Posts Tagged ‘Ocean Beach’

Halfway There

March 9, 2018

Tomorrow marks the mid-point to the semester.

I’ll be halfway through the last semester of my Masters degree!

I’m so excited.



I am completely done with all my homework.

Everything is turned in.

I did all my reading assignments.

And I worked on my dyad partner’s paper today at work, so that I have comments and responses to her paper, that’s part of the work for this big final paper, we work in groups and read our group mates paper and make comments and help them with their work.

So I did that today at the Upper Noe Valley Rec Center.

I just had the baby out for a walk and he fell asleep in the stroller, so I grabbed a cafe au lait from Xo Cafe on Church and Day Street, walked over to the Rec Center and did the paper and then I did the evaluations for school that I have to turn in as well for the class.

I got it all done.

I’m not sure how I wrote that damn annotated bibliography yesterday and did all the reading and that I saw a licensed MFT this week, after seeing clients, and worked a lot, I put in four hours of overtime at work, paid in cash when I left today, thank you very much, and still got to do the deal.

I mean.


It’s a week.

Plus I terminated with a client tonight.

It was a good termination and the client and I parted ways very amicably and it was a mutual termination.

It was nice to reflect on the work that happened over the course of the treatment and to see how my client has changed and how, too, I have.

The client was one of my first clients and it was good for me to see how much I have grown since I started doing my practicum.

I only have about seven more weeks of being in practicum and then it turns into an associateship.

The California Association of Marriage Family Therapist has changed the title from MFTi (intern) to associate.

Once I graduate, I become an associate.

I will be an Associate MFT.

I will have a registered number.

And I will be fully on my way to getting my license.

The next hurdle will be filling out all the paperwork and getting all the signatures.

I first, though, have to graduate.

I need to continue showing up for classes, participating, and doing the work.

But It feels really god, and I want to acknowledge that, to be halfway through the homestretch semester.

I think ordering my cap and gown really put a big explanation point on it.

I’ve been thinking about what I want to do for my graduation party.

I need to celebrate.

This Master’s degree is a huge deal for me.

Finding out what I am supposed to be doing and finding my way through school to get me to the point where I can become a licenced therapist is such a huge thing for me.

I felt like I was floundering for years not knowing exactly what I was supposed to be doing, nanny, go to Burning Man, yearn to be a published writer, never get published, nanny, think about applying to a Creative Writing Masters program, not get into it, nanny, go to Burning Man, maybe try living in Paris for a little while, come back to San Francisco, nanny some more, go to Burning Man.

Have huge epiphany at Burning Man.

Quit crappy nanny job.

Get better nanny job.

Apply to grad school.

Get in!

And suddenly I am going to be a therapist when I grow up.

When I reflect back on the journey of getting to where I am now I am absolutely flabbergasted.

How did I make it through?

And I’m still working through it, but it feels so tangible now, the hard work is paying off and I’m almost there.

I can see the diploma.

I will be framing that post-haste.

In a really nice frame.

Really nice.

Just saying.


So, yeah, a party.

But I’m not sure how to do it.

The commencement ceremony is from 3-5p.m. in Hayes Valley.

Do I grab an early dinner with the folks coming to my graduation and then bomb out to the beach?

I want to do a beach bonfire at Ocean Beach.


Do I skip it and head straight back to the house and get shit over to Ocean Beach and get things set up.

I feel like I need to enlist some friends to get things set up but then I’m responsible for this and I want it to be nice and I want to appreciate the friends in my life who have been so generous with me during my time in grad school.

I think I may skip trying to make dinner plans.

Maybe instead, I can do a nice brunch before hand and then go to the commencement and after ward head to the beach.

That way I can be there by 6p.m. and set things up.

Not that I’m planning anything hard or fancy.

Fire wood in a box, couple of blankets, a folding chair or two, a cooler with some sparkling water.

That’s it.

Folks want more than that, they can bring it.

Mostly I just want a reason to have a bonfire at the beach and I can’t imagine a better excuse than I am graduating with a Master’s Degree.

I want to invite lots of folks, and acknowledge all the people who helped me a long the way, past employers who wrote me letters of recommendation to get into the program, to my current employers who put up with me not working one Friday a month so I can go to classes, to friends and visiting family, and families I used to nanny for, everyone who gave me one single word of encouragement, I want them there.

Or at least to extend the invitation to be there.

And when the sunsets I will have tears on my face and joy in my heart being surrounded by friends, family, loved ones, and my community.

I cannot fucking wait.

Bring on this weekend of classes.

Let’s go!


Did It

February 5, 2018

I wasn’t sure there for a moment, but I got it done.

I wrote my big paper that was due today in the middle of a full day, and just now finished editing it and sent it out.

10 pages.

3,759 words.


It wasn’t a hard paper to write, the words came fast and furious and there was much I could have written about but did not.

The paper, at least this portion of it, was very self-reflexive, I was really writing about my own experiences in school and showing where and when I learned and what was valuable to me.

There have been so many things that I couldn’t even begin to touch upon them all.

And since I have a way with words, words way with I have, I wasn’t too hard pressed to just let them come  out.


I have to say I was impressed.

It may have been the fastest I have written and the biggest quantity of work I have done in a one day go of it.

The paper will eventually be thirty pages, but if the rest of the paper goes as swimmingly I don’t think that it will be too challenging to do the rest.


I only have to do twenty more pages.

I have an option of not writing the full thirty, I could instead write a 12-14 page paper and do a live website.

I was going to do the website and the short paper, but at this point, fuck it, I figure I’ll just save that headache, building a website, for another day.


I’ll probably ask a friend to build one for me.

I know little about building a website and though I’m sure it’s not difficult, I don’t want to stress about it.

If I can knock out ten pages as quickly as I did today I won’t have a problem just doing the big paper.

I also had just a fabulous day, I’m quite certain that there was something in the air that helped me to get the writing done.

I did get up quite early.

