Posts Tagged ‘Madison’

When Was I Happiest

January 6, 2018


I just asked myself that.

In a prompting kind of way, hey you, you need to write your blog, get your fingers moving on that keyboard, make some fucking magic happen.

Because all of the seven people who read my blog really want to know what I did today.


I recently got an update from WordPress that I have once again celebrated an anniversary.

Eight years of blogging.


What the fuck did I write about?

So many things, so many thoughts.

I have published over 2,400 blogs.

My average blog is somewhere between 1100-1300 words.

But for the sake of simplicity, let’s just say 1,000.

That means that I have written over 2,4000,000 words.

Over two million words!

Who the hell knew there were so many words in my head?

I never suspected that I would be where I am in now in my life when I started writing this blog.

I was living on Taylor and Washington in a large studio that was on a cable car line.

I was working as a nanny in China Basin.

I made really good money.

More than I actually make now, if you can believe that, because it was all under the table.

I had a very nice Felt 35 racing bike that I did my commute on.

I was horribly lonely.

I felt like all I did was grind at work, I worked at least 50 hours a week.

Which is funny, as I put in about fifty hours a week now and go to graduate school full-time.

But at that time I was going through a lot of weird stuff.

I was desperately trying to get abstinent with my food, which I did do in that apartment, but it took a hot ass second.

I was trying, oh so very hard, to get some head way on my book, said head way has come to naught in many ways, but you know, I started this blog by publishing each of the chapters one by one in the pages.

If you should want to read some really bad writing, well it’s there.

For sure.

I had a friend read the book in manuscript form about four years ago and he told me with no mincing of words that if he didn’t know better he would have never believed that the person who wrote this blog was the same person who had written that book.

My writing, suffice to say, has gotten much better.

That’s what happens when you practice.

You get better.

I have had eight years of practicing this blog.

Some days I am so inordinately pleased with what I have written that I may actually go back and re-read a blog.

But not very often.

I generally throw it down on the page, I”m just transcribing my thoughts, and really, thank god I have some fast typing skills, I’m just writing what I am thinking.

It’s a little like having a one-sided conversation with me.

Hey how was your day?

Let me tell you about mine, and then I’m unleashed upon you.

Or something like that.

I am reflecting as I did my Morning Pages this morning in the place where Morning Pages originated for me, about ten years ago.


If you thought writing a blog eight years in a row was something, check out my history with writing my Morning Pages.

Ten years, going on eleven.

I realized that this morning as I sat in Muddy Waters on Valencia and 24th.

I had a chiropractor appointment this morning and some time to kill before I had to be into work.

So instead of getting up stupid early, I let myself sleep in, packed my breakfast and brought it with me, planning to eat it at the cafe while having a cafe au lait before going into work.

The cafe is much the same as when I first started hanging out at it.

I had moved to a shared apartment in a rent controlled Victorian on Capp Street and 23rd and Muddy’s was the closest cafe to me and the one where I did a lot, and I do mean a lot, of sitting with another woman and reading out of a big blue book.

So many women in that cafe, before my regular Wednesday haunt, as well as my regular Saturday gig and many other times in between.

And it was also the scene of The Artist Way group that I was a part of for a year and a half.

It was an awesome group.

We met for an hour before rolling up the hill to a spot in Noe Valley on Wednesday nights.

We would grab the big round table towards the back of the cafe and anywhere from 6 to 10 of us would sit down for about an hour and share about the assignments we had done from the book.

We did one chapter a week, followed the instructions regarding the assignments, and talked about our experiences working the projects and doing the morning pages.

The book suggests that every morning you take time to write three pages long hand.

Emphasis on long hand.

No typewrite, keyboard, tablet, computer.

My blog does not count as morning pages and never has.

There is something so captivating about writing on paper with a good pen.

I was writing in one of my Claire Fontaine notebooks that I brought back from Paris this morning and I reflected on how it was in that group that I came to the realization that I wanted to go to Paris.

That I actually wanted to move to Paris.

It would take some years before I moved, but by participating in that group I realized how much I wanted to go to Paris and I took myself on a solo trip for ten days after doing the work in the book.

I took myself on artists dates, I went to museums, I bought myself nice paper, I sat and daydreamed in cafes and watched clouds roll by.

I looked out those same windows today and marveled.

Look how far I have come.

Look where I am now.

My best friend in Paris messaged me today about when I’ll be going back.

I have been to Paris five times since I made that decision, and yes, one of those times was to live there for six months.

I have re-written that book.

Although I still don’t think it’s at a publishable place.

I have written poems.

I have performed with djs in nightclubs reciting my poems.

One of them became a recording.

I have lectured on stage.

I have traveled.

I went to Burning Man, a lot.

I traveled to New York by myself as well as New Orleans to go see art.

I have taken 1,000s and 1,000s of photographs.

I have written millions of words.

I think I have a few million more.

I have done morning pages in Paris, London, Rome, New York, L.A., New Orleans, Madison, Wisconsin, Anchorage, Alaska, Burning Man, Reno, San Diego, Las Vegas, and probably a bunch of other places I can’t remember now.

But they all started one night in a Muddy Waters coffee shop on Valencia and 24th.

Opening a door that has led me down this meandering path of creation and love.

How lucky am I?

Luckiest girl in the world.


Bach Cello Sonata No.1

October 11, 2017

In G.

And 5 and 6 as well.

Yo Yo Ma.

That is what I am listening to.

It was an intense day and I feel it slowly easing out of my body and sliding to the floor in a big puddle.

I could slide to the floor in a big puddle.

When I need to calm down and unwind I like to listen to this in particular.

It is sweet and I find it wistful, God I miss playing the cello.

There’s a spot about 1:50 into the first sonata and I can feel the bow in my hand, I can see my fingers striding over the neck of the cello and I can feel it between my legs.

I can get weepy thinking about it.

One would suppose that I would be past it, this yearning, but somethings stay with me a long time.

I don’t know that I ever really got over the loss of playing cello.

And I have had it suggested too many times to count that maybe I pick it up again.

I think.


Let me do that.

In what fucking time?

I could give up writing in the morning.

I could play music for my morning spiritual fix.

I could not buy a car and buy a cello.

I could go over to Roland Feller and blow my heart out on a cello.

Roland Feller is the luthier for the San Francisco Symphony.

