Posts Tagged ‘Santa Cruz’

Slowing Down

December 13, 2017

Not having any school stress hanging over me has really mellowed me out.

I got to debrief with my therapist about it all and the lecture and all the things love and relationship and work and family today.

It really amazed me to see that it was just one week ago today that I was on a stage giving a lecture in front of 100s of people.

It feels like it was last year.

There was so much that happened after the lecture that I quite lost sight of the fact that I had done it.

Even though I have had a number of people clamor for the video of it.

It has not been posted up yet and I’m rather loathe to watch it anyhow.

I don’t need to see myself, I was there, I know how it felt.

Even my therapist wants to see it!

My therapist went to the same school I’m in now and did the same program and had some of the same teachers.

It’s always a good feeling of commiseration with her about my life and school and all the things.

It’s almost as though we are contemporaries, friends.

We had a good session and there was much to process.

There always is.

And then off to work.

I went in early to help the family and got to spend an unexpectedly sweet day with the baby.

He’s almost a year now and it’s coming close to time to renew my contract with the family.

I’m very happy with them and they are happy with me.

It’s a mutual appreciation society.

Seriously.

The dad today said he didn’t know how they’d still be alive without me.

That was super sweet to hear.

It’s a trip though, working for a family with three kids, three really changes the dynamic, it’s a flat-out hustle sometimes and there is not a lot of down time.

There is always something for me to do.

Always.

I don’t mind, it’s good to stay busy.

Although not too busy.

The parents had asked if there was a day in the upcoming weeks that I might be able to help with an overnight and I gave them a night when I could and as it turns out that night doesn’t work and well, I have to say that I wasn’t really upset about that.

I don’t have solid plans to do anything on the days I have off, but I sort of like that I have some time off to do with what I will.

My therapist asked me about Christmas and what it was like for me and whew boy that opened up a lot of fodder.

I realized very much that the last few Christmases have been really hard on me and she was encouraging me to do something sweet for myself, a yoga retreat, a little road trip in my new car, something personal and kind and I will add, for myself, cheerful.

I often spend Christmas alone and I can get melancholic about it.

Last Christmas I was navigating through some personal landmines that surprised me but in hindsight needed to happen and helped me grow exponentially.

Nothing like pain to prompt some spiritual growth.

The year before I was with someone in Paris who couldn’t really be with me and that felt like throwing my heart on a bonfire and roasting marshmallows over it.

Burnt and crisp and super painful.

I’d rather not have a painful Christmas this year.

Soft and gentle and loving and I really want to let myself not freak out about it.

I don’t want to compare and despair.

Maybe the road trip to Stinson on Christmas Day, pack a picnic, go to the beach, have bonfire, collect shells, reflect on my life and what I want in the new year.

Or down to Santa Cruz and go to Bridges State Park for the Monarch migration happening now.

I tried to go one year with a boyfriend and yes, we made it, but so late in the day that the monarchs weren’t flying.

I might try to give that another shot.

I should also get my MOMA on.

I have a membership and haven’t been in months, now that I’m on break from school it’s definitely time to go again.

I also want very much to see the Klimt exhibit at the Legion of Honor.

I love Klimt.

That is a must do.

I will also do a movie at the movie theater.

Last year I went to La La Land on Christmas day for a matinée at Kabuki Theaters and then I took myself out to sushi.

It was super cold on my scooter and I felt pretty miserable riding around.

Not going to be a problem with year with having a car.

I’ll be taking her tomorrow.

The last two days I’ve been on my scooter to avoid the morning rush traffic and get to supervision and today to therapy, before work and then to my internship on time.

I haven’t those obligations tomorrow.

I’ll be taking my car.

I really love having that car.

Yeah.

The more I think about it the more I think a mini road trip will do me good.

Even if it’s just across the bridge.

Oh!

I could do a ferry ride too.

I remember one year on Christmas Eve I caught the last ferry to Sausalito, I got off the boat, walked to a coffee shop, bought a coffee and walked right back onto the ferry.

I got to see the city at night all lit up in Christmas lights.

It was stunning.

I got a lot of really gorgeous photographs from that little jaunt.

And of course.

I’ll find somewhere to go do the deal and get right with God, always that, especially during this time.

Just because I’m alone doesn’t mean I have to be lonely.

Nope.

There will be many ways to keep it merry and bright.

Heck.

I can just sit and contemplate my Christmas tree and watch Holiday Inn.

I love me some Bing Crosby.

I do.

 

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Almost

December 10, 2017

I am so close to being finished with this semester.

One more class tomorrow.

9a.m. to noon.

Then I am done.

I’ll be doing a sushi lunch with my best girlfriend in the cohort after class to celebrate.

