Posts Tagged ‘Rome’

When Was I Happiest

January 6, 2018

Today?

I just asked myself that.

In a prompting kind of way, hey you, you need to write your blog, get your fingers moving on that keyboard, make some fucking magic happen.

Because all of the seven people who read my blog really want to know what I did today.

Meh.

I recently got an update from WordPress that I have once again celebrated an anniversary.

Eight years of blogging.

Eight.

What the fuck did I write about?

So many things, so many thoughts.

I have published over 2,400 blogs.

My average blog is somewhere between 1100-1300 words.

But for the sake of simplicity, let’s just say 1,000.

That means that I have written over 2,4000,000 words.

Over two million words!

Who the hell knew there were so many words in my head?

I never suspected that I would be where I am in now in my life when I started writing this blog.

I was living on Taylor and Washington in a large studio that was on a cable car line.

I was working as a nanny in China Basin.

I made really good money.

More than I actually make now, if you can believe that, because it was all under the table.

I had a very nice Felt 35 racing bike that I did my commute on.

I was horribly lonely.

I felt like all I did was grind at work, I worked at least 50 hours a week.

Which is funny, as I put in about fifty hours a week now and go to graduate school full-time.

But at that time I was going through a lot of weird stuff.

I was desperately trying to get abstinent with my food, which I did do in that apartment, but it took a hot ass second.

I was trying, oh so very hard, to get some head way on my book, said head way has come to naught in many ways, but you know, I started this blog by publishing each of the chapters one by one in the pages.

If you should want to read some really bad writing, well it’s there.

For sure.

I had a friend read the book in manuscript form about four years ago and he told me with no mincing of words that if he didn’t know better he would have never believed that the person who wrote this blog was the same person who had written that book.

My writing, suffice to say, has gotten much better.

That’s what happens when you practice.

You get better.

I have had eight years of practicing this blog.

Some days I am so inordinately pleased with what I have written that I may actually go back and re-read a blog.

But not very often.

I generally throw it down on the page, I”m just transcribing my thoughts, and really, thank god I have some fast typing skills, I’m just writing what I am thinking.

It’s a little like having a one-sided conversation with me.

Hey how was your day?

Let me tell you about mine, and then I’m unleashed upon you.

Or something like that.

I am reflecting as I did my Morning Pages this morning in the place where Morning Pages originated for me, about ten years ago.

Yeah.

If you thought writing a blog eight years in a row was something, check out my history with writing my Morning Pages.

Ten years, going on eleven.

I realized that this morning as I sat in Muddy Waters on Valencia and 24th.

I had a chiropractor appointment this morning and some time to kill before I had to be into work.

So instead of getting up stupid early, I let myself sleep in, packed my breakfast and brought it with me, planning to eat it at the cafe while having a cafe au lait before going into work.

The cafe is much the same as when I first started hanging out at it.

I had moved to a shared apartment in a rent controlled Victorian on Capp Street and 23rd and Muddy’s was the closest cafe to me and the one where I did a lot, and I do mean a lot, of sitting with another woman and reading out of a big blue book.

So many women in that cafe, before my regular Wednesday haunt, as well as my regular Saturday gig and many other times in between.

And it was also the scene of The Artist Way group that I was a part of for a year and a half.

It was an awesome group.

We met for an hour before rolling up the hill to a spot in Noe Valley on Wednesday nights.

We would grab the big round table towards the back of the cafe and anywhere from 6 to 10 of us would sit down for about an hour and share about the assignments we had done from the book.

We did one chapter a week, followed the instructions regarding the assignments, and talked about our experiences working the projects and doing the morning pages.

The book suggests that every morning you take time to write three pages long hand.

Emphasis on long hand.

No typewrite, keyboard, tablet, computer.

My blog does not count as morning pages and never has.

There is something so captivating about writing on paper with a good pen.

I was writing in one of my Claire Fontaine notebooks that I brought back from Paris this morning and I reflected on how it was in that group that I came to the realization that I wanted to go to Paris.

That I actually wanted to move to Paris.

It would take some years before I moved, but by participating in that group I realized how much I wanted to go to Paris and I took myself on a solo trip for ten days after doing the work in the book.

I took myself on artists dates, I went to museums, I bought myself nice paper, I sat and daydreamed in cafes and watched clouds roll by.

I looked out those same windows today and marveled.

Look how far I have come.

Look where I am now.

My best friend in Paris messaged me today about when I’ll be going back.

I have been to Paris five times since I made that decision, and yes, one of those times was to live there for six months.

I have re-written that book.

Although I still don’t think it’s at a publishable place.

I have written poems.

I have performed with djs in nightclubs reciting my poems.

One of them became a recording.

I have lectured on stage.

I have traveled.

I went to Burning Man, a lot.

I traveled to New York by myself as well as New Orleans to go see art.

I have taken 1,000s and 1,000s of photographs.

I have written millions of words.

I think I have a few million more.

I have done morning pages in Paris, London, Rome, New York, L.A., New Orleans, Madison, Wisconsin, Anchorage, Alaska, Burning Man, Reno, San Diego, Las Vegas, and probably a bunch of other places I can’t remember now.

But they all started one night in a Muddy Waters coffee shop on Valencia and 24th.

Opening a door that has led me down this meandering path of creation and love.

How lucky am I?

Luckiest girl in the world.

Hello Again

May 8, 2017

I have been remiss my friends.

I have not been keeping up with the blogging.

I did post last night.

A poem.

But I had no energy after the emotionally exhausting day of classes.

It was a big school weekend.

A lot of deep work.

So much.

And it’s all great stuff.

But.

Fuck.

A girl could stand a break once in a while.

I did get to see my friends a bit more than I have in the past school weekends.

I had a girlfriend dinner with two of my favorite ladies in the cohort on Thursday.

We met at Mazzat, a Lebanese restaurant in Hayes Valley after I got out of work and had scootered home to let in my friend who was hanging in the Outer Sunset waiting for me to get back from work.