I went once, with a friend who worked out of the Burning Man offices when I was nannying there many years ago now.

He is a professional cello player and gigs about and plays with the San Jose Orchestra.

He gave me lessons for a while and one day took me to Roland Feller.

I would have never known that there was a luthier there.

It is an extraordinary nondescript house next to the Popeye’s Chicken on Divisadero Street.

There is no signage.

You have to make an appointment.

There is a gate and a call box and it looks like some cheap apartment, well, it’s in San Francisco so it’s probably not cheap, but the door opens into this gold mine of classical music instruments.



Stand up Bass.


Oh and the cellos.

I played a few different ones and I remember one in particular, it was luscious, the sound so rich, so vibrant, it made me quiver with delight.

My friend teased me a little that I was passionate and looked as though I might be having the sexy thoughts.

I had never had a cello quite that caliber ever before in my hands.

It was exquisite.

And one day.


I have written on this topic before, I will have another cello.

I’m not there yet.

But one day.

And in the mean time.


I have my Yo Yo Ma and I have Bach.

And Debussy.

And Chopin.

Oh the Chopin Cello Sonata in G Minor.


So good.

The Bach is my favorite, but that Chopin is glorious too, passionate and brash and stupendous.

I love that I love classical music.

I don’t look the type.

Except, well, maybe that’s not true.

I feel like I might look the type, that there’s a brazen woman cellist in my heart.

Maybe she smashes herself on her music like I smash myself with my poetry.

Maybe one day the two will get back together again.

I don’t expect that I will ever be great, I never was great, but I had heart, yes, I had great big heart and I knew it and so did my most ardent supporter–my orchestra conductor, Mister Ziegler.

Where ever you are, you meant something to me that few teachers do.

He supported me, he was honest with me, he argued for me.

He brought in my mom and my step father, the fuck (egad, maybe I need yet another inventory on the man, christ), and sat them down and tried, oh how hard he tried, to convince them to not let me quit cello.

Quitting cello was not my idea.

It was my stepfathers idea.

We didn’t have enough money and my parents, god I can’t even say that, the man was never a fucking parent to me, he was a violent misogynistic sociopath, but not a parent, had bought a house in Windsor, outside the school system I was in at the time I was playing cello.

There was no thought of a tutor, I had one actually, that my conductor had arranged with the school and I was given said tutoring for free, but to move away from the school system I would lose that.

And the school that was closest to me, the one that I would attend, DeForest, well, they didn’t have an orchestra.

Oh sure.

They had band.

But no orchestra.

They had cut the funding for the orchestra.

You should see the football stadium though, a work of art that.


My conductor tried to argue that my parents continuing my tutoring or that I commute in to Madison for school and still stay with the cello.


There were words, there was fire, I could see how hard my conductor was trying to get through to my parents.

My stepfather hated me playing.

He hated me practicing.

I got lost in the cello, I wasn’t there, I was gone, gone, gone, and he wanted me present and not in my fantasy world.

He also did not like that I read as much as I did, I shit you not.

What fucking parent doesn’t want their children to read?

When I was punished some of the worst punishments were being denied those things that I loved most.

Books and my cello.

Cello was first to go.

“Put it away and go clean the bathtub,” he said.

The the books were taken.

I don’t know what I did, I mean, I have absolutely no recollection of what I had done to deserve the grounding to my room one weekend, but he was diabolical.

I had no problem being grounded to my room, fine with me, I won’t have to look at you.

I’ll read, thank you very much.


Oh my fucking god, the man had removed every single book I had in my room, everything was gone, it was stripped.

Thank God I had one underneath the mattress of my bed.

Fucking stashed my back up drugs thank you very much.


It wasn’t much of a surprise, after the cello was taken and my stepfather and my mom left the orchestra room with me sadly in tow, that once we moved to Windsor I was to be denied academic access as well.

“She’s too proud, she needs to be humbled, she’s not allowed to do it,” he told my mom, who had tried in her own way to get him to give his permission to sway him.

I was trailing behind in the snow walking down Windsor Road in the middle of a cold ass night listening to them argue about me and the invitation I had been given to join an advanced English class-accelerated and an accelerated math class.

I didn’t care so much about the math, irony, I was actually able to attend that, I think my mom might have had a hook up or something with the math teacher now that I look back, but the English was resolutely denied.

I can feel rage in my chest when I think about that.

“Too proud, she’s just too fucking proud.”

And maybe I was.

Pride goeth before the fall.

I have been humbled in many ways, but I still like my books and I still love listening to cello.

And I am beyond proud of how I grew and became the woman I am today.

Despite the horrendous odds against me growing up.

I got out.

And you can’t put me down.


I will not be ground down.

I will thrive.

I am thriving.

I am alive.





And yes.






You Are A Magician!

October 10, 2017

I got the sweetest text tonight as I was wrapping up at my internship.

My boss had sent me a message extolling my baking prowess.

I made the family an apple tart tonight.

It was going to be a pie, but they only had tart baking dishes so I changed up what I was doing and made a butter pastry, yes, by hand, it’s not that hard, and did my version of apple pie filling.

The nice thing about it too.

All the apples came from their tree in the front of their house.

It reminded me of when I learned how to make apple pies.

I was twelve, we had just moved from Madison, Wisconsin, to Windsor, Wisconsin.

I went from being in an urban multi-cultural neighborhood and school to rural white country in a blink of an eye.

I didn’t think much of it at the time, the racial stuff, the class system and structure, I got lumped into the “farm kids” group even though we didn’t live on a farm.

And yes, I have drank milk straight from the pail underneath a cow’s udder, I remember very distinctly that it was warm, but I was no farm girl.

I can pass for one though.

I currently pass for very urban, the tattoos do that and my funky style of dressing, which has been evolving for years, but it is still quite urban.


I can pass for a country girl too, not so much a farm girl, but I know a lot about living in the country and the seasons, canning and jarring, making preserves, putting up food for the winter.

We had a pantry in the cellar.

And it was a cellar.

Oh, sure, we had a basement, but we also had a cellar too, an unfinished one with a dirt floor, which was spooky as fuck and after one winter of storing stuff there I declined to ever go near it again.

Some places are just too goddamn creepy and I had a penchant for reading Stephen King in highschool, which did nothing to help matters.


This country girl can also jam and she can bake.

My mom taught me.

