Posts Tagged ‘Ritual’

Saturday, May 19, 2018

February 3, 2018

The Nourse Theater in Hayes Valley.

COMMENCEMENT!

The date is set, the place has been set, now I just need to get through the next four months of school.

My God.

It is actually going to happen.

I am going to graduate in May!

I’ve never been to the Nourse Theater, but it looks lovely.

I had, for some reason, thought it would be at the Palace of Fine Arts, I seemed to recall having seen photos from a previous cohort’s graduation, but it’s not there and though I love the Palace, I’m happy the commencement ceremonies will be held close to my school.

It feels right somehow.

I’ve a few ideas for what I want to do to celebrate, definitely toss the hat up into the air.

Which reminds me I think I’m going to have to purchase a cap and gown.

An expense I really don’t fucking want to deal with since well I’ll only be wearing it once, but I don’t believe the school rents them.

What I have heard from a few people in my group supervision at my internship, is that folks from previous cohorts may lend them out.

Unfortunately both the people in my group supervision who graduated last year from my same program are a lot shorter than me.

Like, a lot, I wouldn’t be able to fit in a cap and gown that either of them wore.

I’ll suck it up, just one more expense that I wasn’t counting on when I applied to the program.

Like the $5,000 I will have spent on a licenced therapist while I’m in the program.

I love my therapist though, she’s great, also a graduate from the same program that I am in, and I do get her sliding scale fee, $120 an hour, since she knows I’m a student and my school requires that I see a licenced MFT while I’m in practicum.

At first it was really hard to think about spending that kind of money once a week, but having been with her now for 33 sessions, I track them on my Track My Hours BBS app, I can say with not one doubt in my head that it’s been so worth it.

Having an outlet, having support, having a place to explore whatever I’ve been going through while I’ve been in practicum has been such a huge help.

I have worked around a lot of family of origin trauma’s, incest, neglect, physical abuse, emotional abuse, violence in my family system, with my father, with my step-father, a five-year relationship that went sour and led to being a statistic on domestic violence, my alcohol and drug use, and abuse and subsequent journey into recovery.

It still amazes me that I am sober, that I didn’t do a rehab or a recovery house.

The thought of having to do that scares the living shit out of me, I see a lot of folks in and out of recovery houses and there doesn’t seem to be an answer there.

Perhaps an introduction to a solution, definitely a clean and safe place off the streets, but so often the folks I see from those places don’t seem to have much hope.

Then again, my own perception is probably skewed.

Anyway.

Therapy.

My therapist.

So fucking glad to work with her.

I have worked on self-esteem issues, self-advocacy, self-care, setting boundaries.

I have worked through transference and counter transferences with my clients.

Frankly such a relief to have that as an outlet.

I had a couple of back to back days of intense client sessions.

Really good, don’t get me wrong, but super intense.

Grateful that I get to show up for my clients and be a good therapist.

At least I think I’m good.

The feedback has been good, both from my supervisors and from my clients, but my God, there’s always so much more to learn.

And then there’s all the learning that I have done.

All the work that I have done over the last two and a half years, so much work, so much processing, so much learning, so many articles and books and videos, so, so, so many fucking papers, so much practice, so much showing up, being vulnerable, leaning into the vulnerability and growing.

Painful growth and glorious growth and heartbreaking growth.

I can’t wait to graduate.

The ritual is important for me.

I know it will probably be boring as hell, but there is something here that needs to be done for me, an enactment, the crossing of the stage, the flipping the tassel on my cap from one side to the other, to signify that I have graduated.

I need that ceremony.

It feels very important to me to acknowledge the rite of passage.

And I want to have a party.

I really, really do.

I really have thought quite a bit about having it at Ocean Beach, a bonfire, blankets in the sand, some snacks, I don’t really care about food, but some cold bevvies in a cooler, all non-alcoholic thank you.

I think it would be easier for me to facilitate than making reservations for a big dinner party somewhere.

It’s not so much the food that’s important, it’s the people.

I see a big bundle of balloons on the beach, a bonfire, and a bunch of folks standing around and hanging out, simple, easy, sweet.

The only drawback to Ocean Beach is that the beach doesn’t really have bathrooms, there are port-a-potties, but that’s it.

Then again, like I can’t handle that, how many times have I gone to Burning Man?

Heh.

I did have it suggested that I have it at my house, and there’s some appeal there and also not, I can’t decide.  I could have a fire in the back yard, there’s a fire pit, there are tables and chairs and the yard is big enough to accommodate plenty of folks, and there’s a bathroom.

I’d probably need to clear it with the landlady, but I can’t think that she would say no.

There’s also a grill I could use.

I just get a little edgy about having people come in and out of my house, but then again, it could be sweet.

Oh, so many things to plan.

But not right yet.

Not right now.

Now is time for sleep.

It’s been a long week.

Grateful that I made it through.

Grateful for all the love in my life.

So.

Deeply.

Deeply.

Grateful.

For all the love.

 

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Things Falling

March 22, 2017

Into place.

I am not nearly as anxious this Tuesday as I was last Tuesday.

Last Tuesday, which seems so far away, but was truly just a week ago, I was in a high state of panic and anxiety most of the day.

Today.

Well.

Not so much.

I thought about it at one point.

I should get anxious!

Really?

That’s your solution?

Get anxious.

Nah.

Did that all day last Tuesday, the thought was fleeting and I was glad to let it go.

Then again, I was also quite busy at work attending to all the things that I wasn’t able to yesterday since the kids had a day off from school.

