depends on what the exhibitions are, or the Louvre, truth be told, I’ve been to both a number of times.

I’d love to hit the Louis Vuitton, like I said, and I’m sure my friend is going to have many amazing suggestions.

I’m also looking forward to the food.

Hello steak tartar.

Bring me the raw meat please.

Plus.

Just going to the markets, especially in the summer, will be really nice, fresh produce, I’m sure I’ll cook at my friend’s house, I usually like to make breakfast wherever I am staying, they have a place in the Marais on Rue de Temple and I know the area decently, not great, but there’s a great outdoor market very close to them and a lot of bio’s, organic markets.

Give me a bio for some oatmeal in bulk and a market to buy some bananas and apples and strawberries, and man, I will be set.

Oh my goodness.

I need my friend to get ahold of me with dates.

I’m so excited!

It’s going to be my carrot for getting through graduation and applying for my registered Associate Marriage Family Therapist paperwork.

I will definitely be ready for a vacation by then.

And a vacation where I can go swimming, loads of pools in Paris, plus L’il de Re has tons of beaches and my friend’s family home has a pool (shit, I’m going to need a new swim suit), and wear summer dresses.

Oh.

I am so very ready for warm weather dressing.

Ah.

It’s going to be an amazing summer.

I just know it.

 

 

Let’s Go Out in The Sunshine

May 15, 2017

But before I do.

Let me write my morning pages on the deck of the houseboat and eat a plum.

In my long black, sleeveless dress with my bare feet (well, one bare foot, my right ankle was still wrapped up in its Ace bandage) up on a wooden deck chair.

Still need to rest my ankle when and where I can.

It’s not nearly as bad, but I can tell when it starts to get cranky and then, it’s time to sit, rest, let it go, not push too hard.

I have sat far more this trip than I ever have any prior time here.

I have to say.

It’s damn nice.

I’m not so freaked out that I’m not going to get to have the experiences I want to have.

In fact.

I’m pretty ok with whatever experiences that I continue to have here as they have been simply marvelous.

I will never forget sitting on the deck and drinking coffee and watching the Batobus go by with their tops heavy with tourists.

Not ever.

Nor the way the tree dander floated on the wind along the Seine as I walked the river this afternoon perusing the book sellers.

I picked up a couple of really great postcards and had some nice chats with vendors.

I walked from the houseboat down past Notre Dame and had lunch on Ile St. Louis.

I finally got the crappy Paris service that folks complain about, but I also recognize that I perhaps went too long before having my lunch.

Sometimes the walking just pulls me along and I have to go another block, see another building, watch another couple entwined around one another.

Paris.

You are so enchanting.

I feel enchanted being here.

Like I am in a fairy tale.

I made up for the crap service at lunch by finding a fabulous cafe on the edge of the Marais with bright blue chairs and red tables and had the most fabulous lemonade I have ever had.

And.

A cafe creme.

When in Paris.

ALL THE CAFE CREME PLEASE!

It’s my splurge.

The lemonade was so tart it made my whole face pucker, it had no sugar, which is right up my alley, since I don’t do sugar, but the crushed ice and the big sprig of mint made it a savory, refreshing and delicious.

Sitting in the sunshine didn’t hurt either.

After some slow sipping and sitting I wandered the Marais.

And.

Yes.

Yes, I did.

I hit the fucking jackpot.

I found a papeterie that carried a ton of Claire Fontaine notebooks.

I bought six.

Heh.

I am a very, very, very happy girl.

I also swung into Abraxas Tattoo.

Yes.

I will be getting another tattoo.

You know.

That’s what I do.

I will be going in Wednesday at 3:30p.m.

I will probably do a big swing through the Pompidou prior to getting the tattoo.

I am getting Anticonformiste in script on my left forearm.

A visiting tattoo artist from Nepal, Manish, super kind and we had a great chat about when I was going to come in and what I wanted, will be doing the work for me.

I expect that the tattoo won’t take but an hour.

So I may do the Pompidou after.

But the Pompidou I will do.

Tomorrow I will start the museum circuit.

I have the four-day museum pass and Saturday I have plans to go with a friend to Clingancort on Saturday and well, Sunday, I fly home.

But let’s not talk about Sunday yet.

Today is just Monday.

So.

Back to the Marais, back to my strolls.

Oh.

