Posts Tagged ‘tea’

Be Gentle

October 25, 2015

To yourself.

He said to me on phone as I sobbed into the receiver.

The receiver.


As though my little phone has a mouth piece and an ear piece.

As though I am in a corner of the house in Windsor, the kitchen nook, on the old yellow rotary, oh yeah, that’s right, I had a rotary phone, out dated even for then, but completely functional, with a long curled cord that would get tangled up in itself.

“Have you eaten yet?” He asked, discerning the most important thing, “girl, you’re totally in HALT.”





I might add sad to that.


But it doesn’t sound as good and crisp as HALT.

“Of course I have,” I said into the phone, “I know better than to call you without having first put some sustenance in myself.”

I had eaten the bowl of soup, Tom Kha from Thai House (Vietnamese coconut milk soup with thinly sliced onions, lemon grass, carrots, and chicken) with some brown rice, standing up in my kitchen trying to catch my breath and focus on what was in front of me.

Damn it man.

This is the second time I have done this to myself.

I am acutely aware of my part.

My feelings, though, they were hurt.


And so it goes.

I had my feelings hurt.

Things happen.

How do I recover?

How do I take care of myself?

Shakily spooning soup into my mouth like an idiot who had waited too long to eat, tears snaking down my face co-mingled with eye liner and snot.


I tell ya, I got sexy all locked up, don’t try to get anything by me.

I fell down this hole and I should have known better, in fact, I had an intuition to eat my dinner, call, text, and say you can’t wait until after school to eat.  But I got caught up in a conversation with a professor.


Then I thought, no, just soldier through.

Gird your loins and get it.

It’s not so bad.


The thing is.

It’s not too bad, my feelings, my tender heart, tender, but was I going to die?


Did it feel like it?


That is the nature of a panic attack.

Welcome to graduate school, land of panic attacks.

Someone in my cohort admitted to having had one yesterday, maybe they are in the air, catching, like a cough, a soul sickness, a salty sadness, bereft in the elevator shaft of my soul, the cars rumbling up and down, but only stopping mid-floor, caught up in the sinews and entanglements of my heart.

Second panic attack since I have been in graduate school.

Good times.

At least I know what to do, but it was hard to facilitate that where I was.

I closed my eyes and prayed.

I asked to have it lifted.

I slowed my breathing.

I got into my body.

It was hard.

My body was a bit depleted.

I am going to take a moment here, now, and breathe.

“Don’t tell someone who is in a panic to breath,” my professor said today during lecture, “why?”

“The client will feel judged,” I said.

I felt judged.



Then abandoned.

On the doorstep.

The front gate.

The wrought iron rails dipped in safety orange paint.

I held a crumpled brown paper bag of take out soup in my hand.

My ride pulled away after declining to come in.

I was a mess.

I felt like I showed my most vulnerable self and was dropped like a sack of kittens outside of the car and as I sobbed inside, I shut the door to the car and walked away.

My feelings were hurt.


Give it time, give it time, give it time.

“You have every right to feel like that,” he said to me sweet as pie in my ear, “girl, maybe what you have to do is just submerge yourself in your school weekends, nothing but that, stop trying to fit other things in when you are in school, a dinner date after class all day is too much.”

He paused, “and pack some more snacks.”

He was soft, but firm.

Then he told me about falling in a hole.

And climbing out.

And walking down the same street and saying, “oh, there’s that hole again, better skirt it,” but walking right into it again.

Pulling myself out again.


Going down the same street and saying, “oops, there’s that hole again, maybe I should give it more room, but still skirting too close to the edge, which crumbles and I fall in.”

I laughed, yes, I have done this.


“Then, one day you walk down the street and cross over to the other side,” he continued.


“Finally, you just don’t turn down that street anymore.”

“Be gentle to yourself,” he admonished me again, “maybe go for a walk, get some fresh air, or do whatever you need to do to take care of yourself.”

“Now, I got to go and eat some food myself,” he said.

“I love you.”

“I love you too.”

We hung up.

I drank some tea.

I put Coleman Hawkins on the stereo.

I decided to pause on writing my blog and sent off some poems to a friend in my cohort who asked for a copy of the sonnets I recently wrote.


I realized I wanted a really, really, really hot shower.


I did that too.

Washed the hair, shaved the legs, dried the hair, lotion, put on some yoga pants and a cozy sleep shirt.

I looked at my phone.

I couldn’t help it.


I knew it was all ok.

Because it always is.

When I focus on all the abundance I have.

When I know that emotions they come and go and I can write it out and let it go and pray and ask for direction, love, guidance.

So leave your things by the sea.

And when the thieves come in.

