Posts Tagged ‘New Orleans’

So Very Pleased

September 23, 2018

I got a lot done today.

I hung all my artwork in my new home.

I got my new couch delivered and my new chair and they were quickly assembled and they got here ahead of schedule, which was so awesome as it made it possible for me to not only attend a Zoom session for school, but also get to my group supervision on time.

Effectively making it possible for me to even take enough time to do some much-needed personal grooming and pampering, I went and got a mani/pedi and my eyebrows waxed.

And no, I didn’t glaze out with some trash magazines but actually did homework reading.

My books go where ever I go.

That has become mandatory.

Even if I don’t think I will have time, I’m bringing them along.

One at a time I will get through the reading.

There is so very much.

And though a part of me really wanted to do more homework tonight when I got home from doing the deal, I realized that I needed to finish as much of my unpacking as I could.

I just needed to feel settled completely in my home.

I am pretty damn close.

Hanging all my artwork really felt good.

So too blasting some French House music.

My place is sound proofed, plus the landlord is away camping this weekend.

So I didn’t have any compunctions about using a hammer at 9p.m. at night and hanging up my art.

It feels so nice to look at my space.

My couch is freaking perfect, so to the chair and the pillows I got really work nicely, I almost didn’t get them when I was at the store and I even had a moment when I packed them up and I was going to return them, but something made me stop and I am so glad I did, they work really well and look hella cool.

I’m very happy with my couch.

And tomorrow I will get my coffee table, end tables, and bedside tables set up.

I actually hired a woman from Task Rabbit to do it.

I figured it was worth it to not frustrate myself for hours.

I will instead spend a great deal of time tomorrow studying and doing homework.

I have to.

My work week will be full on again as the mom is back from her work travels and I will have the baby full-time again, I may have some time to do readings, but I won’t have time to do writing, which is what I was doing a lot of in the early afternoons before I headed out to pick up the big kids from school.

So tomorrow is definitely a full day of study.

I have one ladybug coming over to do work for an hour and I’ll get out and do the deal, but other than that, I can’t do anything but the work.

Well.

Probably some laundry.

I will want to do that, but I’ll bring homework with me for sure.

It will be my first time going to a laundry mat in years and though I am not excited about that, I am quite happy with how my home has come together and it feels very good to be here.

There are still some things that need to happen for me to entirely settle in, I haven’t gotten a dresser yet and I still have some clothes in a big garment box, but for the most part the space is nicely curated and it feels like me and it feels fun and polished and warm and sweet.

Once it’s all set up I’ll post a few photos.

I really do love the fact that I got myself a pink velvet couch.

Pink is not my favorite color, but I do like it and the couch is just so very me.

A sort of vintage 1970s Paris couch.

It’s the best.

Yeah.

I am very happy in my new home.

It’s also quite a space of reflection for me, to see how far I have come in the last few years.

When I think about how I moved back from Paris with $10 and what I have now, it’s really astounding how much can change in five years.

I got my Master’s degree, I’m working on my PhD,  I went through a buyout (a San Francisco rite of passage now it seems), I found a wonderful new place to live, I have had the most intense romantic love of my life happen, I have traveled back to Paris three times since I moved back, as well as going to New York three times, New Orleans, Burning Man five times, D.C., Atlanta, and L.A.  I bought a scooter, sold the scooter, bought a new car.

I never thought I would actually buy a new car, and holy shit, I did.

I’m starting a private practice internship.

I am fucking living life.

And yeah.

It does get overwhelming at times, but I have a primary purpose and I’m sticking to that.

The PhD is an amazing gift to get to do, but ultimately, it is not the endpoint for my life, although I know it’s going to consume a good bit of my life for a while, it is not my omega point.

Love is.

Deep love.

Loving myself to the best of my abilities and spreading that love as far out into the world as I can.

And now that my home base is almost secure and safe and settled.

I feel that I will be able to do so with even more veracity and courage.

I am in a good place.

It is a challenge.

There are challenges.

No lie.

But I am in a good place.

And I vow to love as hard as I can from this place as I can.

I promise.

Really.

I do.

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When Was I Happiest

January 6, 2018

Today?

I just asked myself that.

In a prompting kind of way, hey you, you need to write your blog, get your fingers moving on that keyboard, make some fucking magic happen.

Because all of the seven people who read my blog really want to know what I did today.

Meh.

I recently got an update from WordPress that I have once again celebrated an anniversary.

Eight years of blogging.

Eight.

What the fuck did I write about?

So many things, so many thoughts.

I have published over 2,400 blogs.

My average blog is somewhere between 1100-1300 words.

But for the sake of simplicity, let’s just say 1,000.

That means that I have written over 2,4000,000 words.

Over two million words!

Who the hell knew there were so many words in my head?

I never suspected that I would be where I am in now in my life when I started writing this blog.

I was living on Taylor and Washington in a large studio that was on a cable car line.

I was working as a nanny in China Basin.

I made really good money.

More than I actually make now, if you can believe that, because it was all under the table.

I had a very nice Felt 35 racing bike that I did my commute on.

I was horribly lonely.

I felt like all I did was grind at work, I worked at least 50 hours a week.

Which is funny, as I put in about fifty hours a week now and go to graduate school full-time.

But at that time I was going through a lot of weird stuff.

I was desperately trying to get abstinent with my food, which I did do in that apartment, but it took a hot ass second.

I was trying, oh so very hard, to get some head way on my book, said head way has come to naught in many ways, but you know, I started this blog by publishing each of the chapters one by one in the pages.

If you should want to read some really bad writing, well it’s there.

For sure.

I had a friend read the book in manuscript form about four years ago and he told me with no mincing of words that if he didn’t know better he would have never believed that the person who wrote this blog was the same person who had written that book.

My writing, suffice to say, has gotten much better.

That’s what happens when you practice.

You get better.

I have had eight years of practicing this blog.

Some days I am so inordinately pleased with what I have written that I may actually go back and re-read a blog.

But not very often.

I generally throw it down on the page, I”m just transcribing my thoughts, and really, thank god I have some fast typing skills, I’m just writing what I am thinking.

It’s a little like having a one-sided conversation with me.

Hey how was your day?

Let me tell you about mine, and then I’m unleashed upon you.

Or something like that.

I am reflecting as I did my Morning Pages this morning in the place where Morning Pages originated for me, about ten years ago.

Yeah.

If you thought writing a blog eight years in a row was something, check out my history with writing my Morning Pages.

Ten years, going on eleven.

I realized that this morning as I sat in Muddy Waters on Valencia and 24th.

I had a chiropractor appointment this morning and some time to kill before I had to be into work.