We had an apple orchard on the property–4 Red Delicious Trees, 1 Golden Delicious, and 7 Cortland trees.

I don’t know that there are any Cortland apples in California, there might be, but I don’t recall seeing them in the stores.

I have dreamed once or twice about having my own apple orchard.

A modest one.

Maybe a hobby one.

I would be a famous writer.

Or better.

A writer who just made money writing.

I would have a big house and a small barn.

I would put up apples and preserves and make apple jelly and apple pies, apple sauce, and oh!

Apple butter.

So freaking good.

And of course.

Lots of apple cider.

I would write in my office in the barn and have a braided rug and a rocking chair, a big desk and a fireplace.

I would drink hot tea while the snow fell and be super content listening to the hush and crackle of snow falling.

I would fall asleep under large comforters.

I would have my bunny slippers of course.

It’s a sweet fantasy.

One I could imagine having here, partially, but it would be outside of the city, obviously.


Maybe I could just have my own house and I would have the trees that I like, a couple of apple trees, the Envy varietal or Pink Lady, I also really like the Mutsu apples.  And a persimmon tree.

Fuck I love persimmons.

And it’s persimmon season.

When I get done with my blog I will be having both and apple and a persimmon as my evening snack, I shall cut them up, sprinkle them with cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt and pumpkin pie spice.

The best.

I might have a pear tree too.

And definitely a fig tree.

Then a little kitchen garden–tomatoes, lettuces, onions, herbs–rosemary, basil, oregano, thyme, carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, heck, maybe even some sweet corn.

But really I want tomatoes, like the ones my grandfather grew in his garden in Lodi.

My grandfather helped my mom quite a bit with the planning of our garden in Windsor, we had an acre of land and the back of it was a big sprawling yard, halved by a grape arbor and then the back was the orchard and the garden.

The garden wasn’t as big as my grandfathers and I remember my stepfather (step asshole, step asshat, step misogynist, oops, sorry, digression) got some weird ideas about what to grow.

One year it was a god awful amount of cabbage and he decided we were going to make sauerkraut.

We made so much sauerkraut that four years later I could still find it in the pantry in the basement, not the cellar mind you, but the basement.

Another year it was potatoes and broccoli.

There was also a small strawberry patch, some raspberries, and red currants as well as rhubarb.

One of my mom’s masterpieces was her strawberry rhubarb egg custard tart.

God damn it was a miracle.

And my mom taught me her pie crust recipe.

Which, to this day, I can see on its index card in her small recipe box, the way she wrote her letters and the fanciful swoops and curves of her lines and the flourishes.

When I think of my mom sometimes I think that her creative soul can be found in her cursive handwriting.

I didn’t even need to look at the recipe card after a few years, I had made so many pies that it was unnecessary.

I made apple pies, of course, until the cows came home.

This is a saying, not literal, although there was a farm just down the road that the dog liked to go occasion once in a while to piss off my mother by rolling in the cow manure.

There is nothing fouler to smell than a dirty dog in cow shit.


My mom taught me well and it was nice to dip back into those memories, to feel the seasons change, to think about fall abundance and harvest.

I miss baking sometimes and I’m a good baker, so it was super sweet and a bit special to make the tart for the family I work for.

I cooked a lot today for the family as it was a stay at home day for the kids, Columbus Day school observance, but the pie made me the happiest to make.

I didn’t need to taste it, I don’t eat sugar or flour, so that was out of the question.

But oh.

I smelled it.

And it was so good.

It reminded me of home, the days crisp and cool and the leaves turning and the grass still green but cold now on my feet when I was out picking through the windfall apples in the tall orchard grass.

I am so glad and grateful that I get to live in San Francisco.

But once in a while.


I do get a touch nostalgic for the Midwest.

And baking today felt good.




It stirred me and I was grateful for it.

And touched too, that the mom would send me such an effusive message.

I am glad they liked the pie.

I probably liked baking it more than they enjoyed eating it.

That might not seem possible.



I think it is.


Hello Again

May 8, 2017

I have been remiss my friends.

I have not been keeping up with the blogging.

I did post last night.

A poem.

But I had no energy after the emotionally exhausting day of classes.

It was a big school weekend.

A lot of deep work.

So much.

And it’s all great stuff.



A girl could stand a break once in a while.

I did get to see my friends a bit more than I have in the past school weekends.

I had a girlfriend dinner with two of my favorite ladies in the cohort on Thursday.

We met at Mazzat, a Lebanese restaurant in Hayes Valley after I got out of work and had scootered home to let in my friend who was hanging in the Outer Sunset waiting for me to get back from work.

She needed to drop off her overnight stuff.

We were having a slumber party.

Hence no blog Thursday night.

It is just not a nice thing to do, I have a small place and I wanted to be a good host and although my friend did encourage me to write, I didn’t feel that it was necessary.

All my delicious catching up and being with her and our other French friend in the cohort at dinner had filled me up, made me happy, completed my experience for that day and it was more important to crawl into bed with my friend and whisper and chat and talk girl stuff.


It’s nice to have girlfriends.

She is like a sister to me and we have pretty much connected to each other since the first week of retreat our first year.

God damn.

I am done.


With my last weekend of classes.

I am officially now a third year student.

Holy shit.


Oh, thank you sweet Jesus.

I went to the financial aid office this weekend and sorted out my aid and my package and the lady in the office was super kind and accommodating and it was all done in five minutes.

Such a help.

And I am so grateful to have that settled.

I should be getting enough that I can pay for the tuition for my summer school practicum and for the supervisor and have a bit left over, about $1400, which should cover my costs for out-of-pocket therapy for the summer.

That’s the plan.

It felt so good to get that taken care of.

In other housekeeping stuff.

I e-mailed the bookstore when I got home from class today and listed the books I’d like to sell back, some of which the awesome manager at the bookstore had told me when I was selling back in the fall, to hold off until spring, that I would get a better price.


Fingers crossed.

A few bucks in my pocket this week.

Always handy when a lady is getting ready to travel.




I leave for Paris in four days.


I am so excited.

It is finally here.

I have three days at work.

I have to go tomorrow and meet with my supervisor before work and I am hoping that I will be able to run a few quick errands before heading to work.

I need to pick up a few travel toiletries.

I went grocery shopping today after class to pick up some essentials to have in the house for the next few days, as well as to have some things for myself in the freezer when I get back from France.

