Posts Tagged ‘Marnee Thai’

I Passed!

June 21, 2019

I passed my motherfucking Law & Ethics exam!

I am so stoked.

And.

Tomorrow is the last day that I work for the family nannying for six weeks.

They are off to Europe and I am off.

Well.

Not really.

I’m still seeing therapy clients, and tomorrow will be a full day, work in the morning with the family helping them get all their ducks in a row before they fly out, plus four clients in the afternoon and early evening, and solo supervision.

Plus.

Four client sessions on Saturday.

But.

Then.

Freedom.

No weekend of studying and listening to the audio tapes and taking the mock exams.

I mean.

The relief is real.

Last Sunday I studied for three hours and took two mock exams.

I felt blown the fuck out.

I let myself have off completely on Monday.

I only listened to the pep talk, which was good and helpful and then I had a normal day at work.

Well.

Not really normal, all the kids were off from school and both parents were out, one traveling and one working long hours.

So I had all three kids all day long Monday.

In fact.

I got in an hour early and stayed 45 minutes late.

One parent got a delayed flight, so the other had to scrambled to cover me and get me out.

I was really grateful I had done all the rest of the studying on Sunday, despite being so tired of the material.

I didn’t do any studying after work Monday, in fact, the test prep folks don’t recommend it, I let all the work settle in and get situated, and hung out with my best friend and did the deal and went and ate at Marnee Thai.

Good company and good food.

No studying.

It helped.

I got up early Tuesday, ate a good breakfast, got my stuff ready for the day, I had to work and see clients.

And in retrospect that would be the only thing I change.

I was blown the fuck out by the time I got to work, my brain was scrambled and the adrenaline that had been coursing through my blood sucker punched me and I had a bit of a crash at work.

And I had all three kids and I had clients afterward.

The next time I take a test I will remember this.

Take the damn whole day off.

As there will be another test.

But not for about another year and a half, two years, which will be when I get all my hours accrued and it will be the last thing I have to do did get fully licensed as a MFT.

The board exam used to be one comprehensive test and it took four hours to do.

A few years back the BBS (Behavioral Board of Science) changed it and split it up into two exams.

The first exam, the Law & Ethics exam, has to be taken before you can renew your Associate Marriage and Family License.

The license has to be renewed after one year.

My license will expire on June 30th.

So I took it this past Tuesday, the 18th, to make sure that I had time and if something happened, like I got super sick, I could cancel and reschedule the test before my license expired.

There will be no expired license however.

I renewed the same day I passed my test.

The test was no joke.

And it was stress inducing.

Even the exam area was stressful.

No coats or jackets with pockets, no phone, no purse.

No watch.

I had to take off my watch.

The room was cold, thank God I had the sense to wear a cardigan, I had an intuition that the room was going to be heavily A/C’ed and it certainly was.

I did the test the exact way the prep course recommended.

Answered every question and marked the ones that I wanted to go back on.

I didn’t let myself get hung up on trying to figure anything out.

If I knew it, I knew it and answered.

If I didn’t know it, I spent a little extra time looking at the options, but I still answered it and then just marked it to come back to.

I did almost get stuck on the first one and then remembered, to do what was suggested, answer it, mark it, and move on.

I also took a bathroom break, which is allowed, but only for five minutes and they time you in and out.

I took three minutes.

I took the break after having finished the whole test.

The prep had recommended getting up, using the bathroom or walking around and letting your brain take a moment before going back into the test to the marked questions.

It was great advice and I came back in and answered all the marked questions, I had fifteen marked.

There were two questions that I thought were definitely experimental, the exam consists of 75 questions, 50 that you have to get right and 25 that are experimental, but the BBS doesn’t give a clue what the experimental ones are and I had absolutely no clue what the answers were.  I felt like I used good logic though, and that the purpose of the test, really what they are testing you on quite often, is if can you figure out the best answer by using logic.

The CA MFT Law and Ethics exam is comprised of 40% Law and 60% Ethics. Within the Law portion, 14% is dedicated to Confidentiality, Privilege and Consent, 16% to Limits of Confidentiality / Mandated Reporting, and 10% to Legal Standards for Professional Practice. Within Ethics, 18% is dedicated to Professional Competence and Preventing Harm, 27% to Therapeutic Relationships, and 15% to Business Practices and Policies.

Passing this exam on the first attempt is very important, as the Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) will require you to wait 90 days after failing the exam before you can retest, and you will need to take a 12-hour Continuing Education course on Law and Ethics and pay a $100 processing fee.

The California Law and Ethics exam consists of 75 multiple-choice questions. 50 questions are scored, and 25 questions are considered experimental and will not count toward your final score. The experimental questions can appear anywhere on the exam; the BBS does not indicate which questions will count and which are experimental.

I was told I would leave feeling like I wasn’t sure if I had passed.

I can say, this is true.

I really wasn’t sure.

I was hopeful.

But I wasn’t sure.

So.