She needed to drop off her overnight stuff.

We were having a slumber party.

Hence no blog Thursday night.

It is just not a nice thing to do, I have a small place and I wanted to be a good host and although my friend did encourage me to write, I didn’t feel that it was necessary.

All my delicious catching up and being with her and our other French friend in the cohort at dinner had filled me up, made me happy, completed my experience for that day and it was more important to crawl into bed with my friend and whisper and chat and talk girl stuff.

God.

It’s nice to have girlfriends.

She is like a sister to me and we have pretty much connected to each other since the first week of retreat our first year.

God damn.

I am done.

DONE!

With my last weekend of classes.

I am officially now a third year student.

Holy shit.

And.

Oh, thank you sweet Jesus.

I went to the financial aid office this weekend and sorted out my aid and my package and the lady in the office was super kind and accommodating and it was all done in five minutes.

Such a help.

And I am so grateful to have that settled.

I should be getting enough that I can pay for the tuition for my summer school practicum and for the supervisor and have a bit left over, about $1400, which should cover my costs for out-of-pocket therapy for the summer.

That’s the plan.

It felt so good to get that taken care of.

In other housekeeping stuff.

I e-mailed the bookstore when I got home from class today and listed the books I’d like to sell back, some of which the awesome manager at the bookstore had told me when I was selling back in the fall, to hold off until spring, that I would get a better price.

So.

Fingers crossed.

A few bucks in my pocket this week.

Always handy when a lady is getting ready to travel.

OH.

MY.

GOD.

I leave for Paris in four days.

Four!

I am so excited.

It is finally here.

I have three days at work.

I have to go tomorrow and meet with my supervisor before work and I am hoping that I will be able to run a few quick errands before heading to work.

I need to pick up a few travel toiletries.

I went grocery shopping today after class to pick up some essentials to have in the house for the next few days, as well as to have some things for myself in the freezer when I get back from France.

I bought a new neck pillow for the flight as well at the co-op in my neighborhood.

It felt super fun to tuck it on top of my roll on suitcase.

This trip to Paris will make it number three for this particular suitcase.

It has also taken me to London once, Rome once, New Orleans, Anchorage, Minneapolis, Madison, New York twice, Orlando, and Los Angeles.

It’s a damn good piece of luggage.

It may need to get replaced soon, one of the wheels is getting a little wonky, but having had it for seven years, I think, that’s not bad, and I’m sure I’m forgetting a trip or three that it has taken that I didn’t list above.

No.

I have not taken it to Burning Man.

Ha.

That is the one place it does not go.

Soon it shall come out of the closet and get filled with clothes and shoes and stuff and things and I will be heading out the door to SFO to London to Paris.

The only small fly in the ointment is that I got a slightly changed flight out of London to Paris, and now I have a bit of a layover in London, so I won’t get into Paris until 5p.m. on Friday, May 12th.

I was supposed to get in around 10:30am’ish.

Oh well.

I will probably save myself some travel hassle from Charles de Gaulle and just take a cab to my hotel.

Mama Shelter.

There is a music venue across the street that my Parisian friend told me about today, Fleche d’Or.

I may go check it out after I get checked in and settled.

Could be a fun, spontaneous first night in Paris sort of deal.

I was thinking I would get myself to the hotel, check in, unpack a few things, hit the shower and go out into the city.

I will grab dinner, somewhere in the neighborhood,  Les Desnoyez or perhaps Le Baratin.

I mean.

I sort of want my first night in Paris to be special.

A lovely hotel with a rooftop terrace.

Music at the club.

Dinner in a French bistro.

A walk past Pere LaChaise in the evening.

Oh.

The things I am going to do.

I am excited.

And as the weekend is wrapping up and I just turn around and head into the work week I know it will go fast and before one can say “croissant” I will be leaving on a jet plane.

I am so ready for it.

Seriously.

 

 

Holy Shit

August 21, 2016

I’m packed.

I sort of want to throw up in my mouth.

It’s just stuff and things.

I told myself as I looked over the stack.

Three bins, one cooler, one tent, one camp chair, blankets, bedding, pillows.

It doesn’t sound like much.

But it makes enough of a stack that I am a little concerned about my playa ride share.

He’s got a VW Cabriolet.

He’s also picking up food for some of his camp mates plus whatever gear he has and of course water.

I keep envisioning the car already full and there’s no room for my stuff and I’ll have to leave something behind and what the fuck would that be since I have everything I need and want in those bins, clothes, crinolines, boots, tent stakes, work gloves, hammer, lantern, extra batteries, tights galore, bunny slippers, a leopard print coat for night time gamboling.

I need it all.

And I am also still on the look out for a person to bring it all back as well.

I have co-ordinated with the people who are gifting me the airplane ride home, pinch me, it’s still so surreal, and I’ll be meeting them at their camp on Wednesday of the event at noon.

So I’ll need to be all packed down and tidied up by eleven, giving me an hour to get across to them.

It shouldn’t be terribly difficult.

I’ll be camping at 5:40 and Guild with Anonymous Village.

More specifically I’ll be staying with the ladies of the Wolf Pack.

All my things will be staying there to be transported, by whom TBA, including my playa ride, which I will be loaning to a friend who’s going up with her fiancee–it’s his first burn and he doesn’t have a playa ride.

I got some lovely and sweet news today.

My ride will arrive on playa one week from today.

And.

The front fork has been fixed, my tires pumped up, pedals greased, chain greased, and, holy moly talk about service, my bicycle light batteries recharged.

I was just astounded.

Thank you Thumper!!

I have been so blessed with gifts this Burning Man and I haven’t even gotten out there yet, but it does feel like a miraculous thing, this getting out there.

I know I don’t have to worry about my stuff.

It’s all just stuff and things anyhow.

Yet.

I would be upset if it didn’t come home or it was mishandled, but ultimately as long as I get back safe and sound it doesn’t matter about the rest of it.

