Posts Tagged ‘passport’

I Did It!

December 20, 2015

It is done.

This, my first semester of graduate school, is hereby finished.


I sent in two papers today.

One this morning before heading out the door to do the deal with my person up at Tart to Tart in the Inner Sunset.

The other.

About an hour ago.

I cannot believe it.

I am finished with the semester.


Free to move about the country.


The world.

As the case may be.

And the case, my suitcase, is packed.

All is good.

All is ready.

My passport in my wallet, my bags packed, my toiletries in the little clear plastic flight bag–the same one I bought at Sephora a little over three years ago when I decided to move to Paris.

I am a little incredulous how much stuff I got into my carry on.

My friend reports that he is a clothes horse, ah, yeah, and has to check a bag.



I don’t travel like that.

In fact.

I was feeling that my second carry on was too big and bulky and I said, fuck it, I’m just going to carry my suitcase and my purse.

I figure that’s enough.

I have enough.

I am enough.

I reiterated to myself as I went about my day getting ready to do all the things that needed to be done.

Methodical, with a little bit of anxiety about getting it all in, but a surety that it would be done.

That no matter what I would have it done.

Maybe I wouldn’t get as much sleep as I wanted.


My brain, the inflater of all things bad, never the good, always the bad, which should be a tip off, told me quite bold and loud that I would not have enough time to do my final psychodynamics paper and I should just put it off until I got back from Paris.

I was like.

Are you serious.



You are!


That’s an option.

I told my brain and then just started doing all the things that needed to be done.

I had some housekeeping, some emails, and some laundry to do this morning, plus the general housekeeping of my brain and the sweeping out of my heart any cobwebs from the night before.

I put fresh sheets and pillowcases on the bed.

I love to come home to a freshly made bed.

Such a small kindness to do for myself.

I am always grateful for my fresh made bed after a bit of travel.

Then, the breakfast, the coffee, the writing.

I gathered up my things and got my scooter ready.

Grateful for a break in the rain so that I could ride to 7th and Irving.

I parked and went to Tart to Tart.

I did some reading, some checking in, some inventory, some down loading of my previous week.

I got a lovely birthday card from my person and loads of perspective.

We talked about attraction rather than promotion.



She lived there once as well.

It was grand to compare notes.

Then she went her way and I made a few phone calls and posted a travel alert on my ATM card so that there would be no holds on it when I travel.

I went to the hardware store and bought a small padlock for my scooter basket.

I went to do the deal at 1p.m.


A late lunch at La Honda Mexican grill.

Just because I don’t eat flour doesn’t mean I can’t get my Mexican food on–a nice plate of carnitas, beans and rice, and a very happy and full lady went off to the nail salon.

A mani/pedi and eyebrow wax later.

I left the Inner Sunset after a brief freak out where I thought I had lost the keys to my scooter.

A totally odd.

(Is it odd or is it God?)

And very surreal experience that I will share with you privately should you really want to know, but suffice to say, it was beyond bizarre where my keys showed up.

I did find them.

I figured that twenty minutes was a moment of total surrender and that they would show up when I was supposed to be on my scooter riding it home.

Which is what happened.


I have to say it was such a spooky little experience that I decided to take the park home instead of Lincoln–it’s a much slower speed limit and much less traffic–and just get off the scooter and park it and lock it and cover it up.

I won’t be riding it for a week.

At least.

I got home and talked to my crazy brain about how to tackle the rest of the day.

I did a little grocery shopping.

I pulled out my carry on.

I made dinner.

And I put up a bunch of food into the freezer so I won’t have to cook when I get back from the trip.  I will have food prepped and ready to just pull out of the freezer and take to work.

Then I took out the notebook and the reader and I opened my laptop.

My brain clamored pretty loud.

Just put off the damn paper, you don’t know what you’re going to write about.


I didn’t.

Even though.

It turns out.

I did know.

I somehow always do.

That’s the miracle of it.

The words are there.

It’s the sitting down and the opening up of myself to what is happening.

And voila!

Less than an hour and a half later I had the paper written.

And may I say.

It was a good paper.

A really good paper.

I was happily surprise.

I wrote well, I understood what I was writing on and I am also aware that I learned while I was writing the paper, which is always the main deal for me.

In the experience of doing the final paper, I learned more.

This is a mark of a good teacher for me and also that I am a good student.

“You are an amazing student,” she said to me, after I had described a paper I had written for another class and the response to it.

“You are an academic, you may really want to think about going for the PhD.”

This has come up a few times.

And yes.

It is an ego feeding proposition.


It may also be something that I pursue.


Right now?


Right now.

I am fucking done!

I did it!

My first semester of graduate school finished.

I am over the moon and ready to land on the other side of the world.

Paris, France to be exact.

I will be seeing you soon, ma cherie.

My sweet City of Lights.

I bid you adieu and bonne nuit.

For tomorrow I fly to you once again.

I am.

The luckiest girl.

In the world.

I really am.

Ready, Set,

November 5, 2015


I found my passport!

