Posts Tagged ‘Metro’

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.

But.

Fuck.

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.

God.

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.

DONE!

With my last weekend of classes.

I am officially now a third year student.

Holy shit.

And.

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.

So.

Fingers crossed.

A few bucks in my pocket this week.

Always handy when a lady is getting ready to travel.

OH.

MY.

GOD.

I leave for Paris in four days.

Four!

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.

No.

I have not taken it to Burning Man.

Ha.

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.

Oh.

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.

Seriously.

 

 

Back At It

May 26, 2016

Holy shit do I feel better.

Nothing like a little 24 hour bug to put my health in perspective.

I had no idea I was that under the weather.

Until I woke up this morning and felt so much better, so rested, so ready to conquer the world.

Which was a good thing since the family missed having me around.

I made so much food today.

Holy shit.

Triple batch broccoli soup.

Double batch turkey and black bean chili.

Oatmeal for the boys for the rest of the week.

Cut up raw veggies and fruit for lunch boxes and snacks.

And.

Cheese tortellini with pesto sauce.

Oh and a dozen hard boiled eggs.

Not that boiling eggs is such an ordeal, but yeah, I did the food up today.

Plus.

Getting back into the routine with the boys who seemed so much bigger and older and well, sassier.

Which is generally what happens when I go away for a long weekend or don’t see them for a little while, they are going to push my boundaries and see if I will hold them the same way I normally do.

And I did.

Little struggles here and there but after a tiny bit of acting out, a few time outs and quiet time moments, we got our groove on and had a really nice day.

I felt great.

Until I didn’t.

And that did, thankfully pass.

Although it did freak me out for a moment.

I got super dizzy and head rushed running up the stairs to grab a book for the six year old and suddenly found myself standing and wobbling back and forth in the boys room.

Hot and cold by turns and almost passed out.

Granted I ate almost nothing yesterday, but I ate well today, and I caught myself before I toppled and breathed and it passed.

But it was a spooky moment and I am grateful I had neither boy in my arms or anything in my hands had I fallen.

I was also absurdly grateful that I had taken yesterday off.

I would have not made it through the day.

No way.

No how.

It is nice to get back into my groove, though I adore the traveling, I am also a creature of my comforts, my tea, my music, my space, my transportation.

It was hella nice to be back on my scooter and not on a subway.

“You’re an above ground kind of girl,” he said to me–the gentleman I stayed with via Air BnB, “you’re not much on the trains are you?”

I do prefer to be above ground, I love trains, but sometimes subways and undergrounds I can do without, I like to look at things, I love to watch the landscape go by, I like to see the sky.

I also like to walk and that’s always a good way to experience a city.

Or any place I travel too.

It’s good to see things and smell things and take in the environment.

Today I was happy to smell the sea and drift wood smoke and a charcoal pit being lit up, the eucalyptus in the Pan Handle, so good.

I felt happy and free and alive.

And I also smell of fabulousness.

I got my new perfume!

It came into Tigerlily and I picked it up right before work.

Rose Flash.

Fuck me it’s so good.

Super sexy and lush and floral, tuber rose and spicy and a bit musky, but not too much, just a hot kiss of it and the dark rustle of angel wings on fire.

Oh.

I fucking love it.

I could just rub it all over my body.

The girl at the counter was so happy for my happiness that she threw in a body oil on the house also in Rose Flash.

I shall go about my days dipped in deliciousness.

And my nights drowned in the lovely of it.

I like to put on perfume before I go to bed, especially on my wrists and on my neck, behind my ears, so it floats in my hair.

I will crawl naked into bed, float down under the comforter, raise my arms over my head and bury my face in my hair or my shoulder and breath the perfume into myself, my heart, my spirit.

I don’t know when I started that.

But I think it may have been when I was sixteen or seventeen and had splurged on a bottle of Calvin Klein Eternity.

I wore it all the time.

In fact, I probably over wore it, not realizing that my nose got accustomed to the scent, I would put on a lot more than I needed because I wanted to smell it on my body.

