Posts Tagged ‘Sloat’

Happy New Year!

January 1, 2018

I really haven’t any resolutions to share with you.

I prefer to just treat each day like it’s a new day instead of having expectations that I need to change or get better or perfect something.

I need to grow a little everyday and not try to cram a bunch of resolutions into my day and think that I’m going to change over night.

Little bits by little bits.

Baby steps, baby.

And I took some nice ones today.

I got out of bed.

I know.

Crazy.

I really wanted to stay in bed and in fact, did sleep past the point I would normally get up.

My brain was trying to hijack my body though and convince me that I didn’t need to go to yoga.

I needed to go to yoga.

It, my brain, almost won out, but I have smart feet and I also have inborn knowledge from having done enough yoga that I always feel better after a class, even if it’s with not my favorite instructor at the studio.

Which is the excuse that I used the day before to not go, but really, I assure you I had gotten plenty of exercise the previous twelve hours to not feel upset about missing a class and I think that I needed the extra sleep yesterday.

Today, not so much, and I knew that I would not be happy with myself if I skipped yoga two days in a row during a time that I could be going to yoga.

I can’t typically make it to classes during the week, work and my internship conflict, so I’m a weekend warrior.

To not go on both Saturday and Sunday would have been sacrilege.

So I got my happy ass out of bed and into my yoga clothes and I stayed in them for a long time.

It was a great class, I was really surprised, maybe not having any expectations that I would enjoy the class I actually did.

I came home thinking that I wanted to go on a bike ride too, the bike ride had been running around in my head for a few days now that I think on it, and I figured I could actually make it a nice physical day for myself, maybe even go back to the late yoga class.

It’s a restorative yoga class, so it wouldn’t have been like a big effort, although I didn’t end up going, something else came up.

But.

I did go on the bike ride!

It was great and in fact, I might let myself go on another tomorrow.

I was supposed to meet with a ladybug today, but she had to cancel, so after a good check in via phone, I pulled my bike out and pumped air into the tires, grabbed my messenger bag, a water bottle and my bike locks, in case I wanted to stop anywhere I could lock up my bike.

I rode out from the house down 46th to Sloat, then up to Great Highway, up past the zoo a bit, and then stopped right before the hill to gaze at the ocean for a while and snap a quick photo of my bicycle, she is a pretty, pretty thing, before I headed back down Great Highway, riding past my turn off to Fulton Ave, the up to 47th and around the park for awhile, around the soccer fields and the back side of the Beach Chalet, I went past the archery fields and eventually popped back out onto Lincoln Ave at Chain of Lakes, back down to 46th, then two blocks back to the house.

IMG_E0126

It was smashing.

I am so glad I did it.

Aside from the exercise it also felt really meditative and I reflected over and over again how amazing it is that I live somewhere so beautiful, that I literally am blocks away from Ocean Beach, that I get to ride my bicycle around a world-renowned park, that I get to live here in San Francisco.

It is a huge gift.

After the bike ride I had a late lunch and then made some chicken soup.

I’ll be visiting my person tomorrow, he just had a hip replacement surgery, and I wanted to bring him some more chicken soup, he’s gone through the two big Mason jars I gave him right before the surgery.

I’ll be heading is way by 1 p.m. and we’ll go for an easy walk around the block.

Like literally.

Just around the block.

And maybe a few minutes of hang out time.

I don’t think he’s got the energy for big visits, but he wants to see my face and I, his.

It will be good to see him.

I’m also going to hit up another yoga class tomorrow.

It’s nice to have a Monday off and the studio is open.

That will make three yoga classes over the weekend and a bike ride.

Not bad.

Especially for someone who is  loath to exercise.

I generally like it once I’m doing it and I know how important it is to move my body, but my brain is a sabotaging machine.

Anyway.

I signed up for the 10 a.m. yoga class and I’ll see my person at 1p.m.

Other than that I have no New Year’s Day plans.

Doing the deal somewhere and chilling out with my new book.

NEW BOOK!

That’s not a psychology book.

I know.

Crazy.

I went up to Blackbird Books, the new book store in my hood next to Trouble Coffee, and splurged on the new Jennifer Eagen book, Manhattan Beach, I’m going to indulge my literary self and not read any psychology for at least a week.

So freaking sexy.

I may just spend most of tomorrow lazing on the chaise lounge after I get back from helping out my person and just read.

Such luxury.

And that’s it, that’s my New Year’s Day plans.

To chill the fuck out.

The year is going to be full and amazing, hello, I’ll be graduating, going to Paris, and starting  PhD program, traveling to D.C., and who knows what else will happen, seeing many clients and nanny’ing up a storm.

Wishing you and yours the Happiest of New Years!

Big love from the city by the Bay.

May the year bring you so much love and joy.

So much.

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I Had A Day Off

April 11, 2017

And it was good.