So instead of getting up stupid early, I let myself sleep in, packed my breakfast and brought it with me, planning to eat it at the cafe while having a cafe au lait before going into work.

The cafe is much the same as when I first started hanging out at it.

I had moved to a shared apartment in a rent controlled Victorian on Capp Street and 23rd and Muddy’s was the closest cafe to me and the one where I did a lot, and I do mean a lot, of sitting with another woman and reading out of a big blue book.

So many women in that cafe, before my regular Wednesday haunt, as well as my regular Saturday gig and many other times in between.

And it was also the scene of The Artist Way group that I was a part of for a year and a half.

It was an awesome group.

We met for an hour before rolling up the hill to a spot in Noe Valley on Wednesday nights.

We would grab the big round table towards the back of the cafe and anywhere from 6 to 10 of us would sit down for about an hour and share about the assignments we had done from the book.

We did one chapter a week, followed the instructions regarding the assignments, and talked about our experiences working the projects and doing the morning pages.

The book suggests that every morning you take time to write three pages long hand.

Emphasis on long hand.

No typewrite, keyboard, tablet, computer.

My blog does not count as morning pages and never has.

There is something so captivating about writing on paper with a good pen.

I was writing in one of my Claire Fontaine notebooks that I brought back from Paris this morning and I reflected on how it was in that group that I came to the realization that I wanted to go to Paris.

That I actually wanted to move to Paris.

It would take some years before I moved, but by participating in that group I realized how much I wanted to go to Paris and I took myself on a solo trip for ten days after doing the work in the book.

I took myself on artists dates, I went to museums, I bought myself nice paper, I sat and daydreamed in cafes and watched clouds roll by.

I looked out those same windows today and marveled.

Look how far I have come.

Look where I am now.

My best friend in Paris messaged me today about when I’ll be going back.

I have been to Paris five times since I made that decision, and yes, one of those times was to live there for six months.

I have re-written that book.

Although I still don’t think it’s at a publishable place.

I have written poems.

I have performed with djs in nightclubs reciting my poems.

One of them became a recording.

I have lectured on stage.

I have traveled.

I went to Burning Man, a lot.

I traveled to New York by myself as well as New Orleans to go see art.

I have taken 1,000s and 1,000s of photographs.

I have written millions of words.

I think I have a few million more.

I have done morning pages in Paris, London, Rome, New York, L.A., New Orleans, Madison, Wisconsin, Anchorage, Alaska, Burning Man, Reno, San Diego, Las Vegas, and probably a bunch of other places I can’t remember now.

But they all started one night in a Muddy Waters coffee shop on Valencia and 24th.

Opening a door that has led me down this meandering path of creation and love.

How lucky am I?

Luckiest girl in the world.

Halloween

October 28, 2017

It’s going to be interesting.

I agreed to go out with some girlfriends to Oakland.

I am fucking crazy.

But.

Well.

Dancing.

Friends I haven’t seen in a while.

Fellowship.

Costumes.

Which sound great, but on my ride home from my internship tonight the shit show of traffic that is already happening and the crazy, San Francisco likes it some Halloween, the crazy is already on.

Tuesday is Halloween.

But everyone is out celebrating this weekend.

So.

Today when I was feeling all sorts of sassy, before the week caught up with me and bitch slapped me and stomped all over me, christ almighty I was drained when I left work to go to my internship–I worked overtime at my day job this week, I was all worn the fuck out and thought, I am nuts to want to go out tomorrow.

It’s going to be crazy town.

I mean it already is crazy town.

It’s just going to be more of it.

And how am I going to juggle the costume?

I sort of have an idea.

I was thinking I could do a sugar skull.

I don’t have all the right makeup to do it, but I could probably pick it up.

The thing is coordination with my girlfriend and where she’s going to be in the city and where I will be in the city.

I’ve got my internship from 1p.m.-5:30 p.m. tomorrow.

Yeah.

I was not expecting that, but then again, I did say I was open for consults this Saturday, so there it is, I am no victim, I volunteered for it.

I also had a client cancel this week and a few cancel next week, as Halloween is on a Tuesday–both clients cancelled that night, so I was eager to make up some of the hours.

It just puts a little crunch on coming home and getting ready and going back out again.

I have 7pm plans in the NOPA to do the deal and afterward my person and I are going to get dinner at Brenda’s Meat and Three on Divisadero.

I figure we’ll be wrapping up dinner around 9:30p.m.

My friend wants to get over to Oakland around 10p.m. for the Halloween dance.

A lot of folks in my community will be there, so it’s good fun, but I just feel a tiny bit pressured.

Then again.

Dress up?

Makeup?

Dancing?

Girlfriends?

Um, yeah.

That actually sounds good.

So I am going to make the effort, I am going to try not to be the old lady who is going to bed early on a weekend night since she’s fucking drained from the week, I’m going to rally.

I am sure I will have a good time.

And then I can say with all honesty that I did something for the holiday.

I haven’t celebrated it in a while.

The last time I went out on Halloween was with this same friend and a bunch of other folks, I dressed up as the Queen of Hearts and my date went as a character from Game of Thrones.

I was nervous as all hell to have a Halloween dance date and it was weird and as it turns out, it was so not a good match, but I went out and had some dancing with my girlfriend and she and her boyfriend actually won the fucking costume contest!

They dressed up as Vincent Vega and Mia Wallace from Pulp Fiction and they actually did the fucking dance on the stage.

It was brilliant.

I do recall that the music at said dance rather sucked, but it was fun to hang with my friends.

That was what, three years ago?

Yeah.

I suppose it’s about time I did something on Halloween.

I know I didn’t dress up last year, I’m sure I could have, I’m sure there was a party or five I could have gone to, but grad school, that’s been the thematic for the last two and a half years, I want to, but um, homework.

And yes.

Sure.

I have some, I have plenty.

But.

I want to play dress up.

I want to be social.

So I’m pretty sure I will go, even though it felt like too much effort to even think about after I got out of work tonight.

I have other Halloween things on the mind.

I have an interview on Halloween.

No.

Not for a job.

I love my job.

I’m not looking for another.

Unless it will help me get hours for my MFT licence and pays better than what I make now.

I suspect that won’t actually happen until I graduate.

Anyway.

No.

I was asked by a group that do this thing called “People Who Don’t Usually Lecture.

It’s not a Ted talk, it’s not about big ideas, but about rather about unique life experiences and personal life journeys.

I was referred to it by a very dear friend of mine.

Said friend with whom I get to enjoy a lunch in North Beach on Sunday and catch up on all the things.

My friend did a lecture for these folks and in his discussion he brought up a poetry project that I did in collaboration with him a couple of years ago, my first semester in graduate school.