“There goes Carmen, wafting again,” one of my mom’s friends snickered as I passed by.

I was horrified.

I had no clue.

I learned then to put it on at night as heavy as I wanted to, the scent washing me to sleep and curling me into dreams.

Feverdown.

Eiderdown.

Soft warm clouds.

Ambient lightness.

Like a lit globe of fairy dust and tales of adventures and wandering.

My sister told me after we had moved out of the house in Windsor, that there were times she would go hang out in my room and lay on my bed and that my sheets always smelled of my perfume.

I found that sweet.

I still find that sweet.

And I am so happy to have this new scent to waft me into sleep and dreams and reverie with.  I am a very lucky girl.

I’m happy and healthy and taken care of.

I paid my rent today.

That always feels good.

I get to go to yoga in the morning.

That will feel lovely.

And.

Cherries are in season.

Oh so sweet.

My life.

A bowl of cherries.

A wash of spiced perfume.

The moon riding over the wine dark seas.

My heart on my sleeve.

Exactly where it should be.

All is right in the world.

Love.

Love.

It’s all around me.

 

 

Almost There

May 19, 2016

In fact.

24 hours from right now I’ll be landing at JFK.

Eek.

I am so excited.

I am also a little nervous.

I’m on my own.

But.

I know how to take care of myself and what I want to do and I know that I am a big girl and can handle my own self.

It’s my second time to New York and really my first time there completely on my own.

Yeah.

I’ll be seeing a friend or two, I do have plans to see a friend in Williamsburg, but nothing air tight, everything is loose and flexible.

I ran into a friend tonight who used to live in New York and just recently relocated here, and he was like, “text me, you have an SOS or need anything, I totally know people.”

Plus he confirmed that I should definitely be going to St. Marks in the East Village.

I was randomly on facecrack and saw a friend who I had forgotten was in New York, of course I did, the only time I see him is at Burning Man, and I reached out and said, hey I’m going to be coming and where should I go to do the deal in New York?

St. Marks.

10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Although I was tipped off to go hella early on Sunday to get a spot, I guess it’s a popular one and all that.

I figure I will do both the Saturday and Sunday, that will get me into the city early and set me up nicely to head off to my adventures.

“Go to the Frick too,” my friend told me when I listed off my Guggenheim, MOMA, Whitney ideals.  “You can totally do the Frick and the Guggenheim at the same time, they’re really close to each other.”

Sweet.

I’m glad to know it.

I also do think I am going to shoot the moon and try for a tattoo at Three Kings.

My idea solidified and now it won’t get out of my head, so, yeah, if I make it over there on Friday I’ll set up a consultation and go back on Sunday after I do St. Marks and the Whitney and the High Line.

Oh my God.

All the things.

So much to do.

I am so excited.

I could pee my pants.

But.

I won’t.

I do have to pack yet.

But I always pack day off.

I have traveled enough to know what to pack and what I need to bring.

My travel toiletries are all set and my suitcase is out on my chaise, along with an umbrella, it may rain when I’m there, but that’s fine, if it’s going to rain, I’ll be tucked up in a museum getting my art high on.

The only little fly in the ointment.

I can’t get my boarding pass to print off.

I’m not sure why, but my printer doesn’t seem to be connecting.

I checked into my flight though and I’ll just get my boarding pass printed when I go to SFO tomorrow.

I have set my alarm.

I will get up and do my morning routine and have a nice hot shower and eat a good breakfast and I will do my writing, how apropos that the last of my Paris journals is being filled up as I prepare to launch out into my next traveling adventure.

I’ll be re-upping my notebooks while I’m there.

There is nothing like have a journal with stickers and notes and ticket stubs from where ever I am traveling.  I love taking photo mat photos and sticking them in the notebook and subway tickets, train tickets, boarding passes.

I won’t actually bring my Palais de Tokyo notebook with me.

I will write one more entry for tomorrow before I fly out and buy a new notebook when I’m in Brooklyn on Friday, that way I have a fresh set of pages all ready to be filled with my adventures.