The fucking relief when the exam paper printed up and the proctor handed me the results was huge.

HUGE.

They don’t let you know what your score is, only that you passed.

CONGRATULATIONS!

In all caps, just like that, you have passed the California Law and Ethics exam.

And like that it was done.

Such relief.

I almost burst into tears walking out of the test site.

I made myself sit in my car for a few minutes  before I headed out.

It was a damn big deal.

And I am very proud of myself for passing.

Super proud.

And so ready for a break.

Like.

Really fucking ready.

I just have to power through the next two days.

I can do that.

I got rainbow and sunshine and six weeks without nannying and a trip to Havana, Cuba to look forward to.

I passed my motherfucking Law & Ethics exam.

It was a good day.

 

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It’s Almost Time

May 19, 2018

I literally just watched a video on how to put on my cap and gown for tomorrow’s commencement.

I sort of had to.

I have tried on the whole outfit once, but forgot how to put on the hood, which as a Master’s Degree recipient you don’t actually wear.

As a doctoral student when I graduate they will place the hood on your head, but for the Master’s you just wear it draped over your shoulders.

When I first tried it on I put the hood on backwards and I looked like I was a priest.

The cap and gown are black and my Master’s hood is gold with navy.

I ahem, actually got my nails done to match my hood.

I know.

I know.

Hush.

I don’t think I will often rock gold glitter nails, but you know, once in a lifetime when I get to walk the stage and accept my Master’s Degree I think gold glitter is appropriate.

hahahaha.

I will be a professional and have the nail polish removed by the time I see clients on Monday.

But I did have fun at the nail salon picking out the color, I saw it and I was like, oh snap, I can totally match my graduation gown.

I also had fun getting the damn wire removed from my nose today.

I did not write my blog last night as I was horrendously uncomfortable.

I had my endoscopy yesterday and they did a test that required me to wear a wire for twenty-four hours and record when I ate, drank, or slept, it measured the Ph level of the acid reflux when I had it.

Although, to tell you the truth and a bit to my annoyance, I did not have any reflux yesterday!

But there was nothing to do but wear the damn thing, I wasn’t going to take it out.

I had trepidations about sleeping, I was hooked up to this little machine all night long and I was afraid if I rolled over in my sleep that I would knock the box on the floor and it would pull the wire out of my nose.

Very grateful that did not happen.

And extremely grateful that when I went back today to the GI lab at Sutter on Buchanan that a nurse took it out in less than two seconds.

She asked me how the experience was and I reported I had been pretty uncomfortable with it.

It hurt my throat where it was laying and I lost my voice a tiny bit and it constantly tickled my nose, I had a slightly runny nose all night and all day until I had the wire taken out, I also sneezed a lot.

Nevertheless it’s done and then I was able to go over to the Inner Sunset and meet my mom.

My mom that I haven’t seen in four years.

Oh.

We keep in touch, but she lives in Florida and I live in California and what with work and school and internship, life, etc, four years.

It’s very sweet that she and her partner have come out to see me walk.

I can tell she is very proud.

We had coffees and tea and caught up and then went and met up with some of my fellows in the neighborhood for an hour and then we had dinner at Marnee Thai at 9th and Irving.

They were very happy with the food.

I was happy too.

It was nice to share my school experiences and it was nice to introduce them to some of the folks in my fellowship.

I felt pretty grateful.

And.

Tomorrow I walk.

I’m actually doing it.

I’m actually walking.

I’m graduating.

I’m still not 100% sure what I’m wearing, but I have some ideas and I will have plenty of time in the morning to work all of that out.

I’ll probably leave the house around 12:15/12:30p.m.

The commencement ceremony is being held at The Nourse Theater in Hayes Valley.

I have to be there at 1:15p.m.

There’s a dress rehearsal for the graduating classes at 1:30p.m.

They will open the doors to the theater at 2:15p.m. and the ceremony begins at 3p.m. lasting until 5p.m.

I’m going to have to bring some lunch or a snack with me.

Then.

Off to the beach!

Super excited about the party.

Although a bit bummed about how chilly it’s been today, and looks like it will be for tomorrow, cool, overcast, breezy, cold, got to wear layers for sure.

I usually wear leggings under my dresses here in the city, San Francisco is mercurial with its micro-climates, but I’m thinking I may also want to stash a pair of tennis shoes in my trunk and some cozy socks, so that once I finish with the formalities of the graduation ceremony I can hop into some kicks for the beach.

I plan on driving straight from the event to the party.

I have a feeling some of my guests are going to be there early, like the family I nanny for, since they have kids, and I want to make sure I get out there when guests start arriving.

Plus.

Well.

Bonfire.

I do love a good beach bonfire and I haven’t had one in quite some time.

It feels fitting to have the celebration with a big fire and a sunset at the beach, despite the coolness of the weather, it will be fun, I’m going to pack a scarf in my car too.

I should just have a bag of warm things in the car at all times anyway.

Anyway.

Enough about the weather.