Just let them take what they need.

And wash it out.

Wash it out.

Wash it out.

Just wash it out.

I put on The Mynabirds and sang and breathed soft in my heart.

I am taken care of.

I am alright.

I am taken care of.

I am loved.

I love myself.

I forgive myself.

Regret doesn’t undo a single thing.

I hope you’re happy today.

If we could go back to the beginning.

We might not have had any wall between us.

I hope you’re happy at the end of the day.

I hope you’re happy today.

So very happy.

I hope you’re happy today.


You Are A Gem

May 10, 2015

“I just wanted to let you know that,” she said to me at the Crepevine as I was sitting and waiting for my meal to arrive.

“I mean, really, such a gem,” she came back to pat my hand and then added, “and so beautiful, you just look stunning.”

That’s so nice to hear.

Especially when I felt a bit blown out and tender and had been crying and well, of course I was wearing eyeliner, duh.

I didn’t have a bad day.


It was challenging.

Lots happened.

Lots didn’t happen too.

When I reflect on the day, it was successful in its own way.

I did sleep in, a teeny, tiny bit.

I did slow down a bit.

I wrote a lot.

I rode my bike a bit.

Not my scooter at all.

Although I addressed it.

And for a moment, felt like I was getting slapped around by the Universe.

But really.

I saw it.

So clear.

It’s all God’s.

It’s God’s money, its God’s Vespa.

Apparently it’s God’s Vespa from Vietnam.


“This, this, this,” he rattled them off at me, “Asia, Vietnam, yes, the engine is new, but it’s not Italian, it’s Indian, as in, from India.”

I teared up.

I couldn’t help it.

The side panel on the ground, the whipsaw denigration of my sweet, cute, sassy little ride.

Then being told to go dump it in the bay because it’s not worth anything and they didn’t want to touch it.


You could say that wasn’t the news I wanted to hear.

The owner of the shop saw my distress and took me back inside and offered me a soda or a cup of water and had me sit down on the bench in the store and his big English bulldog came over and leaned on me and let me scratch his ears, while listening to the various scenarios being played out for my scooter’s life.

None of which sounded all that great.

At one point I stopped him, touched his shoulder and said, “I need you to slow down, I don’t understand anything you are saying.”

Aside from the fact that my scooter was  piece of crap.

His words.

Poor little scooter.

Don’t take it personally.

I kept telling myself, there maybe something to be done, but it’s not happening now, I’m too upset, the owner’s mechanic refused to do anything to it, “nope, it’s a “Nammer, I’m not touching it.”

I am not my scooter.

Nor am I hurt, dead, owing of money to anyone.

I felt momentarily bowled over.

Oh, that’s for sure.


The owner of the shop said, listen you know a lot of people, a lot of the same people he too knows, talk to your guys, ask for help, see what they say.  He agreed to keep it at the shop and see if there was anything they could do and I should “sleep on it” and call back on Wednesday or Thursday.

He even called the mechanic who had worked on it for my friend who sold it to me and got the story of the scooter.

I was at the shop for a good long while and pretty blasted by the end of the afternoon.

I text a friend in the neighborhood and walked over and had tea in the Mission.

On the way I saw a party happening at Public Works and an old acquaintance an old friend, a guy I had not seen in years, on the side-walk outside Public Works, making a phone call, smoking a cigarette.

I thought, oh my God, that’s ______________.

I almost waved to him.

Then I looked closer.

He did not look well.




He looked like the bottom of a shoe that has been scraped on the side-walk outside the End Up and the all black wardrobe did not hide the beer gut and double chin.

Oh honey.


Luxury problems.

I got no problems.

All is good in my hood.

I opted to not cross over or say hello, I breathed deep and sent him a big mental hug and instead continued up the street and went to my friend’s place for a hot cup of tea and a quick catch up.

Then over to the Inner Sunset to 7th and Irving to catch a brilliant stage adaptation of “The Hellgrammite Method” The New Twilight Zone, Season 3 (1988) written by William Selby and “Passage for a Trumpet” The Twilight Zone, Season 1 (1960) written by Rod Sterling.

On the way, I swung into Flax and let myself have an artist date, because retail therapy and art supplies go hand in hand.

I caught the N-Judah (bus, since the train line was being repaired) and reached out to some friends and asked for help, suggestions, ideas, I confirmed my coffee date with my friend who sold me the Vespa and I’ll get to see him tomorrow and see what he thinks too.


I know that there is nothing wrong.

It’s just another experience to be had.

And if God doesn’t want me to have a Vespa, well, I have a bicycle.

And a wonderful cozy home.

A healthy, body.

Good friends who love me.




