Posts Tagged ‘post-a-day’

Gold From Dross

January 8, 2018

I keep hearing my person talking to me about my life and what’s been happening over the last few months and school, and work, and relationships and how she managed to give me the most amazing compliment and also an admonition all at the same time.

She said that of all the people who she’s met in her life I am the best person at making gold come out of a poor situation.

She was giving me a really big compliment.


She was also pointing out that I am used to not getting to work with much, so I manage to make the best out of whatever situation that I am in.

That I also, it was noted, have a tendency to take whatever I can get and spin it into something beautiful because I was never really allowed to have wants or needs.

And as it turns out, those wants and needs are not being met.

In a way.

My needs are being met and wants are desires that have a pretty name attached to them.

I have everything I need and then some.

But she had an interesting point, that just because I have the ability to make due with less does not mean that I must have less, that I’m allowed more, and that I can acknowledge those wants even if they are not met.

It’s a poverty thing, growing up so poor, take what you can get and be happy that you got anything.

It’s a kind of scarcity thinking that I have to often work around.

Like yesterday when I was getting the crown for my cracked tooth and there was a part of me that was loud and vehement, go with the cheaper option!


I have done so much work that I knew that what I needed to do was go for what was best for me and my health and have complete faith that I was being taken care of.

And I was.

I paid for it, it’s done.

Today was actually quite nice, no pain whatsoever.

Well, once, once I bit down on my dinner a little too hard and there was a snatch of pain, but other than that, nothing worth noting.

I’ll be gentle with my teeth for the next couple of weeks and head back in on the 20th to have my permanent crown put in.

What has stuck with me about the comment was partially what I did yesterday and also acknowledging that there are parts of me that I just don’t let out, I don’t acknowledge that I have wants and desires that are very human and pretty typical.


She noted in the sweetest, kindest ways, nothing judgmental about me, or my situation or my life, just that she wanted me to see the parts of myself that I was perhaps pushing away as I made gold from my situation.

It struck me deeply.

And when I got off the phone with her I hopped onto the website for my yoga studio and signed up for the 4:30 p.m. class.

I was going to skip it today having been plenty active this morning and then going back to bed and sleeping until 10 a.m.

Which is the last time I will be sleeping in for a while.

Supervision starts back up tomorrow morning.

I will be up at 6:30 a.m.

I’ll be taking my car, rain in the forecast, and I will need to leave home earlier than normal to get to my supervision in Hayes Valley, during morning rush commuting hours.




Not riding my scooter in the rain!

Supervision for an hour, then a phone call with the dean of the Transformative Psychology PhD program, then work, then two clients, then home.

It’s a long day.

So yeah, letting myself have that kiss of extra sleep was nice, plus I went to bed late last night, I was restless and had a head full of thoughts, dreamy thoughts, but thoughts that kept me up a little later than I would have wanted.

I don’t think I fell asleep until 1 a.m.

So morning yoga was out.

I flirted with the idea of doing either the 4:30 p.m. class or the 6:15 pm restorative yoga class.

But after my phone call, I knew, I had to get into my body and exercise.

It was super good.

So good.

Great instructor and I got super sweaty and just worked.

My head was quiet, except at the very end right before the final pose and it got a little too chatty, but it was emotional chatter that needed an outlet, and I was able to cry a little and let it go.

Sweat, tears, all the same thing, pain leaving the body.

I floated home and when I got there a message came in from a woman in my neighborhood about what I was doing this evening and where I might be going and did I want to head over to Quintara and 20th?


Yes, please!

Super good, caught up with my fellows, did the deal, got right with God, connected and feel really positive about moving forward into this week.

As I come up on my sober anniversary and see all the amazing insights that I get to have and all the growth that I have gotten to do this past year, it blows my freaking mind.


Just for instance.

Right before my friend picked me up to go do the deal I sent off my graduation application to my school program.

I paid the $90 fee and I filled out the four pages.

I noted my 4.0 grade point.

I expressed what name I want on my diploma, my full name, middle and all, thank you very much.

It asked if I wanted to speak at my commencement and I said I would be honored if so chosen.

I said I was going to attend the commencement and that I would walk in the procession and yes.



I said I wanted to pick up my diploma in person.

I want that baby in my hands as I cross the stage.

My god.

What a day.

Started with love and gratitude.

Ended with love and gratitude.

So much love.

So much gratitude.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Wound Up

October 22, 2016

Just a little bit.

Just probably because it’s Friday.

Another school night.

No going out tonight.

But I’m feeling it.

Friday night.

I had class today and saw my best girls today and connected and reconnected with them.

I told them what was going on in my life and it felt really good to say all the things and talk about it and have good perspective from them.

Especially my darling French friend.

“You see, this is why I don’t read your blog!” She exclaimed as we sat and shared over lunch.

I cried a few times.


It is real.


I also felt seen and loved.

“No, Carmen, there’s no figuring it out and you don’t need to change, you are perfect, maybe it really is just San Francisco,” she added, “maybe it is just timing.”

I know that.

But you see.

I fell into an unavailable man-hole and it ate me alive for a few days.

There’s still imprints of it all over me and I’m ok with it now that I have had some time to do some writing and some talking and some sharing.

So unavailable.

So sexy.

So can’t even begin to make it work.

I could give a laundry list of reasons.

But to sum up.




Doesn’t live in San Francisco.


Fuck me.

“I’m not concerned with that,” he told me, when I finally, tearfully, called my person earlier this week, letting the cat out of the bag, and said, hey, um, I need to talk to you about something.

“I’m more concerned with the married part,” he said, “and that’s the part you get to focus on.”


The being attracted to someone who I cannot be with, that part.

Oh, like I don’t have any idea what you’re talking about.

Fuck me.

