Posts Tagged ‘SAR’

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

I Don’t Know What To Write

May 19, 2015

I mean.

I do.

I always have something to write about here.

Sex.

Not enough sex.

Dating.

Not dating.

Breaking up.

Being single.

Love.

Work.

Burning Man.

My bicycle.

Rent in San Francisco.

Recovery.

I mean.

I have a lot to write about, not including what ever peccadillo is under my hat at the moment.

“You have a really interesting life!” A friend of mine exclaimed to me tonight, “you do so much.”

I don’t even think about it, is my life all that more interesting than any one else’s or is it that I just write about it well, or is it interesting?

Or perhaps a little mix of both.

I mean I feel like, as another friend in the neighborhood expressed to me once, “you can be all dramatic about buying a loaf of bread at the store….and then the bread, it was AMAZING, and I had this insight and wow, bread.”

I told him to fuck off and punched him in the arm.

But.

He’s right.

I can write a hell of a story about nothing at all, it seems.

So.

The title of my blog has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I have nothing to write about.

Plenty happened today.

I worked, I played, I got some recovery, I rode my bicycle, I ate some nice food, I went to BiRite and bought some nice food, I made a beef stew for the family I work for, I played with the boys, I went to the park, 826 Valencia (the only independent pirate supply store in San Francisco, thank you very much) and viewed the fish and dug for treasure in sand drum, I saw a friend and caught up and browsed through all the goodies at Paxton Gate, I finished up at work, covered my commitment, rode my bicycle home, took some time to read a message I got in my e-mail, refused to dwell on it–what am I going to write–took care of some business end of things and took a shower.

Now I am here.

Writing my blog and wondering what am I going to write.

Because it means a lot.

I mean.

A LOT.

Like $30,000.

I don’t know that I have ever had so much hinge on an essay.

Congratulations on your acceptance to the ICP Fall 2015 ICP program!

I’d like to invite you to apply for the ICP Diversity Leadership Scholarship that will be awarded to three eligible students in the Fall 2015 ICP program. This scholarship provides recipients with $10,000.00 each year of the program, a total of $30,000.00 awarded over the course of your ICP education.

The scholarship hinges on three things: financial need, person of color (Latino/Hawaiian Islander or Pacific Islander, check and check), and demonstrates leadership within their community.

I have the financial need.

They received my FAFSA although at first it appeared that they, the school had not, I received a previous e-mail prior to this one asking that I send in my FAFSA post-haste as I was being considered for the scholarship.

Huh?

What?

I sent that sucker in months ago!

I messaged back a few times with my advisor who forwarded my information to the financial aid office and they found it.

Thank you Jeebus.

And despite not speaking a lick of Spanish, I am Puerto Rican and despite not speaking a lick of Hawaiian, I am Polynesian.

The name, hello my name is Carmen Regina Martines, you drank my milk, prepare to die, says it all.

So.

The diversity part is covered and it’s helpful that I am a woman, I mean, it’s not always an advantage to be a woman (though I stridently disagree and could imagine nothing better, I truly love being a woman and I think men have it a lot harder, emotionally anyway, than women do in the areas I find most important–you know all the touchy feely things), but in this case it adds to the cache of my name.

What is tripping me up is the last part.

Demonstrates leadership in community and will continue to do so upon graduation. 

I mean.

I know what that contribution is and I have been contributing to my fellowship for over a decade now and I intend to continue to do so after I graduate and while I am in school and I can’t do school, or anything else in my life that is worthwhile unless I continue to keep giving away what I have been so freely given.

But how the hell to write about that?

I think it’s the “leadership” thing.

I am not a leader in so much as a mentor, a teacher, a person who leads by example, share’s her experience, strength, and hope with another woman and I do loads of service.

But.

I do loads of service to stay sober.

Serene.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

But I don’t head anything up.

Nobody relies on me that way.

If I did something stupid, God please never no, but if I did, there would be someone else to pass the basket and put the money in an envelope, there would be someone else to unlock the doors to the church or start the coffee urn percolating.

There would be someone to unfold the chairs and put out the literature and hug the new person hiding out in the corner.

I cannot put on the title of leader.

I do, however, know that I am important in my community and that I am loved and I feel needed and seen and I want to continue helping and being of service and a part of that is having experiences, sharing them with others, letting people see that I walk through the fear and get to the other side and it’s gorgeous here and you deserve to be here, so come on, let’s go get rocketed into the fourth dimension.

Let’s trudge that happy road of destiny.

Let’s.

I listened to a message when I got home from the commitment before I hopped into the shower; the e-mail taking a back burner–to bear witness to a ladybug and a big interview she had today and how she let things happen and asked to be of service and to let God speak through her and for her.

And there it was.

My answer.

I don’t know how to write about what I am in my community.

I don’t see myself with clear perspective.

But if I can get out-of-the-way and carry the message, not the mess (myself), and write with being of service in mind.

