Posts Tagged ‘Philz’

The Half Way Point

October 24, 2016

Has been met.

I wrapped up my third weekend of five here in the first semester of my second year of graduate school.

Graduate school is sexy.

In case you were wondering.

Sleep deprivation.

Overconsumption of caffeine.

Anxiety about keeping up on the reading.

Writing papers.

Cramming it all in between the nooks and crannies of living life.

And.

Hoping once in a while to get a little sunshine on my face or a hug from a friend.

Or.

God fucking forbid.

A date.

Dating is challenging.

Throw recovery into the mix, full-time work and grad school.

Fuck me.

I’ll see you when I graduate and oh, then I’ll be interning.

That will be entertaining.

I do have hopes though for some magic.

I do.

I might even hop back out into online dating and Tinder.

I might.

I say this as I’m downloading the app to my phone.

I might use it.

Fuck me.

I amuse myself.

I was chatting with a friend of mine after class today at Philz and I told her about how I was getting a little too hormonal for my own good.

I also have to say, thank God for girlfriends you can share all the things with.

I am so lucky.

I told her about how things have gone this week and got all flustered and wound up and how if I’m feeling like this, if I’m so flushed up and flustered, maybe I need to take action.

“I need a fucking boyfriend,” I said.

“Yes, you do, but get laid and maybe, don’t worry about the guy being sober, like, throw open the pool and just you know, have some fun, get you through for a little while,” she said and laughed with me.

I’m a touch frustrated.

And it’s ok.

It is what it is.

But walking around perpetually turned on, although, hey, my skin is glowing, is a lot to deal with on top of grad school, work, etc, ad nauseum, blah, blah, blah.

It’s just life.

I remind myself.

It’s just another thing to experience.

I’ll probably have it up, the Tinder profile, for a week and be like fuck this like I have previously.

But.

I do feel a need to take some action.

I was thinking about asking someone out.

Not that I have had the opportunity to do so recently.

Recently having been this weekend, in which I was in school classes for 29 hours, so yeah, maybe not the best time to go out on a date.

But.

I do feel like I need to keep trying.

Keep things moving.

Keep trying.

Keep living.

I’m going to be a fucking therapist.

I should have some more relationship experience.

And besides.

I feel ready.

Definitely ready and I’m adamant about the “no married men” thing and the being available to be with someone who is available.

No going back to the drawing board.

But maybe just a little roll around the hay.

Hmm.

I don’t know.

I definitely don’t have to figure it out right now.

Perhaps the frustration of not getting what I want can be harnessed.

Heh.

I could run the world.

Not like I’m not already busy enough.

I was able to express myself to my friend though, it was so helpful and I am so grateful for my friend and to get to have dinner with her and her husband and another beloved person tonight after school, after cups of Philz coffee in the Castro, I was really so very grateful for them.

We went and had dinner at Lark, up on 18th between Castro and Hartford.

Pretty much the heart of the Castro.

Lots of lovely men to look at.

Not that anyone of them were interested in me, aside to compliment my frock.

I have to say, nothing like having a load of gay men tell me I look divine in polka dots and red lipstick.

Thank you very much.

I wore my crinoline too, it was just too much, but just right all at the same time.

And we had such a lovely time.

My friend also suggested that I talk more with them in French.

I tried.

I get a little flustered with it, but it’s such good practice and considering how much I love my friend and she’s French and lives in Paris and I’ll be going to Paris to visit her.

I also suspect that it won’t be my last time to Paris.

When someone you love dearly is living in Paris, you go when you can.

I did rather well, with the French-speaking, actually.

I ended up describing my relationship to my person, my mentor so to speak (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) all in French and though I stumbled a bit, I got it all out and that felt rather good to explain about my person and how I am helped by working with him and the whys and whereof of getting support around my family of origin alcohol and drug addictions.

It was rather awesome.

I mean, there was still some things lost in translation, but really, I did ok.

And my friend said the same thing, she told me that I actually speak a lot better than I think I do and that what I should start doing with her is speak as much French as I can and when I can’t, then use English.

She’s totally right.

It helped immediately.

I went back and forth between English and French all dinner.

It was thrilling.

And when I thought about it.

My heart just beat so hard in my chest.

Who was this woman, in her red Chanel lipstick, speaking French at a fancy restaurant in San Francisco?