I also just pulled out my glue stick, got to have that too, in the bag of pens, to help stick stuff in that isn’t a sticker.

Heh.

Oh!

And before I forget, because I almost did!

I got a travel phone charger!

So happy I did that.

It’s charging in the socket as I blog.

It will hold two phone charges.

And it’s not super big.

My two friends who I traveled with, one in New York and one in Paris, both had the super big heavy ones that would hold like five charges.

I went with a smaller, lighter one.

I carry enough shit in my bag already.

I figure one big full charge on my phone and two back ups in my bag and I will be set for all my adventures and photos and oh, goodness, this is really fucking happening.

And what am I going to wear?

Hahahaha.

Same thing I already wear all the time, plus, maybe one fun dress to walk around in.

I tossed my Converse in the wash last night so they be clean and though not new looking not as shabby as they were.

I’m going to be walking.

If I was there being all pretty and had more time I might bring some sandals and I still might, I do have a cute ass pair that I wore yesterday, one of those few days in San Francisco that it was warm enough all day to wear sandals, at least in my opinion, but I’m going to be doing a lot of walking.

And since I’m there on my own, with my own agenda and schedule, Converse are just fine.

I don’t know why it feels like such a big deal.

Hmm.

Cuz maybe it is.

But.

I have traveled on my own to Paris numerous times, twice on my own, and yet, New York intimidates me a tiny bit, not a lot, I think I’m going to be just fine, I navigated the Metro in Paris and the subway, well, last time I checked, it was in English, it’s just something new and new can be scary.

Even if it’s new good.

New fun.

New amazing.

New York.

I’m coming for you.

See you soon.

EEP!

Grateful

December 24, 2015

Goose bumped with grateful.

Smashed with grateful.

Overwhelmed with the grateful of all things.

Art.

Ballet.

High heels on cobblestones.

The Metro line over Passy.

The taxi cab to the Opera Garnier.

More art.

Walking in the Tuilleries at dusk.

The sunset at Place de la Concorde.

Photographs.

The nearly full moon.

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

Grateful for love.

Grateful beyond words.

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

Grateful for joy.

Grateful for Bottecelli.

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

So damn grateful.

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

My Paris today.

Looked a little like this:

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

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Diana the Huntress, at the Louvre.

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Cherubim, ceiling of the Louvre.

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

Especially her face, the one in the goldenrod dress.

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

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

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

I captured these:

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

And this:

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

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

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

The ballet was smashing.

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

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Beyond grateful to be having Christmas in Paris.

Again.

I repeat.

Just to hear myself say it.

I am.

The.

Luckiest girl.

In the world.

At least, tonight.

In Paris.

I am.

 

The Day In Review

December 23, 2015

It was a good day.

A great day.

A grand day.

A day full of walking and art and photographs.

Unfortunately I somehow lost a series of them off my camera.

And I have spent too much time searching my computer for them, obnoxious.  I don’t know what happened, but they were imported, then deleted from my camera, which is usually how I roll.

Then.

I was editing them.

And while I was editing the photographs, I plugged in my Iphone and my phone went to download photos and I clicked, without thinking the close button on Iphoto since I didn’t want them to download.

So when I re-opened Iphoto after smacking self on the head, the photographs I had down loaded off my camera, the ones that I was in the middle of editing, poof.

All gone.

Like nowhere.

Like I have spent over an hour looking through everything.

Going back into my camera–nope, gone.

Remember, I deleted them when the import to my computer was done.

In the trash, through all my photo files.

Everywhere.

No photos.

Sigh.

Which is too bad.

I had a couple of good shots and two great shots that I was super excited about.

However.

I did also take photographs with my Iphone.

So.

Some things to share about the day.

IMG_7614This is on the bridge under the Metro line 8.  It has to be one of my favorite Metro stops, Passy, as it has the most beautiful hanging gas lamps.  I just love it.  Plus, the building to my left is the building where Last Tango in Paris was filmed.

IMG_7612This guy here.  Marlon Brando making some furious American love up on the 4th floor.