They were intrigued and asked if he’d forward my e-mail, they were interested in hearing my story.

It seems they have been doing this series in Tel Aviv now for three years and are taking the series to a global platform.

I was really flattered to be considered and I messaged with the director, I think he’s the director, of the project today.

And set up a time to go and interview with them on Halloween.

I am super excited to do it.

Of course I am.

I like to talk about myself.

Who doesn’t?

But I also like to share about how I have gotten through struggles, hardship, overcome difficulties, thrived and been resilient, how I have said yes to things, and therefore lived in Paris with my tattoo artist, flown to Rome to spend a weekend with a woman I had met in Paris at dinner, gone to London to spend Christmas Eve with a barely known acquaintance, gone to Burning Man 11 times, written thousands, yes thousands of blogs (2,286 to be exact, plus a few hundred more that I either scrubbed or archived off the site), how I met a woman in New Orleans and she collected me as an artist and took me to lunch and drove me all over New Orleans one afternoon, how I meet people, connect, talk, like the man in Green Point Brooklyn who’s sculpture I was so admiring of that he came out and talked to me and before you know it I have a private showing of his studio and the promise that when I could afford one of his pieces he would be happy to recreate my favorite one he had in his studio and ship it to me, (Doug Beube, his stuff is extraordinary) how I am a nanny, how I have worked with kids for over a decade, including nannying at 7 Burning Man events.  Or my most recent adventure, working full-time while interning part-time and going to graduate school full time.

Yeah.

That.

No biggie.

Or my spiritual life.

Which is the penultimate reason why I can do all of the above.

Regardless.

I have things to talk about.

I’m intrigued, and flattered, and more than a touched humbled that someone who I respect and admire referred me to this group of people.

It feels like a big deal.

And.

Some nice validation of who I am and what I do on a daily basis to do all the things.

So.

Yeah.

I will rally tomorrow and get my Halloween on.

I said yes, didn’t I?

And when I say yes.

Well.

Magical things happens.

They

Always.

Do.

 

A Few More Days

August 2, 2017

Of lazy.

A few more days of being able to do yoga in the morning during the week.

I have signed up for a class tomorrow morning.

I went to one this morning.

My ass has been thoroughly kicked with the yoga.

But.

I feel good too, especially afterward.

Especially when I run into friends in the neighborhood who tell me how good I look and how much weight I have lost.

“You look amazing!  I mean, really beautiful, and you’ve lost so much weight, I mean, you look great!” She exclaimed as she stopped in front of the garage where I was sweeping this morning.

I had just gotten back from yoga class and wanted to do my good deed for the day and so I pulled in the garbage cans, the recycling, the compost bins and I decided to sweep out the front of the house.

It’s not something I have ever been asked to do, but sometimes it’s just nice to do something to care for the house, it’s not mine, but I do live here and I like to pull up on my scooter to a tidy spot.

I was still in my yoga gear, had sweat like a maniac, had my hair up in a big messy bun, and was sweeping garbage into the gutter.

And I look amazing?

You are sweet.

But.

I could also tell that how I was feeling was reflected in how I look.

I am happy.

And it shows.

I think that’s what the “weight loss” is, that I am happy.

It’s a nice thing to say and maybe it is true, but it doesn’t matter, I feel about the same in my body as always, albeit a bit sore from the work out today.

I also had no problem accepting the compliment.

It’s nice to hear.

My neighbor and her dog went to the park, I kept sweeping and it just lead from one thing to the other.

Hot shower.

Clean sheets on the bed.

Hot breakfast, latte, writing.

Trip to the laundry mat.

Run to the grocery store.

Cook a little.

Write a lot.

Chat on the phone.

Return e-mails for my internship.

Coordinate my schedule for the month.

I have a bunch of consults this week and a probably new client, although I haven’t set anything up yet.  I have been waiting for the assistant director to make the client official.

Although my director did say I could reach out to the client, I feel better waiting for the official look of the e-mail from the assistant director.

I did some research.

I looked over my syllabi for school and I poked around to see if the classes that weren’t posted yet had any of their syllabi in innocuous spots.

Sometimes that happens, a teacher will use a different platform than the one that the school wants everyone to use and a syllabus will get posted somewhere other than the spot I am used to checking.

Anyway.

There was nothing new with school.

I did some personal accounting, adding up my expenditures for the month of July and making a Spending Plan for the month of August.

Which is typically a month where I have an additional financial category.

Burning Man.

I decided this morning to stop being a baby about it and suck it up and be happy that I have enough resources to rent a car and.

Yes.

I applied for a credit card.

I realize I don’t want to tie up a bunch of money on my debit card.

I can and have rented cars before on my debit card, but they typically demand an enormous deposit and the reimbursement of said deposit is almost always a month.

I don’t want to tie up my finances that way.

Especially heading into the fall semester.

Plus.

Well.

I like to travel and I have been lots of places in the last few years, Paris twice, New York twice, New Orleans, Atlanta, and I should be accruing miles for that travel.

But I never have.

I have always found a cheap ticket online and just bought it with my debit card.

Which is fine.

It’s worked well, but I have been thinking it would be nice to be acquiring some miles.

Especially since my dear friend has moved back to France and we’ve discussed probable trips there, and I want to go to Barcelona and I’ll be flying back from LA next June when I do the ALC (Aids Life Cycle Ride.  Hey!  That’s right, I’m riding, you want to donate to the cause?  I need to raise $3,000 it would be great if you donated.  My rider number is: 2713 you can donate here), so I want to start getting travel rewards.

Yup.

That’s right.

I applied for a credit card today.

First credit card I have applied to in 12 years.

I haven’t had one since I got sober.

Cut those bad boys up and threw them in the trash.

I had a lot of debt.

I was very generous when I was drinking and using and I had no problem throwing my plastic around.

That plus.

My first year of sobriety I had no money, like none, I had a bad accident at my first job and was out of work for six, seven months, it took me a long time to get back on my feet and I went over a year and a half without making any payments on those cards I had.

What had been about $12,500 in debt became.

Wait for it.

$112,000.

Yes.

Part of that was back taxes owed the IRS.

But hey, they audited me and took that money right away.

That sucked so hard.

Then there was the pair of panties, the bra and the pair of jeans I had bought using a Victoria Secrets credit card that I never paid on.

It was a sale of $84 that became a debt of $1350.

I cleared it all.

All but my student loan debt.

I had many, many, many conversations with collectors and debt departments and all manner of people who wanted whatever money I had.

I got harassed a lot.

I was mortified.

It was horrendous and I was assured I would drink again if I didn’t take care of it.

So.

After some time.

I made the calls.

