Posts Tagged ‘summer vacation’

Home Again

July 29, 2018

I got back from my travels last night.

I was in motion for 24 hours.

Although what with the time change it looked like I had just traveled 11 hours.

But no.

When I got in to my studio last night the clock said it was 6 a.m. Paris time and I had been up since 5:30 a.m. the previous morning.

It was a long day.

I am very, very, very grateful that I woke up before my alarm went off, it was too hot to sleep and I kept waking up and having difficulty falling back asleep, so when I woke up at 5 a.m. I never got fully back into sleep, just lay in bed sweating lightly and wondering if I should just get up and get going.

When the light began to grow bright enough I gave up the ghost, got up and started my getting ready to leave.

I gave myself time to have a light breakfast, which thank God I did, because there was no time at the airport to get food, I was super lucky to be able to snag a bottle of water for the flight, let alone have had anytime to forage for food.

I had done most of my packing the day before, even went a bought a cheap suitcase to haul back my goodies from my trip.

Notebooks, a stuffed hippo for one of my charges, a model car for another charge, stickers and rainbow unicorn rub on tattoos and a pretty notebook for the little girl.

Other gifts for folks.

And then the things that I had gotten for myself: a purse, a market basket from Aix-en-Provence, an art book from the Zao Wou-ki show I went to at the Musee Moderne, lots of notebooks, five or six I think, magnets from the Klimt show and one from Marseilles, some notecards, three dresses (three! I was so thrilled to have found a shop, with the help of my friend, that carried my size and had lovely clothes), a sweater coat, and a blouse.

I can’t believe I found such lovely clothes, it’s very rare for me to find clothing when I have gone to Paris before.

Partially because I just didn’t know really where to look, having a friend who lives in Paris show you the spots is a huge perk.

I also got a vintage candle holder/lantern from a shop on Ile St. Louis and some prints from the Klimt show.

I couldn’t have squeezed all of that into my little carry-on.

My carry on, which as it would turn out, was not so little anyway.

It got flagged at the airport.

I was not happy.

This was the first time that it’s been flagged.

I didn’t even get it through security.

A couple of times I have had to check it at the gate but never before did I have it flagged before even going through security.

I was not happy.

I was on the same airline I took to get to France, so I knew it would fit, in fact, it had slightly fewer items in it since I had bag checked the other suitcase and figured I would fill that one heavier and keep my carry on fairly light.

But nope.

It got flagged.

Ugh.

I had already had a bit of a rough start to my Charles de Gaulle experience.

I got to the airport with plenty of time, I splurged and took a cab.

Again, thank God, if I had done the train I would have likely missed my flight considering the amount of time it took to get to the gate.

When I arrived I did a check in on a kiosk, printed off my boarding pass and got a sticker for the checked bag.

Then I stood in line with my checked bag to get it to a counter to get loaded onto the plane.

I was in line about thirty minutes.

About twenty minutes into being online a little voice in my head said, “hey, did you get your card from the kiosk?”

I couldn’t remember.

I took a deep breath, got out my wallet, opened it up and looked.

No debit card.

Oh fuck.

Oh fuck.

Oh fuck.

I had left it in the machine!

I flushed very hot then almost started to cry.

I took another deep breath.

What should I do?

Odds are it’s gone.

Somebody was right behind me to use the machine.

Either they took it and went wild at the Duty Free shop.

Or maybe they turned it in to lost and found.

I started to think about how to ask the next Air France agent I saw about where the lost and found was in French.

I resolved to stay in line and check my bag and then go look.

It was a long ten minutes.

I got my bag on the belt and dashed back to the machine.

Of course.

The card was gone.

I looked around, there was a desk next to the kiosk, but nothing on it.

I turned to go back to the line that had to Air France agents working it.

I should mention that there were three different areas to queue up to, each area having two agents, then agents roaming between and agents at the desk.

I don’t know how I decided to ask the woman I asked, but I made a snap decision and walked towards her.

I approached and asked if I could speak English with her, I really wasn’t sure I could get across in French what had happened, although I had been practicing it for the last ten minutes.

She said of course.

I told her what I did, I pointed to the machine, I was about to ask if there was a lost and found and she said, “you’re Carmen?”

I nodded, yes, yes, yes, as she pulled my debit card out of the front breast pocket of her jacket.

I nearly wept for joy and thanked her profusely.

What are the odds that the person I asked would have my card in her pocket?

I don’t know, but it felt like winning the lottery.

I was so happy about it that when I was told my carry on would cost me 80 Euro to process I didn’t give a fuck.

Who cares?

I had found my card.

And though the whole process set me back over an hour and a half of going to and fro, it was all worth while.

I made my plane with minutes to spare, enough to be able to dash to the nearest counter and buy a bottle of water and then get myself settled in for a very long flight.

There were a few other adventures.

Like the plane having to sit on the tamarack for another hour because a person had to be de-planed, which led to me literally sprinting through the Atlanta airport to make my connecting flight, but I did then too.

So even though it was a long trip getting back.

Get back I did.

And I am very grateful to be home, unpacked, all my laundry washed and put away and almost ready to get back to my regular routine.

Almost.

I have one more delicious day off.

Ah.

Summer vacation.

You did me good.

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The Best Thing

June 22, 2018

About writing progress notes this week has been this: “therapist out of office next week, rescheduled with client for…”

Therapist is out of office next week!

I’ve one more day of work and one last client to see tomorrow before I get to go to New York.

I’m so excited.

Although it does seem a touch surreal that I will have five weeks off of work, I am ready for it.

I was told recently that my type A ass might have a hard time settling down to relax so to be careful that I don’t over book myself during my time off.

Yeah.

Sure.

Bwaahahaaha.

I’ll take it easy.