IMG_7622The bridge was an easy segue off to the Palais de Tokyo.  Where I have been regaling my friend of the amazing cafe inside and the modern art.

Which would have been fantastic to see.

But, um.

Ha.

I read the hours wrong and we went on a day the museum was closed.

We’ll be going back on Thursday.

A brief, but probably not all inclusive look at the following days:

Tomorrow, Wednesday, the Louvre in the morning followed by lunch, somewhere in the neighborhood, then a walk through the Tuilleries to the Jeu de Paume to see some modern art photography.

If we have enough time, possibly swinging over to the other side of the Tuilleries and seeing the Monet water lilies.

We may not have all that much time, and if so, we’ll just be heading back to the studio where we are staying on Rue Juge in the 15th, to get ready to go right back out.

Yes.

Tomorrow we are off to the ballet in the evening.

I will want to have a good hot, long shower after much tramping about the Louvre, and put on my polka dot dress and shoes and off to the Garnier Opera House for a night of ballet.

Thursday and Friday, Christmas Eve and Christmas day, will be a little more flexible, but will include museums as well, the Pompidou is actually open on Christmas and I cannot think of a better way to spend it then walking around a bunch of amazing modern art on Christmas day.

Plus being so close to the Marais and it’s sweet alleys and walkways.

We have also been invited a few places and will likely see friends in the fellowship.

So many good friends.

Saturday perhaps Pere LaChaise and some shopping and who knows.

Honestly, while I write, it could all be completely different than what happens.

As I said, I thought I was going to the Palais de Tokyo today and the Jeu de Paume and neither of those happened.

But.

The Musee d’Art IMG_7624Moderne did.

And they were having an awesome Warhol exhibit.

So much Warhol.

IMG_7623And some really lovely pieces in the permanent collection too.

IMG_7626Plus a divine view from the main galleries.

IMG_7625And an amazing courtyard with cafe tables everywhere.

My friend and I had great fun checking out the art, then we had lunch on the terrace, sitting in the sun eating salads and drinking cafe creme, listening to the babble of French around me and looking out on the Eiffel Tower in the afternoon light.

Pretty spectacular.

Then.

Lots more walking.

Up Avenue George V.

Past the American Cathedral and onto the Champs Elysees.

We went up to the Arc de Triomphe, by passing the enormous line with our museum pass, thank you to whomever it was so many years ago who turned me onto the pass, it really works.

IMG_7628A jam packed line to get up to the top was by passed as well, and we circled quickly through, then back to the Champs Elysees where my friend did a little shopping and we navigated as quickly as possible through the holiday Christmas Village madness.

We cut short the grand avenue and walked over the Alexander Bridge between Invalides and the Grand Palace and Le Petite Palais.

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Stopping for some photo moments, which was nice, having a friend with to take some shots of me too.  I have thousands of photographs of Paris, but not all that many of them have me in them.

It was sweet to have my friend take a few captures of me today.  Although I am bummed that I lost the photos from my camera, there were still some good shots on the Iphone too.

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After walking the bridge, we descended to the river bank and walked along the Seine for a while.

Resurfacing to walk around Place de la Concorde and onward into the Tuilleries.

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We debated, my friend was game, I was not so much, even though I really do want to go for a ride, the ferris wheel, but the line was so long I passed on it.

I figure there is still time and if I make it a point to prioritize it, the ride will happen.

So much will still happen.

And the walk through the Tuilleries at dusk was divine.

We even managed to sneak in a late cafe creme and sit down a one of the cafes in the garden before it closed.

Walking through as the sun went down we headed toward the Louvre.

Just to check out the Pyramid at night, the museum is closed on Tuesdays.

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We’ll be back tomorrow!

The night was far from over and it included a walk across Pont Neuf, a walk through Saint Germaine a visit to the American Church, a walk under the Eiffel Tower and the most amazing dinner at a restaurant in the neighborhood that blew my mind.

I am grateful to have good instincts and though I was worried my friend my faint from lack of food, I urged going there, and my God.

It was worth it.

La Cantine du Troquet.