It’s time to wind down so I can be ready for tomorrow!

So.

So.

So.

Excited!

Well, I Almost Did It

December 25, 2017

Not cry that is.

But, sucker for nostalgia, lonely hearts, and Elvis Christmas carols.

I caved and cried a bit.

Christmas Eve alone.

Which is ok.

Really it is.

I’ve had plenty of special this Christmas season.

And I won’t be alone tomorrow.

I’ll be going to the East Bay to meet a friend and see her new place and go out to a movie matinée and a meal.

It will be sweet and the traffic will be easy.

I wasn’t completely lonesome today.

Sometimes being alone is just perfect and needed.

Lonely and alone are two very different things.

I was alone most of the day, although I did get out and do things.

I went to yoga, and it was a great class.

I left feeling so good and literally said out loud, “I have to figure out how to do this more often.”

The yoga studio is super close to me, but my schedule, shocker, conflicts with many of the classes.

I wish that had some early morning week day classes, but so far there’s just one, a 7 a.m. on Tuesdays that just recently started.

I haven’t gone yet as my therapy appointment is a 9:30 a.m. cross town in Noe Valley on Tuesdays.

I figure I could actually do the class if I set myself up right the night before, bring breakfast with me and coffee and have it at work, skip doing the majority of my morning routine, and cram in a yoga class before therapy.

I just haven’t tried it yet.

This Tuesday, however, I don’t have therapy, my therapist is away for the holiday, and I have been thinking that I will go to the 7 a.m. class and see what the timing is like.

A sort of dry run.

I’m not expected into work until 11a.m. so I’ll have plenty of time to do the class and do my morning routine.

I may even get a Friday morning yoga class in this week too, my family will be out-of-town for a long weekend and I have all day Friday off.  I haven’t booked in anything yet though, holding out to see what will arise.

Something will I am sure.

So, yes, yoga today and hot shower and hot latte and hot breakfast and lots of writing.

The lady bug I was supposed to meet with cancelled so I took myself to the Inner Sunset, got a cafe au lait and went to the nail salon.

Manicure.

Pedicure.

Eyebrows.

Lovely.

I wanted to go to Marnee Thai for a late lunch and was surprised to find them closed.

So I headed back home and had a really nice bowl of soup.

I noodled around a little here at the house and knew I should get out otherwise I might catch a case of the sads.

So I stuck a chicken in the oven to roast for dinner and some Japanese sweet potatoes and set off for Ocean Beach.

I saw a few Christmas tragedies happening, a drunken Santa Claus that I had seen stumble into the Fireside Bar on Irving and 7th which is right next door to the nail salon I go to, tumble off the MUNI and bumble his way across the street with “Santa Baby” playing loudly on a boom box and totter into Pittsburgh’s bar.

Which has most of the neon blown out in the sign so it just says “urgh’s.”

How I think that Santa must have felt.

I had seen one other tragic Christmas moment at the nail salon.

A woman walked in looking for a highlighter brush for a hair dye kit.

She was pretty glazed, Valium or something of the sort, and she knocked over a bunch of salon merchandise and then literally sat down on the floor in front of the accessories and mumbled how was she going to do her highlights before the Christmas dinner had to be cooked?

Yikes.

Merry Christmas lady.

But.

For the most part, it wasn’t a bad day, really, just quiet, like I said, and I managed to sneak into Java Beach and get the last cafe au lait of the day before they closed down for the night.

Decaf, I mean, really I like my coffee, but I try to not have caffeine after four p.m.

Then.

I strolled down to the beach.

The sun had already set, but the twilight was so pretty.

I took a lot of photos.

I love, love, love, the new phone camera.

It really takes some nice shots.

IMG_0042

IMG_E0034

The above is not the best shot, it’s a little fuzzy, but the camera does this “live” photo thing that is pretty amazing, it shows my facial movement as I line up the shot and it’s really cool to see it, plus the filters are exquisite.

I liked the filter on this one.

The beach was super quiet and it wasn’t quite as cold as I thought it would be.

I walked for a bit and enjoyed it immensely.

Then I came back to the house and pulled a perfectly roasted chicken out of the oven and had myself a damn fine meal.

I headed back out planning on doing a meet up with my fellows over at the Palace of Fine Arts, but only found folks meandering around the parking lot.

Apparently the facility had forgotten to alert them that the building would be closed for the holiday.

So I said hi to a few folks and then went for one more walk.

The Palace is pretty special and at night it really shines.

IMG_0043

The Christmas lights on the houses around the park too were just beautiful and though I didn’t have the night I was expecting it was a nice walk.

I queued up the Elvis Christmas album in the car and drove back to the Outer Sunset.

And yes.

Sigh.

I did tear up a little bit, but you know, the writing, this little blog, it helps me put things into perspective and I’m not so sad anymore.

Rather.

Just grateful as all get out that I have so much in my life.

Merry Christmas Eve!

May all your Christmas wishes be granted.

 

And. End Scene

November 13, 2017

I made it!