I slept in.

I did not set my alarm.

I woke up a little before 10 a.m. and had a lovely, leisurely morning, couple cups of coffee, four pages of writing long hand, some quiet to connect with the day.

I had a few ideas of what I might do, but no specific agenda.

I really wanted to be open to whatever came up.

I knew I had to go grocery shopping and I had a little bit of an urge to go and get my nails done.

Groceries were gotten.

Nails were not done.

When I got back from grocery shopping I just decided to stay put, I wanted to be in the neighborhood, I wanted to chill out.

I also.

I realized.

Wanted to go for a bicycle ride.

The weather was perfect, 61 degrees, not too breezy, nice sunshine, scattering of clouds, no fog.

I pulled out my camera, my messenger bag, a bottle of water and pumped up the tires on my bike.

It had been a while.

I rode down 46th Avenue to Sloat Avenue, then on down to Great Highway.

I crossed Great Highway and pulled into the parking area at Sloat.

I haven’t been there in over a year.

There’s not much reason for me to get down to Sloat, I can just walk to the beach access point on Judah, but it was the perfect bicycle ride destination.

I was so glad to be on my bicycle again, so happy to be in the fresh sea air, in the sunshine, to see the stretch of the coast line.

How lucky am I to get to live here?

So lucky.

After hanging out at Sloat for a while on a big rock I hopped back on my bicycle and turned down Great Highway.

I realized after biking about a half mile or so that the other side of Great Highway was still closed off for sand removal.

But.

It looked really clear and clean.

And.

There where bicycles and skateboarders and joggers just cruising down the middle of the highway.

I crossed over at Lawton and rode my bike back down to Sloat again and then turned around once more for the thrill of riding in the middle of the highway, the wrong way, on my bicycle.

I stopped and took a few pictures with my camera and just was super happy to be out, to have a day off, to not be at work, to not be thinking about school.

I promised myself I would take today and not do homework, not stress about the internship, not get myself worked up.

I wanted to be relaxed and not rushed.

And I was.

And it was divine.

I rode down Great Highway towards Lincoln Ave and then on a whim, I passed my turn at 46th and headed up to 41st.

I wanted to check out Swell, the bicycle shop on Irving at 41st.

I had an idea about seeing if maybe they had beach cruisers, you know, since I’m going to Burning Man, I wanted to look for a playa bike.

They do not have cruisers, but they had some beautiful bikes.

And.

“Carmen?” I heard my name being said out loud as I ogled a Brooks cut out saddle in Navy Blue leather.

“Hey, it’s Yuri! From Pedal Revolution? Do you remember me, I’ve got long hair now,” he said with a laugh.

No shit.

His hair was super long.

“Oh my God, Yuri!” I said and we hugged.

Yuri sold me my first bicycle in San Francisco.

And saw me go through a lot of bicycle commuting, upgrades, and challenges.

Pedal Revolution is a non-profit bicycle shop in the Mission that teaches and trains underprivileged kids how to work on bicycles.

They also sell bikes and parts.

Swell is a swankier version of that shop.

We shot the shit, caught up, showed him my whip, I talked to him about thinking that I might actually get a new bike, not that I don’t love my one speed, but it’s a one speed and working in Glen Park (yes I know, I scooter there) but that I might want to at some point invest in a road bike again.

We also talked about the Pogliaghi I used to have.

And he showed me a gorgeous Bianchi touring bike that has a three-ring shifter on it, perfect for hill climbing, that was really super reasonable.

$1500.

I am seriously considering it.

Well.

I’m putting it on the back burner, but I have been thinking that I miss my bicycle commute.

And that was a big part of getting out today,  I also wanted and needed the exercise after spending three days of sitting on my ass at school.

Anyway.

It was nice to be recognized and to talk bicycles and get a little geeked out about a possible new ride.

I love my whip, but the knees get older and I am not as up to doing the hills on it that I used to.

The flats, no problem, but hills are hurt and I don’t want my knees to hurt.

I was also thinking that it would be nice to do rides again over the bridge.

I do miss those long rides to Marin when I was training for the Aids LifeCycle ride.

After my chat at Swell I rode home and signed up for a yoga class.

I had some time to kill before the class so I walked over to Trouble and treated myself to a cafe au lait and some neighborhood people watching.

I haven’t done that in a while either.

45 minutes of sitting in the sunshine and watching the world go by.

Then off to yoga.

A great class.

And when I got home I had a message on my phone about joining some friends for dinner in the Haight to celebrate an anniversary.

I said yes, I didn’t even shower, I jumped out of my yoga clothes, into my bib overalls, and hopped on my scooter.

Dinner and hang out with friends at the Citrus Club in the Haight with one of my all time favorite bowls of hot and sour soup that the city has.

Making this a fantastic day off.

Really.

So good.

Grateful beyond words for my sweet, full, happy life.

