Posts Tagged ‘San Diego’

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.

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All In The Family

May 31, 2015

I turned around, his small body pressed to me.

“Chip,” he said soft, with a slight lisp, he smiled, “chip,” he whispered again.

Oh squeeze my heart little cousin.

I hopped a tortilla chip off the platter to his waiting mouth.

He took a bite, then held out his hand for the chip and went back to his favorite uncle on the couch.

Who proceeded to feed him a bite of cake.

Family.

Grandma.

Auntie.

Uncle.

Three boy cousins and their wives (what are the wives of first cousins called?).

And then the grand babies.

Which would be my second cousins–three more boys.

Me.

Food.

Oh my goodness so much food.

Grandma homemade food.

I just about fell over.

Roast pork and chicken and potatoes and salad and the most amazing paella I have ever, ever, ever had.

I wasn’t able to eat the Hawaiian pineapple cake and some other things but getting to watch everyone eat and talk and cozy against each other, cousins and second cousins running in and out the patio screen door, was such a gift.

I got to hold a four-month old second cousin in my lap and look in his wide brown eyes and see the genetic markers of the family passing themselves merrily right along.

A part of.

Once again with my family.

My aunt hugged me as she headed out the door, “don’t be a stranger.”

I won’t.

I don’t know when I will come back down to Chula Vista, but I will again.

And I can see myself making the trip up to my Uncle’s in Nevada City for a holiday, perhaps Thanksgiving?

Make some more memories.

Have some more connections.

See more things.

My Uncle and my cousin, his youngest son and wife, took me out to Balboa Park today in San Diego this morning and we spent the morning into the early parts of the afternoon wandering around the grounds.

We went to the Historical Museum and saw the Dr. Seuss exhibit, which was truly amazing and also wonderful and silly and made me laugh out loud.

My second cousin, his dad, and my Uncle sat down a Dr. Seuss designed table and cut and colored Cat in the Hat paper hats, cut them out and then wore them around the exhibit.

I laughed so hard I thought I might pee my pants.

While they were working on hats I discovered a color in your own Dr. Seuss character postcard table and I sat down and colored up three of them right away, one for my mom, one for the boys I work with and one for my cousin and his family–they were such wonderful hosts, every one really–which I plan on sending as a thank you card.

I didn’t actually get myself any postcards from the museum.

I was having too much fun hanging out in the museum to color more.

I scooped up the three I colored on and galavanted about the rest of the Historical Museum, snapping photos wherever I could.

Then off to Rose Garden where I was happy to discover roses that actually smelled like roses, and a walk through the Japanese Tea Garden to quietly walk through the paths and marvel at the giant coi fish in the ponds.

Prior to the museum we also went through the Botanical Gardens, wandered through the Spreckels Organ pavilion and checked out the fountain in the front.

It was a lovely meander.

The sun burned through the fog and they day grew warm.

We headed to a late lunch, had sushi, ran a few errands for my grandma and then back to the house for dinner and all the folks.

Sitting here, the dishes washed, the lights being dimmed, my uncle having one last piece of cake, my gram getting ready for bed and I am filled with a kind of gratitude I find hard to express, but it is there, full, golden, sun soaked and happy.

Quiet.

Seeing photographs of my father as a boy.

My grandmother showing me his Boy Scout uniform from when they lived in Oakland, my eyes welled and my heart grew three sizes bigger.

Then she pulled out a package from my sister.

It was a strange, but so sweet, assortment of crochet items that she sent my grandma in 1986, she would have been eleven or twelve.

I gasped when I saw the postmark on the box, Windsor Wisconsin.

“I save it, I thought it was so sweet,” my grand mother said, “I don’t know what they are exactly, but you could see she was just learning and I had to keep it.”

I told her about my afghan, the one she had crocheted for me when I lived in the House in Windsor and had shared that I was in the coldest room in the house, the one directly beneath the attic and it was like living in Siberia, so she crocheted me a red and white and pink afghan.

I had lost it.

Not lost it as in lost it, but it had been destroyed in a flood in Madison.

It was in the same stack of boxes my ex had bought down in the basement when we lived on Mifflin Street the year it flooded our basement.

I also lost all my Christmas ornaments.

My ex had tossed everything out.

I was so hurt when I discovered that.

“I’ll make you another!” My grandmother told me, “just tell me what colors you want.”

