Posts Tagged ‘movies’

Today I Ate

December 25, 2018

An entire book.

I mean.

I consumed it.

I chopped it up and snorted it down like it was some sort of happy drug.

I haven’t read fiction in so long it was an aphrodisiac.

I still feel a little high.

I did just like I said I would and I slept in this morning.

I woke up at 9:45 a.m.!

Holy Toledo.

I cannot remember the last time I slept that late.  I mean, maybe the ARTumnal Airpusher after party silent dance rave I went to in November, but even the day after coming home from a night of carousing and dancing I was still up by 8:30a.m.

I think.

So this morning was nuts.

I believe it was partially, at least this is my excuse, not that I need one, that it was so clouded over.

Dark and stormy.

Grey and misty and wet.

True San Francisco winter weather, not exactly rain, but mist and wind and rainy and all-pervasive.

San Francisco rain doesn’t really always come straight down, it seems to enwrap you and get everything soaked.

Without directly raining all that much.

So I slept in.

I might have even slept longer were it not for the siren song of my bladder yelling out about the big mug of tea I had before I went to bed last night.

I got up and was leisurely.

Like in a major way.

I think it was 11:30a.m. before I actually sat down for breakfast.

A phone call from my best friend was partially the reason, but mostly, I was just going slow and easy.

I enjoyed my late breakfast and wrote a ton.

A lot.

It was lovely.

And though I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do, I did know I was going to need to make a run to the grocery store and maybe see what was playing at the Balboa Theater, which is just up the road from me.

Unfortunately I’d already seen one of the movies and the other I am planning on seeing tomorrow.

But.

La Promenade Cafe was open and so I took my book and settled into a big leather arm-chair by the front window and sank into my story.

I bought this book last summer, a few weeks before I was to start my fall intensive for school.

A day before I got my first text-book in the mail for said intensive.

I only read a few of the stories, it’s a collection of shorts from A.M. Holmes called Days of Awe.

I really like her work, I’ve only read her novels and was happy to find that the shorts were just as compelling and in a way very interwoven, so it felt like I was reading a novel in a way.

I read at the cafe and listened to music and people watched and thought how nice it was to actually be in a cafe in my new neighborhood.

The first time since I’ve moved here since mid-September that I actually did something other than laundry in the neighborhood.

It felt a little like getting settled.

I did another first today too, this one may surprise you, although it shouldn’t considering how busy I keep myself.

I went for a walk around my neighborhood!

Yeah.

I know.

I really haven’t done any walking, unless it was from my car to the house or from the house to my car.

I had gotten back from the cafe, unloaded my groceries, roasted a chicken, made a late lunch, sat on my couch, watched the rain, ate brown butter brussels sprouts and hot roast chicken and listened to Coleman Hawkins.

It was delicious.

The food.

The music.

The rain on the windows.

It felt outside of time, I couldn’t remember what day of the week it was, Sunday, Monday, it all blended together.

My tree looked pretty, I lit candles, it was so cozy.

Then the sun burst out for a few minutes and I thought I should go for a sunset walk.

I quickly bundled up, there was only a few minutes before the sun was going to set, and I walked out the door on 48th and down Balboa towards the sea.

As I got closer, I realized that there was a path that I hadn’t seen before and what do you know, it’s actually a little park!

Sutro Dunes!

I had no idea.

Sweet little wood slat path along the base of the grass and flower covered dunes.

In the twilight it was deeply moving and full of divinity.

It felt really good to just do a little stretch around the neighborhood, to see the Cliff House hanging like an ornament over the ocean, to smell the fresh washed air, to just be.

I am pretty lucky when I think about it.

I live by the ocean.

It is literally a block away from my house.

Although I don’t get down to it as much as I would like, it is always a solace to me and I see it every day when I leave in the morning.

I always say hello.

I am in perpetual awe of its beauty.

And I am not often home at sunset to ponder it.

It was a really lovely little gift to me.

I got back to the house right before the rain began again and settled back on my couch, my first day of really sitting on my couch too!

My first day really using my coffee table like a coffee table.

I drank a second homemade cafe au lait, so decadent to have two in one day at my house, and I read more of the book until I left to go do the deal up at 7th and Irving.

Which was also just marvelous.

Ran into some much-loved fellows and heard exactly what I needed to hear.

Came home, heated up dinner.

And yes.

Yes I did.

I ate the rest of the book.

I read 288 pages today.

It was not a chore.

It was the best feeling.

And guess what?

One of my text books for the next semester did come in the mail today.

I did not read it.

I was tempted.

But I realized, did I want to leave the A.M. Holmes until next summer?

Or was it actually ok to let myself have Christmas Eve without homework?

It was ok.

And it was so lovely.

Exactly the kind of day off that will sustain me for many weeks as I marshal my way forward towards this next milestone of learning and life.

Gratitude this Christmas for all the gifts in my life.

There are so many.

The best, I dare say, may be my relationship with myself and the life I have been given.

Grace.

That’s what it is.

Grace.

I have been blessed.

And may you be as well.

Merry Christmas to all.

And to all.

A.

Very.

Good.

Night.

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Not A God Damn

December 24, 2018

Thing.

Nothing.

I have no plans for tomorrow.

Zero.

Zip.

Nada.

I won’t be doing homework.

I won’t be going to work.

I have no clients.

I have no obligations.

I have no chores to do.

I did laundry today and cleaned up from last night’s holiday party.

I have no party to prep for.

I have absolutely nothing to do.

Except.

SLEEP IN!

Oh my God.

I am not setting an alarm for the first time in weeks?  Months, I mean, I don’t know.

It’s been a while.

I already feel like I’m playing hooky by writing my blog at 10p.m. at night.

I can stay up as long as a fucking want!

Although I won’t.

Because I am a creature of habit and I don’t want to blow my entire sleep schedule completely up.