“He has bright eyes,” she said as I showed her the photograph, “there is something very compelling there, he is handsome.”

Yes, yes he does…

Yes, yes, he is.

And he sees me in a way that is so flattering, so seductive, so unbelievable that it makes me feel like, woman hear me roar.


He’s married and doesn’t live in San Francisco.

I keep going back to that.

It doesn’t matter that there’s the sexy connection, it doesn’t matter.

In the end I can only fantasize and well, that doesn’t serve me.

I want flesh and blood.

I want sweat and hand holding.

I want a person I can hold on to and who can hold onto me.

I want.

I want.

I want what I want when I want it and I want it now.

“Now” is never going to happen.

And I also deserve to have it.

The huge love, the thunderous applause of blood in my face, the arch of light in my eyes, the smothering of kisses on my face.

I want it all.

And so.

I shut it down.

I shut it down hard.

There was no consummation, FYI, not that it’s any of your business anyway, but there was enough there to know that it could happen if we were in the right place at the right time and the right moment.





I also have a living amends to not have sex with married men.

So, um yeah.

It didn’t happen.

And it’s.

Not going to happen.

So stop the fantasy, stop the playing out all the possible solutions in your head, stop trying to figure it out.

“You know, your blog is only a sliver of you too,” she added, leaning in, “in France this is not such a big deal.”

“Oh, I hear you and it’s not that, really so much,” I said in response to a question she had regarding the nature of the relationship, “it really is the married and lives in another town problem.”


Also, “he’s put you on a pedestal,” she said, “but yeah, it is so good for the ego, so sexy.”

So good.

I mean.


It’s really nice to be seen.

Even if I’m not seen fully, here in my messy end of the day braids and helmet hair, my silliness as I dance around the room, in my sadness, in my humanity.


I’m not fully seen.

But the intoxication of being even just a little seen.

Well, that is thrilling.




But, yes, ultimately, it’s a dead-end street for me.

I am grateful for the experience, wild with the gratitude, the gifts of perspective and how fast it happened, the flirtation arose, it was, well, flirted with, then I got to put a stop to it.

And get to really is the gift.

It was hard.

But with some support I did it and now I get to move on, into the light of whatever new day, new date, new man is out there waiting for me.

The deck is cleared.

“No, it is not dating for you that I want,” she said and paused.

“I want for you the grand passion, the coup de foudre, la grand amoureuse.”


Thank you.

My darling friend for saying it.

I want that too.

And though I did feel struck by lightning when it all came out, it was lightening in the distance.

The rumble of a storm brewing, a passion to end all passions.

But on the other side of the world.

And I am here.


In this moment.

In San Francisco.

In my little studio down by the sea.



Not trying to fix or change or be someone or something other than who I am.

Maybe it is San Francisco.

Maybe it is that I have had a habit of being attracted to men who aren’t available or attracted to me.

Although this was not the case, the man is attracted, oh my.


And attractive.

But again.

Not here.

Not available.


Not for me.

I also think, or have been thinking that though I have had opportunities, I have also sabotaged and defended myself from possible, or probable hurt, I have been hurt, I don’t want to be hurt again, but I can withstand the pain of being hurt in a way that I didn’t believe or know that I could.

Safety is not the issue anymore.

I am settled in my skin.

I have done the work, and though of course, there is more work to do.

I am capable of being present and available.


I am so excited to see what happens next.

It’s going to be amazing.

I have faith.

It really.

Is going to be.


I feel it.



Almost Home

July 4, 2016

But not quite.

Sitting on the floor charging the laptop, downloading an episode of OITNB and waiting for the next plane to land at LAX.

I’m so close I can taste San Francisco.

But not close enough.

I understand now why the fares were cheaper by hundreds of dollars and I get it, I accept the consequences of saving a few bucks, and really, considering the fabulous loot, for me, I’m bringing back from New Orleans, I’m ok with the delay.

That being said.

I won’t be doing it again.

Next time I travel, direct flight please.

No more trying to figure out what terminal and no worry about making connecting flights or waiting at a gate for the next flight.

I feel like I have lifted and loaded my carry on many more times than I typically do and I am a little weary of it.

I have 52 minutes until the next boarding.

I’m almost there.

I have patience.

And I am grateful for the experience, the people watching in airports is extraordinary.


I hate to say it.

But, folks are heavy.

I mean, having been a heavier person all my life, although not so much now, I was stunned by the heft of folks.


I love me some fashion.

But money does not necessarily supply style.


Please, attend your children, especially when they are under two years old, my God, I have seen some wandering children.

Perhaps I am just hyper sensitive being a nanny, I always seem to have my nanny goggles on, but seriously folks, corral those kids.

And nobody seems to care about anybody else.

I have seen some utterly strange and rude things, cutting lines, loud voices, demands for things and privileges that shocked me.

All in all, however, I am grateful, again, and again, that I get the opportunity to travel.

I want to live in a big house one day.

And have a large map and pin cushion the fuck out of it, I want to trace all the flights from city to city in red and blue thread and I want to put little pushpins in all the cities I have gotten to visit.

I have not traveled as much as some, I am not a touring musician, I don’t have bags of money, but I get about pretty well, and much more than I ever believed I would.

It is an extraordinary gift.

I remember dreaming about it and thinking it would never happen.

And really, I have traveled a great deal just in the last year–Paris, New York, New Orleans, LA–in fact I was reflecting on the last time I was at LAX.

It was last August, before my school retreat, my friend who flew me down, first class from SFO to LAX for a weekend of museums and walk about.

I don’t see that friend anymore.

Strange how fast things change, even when you can’t imagine that they will, they do.

I am also extraordinarily grateful to him as well, despite not talking to him or engaging with him, no facecrack, no texts, no doing the deal in the same church basement.

