Posts Tagged ‘San Franciso’

Made It Through

May 21, 2018

The weekend.

I graduated!

Pretty spectacular.

Grateful for the pomp of it and also, well, grateful that it’s done too.

It was a lot of work getting ready for it and I could use a little break from all the hullaballoo.

Granted.

All the ceremony was lovely and I was glad that I attended even if the walk across stage happened so quickly, it was an important walk for me to make.

It was nice to have my mom there too, we haven’t seen each other in a few years and it was good to reconnect.

I’m ready to reconnect to my regular schedule though.

It was nice to have the time off to do the special things, and the not so special, the endoscopy and that damn wire test took up some time and mental space, I got a text from the doctor’s office today that my lab results are in and that I will discuss them with the doctor on Wednesday.

Note to self, make sure to tell the mom at work.

Back to work tomorrow.

Although since I don’t have supervision in the morning, it will be a late start for me.

So I get to gently wind down this weekend of festivities.

The graduation party was fabulous.

Though a bit breezy.

A lot of people didn’t come out to it due to weather being cold and windy, but those folks who did brave the conditions really had my heart.

And my best friend who set up the whole she-bang, man, I am so grateful for all that work.

Throwing parties is work, especially when it’s an offsite event on the beach.

Especially when it was freaking Bay to Breakers today!

They had the whole parking lot cordoned off for the event.

Bay to Breakers is a notorious drinking run that starts at the Bay and ends at the “breakers” at Ocean Beach.

Had I known that it was today I would never have done my party at the beach.

I had to park my car at SafeWay and walk a couple blocks, not horrible, but when the time came for breaking things down and getting things back, it was a bit daunting.

Fortunately I had some great helpers and the one good thing about Bay to Breakers having all their gear set up in the parking lot was that there were gigantic lights put up everywhere, the beach was bright as day.

I had some worry about having enough day light to break everything down, but the lights from the parking lot saved the day.

It was still a bit of a hassle getting things off the beach, but the crew that was left at the end of the party were great and helped me by sitting on my stuff and waiting until I had gotten my car and I was able to get everything in and back to my house.

And.

I am very proud of myself for this.

I unpacked everything and put it all away.

Including throwing all the beach blankets into the wash and putting away all the sodas and sparkling waters that did not get drank.

There were a lot of left overs.

As I said quite a few people didn’t show, but the sweet company of those that did kept me warm on the cold beach and I was happy to celebrate.

I even wore my cap and gown for a little while.

Until the wind blew off my cap and I got too cold.

But like a good San Franciscan, I had two back up layers, a sweatshirt and a jean jacket, plus fingerless gloves and an infinity scarf.

I just bundled right up.

Plus there was the fire and dancing to stay warm and a couple of times hopping into the tent that was good wind protection and actually felt warm.

The family I work for even came.

All the kids had hot dogs and s’mores and they were super sweet and the family gave me a crazy nice graduation gift.

I got some amazing gifts.

I am so grateful for the expressions of love and affection I received this weekend.

I really am.

It was also nice to be witnessed and seen.

To have the acknowledgement of all the work I have done in the last three years meant quite a lot.

There’s still plenty of work to go.

I suspect there will always be work to do.

But.

I am going to take this moment and really let it all soak in.

The flowers in vases all around my house, from my best friend, my mom, my boss, my mentor, help me to see how much I am loved and appreciated.

The beautiful gifts I got.

The sweet cards.

The drawings from my little five-year old charge.

The hugs.

Even the congratulations from strangers as I was walking down the street in my cap and gown with my arms full of flowers, felt really good to get.

Acknowledgement.

Hard work.

Achievement.

And a moment or two to bask in it.

I found parking really quickly when I got to Hayes Valley, there’s always one spot I check first, I used to park there almost all the time when I was going to solo supervision, and sure enough, it was open.

It’s tight, but my car’s small and I just barely fit.

Because I didn’t have to look for parking I had an extra twenty minutes before I had to be at the theater.

I stopped at Arlequin to get a latte.

I sat outside and sipped the hot coffee and really looked at the street and the people walking around and as I realized that I was sitting next door to Absinthe, Arlequin is their sister property, a more casual, but still upscale cafe, to Absinthe’s fancy French pedigree.

Sipping a latte, in my cap, about to walk the stage at the Nourse Theater, and get my Master’s Degree, quietly reflecting on how far I had come.

Absinthe was my first job in sobriety.

I got hired there 19 days after I got sober.

I sure have come a long fucking way since waiting tables there I though.

I smiled.

And as I sipped the last of my latte a busser from Absinthe came dashing over.

“Did you graduate today?”  He asked.

“I’m about to, I head over to the theater as soon as I finish my coffee,” I said and smiled.

“I’m so proud of you!” He said, he grinned.

I grinned.

It was a moment.

It surely was.