I will have to work this upcoming week and not all of my clients went out-of-town for the holidays and I have group supervision as well as a one on one evaluation with my supervisor.

But hey.

That’s not tomorrow.

Tomorrow there is nothing to do but rest.

I have briefly entertained the idea of going to the MOMA, but I’m not sure I want to go downtown.

It may actually be the only place in the city that’s busy with shoppers and tourists and such.

I may not want to drive anywhere.

When was the last time I did that?

Not drive anywhere on a day off?

I had also thought about taking a nice long walk on the beach, but um, rain.

Looks like it’s supposed to rain most of the day tomorrow.

I could actually spend the entire day in the house and not leave it and lay around in my pajamas and not put on clothes or make up or do my hair.

I could.

I probably won’t though.

I can let myself sleep in a little, but not getting dressed and lazing around the entire day in pjs feels weird.

Besides.

I don’t wear pjs.

No.

I do like the idea of being up and doing a few things and I will do my normal morning routine, I will just not be doing it to the sound of an alarm going off.

I will wake up when I wake up.

There have been times that unscheduled open time freaked me out.

I have not had it in such a long time though, that I think I will manage to not freak out.

Christmas day I will be going out and about.

Not crazy like, but a matinée at the Kabuki Theater, The Favorite, with my person, then meeting up with a few others for Chinese food at Eric’s in Noe Valley, and then downtown to the Metreon for Mary Poppins.

I allowed myself to get wrangled.

Frankly I’m not really interested, but free ticket and not being by myself Christmas night was enough to get me to agree despite my lack of enthusiasm for the movie.

I do expect The Favorite will be fun, I heard it was wicked good and the previews definitely looked good.

I can’t imagine going out to more movies tomorrow.

Two movies in one day is decadent enough, I could read some books, not text books.

Although, knowing me, if the books I ordered for next semester happened to show up I might actually to get a jump on the work.

But I sense that’s not what I should be doing.

Keeping the space heater on, getting cozy with a novel on the couch and sipping hot tea and staring at my Christmas tree sounds about right.

I might walk to the store and buy a chicken to roast.

I really am contemplating not driving anywhere, although it’s likely that I will go out in the evening to do the deal, I could for most of the day just be at home.

It’s a nice home, it is.

I had a lovely time hosting my first little party here last night.

I had ten people show up and all the chili got ate!

All of it.

I had no left overs at all.

Oh, I had some, but not chili.

Anyway, it was lovely, very sweet, and I felt happy to have folks in the house and I made a pie from scratch, crusts and all, in heels and fishnets over silver glitter tights.

I mean.

It is Christmas after all, I had to wear some sparkle.

I found it quite appropriate to be in my kitchen in heels baking pie with my house full of gay boys and girlfriends.

It was good.

Chosen family.

I felt really blessed.

I have some of the best people in my life.

It was so nice too, to socialize.

I haven’t had much of that what with school and my internship and work and all that jazz.

I even tentatively talked going out dancing with a few of my girlfriends in January.

Not New Year’s Eve.

Total amateur night and way too expensive.

If I were to go dancing on New Year’s Eve I’d actually go to a friends party in the East Bay that’s a big sober event and usually a good time.

But not really sure I want to navigate the bridge on New Year’s Eve either.

The girls and I were thinking a little later into the month, although, not too late as I will be starting back up with school the last week of January.

I basically have one month off from school.

My spring intensive starts on January 24th.

So a few weekends of fun before I have to buckle back down with the books.

Two tops.

I will want to give myself some time to go over the materials before the intensive, there was reading assigned before this semester’s start, I can’t imagine that they won’t do the same for this upcoming semester.

Which is neither here nor there.

I am off topic.

Off topic from tomorrow.

My lazy, do nothing, have no responsibility to anything or anyone day.

Oh God.

It sounds so good.

I think I’ll get started now.

Good night.

Sweet dreams.

And don’t bother calling me in the morning.

My phone will be off.

I’m motherfucking sleeping in.

Seriously.

I MADE IT!

December 22, 2018

Not only did I get through a very hectic week.

I finished all my papers!!!!

I’m fucking done!

I’m gloriously happy.

The relief is serious.

Though for a moment today I got pretty upset when I saw an incoming e-mail from one of my professors asking people to just send the paper to his or the TA’s (teaching assistant) e-mail.

I was like, what?

I turned in that paper on Canvas, which is the online platform the school uses, on Sunday.

Time and date stamped that fucker too.

Sunday, December 16th at 5:16p.m.

I message my professor immediately and asked if he had not received my paper.

And he had not!

I was blown a little off course.

Here I was doing the happy dance of joy for having finished a 10 page paper, a 12 page paper, and a final project with two original poems, an essay, and two recitations of said poems, in the last four days.

Four days people.

I did that all in four freaking days.

Ok.

That’s not necessarily true.

There was some work that was done last week for one of the papers, but the final project and the twelve page paper had been done in the last four days, plus finishing and polishing the other paper.

I was miffed.

Fuck.

I had turned everything in on time and here was the professor who basically created this PhD program saying he’d not gotten my final paper.

Bah fucking humbug.

I sent him a message and let him know where I had submitted it and that I was at work sans computer.

The only freaking time this past month that I haven’t brought my computer and books and notebooks to work.

I went to work, having submitted my final paper yesterday (I was too kaput to post my happy dance blog last night, I barely got myself into bed with a cup of tea and some Peaky Blinders….mmmmm Cillian Murphy, happy to have you tuck me into bed, ahem).

So it was really nice to not drag my book bag and books and notebooks and laptop to work, I didn’t have to.

In fact, I realized later that my load was actually a little too light, forgot my lunch in the fridge.

But.

My.

It was really fine to go into work so unencumbered and not be thinking about what article or book I needed to connect all the dots on my final papers.