I was pretty much on the go from the minute I got to work up until the minute I left for work.

Which left little time for anxiety.

I also, thank you to the office of the practicum placement team, got a lot of relief yesterday.

I had a big outstanding question in regards to my supervision for the internship.

Because I am not going through the ICC’s (Integral Counseling Center) I have to an off site supervisor, so my need to skip doing the ICC’s because I needed to have flexibility with my work schedule also presented me with an additional logistic–finding an independent supervisor that was willing to take me on with my weirdo schedule.

The school made a big list of supervisors available to us, but I have to say I was a little dismayed to get a lot of “sorry, I’m not taking on supervisees right now.” when I was making my first rounds of inquiry.

The person whom I’m meeting with tomorrow also was not 100% on board, but he asked what my schedule allowed for and as it turned out, serendipitously, he has a current supervisee who will be leaving him at the same time that I am needing to start, and the time he has available would be work for my schedule, I would go in to see him before I go to work on Monday mornings.

Monday, FYI, which is already a hard day, hello, it’s Monday, is shaping up to be a twelve-hour day.

Two hours off site supervision, seven hours of work, two and a half hours of internship.

9 a.m.-9 p.m.

Yeehaw.

I won’t be starting it all at the same time, however, there will be some breathing space to get used to the additional hours.

IF the supervisor tomorrow takes me on, pretty fucking please, I’ll start an official summer class of two credits Monday, April 24th.

I don’t actually start my internship until Monday, May 22nd.

I’ll be in school until the weekend May 5-7th and then I’ll be in Paris May 11th-May 21st.

Yes, that’s correct, I will start my internship the Monday after I get back from ten days in Paris.

Le sigh.

However, I’ll be starting soft and slow, I probably won’t take on a client that first week.

I get ahead of myself.

All I have to do next is show up tomorrow and be my best self.

I’m not crazy about the fact that the weather is supposed to be shit, I won’t be able to ride my scooter into the interview, but hey, that’s what car share apps are for.

I just have to make sure I give myself enough time to get there and be sorted out.

He made it very clear that I was to be in the office waiting room by 9:30 a.m.

Not buzzing to get in, but actually in the waiting room by 9:30 a.m.

Which is not on the first floor of the building, so I want to be there in a timely manner, give myself a little leeway, a little breathing space, a little moment to pause, pray, and let go, to remember that showing up is the biggest action I can take and that the rest of it will follow.

If he accepts me I have the paperwork ready to be signed and then I can get his signatures and proceed to the next part, which is to take that paperwork to my academic advisor and to the head of the department for their signatures.

Lucky for me, the head of the department and my advisor are the same person.

Once he signs it I can take it to the papers, there’s a lot of them, to the practicum office and hand it over to the woman who so kindly called me to respond to the e-mail question I had.

“You get those signatures from _________ and _________ and I will personally walk it all over to the registrars office for you.”

Thank God.

I can’t wait to have this part of it behind me.

I know there’s so much more to go, this is just one small moving part of a whole machine, a machine that feels super complicated and monstrous and big and behemoth, but it’s doable if I just do a tiny little bit every day.

Some days.

Like tomorrow.

The small bit is actually a bit bigger, but in the end it really is just going to meet a person at 9:30 a.m. on Fell Street in Hayes Valley.

Which, I have to say, is nice place for me to be in supervision, it is easy for me to get to and I know the neighborhood and I’ll b able to do my work commute from there fairly quick.

Plus, there’s good coffee in the neighborhood–Ritual, Blue bottle–always a plus.

It feels really nice to not be so stressed out.

I am super glad the anxiety has faded away and though there is a lot to do, I can feel that I am making progress and the unknown is not so scary now that I have a tiny bit better of a grasp on what I need to do next.

I remind myself that I have only this 24 hours and all the things that needed to get done got done.

I’m happy, I’m healthy, I saw people I love today, I took good care of my charges, and made their dinner and got super big hugs and appreciative compliments about my cooking from both of the kids.

Which is a big deal.

And I know what is just next in front of me.

And that’s all I need to know.

Take the next action in front of me.

Let go of the results.

Easy.

Heh.

 

So I Said

September 16, 2016

Fuck it.

And went to yoga.

I expressed to my friend via text.

We were commiserating about having both gotten a rejection from a publisher in the past twenty-four hours.

Yeah.

I don’t write about it much, but I did send off a couple of poems in recent memory and yesterday I got the thanks but no thanks.

Ditto for my friend.

Although I still get them impression that he’ll be published in a big way and then I can be all like, I knew him when.

He asked if I was working on anything new and where I was going to submit next and what was the contest that I had submitted to.

I had already forgotten.

I explained that I have been too focused on trying to get through the reading for my second year grad program.

I haven’t had time to think about polishing any of my current pieces and submitting them anywhere.

I suppose I could.

I probably should.

I would like to.

Could, would, should.

Good ways to take me out of the moment and beat myself for not having done all the things yet.

But I told him I had a fuck it moment last night and decided to screw doing any more reading and go to yoga this morning instead.

I am grateful I did.

Although.

Fuck me.

It was hard.

In fact.

I cringed when I saw the instructor who was teaching my class today.

I went anyway.

I sacked up.

I got up.

I went.

It was hard.

It was hella hard.

I am still sore.

But.

Man.

I was out of my head and that’s the point, right?

To not be in my head, but to be in my body.

I floated out the door of the studio, gingerly, I was sore, I am sore, I’ll be sore tomorrow too.

I’m going to go to yoga again in the morning.

