Posts Tagged ‘roots’

That Cake, Is That New?

May 30, 2015

I love my uncle.

He cracks me up.

“I’ll try it, I guess.”  He tells me he only eats like this when he visits.

I’m not sure about that, but it is cute and amusing and as I sit and hear more stories and have the gift of simple time.


Having meals together.

Watching a show with my grandmother.

Hanging out with the dog, who really does seem to gravitate to my Uncle, with the saddest eyes ever, I don’t know how this dog is only 9lbs.

I don’t feel compelled to give treats to dogs, but this little lady, does nip at my heart.


It’s nice.

Seeing myself reflected back in the bone structure of my grandmothers face, seeing how her legs are my sister’s legs, and let me truthful, blessed to be in this gene pool.

My vanity assuaged by the astounding health, vitality, and youthful looks of my grandmother.

She’s 87.

She lives on her own, does her own shopping, drives, cooks, in fact I was told to not touch the dishes, although I had already and not to help out in the kitchen.


I seem to understand where I get that from.


Also hearing stories about my father and his brothers and sister and where they travelled and what they did, where they lived, how my dad spent time in Paris when they lived in a village in France, or hearing about my uncle riding his bicycle down the highway, at the age of 8, in Japan to go play with a friend.

Sometimes I think that children in these modern times are a bit sheltered and over cared for, a touch over scheduled, a tad over supervised, and I wonder what they might be missing, what adventures they may have.


That’s not my concern, now is it?

Children grow up and people change and history happens and stories get passed down, pressed between the leaves of a book on Maui and when the sun is shifting through the sky, the palm trees crash against the blue skies over the hills, I was able to just sit and close my eyes.

Lifting my face up.


Just a simple prayer of thanks.

Just to be here.

Nothing needs to happen.

No depths of feeling must be plunged.

I don’t have to have an “aha moment.”

I just get to have these small pearls of time, moments with my family.

Teasing my uncle.

Then being totally gullible and falling for one of his stories without realizing I am being told a tall tale.

Even at the age of 42 I still am gullible.

I’m ok with that too, I’m allowed to be anything.

Today there was eating and a drive and hanging out with my second cousin and my uncle and going to see Mad Max–totally so Burning Man–I almost shouted out loud during one scene.

“I have those goggles!”

I restrained myself.

I did not holler out, but I did appreciate it to myself.

I never saw the Mad Max movies when they were originally released and it was fun to be a part of the culture.

I reflected that there are some experiences that I did not have when I was a kid, when I was growing up there was a lack of resources, I believe that may be the best way I can put it.

We were shit show poor.

School supplies were a fantasy of longing, always having the cheapest notebooks, crayons, pencils, pens (no wonder I am so particular about the notebooks I write in and the pens I use, it’s an entirely sensual experience for me when I write), clothes?


I started working in the corn fields detassling for Kaltenberg Seed Farms when I was twelve.

Bussing tables at the age of 13.

I stayed with both jobs until I was sixteen?

I got fired from the detailing job, which was really odd, when I look back, for using profanity, but what it really happened?

I was a crew leader by the time I was 14, which meant I made a modicum of more money, and I led the kids through the fields (in Wisconsin you can do farm labor at the age of 12 and because it is often considered “family work” they could legally pay the kids working less than minimum wage), I think I was making $3.25 an hour, much more than the $2.75 I had started out making.



I was let go because I explained to a couple of kids what a gay person was.

Someone said a crappy sexist stupid, rural Wisconsin joke and when two of the kids didn’t get the punchline (to a joke I did not tell, fyi) I told them what a gay man was.

The parents called and complained and I got let go.

Such is life.

I worked more at the truck stop where I was busing tables.

I bought my own clothes.

Then I got onto swim team and things changed and I became a lifeguard and an unexpected shift in my life happened.

Not much, but just enough to alter my life seismically.

But there were things that were missed.

Television, we didn’t always have one, or it was a small 13″ black and white, once I think in my junior or senior year, my mom got a rent to own color tv.

That lasted two weeks, maybe three, but she couldn’t keep up payments.

We did not often go to movies.

When I did it was a huge deal.

I remember with great clarity the movies that I did get to see at the theater: Star Wars (lying on the floor of the car with a blanket over myself and my sister, my aunt Dolores and my dad in the front, my mom hiding in the trunk of the car) at the drive in.

Karate Kid–drive in.

Dirty Dancing–my favorite aunt Marybeth took me to that, “don’t tell your mother I am taking you to this!”

The Killing Fields, with my mom.

At way too young an age.

To give my mom some credit I don’t think she knew how violent it would be, but come on, it was the Killing Fields, not exactly a kid movie.

