Posts Tagged ‘Montmartre’

Is It Over Yet?

September 26, 2013

This week?

I know it’s not.

I am just impatient.

I want to hear from the man and the man is balls to the walls busy.

I can’t even explain.

I don’t care to.

His work and him are not really fodder for the blog.

The feelings that come up, though, those, are all mine.

Write about them I shall.

I had him on my mind this evening as I was passing in and out of a luxurious fugue state.

I went to Kabuki Springs and Spa with my room-mate.

Room mate sounds better than landlord.

But what it comes down to is she’s my friend.

That’s what I should say, I went to Kabuki with my friend.

I realized that I had not gone since I did the AidsLIfeCycle training and I went with my friend who I met on the ride.

I will have to go back sooner than three years.

I may also try another spa in the city that I just found out about.  My friend told me about about Banya out in Bayview.

It is a co-ed spa.

It is also a European traditional spa.

It sounded fantastic.

And chatty.

The one thing that I don’t care for so much at Kabuki Spa is that there is expected quiet to be had in the space.

Now don’t get me wrong, I like some meditation when the time is right, and I will admit I did do some this evening, but really, when I am at the spa, I want to chat with my girl friend and catch up and see how she’s doing and you know, catch up.

But the gong got sounded.

Yes, that’s right, there is a gong that you can gently “bang” with a leather-covered mallet to remind the room that it is a quiet space, not a coffee shop.

Banya, according to my friend, is not only co-ed, but it is chatty and conversational and the water is hotter and colder.

I can hang with all of that.

So, of course, my mind goes where it will and I suddenly had a passing, oh, hahaha, getting a body flush now just thinking about it, that is hysterical.

The auto-immune system is working just fine folks, nothing to see here but a little blush, move along now please.

I, er, had a passing thought of what the Mister looks like without clothes.

Ah.

Ahem.

It was a nice thought.

I will leave it there.

And yes, I did go back to that place in my mine where I would like to be in better shape as I hopped off the scale.

I put on the Freshman 15 in Paris.

“I know you are not happy about the weight you put on in Paris,” my friend said to me last night as we were talking yoga and kale.

“But you are eating so well, all you are going to need is a little more added to what you already do.”

She’s right.

That fifteen is going to slide right off.

I have been abstaining now from sugar and flour (again off my relapse that lasted a horrid three weekends) for close to 90 days now.

The weight I gained from that debauchery is gone.

And when I got on the scale at Kabuki I was pleased to see it was a little less than I was expecting.

That being said, it’s not my optimum and I know where I feel good and I want to get back to that.

Not for the Mister, or any other man for that matter, but as I was writing this morning I thought, you know I have worked really hard on a lot of things with fair good success.

I got a black belt in Kung Fu, for instance.

But I was not in recovery and not eating well.

I have the drive and the follow through.

What would it look like if I devoted some attention to that?

What kind of body is lurking in there?

Random thoughts to accompany the mental image of a bare-chested man.

Today became an unexpected spa day, I am now realizing.

I did work seven hours today, but I got off a few hours earlier than I typically would and I only had one baby today, so when he went down for his last nap on the day I made a French press pot of coffee and sat on the back porch in the sun for an hour reading a magazine.

The mom got home exactly at the same time as he woke from his nap.

I left feeling really relaxed and decided I wanted a manicure.

Which is my version of going to the spa.

Twelve dollars, inclusive of a 20% tip, is in toto what I pay to get my nails done.

I can usually afford that kind of treat.

As I was settling into the chair I got a text from my friend saying Kabuki, I dithered and after some convincing when I got back to the house, I went.

So glad.

Aside from steamy fantasy I also got to sit in the dry sauna twice with sliced cucumbers over my eyes with an ice cloth compress, one sit in the hot tub, two sits in the wet sauna, in which I rubbed down my skin to a fine polish with raw salt, and three plunges in the cold bath.

Whew.

I also did the traditional Japanese cleaning before getting into the spa and the saunas.

Then another shower after ward and lots of cucumber lotion on the body.

I finished sitting in a lounge chair deep conditioning my hair and reading a magazine.

This self-care thing is pretty awesome.

Tomorrow and Friday I work.

Then I head to the yoga studio.

I just calculated rent and grocery costs, paid off my student loan for the month, and it looks like there is at least a weeks trial of yoga classes in my near future.

The time is now.