I got through the school weekend.

Only one more left in the semester.

Holy shit.

Very excited about that.

Although not at all excited about the extraordinary amount of work I will have to produce for the last weekend of classes.

Four papers.

One final group presentation.

Plus wrapping all my online CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) webinars and assignments and doing all the work for my online Child and Elder Abuse class.

Whew.

It’s a lot.

But.

I’ll get it done.

I always do.

I did have a moment today, though.

I was pretty wiped out by the class, a lot of emotional content for me was coming up, shocker that, go get a degree in psychology and watch the stuff surface, and I really couldn’t even decide what the hell I was going to do with the day.

I had some ideas.

Maybe I’d go shopping.

But.

I’m trying to hold out from purchasing anything as it looks like I’m getting quite close to actually putting down money on a car.

My application for a car loan was approved and I can go into the Fiat dealership in Berkeley and get the Fiat 500 Pop that I’ve been eyeing.

It seems surreal that it’s actually happening.

I even transferred the money out of my savings account today.

I am not sure exactly when I’m going to go and get the car, the dealership actually offered to deliver it to me!

But I want to go into the dealership and go with a friend and make sure I’m doing all the things correct.

I have never bought a new car before so it’s all completely outside the scope of my experience.

Anyway.

Clothes shopping, though tempting, did not seem like the best idea.

I vacillated between rushing out and getting over to the Mission by 12:15 p.m. to do the deal, or just taking it easy and seeing where God wanted me to go.

Rushing is not what I wanted to do and so I meandered towards the Inner Sunset.

I realized I was super hungry and though I needed to do grocery shopping and I could just make food when I got home, I was too distracted and it felt like too much and when a friend in cohort asked what I was doing for self-care today, it struck me that I had no good answer for her.

“Maybe yoga?” I replied.

And it struck me that maybe I wanted to treat myself a little.

So.

I went to Marnee Thai in the Inner Sunset and got my favorite dish there–banana curry with duck and brown rice and a big mug of tea.

It was perfect.

And I did do some clothes window shopping and even tried on a few things, but didn’t buy anything.

Instead.

I went and got a manicure and perused a trashy magazine.

I got a decaf, yes, I’m that person, past a certain point in the afternoon I go decaf, cafe au lait at Tart To Tart and finally did my numbers from my spending plan for October and then did a spending plan for November.

After that.

I went grocery shopping after and that felt very good and proactive.

I did some work around the house and attended to a few small things and did some food prep.

Then.

Yup.

I wrote.

I wrote a lot.

I re-wrote the narrative completely for the “People Who Usually Don’t Lecture” folks.

I meet with them again tomorrow in between supervision in the early morning and work.

I think I had been dreading doing that work and not having an idea of how to get it going, but as I finished balancing my check book and I was sitting by my computer, I just did it.

I just kicked it the fuck out.

Then when I finished it I realized I could make the 6:15 p.m. restorative yoga class at my studio.

Yippee!

I scurried into my yoga gear and walked over, getting nice and settled in as they dimmed the lights and light the studio with candles.

So pretty.

So relaxing.

Such a nice gift to give to myself.

An hour and fifteen minutes later I came home, made a hot dinner and proofed my narrative.

I just sent it out a few minutes before starting my blog.

Super fucking happy.

I’m going to go take a shower and chill out.

Fuck yeah.

 

Oh.

And here’s the piece in its entirety, I may still change it, but well, I thought you’d might like to read it.

Enjoy.

 

Running Away From Myself

I ran away from home to San Francisco. I was 29 years old. I had just graduated from college with my undergrad degree in English Literature, which would translate to a career of asking “wilt thou like fries with that?” I had also just gotten a black belt in Shaolin Kempo Karate, and I had won an award for a manuscript of my poems from the UW Madison Book Store. I was on my way. I was going to be the next great American novelist. I had a plan.

I was going to find myself in San Francisco. A friend later told me that she was quite concerned for me, one does not find themselves by moving across country in their two door Honda Accord with all their possessions and a two month sublet in the Mission District. I, however, was convinced that I needed to move to San Francisco, it was home, Madison, was not. I never considered it to be running away from myself. I just thought I was getting the hell away from the craziness of my family.

I was running away from my mom who was smoking crack, from my sister who was shooting crystal meth with dirty rigs, from my homeless father, who would spare change for beer money outside the brewing company I was the manager at. I had been to San Francisco to visit a friend the year prior and knew it was where I wanted to be. I moved here Labor Day weekend of 2002. I had a blast. I drank, I danced, I partied, I went to clubs, I cut lines at 1015 and DNA Lounge, and one day did blow in the bathroom with a friend, maybe it was the Mezzanine or the bar at The W Hotel. I had arrived! I made so many new friends my phone could barely handle all the numbers. I was having the time of my life.