The reminds me, since I’ll be in the Marais again on Wednesday I should pop into the Marche aux Rouge Enfants.

The Market by the Red Children.

It is located by a former orphanage where the children wore red coats.

Thus the name.

It is a gigantic food market.

Closed on Mondays, so no journeying though the stalls, but it will be open on Wednesday.

I am feeling that is where I will be getting my lunch and maybe taking it to Place Vosges to eat before getting inked up.

Not a plan, but a thought, I make no plans, they melt away, I am just letting myself really experience Paris.

Walking through the Marais I also swung into a couple of stores and yes, I found the perfect black sundress.

Superb!

I am very happy to have found it, not too pricey, 59 Euro, and my goal of finding a dress in Paris is complete.

It almost never happens that fast.

In one day I found my dress, all my postcards, put a deposit down on a new tattoo, and got Claire Fontaine notebooks!

I am set.

I want for nothing.

The rest is icing on the cake.

Tomorrow I will start the round of museums and get the Paris Museum Pass activated by going to the D’Orsay.

The Orangerie is closed, so I might pop into the Louvre as well, there is a Vermeer exhibition happening that I would love to see.

No pressure to do the Louvre in entirety, not that I could, it is so enormous, I can’t even express it, over two city block long, two wings of art, each wing having four floors, there is no way I will ever see everything in the Louvre, ever.

Not that I need to either, I have seen the things that I want and even the infamous, and tiny, Mona Lisa, but the big draws are always too much for me to deal with, too many people, I like the smaller rooms and galleries.

But the Vermeer looks like a really good show, so definitely I will go to that.

Plus.

I know the “secret” entrance to the Louvre in the Tuilleries that helps to skip the massive lines that are the queue for the entrance under the I M Pei Pyramid.

So.

Just a quick zip in and out.

And no agenda.

Really.

I am so happy to be here and I am having a fabulous time.

Really relaxing and slowing down and enjoying the delicious sun and the walking and the houseboat and the cafe creme.

Heh.

Always that.

Bon soir mes amies.

A demain.

Trop grosse bixous!

Grateful

December 24, 2015

Goose bumped with grateful.

Smashed with grateful.

Overwhelmed with the grateful of all things.

Art.

Ballet.

High heels on cobblestones.

The Metro line over Passy.

The taxi cab to the Opera Garnier.

More art.

Walking in the Tuilleries at dusk.

The sunset at Place de la Concorde.

Photographs.

The nearly full moon.

Plans for tomorrow–the Jeu de Paume, the Palais de Tokyo, walks, always the walking, the Eiffel Tower–this time to ride to the top.

Grateful for love.

Grateful beyond words.

Grateful over the moon over the Paris skyline, over and back 100 x infinity.

Grateful for joy.

Grateful for Bottecelli.

Grateful for tears rolling down my face, front row, premier etage, center right, Palais d’Opera Garnier.

So damn grateful.

Grateful I am not going to force myself to write it all down, but rather share a smattering of the days photographs with you so that I may rest, get up early and smash more glorious Paris into my person, my heart, my soul.

My Paris today.

Looked a little like this:

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Marc Aurelius, sculpture fragment, Richeliu Wing, Palais Royale du Louvre.

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Diana the Huntress, at the Louvre.

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Cherubim, ceiling of the Louvre.

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Bottecelli, that made me stop in my tracks.  Stop and break out into one of the most intense art highs I have ever had.  Stop my heart, tears splashing down my face, almost mortified with the joy of the piece.  I still cannot quite put into words how heart stopping this piece was.

Especially her face, the one in the goldenrod dress.

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Breathtaking.  I stood in front of the painting and forgot the masses of people streaming past me on their way to the Mona Lisa.

The Louvre was super overwhelming, so after a few more salons my friend and I left to find fare for a late lunch.

Catching the sunset as we emerged from the Jeu de Paume cafe after a brief respite from the crowds.

I captured these:

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Place de la Concorde with the Eiffel Tower in the distance.

And this:

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Roue de Paris.  The infamous ferris wheel at the entrance to the Tuilleries.

We rushed back to the studio to get ready for the ballet at the Palais d’Opera Garnier.  On the way stopping in the neighborhood for a rotisserie chicken and potatoes from Monsieur Defrenoy, fresh asparagus from the market and apples.

The ballet was not going to let out until ten pm so we figured we’d have a late dinner at the house rather than trying to find something open.