I perhaps won’t take it as easy as the average slothful bear, but I will take it a little easy.

I’m so ready for a little vacation time.

I really am.

Ready for all the fun too of getting prepped to go.

Even though the sandals I ordered online came and they don’t fit well, I still have many cute outfits and shoes to wear.

And I have the weekend as well to shop.

I probably will get at least a dress or two and if I run across some cute sandals, well, yeah, I will.

I will be downtown on Saturday getting a hair cut.

I haven’t gotten a hair cut in ten, eleven months.

I am due.

My hairstylist, who I have known for years, but never actually gotten a cut from, has her salon in the Flood Building, so I’ll be downtown on a Saturday and I figure I can do a little shopping for myself and my trip.

I don’t need to, there’s nothing super pressing that I must get, but it will be nice to peak around at things.

I always like having another dress in the closet.

And part of the money I have set aside for travel is always earmarked towards outfits for said travel.

I’ve been saving for a while and I have a nice chunk I can afford to bring with me to New York as well as what I have saved for Paris.

Enough so that I can eat nice food, drink a plethora of iced beverages, mainly iced coffees as I walk the streets of New York, get myself notebooks, one of my favorite souvenirs to bring back from any trip, a few pairs of earrings, a mandatory souvenir as well.  I love having little things like that I can wear or write in that remind me of the trip.

I love my DC notebook.

I love my Paris notebooks.

I have had a New York notebook from my last trip that I got at The Strand bookstore that I filled up with stickers and museum ticket stubs.

I can literally compare notes to my last trip.

I feel that this one will be better.

I know it will be better.

I also have done some of the other little prep type things that one needs to do when traveling.

I put a travel alert on my debit card so when I use it in New York my bank won’t freak out and turn it off.

I made an appointment for a service for my car, the guy in the shop said it would take less than a half hour, I’ll be bringing her over to Berkeley for that on Monday.

I have all my toiletries bought and set aside.

And I reached out to the Air BnB host who said I would be able to check in early.

I will either get to do the full check in right when I get there or depending on whether or not the cleaners are still there, I will at least get to drop my bags.

Which is really all I want to do.

Just not have to drag my luggage all over Brooklyn until 5p.m.

I figure whatever happens I will make a foray out into Brooklyn right away.

I’m thinking of lunch on Dekalb Avenue at one of the restaurants I went to when I was there the last time, then a trip over to the Brooklyn Museum to see the David Bowie Exhibition.

Then a trip to Whole Foods on Lafayette Avenue and back to my Air BnB with food for the next days breakfast.

That’s a loose plan.

I may also meet up with a friend for coffee and doing the deal, depending on schedules and if we can connect.

Either way.

I am super happy I get to have the early access to the Air BnB and I’m hella happy that I only have one more day to go before I can begin the fun of getting my travel on.

The weekend will be full, but not too full.

I will have to do group supervision on Saturday, with my fabulous new haircut, and I’m hoping to get in a mani/pedi and some eyebrow waxing.

Although I might skip that and do the Korean day spa on Geary–Imperial Day Spa–and get myself some sauna time.

I have enough time on Monday after the car to do a mani/pedi if I want to.

I have the whole day off.

I don’t fly out until 11:55 p.m. Monday night.

The only thing I have scheduled for Monday is the service maintenance on my car.

I’m so glad tomorrow is Friday.

I am so ready for my New York adventure.

So, so, so ready!

One Week From Today

June 19, 2018

I fly to New York on a redeye.

I am so very ready.

I was writing about that this morning, how ready I am for some vacation time, a break from clients, a get out of dodge, celebrate my Master’s degree, be away from the landlady scene and situation and just have some fucking fun.

I am very, very, very excited.

I just have four more days of work and one more day of supervision before the fun begins.

Work was pretty mellow and I had a late start, which was nice.

So, yes, I did sleep in.

However, today was it for sleeping in.

The rest of the week I’ll be up early doing therapy tomorrow before work.

An early music class for the baby on Wednesday and who knows what Thursday and Friday look like but I’ve already gotten the heads up that my help will be appreciated.

There’s a lot to do for a family of five traveling to Europe for five weeks.

So I’ll probably go in early on Thursday and Friday.

But really.

I am just fine with it.

It’s the final push before the down time starts for me.

I have a fairly light schedule this week too with clients, so it’s not too bad, going in early a few days, not bad at all.

Considering, as well, that I’m paid for the full five weeks that they are gone I have no qualms with the extra helping.

Besides, it will make the week go by faster.

I figure I will also sneak in a little extra doing the deal, tomorrow I have a client cancellation so I’ll hit something up at 8 o’clock near my hood.

It’s always a good thing for me to do, get in a little more recovery before I travel and also when I am busy, keeps me in balance.

Plus.

I will be getting some personal things together, planning my outfits for the trip and my accessories and toiletries, et al.

I almost bought a new suitcase last weekend but did not as they didn’t quite have what I wanted at Nordstrom Rack.

I don’t really, really, really need a new suitcase, but I’m a touch concerned, and have been for the last two trips, that one of the wheels on the suitcase will soon be meeting its end.

It might be a good idea to look into it.

I’ll be downtown on Saturday getting a hair cut, so maybe I’ll poke around.

I’ve got my shoes, dresses and accessories pretty much sussed out in my brain.

I’ve been watching the weather and it look like low to mid 80s.

Which is perfect for me.

Warm.

But not too warm.

Just about perfect.

I’m envisioning lots of walking around in sandals and sundresses.

Not something I would have done here today, super foggy this morning and cold and windy now.

Hello summer in San Francisco.

The warmer weather is definitely a draw for New York.

And the art, and the fine company I will have, and the culture, friends, recovery, warm air at night.

Heh.

And the big ass bathtub at the Air BnB.