Then I started to have repercussions from all the partying. Drugs are like that, fun, fun with problems, then just fucking problems. The problems led to me getting really creative with my money, stashing it in my bra or sock or back left pocket of my pants so I wouldn’t spend it on coke. But inevitably, after a few drinks, I would call my dealer. And the money ran out, really, really, fast. I was gregarious and the life of the party, and as a dear friend told me later, “just because you didn’t go to prom in high school doesn’t meant that you get to be the prom queen now.”

Yet, I kept going. I got ominous warnings from my friends, I got warnings at work, and I pissed off my roommate for bringing the after party back from the clubs at 4 a.m. I accidentally did a line of meth in the bathroom at the End Up one night, with a new friend who I thought was giving me cocaine and two days later found myself still awake deconstructing Laura Croft in a trailer in Brisbane where my new best friend was making banana walnut pancakes in the kitchen.

I still don’t know how I got home. I started making deals with myself. Don’t drink tonight; I noticed I was quick to call my dealer after a beer. But didn’t you see how hard my job was, what assholes I was working with, and how much my feet hurt? It had nothing to do with the three grams of blow I did the night before while dancing at DNA Lounge in platform Steve Madden heels, no, it had to do with the head manager at my restaurant giving me a shitty section where I had to run all night long to serve my tables.

Things spun out of control. Faster and faster. One night I was just going to go home and a friend convinced me to grab a bottle of wine from the restaurant and go back to her place. A bum outside her door spare changed us as we were going into her apartment, I gave him a cigarette. Hours later when I left, he was still there and he offered me some crack cocaine. Of course I smoked it. And twelve hours later I found myself hiding on a piece of cardboard between parked cars on Minna Street smoking rock with a homeless man who was angling for me to become his girlfriend.   It had to stop. It had to.

I tried a number of ways to control and enjoy my drinking and using, but things just never took. No matter what I did. I lost that fine dining restaurant job, I lost friends, and I lost a lot of dignity. I left a $500 a month rent controlled room in a large Victorian house in the Mission for a room on Potrero and 25th for more than twice the rent. I figured I wouldn’t spend my money on cocaine if my rent were more expensive. I was wrong, was I ever wrong. I remember waking up one morning for a lunch shift and wondering what I had done the night before and when it finally came to me as I was getting out of a cab in front of work I was so overwhelmed I leapt out, and ran and vomited in the bushes before going in for my shift.

Finally, on January 10th, possibly the 11th of 2005, I hit the bottom that would change my life. I went to the restaurant I used to work at to see a friend, I wasn’t going to drink. Nope. I wasn’t, but the bartender put up my regular, a double dirty martini on the rocks with extra olives and a pint of Sierra Nevada. I drank a sip of the beer and called my dealer. I rang a friend, he met me out, and we went all over the city and at one point ended up at my house. He left his drugs with me, “you won’t do them will you?” He asked as he left. I did them. I stole from my friend and in that moment I made the decision, I was done, I don’t know why stealing a few grams of coke from a friend was how I smashed into my bottom, but it was. I made a cry for help. And it was answered.

It came from unexpected places. I thought I was just going to go to rehab. Instead I got introduced to a community and an amazing fellowship, and I drank a lot of coffee, a lot, I still do. Twelve years and some change later, notice my star tattoos? One for every year I’ve been sober, I still don’t know how the magic all happened, I am grateful beyond belief that it has. I get to do and be someone I never even knew I wanted to be. I am a nanny, I’ve been one for over a decade, I get to give children the kind of love and attention I missed getting as a child. I’m also a third year graduate student in psychology, I go to a full time graduate program on the weekends at CIIS (California Institute of Integral Studies) which is located on Mission and 10th in the SOMA. The back of the building abuts Minna Street.

That same street where I gave a homeless man a cigarette, and he smoked me out with crack, I was once again twelve years later. I will never forget coming out of my Psychodynamics class at the end of the semester, holding a paper I had just gotten an A+ on and hopping on my scooter to go home. As I pulled out, I heard the roll of a lighter be flicked and the inhale of breath, there was a girl, a young woman, hair up in a messy bun, eyes downcast, smoking crack on a piece of cardboard between two parked cars. She was I and I was she. I can never, not now, not ever, express the tremendous gratitude I felt in me at the moment. As I zoomed off on my scooter, from my grad school program to my little studio by the sea. I was no longer running away from myself. I was just going home.

Today Was A

February 19, 2017

Fuck yeah kind of day.

I was chilled most of the day, but I did look cute.

Although perhaps a little on the shivery side.

I wasn’t expecting to be out all day long and I just never made it back to the house once I was out and about.

I sort of know better, but oh well, that’s all I really have to complain about, I was a little cold today, and now that I am home, a hot mug of tea next to me, the heater turned on and my candles all lit up, oh yes, and some nice Saint Germaine de Pres on the radio cube, yes, I said radio cube, it’s like a trip toy for rave kids candy flipping, but I’ve had it for years and years and it really does work–an old IHome cube.

I have had it forever and it’s been to many a Burning Man.