So very, very, very good.

We had a chacuterie plate with two types of terrine de pate de foie gras, prosciutto, salami, cornichons, pickled peppers, and I had a beautiful pork chop with green salad and a cafe creme (which I probably should not have had, I’m wide awake, but damn it, it was good) and an amazing plate of chevre for dessert.

My friend had pomme frites and the salmon avec coquillages St. Jacques, and an amazing chocolate pot de creme.

A quick brisk walk back to the studio.

Et.

Voila!

Je suis ici.

Full and happy and ready to take on tomorrow’s next adventures.

I am so lucky to be able to do this.

My life is beyond words.

As too.

My gratitude.

I am the luckiest girl in the world.

I really am.

 

One Month Out

November 19, 2015

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

Panic.

Not really.

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

Then I addressed some things that needed addressing.

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

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

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

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

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

I’m not much for working until 8p.m.

I’m used to it at this point.

But.

Last night.

For instance.

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

No thank you.

However.

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

It was challenging and enlightening.

And painful.

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

Grief stuff.

Sadness.

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

The not having one at all.

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

Or grew up with an awful father around.

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

I never got the reality of it.

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

That was real.

It is not that way now.

But.

I don’t have contact with him.

There is no there there.

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

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

However.

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

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

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

I am not sure that I believe her there.

The woman is a smart cookie.

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

I completely agreed with her.

However.

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

But man, it sure as shit smacks of it.

That is.

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

It sounds a little like insanity.

Repeating the same actions.

Expecting different results.

And yes.

I do know how that feels.

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

Often times I have to fuck it up.

But.

Every once in a while.

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

To see.

Just in case.

You know.

Anything has changed.

Nothing.

Absolutely nothing has changed.

It’s all the same mess in that hole.

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

I changed.

The hole doesn’t have to change.

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

But.

When I do.

Wow.

Things change.

Like being in graduate school.

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

All the learning.

All the growth.

All the new friendships.

I got messaged today about possible jobs.

At $45 more an hour than I make now!

That made me smile.

I am not qualified.

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

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

I love that I have made new friends.

Hell.

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

I am so excited to be going.

Even with the unrest and the tensions.

Unless the borders are closed.

I’m flying in.

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

To ride the Metro and hear the Metro stops.

I swear.

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

Les Sablons.

Palais Royale Musee du Louvre.

Square D’Anvers.

Cadet.

Trocadero.

Passy.

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

I am excited.

And it’s a month away.

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

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

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

I know this.

Even when I get overwhelmed.

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

Just got to make it through this next month!

 

A Quiet Night

January 1, 2014

And the largest cat on the planet just crawled into my lap.

It was like my laptop was a cat magnet.

Either that, or smart cat, it knew that the babies were in bed and it was safe to come out from where ever it was hiding.

It may also, smart cat, known that I have a thing for kitties.

And puppies.

And babies.

And there it is, my New Years Eve, strangely like last year, but wildly different.

Better pay, that’s for sure.

Though the overnight is not a thrilling thing for me to be doing, it is of a kind of service that I am glad to know I can do and also realizing that I won’t do again.

Not really worth it.

Sort of like house sitting.

Except, fingers crossed, I won’t be repeating the overnight again to learn the lesson like I did with the housesitting.

This cat is huge.

I think it could be found quite easily on Google maps.

This cat is so big I wonder if it’s going to sleep on my face and suffocate me while I sleep.

Hopefully not.

That would suck.

Sorry, you’re kids are not up and happy and fed, bathed, washed, cleaned, diapered, powdered, and entertained.

Your cat killed me last night when it sat on me.

I actually did get a little nervous when he/she/it crawled up on me, I don’t know that I have ever seen a feline this large (it’s also not large in the sense of a really big fluffy Maine Coon, it’s large, like, holy shit what the fuck do they feed it, Buddha cat large) and I was a little perturbed by how bossy it was.

PET ME NOW.

Ok, cat, just don’t smother me in my sleep.

Or make biscuits on my cheeks.

