Posts Tagged ‘photography’

Camera Time

December 27, 2016

And that’s what days off are for.

Spending a lot of time on the phone with a tech guy figuring out what is the issue and how to fix it.

The issue for me has been that when I got my new camera, the same guy I used to have, just a newer version, my computer would only get halfway through the process of uploading my pictures.

It was really frustrating.

I had a friend look at it recently and he said take it to the Genius Bar.

But.

I did not want to be in an Apple store the day after Christmas, fuck no, so I looked up an appointments for calls on-line and set it up so that I could get tech support when I got back from my yoga class.

Yes.

Back in it after a weird week off with the work and the holiday and the cold.

I still have the cold, but it doesn’t seem as tenacious as it was the last few days.

It maybe all the sleep I let myself have.

I slept nine hours.

I never sleep nine hours any more.

I used to, a long time ago, sleep nine hours and even once in a while I would get a big fat ten hours a night.

No longer.

Thank you grad school and full-time work.

Anyway.

I had a nice yoga class.

A hot shower.

A delicious breakfast.

The persimmons are just about gone and I’m jolly well enjoying them to the last juicy bite.

Then some writing and laundry and the phone call.

It took about twenty-five minutes and then I had to reboot and restart the computer.

I went to the co-op up the street and grabbed a few things.

Came back, unpack my goodies, signaled the computer it was ok to restart, plugged in all the passwords and such and then still had to wait another bit of time while it updated.

But.

I used said time well and took out the left over pork roast from yesterday and made some pork fried rice for lunch.

YUM.

By the time I had folded my laundry and did my dishes, the upgrade had finished and my computer was back up and running with a bunch of slightly different little icons on the dock.

I opened up my Iphoto and hooked up the USB cable from my camera to my computer.

And.

YES!

It took.

Yay.

My photographs all downloaded.

And I discovered a whole batch of photographs that hadn’t been moved over to my hard drive.

Old photos from Paris, a bunch of Burning Man photos, nanny photos and just general out and about in the world, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles.

It was pretty cool to see them, I hadn’t realized they were there.

Another project for this week.

The getting my camera to sync with my computer was a big one.

I need to attend to some school stuff, renew my FAFSA for next year’s round of financial aid, update my Linkedin profile, which I haven’t touched in years but was strongly advised that I want to have a good profile up for school and practicum interviews.

Who knew?

I’m also going to peep my syllabi and buy any text books that need buying.

I want to run over to Optical Underground and see if I can get the lenses taken out of an old set of frames and into a new set.

I have had the frames forever, really like them, but they are old and just not holding their shape, the lenses, however, are fairly recent (I had my optometrist re-lense my current prescription into them).

I’ll probably do that Wednesday since I had a date to the MOMA with two of my favorite men in the universe.

We’ll be meeting at the MOMA at 10 a.m. for a good wander and then out to lunch.

I’m super excited to spend time with both of them, so near and dear to my heart.

Tomorrow I’m signed up for an early yoga class but I’m not sure what the rest of the day will look like.

Definitely more out and about with my camera.

Having downloaded the photographs I was eager to take more.

I posted to my other blog.

Which is exclusively photographs.

I hadn’t put fresh photographs on that site in about two years.

It was high time.

And then I decided I wanted to get out and take more.

It was pretty close to sunset and I speculated that I might be able to make Twin Peaks.

But.

It would be really close.

I hopped on my scooter, went to the gas station, topped off the tank–all of a $1.26–and headed out.

The light was fading fast and as I zoomed up Lincoln Ave I caught a glimpse of Grand View Park.

And I thought, there, that’s where I need to go, I’ve been to Twin Peaks, but I have never climbed up Grand View.

And it’s a climb, there’s no driving all the way to the top.

Although I took my scooter as far as I could, parking it at 14th and Moraga.

Then I scooped my camera and began climbing the flights of stairs to the top.

Which was helpful to warm me up a little.

My God it was cold and windy.

But.

It was worth it.

The views were out of this world.

I am so happy I did it.

My fingers could barely move as I took photos and I bumbled around a bit with my glasses and my feet and trying to line up shots with a steady hand that wasn’t shaking from the cold.

I got a few good ones.

Go check them out.

I hope to continue getting a few good ones.

I can’t promise how often I will post.

The editing takes time and then getting them up to the other blog, although there is not much writing, there is a lot of editing and it takes awhile to put together.

That being said.

I really enjoy doing it.

So I will as much as I can.

Especially this week when I have some free time to indulge in my little amateur hobby.

I love photography.

It makes me happy.

And as far as I’m concerned.

There is always room for more happy in my life.

Always.

Puerto Rico

December 19, 2016

In the New Year?

Um.

Yes please.

So today was my birthday and like all good plans, hahahaha, plans you are just awesome and always so fucked, it didn’t quite go the way I um, planned.

Free Gold Watch was closed for a private party.

Which they hadn’t advertised and so when I showed up with my friends there was no pinball to be had.

And it was cold.

And I had stood outside for a long time waiting in line at Zazie’s in Cole Valley for brunch to want to stand outside any longer and figure out anywhere else to go.

So.

I called it a day.

And I have no regrets, no hurt feelings, because.

Ha, I had no expectations.

Which is actually a really nice way to roll.

And.

I had such a good time, such a lovely, sweet, warm, cozy, when we finally got seated in the restaurant as we had to wait in line for over an hour, but so worth the wait.

I had a delicious meal.

A lot of coffee.

And the company of some dear friends.

I am a very lucky girl.

Standing on the curb in Cole Valley outside a hopping French bistro waiting in line to have brunch on my birthday, feeling all the love.

I was a little disappointed to not play ye olde pinball, I love pinball, but I wasn’t upset that I was missing out, I had already had such a good time.

And.