Seriously.

Luckiest girl in the world.

 

The Art Of Being

April 13, 2015

Still.

Staying put.

Not going anywhere.

Well, maybe for a walk on the beach.

But not with a blind date, I cancelled the date.

Just me.

The sea.

My white dress blowing in the wind, my red-painted toenails awash in the tide flowing up onto the beach.

“You look like an angel,” she said, giving me a hug.

I ran into a lady from the Outer Mission who had done the long, hour-long, probably longer, commute via MUNI to come out to the beach today.

I recognized her from a way off, standing facing out to the sea, the sunlight playing over the planes of her proud face.

Beautiful.

We chatted for a moment, then she went her way and I went mine, walking further down the beach toward Sloat.

I reflected on the day, the weekend, the dating over the weekend and the decision to delete my OkCupid account.

“You’re gorgeous! I’m sure you’re going to be drowning in dates, you’re totally going to be taken care of!”  She exclaimed in my little kitchenette as I was plying her with experiences I have had recently over the past few months of online dating and the like, while she was sharing some inventory.

“It’s not about being gorgeous,” he said, “it’s not about that, you and I know that, that’s an ego feeding proposition and it does nothing for you.”

“I agree,” I replied.

It’s, cliché, but it’s what’s inside that counts.

I realize that I get a distorted idea of who a person is online, just as I assume, they do of me.

I want to be seen.

“Oh you’re noticed,” my ex-boyfriend said, “I feel like I need to constantly mark my territory.”

Interesting.

Not that I notice.

I only seem to notice when it’s not appropriate to what I want.

Which is also telling.

“It’s about acceptance,” my friend said as the date from yesterday disappeared down Judah toward the Starbucks on the corner.

“You know you can always reach out to me,” she continued, “now that I am retired, I really like seeing women in the fellowship and talking recovery, you know I’m on Facebook, just reach out.”

We hugged and I got on the N-Judah.

Sometimes I tend toward creating drama when there is no need for drama.

I don’t need to be dating.

“Oh, I get it,” he said today on the phone as I was walking up the dune at the end of Judah and Great Highway, “you want to be coupled up.”

“Yes,” I said, sheepish, embarrassed, “but,” I added, “I don’t need to be, I get that, I’m not looking for something to complete me or someone to fix me, or…”  I drifted off, the view of the ocean taking my breath once again.

“I know you understand that, it’s natural, we’re experience junkies, being in a relationship, being a couple, is an experience and you want to have as many experiences as possible in your life time.”

He paused as I caught my breath, I almost started to cry with relief, “every relationship is God’s, every one of them, what ever one you are in, friend, sister, daughter, employee, it’s God’s.”

Of course.

I know this.

Yet I needed to be reminded.

And.

Good gravy man.

It was a comfort to hear that it’s natural to want to be in a relationship with a lover, to be a couple, to be dating someone, committed to a person.

I have this idea, which I realized only while talking to my person, that I have shame around this desire.

That I somehow don’t deserve this very basic human experience.

Well.

Damn it.

Let’s change that right now.

What action can I take?

Let me fucking do it.

Oh.

Wait.

Pause.

Breathe.

Be still.

Know that there is a God.

And I am not it and be quiet.

Let the moment seep into your skin.

Let the smell of the ocean wash over you and carry your salty tears off onto the wind.

Turn your face to the sun like a flower, float down the beach like an angel, gorgeous in forgiveness.

For therein lies the true beauty.

Forgive myself.

Grieve and let go.

That of course, is the hardest thing for me, the letting go, the soft, yielding surrender.

I don’t have to be forced to it.

I don’t have to be beaten into it.

I can accept, kind and gracious the gift of not being ashamed of my life, my experiences, my heart, the way it beats when a Jim Croce song comes on the stereo and I am transported to a soft summer night rife with the smell of chicken on the grill, the barbecue searing the air with smoke and charcoal, the smell of cut grass, being a little girl in a sundress and running around the yard.

Or I can struggle some more.

I choose not to struggle.

The yielding to the better life, the actual goodness that I know and have in my life is so abundant and prosperous with love and sunshine and oh, god, glory.

I live a glorious life.

I do not need to create drama.

I do not have to do anything.

I can be still.

Thus I sat when I got back from the Ocean Beach walk.

I meditated.

I sat in the sun in the Adirondack chair in the back yard.

Then I ate some dinner on the back porch sitting at my housemates wrought iron table and chairs, curled up basking in the sunshine falling from the sky and lighting every crooked passage of my heart.

Sear out the shame in sunshine.

It’s ok to be human, child, girl, woman, this is how you get to live.

Not how you have to live.

But get.

This graced gift, my life.

Listen to some music that fills your heart, sit in some sunshine, sip some spicy ginger tea, read a book, watch the raven’s fly over the back yard, delete the things in your life that don’t work and surrender to the breath that draws your beating heart forward into the golden land of the sunset.