Sort of.

I would miss my hats and boots and utility belt, my new shoulder harness, my hair flowers and my make up box.

I would miss all my funny knee socks and silly tights.

But ultimately.

I would be ok if somethings went missing.

I repeat.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Ride to the event.

Early Arrival pass.

Fluffing shifts with Media Mecca.

Dusty Family reunion.

Ride home in a Cessna!

I got the low down on that too.

Aside from the meeting the crew, pilot and one other passenger, and getting to the camp by Wednesday noon.

I’ll meet them at their camp which is 7:30 and A at noon with me, myself, and I and one small carry on bag.

They will take me to the airport, load us up and the we fly to Reno, one hour pit stop for refueling and then back into the air, final destination San Carlos airport.

I didn’t even know there’s an airport in San Carlos.

A little secret.

I didn’t even know where the fuck San Carlos was until I googled it.

Heh.

I can BART and MUNI back to my place.

It’ll take about two hours via public transport.

Possibly more.

I may opt for a car.

Not sure yet and I certainly don’t need to figure it out right now.

The plane will be picking up someone in San Carlos and turning right back around.

They could be back in Black Rock City before I even get home!

I am still in shock that I am packed.

Heh.

I still have to re-pack to go back to Glenn Ellen on Monday.

I have been unpacking and repacking my rolling suitcase a lot for the last couple of weeks.

One more go and then I can put it back in the close for a little while.

Such a good little suitcase, it’s been a lot of places-Paris for six months, Rome for a weekend, London for a weekend, New York for two different weekends, Florida twice to see the moms, Anchorage, Alaska, Minneapolis, Madison a couple of times I think, LA, Chicago.

The little suit case that could.

And so many other short little jaunts here and there.

I’m wondering when it’s going to lose the back wheel, it’s starting to wobble a bit, and that will be the end of her, but until then I’ll be hauling it back out for the last week of work before I go to Burning Man.

All the packing.

Whew.

But.

I really am pretty much done.

Today I got the last few things I needed for playa and a couple of household things that I have needed and went around the Haight to peruse the vintage shops and the Burning Man supply stops and you know what I bought?

Post card stamps.

Heh.

I really don’t need anything and though I tried on a bunch of stuff, there really wasn’t a thing that I wanted.

Oh, I had ideas, but they were all thwarted and I realized as I was wandering the foggy street that it was really nice to know I’m prepared and prepped and my food is waiting patiently in my fridge all nice and frozen and really, all I have to do is the next action in front of me.

And it will all happen.

Right on time.

Like it always does.

OH!

The one thing do I need to do, note to self, PRINT OF MY EARLY ARRIVAL PASS.

There.

I will remember that now.

Thanks.

And.

Good night.

xo

 

 

Fuck It’s Cold

July 26, 2016

Put some clothes on your children!

I wanted to holler across the street at the parent of the two tiny shivering denizens of the Outer Sunset fog belt who were scampering down the street in tank tops and shorts with their arms covered in goosebumps.

It’s July in San Francisco.

Break out your scarves.

Fuck.

It just dropped like a thick, spooky shroud.

Of course.

I may be just too far into Stranger Things.

Fuck it’s good.

But it’s not the prettiest out here, right now.

Yesterday I never saw the sun.

Today, I did, but only because I went into work.

The nice thing about yoga, I realized today when I was in the studio, is that it’s always a nice warm 80 degrees and my body needs that warmth.

I don’t like super hot, I can stand it, but sometimes the fog wears on a girl.

Never the less.

I did have a good day.

I got up early and did the writing and the coffee and a nice little breakfast.

Then off to yoga.

A good class, my favorite instructor, who, woe is me, is leaving in two weeks!

Damn it.

Oh well.

The studio has other teachers I like, but I shall miss her classes.

I can see how I have gotten better whenever I go to her class.

And.

They are sneaky classes, I’m doing well, think I got it all under control, then hours later I’m like, why the fuck am I sore?

Oh.

I had Martina’s class today.

Tomorrow I will be sore as well.

That being said, I do plan on going to class in the morning before work.

I’ve got a 1p.m. start all week as the boys are in summer camp.

1-8p.m. means that I can get in a yoga class before work as well as my writing and a shower.

I always need a shower after yoga.

It usually is a lovely thing too, that shower.

So very grateful that there is a yoga studio in my neighborhood, on my freaking block, for Pete’s sake, it couldn’t be more convenient, and it’s super helpful for me time wise, I can get in a shower and sometimes a few other things too.

Like.

I scootered over to Rainbow before work and got a couple of “luxury” items for my Burning Man efforts.

A nice hand salve.

I gift hand massage on playa.

It’s what I do.

It’s a nice way to connect with someone and most folks have such dried, beat up hands from the playa and doing all the work that needs to be done to set up their camp or their art piece or whatever it is they’re doing.

I also picked up some boxes of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, a pair of heart shaped sunglasses, and some of my favorite body lotion.

What with what I got yesterday on Amazon, all I need is to get the rebar for my tent and some work gloves.

I’ll hit up a hardware store this weekend and get it wrapped up.

This weekend so far looks like some “homework” for the American Red Cross CPR child/infant/adult class I’m taking on Sunday.

It used to be that you would have to devote nearly a half day to the cause, the class was four and a half hours long, now you take part of it online then go in for an hour and a half.

The class portion is Sunday.

I hope to have the online stuff taken care of on Saturday, I haven’t really looked at it yet.

And Saturday, aside from doing the deal with my person at Tart to Tart at noon, I’ve got another friend’s 40th birthday party extravaganza to go to in the afternoon and my commitment that night at 7pm.

Sunday, after the class I’ll be heading over to Oakland for another housewarming party.

I wish my friends would all stop moving over to Oakland/Berkley/et al.

I miss you guys.

I totally get it though.

I do.

I just, well, I’m holding tight here as long as I can.