It doesn’t even seem like it’s New Year’s, but I was just sent a photograph of a friends baby on the East Coast up for a late night feed with the cutest little pucker on his face.

I got my New Years Eve smooch.

Nice.

Strange to think that a year has passed.

Last year I was in Paris.

This year I am in the Mission.

Life is funny that way.

Who knows where I will be next year.

Not making any plans.

Although, I did call my best friend in Wisconsin and say basically, pick a weekend, I am coming out to see you.  I figure it is far easier for me to visit then it would be for her, I count as one, she has three boys and a husband.

Far less to move across country.

And ticket prices don’t look too bad.

Ok, the cat is growing on me, a gigantic growth, but, it is warm and makes a nice soothing white noise purring sound, a small helicopter motor of noise on my lap.

I figure I can go out to her for a weekend, three, four days, as long as it’s not too close to Burning Man I will be fine.

The shifts seem like they will be continuing a pace and I will have January with close to if not completely full time work.  This Friday off, but tonight makes up for it, and I won’t be working the 12th and the 13th, but I will be taking PTO days for the time, so no loss of income.

And life, for me, really is just lived a day at a time.

I could worry about what comes next or just embrace that the right now is pretty damn good.

Which it is.

I am leery of the lack of sleep I will probably have, it seems inevitable that one or both the babies will awaken before I want them too, that is the nature of babies, but other than that, I am pretty much socked in for the night.

At least I won’t be navigating the Paris Metro system on New Years Eve in the rain.

That was a shit show last year.

Scary too.

Nothing says good times like a train car so packed with people that you can’t get off at your stop because too many people are trying to get on the same car you are trying to get off of.

Fortunate to not be claustrophobic, but that was intense.

And then being lost outside the train station, turned around, walking the wrong way in the Pigalle neighborhood, while it’s pelting down freezing rain.

Happy New Year!

This one promises, already, to be far mellower than that.

I may not even stay up until midnight.

Although, I find that unlikely.

I will, oh sweet Jesus, cat, don’t crawl up on my laptop!

It won’t make it.

Dear God.

I know cats prefer to be the center of attention, especially if one has a book or a computer in their lap, but that was a near catastrophe.

Dude.

Yeah, I am not even hating that I am spending my New Years blogging about an overweight cat and doing a nanny share overnight.

Nope.

I know that the less I fight what is happening, the happier I will be and there’s nothing wrong with the situation.

New Years can be a time of greatly overblown expectations.

I don’t have any this year.

I got paid for my time already.

I will be done at 10 a.m.

I will meet a lady at Philz in the Mission at 11a.m. on the way swinging by the bank to deposit my paychecks, then a pit stop for an hour or so at 23rd and Capp after which I shall ride my bicycle merrily back to the Outer Sunset and call it a day.

I may take a nap.

I may go walk on the beach.

I will say thank you for another year on the planet and I will be grateful that it is in San Francisco.

Home.

Excited for what the next year brings with nary a regret for what has been.

Happy 2014!

Viva Roma!

April 8, 2013

Or something like that.

To celebrate saying yes to the Universe I have been granted a trip to Rome.

I will be flying out the 20th of April from Charles de Gaulle in Paris and returning the 23rd of April from Rome.

Just a quick in and out.

I have never been to Rome.

I have no idea what I should see in Rome.

I have a few days to do some internet research.

I am just absurdly grateful and actually rather in awe that I get to do this.

Hell, that I have gotten to do any of this.

“You will see,” he said to me this afternoon in his lilting French accent, “you will discover so much will have come from this journey, it is of the educational variety, non?”

He continued, “you will be back, I know this, we need you here.”

I smiled, nodded.

“You are inspiration, you are your own authentic self, that is what I aspire to be, that is what we all need to be, to find our own authenticity.” He finished, smiled and I teared up.

“Thanks, Stan.”  I said and sat and listened for a while this afternoon.  Then I was invited to lunch with another friend I have met here.

I got to get turned onto the salad bar in the neighborhood.