I was having a dream and in the dream there was very loud classical music playing, it sounded baroque, perhaps it was Bach, and I was doing pirouettes in a huge ball gown through an enormous ball room that was framed by these huge windows, so high, leaded glass and arched, and the floor was parquet and there were trees outside the windows through which this golden green dappled light flooded the room and splashed off my flying dress and my hair whirling around me.

I swear it was how loudly the music was playing in the dream that woke me up.

I awoke and it was dark, pre-dawn dark, I looked at my phone and it was 6:07 a.m.


My alarm would go off in eight minutes, so I might as well get up.

I got up put on my yoga clothes, made my bed, drank some water, prayed and did my morning routine, then set off to Java Beach with a couple of blankets in a beach bag.

My friend was already at the cafe and it was so good to connect.

Really good.

We got coffees and then walked to the beach.

We found a great spot in the dunes, pulled out the blankets, spread them on the sand and sat and talked and watched the moon set over the Pacific ocean, the surfer’s up doing their dawn patrol, the ship on the horizon pulling closer and closer to eventually sail somulent and slow under the Golden Gate Bridge.

The sun rose behind us and lit the sky with rosy pinks and striations of mauve and light purples.

It was warmer than I expected.

The company was fantastic and I got re-acquainted with my friend whom it felt like I hadn’t seen in years, though it was just a few weeks ago.

So much can happen in a few weeks.

We caught up and drank coffee and got sand every where and it was good.

The best.

The best.

The best.

And someone had a bonfire down the beach and the smell of it intoxicated my heart and reminded me of the night so many years ago when my mom and her boyfriend scooped up my sister and I and took us to the beach at night and we built a bonfire on the shore.

I collected shells in the morning and then we went to a little roadside cafe for breakfast.

It may be one of my favorite, if not my favorite, of my earliest memories.

And to have that same smell, morning ocean smell entwined with the drifting smell of bonfire, oh, it made the company that more exquisite.

How lucky I am to have the people in my life I do.




Then yoga class at 9a.m.

And it was a fantastic class.

The instructor was great and I did something today that I have never done before in yoga, I had a fully extended stretch sitting on the mat, feet forward, arms in front of me, bending at the waist, flat back, hands wrapped around my feet and yes, I was able to touch my forehead to my knees.

I have never done that.

I have always wanted to be that flexible and there it was, the stretch happened today and it felt glorious, to be in my skin, in my body, and stretched out.

Afterward the hottest shower I could stand and breakfast, coffee, morning pages.

I wrote a lot of morning pages today too, just trying to capture all the things I saw and felt at the beach, the intermingling of memories and how they became big and miraculous and full of love, sublime.

And of course.

I had to clean the house.




I had a big fat paper to write, so best scrub, vacuum, cook, do laundry, and dust.

Fuck, I even washed the rugs in the bathroom.

Then I just said, enough, get to it.

And I got to it.

Super grateful I got done what needed to be done today.

It was a big push.



When your day starts out as lovely as mine did.

Anything is possible.


Saturday, May 19, 2018

February 3, 2018

The Nourse Theater in Hayes Valley.


The date is set, the place has been set, now I just need to get through the next four months of school.

My God.

It is actually going to happen.

I am going to graduate in May!

I’ve never been to the Nourse Theater, but it looks lovely.

I had, for some reason, thought it would be at the Palace of Fine Arts, I seemed to recall having seen photos from a previous cohort’s graduation, but it’s not there and though I love the Palace, I’m happy the commencement ceremonies will be held close to my school.

It feels right somehow.

I’ve a few ideas for what I want to do to celebrate, definitely toss the hat up into the air.

Which reminds me I think I’m going to have to purchase a cap and gown.

An expense I really don’t fucking want to deal with since well I’ll only be wearing it once, but I don’t believe the school rents them.

What I have heard from a few people in my group supervision at my internship, is that folks from previous cohorts may lend them out.

Unfortunately both the people in my group supervision who graduated last year from my same program are a lot shorter than me.

Like, a lot, I wouldn’t be able to fit in a cap and gown that either of them wore.

I’ll suck it up, just one more expense that I wasn’t counting on when I applied to the program.

Like the $5,000 I will have spent on a licenced therapist while I’m in the program.

I love my therapist though, she’s great, also a graduate from the same program that I am in, and I do get her sliding scale fee, $120 an hour, since she knows I’m a student and my school requires that I see a licenced MFT while I’m in practicum.

At first it was really hard to think about spending that kind of money once a week, but having been with her now for 33 sessions, I track them on my Track My Hours BBS app, I can say with not one doubt in my head that it’s been so worth it.

Having an outlet, having support, having a place to explore whatever I’ve been going through while I’ve been in practicum has been such a huge help.

I have worked around a lot of family of origin trauma’s, incest, neglect, physical abuse, emotional abuse, violence in my family system, with my father, with my step-father, a five-year relationship that went sour and led to being a statistic on domestic violence, my alcohol and drug use, and abuse and subsequent journey into recovery.

It still amazes me that I am sober, that I didn’t do a rehab or a recovery house.

The thought of having to do that scares the living shit out of me, I see a lot of folks in and out of recovery houses and there doesn’t seem to be an answer there.

Perhaps an introduction to a solution, definitely a clean and safe place off the streets, but so often the folks I see from those places don’t seem to have much hope.

Then again, my own perception is probably skewed.



My therapist.

So fucking glad to work with her.

I have worked on self-esteem issues, self-advocacy, self-care, setting boundaries.

I have worked through transference and counter transferences with my clients.

Frankly such a relief to have that as an outlet.

I had a couple of back to back days of intense client sessions.

Really good, don’t get me wrong, but super intense.

Grateful that I get to show up for my clients and be a good therapist.

At least I think I’m good.

The feedback has been good, both from my supervisors and from my clients, but my God, there’s always so much more to learn.

And then there’s all the learning that I have done.

All the work that I have done over the last two and a half years, so much work, so much processing, so much learning, so many articles and books and videos, so, so, so many fucking papers, so much practice, so much showing up, being vulnerable, leaning into the vulnerability and growing.

