Posts Tagged ‘motorcycle licence’

I Passed!

March 26, 2014

I failed.


I passed!

I got my motorcycle licence today, but man it was a confusing sort of experience, courtesy of the DMV and a weird little stipulation for the licence which stated that if you haven’t renewed your regular drivers licence within the last year, you also have to take the written test for a car.



I did not know that.


I did not study that booklet.

I got to the DMV with plenty of time to spare and re-read a few things that I figured were going to be on the exam.  I waited patiently for my appointment time to be hollered out by the security cop on premise.

And whoa, there needs to be security cops roving about, there was some serious feelings happening, a few of them were my own by the end of the two hours I was there, a man and a clerk hollering at each other right in front of me, a nosy busybody woman who kept trying to engage with me, until I moved, more than one person getting yelled at in the test area to turn off their phone, not talk, and put away the booklet.

I actually watched one woman get booted from taking the exam as she was consulting her phone, whether or not she was looking for test answers I don’t know, in fact, I don’t think she was.

She was doing what everyone else in line wanted to be doing, checking their phone, because the line for the test was super long.

Not to take it.

Not to take the photograph either.

But to have the test corrected.

I get a head of myself here, just a bit.

Let’s reel back to the sweet gentleman who was helping me, expediting everything really quite quickly, I had hopes of not only getting out in time for work, but getting there maybe even a half hour or so earlier than I had told my employers.

But no, those hopes, dashed.

Before said dashing of hopes I was able to pay all my fees–$33 for the licence itself then another $169 for the registration and taxes on the scooter–I got the sticker, I am the registered owner of a 1965 Vespa, it’s all mine, the title is being transferred from my friend to me and I have the receipt all tucked away in the scooter’s little side compartment should I be stopped before I get the real one in the mail.

First thing I did when I got back to the house was slap that sticker on the license plate of my scooter.

My scooter.

Oh my God.

I have a scooter.

It’s not just some fantasy imagination in my brain, this is all really happening.

The motorcycle safety course, the putting the deposit on it, all of it has felt unreal, surreal, fantasy like, the reality is not reality yet.

But it’s getting there.

After I got the sticker I was routed to take a photograph.

WORST photo ever.

I mean bad, bad, bad, how did I get a double chin in this photo?


I was horrified.

But ultimately, I don’t care.

I know what I look like and it ain’t that bad awful photo on my licence.


I cringed when I got the picture back, but I carried all my paperwork and my receipts and my form from the safety course over to the next contestant on the Price is Right.


I mean.

The next window of harried DMV worker who really could give a fuck.

She was slow, but had a number of tasks that she was doing, including monitoring the test area–she was the one who kicked the girl out of line for using her phone (she had to turn over all paperwork and was told that she couldn’t come back and take the test for six weeks as a penalty. Damn.) as well as processing the test paperwork and correcting the test.

There were two lines just for her.

And she took her time with it.

Oh yes she did.

When I got to the front of the first line she flipped through my paperwork and handed me the tests I had to take.

I was still miffed to have to take them both, but I shut up about it.

I got two wrong on the motorcycle test.

And four wrong on the automobile test.

One too many.

Fuck me.

I of course did not find this out right away.

I had to wait 45 minutes in the test correcting line to find that out.

By the time I finally got to the front of the line it was almost noon, ie, when I was supposed to be at work and I had not been able to take out my phone and send off a text to let the families know I was still at the DMV.

I did not want to get kicked out for “cheating” with my phone.

I was super upset to find out that I had to retake the test.

At first I was just disconcerted.

She handed me back the automobile test and asked me to answer four more questions on the test.

I apparently did not get them right.

Then she said I could take the test again right then and there, but I would have to get back in line.

I could study over the tests with the correct answers and get another test (they have three different versions of it) and try again.

Should I not answer that one within the limits I would have to have a four-week wait to retake, or something like that, I was too mad to hear exactly what she was saying, it also was made clear, I would have to make an appointment to retake the test on another day, versus just staying put.

But I couldn’t stay put.

I had to go to work.