I booked the studio and paid for it.

“Wow!” My friend sent me a message after receiving my e-mail regarding my trip to Wells Fargo and the deposit made to her account.  “That happened so fast, I’m almost in shock.”

Me too.

But the good kind.

The pinch me, I’m dreaming kind.

I also requested and was granted two paid days off for vacation.

I am covered.

I have asked off, my passport showed up, and within twelve hours of having gotten the ticket I’ve got a place to stay in the 7th arrondisement.

I will be at 18 Rue Juge.

Metro stop: La Motte Piquet.

It’s just a hop, skip, and a jump to the Eiffel Tower, the Champs de Mars, the Trocadero.

I know that area fairly well having meandered there every morning, or there about, Felix Faure was typically the stop I got off at, on Sundays around 11 a.m for six months.

I know that there is a great farmers market there on Sundays.

Unfortunately I will be traveling all day Sunday and leaving early Sunday morning for Charles de Gaulle.

I’m flying out 11a.m. on the 20th and arriving around 11 a.m. on the 21st.

There is the time change, but it will feel like traveling for a day.

I don’t really care.

I’m going to Paris.

It’s such an awesome thing.

Such an unexpected surprise.

Such a gift.


My life, the things I get to do, how lucky I am.

I am graced.

Sitting here in my cozy in-law, astounded at how much my life has changed since I moved back from Paris.

It was three years ago on November 1st that I moved there.

How far I have come since coming back.

Getting in touch with my friend in East Oakland reminded me of that.

He responded this morning that he’d looked around the room I had stayed in and no passport.

Which was no problem.

As I found it last night.

That was crazy.

It was amazing actually.

And such a surprise to find it where I did.

I was sitting here finishing up my blog last night thinking about how I may have to go to the embassy and what that would look like and when I was going to do it, what the timing was going to have to be, etc, and I kept looking at a stack of books on my bedside table.

I wonder if it’s in my ……

Big blue book with the broken binder, the old one that is well-loved and used, and made “real” like the Velveteen Rabbit, the one I don’t use anymore as the binder is broke and I have another newer version and a little pocket guy, and I thought, “did I stick it in there?”

i kept staring at it.

I finished my blog.

Made a cup of tea, cut up and apple and some persimmon for a snack.

I carried my snack and my mug of tea to my bedside table, set them down, and unearthed the old book from my stack.

I flipped it open.

Nothing there.

Damn it man.

I got my computer and I set it down.

I looked at my book shelf.

The book shelf that has a lot of my notebooks on it and some of my books and I could see that I had made some space yesterday after digging through everything, every notebook I wrote in Paris, every scrap of paper, every envelope, and I didn’t like the way it looked.

Too much unbalanced space.

I looked down at the books next to the chaise lounge that were starting to stack up and I thought, “hmm, maybe I’ll move them on to the book shelf, there’s some space there now.”

So I picked up four and set them on the shelf.

The fit.

I went to sit down and the two that I left on the floor toppled over.

Annoyed I righted one.

It fell over again.

I righted it once more and was about to settle into my spot and have my snack and my tea and sure as shit, the damn book fell again.

I looked at the shelf.


There might be space if I rearrange it just a tiny bit more and put those notebooks there and stack those books there.

I have them stacked horizontally, not vertically, since there’s so many notebooks on the shelves.

I like to write a little you see.

I picked up the two remaining books and settled on the top shelf and the other just squeezed into the last bit of space on the second shelf.



I have to say this, sometimes it is a defect of character and sometimes, well, is it odd or is it God?

Or was it my God box?

Who can tell.

But I have to say.

It was fucking magic.

Magic I say.

The defect, if you will, is perfectionism.

I recall recently getting a message from my person that said, “perfectionism is not an option.”



I still fall into it often.


Last night I did.

But it also felt like I was being quietly guided.

Just nudged here and there.


I put the book in the space on the shelf, but it was larger, longer than the book underneath it and I didn’t like the way that looked, so I unshelved it, set it on the floor and pulled out the stack of books so I could reshelve the bigger book on the bottom of the stack, thus aligning everything and making my obsessive compulsive sprite inside my brain happy.

And what the fuck do you know?

There it was!

Standing straight up.

On the second shelf of my bookshelf.

(underneath my God box)

Under the shelf below my hot pink magenta bunny rabbit bank that I bought in the Marais of Paris.

A gift I had given myself when a friend sent me 50 Euro and said spend it on something nice.

I wanted that damn rabbit bad.

I carried it through the Louvre later that day and took pictures of it next to works of art.

I know.

I am a weirdo.

But whatever.

I digress.

Underneath the shelf, standing up, looking all sassy and proper and navy blue.

My passport!

Oh my fucking God.

I yelped and grabbed it and laughed.

There it was!

I flipped it open.


My hair has grown out so long.

That was my first thought.

Then I looked at my stamps.

Entering and exiting Paris.

The EuroStar train stamp from going to London and back.

Then the last stamp from the airport in Frankfurt where I exchanged my last Euro for a measly $10 American and headed on my last leg back to the United States.