My eyes welled.

It’s been a wonderful trip.

An amazing gift of reconnection and discovery.

Listening to the squabbles and talks and the hugs and the kisses and hearing all the stories between uncles and aunt and cousins and wives.

I had just a kiss of regret watching the easy give and take of love, I wished for a partner to share it all with, someone I could lean into and hug and kiss on too.

I know that will come.

Things like that happen when you are happy and secure and surrounded by family.

It just happens.

Like love.

Blooming.

An unending flowering of love.

Family.

My family.

Sucking Brain Power In One Fell Swoop

May 29, 2015

Gone.

What was I doing?

Sipping tea, looking at photographs on my grandmother’s mantles and walls, hearing stories, trying to not think about the weird e-mail in my in-box about my financial aid for school that puzzled me to the point that I could not read it more than twice without closing the message.

I looked at it again this morning.

They need what?

I already have my FAFSA in.

The school already has my information.

What more do you need?

Some more stuff, some more things.

Oh.

That’s it.

That little button.

That fucking little button there took me changing my password, updating my information, having over five windows open on my screen, toggling back and forth, figuring out new security questions, for almost an hour.

At one point I thought, next they will ask me to stand on my head and and with my right hand point to the true North.

Ugh.

That was obnoxious.

However.

Another thing done in the small but steady range of  actions I am certain I will have to continue to take to get into school, let alone, well, um, school itself.

Actually.

School.

I believe, will be ok.

It’s the minutiae, the small stuff, the obvious stuff, that I don’t always get.

“There, water level, right in front of you,” my cousin pointed out the fountain water-spout.

I was mesmerized by the soda options.

When was the last time I had stood in front of a soda fountain machine?

Coke?

Cherry Coke?

Rootbeer?

Sprite?

All of it please.

In a really big cup with hella crushed ice and a dessert pizza on the side.

Hahahaha.

I had a cup of water and a “pizza salad” without the pizza part–my cousin didn’t realize that I don’t eat flour, or sugar for that matter–and had taken us all to the new popular pizza place down the road.

It smelled divine.

And truthfully, I was too overwhelmed with the sudden abundance of family and how to act and be polite and be me and not melt into the background.

Not that I wouldn’t stand out a little anyway.

Even without the hot pink hair.

“I like your style,” my friend texted, “you got flavor.”

Flavor.

Yup.

I’ll take it.

And I do.

My ex called it “quirky” and I argue, I am not quirky.

Quirky is Zoe Deschanel and kitten sweaters and argyle socks and well, not me.

I rebut quirky with girl has flavor.

“Chicks with visible neck tattoos and pink hair aren’t anything nuts to me,” he replied, “maybe in Iowa.”

Yet.

When I travel outside of San Francisco I do seem to get a little extra attention.

Although not always in a bad way, the TSA agent at the airport was excited by my hair, “awesome hair!”  He enthused and waved me through.

Where I got to find out that I had to sit in SFO for a bit longer than I thought.

My flight was delayed.

Ugh.

Although, as I sat in the terminal linked up to the internet sipping organic, cold pressed iced coffee and having just finished an organic Niman Ranch hamburger (no bun, no onion, no fries, thank you) with a side of, yes organic, mixed greens, I thought, hmm.

SFO.

Worse places to be delayed.

For sure.

The flight was delayed for weather.

That’s right.

Fog.

Carl the Fog was wrapping up the airport tight.

I wasn’t happy to be delayed, but it gave me a moment to look over the e-mail from the FAFSA people.

I still didn’t get it and I decided, not going to boot up my laptop and try to figure it out.

Sit back.

Sip the coffee.

Watch a video.

Then the fog lifted and I was up in the air and before I knew it the plane was descending through the blue skies, clear of fog, lots of sunshine, and low 70 degree weather.

I took off my sweatshirt.

I needed it on the way to the airport and I needed it on the plane, they do always seem so cold, even a short flight.

Sidebar.

Almost one year later.

My ankle hurts when flying.

It swelled up and got tender and I had to stand in the aisle for a while rolling it around and getting the blood flow going.

I really couldn’t believe it.

The last time I flew was December and it was pretty tight after that flight, and still it’s not fully healed.

I really didn’t believe the doctor when he said it would be 6-8 months and possibly a year before it was fully healed.

End aside.

