Posts Tagged ‘playing tourist’

Took The Day

January 17, 2017

Off from school.

But not from work.

Monday is Monday and the work week has begun.

The monkeys had off today, Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

One of them had a play date with a school friend and so the oldest and I had our own solo adventure.

We went to the Exploratorium on Pier 15 down by Fisherman’s Wharf.

I have not actually been to it since it moved from the Palace of Fine Arts.

It was awesome fun.

The whole day was pretty much awesome fun.

We rode the bus, we took the train, we caught the F-Market trolley.

Riding the MUNI when I have no objective, no schedule, no rushing, is actually rather a pleasure.

The 24 line has extraordinary views.

The F-Market trolley is historic and just a sweet and awesome adventure, especially on a pretty day in San Francisco with a 6 1/2 year old boy.

We talked trains a lot today.

A lot.

We even got stuck on the F-Market for a while when  the bus in front of us ran out of gas.

I shit you not, on Market Street by the Powell cable car turn around.

The bus just crapped out.

Of course we were stuck, but there was so much to see and explore, most the people got off and went their ways.

Me and my charge stuck it out, explored the trolley car, talked to the driver and eventually caught another bus to The Ferry Building.

We walked around there, hit the loo, got him a banana and me a cafe au lait, then caught the next F-Market to pier 15 and spent literally the entire day there.

We had a blast.

We had lunch there, the cafeteria much better than I was expecting and the view, well fuck, it was basically the span of the Bay Bridge.

Really can’t complain about a window seat right by the water looking at a glorious piece of architecture.

My charge and I ran around all day and occasionally I would sit and just watch him play.

The sweetest was watching him engage with a group, three girls, of just barely pre-teen or tween girls who had still enough playful enthusiasm to be taken with my precocious charge and his directing the play.

I watched and it just melted my heart.

I had no need to do anything, not check my phone, or corral or coerce, I just sat and watched them play.

My charge had told me about his recent crushes on girls and he was in 7th Heaven.

I wasn’t going to ruin the moment for him at all.

The only interruption was taking a photograph that all the girls were happy to comply with.

Such sweetness and generosity of spirit and simple joy.

It was just such a nice afternoon and really nice to take a break from school work and reading and getting my syllabi in order and my practicum stuff.

That being said.

I have my next readings outlined for Couples Therapy and I have them packed in my bag for tomorrow.

I will get some reading done tomorrow, even if it’s just to pick up the kids from school.

I am really digging the getting the kids from school.

It’s nice to have some time out in the world by myself and getting paid for it.

I get to make phone calls and check messages and connect with people.

I feel more seen and I feel that although my schedule has been a little up in the air, and will be for a few months, I’m ok with it.

I’m getting 35 hours a week minimum and when the baby is a little older and mom and dad are back at work it’s going to be 40.

If I don’t work the 35, if they let me go early or ask for me to come in late, I still get paid a minimum 35 hours.

Thank God for regularity and for sustenance.

I am so grateful and I didn’t even have to ask about last week, they paid me for the 35 hours.

Even though I had to call out two days in my first two weeks of work.

So there’s that.

Grateful.

I have had my moments of having to assert myself around my pay and when I receive it and what I get paid for, or don’t get paid for, and it was just easy and light and not weird.

I just took the check and said thank you.

I asked when they want me tomorrow and I got my start time.

I may be taking the middle charge to dance class.

Our own little solo adventure.

And at some point this week, not sure when, I will be taking a short side trip over to The Liberation Foundation on Folsom and 18th and speaking with the director there about the practicum program.

I have an open house to go to next week Wednesday and I want to be on top of the next moves.

Today I just wanted to have it be a Monday at work and not worry about school.

I knew that the most important thing was to show up on time to work and show up for my job, then to show up and do the deal with my people at 6:30p.m. tonight, and that if that was all I did today, that would be alright.

Of course.

I did sneak a few other things in there, some grocery shopping, and some writing, aside from this blog I got a good four pages in this morning.

I wrote a lot about Paris.

I realized how excited I was to be planning a trip there again.

I also realized that I have never really been to Paris in May.

Nope.

Paris in Spring.

Divine.

The first time I went was in 2002 and it was August and it was hot and the city was pretty emptied out, a lot of stuff was closed and did I say it was hot.

Holy shit it was hot and I had not realized that it was going to be that warm and I had not packed great clothes.

The next time I went was in June, 2007.

That time I was sober and smarter and had a much better valise of clothing.

Then I moved there in November of 2012 and was there until May 2013.

But I left on May 1st.

So technically I didn’t really get to experience it.

The last time was last Christmas, 2015, and though it was far warmer than when I had lived there, it was cold and a bit dreary, as Paris tends to be in the winter.