The ballet was smashing.

Over the top–the venue, the lights, the space.  I cannot do it justice with words so I will finish my little blog of joy with these last shots of my time at the ballet.

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Beyond grateful to be having Christmas in Paris.

Again.

I repeat.

Just to hear myself say it.

I am.

The.

Luckiest girl.

In the world.

At least, tonight.

In Paris.

I am.

 

One Month Out

November 19, 2015

I realized today when I was writing my morning pages that I have one month of my first semester of graduate school left.

Panic.

Not really.

I did numerate the number of papers I have to do times the amount of reading I have to do and I said to self, “self, chill the fuck out, you’re doing fine.”

Then I addressed some things that needed addressing.

I got the rest of my paperwork sorted out for my child care parking permit at work, wrote out a check for $111 to SFMTA and hopefully, in approximately the same amount of time that it takes for me to finish up my first semester of grad school, I’ll have a permit.

This will be great timing as my work schedule will likely change while I am on the winter break.

The boys will also be on winter break and I suspect that I will have a schedule that is closer to 10 a.m. to 6p.m. Monday through Friday.

As opposed to the 1p.m. to 8p.m. it is now.

I may miss putting the boys to bed, but I am going to enjoy getting done a little earlier in the evening.

I’m not much for working until 8p.m.

I’m used to it at this point.

But.

Last night.

For instance.

I did not want to have to talk with my psych(e)analytic professor at 8:45 pm at night.

No thank you.

However.

There was certainly no other time of day that was going to work and I found myself defending the paper I wrote for the class.

It was challenging and enlightening.

And painful.

I found some old stuff came up for me around my father.

Grief stuff.

Sadness.

The rupture of the relationship, the longing for a father growing up.

The not having one at all.

And I’m not complaining, there are plenty of people who grew up without their father around.

Or grew up with an awful father around.

At least, or so I assuage myself, I had the fantasy of a father.

I never got the reality of it.

Except those times when I got to tell him I could not have him in my life any longer.

That was real.

It is not that way now.

But.

I don’t have contact with him.

There is no there there.

I got to express some of that while talking with my professor on my paper which was an extension of the Mourning and Melancholia lectures and readings of Freud.

What I found out was that I did not adequately address all the issues of the professors request.

However.

In 30 years of teaching she has never gotten a paper like mine.

I wrote her sonnets to explain the Freudian papers and readings.

She told me she actually had to look up some words.

I am not sure that I believe her there.

The woman is a smart cookie.

But she did ask me to explain to her what I was writing about and by the end of the discussion she let me know what I was missing and how I came closer to writing a paper on the Repetition Compulsion.

I completely agreed with her.

However.

That was not the topic and interestingly enough, I had not know about the Repetition Compulsion when I was writing it.

But man, it sure as shit smacks of it.

That is.

Repeating the same thing over and over despite it being painful and not understanding why you keep doing the same thing.

It sounds a little like insanity.

Repeating the same actions.

Expecting different results.

And yes.

I do know how that feels.

I don’t always succeed in trying different things, I don’t always figure out my way to a different place, sometimes I have to get nudged, some times I have to stumble.

Often times I have to fuck it up.

But.

Every once in a while.

I see that road with the pot hole in it and I decide to not walk down the street and peer into it.

To see.

Just in case.

You know.

Anything has changed.

Nothing.

Absolutely nothing has changed.

It’s all the same mess in that hole.

What has changed is that I recognize the street and tend to not walk down it anymore.

I changed.

The hole doesn’t have to change.

The things in the hole, other people and how they need to do it differently, don’t have to change.

But.

When I do.

Wow.

Things change.

Like being in graduate school.

It really is a gift, a great big, huge, scary, frustrating, amazing, awesome, awful, wonderful gift.

All the learning.

All the growth.

All the new friendships.

I got messaged today about possible jobs.

At $45 more an hour than I make now!

That made me smile.

I am not qualified.

And my friend in the cohort who sent me the message knows that, but it’s an inkling of what is to come.

I also got a sweet text message from another friend in my cohort about getting to see me on the weekend and I am super excited to see her too.

I love that I have made new friends.

Hell.

That one of my new friends will be in Paris visiting her family while I am there with my friend.

I am so excited to be going.

Even with the unrest and the tensions.

Unless the borders are closed.