I really feel like I’m more San Franciscan than anything, and I try to represent best I can, that San Francisco weirdo.

I don’t always succeed, but I certainly don’t fade into the background.

Even here.

I do, however, miss the sunshine, and I am constantly grateful that I work in the Mission, at least I get to experience sun there.

Not that I made it much outside today.

Today was all things cooking.

Pot of sushi rice.

Beef stew with vegetables.

Fish for the boys.

A vat of broccoli soup.

Roasted cauliflower.

There will be a bit of cooking for me this week as the boys are at camp for a part of the day that I’m at the house.

Laundry, cooking, errands, marketing, running to Walgreens for prescriptions, going to the dry cleaners.

All sorts of things.

Especially as the family prepares to go on a little trip next week.

FYI.

My people.

I have to work that Monday at the house, let in the housekeeper, this is August 1st, but I’ll be off early, and, and, and.

I will get Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday off from work.

I’ll go back to the house on Friday to cook and prepare for the family to return and make sure the house and everything is in order.

But yo.

I got some free time next week.

Coffee?

MOMA?

I just got my new membership, I can take up to two people with me.

I should definitely go next week, even if no one goes with me, I’m a good solitary museum goer, shit, so many museums have I gotten to visit, such a gift, that.

The Louvre (Paris), The Metropolitan (New York), The MOMA SF, The MOMA New York, The Whitney (New York), the new Whitney, the Brooklyn Museum, The Palace of Fine Art (San Francisco), Le Petite Palais, L’Orangerie (Paris) The Rodin Museum (Paris) The Pompidou, Palais de Tokyo, the Asian Museum of Art (Paris), the LACMA, The Chicago Museum of Art, The New Orleans Museum of Art, The Dali Museum(Paris), the DaVinci Museum (in Rome), The DeYoung (San Francisco), The Tate (London), Galleria  Nazionale d’Arte Moderna (Rome), The National Gallery in London, The Jeu de Paume (Paris).

I’m sure I’m forgetting some, in fact, I know I am.

But man.

I am lucky to get to have had so many of those experiences, and most, truth be told, on my own.

Although once in a while with a friend, or a lover, although never a boyfriend.

It’s been twenty years since I have been to a museum with a boyfriend.

My ex-boyfriend back in Madison was way into art and we hit up the ones in Chicago, Milwaukee and Madison.

I remember when I introduced him to Dali.

And to Klimt.

And Kandinsky.

Twenty years.

That’s a long time.

Grateful I haven’t sat around waiting for a boyfriend to go out and live my life.

Not to say I wouldn’t eschew one.

Just that I don’t need a man to complete me.

A compliment, that I could handle, some one to walk by my side.

Until then.

Well.

Friends.

Masturbation and Stranger Things.

Heh.

Today’s Stats

June 28, 2016

Sometimes I just don’t know what to make of my stats.

Not the body ones.

Or the emotional ones.

Even the mental ones.

Nope.

I literally mean the ones on my blog.

How come so many people are searching that one particular thing?

Why would someone in Mexico want to read my blog?

Who is creeping on my page?

Cuz.

That shit happens yo.

Sometimes I get a great big spike in reads and it’s typically, from my experience, one reader going deep into the blog.

It always leaves me curious.

Who is that person?

Or what are they looking for?

Do they just want to get to know me better, but just a little too shy to ask?

Are they just keeping up with the life and times of Auntie Bubba?

I mean.

Today was not super exciting, but it was special, as is any day I get through without picking up or using and as I was surprise popped to speak at the place tonight, it astounded me, once again, how much my life has changed and how very much I have to be grateful for.

Even when I don’t want to lighten up or have fun.

My life is light and fun.

That does not mean frothy or insubstantial.

If anything.

I believe that it is ever more expansive and open and wonderful.

Deep and complex.

Yet.

Utterly simple.

Easy?

No.

My life is not easy, but by following some simple suggestions.

Well.

Life is manageable and I can let go of the results and just see what happens.

So much can happen.

Least of all when I expect it.

I mean.

Shit.

I’m going to New Orleans on Thursday and three weeks ago that wasn’t even on my plate, let alone an idea in my head, let alone an actual reality, a plane ticket, a room to stay in, a place to meet my fellows, a French Quarter to explore.

I was talking to a dear friend of mine last night on the phone and she mentioned that she has always wanted to move there.

Me too.

It’s been one of those places always on my radar, even though I haven’t been back in so very long.

I made her a promise that I would report back and let her know how it was.

I suspect it will be fabulous.

I suspect I have no idea what will happen.

But it will be good.

I know this.

Having done enough traveling in my life at this point I know how to do a couple of things, pack, and navigate around and get in and out of an airport.

Those things used to cause me an unbearable amount of anxiety.

Just getting to the airport was excruciating and exciting and flavored with fraught anxiety and a curious longing for the uplift of the wings, the expanse of land below me, the clouds and sky alongside my face.

How often have I pressed my face against a window portal, dreaming dreams and aching with some unnamable feeling, some longing for shift in perspective and the glorious wonder of new things to be seen and experienced.

New faces.

New foods.

New streets to wander.

New art to see and be exposed to.

So much wonder in the travel.

The escape from the mundane, well, I don’t think my daily routine is mundane, I should re-word that, the exodus from the routine, to the new and the glad return, the gratitude I have when I land back at SFO and the chill fog coolness swirls about me and the doors open from the baggage claim gates to the outside world.

I am reminded of every time I have flown in and out of the airport.

Of the first trip here when I returned to the land of my birth.

To my last trip from New York.

All the Paris’s and Chicago’s and Minneapolis’s in between.

The Orlando trips, the Madison, Wisconsin trips, those times to Maine and back, Anchorage, Los Angeles, Austin, London, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Boston.

There are still so many places to go and visit.

But there is always home to return to.

And I normally do with a renewed vigor and love for where I am and what I am doing.

I do a lot.

Even when I am loathe to admit that.