I am so stoked that I will be there in May.

Soft warm nights.

Warm to hot days.

Flowers blooming.

All the trees in the gardens blossoming.

The smell of the city, not too hot yet, but warm and inviting.

Ooh la la.

I am looking forward.

It’s a few months away, but as I have come to see, the days they do go by when I am pre-occupied with school and work and doing the deal.

Paris will be here before I know it.

Until then.

One more evening of reprieve before I dive back into the books.

I do think it only just and fair to let myself have at least a full day off.

Even if it’s not from work.

It still feels like a break.

Time for more tea and a quick video before bed.

Good night.

Sleep tight.

Don’t let the bed bugs bite.

Seriously.

I hear they have big teeth.

Shiver.

 

Advertisements

When It Rains

December 6, 2016

It pours.

I just was offered another nanny gig.

Thanks.

But no thanks.

I just finished and sent off my corrected contract to my newest set of employers.

Two small minor things that needed changing and I will be ready to sign and go onto the next family that I have been given the gift to get to work for.

I have a gift.

I don’t know exactly how it came to be and I don’t often question it, at least I don’t anymore, and I have had it told to me too many times that I do a great job, an amazing job, that I am good with kids.

Oh.

I have had my moments.

Things happen.

I am not perfect.

But.

I am good.

And it would be false humility to not acknowledge that.

And, well, it’s nice to be wanted.

I realized that today as well.

I am not chasing shit.

I am the ball.

I am not chasing.

Not men.

Not relationships.

Not friendships.

Not jobs.

I am done chasing.

I want to have fun.

I want to live my life.

I have a full, busy, awesome life.

I don’t have time for bullshit.

Fuck.

I frankly don’t have time for dating.

And yet.

Ha.

I have two lined up in the next couple of weeks.

One I will sneak in next Monday night because I can and I know what will happen and we have a good time together and there’s nothing that will come of it except a fun night and some bed head.

Ahem.

Like I said.

I am just having fun.

But I am not chasing the fun.

The fun can just come to me, because otherwise, I don’t have the time for it.

I’m too busy.

I have this last weekend of school to deal with, I have one last paper to write.

The second date I lined up is for dinner at Thai Cottage.

AFTER my last paper is due.

We’ll be going out to dinner the day after my last paper is turned in.

He reached out today and we made it happen.

Both of us have been ridiculously busy, he travels a lot for work and well, fuck, the way that I write, blog, and do recovery, besides work and school, hell, it’s like I have two full-time jobs and two part-time ones.

It’s a fucking wonder I get any sleep.

We’ve gone out twice before, this is the third date.

It’s not going anywhere, he lives out-of-town too far, but hey, some fun will be had and I am just saying yes to what is being presented to me.

Again.

Not chasing.

Keeping focused on what is in front of me and how I can best serve this part of my life.

I miss my friends.

I miss my social life.

I miss going out and doing social type things.

But I have a goal.

I have a trajectory and I am so proud of myself for sticking to it and doing the work.

Fuck.

I do a lot of work.

Today I at work the baby took a long nap and I was able to start the process of writing my final paper for Psychopathology.

I went through all my notes.

I reviewed a bunch of the readings.

I broke out the post-it notes.

I saw the arc of the paper, it’s going to be a doozy.

But.

I know I can write it and I know where I need to go next.

I’m probably going to do an outline of it and organize my notes around that outline, index all my references and sit down with that outline and write from point to point to point.

I think the actual writing is going to take about four, possibly five hours.

Which could potentially be done in one day.

It’s feasible people.

I can write that much in a day, absolutely, fuck I wrote 4,000 + words yesterday, but that paper I wrote was only 7 pages, this one will be 18-20 (that paper was also not 4,000 words, it was closer to 2,000, I was also counting the blog and the morning pages I wrote), but I can write that much in a day when it’s like this blog–stream of conscious.

Fuck.

I could write like this all day long, don’t tempt me.

I probably should try it one day just to see what kind of idiocy climbs out of my brain.

There are so many times that I have no idea what is going to come up in the blog and it really is a fantastic witnessing of how my brain works.

I also know how my brain works best when writing my papers now.

I have to do certain things in a certain way, and my brain is busy cooking on the back burners, even now, as I blog, things are shuffling around back there.

I figured out what the diagnosis was for the client.

Now I have to outline my assessment, what the symptoms are that are being presented, how I came to the decision, what other possible diagnoses it could be, an in-depth psycho-analytic underpinning of how the symptoms are presenting, what’s going on in the mind, basically, the defenses employed, why they are being employed and how, and how that speaks to the clients history, life, and current presentations, and then how would I treat it.

Yeah.

That’s some fucking work.