My friends sang me Happy Birthday in the restaurant and the entire place joined in.

Wonderfully mortifying and special all at the same time.

Full, replete, and warm, I couldn’t have asked for more.

I also had an awesome talk with my dear friend who came over from Oakland to have brunch, we hadn’t seen each other in months, but sometimes, when there’s a connection, there’s a connection and it doesn’t matter that it was a little while, we were right back in it.

And.

Guess where he’d been?

Puerto Rico.

And guess where the airline I have the voucher for flies to?

San Juan.

Puerto Rico.

Of course, it’s too late to get a flight anywhere, all the holiday traveling, and I’m fine with that, but I corralled my friend on the curb and told him about my Christmas plans changing and that I had to cancel my ticket and now had a flight voucher that I could use to travel anywhere the airline had hubs.

It’s a small airline-SunCountry, so no Hawaii or international travel, except Puerto Rico, some spots in the Caribbean and Mexico.

Hello.

I said to the little map showing off Puerto Rico.

I haven’t seen you in a long time.

I mean.

A really long time.

And I have wanted to go back, to do it right.

To do it sober, for one, to go again to the bio luminescent sea, to walk the cobbled streets of Old San Juan, to swim in the water and lay on the beach.

So as I’m explaining to my friend about the ticket and my thoughts and wondering when he’s going back to Puerto Rico, he just starts smiling and smiling and then.

“Nena, open your gift.”

I looked at him, “ok.”

And opened my gift on the sidewalk outside Zazie’s and screeched with joy.

A travel book to Puerto Rico.

A bag of Puerto Rican coffee.

And a jar of Adobo spice.

OMG.

So made my birthday.

“How the hell?” I was so excited,  smacked my friend with the Adobo.

“I don’t know, but obviously the Universe provides,” he smiled.

We’ll be talking more, he’s got business there and will be going a couple of times a year for the next year and a half, two years, so sometime in the new year there will be a trip to Puerto Rico with my dear friend.

I am so excited.

And though the plans, they keep changing, I will be here for Christmas, I’m not upset about them changing, life happens, things change, roll with it.

Tonight will be an early night for me, despite it being my birthday I don’t need to go and paint the town eighteen shades of red, rather, I get to curl up here in my cozy home, by my sweet Christmas tree and have a little more tea and get a good night’s sleep.

Tomorrow begins my last week with my current family.

It will be sad to say good-bye to the boys, but also I know it’s not a true goodbye as the next family I work with goes to the same private school.

I will see the boys at pick up and drop off and that will be a kind way to ease the transition.

Both for them and for me.

I have some Christmas presents for them and some things that I hope will remind them of me and keep me in their hearts, but I am ready to move onward to the next adventure.

I am also grateful that I have week off from said next adventure.

There will be much yoga.

There will be a little travel over to the other side of the bridge to help out a friend on Christmas Eve day.

There will be trips to the MOMA.

Dare I say it?

There will be naps.

There will be time to figure out my camera and why I can’t download my pictures to my computer.

There will be time to attend to a few school things–practicum applications, resume writing, gathering references.

As well as doing my FAFSA for the next school year and starting to order my books for the next semester.

Fingers crossed.

There will be time for at least one book that is pleasure reading.

There will be time for a ferry-boat ride on the bay me thinks.

I love to take the ferry once in a while, it’s my special solo date gig.

There will be lots of writing.

When isn’t there?

There will be plans that go awry and things that change and I will grow and change with them.

Hello 44 years old.

You look pretty damn good.

Glad we’ve made it this far.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Miss Popularity

November 19, 2016

Is how I felt today.

I got asked out to lunch by a couple of different people today, plus I got to confirm my travel plans for Thanksgiving and chat with my French girl friend about our travel plans in May to Paris.

Wow.

I am liked.

I know.

I sound kind of like I need to be in therapy, and granted, there will be that part to my program, I have to do a year of therapy in the modality that I want to specialize in, but it was nice, sweet, loving, to feel so embraced and sought out.

I have lunch plans for tomorrow and made lunch plans for the next time I meet with my cohort.

It’s kind of crazy to think that we are almost 3/4s of the way through the semester.

I turned in my two big papers, confirmed that I will be presenting my final project for Child Therapy the first day of class next weekend, and felt really prepared.

It felt good.

Albeit.

I was definitely tired by the end of the day and my last class, dragging a bit, but I got through and had a good day in classes.

We did teacher evaluations for two of my classes and that took up a good deal of time and I also got to see where I want to focus my next bit of energy on–practicum, which is basically training and beginning the process of becoming an intern.

There is so much to do all the time.

I got home and cued up an episode of This American Life to review for my Psychopathology class and started listening to it while I was cleaning out my e-mails and putting together may materials for tomorrow.

Then I realized.

Oh.

It’s going to rain tomorrow.

No scooter riding into school.

Either I catch the MUNI or I catch a car into class.

And either way that means I’ll be in transit and I can listen to the homework assignment on the way to class.

Much more efficient use of my time.

I will write my blog, unwind a little, have a snack, a cup of tea, a little snippet of a video and go to bed.

I will attempt to get more sleep then I did last night.

I will also not be carrying as many books into class.

I simplified down what I am going to bring and will just really be showing up with my DSM V desk reference and my notebooks for class.

I have to say I have engaged with the material and I’m finding some interest and insight, but two out of my three classes are falling a little bit flat and I’m not too excited to be in them.

I have been participating and listening, but I’m not on fire for them.

Which is ok, but makes the day feel a little long.

Fortunately.

I really do have some good friends in my cohort and it felt really sweet and nice to be sought out for lunch dates and travel plans.

Plus.

I got to talk with my girl friend who I will be going to Nevada with and make our travel plans, so excited to get to have a road trip with my friend and be included in her family and home.