Not this year though, nothing that I will have to hook up to electricity, I won’t be working the event so very doubtful I will have access to any sort of power hook up like I have in the past.

I digress.

Burning Man was not today, although it did come up in conversation a few times.

I am pretty dorked out that I get to go again.

Anyway.

I did go to things today.

I went to yoga.

I am glad I did, although, yes, I had a moment or two when I didn’t want to and it’s hard to get back on the horse, but I did.

I wasn’t able to go at all last weekend since I was in class all day and it’s hard, I see how fast I can lose the benefits of the practice, but hey, I went, and it was enough.

I am enough.

There it is again.

Hello.

Yes, I repeat, I am enough.

After yoga, a quick hot shower, a yummy hot breakfast and a tasty coconut/almond milk latte.

Living the high life.

Then.

I gratefully accepted the reprieve in the rain, it cleared today, but shall be back the next few days, and I uncovered my scooter and rode it up to 7th and Irving.

I met my person at Tart to Tart and embarked on some inventory.

We did some reading.

I did some writing.

I did some crying.

Damn it.

But.

Such good crying and also a lot of laughing, sometimes seeing how my foibles are impeding my journey just makes me laugh and how I think and how it does not serve.

Oh.

Does my thinking, NOT serve.

So.

I got some amazing perspective and some really good suggestions.

And.

Yes.

That’s right.

I took them.

I ran with them all day.

Guess what?

I had a fucking fabulous day.

FABULOUS.

I went and had a mani/pedi after and got my eyebrows wrangled.

Then I took myself out to lunch at Marnee Thai–duck breast curry with plantains.

Holy Mother of God.

So freaking good.

I did a little shopping after that at Ambiance.

I actually took a friend’s suggestion around self-care.

Well.

Close.

My friend had suggested I go get a massage.

I went to a hot tub instead.

It was bliss.

So good to get a soak and let all the kinks get worked out.

Then a scooter ride over to Turk and Divisadero to hang out with my fellows and do the deal.

I even fucking fellowshipped after and discovered a new place for food that I had not been to in the neighborhood.

Hung out.

Socialized.

Ate hella good food and let my hair down.

I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time and I was able to nip the isolation blues in the bud.

Sometimes a girl gets lonely.

I could have bailed on the fellowship, I had food at the house, but I really craved some company tonight and I am so much the better for just hanging the fuck out with my people.

They are like no other.

Yeah.

I know.

I am biased.

But.

I do know a special and amazing group of people.

They’ve got my back and I’ve got theirs.

I felt a lot more a part of and I want to continue making that effort.

I shared with a friend tonight that it really can be a challenge to navigate doing grad school work and work and recovery and socializing.

I isolate sometimes because I am scared.

But.

Also.

Because, um, yeah, I have hundreds of pages of reading to do and papers to write.

I may not get to the paper I was going to write today.

And I’m just fine with that.

I have time and my time was so much better spent letting myself be of and in the world.

I rather like my San Franciscan world.

Sure.

It’s not the same city it used to be, it’s changed, but then again, so have I.

Change happens.

Change is the only reliable thing that is consistent.

I can try to control things and I am a sucker for routine, but once in a while I need to break out of it, evolve and see what comes of that action.

I may go back to where I was, all up in my head, but i have a solution that works.

I mean.

Fuck.

It works.

I am so grateful for that.

So much so it’s sort of stupid.

Don’t care if I’m a dork about that too.

Something lovely about my gratitude.

Something lovely about not having it all be on my time, my schedule and my way.

God has perfect timing.

Perfect love.

And wants me to be happy.

I can stop trying so hard to make things happen and just let them happen.

I don’t have to watch the horror show in my head.

I’m pretty bored with the characters and the casting is awful, and really it’s over dramatic, fear filled, and unrealistic.

Reality is so much more sexy.

And I certainly had a sexy day today.

Yes.

Yes.

I did.

All Things Asian

December 25, 2016

In other words.

Merry Christmas Eve to the person who had to cancel two different sets of plans.

The first, you all have heard me talk about, no Christmas in Wisconsin, didn’t work out had to cancel.

The second set was to go help a friend move today.

But after yesterday’s challenge, and let’s be frank, the whole week has been a challenge, and a lingering cold that just won’t get the fuck out of my body, I cancelled.

I don’t like canceling.

I cried on the phone to my friend.

But.

That’s the way the cookie crumbles.

I did rally though and get out of my house.

The thought of being at home alone the whole day was too much to bear, so I just thought, easy does it, you know where to go and who to see and it can be nice and slow and just take things one moment at a time.

I had a nice breakfast, courtesy of the persimmons Santa left for me, some nice coffee and a lot of writing.

I decided I would venture out to the Inner Sunset, I knew people would be there and that I needed to check in with my people.

But before that.

Yes.

My nail salon was open.

Merry Christmas Eve day manicure and eyebrow waxing courtesy of the sweet mother daughter team at the Korean nail salon I go to.