In a weekend filled with so many of them.

Of pure unremitting gratitude.

Luckiest girl in the world.

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Party!

May 14, 2018

Well.

Not yet.

But.

I got a lot of stuff done this weekend for the party.

I am very stoked.

I’m pretty much done with it.

I might buy some more beverages though and maybe one more pack of hotdogs and buns.

But.

For the most part, all the graduation beach bonfire party stuff is set!

Very exciting.

Yesterday I got up at the crack of dawn and met my best friend, who greeted me with coffee, thank goodness, and we hit the beach to scope out the fire pits and to do a test run on the teepee.

Of course.

Ha.

Ugh.

I didn’t realize the teepee pole and stakes were not in the tent bag.

I was mortified.

But.

We still got a good look at the lay of the land and when we got back to my place I found the stakes and the pole and we set it up in the back yard.

I also pulled out my Burning Man tent, which, yes, was dusty as fuck, just to see if it might be usable.

In the state it was in when it was set up, no.

But now.

Possible.

I hosed it off yesterday and let it air dry and then I hosed it off again today and let it dry and it’s in pretty damn good shape.

I am actually surprised that I got as much dust off of it as I did.

I also sorted out some clean extra storage bins I had bought for last years Burning Man and stocked them with blankets, a quilt, a flashlight for breakdown, and two solar mason jar lights.

I have also put together my picnic basket with supplies–paper plates, napkins, disposable utensils (don’t really need them, but I figured for condiments and such they might come in handy), a lighter for the tiki torches and to light the bonfire.

Tiki torches!

I mean.

It’s going to be a party.

Plus a sound box on a boom.

I put together a Spotify playlist and there will be 60s surf music and soul classics.

I also went grocery shopping today.

I was going to do it later in the week, but what with the endoscopy and such I thought that it would be better to knock it out today.

So I did.

I got a couple more cases of sparkling water (I still may get some more beverages, that feels like something I might be a touch short on).

I got all natural beef hot dogs, turkey dogs, and some Italian sausages, mild and hot, because well, I like them and it’s nice to have variety.

I got brioche hot dog buns.

I got ketchup, mustard, mayo, and dill pickle relish.

I got a couple of bags of chips.

Those weren’t planned, but they just hopped into my grocery cart, I figure they will get eaten.

I got marshmallows and graham crackers (honey and cinnamon).

Shit.

I got some fancy chocolate.

I’m not eating it, but I may vicariously enjoy providing lovely chocolate goodness for others.

I got skewers for roasting said hotdogs and marshmallows.

It was fun and sweet to buy the party supplies and think about how nice it is to have good food and bevvies and fun lighting and all the really nice things for a lovely party on the beach.

I suspect we will be the envy of the fire pits.

I’m happy to say that I also got some sleep today!

I was out late last night, having a beautiful dinner with my best friend at Che Fico, the new, hot Italian Taverna on Divisadero Street, and didn’t get to bed until 1 a.m.

I didn’t sleep more than eight hours, but getting up at 9a.m. felt like serious indulgence.

It was really nice.

I had a good breakfast and did a lot of writing.

I had both the ladies I was supposed to meet with today cancel.

So.

Gasp.

I did something amazing.

I read for pleasure!

It was so nice.

I took a book I bought last year and sat in the back yard, in the sun, for an hour and read.

Then I did food prep for the week.

Which was also nice, I hadn’t done food prep with all the writing papers and school stuff happening for a couple of weeks.

Speaking of writing!

I got back my grade for my Research Methods final paper.

“A”.

Which means I got an A in the class, having turned in everything prior, three other papers, and having gotten 100% scores on everything I will get an “A” for the class.

So nice!

My god that was good to see the grade already in.

Tomorrow I will be going to CIIS, hopefully for the last time in a while, I could use a little summer break from the campus, and dropping off my final pieces of paperwork.

I had my group supervisor sign off on my hours yesterday and with that signature I have all the things I needed to graduate.

I’ll go in the morning before work, make photocopies of the paperwork and drop it off at the office.

I keep the originals which will get turned into the BBS to have an AMFT # assigned to me.

The copies will prove that I have accrued enough hours of face to face therapy to graduate.

I have gotten more hours than I need to graduate and I am happy to continue getting hours.

Though this week will be a slower week with clients.

I had a cancellation tomorrow so just one client and then clients on Tuesday.

But no one else the rest of the week because of the endoscopy procedure and getting ready for my graduation.

Super excited.

It’s beginning to feel really real.

Happy, so much so, to have gotten the majority of the party preparations out-of-the-way.

Now it’s just a matter of showing up  in my cap and gown and walking that stage.

I can’t wait!

 

Back in the Saddle

September 16, 2014

And it was just like riding a bike.

Except.

Well.

YIPPEE!

It was my bike.

Yes.

That is correct.

I am back on my bicycle.