Or

At least the Outer Sunset.

Connection

March 23, 2015

That is what I crave.

I was thinking about that today as I walked along the beach.

I had just gotten off the phone with my little sister.

She may be 40, but she’s still my little sister.

I had been thinking about her and I realized, you know, why not give a call?

We had a half hour conversation and without me even realizing it I had walked from the Judah entrance on Ocean Beach to Sloat.

It was a nice walk back.

One in which I ran into a couple other people I knew.

We exchanged hugs and pleasantries, then parted.

Father and daughter walking the beach at low tide.

Before I had even made it down to the beach I ran into a fellow walking up Judah to Trouble.  He and his friend had just been down at the beach as well.

“Neighbor!” He smiled and we hugged.

It’s nice to be known.

It’s nice to be seen.

And with these thoughts in my mind I signed out of OKCupid tonight.

I have not eradicated my profile, but I am offline with it for a while.

“I realized,” I said to her while explaining my experience, strength, and hope, hopefully, “that I long for someone to travel with, to have adventures with, to go to Burning Man with.”

Which for me, means traveling, having adventures, and going to Burning Man.

I love to travel and I love adventures and I am down for camping in the heat and dust, as long as there’s loads of love and light and art, please, oh pretty please, give me some art.

I want to live as full and rich a life as possible.

And though a good part of that life is documented here, not all of it is and when I find myself not connecting on OkCupid, or Tinder, or Hinge, when the emoticon becomes the template for my communication with another human being, it’s time to scale back.

I don’t care for texting.

It’s emotional shorthand.

It’s cave man communication.

And it’s too easy to read all sorts of things into it.

I want to actually talk on the phone, I know that’s even becoming outmoded in the land of looking at our phone screens.

Sometimes I wonder if folks are going to actually stop using their phones and just text and facetime and spout emoji’s on one another.

I need contact.

I need touch.

I need to hear the emotions in a person’s voice.

I am not saying I am lonely.

Far from it.

I am fabulous company.

I spent my afternoon after doing the deal with a lady at the kitchen table, cooking homemade chili, and hanging in the back yard, watching the ravens swoop and the cats lazy, prowl the roof tops for the warmest patch of sun.

I looked at the yellow flowers in the weeds and marveled at the wild geranium, soft lilac with splotches of deep red and violet on its petals, careen toward the sun.

I closed my eyes and turned my face toward the sun as well.

Don’t worry I had my 45 sunblock slathered on.

I, like a cat, love the warmth of the sun though.

I drank sparkling water and ate large kale salads.

I read a Vanity Fair.

I read my book.

I made some phone calls and left some messages.

I thought about connection and how I want to connect with the world.

I thought about dating and realized that the action is to not pursue.

Rather to be pursued.

I like being courted.

I need to let that happen.

I reflected on the best parts of my time with my ex boyfriend and realized that it was all before we had sex.

The feeling of holding hands, sitting next to one another, the building up of emotions.

That I want to have more of.

I am not saying sex is off the table.

I am saying, though, that when I am at my absolute rock bottom honest, I want more and that more has to do with emotional intimacy.

I’m not trying to figure anything out.

I’m not sick of dating.

I am, however, sick of trying to figure it out.

Thus.

I say I stop.

I signed out of OkCupid and I don’t know when or if I will sign back in.

I want to be signed into my life.

“I’m really glad you’re getting your knees checked out,” my dear friend told me yesterday as we wandered around Alcatraz.

Holding hands, at that!

I think about some of the nicest hand holding and it’s been with her and my best friend back in Wisconsin.

Whom I am contemplating going to see and when that might fit into my busy life.

Christmas?

I know, it’s March.

But after having just sent my employers my official time off requests for going to Chula Vista to see my grandmother, then the time for my graduate school retreat, and the week of Burning Man, I realized I may not have time to do any other travel until late fall/winter.

And I’m not even including when I go to Atlanta in July–I don’t have to ask off for that time, it’s 4th of July weekend, so I’m off already.

My friend continued, holding my hand as the crowds pushed ahead of us, “you should do couples dancing, I think you would have fun and meet people.”

That sounds nice.

Meeting people in person.

Engaging face to face.

Human being to human being.

Maybe I’m old-fashioned and I should really re-think staying on all the sites and things and doings.

But.

Despite wanting All The Things.

I don’t believe that I will find them there.

I am more than a sound bite.

Hell, I am more than this blog.

How could I expect anyone to get a grasp of me via a text or a tweet or a post?

I want to get to know you.

Face to face.

Not facebook to facebook.

I know you’re out there.

I am ready when you are.

Let’s go explore this great big amazing world together.

Hand in hand.

 

Practice Makes Perfect

April 7, 2014

Well, maybe not perfect.

But a whole lot better.