I can’t decide if I’m going to come home and kick out the last paper or just collapse in a heap on my bed.

It does not help that the professor extended the due date until December 18th.

Not really what I wanted.

Because now I could technically procrastinate the paper until next weekend.

I won’t, but it’s a possibility, it’s a temptation.

But really what I want is to finish the fucking semester tomorrow, which means writing and turning in that last paper.

I have some ideas about what I want to write on so I just need to sit, review my notes, review the readings I have done and leap in.

I suspect I could have it written before the sun goes down.

And then I can run up to 45th and Judah to the Christmas tree lot and get myself a Christmas tree and celebrate that I am done with the semester and maybe even wrap a few presents or write a couple of cards.

I’m a little late to the cards, normally I would have already sent some out, but this semester has been my toughest by far with the amount of work and the load that I am carrying.

But I’m making it through.

I turned in my last hard copy paper today that I needed to do and I nailed my final project presentation.

All I have to do is show up and sit through the lecture tomorrow and the last group of presenters and that’s it.

It would be tempting to skip, I’ve turned in the final paper, done the final presentation, there’s really nothing else that I need to do for the class.

But.

It doesn’t feel right to not sit and bear witness to my classmates who haven’t had a chance yet to present as well as say thank you to the professor, especially since he came out to hear me do my lecture on Tuesday.

Something I was very flattered by.

Very.

So.

Yeah.

Show up tomorrow and just do the last bit of the class and then a nice sushi lunch with my friend.

I had thought about going and doing Open Studio’s in the Mission, my friend has a studio, Hold The Phone, and I wanted to pick up some art from her.

And my boss has an open studio too at Art Explosion studios which is right in the same neighborhood.

But I have been thinking it might feel a little too much like going into work and I’m not sure that I want to re-route to the Mission from Hayes Valley.

I suspect that the best use of my time is going to be getting on my scooter, get the fuck home, write the damn paper and get it done.

After that I will allow myself some fun.

Write the paper, write the paper, write the paper.

Finish the semester out and be done with it.

One month break.

From school anyway.

Work will be work and my internship will be happening.

But I’ve already had a lot of my clients tells me that they have holiday plans.

I will have some slow weeks there I feel and that’s ok.

I may have some clients transitioning out as well, I’m not sure yet, I’ll know more this week.

I will also have my sit down with the family I work with and sign a new contract.

I’m a little nervous about that, but there’s really nothing to be worried about, every time I work with the family I am told how much I am appreciated and how much I help and I know I do a good job.

It will just be a sit down and a chat and yeah, signing a new contract.

And for a month I’ll not have to write papers or read or attend classes.

It will be a nice break.

Plus I’ll have two three day weekends in a row–Christmas and New Year’s are both on a Monday, so I’ll get a three-day weekend with each holiday.

That will be really nice.

Maybe I’ll take my little car on a tiny road trip.

Go see some lighthouses.

Maybe go see the monarch migration in Santa Cruz.

Maybe go across the bridge and up north a little, get some oysters at Hog Island.

I don’t know.

I’ll have some time and I suspect that a little jaunt out of the city may be a good thing for me.

Or I could just go over the bridge and drive to Stinson beach.

I haven’t been to Stinson or Muir beach in a long time.

In fact.

I think the last time I was at Stinson was right before I moved to Paris five years ago.

Wow.

Yeah.

That can’t be right.

I’ve got something nudging my memory, but I can’t place it.

Oh, I know, I did a motorcycle ride there with an ex boyfriend three years ago.

Anyway.

My brains fried, it’s been a busy weekend with school and really, a busy last few weeks of constant working, reading, writing, and preparing for lectures, papers, presentations.

No wonder I can’t remember.

Time to wrap this up and make some tea.

My bed is calling to me in no uncertain terms.

Good night.

It’s A Different Kind

December 29, 2014

Of cold.

I find myself arguing with people who live outside of San Francisco when they snark at me that 50 degrees is not cold.

But it is.

There’s no insulation in my studio.

The wind off the ocean is not a breeze.

And it will cut you.

No playing.

Wet cold is so different from dry.

When I was up in Anchorage, the temperatures were drastically different from here, yet I found myself “freezing” on a number of occasions this past weekend.

I cannot believe the weekend is past tense already.

Aside from some cold extremities, which come in handy if one so chooses to use them as weapons of mass destruction on your boyfriend.

“ARGH! How are you’re feet so cold!?” He yelped when I stuck them on his warm leg under the covers in bed.

I felt justified.

The punk is not ticklish, so how am I to get my revenge?

Cold feet are awesome for that–revenge, a dish best served cold.