I saw some movies at friends houses-The Breakfast Club, Top Gun, The Little Mermaid–mostly at swim team sleep overs.

I marvel.

I really do.

How fortunate I am to be in this place, sitting on this comfy couch, with my grandmother and my uncle, the dog, the television, a show, a song, a small quiet moment.

From here to there.

From there to here.

And so many places yet to go.


May 19, 2014


Taken care of.

Two cappuccino’s later.

New highlights.

New color.


Not going to show the world yet though, there are still two more sessions of hair goodness coming down the pike from Solid Gold Salon.

Today, subtle and not so subtle.

The subtle?

The lowlights in my roots that completely masked the few grey hairs I have.  Blessed with some awesome genetic markers on my genome, at the age of 41 years, I have perhaps five grey hairs on my head.  But, I don’t need to see them and they got covered up today.

The not so subtle?

More blonde.

Lots of blonde.

In fact, the colorist and I discussed pulling it up even further the next time we meet.  It’s not a traditional ombre, it’s what is called a bilayage, which is a much more subtle, “natural” if you will, way to color the hair so that I won’t have weirdo roots when it grows out.

That’s the thing for me.

I love going to the salon, but I don’t care to spend a lot of time on my own hair in the mornings.

I have more important things to do, eat, pray, make bed, write.

Then muss about with my hair, aside from throwing a flower dipped in glitter into it, I have no desire to spend time styling it.

So, going into the salon is a super huge treat and I have not had this much goodness in my hair in a long time.

It’s not a splurge per se, as the new colorist is getting her chops on my head, but I happily accept.

I know my friend is not hiring hacks at his business, I am grateful to allow them practice on my hair, and if it doesn’t turn out, they will fix it.

But man, it turned out.

No photos yet though.

We have decided to wait to do the big reveal.

I still have two more services to go.

Another round of color–pink and violet in a pastel tones–and more blonde.

Then the Brazilian Blow out.

After that photos.

I was relaxing this afternoon in the back yard with a book after having made up my food for the week–homemade pinto beans with olive oil and diced carrots, onions, garlic, sea salt, black pepper, brown rice, chicken with roasted white corn and garlic sautéed kale–just relaxing in the sun, reading my library book, drinking some tea, listening to the smash of the waves on the shore and realizing, for the umpteenth time, how lucky I am.

I was also grateful to not be in the wild crush of Bay to Breakers, which I had a small taste of taking the N-Judah down town at 2:30p.m. this afternoon.

I had thought that it would be done and over, but even heading back this evening at 7:45p.m. I see a gaggle of girls crossing the street, tipsy, in knee-high red athletic socks and red panties.

It’s like Burning Man.

Except obnoxious.

And with no art.

And running shoes.

Girls, please, put some pants on, the event is long done.

Go home.

Tomorrow, it’s Monday, that hang over’s gonna suck a bag bad.

Oh well.

I stayed out of the fray.

I heard a lot of it, garbled shouts and noise and ruckus, but didn’t see much of it, I stayed at home, cleaning, cooking, doing laundry, then reading in the back.

Perfect Sunday for me.

Add to that going to the hair salon and I feel like a god damn princess.

I forget that I am allowed to do things like this.

There is still a large part of me that thinks I need to suffer to get ahead or I won’t get ahead.

Note to self.

There is nowhere to go.

Here is just fine.

In fact, it’s pretty god damn sweet.

Why wait until I am retired to sit in the sun and read a book?

Why not let myself get pampered and have my hair done and revel in a scalp massage.

Note to any future boyfriend out there, want my number, give me a cranial massage.

I swear, it’s the best, a washing of the hair and a face and scalp massage.


It’s near sexual.

It’s over the top sensual.

One of the loveliest things.

I need to allow myself lovely things.

I saw a pretty dress in a shop today and I thought, I should go back and get that.

And I actually believe I will.

Not this month though.

My spending plan allotment for clothes got eaten up by my hair.

I hadn’t even thought about doing all this stuff with my hair, but then when it all happened the way it did, I was all in and booked the time.

Plus, well, you know, Burning Man is like in less than 100 days and I, uh, like to have some fun hair for the event.


I like fun hair any old-time.

My friend who owns the salon was telling one of his clients about a hair style he had done for me, hot pink, faux hawk, shaved up the back, like shaved to the skin, and the client could not picture it.

Sometimes I can’t either.

But I remember well sitting in the kitchen of his place while he mixed his dyes and compared notes and directions.

He’s come a damn long way and it’s been really fun to see that too.

From sitting in his kitchen to sitting in his salon.

Grateful for that perspective too.

He’s seen me through some rough transitions.

