Posts Tagged ‘surfing’

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.

Integrity

December 28, 2013

I so did not want to spend the early evening hanging out around the Mission, and that is funny, because there have been many, many, many times when I did not.

However I was due to be of service at 8p.m. and with work done for the week at 4:30p.m. I had some down time.

I spun by the bike shop, got my brakes tightened, had a little oil slipped onto the chain, chatted up my friends there and then headed to Rainbow to get a few groceries.

So sad the groceries at Rainbow.

Which is not usually the case, normally the fruit and veggies look spectacular, but the after holiday pickings weren’t so great.  However, the main reason I was there was to get myself a bag of Stumptown Holler Mountain and that was achieved.

Then over to Herbivore for my “I play a vegan on tv” dinner.

I am not a vegan, but they do have a super tasty plate that just makes me all sorts of warm and fuzzy and I get my Mexican in the Mission fix without eating suspicious meat or a lot of grease.  I get the Mexican beans and rice with fresh salsa and guacamole and fake sour cream with a little side salad and fake chicken and it really hits the spot.

Don’t know why, don’t care to analyze it.

Then a manicure because that is my splurge and a cup of tea and then the doing the deal and thankfully, as it was late and my bag was full of groceries, I got offered a ride home to the beach, my bicycle nestled into the back of a truck and voila!

Home.

Home.

Home where the house is clean and smells like me and says, “hello! Glad you are here.”

Here for tonight and off to be a bit busy this weekend, but not too over scheduled or over booked, just enough to provide a bit of structure and a bit of wiggle room should something fun pop up for me to do.

“Want to go surfing on Sunday?” My friend asked me tonight as I greeted him in the Mission.

“Yes!” I said, followed by, “when?”

“Sunday.” He said.

“Perfect!” I said.  Keeping that Sunday open I am! And I was able to say yes.

“What time?” I asked.

“In the morning,” he said slyly.

“Ugh.  Yes, ok, how early?” I asked, I guess I am getting up to an alarm on my day off.

“Eight?” He said.

“Ok,” I said with a small sigh, “I can do that.”

He looked at me and smiled, then cocked his head to the right slightly and said almost too quietly for me to hear, “seven?”

“Jesus, I suppose I could, good thing you already offered be a ride home tonight or I would not have said yes to that,” I joked.

Although, I would have.

This will make surf trip number three for me.

I think I will have a little something extra to do tomorrow, now that I know I will be getting into the water in the morning, time to buy some booties.

I did not mind surfing without them the last time I went, it was getting out of the water and walking on the beach when I could not feel my feet that made me a bit nervous.

That and walking back to the car, it was nice to have some protection on my toes.

So, looks like I will be getting in one more surf session before the new year commences.

I confirmed my work for this upcoming week and gratefully found out that the family will not need me next Friday.  I get  a three-day weekend!

That will make up for the very intense work week I will have with the overnight happening on New Years Eve.  I work a double or triple shift depending on how I look at it.  New Years Eve day I work my normal hours 8:45a.m.-5:30p.m. then I will hop in the car with the mom of one of my charges, with my overnight bag, and head over to her friend’s place in the Mission and nanny for two little monkeys overnight.

My shift officially is listed at 7pm Tuesday night until 10a.m. Wednesday morning.

Then I will have the rest of the day off.

Which I will need.

Work a regular shift on Thursday with my charge in NOPA and then three-day weekend.

Excellent.

I can do it.

Especially with the next two days off to write, surf, do some inventory, almost done, which is good since it has to be by 12:25p.m. tomorrow.

Ha.

Coffee with someone in the early afternoon, tea with someone in the evening, head up to Noe Valley, do that thing there, then back out to the beach.

Squeeze in a trip to a sporting good store to get myself some booties.

Ah, yes, that works, thanks brain, sometimes you do come in handy, I will make a run over to Wise Surf Shop when I return from my noon get together at Tart to Tart.

That’s where I got my wetsuit and I believe their prices are a little more inline with my needs then Mollusk, which though adorable and half a block away is a little bit pricier.

I feel pretty good about that at the moment, the finances, being responsible girl I am.  I paid rent for January last night, paid my student loan, and just wrote a check out for Healthy San Francisco f0r the next three months.

Happy Holidays!

You’re financially sufficient!

Yes.

I also put money in the savings account and sent a message to Barnaby to figure out how to pay him the plane ticket money.  I want that out of my hot little hands before I decide to delay and get a new lap top.

I want the debt dealt with and done before the new year commences.

These things all mean that what ever money I make next week, it’s sort of bonus money.  Oh, there’ll be incidentals and groceries, there always is, but I don’t have to pay any bills with any of the money that I get the next week.

I can sock a good amount away toward the new laptop and I can get a pair of booties.

Good to know where I stand.

And soon to stand, on a surf board.

I don’t know that I will be able to get up on my third go out, but I am going to try to get up, even if it means just to fall off.

Showing up for it is the biggest battle.

Just showing up is 99% of my life right now.

Glad to do so, even if it means setting my alarm for 6 a.m. on a Sunday.

I shall.

My word means something today.

Today I have integrity.

Uncomfortable

December 2, 2013

REALLY uncomfortable

My shoulder is acting up with a vengeance.