It shouldn’t actually be hard to come up with the 18-20 pages.

What it is, is a task of organizing and laying out in a neat way all the steps that I took to get where I am going.

I suspect I will learn a lot more about myself and my way of thinking and how I am as a clinician, which is not necessarily my goal, but will be an interesting by-product of the work.

I already have learned more than I think I know just spelling out the paper here.

I have miles to go and I don’t know when I will next get a chance to work on it, it may not happen until after I get through the school weekend and the wedding and the rest of the work week.

But.

It will get done.

And in between here and there.

A little fun.

A few more Christmas cards to write out.

A few more yoga classes to get to.

Life.

Full.

Amazing.

Happening all the time.

Right here.

Right fucking now.

Good times.

 

Almost There

May 19, 2016

In fact.

24 hours from right now I’ll be landing at JFK.

Eek.

I am so excited.

I am also a little nervous.

I’m on my own.

But.

I know how to take care of myself and what I want to do and I know that I am a big girl and can handle my own self.

It’s my second time to New York and really my first time there completely on my own.

Yeah.

I’ll be seeing a friend or two, I do have plans to see a friend in Williamsburg, but nothing air tight, everything is loose and flexible.

I ran into a friend tonight who used to live in New York and just recently relocated here, and he was like, “text me, you have an SOS or need anything, I totally know people.”

Plus he confirmed that I should definitely be going to St. Marks in the East Village.

I was randomly on facecrack and saw a friend who I had forgotten was in New York, of course I did, the only time I see him is at Burning Man, and I reached out and said, hey I’m going to be coming and where should I go to do the deal in New York?

St. Marks.

10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Although I was tipped off to go hella early on Sunday to get a spot, I guess it’s a popular one and all that.

I figure I will do both the Saturday and Sunday, that will get me into the city early and set me up nicely to head off to my adventures.

“Go to the Frick too,” my friend told me when I listed off my Guggenheim, MOMA, Whitney ideals.  “You can totally do the Frick and the Guggenheim at the same time, they’re really close to each other.”

Sweet.

I’m glad to know it.

I also do think I am going to shoot the moon and try for a tattoo at Three Kings.

My idea solidified and now it won’t get out of my head, so, yeah, if I make it over there on Friday I’ll set up a consultation and go back on Sunday after I do St. Marks and the Whitney and the High Line.

Oh my God.

All the things.

So much to do.

I am so excited.

I could pee my pants.

But.

I won’t.

I do have to pack yet.

But I always pack day off.

I have traveled enough to know what to pack and what I need to bring.

My travel toiletries are all set and my suitcase is out on my chaise, along with an umbrella, it may rain when I’m there, but that’s fine, if it’s going to rain, I’ll be tucked up in a museum getting my art high on.

The only little fly in the ointment.

I can’t get my boarding pass to print off.

I’m not sure why, but my printer doesn’t seem to be connecting.

I checked into my flight though and I’ll just get my boarding pass printed when I go to SFO tomorrow.

I have set my alarm.

I will get up and do my morning routine and have a nice hot shower and eat a good breakfast and I will do my writing, how apropos that the last of my Paris journals is being filled up as I prepare to launch out into my next traveling adventure.

I’ll be re-upping my notebooks while I’m there.

There is nothing like have a journal with stickers and notes and ticket stubs from where ever I am traveling.  I love taking photo mat photos and sticking them in the notebook and subway tickets, train tickets, boarding passes.

I won’t actually bring my Palais de Tokyo notebook with me.

I will write one more entry for tomorrow before I fly out and buy a new notebook when I’m in Brooklyn on Friday, that way I have a fresh set of pages all ready to be filled with my adventures.

I also just pulled out my glue stick, got to have that too, in the bag of pens, to help stick stuff in that isn’t a sticker.

Heh.

Oh!

And before I forget, because I almost did!

I got a travel phone charger!

So happy I did that.

It’s charging in the socket as I blog.

It will hold two phone charges.

And it’s not super big.

My two friends who I traveled with, one in New York and one in Paris, both had the super big heavy ones that would hold like five charges.

I went with a smaller, lighter one.

I carry enough shit in my bag already.

I figure one big full charge on my phone and two back ups in my bag and I will be set for all my adventures and photos and oh, goodness, this is really fucking happening.

And what am I going to wear?

Hahahaha.

Same thing I already wear all the time, plus, maybe one fun dress to walk around in.

I tossed my Converse in the wash last night so they be clean and though not new looking not as shabby as they were.

I’m going to be walking.

If I was there being all pretty and had more time I might bring some sandals and I still might, I do have a cute ass pair that I wore yesterday, one of those few days in San Francisco that it was warm enough all day to wear sandals, at least in my opinion, but I’m going to be doing a lot of walking.