I floated into work.

Literally.

I also had the dream commute.

There was no traffic.

None.

And I went into work early, during what would be the worst commute time, but nada.

It was a freaking cake walk.

I got to work in less than twenty minutes.

I sat in my car and listened to French House music and sent off a gratitude list to a friend of mine.

It was such a nice mellow way to start the day.

I also went to my charges private school holiday music show.

It was so, so, so sweet.

It was just such a lovely way to ease into work.

And then later to drive back, have naps, and big snuggles and make homemade chicken soup for the six-year-old with her favorite alphabet pasta and to just have a fairly relaxed night.

Plus.

I had brought the kids their presents for Christmas and I got to watch them open them and all the gifts were met with resounding happiness.

I was quite pleased.

All three of them really liked their presents.

And the family was very sweet with me this year too.

A big bouquet of roses and tulips.

An Amazon gift card for $350.

Hello school books for next semester.

I’ve already spent $149 on one class.

And

I also got a $150 gift certificate to Peal Spa.

OOOOH.

You know I am all about it.

I haven’t been to a spa since, well, let’s say it was sometime in the early part of my second year of my Master’s program.

So, um, a bit.

I’m going to see about going next Saturday.

This Saturday, aside from not having any services available, I’ve got my holiday house-warming party happening.

I am excited.

I’m happy to have a place big enough to host a small gathering.

It’s not huge, so it will be cozy, but I figure not all the people who RSVP’d will actually show up at the same time.  I’ve had eleven people say yes, so I’m assuming half that number will actually show and maybe two of the seven people who said maybe.

I’m going to have a nice little spread.

Homemade chili with cornbread.

Veggies and my secret homemade dip (it’s so good I’ve been bribed for the recipe before).

Cured meat, salami, prosciutto, pancetta.

A variety of cheeses, really good Blue, since I like a nice blue–a triple cream-French Agur being on the top of my list, some gouda, a soft goat cheese, and a pecorino tartuffi that my person dearly loves.

Crackers and olives and pickles and salt and vinegar potato chips.

Tons of bubbly water and stevia sodas since I don’t do any sugar stuff.

Hot mulled cider.

And last, but certainly not least.

Homemade apple and persimmon pie with vanilla ice cream.

I think that will make the folks happy.

I haven’t asked anyone to bring anything and I didn’t say anything in the invite that there would be food, but I figure it’s nice to have a spread and with the exception of the pie and ice cream, cornbread, chips, and crackers, I can eat all of it.

I love some leftover chili, thank you very much.

I sort of doubt that there will be.

Anyway.

So that’s not happening, no spa day for me, but I will make sure I get it in soon, I will have a month break from school.

Not from work though I have the next four days off, aside from seeing a couple of clients int he morning and early after noon, I’ll be free to do whatever I like.

Christmas Eve I’m thinking of going to the MOMA.

And.

Christmas day will be with my person at a matinée, I’m planning on seeing The Favorite, at the Embarcadero Theater with him, then dinner in Chinatown with him and his person and another fellow and maybe another movie after, though I’ll probably bow out as they want to see Mary Poppins.

Please.

Sounds like paying to watch a movie about my job.

Anyway.

Me and three gay boys in Chinatown in San Francisco going to movies and eating Chinese food sounds like just about the perfect Christmas day.

Easy.

Oh!

And it turns out, my professor did find my paper, he just hadn’t looked in the right spot in Canvas (and I thought it was anti-intuitive, nice to have it confirmed by one of the professors having issues with it).

So that’s it.

I’m done.

I made it through my first semester of a PhD program.

Hooray!

 

 

Hello Stranger

November 29, 2018

I’m back!

Oh my God, I’m actually back.

Wow.

This feels so surreal.

It also feels weird because WordPress has once again changed some things on the site and the layout I’m used to using has changed.  But so far, well, so freaking good.

It is nice to be home.

I have missed you!

I have been busy, I won’t lie.

So busy that it makes me wonder how it is that I can even take the time to be sitting here in front of my computer not working on homework.

My God.

The amount of homework.

It is horrendous.

There is literally not a day.

Ok.

There was a day.

That I don’t do homework.

I didn’t do homework on Thanksgiving.

I almost did, but then I just cut myself some slack and said, no, take the day off or you’re going to be pissed.

And the day was taken off.

I went to a movie!

In fact, heh, I went to two movies!

I cannot remember the last time I saw a movie in the theater, probably last Christmas?  And to see not one, but two in the same day was crazy.

I went with my people to a matinée at the Embarcadero Cinemas, which I love.  I do adore a good art house space, plus, there is just something pretty about that part of town when it is emptied out, as it was being a holiday.   The view of the city, the Embarcadero, the bay, the Bay Bridge, the downtown skyscrapers and plenty of parking, which in and of itself is a miracle.

We saw At Eternity’s Gate, the Vincent Van Gough movie with William DaFoe.

First of all, DaFoe is a fucking genius, he’s got the Oscar on this one.

Second.

Horrendously sad.

But I mean, you know it’s not going to end well, the man cuts off his ear for fucks sake, it’s not like this is going to be a happy movie.

Yet.

It was a gorgeous movie, Julian Schnabel did amazing work.

It’s filmed on site where Van Gough did his paintings, Paris first, than the South of France in Arles, and the light he manages to capture is just exquisite.

It felt like being in one of Van Gough’s paintings.

So much beauty.

So much grief too.

I was in tears and the ending just had me with tears pouring down my face, but ultimately, it was such an extraordinary work of beauty that I was grateful to be able to see it.

And I was grateful to reflect that I have gotten to see a number of Van Gough paintings in person.

Although I have never been to the Van Gough museum, I have seen his works in the Louvre, the MOMA New York and the MOMA San Francisco, and The National Gallery in London.