I took my Vespa out for her first solo ride.

Sans friends.

Just me and a scooter.

ME

Me

Scooter

And A Scooter

I am just a little excited in this photo, if you can’t tell.

Nervous too.

I was.

Unmindful?

A little bit.

I got so excited about my virgin voyage on my own that I forgot to lock up the house.

Oops.

I did all the checks that my friend told me to do, I made sure that the handle bars weren’t locked.

I put it in neutral and double checked that it was in neutral before I kickstarted it.

She was a little cold and did not want to start-up right away, so I pulled out the choke and then vroom!

It was on.

I walked around the scooter, stepped through, and rolled her down of the kickstand.

Then I just sat for a moment with my foot on the brake and let the breath come to me.

I wasn’t going to go far.

I figured I would just go up 46th from my house to Sloat and back.

Which is exactly what I did.

As I eased off the clutch I gave it a little too much throttle and it did a quick jump out.

But then I steadied myself, laughed a little, and tried again.

This time much better.

I rolled up to the stop sign at Judah.

I let everybody go, I mean everybody, just waved folks through, waited for the pedestrians, swiveled my head around to make sure no one was behind me, prayed, smiled, grinned, and breathed, eased off the clutch, rolled the throttle and I was off.

I got it to second gear.

I felt what my friend meant when he said that it would give a “ka-thunk” when it was in gear and I would know it.  Also that when I was putting it into gear to roll of the throttle and not give it gas and smoothly release the clutch.

Within four blocks I had it in third and was cruising right along.

I know enough about the neighborhood to know that despite it being quiet and residential, folks still do all sorts of wonky maneuvering to find parking and I kept my eyes out to watch for this and also intersections where cars are rolling through the stop not paying too much attention.

I gave myself plenty of space.

I grinned a lot.

I thought, I got this.

Then I killed it at a stop sign.

I tried to start it while straddling it and could not quite get the gumption to give it the strong kick it needed.

So, I settled into neutral, stepped out and pulled her up onto the kickstand.

“Need help?” A taxi driver leaned out the window of a Yellow Cab.

“Nope,” I said, “thanks!  Just practicing.”

I smiled.

He smiled.

The world smiled.

Or that’s what it felt like.

The cab moved off, I came around, kicked it started right off the bat and stepped back through, pulled it up off the stand and proceeded forward.

I got to Rivera and decided to not tackle going all the way to Sloat.

The street was right there, but so too is the MUNI turn around for the Taraval train and I did not want to navigate over and around the MUNI tracks.

I turned right and slipped down to 47th then headed back toward the house.

At Noriega I turned right and then left back onto 46th ave and headed to my house.

I felt really good and decided I would keep riding for a little bit.

I turned on Irving and headed up toward 43rd, then around the block, back to Judah, and back home.

The neighbors across the way hollered out to me as I got off the Vespa, “lookin’ good!”

I might have blushed.

There’s a bunch of guys and gals in their twenties across the way with surf boards galore and motorcycles and stuff and it felt kind of nice to be cheered on.

I secured the Vespa, locked the handlebars, locked my helmet on the seat, tucked my gloves into the little fender box built into the rear hub and went inside to celebrate.

Which looked like pulling up the e-mail from the insurance agent that a fellow scooter rider suggested and filling out the rest of the paperwork to get my insurance all in a row.

Then I wrote a check for this month’s scooter payment, a week early, but hey, that’s how I like to roll, and walked it to the mail box and dropped it in.

The day was gorgeous and I was drawn to the back yard.

But not before I made a coffee date with an old friend I haven’t seen in over a decade.

He is going to come out next Friday on his cycle and we’re going to meet at Trouble and have coffee and catch up and then go for a ride.

I told him I have only been out for three rides and he told me he could still kick my ass.

We used to study Shaolin together.

I am not sure how relevant it was to the conversation, but it made me laugh and I am looking forward to more practice on the Vespa and catching up with a friend from back home, Madison, Wisconsin.

He gave me props for still having my 608 area code too.

After our conversation I retired to the back yard, sat in the sun and read for a while, made some lunch, sat outside some more, took a nap, yes, I did, then yes, sat outside a little more, finished my book and had an early dinner.

Then off to Church and Market for an early evening commitment.

I rode my bicycle.

I am not ready to scoot that far.

Yet.

But I will be.

Soon.

Just a little more practice.

And it’s on.

 

Tumbled

December 30, 2013

I was in the washing machine.

And I stayed in it, I again, could not get out past the break.

I did not go to Sloat, too big, too sloppy, too scary, the waves were incredible this morning, slightly smaller this later afternoon when I went back out to the beach to sit and enjoy the sun.

When the temperature on your phone says it’s 72 degrees you get the fuck outside.

Because who knows how long that will last.