I have a busy weekend with the things and the doing and the goings and the people and oh, all the freaking home work.

But.

I will make time for fun.

Yes.

Yes I will.

Because all work and all grad school and all recovery can make Carmen a kind of crazy girl.

I have to do the work and I’m down to do it.

But I’m also going to take my joy where I find it.

I’m hella grateful tomorrow is Friday though, let me tell you.

I’m also grateful that I don’t have a paper due for my Psychopathology class; although there’s an uncomfortable amount of reading I need to do for the class by next weekend, at least there’s not a paper.

I have papers due in my two other classes.

Plus.

Sigh.

The paper I need to write for my Gestalt class.

Which.

Shouldn’t be too hard.

I really had some powerful experiences in Gestalt and I don’t feel that there will be any lack of things to write about, plus I read the readings and I took good notes.

It’s a six page paper.

I’ll have it done in an hour and a half.

Twenty minutes to review my notes, go through my notes in the reading, then forty minutes to an hour of writing, some time to proof it and voila.

A paper in 1.5 hours.

I’m a fast writer.

But please, don’t think that my work comes without effort.

It is work.

I have also been practicing my craft for years.

I started this blog what now, seven years ago?

I have been writing in my notebook for ten and a half years.

Every day.

Every god damn day.

I write, I write, I write.

So.

Yeah.

The papers do come fast, but I’m always doing the work, putting in the time and getting down to the actual practice.

I was a little afraid when I started my grad school program that I would lose the habit, maybe not blog as much or write less in the morning.

But.

That has not happened.

I have been consistent.

With that consistency.

Rewards.

The first being that I type hella fast.

I’m not sure how fast, but over 60 words a minutes, probably somewhere around 75 if I’m honest, 80-100 on occasion when the words are really flowing.

I can knock out a 1,000 word blog in a half hour.

Not that I always do.

My typewriting skills not withstanding, sometimes I’m crafting the blog or messing with it or I’m feeling poetic.

Anyway.

Yeah.

Lots and lots and lots of practice.

So the other two papers that are due won’t take me too long either.

Besides.

They’re both two-three page reflection papers.

I’ll review my notes and kick out each one in a half hour.

The biggest challenge is just keeping up with the reading.

And.

Fortunately for me I am a fast reader.

Granted I read slower when I am studying then when I am reading for pleasure, underling pertinent information, re-reading certain things, making sure I understand what I am reading.

But.

l still read at a fairly fast clip.

I am gifted and I get it and I am lucky and I also work my fucking ass off.

I had a friend who would give me shit last year while I was working on my papers about how fast I wrote, and it was no skin off my nose and I have to say, it is work, and I do so much outside work that is not my job job or my school job, that it can feel like I’m working all the fucking time.

I took some offense to it, despite also knowing that he was pretty correct.

The worst thing for me is not the paper writing.

It’s the anticipation of having to write the paper.

That’s where the anxiety lies.

And that’s just another way to take me out of the moment.

In the moment.

Right here.

Right now.

Nothing is wrong.

I have a roof over my head.

It’s an awful cute roof too.

I have food in my belly–dinner with a dearest to celebrate my nine-year anniversary in, well a sister program I go to–and!

I got persimmons at the farmer’s market today.

I have clean clothes folded up in my closet.

I have had a hot shower today.

I had coffee.

The nice kind.

Home brewed for breakfast then an Americano today at work from Ritual.

I got to spend an amazing hour with an extraordinary mentor and friend.

I got to talk with one of my best friends on the phone today.

I got to make plans for the weekend.

I went to yoga.

There’s a hot cup of tea waiting for me and a cozy bed.

Life is fabulous.

And.

Tomorrow is Friday.

So yeah.

Fuck it.

I’ll be going to yoga again in the morning.

The reading and the papers can wait one more day.

Seriously.

Everything Is Coming Up Pink

June 19, 2016

I mean everything.

Fuck me.

Ugh.

I got my hair done today and it’s awesome and fun and I had a really nice time at the salon reading trashy magazines and drinking coffee and discussing dating with my hair dresser.

You know.

Tinder versus OkStupid.

And it was a great time.

It’s nice to let myself be pampered.

I love, love, love, having my hair played with.

Seriously.

Offer to brush my hair, wash my hair, play with my hair, I’m yours.

Give me a scalp massage?

Dude.

Yeah.

So.

Getting the hair done is always an extraordinary treat.

And not one I do all that often.

Although when I do.

I do like to pull a bit of a hair geographic.

Today’s was pink.

Pastel and hot pink and it looks fantastic and my colorist was a doll and mixed up some extra color for me with some conditioner to put in my hair the next couple of times I wash it.

And away I went to Sephora on Cloud 9 to go match my hair color to my lipstick.

Because.

Please.

That is how I roll.

“Oh, I like the glitter,” my colorist said, referring to my nails which are painted sky blue, robin’s egg blue, and overlaid with, yes, pink glitter.

Because.

Again, I ain’t nothing but subtle.

Anyway.

I came back to grab my scooter and head off to my first date of the evening.

Yes.

I said first.

I had two dates tonight.

Yeah, I’m a hussy, get over it.

I’m also making up for lost time, the cancelled dates over the past few weekends, the one guy not available and the other that just never bothered to confirm, so I figured, fuck it, book two, one is bound to not be good.

They were both good.

But in very different ways.

Anyway.

I get a head of myself.

And yes, Virginia, I don’t normally do that, I have never actually done that before, but it just sort of happened and it just sort of worked.

So.