I bought a new neck pillow for the flight as well at the co-op in my neighborhood.

It felt super fun to tuck it on top of my roll on suitcase.

This trip to Paris will make it number three for this particular suitcase.

It has also taken me to London once, Rome once, New Orleans, Anchorage, Minneapolis, Madison, New York twice, Orlando, and Los Angeles.

It’s a damn good piece of luggage.

It may need to get replaced soon, one of the wheels is getting a little wonky, but having had it for seven years, I think, that’s not bad, and I’m sure I’m forgetting a trip or three that it has taken that I didn’t list above.


I have not taken it to Burning Man.


That is the one place it does not go.

Soon it shall come out of the closet and get filled with clothes and shoes and stuff and things and I will be heading out the door to SFO to London to Paris.

The only small fly in the ointment is that I got a slightly changed flight out of London to Paris, and now I have a bit of a layover in London, so I won’t get into Paris until 5p.m. on Friday, May 12th.

I was supposed to get in around 10:30am’ish.

Oh well.

I will probably save myself some travel hassle from Charles de Gaulle and just take a cab to my hotel.

Mama Shelter.

There is a music venue across the street that my Parisian friend told me about today, Fleche d’Or.

I may go check it out after I get checked in and settled.

Could be a fun, spontaneous first night in Paris sort of deal.

I was thinking I would get myself to the hotel, check in, unpack a few things, hit the shower and go out into the city.

I will grab dinner, somewhere in the neighborhood,  Les Desnoyez or perhaps Le Baratin.

I mean.

I sort of want my first night in Paris to be special.

A lovely hotel with a rooftop terrace.

Music at the club.

Dinner in a French bistro.

A walk past Pere LaChaise in the evening.


The things I am going to do.

I am excited.

And as the weekend is wrapping up and I just turn around and head into the work week I know it will go fast and before one can say “croissant” I will be leaving on a jet plane.

I am so ready for it.






April 27, 2017

I made it through the financial aid rigmarole.

I had to fill out one more piece of information when I got home today and finally, all of it is done.

I will be getting an award and I was notified that I would get it once the last form was filled out and sent it, that it would take 24 hours to process, I would get an award e-mail and then I hit accept.

The school will receive monies to pay for my summer practicum internship and supervision–$2380.

There will be a little left over from the award, enough to get me two more months of therapy over the summer.

I don’t have to touch my travel savings and I will have tuition paid for.

Thank God.

It all worked out.

I never really thought it wouldn’t, it was just some unnecessary stress that I got to work through.

I also spent some time checking in with my employer about summer hours, I’ll be working a little more than I do now.

Currently I’m pulling 35 hours a week, three weeks a month.

The other week during the month I work 28 hours–the week I’m in school.

During the summer I won’t have school on Fridays.

I won’t have official classes, I’ll be doing my internship at nights and on weekends and my outside supervision and therapy two days a week before work.

I ain’t gonna lie, it’s a lot to juggle.

But I see all the pieces coming together and it should work.

For my work schedule I’ll change-up to a slightly early start on the days I’m not in supervision or therapy before work and I will work 8 hour days on those days.

I’ll go from working 35 hours a week to 38 with the flexibility to go to 40 if the family needs me to.

I’ll do my internship in the evenings after work.

Four nights a week I’ll be doing the internship, and one day, Saturday.

I’ll be putting in a lot of hours, but the investment is worth it and although I am sacrificing a lot, more of my social life than I can imagine, as it’s not much at the moment, although, got to say, proud of myself for hanging out for an hour between work and doing the deal tonight.

I was so tempted to blow it off and just do my homework, but I made myself put down the books and walk to Java Beach and play a hand of Speed and socialize for an hour.

It was really much-needed.

I have been told repeatedly this week to have fun.

“Go get laid, have fun, blow off some steam!” My person told me when I met with her on Monday.

I’m trying to figure that out.

Not much by way of nibbles on the dating front and though there’s interest in me to pursue, I’m not really sure how to go about that right now.

Putting out to Universe.

I need to get laid.


That should do it.


I actually reached out to an old lover last night and then immediately thought, ah, that’s not going to happen, why did I do that?

Not that I’m afraid of rejection, more that I can go bark up the wrong tree.

There is no squirrel there dear, go look elsewhere.

And there wasn’t.

As I have said to myself many a time, no response is a response.

My feelings are facts, but sometimes it feels like I either try to awful hard at this whole thing or I could give a fuck and I just bury myself in school and work.

There is an in between I’m sure.

Dating can also be a distraction from dealing with the thing at hand, but I am wanting to do it.

I am.

When have I not been willing to date?

I have tried lots of things.

Maybe this therapy thing will help.


I can usually recognize when I am not on the right track, but sometimes, I get stuck and I go chase after someone and there is nothing there and I’m like, stop it, enough energy expended there.

Move on.

So moving on.

And being open to see whom God wants me to see, not whom I want me to see.

Those are different people, I am sure of it.

I’m listening to Lilac Wine as sung by Jeff Buckley.

I had to pause.

I had to sing.

I don’t even remember what I was whining about.

Luxury problems.

I’m alive.

Jeff Buckley is dead.

I saw him once.

At the Barrymore Theater in Madison, Wisconsin on tour for his album Grace.

It was one of the best concerts I have ever seen.

There are concerts that I remember because of the power of the music or that something momentous happened, or because of whom I was with when hearing he music.

Jeff Buckley touring for Grace.

Soul Coughing, Ruby Vroom.

Beck, Odelay.

Paul Simon and Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, Summer Fest in Milwaukee, 2001.

J. Davis Trio, at the Angelic, but also the show in Chicago where I got so trashed I was hung over for two days.

But my God it was worth it.

Anni DiFranco, Not a Pretty Girl, Civic Center, Madison.

Primus, Coliseum, Madison, WI, can’t remember if it was Sailing the Seas of Cheese tour, but I think it was.

Moby, Play, Civic Center, Madison, WI, and also Moby at Lightening in a Bottle three years ago, I was up front and it was amazing, I felt like I was on fire with the music.

Underworld, the Fox in Oakland and also two years later at the Warfield in San Francisco.

Paul Simon at the Greek Theater last summer.