That’s pretty damn good if I think about it.

I am blessed with having gotten to see the amount of art I have seen in my life.

There is so much more to see.

So much more.

Speaking of art, I had hoped that during my down time from work with the holiday I would get to the MOMA, but I did not, too many other things were happening.

Lots of homework, internship work, seeing clients, seeing friends, running errands that needed desperately to be run, clothes shopping–I hadn’t been clothes shopping in so long it felt kind of crazy.

I’ve lost a little weight the last few months and really had to get new jeans.

And I’m not complaining about that at all, it just took forever for me to have the time to get to it.

You may see a theme here.

Busy.

The new internship is going well and I feel like it will grow me into a very healthy private practice therapy business.

Which is also part of the reason why I haven’t been blogging here for some time.

I’m not much of a tech person, not really, not at all, and for my internship I needed to build a website.

Now if I had the money I’d just hire a friend to do it, in fact, when I do have the money I will most likely do just that, but in the mean time.

Well.

Shoot.

I already have a blog on WordPress, I’ll just use WordPress.

Except.

Ugh.

I didn’t realize that I had inadvertently connected the two, my professional website with my, very private, thank you very much, blog.

I mean.

Some of you out there know who I am.

But most of the people reading my blog don’t know who I am.

I am anonymous here and I always have been, since it allows me to pretty freely write about what ever I want to write about.

Oh.

Sure.

There are things y’all don’t know and that will stay like that for ever, thank you.

But.

I am really transparent here.

I write about all sorts of things.

All sorts of things that no therapist wants their clients to know about.

So you may imagine my horror when I realized that you could access this blog through my professional site.

I don’t believe I let that oversight go more than a few days.

The horror I felt though when I realized that the website I’d worked on so hard was linked to my personal blog was no bueno.

I mean.

Yuck.

I don’t believe any of my clients found it.

In fact, I do wonder if anyone actually did figure it out.

It wasn’t very obvious, but for a couple of days the “About Me” was my “About Me” blog from this site, which isn’t exactly scandalous, but it is sassy and certainly not anything I would want a therapy client to read.

NO.

So once I fixed that I spent too much time trying to figure out how to separate the two entities.

I spent too many precious minutes and hours away from my homework on the help chat.

And then WordPress went down, well, it didn’t go do per se, but the administrative support did and really, the couple of chats I did have done nothing for me, except taunt me with the fact that there was a way to separate the two from each other, but I couldn’t figure it out.

Like.

My understanding of technology is a five-year olds.

So for a while, like a petulant five-year old, I just stopped trying.

Then I started reaching out to friends.

I have had three-hour long sessions with friends and nothing was accomplished, except for me to get more frustrated.

I wanted to blow up the site.

I wanted to pull my website, but I’d fucking bought the domain and paid for two years of hosting.

I wanted to delete my blog, my baby, this guy, but really?

No way.

l have over 2,500 blogs on this site and they are valuable to me.

More about that later.

So.

My best idea was to lay as low as possible and not write any blogs while I was getting it all sorted.

And yesterday.

I think.

I hope.

Fingers fucking crossed, I figured it out.

Well.

Not the real solution.

But something that would allow me to be anonymous here and not have any tie to my professional site’s identity.

For now it seems to be working, so I’m not going to jinx it.

And hey.

Look at that.

I got to run.

It’s time for me to get ready to go to bed.

I have early supervision now before work and I’ve got a six am start.

Blah.

But hey.

It’s so nice to be here again!

I am.

So fucking nice.

I promise, I won’t be a stranger no more.

Nighty night.

Hold That Thought

April 18, 2018

I was supposed to register today for my fall semester in the Transformative Inquiry PhD program.

But.

Nope.

Holds on my registration.

My first thought, “but I don’t have any over due library books!”

Literally.

Second thought, “or videos!”

When I was in my undergraduate program at UW Madison Four Star Video was affiliated with the UW system, I don’t really know why, but it was and I had a video that was over due.

By like a year.

And the school wouldn’t release my financial aid funds until I returned the video.

But I had already.

Or so I thought.

I had given the video to my boyfriend, my first boyfriend, now that I think of it, Rob, to return to the video store.

He said he did.

But as it turns out, he did not.

I hadn’t been dating him in a while, a while for me at least, six, seven months, and had barely seen him around the campus, he wasn’t a student, but his father was a professor in mathematics at the school.

I was so broke.

I remember it so distinctly.

I really needed my financial aid and I had to pay out $90 to the video store to replace the rental.

It was “Gone With The Wind,” I have no idea why they hell I had rented that movie, although I do like it, though the book is so much better, and was astonished that to replace the video it would be $90.

Partially because it was a double cassette movie, two different cassettes.

I am so dating myself.

I couldn’t track down Rob, but I could track down his father.

I went to his office and I waited until he had office hours.

He remembered me fondly and asked after me and I was suddenly shy to say why I was there, but I needed that money and the financial aid office refused to let it go, I mean, I reasoned, wouldn’t it make sense to just give me the fucking money and I pay the fine?

But no.

I had to pay the fine first.

I girded my loins and told Rob’s dad and he was so sweet, he opened his wallet pulled out the money and wished me the best of luck.

I ran back to Four Star Video, which was a haul, UW Madison is a huge campus and Rob’s dad’s office was on the other side of Bascom Hill, it was probably a two-mile hike, but I feel like I did it in twenty minutes.

I paid the fine.

I got my financial aid.

As it turns out, I don’t have any outstanding video rentals or over due library books, note to self, I do have a book I need to return next class session.

LAST CLASS SESSION!

I can’t get too excited yet.

I am not there.

I still have two papers to write.

I still have work to do.

My therapist and I talked a lot about it, how it feels surreal, how it doesn’t feel like it’s actually happening.