So much there.

So many memories.

Just in seeing those small stamps.

I am so excited to get to add another series of stamps to the book.

I’m over the moon, I keep saying it, but it’s true.

Christmas in Paris.

I am so.



Ready for you.

Are You There God?

November 4, 2015

It’s me Margaret.

I mean Carmen.

I mean.

Where the fuck is my passport?!


l can’t find it and um, bwhahahahahahaha.

I uh, kind of need it.

Because this lady is going to Paris for Christmas!








I can’t believe this is happening.

My ticket cost $500, the prices jumped between yesterday and today and my friend asked me to contribute to offset the miles and what was I going to say, no?


A round trip ticket from SFO to Charles de Gaulle for $500.

I would be insane to not do that.

I cut him a check on the spot and I’m off to Paris.

Flying out December 20th and returning the 27th.

Six nights in the City of Lights at Christmas.


I have goosebumps thinking of it.

My friend only asked that I be flexible, I like planning and figuring things out and having an agenda and doing all the things and well, he’s a little more spontaneous.

And I am so cool with that.

I do not care.


There are places I want to go and people I want to see, but I don’t have to have an agenda.

I have been to Paris three times, this will mark my fourth time going.


How lucky am I?

Plus, my dear friend, my dear Parisian friend, from my masters program at CIIS, will also be in Paris visiting her family the 19th through the 29th.

She joked about doing papers in a cafe.

I think not.

I am not doing homework in Paris.


I will write.

That’s a part of what I do.

No matter what the writing will happen.

And the buying of notebooks will happen too.

I am excited to visit the Papetrie’s, I need new Marie Clare notebooks.

I flipped through them all this morning before going to work.

I have looked for my passport one other time, I don’t even recall why, I haven’t had cause to do any traveling outside the United States since I moved to Paris three years ago the first of November 2012.

Three years ago I was in Paris, probably lost and hungry, cold and wet, and trying to figure out which way to go on a map.

I got lost a lot, but I always did find my way home.

Home, fingers crossed, I haven’t confirmed it yet with my host, will be a studio in the 7eme.  Which is near the Eiffel Tower.

A place my friend insists on seeing and going to the top of.

Something I have never actually done.

I have taken a horse-drawn carriage around it once.

And once, my first time there, I got lost and separated from the family I was traveling with and climbed the stairs to the second level trying to find them, but I never got to the top.

I will this time.

And I will make sure to walk around it at night when it lights up.

Especially since the studio is so close to the tower.

I know the woman from my time in Paris and she made me a really nice deal.

50 Euro a night.

My friend and I will split the cost of the studio and for about $650 I will have flight and accommodations.

Thank you very much.


Where the hell is my passport?

I went through every notebook, especially all the ones from my last time in Paris and looked for it, I scouted out all the obvious spots.

I live in a studio, there’s not a lot of places to look.

And I have looked once before.

I ransacked my place, neatly, I didn’t make a mess, and I did discover some sweet photos that I had forgotten I had, but I did not find my passport.

I wrote a little note and I dropped it into my God box.


That’s right.

I have one of those.

I like using it, it always works and it clears my head and you know, I’m a little eclectic and my God box is actually a magenta pink rabbit that I bought in the Marais district of Paris from a store that was near to the tattoo shop my friend worked out of–Abraxasis.

I dropped the note then e-mailed my friend in Oakland who was letting me stay at his place until I was settled here in my in-law.

Because that is the last place I can remember having my hands on it.

I spent sometime trying to see where it was in my mind.

I had it in my wallet when I first got back from Paris and remember stumbling across it at some point when I was digging out a card from the divider and realized it probably wasn’t the best idea to carry my passport on my person in East Oakland.

I can recall sitting on the bed in the room at Graceland and pulling the passport out of my wallet and then putting it in something, a book, a notebook, a file and stacking it with some other bits and pieces of paperwork on the secretariat in the room.

That’s the last time I can remember having it.

I also remember thinking to myself that I might be squirreling it away too well.

That I might forget where I put it.

And voila.

I fucking did.

I’m not going to beat myself up about it.

Instead, I sent my friend a message and hopefully it’s there in the room, maybe in the drawer of the little desk.

If it’s not.


Thank God there’s an embassy here and I will go down to it with all the pertinent documents and pay the expedited fee to get one in five days.

I don’t want to, I would rather the money to spend in cafes on postcards, notebooks, dinners out–nothing fancy, my friend, too cute, “I don’t want to go anywhere fancy for food.”

Neither do I.

Although I do want to go to Odette and Aime for dinner one night, it’s not fancy, and it’s the cafe I spent the most amount of time in, since it was on the same block where I lived, it’s just good home-made food and it will be nice to see my old stomping grounds.

I’m going, going.

Back, back.

To Paris.

Over the moon.

I am over the fucking moon.

Best Christmas present ever.

I might just have to pinch myself.

It doesn’t seem real.

But I’m going.

I’ll send you postcards.


Sealed with a bisous



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