Painful growth and glorious growth and heartbreaking growth.

I can’t wait to graduate.

The ritual is important for me.

I know it will probably be boring as hell, but there is something here that needs to be done for me, an enactment, the crossing of the stage, the flipping the tassel on my cap from one side to the other, to signify that I have graduated.

I need that ceremony.

It feels very important to me to acknowledge the rite of passage.

And I want to have a party.

I really, really do.

I really have thought quite a bit about having it at Ocean Beach, a bonfire, blankets in the sand, some snacks, I don’t really care about food, but some cold bevvies in a cooler, all non-alcoholic thank you.

I think it would be easier for me to facilitate than making reservations for a big dinner party somewhere.

It’s not so much the food that’s important, it’s the people.

I see a big bundle of balloons on the beach, a bonfire, and a bunch of folks standing around and hanging out, simple, easy, sweet.

The only drawback to Ocean Beach is that the beach doesn’t really have bathrooms, there are port-a-potties, but that’s it.

Then again, like I can’t handle that, how many times have I gone to Burning Man?


I did have it suggested that I have it at my house, and there’s some appeal there and also not, I can’t decide.  I could have a fire in the back yard, there’s a fire pit, there are tables and chairs and the yard is big enough to accommodate plenty of folks, and there’s a bathroom.

I’d probably need to clear it with the landlady, but I can’t think that she would say no.

There’s also a grill I could use.

I just get a little edgy about having people come in and out of my house, but then again, it could be sweet.

Oh, so many things to plan.

But not right yet.

Not right now.

Now is time for sleep.

It’s been a long week.

Grateful that I made it through.

Grateful for all the love in my life.





For all the love.


Happy New Year!

January 1, 2018

I really haven’t any resolutions to share with you.

I prefer to just treat each day like it’s a new day instead of having expectations that I need to change or get better or perfect something.

I need to grow a little everyday and not try to cram a bunch of resolutions into my day and think that I’m going to change over night.

Little bits by little bits.

Baby steps, baby.

And I took some nice ones today.

I got out of bed.

I know.


I really wanted to stay in bed and in fact, did sleep past the point I would normally get up.

My brain was trying to hijack my body though and convince me that I didn’t need to go to yoga.

I needed to go to yoga.

It, my brain, almost won out, but I have smart feet and I also have inborn knowledge from having done enough yoga that I always feel better after a class, even if it’s with not my favorite instructor at the studio.

Which is the excuse that I used the day before to not go, but really, I assure you I had gotten plenty of exercise the previous twelve hours to not feel upset about missing a class and I think that I needed the extra sleep yesterday.

Today, not so much, and I knew that I would not be happy with myself if I skipped yoga two days in a row during a time that I could be going to yoga.

I can’t typically make it to classes during the week, work and my internship conflict, so I’m a weekend warrior.

To not go on both Saturday and Sunday would have been sacrilege.

So I got my happy ass out of bed and into my yoga clothes and I stayed in them for a long time.

It was a great class, I was really surprised, maybe not having any expectations that I would enjoy the class I actually did.

I came home thinking that I wanted to go on a bike ride too, the bike ride had been running around in my head for a few days now that I think on it, and I figured I could actually make it a nice physical day for myself, maybe even go back to the late yoga class.

It’s a restorative yoga class, so it wouldn’t have been like a big effort, although I didn’t end up going, something else came up.


I did go on the bike ride!

It was great and in fact, I might let myself go on another tomorrow.

I was supposed to meet with a ladybug today, but she had to cancel, so after a good check in via phone, I pulled my bike out and pumped air into the tires, grabbed my messenger bag, a water bottle and my bike locks, in case I wanted to stop anywhere I could lock up my bike.

I rode out from the house down 46th to Sloat, then up to Great Highway, up past the zoo a bit, and then stopped right before the hill to gaze at the ocean for a while and snap a quick photo of my bicycle, she is a pretty, pretty thing, before I headed back down Great Highway, riding past my turn off to Fulton Ave, the up to 47th and around the park for awhile, around the soccer fields and the back side of the Beach Chalet, I went past the archery fields and eventually popped back out onto Lincoln Ave at Chain of Lakes, back down to 46th, then two blocks back to the house.


It was smashing.

I am so glad I did it.

Aside from the exercise it also felt really meditative and I reflected over and over again how amazing it is that I live somewhere so beautiful, that I literally am blocks away from Ocean Beach, that I get to ride my bicycle around a world-renowned park, that I get to live here in San Francisco.

It is a huge gift.

After the bike ride I had a late lunch and then made some chicken soup.

I’ll be visiting my person tomorrow, he just had a hip replacement surgery, and I wanted to bring him some more chicken soup, he’s gone through the two big Mason jars I gave him right before the surgery.

I’ll be heading is way by 1 p.m. and we’ll go for an easy walk around the block.

Like literally.

Just around the block.

And maybe a few minutes of hang out time.

I don’t think he’s got the energy for big visits, but he wants to see my face and I, his.

It will be good to see him.

I’m also going to hit up another yoga class tomorrow.

It’s nice to have a Monday off and the studio is open.

That will make three yoga classes over the weekend and a bike ride.

Not bad.

Especially for someone who is  loath to exercise.

I generally like it once I’m doing it and I know how important it is to move my body, but my brain is a sabotaging machine.


I signed up for the 10 a.m. yoga class and I’ll see my person at 1p.m.

Other than that I have no New Year’s Day plans.

Doing the deal somewhere and chilling out with my new book.


That’s not a psychology book.

I know.


I went up to Blackbird Books, the new book store in my hood next to Trouble Coffee, and splurged on the new Jennifer Eagen book, Manhattan Beach, I’m going to indulge my literary self and not read any psychology for at least a week.

So freaking sexy.

I may just spend most of tomorrow lazing on the chaise lounge after I get back from helping out my person and just read.

Such luxury.

And that’s it, that’s my New Year’s Day plans.