I used a script that someone helped me write.

I eventually went and saw a lawyer who took one look at my records, what I was doing and said, “what you are doing is commendable, and at the rate you are going you’re never getting out of it, you need to file for bankruptcy.”

Ugh.

He gave me his services for cheap.

Cheap.

Fuck, it cost me $2500 to file it and for his services.

But.

It went through.

And yes.

I still have debt, but it is just my student loans.

Just.

Bwaahahahahahhaaha.

Excuse me.

Anyway.

I’m worth the investment so I don’t care about the student loans, they will get paid off too when the time is right.

So, to circle back, for eight years I couldn’t have a credit card.

And for the rest of the time I just said, I don’t need one.

I technically don’t.

But.

I would like to not have to deal with the hassle of the car rental and I can rent the damn thing, be done with it, collect some miles on a card, and immediately pay the bill off with my debit card.

That’s what I figure I’ll do.

I’ll rent the car with the card, pay it off right away and then not have to have anything tied up.

That’s the logic anyway.

I don’t know if I can get a card, but I researched and I applied and I’ll just say, I took the action, I’ll let go of the results.

I’ll get to Burning Man one way or the other.

And in the mean time.

I have a few more days of lazy.

Not that I’ve been terribly lazy, just mellow.

Work will start back up for me on Friday.

And of course I have my clients and consults and internship to deal with.

Life is full.

Life is good.

I am happy.

And apparently I have “lost” some weight.

Heh.

 

Hello Again

May 8, 2017

I have been remiss my friends.

I have not been keeping up with the blogging.

I did post last night.

A poem.

But I had no energy after the emotionally exhausting day of classes.

It was a big school weekend.

A lot of deep work.

So much.

And it’s all great stuff.

But.

Fuck.

A girl could stand a break once in a while.

I did get to see my friends a bit more than I have in the past school weekends.

I had a girlfriend dinner with two of my favorite ladies in the cohort on Thursday.

We met at Mazzat, a Lebanese restaurant in Hayes Valley after I got out of work and had scootered home to let in my friend who was hanging in the Outer Sunset waiting for me to get back from work.

She needed to drop off her overnight stuff.

We were having a slumber party.

Hence no blog Thursday night.

It is just not a nice thing to do, I have a small place and I wanted to be a good host and although my friend did encourage me to write, I didn’t feel that it was necessary.

All my delicious catching up and being with her and our other French friend in the cohort at dinner had filled me up, made me happy, completed my experience for that day and it was more important to crawl into bed with my friend and whisper and chat and talk girl stuff.

God.

It’s nice to have girlfriends.

She is like a sister to me and we have pretty much connected to each other since the first week of retreat our first year.

God damn.

I am done.

DONE!

With my last weekend of classes.

I am officially now a third year student.

Holy shit.

And.

Oh, thank you sweet Jesus.

I went to the financial aid office this weekend and sorted out my aid and my package and the lady in the office was super kind and accommodating and it was all done in five minutes.

Such a help.

And I am so grateful to have that settled.

I should be getting enough that I can pay for the tuition for my summer school practicum and for the supervisor and have a bit left over, about $1400, which should cover my costs for out-of-pocket therapy for the summer.

That’s the plan.

It felt so good to get that taken care of.

In other housekeeping stuff.

I e-mailed the bookstore when I got home from class today and listed the books I’d like to sell back, some of which the awesome manager at the bookstore had told me when I was selling back in the fall, to hold off until spring, that I would get a better price.

So.

Fingers crossed.

A few bucks in my pocket this week.

Always handy when a lady is getting ready to travel.

OH.

MY.

GOD.

I leave for Paris in four days.

Four!

I am so excited.

It is finally here.

I have three days at work.

I have to go tomorrow and meet with my supervisor before work and I am hoping that I will be able to run a few quick errands before heading to work.

I need to pick up a few travel toiletries.

I went grocery shopping today after class to pick up some essentials to have in the house for the next few days, as well as to have some things for myself in the freezer when I get back from France.

I bought a new neck pillow for the flight as well at the co-op in my neighborhood.

It felt super fun to tuck it on top of my roll on suitcase.

This trip to Paris will make it number three for this particular suitcase.

It has also taken me to London once, Rome once, New Orleans, Anchorage, Minneapolis, Madison, New York twice, Orlando, and Los Angeles.

It’s a damn good piece of luggage.

It may need to get replaced soon, one of the wheels is getting a little wonky, but having had it for seven years, I think, that’s not bad, and I’m sure I’m forgetting a trip or three that it has taken that I didn’t list above.

No.

I have not taken it to Burning Man.

Ha.

That is the one place it does not go.

Soon it shall come out of the closet and get filled with clothes and shoes and stuff and things and I will be heading out the door to SFO to London to Paris.

The only small fly in the ointment is that I got a slightly changed flight out of London to Paris, and now I have a bit of a layover in London, so I won’t get into Paris until 5p.m. on Friday, May 12th.

I was supposed to get in around 10:30am’ish.

Oh well.

I will probably save myself some travel hassle from Charles de Gaulle and just take a cab to my hotel.

Mama Shelter.

There is a music venue across the street that my Parisian friend told me about today, Fleche d’Or.

I may go check it out after I get checked in and settled.

Could be a fun, spontaneous first night in Paris sort of deal.

I was thinking I would get myself to the hotel, check in, unpack a few things, hit the shower and go out into the city.

I will grab dinner, somewhere in the neighborhood,  Les Desnoyez or perhaps Le Baratin.

I mean.

I sort of want my first night in Paris to be special.

A lovely hotel with a rooftop terrace.

Music at the club.

Dinner in a French bistro.

A walk past Pere LaChaise in the evening.

Oh.

The things I am going to do.

I am excited.

And as the weekend is wrapping up and I just turn around and head into the work week I know it will go fast and before one can say “croissant” I will be leaving on a jet plane.

I am so ready for it.

Seriously.

 

 

Fuck It’s Cold

July 26, 2016

Put some clothes on your children!

I wanted to holler across the street at the parent of the two tiny shivering denizens of the Outer Sunset fog belt who were scampering down the street in tank tops and shorts with their arms covered in goosebumps.

It’s July in San Francisco.

Break out your scarves.

Fuck.

It just dropped like a thick, spooky shroud.

Of course.

I may be just too far into Stranger Things.

Fuck it’s good.

But it’s not the prettiest out here, right now.

Yesterday I never saw the sun.

Today, I did, but only because I went into work.

The nice thing about yoga, I realized today when I was in the studio, is that it’s always a nice warm 80 degrees and my body needs that warmth.

I don’t like super hot, I can stand it, but sometimes the fog wears on a girl.