I head back to my scooter, replete with my pink hair and blow out, that’s the other thing, I got a blow out and that is so much fun, I have wild curly hair and not one iota of desire to blow out my hair, it would take me days, no thank you, not going to do it.

But put me in a salon.

All bets off.

Blow it out.

Side bar.

I can’t believe I’m blogging right now, I should be in bed, considering what time I got up this morning and that I did yoga as well, but I also had a late, as in way past my normal cut off time, Americano and I think that has just jazzed me up a bit.

So.

Blow out, new lip gloss, matches the hair like spot on and is glittery, natch, floating in the late afternoon, early evening golden light bathing the downtown and open my purse to get out my keys and check my phone.

And what the fuck?

Oh.

No.

Oh.

Shit.

Oh.

Pink.

EVERYWHERE.

The jar opened in my purse, I managed to finagle out my phone an wipe it down and my wallet, but all the stuff, all the lining of the purse, the canvas tote I got from the Jeu de Paume in Paris all of it, doused in hot pink hair dye.

Ugh.

What I am happy to report is that I did not lose my shit.

Nope.

Just took the jar wrapped it up in the bag, wiped off what I could and got on my scooter and said, well, I’ve been wanting to replace that purse anyhow.

And off I went to the first of my dates.

We met for sushi, I recognized him at the corner as he was crossing over to the restaurant, yay for looking like your profile, always a plus.

Yay, also for being on time, in fact, just a tiny bit early, which I totally appreciate as that’s how I tend to roll.

Yay for being tall.

I mean, hello, 6’5″.

I could have worn heels.

It was a slow to start date, but in the end, the dinner was nice, although I was slightly surprised to be asked to go dutch on the date, I was like, ok, whatever, not the first time, although, I had expected…

Oh, sneaky, expectations, I know where you lead.

But, I was like, ok, whatever.

And moving on.

But.

Not exactly moving on.

We walked down Valencia Street, which is odd for me to walk down when it’s the weekend and also when I’m not working, I ran into a lot of folks I know and that was amusing, always nice to be seen and to be seen on a date, I think too, is nice.

We went to Ritual, aforementioned late Americano, we sat outside.

We discussed some things.

Talked over some things.

And oh.

There.

Ha.

I wasn’t sure.

He was indeed attracted, just a slow burn sort of deal.

And that’s ok.

Some times quickly, sometimes slowly.

He had friends to meet and I had a friend to meet.

Well.

I should clarify.

I had a friends with benefits to meet.

Which was fantastic and fun and none of your business.

I can’t put it all out here, now can I?

I did find out some lovely things about myself in the whole process.

First.

Guys don’t notice, and/or care, that I had a huge, awful patch of pimples on my temples.

Like bad.

Like haven’t had a break out like this since high school.

Hello hormones, fuck you, I’m 43, enough already.

If they were noticed, which I noticed them, gah, get off my face, nothing was said.

Of course, said dates could have been blinded by the hot pink hair.

Second.

That despite getting thrown a curve ball, one in which I would have used previously as an excuse to cancel or delay, pink dye all over my purse and stuff and things, was just a small impediment to the evening and nothing to get worked up about.

What I found is that by not caring so much about how I look and presenting myself as I was, pink hair, purse, pimples, and all, I was just more me somehow.

More human.

Less put together.

And perhaps.

More approachable.

I sure hope so.

I like this new part of me emerging.

Oh.

I’m sure I’ll get wound up about something.

But for right now.

Despite the ruination of my satchel.

I’m really sitting pretty.

And.

Very.

Very.

Very.

Pink.

 

The Man Burns In 60 Days!

July 8, 2015

Shut up.

Oh my fucking god.

I got the Jack Rabbit Speaks in my e-mail today and just about threw up in my mouth when I read that.

I mean, it caused a visceral gut reaction that I was just not prepared for.

Despite actually being pretty well prepared.

I have a cache of goodies that I have been stockpiling over the last two months including the top contenders: sunblock, baby wipes, bottled sparkling water, lotion of various sorts, my favorite coconut hand salve for gifting hand massage–that’s right, I gift massage, come check it out, I’ll be camped in the boonies, but I guarantee it’s worth the bike ride for a visit.

I also have tea, natural soda, green vitamin mix for making sure I have enough greens in the mix, greens are too hard to keep out there, especially the way I will be working and traveling this year.

This will be my first year in many, many, many, where I am doing all my own food.

I actually haven’t had to think about food or food prep since my first year.

I am not bummed out by this at all.

I will likely eat better than what I have experienced at the commissary for the last few years, not that the commissary is bad food, it’s just that with my diet being what it is, I miss out on a lot of the food options that the commissary provided and I had to be really careful about what I was putting on my plate.

What ended up happening a lot was mostly salad bar.

I don’t have to do that since I’ll be bringing my own food.

I have a few things, and if worst comes to worst, I’ll rely on apples, nuts, and oatmeal.

I can get it dialed in real simple.

But, I’ll make some tasty things happen and I’m not too worried about it.

I mean, it will come together.

There’s just a lot of small logistical stuff that I have to attend to.

I need a cooler too.

I have one tagged in Amazon that I will probably get for myself, but if anyone out there has a spare, I may hit you up for it.

I always feel bad though, asking for supplies, unless said person has been to Burning Man with their things, the unsuspecting regular camper is not going to be to up on the dusty condition of whatever I borrow coming back.

Ah!

The Burning Man Gods have heard me!

I’m square.

Tent, air mattress, blow up cot, and a cooler.