It hurts mom.

Make it stop.

Ugh.

I went really easy today and that does not seem to matter.  I went to the beach.  I sat in the dunes.  I talked to my friend Joan on the phone and caught up while watching the surfers swim and slide along the waves, out past the break point and into the sun.

I over heard the chatter of the surfers coming out of the water, comparing differences in boards and rides, waves, and swells.

I did not understand everything that was said, but I am learning.

So much to learn.

Always the learning.

I mean I did not leave the neighborhood at all.

I did get on my bicycle and ride out to the Sloat Garden Center, I wanted to see what they had and just sort of explore and I was feeling a little restless on my last day of “staycation” feeling like I had to do something.

Apparently the had to do something was had to take it easy and gobble ibuprofen.

Grr.

It flares up too when I am at my laptop so I am sitting on the chaise with pillows behind my shoulder and my laptop propped up on top of my copy of Clockers.

I sat outside a lot today.

Sitting, if you can tell, being a major component of today.

I sat and meditated in the back yard, the neighbors very large black cat sunning itself next to me, the heavy almost oily rustle of ravens flapping over my head and the soft roar of the ocean my accompaniment.

I sat on the tree at Trouble and met new folks in the neighborhood.

One gentleman and his three-year old daughter, who was playing with my housemates daughter in front of Trouble Coffee, and I struck up a conversation about living in the area, Ocean Beach feeling like its own small town beach community rather than a big urban city.

Turns out he is an avid surfer and we talked surfing and getting in the water and what I can work on while I am get my connections together to go out with people.

“Just go out when it’s mellow,” he said, “like it was early in the week last Sunday and Monday, baby swells.”

I knew exactly what he was talking about, I was in that mild water.

“Next weekend is supposed to be quite similar,” he added, “just get in your wet suit and body surf, get used to being in the water, you don’t need to go far out, just go waist-high or chest high and get the feel of the water, then grab a boogie board.”

Thrilling.

This is what I want to hear.

He talked waves and swells and lost me a bit, but just watching his long arms and fingers transcribe the roll of a wave and when he turned his body as though he was falling into a trough I could suddenly see him in the water buoyant and long.

“Rubber floats,” he said, “you don’t have to worry about getting pushed down either, you’re just going to pop right back up, just keep yourself waist to chest high in the water and have fun.”

Yes.

Later, sitting in the dunes, then reclining in them, I did decide I was going to at least walk the beach a little, it’s pretty obvious that I can’t get into the water right now, it’s a challenge maneuvering my bicycle right now let alone a surf board, but I can walk for fuck sakes.

Not fast and not with my bag strapped full, but gentle, slow, a meander along the shore.

Sand Dune

Sand Dune

Blue Water

Blue Skies

Boogie Board Lesson

Father and daughter

I watched a father instruct his daughter how to watch the tide come in and he stood and pointed to where the sand bar was and how the waves broke around it.

He admonished her to pay attention and then finally stood back and let the water lap at his feet while she frisked about in the waves.

It was sweet to watch and to catch the overhead snatches of conversation.

I don’t have the benefit of starting this practise at a young age, getting into the water, swimming in the ocean, surfing, heck, I haven’t gotten in with the boogie board yet either, but I do have the perspective of allowing myself to learn.

Even where I not learning I am still getting to be a part of this community in a way that I find deeply satisfying.

Welcoming and slow, serene, sun saturated.

I am counting myself lucky too that the winter has so far not really been winter.

“I don’t even tell my friends back home what the weather is like here,” my friend said earlier as I was marvelling at the fact it is December 1st and I was down at the beach in my flip-flops, with my pants rolled up, sun beaming on my face, breeze cool but not cold.

I saw a photograph of my aunts on her facecrack page and it was basically an exclamation about how the ice is hard enough to fish from.

Jesus.

The ice on the lake is frozen through enough by December 1 to hold up ice shanties.

Eek.

And back to the beach.

Which I will be going to again and again, I hazard, I mean, its right there.

I can hear the ocean now, I have the door to the studio cracked open a bit.

As I am sitting here I am thinking that I am going to be investing in some sort of ergonomic set up for my work on my laptop.

And for my hand writing, those three pages have not been comfortable recently.

I suspect that another part of the problem is how I am sitting, I don’t think that the table I am at is a good height, it’s not a work desk and the chair is not a work chair, I am just working with what I have.  I need to do some investigating and perhaps get a different set up.

Pain is a good way to learn what works and doesn’t work for you.

“How you feeling about that?” She asked.

“A little hurt, but happy to know now, good information to have, you know, I can’t make anyone want to spend time with me, I am just glad I know and get to move forward.”

“Your life is so full too,” she said.

It is, sometimes uncomfortable, but always full.

Even with the six days off, even with a lot of down time, I still did attend to a lot of things and I got to the beach so often this week it did feel like I was on vacation.

December.

Hi there.

You snuck right on in when I was busy thinking about my back.

Hello there.

Let’s be friends.

Night & Day

November 30, 2013

I was down at the beach not once today, but twice.

Both times a surprise.

Both times smitten with the air, the waves, the sky, the sun, or the last streaks of it heading into the night.