It is not like an American Pizza Hut buffet, but a really divine little French company that does a build your own salad.  You choose a bowl of lettuce–mache, frisee, romaine, mixed greens, and then they toss it with your choice of toppings, and dress it.

I had a baby greens salad with pink grapefruit, tomatoes, edamame, and avocado with a citrus and olive oil vinaigrette.

Tasty.

Day 8 vegan style.

I explained to my friend Shannon I may not stay vegan, but I am going to definitely give it a go, I am officially having cheese detox after the weekend stay in Chambourcy.

“You know how in America you have a vegetable crisper in your fridge?”  I asked Shannon yesterday via Skype.

“Ya,” she nodded, adjusting the Penelope LaRoux so that I could see her little ginger tipped ears in the video screen.

“Well, they had a cheese crisper,” I said, “I am not joking, three kinds of camembert, Roquefort, Elemental, bags of Baby Belles, mozzarella, chevre, more, I lost count, and I drank three lattes a day while I was there.”

“Oh my god.”

“Yeah, I know, disgusting, but I knew it was to be my last, so I openly admit it, I overindulged.”

I won’t be doing that again.

My tummy was not friendly with me for a few days.

I feel like I mostly go vegan anyhow, it’s not been much of a stretch.  It has just come down to, don’t raid the baby sitting gigs fridges for cheese and you’ll be fine.

Cheese has opiates.

That would explain some stuff.

Anywho.

I digress.

I shall not be imbibing of the pizza or pasta or gelato in Rome.

Not that I have been engaging in illicit treats here.

If I can not eat a baguette or pain au chocolat my entire time in Paris I won’t have any trouble not eating pizza in Rome.

I will probably do exactly what I do here.

Walk.

Get lost.

Walk some more.

Take a lot of photographs.

Voila!

Or whatever the Italian word is for voila!

I asked Corinne today if she had any suggestions as to what to do before I left.  She nixed going to Montparnasse, but did say I should climb the bell towers at Notre Dame.

I had not thought about it, but apparently you can get really close to the gargoyles.

I would love to get some shots of them up close and personal on my camera and if I could go at dusk, or late afternoon the light could be amazing.

So, climb the stairs to the top of Notre Dame.

That and a trip to the Louvre to see the two wings I have not explored.

Not tomorrow as its closed, and I may have plans anyhow.

I am not quite sure if my plans are to go on a date with this guy I met on the stairs of the Metro at Alma-Marceau, or if I am to be his tour guide.

It was a strange and interesting interaction.

A man caught my eye on the stairs and I recognized him from Bert’s cafe.

He was having a coffee with a man I assumed to be his partner last week while I was there with Greta doing some work.

He saw me today and gave me a look, paused, and said, “where do I know you from?”

I smiled, and said in halting French, “last week at Bert’s I was with a friend and you were in the back on the couch with a friend.”

“Ah! Oui!”  He remembered.

The next exchange happened so quickly that I am still uncertain it happened, but I have his number, an Austrian one, in my book, so it must have.

His name is Michel-Claude, he is a doctor, Austrian, here for three days and he would like someone to show him around and he thought I was pretty and nice and obviously knew my way about Paris.

I was flattered and agreed, I said I was available tomorrow, not tonight, as I was babysitting, he said he would call and set something up.

He was very well dressed and I thought, hey this could be fun, take him and his partner around some nice tourist places, maybe make a little extra travel to Rome money.

I gave him my number and e-mail.

Then I said I had to catch my train.

Then he said I was pretty and I got the look.

Oh.

Shit.

I thought you were gay.

Fuckity, fuck, fuck, fuck.

You’re not gay.

You are European.

Ack.

I may have said I would go on a day long date with someone and show him Paris.

Zoot.

I have not heard from him yet this evening, and I may not, but in the spirit of saying yes to the Universe, why not?

I can show up to Bert’s and have a coffee and who knows where it will lead.

Saying yes is leading me to Rome.

Saying yes has led me to Paris.

I am just going to keep sending it out to the Universe.

Yes!

OUI!

Or however they say it in Italian.


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