To chill the fuck out.

The year is going to be full and amazing, hello, I’ll be graduating, going to Paris, and starting  PhD program, traveling to D.C., and who knows what else will happen, seeing many clients and nanny’ing up a storm.

Wishing you and yours the Happiest of New Years!

Big love from the city by the Bay.

May the year bring you so much love and joy.

So much.

Well, I Almost Did It

December 25, 2017

Not cry that is.

But, sucker for nostalgia, lonely hearts, and Elvis Christmas carols.

I caved and cried a bit.

Christmas Eve alone.

Which is ok.

Really it is.

I’ve had plenty of special this Christmas season.

And I won’t be alone tomorrow.

I’ll be going to the East Bay to meet a friend and see her new place and go out to a movie matinée and a meal.

It will be sweet and the traffic will be easy.

I wasn’t completely lonesome today.

Sometimes being alone is just perfect and needed.

Lonely and alone are two very different things.

I was alone most of the day, although I did get out and do things.

I went to yoga, and it was a great class.

I left feeling so good and literally said out loud, “I have to figure out how to do this more often.”

The yoga studio is super close to me, but my schedule, shocker, conflicts with many of the classes.

I wish that had some early morning week day classes, but so far there’s just one, a 7 a.m. on Tuesdays that just recently started.

I haven’t gone yet as my therapy appointment is a 9:30 a.m. cross town in Noe Valley on Tuesdays.

I figure I could actually do the class if I set myself up right the night before, bring breakfast with me and coffee and have it at work, skip doing the majority of my morning routine, and cram in a yoga class before therapy.

I just haven’t tried it yet.

This Tuesday, however, I don’t have therapy, my therapist is away for the holiday, and I have been thinking that I will go to the 7 a.m. class and see what the timing is like.

A sort of dry run.

I’m not expected into work until 11a.m. so I’ll have plenty of time to do the class and do my morning routine.

I may even get a Friday morning yoga class in this week too, my family will be out-of-town for a long weekend and I have all day Friday off.  I haven’t booked in anything yet though, holding out to see what will arise.

Something will I am sure.

So, yes, yoga today and hot shower and hot latte and hot breakfast and lots of writing.

The lady bug I was supposed to meet with cancelled so I took myself to the Inner Sunset, got a cafe au lait and went to the nail salon.





I wanted to go to Marnee Thai for a late lunch and was surprised to find them closed.

So I headed back home and had a really nice bowl of soup.

I noodled around a little here at the house and knew I should get out otherwise I might catch a case of the sads.

So I stuck a chicken in the oven to roast for dinner and some Japanese sweet potatoes and set off for Ocean Beach.

I saw a few Christmas tragedies happening, a drunken Santa Claus that I had seen stumble into the Fireside Bar on Irving and 7th which is right next door to the nail salon I go to, tumble off the MUNI and bumble his way across the street with “Santa Baby” playing loudly on a boom box and totter into Pittsburgh’s bar.

Which has most of the neon blown out in the sign so it just says “urgh’s.”

How I think that Santa must have felt.

I had seen one other tragic Christmas moment at the nail salon.

A woman walked in looking for a highlighter brush for a hair dye kit.

She was pretty glazed, Valium or something of the sort, and she knocked over a bunch of salon merchandise and then literally sat down on the floor in front of the accessories and mumbled how was she going to do her highlights before the Christmas dinner had to be cooked?


Merry Christmas lady.


For the most part, it wasn’t a bad day, really, just quiet, like I said, and I managed to sneak into Java Beach and get the last cafe au lait of the day before they closed down for the night.

Decaf, I mean, really I like my coffee, but I try to not have caffeine after four p.m.


I strolled down to the beach.

The sun had already set, but the twilight was so pretty.

I took a lot of photos.

I love, love, love, the new phone camera.

It really takes some nice shots.



The above is not the best shot, it’s a little fuzzy, but the camera does this “live” photo thing that is pretty amazing, it shows my facial movement as I line up the shot and it’s really cool to see it, plus the filters are exquisite.

I liked the filter on this one.

The beach was super quiet and it wasn’t quite as cold as I thought it would be.

I walked for a bit and enjoyed it immensely.

Then I came back to the house and pulled a perfectly roasted chicken out of the oven and had myself a damn fine meal.

I headed back out planning on doing a meet up with my fellows over at the Palace of Fine Arts, but only found folks meandering around the parking lot.

Apparently the facility had forgotten to alert them that the building would be closed for the holiday.

So I said hi to a few folks and then went for one more walk.

The Palace is pretty special and at night it really shines.


The Christmas lights on the houses around the park too were just beautiful and though I didn’t have the night I was expecting it was a nice walk.

I queued up the Elvis Christmas album in the car and drove back to the Outer Sunset.

And yes.


I did tear up a little bit, but you know, the writing, this little blog, it helps me put things into perspective and I’m not so sad anymore.


Just grateful as all get out that I have so much in my life.

Merry Christmas Eve!

May all your Christmas wishes be granted.


No Charge

September 25, 2017

When you, I mean, I.

Let me use “I” statements, I am in graduate school for a psychology degree after all, I need to remember to only speak for myself.

When I have no charge.


No feeling of regret.

No longing.

No nothing.

When nothing comes up.


God damn.

That’s when I know I made the right choice for me.

I saw an ex today.

I, in fact, had a feeling I was going to run into an ex, but I ran into a different one that I had suspected I’d run into.

A few years ago, three, I think I was dating a man, and it was brief, who was very, very, very, VERY, much into the kink and fetish scene in San Francisco.

Folsom Street Fair was today.

A kink and leather and sex and fringe San Francisco festival and street fair.

And I went.

I wasn’t planning on going and I definitely looked like a tourist–I was wearing a bright yellow sundress and my hair in braids.  I looked like I should have been traispsing through a meadow.

I haven’t gone there “dressed” in attire in about a decade.

I think the last time I wnet I wore high heels, platforms and a corset I had gotten from Dark Garden over in Hayes Valley.