I am thrilled to finally be moving forward with this.

I guess if I can wait years to start a yoga practise I can wait another few days for some company, it will be gone before I know it.

Just like the time I was in Paris.

I was and have been thinking about that quite a lot.

Where I was this time last year and the kisses that had just started between the Mister and I.

I left for Paris never thinking to come back and wistful and dreamy about this man who had kissed me under the blue porch light at Graceland and again at the airport when he dropped me off the next morning, how I felt then, that ache in my breast, but assured in myself that I had to go, I had to.  Not wanting to afford those thoughts of what if…

I never expected that I was going to get to kiss him again.

Of course, I also did not expect to be living in the Sunset District less than a year after I left for Paris.

Maybe the Montmartre district, but not the Outer Sunset.

And yet, here I am.

Once again.

I waited a year, yes, yes I did.

I can wait a few more days.

Patience.

My dear.

My darling.

Patience.

All good things come to those who wait.

That Was Stressful

March 23, 2013

Oof.

I lost the family.

Well, not exactly, the family got lost.

Mom let me go this afternoon saying, “we can get back from here.”

“Are you sure?”  I asked.

I was not certain and I did not like leaving them to get back up and over the hill.

“Oh, it’s fine, I know how, I’ll figure it out,” she said.

Mom is tiny, tres petite, an 11 month old strapped to her front and a four-year old who was having a temper tantrum regarding another ride on the carousel.

I was not comfortable leaving her there, especially when I had her take out her Iphone and put in the map navigator, the phone was almost out of juice and the thought of leaving her to the jackals left me quite uneasy.

We had been approached more than once by the hordes of illegals trying to press wrap bracelets on you, flowers, trinket, geegaws; they trap you with the bracelet, tying it rapidly on your wrist, they will grab your hand, and while you are busy trying to negotiate your way out of it, one of them picks your pocket.

“Let’s see, one pm, to now, um, that’s,” she calculated out loud pulling her wallet open in front of the baby while the little girl whirled in and out between us, “here,” she said handing me 100 Euros, two 50 Euro notes, “that’s for today, I want to tip you, and then we leave 30 Euro credit for tomorrow?”

“Ok,” I said, I quickly folded the notes over and jammed them in my wallet, relocating my bag to the front of my body and pushing my wallet into it as far as I could.  I held it in front of me until I was out of the melee of the park.

“Are you sure I can’t get you back up and over the hill?”  I asked one more time, I knew she was going to get lost.

“No, no, we are fine, I am just going to get us back and go buy lunch at the store and a bottle of wine and we’ll be fine.” She gave me a hug, “I will touch base later about dinner, maybe we will use you tonight, and definitely for tomorrow.”

“Alright,” I said.  I was not going to micro-manage her experience, despite wanting to tell her what to do, she had made the decision.

It is her experience.

If she wants to have the getting lost in Paris experience with two tired children, that is her prerogative.

She got it.

I did not realize that she had called me until I got home, unloading the groceries from my bag.

Shit.

I did not even need to check the message to know what was going on.

Sure enough, they had gotten lost.

She was so close too.

I got her on the phone, but the call continuously dropped as her phone ran out of power.

I had a moment of panic.

Then I thought, she is really close to where she lives, she has a wallet jammed with money, I saw it when she paid me, almost made me want to snatch her hands and say, what are you doing carrying that much cash around?!

She can flag a cab.

She can walk into a cafe or a restaurant.

She is in the Montmartre and there are so many tourists spots there and so many people who speak English, all she has to do is ask.

It took her another hour to get back to me that she had made it home.

I had managed to get her two blocks away from her apartment.

Before her phone died and I was unable to contact her again.

An hour to go two blocks.

Oh, how I know that feeling.

I remembered quite distinctly how lost I had gotten trying to navigate my way from Abaraxas in the Marais to the Lizard Lounge, hours, I had spent hours trying to find one then the other, just blocks away from each other.

It can be extraordinarily challenging.

But, regardless it is an experience, we all get to get lost, and I realize as I sit here at the keyboard, I am just as lost.

I don’t know where I am going.

I don’t know how to get there either.

The best I can do is enjoy the scenery on the way.

I sat in the park, on a bench with his small baby body strapped to me sleeping, the sun brushing the back of my shoulders with warmth while his sister chased up and down the slide and made friends with the kids running around the park at Square D’Anvers.