I was in tears and pissed and it was raining and I texted the families and said I was on my way and on my way I went.

Wet and mad as a doused cat.

Not exactly the best way to show up to work.

I eventually got myself together.

Eating a hot bowl of homemade soup for lunch really helped.

Then I realized I did not have the booklet for the automobile test and I would want it to go back and take the test.


Then in rapid succession things happened.

Fell into place and within a half hour of leaving the house with the boys tucked up into the stroller in rain jackets, I had passed the written for the automobile test at the DMV.


The heavens parted, the sun came out, I wheeled the stroller over to Fell Street, the baby fell asleep on the way, I got to the office, grabbed the booklet and saw that there was no line.


There was also a new woman at the desk for the tests.

I walked over and took out my paperwork and asked and she said, go to it, park the stroller next to you and keep them quiet, she handed me a new test and shooed me off.

A snack cracker for the older boy, confirmation the baby was still asleep, and voila, in five minutes I re-took the test, 100% and was out the door with my paper receipt saying I had passed and my new license with my motorcycle upgrade and horrible photo will be arriving in the mail in the next seven to ten days.

Holy crow.

I was amazed.

Did that just happen?

It did.

I have the paperwork to prove it.

And I took my scooter out for her inaugural run in the park with my friend.

I have a bit of practising to do before I am able to run it around town–it’s not an automatic–and I need to get used to using the clutch, but I am on my way.

Scooter Town USA.

Here I come.

I am still in awe that I actually was able to go back, re-take the test, get 100% and be out the doors of the DMV a half hour after I left the house in Cole Valley pushing a double stroller with two little boys in it.

But I am not going to question it anymore.

It really happened.

I have my license.

It’s on.

Snuggle Puppy

March 25, 2014

You’re the one.

Snuggle puppy.

Oh so much fun.


Or something like that.

I have had the lyrics of a Sandra Boynton children’s book in my head all day, it’s not the worst of her books to have in my head, it could be a sheep says ba, a cow says moo, three pigs in a row say la, la, la.  No!  You say, pigs, they say oink.

If you are just now stumbling on my blog you may be wondering what the fuck is this lady on?

I am a nanny, so I often have weird little snippets of songs or lullabies or books in my head, I can pretty much recite Richard Scarry’s “I am a Bunny” from memory, do an almost perfect recitation of Boyton’s “All the Hippo’s go Berserk,” and tell you a fairy tale at the drop of a hat.

I have snuggle puppy on my mind since I got an interesting invitation for a cuddle and a movie from a dear male friend of mine.

We both have been doing the online dating thing, the not dating thing, the what is wrong with dating thing, the I don’t ever want to date again thing, and I was pleasantly surprised when I got the invitation to watch some movies and have a cuddle snack.

Ah, yes please.

I miss having some arms around me, I do.

And cute boy arms, bring it.

I do wonder if snuggling leads to other things.

Like cuddling.



Well, I suppose I just wonder.

I am not opposed to other things happening, I am just going to show up and see what happens.

There’s nothing concrete yet, just some flirtatious messaging.

“One day our kids are going to look back and be able to find all the crazy crap with text each other and all the whack porn we look at, and say, wow, Grandpa Billy sure was kinky,” another friend of mine said to me once as we embarked on a brief affair before I left for Paris.

He was also the one who sent me a stick drawing cartoon of a man and woman in bed wherein the stick man says to stick woman, “how was it?”

And she replies, “read my blog.”

I had some trepidations about writing about the movie and cuddle offer, but then hey, what would I be writing about, it’s what I was thinking about today and it put a smile on my face whenever I did.

Knowing there is cute boy snuggling in my future makes a girl smile.

It helps when the day is long and the boys, my charges, are rambunctious.

Plus, it’s just nice to know someone wants to spend time with me, I like that I am thought of as someone who is a value to others, in their lives, socially, or otherwise.

It makes me feel connected, not alone, and loved.

Nothing wrong with feeling loved.

Or getting loved up.

I am down for it.

Plus, I like to reciprocate.