The sun was shining, the fake boobs were on display.

I mean.

Whoa.

I realized as I watched a woman in a low-cut shelf tank top proudly displaying her assets, I am not in San Francisco anymore.

Granted I have not spent a lot of time in Southern California, but I did immediately see things that I have not seen in San Francisco (and I’m sure I have seen fake boobs in SF, I’m sure they exist, they’re probably just hidden under thirteen layers of clothing and a black hoodie and infinity scarf-every woman could have fake tits and I would never know), enhanced cleavage, spray tan or fake tan, blow outs, high platform sandals, skin-tight jeans/jeggings, I still stood out.

I probably always will.

But I have stopped being so concerned with how I look.

As stated previously, I dress for myself and to make myself happy.

And I was happy I got my stuff packed and on my way with no delay this morning.

I also remembered to wear my clogs so that I didn’t have to struggle with going through security.

It wasn’t until I was sitting in the lounge waiting for the flight to board that I began to sense some side looks and stares.

And I realized that I usually do get them when traveling.

I have a moment or two of feeling singled out, then I thought, whatever, I’m a good-looking woman and who cares if I have pink hair and tattoos, they look pretty and I have flavor and so there.

Ah.

My brain is coming back, the FAFSA website has not won.

Now I can bring my mind back to hanging out in San Diego.

I’m ready for some more sunshine.

PS

As I am editing this blog, my grandmother came over and said, “your hair looks so pretty up like that, it looks like a flower.”

#winning

It’s Time To Check In!

May 28, 2015

The e-mail cheerily declared when I opened it this afternoon at work while on my lunch break.

Already?

Wait, a minute.

I’m not ready.

But I am.

I am ready.

I am ready to see my family and declare myself a part of.

It is scary, what are they going to think of my hot pink hair and glitter?

And it is exhilarating.

Maybe I will get a straight answer as to how my last name is with an “s” rather than a “z.”

I know the story of it, but I realized, my parents are unreliable narrators.

So too, am I.

I was reflecting on what I write here and what I say, and don’t say, and how this is my voice, but it is also a “voice” I am actually, if you can believe it, quite shy and retiring.

“I knew it was you as soon as I saw you and you hid in your hair, just like I do when I am nervous,” said my cousin, oldest daughter of my favorite uncle when I first met her.

I met her about eleven and a half, perhaps 12 years ago.

I have met a couple of my cousins on my father’s side, and I know my favorite Uncle, who was ridiculous and cute on the phone with me earlier today when I called to check in regarding my flight itinerary.

“You know what we’re doing Friday morning?” He asked me.

“Ah, nope,” I smiled, but I could hear adventure in his voice.

“We’re going to watch that movie, you know the one,” my uncle said with no question in his voice what he was talking about at all.

Mad Max.

“We’re going to see Mad Max!” I almost jumped up and down like a little kid, “yay!  I haven’t seen it yet.”

“It’s totally Burning Man from what I hear,” I said.

“Completely!” My uncle agreed, “I was going to go to that theater that all the Gate and Perimeter people rented in Oakland to see the movie, but well, it was in Oakland.”

My uncle goes to Burning Man.

And right there.

I assuage my feelings.

My little girl, I’m not enough feelings.

My uncle will be there and we will talk about Burning Man and I am ok and this is family.

And we will know how to handle situations that used to baffle us.

I realized, I will know how to handle myself when I show up.

It’s not that I am some sort of heathen, I have manners, I know how to be a good guest, and I am really interested in finding out more about my family history.

I want to know all about Hawaii and my ancestry there, which I know little to nothing about.

Odd fragments that my mom told me, a memory of a book of poems and essays that my father once sent me that had a picture of the first truck on the islands, supposedly my great, great, grandfather’s vehicle?

I don’t know.

But I want to know.

I am also grateful that I am getting to go but not make a big fuss over it.

I am not trying to pack being a tourist into it.

Oh, there’s some touristy things happening, my cousin is going to take me to the Balboa Park area and we’re going to go wander around the museums.

I am just a whore for museums.

Art really.

And museum gift shops.

I told the boys today that I would miss them, and I will, despite today being a trying day with them, I swear someone slipped them sugar when I wasn’t looking.

They were off the wall with energy.

I also told them I would send them a postcard.

And I will.

I will also send myself a postcard, a small, happy reminder that usually ends up getting back to me a week or so after I have returned from a trip.

