Posts Tagged ‘Taraval’

All Things Asian

December 25, 2016

In other words.

Merry Christmas Eve to the person who had to cancel two different sets of plans.

The first, you all have heard me talk about, no Christmas in Wisconsin, didn’t work out had to cancel.

The second set was to go help a friend move today.

But after yesterday’s challenge, and let’s be frank, the whole week has been a challenge, and a lingering cold that just won’t get the fuck out of my body, I cancelled.

I don’t like canceling.

I cried on the phone to my friend.

But.

That’s the way the cookie crumbles.

I did rally though and get out of my house.

The thought of being at home alone the whole day was too much to bear, so I just thought, easy does it, you know where to go and who to see and it can be nice and slow and just take things one moment at a time.

I had a nice breakfast, courtesy of the persimmons Santa left for me, some nice coffee and a lot of writing.

I decided I would venture out to the Inner Sunset, I knew people would be there and that I needed to check in with my people.

But before that.

Yes.

My nail salon was open.

Merry Christmas Eve day manicure and eyebrow waxing courtesy of the sweet mother daughter team at the Korean nail salon I go to.

I popped in next door to Tart to Tart and treated myself to a large cafe au lait, then came back and got all pretty.

For whom?

Why, me, of course.

I may not have a significant other this year, but I can damn well treat myself like I am one.

Because, well, I fucking am.

After the nails I popped over to 7th and Irving and did the deal with a bunch of folks.

It was really good.

I mean.

REALLY.

Heard everything I needed to hear and got my heart warmed up, it’s been aching, although it may just be the tightness in my chest from the cold, I suspect it’s a mixture of both.

Afterward it was definitely time for lunch.

Thai food it is!

I was rather smitten with the red curry duck with plantains I had the other day at Marnee Thai, so I went back to see if they were open, and yes!

They were.

I even was sat in the exact same spot.

Sort of cozy and sweet and one of the servers remembered me and when I had sipped, quite quickly, I was trying to warm up, my cup of tea, she flagged over my server whispered something to her in Thai and the next thing you know my server comes back with a huge glass of tea.

Apparently they know me well after just two visits.

I was doing ok and also not feeling like quite calling it a day, though I did think about it when I stepped back outside, the weather today, for San Francisco, was quite cold.

Is quite cold.

But I decided that I could scooter over to Japan town and catch a movie at the Kabuki Sundance Theaters.

I had worn a lot of layers, in fact I was a polar bear on my scooter, but even in the theater I was a little chilled.

Slight fever.

Which sometimes is actually kind of nice, and sometimes makes everything feel a little chillier.

But the movie was sweet and I was also warmed by the brief, but happy phone call I had with my sister and my mom!

It was such a lovely surprise to see my sister’s name pop up on my phone.

She called to thank me for the gifts I had sent and I spoke briefly with her and then with my mom before going into the movie.

I almost missed the previews, and I like previews.

I went and saw La La Land.

It was the perfect Christmas Eve movie to see, lots of singing, a tender, somewhat bittersweet romantic plot line, and good acting.

I was quite taken.

And yes, I did tear up a bit at the ending.

It was well done and I’m glad I went.

Speaking of glad I went, I decided to double down and go catch some fellows over at Turk and Divisadero and just sit for another hour and absorb the good stuff with a small cast of merry friends who were staying in town as well for the holiday.

It was chilly, but cheerful.

I am definitely glad I went.

And to round out all things Asian for my merry Christmas Eve.

I took myself out to a sushi dinner at my favorite sushi restaurant in my hood–Sushi Raw–over on 19th and Taraval.

Christmas bonus never tasted so good.

I do not eat out very often and I’ve eaten out a lot over the last few days, it’s been lovely, but it will be settling down.

That being said, fuck it’s Christmas Eve and I didn’t feel like cooking, I will tomorrow, I don’t know that I will be zooming around at all, I did push myself a bit more than I thought I would in the name of keeping myself busy and out of my head, so I let myself splurge on sushi.

I had scallops wrapped in bacon.

BACON.

MmmMmmm good.

Miso soup, edamame, and my favorite roll–Caterpillar Roll, which is unagi with avocado.

Lots of hot tea, I was super cold after my riding.

And it was really sweet to sit by myself and people watch.

I was the only person there who wasn’t Japanese.

I am so grateful to live in a community with so many ethnicities and cultures.

And grateful that not everybody celebrates Christmas the ways that “my” culture does.

Or I would have been a little out of luck with all the activities and places and food I had today.

It’s certainly not the Christmas I envisioned, but that’s ok.

It’s the Christmas I’m supposed to be having.

How do I know this?

Because it’s what’s happening.

Reality.

Better than fantasy any old day, even when I think otherwise, even when I had tried to wrest Christmas and it’s traditions into my own idea of what it’s supposed to look like.

I didn’t plan on being sick, I didn’t plan on canceling my travel plans, I didn’t plan on being alone.

But overall.

I never felt lonely today.

Even though I spent much of it alone.

Rather.

I felt held, special, and very privileged to have the life I have today.

I’ve come a very, very, very long way.

Baby.

So very long.

And so grateful for every step along the way.

Seriously.

What A Ride

June 29, 2015

In so many iterations I cannot fathom all of the ramifications right now.

I just got home from Los Angeles.

Although technically I just got home from a late night sushi dinner at Raw on 19th and Taraval.

Which was awesome, great company, fresh sushi, fast, good price, and hello, open at 10p.m. on a Sunday, and busy at that.

I know, you’re not supposed to eat sushi on a Sunday, or so the wives’ tale goes, but we were desperate, mostly me, despite not feeling all that hungry, I had a lot of iced coffee today, for food.

