Posts Tagged ‘North Beach’

It’s Late

October 30, 2017

But not really.

It just feels like it is.

I had a half lazy day, half busy day, and a “I was half way out of it day,” at one point from going to bed so late last night.

2:30 a.m.

I cannot remember the last time I went to bed at that hour.

I had gone out dancing with a dear girlfriend.

We met up in the city at Brenda’s Meat and Three where I had wrapped up a delicious dinner with my person, cheese grits with shrimp, bacon and tomato.

My God.

It was so good, I could have licked the bowl.

The server laughed when I said that, and added, “I’ve seen it happen.”

I do not doubt it.

I once licked a plate at a meal out with friends, but I suspect I was a little tipsy when I did it.

The grits were just that good.

I will be having them again.

And I got a lot of compliments on my costume

I went as a sugar skull from Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).


It was my first time trying to do the makeup.

I think I did pretty good, all things considered.

The place that I stop at, Ulta Beauty over by the Nordstrom Rack and Trader Joes shopping area, was out of Halloween face paint.

I was like.


You guys are a freaking makeup store!

It’s three days before Halloween and you’re already sold out?

What the heck!


I’m a clever girl.

First I asked what the lightest foundation that they had in the store was.

I’m brown-skinned enough that a very light foundation is going to look close to white on my skin.

Then I got a finishing powder that was tinted with green to pull any redness from my face and then another that was a translucent white powder.

Then I pillage the NYX cheap makeup.

Big white eyeliner, big black eyeliner, a pink one, a turquoise one, and a liquid eyeliner in lilac with glitter.

And I found a really cool blue lip gloss that was matte and had glitter in it.

I have no idea when I’m ever going to use this make up again.

But the end result, though not professional caliber, well, I thought, was pretty damn good.


I actually got a lot of compliments last night, both at Brenda’s and at the dance.

My friend also had a great costume, she was a Hip Hop Zombie.

Which was apropos as we were going to the Time Travelers Ball in Oakland.

Great music, lots of old hip hop, lots of funk, so early electronic, old 80s and late 70s movies playing on the wall, great light system, a small fire in the courtyard, in a portable fire pit.

I ran into a few folks, from, yes, of all places, Burning Man.

I didn’t recognize the woman at all who came up and squealed at me, and how she recognized me with all that makeup on, I have no idea, but she did.

It was a good time.



Although I did not make the top three prizes in the costume contest, I did win an honorable mention and was given back my entrance fee and an open bar tab.

Which for me was hilarious to contemplate.

I had a La Croix.

It was tasty.



I had fun and I danced a lot, so much so that I was afraid I was going to break a sweat and my make up was going to slide off my face.

It stuck though.

It stuck really well, it took a lot of make up removing wipes and washing my face to get it off, in fact, I didn’t get all the white eyeliner off, man I tried, but I gave up the ghost at some point.

I was also up late as it was 9 hours a head in Paris and my best girl friend from school sent me a message on What’s App about having a Face Time session and I just said, fuck it, it is super hard for us to co-ordinate our time, so screw it, yes, I had a Face Time session this morning around 1:45 a.m.

It was so good to see her face and hear her voice.

Oh, how I miss her.

We got caught up and talked about all the things and made some tentative plans to see each other in the new year.

She may be coming back for a training and I’m pretty sure I’ll be in Europe in July and I’m going to make sure I go up to Paris and spend time with her.

I was in tears when I got off the call, it was super hard to hang up.

But man, it was late.

And I had lunch date that I wanted to be ready for.

I was going to sleep 8 hours, I was.

I set my alarm for 10:30 a.m., which is unheard of for me, but I figured, I can skip yoga, I got a workout dancing, and I want a full nights sleep.

of course.

I was up at 8:30 a.m.

Which is why it feels late right now when it’s not really.

I’m glad for it though, I did a ton of writing and I had a leisurely breakfast and a quick phone call with my best friend and plans to connect later.

Which was sweet.

So sweet.

And then off across town to Mario’s on Columbus and Union.

I hadn’t been there before, but it was classic, pure North Beach Italian Cafe and bar.

It was so good to see my friend and we chatted about all things art and kindness and words and poetry and talked about Burning Man, since that’s where we met three years ago, and projects, and life.

I am enthralled with that aspect of my life, that sometimes, out of nowhere, because I am moved to connect with someone, a new relationship happens.

It startles me every time.

It was like that with my best girl in Paris, we were sitting next to each other, an empty seat between us, at the first year retreat for our school.

And we turned to each other and we’ve never turned away.

The loveliness of it still astounds.

The people in my life who I love, who I consider my family, my loves, my friends, I am so, so lucky to know.

Beyond lucky.


I am graced.

And tired.

Just saying.

I got a lot of other stuff done today too, grocery shopping, lots of cooking, lots of homework.

But really.

It was the connecting with my friends, with my people, with my loves, that made the most impact on my today.

An hour-long phone conversation sitting on a bench in the sunlight (the only sunlight that I got to see, man was it cold and foggy today) at Washington Square Park.

The confirmation of love.

The power of poetry.

The great gifts of kindness.

The art of being human.

It gets me every time.

Every time.


October 28, 2017

It’s going to be interesting.