I am taking myself some bubble baths, let me tell you.

Depending on when I check in I figure I will be making a trip to Whole Foods, stocking up the place and then going out and exploring a little, maybe do the deal if I can connect with a friend of mine early enough.

I need to hear back from the Air BnB host as to when I can get in.

The check in on the site is listed at 5p.m.

I get into JFK at 10:30 a.m.

I reached out and asked and the host had said it was not a problem to do an earlier check in and we’d connect closer to the date.

I figure I’ll reach out in the next few days and see what the deal is.

If I can’t get in as early as I would like, which is basically when I get there, I figure I’ll be there by noon at the latest, I want to be able to at least drop my luggage off.

I think the late check in has to do with making sure the unit is cleaned for the next guests, my suitcase should not get in the way of the place getting cleaned if that’s what needs to happen.

Anyway.

I am quite sure I will be fine whatever happens.

I feel really quite happy, I have to say.

Good dreams last night.

Feeling settled about what next actions I have to take regarding my living situation.

Four days away from a five-week vacation from work.

And though I will have clients during that five weeks, only for the two weeks in between New York and Paris.

The down time will also be good for me getting prepared for the private practice internship.

I have my next meeting with my new supervisor July 11th.

Very exciting.

Life is exciting.

Wonderful things feel like they are happening and I am no longer in dread about going on vacation knowing what I know from all the foot work I got to do regarding my living situation.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

Four days from my real summer vacation.

The count down has begun!

A Day Off

June 11, 2018

I think that’s what I actually had.

Oh sure.

I had some commitments, back to back ladies this afternoon and this evening doing my Sunday thing up at Most Holy Redeemer in the Castro.

But.

I actually had down time.

I also had a hankering for art.

I have a membership to the MOMA and it’s been on my mind to go and see the Magritte show.

I haven’t been to a museum in months and months and months.

In fact.

I realized today that the last time I had been to a museum was in February when I was in D.C. and I went to the Phillips House Collection, which is actually the oldest Modern Art museum in the United States.

Prior to that I couldn’t remember the last time I had been at the MOMA.

I have a fleeting idea that it was a pretty summer’ish day and I remember an installation or two.

Yes.

As a matter of fact, I remember texting my best friend about a show I had seen and saying that we should check it out together.

That did not happen.

Grad school happened.

But there’s no grad school right now.

And the MOMA was calling my name pretty hard.

I figured even if I just went in for an hour it would scratch the itch.

I have seen the permanent collection quite a few times so I just wanted to get my eyes on the Magritte and I figured if I couldn’t find parking, well, I’d take off and go do something else, but I was going to try.

I found parking!

I zipped into the MOMA with 50 minutes til closing time.

It was perfect.

The majority of people were leaving and the galleries were emptied out.

I got a ticket for the show and I didn’t have to pay extra for it.

Membership has its perks.

Aside from the fact that the ticket alone for the museum is $25 the show would have been an additional $12 I think.

I share a membership with a friend for $150, we both chip in $75 and I go three times it pays for itself.

I think I’ve gone twice this year, this year as in this year of my membership.

I do plan on hitting it up a few more times as I have time off upcoming.

But today, yeah, I just wanted a quick art snack.

And it was tasty.

I’m not a huge Magritte fan, but enough of one that I figured it was worth perusing.

I was right.

There were some fantastic pieces.

I got my art high on for sure.

2018-06-10 16.18.59-1

I really found this one compelling.

Something about the light and the layers of color in the sky.

I just stood and drank it right on up.

It’s called La fin du monde.

The End of the World.

It was fantastic.

2018-06-10 16.16.29

And Magritte wouldn’t be Magritte without the apple.

Of course, the painting that I most associate with Magritte I don’t like as much as I thought I would when I got a closer look.

I found this one more compelling.

La Chambre d’ecoute.

(I wish I could figure out how to put the accents on my French words! D’ecoute is missing an accent)

“The Listening Room”

I rather find the idea of listening to an apple quite appealing.

I wonder what stories it would tell.

About the bees and pollination and birds roosting in tree branches.

About the multiplicity of sunsets in its plush ripe skin.

About the honey of love and the secrets of the heart.

I bet an apple would have many stories to tell.

However.

My favorite was this:

2018-06-10 16.20.07-1

My God this was so pretty.

My photograph does not do it justice.

But even as I type this I could see myself becoming lost in the reflections of the light on the water.

Such pretty light.

L’empire des lumieres.

(again the apologies for the missing accents here)

“The Dominion of Light.”

Glorious.

Full blown art high.

I was so happy to see this piece.

I love when I get lost in art.

I want to go back again and see it.

Maybe one of the days in between New York and Paris when I won’t be working except seeing clients in the evenings, and I can take a lazy mid-week stroll around the show again and really soak it up.

There was also something about the sky and the color of the sky, bright blue with those white clouds contrasted against the shadows of the house and the water, I could see that it was sunset, that time when there is still light, bright light, but the shadows of dusk are swallowing the houses up and then that light reflected from the lamp-post.

My God.

It was dreamy.

I had my happy art high and I wandered around a few other galleries and took in some photographs and did a little people watching and had some great gratitude for my life that I could just pop on down to the museum on a whim.

It was perfect.

I did errands after, grocery shopping at Rainbow and a little personal grooming-snuck in for a manicure right before my shop closed.

Then on to the Castro and the fellowship there.

It was such a sweet Sunday.

It started out so nice and just blossomed into a restful, artful, true day off.

I actually feel ready for the week!

 

Summer

June 6, 2018

Or so it seems when I am on social media.

Not that San Francisco is exactly its normal summer beast of fog and cold wind, though, true, it’s been quite windy, it’s just not really warm.

Although I did catch a bit of sun this past weekend, I’ve been thinking a lot about how it’s “summer vacation.”