It was a beautiful piece and I needed a lot of help getting into it.

I had a friend who had talked me into the piece, which I tried to return a few days later to only be told flat-out that I couldn’t.

I was pretty devastated as I spent a lot more money on it than I should have considering that my rent was around the corner.


That I only wore it once.


I looked lovely.


I soon thereafter lost a lot of weight and it was too big.

I gifted it to a woman at the Burning Man offices who was an intern there at the time.

She’s now a major player there and I remember fondly how excited she was when I gave her the corset.

Anyway, Folsom Street Fair.

My friend had talked me into it and a mutual friend of ours picked me up on his Vespa, in tennis whites, I will never forget that, the audacity of wearing tennis whites to Folsom, right down to the wrist bands and the visor.

We all met at Glide, a church in the Tenderloin, went to services there, then, yes, we did.

We went to The Armani Exchange store and had lunch at the counter.

The server fawned all over us.

It was super fun.

Then off to Folsom.

And that was ten years ago.

How the time flies.

I wouldn’t have gone today.

In fact, I had very definitive ideas about what I was doing, I was going to class, then go hit a spot up in the Mission and do the deal and then errands and a mani/pedi, and groceries, and cooking.




All the things.

l was going to do all the things.



School happened.

I had a big moment in class, I handled some conflict within class and it was a very powerful moment for me.

A woman in class later reflected to me that I was the embodiment of “fierce grace.”

I don’t remember what I said, only the flavor of it, and I know I was a channel for what was being spoken.

I didn’t feel possessed, so to speak, but when I am in that place, I open my mouth and out comes something, I am a channel, a conduit, a mouthpiece for the Divine.

Or God if you will.

I will.

But you don’t have to.

Sometimes when I talk about God I think folks get a particular idea and feel like folks don’t quite get it.  I am a bit of a spiritual rebel and a bit of throwback all at the same time.

I love me some Lord’s Prayer.

Most folks can’t stand it.

I love the prayer of St. Francis.

I say that one every day.

Every day.

I say a lot of other prayers too, suffice to say, I have a deep and effective spiritual life that I am very grounded in and supremely grateful for.

I spoke to that a bit, but really, I don’t recall what I said.

But I will say this.

I was powerful.

I felt powerful.

I spoke with great articulation, emotion, and care.

I know that much, I know how it felt and I had a lot of power flowing through me.

I felt like I was on fire.

I teared up.

I know that tears drifted down my face at one moment, but I couldn’t tell you the words that evoked them.

I know that it was a kind of spiritual honesty that just rolled out of me.

After I had finished and the class processed what I had said, and my professor, and I remember very well the look on his face, he knew what I was talking about and resonated with it, he looked lit up as he listened to me, I realized that I could not leave right after class.

I owed it to the people in my class that I had spoken up for to connect with me and I with them and I knew that I had to be present and stay with what was brought up.


I did.

I talked with a lot of the folks in my class and one of my classmates said she’d never been to Folsom Street Fair and wanted to go see it.

She flies in from Miami and has offered me her guest room so often that I know it’s not just a polite offer, but a “please use the room whenever you want it” sort of offer.

She even told me I didn’t need to ask, book a ticket and just let her and her husband know and I’ll have access.

That’s always nice to hear.


I decided to not run off, I stayed and connected, I blew off all my “obligations” my “plans and designs” and let the day decide for me what I was going to experience instead of imposing my will on it.

We walked around Folsom.

There was much to see, but not much that excited or intrigued me, I have eyes for other things.

And chatting with my friend in front of someone doing suspended rope bondage I had a sudden feeling that I would run into my ex.

Whom I haven’t seen in years, but, well, Folsom is his bailiwick for sure.

But nope.

In fact.

I didn’t run into anyone but a few other friends from school–campus is three blocks away–in all the hundreds of scantily dressed folks I saw.

Then we came out to my place, I showed her where I live and we went and caught a late lunch at Sea Breeze Cafe in my neighborhood and talked and talked and talked.

She left around 4 p.m. and I took a nice long walk on the beach in my sundress.


I said sundress!

It was summer in San Francisco today.

It was so nice I didn’t even wear leggings.

I had a good check in phone call with my person as I walked the beach and then just after I got off the phone, literally seconds later, I look up to my right for no particular reason.

And there he is.

An ex, not the one who I thought I would run into a Folsom, but another more recent relationship (not that recent either, now that I think about it, two years ago now) and a woman.

They were holding hands.

I didn’t stare, but at first I couldn’t understand, consciously, what had caught my eye.

I didn’t understand what I was seeing or why I was even looking.

A nice couple walking on the beach holding hands.

Then I realized it was an ex.

I think I waved?

Not sure.

I remember thinking, “oh, that’s nice, he’s seeing someone,” and that was it.

That was it!


No charge.

No heat.

No energy.

My energy, my love, my attention is so elsewhere, is so taken and captured.

I had absolutely nothing.

Except that little bit of “how nice for him” moment.

He said my name, “Hi _______________,” dropped the hand of the woman, “you look great!”

I was startled that he said anything at all to me and a  “thanks,” popped out of my mouth and then I just walked away.

I didn’t turn back.

There’s nothing there.

I just walked the beach.

Happy and content in my skin.

In my pretty yellow sundress, fluttering in the wind.

I went home and I cooked and I read some homework.

I took a good hot shower.

I ate my dinner.

And then I started my blog.

That’s it.

My day.

It was good.

I’m loved.

I’m happy.

I got sunshine on my face.

It was a damn fine day.

Wonderful in fact.


Flip A Bitch

July 23, 2017

I found myself doing a surprising and sudden u-turn on Folsom Street today.

Oh please.

Don’t worry.

My person arched his eyebrow at me when I said that to him tonight over some sumptuous red beans and rice with spicy Andouille sausage at Brenda’s.

“I was careful!” I exclaimed, “I looked both ways and there was no traffic anywhere, and there was a really good reason why I did it.”