Never the less.

I did have a good day.

I got up early and did the writing and the coffee and a nice little breakfast.

Then off to yoga.

A good class, my favorite instructor, who, woe is me, is leaving in two weeks!

Damn it.

Oh well.

The studio has other teachers I like, but I shall miss her classes.

I can see how I have gotten better whenever I go to her class.

And.

They are sneaky classes, I’m doing well, think I got it all under control, then hours later I’m like, why the fuck am I sore?

Oh.

I had Martina’s class today.

Tomorrow I will be sore as well.

That being said, I do plan on going to class in the morning before work.

I’ve got a 1p.m. start all week as the boys are in summer camp.

1-8p.m. means that I can get in a yoga class before work as well as my writing and a shower.

I always need a shower after yoga.

It usually is a lovely thing too, that shower.

So very grateful that there is a yoga studio in my neighborhood, on my freaking block, for Pete’s sake, it couldn’t be more convenient, and it’s super helpful for me time wise, I can get in a shower and sometimes a few other things too.

Like.

I scootered over to Rainbow before work and got a couple of “luxury” items for my Burning Man efforts.

A nice hand salve.

I gift hand massage on playa.

It’s what I do.

It’s a nice way to connect with someone and most folks have such dried, beat up hands from the playa and doing all the work that needs to be done to set up their camp or their art piece or whatever it is they’re doing.

I also picked up some boxes of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, a pair of heart shaped sunglasses, and some of my favorite body lotion.

What with what I got yesterday on Amazon, all I need is to get the rebar for my tent and some work gloves.

I’ll hit up a hardware store this weekend and get it wrapped up.

This weekend so far looks like some “homework” for the American Red Cross CPR child/infant/adult class I’m taking on Sunday.

It used to be that you would have to devote nearly a half day to the cause, the class was four and a half hours long, now you take part of it online then go in for an hour and a half.

The class portion is Sunday.

I hope to have the online stuff taken care of on Saturday, I haven’t really looked at it yet.

And Saturday, aside from doing the deal with my person at Tart to Tart at noon, I’ve got another friend’s 40th birthday party extravaganza to go to in the afternoon and my commitment that night at 7pm.

Sunday, after the class I’ll be heading over to Oakland for another housewarming party.

I wish my friends would all stop moving over to Oakland/Berkley/et al.

I miss you guys.

I totally get it though.

I do.

I just, well, I’m holding tight here as long as I can.

I really feel like I’m more San Franciscan than anything, and I try to represent best I can, that San Francisco weirdo.

I don’t always succeed, but I certainly don’t fade into the background.

Even here.

I do, however, miss the sunshine, and I am constantly grateful that I work in the Mission, at least I get to experience sun there.

Not that I made it much outside today.

Today was all things cooking.

Pot of sushi rice.

Beef stew with vegetables.

Fish for the boys.

A vat of broccoli soup.

Roasted cauliflower.

There will be a bit of cooking for me this week as the boys are at camp for a part of the day that I’m at the house.

Laundry, cooking, errands, marketing, running to Walgreens for prescriptions, going to the dry cleaners.

All sorts of things.

Especially as the family prepares to go on a little trip next week.

FYI.

My people.

I have to work that Monday at the house, let in the housekeeper, this is August 1st, but I’ll be off early, and, and, and.

I will get Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday off from work.

I’ll go back to the house on Friday to cook and prepare for the family to return and make sure the house and everything is in order.

But yo.

I got some free time next week.

Coffee?

MOMA?

I just got my new membership, I can take up to two people with me.

I should definitely go next week, even if no one goes with me, I’m a good solitary museum goer, shit, so many museums have I gotten to visit, such a gift, that.

The Louvre (Paris), The Metropolitan (New York), The MOMA SF, The MOMA New York, The Whitney (New York), the new Whitney, the Brooklyn Museum, The Palace of Fine Art (San Francisco), Le Petite Palais, L’Orangerie (Paris) The Rodin Museum (Paris) The Pompidou, Palais de Tokyo, the Asian Museum of Art (Paris), the LACMA, The Chicago Museum of Art, The New Orleans Museum of Art, The Dali Museum(Paris), the DaVinci Museum (in Rome), The DeYoung (San Francisco), The Tate (London), Galleria  Nazionale d’Arte Moderna (Rome), The National Gallery in London, The Jeu de Paume (Paris).

I’m sure I’m forgetting some, in fact, I know I am.

But man.

I am lucky to get to have had so many of those experiences, and most, truth be told, on my own.

Although once in a while with a friend, or a lover, although never a boyfriend.

It’s been twenty years since I have been to a museum with a boyfriend.

My ex-boyfriend back in Madison was way into art and we hit up the ones in Chicago, Milwaukee and Madison.

I remember when I introduced him to Dali.

And to Klimt.

And Kandinsky.

Twenty years.

That’s a long time.

Grateful I haven’t sat around waiting for a boyfriend to go out and live my life.

Not to say I wouldn’t eschew one.

Just that I don’t need a man to complete me.

A compliment, that I could handle, some one to walk by my side.

Until then.

Well.

Friends.

Masturbation and Stranger Things.

Heh.

I Missed You!

July 6, 2016

He leaped into my lap and curled up into a little ball, stuffed cat in the center of it all, his small, soft, warm limbs entangled with me.

“I missed you too, bug,” I said and wrapped my arms around him.

It’s nice to be missed.

Even the dog seemed extra special friendly when I came to work today.

It’s always nice to get a warm greeting from an animal.

From a child.

From my employers.

I am grateful for my job.

Very much so and it was nice to be back in the mix.

It was cold and foggy most of the day, even in the Mission, but we did manage to get out for a little while and I felt happy to be home in San Francisco doing what I do.

Even with Sutro Tower obscured by the fog, I knew it was there and my city had me.

“What does ‘obscured’ mean?” Asked the six year old when I pointed out that Sutro Tower had disappeared from the city scape.

Then I told him that the name of the fog was called Karl.

This led to much yelling at Karl to go away.

I had to laugh.

He wasn’t the first person I heard today yell about the fog.

The thing is, I’m used to it, sweatshirts and layers and turning on the heat in July rather than the opposite.

Although it can damn straight get cold here during the winter too, wet, splashy, soak the bones cold.

I am not thinking much about the cold.

I’m thinking about the messages I received earlier from a Tinder date I went on months ago.

He and I hit it off, really, really, really well.

Ahem.

However.

We have not managed to get back together and it’s been a funny game of text tag.

“Nope, in Ohio,” from him.

“Nope, I’m in New Orleans, or New York, or working,” from me.

“I’m in Europe,” from him.

It’s kind of silly.

However.