Mike Doughty, three times, small show at Cafe Montmarte in Madison, his first solo tour after Soul Coughing broke up and he heckled my friend who was shrooming.  Then the show at the Fillmore when he covered Ruby Vroom and I was the only person in the audience that caught the Edna St. Vincent Millay reference, and got a smile and shout out for that.  And last summer the 2016 Living Room tour where I got to meet him in person, and talk about Burning Man.

Spearhead in Madison, Wisconsin, I forget the venue now, but they were on tour for their second album and Michael Franti pulled me up on stage and danced with me for a song.

Tori Amos, Little Earthquakes, Barrymore Theater, Madison, Wisconsin.

Nine Inch Nails, Pretty Hate Machine, Coliseum, Madison, Wisconsin.

Sleater Kinnery at Union South, UW Madison Campus, holy shit was that amazing, they were just on the floor, no stage, four mikes and a couple of amps.

I went to a lot of shows in Madison.

Goldfrappe at the Fillmore.

Gary Newman, also at the Fillmore, here in San Francisco.

I’ve clubbed a lot here in San Francisco too, so many djs–Mark Farina, Teisto, Sasha and Digweed, Paul Van Dyke, Oakenfold, Kid Beyond, BT, Dmitri from Paris, Derrick Cater, Frankie Knuckles, Sunshine Jones with and without Dubtribe, Tortured Soul, Eric Sharp, Carl Cox, Armand Van Helden, James Ziebela, 2ManyDj’s, Basement Jaxx, fuck, I’m forgetting a lot of shows.

So much music.

I haven’t been out to enough shows.

Maybe I’ll focus on that instead of dating.


Right now though, sleep she calls.

Homework is still on my plate and work has got to get worked out.

I’m still listening to the glory of Jeff Buckley.




Twelve Hour Headache

March 14, 2017


Go away.

I’m on my second dose of 600 milligrams of ibuprofen.

I’m not a happy lady.

I’m also not horrified, it’s not a migraine.

It’s annoying, it hurts, but it’s not a migraine.

And for that I am hella grateful.

It’s been a few years since I have had a migraine and I certainly don’t need to start now.

I used to get them as a kid, but didn’t know that’s what was happening.

I just thought I had really bad head aches.

I was finally diagnosed with them in my early to mid-twenties.

“I don’t think you have migraines,” the doctor told me looking over some paperwork as I sat on the table in the examining room at the clinic.

“I do think that you have some issues that need to be addressed, however,” he said, looking up from the clip board.

Then he told me a story about people who smoke.


At that time I was definitely smoking.

Not my all time high, that would have been in Iowa when I was living in Newton and bartending at Boots and Spurs, Iowa’s Largest Country Western nightclub (I shit you not, they even had a mechanical bull), I could smoke behind the bar and would find myself going through a pack and a half to two packs a day.

Of course I left many a cigarette smoldering in an ashtray as I was slinging drinks, oh so many margaritas and pitchers of Bud Lite, but still, I was smoking a lot.

At the time I was seeing this doctor I must have been slightly younger than I was first thinking, as I was still with the boyfriend of five years and I was working at the Essen Haus as their General Manager.

I couldn’t have been more than 23 years old, 24 years old, tops.

I don’t recall a lot of the conversation, but I remember how he told me a story, the doctor did, about himself and when he had been a cigarette smoker and how he smoked to cope with emotional issues.

I think he was hinting at I needed psychological help rather than medical help.

And he was right.


I still wanted him to go through with the exam.

I still had headaches, which I was pretty sure might be migraines, despite the doctor telling me that the pain I was experiencing did not corroborate a migraine diagnosis.

We did talk for a while and he got a lot of my family history and then he said, “well, you’re here, we might as well do a quick exam and check you out.”

He listened to my heart.

Checked my throat.

Shined a light into my eyes.

“Well, look at that,” he whistled softly, “you do get migraines.”

It turns out that there were broken blood vessels on the backs of my eyes that indicated migraines.

“You have stress migraines,” was the doctor’s diagnosis.

I was given a prescription.

I don’t recall what it was for.


I do know that I filled it and I followed the directions and it worked.

I had to take it at the first sign of a migraine for it to be effective and I wasn’t able to figure out what my body was telling me the first couple of times after I had the medication to dose myself in time.

I had what I learned to call “pre-migraine” symptoms, but I didn’t recognize them right away.


One day I did.

And it was a revelation.

I was able to take the medication before the migraine landed.

It was miraculous.

I had migraines on and off over the years, but they eventually tapered off.

I stopped taking medication for them over 12 years ago.

My stress levels have decidedly changed over the years, and I have learned how to manage it better, so I know this is not a stress migraine, but it is a bad headache.

What I am hoping is that it is just that, not whatever cold was going around at school.

One of my professors showed up sick the first two days of class and got progressively worse over the weekend and had to call in by Sunday.

I am, however, not feeling anything but pain in my right temple.

I think I just have a nasty headache and hopefully, my dinner will kick in, the ibuprofen will kick in and some nice hot tea will help.

Plus a full night’s sleep.

These things will turn the trick I am certain.

I hope so anyway.

I meet with my internship supervisor tomorrow to fill out paper work after I get done with work and I am also going to be interviewing him for a class project I am doing for Community Mental Health.

I would like to be on point.


With that.

I am going to wrap this up.

Do some self-care.

Get some rest.

Night y’all.

Sweetest dreams.



Holy Shit

August 21, 2016

I’m packed.

I sort of want to throw up in my mouth.

It’s just stuff and things.

I told myself as I looked over the stack.

Three bins, one cooler, one tent, one camp chair, blankets, bedding, pillows.

It doesn’t sound like much.

But it makes enough of a stack that I am a little concerned about my playa ride share.

He’s got a VW Cabriolet.

He’s also picking up food for some of his camp mates plus whatever gear he has and of course water.

I keep envisioning the car already full and there’s no room for my stuff and I’ll have to leave something behind and what the fuck would that be since I have everything I need and want in those bins, clothes, crinolines, boots, tent stakes, work gloves, hammer, lantern, extra batteries, tights galore, bunny slippers, a leopard print coat for night time gamboling.

I need it all.

And I am also still on the look out for a person to bring it all back as well.

I have co-ordinated with the people who are gifting me the airplane ride home, pinch me, it’s still so surreal, and I’ll be meeting them at their camp on Wednesday of the event at noon.

So I’ll need to be all packed down and tidied up by eleven, giving me an hour to get across to them.