I popped in next door to Tart to Tart and treated myself to a large cafe au lait, then came back and got all pretty.

For whom?

Why, me, of course.

I may not have a significant other this year, but I can damn well treat myself like I am one.

Because, well, I fucking am.

After the nails I popped over to 7th and Irving and did the deal with a bunch of folks.

It was really good.

I mean.

REALLY.

Heard everything I needed to hear and got my heart warmed up, it’s been aching, although it may just be the tightness in my chest from the cold, I suspect it’s a mixture of both.

Afterward it was definitely time for lunch.

Thai food it is!

I was rather smitten with the red curry duck with plantains I had the other day at Marnee Thai, so I went back to see if they were open, and yes!

They were.

I even was sat in the exact same spot.

Sort of cozy and sweet and one of the servers remembered me and when I had sipped, quite quickly, I was trying to warm up, my cup of tea, she flagged over my server whispered something to her in Thai and the next thing you know my server comes back with a huge glass of tea.

Apparently they know me well after just two visits.

I was doing ok and also not feeling like quite calling it a day, though I did think about it when I stepped back outside, the weather today, for San Francisco, was quite cold.

Is quite cold.

But I decided that I could scooter over to Japan town and catch a movie at the Kabuki Sundance Theaters.

I had worn a lot of layers, in fact I was a polar bear on my scooter, but even in the theater I was a little chilled.

Slight fever.

Which sometimes is actually kind of nice, and sometimes makes everything feel a little chillier.

But the movie was sweet and I was also warmed by the brief, but happy phone call I had with my sister and my mom!

It was such a lovely surprise to see my sister’s name pop up on my phone.

She called to thank me for the gifts I had sent and I spoke briefly with her and then with my mom before going into the movie.

I almost missed the previews, and I like previews.

I went and saw La La Land.

It was the perfect Christmas Eve movie to see, lots of singing, a tender, somewhat bittersweet romantic plot line, and good acting.

I was quite taken.

And yes, I did tear up a bit at the ending.

It was well done and I’m glad I went.

Speaking of glad I went, I decided to double down and go catch some fellows over at Turk and Divisadero and just sit for another hour and absorb the good stuff with a small cast of merry friends who were staying in town as well for the holiday.

It was chilly, but cheerful.

I am definitely glad I went.

And to round out all things Asian for my merry Christmas Eve.

I took myself out to a sushi dinner at my favorite sushi restaurant in my hood–Sushi Raw–over on 19th and Taraval.

Christmas bonus never tasted so good.

I do not eat out very often and I’ve eaten out a lot over the last few days, it’s been lovely, but it will be settling down.

That being said, fuck it’s Christmas Eve and I didn’t feel like cooking, I will tomorrow, I don’t know that I will be zooming around at all, I did push myself a bit more than I thought I would in the name of keeping myself busy and out of my head, so I let myself splurge on sushi.

I had scallops wrapped in bacon.

BACON.

MmmMmmm good.

Miso soup, edamame, and my favorite roll–Caterpillar Roll, which is unagi with avocado.

Lots of hot tea, I was super cold after my riding.

And it was really sweet to sit by myself and people watch.

I was the only person there who wasn’t Japanese.

I am so grateful to live in a community with so many ethnicities and cultures.

And grateful that not everybody celebrates Christmas the ways that “my” culture does.

Or I would have been a little out of luck with all the activities and places and food I had today.

It’s certainly not the Christmas I envisioned, but that’s ok.

It’s the Christmas I’m supposed to be having.

How do I know this?

Because it’s what’s happening.

Reality.

Better than fantasy any old day, even when I think otherwise, even when I had tried to wrest Christmas and it’s traditions into my own idea of what it’s supposed to look like.

I didn’t plan on being sick, I didn’t plan on canceling my travel plans, I didn’t plan on being alone.

But overall.

I never felt lonely today.

Even though I spent much of it alone.

Rather.

I felt held, special, and very privileged to have the life I have today.

I’ve come a very, very, very long way.

Baby.

So very long.

And so grateful for every step along the way.

Seriously.

I Can’t Quite Believe

December 23, 2016

That.

Tomorrow is my last day with the boys.

I only cried three times today.

Grateful for that.

I didn’t need to stuff my feelings.

It was a challenge.

I cried when I wasn’t expecting it.

I felt a bit blown out and a bit tired and a lot sad.

The boys also had great big screaming tantrums, so that was fun, albeit completely understandable.

The tantrums didn’t, of course, start until after we had gotten back to the house and I needed to get them ready for A Charlie Brown Christmas at the San Francisco Symphony.

I mean, really, sort of figured it would happen.

Just needed to have the monkeys fed and changed into their navy velvet blazers and bow ties by 1 p.m.

No biggie.

Except they were emotional too.

They know.

They know I’m going to be gone tomorrow.

That’s it.

No more nanny.

“Carmen, please visit us,” the older boy stopped, took my hand, tugged on it, as we rounded the corner from the park to the house, literally stopping me in my tracks as I pushed his brother in the stroller.