There is a softness there in the memory, in the heart, in the touch of nostalgia for the intense experience of the relationship and also a  vast amount of perspective in the reviewing of how the relationship coalesced and then collapsed.

I cannot change what happened and I wouldn’t if I could.

I got what God wanted me to have and I don’t look gifts in the mouth.

The experience the heart opening and the love I learned I am capable of.

So much.

Or thinking about being a solo traveler.

I travel well on my own, I have my system down, I get it done.

But yes, sometimes I do wonder, what would it be like.

“You can have anything you want,” a lover told me.

Why, just now, that made me tear up, I am not sure, so tired of trying to figure it all out.

“Oh honey, you are so smart and so strong, and you need a match, there aren’t going to be a lot of men that can match you, you’re bigger than life,” my new friend in New Orleans said as we wound our way through the French Quarter on the way to Magazine Street.




I hear that all the time.

But the thing is, I’m not so sure I believe that.


I’m tired, I’m sure that’s the gist of this and where I am going with this blog, oh tender hormonal heart, I don’t know.


Got the period a week early.

A week!


I had sex on the mind, happy 4th let me celebrate with the day off to sleep in and get down.



Oh well, so it goes, everything happens the way it’s supposed to happen.

And perhaps the travel anxiety brought it on, happens sometimes, a little anxiety, making the connecting flights, getting through security, etc, happens, I tend to ignore it mentally, but I suspect my body has its own way of working, with or without my brains permission or acknowledgement.

Or perhaps it was the heat and humidity in New Orleans.

Who knows.

I just looked up around the terminal and thought to myself, “my people!”

I recognize San Francisco people.

Not necessarily anyone I know, but the look, well, there’s a look, and I see it.

I may have been temporarily seduced by the warm sultry nights in New Orleans and the lush flora and fauna, the lilting Southern twang and the gentility, but San Francisco still has my heart.

I’m going to get in close to midnight and I don’t think I’ll be BARTing or taking MUNI.

One more car ride and then home.

Home to my sweet little studio by the sea.

It is not filled with magnolia scent and orange spray water in a mister or paddle fans or twelve foot ceilings.

There are not clawfoot tubs and verandas.

But there is my bed, heavenly and warm, and heaped with pillows and my duvet, a duvet I shall burrow into, I’m sure I’m going to have a moment of shock at the cold and the fog, but that will pass

And besides.

I brought my sweatshirt.

I’m not inexperienced with the prodigal daughter return home with out enough layers.

I’m ready.


I am.

Boarding in 32 minutes.

See you soon San Francisco.

I have missed you.

Even the fog.


Don’t tell.



Work, Work, Work

February 20, 2015

Work it out.

And I’m not talking about work.

Although it’s been a hell of a week at work.

Ski week.


Private schools in San Francisco have what’s commonly called ski week–Tahoe anyone?

My boys don’t ski, although the family does take a week in the summer to go to Tahoe.


My boys have been with me all week, keeping me busy.

I thought to myself tonight that perhaps I should not schedule any more dates after I am done with work.

That I should go on dates when I have a chance to be fresh and relaxed and mellow and can show up with some sparkle.

I have another first date tomorrow and I am trying  to figure out the cute for date and works for work outfit.

You know, a day to-night sort of deal.

I’m not horribly concerned, my date will be arriving via bicycle, as will I.

My date and I will both be coming from work.

And that’s the work I am thinking about, the work of giving myself time to date and to be available.

It is really easy for me to book myself in.

For instance, I have nothing.

And I mean nothing (ok, well, a commitment Saturday night, but other than that) happening on Saturday.

I really want to schedule some stuff in that time.

I was hoping for another date, either another first date with someone or a second date with someone.


I don’t know.


As my week is ending and my weekend fast approaches, I feel compelled to have it all figured out.

More work than I need to give myself.

The illusion of control.

If I know what’s happening, I can control the outcome and manipulate my situation to my best advantage.

Or so my brain tells me.

Shut up brain.

A little free time is good.

Who knows what may happen.

I did think tonight, when I was riding my bike home from my Thursday night commitment, that it would be so nice if the guy I’m going out with tomorrow hit it off and I don’t have to think about asking anyone else out.

I’m a bit tired of it.

I haven’t asked anyone out all this week.

I realized I was coasting along on the fact that I asked out 8 guys last week.

And scheduled two dates for this week.

After tomorrow’s date there is nothing lined up and oh no.

I mean, really, in the scheme of it all, no big shakes, but I feel that I want to keep the momentum going.

It’s just.

Well, it’s a lot of work.

I know that it will pay off.

I just don’t know when and sometimes a girl gets tired doing all the asking.

Hey you.

Yeah you!

You want to ask me out?

Do it.

I mean, I have fucking blinders on anyway, half the time I have no idea if you like me or not anyway, so if you’ve been waiting around wondering if you’re on the list, just cut to the chase and ask.

Because I’m in no place to say no.

I’m throwing it all at the wall.

I’m not desperate.


I just realized that I like being in a relationship.

I do.

I make a pretty good girl friend.

Even though I wasn’t the right girl friend for the last guy.

And I like the company.

And you know, sex is nice, and kissing, and uh, stuff.



Fuck me.

I think what happens for me is that at some point or another I try to find the magic bullet.

That thing that is going to work, that combination of asking out, following suggestions, doing the online dating world, Facecrack messaging, etc, that I will figure it out.

And poof!


I mean, it’s no different from any other time I have tried to put myself out there as sexy, single, available for dating, smart, fun, great in bed.


My blog is now an over stated want ad for a partner.


I’m happy to say I have some humor around this and also, that I am willing to try to change and do different things.

I don’t think I will ever figure it out, dating, life, love, friends, family, recovery, any of it.