It doesn’t quite feel like that.

I mean.

I got up, went to therapy, worked a full day at work, then saw clients at my internship.

It does not scream summer vacation.

I keep getting this cute, well-meaning messages about enjoy all the time you have now that you’re not in school!

Sure.

And I can’t complain, there is a feeling of easing into this moment of not having to write a paper or get something signed or run around to this supervisor or that, but I still have things to do.

Tomorrow I will get my fingerprints taken with LiveScan and then I am one step closer to turning in my application to the BBS.

I’m really happy to have the process moving along.

The faster I can get that number the faster I will start seeing clients at my paid internship.

 

That too, the paid internship, is going to have some working parts that I have to figure out.

My supervisor has not had a supervisee before, or an intern, I’ll be her first.

So I need to do some due diligence and find out the things that I need and the things that she needs to do.

I have a membership to CAMFT, the California Association of Marriage Family Therapist, so that means I get to call them and ask questions when I need help and this definitely falls under their bailiwick.

I get insurance with CAMFT as I’m still technically a student.

Which is really nice.

And I get to use their legal team too.

Not that I think I need their legal team for finding out what the necessities are for being a paid intern.

I just need to contact them and ask some questions.

Of course.

That has not so much been on my mind.

I’ve been trying to reconnect with the phone counselor who left me a message from the SF Tenant’s Union and not having any luck.

I may just end up going into the office for another quick drop in to ask a few follow-up questions.

Tomorrow I’m planning on getting my LiveScan fingerprints done at a place on Mission Street and if it goes quickly I am thinking I will pop over to the Tenant’s Union afterward, they are open until 7p.m.

I just want a little more direction on what next actions to take.

It feels better for me to be taking action rather than just sitting on my hands.

I am still looking at places, but I think that until I have a touch more clarity I am not going to move real fast on anything.

I know it’s important to keep doing actions though, as I don’t know which action will result in me finding a new place to live.

I, as I have said before, am casting a wide net.

I don’t feel as pressured to find a place as I did when I first got the news since I found out that the 90 day verbal notice is not legal, but then again, as I expressed to my therapist today, processed the shit out of this situation let me tell you, I also don’t like living somewhere I’m not wanted.

And I feel somehow small in this space now.

It’s gone from being a little cozy and sweet, to being cramped and cave like.

Maybe it’s that need for summer, for sun, for light, that makes me feel this way.

But I want something bigger, more expansive, something that will support me in this next phase of my life as I work on my PhD degree and accrue the rest of my MFT hours for licensure.

I want abundance.

I keep writing about what my next place will look like, I try to see it in my head, I don’t always, but I do have a really good sense of what I want.

Of course.

What I really want is my own place.

But that’s a pricey thing in the city unless I go with a studio or, as I just did, I continue to apply to the Below Market housing through DAHLIA, which requires that new buildings in the city rent a certain number of units below the market value of the apartment.

Tonight I applied for a lottery for 33 Tehama.

I’m not really interested in that neighborhood all that much, to tell the truth, but fuck,  a 1 bedroom in the brand new building at below market is renting for $1303-$1450.

I can fucking afford that.

I’m basically paying $1352 right now for my studio.

Few more bucks for a one bedroom in a brand new building with views of the Bay Bridge and a spa and bocce court, yes please, I’ll take it right now.

My dream is to have my own place, but yeah, unless I win the lottery, and I would love to win this one, or the Yerba Buena Dream House Raffle, which I did buy a ticket for when I got my tax return, living alone may be out of the question.

Unless I get a studio in the Tenderloin and that is just not appealing.

I would be in the thick of a notorious neighborhood with a lot of open drug use and dealing.

I can only imagine how long it would take for someone to break into my car after I parked to go home.

Two minutes.

So studio’s like that are out.

I’m open to studios out here and I have checked out a few, but nothing that compares to what I have.

I’m open though.

And I really do believe that things are going to work out for me and the new place I move into will be amazing.

I really do believe that.

So, yeah, summer.

It’s here but not here.

I’m sure it will feel like it soon though.

Three weeks from today I will be flying into New York City baby!

I cannot wait.

I am so very ready for my summer vacation.

So ready.

 

July

March 2, 2018

It’s going to be a good one.

I am going to have a lot of time off.

A LOT.

The family is going to be traveling for.

Wait for it.

FIVE WEEKS!

And.

They are not bringing me with them.

They are enlisting some friends and family in Europe and I will not be doing any travel work for them.

On one hand I was a little let down, it would have been pretty awesome to go to Finland, Sweden, Portugal.

On the other hand.

Five weeks off!

Paid.

Granted I will have things I am accountable to, my internship, for example, but I get five weeks off!

Five.

It’s amazing.

I can hardly believe I’ll have that much time off.

I could actually do a couple of trips now that I think of it.

I have a credit that has to be used by October and I really don’t see any other better time to travel than the month the family is away.

I basically have all of July off and it looks like the last week in June.

They haven’t gotten their tickets yet, but we sat down and talked about summer schedules and I got the go ahead to book my ticket to Paris.

July is not a super busy month in Paris, it’s hot, August even less so, May and June are the big travel times, that and September.

July will be hot.

But.

Fuck.

I won’t care.

It’s Paris.

I’ve message my dear friend in Paris and I’m awaiting her response on when is the best time to come for them.

Considering that my friend and her husband have twins who will be just over a year old, they have a lot on their hands.

I promised her that I would have the information by the end of the week.

I am thrilled that I found out today and chomping at the bit to book a ticket.

The ones for the dates I was looking at last night have jumped up by $300.

I was for a moment disappointed that I hadn’t grabbed the tickets when I first saw them, but I hadn’t confirmed travel times with the family and it was still up in the air as to whether or not the family was going to have me travel with them.