“________________, I’m right here, right now, with you, and,” I paused, reached down, hefted his 6.5 year old body up, great work out, being a nanny in case you’re ever wanting to switch careers, “I love you and I promise tomorrow is not the last time you will see, I promise.”

I had lifted him so that he was eye level with me, we rubbed noses, he wrapped his arms around me, and we just stood and hugged it out on the corner.

Oof.

It was like that all day.

The park was barely the park.

Mostly the park was both boys trying to sit in my lap at the same time.

They eventually did get up and play and run around and chase pigeons, but all they wanted to do was sit with me, on my lap, or leaned against me.

The youngest gets me the most, or at my heart the most, his small face this plate of silence and sadness.  He just oozes it, it breaks my heart to look at his face and every time, like, um now, fuck, I see his little face in my head, I just start crying.

Which is challenging to do when writing a blog, the screen gets blurry.

Ugh.

Oof.

I am super grateful I have the feels, it means the boys mean something to me and it’s important I grieve the loss and the moving on and yeah, I don’t know what tomorrow is going to be like but I did make sure to have plans to have dinner with a friend and maybe I’ll go get a mani/pedi afterward and just take it really sweet and easy.

I got a nice Christmas bonus.

Slight aside.

SERIOUS ADULTING.

I got my Christmas bonus yesterday and I couldn’t open the card until I had been home for hours, there was something daunting about it, and I realized later that I was loath to open it because it really would signal the end of days and I can’t quite seem to wrap my mind around not going in to work next week and seeing my little guys.

But.

I did open it and I was quite grateful for the gift, really.

And then.

I did the adulting.

The first thing I bought with my bonus?

Dental insurance.

Then I put a little in savings.

I met with my person after work today and she plunked the kleenex box down in front of me, “today the last day or tomorrow,” she asked.

“Tomorrow,” I said and reached for a tissue.

We had tea we talked all things recovery, it was really good.

Then she said, “that’s great about the dental insurance, that’s a beautiful gift to give yourself, but get something fun for you too.”

I took her suggestion.

It took me a hot minute though.

I was going to go book a massage and when I went they place was closed for the holidays!

Ugh.

So I went to Rainbow and bought some, for me, expensive body lotion I really like by Pure Organics and a Rau raw chocolate drink.

Then I pondered where I was going to go.

There was a little voice in my head that said, go home, hide, stick your head in the sand, get all isolated and shit, watch some videos and let the squirrels in your head run amok.

I was like, ooh yeah, I’ll catch up on Black Mirror.

But.

Well.

That sounds fucking depressing.

Jesus, Martines, that’s not a good idea.

I just about laughed out loud.

So.

I rode my scooter over to the Inner Sunset and I made myself park close to a spot that would pretty much guarantee me doing the deal, then I went and cashed my Christmas bonus check and went to Green Apple Books.

I had not bought anything when I was there the other day, I was just browsing to kill time until I met my date at Park Chow.

This time I let myself buy.

God  damn do I love buying books.

And pleasure books, oh lord, I get to do some pleasure reading.

Not much, just a week, so what ever I knock through between now and New Years is what I get.  Maybe even a little less, I’m going to need to order my books for the upcoming semester sooner than I realize, I know it.  But.  I’ll have seven days of freedom, I think, where I can read.

I bought three books.

The new Don DeLillo, Zero K.

Cormac McCarthy, Child of God.

And.

Irvine Welsh, The Bedroom Secrets of The Master Chefs.

I’m drooling just typing out the names and looking at them on top of my stack of notebooks makes me very happy.

After I had satiated my book desires I went to dinner.

I treated myself to Marnee Thai and fuck am I glad I did, it was awesome.  I took the suggestion of the waitress and had a red curry with duck and plantains and brown rice.

Swoon.

It was good.

A bit pricier than I would have typically spent at my little secret spot out here in my hood, but Thai Cottage is closed for the next few weeks for the holidays and I smelled goodness wafting from the restaurant when I passed it on the way to the bookstore.

My nose knew.

After the dinner I still had some time and I popped into Ambiance.

And yes.

l bought myself a pretty dress for New Year’s Eve and decided that I would commit to going to a New Year’s Eve party some friends of mine are throwing in the Mission.

Yup.

I’ll be going stag to a New Year’s Eve party, and I don’t fucking care, I’m going to dance and wear platforms and my new dress and be pretty and not give a damn about being single, because I’m allowed to have fun and be happy.

I don’t need to be partnered up on the holidays.

That’s not worked out so well for me the last few years.

Jesus Christ on a pogo stick, not well at all.

No.

And tomorrow.

Well.

It will be here soon and I’m sure I will have all the feels about it and just breathe in and out and hug my boys tight and smell the napes of their necks and kiss their faces and it will be alright.

It will.

I am lucky to get this opportunity.

I am literally paid to love.

Not a bad job if you can get it.

Seriously.

 


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