Really, it’s all a lot of work and I just have to do it.

The good things, they take effort.

I mean I didn’t lose all that weight by wishing on a star.

I radically changed my diet and lifestyle.

No sugar.

No flour.

No fried foods.

Organic foods.

Bicycling four to six days a week.


That was not a magic pill.

That was some hard fucking work.

And it’s paid off.

So, I’m going to have to do some more work with dating.

And then with school.


I am still a little in shock that the day has been set for the interview.

A week from today.

I cleared it with work and I will go in for a half day, leaving at 2 p.m. to make sure I get there on time and have a few minutes to sit still, breathe, say a prayer in a bathroom stall, re-apply my lipstick, and nail the interview.

I know I can do it.


Because I don’t shirk at doing the work.

I’m not about to change that now.

So when a wave of fatigue washes over me, I can surrender to it, and know that this too shall pass, that I am just here playing the role assigned and that God really does want me to be with one fine man.

Seeing as how I am one fine woman.

I will show up tomorrow at work and do my job.

Then I will show up for my life and do the work that leads to the relationship.

It doesn’t have to be with this man or the man I dated last night or the one I haven’t asked out yet, but I will.

I don’t have to know.

I just have to do.

Thinking about it is not the solution.

Acting is.

Here’s to doing the work.

It’s worth it.

I am worth it.

Restraint of Pen and Tongue

February 5, 2015

And text.

Text me no texts.


Two and a half weeks is not the 90 days we agreed on, and what you are feeling is none of my business.

And yeah.

I am feeling it too.

But that’s not your business either.


I got a text message from my ex and I knew better than to respond.

Did I want to respond?

You bet your happy ass I did.

Did I think about responding?


Did I respond?


I read it a few times.

I will admit that.

I woke up to an incoming text this morning at 6:54 a.m. and rolled over thinking it’s a little too early to be getting up for work, but I do have to pee.

I didn’t really want the text in my brain, but when I hopped out of bed I did see that the light was shifting and I was curious, do I just get up or do I sleep a little longer.

I saw it was too early to get up and I saw that my ex had sent me a message.


Don’t read it, don’t read it, don’t read it, go pee and go back to bed.

I knew if I read it I would spend the next hour that I could be sleeping thinking instead.

Not a restful thing to do when I am in the middle of a long work week.

I agreed to work late today and on Friday to help the family out and I realized that I need to be careful with this, they’ll take what ever extra I will give.  It’s not that I wouldn’t mind the extra cash, it’s more that I don’t want to hide out in my job, it’s an easy thing for me to do.

Check out by keeping busy.

And especially at this point in my social life, I want to keep the door open to dating.

In fact, that was what compelled me to act as if I was ok with the text that I got.


Forget you.

I’m not writing about what the text said.

Suffice to say it was sweet and inviting.

I wanted to respond.

I wanted to say how I was feeling.

I was feeling a lot.

But I was also not going to let the morning get away from me, I have a routine which saves my ass and I took care of doing that without looking at the phone until after I had a chance to address my needs.

Then I realized that the early morning text was not from him.


The text message that had awoken me from my slumber was from another person.

Somebody who I do wonder what the fuck he was doing up at that hour, but that’s another blog for another time.

My ex did send me a text, but it had been last night at.


1:54 a.m.

I had been sound asleep, the little whistle from my phone had not woke me up, I was deep in dream land.

I read both texts.

The one from my friend and the one from my ex and I realized.

I can’t respond to either one of them.

I had suspicions about the rational mind-set of my friend and I didn’t want to engage in a conversation.

I had reservations about contacting my ex.

I want to move on.

I am healing.

It’s over.

Leave me alone.

I miss you too.

So what?

I am not supposed to be with my ex or we’d still be together.

What do they say?

Oh yes, ouch, rejection is God’s protection.

In case you didn’t catch it, let me not put too fine a point on it, but, my ex broke up with me.

Oh, it was happening in my brain before he pulled the trigger and told me, it had been happening in my heart for a few weeks, and I had basically had the pre-break up break up conversation at a cafe prior to it actually happening–which was nice, I got to process through a lot of emotions before it actually went down.

But let me not beat around the bush.

He broke up with me.

I reminded myself of this.

Walk towards the open door.

Don’t bang my head on a closed one.

I reminded myself of this too.

“Be the ball Martines,” Shadrach said, “let the man who wants to be with you come to you.”

But not after I’ve already been rejected, and not because you want comfort or have feelings, not my business.



I get to have some more feelings.

I knew I would not respond even before I made the phone calls that I had to make to be accountable to myself and my recovery and make sure that I was following suggestions.

Sometimes I don’t need to be told though, I just knew to take the next action in front of me.

So with a big deep breath and a prayer on my lips, I stared up through the blooming tree on the sidewalk outside work and looked at the deep blue sky, blue like his eyes, and read the text one more time.

Then I deleted it.

Then I went and did my day.

It was uncomfortable.

I was sad.

I am sad.

But grief, even when I think it’s gone, can come back, and though sad, I am also proud of myself for knowing that this bit of pain now is less than if I had engaged.

Then I did it.

The last suggestion.

Delete his number.




I know you are right, and frankly, I want to be happy, not right.

So this afternoon as the last of the sun was crashing over the tops of Twin Peaks and settling over the sand box at the park, I pulled up his number in my contacts, looked at his picture one last time, and deleted the contact.


It’s done.

I’m free.

Softened with sadness, but not broken, just broke open more, a soldering of my heart and, there, yes, more love.

Just not from the direction I was expecting–the courage to walk through the difficult things and change, I would have done things different in the past.

My ex doesn’t need to do a thing.

I am the one who has to change.

Who gets to change.

I know how strong my inner compass is and I rely on it.

I also know that this work will pay off with great dividends as I walk towards the open door.