Surrounded by people who love me.

I mean.

I have absolutely no question that I am loved.

It was just amazing.

And I felt so, well, awed, really.

I felt validated too.

It’s been a good week for that.

I’m in a good place.

A happy place.

A secure place.

A place of love.

A place of polka dots and my heart on my sleeve.

A place full of music and joy.

I might be just a tiny bit relieved to be done with the school weekend too.

Heh.

Happy.

Joyous.

Sexy.

And.

Motherfucking.

Free.

 

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What A Long Strange Day

March 1, 2015

It’s been.

Not a bad day.

No, not at all.

Just strange.

Disjointed, out-of-place, off my schedule, up and about and going places and doing things, not much things, but things, that I don’t ordinarily do and places I haven’t been to in a long time.

24th Street for one, below Valencia Street.

It’s been a long while since I was in that neck of the woods.

I had a workshop that I was running up in Noe Valley today and it was sort of smack in the middle of my early afternoon.

Too early for me to get lunch out and about, but too late to get stuff done here in the neighborhood before I had to be up in Noe.

I did get a call from a girlfriend as I was writing this morning and we made plans to meet and hang out after my commitment was up.

A commitment that I am extremely grateful I got to show up for and do and be of service.

“You are gifted,” she said to me, “you really know how to do this thing.”

I’m not sure if she was referencing my style or the way I ran the workshop or what, but I do have to say, I was quite happy with how it came off.

I have never done anything quite like it before and it was a unique experience for me to go through.

One in which I did a lot of reflection around for the weeks coming up to it and one in which I was happy to say went off so well.

It was also fun to dress up for it and flounce about town in my polka dot party dress.

A lot of the workshop was showing the steps I took to be my authentic self in recovery and discussing body image and sexuality and how I have found growth, amazing growth in those areas.

It felt not only appropriate but down right correct to be dressed up in my outfit with my hair done up with roses and bright red lipstick on and just be me.

I have felt like I am stepping more and more into my skin and I so do like that.

Afterward I took myself out for a late lunch at a little Chinese restaurant, Tung Sing, on 24th.

Simple, light, easy, steamed veggies and shrimp, brown rice, green tea.

I ate half my meal, packed up the other half for tomorrow, and walked down 24th from Noe Valley into the Mission nibbling on an apple I picked up from the Farmer’s Market in Noe Valley.

Ah.

The Mission.

Loud.

Dirty.

Weirdly gentrified and old school drug addled all at the same time.

It was a boiling pot of tourists taking Uber straight to Balmy Alley in their Coach leopard print slip ons and Kate Spade clutches to snap photos of the murals to the homeless nut bag talking to himself on the corner where the line wound around the block to Humphrey Slocombe for artisanal ice cream.

Olive oil ice cream anyone?

I met my friend walking up the street and we window shopped and talked about life and schedules and Burning Man.

If I’m going.

I want to.

How I’m going to go.

I don’t know.

She’s already got her ticket, has a place to camp, is roaring into her second year ready to have a new experience after the debacles at the Gate last year getting stuck in the rain storm at will call.

I have no idea where I would camp, where I would get my ticket from, how I would go, what I would stay in, how I would do it.

But I suspect, do it I will.

She and I talked scenarios and meandered at a slow, leisure like pace.

We stopped at Philz so she could grab her coffee.

I declined staying for coffee.

I was actually a little overwhelmed by the crowds and the tourists and I cannot remember a time when I had ever walked into Philz before on 24th and Folsom and felt so not a part of.

It was such an awkward combination of tech guys and tourists and hipsters, but out-of-town hipsters, that I did not want to stay and intermingle.

Maybe another day.

Today I was grateful for my quiet, or quieter, life down by the sea.

There are tourists out here too, but it’s just a little different and not as developed and nowhere near as crowded.

So instead of grabbing a cup, large, no sugar, just cream, of the Greater Alarm, I went with my friend and looked at more shops and made sure to walk on the sunny side of the street.

I got my sunshine on, that’s for sure.

We walked up 24th to Noe Valley, stopping at Issa on 24th and Chattanooga and then over to Common Scents before hitting the Whole Foods salad bar.

Then.

Starbux.