I’m having my best friend over for dinner tomorrow night to do party planning and catch up and I have to say it feels weird to be planning the party as it’s not really hit me yet that I’m going to graduate.

My therapist look at me at one point in the session and said, “you’re going to graduate.”

I’ll take her word for it.

Therapists are supposed to hold the hope.

heh.

Anyway.

The hold seems to stem from the fact that I am not yet graduated from my Master’s program and I can’t register online for a PhD while my grades are still out.

I have been provisionally accepted.

Which means I have to graduate before I can be in the program.

But.

I can register for classes.

I just have to go to school and do them via hard copy.

Hard copy!

Shit.

That sounds like craziness.

I remember when I went for my undergraduate the school had just switched from the stand in line and hand register and hope that you can get to all the classes you want to get to, to using the phone.

And man.

It was so important to call ASAP.

Once your time was up it was a hustle.

I remember waiting with my booklet of classes and the phone, dial-up, though at least not a rotary phone (although, yes we did have a rotary phone in middle school and high school, a big yellow one that hung of the wall in the kitchen nook in the house in Windsor, that had a super long curly cord that my sister would stretch tight so she could have phone calls in the bathroom without anyone overhearing her), and I would have to put in my student id pin number and then punch in the code for the class.

Sometimes I was lucky, especially by second semester Junior year and most of my Senior year, and I would get right into the classes I wanted.

But often.

So often.

I would not get what I wanted and thus began the negotiation of what class to pick up that would fulfill my schedule needs, I worked full-time (nothing’s changed, well, that’s not true, I don’t work in a bar anymore), my school requirements for my degree, and whether or not I had any interest in the class.

Sometimes I would get home from work and comb through the class lists, looking for an interesting class that I might have overlooked, sometimes I would sit on the phone, continuously dialing and re-dialing the number.

I was persistent.

Persistance paid off.

Someone would drop the class I wanted and I would be having one of my twenty-minute or half hour tries at getting into a class.

It was always the best feeling when I would dial-up a number for a class that I had been trying for days, sometimes weeks (happened a few times) and suddenly there was a spot open.

And it was tricky.

I would not be able to register for the class and then drop the one I didn’t want, I’d have to take a leap of faith and drop the class first, knowing someone might grab the class I’d drop or that someone else might be trying for the class I wanted.

It always worked out.

I remind myself of that now.

Things will work out.

I will get my papers written.

I will get it all done.

I will get registered for my PhD.

And I will have a party.

All the things.

They will happen.

I have faith.

Thank God.

Reading The Fine Print

January 9, 2018

I just went through the handbook for my Master’s program with a fine tooth comb.

The one thing that I have found challenging in my program is the apparent lack of information as well as the over abundance of information.

I feel like there is so much information that just is not applicable to my experience or the learning and then there’s information that I really need, but it’s buried on page 41 of the 50 page handbook.

I’m glad I found it though.

I have gotten a mixed bag of mis-information from fellows in my cohort as well as interns in my group supervision about how many hours I need to have accrued in practicum to graduate.

I need 225 to graduate.

Of those hours I must have 150 direct client hours–sessions with my clients, not phone sessions or e-mails or paperwork or progress work–face to face sessions.

I had thought that I needed 250 direct hours and I was beginning to get a little nervous.

I should not have any problems getting the hours.

Or so I thought.

I have eight clients that I see on a weekly basis.

But.

They cancel.

Or.

They no-show.

And it’s rare, I’m seeing quite clearly now as I just got home early because a client no-showed, that I actually see all eight clients during the week.

So when I was thinking I needed 250 direct face to face hours by May, I started to get concerned.

I won’t make it, it won’t happen, how is that possible?

How is it possible that I am heading into my third semester of practicum and don’t have enough hours?

How?

As of right now I have 240 hours.

But only 130 of them are direct face to face hours.

I felt flummoxed and upset and annoyed and then I begin to berate myself.

Why did I post that stupid thing about graduating in May and filling out my graduation application?

I’m not going to graduate!

Whoa.

Slow down there.

I don’t have enough information.

I realized that I cannot just go on the information drifting about through the hallways at school or in the office where I do my group supervision.

I have to take responsibility and find out that myself.

So I went to the academics page on the school’s website, signed into my account, found my program.

And.

Voila!

There on page 46 of the 49 page hand book:

Students must complete a minimum of 225 hours [at least 150 direct client contact hours plus 75 Client-Centered Advocacy (CCA) hours] while enrolled in practicum prior to graduation.

Sweet Jesus.

I am fucking fine.

I am only twenty hours shy of having the direct client contact hours.

As for client centered advocacy I don’t have nearly that much, I have six hours.

But I do know this much, it doesn’t matter if I don’t get all the client centered advocacy hours, if I have more direct client hours, I can count those towards graduation.

Ultimately it is the face to face sessions that mean the most and I have to acquire the majority of my hours there.

And I also recognize that I could be actively going after more CCA hours as well.

Client centered advocacy could be doing research on a client and their family lineage, it could be watching a movie about alcoholics, it could be reading a CAMFT (California Assoication of Marriage Family Therapists) magazine or a psychology magazine.

Today I actually had some down time at work, and while the baby napped I read a number of articles in a psychology magazine on workaholism and chuckled to myself, multi-tasking, working and also accruing hours, sounds like I’m the workaholic in this instance.

But I’m happy I did the reading as I had that no-show and I was able to mark down another hour.

I think that I will try to acquire two hours of CCA per week as I move forward, more if I can.

I can also read outside articles, books, and go to seminars and do trainings.

But just knowing that I actually have enough moving forward is a bit of a relief.

I was getting a little worried.

I also realize that I am probably going to have to let one client go with whom I have been doing pre-dominantly phone sessions.

I am not allowed to count Telemedicine through my school.