And since I’m there on my own, with my own agenda and schedule, Converse are just fine.

I don’t know why it feels like such a big deal.

Hmm.

Cuz maybe it is.

But.

I have traveled on my own to Paris numerous times, twice on my own, and yet, New York intimidates me a tiny bit, not a lot, I think I’m going to be just fine, I navigated the Metro in Paris and the subway, well, last time I checked, it was in English, it’s just something new and new can be scary.

Even if it’s new good.

New fun.

New amazing.

New York.

I’m coming for you.

See you soon.

EEP!

The Count Down Begins

May 11, 2016

I was looking at my calendar and trying to figure out when my person and I could meet up again.

We had just had a really nice re-connecting after my lapse in being available over the past week with it being my last school weekend of classes.

I asked if we were going to go back to our regular schedule and that would have meant meeting up next Thursday.

Except.

HOLY SHIT.

Next Thursday I fly out to New York for some well deserved rest and relaxation and as much modern art as I can get my paws on.

The Whitney.

The Guggenheim.

The MOMA.

Walking the Highline.

Walking around Brooklyn.

Doing the deal, because it’s awesome fun to do that in other cities.

Sunshine on my face and spring/summer time dresses.

OMG.

I am almost there.

I still have so far yet to go though it feels ages away instead of just around the corner and maybe it’s time to unearth your carry on, except, well, I won’t because I know how to travel and I know how to pack.

I mean, come on, I went to Paris for six months with this same roll on luggage and my bicycle in a box, I can do New York packing for four days in a matter of minutes.

The packing will not be the issue.

It will be getting all my papers, posts, and final exams done.

I have no juice left in me today.

The affects of the weekend of school and two back to back slumber parties has me all tuckered out.

There wasn’t, um, heh, much sleep at my sleep over last night.

My.

Though.

There was fun.

And every once in a while I would catch myself walking around at work gob smacked and silly, with a grin splashed across my face.

I actually kept it pretty well together, all things considered.

The red eye from Trouble Coffee did not hurt, and it was fun to be in my neighborhood on a Tuesday and instead of doing my little morning routine, going out with my company and grabbing some coffee and then catching breakfast at the Sea Breeze Cafe up the street.

Totally felt like a tourist in my own hood.

It was awesome.

And.

Since I will be a tourist again soon, in a hood all the way across the country, I do need to take care of organizing my time.

Tomorrow I get up and do my morning routine and then I start sorting through my notes and my readings for the appropriate topics that I will be covering for my class The Clinical Relationship, wherein I will be writing a ten to twelve page paper on the topics of transference and countertransference in the dyads that I worked for the class–12 sessions, 12 pages.

I can do it.

I have done all the reading.

And I take great notes.

Ask any of my classmates.

I am a good little school girl.

I figure once I have my notes organized and the supporting reading references to back up my experience with theory the actual paper itself will take me about three hours to write.

Maybe four if I include working up the reference page and doing a couple run through edits.

I’ve got a half day Friday at work.

Thank God.

I have a doctors appointment at 4p.m.

I figure I’ll be out by 5p.m. back home in the hood before 6 p.m. and I’ll grab some Thai Cottage take out and start the writing.

Or.

Better yet.

Finish the writing.

Because I do actually plan on starting the paper on Thursday.

I, ahem, have another date tentatively scheduled for Friday and may well be, well, er, heh, occupied for the later part of the evening.

Happily so.

It will be my moment of celebrating having that paper written.

Saturday I’m pretty open, I’m assuming I’ll be a little sleep deprived for part of the day, but I will still be showing up to meet with my person as per our usual at Tart to Tart at 12:15p.m.

Then maybe a little nail spa action or something else, not sure what, don’t have to figure it out now.

There will be reviewing material for my Ethics class and prepping for the take home exam Saturday, who knows, maybe I knock it out and do it Saturday as well.

Sunday I’ve got a couple of ladies in the early part of the day and then my Psychodynamics paper if I still have any stuffing left in me.

If not.

A day of rest, an hour of doing the deal in the evening and I’ll knock out the last paper in the mornings before work next week.

I want to have it done by Wednesday.

No matter what.

I am not going to New York with a Psychodynamics paper on Lacanian theory still to do.

I am just not going to.

I want to be free and clear to travel and not have any papers.

I have one more big push.

I can do this.

I did it before going to Burning Man last year–what did I write, six papers?   Right after the 8 day long retreat, aka “bootcamp.”  And then I went to the event with a clear conscious and the ability to be fully present for the experience.

I did it before going to Paris at Christmas time as the first semester closed and wrote I think four big papers to finish out the coursework.

I will be able to do this last.

Especially since I am completely finished with all my readings.