Towards the man who God want me to be with.

My side of the street is clean.

And I am available.

Sad, yes, for the moment.

But this too shall pass.




Hello Darling

July 6, 2014

It’s so nice to see you again.

How have I missed you, let me count the ways.

Not being stared at because I have tattoos and funky hair.
In fact, my hair is less funky than many here.
Case in point, my dear friend with the shaved tribal design on the side of her head picked me up today and I didn’t even look twice at the cut, its fabulous and so is she.

I have the tattoos.
I don’t watch Nascar and I don’t have single tribal tattoo of barbed wire on my upper arm.

Yes, if you ask nicely I will let you look at them.

Yes. They hurt.


You don’t hesitate to throw down a dance party with hula hoops at the drop of a hat in Noe Valley.
That is just how you roll.

I have to dress warmly here.
Despite it being July.

Because its July and everyone, tourists excepting, knows that it’s winter time here out by the coast and the fog is thick and cool and the wind is chilly and yes, I did leave my house in a fuzzy pink sweater and a jacket.
It’s July people.
It’s cold.

It’s home.
It just plain old is.

I love you San Francisco and whenever I leave I get to return to that dear fact.

I love my best friend in Wisconsin, probably more than any other person on the planet.

However, Wisconsin is not populated with a plethora of her.
Just the one.

Now, that doesn’t mean that there are not like-minded folk there, there are.
Like her husband.
And some mutual friends, and some old friends, but overall, I am more at home here than there.

That is not to say that I did not entertain thoughts of moving back.
I always do when I go there.
It is inevitable.

I get this soul enriching experience with my friend and experience a kind of joy and deep belly laugh that I only have around her.
I get her kids who I just adore to smithereens.
Especially her oldest boy who, no surprise, is my favorite.
Although the two younger ones are amazing little creatures too, it’s the eldest that has my heart.

I made a vow to always be a good person for him, to always be the best me that I could be to always practice kindness and compassion and love, generosity, humility, honesty, and to strive to be the best me possible.

His mom did something for me that no other person in my life did.
She helped me when I needed help.

There were plenty of people who wanted to help me or tried to help me, I’m sure there were, but she was the one who stuck it out and she was the one who stayed by me and my crazy when it was really, really, really bad.

She was the one I called when I hit rock bottom.

She got me where I needed to go and she said the most piercing, horrifying, awful thing to me.
A sentence, one sentence that sent it all home.
That nailed my coffin shut on my using, though I did not know it at the time, but it hurt so bad to hear what she said that I could no longer ignore how deep and how bad I had gotten into the drugs.

There was a part of me, a large part, I won’t kid, I won’t lie, I won’t try to hide it, that wanted her to swoop in like a mama bird and take care of me and get me into rehab and then, you know, let me live with her and her family until I was up on my feet again and I would have home and shelter and care until I could care for myself again.

We talked long over the phone trying to figure out what I would do and where I would get help and I don’t know if I floated the idea or what or how it came out, but the hope that maybe I could go back to Wisconsin and set up camp at her home got thrown out into the ether.

Just like the words that followed, the deeps silence that greeted my idea spoke to me and was perhaps the thing that allowed the words she said next to sink into my heart.
Break my heart.
Open me up to something else and allow for my journey to really begin.

Breathtaking pause.


“Carmen, I love you, but I can’t, I can’t let you stay in my home, I don’t think I can trust you around, S.”

Oh dear sweet Jesus.

It sunk in.

All the way in.

How bad I was.
How bad it had gotten.
The depths had been reached and I had no further bottom to dig to.

I wiped tears off my face, knew she was right.
And wanted to prove her wrong.

But her child was more important.
And that’s how it’s suppose to be.

The child is more important.
She had her priorities straight and mine were lined up, chopped up, diced up and snorted with a bloody bill that would wind up back in my sad, depleted wallet after being licked clean of any residue left on it.

I vowed that I would never be anything but sober around that little boy.
A boy who is not so little anymore.

A boy who breaks my heart with his deep beauty and grace and gazelle legs and hazel brown, green, gold flecked eyes, who told me again and again that he loved me and wrapped his sun warm limbs around me and let me hug and kiss him and squish him and dote on him.

He does not need to know any of that history.
He just get to know the love and for that I am so beyond grateful.

My friend asked after my writing and my progression with it and where it’s going next and truth be told, I don’t know.

I really don’t.

I can dream big dreams of publishing dreams and money and glory and forever and ever material success and satisfaction.

But it all matters not one whit to the important and real commitment I have to this way of life I live and what I do in it.

My community, my fellowship, my recovery.

If you had told me years ago that I would get to help save lives and not have to go to medical school and rack up hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans to do so, I would have jumped at the opportunity.

Little did I know that doing a lot of drugs, sleeping with men whose names I didn’t know, and stealing where the prerequisites to my job.
My true purpose.
To fit myself to be of maximum service to my fellow.

I have a purpose.
I have a point.

And the writing gets to be my own little side thing.
My little hobby that maybe, well, I can still dream–will manifest in something wild and wooly and wonderful, I know that, but it’s not the point of my life, I have another calling too and that purpose and that point is the reason that I get to be a part of a the life of my friend and her family.

I get to sit on the dock and watch the boys jump in and out of the water, get to hold the one in my lap, with my arms wrapped tight about him at sunset and putter around the lake on the pontoon boat and see a bald eagle high in a tree, to help build a fire and make s’mores on the Fourth of July while lighting off boxes of sparklers (or ‘parklers as the youngest says, always dropping the “s” on his four-year old words), to go wild blueberry picking in the woods and to hug them and hold them and know that I am known and loved and trusted.

I am trusted with my friends children.

I am the luckiest woman alive.

I am so lucky to be loving you.