I do a lot.

Just writing this blog.

I mean.

I forget that.

The work here.

The graduate school program.

The nannying.

The doing the deal and going to yoga and cooking all my own food (for the most part).

The showing up and be willing to take suggestions even when I want to blow a big raspberry at the person making it.

The willingness to be wrong.

The ability to make mistakes and not beat myself up for not being perfect.

The trying.

The dating.

The sex.

The life.

The love.

The music.

The words.

All the things.

I mean.

I am many, many things.

I am certainly not perfect and I am a pretty open book, although sometimes I can retire into silence and not know what to say to someone or I will lose my voice when I need to self-assert, I will second guess, and not trust my gut.

Or.

Worse.

I will hear that still small voice and ignore it.

There’s a big difference in not trusting your gut versus hearing something, knowing it’s not good for you, or that there’s a lot of information to look at and choosing to ignore it.

Hope for a different outcome.

And even these mistakes.

They are not really mistakes at all.

Just another foot fall on the path to where ever I am going.

To what ever destination God has in mind for me.

This week it happens to be New Orleans.

Who knows where I will go next?

I certainly don’t.

But.

I’m game and excited and over joyed with it.

The ability to do these things that were once such fantasies.

Sitting at the end of the bar at the end of the night rattling off tales of where I was going to go and things I was going to try and places I wanted to see and things I was going to accomplish.

Most of the time it was no further than the floor underneath the stool I toppled from.

Or.

Some strangers bed.

Most often, a miserable repeat of what had happened the night before and the night before that and so on ad nauseam.

There are things that repeat for me today.

Routines, roads I travel, steps I take.

But instead of them being a horrid Ground Hog’s day of terror.

The repetition breeds awareness and it deepens more and more with perspective and experience.

Revealing a steadfast love that takes care of me no matter what.

Always.

Always here.

Always there.

Everywhere I go.

This extraordinary gift.

This.

Overwhelming.

Overarching.

Expansive.

And.

Genuine.

Love.

 

One More Day!

May 18, 2016

One more day of work.

Then.

Off to New York.

I have made some decisions regarding my trip.

One.

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

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

I’m going to get a car.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m hella comfortable with that commute.

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

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

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

I’m going to be flexible.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God damn.

I am excited.

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

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

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

I will be out on the town.

I will not be hanging at the Air BnB.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Take the Empire Builder Train Line.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I am still in awe how that happened.

Rome for 50 Euro.

Cape Town, South Africa.

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

So many places.

And you know.

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

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

Yeah, yeah, I know.

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

It fills me up, it lights me up.

New places, new experiences.

New faces.

New art.

God.

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

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

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

But I will when I get back.

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

Hell.

I’ll also do some little trips around here.

Why the hell not?

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

Scooter down the coast.

Or up it.

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

Oh summer vacation.

I am so happy to meet your acquaintance.

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

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

I have so earned it.

Seriously.

Did I Get It All Done?

September 28, 2015

Fuck no.

Did I do a lot?

Yes.

Including and in no particular order, meeting with a ladybug and teaching her how to do spot check inventory, no need to sit in that dirty diaper all day, change it, change your perspective, get on with your day, walk through the fear.

Please.

And.

Thank you.

Cleaned my house.

Like really cleaned it.

REALLY.

Swept the floors, Swiffere’d the floors ( I know, I know, I used Swiffer as a verb, shut up), scrubbed the bathroom, did my laundry, stripped the bed, even washed and dried the duvet cover.

Which is a pain in the ass if ever there is one.

Putting the comforter back into the duvet cover after it’s washed, that is, pain in the tuchus, let me tell ya.

I even made extra food for the week, since I won’t be doing any cooking or grocery shopping before school next weekend or during the time I’m in class.  But I don’t want to have the experience of bonking out again like I did last time I was in class.  I will have food prepped and ready.

I made homemade pork fried brown rice with peas, carrots, corn, onions, brown mushrooms, garlic, and ginger.

Like that.

Then.

I read.

And read.

And read some more.

I also drank a lot of tea.

Excuse me while I go pee again.

Kidding.

Barely.

I read a lot about Freud, I read more Freud than I have in my entire life up until this point.

I read a lot of Freud, a lot of criticism of Freud and a lot of defense of Freud, that was really good and quite compelling and I find myself actually liking Freud a whole lot more than I used to.

Not that I had many great experiences with Freud prior, just assumptions.

I looked over my syllabi as well.

Although I felt a touch frustrated with how much I still have to read, I read as much as I could.

I switched up spots in my room to encourage better reading consumption.

Moving from kitchen table to chaise lounge.

I read outside on the back porch for a little while, although that was challenging as I found myself just wanting to lie back and enjoy the warm sunshine whenever it poked through the cloud cover.

I read until a friend texted me and we made plans to go up to Twin Peaks tonight and watch the Super Moon rise with lunar eclipse.

It was spectacular.

My friend grabbed me at 6:30 p.m.

Right about he time I was hitting my limit of Freud intake.

It was nice to gel out in the car and not think and let my friend ramble about the new house and new room mates and situations and I wasn’t tuned out, I was just there.

Appreciative.

Grateful.

Held.

Warm.

Because, damn Gina.

I forgot.

It gets cold up at Twin Peaks and after we had parked the car and gotten out to survey the lay of the land and make a spot to watch the moon rise with what felt like a great deal of the city as well–I love you San Francisco that so many of you came out to watch the moon rise and lunar eclipse, I love my city–we decided to get back the fuck into the car.

It was that breezy and cold.

The car.

Oh.

It was lovely.

Warm.

Good music.

Good company.

And the moon rise and the orange glow of eclipse as the earth reflected back it’s refracted light upon the surface of the moon, a reddish-orange hue, the burnt umber red floating in the East over the Bay, the sodium lights of the dockyards in Oakland glimmering, the dusky orange of City Hall shimmering in the cityscape, the flash of a red light on top of the TransAmerica Pyramid, the thread of white gold light sparkling on the Bay Bridge as traffic flowed over the top deck, the fog ghosting in over the back side of Twin Peaks.