Last semester I was still doing reading as the last weekend of classes came to a close and still had reading to do before being able to write those papers.

Plus.

And this is a big plus.

I really understand the material.

I had an “aha!” moment in Psychodynamics as the professor was giving her last lecture of the year on what I could write about and I scribbled down some ideas and approached the professor after class and got the thumbs up.

As for the big paper, again, just the showing up.

Just like everything else in my life.

Say yes.

Show up.

Watch the magic happen.

I am sure that I will feel some anxiety, I always work through a little as I prepare to write a paper, but having the promise of a date Friday night.

Well.

That helps.

Helps quite a lot.

I get to be a good school girl.

And.

Have fun.

Yes sir.

Let’s get this party started.

The Day In Review

December 23, 2015

It was a good day.

A great day.

A grand day.

A day full of walking and art and photographs.

Unfortunately I somehow lost a series of them off my camera.

And I have spent too much time searching my computer for them, obnoxious.  I don’t know what happened, but they were imported, then deleted from my camera, which is usually how I roll.

Then.

I was editing them.

And while I was editing the photographs, I plugged in my Iphone and my phone went to download photos and I clicked, without thinking the close button on Iphoto since I didn’t want them to download.

So when I re-opened Iphoto after smacking self on the head, the photographs I had down loaded off my camera, the ones that I was in the middle of editing, poof.

All gone.

Like nowhere.

Like I have spent over an hour looking through everything.

Going back into my camera–nope, gone.

Remember, I deleted them when the import to my computer was done.

In the trash, through all my photo files.

Everywhere.

No photos.

Sigh.

Which is too bad.

I had a couple of good shots and two great shots that I was super excited about.

However.

I did also take photographs with my Iphone.

So.

Some things to share about the day.

IMG_7614This is on the bridge under the Metro line 8.  It has to be one of my favorite Metro stops, Passy, as it has the most beautiful hanging gas lamps.  I just love it.  Plus, the building to my left is the building where Last Tango in Paris was filmed.

IMG_7612This guy here.  Marlon Brando making some furious American love up on the 4th floor.

IMG_7622The bridge was an easy segue off to the Palais de Tokyo.  Where I have been regaling my friend of the amazing cafe inside and the modern art.

Which would have been fantastic to see.

But, um.

Ha.

I read the hours wrong and we went on a day the museum was closed.

We’ll be going back on Thursday.

A brief, but probably not all inclusive look at the following days:

Tomorrow, Wednesday, the Louvre in the morning followed by lunch, somewhere in the neighborhood, then a walk through the Tuilleries to the Jeu de Paume to see some modern art photography.

If we have enough time, possibly swinging over to the other side of the Tuilleries and seeing the Monet water lilies.

We may not have all that much time, and if so, we’ll just be heading back to the studio where we are staying on Rue Juge in the 15th, to get ready to go right back out.

Yes.

Tomorrow we are off to the ballet in the evening.

I will want to have a good hot, long shower after much tramping about the Louvre, and put on my polka dot dress and shoes and off to the Garnier Opera House for a night of ballet.

Thursday and Friday, Christmas Eve and Christmas day, will be a little more flexible, but will include museums as well, the Pompidou is actually open on Christmas and I cannot think of a better way to spend it then walking around a bunch of amazing modern art on Christmas day.

Plus being so close to the Marais and it’s sweet alleys and walkways.

We have also been invited a few places and will likely see friends in the fellowship.

So many good friends.

Saturday perhaps Pere LaChaise and some shopping and who knows.

Honestly, while I write, it could all be completely different than what happens.

As I said, I thought I was going to the Palais de Tokyo today and the Jeu de Paume and neither of those happened.

But.

The Musee d’Art IMG_7624Moderne did.

And they were having an awesome Warhol exhibit.

So much Warhol.

IMG_7623And some really lovely pieces in the permanent collection too.

IMG_7626Plus a divine view from the main galleries.

IMG_7625And an amazing courtyard with cafe tables everywhere.

My friend and I had great fun checking out the art, then we had lunch on the terrace, sitting in the sun eating salads and drinking cafe creme, listening to the babble of French around me and looking out on the Eiffel Tower in the afternoon light.

Pretty spectacular.

Then.

Lots more walking.

Up Avenue George V.

Past the American Cathedral and onto the Champs Elysees.

We went up to the Arc de Triomphe, by passing the enormous line with our museum pass, thank you to whomever it was so many years ago who turned me onto the pass, it really works.

IMG_7628A jam packed line to get up to the top was by passed as well, and we circled quickly through, then back to the Champs Elysees where my friend did a little shopping and we navigated as quickly as possible through the holiday Christmas Village madness.

We cut short the grand avenue and walked over the Alexander Bridge between Invalides and the Grand Palace and Le Petite Palais.