I also had laid down on my bed thinking I might actually take a nap after the morning surfing excursion, but when the sun flashed in through my back door I thought, I know better, I can take a nap on the beach.

Napping on the beach did not happen.

Such is my story.

Get up early, plan on napping, then never do it.

I was up at 6:30 a.m. and ready to go by 7 a.m. on the nose.

However, my ride slept beyond his alarm and I had some spare time.

Enough spare time that I considered throwing in the towel and skipping the entire endeavor completley.

Next time.

But my friend said, come on, let me get some coffee and I will be right over to get you.

So, after a later start than I was anticipating, but one which allowed me to write my morning pages and meditate before heading out, and with an extra cup of coffee under my belt, I loaded my borrowed board into my friends truck and climbed in the cab.

We headed down the highway to Pacifica.

The waves at Sloat did not terrify my companion, “those don’t look so bad,” he said, followed by, “look, there’s people surfing.”

Look I did and it looked too big for me.

He agreed to keep driving and we headed to Lindemar Beach, or Taco Bell Beach, as my friend called it.

There really is the fanciest looking fast food restaurant on the beach that I do believe I have ever seen.  It’s a Taco Bell, but it looks like a beach chalet.

The beach was packed, in fact for a moment we despaired of finding parking, but parking was found and we clambered into our wetsuits.

I pulled on my new booties and was quite happy to have them.

Later, as I walked the beach toward sunset and the water caught at my toes in the surf as I was shooting photographs, I thought it was a damn good thing I had gotten the booties.

The water was far colder than the last time I had gotten in.

Maybe not far colder, but it was definitely noticeable and I believe I would not have stayed in as long as I did at Pacifica if I had not had the booties on.

It was hard to stay in period.

Grateful I did not have anything else to think about.

I was smashed around in the water, but I rode in a few times on the white water, the sets were coming in so fast that I barely had time to catch them, the much more experienced riders paddled out past the break and I got to see a lot of great riding.

When I wasn’t busy getting tossed head over heels.

Yup.

I got slammed by a few waves.

One in which I actually ended up doing a complete somersault under the water, I got hit so hard.

As disconcerting as I would have thought it to be, I have to say, it was actually fun.

I just let my body tumble through the wash cycle.

I relaxed into it.

Control issues.

Ha.

I had no control today.

Not over my body, over the water, over my friends arrival, or his leaving of me in the water.

He just scooted out and surfed and I stayed back and floundered.

But I learned.

I learned to see when the wave sets were coming in and managed to paddle through a couple of them and actually turn my board around and ride a couple in.

No, I did not get up on the board.

But, hey, it was my third time out, with someone who has been out only about 20 times.  I had no expectations, I was just happy to get myself in the water.

I also felt the undertow for the first time, a really strong undertow, and it was unnerving.

I get it now.

I think I always had a conception of what that means, but until you actually feel it, there’s no comparison.

And if the undertow was strong in Pacifica I cannot imagine what it would have been like at Ocean Beach.

There were still surfers out when I was down at Ocean Beach this afternoon and I saw something that literally made me say, out loud, “Oh my god, did that just happen?”

It was a big wave and there was a surfer riding the top of the wave and he was riding it straight across, not coming down the face, but moving over the top and as the top began to smoke and smash and curl over, almost crumbling into itself, he lifted off the top of the wave and did a complete 360 in the air.

I gasped.

That was some amazing surfing.

I mean, I am sure I can YouTube something like what I saw and be impressed, but to actually see that from the shore as I was walking in the late afternoon sunshine was astounding.

I don’t foresee much surfing for me at Ocean Beach during the winter months, and most folks have said pretty much the same thing to me, go to Pacifica or Santa Cruz and leave OB for the experienced.

I will probably have another day out with my friend next Sunday, we’re definitely going to go again, especially since he just got his first surf board from Aqua Surf Shop yesterday.

Between his new board and my new booties, we are ready.

And I knew when I was done and I did not force myself to keep going.

I just got out.

My friend was out for at least another half hour, but when I was yelling in my head, “paddle, paddle, paddle” as a wave came up on me, and my arms just weren’t listening, I realized I was done.

I had run out of gas.

Sitting on the beach, watching the waves roll in their sets, the children in wetsuits zipping around on boogie boards, the dogs chasing balls, and the surfers lifting up and over the face of the waves to glide with elegant ease into the next wave it was hard to even imagine how difficult it is from just a few feet away from sure.

It looks so easy.

But it’s not, at least not for me, and though I thought, man maybe I should just boogie board, I knew (though I will do the boogie board thing too) that I was not about to toss in the towel on the whole experience.

Just on the morning.

No regrets.

I got in.

I suited up.

I showed up.

I even managed to get out of my wetsuit without pulling off any of my limbs with it.

 

 

 

Punked Out

December 29, 2013

But still going.

I had an emotionally draining day.

One I knew might be, but was not exactly what I expected.