I love to sit next to a friend and give them a hand rub, show some love, reach out and hug someone, be affectionate, cuddle it up.

I need human contact, I am no good without it.

I am forever grateful that I am in the middle of the boat in my community, that I have any time a number of people who I see and can hug, reach out to, call, love on and be loved back.

It’s pretty damn special.

And I don’t have to wait until Burning Man to get it.

I could be getting it this weekend, snuggling that is, if the chips fall out in my favor.

More will be revealed.

Until then I have some studying to do.

Not much, I don’t feel like I need to read the damn hand book much longer, but tomorrow is the deal.  I take the written test at the DMV for my motorcycle licence.

My appointment is at 10:35 a.m.

I have been carrying the hand book with me for the last week, reading it whenever I had a moment.  I get the impression that the things in bold will be the things that are pertinent to the test, and that has been what I have focused on remembering.

I don’t have work until noon, figure I will be done with the DMV within an hour, hour and fifteen at max, I can’t see the written test taking me that long.  I did the one for the motorcycle safety course in about ten minutes, I was the first one out, and I passed just fine.

That is not to say that I won’t take my time and read the questions, it just means that I am good at taking tests, always have been.

I recall taking a test in 6th grade that I was sure I failed and I got 100%.

One of only two kids to actually pass the test, my teacher let me sit in back at his desk and eat M&M’s while the class retook the test.

I was a teacher’s pet, a bit, I suppose you could say.

I don’t recall many tests where I didn’t do well.

Although there is one in recent memory–when I got my drivers license, I just went and took it and I failed the written, I was shocked.

I hadn’t read the booklet and there’s a great deal of difference between the written test for the CA licence then there was for the WI when I took it.

This time I have read the book, a lot.

I don’t care to fail the test and have to take another morning off to go back and take it.

Every time I see someone on a scooter, I think, they did it, so can I.

And do it I will.

Then I shall celebrate.

With some snuggling.



When Is It Gonna Happen?

March 5, 2014

I had to cancel the appointment I made for the written test for the motorcycle lisence.

I was going to take my Thursday charge, pop in, pop out, and be off to the park.

But my conscience wasn’t having it.

I don’t know that I want to bring anyone that I dislike into the DMV with me, let alone a two-year old that I adore.

I also got some input from a friend about how long the process would take and it’s not going to be done in a half hour or forty-five minute time frame.

When it’s going to get done I don’t know.

I may actually have to take time off to do it or I will have to go at the crack of dawn, or so it feels to me, 8 a.m.

Who the hell wants to start their day at 8 a.m. at the DMV?


But that’s the only way I can see around it.

The DMV is not open on Saturdays or Sundays, I used to recall that it was on Saturday, but no, the hours listed say definitively that the office is closed on the weekend.

And it closes by 5 p.m. M-F.

My start time is, depending on what part of town I am in, 8:45-9a.m.

My end time is, again depending on where I am in the city, 5p.m.-6p.m.

So basically my only get in is going to be to take time off from work.

I had thought that perhaps I could sneak in on Friday after court, but my friend, same friend with the motorcycle information, said it could take up to three hours to get through.

Three hours?!


In my dream scenario I go in, the judge takes a look at the ticket, says it’s bullshit, recognizes I am a valuable citizen who was not trying to break any laws, just expedite getting home from a long day riding the mean streets of San Francisco, and waive the ticket.

All in twenty minutes.


Now, Friday is also not always an early start for me, sometimes I don’t have to be in the Castro until 10:30 a.m.

Therein lies my opportunity, me thinks, to get the written test out-of-the-way.

Friday, 8 a.m. DMV, Fell Street, be there or be square.

Then I will get to work, then  I will go to 850 Bryant and tackle the ticket.

I don’t know if that’s the nicest thing to do to myself though, double dip in the city’s system.

No one wants to go to 850 Bryant.

No one wants to go to the DMV.

To do them both on the same day seems masochistic.

Perhaps I can wait until next Friday to take the written test.

I am just bummed, not horribly, but I was hoping that I would get it out-of-the-way and be driving my scooter around the city this weekend.