It shouldn’t be terribly difficult.

I’ll be camping at 5:40 and Guild with Anonymous Village.

More specifically I’ll be staying with the ladies of the Wolf Pack.

All my things will be staying there to be transported, by whom TBA, including my playa ride, which I will be loaning to a friend who’s going up with her fiancee–it’s his first burn and he doesn’t have a playa ride.

I got some lovely and sweet news today.

My ride will arrive on playa one week from today.


The front fork has been fixed, my tires pumped up, pedals greased, chain greased, and, holy moly talk about service, my bicycle light batteries recharged.

I was just astounded.

Thank you Thumper!!

I have been so blessed with gifts this Burning Man and I haven’t even gotten out there yet, but it does feel like a miraculous thing, this getting out there.

I know I don’t have to worry about my stuff.

It’s all just stuff and things anyhow.


I would be upset if it didn’t come home or it was mishandled, but ultimately as long as I get back safe and sound it doesn’t matter about the rest of it.

Sort of.

I would miss my hats and boots and utility belt, my new shoulder harness, my hair flowers and my make up box.

I would miss all my funny knee socks and silly tights.

But ultimately.

I would be ok if somethings went missing.

I repeat.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Ride to the event.

Early Arrival pass.

Fluffing shifts with Media Mecca.

Dusty Family reunion.

Ride home in a Cessna!

I got the low down on that too.

Aside from the meeting the crew, pilot and one other passenger, and getting to the camp by Wednesday noon.

I’ll meet them at their camp which is 7:30 and A at noon with me, myself, and I and one small carry on bag.

They will take me to the airport, load us up and the we fly to Reno, one hour pit stop for refueling and then back into the air, final destination San Carlos airport.

I didn’t even know there’s an airport in San Carlos.

A little secret.

I didn’t even know where the fuck San Carlos was until I googled it.


I can BART and MUNI back to my place.

It’ll take about two hours via public transport.

Possibly more.

I may opt for a car.

Not sure yet and I certainly don’t need to figure it out right now.

The plane will be picking up someone in San Carlos and turning right back around.

They could be back in Black Rock City before I even get home!

I am still in shock that I am packed.


I still have to re-pack to go back to Glenn Ellen on Monday.

I have been unpacking and repacking my rolling suitcase a lot for the last couple of weeks.

One more go and then I can put it back in the close for a little while.

Such a good little suitcase, it’s been a lot of places-Paris for six months, Rome for a weekend, London for a weekend, New York for two different weekends, Florida twice to see the moms, Anchorage, Alaska, Minneapolis, Madison a couple of times I think, LA, Chicago.

The little suit case that could.

And so many other short little jaunts here and there.

I’m wondering when it’s going to lose the back wheel, it’s starting to wobble a bit, and that will be the end of her, but until then I’ll be hauling it back out for the last week of work before I go to Burning Man.

All the packing.



I really am pretty much done.

Today I got the last few things I needed for playa and a couple of household things that I have needed and went around the Haight to peruse the vintage shops and the Burning Man supply stops and you know what I bought?

Post card stamps.


I really don’t need anything and though I tried on a bunch of stuff, there really wasn’t a thing that I wanted.

Oh, I had ideas, but they were all thwarted and I realized as I was wandering the foggy street that it was really nice to know I’m prepared and prepped and my food is waiting patiently in my fridge all nice and frozen and really, all I have to do is the next action in front of me.

And it will all happen.

Right on time.

Like it always does.


The one thing do I need to do, note to self, PRINT OF MY EARLY ARRIVAL PASS.


I will remember that now.



Good night.






August 20, 2016




Did I read that right?

I think I had to read the message three times because I couldn’t fucking breathe and then I was on the phone so fast it was ridiculous.

To whit.

The following (with certain bits and pieces deleted for anonymity sake) is the message I received this morning.

(This morning when I woke up mildly anxious to figure out how I was going to get off playa.)

Carmen; This is ______, T’s friend from J’s birthday (leader in _______)
T told me that you need a ride back from the playa Wednesday
We have a commercial pilot in camp, he is bringing his 3 seater personal Cessna
He’s flying out Wednesday to the Bay Area to pick up our camp lead’s son and he has a seat on the plane (only room for a small bag so you’d have to send your stuff home with someone else outside of our camp)
wanted to offer you this option as your first playa gift…. call me 123-456-7890 if you are interested ❤
Am I interested?
Oh holy sweet Jesus, of course I’m interested!
I don’t think I have ever gotten on a phone so fucking fast in my life.
It rang through and the next thing you know we are chatting like the old friends, as it turns out, old alumni!
She went to UW Madison like me, graduated a year after me, knew all the old haunts, Essen Haus, Angelic Brewing Company, and had in fact, almost not answered the phone because she thought it might be someone soliciting donations from the UW Alumni fund.
I still have my old 608 number from Wisconsin.
It was just the most astounding, amazing, over the top offer.
I can’t freaking believe it was offered, that I was given such a gift.
I’m fucking FLYING back from the Black Rock City Airport to an as of yet undisclosed Bay Area airport.
It’s a small plane, so I don’t believe it can land at SFO.
And frankly, I don’t care, I can get a bus, a train, a Lyft, a ride from so many places once I’m back in the area, I am so not worried about that part.
The only hitch is that I have to get someone to bring my gear back from playa to San Francisco.  It’s not much, but it’s stuff, tent, a few bins, a cooler, my air mattress, a folding camp chair.
I will start putting the feelers out tomorrow.
I just didn’t have the band width to do it today.
It was just a great big day all around.
I couldn’t even post it up to social media for a while because I was afraid the offer might suddenly poof!  Disappear and it was just all a figment of my very fertile imagination.
I told a few friends first.
That was fun.
The first person I told was my friend who happened to have coffee a few days back with the lady who gifted me the ride, she told me what had gone down.
They were talking all things Burning Man and my dear friend (who I happened to meet at Burning Man 9 years ago this burn!) mentioned that I was going and that I had to come back early from the event, Wednesday, to be in the city for my school program and that she had no idea how I was going to manage that.
I wasn’t doing too bad on that front, actually.
I had a friend at school offer to pick me up in Reno and get me back from there if I couldn’t find a ride, she would leave for school a day early–she commutes in from Reno–to get me.
I would just have to figure out how to get off playa, get my gear in someone’s vehicle, and manage to connect somewhere in Reno.
But not impossible.
Then of course, the impossible happened.
When I talked with my new friend on the phone, go Badgers!  She told me the story and then said, “well, I knew how you were going to get home,” and that’s when she message me.
She was, I swear, almost as happy to gift it to me as I was to receive the gift.
Although, I feel I might have a little edge on being overwhelmingly happy with the turn of events.
Fuck me.
I’m flying home in a Cessna!
I love airplanes.
I love flying.
I secretly would love an airplane someday.
A pilot’s license would be awesome.
I have been up in airplanes before at Burning Man.
I met and befriend a gentleman who goes be Blind Pilot a few years ago and got to go up not once, but twice in his plane.
The thought of getting to fly all the way back to San Francisco is just amazing to me and feels like the chance of a lifetime.
I told a friend tonight and she freaked out a little, “wear a helmet!”
I’m not scared of flying.
I’m just that type of person.
And if I don’t wear a helmet when I’m riding my one speed whip around San Francisco I certainly don’t expect or plan on wearing one in a plane, regardless of how small it is.
I’m so psyched.
I’m so grateful.
I had these moments today that just blew fairy dust and sugar crystals deep, deep, deep into my heart.
Oh, Burning Man, how do I love thee.
Year ten.
Amazing, that.
It’s going to be short, just a four day shot, but my God, it’s really shaping up to be a fantastic burn.
I have some packing to do this weekend, but I’m ready for it, I have a clear schedule with few responsibilities after having canceled my date (which doesn’t mean I’m not up for a date, I just wasn’t able to quite match the schedule of the person who wanted to see me).
I do have to go back to Glenn Ellen on Monday.
I have the option of going on Sunday night, but I think I’m going to let myself sleep here Sunday night and just get up early and commute to work against the traffic.
It should be easier going out of the city.
Not that I’m even going to bother worrying about that.
It’s Friday.
I’m home for the weekend.
And I got a fucking FLIGHT back from the playa.
Luckiest girl in the world.
For real.