It’s Almost Friday

March 21, 2014

It’s almost time to dance.

Oh Jesus.

I am ready.

I am ready.

I need to shake it out and shake it hard and let my hair down, and probably put it back up because I will get hot, then let it all go.

I am going to tear it up.

At least that’s what it feels like right now.  Tomorrow, well tomorrow, I could be punked out and my energy may be low and maybe, it’s been known to happen, I won’t be feeling it.

But I will go anyway.

Because I bought tickets.

I was ruminating earlier that sometimes I have to purchase something to go and the guilt of having paid for it will be the motivation.


I paid $18.05 to go dancing (tax, etc.) online.

I better go.

I want to go and that should be enough impetus, but sometimes it is not.

I was talking about not riding my bicycle as much when I get my licence and how that has played out in my head as an anxiety producing thing about not getting enough exercise and the person I was checking in with asked what kind of exercising I like and  I said swimming.

Then she told me about a friend of hers who pays to be in a league and shows up for swim practise.

Swim practise!

Can you imagine at the age of 41?


I am a good swimmer and I do enjoy it and that’s an option, especially with having a vehicle to get me there and back.

Sometimes I am loath to go do something physical because I know afterward I am going to be on my bicycle and I am not up for the commute.

Though, truth be told, I have noticed that I am faster, quicker, and more agile on my bike of late.

I have dropped a pound or two and I can feel the lightness in my body and I can see more muscle tone in my legs and in my upper waist, my lower waist is never going to be what I want it to be, unless I get surgery, which should the money ever happen I might.

I will always, as long as I do what I am doing today, just for today, have loose skin on my body.

And instead of wishing it away I can be profoundly grateful for the visual evidence of what I used to weigh and how hard it was to get through the day.

How stressful it was to hike up Bascom Hill in Madison.

I hike up a great deal of hills in San Francisco, once a week a really steep one, pushing my bicycle up ahead of me–why I will get to climb it tomorrow–up Noe to 19th, and I don’t need to pause for breath three or four times.

I had an old friend tag me in some photographs from days gone by when I used to work at the Angelic Brewing Company, where I hit my top weight, maybe 282 lbs, maybe more.  I didn’t get on a scale for a long time after that and I believe I could have been heavier, but I wasn’t about to find out.

I know that a few years later I had dropped down to 250 lbs.

I know that because I weighed myself at my black belt test.

I was a 250 lb 29-year-old woman getting her black belt in Shaolin.

No wonder I wasn’t fucked with.

Well not much, I remember one of the bartenders, Kurt, joking about how we should turn off all the lights and jump out at me to see how I responded in the dark brewery.

Ah, no thanks, friend, no one needs to die.

Then I managed to get down to 214/215 lbs when I moved here to San Francisco.

Courtesy of a little dietary aid.

Er, I mean, a little bag, or two, of cocaine.

I remember a dear, dear friend asking me if I was using coke to lose weight.

Well, sort of, I admitted, I loved that I wasn’t hungry, but I couldn’t, at that time, admit that I was just plain old addicted to the shit.

Then I stopped.

And wow did the weight come back.

I ate to stuff all those feelings and stuff myself I did.

I bounced back up to 275 lbs, maybe more.

After that I did a lot of restricting and white knuckling, then one day someone suggested I try something else and after a couple of false starts I found a solution that works for me.

And I got right sized.

Which is not to say that I got to the size that I want to be at.


Not at all.

What I got was a certain kind of freedom from obsessing about what that certain size should be.  I got a perspective that allowed me to see that every day, no matter how heavy or light, I was exactly how I should be and that change was going to happen and I might get bigger or smaller depending.

But I would always be right sized.

I believe that’s called humility.

So, when the brain beats me up and says my body is not as attractive as it could be, I get grateful for all the evidence to the contrary, I worked really hard to be the woman I am today and I am gorgeous.

I am not photoshopped, I have wrinkles, I have laugh lines, I have saggy upper arm skin and loose skin on my tummy, but I also have that as evidence I can look at every day and see what an amazing woman I am, how much effort I have put in, in small little steps, to be where I am at.

And where I am at is wearing a sleeveless size medium dress to go dancing in tomorrow night with a pair of leggings and some Converse.

Because although you might not think that my upper arms are sexy.

I do.

And flaunt them I shall while I get my groove on the dance floor.

Because being content in my body is the sexiest statement I can make.

And I am hella sexy.

Just watch me break it off tomorrow.

Because, it’s on.

This Is A Test

June 30, 2013

This is only a test.

This is a test to see how fast I can type, basically.

I just realized and am a little embarrassed to admit it, but I forgot my power cord for my laptop in the East Bay.

Damn it.

My juice is low.

I had not even realized and I did a quick hunt and peck through the house, the house of someone who happens to work for Apple and couldn’t find anything that would work.


Because it freaked me out to go snooping through their stuff.

Walking into the office almost gave me a heart attack.

I felt like I was in a different world, somewhere in the future, the not too far off future, but definitely the future.

I have never seen a lot of what these things are.

They are Apple products, they are computers, they are gorgeous,  and I was holding my breath looking for something and I realized I was going to have a panic attack.

Sorry, your nanny/housesitter/neophyte broke that gazzillion dollar thingamabob looking to charge up her old laptop.

You know, the one with the Burning Man stickers stuck too it and the House of Air (the trampoline park! God, I need to go back there, that was fun) sticker and the fan that sounds like a loud vibrator.

Yeah, that computer, the one I rely on daily.

Although as I get to know my Iphone more and more I don’t boot up quite as often, but I am on my laptop every night.

Every night.

“Wait, you write a blog every night,” he said to me at the juice bar on Fillmore.