And I am reminded of how beautiful this city is.

How lucky I am to get to live here.

And yes.

I had a moment or two, perhaps three, when I thought.

I really should be reading my Freud.

But then.

I would look up at the moon and sigh inwardly at my fortune.

And memories.

The times I have come up to Twin Peaks.

The first time I was taken to the top a couple of years before I moved to San Francisco, at sunset, the fog thick and blanketing the buildings, the tops of the Golden Gate Bridge poking through the grey bed, rosy and red and industrial orange and golden in the setting sun, the clouds over the East Bay a spectacular color guard of pinks and royal purples, blushed with persimmons and pumpkins and creamy rosettes of cloud clusters.

I was smitten.

I still am.

I can still see that first sunset and I can contrast and compare it to all the other times, really, not all that many, despite living in the city for over 13 years I can probably count about ten times that I have gone up to Twin Peaks and taken in the view.

Maybe more.

But not that many more.

I remember the time when I moved to San Francisco and I hadn’t been in the city more than a month and there was a huge spectacular meteor shower that was happening and I walked up to Twin Peaks from 20th and York in the Mission.

The meteor shower was amazing.

I counted 56 shooting stars that night.

And.

I wrote down a wish for each one of them in a notebook.

I have that notebook somewhere.

I feel compelled to dig it up and look at those wishes.

See how many have come true.

So many of my dreams have coalesced.

I have lived a grand and fabulous life.

I have lived in Paris.

I have written short stories in cafes in the Montmartre.

I have travelled to Rome and sat at the cafe on the top of the state museum and written in my journal while sipping an Americano.

I have gone to Burning Man a few times.

Nine.

I have loved and lived and grown in San Francisco.

I get to live here.

Who is this girl, this woman?

Who is this person who now gets to go to graduate school and balance all the things with all the other things, which make all the things possible?

She is a woman who once in a while is going to let herself off the hook from Freud.

To play a little hooky and watch the moon rise over this city.

This beautiful city.

My city.

By the Bay.

See You In An Hour

June 20, 2015

What a nice surprise.

I wasn’t expecting to have a date tonight, but things change.

“That was not the plan,” I told my friend tonight outside on the curb across the street from the Safeway in the Castro, “not the plan at all,” then I appropriately blushed.  Thank God it was already dark outside and it could just as well have been the red neon light from the Burger Joint then my face flushing.

He laughed, “nothing ever goes as planned.”

This is true.

I have had a few changes in my schedule, small ones, these last few days and watching how that has happened and the way it has shaped me day is interesting.

Typically, yeah, I know, it’s a Friday, but typically on a Friday, I would be making a cup of tea.

Check.

The teapot is just about to boil.

And writing my blog.

Double check.

Writing the blog.

But I would not be going out further.

When I am writing the blog it is usually indicative of the day being finished and the only thing that I am going to do after I put “pen to paper” is watch a download on my laptop.

I don’t know when tonight will end as the last time I hung out with the man, we were up talking until 5:15 a.m.

Thank God I don’t work tomorrow.

In fact.

My entire day opened up, I have, wait for it, nothing planned.

NOTHING.

I mean I will find an hour to do that thing that I do every day, but since I’m not working and not meeting with the people I usually meet with, I can be flexible with that.

I can go anywhere.

I can do anything.

Tomorrow is a big white clean slate.

In fact.

As of 11:15 pm tonight I have a bunch of big clean open space and time.

That is exciting.

Not nerve-wracking.

I’m wide open to the possibilities, however they present themselves.

I am excited for my life.

I mean, I am excited a lot, all the time.

“Did I read your blog right?”

A friend texted me this afternoon.

“Did you get a full scholarship to grad school?!

Yup.

I did.

And if that’s not exciting enough, I have a date for a Friday night too.

Not bad, Martines, not bad at all.

Pretty fucking awesome, because I have a date with someone I really like and it’s not a blind date with some yahoo off a dating website.

I have not checked Match.com or OkStupid since the night he asked me out.

“You mean, when you asked me out,” he’s teased me a few times.

Sure.

That night.

I don’t care, I don’t have to be right, I can just be happy.

I didn’t ask him out, he asked me (see, I can’t do it!!) but I will acquiesce that position any time) I would rather be happy with him than right.

Being right never makes me happy.

Small or big things.

Being right just makes me an uptight asshole afraid that if someone else is right that there is something wrong with me.

Nothing is wrong here.

Nothing at all.

It’s Friday.

After all.

That in and of itself is a happy thing.

Today was a happy day too.

The boys were a bit wound up when I got to work, there is much excitement for the weekend, the family is leaving for Sonoma tomorrow, Glen Ellen to be exact, for the next ten days.

I will be going there Sunday evening.

I’m not working until Monday, but I figure I’ll grab the rental car from the airport and head up early Sunday evening so that I am settled in and ready to start Monday morning rather than drive up super early on Monday and be off kilter the whole day.

I am not as anxious about spending the week with the family as I thought I would be.

Of course.

My mind has been preoccupied with other things.

Heh.

Oh, that does remind me, I need to buy a swim suit before I head up to Sonoma, the one I have is more of a lounge by the pool suit than a swim laps suit and I suspect I will be in the pool a lot over the week with the boys.

Plus, I may do some lap swimming on my own.

I won’t be riding my bicycle for a week and that means I need to find something else to do for my exercise.

I use my bicycle for transportation, not really for exercise, but it kills two birds with one stone and I need to exercise, I get wonky in the brain if I don’t.

I will foresee swimming laps and long hikes.

That should keep the brain chemistry balanced.

I will also be checking out the fellowship in Sonoma, I haven’t really done so before, I’m curious to see what is there.  I won’t be coming into the city for my regular routine at all.  I’ll be in Sonoma until I fly out to LA on Friday.