I can towards my license, but not towards my graduation needs.

I want to be safe and make sure that I’m not squandering my time.

I am excited and relieved to have reckoned all of that out and grateful for a really good talk with my solo supervisor today.

Who happened to be quite intrigued with my dissertation idea and to my surprise, completely supports me going for the PhD.

I told him I had actually had hesitation to even mention that I was going to apply for the PhD because I thought he might disapprove of my decision.

But he did not.

And it was amazing to sit and talk to him about my ideas and to also get some really interesting feedback from him and some areas where I will be honing in more.

I made a call to the Dean of the Transformative department after I got out of supervision.

I wasn’t able to talk to her, she was stuck in a budget meeting, but I left a message and I will follow-up tomorrow.

My advisor got back to me and said he would support my efforts and write me a letter of recommendation and we made an appointment to meet the first weekend of classes.

It’s all falling together.

Even when my brain tells me it’s not.

It really is.

So nice.

So.

Very.

Very.

Very.

Nice.

So Fresh and So

November 26, 2017

Clean.

Clean.

My house looks pretty fucking good, let me tell you.

All the laundry done, all the trash and recycling out and swept, swiffered, vacuumed, scrub the bathroom down, tidy the fuck up.

Which means one thing.

Mama had a lot of homework to do today.

My God.

There is no fucking end to it.

Yet.

Me thinks I see a glimmer of a light at the end of the tunnel.

Oh.

The light is far off, but I can sense it getting closer.

I did so, so, so much work today.

My god.

My brain hurt.

Still does, not as much, and hurt might not be the right word, but I was worn out with the material, as I was warned that I might be, but I toughed it out.

I finished all of my Elder, Spousal, and Child Abuse class.

Huzzah!

But man, it took the stuffing out of me, and I don’t eat stuffing.

Haha.

It was a lot of reading, and a lot of watching some intense videos.

I wrote out responses to five of the sections, I got three out-of-the-way previously.

And I wrote a clinical mock-up of an elder abuse situation and what I would do, from mandatory reporting to clinical interventions and everything in between.

It was a lot of work.

But.

Fuck.

It’s done.

So happy I got all of that out-of-the-way, it really was the big monster in my block of classes.

I also finished all my reading for Transpersonal, which means, drumroll please…

I have no more reading to do for the semester!!

My God.

That feels fabulous.

I am not, however, out of the woods yet.

Tomorrow I have to write two papers.

One will be fairly short, two pages, on a dream I had, it will be my last dream to tun into my Jungian Dreamwork class.

The other will be a bit longer, but not too bad, five pages.

That one will, however, be a bit more formal and honestly despite having finished all the reading for the class I’m not exactly sure where I am going to go with the paper.

I was also in contact with my group today working on our final project presentation that I will be doing the last Saturday of classes.

I’m hoping to knock out both the papers and the group work tomorrow.

And also, if I can swing it, the Psychopharmacology online portion of my Psychopharmacology and Human Sexuality class.

I have a paper in that class due at the end of the semester too and one for my Drugs and Alcohol Class.

Sigh.

That will be for next weekend.

I can get it done though, especially since the Elder, Spousal, and Child Abuse class is completed.

My God.

One more class done towards my degree.

Which reminds me, I have to register for classes in two days.

In two days I will register for my last semester!

I only have three classes.

It is going to feel miraculous after carrying six classes this semester.

I have only done four classes at once before, this semester was a stretch, and obviously, it’s not done.

OH.

And I still will have a final paper for Jungian DreamWork too, it’s just not due until after the last weekend of classes.

Which is always a conundrum.

Crush that bitch out of the park and get it done before my last weekend of classes, or finish that Sunday when I get out of classes.

Because the damn thing is due on the 15th of December and I’ll be working all that week and of course, seeing clients.

There’s no way I can do two big papers tomorrow and the small one and the online portion of my other class.

No.

I will be a wastrel of a person.

But.

Maybe I can do them next weekend.

Maybe.

If not, maybe I can get it started.

It would mean three papers next weekend.

Sigh.

I got invited out to the movies tonight.

I turned it down.

I got invited out to dinner.

I came home and made my own.

I am going to be over the moon when this semester is done, it will be nice to have a little more wiggle room for social outings and such.

Although I do have breakfast plans with my best friend in the morning.

Super excited for that, really happy to get to have some time before I get into the homework grind.

And if I’m good and grind hard and get a lot of it done, maybe I go to yoga.

Not the regular Vinyasa, nope.

My ankle is doing better, but not that much better, no, I was thinking maybe the Restorative yoga, my brain is going to need some restoring to normality by the time I crank out all the homework I have to do tomorrow.

Grateful I know how to write a paper and grateful for my ability to pull together my notes and book references and make it work.

I can do it.

I have my process and I’ve done the biggest work, which is the reading.

That’s the most important.

I’ll skim through my books, grab a stack of post-it notes and flip through my class notes, I will put together a skeleton of the paper in outline by looking through my materials and see what my common themes are.

Then.

I’ll write that bitch.

It’s five pages, so with prep time, reference time, write time, I am going to give it two and a half hours.

Actually.

That seems too long.

Two hours.

I’ll kick out the dream paper in twenty minutes, I don’t have to write it up with references, it’s just me doing what I do anyway, write what I see in my head, so two pages will be twenty minutes, thirty tops.

So maybe I’ll have all the writing done with in that time.

And that should give me enough room and time to finish the rest of the online material I need, I suspect that will take an hour to two and also writing out an outline and making a worksheet for my final project for Transpersonal.

That will take forty-five minutes.

So.

What am I looking at?

Five hours?

I think I can do that.

Breakfast shenanigans are early so I’ll be in the mix by 10 a.m. like I was today, today I finished at 6 p.m. working pretty much straight through, yes, even when I was cleaning I was doing homework.