I have postcards from Paris, London, San Francisco, Venice Beach, Rome, New York, Black Rock City, Anchorage, and they are scattered all over my fridge along with magnets from the various museums I have visited while in the city.

It’s a really sweet way to remind myself of the journey.

“Are you all packed?” My ride to the airport tomorrow checked in with me as we were walking up the hill toward the Sunset Youth Services this evening.

“Close,” I said, stretching the truth mightily.

However.

I pack fast and I am getting up at my regular time tomorrow morning so that I can write and get right with God before going on my little sojourn.

I’m gone for three and a half days, I won’t need much.

I pulled my suitcase out of the closet before I left and threw some laundry in the wash so that I will have all the clothing options I want.

I marveled, I still am, actually.

At the size of my roll on suitcase.

It is the same one I took with me to Paris and lived out of for six months.

Six months.

Out of that one small bag.

And what I could fit in my messenger bag.

I am not going to bring that however, just my purse and my laptop and a notebook.

And sandals.

Fingers crossed the weather will be sunnier than it’s been here.

I was looking at my phone’s weather app earlier and wondered what in the world the forecast icon was, it looked like rain, but it was not rain.

It was an icon for fog.

I realized as I was rolling home though the Pan Handle, the forecast was for fog.

I was drenched when I got home.

It might as well have been rain.

And the forecast is looking like that for the next few days.

It’s not super warm in San Diego, but it sure looks sunnier and I will happily take low 70s versus mid to high 50s for temperatures.

I may even pack a pair of sandals.

I’ll be ready.

The dryer is almost done.

The blog is almost writ.

The feelings are still there, a pinch of anxiety, a bit of excited nervousness.

And a lot of joy.

I get to go do this.

I get to amend my ways and show up and be the grand-daughter my grandmother deserves to have in her life.

I get to be a grand-daughter, a niece, a cousin, a part of.

I get to go be with family.

I’m pretty sure they will accept me.

Pink hair and all.

Yearning

May 17, 2015

This is not a post I am interested in posting.

It steers a little too close to self-pity land.

And nothing, truly, nothing, do I find more objectionable and heinous.

I had an ex in my twenties who was amazing at self-pity and I remember realizing one day how very selfish it was.

I don’t like it when my selfish tendencies arise.

Yet.

They do and when they do I just get to roll with them.

I had hoped I would be feeling a bit more sprightly today and that is not the case, the cold lingers and with it comes those feelings, oh feelings, of not being enough or doing enough or whatever it is that wants to get under my skin and rub the wrong way.

What I want is a snuggle.

Someone to rub my back and my shoulders.

Someone to cuddle with.

That’s something that I long for when I get sick and well, being a single gal, that’s nowhere in the offing.

It does not help that I have had some contact with my recent ex, nothing in person, but some lengthy texting and my fondness for him knows no bounds, but we agreed that it’s too close to the bone, too close to discomfort, too much potential for creating unnecessary wreckage that neither one of us wants to create.

I mean.

Sort of.

I know that road.

Once broken up with an ex I have stayed broken up with an ex.

With the exception of a near black out late night emotional booty call to my ex-boyfriend in my twenties a year and a half after we broke up.

I think I knew I had to see him one last time (ended up being one more time after that, which was sweet and tender and it was the last time and weird enough we went to Monty’s Blue Plate Diner the next morning for breakfast and the waitress remembered us even though we hadn’t been in together in almost two years at that point) and wanted to say a proper goodbye before moving back to the state of my birth, California.

But the tendency does tend to be no contact after a break up.

Not that there have been a whole lot of relationships since I moved to San Francisco, let me be frank, I’m a loner.

I didn’t intend it that way, but somewhere down the line, it happened, despite the longing or yearning for it to be otherwise I have just marched, bicycled, briefly scooter’ed (and with a little help from a friend I may well soon again), and danced to my own personal drummer.

I have rarely been partnered up in my adult life and I am not complaining.

It’s not on my time.

I have tried to make it on my time.

I have written reams of blogs and I used to write just the worst sappy ass poetry about it.

I mean, whatever to get it off my chest, but I know this is more a symptom of being slightly under the weather than anything else.

So.

I can weather this one out.

This too shall pass they say.