Now that I know.

I can manipulate the best travel dates for the best deal.

I also recognize that I am willing to sacrifice a little extra money to find a flight that best works for me.

I.e.

I want a direct flight.

I don’t want to have to transfer flights.

It’s just so much easier to fly direct.

And the time it saves is super worth the extra cost.

If I book soon I think I can get a flight for around $850.

Last night and this afternoon I was seeing flights for $760.

But those are gone.

And the dates I looked for are now substantially higher.

I’m sure I’ll get something good and fingers crossed I’ll have a ticket booked before I head into my chiropractor’s appointment tomorrow.

I am super psyched.

And once I have that ticket booked I’m going to think about whether or not I want to book some other travel too.

I could go see friends in Wisconsin–that was the original ticket that I bought, I was going to visit my best friend from Wisconsin and her brood up in Hudson.

At Christmas time.

It would have been hella cold.

Now July in Wisconsin isn’t exactly a picnic, it will be hot, but my friend has a cottage in the family and they spend many weekends up North on Lake 7.

Yes.

That is the name of the lake, Lake number 7.

Tickles me every time.

Some swimming, some hikes in the woods, some telling tall tales on the balcony that over looks the lake, sleeping in, not that I would, not that I think I could, three boys in the family–14, 11, and 7.

That’s a lot of big energy.

Blueberry picking.

I did a lot of that the last time I was there.

So that’s an option.

My other flight options with this particular airline are: Tampa, Orlando, Fort Meyers, Minneapolis (which is where I would fly in to visit my friend in Wisconsin, Hudson is just across the river from the Twin Cities), Miami, Dallas, New York, Cozumel or Cancun.

Though truth be told, I’m not super interested in going to Mexico in July.

If I didn’t go to Minneapolis I think I would lean towards Miami, which will be fucking hot as hell in July, but also, Miami.

Or

New York.

Again.

Really hot and humid.

But New York.

I have no desire to go to the other destinations.

Miami has some appeal, even though, again, hella hot, because I haven’t been since I was 19 and I feel like I owe the city some living amends.

Smoking crack in the city will lead one to wanting to right some wrongs.

Although, technically, I was not in Miami, but a suburb, Homestead.

I have no desire to go to Homestead.

At all.

NONE.

A teensy tiny pull towards the Keys, but I had some horrendous experiences there as well.

Miami I just sort of did a dreamy pass through, never really stopped, never explored.

Granted I was 19, homeless, and broke as fuck.

I was certainly not in a place to revel in the culture of the city.

I do like the idea of hot sweltering nights.

Long sun dresses and sandals.

Oh my god.

I am going to have a god damn summer.

I am going to Paris in July, which will be warm, as opposed to cold and foggy and dreary here in the Outer Sunset of San Francisco.

And I will either be in New York or Miami.

Truth be told as much as I love my friend in Wisconsin, the call of the city is alluring.

Culture, graffiti, art, beaches, museums, outdoor cafe people watching.

I am so excited by the prospect.

I love to travel.

EEK.

My friend from Paris just messaged me.

It’s 8 a.m. there.

I’ll have my travel dates nailed down soon!

I’ll keep you posted.

 

My Body Hurts

August 16, 2016

My brain hurts.

Everything hurts.

I am not sure why.

It’s not sick hurt.

It’s like I slept on my back hurt in a strange way.

But I slept like a baby, like a tired baby with hot milk in its belly.

In my own bed for the first time in eight days.

I remember putting my head on the pillow and rolling over and I was out.

I mean.

OUT.

I woke up to go to the loo at some point.

I think.

I mean, I usually do, as I like to have a cup of tea before I hit the hay, but I don’t even remember if I did, it was just an assumption.

I woke up when my alarm went off and got moving.

Now that I remember it, I did feel sore when I woke up, but I think I just shrugged it off.

And perhaps it’s tension or psycho-somatic, or who knows, I certainly don’t have to figure it out, but it is certainly there.

And there is no sleeping in my sweet, cozy, dreamy little studio tonight.

No.

I have made my return to Glen Ellen, to Stone Tree, to a week of being in Sonoma, but instead of being in Petaluma, I am at work.

The family’s vacation spot for the summer.

It’s not a bad bed and fuck, the room I have is huge, I mean, really gigantic.

Bigger than my in-law, that’s for certain.

It’s just not my bed.

I will be wrangling up some ibuprofen in a little while, after I blog and make a cup of tea and I think, yes, an episode of Mr. Robot.

I tried to do some Burning Man stuff, order a few last minute things, but I found I didn’t have the focus in me to do so.

I just paid my phone bill and that was all the online activity I could handle, no Amazon shopping for me tonight.

I made it out here ok, although there was a bit of a miscommunication between me and the mom and I didn’t realize that I didn’t have to lock up the house after letting in the housekeeper.

So I was in and around the Mission for many unnecessary hours.

That being said, I made an appearance at one of many fine church basements in the Mission and got right with God.

I figured, a week out of town, a week away from my fellows, from my favorite cafes and food and San Francisco, from my bed, my home, my things, was going to warrant a little getting steady with my emotional, mental, and spiritual needs.

I will be getting compensated for the additional money I had to spend on the rental car, which is nice, but I haven’t had the opportunity to speak with the parents about it.

The conversation happened via text this morning while I was at the house waiting for the cleaner to show up.

And today when I got there.

Well.

I was too busy catching up with the boys who wouldn’t let go of me.

Dinner was had with one leaned against me and the other in my lap, there was no removing myself.

The youngest was such a little darling, he was napping when I showed up and dad had to run to town on an errand, the older boy and mom were out, and it was just the little guy and me and the dog.

Said dog who was so happy to see me it made my heart warm and fuzzy.