Not that I really have any thing to seek revenge upon my boyfriend, he is a peach, a pumpkin, a bunny, a darling, a sweetheart, as was often and amply demonstrated over the five-day weekend, which encompassed Christmas and all the crazy family baggage that entails.

For me.

Not him.

His baggage?

None of my business.

To write about or otherwise.

Something that being in a romantic relationship with this person is teaching me, I get to keep learning about myself, not him, myself.

Keep the focus on myself.

Which can be challenging for someone who grew up the way I did.

It’s easier to focus on others, whether it is their perceived wrong doings, or their right doings, when I compare, I despair.

And when I am focused on another person exclusively I am not seeing what I need to do to take care of myself.

It is a dance that I am clumsy at, but have a had a few moments of grace with; my two left, cold, feet, straighten out here and there and I manage to do a pretty pirouette and gracefully navigate a situation or feeling.

I just paused for a moment, to sip my tea and look about my clean space, it got deep cleaned today, and my pretty Christmas tree, to listen to the jazz on my player, to feel the warm dinner in my stomach, to hear the laundry drying in the next room over, to be so grateful for this place, this home, I just wanted to acknowledge a deep contentment for my space.

For that matter.

Let me acknowledge a deep contentment for my life.

I really have a blessed life.

Yesterday, for example, my guy and I went on a little road trip down the coast on Highway One to Santa Cruz.

We went to the Natural Bridges State Park and went on the Monarch hike.

Unfortunately, we got a later start then we had anticipated and there was not much monarch action to be seen.

Oh.

The monarchs were there, in the hundreds, if not thousands, they were just difficult to see.

The bower of eucalyptus trees that they were nestled in were already deep in afternoon shadows when we arrived.

The butterflies had thus already settled down into the bunches twined around the branches and leaves.

There were a few scant flyers in the top part of the tree canopy and I was able to spot a few fluttering around in the last of the suns rays when I strained my eyes all the way up to the sky.

Monarchs

Monarch Butterflies

The monarchs blend so well into the leaves when they are still that it took much searching to finally see the bundles laced throughout the boughs.

Monarchs

Monarchs

In this photograph I pulled as much out as I could and used my filters in Iphoto to somewhat capture a bundle. The gigantic mass is a horde of monarchs, most of them have their wings closed, so it makes it further challenging to observe them without their distinctive orange and black markings showing.

My boyfriend and I walked holding hands and climbed around the trees and paths and listed in the sun when it dappled down through the canopy.

I was already cold and ready for the car.

I joke with him that I am only dating him for the car seat warmer in his car.

In a way, I was disappointed, but in another, I was not at all.

We had gone on an adventure.

Sure it wasn’t the spectacle I had expected and I, of course, self-centered in the extreme, had envisioned the entire thing alone, with my boyfriend, the sunshine, the thousands of butterflies, and the trees.

Not the loud families having arguments about where to park or the tourists taking photographs or grumping to themselves that what was the point, you couldn’t really see the butterflies.

Damn you nature for not complying with our so human and prideful demands.

Rather, I was grateful for the experience.

I had gotten to take a road trip down the coast with my honey, listen to good music, hold hands, stop at roadside coffee shops and berry farms, I had gotten to see the waves unfurl and smash on the beaches of the shoreline on the drive, if I had only done this and nothing more, it was a successful adventure.

A grand experience.

And then as we were winding our way out along the elevated boardwalk, the last of the sun streaming in

Monarch Trail

Monarch Trail

I saw a monarch flutter in the trees and I whipped out the camera and caught them.

Not to take or steal or keep.

But to cherish and remember that moment, with my boyfriend next to me and the sun shining it’s last beams on our faces with boundless love.

Monarch Bundle

Monarch Bundle

Granted.

It’s not the best photograph I have ever taken, but it struck me, how often I can not see the beauty of the moment because I am too caught up in how I think it should be.

The present is full of gifts and they are simple, the most alluring, and beautiful, when they open their wings and remind you that love is here.

You just have to look with an open heart.

Love.

Is in fact.

Everywhere.

Which was then further smashed home when we exited the trees and saw the escaty of the setting sun.

My feet may have been cold.

But my heart.

Oh.

My heart was on fire.

Pacific Ocean Sunset

Sunset, Santa Cruz, Natural Bridges State Park

Jeebus and the Big Poop

May 29, 2014

“JeeeeeSusss!”

“JeeeeSusss!”

“JeeeeeSusss!”

He ran around the kitchen giggling like a maniac and hollering out “Jesus” at the top of his lungs.

“Shh, honey, that’s enough,” but I sort of had a grin in my voice and I could not even take myself seriously.