During the day I went down with my housemate and her boyfriend after a quick trip to Trouble Coffee and Coconut Club for an Americano.

They went running on the beach.

I stayed behind with my hula hoop.

Hoop

Hoop

I hooped.

I watched the waves.

Grand beasts they were.

Few surfers out, but there were some very experienced riders making it out past the break point.

I saw amazing technique and not a few times a surfer go flying over a trough of water, the board flipping up into the air with the force of the wave moving through.

Despite the sun and the lack of fog, it is winter weather and the waves are already so big I don’t foresee doing much more surfing at Ocean Beach.

Fingers crossed I will get in another few sessions, but I think I will be heading to Pacifica or possibly Santa Cruz for a better break point.

It looked like a gigantic washing machine of froth.

I would have been overwhelmed in minutes.

But it made for great watching as I set myself up on the beach.

The hooping was lovely, worked off the turkey pretty quick, not that I over indulged, but you know, and when the hooping had gotten my body warmed up I did some stance work–kung fu–mainly horse stance and some basic front position.

Ah, kung fu, it was nice to meet with you again.

I was really happy to go over my blocking sequence, it actually happened from holding my arms up in front position while I was hooping as my arms started to get tired from how I was holding them.

I naturally just fell into it, the muscle memory coming to me unbidden and strong.

Eight hard block, eight soft blocks, and the corresponding throws and elbows.

Then I added in some kicks–front ball kick, back kick, side thrust kick–left and right sides alternating with a few combinations worked in.

I was happy to see that my form with some of the strikes was still really on.

And as would be obvious, I was quite rusty as well.

But once I warmed up I was doing some nice side thrust kicks, getting myself in stance and really going through the blocks and the strikes until I moved an elbow just a little too aggressively and oh, yeah, take it easy lady.

You are not 29 anymore.

The age when I got my black belt.

You are 40.

41 next month.

Which reminds me I am supposed to make plans to do something.

I tossed about a few things with my friend as we walked upon the shore this early evening as the last bits of the sunset were melting into the ocean.

Repeating almost exactly the routine I had this morning.

Go to Trouble.

Get Americano.

Go down to the beach.

However, I did not do any kung fu or hula hooping.

Just some walking and talking.

And some photographs.

Sunset

Sunset

Dusk

Dusk

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was nice to go out for a stroll under the stars and chat about this and that and holidays and birthdays and my friend suggested I definitely make plans and he book marked my birthday and that was sweet.

I don’t always care for making birthday plans.

My birthday is so close to Christmas that it feels an imposition to do so, everyone has their holiday plans tied up so quickly.

However, I know that I will want to do something and I thought about what I really want to do.

I want to go horseback riding on the beach and I want to do a bonfire.

Now, I realize the horseback riding is a little on the pricey side, it runs $40 to go out to the stables that are by Fort Funston.

So it may not be the event to invite a bunch of my friends too, but I will probably put it out there that it’s what I am thinking about doing.

I am not 100% sure, but I like the idea of doing it and then a little dinner close to home or thereabouts.

The bonfire would be awesome, except, well, I just realized after getting excited about it that I will be house sitting that night in the Mission and do I want to haul between the two places.

Something to think about.

I may just see about getting a table at Samovar and having friends drop by for evening tea and do something simple and easy.

Things to ponder.

Not going to worry too much about it right now.

My thoughts drift toward the conversation that occurred after the walk.

“I am really attracted to you as a person,” he started.

“But not romantically, and I want you to know that so you can be free to pursue other options,” he finished.

And then there was that.

Small pang.

But not bad.

Thank God we are friends, and honest, and it was sweetly said.

I was startled to feel a little welling up of tears, but breathed turned my face and it drifted off.  No need to cry here, there was not a relationship happening, just some recent history being cleared up and a deepening understanding of our friendship veering solidly into friendship land and out of romance land.

Good to know.

Thanks.

Free to whore about the city.

Haha.

Just kidding.

What I am grateful for is that stuff like this comes up and goes away so fast.

Clarity is lovely.

Oh, there is a little sadness there, I think it could have been fun, but you know, that’s my fantasy.

Reality stepped in and said, nope, just friends, but thanks for playing.

Heading into the holidays with no solid plans, birthday, romance, travel, or otherwise.

No anxiety either.

What I have discovered with this time off is that the things that need to happen, happen, the insights occur, the work coalesces, and I see where further work has to be delved into.

I see that I am capable of further intimacy and I was given some great information tonight.

I choose to take it, be grateful for it, accept it, forgive myself for being single, take care of myself in the meantime and when the morning comes I will be still with me.

In my cozy studio by the sea.

Building big castles way on high.

Or at least hula hooping in the sand.

At the edge of the ocean where everything is possible and I am complete.

 

 

 

One More Day

November 25, 2013

Then six days off.

I celebrated the near epoch holiday time off with an early morning surf session with my dear friend.

Who true to his word, texted me at 6:32 a.m.

Oof.

My alarm had gone off at 6:30a.m.

I went to bed around 12:30a.m.

Six hours.

Not horrible.

Oh, I could have easily slept longer and when I swiped off the alarm on my phone I thought, I will just lie here a second, just a moment.

Then the text.

His arrival time was due at 7a.m.

Trouble Coffee.