Everything else has fallen into place so nicely in regards to the process, the safety course, the helmet and other accoutrement, so I guess I have been expecting the same with the licence part.

If I look at it with a tiny, teeny, tiny, bit of perspective though, I realize that since I have lived in San Francisco I have only been to the DMV three times.

Maybe four.

Definitively three.

I think one time I walked in, saw the line, walked out and went home and made an online appointment to come back another day.

That’s not bad numbers for having lived here for over eleven years.

And I have never been to court in San Francisco.

I have gone to 850 Bryant a whole bunch, just not to court.

I used to work for a small criminal law firm that was located kitty corner from the 850 Bryant and would whirl in and out dropping off files or paperwork for the attorneys.

This too is some good odds, only once in eleven years to go to court.

Not too shabby.

And for all things a bicycle ticket.

Not exactly getting crazy up in here.

Just kicking it with some glitter nail polish, that’s about as risky as it’s getting for me at the moment.

Other than that stuff on my plate, it was a pretty good day in nanny town.

The charge and I got out to the Discovery Museum in Sausalito, or right there outside of it at Camp Baker.

The view is just amazing.

Even if you have no desire or need to go to the museum–and really anyone going is going with kids under 8 years old–the view from the parking lot is worth the drive.

You get to see the back side of the Golden Gate and the view of the city across the bay is spectacular.

My charge had an awesome time.

As soon as I cleaned up the vomit he threw up in the car seat, I had an awesome time too.

He got carsick coming down the twisty road leading off the Alexander Exit.

I love driving it, but not so much fun for a younger passenger.

Fortunately there were back up clothes and though the day was over cast, it was not raining and it was great to go play in the tot area, the pirate cove, to go dig around the shipwrecked boat, to hand him a shovel and pail and a hard hat and let him go to town was awesome.

Even ran into a friend I don’t see much of since he moved to Marin with his partner and their baby.

Who, when I smiled at her, walked right over and plunked herself down in my lap.

Her mom said, “oh, she doesn’t usually do that with other moms”.

I smiled.

“I’m a nanny,” I said, “that’s my charge and usually I have two, so this feels just about perfect.”

I kissed the little girls head and she smiled at me and let me bounce her on my lap.


Another mom tried to say hi to my charge and he burst into tears.

“Oh, no,” scary mommy said.

He was ok, it was just intense, sometimes I think we forget that they are little and things get overwhelming and they don’t move the same speed, especially in a new environment.

Plus, she zoomed up to him like he was the cutest thing on earth.

And yeah, he is, but you got to get on his level.

That’s what works best, just get on the floor and let them crawl all over you.


I am starting to ramble and I don’t know where the blog is headed.

Suffice to say, there is no rush to get the licence.

It will happen when it’s suppose to.

I have wheels until it does.

No need for my to force a solution, it will happen naturally and when it’s suppose to.

Besides, I ride my bike past that office three times a week, I have the handbook in my bag and my paper work ready to go, when the window opens.

I will be ready.

Oh Yeah

March 2, 2014

I am supposed to be writing a blog post.

Get to it lady.

Pretty mellow day today, did all my get around on MUNI.  I was so engrossed in a book that I did not realize until I had gotten off at the stop at 24th and Castro that the person I was going to meet was still on the bus with me.

I am currently reading the amazing A.M. Homes, “May We Be Forgiven.”

She is awesome, reminds me of a female Don DeLillo.

I was just buried in the book.

I have been, when ever I could get to it, over the last few days.

I was not going to take the bike out today, off and on rain, and I needed to be in the Cow Hollow neighborhood and then back over the hills (and through woods, er, the Western Addition) to Noe Valley.

Not really bicycling areas of enjoyment on a one speed.

I took the train, N-Judah, the 43 bus, the 22 bus, and the 24 bus.

I am MUNI’d out.

Which was why it was awesome to come home, got a lift home thank God from Noe Valley, and see something in the mail box that was not a utility bill.

My paperwork from the Motorcycle Training course showing my successful completion of said course.


Bring on the scooter.