She’s coming back into town Tuesday evening, she’ll spend the night and we will leave Wednesday morning to head to Nevada, it’ll be about a three and a half to four-hour trip.

Perfect little road trip.

I am excited.

I do love a drive in a car, I do, I do.

I am very American that way.

I am a passionate observer and I will be taking my camera and I will figure out how to get my photographs to download.

I will.

I’ll be spending Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday night there, then we will drive back and she’ll spend Saturday night here in town with me and leave for San Diego in the morning where she’ll be heading to work.

Five nights of girl time!

Very excited.

And though I joked about doing some pleasure reading I may well take the time to catch up on my reading and also start getting my praticum applications ready and working on my resume.

I’m not really sure what the sites will be looking for in regards to a resume, but I’ll be talking with the practicum advisor tomorrow.

So.

I will have some vacation time and lots of girl time I do have a few things I need to attend to.

As well as registering for my next semester of classes on November 27th.

There is much to do.

I don’t want to fall into living in the future though, not too much, there is only so much I can do at any given moment and man, I do attend to a lot.

My biggest focus for the rest of the weekend will be doing my self-care, writing in the morning before class, eating well, getting as much sleep as I can, and showing up.

I have a big speaking engagement on Sunday after class and then right back into a full day of work on Monday.

Right now.

A little jazz on the stereo.

A little easiness in my body.

I little grace to know that all the work is slowly adding up.

And my friendships with the people in my cohort, how important it is to cultivate those too.

There’s a get together tomorrow night after class and I’m not sure I can commit to that, but I may try.

It’s not now.

It’s not right here.

And as I look around my clean, yes clean, got to have a clean house before a weekend of classes, with the candles lit and the lights warm and the music and I am just simply here and can rest, well that’s a really nice feeling, really nice.

Made it through day one of the weekend.

Yes.

Good night y’all.

See you on the flip.

That’s Ok

November 18, 2016

It’ll be taken care of.

I have the money.

God must want the city to have a few more bucks.

Just the cost of living in the city.

It’s going to happen once in a while.

I know better next time.

All the thoughts that went through my head when I saw my scooter.

Shoot!

I got a parking ticket.

I was downtown heading to my appointment to get Covered California, which I did not get, I’ll explain in a minute, and I parked between to cars off of Grant Street.

I really didn’t think I was going to get a ticket, but the truth is, I did have a pricking in my thumbs and I was hoping that I wouldn’t be at the office that long and god damn, even on a scooter it’s hella hard to find parking where I was going.

Spring Street, which is where the office is located, doesn’t even have parking on it at all.

Next time.

If there’s a next time.

I’ll pay to park in the garage.

I got popped with an $81 dollar ticket.

The nice thing was that I wasn’t upset.

I was like, well, shoot.

Then I thought.

I’ve paid for the time, I got out of the Healthy SF office far sooner than I thought, as I didn’t end up applying to Covered California, and I pulled out my camera and took some photographs.

It reminded me of the time, about four years ago, that I took a photography class with a mentor and walked around China Town with him taking hundreds of photographs.

I looked up entranced by the red dragon ledges of the building I was parked next to.

Then, I turned and Grant street, right there, so many colors and juxtapositions of signs and lamp-post and hanging lanterns, panda posters, hot pink, lime green, window displays, all the golden dragons floating across the faces of the buildings.

I was entranced and shot a rapid number of frames.

Pictures that I have been trying desperately for the last hour to figure out how to download to my computer.

I really don’t know what’s going on with it, but it won’t recognize the files.

This has happened before and I can’t remember how I got it to recognize the format of my camera and down load the photos.

I spent way too much time on it and I finally gave it up and got in the shower, which is what I should have done much sooner, I am already up past my “bed time” on a school night.

Yes.

That’s right.

Class is in this weekend.

And I have papers to turn in and lectures to attend and friends to catch up with.

I am looking forward to seeing my friends.

Not so much to classes, if the truth may be told, I’m not loving the classes I’m in quite as much as last semester, but that’s ok, I’m sure that will happen once in a while, the material is sufficient and I’m learning, I’m just not finding myself connecting with two out of the three classes as much as I would like.

So it goes.

I need to take some proactive actions this weekend around my practicum stuff too, I’ll be sitting through my lunch hour in an open house.

So much for taking a break, ever.

Ha.

Or catching a break.

I almost skipped over the didn’t get health insurance today.

It costs too much.

“Oh, that’s too much,” she said shaking her head, “you can’t afford that.”

Yeah, no shit.

I was in tears.

“Oh, no, don’t cry,” she said and patted my arm.  “My daughter’s in the same boat, she’s a nanny too.”

Ah.

Those that do the work, sometimes they get glossed over, looked over, left behind, but I won’t be upset, I won’t.

Nope.

I’m going to be grateful.

Because.

The agency is going to let me do Healthy San Francisco for another year.

Thank you!

Yes.

I will take a hit at tax time and get a penalty for not having health insurance, fuck you very much, last year it was $85 per month that I didn’t have insurance.

Whatever.

The cost of the lowest usage, least covered of the packages was still over three times greater in price than what I am paying using Healthy SF.

So.

Even taking a fine on for each month is less than what I would pay.

Plus the copays are stupid.

$75 to see my primary doctor.

Fuck you.

I won’t ever go, what’s the point?

I said thank you so much to the woman who helped me, nearly gave her a hug I did, and wrote up a really nice five-star comment about her service and slipped it into the suggestion box in the lobby before I left.

I had tons of time before work.

What do I want to do?

Get my scooter and move it now.

Too late.

There’s the ticket.

Oh well.

I was actually ok with it, I really was, I mean, hell, I thought, just the cost of finding out that I was going to stick with the health plan and services that I have currently.

I took out my camera, took my pictures, then decided I would go to Rainbow Co-operative and do some retail therapy.