I realized I was being a bit moribund when I hopped in the shower to rinse out a freshening up of my hair dye, I picked up a pot of Manic Panic Cotton Candy Pink at the salon today when I got my nails done (the color I had in my hair was Cleo Rose, that’s what I got at the salon when I went to get it done, but I wanted to see what the Cotton Candy Pink would look like, so I picked it up, I mean if I’m going to have clown curl explosion on my head, may as well be cotton candy) and my thought was, “I wish I was going to see my grandmother with my boyfriend.”

Uh oh.

I am feeling “not enough.”

I am feeling the “another person completes” me baloney happening here.

My grandmother doesn’t care if I’m single or dating, or at least she has never said anything to the effect and I can’t imagine she cares one way or the other.

It’s me who cares.

I’m “less than” for not being in a relationship.

Nope.

I’m just me.

And me is pretty cool.

I called my grandmother today to check in about my upcoming visit to Chula Vista at the end of the month.

I had some concerns about putting any one out, she is 87 after all.

But she would not hear of me staying anywhere else.

My favorite uncle is going to be coming into town too from Nevada City and I’m super excited to see him (although we do usually have a family reunion out at Burning Man) and get to hear about his newest projects for the playa.

He’ll be staying with my grandma as well.

“You’re Uncle Boy can stay in the garage if we need to make space,” she said.

I laughed.

“Don’t tell him that!”

It felt good to laugh.

I’ve been nervous to reconnect.

There’s nothing to be afraid of, it’s just family.

And I love my grandmother.

Despite not having had much direct face to face contact we have stayed in touch all of my life and she is my last living grandparent.

I want to make the effort and I am delighted to get to stay with her.

I have no idea exactly what we’re going to do, but she did say that one night there would be a big family dinner at her home and I just had this sudden and overwhelming joy fill me with the thought of being surrounded by this family, that I know so little of, but care so much for.

I think that’s what they mean when they say blood is thicker than water.

I have made my own family out here in the big bad world.

Amongst my friends and fellows and there are people in my life, some in Wisconsin, some here, that I could not, nor will not do without.

“Yo.”

The messenger read on my phone this morning, pinging me awake, “are you planning on coming out this way, the middle part, this year?”

I want to.

I realized that I may not be able to until Christmas though.

And there it was again, that longing for a person to be with me.

The longing for someone to go with me to Burning Man, to travel with me.

I am sick.

Not sick in the head, or wrong for having these feelings, they just don’t usually get to me unless I’m not feeling 100% myself.

I can and have ridden out the feelings before and as my hair dries, it’s still just pink, the difference in colors is too subtle, but it’s fresh pink pink pink, so that’s fun, I know that I’m ok and that yearning for something is a part of life.

I don’t have to get what I want to enjoy what I have.

And I can snuggle with myself tonight and roll out my shoulders with my roller and make some tea and be cozy and rest.

Nothing wrong with that.

And be grateful that I get to see my family in two weeks.

Grateful I have family to travel to see.

I belong to these people and they to me and I am yearning, really, to be connected to as much humanity as I can be.

That’s the good stuff.

That’s the jelly in the donut.

The bees knees.

The cat’s pajamas.

The stuff of life.

I suppose you could say.

Oh.

Yeah.

It’s love.

Sweet, tender, vulnerable.

Love.

I’m Either Brilliant

March 5, 2015

Or I’m an idiot.

Either way I am busy laughing at myself.

I cleared some time with my employers today to go down to San Diego and visit my grandmother and I have been in contact with my uncle to co-ordinate times and I had a plan.

Oh yes I did.

Have a plan, that is.

But guess what?

I shot my plan in the ass.

Inadvertantly, but I did.

I just booked a great ticket, at an amazing price, really, like two hundred dollars less than I was seeing last night, oh my god, buy that ticket, buy it now before it disappears.

Um.

Dear heart.

There’s a really good reason why the ticket is two hundred dollars less.

Oh no.

Bahahahahahaha.

Fuck me.

I booked for the wrong month.

I mean really, no big deal, March, May, they both start with the same two letters.

D’oh!

I am in such a great place spiritually, I’m not mad at all, I’m hella amused is what I am.

Funny thing.

My original idea was to go in May, not sure why, but that seemed a good time for me to go.  Then I talked with my uncle and he’s planning on going down this month and I thought, well, it’ll be a little full, but I can do it.