I reached out to my people that I am camping with, and nanny’ing a few shifts for out on playa and got the thumbs way up on being able to dial in the things I need.

Hells yes.

It is such a help that I am camping with long time, hard-core, have done the deal, know what to do and have the equipment type folks.

Sigh.

That’s a huge relief.

Ok.

Now.

That leaves some bicycle prep, which is not too bad–my bike is still in pretty good condition after last year, I do need a new pennant, but I can get that off Amazon for like $2.50 and some more bicycle lights, and zip ties, I need to zip tie my basket to my handle bars, it’s not really a bicycle basket, but it has done the trick so well over the last three burns, I’m just going to continue to use it.

I have hella socks.

I have plenty of tights and stuff and my make up kit is actually above par at the moment.

I’m looking at really just making sure I have foods supplies.

There it is.

I just got excited.

Whoot!

I’m going to Burning Man!

I have been so busy with the traveling, Atlanta, LA, the week working in Sonoma–and then the stuff with graduate school, the scholarships, the syllabus, the week-long retreat that is coming up–before I go to Burning Man, a possible road trip with a friend, which I am thinking may be off the table, but I will know more about that tomorrow.

This summer is indeed a full and busy summer, pretty much as I suspected, rolling right along, gathering speed and herding me into a completely new chapter of my life.

Graduate school.

“Just get ready to hunker down and tell people you’ll see them in a few years,” she said to me on the phone as I relayed some fears I have about the things and the stuff and getting the reading, I keep telling myself it’s just not going to be as bad as I think (in fact, I plan on bringing all my reading with me to Sonoma when I go the next time the family vacations there), I’ll always have something on me person to read and I probably won’t be watching any videos or down loads for a while.

Good thing I finished Orange is the New Black last night.

Damn that was a good season.

Oh.

And I need a god damn parasol.

I fucking left the umbrella I bought in Atlanta on the plane.

Grr.

Never even opened the darn thing.

Oh well.

It’s all coming together and I don’t have to fret.

I work hard and continue to gather the things one small thing at a time.

There really is no other way when I’m commuting via bicycle all the time.

Today, for instance, I bought some electrolytes that will fit my food plan.

One more small thing taken care of.

And now that my bicycle is working like it should again, oh my god I needed a tune up so bad (new chain, paraffin dipped so I don’t have to think about keeping it lubed up for a year, new bar tape, new brake pads and the cable tightened up, everything tightened, tuned, and clean, she looked so pretty when I picked her up, like new, I’m not kidding you–thank you Dan at Mission Bicycle Company!), not even funny, I’ll be on the preparation tip.

I’ve been also freezing some stuff–fruit, ice, and yes, mwhahahaha, cold brewed coffee that is either Four Barrel, Stumptown, or Ritual, I’m going to have some nice ass iced coffee on playa, you can believe that.

The next few weeks are going to be busy, but I’m in it and I can feel that it is all coming together and instead of wanting to throw up.

Well.

I’m hella excited.

And I now want to buy some sparkly tights.

I mean.

Really.

I can always use an extra pair of tights.

I am a sparkle pony after all.

I have to live up to my name.

Heh.

Some Times It’s The Little Things

January 15, 2015

Like getting done with work an hour early.

Oh, my gosh, that was nice.

Partially because it was a ruckus at work, four boy play date and pizza making party.

Can you say melee?

I spent most of my lunch break making pizzas, that was a new one on me, I have not made a pizza from scratch since I don’t know when, high school?

I actually did not make them completely from scratch, I bought the dough pre-made from Lucca Ravioli on Valencia Street.  Plus, the pepperoni, and pizza sauce.

Really what I did was assemblage, but it did take a while to do, just preparation wise and I did have to roll out the dough and pre-bake and then build them up.

It was a little strange having my hands in flour, I don’t bake anymore, but I soon found myself wielding a rolling-pin and even flipping the pizza dough up in the air a few times.

I made two mushroom and spinach pizzas, one pepperoni and cheese, and one four cheese, for the parents, then for the boys I made tiny little pizzas using cookie cutters, and then plated all the things that they would need to build up their own little pizzas–marinara, “leaves” (spinach which the youngest likes to call leaves, make a face at me, blow a raspberry and drop on the floor for the dog, who also flaps her lips in disgust and waits for the boy to displace some sausage), sliced mushrooms, and four cheese mix.

I also roasted a head of cauliflower in the oven and made an extra trip to the corner market for staples.

It was quite the morning and afternoon and I found myself grateful that the little guy got in a few extra minutes on his nap and the mom was a tiny bit late from pick up with the four-year old from pre-school.

I found myself eating my lunch in shifts, standing up, walking around with a bowl of food in my hand or jumping up to swap out a pizza from the pizza oven to the pizza board.

I hate eating my lunch like that, but prepping food for three adults and four children and doing snacks and milk and general nanny issue things, I just got grateful that I had food and that a lot of my food has been happening at work.

Ie, the family provides about half of my meals for me.

Plus almost every day buys me a coffee or a latte.

I don’t mind running around a little if I get a nice coffee from Ritual or I get to augment my own food with fresh fruit from BiRite, it saves me quite a bit over the long run and it’s so nice to not have to haul my food around from home to work like I have with quite a few of my other nanny jobs.

However, as much as I appreciate the little perks, a sit down does me good and I found myself a tiny bit more flustered with the boys and finding that I had to tell myself to cool off and breathe and settle down.

Especially if I was going to run my two charges around for a bit before the play date landed on the doorstep.

I also am like a solar battery.