I bought five pounds of Stumptown Holler Mountain coffee.

I got a discount of 10% off the cost of it for buying it in bulk and yes, I will drink it faster than you think I will.

Shhh.

I have a small, heh, caffeine habit.

Don’t tell.

I got myself a few fat and sassy persimmons.

I picked up a bottle of my favorite raw chocolate drink from Rau.

I got myself a box of Christmas cards.

It’s almost that time again.

I got some Mexican chocolate candles.

God damn they smell good.

I got some nice tea to bring to school tomorrow.

I bought some organic nutmeg in bulk.

Because nutmeg.

Then I hopped on my scooter and got to work.

Work was busy.

Another sick boy.

Another batch of broccoli soup.

And chili.

Grandparent visit and the grandpa really loves my chili so whenever they are in town I whip up a batch.

One monstrous big temper tantrum.

But.

It worked its way out and the oldest boy and I had a really sweet moment when we were navigating his feelings.

“When was the last time you got mad?” He asked me.

“Hmmm,” I thought about it, “oh!  Today, well, I was not super mad, but I got a little mad, I got a parking ticket on my scooter.”

“You did?” The mom called out from her office, “how much was it for?”

“Ugh, $81,” I said, “but I had a feeling I shouldn’t have parked there, and well, I learned to trust that voice again.”

“Do you have it?” The mom asked.

“No, I paid it immediately, dropped a check in the mailbox before coming to work,” I replied, and ruffled the eldest boys hair and squeezed his shoulder.

“How much was it?  $81?” The mom asked coming through the kitchen.

“Here,” she said and set $81 in cash on top of my purse, “I always pay a person’s parking ticket, it’s good karma.”

“What?  Are you serious, thank you!”  I was so startled, and grateful, it made me laugh, I truly believed I was going to come into money today and that my ticket was going to be negated.

And it was.

“Absolutely, if I hear someone got a parking ticket I always pay it,” she said and went back to her office, saying as she walked away, “it really is good karma.”

Holy moly.

Thanks boss lady!

Taken care of.

Just.

Like.

That.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

All the damn time.

Seriously.

Picture Perfect

November 9, 2016

I got my new camera.

Oh.

She is a beauty.

I got her and got so excited.

Thinking of all the new photographs I can take and upload to my computer again now that the majority of the photographs on it have been deleted.

I have still more to delete.

I just did another big batch right now.

More photographs of Paris.

The really cool thing is reliving those moments, the really cool thing, is that I took so many photographs.

So many.

I also realized that I had more on my hard drive then I realized.

Closer to 15,0o0.

A lot in other words.

I got the same camera that I had before, but it’s obviously the newest version.

I spent a lot of time just holding it and actually, um, ha.

Crying.

I was not expecting to feel so emotional about it.

But it was unexpected to get it sooner than I had thought I was going to get it and that I will have it for oh, the super moon next week, or for my trip to Nevada for Thanksgiving, or my trip to Wisconsin in December.

And.

Oh.

Yes.

My trip to Paris in May.

All the photographs.

All the pictures I get to take.

So grateful for this gift.

When I went back to college to get my undergrad degree, after I had flunked out my first go through, a long story for another blog, or actually an old story I’ve written about before, you’ll find it in my archives somewhere, I went back with the purpose of getting a degree in photography.

I wanted to take photography classes.

I wanted to be a professional photographer.

I still have a little note that I wrote down my goals.

Things I wanted to do.

One of them was work for the National Geographic Society traveling the world and taking pictures.

I found out when I went back to school that I had to take art classes before I could do the photography class.

Boo hiss.

I did it though.

And holy mother of God.

The art class was hard.

Hands down one of the hardest classes I have ever taken.

I spent a lot of time and effort on my projects and I was actually a little bit better than what I’m letting on.

But more of it?

Fuck no.

It was too much.

It was too hard.

I wonder.

Sometimes.

I wonder if I had gotten sober sooner or if this thing there had happened instead of that thing there.

Well.

It’s just musing.

But.

I did want to be a photographer.

I really did.

But like so many things.

It fell to the wayside.

So when I went to Paris in 2007 and decided I was going to get a camera I had no clue that I was going to get the one I got.

It was much more expensive than I had budgeted for.

But.

The store was going out of business and the clerk up sold me.

It was the best up sell ever.

I had that camera until this September when I got back from Burning Man.

I knew that it had died out there, in the dust, it finally bit, well the dust.

I wasn’t able to use it for any but a couple of the days I was at the event, which did bum me out, but I had my Iphone so I was still able to take photos, they just weren’t the same as the ones I would get off my camera.

Before I moved to Paris I took a photography class with a mentor and we walked through China Town all afternoon and took pictures.

He told me I had a good eye.

And.

You know.

I do.

I was surprised going back through all the photographs at how well so many of them are framed, that there were often surprising elements that I caught, or patterns of colors.

I didn’t often know why I would stop and take a photograph and I was hell on wheels when I was walking with another person in Paris, stopping all the time to shoot an image or a scene and often times having no idea until I got home and uploaded them what I had captured.

I have an eye for balance and framing and color.

I’m not great.

But.

I’m good.

And.

Like the writing.

I love doing it.

I’m never going to make a lot of money on either, I suspect, although, who knows, I certainly don’t, but I get so much joy from it.

So.

Last night.

The package arrived.

I was so excited.

So thrilled.

My heart in my chest when I opened the box.

My hands didn’t tremble.

But.

The reverence.

I had to set it aside for a moment.

I had to pause and breathe and thank God for the gift.

I unwrapped it.

I attached the strap to it and the cover to the lense.

I loaded the batteries.

That was a revelation.

When I was in Paris.

I was going through batteries too fast.

I bought myself a battery charger and started charging my batteries.