I got the thumbs up from the employers to get off a little early on Friday, I’ll zoom the car back to the airport and hop a plane and be heading down the coast.

I googled the LACMA last night.

I can’t wait.

Another museum to add to my list (The Louvre, Musee D’Orsay,  Musee de l’Orangerie, The Dali Museum, Musee de Quai Branly, Musee Carnvalet, Musee Rodin, Centres Georges Pompidou, National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo Palaise, Le Petite Palais, Musee Marmottan Monet, Guimet Museum, Maison de Victor Hugo, I’ve been to a few museums in Paris, heh, The MOMA in San Francisco, The Legion of Honor, the DeYoung, The Cartoon Museum, The Museum of Jewish Diaspora, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Metropolitan Museum in New York, National Gallery London, Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome and the Davinci Museum, then the old standby’s The Wisconsin Historical Museum, The Milwaukee Art Museum, and The Art Institute of Chicago.  Oh, and the Anchorage Museum when I was up in Anchorage in December taking a break from sitting bed side while my dad was in a coma–God I needed that break.

I am probably forgetting one or two or three, but obviously, I have a special thing for museums.

For art.

“I’m not a Burner,” he said, “I’m probably not ever going to go.”

And that’s ok.

Burning Man is a museum for me too–all the art, that’s what I go for, that and the community that has grown up around me there.  I have made some amazing friends there and have had my heart lit on fire by the art.

I’m ready for the LACMA and maybe the Getty.

I’m ready for more happy.

But then again, I always am ready for more.

More experiences.

More life.

More love.

Bring on the weekend.

I am ready.

Yeah, So It Was Hot Today

May 14, 2014

News flash.

Heat wave.

Meh.

Yup.

The scooter didn’t start this morning and I got the pleasure of riding my bicycle like I was a bat out of hell and screw riding the Pan Handle, I am going down Oak Street, and up and over to 19th and Noe.

And I made it in 28 minutes.

6.2 miles in 28 minutes, almost half of it up hill.

Sweaty.

Whatever.

The scooter didn’t start.

What else is new?

I don’t know what exactly I am doing or not doing, apparently I have the opposite of the Midas touch, but I felt it wasn’t going to start this morning and sure enough, that’s what happened.

I may have flooded it again.

I don’t know.

I give up.

I am going to try to start it tomorrow and take it in to the mechanic that my friend took it too–the mechanic that put the brand new engine in it, the engine that gets it with me on it, up and over 17th.

God.

Yesterday, cresting that hill and seeing the view down into the bay was extraordinary.

The view from the house I nanny out is pretty extraordinary too.

It reminds me a lot of Rome when it is hot, the way the city’s houses march up the terraced  hills and how they are arranged and the light, it feels very Mediterranean, very Italy.

I remembered sitting in the cafe at the top of the museum, whose name I forget, in Rome, while my friend was taking a tour group through the Coliseum, and drinking an Americano and writing in my notebook and looking out over the city scape and thinking, this reminds me of San Francisco.

I also remember wanting to put my head down on the table, overwhelmed with gratitude and a kind of disbelief, how did I get here?

It was only for a moment, but that moment stays with me, and I remembered it today looking out the back balcony of the house.

They do have an exquisite view.

They also have a back yard, that I used for the first time ever today.

I took the inflatable pool down and filled it with water and put the baby in it.

It was too hot to do lots of trekking about and I had no desire to go to the Mission and even investigate if the water park had its sprinklers on, I was not going to climb up and down that hill anymore than I had to today.

I did make two small visits to the Eureka Valley Rec Center, however, one in the early afternoon before lunch and one visit to the play room before dinner (they have an indoor play area for toddlers that is pretty sweet for inclement weather use–normally that’s rain, today it was for the sun).

Though it was pretty deserted too, the playground too warm for playing, the nannies all huddled in one corner with a gaggle of kids strapped into strollers and sitting in the shade.

I kept to the part of the park that was shady for as long as I could, then I took the monkey back up the hill and decided to put out the pool in the back yard.

It was well worth the small amount of effort to listen to him giggle and splash and cool him down.

And wonders of wonders, he actually took a second nap.

I think the heat wore him out.

Heck, I am a bit tuckered out myself.

I did a meditation at work and zonked out asleep for about five minutes before getting up and putting the house back together, putting away the pool, getting things organized, then, as though on cue, the boy awoke and we played for a bit more.

It really was too hot to do a lot though and it’s going to be that way tomorrow as well.

Then, like the good San Francisco micro-climate is wont to do, it will cool off dramatically, and probably get foggy.

One more day of the hot.

It’s nice, though to wear a light summer time dress and have bare shoulders.

I even rode my bicycle home without my sweatshirt on.

That’s a rare, rare, rare occasion, I might have done it two other evenings since I have moved to the Outer Sunset.

Which isn’t as far as you think it is, I can get to work in the Castro in fifteen minutes, when the scooter is working.

I feel it shall start-up tomorrow.

I am sure it will.

I will get up early just in case.

And if it doesn’t, well, I have my trusty back up bicycle.

It is nice to have options.

I wanted to be annoyed this morning, but I wasn’t, in fact, the lack of annoyance was so small, I wondered if I was quite well.

When my plans and tiny designs don’t go as well, er, planned, then I do have a tendency to get my panties in a scrunch.

But as I see more often than not, I get something better than I had planned.

Today I got extra exercise.

I need that, I can get crazy in the brain if I don’t get physical at some point in my day.

I also got to slow down.

Maybe I might not have had a good day on my scooter, maybe I would have had an accident, who knows.

I don’t always have to know, is what I know.

The reasons why and whereof little serve me.

Like what am I doing with my life?!

Living it.

Doing the best I can.

Showing up for it.

Not having an argument with myself raving around high on dirty meth in the park.

Being present.

Being on time.

No rolling pilfered cigarettes from butt cans outside of bars.