IMG_7630

IMG_7635

Stopping for some photo moments, which was nice, having a friend with to take some shots of me too.  I have thousands of photographs of Paris, but not all that many of them have me in them.

It was sweet to have my friend take a few captures of me today.  Although I am bummed that I lost the photos from my camera, there were still some good shots on the Iphone too.

IMG_7636

After walking the bridge, we descended to the river bank and walked along the Seine for a while.

Resurfacing to walk around Place de la Concorde and onward into the Tuilleries.

IMG_7648

We debated, my friend was game, I was not so much, even though I really do want to go for a ride, the ferris wheel, but the line was so long I passed on it.

I figure there is still time and if I make it a point to prioritize it, the ride will happen.

So much will still happen.

And the walk through the Tuilleries at dusk was divine.

We even managed to sneak in a late cafe creme and sit down a one of the cafes in the garden before it closed.

Walking through as the sun went down we headed toward the Louvre.

Just to check out the Pyramid at night, the museum is closed on Tuesdays.

IMG_7667

We’ll be back tomorrow!

The night was far from over and it included a walk across Pont Neuf, a walk through Saint Germaine a visit to the American Church, a walk under the Eiffel Tower and the most amazing dinner at a restaurant in the neighborhood that blew my mind.

I am grateful to have good instincts and though I was worried my friend my faint from lack of food, I urged going there, and my God.

It was worth it.

La Cantine du Troquet.

So very, very, very good.

We had a chacuterie plate with two types of terrine de pate de foie gras, prosciutto, salami, cornichons, pickled peppers, and I had a beautiful pork chop with green salad and a cafe creme (which I probably should not have had, I’m wide awake, but damn it, it was good) and an amazing plate of chevre for dessert.

My friend had pomme frites and the salmon avec coquillages St. Jacques, and an amazing chocolate pot de creme.

A quick brisk walk back to the studio.

Et.

Voila!

Je suis ici.

Full and happy and ready to take on tomorrow’s next adventures.

I am so lucky to be able to do this.

My life is beyond words.

As too.

My gratitude.

I am the luckiest girl in the world.

I really am.

 

The Rock

March 22, 2015

Not the wrestler.

The island.

Alcatraz

The view from Alcatraz

I went out to Alcatraz today with my dear friend whose birthday celebration happens to coincide with the 65th anniversary of the penitentiary closing.

The last inmates were shipped off 65 years ago and they shut the prison down.

Thank God.

I cannot think of a worst place to be, and I am sure there are worse, but to be stuck on a rock in the middle of the bay and see the beguiling San Francisco just across the way is a kind of torture I just don’t think I could bear.

“Don’t worry, we’ll be back in San Francisco soon,” my friend patted my arm as we waited for the ferry, the line was long, so many of us, though not many of us from San Francisco itself, were waiting that I did have a moment of panic.

I laughed out loud.

I am that obvious.

Take me out of the city and I am itching to get right back to it.

Although my friend and I agree, I seemed to have out grown the Mission, and though I don’t look my age, 42 (and thank you Uber driver for the flabbergasted look on your face when I told you my age), I do feel it quite often, and I am a grown up living in a grown up place.

The Outer Sunset.

Oh.

There’s some kids out here, surfers and guys and gals, and some hipsters and the like, but it does seem a community less focused on the hip, slick, cool, and of the moment.

I am not a tech girl, but as I realized, again on the Uber drive to the Ferry Building (when the bus rolled over the hill on Judah I remembered that there was construction on the Sunset Tunnel between Duboce Park and Cole Valley and I was about to embark on a journey that would put me way behind schedule, I called for a lift), just from living in San Francisco I am often a head of the curve with tech and its uses.

I’m still not savvy enough to use my google map or to know how to delete apps of my phone.

Thank God a friend noticed me struggling with my Iphone and showed me how to get Tinder off it.

Complete and total side bar.

I got rid of Tinder, Hinge, and OkCupid on my phone.

I kept OkCupid online though.

A girl has got to have a few balls in the air.

Or a cute tour guide to flirt with.

Dude.

The cute guy at Alcatraz knew my girl friend and I were there for the @Large exhibit by Ai Weiwei.

“Anyone from San Francisco,” he hollered as we joined a small group clustered below the penitentiary sign.

Alcatraz

Alcatraz

 

My girlfriend and I nodded.

“Here for the art exhibit?” He asked.

We nodded our heads, it was pretty obvious, yes, we’re locals and yes we came out to see the art, not so much the cell blocks–we were the only folks in the group to acknowledge we were there for the art.

Though it was pretty impressive to see the prison.

And spooky at times.

Especially when the fog started to roll in.