“Yup, she’s a writer, she’s not just a nanny, and she’s a good writer, I’ll hook you up via FaceBook, you two should be friends anyhow,” my friend said to her guy.

Her guy who I happen to know but did not know how much I knew.

We know tons of the same people had overlapping stories about Burning Man and I made a new friend tonight, one who I will totally see on playa and one who told me that where I would be camping was going to be awesome.

For the first time in five years I will not be at Media Mecca.

I was a bit bummed about it.

I asked to be placed there and for a hot second it looked like it might pan out, then it did not.

So, I’ll be at the 9 o’clock key hole.

My address on playa will be 8:45 and C

“That’s a great place to camp!” He said slapping his leg.  “You’re right by Hokey Pokey!”

“Hokey Pokey!” I exclaimed, “awesome, I have always wanted to go hang out there and I have never gotten over to their camp.

Hokey Pokey is a sober camp.

Which means I will be next door to my people.

When I need to decompress I know where I can go.

Sigh, relief.

I am getting super excited about the burn, despite not having had the most comfortable of weekends, getting myself re-adjusted to another space, wanting to isolate, making myself go out tonight to meet with my friend and her guy.

I am so glad I did.

It always pleases me to make a new friend, especially someone who goes to Burning Man, speaks the same language I do, and hangs out with my girlfriend who I adore.

Who’s place I will be moving into soon.

I can feel my communities interconnections and it feels really good.

And I may not be in Oakland for the 4th!

I just got asked by another family, Burning Man folks, to house sit for them from Tuesday through Sunday.  Which would mean being in the city for the holiday, not having to do any commuting to East Oakland and staying out of the crazy for the fourth.

That would make me a very happy girl.

I just sent them an e-mail confirming my availability.

I wanted to make sure that I was ok with it.

I checked in with myself and I talked to my friend, who happened to point out to me that it would solve the being in East Oakland for the fun times show, and then I said yes after letting it deliberate for a few hours.

It felt right.

My battery is still alive!

Not for much longer, but I am actually quite impressed that I have gotten this much typed.

I will not have to go to the East Bay tomorrow to get a power cord, I happen to know that there is one in the design office on Valencia Street.  I will pop in there and borrow it for the week until I get back to Graceland.

This will also be a good time to go over to my friend’s house and get the specs on my bike, my playa bike.  I want to order a few things for it–a new seat being the main objective–I found a great seat called a “Fat Banana” which is a padded banana seat.

I almost ordered it, but then realized that I would be screwed if it didn’t fit the bike.

So I shall kill two birds with one stone tomorrow, pick up the power cord and check out the bike.

I also have a coffee date with a lady at Church and Market at 5pm.

And then, yes, folks, I am taking care of the I can’t stop eating sugar business at 6:30pm.

Thank God.

I am done with it.

It so does not serve.


At least I know where to go to get help.

And help I shall be getting.

Ok, that’s it, she’s about to die.

I am going to not even preview this, I’m just gonna post.

Hugs to my friends.

New ones as well as old.


Tastes Like Home

May 6, 2013


Oh the deliciousness of a minty clean mouth.

Or should I say, the clean and fresh taste of Arm & Hammer baking soda and peroxide toothpaste.

How I do love thee?

Let me count the ways.

I went a grocery shopping today.

A real grocery shop.

I went to Berkeley Bowl.

It was my first time at the Berkeley Bowl West; it’s the closest to the housesitting gig I am doing.  I spent about half of what I am being paid and could not have cared less.

Money well spent.

I got Almond milk and organic apples, Bengal Spice Tea, organic tomatoes, almond milk and coconut yogurt (vegan!), coconut body lotion, coconut lip balm, see a theme?  I got coconut hair conditioner too.

Here’s to my hair returning to pre-France state.

Although I will credit the French with my appealing messy topknot hairstyle, so in chic.  I believe because there is no other hairstyle that can capture my nest right now.  Hoping that a week or so of showering in good ol’ USA water will bring it back to its pre-France rat’s nest.

Yeah, I am a girl; my blog will occasionally have hair product references in it.  Get over it.  I also have glitter nail polish on my fingers.  I un-earthed my bucket of Burning Man cosmetics from the attic at Graceland.

No more hiding myself under a bushel.

Flowers in the hair and glitter on the toes.


I saw a nail salon today!  Manicure and pedicure and wax these scary eyebrows please.  And may it not be 100 Euro to do so.

It’s Oakland, so I doubt it.

I saw a lot today.

I was on my bicycle a lot.

I decided to test run the commute from Graceland to the nanny gig, which as it turns out will start tomorrow instead of Tuesday, they need extra coverage.  It was quicker than I had thought and the route is relatively flat, a few small inclines, but overall flat as a pancake.

I will have no problem riding my one speed fixed geared girl all over the place.

Total commute time?

45 minutes door to door.

Well, sort of, I did stop and take a photograph of my bicycle under”Oakland” graffiti.  I imagine I will stop and take more photos of the graffiti before I am done.  I have always been a fan of street art.

I took the ride calmly and stopped at all the lights and checked the directions a couple of times, Google maps you’re good, but you ain’t great.  And as I stated, the ride took approximately 45 minutes.

I bet I can shave off 5-10 after a few weeks ride and once I get used to it, it will go by like butter.  It will also be the exercise my body needs.  Burn more calories then walking and spend less money than riding BART.

I got to the housesitting gig happy to find a typed three-page letter of what to do when and the $200 in cash under a pound of Four Barrel coffee.

Thank you!

I am still a little miffed at the amount of work that covering the house and the dog and the cat will take over the next eleven days, but ultimately, it is the seed money I needed to get myself back in the game of living.

It got me toiletries and a new Kleen Kanteen—I’m going to need a good water bottle if I am going to be bicycling an hour and a half each day—and groceries to round out what is here in the house.