And then I took a day off today with my employers so that I could go down at a decent time and not show up on my grandmother’s doorstep at midnight.

The best thing?

Or one more thing to laugh about.

I booked an extra day.

March 28th is on a Friday.

May 28th is on a Thursday.

Guess who’ll be in San Diego and extra day.

Apparently God wants me to go down for a little longer than I was planning.

Which is cool.

I have only been to San Diego one other time and that was about 10 1/2 years ago and I didn’t get out much.

I don’t really remember much about that trip aside from the fact that I was miserable.

You’ll note the time, 10 1/2 years ago.

I was not in a good place.

I was just months away from getting sober and I was entering into that long dark night of the soul that was to be my bottom.

One could say I was not at my best that trip.

I did not drink or use that trip.

Not a drop.

Not a line.

Nada.

But I had up until the last-minute before I had to get on the airplane to leave for San Diego and I white knuckled it through the weekend and immediately went out with a bang when I got back to San Francisco.

I remember smoking a lot of cigarettes.

God.

Awful.

How awful it must have been for my family.

I was checked out, stuck in my head, lost, feeling rotten, not able to show up and be my true self, my best self.

I will this time.

I get to amend my behaviour and show up as my best self and as the grand-daughter my grandmother deserves to see.

I am looking forward to the trip.

And a bit relieved that it happened the way it just did.

It’s totally silly and I am a bit chagrined, it’ll be an interesting conversation to have with my boss tomorrow when I switch up my time off request.

Oops.

So much for trying to figure out my vacation time and when I was going to ask off for the school retreat and who knows about that either, I haven’t heard back from the school.

Despite being told at the interview that we would know by this time.

I haven’t received notification, despite haunting the in-box on my e-mail account.

I even checked my status online this afternoon and it just shows that my application has been received and is in the process of being reviewed.

That tells me nothing.

The interviewer made it pretty clear that the students getting into the cohort would be alerted to their acceptance into the program before it was listed on the website.

So.

Who the hell knows what my vacation time is going to look like.

I don’t.

I don’t know anything.

Except that I have set intentions to travel this year–San Diego, Hawaii (I’ve never been), and yes, Burning Man.

I know I want to go to Burning Man, I always do, and in the spirit of such reached out to my first playa family, a little bird told me that they may be considering going out.

Consider it!

I want to go too.

It would be such fun, a family reunion.

I have to say the last two days have been nutty, between the IRS identification confirmation I had to do yesterday and just now booking a flight for the wrong month, but really, I feel, the right one, I am upside down.

Seems like my plans have plans that don’t include me over thinking them.

Which is good.

I over think everything.

I’m glad too for having booked, accidentally, an extra day to be in San Diego.

I’ll see if there are in any fellows I can meet up with, I’ll maybe see some sights, I’ll have more time to spend with my grandmother and my cousins and my aunt and my uncle and do it up.

Fortuitous accident.

And the ticket really was two hundred dollars less, I mean, that’s a nice little savings for me.

I appreciate God looking out.

Haha.

Well.

Now I know what I will be doing that weekend instead, getting my hair done.

I have been trying to figure that out with my busy weekend schedule, when can I get my ass to my hair dresser, who has been promising me a birthday haircut for months, literally, my birthday was in December.

I’m going to call the salon tomorrow, I have a free Saturday this month after all.

Yup.

Brilliant.

Idiot.

That’s me.

But at least I’ll have fabulous hair.

Don’t Freak Out!

March 4, 2015

Freaking out!

Not really.

Not any more.

Not after talking my own self down off the ledge.

That’s not my tax return, I thought when I saw the mail waiting, all sly and innocuous next to my motorcycle helmet on the bench to the entry way to my studio.

I’M BEING AUDITED!!!!

Fuck my mother.

Fuck me.

Fuck.

Fuck.

FUCK!

Wait.

Calm down.

Go inside, open the letter, don’t freak out.

I said.

DON’T freak out.

There’s nothing wrong.

My house, lovely, sweet, clean, pretty, go light some candles and stretch out and roll the back roller on your sore shoulder and take off your earrings and hair geegaws and make a cup of tea.

And relax.

What ever is happening it’s for a reason and you are ok.

I need money for grad school!

You haven’t been accepted yet, relax.

Please.

Ok.

I guess I should open the letter and see what it says.

It says IRS, run away and hide, but.