When he woke up, the look on his face, incredulous joy.

“Surprise,” I said softly, touching his sweet face, and wiping his little sweaty brow.

He sleeps hot.

“Carmen!  Oh, Carmen, I missed you, I want to go pick tomatoes with you in the garden and make you a salad,” he said all warm and soft and cuddly and my god, my heart.

So much.

So much love.

He crawled into my arms and wrapped himself around me and told me how much he missed me and how much he loved me, and then he took my hand and we walked to the garden and picked tomatoes off the vine and fresh basil.

When the oldest boy got back, he proudly showed me all the places they had picked blackberries and then insisted that we go back up to the garden and pick even more tomatoes, because he too, missed me, loved me, and wanted to make me a tomato salad.

They remembered from last year.

The tomatoes were out of hand and I probably ate two or three each meal, mostly chopped up with sea salt and olive oil, black pepper, lemon balm (it’s a type of herb), oregano, and fresh basil, splash of balsamic and I am a very happy girl.

Both the boys helped me make the salad and then they both ate out of my bowl and dredged their fingers through the olive oil and vinegar and ate bites of grilled chicken off my plate and just were relentless with touching me, cuddling with me, sitting on me.

“Carmen,” the oldest boy whispered to me, “please massage my back again,” he said, then tugged on my hand, when I had stopped to take a bite of dinner.

I melted, just a little bit.

Ok.

A lot bit.

We sat chair to chair and while his brother basically licked the bowl clean, I rubbed his shoulders and told him about my graduate school adventures and the animals I saw at the institute–hawks, the deer, the does and their fawns, the jack rabbit in the grass, the ears so high and big.

I tried to get a photograph of it, it was just huge, but it loped off into the high grass before I was able to get my phone up and open to the camera.

After dinner, which began to devolve, I think the eldest has a bit of a cold he’s struggling with, I let the boys smack me with pillows.

I had a sense that though they were not necessarily mad at me, there was a need to be a little aggressive with their feelings, get out some of the consternation and energy from not getting to see each other for the two weeks I was away from them.

They had missed me and they had feelings around it and they needed to express that too, not just the snuggly love stuff, which not withstanding was divine to experience, so a pillow fight ensued.

And it was absolutely the best.

I set a timer and let them hit me with pillows for three minutes solid without defending myself or hitting them back with the couch pillows.

It was so much fun.

The giggles.

Mine and theirs.

Then, when the alarm rang, we all just collapsed in a heap on the couch and snuggled more.

I was with them far past what should have been my end of day, but I couldn’t resist catching up and re-connecting.

I’ll be here until Friday.

Drive back into SF in the evening then have the weekend in town.

I’ve got some organizing to do in regards to Burning Man, then depending on what next week looks like, I’ll be heading back to Glenn Ellen in the evening on Sunday, I think, for one more week of summer vacation travel nanny fun.

Then off to Burning Man next Friday.

Oof.

Not quite ready yet.

But not really able to do anything more tonight.

Too tired to figure it out right now.

Time for Mr. Robot, I’m into the second season now, cup of tea, apple, bed.

Night y’all.

See you on the flip.

Today

May 30, 2016

Was a good day.

Really.

Like nice.

And stuff.

Heh.

Yoga in the morning, and although I felt stiff and cranky, after yesterday’s class when I pushed so hard today felt like it took me a very long time to get to where I felt at ease in my body.

But.

At ease I did get and the final resting pose was so lovely and good and I walked out of the studio floating and into the sunshine of a lovely San Francisco day.

Albeit.

Windy as fuck.

And typical Outer Sunset weather, the fog came, oh, hello there, “summer time” let me turn up the heater and find a muffler, and where’s that extra hoodie?

But.

Before then.

I had a coffee date with a friend of mine from school, and I realized that we had never hung out during the year of classes, which really, isn’t that much of a stretch when I reflect on the fact that the majority of my class mates work full time as well as doing the full time grad school program.

Of course we hadn’t hung out.

The fact that I have socialized with any of my cohort still astounds, it was a busy fucking year, yo.

A lot happened.

“I realized I had no idea what the fuck was going on with you,” my friend said tonight as the fog was rolling thick and cold over Twin Peaks.

We were up at the Castro Country club sipping tea and catching up.

I got to do a lot of that today.

Catch up with folks.

First with my friend from school–Trouble Coffee, a hang out in the back garden at The General Store, a walk down to the ocean, although we didn’t hang there long, the wind was super kicking.

Then he hopped the N-Judah and I went back to my house, made up a nice lunch, and made some plans for next weekend.

Yup.

I’ve got plans.

Yay.

The date was confirmed and we’ll be hanging out Saturday.

Then.

I realized.

It’s.

Sunday.

And.

What the fuck do I do with myself?

I found myself wandering around my studio, no homework to do, no lady doing the deal, no responsibilities, I mean I knew I was heading to the Castro tonight to meet up with my person and grab dinner at Firewood Cafe, then doing the deal with a bunch of peeps up at Most Holy Redeemer, but I had hours, hours of nothing in front of me.

I contemplated going to the MOMA, but realized it was already after two and it closes early on Sunday, not the best time to get my new museum on.

Although my friend and I discussed going in on a joint membership together to save some money and get the most people with us to use the membership.

Anyway.

I didn’t go to a museum.

And.

I didn’t go running amok about the city either.

I realized.

I just needed to stay put.

To sit still.

To be in my home and be ok with down time.

No homework daunting me, no papers looming over my head, no reading that has to get done today or else.

Nope.

All I had to do was sit and read one of the books I had picked up in a wild burst of delirium my first semester when I thought I would actually have time for pleasure reading in addition to my school reading.

Bwahahahaha.

What silliness.