And there was.

Tub Tim Siam Massage.

Oh yes.

I got a fucking massage.

I am so proud of myself.

It’s been on my mind for weeks if not months.

I have had on again off again pain in my left arm for a long time, its soft tissue pain and sometimes I get wheedle it out with a Lacrosse ball, those small hard rubber balls massage therapists and rehab therapists use for working through muscle knots.

But most of the time it comes back and harasses the shit out of me at some point and it was really bothering me yesterday.

I don’t know if it was the yoga class I took yesterday or what, I mean, I carry most of my stress in my shoulders anyway, so could be just a big build up, but it has been pretty discomforting now for, well, months.

It’s not so bad that I can’t deal and I do.

I carry the baby at work, I do my blogging and my writing and I show up for yoga.

But I could really feel it yesterday, I could feel it flaring up when I was riding my scooter, I could feel it when I went to bed, it was up and down my arm and into my neck and at one point I swear I felt it in the left side of my face.

I have been to a massage therapist years ago who specialized in pain management through massage and I have thought about going and seeing her, but she was expensive and I had been given a gift certificate from my employers, otherwise I would have never seen her at all.


I had been to Tub Tim one other time when it first opened and that was back in December.

And I hadn’t a massage prior to that in years.

So when I zipped by on my scooter heading out to grab a late lunch after going to my group supervision at my internship, I flipped a bitch and decided it was time to get that massage.

I grabbed a light lunch at Rainbow and went to Tub Tim Siam.

It’s a small spot and I wasn’t sure if they would have time for a walk in, but I was going to check and if they didn’t at least make myself an appointment to be seen and seen soon.



They had an opening.

I got a ten minute hot sauna to warm up my muscles and then I got an hour-long traditional Thai massage.

Which means that they manipulate you muscles using hands, feet, elbows, and knees.

It was amazing.

It also hurt like a bitch at times.

Inside my head the conversation went like this: “ow, ow, ow, Oh My God, OW! Oooh, oh that feels so nice, OW, ow ow, ow, ouch, shit, fuck what is that, OMG that feels so good don’t stop, ouch, ow, ow, OWOWWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOW, i”m going to die.”

And then I would remind myself to breathe into the pain and to relax and to let it go.

She found spots that I knew where really bothering me, I had circled them on the sheet they asked me to fill out, and then some that I was expecting that were excruciating when they were being worked on, but after, amazing how much better I felt.

I mean, I felt lighter walking out of the shop.

I need to do that more often.

It’s not something I can do weekly, it’s a little too pricey for me, but maybe once a month, alternate between doing a Thai massage and then going and hitting the Imperial Day Spa, the Korean women’s only bath house on Geary.

The spa is only $25 a session.

I think that’s the kind of self-care I really need to let myself have as I continue moving forward with taking on clients and doing the psychotherapy work.

I’ll be back to school soon too.


In about a month.

Shit will get really real.


I’m not there yet and I’m not going  to live in the future.

Just today.

All I have to do is today.

I can get lost in the “there won’t be enough time” bullshit story my brain likes to spin me out with.

But the fact is, there is enough time, and all the things I need to do get done and I’m going to be ok.

Because I already am.

I had a beautiful day today.

I did some great self-care.

I went to yoga in the morning, had a super hot shower, washed my hair, I had a yummy breakfast and a big latte, I did laundry, I wrote a bunch, I did some e-mails for my internship and I took care of little household stuff that needed attending.

I dressed becomingly.

I wore a pretty dress and shoes.

I took my time on my scooter and didn’t get crazy trying to speed to my internship.

I had a great group supervision meeting and I got a massage.

Then I went and did the deal and it was fantastic.

Afterwards me and my person went to Brenda’s and had a good catch up.

It was perfect.

The scooter ride home was even perfect.

Not too cold, there was still a kiss of warmth left in the night and I could smell a bonfire down at Ocean Beach.

Note to self time to get in a fire at the beach, that too has been too long.

And now.

I’m home.

Cozy and relaxed.

I even signed up for a yoga class in the morning.

I am held and cared for and I deserve to have these nice things.



My scooter.

My home.

I work so damn hard.

It’s nice to take a moment and appreciate my efforts once in a while.

So, yes, I may have made an illegal U-turn in the middle of Folsom Street today.

But it was for a really good reason.

I promise.


Just Keep Writing

June 19, 2017

Very, very, very few hits on the blog yesterday and today.

Of course.

It is Father’s Day.

Folks have things to do, people to see, loved ones to celebrate.

I sent my dad warm thoughts, it’s how I can show up today, loving from a distance.

I did try last week on his birthday to call the cell phone number I have for him, but the call did not go through and I took that as the time is not now.

I may never have the time for my dad.

I have acceptance for that, some sorrow, but mostly acceptance and a kind of peace around it.

There are times that I have wished for more from my father, but I have always known, despite not having much contact with him through the years, that I was loved by him.

Who am I to say that how he expressed his love was not the right thing for me?

I cannot choose how people express their love.

I have a certain idea how it should look, but my ideas are often wrong.

So often wrong.

It’s rather ridiculous.

But hey, I’m trying.

I may fall, but at least I know that I am trying.

And I love.

So, so, so hard.

My God, I love hard.

And it may not be what someone wants either.

I have tried being softer and kinder and easier with my love, for myself, for others, to not squeeze too hard, to be gentle, to be flexible and have deeper perspective and appreciation for all forms of love.

I’m not sure where I am going with this ramble, just that I am glad for my father and I hope he is well and I love him.

I do.

So many kinds of love, so much vastness of feeling.

So many memories.

Some easier to recall than others.

Grateful for them all.

Grateful for today.

It was a good day.

I woke up earlier than I was planning, but then again, I hadn’t planned on staying up late last night, but the cup of coffee I gleefully, rebelliously drank with my friend at the anniversary party last night had its way with me.

I was going to let myself have eight hours of sleep.

But the light in my room woke me up and I knew I would feel better if I got up and got myself going.