One of the few non-essential splurges I allowed myself when I lived there.

That and a vibrator.

But.

Um.

Haha.

That’s another blog too.

Heh.

Anyway.

The battery charger was key.

And I still have those batteries, although not the charger since it was for European outlets.

The camera that came last night had batteries, but not rechargeable ones.

I will use up the juice on the ones that were sent with the camera and then I will upgrade to my rechargeable ones.

When I dropped in the batteries and settled the camera bottom back on, I turned it over, took off the lense cap and turned her on.

Oh goodness.

Tears again.

I pushed my glasses up on my head and peered through the view finder.

Yes.

It’s a digital, I could use the screen.

But.

I take better pictures when I use the view finder.

I saw the scope of my room.

I got misty eyed.

And then I laughed out loud.

How good is my life?

To get a new camera.

To get a new perspective.

To go and open up my other blog.

Yes.

I have another blog.

http://www.whereintheworldisauntiebubba.wordpress.com

And be so surprised and happy to see those photographs.

And a warning.

The first one is a doozy.

It’s my ankle after my accident on my scooter two years ago.

God damn.

That hurt.

Fuck that was bad.

It’s been two years since I have put up a photograph to that blog.

That is going to change.

And really fucking soon.

Tomorrow as a matter of fact.

I was going to hold off until the weekend.

But why?

I need to use it and get back into the practice of using it.

I want to have it back in my life.

I adore using my phone to take pictures, it’s super fun to post them up to Instagram, but I want to use a real camera again.

Even if it looks like I am a tourist.

Really.

I am.

And.

I am perfectly fine with it.

I only have this life to be a tourist.

I might as well make the most of it.

The only thing left to get is a new camera case.

I tossed the other one.

I figured, it was hella old, dusty, and it wasn’t a great case.

That’s the only reason why I didn’t take it to work with me today, I don’t have a case yet.

I will by tomorrow.

Well.

I’ll have a case ordered by tomorrow.

I don’t know that I will get out to a shop.

But.

Fuck.

Pictures.

And words.

“What do you want to do Carmen,” he asked me and leaned back waiting for my answer.

“I don’t know,” I wailed.

“Yes, you do!” He sat forward on the back couch at Ritual, when there was still a couch in the back.

I was so startled, I blurted out, without knowing what I was about to say, “I want to travel and write and take photographs.”

“Then travel and write and take photographs,” he settled back down.

I made a huge decision to leap in that moment.

I haven’t regretted it once.

I just emptied out another 388 photographs into my trash.

Got to make room for the new ones

The new experiences.

The new adventures.

The new travels.

Can’t wait to show you how I see the world.

My gift to you.

Good night.

Sweet dreams.

Rest.

For tomorrow.

And every day I can.

Photographs.

Oh the joy.

I cannot express.

For.

There is so much.

Yes.

There is so much.

So

Very much.

To see.

Deleting Photographs

November 3, 2016

Listening to jazz.

Specifically Art Tatum.

The scratchy sound of the needle dragging though the vinyl is succulent and the glow in my cozy, sweet home is warm and inviting.

I’m deleting photographs in waves.

I had over 10,700 on my hard drive.

They have all been safely moved to my external drive and I’m now in the process of deleting them off my laptop.

I have to say it’s challenging.

There’s a tiny part of me that wants to not delete them, what if they didn’t transfer?

But they did.

And the photos are taking up way too much space on my laptop.

It’s been running slow, telling me constantly to delete files, disk is full.

Yeah.

Yeah.

I hear you, I’m working on it computer.

Thanks to my special help, it takes a village, it does, I was able to secure my pix and now, ha!  Now I can take more.

Well.

Not yet.

But soon.

I’m figuring January.

I’ll be flush enough to get a new camera.

I’m not sitting horribly at the moment, but I did buy a ticket to Wisconsin and a ticket to Paris this past month, just paid rent, just wrote the check from my health insurance and bought my mom her birthday present.

I’ll be sending that off tomorrow.

I love sending presents.

I love the idea of seeing someone’s face when they get something I have gotten for them.

I like to give.

I’m a giver.

Shocking.

I know.

When I have been in financial straits I tend to make things, and truth be told, I’m thinking about doing that this year.

I’m not really in straits, I’m just not as flush as I would like.

I’m doing ok and I’m not going to stress, but I was also thinking that I love cooking and it might be nice to make chicken soup for friends at school.

Last year around this time I went over to a friend’s house and cooked food for him for what probably lasted him weeks if not a month while he was going through a challenging time.

Cream of broccoli soup with cheddar cheese and bacon.

And.

Chili with sirloin and three kinds of beans.

Plus a huge pan of cornbread.

It was right around this time, I do remember, it might have actually have been Halloween, I remember there were trick or treaters going around and I used candied corn and bacon, because I roll like that, in the pan of cornbread I made.

I miss baking.

I don’t miss eating it, though I can get nostalgic for it.

But I do miss baking.

Sometimes I wish I could just get all the stuff and bake up a storm like I used to when I lived in Wisconsin.

Sugar cookies with frosting.

Brazil nut toffee.

Popcorn balls.

Fudge.

With and without nuts, but frankly, it’s so much better with nuts.

I miss making cheesecakes and pies, pumpkin pies and apple pies especially at this time of year.

I miss that feeling that, warm, soft glowing feeling that I got as I puttered around my kitchen, mixing and measuring, baking, and kneading, frosting sugar cookies.

I do.

I always get a bit nostalgic for it when I’m heading into the holidays.

The photographs I have been deleting also reminded me of that.

I’m currently in the middle of the 1,000s of photos I took when I lived in Paris.

And I have to say.

Fuck.

I’m a pretty damn good amateur photographer.

There were some really good shots.

And I loved seeing the Paris around Christmas time photographs.