Don’t know what that looks like?

I do, I have done it before.

You take the discards of cigarettes, on the ground, in dirty ashtrays, etc, pull off the filter, rip apart the paper and dump the tobacco remnants into a new paper, roll it, and voila!

A cigarette.

Yeah.

Not doing that today either.

So, it was hot and so my scooter didn’t start.

So what?

My faith in what I am doing and how I am showing up for it carries with it a deep change in perspective.

And instead of getting mad about it, I get to be grateful.

Grateful for the strong legs that can pedal so fast, grateful for the bicycle that carries me, grateful I get to live in San Francisco.

Where when it gets hot we all gripe, but secretly love it.

I won’t be eating an ice cream cone in the park tomorrow.

But I have a RSVP for a very special and private pool party for one.

I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

I might scooter there.

I might ride my bicycle there.

But I will be there.

That’s the best.

Showing up.

That’s what I am doing with my life today.

Showing up.

Present.

Alive.

Accounted for.

 

Dust

November 2, 2013

This is all just dust, he said to me emphatically, waving at the bicyclists and skateboarders, the dog walkers, and the Friday afternoon revellers in the Mission.

He was pretty damn on point with me today, cut straight through all the bullshit and said, do whatever you’re going to do or hide away in a closet.

It’s all dust.

So get busy living.

Well, I added that part.

“What about Rome?” He also asked.

Now how the fuck did he know about Rome?

I don’t recall talking about it at all to him, although I have had Rome on the brain a little of late, especially this afternoon as I stood taking in the panorama of San Francisco from the top of 19th between Noe and Sanchez.

It is a spectacular view from my employers back window.

It reminds me of how the houses in Rome were stacked up against one another and there was something of the light this afternoon that reminded me of Rome as well.

Rome is one of those places I wouldn’t mind living in for a little while.

“Research” another book.

I started writing a new piece today.

I went to Flax after work and I bought a new Claire Fontaine notebook and a bunch of stickers, I did not find the birthday card for my mom, although I hunted through, that remains on the list and I need to take care of that on the morrow, her birthday is November 7th and I want to make sure the card gets to her by that day.

I bicycled away from Flax with the sun beaming down benevolently on my head and the entire way there I thought, “what is the opening line?  How will I start, where am I going with the story, what am I doing,” etc, etc, etc.

God, sometimes I dislike that part of my brain so much.

I counseled myself and said, just show up, just sit down.

Open the notebook and see what comes.

I wasn’t expecting to write what I wrote.

I wasn’t expecting to have a name for the heroine, and it just popped out onto the page.

I started writing and continued to do so until John Ater showed up at the cafe and he motioned for me to come out and talk with him on the benches outside.

The blue sky, the green flashing leaves on the trees, all the stories I tell myself.

“Have you written about what you learned in Paris yet?” He asked bluntly at one point in the conversation.

“Sort of, in my morning pages,” I said.

“No, have you written about it, not artistically, just for yourself, just to see what is there,” he concluded.

“No.”  I said.

No, I have not.

Maybe I don’t want to learn exactly what it is that I learned there.

Let’s see, there is that I made a lot of connections, I met a lot of people, I was in a lot of fear, most of which was completely unnecessary, and most of which I was able to walk through.

There were days though, when the terror was so strong upon me that I don’t know how I made it through.

I learned that I don’t want to live in  Paris, at least not right now, but that I do want to live in San Francisco, and be also a woman of the world.

Not just Rome.

But what about Africa?

How about that for a six month stretch?

How about being based in San Francisco, anchored here, and then once every few years, going off and travelling, taking pictures and writing.

Or Hawaii.

Or Iceland.

Or, well, who knows.

What if I just nanny for a little while here, build up another nest egg and then travel and write some more.

What if I was not “Auntie Bubba Girl on the Go, but Auntie Bubba, Woman of the World?”

What would that look like?

“Just do it, don’t talk about it, how long did you talk about Paris,” John asked me briskly.

I don’t know.

I didn’t realize that I had talked about it that much.

However, if an ex that I dated six years ago recalls me wanting to move to Paris, well, I guess I have been talking about it for a while.

What did I learn?

That my home is San Francisco and that the people I love live here, Steve and Joan and Beth, Matt, and Radha, Calvin, Tami, Arin, Megan, Sarah, Alex and Shannon, John Ater, Joanne, Mace, Tanya, Stephanie, Taylor, oh, there’s a list.

“I just wanted to tell you how much I love you,” I told a friend of mine today over the phone.

“You were one of my rocks when I was in Paris, I couldn’t have done it without you in my corner,” I had tears streaking down my face and turned into the atm at the bank to deposit my work check for the week before heading off to adventures in nannying.

I felt compelled to reach out and tell some folks today that I love them.

And to also check the balance on my bank account, because I am buying a ticket to Florida to visit some family soon.

When the blog is finished writing itself, it does that, I don’t anymore, this is just a conduit, I am just a channel.

“What else?” He asked, crossing his arms in front of himself.

“I have already broken up with him before we got started,” I said.

“Which one?” He laughed.

“How about you just sequester yourself in your room, nail wood slats on the door and hide for the rest of your life, you are going to get hurt either way, there is no safe way through,” he ended.

“Why don’t you give it a chance, see what happens,” he coughed, “or have you already figured it out?”

“Fuck you,” I said, and turned back to the trees, the light, the sky, the coffee cup with melted ice in it.  I ran my finger around the froth of milk rimming the cup and sucked it off.

“I learned that I don’t have to know what I am doing, I just have to do it.”

This is what I have realized since leaving that bench in front of Philz on 24th and Folsom Street.

I don’t have to know where I am going.

I don’t have to know why.

I don’t have to figure it out.

I just need to let you know how much I love you.

Because that is, in the end, the only thing that really matters.

And with that, you’ll have to excuse me, I have a ticket to purchase, there is someone I need to tell that to face to face.

 

 


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