So I hopped up, put on the yoga clothes and went to the studio down the block.

It was a great class and I was very happy with the teacher.

Then a nice mellow, slow morning.

Met with a lady, did the deal, did some laundry, did some shopping, did some cooking.


Holy cats.

I read some fiction.

I read a book.

In the sun.

On the back porch.

It was sunny in San Francisco and the beach was packed and the parks were packed and it was Father’s Day all over the place.

I did go down to the beach for a little bit, but when it’s nice out, and it was, it was over 80 degrees, the beach gets really bombarded and add a national celebrate a parent holiday and the traffic and people were off the hook.

I sat in a dune for a while and enjoyed the sea and the sun, but after maybe twenty minutes I just decided to go back home and read on the back porch.

I knew it would be quiet.

And it was lovely.

I definitely got a few freckles today and I got warm in my bones.

It felt nice to put up my feet and relax a little.

The next week is a busy one.

Aren’t they all?


It does make the time go faster and I’m excited to be seeing clients now at the internship.

I also peeped the weather for the next week and it looks gorgeous and sunny and the June gloom that is so often the weather in the city for the summer seems to have abated and I am grateful.

There is so much in my life to be grateful for.

So much learning.

As I navigate through my days I see where I have stumbled and where I have been selfish and when I am not being of good service to a situation.

I can make things about myself really fast.

I catch it more often than I have in the past, but I am always a bit chagrined when I do it.

I get to recall the feeling in my body when I hurt someone or make something about me when it really has nothing to do with me, out of fear, that’s usually where I am acting from, fear.

Fear that I won’t get what I want or I will lose what I have.

And the fear is baseless.



I have been given so much and I have so much, that to live in any kind of fear is a kind of waste, a superfluous worry of time, when I could be enjoying the sunshine, the daydream, the revery of sitting still in the back yard and feeling the warmth on my skin where I am caught and held in perfection.

I am human, but that is an excuse.

I have to also change when I see things in myself that I don’t care for, I can’t wish them away.

I can, however, pray about it and hope to be of better service in the future.

Remembering how it feels when I have done something that doesn’t serve another because I am in fear of not getting what I want.

Ah growth.

Painful growth.

I heard it said once or twice, though, that pain is the touchstone of spiritual growth.

I definitely grew a little today.

And the pain is not as tender as it has been in the past, but it is there so I chose now, in this moment, to remember what I felt and what I was feeling and to not let those fears get in the way of enjoying my day.

The sun.

The soft warmth.

The dreamy.

I do like the dreamy.

Please God.

Don’t let me fuck up the dreamy.


Two Down

April 30, 2017

One to go.

I finished my Trauma paper today.

It was a big deal.

I am super happy and grateful it’s done and I’m also glad to let the material rest, it was challenging material, traumatic stuff you might say, and I am happy to let it be for a while.

I will still have to go back and dip back into the material as I will give a presentation of my paper in the class next weekend.

I can handle that, oh, I’m sure I will cry, it was a day for tears.

But also a day for laughter and much joy.

I just got back from a big dinner get together and fellowshipping and I am so awful glad I went, it was just the perfect break from homework and I got to be connected to people and see people and talk to people.


Real live people, not just social media interactions.

I also got asked out on a date!

I was not expecting that.

And yes.

I have a date for tomorrow.

That will definitely give me incentive to write my last paper.

I am also speaking at a spot at 6p.m.

I will have my paper done by 5:30 p.m.

That was the promise I made to myself.

So when I was asked I was actually able to say that I could go to dinner tomorrow night after my service commitment, because I already knew that I would have my last paper written by the time I went to cover the commitment at 6p.m.

And now I damn well better.

I don’t want to have a paper dangling over my head.

It’s interesting.

I could tell immediately that he was attracted to me and I was intrigued, and also a tiny bit cautious.

I don’t date guys in early recovery, sort of rule of thumb and sometimes when I meet a guy whom I haven’t seen around before I get cautious.

Turns out he’s from out-of-town.

But not so far from out-of-town that he’s untenable to date.

San Rafael.

That’s not too bad and actually it’s an easier bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge, for someone to navigate from to me as I’m so far in the Outer Sunset.

Just blocks from the beach.

The beach that I didn’t think I was going to get to go to and was feeling a little sad about that today when I walked out the door to yoga this morning.

It was glorious today.

When it’s warm in the Outer Sunset at 8:45 a.m. it’s going to be a nice day at the beach.

I was happy to get to yoga, so I had no thoughts about also trying to squeeze in beach time, I had the paper to write and I also had to meet a couple of ladies at Tart to Tart from noon until 2p.m.

I was glad to be out in the sun but had no beach expectations.

I got back to the house at 2:30 made some lunch, sat outside on the back patio and soaked up some rays and then sat down and cranked out my paper.

I was done by five p.m.

I started the writing at 3p.m.

Thank God for the time that I had this week at work, I had all the material ready and it was just a matter of following the guidelines for the paper and writing it.

I wrote an eight page, 2,300 word paper.

I was done by 5p.m.

It was still sunny and I didn’t have to be to the spot until 7p.m.

I decided to walk down to the beach and get some sand under my toes.

I threw on my flip-flops, grabbed a bottle of water and had a glorious 45 minutes of chill time, then walked up to Trouble Coffee and grabbed a treat cafe au lait.

I sat outside in the parklet and enjoyed the feeling of being done with my paper and knowing I was going to go see some friends tonight and hang out and go out to dinner.

I got the paper done, I got to go to the beach, and I got asked on a date.

Fucking not bad for a Saturday.

“Have fun, be flexible,” she admonished me.

This happens a lot recently when I meet with my person and she’s right, I can get buried in the doing and the going and the moving and the shaking and I can and do get isolated.

It felt so good to be with my people tonight.



Flirting with someone certainly did not hurt.

He actually asked for my number before going out to fellowship, so that made fellowship even more titillating.

I felt very alive.

I still do.