I mean, I did go for a brief ride last Sunday, Noriega Produce and back and also to the Safeway at Fulton and La Playa, but a real ride, nope.

Not until today.

I did the same ride.

However, first I had to change the flat tire from yesterday.  As I suspected the running out of coffee was the prompt needed to get me into motion.  I was determined after I ground up the last of my beans this morning to fix the flat and go hunter gather some more coffee beans up.

I had a meeting beforehand and some reading to do and that was done and plans were made for some more of that in the future.  It is really quite nice to be back in the routine of making time to see other people for an hour or so once a week and do some reading and gaining of perspective.

It really is the bright spot of my life.

I also did some writing and some meditation prior to the bicycle tire change out.

I finished those two things up after my guest left and decided the best thing to do was to make some lunch, because I know better than to go grocery shopping on an empty stomach, and that it would be helpful to have food in me before doing anything mechanical.

Not that I haven’t changed a flat tire before, I have, it’s just that there’s something about it, that does make me want someone else to do the work.

There is often a part of me that wonders why in the hell do I bother?

How come I put in so much time?

Then I remember, oh yeah, my life was awful and the only way it got better was showing up and doing the work that other people had suggested I do.

And there’s only more work to be done.

I want to rest on my laurels and I want you, nebulous you, to change my flat tire.

Really, it’s not too hard, you can do it.

Um.

I mean.

I can do it.

And I did.

And there was a solid feeling of accomplishment about it.  This is a bike I have broken down and packed up and carried across the Pond, yeah, the big one, to Paris and back, I have reassembled it, changed other flat tires (sometimes putting said tires on backwards, oops, but still), yet there is a thought, false, that I cannot possibly do it again.

That it’s too hard and that it’s something to push-off and put aside for another day.

But.

Today is the day.

I felt it.

I wanted to be on my bike.

It did not hurt that the day was glorious September in San Francisco weather at its absolute finest–clear, high blue skies, no clouds, scant breeze, mid 70s–and it was just hollering to me to take advantage of it.

I opened up the door to the garage and the sun poured in.

I flipped over the bike and propped it against the wall in the garage and used my handy bicycle 15mm wrench and lever combo to unscrew the bolts on the front wheel.

I examined the valve closely and determined that it was indeed broken and I had to replace the entire tube.  I set down the bolts carefully to make sure I did not displace them and got the old dish towel out of my linen closet to use to wipe down my hands.  I used the lever and pulled the tire, a Gatorskin, off the rim.

Then I pulled out the old inner tube and tossed it in the trash.

I opened up the new tube, unscrewed the valve and put a little air in the tube to help it line up with the rim (rims which I still love but can see perhaps replacing with a new set up in about a year, maybe some Halo reflectors or a mirror rim from Velocity), then I slipped the Gatorskin back onto the rim.

Then the tricky part.

Getting the tire back into the rim.

I took a minute.

It took me a while longer than a minute, but not more than five or ten.

I kept rolling the tire between my hand and the rim and it just wouldn’t catch.

I was about to give up.

I thought, well, I can still take the tire over to Swell, the local bike shop at Irving and 42nd, but give it one more go.

And then it just caught.

I levered the tire onto the rim, rolled it through my hands to make sure that the inner tube was not pinched between the rim and the tire, and then I put it back on the front fork, screwed it tight, flipped it over, inflated it, and voila!

Good as new.

I did feel deeply satisfied.

It’s a small thing, but I like that I can change my own flat tire.

I washed up and headed out to the grocery stores.

It was beautiful, the sun shone down, the water on the ocean glittered, the breeze blew, my feet were connected and I felt surer on the bicycle than last week, and my ankle, though stiff, felt capable to do the job.

After my second trip, the most important one, the one to get coffee, I also realized that I was going to be able to ride my bike to the Inner Sunset.

I could feel it.

It was going to happen.

I think I was actually more nervous about how my quads would feel after not being on my bicycle for three and a half months and riding up the incline on Lincoln from 46th Avenue up to 9th Avenue.

The quads held.

My ankle held.

I did it!

Nothing hurts.

Well.

My ankle is stiff and my thighs are a little sore, but really, not bad at all.

Really quite happy.

“This month, dancing, no excuses, you can ride your bike, you can go dancing,” my friend said to me as we parted this evening.

I can see it.

Maybe not this week.

But if I can get back in the saddle.

I can get back on the dance floor.

It is good to be more myself than I have been in months.

Grateful for the healing.

And for the patience to let myself heal.

And for knowing that tomorrow I won’t be riding my bike.

I know to not push too hard as well.

One day on.

One day off.

Until I am fully back in the groove.

No need to kill myself.

Besides.

I will be picking up my playa bike from Cole Valley.

And that’s a ride of an entirely different sort.

Be on the lookout for my purple pennant.

As I ride again.

 

 


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