It is awful flattering to have someone remember you with much fondness and ask after you and there’s nothing like a handsome man telling me that I am beautiful.

Thanks man.

Even should we not manage to hang out again, I always appreciate a sincere compliment.

I appreciate dating.

I’m getting a mite better at it.

I think I’m also taking it much less seriously.

I remember, more and more often, to have fun.

I realized the other day as I was happily surprised to see a friend of mine post her engagement ring picture, that there was no compare and despair, rather just a very honest assessment of her journey to this relationship.

She’s dated.

I have not dated so much.

It takes practice and finding out what works and what doesn’t.

It takes asking for what you want.

Sometimes I can do that.

Most often I am not so successful, but I am seeing areas where I can improve.

And.

Also, my confidence is higher.

In myself, in my choices, in my life.

I just see a lot of work slowly paying dividends.

I was thinking, in particular, about a couple that I witnessed having a fight in a restaurant at the table next to me on Friday night in New Orleans.

The man wanted to be right versus happy.

And the woman, who had the better logic of the argument, couldn’t get him to drop the conversation from the table, the loud, angry, I’m rightness of his voice banging up against her protests.

She was also obnoxious, I’m not going to lie, both parties at the table were idiotic at one point or other in the discussion, but the man was a jackass and loud.

And she cried.

It was sad.

At one point the busser cleared a dish and managed to intervene a little.

A server asked them to bring it down a little.

And the woman fled the table, wet faced and mottled red with shame and anger.

I sat at my table happily people watching, enjoying the fuck out of my awesome company, me, being nice to the server, eating an amazing crab and avocado salad and I almost, but did not, although it was tempting, turned to ask the man a question.

“Do you want to be right, or be happy?”

But.

I already knew the answer.

He wanted to be right.

The break up wasn’t imminent, both the man and the woman seemed oddly resigned that they were going to be together, yet, I felt it, the leaving of one person or the other, the despair and the wash of ugliness that a person can have even with a person they care about.

It did not seem a relationship, or marriage, or love, more one of convenience and desperation, there wasn’t going to be anyone better and I better get it while I can.

I wanted to stand up.

Say, “be brave! Change!  Eat some humble pie and let the other person be happy.”

Not that it would have made any difference.

I just felt compelled.

And.

I realized, this is not my experience to have and I am grateful for it.

I had someone reach out and ask me some questions regarding my paramours and my dating activity and I was more than happy to share.

I divulged a bit and it was fun to talk about it.

And.

I realize how many people are jealous of my lifestyle.

I am free to go and do what I please.

I have no one to be accountable to.

Just me, myself and I.

I am happy.

“My spiritual principle today is happy,” I expressed to my person on the phone when I called and checked in with her.

Why shouldn’t I be happy?

I got laid last night.

I had a lovely company and was a spoiled princess.

I have a home in San Francisco.

I have a healthy, able body.

I have recovery.

I have myself and my love for my challenges and all the twists and turns on my journey.

I am a part of a community.

And.

I got the most beautiful gift in the mail today.

My grandmother crocheted me an afghan.

It was delivered when I was away, so I took the USPS slip to the post office before work today and picked it up.

It is gorgeous.

Stunning really.

And it fits so well into my little studio’s color schematic, it’s just perfect.

I am loved.

I am taken care of.

There is beauty everywhere.

And I get to be a part of it.

Divinity.

Grace.

Joy.

Happy.

All of it.

All the things.

All of them.

Sorted, Satiated, Seduced

July 5, 2016

By my sweet foggy city.

Home.

It is such a nice place to be.

I am so grateful I put it all back in place to when I got home last night.

I unpacked and put away all my little treasures from the trip.

Some flower hair clips.

Two vintage cardigans.

A couple pairs of cheap earrings.

Some stickers.

Two pounds of locally roasted coffee, one from Mojo and other from Hey Cafe and Coffee.

Two pairs of new sandals.

And the little bit of swag from the conference.

I was a little wound up from getting home.

I got the butterflies and the happy sparklers of joy in my belly as the plane flew in over SFO International Airport.

It is this way every time I fly into the airport.

This feeling of happiness and glee.

This recurring knowing of being home, even before I called San Francisco home, it was home.

I still remember, sixteen years later, how it felt the first time I flew in over the city and how giddy I was with it.

Anticipatory joy and love and awe.

Awe that I was coming and getting to see the friend, a man I was in love with, romantically crushed out on, a man that though I did eventually get to have for one one night, was not the man for me.

But.

I will always be grateful for that unrequited love song that yearned in my heart for it led me to this city, this amazing space and land and confluence of fog and love and flowers in my hair and self-discovery.

And.

Of course.

No matter what.

No matter where.

It will always be home because it is where I got sober.

No other place can lay claim to that piece of my history.

So on top of the general body and soul and heart knowing, there is this deep pocket of grace that I am here.

I leave and return.

I tried to move to Paris.

That didn’t work.

I could see living in New York, it has it’s energy and allure and spark.

But.

Yet.

I am here.

And I continue to return and be soaked with gratitude every time.

I could live in New Orleans.

Oh, the hot humid sexy of it.

The big lushness of it, the flowers and trees, the moss in the trees, the drawl of the voices, the funky, bluesy, jazzy’ness of it, the art and the creative.

And also the underground dark scary spooky.

I suppose everywhere has pockets of wildness and dark.

But I could sense it closer to the surface there than a lot of places, maybe any other place I have been.

Death and sex and hot damp over abundant wildness.

It is there just skimming along below the pulse of warm air on your skin.

I can’t quite describe it, it is intense and dark and surreal and powerful and made my skin feel electric at times, the small hairs on the back of my neck rising in silent acknowledgement of the old the, wild, the barbaric yawp.

I feel it at times, in a different kind of way, but a dark wild way, in pockets of Golden Gate park when I would ride my bike through it at night.

Not always, but often, and though a different kind of energy then what I felt in New Orleans which was at once languid and violent, it too has a dark windy animal howl.

I am compelled by both those energies, softly drawn and also quite aware and wary that it is not my space to wander through.

I get to give it a wide berth.

The other thing about New Orleans was the architecture that was so heavily French influenced.

I do have a thing for all thing Francophile.

It is a definite and well defined influence that I really felt drawn too.

Plus, the colors.

Oh, so bright and many.

And that too, is something I find wonderful and compelling about San Francisco–the Victorians and the architecture here, gorgeous and bright and colorful as well.

I also recognized a kind of art and brightness that I normally associate with San Francisco and the Burning Man culture here.

In fact, at one point when I was in a little store on Magazine Street, I recall thinking to myself that I didn’t know New Orleans was such a Burner’s city.