It’s sunny out, get me outside.

I think that has to be one of the most important perks of my job, I get to go outside.

It’s a little thing, but it means a lot to me to be able to charge my own batteries, especially since I do have seasonal depression.  It’s not so bad being here in California, although, July, ironically, can be challenging with the fog out here.

The boys are not always super eager to get out when mom and dad are home and there are working guys doing construction on the house, but it saves my bacon to get outside and be in the sun and the air, even when it is laced with pot smoke.

I know it’s pretty much legal, but keep it out of the park yo.

I have called the cops a few times on really obvious usage, most of the time the boys don’t pay it any attention, I’m the one that it annoys, I’m allergic to it.

We only spent an hour at the park, but I let myself sit down and “relax” for a little while.

Just sitting down is a big deal.

I don’t spend as much time sitting as some of the other nannies I see do, that’s partially just how I nanny, and it’s also because so many of the parents in the neighborhood are out with their kids and a lot of them go to the same school and know the parents.

Sometimes I think I am being a little paranoid, that parents are reporting back to my boss, but you never know and I have had moments when I even think I am being tracked about with the stroller.

I work for tech people and I know there are drop cameras all over the house.

The monitor in the boys perspective rooms is pretty open and out there, but there are more and I don’t know where they are located.

I just know I am on the camera.

I don’t pick my nose or anything.

I also don’t make personal calls, for the most part, from the house.

I am pretty much consistently moving and shaking and doing.

I forget most of the time that they are there, but once in a while the mom wills say or do something and I will be reminded, oh yeah, you’re on camera lady.

Not that I feel that there’s anything that I am doing wrong, I am doing a great job, but it was obvious that I got watched today.

“You worked your entire lunch, why don’t you take off an hour early, we’re just going to watch videos,” the mom said.

Huzzah!

And that’s how I wrote my blog before I even am normally home on a Wednesday night.

I got to get out and ride in the rush hour bicycle commuters lane and get to the Inner Sunset and meet with some folks that I haven’t seen in a while and get home over an hour and a half before I ever do the mid week.

What a treat.

It’s the little things that make the difference.

Being upbeat and doing a good job.

Happy, happy.

Joy.

Joy.

I shall be well rested for the morrow.

 

If I Ever Have Kids

November 14, 2014

I’m hiring you.

Or that was the gist of what my friend said, in not quite so many words.

I ran into a friend today at the Farmer’s Market, he perused the fruit and vegetable stands with me, giving me ample shit for the amount of apples and persimmons I bought for myself as well as running to grab me a coffee from Ritual when I realized the coffee stand was not present at the market.

Had I known, I would have hit up Grand Coffee on Mission between 22nd and 23rd.

A person has to give it to Four Barrel to have the foresight to be setting up, ala Trouble Coffee, in a small walk up space on Mission Street in an area that is so rapidly becoming gentrified I almost miss the used and rent to own furniture stores on the street.

Almost.

I have to admit, I don’t mind the gentrification of the Mission.

Oh.

Yeah, sometimes it gets weird or strange to be in a neighborhood that I have known rather intimately and be run over by some kid who gives me a snotty look as I navigate the stroller down the sidewalk, but for the most part I really like having umpteen coffee shops and markets and art and nice things to look at.

It makes my work environment rather a treat and it was a treat to see my friend and to acknowledge to him later that he was a part of the process of getting the job.

Not directly, mind you, but through the vast amount of encouragement he gave me to find better work.  He and a number of my friends, including the one who did refer me to this current job, all said the same thing.

You can do better.

You can make more money.

You are amazing.

“You are stellar with kids.”

Thanks man.

I appreciate that.

I don’t have any plans to have any of my own, I was asked that yesterday by the nanny I met in the park who knew the boys from their previous nanny, I mean I am just trying to get a date up in here, let alone planning on having any little guys of my own.

Therefor I feel privileged to get to work with all the babies and toddlers and children I have gotten to work with.

It’s been quite a journey.

I really never expected to be a private, professional nanny, it just sort of happened on its own with me struggling against it for a very long time.

But when I acquiesced, said ok, let’s make this the career, things started to happen.

That’s not to say that I won’t pursue other goals, I really have to.

I couldn’t nanny like I do if I didn’t have outside aspirations.

I may not have a book offer, or a book I really feel like putting back out into the atmosphere, but just knowing that I do write and do have books in me and words and blogs and poems and such, it makes the nanny career palatable.

Enjoyable.

I have a well-rounded life.

A life that includes dancing too!

I was able, finally, after much messing around with my computer last night, to log onto the site and purchase tickets to Opulent Temple’s event Gratitude at The Armory, for next Saturday, November 22nd.

I will be doing my usual gig up in Noe Valley until about 10 p.m. then scooter over to the Armory down in the dirty Mission, and get my dance on.

The party goes until 2 a.m.

I doubt I will go that long, but I can if I want to, I can sleep in the following day, or nap, or not, but I have a chill Sunday next week, so far.

I have nothing happening this weekend.

Yet.

Who knows.

The weekend is not quite here yet.

And.

Oh dear.

I did it.

I just downloaded Tinder.

I have no idea if I am going to like this thing, but I am pretty over OkStupid, just not having any luck with it, nor have I gotten asked out over the last weekend, so, time to take an action.

Any action.

I know that action is the key to getting things happening.

I also know that Tinder may not be the thing that gets the date, it’s sort of like saying, hey, Universe, see look, I am trying new things, I do want some different results, what do you say?

Let’s go on some dates.

It could be amusing at the very least.