I’m flying in.

And I suspect that it will mean even more to me, to walk the streets of the city, to see the lights, to be exuberant and myself and alive in the museums, to see the art, to sit in the cafes, to people watch, to wander, to get lost, to mail myself (and others) postcards, to speak French, even my poor passable French, it’s still a joy to hear it.

To ride the Metro and hear the Metro stops.

I swear.

This was one of the ways I practiced my French was to repeat back exactly the sound of the Metro operator reciting the stops.

Les Sablons.

Palais Royale Musee du Louvre.

Square D’Anvers.

Cadet.

Trocadero.

Passy.

Le Motte Piquet–which is the stop where I will be getting off frequently as it is the one closest to the studio in the 7th where I am staying.

I am excited.

And it’s a month away.

It feels light years away as there is a whole lot of school work standing in between me and my passport going through customs, but it’s closer every moment.

I’m just about ready for the next weekend in school and I am excited to be doing this work.

It is intense and it is big and it is exactly what I am supposed to be doing.

I know this.

Even when I get overwhelmed.

The time it all seems to just fall into place and if I can slowly chip away at the work, before I know it I will be on a plane heading to the City of Lights with a heart full of joy and gratitude.

Just got to make it through this next month!

 

I’ll Buy The Ticket

November 3, 2015

If you find us a place to stay.

Oh my fucking God.

I am now on a mission people.

I was chatting with a friend tonight who has not really been to Paris, except to fly through Charles De Gaulle on his way home to San Francisco, who has some vacation time he has to use before the end of the year.

Paris came up.

We looked at tickets.

I talked his ear off.

Art, art, art.

Museum, museum, museum.

I showed him photos of my bicycle in Paris, cafes I used to hang out at, places I walked around, the Rodin museum, the Louvre, the Palais de Tokyo, Musee D’Orsay.

Oh.

My.

God.

SERIOUSLY?

Seriously.

I could be leaving for Paris two days after my birthday and be there the week of Christmas.

My heart just is leaping about my chest.

The Eiffel Tower at night with glitter lights splashed all over it.

Sitting in Odette and Aime over a cafe creme.

Going to the market at Square D’Anvers.

Apples.

Rabbit sausages in a paper packet from the rotisserie.

The ferris wheel in Place de la Concorde.

The one I never got around to riding on, although I so wanted to on my 40th birthday, but I was taken out to a birthday dinner in the Belleville and wasn’t able to make it to the ferris wheel.

I would go this time.

Oh.

Walking through the Tuilleries at dusk.

Going to see old friends at the American Church and crossing over Point d’Alma to the American Cathedral and heading up Rue George V.

Sacre Couer, midnight mass on Christmas Eve.

The singing in Latin.

I would go to my favorite book store in the 20th, Le Merle Moqueur and buy a book or two and also lots of postcards and then promenade through Pere LaChaise cemetery.

I have posted on Facebook, texted a friend, and e-mailed another already before starting this post.

My friend was dead serious.

I find us a place to stay and he’ll buy the tickets.

Holy moly man.

Fuck.

I’m putting out the feelers.

Just to walk around again.

And play tour guide, since I know the city and my friend doesn’t.

It would be fun.

Also, since I was there last I was broke.

So broke and hungry and trying so, so, so hard to make it work and well, everyone here knows the story, it didn’t work, but damn I tried.

I’m grateful it didn’t work.

It wasn’t supposed to, but I leapt and I moved there and I tried it on for size and found it too tight, too constricting, too much effort to just get by, barely, scantily, scraping by.

“I was going to say it, I’m so glad you brought it up, I think it’s time you went home,” she said to me as we finished doing some reading in the book.

I had tears sliding down my face.

I knew she was right.

It was time to go home.

But.

Oh, the humble pie I had to eat.

When I thought I was going to be there so long.

Forever.

Years at least.

A decade probably.

Nope.

Six months.

But still.

How many people give themselves six months in Paris?

Even poor and scraping and just barely getting by, it was six months of walking the streets of one of the most beautiful cities int the world.

Just saying the museum names makes me giddy with delight and childish greed.

I want to eat it.

Let me lick the Kandinsky Accent En Rose in the Pompidou, let me saunter around the Warhol’s at the Musee Moderne.

Let me go to the Musee Marmottan Monet.

Or just let me walk the bridges.