Fog

Alcatraz

The guide gave us directions and we went to the exhibit.

It was truly amazing.

Ai Weiwei

Ai Wei Wei–Blossom

The light was one of the things that would have saved me if I was an inmate at Alcatraz, little else.

The artist, Ai Weiwei, though confined to China, seemed cognizant of the light, spectral, haunting, smashed by the sea and melting through the wired panes of windows.

It was dreamy and dangerous and affecting.

The first piece was a large floating Chinese dragon kite.

Dragon

Dragon

It was astounding and wound through a large holding cell space.

Dragon Body

Dragon Scales

 

 

 

 

 

Dragon head

Color and light

Then the portraits of various activists and artists laid out on the floor with Lego’s.

Legos

Edward Snowden in Lego’s

Lego Art

Lego Activists

If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, I do encourage you to take the trip out.

I don’t know that I would have gone out otherwise and I am glad to say that I did.

The art was exquisite and the juxtaposition of it in the prison was superb.

Haunting.

Depressing.

There was a room, “Hydro Therapy” that gave me the goosebumps.

It was like someone had stepped on my grave.

Bathtub

Hydro Therapy Room Alcatraz Psych Ward

I had a flash of an inmate disrobing and being hosed off with high pressure water, the light refracted around the enamel bathtub and I took the shot and shivered.

I had no desire to walk through the cell blocks are take a photograph in one of the tiny cells.

Although, I laughed and acknowledge that a few of the cells were actually larger than my studio.

The light better too.

But I would not trade what I have for a prison cell.

Even if the square footage was impressive.

I counted a lot of my blessings today talking with my dear friend as we traversed the Farmers Market at the Ferry Building (a bit over priced–$7.00 for two Aztec Fuji apples, albeit delicious and gigantic) and picked up lunch and snacks for the afternoon adventure.

I had divine boxed salmon sushi from Delica and two of the most amazing rolls I have ever had that I bought ala carte, sushi rice with rare roast beef (sushi doesn’t have to be fish, fyi, “sushi” means food on rice, it is often vegetables and fish though, the beef was exquisite and I couldn’t even bring myself to share it with my friend, who thankfully had brought her own lovely lunch) draped over the top of it topped with fresh wasabi.

Oh my goodness.

I get to live in San Francisco being very near the top of that list.

I get to go out on ferry boats and travel the bay and see amazing national park areas, Alcatraz is part of  The Golden Gate National Park System, I mean, basically right in my back yard there are all these incredible parks and land marks.

Plus.

You know, the Burning Man community started here, Bakers Beach, baby, and all that Burning Man is to me.

My friend and I discussed that a lot today as well.

I have started my list of the stuffs that need to be gathered.

Another reason to love the event, it brings out the inherent hunter/gatherer in me.

And of course, there was much talk of the graduate school program and just how far I have come in a short time.

I mean.

Really, it was not quite two years ago, I was coming home from Paris and when I got to Berlin to change in my Euro (the only money to my name) I got back $10 American.

I came from that to where I am now.

I work my ass off.

I took a moment or two to bask in my glory, to reflect on my gratitude for this city, for my dear, darling friend, and when we saw our photograph taken by the tour guide on the trip,  we didn’t have any problem shelling out the $30 bucks for two copies of it.

I’m lucky.

Or graced.

Or lucky.

I got to open up the cell door of my own imposed prison and walk out of it.

Free.

Clear.

And moving forward.

Becoming even more myself and more in love with my city by the bay.

It was with much gratitude and love that I stepped off the gangplank of the ferry and hopped the F-Market back downtown.

It was truly an experience to see the city from Alcatraz.

But I prefer to see Alcatraz from the city.

My home sweet home.

San Francisco.

Oops I Forgot

October 20, 2014

That was the gist of the message I received late last night, after I had gone to bed, in regards to the mornings’ date.

The gentleman in question overbooked himself.

Felt awful.

Had to go work out with his trainer that he booked at same time.

Cool.

Glad to have seen the message this morning at 8 a.m. when my alarm went off.

I suspected something was up when I did not get the promised confirmation message yesterday as was told to me earlier in the week.

“I’ll confirm on Saturday.”

When I got home last night at 10:15 p.m. and there was no message confirming I sent him one, just let me know, I’ll be up for a little bit.

But not that late.

Since the date time was for 9:30 a.m. today.

I wanted to have about 8 hours of sleep and a little breakfast and get ready time before meeting him at Trouble Coffee and Coconut Club before going and walking his dog around Fort Funston.

My alarm went off at 8 a.m. and I saw no text, no call on my phone, I checked my Okstupid profile and yup, incoming message at 1 a.m. saying he’d over booked, scheduled himself to work out with his trainer, so sorry, feel awful, please let me make it up to you.