I knew I would cry and I wore no eye liner.

And waterproof mascara.

Cry I did.

I also did not finish with my endeavor, which was unexpected, it took longer than I thought to go through the things that needed to be said and I was busy writing down things that I did not even realize I was doing.

Control.

God do I want it.

Control and victimhood.

Get thee gone, motherfucker.

Ack.

Nope after an hour and a half at Tart to Tart my time was up and I parted ways with the work, but was still being worked over, internally re-arranged, you might say.

I felt out of it and drained and tired, and it took me a bit once I got back to get into any sort of routine, to get any momentum underneath me.

But I did.

I had a late lunch, went grocery shopping, and managed to get over to Wise Surfboards to buy a pair of booties for surfing.

I just confirmed that I will be getting picked up, me, my wetsuit, the new booties, and a borrowed long board, to go surfing tomorrow morning at 7a.m.

Sigh.

It’s 11:33 p.m. at the moment and I won’t, even my speediest typing, won’t get to bed before one a.m.  I will finish my blog by midnight, but I had a little caffeine later in the day to pick me up from bailing on the rest of the day, and though my body feels tired, my brain is a little busy.

I do have some tea cooling off and a small snack to nibble and maybe I will finish Before Midnight, which I have down loaded and been watching bits of over the last few nights.

I will unwind, but it won’t leave me with the usual number of hours I like to sleep, especially on a day off.  Then again, a day off could me a nap, which would not happen if say I was up late before I was to work a shift.

So, the balance being I will get up early, surf, and probably take a nap in the late morning or very early afternoon, right about the time when I used to get up and ponder this thing that some call brunch, which is really just a vehicle to cater to those hung over from Saturday’s revelry and nurse a bloody mary or mimosa while coating the stomach with greasy eggs Benedict.

Or, that is my experience anyway.

“You’re going out surfing tomorrow?” My friend said to me as we were parting ways, “good for you!  Where at?”

“Sloat,” I said.  Although when I went to buy my booties at Wise Surfboards I did remember how wild the water looked, how big the waves looked and whether or not I would actually be getting into the water at that time seemed farfetched.

“No, you can’t do Sloat, the waves are going to be way too big, who are you going with?” He asked.

I told him.

No, that’s too dangerous, you guys don’t have enough experience to do Sloat, go down to Rockway or Pacifica or Santa Cruz if you’re going to go out, Sloat scares me right now, the waves are huge, its way too dangerous,” he repeated with emphasis, his eyebrows going up and down of their own volition.

That’s what I thought too, then his friend showed me the wave report for tomorrow and I got goosebumps looking, yeah, not surfing Sloat.

I have been told this numerous times now, the winter is here and the waves are big.

Too big for me, that’s for sure.

I sent my friend a text while I waited for the train, hoping to hear back from him, and wondering whether I would pussy out of going if he suggested we head to Pacifica.

The lure of a warm bed calling to me to stay in it is no small thing.

He texted me just as I was sitting down to write and said, “Pacifica, and if the waves are too big we’ll go out to breakfast.”

Sigh.

Ok.

I texted back.

I know I will be happy when I am in the water and my new booties are keeping my toes warm and even if I don’t get up on the board, I will have the satisfaction of knowing I got out into the water.

Half the battle, more really, is just showing up.

I know I will get up, begrudgingly perhaps, but I will get up.

I will suit up and show up.

I have been trained well.

Turn toward compassion and humility.

That was what I got today and that is what might be the hardest thing about surfing, as I go out for the third time, being so amateur at something, so lost, I have to surrender to what is happening and though frightening, the lack of control is also freeing.

Control.

That was pointed out to me again and again and again.

How I want to control others, their reactions, the way they live, what they do, as though by doing so I will avoid being hurt, I will protect myself from pain.

But life is pain.

And joy and love and all sorts of other things, but yes pain.

Pain is where I grow and learn and through going through the pain I learn.

I learn that I can let go of the control and what I think should happen and on what timeline.

It’s always been out of my hands.

Now, more so than ever.

Just like the waves, too big for me to control or swim past.

Surrender to the nature of my humanity and stop struggling for something that I never had in the first place.

No wonder I got so tired today.

It takes a lot to keep up that facade.

It blocks what I need though, that old sunlight of the spirit, so here’s to letting it go and seeing what takes its place.

Surfing for one.

Apparently.

Who knows what else.

Naps too perhaps.

Sprinkled with acceptance, forgiveness, and most of all.

“Compassion,” she said, “show yourself some compassion.”

Ok.

I acquiesce.

I give up.

Compassion sounds a lot better than control anyhow.

Is That A Dozen Eggs

October 19, 2013

In your bag?

My friend asked me this late afternoon at the corner of Folsom and 24th.

We had coffee plans to go to Philz, but they were over run, so we meandered a short hop to Haus, kitty corner from Philz, and stood in line to get our perspective teas.