Fuck It’s Cold

July 26, 2016

Put some clothes on your children!

I wanted to holler across the street at the parent of the two tiny shivering denizens of the Outer Sunset fog belt who were scampering down the street in tank tops and shorts with their arms covered in goosebumps.

It’s July in San Francisco.

Break out your scarves.


It just dropped like a thick, spooky shroud.

Of course.

I may be just too far into Stranger Things.

Fuck it’s good.

But it’s not the prettiest out here, right now.

Yesterday I never saw the sun.

Today, I did, but only because I went into work.

The nice thing about yoga, I realized today when I was in the studio, is that it’s always a nice warm 80 degrees and my body needs that warmth.

I don’t like super hot, I can stand it, but sometimes the fog wears on a girl.

Never the less.

I did have a good day.

I got up early and did the writing and the coffee and a nice little breakfast.

Then off to yoga.

A good class, my favorite instructor, who, woe is me, is leaving in two weeks!

Damn it.

Oh well.

The studio has other teachers I like, but I shall miss her classes.

I can see how I have gotten better whenever I go to her class.


They are sneaky classes, I’m doing well, think I got it all under control, then hours later I’m like, why the fuck am I sore?


I had Martina’s class today.

Tomorrow I will be sore as well.

That being said, I do plan on going to class in the morning before work.

I’ve got a 1p.m. start all week as the boys are in summer camp.

1-8p.m. means that I can get in a yoga class before work as well as my writing and a shower.

I always need a shower after yoga.

It usually is a lovely thing too, that shower.

So very grateful that there is a yoga studio in my neighborhood, on my freaking block, for Pete’s sake, it couldn’t be more convenient, and it’s super helpful for me time wise, I can get in a shower and sometimes a few other things too.


I scootered over to Rainbow before work and got a couple of “luxury” items for my Burning Man efforts.

A nice hand salve.

I gift hand massage on playa.

It’s what I do.

It’s a nice way to connect with someone and most folks have such dried, beat up hands from the playa and doing all the work that needs to be done to set up their camp or their art piece or whatever it is they’re doing.

I also picked up some boxes of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, a pair of heart shaped sunglasses, and some of my favorite body lotion.

What with what I got yesterday on Amazon, all I need is to get the rebar for my tent and some work gloves.

I’ll hit up a hardware store this weekend and get it wrapped up.

This weekend so far looks like some “homework” for the American Red Cross CPR child/infant/adult class I’m taking on Sunday.

It used to be that you would have to devote nearly a half day to the cause, the class was four and a half hours long, now you take part of it online then go in for an hour and a half.

The class portion is Sunday.

I hope to have the online stuff taken care of on Saturday, I haven’t really looked at it yet.

And Saturday, aside from doing the deal with my person at Tart to Tart at noon, I’ve got another friend’s 40th birthday party extravaganza to go to in the afternoon and my commitment that night at 7pm.

Sunday, after the class I’ll be heading over to Oakland for another housewarming party.

I wish my friends would all stop moving over to Oakland/Berkley/et al.

I miss you guys.

I totally get it though.

I do.

I just, well, I’m holding tight here as long as I can.

I really feel like I’m more San Franciscan than anything, and I try to represent best I can, that San Francisco weirdo.

I don’t always succeed, but I certainly don’t fade into the background.

Even here.

I do, however, miss the sunshine, and I am constantly grateful that I work in the Mission, at least I get to experience sun there.

Not that I made it much outside today.

Today was all things cooking.

Pot of sushi rice.

Beef stew with vegetables.

Fish for the boys.

A vat of broccoli soup.

Roasted cauliflower.

There will be a bit of cooking for me this week as the boys are at camp for a part of the day that I’m at the house.

Laundry, cooking, errands, marketing, running to Walgreens for prescriptions, going to the dry cleaners.

All sorts of things.

Especially as the family prepares to go on a little trip next week.


My people.

I have to work that Monday at the house, let in the housekeeper, this is August 1st, but I’ll be off early, and, and, and.

I will get Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday off from work.

I’ll go back to the house on Friday to cook and prepare for the family to return and make sure the house and everything is in order.

But yo.

I got some free time next week.



I just got my new membership, I can take up to two people with me.

I should definitely go next week, even if no one goes with me, I’m a good solitary museum goer, shit, so many museums have I gotten to visit, such a gift, that.