Not because I like the tea or the coffee all that much, but because it’s central to my evening commitment, there’s WIFI and there’s big cushy window seats to people watch from.

And sky watch.

The sunset tonight was spectacular.

Not so much the news that I heard shortly thereafter, namely, that the spot I was headed to had been cancelled without notice.

Well shoot.

Who knows what I might have done with my day if I hadn’t been wandering around waiting to cover my Saturday evening commitment.

I was miffed momentarily, then whipped out my phone, looked up some information and headed off to catch the MUNI back to the Sunset.

Arriving at my destination early I popped into Tart to Tart and got a lemon ginger tea and read my book for about 45 minutes.

Then I ran into old friends also displaced from this evening’s routine.

We joked about being ex-pats and caught up.

It was as strange day, again, not unpleasant, just long and meandering and in some ways good for me to see that I have really grown quite fond of my side of town.

I’m a city girl for sure, just look at how I dress, but I need the quiet and the stillness out here, down by the sea.

I thought I would always be a Mission girl, for always and forever.

And while I know I will always be a San Francisco lass.

I may have turned the corner.

To becoming a local from the Sunset.

The Outer Sunset at that.

Who would have guessed.

 

Home Cooked Care

September 8, 2014

I cannot for the life of me imagine why I am so tired.

I jest.

I was up, after two and a half hours of sleep, at 5a.m. to wrest myself and my belongings onto the J line train headed out of Brooklyn to Queens to connect with the AirTrain to JFK.

It seems a little surreal, that.

I was just in New York and now I am here.

I was just at Burning Man.

I have been to both sides of the country and back and wonder why I might feel a tiny bit deflated, a tad flat, a touch morose, a teeny bit sad.

I also feel happy and grateful and glad to be home.

Home is where San Francisco is.

Home is here, in my little bungalow by the beach.

It was so good to feel the cool breeze off the ocean when I deplaned today at SFO.

It hit me as soon as I step over the threshold of the plane and onto the tamarack, cool, clean, slightly salty, crisp.

A perfect San Francisco day, no fog, scatter of high wispy clouds, mid 60s, slight breeze.

When the wind was not blowing the sun felt warm, but not hot, and then the cool breeze would slough over me and refresh my weary self.

I got into SFO at 11:10 a.m. this morning.

I got on BART, then onto MUNI and it was about 1:30 p.m. when I got home to my little studio by the sea.  If you count the hours as they stood East Coast time, it took approximately 11 hours door to door to get home.

Of course I am tired.

I did nap a bit on the plane, which helped and though I don’t feel terrible, I do feel quite low-key.

Perhaps it is my body still digesting all the meat from last night.

God.

That was just yesterday.

I was walking through Central Park, sitting at Tavern on the Green, eating steak at Peter Luger’s (and bacon and lamb, and I do not apologize for it), it was just yesterday that I was at a Chelsea gallery looking at the Nick Cave exhibit, walking the Highline, having iced coffee in the hot and humid of New York.

And here I am back home.

Home, though, where the heart truly is.

I did have a wonderful dreamy time in New York, but as someone close to me recently said, “great to visit, don’t want to live there,” it is not the city for me.

San Francisco, my foggy seaside treat, you are.

I was reflecting that it’s been twelve years since I moved out here from Wisconsin.

Twelve years.

Give or take a little sabbatical in Paris.

Twelve years of rainy seasons, fog, recycling, composting, eating organic, quitting smoking, quitting drinking, no more drugs, no more car, riding my bicycle everywhere, slowing down (who am I kidding, I am still learning to slow down), meditating, trying surfing, trying yoga (neither stuck, but I do have a great wet suit to show for the surfing), giving up sugar and flour in my diet, going to Burning Man a lot (8 times in a row), concerts at Stern Grove, dancing at the EndUp and the Mezzanine, DNA Lounge and Mighty and Club 222 and The Elbow Room and The Make Out Room, riding across the Golden Gate Bridge on my bicycle, going up Twin Peaks (on foot once, on bicycle once, many times in a car, once on the back of a motorcycle, and once on my scooter), taking the cable car, the BART, the F-Market Line, living in Nob Hill (Taylor at Washington), living in Potrero Hill (Kansas and 26th), living in the Bayview (Palou at 3rd), living at the foot of Bernal Hill (Kingston and 30th) living in all sorts of places in the Mission (20th and York, 22nd and Alabama, 23d and Capp, 23rd and Folsom) and now in the Outer Sunset–46th and Judah.