“Jesus!”

He looked up at me, “Jesus?!”

“JESUS!”

“Ok, that’s it, no more,” I hesitated, is it a curse word?

It was said like a profanity, he overheard it in the stroller at the corner of Stanyan and Waller by a woman walking across the street who got startled by a turning car.

It’s not like he was saying “fuck!”

Or damn it or shit or douche bag.

Nope.

He was just taking the lords name in vain and it was making me laugh.

But I also didn’t want the mom to come home to her two-year old son running around saying, “Jesus!” loud, proud, and bold.

It turns out it was ok, though,he had a change-up pretty immediately.

“Big poop!”

Ok.

I know what to do about that one.

I scooped him up and took care of business.

My two-year old charge has got a vocabulary to beat the band and he’s talking and telling stories and occasionally making up words that when we carry on a conversation will make perfect sense, then I catch myself, what are we talking about?

There are lots of conversations about airplanes, his biggest obsession.

And then many more about the train that he got for his birthday.

He got a lot of amazing toys.

Toys that I sometimes want to sit down and play with.

Most of the time, though, I am just trying to keep them out of the mouth of the 16 month old, who is getting better about putting floor snacks in his mouth, but he does still have a tendency to revert to getting his fiber from the carpet fuzz.

I don’t swear in front of my charges, but other people do.

Kids do.

Adults do.

Sometimes I want to be the school yard monitor and tell someone to pipe the heck down, see, I said heck, but I tend to keep my comments to myself.

It’s been a good week with the boys and I feel like I have my mojo back after a rocky start to the week.  Which wasn’t really rocky, it was just getting back into the flow after the big music festival weekend and all the travelling.

Next stop.

Wisconsin.

Although, I might, actually I better book that now, get a little road trip with a friend who is leaving for a very long, cross-country road trip from here to New York at the end of June.

We compared notes as he will be somewhere in the Midwest around the time that I will be in Wisconsin.

But not quite at the same time.

So, a small road trip on the back of his “new” motorcycle that he got to do the cross country ride.

We talked about heading down to Santa Cruz and doing the boardwalk.

Which I have never done.

I’ve been down to Santa Cruz twice since I have lived in California.

Neither time did I hit the boardwalk.  There could be some fun to be had there. And it seems the perfect distance for a ride on a motorcycle.

Not too long, but long enough and along the gorgeous Pacific Ocean.

I am in.

My friend who I bought the scooter from, said scooter that is working, thank you very much, suggested we might also make the trip down to Santa Cruz as well on our scooters.

Not quite sure about doing that yet, but I did get my scooter over 40 mph when we went out riding.

He came over Monday afternoon and I showed him how I was starting it and he checked it over, including the fender, which he pulled out a little more and said that the cost to repair it was going to be nada, and basically I was doing two small things that weren’t working to my advantage in getting the scooter started.

And voila!

Vroom!

Started right on up.

I was over choking the engine and he suspects that I was putting too much oil in the gas tank when I had topped it off.

So I ran out the gas and when I got back to the neighborhood after our riding adventure I took it down to the gas station a few blocks away, filled it up ($3.00 even) and added half the oil I had been.

Running like a top.

It’s still vintage and old, so I may have to fiddle about, but it works and it, the problem, was not the scooter, but me.

We took our rides out, he has a brand new white Vespa, and my old vintage black Vespa, and got lots of looks and thumbs up and whistles.

It was fun.

We went up the coast just a tiny bit, hitting Lands End, which I probably hadn’t been to in years, parked, sat and watched the ocean and the sky, the Golden Gate Bridge spanning the bay and I gave him a big hug.

It’s really good to have friends.

We soaked up the ambiance of San Francisco, then hopped back on the scooters, headed down the Great Highway we got up to 40 mph and I got to feel how fast that is.

Truth be told, I have taken it up to 40 a couple of times on Lincoln Avenue, keeping with the speed of traffic, but it was different being on the Great Highway and I appreciated knowing what it felt like.

A stop for coffee at Java Beach on Sloat, then we rode up through Portola and over Twin Peaks.

Holy shit batman.

I never thought I would be taking a scooter up and over Twin Peaks, my own scooter, with me driving it.

The wind was fierce and I probably said Jeebus under my breath a few times, truth be told, but fortunately, I did not have a big poop.

I did feel like peeing my pants once or twice, but made it over without any bodily fluids being split.

It was pretty exciting.

And I am ever so grateful to continue to learn and grow.

Sometimes I feel like the two-year old discovering all there is to discover.

Sometimes I feel like running around and yelling “JESUS!” at the top of my lungs.

Good thing some one taught me to use my inside voice a little while back.

 

 

 


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