Mom was off shopping.

She had expressed a desire to do some vintage shopping and I knew of a couple of awesome shops in my neighborhood.  She took my leave for two hours and shopped and I got to stay at the park with the shouts of children carooming off the buildings.  I gave her directions, pointing out the two streets from the park that she would need to navigate to get to the stores.

She came back laden with bags, a successful trip.

I had also a successful trip, just sitting down on the bench in a park, in Paris, for two hours with a baby snuggled to me was a trip.  She suggested we go to the cafe by the park.

We went to Les Oiseaux to grab some lunch.

Unfortunately, Les Oiseaux was like my experience at Cafe Flore, slow, rude, awful service, by a condescending waiter who yelled at us, telling us we were taking up too much space at the tables, which were empty and there was no one waiting to sit down.

The mom looked shocked.

I explained to the waiter what we needed, he came back, after we had scooted down to a smaller table, gruffly handing me two menus, then he dismissed us and trotted off.

“Should we go?” The mom asked.

“I think so, I’m sorry, these cafes so close to the heavy tourist areas can have really awful service,” I said, gathering up her bags and pushing away from the table after another five minutes of being ignored.

I took her a couple blocks out-of-the-way to avoid the worst foot traffic at the base of Sacre Couer.  I had planned on getting her back to the apartment and was thinking that there may be a better way to do it then the way I was going, despite it being the most direct route. But my plans, well, they were ignored.

They often are, I think, I realize, I am beginning to understand, my best laid plans are often, very often, all the time, mis-laid.  I cannot manage another’s life, I cannot manage my own life.

Again, I think, lost, aren’t we all?

Just trying to do our best.

I should just speak for myself, always so busy getting lost, trying to navigate through the world, to be my best, to be kind, gentle, and caring, to be of service and help where I can.

I did not know what to do with myself when I got back, too late to make plans for the rest of the day, too early to do my normal just getting home for the night routine.

I decided to take advantage of the room-mate being at work.

Then.

I took a screamingly hot shower.

While showering I got a message from the mom, safe, sound, back to the apartment, a new book of maps bought, and her phone charging.

Safe and sound.

A good reminder to myself that I too am taken care of, despite not knowing what will happen next, I too am safe and sound.

Here, in Paris.

 

 

 

 

What? Aren’t I done yet?

March 3, 2013

Fuck.

I am tired.

My arms are tired.

My neck is tired.

My back is sore.

There.

Done with the gripping.  I really am ok, but I am sore.  I walked a lot today.

A lot.

I walked hours and hours.

I did it slowly though and I took loads of photographs.

I would post some here, but I am too tired to think about doing that again.  If you would like to see some of the photographs I took today please click here for my photo blog and get yourself a gander.

I have already done two blogs tonight, which is why I was none too keen to get in here and write another.  However, that is what I do.

I write.

Motherfuckers.

I write.

I remind myself this as I see myself on the dole when I get a few Euro from a friend or my room-mate takes me out to lunch.

That was a nice steak.

Yes it was.

I had a bavette cut, which is a skirt steak, in French, or that language otherwise known as tasty.

Hey, I am in Paris, I am going to eat the steak frites or the steak tartar when I get treated out.  I will also have some of that there cheese, you say it’s Roquefort?  Gimme.

I made up for lunch by having oatmeal for dinner.

That sounds bad, like poverty.

It was actually quite enjoyable, I use a trick I saw my friend Beth do once on her Twitter/Instagram feed, I made savory oatmeal.  I cook up a cup of oatmeal with some sweet corn, garlic, sea salt, fresh ground black pepper, and a sprinkle of parsley, top with butter and chopped pan roasted chicken breast.

Accompanied with a little salad tossed with virgin olive oil and apple cider vinaigrette and you have yourself a nice tidy meal.

I needed the fuel.

Did I say I walked a little bit today?

From the 7th to the 18th and then down to the 9th.

I probably clocked in over six miles by foot, plus a fair bit of riding the Metro rails.

I went from the 9th to the 7th, which unless you live in Paris or know your way about, is not as close as it sounds.  The trip door to door is about thirty minutes.  After some fellowship in the 7th I walked with my room-mate and a friend from San Francisco (they are just falling out of the wood work, who’s coming next?) down the open air market under the Metro Line 6.