Ok.

Up, out, and moving.

I got washed, pulled out my wetsuit from the closet, grabbed a towel, pulled my hair up into a bun, slapped on some sunblock, and pulled on a swim suit, yoga pants, and a hoodie.

By the time my bed was made and I had done my morning routine and reading practise it was just shy of 7a.m.

I walked up to Trouble.

Which had this apt little sign in front of the cafe:

Shred

Shred

As I was taking the photo of the sign my friend pulled up in his car with the boards strapped on top.

“Just getting to Trouble,” he texted.

And I am already there.

We hugged, then ducked in the warm cinnamon toast scented cafe and hugged Julietta, the owner of the cafe.

We talked about open ocean swimming, she and I have been trying to get out schedules down so that we can go out together for a swim, sans wetsuit, at China Beach.

She introduced us to a woman who does a lot of swimming, has even gone so far as to go out swimming with a small group out around the Farallon Islands.

Which sounded like a horror movie to me.

I cannot imagine.

From the seasickness of boating out there to the shark infested waters.

The Great Whites feed out there, seals all fresh for the snatching.

After that enlightening conversation and my friend asking if I had checked out the Jaws video he shared with me I was more than ready for the shot of caffeine placed in front of me at the polished wood bar.

One Gibraltar later, two shots of espresso topped with gently warmed milk, I was ready to get the show on the road, or into the water, as the case may be.

We popped over to my place and I clambered into my wetsuit.

I think clamber is the proper adjective here.

That or shimmy.

But my clumsy self was clambering.

I did succesfully get in and realized I had lost a little wieght since I had bought it, which was something I suspected, but was not sure of.

Despite the slight roomier area in the tush, it was perfect across my shoulders and I just hitched the crotch up a bit and was in.

We got down to the beach, parked across from the Beach Chalet in between the two windmills and talked about surfing.

He pointed out the swells, which were small, about two foot, maybe three, and how to paddle in, turn, pop up, and turtling the board through a big wave.

I was nervous, excited, and eager.

So about 1/3 of what he was saying may have made it into my brain, probably less.

I stood surveying the ocean in front of me, my heart so full and my body so alive, I felt a sense of serenity that doesn’t always come to me that deeply.

I can see why people get addicted to it.

I can see it in myself.

Surf's Up

Surveying the Sea

My friend snapped this shot of me from behind as I inhaled the clean ocean breeze and felt the warm sun on my back rising behind me.

There were already quite a few folks out in the water and more pulling in.

The weather astoundingly clear, no fog, light breeze.

Yes, the swells were small, but that was just fine for me.

I got out past the break!

Last time I went out I was unable to get out of the rough and got smashed around a lot.

I took to it a lot better this time, as I said, the sea was far more gentle, but I also felt a little more secure in what was happening.

I paddled better.

I figured out where the spot on the board is that I need to keep my head aligned with to not pearl in the water.

My friend taught me how to sit on the board and turn around on it.

I could not do that the first time we went out.

I was so pleased.

I was pleased as punch.

The windmills, the sun, the other surfers quietly bobbing in the waves.

Snatches of conversations, “the swells are not coming in well here, let’s hop in the car and head down to Sloat.”

The paddle boarders out.

The water was cold, but I did not mind.

Even my bare feet were ok.

Yup.

I got in barefoot.

I may not always, but I was really ok with it.

Although by the time we got out I was feeling like I was walking on stiff wood blocks rather than feet.

My hands were colder than I realized as well, and yes my shoulder was a little sore, but not bad, I also took ibuprofen and I kept my strokes far shorter than before.

Which actually helped.

I realized I had to adjust my arm stroke for maximum efficacy and that the stroke I was used to using in the pool when I swim is far different then the stroke I need to use to maneuver a surf board.

I fell off.

I got wet.

I also dove straight through a wave.

I got over the swells, past the break point, sat on my board, and then my friend pointed out the dolphins.

Dolphins!

And they swam past me.

They were so close.

I was just astounded.

I was paying such attention to them that I didn’t even realize I was drifting.

“Carmelita!”  My friend shouted, “watch the beach, you’re drifting!”

Holy shit.

It wasn’t much, but I had not noticed and I was getting further out then I really needed to be.

I paddled in.

Grateful to be with a friend who could shake me out of my reverie.

But really.

Dolphins!

Right there.

“I wish I had a camera in the water,” he said later, “you looked so beautiful sitting out in the water on the board with the porpoises jumping around you.”

I felt beautiful.

How could I not?

Looking at the goofy photos I took when I was back on land I can see it shining out of every pore in my skin.

I was alive.

Cold.

Worn out.

But so exhilarated.

And with one day of work to go and my friends long board now in my housemates garage, I have some ideas what I might be doing in the very near future.

Until then a mellow night to unwind and have a little more hot tea, maybe another ibuprofen dose and some stretches.

My smile muscle, though, is the one that hurts the most.

Hurts so bad.

Yet it feels so good.

 

Surf’s Up

November 24, 2013

In less time then I would ideally like I will be getting into that cold, cold water, wearing my wet suit for its virgin run.

Yes, that’s right.

I am going surfing tomorrow morning.