I really have all that I need.

And the sound track of some Chet Baker on the stereo.

Tomorrow is another day of adventures and what ever happens.



I am absolutely ok with.

I’m not on the side-walk in the middle of the afternoon trying to score.

I’m not a homeless kid in the park with a stray dog and a skateboard.

I’m a beautiful, sober woman with a full amazing life, living in one of the most beautiful places on earth with friends and recovery and art and theater, with new French notebooks on my table, and wild, wonderful, pink hair.


Not a one.



As Happy As You Want to Be

January 17, 2015

I got happy today.

I laughed out loud on my bicycle as I was riding past the park on my way to work, just to my left across Lincoln Ave, the sun slanting just perceptively, its golden fingers sliding through the morning fog in the trees.

I felt something swell in my heart.



I forgot that’s one of those principles I’m suppose to be practicing.

I did a lot of writing this morning, these last two mornings, actually.

For whatever reason I have had just a few more minutes in the morning for my writing or I am getting faster at writing long hand, which is not inconceivable (I don’t think that means what you think it means) as I have been writing long hand for many years.

A decade in fact.

Longer, but truly on point for the last ten years, daily for the last eight years.

I could very well be writing faster.

I give myself a half hour in the morning and generally get three pages, college rule, no margins, which means, I write in the space that uses the margins–one side to the other, unless indenting to signify a paragraph–top to bottom.

And I have noticed that I am getting in three sometimes four pages as of late.

This is good.

I always can use a little writing.

Some inventory, not yours, is always a handy little tool for helping me out.

I could see what I needed to focus on this weekend and I got excited.


Why I can focus on me.

I am not waiting on anyone to do the things that I need to do or listen to the music I want to listen to, to eat where I want to eat and sleep when and how I want to.

Three day weekend baby.

New tattoo tomorrow.

Dinner with good friends.

Dancing into the evening.

I realized, shocking sometimes the simplest things that come to me, that I don’t need my boyfriend to love me.


I know, it’s a nice thought.

I don’t need him to be happy either.

I am loved.

And I am happy.

I don’t have to rely on anyone to make me happy, I can just be happy.

And I laughed out loud.

I am living inside a hula hoop and keeping to myself my shit.

Which is rather refreshing.

I found myself trying, I say trying because it was not a successful attempt at a wallow, not even half-heartedly, to be weird about tonight.

It’s Friday.

What am I doing?

I mean, I know what I am doing.

But I haven’t made a date with the man, what am I going to do?


I am not in high school.

I am 42.

Get on it.

Either communicate with the man who you are seeing that you want to go on a date or take care of the things that you need to do for yourself.

I went back to my question.

What would I do if I was single?

And it all fell into place.

I was going to do exactly what I had planned on doing and probably just come home and do this, blog.


Put my hands on the key board and let the story of the day out of my head and be happy with it.

I can focus on what I think I should have, dates, amour, love, passion, story book romance, flowers galore, dancing, all the fantasy trappings and movie dialogue or I can focus on the sweet man I do have and not worry about what he’s up to.

I can focus on me.

I can focus on the fact that there are ten lovely folks coming out to dinner with me to celebrate a milestone in my recovery.

I can also focus on the fifteen or so folks that are coming dancing tomorrow night.

I can focus on the love that is all around me and not worry about what I think I don’t have.

Fear of losing something I think I have.

Fear of not getting what I think I deserve.

Fear of not having enough.


I almost smacked my head with my hand when I was on my bike.

I have so very much.

In no particular order and with poor punctuation the spell checker will go mad over I have a vintage 1965 Vespa scooter, 10 years of sobriety, friends, good friends that know me and love me, my mom and my sister in my life, some closure around my relationship or lack thereof with my father, a really good job with little boys who tell me they love me, a paycheck, a shot at graduate school, an Iphone, a one speed sparkle pony of a whip, a beautiful head of hair, I mean really, I do have some nice hair, a case of vanity, hahaha, 10 beautiful pink Gerber daisies in a Mason jar in front of me, a laptop that still works–hey I’m writing this blog aren’t I?

I have so much more than that.

Good coffee in my cupboard.

Music on my stereo.

Hot tea in a mug from Hallowell, Maine.

A glowing bunny night-light from Paris.

A cozy bed to sleep in.


So much love.

I can focus on the I am not getting what I want or I can see that I have so much that more will never be the answer.

Acceptance and forgiveness.

Love and tolerance.


I don’t need anyone to be happy, I get to be happy.

So that was my choice today.

I was happy.

I dare say perhaps obnoxiously so, but it was such a good feeling to be genuine in all my interactions today.

The day went by quick.