Twelve years of Halloween’s, Gay Pride, Folsom Street Fairs, Castro Street Fairs, Day of the Dead, Carnival, Fourth of July fireworks, Giants play off seasons and league wins, Sunday Streets, and farmers markets, the Ferry Building, riding the ferry to Tiburon and Sausalito, walking the Embarcadero, feeding the wild parrots of Telegraph Hill, playing frisbee in South Park, lying around Dolores Park, The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence on Easter, and Hunky Jesus, SantaCon, pillow fights on Valentines Day, the How Weird Festival, Decompression parties in the DogPatch.

Twelve years of work, waiting tables at Hawthorne Lane and Absinthe (almost at Slanted Door–tried out, got hired, then they had a hiring freeze), working at San Francisco Vet Hospital, volunteering at the SPCA to do kitten socializing with feral kittens, personal assistant to a pornography director (documentary and educational films), make up artist assistant, household assistant, nanny, babysitter, customer service representative for a Bayview Wholesale vegetable and fruit vendor, house sitting, dog sitting, cat sitting, plant watering, fish sitting, front of house whiz kid at Mission Bicycle Company, and a whole bunch of odd jobs from being a hair model to dog walking and plenty of other things I am sure to be forgetting.

Twelve years of dating but not really dating, craigslist dates, Missed connections, M for Female (mostly when I first got in San Francisco before it got super creeps and weird), accidentally ending up in the first Fucking Machines studio before they relocated to the Armory and Kink Dotcom (they shared space with a Burning Man artist’s studio in the SOMA), blind dates, hook ups at, of course, The Make Out Room, the R Bar, Zietgeist, sitting outside and smoking cigarettes and drinking bloody mary’s and pitchers (pre-sobriety), dating the door man at the Crow Bar when it was still open, blind dates with guys from Silicon Valley that drove up to the city, too many OKCupid profiles, one 9 month relationship with a steam train locomotive engineer (I kid you not, RedWood Steam Trains up in the Berkley Hills, he’s probably still running the miniature trains up in the hills today) kissing outside of Muddy Waters on 24th and Valencia, strolling down 24th to Philz, too many blind dates at Philz (maybe I should stop first dates at coffee shops, I get too caffeinated), sushi at WeBe Sushi, sushi at Blowfish Sushi, a surprise date to Flour and Water when I thought we were, yes again, meeting for coffee, dates at Mavericks, Mission Bowling, Chez Spenser before it burned down, that one time I dated the tea buyer at Rainbow not knowing he bought tea for the whole store and I invited him up for a cup of stale chamomile I filched from a room mates tea box, weird underground Trance parties in the Bayview for Kontrol, making out underneath Coit Tower.

Twelve years.

San Francisco I hope I get at least twelve more.

And twelve more after that.

And well, you get the idea.

Happy Anniversary love of mine.

So very glad to be home.

Home where my heart resides easiest and best.

When I am not wearing it on my sleeve.

Thank You For Wearing Flowers In Your Hair

January 16, 2014

She said to me this evening as I was leaving the neighborhood to hit Irving Street and play defensive bicyclist trying not to die so you can find a parking spot.

“They really suit you, I can’t get away with it,” she concluded.

“Thank you,” I said and smiled.

It is San Francisco.

Here, as the song goes, of all places, I am allowed to wear flowers in my hair.

Even hot pink roses with glitter on them.

What it felt like I was being complimented on was being myself.

Whenever someone comments on a colorful outfit or a bright pattern, or an interesting hair do, flowers, sequins, feathers, anyone?

I always feel that I am being told, thank you for being you.

That by allowing myself the freedom to express my personality, I give permission to others to do so as well.

I could be reading too much into that, but that is what it feels like and I am more than happy to oblige.

I like this me.

“She gets more and more glamorous!” My grandmother told my mother recently.

My grandmother on my father’s side who is a Facebook friend.

My mother and she re-united recently, first through the post then over the phone.  That was news I wasn’t expecting.  It was also some news of my father whom I have not heard from in sometime, news that he is still up in Alaska and well, still alive.