Then I realized that it was Burning Man influenced, though, there may be some of that too–I know Burner’s Without Borders did a lot of work in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina–it was Mardi Gras.

The store was full of costumes and feather boas and masks and at first I thought it was a store like you might find in the Haight that specializes in festival gear and clothing.

Nope.

Mardi Gras.

Either way, it’s dress up.

For me, though, although I flew my personal little self-expression flag high, I was not as comfortable with it in New Orleans as I am in San Francisco.

I felt at times, if I were to live there, I would tone it down a bit.

Then.

I realized.

Nope.

I am not toning it down for anyone.

I am wild and free and wonderful and live a happy, joyous, compelling life.

And so far.

That life has been focused and centered around living in San Francisco.

Even when the fog, Karl, sweetheart I did miss you, is so thick you can’t see the fireworks display in the sky on the fourth of July.

Even when I needed to unearth the heavy sweatshirt today.

Even with the tech kids and the Millennials and the people getting pushed out and the high cost of living.

Even with the extra traffic and the gentrification.

I still love it so.

I still get feathering tickles in my body of joy co-mingled with electric blue sparkles of anticipation and awe, the wonder of it all.

I get to live in San Francisco.

I.

So.

Am.

The luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

Almost Home

July 4, 2016

But not quite.

Sitting on the floor charging the laptop, downloading an episode of OITNB and waiting for the next plane to land at LAX.

I’m so close I can taste San Francisco.

But not close enough.

I understand now why the fares were cheaper by hundreds of dollars and I get it, I accept the consequences of saving a few bucks, and really, considering the fabulous loot, for me, I’m bringing back from New Orleans, I’m ok with the delay.

That being said.

I won’t be doing it again.

Next time I travel, direct flight please.

No more trying to figure out what terminal and no worry about making connecting flights or waiting at a gate for the next flight.

I feel like I have lifted and loaded my carry on many more times than I typically do and I am a little weary of it.

I have 52 minutes until the next boarding.

I’m almost there.

I have patience.

And I am grateful for the experience, the people watching in airports is extraordinary.

First.

I hate to say it.

But, folks are heavy.

I mean, having been a heavier person all my life, although not so much now, I was stunned by the heft of folks.

Also.

I love me some fashion.

But money does not necessarily supply style.

Next.

Please, attend your children, especially when they are under two years old, my God, I have seen some wandering children.

Perhaps I am just hyper sensitive being a nanny, I always seem to have my nanny goggles on, but seriously folks, corral those kids.

And nobody seems to care about anybody else.

I have seen some utterly strange and rude things, cutting lines, loud voices, demands for things and privileges that shocked me.

All in all, however, I am grateful, again, and again, that I get the opportunity to travel.

I want to live in a big house one day.

And have a large map and pin cushion the fuck out of it, I want to trace all the flights from city to city in red and blue thread and I want to put little pushpins in all the cities I have gotten to visit.

I have not traveled as much as some, I am not a touring musician, I don’t have bags of money, but I get about pretty well, and much more than I ever believed I would.

It is an extraordinary gift.

I remember dreaming about it and thinking it would never happen.

And really, I have traveled a great deal just in the last year–Paris, New York, New Orleans, LA–in fact I was reflecting on the last time I was at LAX.

It was last August, before my school retreat, my friend who flew me down, first class from SFO to LAX for a weekend of museums and walk about.

I don’t see that friend anymore.

Strange how fast things change, even when you can’t imagine that they will, they do.

I am also extraordinarily grateful to him as well, despite not talking to him or engaging with him, no facecrack, no texts, no doing the deal in the same church basement.

There is a softness there in the memory, in the heart, in the touch of nostalgia for the intense experience of the relationship and also a  vast amount of perspective in the reviewing of how the relationship coalesced and then collapsed.

I cannot change what happened and I wouldn’t if I could.

I got what God wanted me to have and I don’t look gifts in the mouth.

The experience the heart opening and the love I learned I am capable of.

So much.

Or thinking about being a solo traveler.

I travel well on my own, I have my system down, I get it done.

But yes, sometimes I do wonder, what would it be like.

“You can have anything you want,” a lover told me.

Why, just now, that made me tear up, I am not sure, so tired of trying to figure it all out.

“Oh honey, you are so smart and so strong, and you need a match, there aren’t going to be a lot of men that can match you, you’re bigger than life,” my new friend in New Orleans said as we wound our way through the French Quarter on the way to Magazine Street.

Yeah.

Yeah.

Yeah.

I hear that all the time.

But the thing is, I’m not so sure I believe that.

Anyway.

I’m tired, I’m sure that’s the gist of this and where I am going with this blog, oh tender hormonal heart, I don’t know.

Yeah.

Got the period a week early.

A week!

Fuck.

I had sex on the mind, happy 4th let me celebrate with the day off to sleep in and get down.

Nope.

Grr.

Oh well, so it goes, everything happens the way it’s supposed to happen.

And perhaps the travel anxiety brought it on, happens sometimes, a little anxiety, making the connecting flights, getting through security, etc, happens, I tend to ignore it mentally, but I suspect my body has its own way of working, with or without my brains permission or acknowledgement.

Or perhaps it was the heat and humidity in New Orleans.

Who knows.

I just looked up around the terminal and thought to myself, “my people!”

I recognize San Francisco people.

Not necessarily anyone I know, but the look, well, there’s a look, and I see it.

I may have been temporarily seduced by the warm sultry nights in New Orleans and the lush flora and fauna, the lilting Southern twang and the gentility, but San Francisco still has my heart.

I’m going to get in close to midnight and I don’t think I’ll be BARTing or taking MUNI.

One more car ride and then home.

Home to my sweet little studio by the sea.

It is not filled with magnolia scent and orange spray water in a mister or paddle fans or twelve foot ceilings.

There are not clawfoot tubs and verandas.

But there is my bed, heavenly and warm, and heaped with pillows and my duvet, a duvet I shall burrow into, I’m sure I’m going to have a moment of shock at the cold and the fog, but that will pass

And besides.

I brought my sweatshirt.

I’m not inexperienced with the prodigal daughter return home with out enough layers.

I’m ready.

Yes.

I am.

Boarding in 32 minutes.

See you soon San Francisco.

I have missed you.

Even the fog.

Shh.

Don’t tell.

xoxoxo

 

New Orleans Lunch

July 3, 2016

I had it today.

Not lunch exactly, although I did eat quite well, but what is referred to as having a “New Orleans Lunch.”

My host at the luscious Air BnB I am staying at in the historic (what part of New Orleans is not historic, by the way) Treme district, explained to me as she was making late reservations for Friday lunch at Galatoire’s in the French Quarter, that a New Orleans lunch is a lunch that lasts all afternoon and is really an excuse for old friends to catch up with each other.