The lights were so gorgeous.

Definitely different from what you see in the states, but they had an allure.

I was also so broke when I lived there, taking pictures was all I could afford to do.

Although I did splurge during the holidays.

Mostly on postage.

I sent my family and friends postcards and Christmas cards from Paris.

I found a photograph of my table, one of my favorite perches at the neighborhood cafe at that was on the same corner where I lived, Rue de Bellefond, in the 9th, Odette and Aime.

I had a glass of water.

A cafe allonge, which is basically an Americano, or a black coffee–I was already skimping on the milk, the cafe cremes were just too pricey.

My notebook.

My bag of pens.

And tons of cards and postcards and stickers from the librairie that was by Square D’Anvers that I made myself a nuisance at.

I couldn’t really afford the pens and paper there, but I would treat myself once in a while, I would buy a card or if I was feeling extravagant, a Claire Fontaine notebook, I would wander the aisles and look at everything.

I was very polite to the owners and once that got used to me and the fact that I always bought something, even if it was tiny, went along way.

Bonjour Madame.

Bonjour.

And I would wile away the time in the aisles longingly caressing the notebooks and smelling the good paper smell.

I love paper.

I love books.

I love, love, love the way they feel and look and well, Paris was a hard place for that luxury when I was living there.

When I went back last Christmas I gave myself carte blanche to buy whatever I wanted to paper wise.

I actually had a challenging time with it for a little while.

Grow up poor and in scarcity, even when there is none, even when I had fat Euro, for me, in my pocket, Euro that was not needing to go to rent or groceries, or god forbid a cafe creme, I had a hard time spending it.

For a few days I was acting as though I couldn’t part with them.

I actually forced myself the first time to buy a notebook at a papeterie my first day there.

Yes, there are paper stores there.

Exclusively paper and pens and auto collants.

STICKERS.

God I love me some stickers.

Shut up.

I did get past it and I did allow a few splurges.

But truth be told.

I could have let myself have more.

That’s a thing.

Letting myself have more.

Nice coffee.

Nice candles.

Nice hair products.

It’s ok to take care of myself.

I still want to give, I do love gifting, there is just something about it, but I also want to let myself have things.

Whether it is an experience, which is usually where I spend my money–traveling.

Or.

A nice pair of pants.

I deserve to have nice things.

I am lovable and worthy of love.

Lest I forget.

And the best thing about the photographs?

They remind me, gently of how far I have come.

When I moved back from Paris three years ago I was broke.

I mean.

I had ten dollars in my wallet.

I have come a long fucking way.

Let me tell you.

And I’m so grateful for the perspective.

And that I documented my experience.

The photographs have been a joy to relive.

Looking forward to making more.

Having more.

Allowing more into my life.

Happy.

Joyous.

And.

Free.

Yes.

Yes, please.

Yes, always.

One More Day!

May 18, 2016

One more day of work.

Then.

Off to New York.

I have made some decisions regarding my trip.

One.

I am not taking the subway to the Air BnB when I get into JFK at 10:30 p.m. at night.

I don’t feel like showing up to the place after midnight.

I’m going to get a car.

I am going to let myself not worry about navigating the trains, I’m going to let myself have a little experience, see the city from a car at night.

I think the view alone from a car will be worth the splurge.

I am also going with a good amount, obscene it feels like, of money.

I have saved all semester and I have a comfortable little cushion to let myself spend and the luxury of not being anxious about making the right train and transferring to the right line is well worth the cost of a car.

In fact, I’m also going to take a car to the airport when I return as well.

My flight back is way early, 7:30 a.m.

Which is awesome since with the time change it puts me at getting back to SFO around 9:30a.m. and I took the whole day off from work.

I’ll probably train it back to the house from SFO.

I’m hella comfortable with that commute.

But in New York, I’m going to let myself have the experience of not being anxious about train times and getting here to there.

I will take the subway while I’m there, I won’t be on a time frame, it’s loose and flexible.

I want to go to the MOMA, the Guggenheim, the Whitney, but if something comes up and I miss one of those because I am having some other grand adventure, than cool.

I’m going to be flexible.

I um, heh, want some souvenirs, because that’s how I roll.

And I did actually come up with a tattoo piece that I may go have checked out at Three Kings in Green Point.

If I can get it for a good price I will.

If it seems like it would take up too much time and energy then I won’t.

I do want a pair of earrings, or three, a bunch of notebooks, bunch of stickers, postcards from the museums I make it to and what ever the hell floats my boat.

I would love a sweatshirt and I always love getting a hat from the city I visit.

I don’t actually have the one I got there two years ago, I am not sure where it got off to, but I don’t have it.  I do have the one I got in Paris in 2007 and I love wearing it, I am always reminded of the street where I got it, the time of day, and how I just fell in love with it.

I’d like a good New York cabbie hat or fedora.

God damn.

I am excited.

Coffee galore, walking, oysters at a restaurant somewhere, photographs, graffiti, I want to make sure I bring my camera and rechargeable batteries.

I am also thinking about getting one of those brick recharger deals.

I drain a lot of juice on my Iphone when I take photos or when I use it to navigate anywhere.  And if for some reason I’m out and about in a part of town and don’t feel like subway back to Clinton Park, I’ll get a car and that means having my phone powered up.

I will be out on the town.

I will not be hanging at the Air BnB.

That is simply to have a place to sleep and do my blog at night.

I plan on being up and out and going the majority of the time and it would be handy to have an extra bit of juice for the phone.

I met with a lady this evening after work and told her about what I was doing and why and her whole face lit up.

“That’s like bucket list stuff for me,” she said her face glowing.

Girl, if I can do it, so can you.

So grateful that doing nice things for myself helps the women I work with give them the allowance to do the same things too.