Well.

I might have something.

And it might very well help me pay for school.

If it’s God’s will.

I just take the action and let go of the results.

Pretty simple.

I don’t know what to write.

But.

I do know.

The words will come.

They always do.

Nailed It!

February 27, 2015

“Yeah you did.”

The text response to my update on my graduate school interview.

I nailed it.

Nailed it.

Nailed it.

Ahem.

I’m feeling pretty good about that.

I won’t know for about another week, but it feels like a done deal, it really does, it didn’t hurt that one of the faculty members came up to me afterward and said, “I want to talk to you about something, stay if you have a few minutes to chat.”

Turns out she feels that I am a perfect candidate for the Diversity Scholarship the school provides.

Hell yes.

Give me the money.

So I can give the school the money.

I don’t care what you call it, just so long as I don’t have to take out more than I need to in financial aid.

I’m ahead of the curve on that one, two of the other candidates, four of us total in the group that interviewed, hadn’t applied yet for financial aid.

The interview was group style, four of us, three of them.

It was approximately an hour-long and I got there well in advance of the start time.

Enough time to grab an iced Americano in the cafe and to sit and chat with one of the other candidates for the program.

Turns out we know each other through friends of friends.

That was a nice discovery.

At first I felt that I was putting my foot in my mouth, but by the end of it, I felt that I had acquitted myself really well and I left floating on a cloud.

The interview also did something for me which I wasn’t expecting, it dispelled for me any doubts I had about the program and whether or not it was a good fit for me.

It’s a little granola, it’s a little crunchy, its experiantial learning, but after doing a couple exercises to show the panel what I would bring to the program and to the cohort, I felt like I would be able to fit in and I felt that it was going to help me grow as well.

In fact, I found myself welling up a little during one of the exercises and the emotional response surprised me, but it was also a good feeling, I think I was afraid that I am a little jaded.

That these crunchy granola, Californian types with their hippie ideology were not going to accept me.

Thing is, I’m a hippy in disguise, so uh, I fit in fine.

Like a really good interview, I left feeling that I was the right fit for the program and that it was the right fit for me.

It reminded me a little of my doubt around working with my current family, I had some reservations about working with children that were already into toddler stage and beyond and what that would look like, would I like it, would I be good at it.

And it turns out I love my job.

And they love me.

I felt pretty at home at my job once I got past my own prejudices about what the job was going to be like.

I believe the same thing happened for me in the interview.

I realized that I needed to be interviewing the school just as much as it needed to interview me.

We both needed to make sure we would be a good fit.

I’m pretty sure I’ve met my match.

I will know in approximately a week, the panel advisor assured us that we would have an answer by next week and she also gave me the dates of the week-long retreat.

August 9th-16th.

How freaking handy is that?

Well, it happens to fall in between Burning Man and the week in August that the family takes to go to Sonoma.

One week of scheduling down!

I will be able to work for the family in Sonoma, and ironic, paradox, is it odd or is it God, the retreat will also be in Marin–Petaluma to be exact.

The center is called The Institute of Noetic Sciences and yup, looks like a hippy hold out, but you know what?

I’m down with it.

Petaluma is gorgeous and the weather will be great and it will be just what I need to have under my belt before heading into a week of nannying for the family in Glen Ellen.

Then Burning Man?

I think it’s possible.

I didn’t get the exact dates for the beginning of the semester, we’ll be e-mailed that, but I was told the last weekend in August.

Burning Man is August 30th through September 7th.

Now if I get into the program, I will, that would mean I wouldn’t be able to go pre-event, I’d have to be in the city to go to school, and I would miss the first day or two of the event.

But.

I could go.

So.

Buy a ticket?

Go as a tourist?

Really do Burning Man instead of doing Working Man?

I dunno?

Maybe.

Yes.

Yes.

I could do that.

I’m going to hold off on making those plans for a moment.

I still have to find out about whether or not I got into the program.

Upon affirmation that I have I will need to pay $300 as a good faith payment to secure my spot in the cohort.

This money will be slotted towards my tuition.

Then I will get together with the financial aid officer at the school and find out what kind of student loans I can get.

The school has received my information from my FAFSA forms and they have a SAR for me–Student Aid Report–which lets them know what I can contribute personally to my tuition and what I will need to receive to go to the program.

I believe, I really do, I have been writing affirmations for months now, that I will receive the money.

I will apply to the Diversity Scholarship at the school and I will do the next steps to do the next steps.

This is only the beginning, but a beginning has been made and I am over the moon that this is moving forward.

It astounds me how smoothly things happen when I get out-of-the-way and let the Universe lead me to better things then I think I want.

I accept the abundance and love and prosperity that God wants for me.

I’m going to need it!

Tuition’s about $30,000 a year.

But the investment, me, well, I’m fucking worth it.

And I think the department thinks so too.

I’ll let you know as soon as I hear.

One more step in my journey of a thousand miles.

 


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