Pont Neuf.

Pont D’Alma.

Walk over the Trocadero and up the stairs to the Passy Metro station.

Or down towards the Seine and out onto the island with the Statue Of Liberty on it.

The things that I would do that I didn’t do or allow myself to do because I was on such a tight budget.

The opera house.

I never did see the Chagall’s there.

Or the new LVMH Gehry museum.

Or eat oysters on the half shell at a cafe.

I could handle that on Christmas eve.

I would go to Cafe Rouge again in the Marais.

I would go to the little shop I found on a twisty, turning, winding bit of road and buy a hat from the millinery shop in the Marais, I believe it might have been on Rue de Victoire, and I felt like I fell down a little rabbit hole of hats and ostrich feathers and fedoras, felts and velvets, and ribbons, and I just touched with such reverence and looking with my eyes and heart.

I swoon thinking about it.

All the sweet treasured spots I have in my heart for the city.

The churches.

The smell of incense and the warmth.

I could always get warm in a church after much walking with cold toes through the streets.

I would go to Place Vosges and sit at the Victor Hugo cafe.

I would have many cafe cremes.

Many, many, many.

I would buy posters and postcards from the book stalls along the Seine.

I would walk through the Garden du Luxembourg at dusk just to hear the gendarmes walking through with their whistles clearing the park.

I would buy some the de Mariage Freres.

Tea.

That is.

I would eat some cheese.

Hello.

And tartar.

Oh.

I would have some tartar thank you very much.

Put it in my mouth.

Sushi face, try steak tartar face.

It’s fun just to sit here and think about the silliness I would get myself up to and sharing it with a friend who’s never been, tres cool.

Oh the delirious thoughts in my head.

The lights at night.

The Christmas lights too.

So beautiful, very different from the United States, but still so pretty.

It would be cold.

But I know what that’s like and I also know to dress warmer then I did when I was living there.

Mwahahahaha.

I just got pinged.

Message from a friend in Paris with a studio near the Eiffel Tower.

She’s looking for a rental, but I bet a good price could happen.

I don’t know that it’s a fit.

But, it’s a start.

And worth investigating.

The hunt is on.

And hey.

If you know of anyone who’s looking to do a San Francisco swap, my friend has a great big gorgeous room in an awesome house out by Ocean Beach, he’s open to a swap.

Hell.

If I could swap my place too I would, but my housemate isn’t into it.

Anyway.

Paris?

Christmas?

What do you say Universe?

I’ve been a really good girl this year.

Pretty, pretty please.

With the Eiffel Tower on top.

See You In An Hour

June 20, 2015

What a nice surprise.

I wasn’t expecting to have a date tonight, but things change.

“That was not the plan,” I told my friend tonight outside on the curb across the street from the Safeway in the Castro, “not the plan at all,” then I appropriately blushed.  Thank God it was already dark outside and it could just as well have been the red neon light from the Burger Joint then my face flushing.

He laughed, “nothing ever goes as planned.”

This is true.

I have had a few changes in my schedule, small ones, these last few days and watching how that has happened and the way it has shaped me day is interesting.

Typically, yeah, I know, it’s a Friday, but typically on a Friday, I would be making a cup of tea.

Check.

The teapot is just about to boil.

And writing my blog.

Double check.

Writing the blog.

But I would not be going out further.

When I am writing the blog it is usually indicative of the day being finished and the only thing that I am going to do after I put “pen to paper” is watch a download on my laptop.

I don’t know when tonight will end as the last time I hung out with the man, we were up talking until 5:15 a.m.

Thank God I don’t work tomorrow.

In fact.

My entire day opened up, I have, wait for it, nothing planned.

NOTHING.

I mean I will find an hour to do that thing that I do every day, but since I’m not working and not meeting with the people I usually meet with, I can be flexible with that.

I can go anywhere.

I can do anything.

Tomorrow is a big white clean slate.

In fact.

As of 11:15 pm tonight I have a bunch of big clean open space and time.

That is exciting.

Not nerve-wracking.

I’m wide open to the possibilities, however they present themselves.

I am excited for my life.

I mean, I am excited a lot, all the time.

“Did I read your blog right?”

A friend texted me this afternoon.

“Did you get a full scholarship to grad school?!

Yup.

I did.

And if that’s not exciting enough, I have a date for a Friday night too.