I had to watch a few videos, but I will admit, I was listening to some of them while I was cleaning, the material at times was graphic and I found it easier to integrate when I was cleaning and sweeping and washing.

So if all goes as planned I’ll be done by five or so.

I have an hour break at 1p.m. to do some work with a lovely lady and get right with God, a break after that for lunch, and then back in it.

It will get done.

It will.

I can do it.

I can.

Go team go!

Heh.

And It Was A

January 31, 2017

Good day.

It was.

Yes.

There was sunshine.

Oh sunshine.

How I adore you.

It won’t be sunny much more this week, one more day, tomorrow, then, yes, fuck, six days in a row of the wet stuff.

Sigh.

Oh well.

At least I had today.

And really.

What more could I ask for.

Just for today.

Just for today I will be happy.

And I was.

I got a few things done before I headed out to work, some organizing, some work on my school stuff, some writing.

I gassed up the scooter.

$1.16 to top her off.

hahahaha.

Ah.

I love that.

I love going into the 76 station on Lincoln and LaPlaya and handing the cashier a bunch of change with a great big smile.

Feels pretty freaking good that.

Zoom zipped to work.

I got there early enough that I was able to check in with a few people on the phone and just make sure my head was on nice and straight and ready for all things Monday.

I hit work and was ready to go.

Today was my first day feeling how it will be for the majority of my time, or at least how I envision it to be.

The dad has gone back to work full-time and it was me, the mom, the baby.

I checked in with mom, got the low down, got organized and then hopped in the car with her to Noe Valley, where I got dropped off to do errands and get my way back to the house on my own time.

Mom was heading to her office with the baby and I was on my own.

I cannot express how much joy that brings me.

To have some autonomy, to get to run errands in the sunshine, to go grocery shopping and help with the dry cleaning.

I topped off the Clipper Card (the MUNI pass for the buses and trains) at the Walgreens and got to pick up a few things that I was needing for the house.

I was able to also swing into another little store on my way back to the house and pick up a sweatshirt.

My Bicycle Coalition sweatshirt has been pretty battered and the zipper the past few weeks has just gotten worse and worse.

I suppose I could have replaced it, but it was pretty beat, I’ve had it for over five years and worn it pretty non-stop, when I went to zip into it this morning on my way to work, the zipper split again and I was like, fuck it, time to replace it.

So I got a cool black hoodie with white draw strings and a white outline of Sutro Tower by the company Cotton Basics, a local clothing company out of Oakland.

I like to buy local stuff whenever I can.

Then.

A quick pop into Whole Foods.

The mom had asked me to make dinner and had pulled out some chicken breasts from the freezer.

“Make whatever you want,” she said, “here’s some cash, get whatever you need at the market.”

Dude.

Carte blanche is so nice.

Seriously.

Not that I went nuts.

I didn’t need to.

The family has a really nice stocked pantry and they buy the good stuff, organic, local, upscale stuff.

I picked up some crimini mushrooms, some tarragon, and a few others odds and ends.

This evening I made the family tarragon chicken with crimini mushrooms in a cream sauce with rice and pan seared brown buttered brussels sprouts.

“Carmen!  You are the best cooker ever!” My four-year old little lady charge told me, jumping up from the dinner table as I was getting ready to leave and rushing over to throw herself in my arms.

“I love your food, so good!”

That made me so happy to hear.

I know.

Silly, right?

But not so.

I put my heart into my cooking and to be able to actually cook the way I used to, even though I don’t eat it, is super gratifying.

I’m sure there will be times I will eat what I make for the family, but I was having a good time making what I made and I wanted them to know how much I appreciate them by making them good food.

I love that they all sit down to eat dinner together.

It’s simple and basic and so sweet to see a family still do that, sit and enjoy a meal together.

I felt needed and appreciated today.

I also have really been enjoying my time with the mom, I feel like she has become not just an employer, but a friend.

And I love, love, love.

LOVE.

That she’s talking about having me for the long-term.

Like.

Four years.

Like.

Having job security all the way through my school program, what a gift.

Such a gift.

Granted, it’s only been a month, but in that month I have felt taken care of, appreciated, excited, and acknowledged.

I like, no, I love, that I am getting outside more and being more active is a help too.

I ran up and down the big hill to their house twice today, ran races with my charges when I picked them up from school, was in the fresh air and the sunshine.

Yeah, like I said yesterday, I have put on a size since I stopped riding my bike five days a week.

But.

That’s ok.

My body is changing.

Today it is just perfect.

Maybe it’s not what I want it to be, but it serves me, takes care of me, carries around my brain with all its sickness and idiocy, does all that I ask it to do.

I’m in grad school, I work full-time, I need the extra time that having the scooter gives me, one day I won’t.

And when that happens I can go to yoga more or I can ride my bike more or I can swim.

Just because I’m not the “ideal size” doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with me.

I have the exact body I am supposed to have and I am grateful for it.

Grateful, happy, content, cozy.

And.

When I got home from school I had a package in the mail from my dear friend in New York.

He’s been working on a movie now for a little while and it’s almost ready to be released and he’s selling t-shirts to raise money for the film.

It’s called: This Too, Shall Go Up In Flames.

I stripped out of my shirt and put on the t-shirt.

It’s a little big, I ordered it when I was feeling “fat” and got a bigger size than I should have, but fuck it, I love it and it can be a night-shirt or maybe I’ll have it taken in.

Do they take in t-shirts?

Who cares.

It’s an awesome shirt and I am excited to support a friend’s endeavor.

It’s pretty fucking cool.

It’s been a pretty fucking good day.

Not bad for a Monday.

Not bad at all.

 

Space Cadet

January 27, 2017

I’m a little zoned out.