“I will send you a message around 6:30a.m., that’s when I will leave the house,” he said to me tonight on the phone as I was walking my bike up one of the few hills in the city I have to walk my one speed up.

I had just gotten down with a full day at the Maker’s Mart down at the Old Mint building on 5th and Mission.

Come by tomorrow!

I will be there again from noon until 5:30p.m.

I am honored to help my amazing friend and artist Arin Fishkin sell her prints from her quintessential San Francisco Series.  They are a series that speaks more to the native San Franciscan, using iconography that someone who lives here would really appreciate.

I have my eye on a particular one that I want most bad, Baker Beach, it’s just gorgeous.

I rub my greedy paws together with glee.

Yes, it’s true, I will work for art.

Especially when it’s this good.

Plus, it’s nice to spend some time with a dear friend, check out some local art and have good coffee from Blue Bottle which is located just behind the Mint building.

So I had a full day when the offer was made and I have a full day tomorrow.

But.

“You make the time,” he said, “the swells have been perfect, I have a ton of stuff to do but I am going to make the time,” he paused, “and you can too.”

Yes sir, yes I can.

I will be up at 6:30 a.m.

That’s when the alarm is set.

I don’t think I will have breakfast, just some coffee.

I will make breakfast after the surfing.

I will still need to shower and change and haul my butt back over the hills and valleys to downtown but I won’t need to be there until noon.

The event opens at 11a.m. but since we were able to leave the gear all set up there won’t be much to do in the morning, so I have an extra hour.

I doubt we will be in the water more than two hours.

“I want to be in the water by 7:30 a.m.” he said and I agreed.

Oof.

The Dawn Patrol.

Making it happen, however, and saying yes to spending time with my friend.

Saying yes too because I know I will sleep when I am dead.

Ok.

I don’t necessarily mean that, but I will have six days off after I get done with work on Monday.

I feel I can push it a little tomorrow.

I will get to have my inaugural dip in my new wetsuit.

I will bring my boogie board too.

Might as well.

I am excited.

I don’t know that I will have much of a restful night.

I feel pretty jacked up after my bike ride home.

It is a blast to hit the long down hill stretch along Lincoln, but I find that after the steady up hill climb from the Mission, or the long drop into the Mission from Noe Valley, where I was at this evening, to the Castro, up the Wiggle, through the Pan Handle and onto Lincoln, that I have gotten all pumped up and warm and adrenalized.

It is a challenge to settle back down when I get home.

Plus I needed to take care of a few things before getting my blog started, it’s 11:15 p.m. and I am going to easily take another hour to an hour an a half to wind down.

Another hot cup of tea.

Some time to breathe.

Some time to kick out the last few words for this blog and to dwell on my life for a moment.

It’s a damn good life.

I got to see a lot of dear people tonight.

I got to ride my bicycle a lot.

I rode from my house at 46th Ave and Judah to Mission and 5th Street.  Then from Mission and 5th up to Diamond and 24th Street, back from there to home.

Round trip not sure how many miles that is exactly, but I clocked in over an hour today on my bicycle, probably closer to an hour and a half.

I have the thighs to prove it.

Strong, healthy, fast.

“You should have seen her,” he exclaimed to his friend around a mouthful of hand rolled cigarette as I was bidding my adieus this evening unlocking my bicycle and putting the lights on the handle bars and seat post.  “She turned that corner on Valencia and 16th like a bicycle messenger!”

“She’s fucking fast.”

I smiled.

Sometimes I am fast.

But I often get passed by other bicyclists, I think that what looks fast to another who is on foot feels quite slow to me.

Then again, I do take corners fairly quick, I lean into them and the connection to my bike is such that I take certain streets fast, nimble and without much thought.

My body becomes the bike and the bike my body.

It is just an extension of my thoughts.

When it is really good.

And often of late, it has been really good.

“I am getting OLD,” my friend complained to me.

“Old.”

I kicked him and smiled, I am older, although you wouldn’t always know it.

But I do know that feeling when your body is doing something that it is not used to.

You walk many miles after driving around in a car your body will be sore.

You ride a bike up and over hills you are going to be tired and you may feel old.

But I have gotten used to the commute and what used to horrify me now seems sort of second nature.

This is just the bike ride I do and it takes about this much time.

I can feel my body adapting to being in the saddle a little more and my legs getting stronger, my lungs pulling in air more efficiently.

Tomorrow, though, I am sure that I may feel, well, old, after some surfing.

But I am willing to have the experience.

Not just of getting up early when I could sleep in, but saying yes to spending time with a friend and making space for another new experience.

New experiences are pretty awesome even when I think they are not.

Spending time with friends is always worth the time.

Is what I am finding more and more and for that I promise to make the time.

And with that, time to get what little beauty rest I can wrest from the rest of the evening.

No rest for the wicked.

Or, perhaps I should say, the “old.”

 

God Save Me From Unstructured

November 18, 2013

Time.

Egad.

I am so bad with not having my day chock a block full that inadvertently, though I have been trying to hold certain days free, I blocked out a seven-day work week next week.

Damn Gina.

What are you trying to do to yourself?

Of course it was pointed out to me by my dear friend who was asking after possible surfing dates.

“Next Sunday?” He asked, eyes twinkling.