Not bad, Martines, not bad at all.

Pretty fucking awesome, because I have a date with someone I really like and it’s not a blind date with some yahoo off a dating website.

I have not checked Match.com or OkStupid since the night he asked me out.

“You mean, when you asked me out,” he’s teased me a few times.

Sure.

That night.

I don’t care, I don’t have to be right, I can just be happy.

I didn’t ask him out, he asked me (see, I can’t do it!!) but I will acquiesce that position any time) I would rather be happy with him than right.

Being right never makes me happy.

Small or big things.

Being right just makes me an uptight asshole afraid that if someone else is right that there is something wrong with me.

Nothing is wrong here.

Nothing at all.

It’s Friday.

After all.

That in and of itself is a happy thing.

Today was a happy day too.

The boys were a bit wound up when I got to work, there is much excitement for the weekend, the family is leaving for Sonoma tomorrow, Glen Ellen to be exact, for the next ten days.

I will be going there Sunday evening.

I’m not working until Monday, but I figure I’ll grab the rental car from the airport and head up early Sunday evening so that I am settled in and ready to start Monday morning rather than drive up super early on Monday and be off kilter the whole day.

I am not as anxious about spending the week with the family as I thought I would be.

Of course.

My mind has been preoccupied with other things.

Heh.

Oh, that does remind me, I need to buy a swim suit before I head up to Sonoma, the one I have is more of a lounge by the pool suit than a swim laps suit and I suspect I will be in the pool a lot over the week with the boys.

Plus, I may do some lap swimming on my own.

I won’t be riding my bicycle for a week and that means I need to find something else to do for my exercise.

I use my bicycle for transportation, not really for exercise, but it kills two birds with one stone and I need to exercise, I get wonky in the brain if I don’t.

I will foresee swimming laps and long hikes.

That should keep the brain chemistry balanced.

I will also be checking out the fellowship in Sonoma, I haven’t really done so before, I’m curious to see what is there.  I won’t be coming into the city for my regular routine at all.  I’ll be in Sonoma until I fly out to LA on Friday.

I got the thumbs up from the employers to get off a little early on Friday, I’ll zoom the car back to the airport and hop a plane and be heading down the coast.

I googled the LACMA last night.

I can’t wait.

Another museum to add to my list (The Louvre, Musee D’Orsay,  Musee de l’Orangerie, The Dali Museum, Musee de Quai Branly, Musee Carnvalet, Musee Rodin, Centres Georges Pompidou, National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo Palaise, Le Petite Palais, Musee Marmottan Monet, Guimet Museum, Maison de Victor Hugo, I’ve been to a few museums in Paris, heh, The MOMA in San Francisco, The Legion of Honor, the DeYoung, The Cartoon Museum, The Museum of Jewish Diaspora, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Metropolitan Museum in New York, National Gallery London, Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome and the Davinci Museum, then the old standby’s The Wisconsin Historical Museum, The Milwaukee Art Museum, and The Art Institute of Chicago.  Oh, and the Anchorage Museum when I was up in Anchorage in December taking a break from sitting bed side while my dad was in a coma–God I needed that break.

I am probably forgetting one or two or three, but obviously, I have a special thing for museums.

For art.

“I’m not a Burner,” he said, “I’m probably not ever going to go.”

And that’s ok.

Burning Man is a museum for me too–all the art, that’s what I go for, that and the community that has grown up around me there.  I have made some amazing friends there and have had my heart lit on fire by the art.

I’m ready for the LACMA and maybe the Getty.

I’m ready for more happy.

But then again, I always am ready for more.

More experiences.

More life.

More love.

Bring on the weekend.

I am ready.

Where Ever The Wind Blows

April 7, 2013

Me.

Nope.

I don’t know.

No.

I don’t care.

Well, a little, I do care a little.

I am just grateful that I have places to go.

In the last day I have been offered another place to couch surf should the need arise in San Francisco and another in Oakland.

Thanks friends!

I was skyping with my darling Shannon earlier, chuckling over many a thing that you can only chuckle over with a girl friend, and I asked her to just tell me what to do.

Seriously.

Somebody just give me some direction.

I will go anywhere.

I had a moment today when I thought, am I taking a geographic?  Am I trying to understand some child hood trauma by moving all over the place and constantly be uprooted?

Or am I just having a traveller’s life?

Perhaps both.