I had stopped by the DMV on Fell St. on Thursday and I grabbed the California Motorcycle Handbook–it is just slightly different from the one the course uses–and I was going to see what the line was like, but when I did, I said, uh, no, no thank you and I left.

Now that I have all the materials it is time to make that appointment and take the written test.  Plus I received a quote from the insurance person who I was referred to and I can totally afford it.

Not like I can’t not afford it, I won’t be able to get the motorcycle licence without proof of insurance anyhow, from what I understand, I suppose I should look that up.

I would want the insurance anyway, regardless of whether or not I need it.

It doesn’t hurt me to think that it is required though.

I am just steps from grabbing that scooter and taking her for a spin.

It still feels a little surreal.

After all these years of riding a bicycle in San Francisco, to suddenly be on a motorized vehicle, it’s going to be something else.

I won’t mind it though, the wait time for MUNI on the weekends is just stupid.

And there’s a lot I like to do on a weekend and a lot of places I like to get out and about to.  I am ready to not be riding my bike there and back at night.

I feel like that’s a huge thing, riding at night on the weekends is just not what I like, the scooter will be perfect for that.

It’s still just a little bit out.

I am setting the intention of having it within the next two weeks.

That’s the plan anyhow.

Tomorrow is going to be chill and depending on the weather I may MUNI it up for one more day.  I have a commitment at 6:30p.m. but the rest of the day is chill.

Nothing planned.

I do have a girl friend coming into town and hopefully we will be hooking up for some tea and conversation.

Other than that, it’s making soup time.

I did not get to do that last week taking the safety course really threw that plan out the window.  I am ready to have my own home made food at work again.

I got caught with my pants down one day at work when I realized my fridge was empty and I needed to go shopping, no problem, the nanny gig was in Cole Valley, loads of stores, Whole Food, Cole Valley Market, but it was the day that it down poured.

I was not leaving the house.

I had oatmeal for lunch and raw carrot sticks.

Not the worst thing ever, but not my best plan.

So tomorrow I really will be making some soup at the house, do a little laundry, maybe take a stroll down on the beach, and definitely read some more of the book.

I don’t think it will make it through the week even.

Sometimes I can eke out a book for a while, but this week I have a solo nanny gig in the Castro on Monday and Tuesday instead of my typical Cole Valley share, then back to Cole Valley, then over to the NOPA, then back to the Castro.


No wonder I want a scooter.

I am in great shape though, I noticed that today, hey girl, you’re looking a little skinnier.

That was one thing I shared recently, my one fear with getting the scooter is the loss of bicycle exercise I get with the commute.

Then I thought, ha, I’ll have a scooter, I can go swimming, I can go to the gym, I can go to yoga, hmmm, I could walk to yoga too, I still have yet to take that free class I was offered through Ocean Beach yoga.

Leads me to think that yoga there may not be my bag, but it’s there, and I do have a class coming.

This has got to be the most rambling ass blog ever.

I just wanted to add I came up with my back piece tattoo as well–I ran into Barnaby and it just popped right out of my mouth.

I want an Eiffel Tower.

I know.


How crazy am I?

But the Paris experience really continues to shape me in ways and despite not wanting to live there, at this point in my life, I was really influenced by it.

I want an Eiffel Tower in the old Art Deco mode with the words: “il etait une fois”.

Once upon a time.

It means something to me being a professional nanny and it also speaks to my own story.

Once upon a time there was a girl who rode a one speed all over, even around the base of the Eiffel Tower.

Here are her adventures, and misadventures, thereof.

I bet it would make a great story.



A decent blog.


Vroom Vroom

February 19, 2014



That’s right.

I wrote out the check for the down payment on my new ride.

My 1962 black Vespa!






White Helmet, Red Flower

I was not planning on this happening today.


I was planning on meeting my friend for coffee and going to Free Gold Watch to play some pinball.

Unfortunately, the arcade was closed down pending a re-licensing court hearing at 5:45p.m. this evening.  I signed the petition encouraging their re-opening.

I was bummed, so was my friend, as he had never been, I had emptied my bunny bank of its quarters and was ready to rumble with The Machine.