It is not super stocked with what I eat, but there was enough to get me started.

I had lunch with the pup sitting at my feet and the cat winding its way about my ankles on the back porch overlooking a well-groomed little back yard with strawberries growing in pots and fava beans spilling out of the garden bed.

I got in a nice walk thereafter and was tempted to walk the dog all the way to the grocery store, but after getting about halfway there she did what she needed to do and I thought, don’t push it, you may still have some jet lag to deal with and you will need your energy for the Junebug this evening.

I turned around, got my bike and road to the Bowl.

I must say it was love at first sight.

Albeit a bit overwhelming.

I had gotten used to the very limited selection of foodstuffs at the marches in Paris.

Why there was an aisle with just soy/rice/almond/coconut milks that could have been a market in Paris.  I just stood in front of it and smiled.

Nice to be home.

I think folks thought I was stoned.  I just wandered around with a dreamy smile plastered on my face and I walked quite slowly.  There was a lot to see and I was not used to taking in that much information again.  I did not even attempt to go through the bulk area.

I filled my hand basket—Japanese sweet potatoes!  Earth Balance, Yves Ground “beef”.  I am making a vegan chili on the morrow.  The house has a huge stock of dried beans and I haven’t cooked up a good chili in a while.  The weather has turned a little cooler so it does not seem that far fetched to do.

I had my first nectarine of the season.

I adore stone fruit.

It’s coming into season.

I am so happy to have California produce again, I cannot express.

I am not so happy to still be jetlagged.

Once again I thought it was beat, but it was not.

However, I believe I can see a light at the end of the tunnel.  The last couple of days I was tired out around 4pm in the after noon, aka, 1am Paris time.  Today I made it past the 4pm mark until about 8pm.  Then I began to drag and droop.

Fortunately the Junebug, who I got to hang with this eve, was getting into the bath and would be shortly thereafter getting into the bed.

Bunk bed.

Love me a bunk bed.

I could have crawled into the top and dozed right off.

We had us a lovely night.  We sang silly songs and made up a secret language and practiced rhyming words.  We drew and colored and built a house out of multi-colored blocks.  We played kitchen and talked silly.

It was awesome.

And I am so beat I cannot write more or guarantee that this blog is even worth the read.  But as it is my practice I will just put it out there.

Even though the Internet is down and this may not post until morning.

Bonne nuit!

Uh, I mean good night.

Mama Needs A Massage

February 2, 2012

I just realized that I have been pretty drastically on the go again.  Meaning, I need to slow down.  My new space will come together, however, I don’t need to get crazy getting everything right now, right now, right now.

Despite that being on the set list in my brain.

My brain which is toasty warm, thanks to Mrs. Fishkin.  My friends rock.  They do, they do.  Not only did the lovely Mrs. Fishkin lend me her car this afternoon, but she also lent me a little space heater until I get one of my own.

That purchase will be happening this weekend. Along with a microwave, unless I can score one on craigslist in the next few days, which is what I am hoping for.  I got a little mini fridge today.  It is spot on perfect and was just $60.  I took a late lunch, borrowed the Fishkin’s car and cruised over to 24th and Valencia.

Met with Elliot, exchanged money, dropped off said fridge to my place.  I got it out of the hatchback, into the yard and I hosed it off with the neighbors garden hose.  I got back to the shop in 45 minutes.

It was pretty awesome.

I walked to work today.  That ruled.  It was sprinkling out a little and I thought, nah, I don’t want to ride my bike in the rain.  So, I just walked.  It is really nice to have that as an option–walk to work.  It has been years since I have been able to do that.

I ran into friendly faces all day long.  On my walk to work, at work, out and about on errands.  I am getting re-connected to my neighborhood.  It is such a nice feeling.

But I do really need some body work done.  I have that tight constricting feeling in my shoulders and a little bit of a head ache gnawing at me.  I have pushed pretty hard these last few days to get it all in.  I moved and unpacked and organized and I have made two trips to Bed, Bath, and Beyond, two trips to Trader Joes, and one trip to get the fridge.  Plus, I tried to go by Harringtons to pick up my shelf, but they were closed.

Add on to that working at the shop and going to my commitments and I am a tired monkey.  I think it’s all caught up with me and is resting, uncomfortably, on my shoulders.  I cannot remember the last time I got a massage.

Wait!  Yes I can.  It was, oh, this is embarassing, five years ago?  Is that right?  I know I got one on the AIDS LIfeCycle ride, but I don’t think a fifteen minute sports rub down counts.  I need to incorporate some self care into my schedule ASAP.

I wish Osento was still open on Valencia Street.  I would go soak in the hot tub in a heart beat and sit in the wet sauana for a good long time.

What is also a little embarassing, I am realizing as I write, is that I have written a blog similar to this before.  I have written about needing to go get a massage and then not doing it.  Perhaps it is time.

Fuck that.

Perhaps, my bottom.  I will just go and get one.  No perhaps, no maybe, just do some self care Martines.  No one else is going to do it for you!

I think I am going to go to bed early tonight as well.  I feel pretty zonked.  Not sick.  Not like I’m catching something, just that it’s time to allow myself a rest.  A good long sleep.

One in which I will probably dream.  I have been having dreams again.  Not that I don’t always have dreams, but I don’t always wake up during my REM cycle, and I am on my REM cycle again.  The dreams have been quite vivid.

Last night I dreamt about my old kung fu instructor.  The night prior I dreamt of a bartender I used to work with, an old friend who is here in the city, but I haven’t seen him in years.  A few nights prior, I dreamt of my friend Zefrey.  Perhaps it’s the getting settled into my new space.  I don’t know.  I like it though.  I like dreaming.

I’m a dreamy kind of gal.

I’m going to go dream about a massage.

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