I didn’t.

I opened the missive and read it.

I didn’t make sense at first.

I had to read it three times before I got the gist of what I was supposed to do.

Either, a.) call the 800 number listed or b.) go to the website listed and fill out the little form there.

What is it?

A confirmation of identity.

Oh.

Huh?

I remember, way back when, I think it may have actually been when I was applying for financial aid the first go around, that’s right, way, way, way back, when I was 17 going on 35 and trying to get into school and it came up then.

I had to verify my identity.

I am not the only Carmen Regina Martines in the world.

Even with the last name being spelled slightly different from the average bear.

And I’m not sure it’s true, but there was some weirdness when I was first working, like the very first job that I had that I had to fill out tax papers for, that I have more than one social security account.

Not number.

But two accounts.

Again, I put it to the weird spelling of my last name.

No I am not Mexican.

No, I do not speak Spanish.

Family legend, according to my mother, and maybe I’ll actually get this confirmed when I go see my grandmother, that there was a misspelling on an ancestors citizenship papers.

That the correct spelling is Martins, but it was pronounced, I’m going to spell this phonetically, Marteens (think saltines), and thus, the immigration people threw an “e” into the spelling and voila, Martines.

So, once I got my under pants un-bunched.

I’m not being audited.

Whew.

I went to the website and verified all my information and hopefully that will clarify everything and I will get my federal return back post-haste.

I have been watching my bank account like a hawk since my state return landed over two weeks ago.

I filed on February first.

When the rest of the world was watching the Super Bowl, I was doing my taxes.

Anyway.

Quite glad to have responded the way I did.

I didn’t fret needlessly.

I didn’t stash the envelope and not open it.

I followed the directions and breathed and went to the website and got clarification about what was needed.

So often in my past  would make an assumption, usually based in fear, and run with it.

And so often, I was to learn, and am still learning, really, that assumption was all about making an ass out of myself.

I will jump to many a conclusion without sufficient evidence to back it up.

I’m grateful I got to see myself respond with such serenity.

Yeah.

There was some dread when I saw the envelope from the IRS, I mean, come on, who doesn’t blanche a little when the tax man cometh.

But it was just a generated piece of computer mail that was to make sure I am who I said I was and that I live where I say I live.

That’s all.

Nothing more.

Quote the raven.

Never mind.

Er.

Never more, I mean.

And back to my regularly scheduled business.

Looking for airline flights to go down to San Diego to see my grandmother.

I checked in with my Uncle who wants to co-ordinate his trip with mine and we briefly discussed what dates make sense and how we would get there and for a hot second I thought, ooh, if he drives, I could skip the air fare and save some money.

But, then I realized, it’s out of his way to come and get me and I am not going to be able to take a lot of time off from work.

I’m saving my vacation days for the retreat for graduate school.

And, fingers crossed, for Burning Man.

I’m not going to buy a ticket until I hear back from the graduate school, another response, rather than a reaction.

My first reaction was to ride with my uncle, my second to buy a ticket, tonight, but then after the stuff with the IRS letter, I realized, I myself am missing some vital information.

If I can avoid taking vacation time I will.

I will go down and do a quick weekend visit.

If I get into graduate school, that is.

Because I would save my two weeks of vacation for the retreat that the cohort does in August and the other week for Burning Man.

If, however, I don’t get into graduate school, there’s no restrictions on my time and I could take a longer trip down, not that it would be much longer, I don’t want to over stay my welcome and I suspect that I should probably just make my trip a short one–more for myself than anything.

I can get overwhelmed with family stuff pretty easily and I need to test the waters and before I leap full on into the family reunion.

I could, also, I am realizing, take a day or two from my sick days.

I haven’t used them all up.

And, then, there’s also the thought, when I get my tax return I could just ear mark a part of it for an extra day off from work.

If I go slightly over my paid days off it’s not like I will suddenly be homeless and in debt.

What would it look like if I just had faith I was being taken care of and book the time I want?

I’ll know more soon.

I should know by tomorrow, Thursday at the latest, whether or not I got into the program.

Until then.

I’m fine.

I’m not being audited by the IRS.

And my rent is paid.

And I have clothes on my back.

New glasses on my face.

And faith that I am always being taken care of.

Despite the fear factory in my head.

I’m just fine.

Perfect, actually.

Thanks for asking.


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