I listened to music that made my feet happy.

I smiled.

A lot.

I saw old friends I haven’t seen in a while.

I made a small but significant announcement, much to my delight, where I had made a similar one nine years ago tonight.

I rode my bicycle home through the park and smelled the trees and clover and prayed and talked to God and realized that riding my bike, I have realized this before, but it was another little layer peeled back, that riding my bike is a spiritual endeavor, one I do alone, but am never alone for.

I got home and had mail from two dear families that both mean so much to me, one here in San Francisco and one in Wisconsin.

I opened my door and said “hello house,” and smiled.

Home and happy.

Happy to be home.




And then some more happy.

I Like It Hard and Fast

March 22, 2014

I explained to her as we stood in the swirling lights of the club.

My music, that is.


I was asked if I do escatic dance and I said I had gone once and had it recommended to me a number of times but that I did not like the music much the time I went, way too slow and low-key and ambient.

I like it hard and fast.

I like trance and side trance and electro house and French House and classic Detroit dirty four on the floor grind it out and drop it hard.

I like to boogie.

I got some boogie on tonight and my legs are a little boogied out.

I also got a ride home from a friend with a truck who tossed my two-wheel steed in the back and graciously dropped me at the house.

I feel lucky.

And though I did not feel much like writing my blog, I knew I was going to and I realized as I started typing that I would still be riding my bicycle home and not even be writing yet, let alone boiling a pot of water for tea.

“Can you believe I am just going to go home and chill out and maybe watch a bit of a show,” an older man said to me as I was hustling my bike across the street to my friends pick up.

“I’m going to go home and have tea” I said.

He shook his head, “you’re too young for tea.”


I love that.

“You should be going out and hitting the after party,” he nodded, “that’s what pretty girls should do.”

Nope, not this pretty girl.

This pretty girl was already up past her bedtime.

Earlier in the evening my darling friend Bonne yawned and I yawned and we both laughed, long week at work, extra hours, what are we doing going out dancing, I think had either one of us not bought the tickets it would have been a done deal, both of us would have gone home to bed.

But we went dancing instead.

And it was good, it was good to get out, it was good to move, although I think I might take an ibuprofen or two here in a minute, I am sore from all the bike riding over the last few weeks, the end of a full nanny week, and yes, dancing pretty solid for three hours.


Not too bad for a 41-year-old lady with cruddy knees.

“You’re older than me?” My friend said incredulously as we were handing over our ids to the bouncer.

I had seen him walking up as I was locking my bicycle to the rack outside the club and we went in together talking this and that, turns out he had been there all day helping the Flaming Lotus Girls get their stuff set up for the benefit.

It was nice to see him and I was not expecting to also get a ride home, which as I said, super grateful for as it winds toward the 3 a.m. hour.

I ran into a few other folks as well, a photographer from the PinHole Photography project who has been bugging me to go play frisbee golf forever and we may finally get out to the course in Golden Gate Park, I should even if he and I don’t hook up.

I haven’t played frisbee golf in over a decade.

It would be fun to get back into it, its great exercise and fun and really cheap.

Like free.

The only cost is a driver and a putter.

You can have a lot more discs in your bag than that, I certainly did when I was playing, but ultimately that’s all you need to start.  There are no “greens fees” and the course is maintained by the parks department.

I have never even walked through the entirety of it.

I did do a piece on it for KQED when I was interning there and it ended up getting air way back, must be five years ago now.

I also ran into an artist whose work I really admired on playa at Burning Man and got to thank her face to face, never having officially met her at the event, and I got to dance.

Dancing being the main draw of it.

The Space Cowboys threw a great show and I was thrilled, although the first set did start out sort of slow, the second slayed it and the third put me over the top.

I was not so enamoured with the fourth set and wandered off to grab some water, get my messenger bag screen printed (the Flaming Lotus Girls were screen printing for donations), take some silly photographs with Bonne and then the text came with the offer for the ride home and that was all she wrote.

I do like it hard and fast, but I can’t do it all night long like I used to.

The knees are just too old and they don’t like that it.

I wish I could.

But there’s nothing wrong with dancing a little less maniacally and coming home to have tea instead of coming home to host an after party and wonder when it’s appropriate to kick the strange guy out of my bed.

“I used up all my drink tickets,” I told the man as I waited for the light to change at 13th and Mission, “I like going home to drink tea.”

Getting to go out and play for a while and then come home and take care of myself is the best of both worlds and I certainly wake up feeling much better than I used to.

And I get to sleep in tomorrow, which I was not expecting, I had a commitment to meet someone in the morning at Tart to Tart and they called in sick.