From taking me out to a steak dinner the night I said good-bye to Shadrach at the hospital and then driving me over the bridge to Treasure Island to see the city sparkle and shine in the black water of the bar and letting me cry on his shoulder with the loss.

To letting me crash on his couch for two months when I lost my place in Nob Hill and transitioned to working at the bike shop.

To now, 9 years later, still close friends, giving each other shit, talking smack, coloring my hair, teaching me how to ride a vintage Vespa scooter, and being my friend, through it all.

Pink hair to purple to magenta to blue and back again.

I have amazing friends.


My friends.


Just know that.

I love you.

I do.

Some Times The Hall Way

April 21, 2013

Is dark.

But do not worry, worry does no good, there is a light.

Hall Way

Hall Way

There is a light and it beckons me toward it.

I climbed up the last set of stairs and discovered that I had circumnavigated the vast crowds around the museum and slipped in a back entrance to the top terrace of the building.

My host, Michelle, had mentioned in passing that there was a cafe at the top of the museum.

I was beyond grateful to have been made privy to this information.

Whilst she was off leading a guide of the Coliseum, I decided to head toward the cafe, nestled high above the ruins and pressed bold against the blue skies.

I ordered an Americano and found myself a table in the middle of the terrace.  I pulled off my jacket, set down my bag, and took out my notebook, my bag of pens, an Italian journal Maggie had given me and I commenced to write.

A few times I paused and looked out over the ruins below.  My eyes misted, a tear slid down my face, and I felt as though I could just lay my head down upon the table and die of sheer joy and gratitude.

What was I doing here,  on this terrace, in this cafe, doing what I love, writing, in Rome?

I was saying, “yes,” and “yes,” and more “yes.”

I said a lot of yes today.

I spoke in the evening and shared with new friends what led me to this point, being in Rome, my time spent living in Paris, adventures in Burning Man, life in San Francisco, and who I am, every single authentic bit of me.

I swore a little, I laughed a lot, I cried some.

I am an emotional being.

I felt the joy flying through me so often today.

It may have been helped by a few shots of espresso.

Damn the coffee is good here, Paris, you could take a lesson.

I am sitting now in the kitchen of an apartment in Rome where three women live, two Italian ladies and one lovely doll from Southern California and I am listening to the rain fall.

The sunshine decided to not last, but just like the hall way has its light beckoning to me, I know the rain too shall pass.

This too shall pass, I think to myself, this time will go and I will have photographs to look back on and words I wrote in a journal and ticket stubs and post cards and new friendships.

I will have a better perspective on my life and a greater appreciation for my life.

Most of all, I can say I have a life, a life in which I proceed to allow myself to grow in.


My new challenge is to set some roots.

Be still for a while.

Let the words continue to come, but let them nestle into a rooted place.

As I was being warmed by the sunshine of Rome I was thinking of the hills of San Francisco and seeing more and more that it is home, it is time to go back to the Bay and to settle down.

I wish to allow myself a home.

I want to grow up and stay put.

I am done running away from myself and I am here, oddly enough in a foreign country sitting at a kitchen table in the apartment of people I just met today, saying I want a home.

I carry home with me, in my bag of pens, in my laptop, in my heart, I go where I am directed and I live a life beyond my wildest dreams.  Yet, I also have a deep desire that I have kept to myself for a long time to be still.  To let these experiences settle out and see what gold there is to be taken from the dross.

I will keep traveling, I do not doubt that in the least, but I want terra firma under my feet and a place to return to.

I want to make San Francisco my base.

I love the journey and I know there will be more to come and more will be revealed, but as I wrap up my Paris adventure, ironically by going off to Rome, I know where home is now.

Home is where I left my heart.

Home is where my fellowship is.

Home is where the hills are not always sunny, often times they are shrouded in fog, but home is there.  I wish to go back and really try to create a pot to piss in.

Or to plant a geranium in.

I do not feel the chagrin I thought I would when I was writing this, I do not feel buyers remorse for having said I am going to travel and write and take photographs and I am running away to Paris to join the circus.

I need to go to the circus.

I hear there’s a good one happening out in the desert in Nevada.

My authentic self is happiest in the Bay.

My travel plans are still writ large and I do not know where I will go next or how I will get there, but I believe it is time to be in one place for a while.

Of course, my plans could change tomorrow, but I feel that I have been softened up, the rough edges have been worn down and as I sat in a cafe in Rome today with my, shhhh, third americano in front of me, I realized I had been polished smooth by these travels and I surrendered to the end of the journey here abroad.

It is time for the prodigal daughter to return home.

With a pocket full of photographs and a bigger heart.

I know this hallway is dark, but I see the blue skies framed beyond the door and I carry with me now my own inner light, a light that I was allowed to bathe in today.

In Rome.

A glow

A glow

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