We walked up to the Seine, crossed over the Passy bridge, climbed up and over the Metro stairs, headed over to the Trocadero, wandered through some park, saw the Eiffel Tower from a new perspective, then walked toward the Arc de Triomphe.

We stopped for lunch at a cafe on Rue Kebler.

Cafe Copernic.

The boys digested their food and I thought where next?

They were ready for naps and I was ready for free day at the museums.

I had a friend call me from the line at the Orangerie.  I was tempted to hie down toward her, but I really did not feel like being in the thick of the throngs.

Throngs there would be.

The sun finally came out today.

When I walked outside today and looked up, I gasped.

Blue sky!

“Oh thank you God,” I said out loud.

I just could not have a bad day when the sun was out the way it was out today.

I debated, knowing what I had known since yesterday, I was going to the Dali museum in the Montmartre.

I departed my friends and walked to the Metro on the Champs-Eylsees.

It was mobbed with people and I knew immediately that I had made the correct choice, at least for my temperament.  I don’t mind tourists, I really don’t, I still like to act like one myself.

Aside, my friend from San Francisco told me how he and other friend of ours had walked into a grocery store in the city and walked around asking each other if they had any Grey Poupon.  I just about peed my pants laughing.

I mustered through the crowds of people and got onto the Metro.

I hopped off at Metro stop Anver and walked toward Sacre Couer.

And yes, it was mobbed too.

Nice day and all.

I skirted around the heaviest of the crowds and went off the beaten path a little.

I did not completely avoid the tourists, but I did manage to go where the crowds were a little thinner and I was not so pressed to wait when I wanted to take a photograph.

I got lost looking for the Dali museum, overshot by a few streets and went to the Musee de Montmartre.  However, they were having a special exhibit and it was not free.

No thanks.

I wanted free.

Ha.

I did not get free.

Indeed.

I ended up paying 11 Euro to get into the Dali museum.

I waffled.

Then I felt the stack of coins my friend had pressed into my hand last night before taking my leave.  “I am not going to play the money exchange game,” he said, “I don’t have the time, take this.”

I had it.

I had also been given 50 Euro from another friend the day before and instead of letting myself do anything with it, I had handed it directly over to my room-mate for rent.

I fingered the pile of coins.

There was 11 Euro here.

I could see down into the gallery, the lights were shining and the art was calling.

And there was no crowds.

There was no line.

There was no one but me.

I nodded to the woman and pulled out 50 centime pieces and 1 Euro pieces and clicked and clacked through the coins until I had piled up a little stack of gold and silver.

I got my ticket and I descended into the surreal.

Oh Dali.

There is nothing quite like seeing the real thing.

Especially when I recalled the poster I had on my wall in the living room of a second story walk up in Madison on the East side.  I had two Dali posters for years that I had picked out with my then boyfriend.  To stand before the original piece, to have the experience of standing before the original over fifteen years later, in Paris, by myself with the light falling on the painting, is an experience I will not soon forget.

I spent a good bit of time slowly walking around the museum.  It was small and bereft of people.  I watched a Dali movie of a Don Quixote type tilting at the Moulin Rouge windmills in a trompe l’oeil cathedral space tucked into the corner.  I went to exit, found the bathrooms, used them, then turned back around and went down for another spin through.

I had paid 11 Euro after all, I was going to get my fill.

And I did.

I made a faith-based decision to let myself be gifted an experience.

When I left the museum it was sunset and I was at the pinnacle of the Montmartre, minutes from walking out to the cobblestone streets winding around Sacre Couer.  I went into a park and looked out over the city smothered in sunset and breathed in deeply.

I am here, in Paris.

I walked down the stairs, winding down the hill toward the 9th, toward Rue Bellefond.

I came home.

Down loaded the photographs and got onto the second part of my “work day”.

Editing the photographs I had taken.

Posting to my photography blog.

Putting up photographs on Instagram.

Tweet that shit.

Post to Facecrack.

Make dinner.

Pause for tea.

Then I went back into the blog that I had written for my friend about turning 40.  I spent time editing and rewriting it and after about an hour of that I had a nice 1300 word piece to send off to her.

I’ll post a link to the blog when it goes live.

I was tempted to just post it here as my daily blog post, but I knew that was cheating.

So, I sent out a query for agency for my memoir, girded my loins and hopped back into this forum to write this blog.

Not bad for a Sunday in Paris.