“Yes! Wait, uh, no, fuck, I said I would help some one out at the SF Craftsman Fair.”

He smiled and shook his head at me, “I thought you were holding Sundays free?”

I was.

I was!

However, I shan’t be cancelling on my friend, I want to help her out and I realized that despite wanting very much to go surfing with my other friend, that I do need to have some income to cover that six days off around Thanksgiving.

And, I have six days off.

So far I have only put down a lunch date with a girlfriend, who being a doctor, actually has a crazier schedule than I do, that Tuesday.

Otherwise, yes, so help me God, I am holding space.

I am holding space for you, I promise.

Even when it is so challenging.

The sun was out, I had just meditated and for the second time this morning I found myself in tears.

I had absolutely no idea where they came from, what they signified, or what caused them, although I have a theory to be explored short with, they just were there.

Sliding down my face, wet, salty.

Unlike the water I thought might be falling down my face this Sunday–I had tentatively made plans to go surfing with some girls down in Pacifica, but what ended up happening, classic miscommunication, is they assumed I had a car.

Nope.

This lady only gets round by bicycle, the occasional MUNI ride, the once in a while motorcycle lift, and the ultra decadent cab ride.

Which being out in the Outer Sunset is a decidedly wicked treat.

One which I doubt I will be pulling out again.

The girls left for Pacifica, told me where they would be and see you soon.

Oops.

No.

Sigh.

The possible swimming did not happen, but the solidification of a lunch date with the aforementioned doctor shall.

Then.

Then.

Then.

Oh hell, I have nothing to do today.

Not true, I was meeting my dearest Joan in the Mission and we had a late dinner planned at SunFlower on Valencia and 16th.

Which was fabulous.

Hot and Sour Soup with veggies.

Pot of tea.

Divine company.

Rather.

I had nothing to do during the early afternoon and that left me  wide open to the emotions of the week, the month, the year, fuck, who knows, my entire god damn life.

I wrote my morning pages, cried.

I did some laundry.

Cried.

I paced around the studio, the sunlight shafting in through the open door, the seductive shush of the sea just underpinning all my spinning about the studio, the Adirondack chair beckoned.

Ok.

I give up.

I will sit in the sun and meditate.

Calm.

Warm.

Nip of breeze every once in a while biting at my fingers with a delicious sharp chill breaking the warm sun that fell on my face and chest and legs, reminding me to stay anchored in my body.

My mind rambled about for a bit.

I breathed and pushed further back into the wood slats of the chair, muscles relaxing and then, again, tears.

Sigh.

It seems that when I give myself enough time I am going to have feelings, whether or not I want them.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, I want feelings, I just have a preponderance toward the good ones.

Yet, I know, intrinsically that the sad has to come out and that it eases.

I just want the relief.

Well.

NOW.

Damn.

I know what to do when this happens and I picked up my phone that was on the chair arm and started making phone calls.

I got what I needed.

Perspective and suggestions.

Suggestions I promptly engaged in and within a few minutes my mood had shifted and I asked myself what I wanted to do.

Kale salad!

Beach!

Hula hoop!

Hoop time

Sunday Afternoon

Ok.

Camera!

Walk in the ocean with my pants rolled up around my knees.

The fact is, that despite wanting to very much get into the water, oh the longing watching the surfers from the shore, it was likely for the best that I did not go swimming today or go surfing in Pacifica.

I have to go see the doctor tomorrow about my shoulder and I can imagine that it would have been some physical strain to exert myself in and out of the water.

I was reassured by that small, intuitive voice in myself that the ocean was not going anywhere and that for today, at least, the best I could do was work it out with the hoop.

I picked a spot on the beach, breathed in the air, sucked it down really, and felt the sadness pool around me, but not engulf me.

I am just having some feelings.

I don’t have to know why.

I forget that quickly.

The thing about sadness, too, is that it is ephemeral and passes through me when I let it, quite quickly.

Though there was a certain melancholic tinge to the afternoon, it was more from the gray skies then from any grey interior feelings.

Ocean Beach

Ocean Beach

The beach was lovely, the tide low, the sun shimmering beneath the clouds, the blue skies breaching behind me over Twin Peaks, the kites in the sky.

I hooped for a while then sat on the sand and ate my salad and the most glorious pear from Frog Hollow Orchard, courtesy of the BiRite, and my heart just opened and expanded and beat.

Not hard or painfully.

Just fully.

Solid.

Cha-thunk.

You are alive.

I felt vibrant.

Satiated.

And yes, still sweetly sad, but it was just the echoes of the earlier emotion and the salt of the tears that had fallen blended with the salt in the air and I felt washed out and clean and ready to move forward.

A train ride into the Castro.

A visit with my dear friend.

A conversation about surfing, schedules, and life, with another friend and my day bloomed open.

Funny that.

Hold those doors open, make that space, and love settles in.

Not pain.

Not self-pity.

The sadness washes clean the space for the love to settle in.

I walked back from the bowl of soup, called my other friend and let him know it was good to see him, and knew that I was blessed with my life.

I bought groceries and gratefully boarded the N-Judah back to the beach.