It lasts at least two hours, usually three, sometimes four.

Today lunch was three hours for me.

I have not had a more enjoyable lunch with better company in some time, not in recent memory, that is certain.

She was a new friend, so I suppose that the idea of old friends catching up did not apply, but she felt like an old friend, in fact, by the time we had finished our time together, me teary eyed with gratitude and love for the experience, she had become an old friend.

I did not start out the day knowing that this would happen.

I am so grateful.

Utterly and completely and sincerely grateful that I say yes to things, always say yes, say yes, even when you don’t want to, say yes when a stranger touches your arm and asks you out to lunch.

Say yes.

I had started out the day in a very leisurely manner.

Which was really needed after yesterday’s travel and hit the ground running start to my time in New Orleans.

I was not able to blog last night since there was a problem with the WiFi here at the Air BnB, which is just scrumptious as I said previously, with just enough Southern Gothic creepy, but not too much, I mean, yeah, I did have a moment of wariness when I knelt down to pray last night before the sleigh bed that is four feet off the ground, what is underneath this monstrous thing? But a divine space, even with the cobwebs in the corner, filled with enormous, stunning, astounding amounts of art.  The owners are collectors, artists, collaborators, and are also a part of the CANO-LA organization.

It’s basically an art home.

So chock full of art, it’s almost, but not quite, too much.

The hostess gave me the best suggestion as to how to spend my afternoon, I wanted to be to the conference to check in by 6p.m. last night, so I had the afternoon.

She drew a little map and told me to go to the New Orleans Museum of Art and then take the Canal St. Street Car down to the river and walk about.

I did exactly that.

It was divine.

I decided to walk from the mansion, to the museum yesterday, I wanted to see New Orleans from foot for a while, I find that the best place to discover and experience things.

I took a bath first in the amazing bathroom that is part of my room, which is really not a room, I really have a full suite, huge bedroom, huge ( I mean huge, the bathroom is literally the size of my studio) bathroom, and my own, again, rather large, front balcony with rocking chairs and lounge chairs and a gigantic table, and a view, of I kid not, a huge nest with six (!) baby grey crested herons.

Then I was off to the museum on foot, after a pit stop at the Pagoda cafe to get an iced coffee.

Google maps said 40 minute walk.

It took me two and a half hours.

But.

You know.

I wander.

I meander.

I stop and take photographs.

I had a beautiful, sweet, small lunch at the Degas Cafe, a gorgeous little plate of gulf prawns with okra and corn choux and chili oil.

I walked around the St. Louis Cemetery #3.

I stopped at a wig shop.

Come on!

I had to.

I browsed through a vintage store.

And I strolled around City Park for a little while before heading into the museum.

There was a great exhibition by Bob Dylan, yes the musician, of paintings he did in homage to New Orleans.

There was a spectacular Monet that I had never seen before, Snow at Giverny.

There was also a Warhol, Stilettos, that was amazing, never seen it before either, not in books or other Warhol shows.

I got my art on.

Then I took the street car down Canal Street, wandered around the edges of the French Quarter and after headed to the conference.

I came back to the Treme district and had an amazing dinner at Lola’s and then slept like a baby through the night.

As I said prior, I didn’t have much of an exact idea what I was going to do today.

I knew I would be heading to the conference in the evening.

But.

Other than that.

I was rather in a mood to let the day unfold and surprise me.

Which it did.

In spades.

I started again at Pagoda cafe and got my iced coffee.

I flipped through a little guide book my hosts had left me and decided to go the Marigny district to see the galleries there.

I took a car, it was too hot to spend an hour walking, besides, I walked so much yesterday my feet needed a break.

I went to the Front Gallery on St. Claude.

And.

Fuck.

It was closed for an installation.

However, there were some other galleries in the neighborhood, so I did an impromptu art walk and discovered a gorgeous installation at the Good Children Gallery by Lala Raščić.

It rather blew me away.

The artist was there and explained how she data mined the internet to get the images that she created that were sheets of glass painted with 24 karat gold leaf and mounted on blocks of wood, then she strategically placed lights in areas to create shadows and shapes and the results where shined upon the walls.

I was breathless with the beauty of it.

After that I rather drifted down the road.

I was uncertain about going further, it was hot, there was not much shade, and it was a long patch of road before I would get to anything else resembling a gallery.

I noticed a place that I had passed in the car on the way to the Front Gallery and decided I would just peak in.

So grateful I did.

This is where I met my new friend.

I did not meet her walking in, I met two other artists and chatted with them, told them I was visiting from San Francisco and wandered around.

I was not there all that long, twenty minutes perhaps, and I was feeling the call to move on.

I stepped outside to get a car.

And then I felt a hand on my arm.

“Excuse me, I just wanted to ask you a question,” a lilting female voice.

I turned and smiled at her, “ask away.”

“Well, this may sound a little odd, but are you doing anything for lunch?  I just, well, I like to meet interesting people and I overheard you’re from San Francisco, and you look interesting, and well, would you?”

I was struck with the flattery of it.

I am an interesting person!

Jesus.

Hello.

Carmen.

I have hot pink hair, a wild assortment of tattoos and I am wearing a vintage gingham black and white halter dress.

Of course I look interesting.

And of course.

I said yes.

What transpired next was so astounding I am still in awe hours later.

We went two doors down from the gallery to her house and she gave me a tour of her art collection.

Then.

We drove, yes, I got in a car with a complete stranger, (not that I don’t every time I call for an Uber, but) off to one of her favorite restaurants in the neighborhood.

We talked and talked and talked.

And talked.

I told her my story.

She told me hers.

Suffice to say.

A fast friendship was formed.

She’s an amazing 72 year old woman living a rich, full, wonderful life.

I aspire to be that kind of woman.

She owns her home, has loads of art, goes out to jazz clubs, loves New Orleans, travels, does photography and has just started to become a writer.

There was so much more said and spoken of, matters of the heart, that I won’t divulge, somethings that are best left at the lunch table.

She footed the bill, “a little taste of Southern hospitality,” she said and laughed.

Then she gave me a ride clear across town to Magazine Street, through the French Quarter, sharing stories all the way.

We exchanged numbers, e-mails, and addresses.

We hugged.

I got teary.

Of course I did.

That’s what I do.

Heart on my sleeve and all that.

“Now you have a New Orleans connection, you’ll stay with me the next time you’re in town.”

And what do you think I said?

Yes.

Of course.

I said.

Yes.

I am honored, awed, and thrilled.

New Orleans.

I think I love you.

 

 


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