The Louvre (Paris), The Metropolitan (New York), The MOMA SF, The MOMA New York, The Whitney (New York), the new Whitney, the Brooklyn Museum, The Palace of Fine Art (San Francisco), Le Petite Palais, L’Orangerie (Paris) The Rodin Museum (Paris) The Pompidou, Palais de Tokyo, the Asian Museum of Art (Paris), the LACMA, The Chicago Museum of Art, The New Orleans Museum of Art, The Dali Museum(Paris), the DaVinci Museum (in Rome), The DeYoung (San Francisco), The Tate (London), Galleria  Nazionale d’Arte Moderna (Rome), The National Gallery in London, The Jeu de Paume (Paris).

I’m sure I’m forgetting some, in fact, I know I am.

But man.

I am lucky to get to have had so many of those experiences, and most, truth be told, on my own.

Although once in a while with a friend, or a lover, although never a boyfriend.

It’s been twenty years since I have been to a museum with a boyfriend.

My ex-boyfriend back in Madison was way into art and we hit up the ones in Chicago, Milwaukee and Madison.

I remember when I introduced him to Dali.

And to Klimt.

And Kandinsky.

Twenty years.

That’s a long time.

Grateful I haven’t sat around waiting for a boyfriend to go out and live my life.

Not to say I wouldn’t eschew one.

Just that I don’t need a man to complete me.

A compliment, that I could handle, some one to walk by my side.

Until then.



Masturbation and Stranger Things.



Today’s Stats

June 28, 2016

Sometimes I just don’t know what to make of my stats.

Not the body ones.

Or the emotional ones.

Even the mental ones.


I literally mean the ones on my blog.

How come so many people are searching that one particular thing?

Why would someone in Mexico want to read my blog?

Who is creeping on my page?


That shit happens yo.

Sometimes I get a great big spike in reads and it’s typically, from my experience, one reader going deep into the blog.

It always leaves me curious.

Who is that person?

Or what are they looking for?

Do they just want to get to know me better, but just a little too shy to ask?

Are they just keeping up with the life and times of Auntie Bubba?

I mean.

Today was not super exciting, but it was special, as is any day I get through without picking up or using and as I was surprise popped to speak at the place tonight, it astounded me, once again, how much my life has changed and how very much I have to be grateful for.

Even when I don’t want to lighten up or have fun.

My life is light and fun.

That does not mean frothy or insubstantial.

If anything.

I believe that it is ever more expansive and open and wonderful.

Deep and complex.


Utterly simple.



My life is not easy, but by following some simple suggestions.


Life is manageable and I can let go of the results and just see what happens.

So much can happen.

Least of all when I expect it.

I mean.


I’m going to New Orleans on Thursday and three weeks ago that wasn’t even on my plate, let alone an idea in my head, let alone an actual reality, a plane ticket, a room to stay in, a place to meet my fellows, a French Quarter to explore.

I was talking to a dear friend of mine last night on the phone and she mentioned that she has always wanted to move there.

Me too.

It’s been one of those places always on my radar, even though I haven’t been back in so very long.

I made her a promise that I would report back and let her know how it was.

I suspect it will be fabulous.

I suspect I have no idea what will happen.

But it will be good.

I know this.

Having done enough traveling in my life at this point I know how to do a couple of things, pack, and navigate around and get in and out of an airport.

Those things used to cause me an unbearable amount of anxiety.

Just getting to the airport was excruciating and exciting and flavored with fraught anxiety and a curious longing for the uplift of the wings, the expanse of land below me, the clouds and sky alongside my face.

How often have I pressed my face against a window portal, dreaming dreams and aching with some unnamable feeling, some longing for shift in perspective and the glorious wonder of new things to be seen and experienced.

New faces.

New foods.

New streets to wander.

New art to see and be exposed to.

So much wonder in the travel.

The escape from the mundane, well, I don’t think my daily routine is mundane, I should re-word that, the exodus from the routine, to the new and the glad return, the gratitude I have when I land back at SFO and the chill fog coolness swirls about me and the doors open from the baggage claim gates to the outside world.

I am reminded of every time I have flown in and out of the airport.

Of the first trip here when I returned to the land of my birth.

To my last trip from New York.

All the Paris’s and Chicago’s and Minneapolis’s in between.

The Orlando trips, the Madison, Wisconsin trips, those times to Maine and back, Anchorage, Los Angeles, Austin, London, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Boston.

There are still so many places to go and visit.

But there is always home to return to.

And I normally do with a renewed vigor and love for where I am and what I am doing.

I do a lot.

Even when I am loathe to admit that.

I do a lot.

Just writing this blog.

I mean.

I forget that.

The work here.

The graduate school program.

The nannying.

The doing the deal and going to yoga and cooking all my own food (for the most part).

The showing up and be willing to take suggestions even when I want to blow a big raspberry at the person making it.

The willingness to be wrong.

The ability to make mistakes and not beat myself up for not being perfect.

The trying.

The dating.

The sex.

The life.

The love.

The music.

The words.

All the things.

I mean.

I am many, many things.

I am certainly not perfect and I am a pretty open book, although sometimes I can retire into silence and not know what to say to someone or I will lose my voice when I need to self-assert, I will second guess, and not trust my gut.



I will hear that still small voice and ignore it.

There’s a big difference in not trusting your gut versus hearing something, knowing it’s not good for you, or that there’s a lot of information to look at and choosing to ignore it.

Hope for a different outcome.

And even these mistakes.

They are not really mistakes at all.

Just another foot fall on the path to where ever I am going.

To what ever destination God has in mind for me.

This week it happens to be New Orleans.

Who knows where I will go next?

I certainly don’t.


I’m game and excited and over joyed with it.

The ability to do these things that were once such fantasies.

Sitting at the end of the bar at the end of the night rattling off tales of where I was going to go and things I was going to try and places I wanted to see and things I was going to accomplish.

Most of the time it was no further than the floor underneath the stool I toppled from.


Some strangers bed.

Most often, a miserable repeat of what had happened the night before and the night before that and so on ad nauseam.

There are things that repeat for me today.

Routines, roads I travel, steps I take.

But instead of them being a horrid Ground Hog’s day of terror.

The repetition breeds awareness and it deepens more and more with perspective and experience.

Revealing a steadfast love that takes care of me no matter what.


Always here.

Always there.

Everywhere I go.

This extraordinary gift.










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