I am grateful that I get to do the work that is going to help me be a good therapist, but also have a full, well-rounded, happy life, is also a huge part of being a good therapist.

I get to model a good life, a life that I would advocate for my clients, I get to lead my own happy life, and being connected to others is a huge deal for me.

Grateful to get to balance it all out and rather awed that it worked out so well today.

Oh sure.

I had some anxiety.

I had some push back on sitting down and doing the work.


I have my routine.

I said my prayers.

I did it anyway.

And two hours and eight pages later I was gleefully printing off my final paper for Trauma class.

It was an accomplishment.

I also couldn’t have done the work that fast if I hadn’t already done so much of the background work on the paper.

The same kind of work that I did for the paper that I will write tomorrow.

I have hella incentive now.

I’m up to yoga in the morning, back here, shower, breakfast, morning pages, then I’ll plunge in.

I hope to have four to five pages done by lunch time.

I’ll take a lunch break and then kick the rest of it out by 5p.m.

Just like today.

And I’ll celebrate by doing some service.

Going out to dinner.


Making out after.

I can’t eat sugar, but that doesn’t mean a girl doesn’t like something sweet once in a while.


I Had A Day Off

April 11, 2017

And it was good.

I slept in.

I did not set my alarm.

I woke up a little before 10 a.m. and had a lovely, leisurely morning, couple cups of coffee, four pages of writing long hand, some quiet to connect with the day.

I had a few ideas of what I might do, but no specific agenda.

I really wanted to be open to whatever came up.

I knew I had to go grocery shopping and I had a little bit of an urge to go and get my nails done.

Groceries were gotten.

Nails were not done.

When I got back from grocery shopping I just decided to stay put, I wanted to be in the neighborhood, I wanted to chill out.

I also.

I realized.

Wanted to go for a bicycle ride.

The weather was perfect, 61 degrees, not too breezy, nice sunshine, scattering of clouds, no fog.

I pulled out my camera, my messenger bag, a bottle of water and pumped up the tires on my bike.

It had been a while.

I rode down 46th Avenue to Sloat Avenue, then on down to Great Highway.

I crossed Great Highway and pulled into the parking area at Sloat.

I haven’t been there in over a year.

There’s not much reason for me to get down to Sloat, I can just walk to the beach access point on Judah, but it was the perfect bicycle ride destination.

I was so glad to be on my bicycle again, so happy to be in the fresh sea air, in the sunshine, to see the stretch of the coast line.

How lucky am I to get to live here?

So lucky.

After hanging out at Sloat for a while on a big rock I hopped back on my bicycle and turned down Great Highway.

I realized after biking about a half mile or so that the other side of Great Highway was still closed off for sand removal.


It looked really clear and clean.


There where bicycles and skateboarders and joggers just cruising down the middle of the highway.

I crossed over at Lawton and rode my bike back down to Sloat again and then turned around once more for the thrill of riding in the middle of the highway, the wrong way, on my bicycle.

I stopped and took a few pictures with my camera and just was super happy to be out, to have a day off, to not be at work, to not be thinking about school.

I promised myself I would take today and not do homework, not stress about the internship, not get myself worked up.

I wanted to be relaxed and not rushed.

And I was.

And it was divine.

I rode down Great Highway towards Lincoln Ave and then on a whim, I passed my turn at 46th and headed up to 41st.

I wanted to check out Swell, the bicycle shop on Irving at 41st.

I had an idea about seeing if maybe they had beach cruisers, you know, since I’m going to Burning Man, I wanted to look for a playa bike.

They do not have cruisers, but they had some beautiful bikes.


“Carmen?” I heard my name being said out loud as I ogled a Brooks cut out saddle in Navy Blue leather.

“Hey, it’s Yuri! From Pedal Revolution? Do you remember me, I’ve got long hair now,” he said with a laugh.

No shit.

His hair was super long.

“Oh my God, Yuri!” I said and we hugged.

Yuri sold me my first bicycle in San Francisco.

And saw me go through a lot of bicycle commuting, upgrades, and challenges.

Pedal Revolution is a non-profit bicycle shop in the Mission that teaches and trains underprivileged kids how to work on bicycles.

They also sell bikes and parts.

Swell is a swankier version of that shop.

We shot the shit, caught up, showed him my whip, I talked to him about thinking that I might actually get a new bike, not that I don’t love my one speed, but it’s a one speed and working in Glen Park (yes I know, I scooter there) but that I might want to at some point invest in a road bike again.

We also talked about the Pogliaghi I used to have.

And he showed me a gorgeous Bianchi touring bike that has a three-ring shifter on it, perfect for hill climbing, that was really super reasonable.


I am seriously considering it.


I’m putting it on the back burner, but I have been thinking that I miss my bicycle commute.

And that was a big part of getting out today,  I also wanted and needed the exercise after spending three days of sitting on my ass at school.


It was nice to be recognized and to talk bicycles and get a little geeked out about a possible new ride.

I love my whip, but the knees get older and I am not as up to doing the hills on it that I used to.

The flats, no problem, but hills are hurt and I don’t want my knees to hurt.

I was also thinking that it would be nice to do rides again over the bridge.

I do miss those long rides to Marin when I was training for the Aids LifeCycle ride.

After my chat at Swell I rode home and signed up for a yoga class.

I had some time to kill before the class so I walked over to Trouble and treated myself to a cafe au lait and some neighborhood people watching.

I haven’t done that in a while either.

45 minutes of sitting in the sunshine and watching the world go by.

Then off to yoga.

A great class.

And when I got home I had a message on my phone about joining some friends for dinner in the Haight to celebrate an anniversary.

I said yes, I didn’t even shower, I jumped out of my yoga clothes, into my bib overalls, and hopped on my scooter.

Dinner and hang out with friends at the Citrus Club in the Haight with one of my all time favorite bowls of hot and sour soup that the city has.

Making this a fantastic day off.


So good.

Grateful beyond words for my sweet, full, happy life.


Luckiest girl in the world.


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