Travel was such a dream for me when I was younger and I am so grateful that I am allowing myself more and more to embrace it.

I was writing this morning about where I want to go and things I want to do.

Take the Empire Builder Train Line.

Go to Paia, Maui–see the place where my grandmother was born.

Go to Burning Man in 2017 since I can’t go this year.

Go to Hudson, Wisconsin and see my best friend and her family.

Those are the tops on the list, but there are so many others.

I would love to go back to Alaska and really see it during the summer.

I still want to see Venice and go back to Rome for more than a weekend with more than the 50 Euro I went with.

I am still in awe how that happened.

Rome for 50 Euro.

Cape Town, South Africa.

Toulouse, France–I owe it an amends to be seen truly instead of the drunken, hung over stupor I did it the first time.

So many places.

And you know.

I’m going to go to all of them and more.

Because I am alive, I love myself and I am fucking awesome.

Yeah, yeah, I know.

But for a woman who came from where I did to be where I am at it is only by grace that I am here and I feel like I owe my God the happiness and joy I find in traveling.

It fills me up, it lights me up.

New places, new experiences.

New faces.

New art.

God.

I can’t wait to just cram my face full of art.

I’ll have something to compare the new MOMA to when I get back.

I haven’t been to it yet, not having really had time to what with school and work.

But I will when I get back.

Especially since I won’t have to be doing homework every weekend.

Hell.

I’ll also do some little trips around here.

Why the hell not?

Get on a train and see where I can take it.

Scooter down the coast.

Or up it.

I’m not sure about taking my scooter over the bridges, but I could see going around the coast  a little.

Oh summer vacation.

I am so happy to meet your acquaintance.

Feels funny to say that at the ripe old age of 43, but there it is.

One more day of work and then some play time for me.

I have so earned it.

Seriously.

Another Blog

December 24, 2015

With too many photos.

I realized yesterday, perhaps another day, but yesterday for certain.

That when I have photographs in my blog posts they do not get posted the same to my social media pages, Twitter and Facebook, like they typically do.

I have actually seen a decrease in readership since posting the blogs with photos.

But.

Fuck.

I can’t help it.

I take a lot of photographs and I don’t really care what social media has to say or not say or whether or not I have a bigger audience.

Nope.

I continue to just be happy writing for myself.

About myself.

Because.

You know.

It’s all about me.

Ha.

Are you there God?

It’s me Carmen.

IMG_7923

This is a photo my friend took of me today at the Palais de Tokyo at the John Giorno exhibit.

Oh.

My.

God.

I love this artist.

I had such a good time going through the exhibit.

So, so, so god damn good.

I love art.

I repeat.

I fucking love art.

Here are some more shots from the exhibit:

IMG_7922

It’s true.  I do.

And.

IMG_7921

And also this:

IMG_7900

This too:

IMG_7899

All the fuck over it.

Yes.

IMG_7897

IMG_7896

Absolutely.

The show was right the fuck on and I enjoyed every little morsel of it.

Of all the photographs I took, though, this next one might be my favorite, just from the perspective of the light, the framing, and the subject matter.

I can’t quite explain it, but man, I was happy when I made the capture and even happier when I downloaded it to my computer, it stood out in my eyes.

IMG_7902

Just something about it that made me happy.

That might be the best definition of art for me.

Just something about it that makes me happy.

So lucky to have so much art in my life, I’m like a glutton for it right now, bring mama more, let me roll around in it, slather it on my skin, dip my heart into it, rub it on my soul, and wash it over my ethereal and oh so corporeal body.

Yum.

IMG_7830

Art and poetry.

Which is art.

The longing heart.

Oh.

Such much that.

My longing heart had so much love today, it was brimming and overflowed many times washing down my face with the rain.

“Are you crying?  Or is that the rain.”  My friend asked as we were caught in a tiny spat of rain on the way to the American Cathedral to meet with friends.

“Rain.” I said emphatically.

My friend looked at me with a cocked head and a raised eyebrow.

“Oh, both, yes, I’m crying.”

And that happened all day and I don’t apologize for those tears, they well up, they pass, I am sad, I am in Paris and then, I am fine, happy, replete, full and loved again.

Washed over and over with memories and heart ache and a new love and lightness too.

So many layers of love.

Here’s one that brought tears to my eyes.

IMG_7973

Sacre Couer on Christmas Eve.

We went to the church, I was hoping we would be able to eat at the cafe in my old neighborhood on Rue Bellefond, but they were already closed for the holiday.

Instead we walked up the hill and rode the funiclare to the top and climbed the last steps.

I went in, holy, silent, reverent, and lost all at the same time.

I lit a candle for my grandmother who passed on Christmas Eve ten years, no elven years ago and knelt down and said the Our Father.

I am not a Catholic, but it runs deep in my family and it felt appropriate and then I found myself saying all my prayers, all the ones that I know, all the ones in my heart, asking to surrender everything I think I know about myself and to let go and love and be loved and to move on and move forward and surrender again.

And again and again.

And again.

I cried my little heart out to the point where I had snot running down my face too.

So unexpected.

These strong emotions.

But good to let them out.

IMG_7967

Pensive, sad, soft, surrendered.

I feel a lot different now.

Looking at roses my friend gave me for Christmas and a sweet hug.

Knowing that the Pompidou is open tomorrow, on Christmas!

What a lovely gift.

And.

The gift of being here that I wasn’t expecting, the experiences I wasn’t expecting, the grounding and lifting of my heart toward the heavens and the laughter the falls out of my mouth sometimes, too, when I least expect it.

I am never going to be French.

No matter how good my French ever should become.

I laugh too loud.

I cry to hard.

And.

All of that.

Is just alright with me.

Because.

I know love.

I know it so very.

Very.

Well.

Merry Christmas from Paris.

Joyeux Noel.