The app is still downloading to my phone so nothing to report yet.

Hahahaha.

See how impatient I am?

I decided to flip the dating switch and keep trying to do it.

I haven’t gotten much feedback from friends in regards to how they do it, the dating, that is, but I have gotten a lot of encouragement for putting myself out there, for asking guys out.

“You are so brave.”

Or stupid.

I’m not sure which.

However, as I pass another old growth tree in the Pan Handle on my way home from the days journey, I know that ultimately what I do with this life is of little lasting consequence.

Therefor, go for it.

I mean, why the hell hold back.

If there’s something you want to try.

Try.

If there’s somewhere you want to go.

Go.

I, speaking of which, want to go to Hawaii.

It’s come up again for me as a friend recently got back from a trip and the photographs she sent me as well as the coffee mug from Kauai Coffee with a hula girl on it and the tea and well, damn it.

I want to go.

So.

I’m going to.

I think there could be a conference or something I could hook into of like-minded people.

I know I will be heading to Atlanta in 2015 for one, I could probably do the same in Hawaii.

Anyway.

Thoughts for today.

I’m a great nanny.

I’m single and available for dating.

I’m going dancing next weekend.

And I want to go to Hawaii.

Ready Universe?

Go!

Red Dress On

January 19, 2014

I have the song in my head.

And it’s not the one you think, since I sort of bastardized it to fit my mood.

It’s from Masters of Reality, Sunrise on the Surfer Bus, “She Got Me When She Got Her Dress On.”

I got my dress on.

My Norma Kamali original tags and all ($255) from Waste Land for, $45.

Yes.

And it’s red.

And I was feeling it tonight.

“You look like a ripe berry,” my dear friend told me tonight.

All ready for the plucking.

Yup.

I am putting myself out there.

I did a lot of the suggestions, all of them, now that I think about it, that were given to me to do today and over the last week.

“Do something ceremonial, witchy, if you will, burn your sexual ideal, light a candle, have a moment with your HP,” she told me last week after I finished reading some inventory to her.

Of course I didn’t do it.

Totally balked on it.

But it was there in the back of my head so when I went to do the deal today I laid that out and what I intended to do to change that.

See, I got up early.

I got up almost two hours before the alarm I set was to go off, I got eight hours, I had plenty of wiggle room, I just wanted to give myself the option of sleeping in.

Sometimes just the option is enough.

I won’t even take it.

It’s just nice to know it’s there.

The extra time I gave myself lead to me taking on my Saturday with a different kind of relish, getting my cleaning done early, the laundry, getting in a shower, breakfast, an extra cup of coffee, writing.

Still had time and I realized I could go grocery shopping and get that out-of-the-way for the week, because I also planned on making soup today, so that I would have meals for the week at work and not have to think about it.

So I rode my bike up to the Haight to go to Whole Paycheck and pick up a few things.

I realized that when I got to the Haight I had more time then I thought and I pedaled past the grocery store and headed to Book Smith and had myself a little impromptu artist date right then and there.

I grabbed two books–Fondly by Colin Winnette, and A Visit From The Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan.

Yay books!

I already knocked through 80 pages of the Winnette book, and that was just riding the MUNI back and froth from Noe Valley this evening.

Reading is a really important part of my art, seeing how other authors string words together into a narrative is part of how I write.

If you want to be a good writer, you have to be a reader.

And I have been a little lacking in that department this past week not having made time to get to the bookstore or to the library.

Today I made that time and it really is one of my favorite things to do, browse the book aisles in a book store.

So luscious, the paper, the tactility of the books, the smell.

Love.

Which is secretly the thematic of this blog if you haven’t figured that out yet.

As I sit here in my red dress doing my blogging.

After the book store I went to Waste Land.

A vintage and used clothing store in the Haight.

I have popped in before, but never given myself the time to really look.

Oh my.

I saw a coat I will be going back for, which I was tempted to purchase as soon as I put it on and saw how fabulous I looked in it, take my word for it, amazing coat.

But I still needed to pick up groceries before heading over to Tart to Tart and I put it back on the rack and promised I would be coming back for it.

Although having found my red dress, I will be waiting until next month to buy the coat.

I saw the dress, found the dressing room, danced around the dressing room grinning like a mad woman, and bought the dress.

It’s an amazing little dress.

I feel happy wearing it.

I don’t often wear red, but when I do, watch out.

I left the store smiling like an idiot and went over to Whole Foods, splurging on berries and a Persian rose candle to burn in my little ceremony.

“I am going to write it all down, I have a Valentines Day card that I am going to write it on, then I am going to light this candle and go burn the card in the little fire pit in the back yard,” I told her.

I also agreed to sit quietly in contemplation reviewing my work for an hour.

I lit up the fire with old boughs from the Christmas tree and some left over wood from the birthday bonfire I had in December for my belly button birthday.

I sat for an hour.

I closed my eyes and meditated for about forty minutes and the rest of the time I quietly sipped a cup of tea and watched the late afternoon sky as the sun started to go down.

It was quiet and sweet and I vowed to be willing to show up and not be perfect, but to be open to intimacy and to be becoming and let other see that this thing works.

That whole attraction not promotion thing.

I came in the house and put on Bill Withers and sang at the top of my lungs to Lovely Day.

That is what I want to be, somebody’s lovely day.

Then to push the whole thing over the top.

Symbolically, of course.

I bought myself some long-stemmed red roses from a flower shop up in Noe Valley (since red roses are not my favorite flowers but I think they were what was called for).