I knew better than to come home and not have some dinner in my body and the only other option would have been a late night run on Safeway and then cooking at my house.

I am not in the mood to cook.

I have so much on my mind, in my heart, in my soul, smeared across the windshield with golden light and thoughts and dreams and words, the touch of a hand, the constant conversation, the incessant pressing of love against my face as the sun set in the West as we drove up from the South, watching the roiling clouds of grey teeming over the San Francisco hills.

I have not had my cell phone off for so much time in years, nor, as you, my dear reader, may have notice, my computer.

There was no wifi at the Air BnB we were staying at.

I could catch some service on my iPhone, but sorry folks, there is no way in hell I’m going to write a blog on my phone.

Nope.

So.

Days without a blog.

Although not days without writing.

I did bring my notebook and I did do writing and as I was unpacking my go bag–I am damn skippy proud of how well I packed–I pulled out my new Claire Fontaine notebook, in deep sage green, with creamy lined paper, and taped the effects of the trip in the front page of my journal.

The first class ticket on American Airlines.

Man.

First class.

Thank you friend.

It was so nice.

Even for such a short trip, to have priority at the gate, to have faster check in, to scoot right through security, I felt spoiled and princess like.

So much so and so quickly did I get through that I actually had time to grab a manicure before I boarded.

I have never paid so much for a manicure in my life, but I thought, when someone you dearly adore says, let’s celebrate, I’m flying you down first class to LA, let’s go look at the Rothkos,

(OH MY GOD THE ROTHKO’S)

And I’ll put you up with me at my Air BnB in Santa Monica, it’s ok to splurge on a six-dollar cold pressed organic iced coffee from Equator Coffee and then go sit down and have your nails done.

You are officially on a celebration weekend.

The celebrating.

It was celebratory.

I danced up and down the steps of the Walt Disney Concert Hall designed by Gehry.

I lifted my face to the sky and marveled at the scoops and swoops and the neon lights bouncing off the building.

We walked around it and marveled at the symmetry of the building and talked and talked and talked.

There was much talking.

My friend and I had so much to talk about.

We could be talking right now.

Except.

Well, mama has to get up and go to work tomorrow and he’s got work to do too and the celebration will continue in my heart as I look at the other small pieces of paper taped next to that first class place ticket.

(OH MY GOD THE ROTHKO’S)

Should I ever have a child, a little boy, I would name him Rothko.

I was that overwhelmed, awed, blown away and just enamored with the pieces I saw.

I am speaking of the first day of my two-day party to celebrate (said celebration for the receiving the graduate school scholarships that I have been awarded over the past two weeks) and the trip to the MOCA.

The Museum of Contemporary Art.

It was just intense and overwhelming and amazing.

As before mentioned the Rothko’s were astounding, the humanness of the art, the luminosity of the paint, the spectrum of emotion I felt being in that gallery surrounded by the presence of such love and glory and art.

Art, love, God.

It’s all the same isn’t it?

I got to experience so much of that this weekend, I am still reeling with the love and kindness, the compassion of my friend, the utmost generosity.

I didn’t pay for anything.

I was spoiled and treated like a princess and ate lovely food and got driven all over the city and well, I even got to do that little girl thing that I most wanted to do but was also perhaps most resistant to ask for.

I got to go to the Santa Monica Boardwalk and go for a ride on the roller coaster and the Scrambler.

And.

The ferris wheel.

To be on the top of the circle, with some one so dear to me, to be swung high into the velvet of God’s deep indigo sky with the waves rolling in under the boardwalk and the smell of funnel cake and popcorn, or the happy screams of little kids on the roller coaster and the joy, the joy of being alive, present in the moment, so amazing.

I cannot quite even begin to comprehend all the ramifications of what this weekend has wrought for me.

Next to the MOCA ticket and the first class ticket and the postcard is my Zoltar fortune.

None your business.

Some things too sacred and special to share.

Some love you want to hold against your heart.

For fear that the bottom will drop out like it did that time you were kissed on the couch and you will never be the same again.

I will never be the same again.

And that is just alright with me.

I may have stepped off the ferris wheel, giddy and giggly and wobbly with my heart bouncy and bright and my smile so large it must have lit the sky a small bright star of love on the cusp of the ocean, the edge of the sea, the beginning of a new world view shimmers into sight.

But I am still riding high.

Still celebratory in my joy and the love I was able to bear witness to and receive, in the capacity for honest communication and appreciation of life, art, the heart, opening and breaking and making more space for more feelings and more.

Yes.

More.

And more.

Love.

I’ll buy that ticket any day of the week.

It’s a ride I never want to stop and regardless of what happens next.

I know that ferris wheel in my heart will continue to revolve.

And.

Evolve.

It will go the distance.

Practice Makes Perfect

April 7, 2014

Well, maybe not perfect.

But a whole lot better.

I took my Vespa out for her first solo ride.

Sans friends.

Just me and a scooter.

ME

Me

Scooter

And A Scooter

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

Nervous too.

I was.

Unmindful?

A little bit.

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

Oops.

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

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

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

It was on.

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

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

I wasn’t going to go far.

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

Which is exactly what I did.

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

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

This time much better.

I rolled up to the stop sign at Judah.

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

I got it to second gear.

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

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

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

I gave myself plenty of space.

I grinned a lot.

I thought, I got this.

Then I killed it at a stop sign.

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

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

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

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

I smiled.

He smiled.

The world smiled.

Or that’s what it felt like.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I might have blushed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We used to study Shaolin together.

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

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

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

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

I rode my bicycle.

I am not ready to scoot that far.

Yet.

But I will be.

Soon.

Just a little more practice.

And it’s on.

 


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