I picked up a book that I had started months ago and sat out on the back patio and soaked up the sun before it got completely shrouded in fog.

The next door neighbor was out on his back stoop playing blues guitar.

I would read a few pages, then let the book fall to my lap, raise my face up to the sun, close my eyes and let the blues scales roll over me.

He played for hours.

I read for hours.

HOURS.

Oh my God.

I realized that in the last week I have actually picked up two books for pleasure, finishing one completely and three quarters of the way through the other.

I may need to go book shopping.

Yippee!

It was so nice.

To sit still.

To watch the sky.

To feel the sun on my face.

And when it got chilly, because, well, that’s what it does out here this time of year, I pulled inside, curled up on my chaise and read for a while longer.

Then, when the time was ripe.

I hopped on my scooter, rode up and over the hills to the Castro and reconnected with my person and also found out my favorite new friend, my darling Puerto Rican fairy god father, was coming in from Oakland and my friend, the having tea friend, the doing the deal and going to school friend, also wanted to hang out, well.

I just found myself surrounded by friends and I saw so many folks tonight and reconnected with faces and people who I have not seen in a while and, well.

It was good.

So good.

I am so blessed to know the people I know.

Really.

And the Castro was on fire tonight, all the neon lights and all the party people, hello Memorial Day weekend, I do remember when, it was a party by the time I left the Country Club, my tea a warm ball in my tummy, to head back here on my scooter.

I turned it on, let her warm up and could see the moisture, the flakes of fog like snow flurries in my head lamp, and took it careful going home.

No less to avoid the drunky drunks and the many Ubers on the road then to keep myself from slipping around on the road.

I laughed as I was coming up and over the last bit of hill on 17th, I knew I would be coming home to light all the candles up in my studio and turn on the heat and make hot tea stat.

“Hello summer, we meet again,” I chuckled.

Summer time.

High jinx.

Dating.

Doing the deal.

Having fun.

Dancing.

Seeing friends.

Drinking tea in cafes.

Or coffee.

I mean, let’s be real here.

Hello summer.

It’s nice to see you.

Let’s be friends.

I found my muffler.

I’ve got four hoodies.

Bring it summer.

Let’s go.

One More Day!

May 18, 2016

One more day of work.

Then.

Off to New York.

I have made some decisions regarding my trip.

One.

I am not taking the subway to the Air BnB when I get into JFK at 10:30 p.m. at night.

I don’t feel like showing up to the place after midnight.

I’m going to get a car.

I am going to let myself not worry about navigating the trains, I’m going to let myself have a little experience, see the city from a car at night.

I think the view alone from a car will be worth the splurge.

I am also going with a good amount, obscene it feels like, of money.

I have saved all semester and I have a comfortable little cushion to let myself spend and the luxury of not being anxious about making the right train and transferring to the right line is well worth the cost of a car.

In fact, I’m also going to take a car to the airport when I return as well.

My flight back is way early, 7:30 a.m.

Which is awesome since with the time change it puts me at getting back to SFO around 9:30a.m. and I took the whole day off from work.

I’ll probably train it back to the house from SFO.

I’m hella comfortable with that commute.

But in New York, I’m going to let myself have the experience of not being anxious about train times and getting here to there.

I will take the subway while I’m there, I won’t be on a time frame, it’s loose and flexible.

I want to go to the MOMA, the Guggenheim, the Whitney, but if something comes up and I miss one of those because I am having some other grand adventure, than cool.

I’m going to be flexible.

I um, heh, want some souvenirs, because that’s how I roll.

And I did actually come up with a tattoo piece that I may go have checked out at Three Kings in Green Point.

If I can get it for a good price I will.

If it seems like it would take up too much time and energy then I won’t.

I do want a pair of earrings, or three, a bunch of notebooks, bunch of stickers, postcards from the museums I make it to and what ever the hell floats my boat.

I would love a sweatshirt and I always love getting a hat from the city I visit.

I don’t actually have the one I got there two years ago, I am not sure where it got off to, but I don’t have it.  I do have the one I got in Paris in 2007 and I love wearing it, I am always reminded of the street where I got it, the time of day, and how I just fell in love with it.

I’d like a good New York cabbie hat or fedora.

God damn.

I am excited.

Coffee galore, walking, oysters at a restaurant somewhere, photographs, graffiti, I want to make sure I bring my camera and rechargeable batteries.

I am also thinking about getting one of those brick recharger deals.

I drain a lot of juice on my Iphone when I take photos or when I use it to navigate anywhere.  And if for some reason I’m out and about in a part of town and don’t feel like subway back to Clinton Park, I’ll get a car and that means having my phone powered up.

I will be out on the town.

I will not be hanging at the Air BnB.

That is simply to have a place to sleep and do my blog at night.

I plan on being up and out and going the majority of the time and it would be handy to have an extra bit of juice for the phone.

I met with a lady this evening after work and told her about what I was doing and why and her whole face lit up.

“That’s like bucket list stuff for me,” she said her face glowing.

Girl, if I can do it, so can you.

So grateful that doing nice things for myself helps the women I work with give them the allowance to do the same things too.

Travel was such a dream for me when I was younger and I am so grateful that I am allowing myself more and more to embrace it.

I was writing this morning about where I want to go and things I want to do.

Take the Empire Builder Train Line.

Go to Paia, Maui–see the place where my grandmother was born.

Go to Burning Man in 2017 since I can’t go this year.

Go to Hudson, Wisconsin and see my best friend and her family.

Those are the tops on the list, but there are so many others.

I would love to go back to Alaska and really see it during the summer.

I still want to see Venice and go back to Rome for more than a weekend with more than the 50 Euro I went with.

I am still in awe how that happened.

Rome for 50 Euro.

Cape Town, South Africa.