 

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I Am Super

December 21, 2015

Ridiculously tired.

I should not even be posting a blog.

But.

I did get online and I did want to report that I am safe, alive, well, and once again in love with the City of Lights.

Paris.

Ma cherie.

So achingly beautiful.

Paris, it’s true.

Je t’aime.

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Done And Done

October 19, 2015

And done.

But.

Not done in.

So thankful to have had this day of working on all that is love and home and work and homework and heart work and everything that life entails and encapsulates.

I had a full day.

One that I wasn’t exactly sure how it was going to go off.

I insisted on letting myself sleep in an hour longer than I normally would.

Well.

I don’t know if insist is the right word, it felt almost like work, just lie here and let yourself go back to sleep.

The machine in my brain wanted me up and about and get on it girl, there are things to do, people to meet with, breakfast to cook, writing to be done, you have papers to write and so much reading, do you have any idea how much reading you have to do?

Not as much as I did this morning, but I get a head of myself.

I was able to combat the thoughts by acknowledging them and saying, might have been mumbled into my pillow as I turned over in my bed, my delicious, delightful, pinch me I’m so happy I get to sleep on it, bed, “thanks for sharing,” and go back to sleep.

It worked for a little while, I got another 45 minutes in.

Of course the next time I woke up, I was up and going.

And really.

I haven’t stopped since.

Although there have been reprieves and moments of down time today, moments when I look about me with such gratitude that I am overcome by what I have and the abundance, nay, the super abundance, of love in my life.

I have been all around the world and I have this home that has become such a home to me that I am in literal awe of what I have.

There is art and beauty everywhere.

The last piece finally coming together as a friend came over this morning to help me hang the Diebenkorn he gave me months ago.

When I look at that piece, the way it sings on the wall, the heralding of love, the colors replete and yes, matching, complimenting, extending around my room, I am reminded in subtle, and not so subtle ways, of the journey of the last few months.

Had someone said, you are going to cry this much, and feel this much pain, and yes, laugh this much, so much that you think you might pee your pants or vomit out sushi, or good forbid snort (all of which have happened in one degree or another) or that I might feel so much joy that I felt I was to burst, that I was going to see so much art, have access to it, get to bring it home and make my home even more my home, well, I would not have believed it.

Which is funny.

Since I have big feelings and the above sentence does not seem at all irrational to me when I re-read it.

Of course I changed.

My home becoming my unexpected crucible and I am replete with happiness, content in a way that I had not thought possible, though knew, really knew, was out there for me.

I have everything I need.

I have so much that I want, that the wanting is almost supplemental.

But I will tell you a secret.

Shhhh.

I am thinking again about a scooter.

I have been saving.

And I have not touched the financial aid disbursement that I have received for school.

I have gotten help, I won’t say that I haven’t, I have been gifted generously and taken care of and that has allowed me to throw a little more in my savings than I typically do.

I am feeling it out again, the scooter topic, as my knees also bugged me a bunch today and over the last week.

They buckled a little trying to help lift my bed out-of-the-way to hang the Diebenkorn and I found myself bursting into tears.

Although I valiantly tried to hide them, my friend looked at me in alarm and told me to sit down.

I was humbled.

My body, a token of constant humility.

I can dress her up, but sometimes I can’t get her to walk from here to there.

Anyway.

The scooter has been on my mind again and part of that, I won’t lie, is for efficiency as well.

How much more reading could I get in if I weren’t riding my bike to and from work and school?

What places I would be able to go to, doing the deal especially can be hard some days and I feel that a mode of transportation at night that is faster than my bicycle will be helpful.

I am hoping the little Buddy Italia in cream and avocado is still at Scooter Centre.

If it’s not.

It wasn’t meant to be.

If it is.

Heh.

Maybe I can get a better price on it than the one he offered me when I looked at it a few months ago.

Plus.

I am expecting a bonus at the holidays.

If I can hold off on spending the loan money and get a nice bonus, I maybe riding a scooter into the new year.

This is all speculation and pulls me away from the moment and the further acknowledgement that I need to give, to myself, really, I just want to acknowledge how much work I put into those sonnets–the ones from last nights blog.

I sent them off just before logging on here to write my blog.

I went through them three more times today and edited them, read them out loud, tightened them up, and then sat and dreamed on them while I wrote my Psychoanalytic Paper on Freud’s theories of Mourning and Melancholia.

Ayup.

And I used them in my paper.

Which was fantastic and outside the box and I was hesitant, but my friend said go for it, and when I consider how much work I did on them it didn’t feel like I was cheating to include them in my paper.  If anything, it felt like an acknowledgement to the professor of how much the Freudian work actually found its way into the sonnets as I was writing them against the back drop of analysis and dreamscapes.

I re-titled the work, tightened it up, and sent it out.

The collaborator poet has officially sent her poems out into the world for the photographer artist to use.

Part of me hopes he likes it.

The majority of me doesn’t give a flying rat’s ass.

I did a damn good job.

I love them.

They brought me joy.

I spent a lot more time with them then I thought I would, but I received so much in return, including a lot of insight that I extrapolated later in my paper when I wrote it.

That was my day: poetry, reading, writing, repeat.

Take small breaks, meet with ladybug, cook food for the week, do laundry, go with friends over the bridge to do the deal in Mill Valley, hang out, catch up with folks, then come home and finish all my Freud reading for class on Friday.

Thank God.

It’s done.

Oh.

Hahaha.

Don’t worry, I still have reading to do before Friday, but I don’t have any more papers due.

A reprieve.

I’m done for now.

Just now.

And with that.

Time to put up my feet.

Curl up in my bed.

Sip a cup of tea and look in astonishment at the prosperity and abundance in my life.

I am a very lucky girl.

I am.

So.

Very.

Very.

Lucky.


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