So I have no plans for tomorrow until I am due in Noe Valley at 7p.m.

I can sleep in all day.

Not that I will, but it’s nice knowledge to have.

And with that, this lady is heading to bed.

Where I shall fall asleep.

Hard and fast.

You Got To Write

March 4, 2014

And I got to go.

My friend just left, after two big bowls of homemade soup, to ride his cycle through the wet streets and back to the Mission.

I don’t like starting my blog “late” but I also know I am going to have limited time with said friend as he is going to be exploring another coast, the East Coast, here in just a few months.

I don’t doubt he shall return, all prodigal son like, to San Francisco, but he’ll be in New York for a little while.

So, hang time was a must and when he said tea, I said yes, and when he said, soup?

I said of course.

I had made some yesterday.

It feels really nice to have a friend over for tea and a bowl of soup.

Who’s hungry?

I feel like I have a home to accommodate things like this, small gestures, no grand dinner parties will be had here, but just a nice simple bowl of hot soup and some good conversation.

I think that about sums up a well lived life.

Friends, some travel, a good bowl of hot soup on a cold, rainy night, a spot of tea, a good talk.

I have a great life, then.

Not that I had any doubts.


I had a great day too, nothing extraordinary.

Just some stories in my head that had to get shook out and when that needed happening my charge actually called one of my best girlfriends.

I had no idea that my phone was going until I heard a little mechanical voice asking if I had left the message that I wanted to leave.


She actually called back and I was able to tell her my story, which as soon as it left my head, lost all its power.

Which is why I need my friends.

I need someone to tell me when I am off and how to get back on track.

It was a good day for that.

And yeah, it rained, and yeah, I got wet on the bike ride home, but it wasn’t horrible and it wasn’t too cold and I arrived safely home.

The only thing that I am thinking ride wise for the rest of the week is that I am going to need to reschedule my written test for my motorcycle license, it’s just not going to fit into my work schedule on Friday.

After I finish my blog I am going to hop over to the DMV website and give that a go.

What I really need is an appointment on a Saturday.

The hours at the DMV are 9a.m.-5p.m. M-F, the exact hours I am at work, well, close to, my work hours start earlier and end later, but there is not wiggle room for me to get in and out of work to go to take the test.

Unless I leave early on a work day, which I am loath to do.

I shall just see what will come up appointment wise and try for a Saturday appointment.

Scooter me up baby.

Tomorrow I will actually be driving a vehicle that is not on two wheels.

The mom is going to leave the car and is sending me over the bridge to the Discovery Museum.  The weather is supposed to be nice and it will be a great adventure.

I miss having access to a car with my current charges.

I am in walking distance of plenty of fun stuff, don’t get me wrong, but when I was a nanny in Potrero Hill the family who hosted the share left there Volvo station wagon for me to use.

I made field trips all over the city.

I took them to China Town, on the cable cars, to the ice skating rink, we went to the Farmers Market on the Embarcadero, over to the Discovery Museum a bunch of  times, many, many, many trips up to the Randall Museum, to the zoo, to the MOMA, to the Redwood Steam Trains in Tilden park, to Little Farm–also in Tilden Park, we went to a semi-private little known beach in Sausalito and they went swimming, we went to the USF swimming pool, Golden Gate Park, the Academy of Sciences, all the rec centers–Eureka Valley, Jackson Rec, good lord, where didn’t we go, now that I think about it.

It was a great gift having access to that car.

I will always remember the great nanny trifecta of Academy of Science, feeding squirrels in the park at the Golden Gate playground, followed by the most rare and fleeting of occurrences–nap time at the same time.

And this was not just a nap time.

It was a three-hour nap for both of them.

The first half hour was in the car on the way back from the Academy of Science and I remember I had purposely turned up the music and was encouraging them to sing along as I could see them both slipping into slumber land.

They did not make it.

I pulled up to the spot on DeHaro, killed the engine, ran up to the house, opened the door, dropped my bags on the floor, opened up the door to the nursery–baby gated–and then the door to the little boys bedroom, then ran back down the stairs, pulled out the first monkey out of the carseat, got him, still asleep, into the house and into the bed and snicked the door shut behind him, and hustled back down the steps, scooping the little girl, shutting the car door, setting the alarm, up the steps, around my bags, shut the door, up the second set up steps to the nursery and got her into her pack-n-play without waking her up.


Then they both slept so long I checked to make sure they were still sleeping twice.

I had innumerable cups of tea and sat in the sun light streaming in the back patio window.

I will never forget this.

I thought to myself.

And I haven’t so far.

A car, a kid, an adventure.

I am ready.

Tomorrow it’s on.

Field trip!

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