It was suggested to me that I stop beating myself up for not doing enough, let me see, yoga, homework, work, doing the deal, dating, not dating, cooking, cleaning, laundry, blogging, writing, photography, dancing, hanging out with girlfriends, looking for a boyfriend, getting interview clothes for practicum, figuring out where to apply to practicum, writing my resume, re-writing my resume, re-writing my re-write of my resume, updating my LinkedIn profile (which haven’t used in literally years and may still have my old yahoo e-mail address linked to it), doing my taxes, figuring it out.

Yeah.

I sort of fell into that hole again.

But it was a shallow hole and I climbed out pretty fast.

It was suggested that I take it easy this weekend and go to a movie theater, like the Balboa and maybe hang out at the coffee-house across the way and have Chinese food for dinner at that one place that has the best fucking Miso Shrimp ever.

I could stand that.

I don’t know that I’m going to.

I really do like taking suggestions and I find that they are super important to me.

They are given to me with kindness and perspective and to save my ass, because I get so spun trying to get it all in that I forget to slow down and enjoy my life.

But.

I have homework I said and I have to do my taxes.

Girl.

He was not having it.

I got my marching orders.

I’ll see if I can squeeze it in.

No guarantees.

It was a conversation that was set off when I teared up explaining that I have only been able to manage getting to yoga on the weekends since starting the new job and trying to navigate the school and work balance.

It was pointed out that I wasn’t doing anything wrong and that I certainly was doing more than enough.

I was basically told to knock it off.

I knocked it off.

I am slowly letting myself do and be as much as I can and trying to spend time outside of my regular routine any time that I can so that I am getting some socializing in and also not just doing school and work and recovery.

Which is all good but I need fun in my life too.

I do.

I have a date for diner and dessert on Saturday.

That will be nice.

I shared that with my person and that was met with approval,  a little fun and canoodle is much-needed.

We were going to try to meet tonight but his coming into the city plans changed up.

Which, in hindsight, brief hindsight, is probably good.

I want to end out the week with the family and not be sleep deprived.

Work has been busier this week than I have experienced, the little lady was home sick again today and I suspect that tomorrow will be much like today.

But in between the bouts of dealing with a fussy, sick, temper tantrums, I did get some sweet snuggle and stories in.

The parents were both around much of the day and when you are four you want mom and dad, not the new nanny.

So there was much telling me I was “stupid” and “go away.”

I’m used to it and wasn’t much fazed.

“You are not my friend and I don’t love you and you don’t have any friends,” she told me a couple of times today.

“No friends?” I asked, “none at all?”

“No. No friends, not, ___________ or _____________ or___________.”

“Ok,” I said, “I feel sad, but maybe one day we will be friends.”

“NEVER.”

And five minutes later she was playing peek-a-boo with me and then curling up in my arms, “will you rub my back again,” she whispered into my shoulder.

Sweet little pumpkin.

Probably a good thing I didn’t have my date tonight, although I was much looking forward to it.

I loved his message, “want to stay up past your bedtime?”

Heh.

Always.

It’s nice to have a lover peep you out of the blue.

I could stand for more of that.

I’m not actively doing any dating at the moment though.

It feels hard enough to commit to making it to friend events.

I have a birthday dinner invite tomorrow that I am trying to figure out how to work so I can do the deal and do the dinner.

Next weekend I have a double anniversary dinner to go to.

And I’m speaking in Oakland again.

It’s a busy couple of weeks.

Fuck.

When isn’t it busy?

So, to be pursuing dating seems frivolous and distracting and not where I need to be putting my energy.

Although I did have a gentleman ask for my number last night.

I wonder if he will call.

I have no expectations around it at all, but it would be nice.

I’m going to continue to let the pursuing happen rather than try to do any pursuing.

I don’t have time to chase.

There is enough time though, to do all the things, and as long as I do a little every day, all the things will get done.

I did a little homework today before work.

I did a little reading at lunch today.

I’m doing my own personal writing every day in the morning, my morning pages, four today.

I am keeping up with my blog and managing to get to all the places I need to go.

So grateful that I have had my scooter for the last couple of days and not been reliant on the trains or cars.

Super huge time save.

And tomorrow is Friday.

It feels like a long week.

And that’s ok.

I haven’t been sick, I have gotten more and more comfortable with my new job and I really am happy with how school is going even when it feels overwhelming, it is such a great thing for me to be doing and I’m find myself extraordinarily pleased by it.

I have done a lot of work and grown a tremendous amount.

I guess what I’m saying is life is good.

I’m taken care of.

And I will try to take my person’s suggestion.

They always serve.

I wonder what’s playing at the Balboa Theater.

Anyone want to go see a movie?

Seriously.

All Things Asian

December 25, 2016

In other words.

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

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

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

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

I don’t like canceling.

I cried on the phone to my friend.

But.

That’s the way the cookie crumbles.

I did rally though and get out of my house.

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

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

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

But before that.

Yes.

My nail salon was open.

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

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

For whom?

Why, me, of course.

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

Because, well, I fucking am.

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

It was really good.

I mean.

REALLY.

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

Afterward it was definitely time for lunch.

Thai food it is!

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

They were.

I even was sat in the exact same spot.

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

Apparently they know me well after just two visits.

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

Is quite cold.

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

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

Slight fever.

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

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

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

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

I almost missed the previews, and I like previews.

I went and saw La La Land.

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

I was quite taken.

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

It was well done and I’m glad I went.

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

It was chilly, but cheerful.

I am definitely glad I went.

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

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

Christmas bonus never tasted so good.

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

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

I had scallops wrapped in bacon.

BACON.

MmmMmmm good.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How do I know this?

Because it’s what’s happening.

Reality.

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

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

But overall.

I never felt lonely today.

Even though I spent much of it alone.

Rather.

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

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

Baby.

So very long.

And so grateful for every step along the way.

Seriously.


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