Yup.

A dozen organic, free range, omega 3 eggs, from Judy’s Organics.

Along with kale, some of which dislodged from my bag and spilled onto the floor.

Sorry, Haus, I didn’t mean to get organic kale on your floor, but as you’re in the Mission, which although truly gentrified to bits, does still have some of that stale bum urine rankness happening.  So, I don’t feel too bad about it.

I had gone downtown to interview for Healthy San Francisco, which I was informed, repeatedly, is NOT health insurance, but only for preventative care and emergencies.

Ok, I hear you, now, sign me up please.

Because despite the kale and organic eggs (and pinto beans and navy beans and brown rice, brown mushrooms, onion, and garlic, I am going to make a bean stew with the various accoutrements, apples, and almond milk), despite the healthy eating, living, bicycling, and hopefully soon, more surfing, you never know when you are going to get hit by a bus.

And I don’t have health insurance.

It’s been about a year since I have and it was pointed out to me that as an act of self-care I needed to take care of that.

Duly noted and taken care of.

A half hour later I exited the building, hopped on my bicycle and headed to Rainbow.

Because when in Rome you buy the organics at the best place you can.

I am debating becoming a member of a CSA as well–less groceries in my messenger bag–who doesn’t want farm fresh veggies and fruits, organic, dropped off at your door?

I just have no idea when I would schedule a drop off.

I mean, I am home, but I am out more than I am in.

Something to think about.

Lots of things to think about as I head into the weekend, which doesn’t much feel like a weekend since I am working a split shift tomorrow–10a.m.-1p.m. in the Castro, then 8p.m.-2a.m. in Potrero Hill.

It does, however, feel like a week when I am going to make some money.

Money I have plans for.

I went to Aqua Surf Shop today at Sloat and 46th Avenue and looked over wetsuits there and talked to an awesome guy, Devon, who told me he lived at 47th and Judah for 15 years, and I would really like it, about all things wetsuits.

He gave me some great advice and suggestions, including some thoughts about surf boards et al.

Aqua

Aqua

Sunday I am going to head over to Wise Surf Shop on Great Highway and check them out.

Then with the info I have under my belt I shall make myself a wetsuit purchase.

Because I will be able to afford to do so.

I have the full-time work happening.

Thank God.

I have also looked a bit on Craigslist for used suits, but I have yet to see something that will work for me.

I may also check out Sports Basement, since I am going to be in the Mission tomorrow, I decided I won’t be heading back to my house in between my split shifts.

I have a meeting of the minds at Philz on 18th and Noe Street at 1:15p.m.  then free time until I am due up at 26th and Hampshire (I think it’s Hampshire, yeesh, I haven’t been over there in a while, I know it’s at 26th and the hill is steep) so I can scoot over to Sports Basement and maybe REI and that other place I always forget is there at Division and 15th.

Do my wetsuit research.

Funny enough the one place I thought was too expensive, Mollusk, still has the best price for what I am looking for.

That being said I have only gone to two surf shops so far.

I have, as well, done online research, so I am not completely in the dark here.

Granted, I have yet to try one on and that I know is going to be some monkey business.

I did find out from a friend last Saturday that you can purchase a wetsuit and bring it home and try it on in the privacy of your own home and return it if it doesn’t fit.

You cannot return it once it’s gone in the water.

Good information to have.

So much to do.

I am keeping busy I am.

I am also contemplating taking part in the November novel-writing challenge.

I got an e-mail from a friend asking if I was taking part.

I checked it out and thought, nah.

But the thought wouldn’t go away and I do have as story, not a memoir, that I think could be extrapolated out to a novel, and yes, I can’t believe I am saying this, but it is Science Fiction in nature.

My friend who asked shot me another e-mail and said that the basic requirement is 1,000 words a day.

Uh, yeah, I can do that.

In fact, I already do that now.

I typically crank out a blog between 1,000 and 1,200 words every night.

I have some practise with this.

Now, I don’t know if the words will flow as well and I am not sure if I would do the rough draft to the novel on my computer or if I would do it long hand, but I bet I could.

And sometimes what I need is a kick in the pants to get something going.

I have had a little voice in the back of my head asking when I was going to be writing something new, other than my morning pages and my blog, and this may be just the thing.

I think I am going to give it a go and see if a few other of my friends are interested in doing it.

The challenge begins in November and goes through out the month and there seems to be a lot of support around the community that is generating the challenge.

I just need to say yes and set up the profile.

If I can haul $70 worth of groceries on my back from Rainbow to the house without breaking one of my dozen organic eggs, I bet I could write a novel in the month of November.

I really have no idea how that correlates, but it seems that it is taking the action and not thinking.

I am not going to think.

I am going to do.

November novel month here I come.

I’ll be the girl grinding it out in a wet suit.

 


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