And perhaps it does not matter either way.

I could stay on in Paris, I could.

I could couch surf and work under the table and move constantly.

However, I am not feeling that.

It is too much work and damn it, I do a lot of work already.

Shannon had a novel suggestion.

Why don’t you take a break?

Why don’t you act like you are on vacation in Paris?

What would you do?

Where would you go?

These are good questions.

I have done a lot of the things that I have wanted to do since I have been here.  Although I could stand a little more museum time.  I tried today to go to the Tokyo Palace, but it was just over run.  I am going to go on a day that is not free day.

Same with the Louvre.

I thought I would just whisk through at the end of the day, but the lines were still horrendous when I popped up from the underground and after taking a walk through the bottom of the Carousel, I said, no thanks and headed back to the Metro.

I did, however, get some free museum time in.

I went to the Museum of Modern Art right next to the Tokyo Palace.

I saw some Matisse, some Picasso, some Bronnard, and some Modigliani.

My favorite was the Modigliani “Les Yeux Bleu” which was a portrait of a woman with blue eyes.  It drew me in and I stared at it for quite some time.  I was not the only one attracted to the piece, as I walked back to get some perspective I saw a number of people get pulled into it.

I followed discretely behind a woman with a bright golden orange sack that seemed a piece of art all her own, the way her body listed to the side as she regarded the blue eyes in the painting.  I stopped to take her photograph.

Art regarding art.

Blue Eyes

Blue Eyes

I have 23 days left in Paris.

This go around.

I am not including the days I will be in Rome–I shall be purchasing the ticket tomorrow–so take out three days.

20 days in Paris.

I have not done the big flea market out at Clingancourt.  I have not seen the inside of Invalides.  There are also two wings of the Louvre I could explore.  As well as the top floor of the Pompidou–the observation deck was closed the last time I went there.

I have never been to the top of the Eiffel Tower, as I consistently hear that the view is better from Montparnasse.

I have climbed to the second landing of the Eiffel Tower, so I don’t feel deprived in the viewing of it further.

I could re-visit Pere Lachaise, I have not been this go around.

I do want to take a bicycle ride along the canal, I have not done that yet.  The weather seems to be breaking toward warmer, perhaps this week Thursday or Friday I could get out for a long bicycle ride.  Or not, I just checked the weather and it does say a warming trend is happening.

Accompanied by a forecast of rain for the next six days.

Paris!

Well, that means museums then.  I will do the Palais de Tokyo this week for sure and make a stab at the Louvre.  Not on Tuesday.  Note to self, the Louvre is closed on Tuesdays.

I would like to get in another performance or two at Le Chat Noir–I should be done early enough tomorrow with a babysitting gig to get to the cafe in time to sign up for the open mic.  And even if I don’t I wouldn’t mind just going and listening in, I missed the last week.

I have done a lot of living in Paris.

I have done a lot of writing in Paris.

I have seen the fantasy and the reality are utterly different.

The reality is better, though harder, and more rewarding, ultimately.  I have not a single regret about having done this, and yes, I am afraid to be penniless upon my return, but return I am, so I am going to make hay while the sun shines, even if it’s raining.

There are still streets I have not walked down.

Like today, I just decided to take a route one street over and I discovered great statuary and beautiful facades, lamp posts stacked against the sky and churches I had not know existed, just one block over from the walk I normally do along the Seine.

Church

Church of Armenia

Lamp Posts

Lamp Posts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or by walking around the back side of Le Grand Palais, I discover this amazing fountain that has steam billowing forth instead of water.  It was a spectacular sight.

Steam

Steam

There is always just sitting in a cafe as well.  Or, perhaps, should the sun deign to come out more than once a week before I go, outside, on a sidewalk, cozied up with a book or a notebook or both, with my trusty camera, and my inquisitive eye.

There is still so much to see.

In Paris.

So, let me live here, while I am here, rather than in the future where it is grim and dark and friendless.  I am not without friends.  I am not without hope.  I go forward with new experiences and still time to experience them.

I don’t want to look back and think, “man, I wasted my last days in Paris worrying about where I was going to live when I get back.”

Or what job I can do or get.

I do want to be an adult and I do want to take responsibility.

Ultimately, no one else can for me.

However, I do not want to dwell in what cannot be done today.

Today is all I have.

Today I am in Paris.

 

 

 


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