It was like I had my own private Valentines Day with no one the wiser.

“You look so pretty,” she said to me tonight as I was heading back to the MUNI, back to the beach, back to sit and be carried gently without having to worry about getting hit by a car.

“Every time I see you, you look prettier and prettier, and congratulations on nine years!”

I smiled.

It’s true.

It just gets better and better.

Now excuse me, I need to let my hair down and dance around one more minute in my red dress.

She got me when she got her dress on.

I did get me.

I did.

Getting to Know You

May 12, 2013

Howdy neighbor.

I ran into a lot of folks I know today.

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

I saw loads of folks.

Did my heart good.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paris.

What!

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

Hugs from Grant!

Yes.

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

Thanks Rainbow!

Nice to see you again too.

Then back on the BART to the East Bay.

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

What?

Oh damn.

Am I supposed to be working?

Oh.

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

Wait!

BBQ!

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

Are you coming to the BBQ I texted her back.

Yes.

Yes!

Awesome.

I am house sitting next door.

See you soon.

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

Friends!

So good to see you!

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

What?

You did?

Yup.

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

You did!?

No way.

Yes way.

Beyond flattered.

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

I know!

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

Thank you!

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

Yup, cuz I told them too.

Damn.

I owe you a dinner out or something.

Nope, just stay put, ok?

Yes.

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

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

Good!  Because so am I.

What?

No way, can I catch a ride.

Yup.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yup.

I live here now.

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

Everybody is headed over to Saturn.

Ok.

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

What the hell?

JOSIE!

AMANI!

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

Pull up a chair, let’s catch up.

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

Man.

Hi.

I live here.

It’s nice to know I’m home.

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

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

Although it appears that I may not need to.

Home, here, in Oakland.

Happy Saturday serendipity!

Get Your Cafe On

June 12, 2012

Today I did not do a whole lot of nothing.

I did drink a fair amount of coffee.  I did an iced Americano at Ritual, and a jumbo coffee with cinnamon and cream at Muddy Waters on 24th and Valencia–you have to load up their coffee, Muddy’s, with stuff, or it’s rather nasty.

I don’t usually drink coffee at Muddy’s but I was there early and it was just what popped out of my mouth when I was asked what I wanted.

“Jumbo coffee.”

This was preluded by the two pots of French press I had this morning.

I like to get caffeinated.

The iced Americano was probably the best, it was still early enough in the day and warm enough to justify an iced coffee.  Plus, it’s Ritual, so the espresso is quite good.  I  wandered over to Ritual from my house early in the afternoon to work.

Work on my writing.

Man, I did a lot of writing today.  I just rather made the connection.  I had the idea that I just did a lot of walking and wandering.  But I wrote, a lot.

I also got some formatting work done on my book.  I recently got Word for MAC and I put my book into the Word format.  I have no clue if I did it right.  Probably not, but I am trying.

I spell checked the entire thing, far fewer grammatical errors on it than I had thought, a pleasant surprise.  I also double spaced the whole document and I fixed a few other little minor things.

I made an appointment for myself to also return to Ritual next Monday and do some more work on the book.  What ever that looks like.  It does not have to look like anything specific.

I read this awesome little quote yesterday or the day before about how it does not matter how slowly we head toward a goal, as long as there is some movement.  I am poorly para-phrasing, but I got the gist of it–basically, stop having a plan, or a time frame, and just keep going.

Even if it’s slow going, it’s still movement.

I also checked in with John Ater and that was really quite good.  We sat at Muddy’s and I told him about Paris and taking the day off yesterday to go to the beach with Joan and how I am just letting myself live in the moment.

I also told him how I had been sick and how I got to work on self-care.  And that I am not telling work about going to Paris.  It is not any of their business.  I give them a month’s notice and that is all I need to do.

I have to amend that.

John said, give them two weeks.

Ugh.

That is scary.  I so believe that I need to give them more time than that.  I am just that god damn important that they are going to need all sorts of time to prepare for my departure.  Keep it simple and keep it to yourself, Martines, the people who need to know are being informed.

Those that don’t need to know, don’t need to know.

However, John did ask who I had told.  All the important people, those in my lineage and my close friends.  I have not shared with a lot of people, but enough.

Then, he said the scary part.

Make sure that you let people give you a going a way party.

Oh, I am so ahead of you on this, I have it all planned out and it will look like….

No, John said.  You are not in charge of giving yourself a going a way party.

Oh shit.

I have to let some one else do it.  I may ask for assistance, but I am not to do it.

That is so much harder.  Let some one else make the plans?  Let go of control?  Are you trying to make me cry?

Oh wait, it’s John Ater, that’s my job, cry.

I did mist up, but I did not overflow.  A good thing as I wore eyeliner today.  I was not exactly sure that I would be meeting with John, so I actually risked wearing eye makeup.

What if no body comes?

Brain, go home.

That does not matter right yet either.  It’s all just a little early.  But in an effort to see how my life will feel like without a lot of planning, I have been allowing my days to happen a little less unscheduled.

Plus, I had two people cancel on me today, not something that frequently happens, so I had a lot of spare time to hang out.  I walked.  I cafe’d.  I had lunch al fresco, nice big salad and iced tea, while it was still warm enough to justify ice.

Shit. I drank an iced tea today too.  I did get my caffeine on.

It is really lovely, when I let myself in on my own life.  Slow, leisurely, meanders around the neighborhood, taking pictures, posting up to Instagram, hanging out in cafes, writing.

Yeah, pretty nice.

Nary a single complaint about my day at all.

 

 


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