I agreed to go out with some girlfriends to Oakland.

I am fucking crazy.




Friends I haven’t seen in a while.



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.


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.


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?




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?


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.


I have some, I have plenty.


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.


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.



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.



No biggie.

Or my spiritual life.

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


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.


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



I will rally tomorrow and get my Halloween on.

I said yes, didn’t I?

And when I say yes.


Magical things happens.





Ten Years Later

June 18, 2011

I just got home.  Well, not entirely true, I have been home long enough to change the cat box, eat a little snack, make a cup of tea, and send out an e-mail that had to go out.  So, half an hour.  But really, I just got home.

I was having a momentary flashback brought on by biking past the Coppola building on Kearney.

It was one of the first places I went to with my friend Bells.  He had picked me up at SFO and was driving me around the North Beach China Town area.  I was in awe.  I was in love.

Really, I was just in infatuation.

I am really, really, really good at having impossible relationships.  Let us to count the ways that Brian was a poor choice for me.  First, he was an ex-employee, I had been his boss, hard to be in a relationship with the boss.  Second, he lived in Berkeley, I lived in Madison, Wisconsin.  Third, oh, I don’t know, he had a girlfriend he was living with.

But I was a died in the wool romantic and I felt that there was something so wrong it was right about our unrequited status.  I have no idea if Brian ever really had romantic feelings for me.

Yes, we did eventually have sex.

Too bad I was in a grey out.  Damn you Packers in the Super Bowl, Shawn Wilkinson, and tequila shots.  Damn you.

Suffice to say, I was not at that point in my relationship with Brian.

Bah ha.  That’s funny, relationship.  I should say, I was not that far into my manipulation of other people.  I was still in the, “we can make this work”  some how portion of my life.

Let’s just rehash, not in the same state, not single, and not interested in me, so, yeah, I really see a viable future with this one.

What I did see however was the romance and the beauty of San Francisco.  He drove up and down the hills like a maniac in his Jeep Cherokee, red, and I was just in awe of this city.  I fell so hard-core for San Francisco.  I do not know what exactly possessed me, but I made him park by the Coppola building and we went in right before the cafe was closing.  I had an espresso romano and an aged tawny port.

I do not know who I was trying to impress more, Brian or myself.  I was not otherworldly, I was not sophisticated, but I wanted to be so badly.

I am remembering this fondly, by the way, I have moved on, I believe.  Oh, I’m still a bit of a romantic, but I don’t chase boys across country any more, especially ones that are in relationships.

Although I still do have the occasional fantasy relationship in my head.  Having one now.


Oh well, I get to be human today.  Let us to leave it at that.

Back to the unrequited love portion of our blog, shall we?

Brian and I closed out the cafe and proceeded back to the Jeep, but not before getting sucked into some dive bar in North Beach that had a rock-a-billy band playing.  I don’t know where we parked, but I do remember the bouncer made us go back to the Jeep to get my id.  Which I did and at some point in the walk back, past the Victorians smashed up against one another, I caught a private glimpse of a couple in an apartment and spun myself a fantasy.

One in which I am living in North Beach or above China Town in a one bedroom apartment with wood floors listening to jazz while my love, tall, blonde hair, blue eyes, walks down the hall bare-chested and bare foot in a pair of jeans while I’m on the couch with the Sunday crossword and a cup of coffee.  I of course thought, hoped, prayed, it would be me and Brian.

Brian, by the way is married with two kids living somewhere down the Peninsula and I haven’t talked to him in over six years.  Hope you’re still doing well my old friend.

I think I even wrote a poem to this effect at some point in my stay.  I was here for one week.  Well, I was in Berkeley for one week.  Brian and I came into the city one day later that week.  We walked all over the place.  Somebody asked me for directions.

I was a local already!

We climbed up California St.  We swung on the swings in Huntington Square Park.  We ran around China Town.  We rode the freaking cable cars to Fisherman’s Wharf.  We shared a sugar cookie with white frosting and rainbow sprinkles and we each had a hot chocolate with whipped cream.  We went to dinner at The Roxanne Cafe on Powell St. and had paella and a really horrible bottle of white wine.

Then we went back to Berkeley and his girlfriend picked us up from the Ashby Bart Station.

Gosh, I wonder again, why this just did not work out.

I had all this flash through my head as I raised my right foot up to position my pedal just so as I got ready for the light to change at the intersection of Kearney and Pacific.

I was riding my bike home, past the Coppola building, past North Beach, headed up into China Town, to Nob Hill, to my one bedroom.  With its wood floors.  I almost gasped out loud as I looked at the building all lit up with the San Francisco sky line dropped behind it.

The fantasy has happened.  It is for real.  It is entirely different from anything that I could have imagined.

There’s not jazz playing in the back ground, but old R & B, Bill Withers to be exact.

I got what I wanted so badly, love, self love, not unrequited, and an apartment in San Francisco with wood floors, a fireplace, a clawfoot tub, just a few blocks from Huntington Square Park.

How exactly did that happen?

Come have a cup of coffee with me, sans the port, we’ll read a book together, sit across my kitchen table, you and I, while the fog creeps on little cat feet through North Beach and I’ll explain it all.  I bet we have some  similar stories, yes, yes, I bet we do.

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