My house with its fresh made bed greeted me, my hula hoop–I even hooped a few more minutes while I waited for the kettle to boil–some music on the stereo, some candles lit perfuming the air, and just now, the words, the solace of my day, and the muffled roar of the ocean beaching onto the sand again and again.

Time for more unstructured time.

 

Pretty, Soft, &

November 10, 2013

Bitter sweet.

“Call me when you want to hang out,” he said to me as I gathered my bag and my little canvas sack of groceries with the pink Gerber Daisies hanging their fat, cheery, pink heads out of the top of the bag.

“I will, Mister,” I said, opened the door and got out.

I caught him leaning in to kiss me out the corner of my eye as I exited the car and my heart softly beat a moment’s pause, then settled back down as I quietly shut the door on the fantasy.

No kiss was had.

I was not expecting to get a ride home from him, it rather just happened.

I was hoping to see someone else tonight.

And that did not happen.

Although I did get a text late in the day explaining why.

And that felt nice.

Nice to be acknowledged, told that they would be getting back to me, and when.

You see, Mister, that’s how it works.

I have tried to tell you when I would like to hang out.

I even bought a new dress for it, but you, well, you had to work.

I was going to tell it to you like it is last Saturday and you dropped me off at my house with a fellow passenger in the car, negating said conversation and you drove off not telling me when I would hear back or if I would hear back, just that we would hang out soon.

A week of no contact.

I forgot rather what I was going to say.

I don’t need to have conversations in my head with imaginary partners.

See I realize, that you, Mister, were an imaginary affair, safe and sound and intimate because you don’t have it to offer me right now.

Your intentions always so sweet and I would fall for them every time, every fucking time.

I was Charlie Brown and you were Lucy, and I was going to run up to that football and kick it good and hard and score the winning goal and then you would want me and we would all live happily ever after going to museums and travelling and eating at nice restaurants.

And the sex?

Why that would be the bomb, it would be amazing, it would put my vibrator to shame.

Which is hard to do when you own a Hitachi Magic Wand.

Why, I would be throwing it out because the satisfaction would be so amazing.

Would, could, should.

Words that don’t work so well in my vocabulary.

“We should hang out.”

“We should go there.”

“We should go for a walk on the beach.”

I could probably write a few more, but they all come down to the same things, some sweet words, some kind kisses, and lots of empty actions, cancellations, and lack of connection.

You can be willing to say it to me and I can be willing to hear it, spin it out as fantasy and I then can spend my time in a safe little bubble where I don’t get hurt and you and I hang out in imaginary perfection land.

I wasn’t able to say anything.

I don’t know if it was restraint of pen and tongue or what.

There were just no words to say.

How do you break up when there was never really a relationship?

How to say that I am not interested in pursuing it.

I have stopped texting.

I have stopped expecting.

I am in with people who want to spend time with me.

“Let’s meet up and have dinner,” my darling Beth texted me.

Yes.

Let’s.

I was on the way up to Noe Valley after a surprising interlude of hula hooping on the beach.

My housemate was headed out to the Ocean Beach with her daughter and her daughter’s friend from school, our new friend we met last week on the beach with her bright-colored hula hoops was also down the way and I happened to walk in at just the right moment to jump on the caravan.

“Come!” My house mate said with great enthusiasm.

Yes.

That is what I want in my life, enthusiasm, followed by action.

I ran into my studio and tossed up a kale salad and quickly heated up a veggie burger, a persimmon in my bag, my camera, some water, and off to the beach.

Beach Bum

Lunch on the beach

There was a great big sand castle building tournament going on and the beach was packed.

Outlying elementary schools competing in sand castle building.

They were so sweet, utterly delicious, totally amateur, and astoundingly perfect.

The castles were built with glee and joy and the whelps of laughter as the tide rose in to rush the moats was a balm on my soul.

Our new hooping friend had a nephew who was competing.

I am not sure what the outcome was, they were all so utterly sweet and endearing, how could there be just one winner?

The crowds were big, but we found a nice patch of beach and pulled out the hoops.

My house mate gifted me one this morning.

I had all sorts of ideas about what I was going to do today and how I was going to do it and it was completely thrown into a loop when I wasn’t able to address the laundry I thought I needed to do.

I wanted perfection.

Instead I got a day at the beach, a hula hoop, and spending time with wonderful girlfriends–new ones, with hula hoops, “old” ones who I have known for almost nine years of my time in San Francisco, dear ones who mean so much to me and I need to spend more time with, little ones who were amazed that I hooped as long as I did.

I got to be around a gaggle of girls and it was awesome.

When I got the call from the man I was already in Noe Valley and I did not answer.

I don’t have anything to say.

You are sweet.

You are endearing.

You are handsome.

You are a fantasy I am tired of having.

I am interested in being alive.

I am interested in not just saying I want to do something, I want to hang out with you, but I have to go do some other stuff first, no, I want to be available for the life and the wonderful surprises it throws me, hula hoops, surfing.

I bumped into a woman tonight I know scantily from friends of friends and I discovered she surfs.

We are going to go to Pacifica next Sunday.

That’s what I am talking about.

Let’s not just talk about it.

Let’s do it.

What ever it is.

Let’s do it.

I may fall back into the fantasy mode, it is easy, it is safe, but I know that I have to surrender to being vulnerable, intimate, present to be alive.