Toulouse, France–I owe it an amends to be seen truly instead of the drunken, hung over stupor I did it the first time.

So many places.

And you know.

I’m going to go to all of them and more.

Because I am alive, I love myself and I am fucking awesome.

Yeah, yeah, I know.

But for a woman who came from where I did to be where I am at it is only by grace that I am here and I feel like I owe my God the happiness and joy I find in traveling.

It fills me up, it lights me up.

New places, new experiences.

New faces.

New art.

God.

I can’t wait to just cram my face full of art.

I’ll have something to compare the new MOMA to when I get back.

I haven’t been to it yet, not having really had time to what with school and work.

But I will when I get back.

Especially since I won’t have to be doing homework every weekend.

Hell.

I’ll also do some little trips around here.

Why the hell not?

Get on a train and see where I can take it.

Scooter down the coast.

Or up it.

I’m not sure about taking my scooter over the bridges, but I could see going around the coast  a little.

Oh summer vacation.

I am so happy to meet your acquaintance.

Feels funny to say that at the ripe old age of 43, but there it is.

One more day of work and then some play time for me.

I have so earned it.

Seriously.

Oops

May 17, 2016

Ha.

I just re-sent my paper for Psychodynamics.

Turns out that the e-mail I sent my professor did not have my paper attached.

This lady can write a scintillating amazing theoretical paper and forget to attach it apparently.

Jesus on a pogo stick.

I actually don’t think this was my issue, it’s the system, no I’m not passing the buck, I’ve had this issue before when I have directly responded to this self same professor through the school’s platform–Canvas.

So.

I just sent it off again through Canvas in case it was user error and also through my own g-mail account, just in case.

I had a horrid moment, but it passed quickly, when I thought, please let me have saved that paper, which of course I had, and then realized I know how to retrieve something from the trash had I accidentally trashed it.

Which was not the case.

So.

Now I’m officially done.

Just slightly anti-climatic.

Ha.

I am just a little tired, having not really had a weekend to decompress, just doing all the papers and finals and such, and now back to work today.

But that being said I realized a whole bunch of stuff.

Number one.

I’m going to New York in three days!

Fuck I’m so excited and I have resolved that this is the the grand way to incentivize myself to get through each semester–plan a trip somewhere two weeks following the last weekend of classes.

This gives me a carrot and also forces me to complete the work before leaving for the trip.

It’s perfect and I am just over the moon that I am letting myself take the time to do this and go.

Last time I was in New York I was still coming off that horrible ankle injury I had.

I really couldn’t walk as much or nearly as fast as I wanted.

It was bad.

It blew up a few times.

I remember my friend taking a look at it and demanding I sit down.

Yeah.

Like that.

Now.

Well.

I’m in some fine health.

Feeling sore, but that’s just from having done yoga today, three days in a row people, yes.

Tomorrow I’m probably going to take the day off, sleep in.

I can actually sleep in.

I don’t have to get up early and read for school or work on a paper, I can just get up and do my writing in the morning and then, off to work.

Second big thing that I realized.

It’s Memorial Day the 30th!

I will have a three day weekend right after my four day weekend.

I’m basically getting two Mondays off in a row.

Hallelujah!

I’m quite excited for that.

And third.

The boys are in school until June 3rd.

So the rest of the month I will be working my “normal” 35 hour week.

I’ll have mornings off for the rest of the month.

Come summer vacation for the boys I will be switching up my hours for the family–10a.m.-6p.m.

Although the mom wants to keep one day a week with me starting late so she and the dad can have a date night dinner night out with out the boys.

We haven’t figured out what night that is yet.

But it makes sense that’s it’s probably going to be Friday.

I ain’t gonna fuss my head with the logistics right now.

Suffice to say I have some spare time this month that I was not expecting since I’m done with my school for the year and the boys are still in theirs and there’s a holiday in the month.

I am very happy and very grateful for that.

I feel like I have earned some down time.

I’ll get my fill of doing yoga and sleeping and oh!

PLEASURE READING!

Oh.

How I have missed reading whatever the fuck I want to read.

I have a friend who just sent me some work to read over and I was like, ugh, I don’t have time, then, wait, ha!  Yes I do, I can totally read this whenever the hell I want.

Plus, I’ll have it on the plane with me to New York, it’s a bit of a long piece.

I’m always super flattered when he wants me to read his work, he’s a great writer and I find no little satisfaction in being asked to read what he’s working on before he sends it out.

I suspect he’ll get a publishing contract for a book long before I do.

I’ll get mine too, but I’m not worried about it.

Not right now.

Although, it would behoove me to write somethings that are not scholarly pieces over the summer, some poetry, some short stories, or even go back over some of my work that I haven’t gotten published yet.

I want to actually put together a chap book of poems including the pieces that I did last fall for my patron I met at Burning Man.

He gave me permission to submit it out into the world and I have not since I have been so busy with school, I have not submitted a thing all this past year so focused on school have I been.

It’s beginning to sink in.

This not being in school for the summer.

It feels really nice.

The break will go by fast, I am sure, but I am going to suck every last drop of juice out of it.

I’m going to have a full, busy, playful, raucous summer.

I’m going to see friends.

Go dancing.

Hit up museums.

Write poetry.

Dye my hair pink again.

Just because I can’t go to Burning Man doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have a hair party.

I’m going to date and get laid and make the fuck out like a school girl on summer break.

Because I am one!

There’s got to be a drive in movie for me somewhere to go to!

I’m going to walk on the beach, hike, play in the sand.

I’ll have a bonfire.

I’m going to go to shows.

I’m going to hang out in coffee shops.

I’m just going to have fun.

And be light and let whatever happens happen.

I will meet my life with joy.

Happiness.

Freedom.

All the things.

Yes.

Darling.

All the things.

 


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