Sometimes I feel that I won’t get to see him again, but in the wake of all the family reconnecting I have gotten to have I won’t make any sort of assumption.

There was a time that I never thought I would see my mom or my sister again, so who knows what may happen with my dad.

I would love to see him.

Even if just to hug him and say, hey, I love you, you did the best you could, and I am pretty awesome.

Just check out all the geegaws in my hair.

Ha.

Individuality, despite my wanting to fit in and be accepted by my peers, is a huge thing for me.  I like to be different, to try, to stretch, to be fabulous.

Then, I think, ha, part of my peer group is the Burning Man community, I fit right in just fine.  Fact, most the time I am not the most crazily dressed, but I do take care to express myself and I like pretty.

I do.

I like girly.

Who knew?

I could keep writing about this and if I’m not careful I will be pulling out my crinoline to rock around the park tomorrow with my little girl Thursday.

Which, when I think on it for a minute would be awesome.

She has a black tulle crinoline with little black sequins on the edges.

I could wear my white one and we can play dress up.

Or.

Heh.

I could wear my bibs, which is what I think I am going to wear, especially since she has a pair and we can play twins that way.

If my career as a nanny doesn’t take off I can always be a child stylist.

Bahahahahaha.

Actually, I bet that is someone’s job.

I mean think of all the commercials out there with children in them, I bet there are folks that do just that, style kids.

Hmmm.

Well, for the moment, I am not looking for work, having accepting the nanny career in an unstinting manner.

“How old are they?” She asked me at the park as one crawled over the other and zipped down the slide.

“He’s twenty-two and a half months, and he’s eleven and a half months,” I said pointing out each of the boys.

“Oh my, did that hurt?” The woman asked looking quite alarmed.

“Huh?” I said, then realizing what she meant I laughed, “oh no, they’re not mine, I am their nanny.  I do a nanny share with the boys.”

The boys.

Oh, such lovers, such pumpkins, such non-nappers.

Ugh.

I couldn’t be upset though, the snuggles, the hugs, the kisses, I missed my little guys when I was down in Florida.

And should you have seen me showing off the photographs of the two of them and the little girl I care for as well; you would have thought I was the grandparent at the retirement village.

It was a great day with the boys and I loved being out in the weather.

I know we need the rain, but man, I couldn’t get enough of that warm sunshine on my face.  In fact, there was a cold front moving into Florida when I left and it was warmer here than it was in Orlando today.

That is saying something.

I got the sweetest message from my mom and I thought again how glad I was to have made the trip.  Glad as well to know that I have a few things I want to send back to my family, things that you can only get in San Francisco.

Coffee for my mom from Philz.

It turns out the last time she was here and I took her to Philz that it was the best cup of coffee she had ever had.

I had not known that, so I asked if she would like some Philz coffee sent to her and she would.  So, I will send a little care package to her.  In fact, I will do that this Friday.

I am going to be in the Castro nannying in the afternoon and there’s a Philz nearby.  I will grab her a pound and send it off.

There are a few other little things I want to send my sister and her family too.

Nice to know that I don’t have to wait for Christmas to send love.

I can just do it because it feels nice to give things.

Whether it is the freedom to express yourself or express your love.

It’s all a great big gift.

Thank you for acknowledging my flowers, it makes me happy to make you happy.

And who doesn’t like pink satin and glitter anyways?

Getting to Know You

May 12, 2013

Howdy neighbor.

I ran into a lot of folks I know today.

I was on both sides of the Bay and got to see my Burning Man community over lap with my Oakland and San Francisco fellowship and my bicycling community.

I saw loads of folks.

Did my heart good.

I saw folks at the bike shop–Carlos, Felipe, Jefferson, oh my.

I saw folks on the street–hi!  I don’t remember your name, but I remember the color of the bicycle you built and your cute dog’s name is Peanut.

Hey, that’s Tor Weeks, hey Tor!  I love that print you do.

I saw the lady at the grocery store who always calls me honey, I like to grab a little lunch when I am in that neck of the woods at her market, today it was cherries, cashews, a banana, and then off to Four Barrel.

I have hit all the good coffee spots since I have been back–Philz, Ritual, Four Barrel–now I need to grab a Sightglass and maybe a Blue Bottle.

I saw a friendly face at Buffalo Xchange–where have you been?