So, here I am.

Present and accounted for.

Close To Home

November 4, 2013

I did not go do anything wild and crazy today.

Unless you consider hula hooping on the beach wild and crazy.

It was unexpected, but I would not go so far as to say wild and crazy.

I got up earlier than I expected, thanks Day Light Savings Time, and had a quick bite to eat before heading up to Trouble Coffee and Coconut Club to get a large coffee with my housemate and head to the beach to take a walk.

We talked about the guy and the me, and the me getting the fuck out-of-the-way.

I should have walked away from it a long time back.

I recalled, last night, as I was typing something a confidant had once told me, “stop banging your head on the closed-door and walk to the open one.”

Please, dear God.

My housemate suggested I write his name in the sand and let the tides take it.

The ocean does have a tendency to erase all the noise in my head.

I didn’t even get the first few letters out before a great wash of tide rolled in and splashed up on me and I shouted in surprise and no small joy.

I love being down at the beach.

I am enamored of it as said to a new friend I met today down by the shore, a neighbor out for a stroll with a large coffee in his hand, this one from Java Beach, my other favorite spot to kick it on a Sunday, when the sun is out and the patio is not too overrun, it is a great place to sit, watch some local flavor and read the Sunday paper.

Today, though, it was the beach that called.

That water washed all my worries away.

It was just sea and sand, salt and air.

God damn the way the air smells is so good.

So good.

I cannot wait to get back in and do some more surfing, although there was no surfing, that even had I a board and a companion to go out with, to be had today.

The water was not having it.

I did not see a single surfer out.

The waves were wild.

High, violent, aggressive.

Wild.

Beautiful to watch though and I took a few photographs of the beach and the water and my friend and I strolled along talking about working out, how she could run me through a few things, I was adamant about not exercising today, I just want to walk on the beach, I said, to her when she suggested we do it briskly.

“You know, a brisk walk,” she said jogging up and down in her hot pink Nikes.

“Nope,” I said again, “I will go down to the beach and you can sprint ahead of me.”

Neither the stroll nor the sprint happened.

Instead we were captured by an elf on the shore with hula hoops.

A 49-year-old Chinese woman who turns out is a healer with a large business on Lombard Street where she teaches meditation and does healing work and acupuncture.

“That sure looks like fun,” my house mate said to the small sprite of a woman, in her blue jeggings and red yoga top.

The woman had a gold and pink hula hoop that she was putting through its paces.

I was rather amazed at how much she was doing and she was having a great time doing it.

Next thing you know my house mate and I are also hula hooping, meeting Kim our neighbor, and talking about meditation and the spiritual pulse points of the city, how they have moved, and yet, here, out here at the ocean, they have yet to be sullied.

We hooped and laughed and danced around in the sand.

The ravens and sea gulls waged war on each other, swooping and calling, chasing above the foam for the prize food capture one had snuck out from another.

Children waded in shallow pools where the outgoing tides had left large shallow dips of water reflecting diamond lights of brilliance.

“Exercise need to be fun,” Kim said, laughing.

I handed her back her hoop, she showed my housemate a trick and they both giggled, 40, 44, 49-year-old women, dancing on the beach with hoops, making friends where least expected.

I turned a cart-wheel.

I turned another.

I laughed out loud.

I did a third, getting dizzy, but joyfully so.

When was the last time that I had turned a cart-wheel?

Years.

I am sure of it.

We must have stayed and hooped with her for over an hour.

We drew an admirer who also happened to be a local and the surprise group stood hooping and jumping and stretching and listening to the ocean, talking about how we all got where we were and exchanging numbers and e-mails.

After a tender footed walk back to the house, I had left my flip-flops on by the entrance to the beach at the Great Highway cross walk and they were gone, my housemate and I separated for a quick hour to eat lunch and do a couple of chores.

I got my bedding washed and shot out a few e-mails.

Three o’clock rolls around and we head out to the store to get weighted hula hoops.

We are both converts.

Despite not having success, the stores were sold out, apparently we are not the only hoopers in the neighborhood, we did gleefully chat about ordering a bunch online and having some hooping going on.

Surfing, swimming, hooping, walks on the beach, cartwheels, what the heck is going on?

Beach life.

I am really getting into it.

It is really good for me.

My day aside from the beach was chill, made some soup, did a little shopping, hung out with my housemate and did some writing.

Yeah.

This blog here marks my third writing of the day.

Not too bad.

Not sure I am going to follow all the dictates of the write a novel in a month, but I am sitting down, have done so every day since the 1st of the month, and I am writing.

Already I am surprised by what is coming out.

Who knows where it is going, but I am going to be there to be a conduit for it.

That’s the best I can do.

That and be absurdly grateful that I am a conduit at all.

That somewhere, something, some divinity, muse, God, Universe, love, has words to share with me.

I am gifted.

Not because I have talent, that is debatable, but because I have been given a present.

I just need to not be so scared to use it.

Going to the beach help clear the cobwebs from my head.

From my heart.

From my eyes.

That and some unexpected exercise and new friends and neighbors converging to do what we humans do best, connect with each other with love and respect.

And play.

“Go on! Try! It’s fun,” she said to me.

I took the hoop.

And got some happy.


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