The Surrealistic Eye

The Surrealistic Eye

Tour Guide

March 1, 2013

I got to take some folks out and about today.

We went to the Eiffel Tower and walked over to the Passy Metro stop, went to Montmartre, walked up to Sacre Couer and ended with dinner in my neighborhood at Odette & Aime.

Sacre Couer

Sacre Couer

It is fun to have folks in town and be of service.

Plus, I got fed like no bodies business.

I was loved.

I am really in a place of gratitude right now.

Full and replete.

I read some more of the King memoir, although I did not do nearly any writing today.

I am doing my best to rectify that tonight.

I do not believe I will write much past my blog tonight, however.

I did send out another query, just a few more and I will hit my goal of 40, then the follow-up e-mails will begin.  Since I have a full week without any gigs lined up I am going to see how much work I can get in on the writing, see if I can really set up a nice schedule for myself.

I realized one thing today, which when I look back at it, I see it again and again, but I don’t always remember until it is too late; sleeping in is not much fun.

Oh, I think it’s going to be great, but then my whole day is thrown and I get off track and I don’t get in the things that really settle me in my day.  I am still new to this town, although tomorrow marks four months, four!  Having a schedule, even without a “job” in the typical sense of the word, is a vital thing for me.

I slept until noon this “morning”.

Two hours plus past my normal get up time.

It just throws me.

I think that I am giving myself some sort of extra pleasure, but in the end it is never worth it, as I look at the day and go, what did I do?  What did I accomplish.

Now, granted, I had a lovely day with my friends.

Cold.

But lovely.

So, I have not a one excuse to complain.

No one is allowed to complain when they have been fed steak tartare.

Least of all me.

Had I gotten up at my regular time, however, I would have gotten in a lot more writing.  That is what I missed today.  Ironically after just reading the part of the memoir that King writes about needing to devote 4-6 hours a day to reading and writing.

I do actually hit damn close to that when I look over my habits and writing patterns.

I write a half hour every morning, the blog typically takes another hour, and I read for at least an hour everyday.  That puts me at two and a half hours with just my typical output.

I need to up that a little.

Which is why I want to be writing more in the afternoon, finding a way to schedule that, make it a priority.  Having the faith to allow myself the wherewithal to actually sit down and write more.

I have to say it is a little overwhelming.

This non-paying job is starting to really be a full-time job.

I know that I am being paid, but as of yet it is not in money.

I have been getting support though, financially here and there, friends slipping bills into my pocket, which I will be readily handing over to my room-mate as soon as he walks in the door tonight.

Another fifty Euro to rent.

I am still shy the rest of the month, but I have groceries and two and a half weeks paid off.

Taking it day by day.

One minute at a time, sometimes.

I also get overwhelmed with the amount of ideas coming at me.

And how to do the rewrites on the next two books in front of me.

Do I continue to flesh out fresh stories, or do I start in on the manuscripts taking them from first to second drafts?

Can I do a mixture of both?

I have another short story idea pop out at me.

I have the novel to keep writing.

Sigh.

If I just did not have to worry about working or rent right now.

That would be a dream.

I have so much to do.

Damn it.

Whew.

That’s a load of bullshit.  I have to be present, it will all work out.  I have the committee in full force shaking the tambourines and clattering the tin pans in my head.

Quiet down up there.

I got a weird message from my pops last night, on facecrack, and he posted it publicly to the page, I took it down and sent him a private message to not down that again.

Dad’s a drunk.

I’m a drunk.

But dad’s still drinking.

I, on the other hand, am still thinking.

The thinking can get to me bad, like when I am brushing my teeth and the words from my dad’s message keep replaying about the house that may or may not be in the family that he stayed in here in Paris decades ago, you know the two-story with fire places, which is probably, his words, worth 2.5 million right now, look up your aunt so and so and see if….

Sure dad.

How about the pony you promised me too?

Ugh.

My dad’s still alive.

I have not seen him in nine years.  I would love to see him and give him a hug, but I don’t need to be sold a pipe dream.  It is a big enough struggle to just stick to the dream in front of me.  The challenge of allowing myself to write.

So tomorrow, I will play tour guide a teeny bit more and go out with my friends to dinner, and I will then begin the fifth month of my stay here in Paris doing what I came to do.

Write, in Pars.

No matter what that I am not being paid for it yet, I have to put in my time.

It will happen, here, there, or elsewhere.

But it will happen.


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