However, I was more than happy to talk scooter with my friend.

And I put down earnest money on it to hold it.

I did not pay it all off, I don’t have that kind of money on me.

But I did put a payment down and we agreed to terms and I will pay it off within a year, perhaps sooner.

I would like sooner, but I won’t freak out if I don’t and I felt really good and excited to see it and to also tell my friend that I really was committed, as I opened up the window on my phone showing the e-mail confirmation of the Motorcycle Safety Course registration.

He was impressed that I had managed to get into a class for this month.

Frankly, so was I, but apparently, I am supposed to be doing this thing as the class fell into place, the helmet materialized, my friend said yes to selling me his scooter (he just bought a brand new Vespa) and I am looking at suddenly having a motorized vehicle for the first time in eleven and a half years.

I don’t believe the grin on my face could have been bigger.

Say "Vespa!"

Say “Vespa!”

In fact, I am still smiling now.

I have not taken over ownership of the vehicle yet.

I could have, my friend is eager to have the extra space in his tiny garage in Nob Hill, but I figured it would be better for me to not have it until I was fully done with the safety course, had my permit in hand, and was on the way to the DMV to get my motorcycle licence.

And I did not bring my helmet with me to see my friend not expecting that he would actually drive it over to meet up with me.

It was just a happy afternoon going over all the little things on it, the hook where I can hang a purse or a bag of groceries, the little side compartment where I can stash a raincoat, a pint of oil, and probably a few other odds and ends, the tail lights and the engine, the side panel got pulled off and my friend pointed out a few other things–things that pretty much went right over my head–and how to deal with them.

I will just take it to his current mechanic should the need arise.

And my friend had already had it serviced recently, so I was not and am not concerned with that.

It runs and it runs beautifully.

He even is going to toss in an extra helmet so that when I want to I can ride a passenger.

That feels way the hell out there, but I bet it will happen sooner than I suspect.

Even though the safety course is tomorrow, it feels so far away.

Everything really did fall into place so quickly that I have had barely any time to process exactly what is happening, but find that I am suddenly in possession of all the needed things.



Leather knee-high harness boots to take the safety course.

New jeans.

Black leather motorcycle gloves.

It feels like a little fairytale come true.

“You’re whole life is about to change!” A friend responded with much glee to the photos I posted up on Instagram.

Yes indeed.

I really cannot comprehend it yet and I don’t suppose I will until I actually have it in my possession and the licence to drive it in my wallet.

Tomorrow all I need to do is show up on time to the class, 5:45pm. in the Mission, Folsom Street @ 18th.  I shall bring a notebook, a pen, and my CA drivers license.

Then after that I spend all afternoon on Saturday and all afternoon on Sunday taking the skills part out at the Phelan campus of City College, out on Ocean Avenue.

Then I will take the paperwork after passing the class to the DMV on Fell Street and take the written test.

After those actions are taken I will contact my friend and invite him to hand me the keys and the title.


Just taking little tiny steps forward.

Yet, it feels like I am flying into some strange new world.

Scooter Girl.

I think there’s even a club in the city that does rides.

In fact, I know there’s a club in the city that does rides, I went on one with this particular friend on his Aprilla scooter and met up with a bunch of fellow scooter enthusiasts in the Inner Sunset then we did a ride through the Presidio, eventually ending up at Japan Town.


That was so many years ago, seven, almost eight.

I think I was living at 25th and Kansas when that happened.

I never imagined I would own one, but, I  always have had a hankering for a vintage Vespa.

“Wait, walk this way a moment,” I said to my friend, “I feel like you need to see this too, two of my ultimate dream rides within blocks of each other.”

I steered him to the corner and pointed out the vintage black Karmann Ghia parked on Waller Street.

“That’s next,” I said with a conspirators whisper.

Until then, though, I am going to enjoy the hell out of this process, learning a new skill, getting a new vehicle, going grocery shopping!

Oh grocery shopping.

And zipping all over San Francisco.

Zoom zip and I wake up.

Zoom zip.

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