Paris.

What!

I turned down 14th street without thinking and decided to make a pit stop at Rainbow.  I dithered, Berkeley Bowl or Rainbow?  Oh, you’re here, just get it in.

Hugs from Grant!

Yes.

Soy yogurt, a pear, Squirrel bread (seed bread that is not ground into flour that actually tastes like bread, yeah, I’m not only a burgeoning vegan I don’t eat flour or sugar either–which will play into later parts of this blog, just wait), flax milk, organic tomatoes, a Japanese sweet potato, a gal can’t have too many of those hanging out, a beautiful Bartlett pear, organic as well, and some tasty late crop organic Fuji apples.

Thanks Rainbow!

Nice to see you again too.

Then back on the BART to the East Bay.

Hey, came the text as I popped the Japanese sweet potato into the oven (man it is so nice to have access to ovens, I am good with not having to cook on a hot plate, can I just say) and got the pup ready to go out for a long walk, you know you’re invited over today.

What?

Oh damn.

Am I supposed to be working?

Oh.

Happy Birthday/house-warming party at the nanny gig next door with all sorts of Burning Man peeps.

Wait!

BBQ!

That was what my friend’s message was about, I couldn’t make out the full message as I was listening to it through the hum of the MUNI line rumbling overhead as I waited for the BART train to pull into the station.

Are you coming to the BBQ I texted her back.

Yes.

Yes!

Awesome.

I am house sitting next door.

See you soon.

Walk the dog, feed the dog, pick up the dog poo, feed the cat, pull the laundry out of the dryer, change the sheets, pull hair up, brush teeth, gather crap, and go, next door.

Friends!

So good to see you!

You know I followed you on Facebook and read your blog.

What?

You did?

Yup.

I didn’t really say anything, but lady, you are about one of ten people I actually checked in on and looked at you photos, and yes, read your blog.

You did!?

No way.

Yes way.

Beyond flattered.

Oh hey, you, yes, you, thanks for the heads up on the job, I got it.

I know!

I told them as soon as I saw that you were coming back to the Bay that they should get a hold of you.

Thank you!

And did you know I am now working with the other families too?

Yup, cuz I told them too.

Damn.

I owe you a dinner out or something.

Nope, just stay put, ok?

Yes.

Hey, came the text what are you doing tonight, Joanie pie said.

Oh, lady, I was planning on being at this bbq for a bit then maybe a mosey over to 6300 Shattuck Ave.

Good!  Because so am I.

What?

No way, can I catch a ride.

Yup.

Hustle out the door, say my good byes to the party.

“Hey just let us know if the party gets too loud,” the mom said as I got my stuff together.

I smiled, “no worries, you know I go to that crazy thing they call Burning Man, I can sleep through anything”.

Run next door, take off the flip-flops put on the Chucks and back out the door to wave down my ride.

“LADY!” Sidney Erthal, amazing photographer I met at  Media Mecca last year at Burning Man, “so glad you are back,” hugs are exchanged, he heads into the BBQ I hail my ride.

“You live here now?”  She asked with delight in her eyes, I nodded.

Yup.

I live here now.

Hey, what are we doing now? Another friend asks as we huddle together exchanging hugs and hello’s and how are you’s.

Everybody is headed over to Saturn.

Ok.

Gaggle of people, menus, Saturn is like Sparky’s diner in SF except that everything is vegetarian!  And 3/4s of the food can be made vegan and, and, and GF–gluten-free.  Of course I had already had dinner, but hey, nice to know I got some options.

What the hell?

JOSIE!

AMANI!

I sprang up over the booth and ran to hug my Burning Man friends–who just happened to be coming in from the Oakland Cat Video Festival–to have vegan nachos.

Pull up a chair, let’s catch up.

Well see I met her when she was visiting Paris at Christmas time and she lives in Rome and I knew her room-mate from law school who happened to be in med school and I met her at Burning Man, so she invited me to Rome and then my friends sent me money and voila!

Man.

Hi.

I live here.

It’s nice to know I’m home.

“Just let me know kid,” he said with a smile, “I’ll get you connected.”

Thank for the offer, I am sure I will take you up on it.

Although it appears that I may not need to.

Home, here, in Oakland.

Happy Saturday serendipity!


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