Yada.

Yada.

Yada.

I got up, went pee.

Went right back to bed.

I slept until 11a.m.

Apparently God wanted me to have some rest instead of a date with someone who over books themselves.

And cool.

Rejection is God’s protection.

No skin off my nose.

I even did the nice thing and sent a nice response, “no worries, have a great day, if you want to hang out, you know where to find me.”

And that was that.

I had a free day to do with as I pleased.

I wasn’t sure what to do and truthfully, though not miffed, I was just a little flummoxed.

First week of trying to date and date is no-show.

Then I thought.

I didn’t say I was going to go on one date a week, I said I was going to try.

And try I did.

I made a date with someone and I set aside time to do so and opened myself up to being vulnerable.

And it felt kind of fun to know that I had a date.

I actually never really thought anything would come of it and a couple of times wanted to cancel, haha, but didn’t as I feel that’s self-sabbotage.

Now the funny thing?

I decided to take some action and tweeted my status as stood up and did anyone want to hang out as I was suddenly free to move about the day.

And what do you know.

I got a response.

And we chatted a bit.

And now I have a date for this Friday.

So there Mister I Got to Go Work Out With My Trainer.

FYI.

Posting pictures on social media of cheeseburger, fries, assorted dips and sauces, and the 49’ers game on your big screen tv does not scream working out with personal trainer, but hey, that’s ok.

Sometimes I get overbooked too doing my nails.

I bear the guy no grudge, in fact I thought it was pretty fucking funny.

And I think that’s what this experience is going to be, a lot of amusing stories and maybe, if a girl is lucky, a date or two with a nice guy.

I would love me some courting.

I don’t expect any.

In fact.

I have no expectations about any of it.

The only expectation I have is that I am going to put myself out there and learn how to date.  I hear that some folks can do it and I have seen a number of friends in my life, women and men, do it, and heck, they seem to enjoy themselves.

So.

I didn’t sit on my ass, I took myself on a date.

First I got cute, because you never know who you might see or whom might see you and I like looking cute.

Then I got on my scooter and drove it up the coast.

It’s awful handy that the coast is just three blocks away.

I went up the Great Highway and hit Lands End first.

It was glorious.

The view, well, amazing.

Lands End

Lands End

I walked along the cliff edge for a while and then decided I was going to do what tourists do, I was going to walk the bridge.

The Golden Gate Bridge, that is.

I have ridden my bicycle over it countless times, but I have never walked over the pedestrian side.

I climbed back onto the Vespa and took Sea Cliff over towards the other side of Lands End and then dropped along Camino del Mar and around Bakers Beach and China Beach, then up and around the Presidio.

The views were astounding and I was so grateful that I had not decided to stay at home and mope.

Not that I really felt mopey about the date cancelling, just that I can get into the habit of staying at home and it’s better for me to get out, do things, take actions, live my life like, this is it.

Because.

This is it.

And when I live so close to so much beauty it’s a shame to not appreciate it.

So I got my appreciation on.

The bridge was packed.

Packed.

But, as I was on a scooter I got motorcycle parking right up close and was able to amble right onto the bridge really quickly.

I got to say I like that about being on a scooter, easy peasey parking.

And voila!

The Golden Gate Bridge, established in 1937,

 

1937

1937

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

spanning the bay, slightly shrouded in light fog, crisp wind blowing, but not too bad (I have certainly ridden over it in really nasty fog and high winds), just enough to blow my hair about my face in a sexy manner.

I felt really filled with joy and gratitude looking out over the view.

I live here.

I live here!

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

How freaking amazing is that?

I took a few photographs.

I played tourist.

I called my mom from the bridge because I wanted to share with her the experience and it made me giggle to be calling my mom from the Golden Gate Bridge, I don’t know why, but it felt sweet to do so.

I went to the gift shop after walking the bridge and I bought myself a souvenir–a refrigerator magnet, what else?

And I scooped a little something for my mom too, since I had called her while I was on the bridge and her birthday is coming up soon.

I laughed as I was checking out and said something in regards to the compulsive gift buying.

The clerk smiled and said, “where are you from?”

I laughed harder.

Then I leaned in, “here, I live here, in San Francisco, Ocean Beach.”

We both laughed.

I rode my scooter back along the edge of the world full of joy and lightness and gratitude.

I came home and put my magnet on the fridge and cooked up some soup, it’s Sunday after all, and had a late lunch on the back deck with the sun on my face and the sound of the neighbor playing jazz piano.

How good is my life?

So good.

And I have a date for Friday.

I don’t think he will be cancelling.

And if he does, well.

I live in a pretty incredible place, I can probably figure out something to do.

 


%d bloggers like this: