Posts Tagged ‘Thai Cottage’

I’m Done!

May 1, 2017

I’m done!

I’m done!

I am done.

I wrote my last paper for the semester today and I got it done faster than I thought I would, my friend in the cohort told me it was going to be a much easier paper to write than Trauma, that it would, in effect, write itself.

That was exactly my experience.

Almost spooky how it wrote itself.

Nine pages, 2,832 words.

It took about two hours to write, maybe two and a half.

I was shocked how quickly it happened and I had absolutely no problems or sticky spots, it just flowed out of my fingers and I was able to finish and have a really nice late lunch out on the back patio.

I did my typical Sunday gig and roasted a chicken and made a pot of brown rice while I was doing the writing.

I was rewarded with a yummy lunch eaten al fresco under the warm sun.

I was stunned, actually, I still am a little.

It all happened.

It all got done.

I even, shhh, read a little today after my meal and it was pleasure reading!

Holy shit.

I haven’t done that in a while.

I don’t have to read anything for school for the next weekend of classes, I’m done with the reading, I’m done with the papers.

I sent in my Couples Therapy paper last Sunday and did my Trauma paper yesterday and my Community Mental Health paper today, the Trauma and CMH paper I will be handing in hard copies of.

I will do a small presentation of my paper to my Trauma class but I don’t actually know that we are going to be doing a whole lot of work in my other classes.

I feel like I’ll just be floating through next weekend, just showing up and turning in the papers and making attendance for my classes.

I won’t have to be doing any catch up work or reading, I won’t have any papers or projects due after the final weekend.

All I have to do is show up and turn in the papers.

I can take it easy the rest of the weekend.

I won’t skip out on the classes, mostly because I want to see my friends and since I am paying for the experience, I’m going to go and have some experiences.

I am off to my second hour of supervision tomorrow morning before work and that’s really about my only school obligation for a few weeks until I start the internship.

I made it through!

God it feels good.

I did yoga today too, even though I am not a fan of the teacher that was the substitute, I showed up and got some stretching in and put in my time, it’s a practice I need to keep practicing.

I am breathing and being in my body and it helps to do that before I write my papers, takes the edge off, gets the anxiety out of my body and frees up my mind to do the work.

I am grateful for the little yoga studio in my hood.

I am grateful for my hood.

Seeing people I know, being seen.

Going to the coop, having dinner tonight at Thai Cottage.

I had a date as well.

We went to Thai Cottage.

There was kissing, but I did not invite him in.

I am actually quite proud of myself for that.

And I can’t actually tell if I want to pursue it or not.

I liked him, he’s attractive, smart, tattoos, sober.

But I went in and out of being interested.

The kissing was nice.

But it wasn’t the key to unlock the door to my studio.

I’ll have to go on another date.

I’m not usually this ambivalent.

It’s usually a yes or a no.

This guy is a maybe.

I’m not worried about it, no, not right now, I do have a lot happening this upcoming week, supervision tomorrow, therapy Tuesday, doing the deal, connecting with ladies to read books over tea, work, then school over the weekend.

Thursday one of my girl friends from the cohort will spend the night with me and we’ll head off to class together Friday.

And next week.

Paris.

Oh my God.

I can actually see getting on a plane now that I finished up all the final papers for class.

It’s not so surreal.

It’s happening.

I am so very excited.

It’s going to be so nice to have ten days off.

I ran into a friend in the fellowship yesterday and told him about my Paris trip, he’s a big Francophile and a photographer and his photos are on the walls of the cafe I was at, most of them alleyways in Paris, and it was with much excitement that I shared I was going.

He asked me to send Paris a kiss from him.

We talked about the museum pass and he said, “you got to get the three-day for sure.”

I’m actually thinking about getting the four-day, I’m going to be there for ten days, well eight when you take out the travel time, but still I can definitely do four full days of museums.

The other four days, Sacre Couer, The cemetary in the Montmartre, Pere LaChaise Cemetery, the markets, the broquantes, some clothes shopping, a tattoo from Abraxas, getting lost and then found in the Marais, walks along the Seine, the Luxembourg gardens, the Tuilleries, maybe a pop into Le Chat Noir and do the Paris open mic scene for old times sake.

There will be plenty for me to do.

And I get to do it without worry about school or internships or work, it’s all lined up.

I have a great job, a good internship, I’m wrapping up my second year of my Master’s degree, it’s all happening.

It feels so good to have these papers put to rest.

No stress for the rest of the week.

Just showing up for my responsibilities and recovery.

For friends.

And fun.

Definitely can squeeze a little more fun in there for sure.

I got my papers done!!

So.

Over the moon.

Seriously.

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Soft, Slow, Sleepy

March 21, 2016

Sunday.

I needed to sleep in.

I was bushed last night when I got home.

The good news was the mom and dad got back from the fund raiser an hour earlier than we had planned.

I was in a car and heading home around 1 a.m.

I was just done in.

As I have said, the cold was getting to me.

I did set an alarm and although I did not sleep all the way to the alarm, I did get a great amount of very restful sleep.

The cold appears to be waning.

This morning the spot in my chest that has felt like there’s a small hole in it, ceased to be painful and I didn’t cough up as much gunk as I have the rest of the week.

I am still keeping a low profile, but have been feeling better and better all day.

On one hand I wish that it hadn’t been so rainy.

On the other.

I am glad that it was.

It kept me in the neighborhood and it kept me quiet and contemplative.

Not in a bad way.

A retrospective, insightful way, more like.

I also did a good bit of school reading.

I knocked out all my Multi-Cultural reading and half of the reading for my Clinical Relationship class.

I should be able to get the rest of the readings done this week.

I have plenty of time.

My next weekend of classes is April 8-10th.

I have three papers due this round, and of course the ubiquitous posting to Applied Spirituality.

Well.

I actually don’t know if I have three papers, I dashed out of Dubitzky’s Psychoanalytical class last weekend as I had plans and was impatient with the class already running over time.

Only to find out that there was going to be a paper assignment.

Ack.

She is supposedly sending it to the class, but I haven’t seen it show up yet.

Until that point.

Two papers.

One of which I did the majority of work on in class, just need to type it up and print it off.

I also got my hard drive downloaded to an external hard drive.

Now the question is?

Do I start deleting stuff?

How do I go about making room on my MacBook Air?

I suppose I should just call up the help desk.

I do have Apple Care for fucks sake.

There is just this silly trepidation, I’ll look stupid, I’ll ask the wrong questions, somehow, mysteriously, I will fuck up my computer and lose it all.

I could go on.

Heh.

I actually just tried to contact Apple support and my internet dropped.

Nothing is going to happen.

My computer won’t explode and if I don’t figure it out tonight, I will soon.

Really the only thing left to do tonight is write my blog, doing it, and rest.

I am debating yoga in the morning before work.

I haven’t gone at all this week since I’ve been under the weather.

I may hold off until Tuesday and give it one more day of sleep and rest.

I did do nice self-care today, although, it may easily have been a side affect of the weather not being so hot.

I did manage to get out a little, some short walks in the rain to the co-op up the street, and I caught the sunset!

There was a break in the rain for about twenty minutes right before the sun went down and the sky lit up and I had to go outside.

Had to.

I hustled down to the ocean and caught the last kiss of the sun as it was swallowed up by the sea and felt uplifted to have just that moment of sunlight on my face.

A tiny, whispering, soft kiss of light to get me through.

I walked home.

And yeah.

No more homework for tonight.

Just some rest and some watching a show.

Some more tea.

I even got Thai Cottage take out.

I did do my cooking for the week, but since I had it for lunch I decided to go with a little spicy pumpkin curry and brown rice.

So good.

I am replete and though this blog is a short blog.

Sweet, too.

I am going to end it there and snuggle down in my cozy bed and rest the rest of the day.

Sundays are for sabbaticals I hear.

A day of rest indeed.

A Room Of Ones Own

February 13, 2016

I was reminded how lucky I was tonight to have the small, sweet, kind space that I have made into a room of my own.

A space to dream.

A place to dance.

A restful place.

“I would never leave,” my friend sighed as she walked in my room.

I smiled.

I sometimes feel like that.

I might get a little lonely though.

We re-connected in class and decided we would be coming out here to my side of town to hang out, she’s staying in a place in the Haight.  Like a surprising number of people in my cohort, she commutes into school once a month.

There are folks from Miami, Fl.

Nevada.

Mexico.

All up and down the Western Coast line from Santa Cruz up to Portland.

There are lots of folks in the Berkeley, Oakland, Bay Area too.

I feel like there may be more folks from out of town than in town, but I may not be correct in that, although if they don’t outweigh the in town students, it’s a darn close call.

Anyway.

My friend came out here to spend time with me tonight.

It was a great Friday night date, girls night out.

We met here, I dropped my books off and prepped my notes and readers and texts for tomorrow (they are in the fridge, I kid you not, I have a large insulated liner bag for the basket on the back of my scooter, I pretty much packed my lunch and dinner for tomorrow in the bag, put my readers and books and notes on top, zipped it up and put it on the bottom shelf.  There may be more text books than food currently in my fridge) and we scooted down the street to Java Beach.

It was perfect.

Apple cinnamon tea, the sunsetting down by the beach, the locals coming in and out, the hum of the cafe, my dear, sweet, kind friend, all ears and eyes and heart.

It is so good to have girl friends.

“Well,” I said defensively, hands on the hips of my periwinkle blue dirndl (this was way back in the olden days when I worked at the Essen Haus in Madison and all the staff wore traditional German costumes.  I used to joke that the dirndl was the German’s idea of a Wonder Bra) “it is a mom cut, she totally looks like someone’s mom,” I repeated back to my friend.

“You’re not used to having girlfriends are you,” my friend said to me.

“What are you talking about,” I tried to knock the defensive tone from my voice, now I was just curious, how did she know that.

“You just don’t tell a girl friend that her new hair cut makes her look like her mom, it’s just not kosher,” my friend explained.

“Oh, I was just telling the truth,” I said.

“I know, she probably knows that too, but it’s just not the nice way to say it,” my friend continued, “you didn’t really have girl friends in high school did you?”

“Nope,” I said.

And to a point that was true.

But there were girls I really wanted to be friends with, some whom I actually got to reconnect with after high school that was really quite amazing, the power of social media, girls who I thought were smart or kind or funny, girls I wanted to hang out with.

And it happened sometimes, I got to be with a group of girls, I was in a peer group, I can see that, but my family dynamic was so messed up, I could never really have friends over.

The friendships that might have developed never really had a chance to flower.

Then there were times, when looking back with some perspective, that I just didn’t trust women, I had a mom who didn’t have a lot of girl friends and if she did, they tended to be women she was partying with.

It has taken time and effort.

I have had some girl friends too that were not good for me and I saw myself needing to get out of the mix.

I have learned.

And loved.

And lost a few relationships, but also kept a few too.

That one dear friend, the one who was so insightful about my not having girlfriends, well, going on 21 years now, 22 maybe.

Not bad.

And new girl friends at school.

Having classmates I want to hang out with and who want to hang out with me is a huge gift.

Women who want to hear my story and I theirs.

It is a lovely reciprocity.

We all have stories.

Some I connect with better than others.

“You just have such a big heart,” my friend said over tea.

To be seen.

To be validated.

To be known.

It is a powerful thing.

And to be told that I am attractive for being my colorful, exuberant, authentic self is such a gift.

First, it encourages me to continue acting from that place of self-love, if only to show other women it’s doable, commendable, and available for them too.

You want to dress as a princess?

Please get the hell on it.

I was in the shower, just now, washing my hair and wondering when I was going to have to retire the hair flowers.

I wore a white daisy in my hair today.

And a chiffon shirt in dandelion yellow with white polka dots.

I felt light and free and full of spring vibrancy.

I realized that I was never going to be too old to wear flowers in my hair and that I was going to give myself the permission to buy some more flowers for my hair if I felt like it.

I digress.

It was just nice to be myself and to spend sweet time with a dear new friend.

We also had dinner and I felt so warmed and lightened.

Blessed, really.

I am such a lucky girl.

Really.

The luckiest girl in the world.

I have the best friends.

Ever.

I do.

 

Be Gentle

October 25, 2015

To yourself.

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

The receiver.

Please.

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.”

Hungry.

Angry.

Lonely.

Tired.

I might add sad to that.

Halts.

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.

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.

Sexy.

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.

And.

Then I thought, no, just soldier through.

Gird your loins and get it.

It’s not so bad.

And.

The thing is.

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

No.

Did it feel like it?

Yes.

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.

Scared.

Vulnerable.

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.

Yup.

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.

Then.

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.

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

And.

“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.

Then.

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

So.

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.

Then.

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.

Celebrate!

June 11, 2015

Damn it man.

I am just not good at celebrating, but as the news sinks in and I have been sharing with those about me, I feel the urge to take said suggestion and enjoy the moment.

I haven’t had many moments quite as momentous in my life.

I was writing this morning and I realized that there is a person to whom I owe a debt of gratitude for that has no idea about what has happened–I only connect with him when I see him at Burning Man–and that I can’t wait to tell him and give him a hug and say thank you for telling me to get my ass to graduate school.

“You’re a child psychologist being paid baby sitter wages, what are you going to do about it?  Do you have an undergrad degree?  Go to grad school.”

I was excited at the prospect of rolling up to his camp and hollering, “Daddy Don?!” and then telling him that I took his suggestion and I applied to graduate school and I got in!

Now.

Well, now I’m going to tell him and say, oh yeah, I also got a full ride for my first two years in school.

It is still boggling the mind.

I mean serious boggle action happening here.

I can’t fathom it really, it doesn’t make sense.

But then it does.

When I am honest and have humility, it makes sense.

Humility is being exactly who I am and accepting it, both the good and the bad.

I am awful good at knowing my faults and blowing them up to massive proportion and making myself feel rotten, the constant search for self-improvement over the sustainable and life supporting way of self-acceptance.

I am great at the flagellation necessary to be a perfectionist.

But I am not always good at receiving praise or gifts or nice things.

I have gotten better.

I really have.

I was just thinking about these two families I used to work for, I often think of them, especially since I’ll be on playa with one of them this burn, which is less than three months away!  And I remember reading the letters of recommendation that the mom’s wrote for me when I was looking for work with new families.

Those letters blew me away.

Who is this person they are writing about?

I knew it was me, but I had a hard time accepting the compliments and the honest appraisal of who I am and the job I do.

I grew up believing that I was not good enough, there was nothing I could do and that I would never be good enough, not for a man, no amount of academic success would sustain me, that the awards and trophy’s and the hard work, that it essentially meant nothing.

And yet.

I kept trying and doing and pushing.

I still keep pushing.

I expect to continue to keep pushing.

I am good at that.

But to rest.

To stop, smell the success, see it for what it is, a gift, but also one that I have worked very, very, very hard for, to recognize the accomplishment and to acknowledge that the people in charge, the ones awarding the scholarship know what they are doing and that I do deserve it.

So.

I have been told to celebrate.

I was given a few suggestions for one person who knows very well I won’t be celebrating by having my cake and eating it too.

“Spa, massage, trip to Harbin,” she suggested to me.

I immediately thought of Osento, oh how I miss you, then remembered, for the umpteenth time that it doesn’t exist any more.

Then I thought, Kabuki would be nice, it’s been awhile.

I always do the same thing though, I think, man Kabuki, that would be great, but then I don’t want to ride my bike there and back.

Maybe I take a car and splurge?

And a secret.

Despite having been given this large gift of money (not cash, not a check, there won’t be any money being deposited to my account, rather, my tuition bill will be paid at the beginning of each of my semesters for the first two years of school, it’s a three-year program, but I’ll cross the third year’s tuition when I get there) I am loathe, almost afraid, to spend any money on said celebration.

Which is silly.

Then again, I do know that I am saving my pennies for Atlanta and there’s also the distinct possibility that I may try to finance a scooter in my near future, so I want to continue being frugal.

But I can have some celebration.

I can kick up my heels a bit.

I can dance and holler and whoop.

I did a little of that this evening.

I was celebrating but I also felt capricious and silly and goofy and joyous and well, I had just gotten asked out on a date by someone I am attracted too, so, uh.

Yeah.

Celebrating by being taken out to dinner by cute guy in the neighborhood works for me too.

We had a moment when we saw each other tonight and he complimented my hair and my glasses and I thought, I should say something, but I was a little shy.

At same time, it turns out, he’s asking mutual friend if I’m single (to which he’s told, I’m dating someone!  Hello, really?  Despite sharing about break up with ex boyfriend to same group of people I appear to be in a long-term relationship?  Uh no!  But then, I thought, huh, that’s kind of compliment, I’m happy and people assume when a woman is happy she’s shacked up) about the same time as I am wondering if I should say something to him.

Serendipitous.

I actually do say something, I share a funny story and tell about the guy on Facebook who I thought was him, but turned out not to be and how I got stood up for the date.

And then, he tells me a funny story, how he’s just asked his friend if I’m available, only to be told that I’m dating someone.

We both burst out laughing.

He looks at me, “so, you’re single?”

“Yup,” I replied.

“Would you go on a date with me?” He asks.

“Yes,” I replied.

We’re both so giddy and laughing we hug, then high-five and that officially marks the first time I have high-five a guy for asking me out.

Numbers are exchanged and plans made and we’re having dinner at Thai Cottage Saturday at 7p.m.

Yes.

That sounds like celebrating to me.

I suspect I may need to do something else to fulfill the suggestion and I am wiling to do so.

I deserve to take a moment.

I show up.

I do the work.

I can show up for the rewards as well.

I can.

I promise.

I will.

Celebrate.

Good To Be Home

June 1, 2015

Home is where the heart is.

My heart travels with me well and I am blessed, blessed, I say, to get to travel right back home to where I belong, home, home, down by the sea in San Francisco.

“Uh, where are you visiting from,” one of my cousins awkwardly asked as he reached for second helpings of grandma’s rice.  “I mean, where are you from, I, uh, haha, this is coming out funny, where do you live?”

San Francisco.

How do I love thee?

Let me count the ways.

Not because of your fog, though I was not disheartened to see it rolling in over the hills, there was some sunshine out at SFO when I landed and for a moment I rejoiced even harder.

Sunshine!

In San Francisco, at this time of year.

Yay.

But the celebration was cut short.

I realized, um, yeah, the airport is on the opposite side of the city and not actually in San Francisco and is not foggy, but the fog, it is there, right there.

I can see you fog.

Hunkered down, grey, cool, misty.

I may change my tune after a couple of days of it, but I wasn’t upset to see it and it was just another characteristic of this place I love so much.

“Did you see that the median apartment in San Francisco is $4,200?”  My uncle asked me asked yesterday as he was reading an article on his new iPad.

“Yeah, it’s creepy, and I remember all the fuss about how the minimum wage has gone up, but really, nobody making minimum wage can live in the city,” I acknowledged my uncle.

“I don’t pay that much, $1300 for my studio,” I said.

My uncle still raised his eyebrows at the price and then told me about a friend who has a studio twice as large as mine and pays $500 for it.

The three bedroom house across the street goes for $1300.

Yeah.

But is it in San Francisco?

I think not.

I mean I’m sure Nevada City is great and all.

But.

Um.

No.

I don’t often question it and I don’t think about it, but I feel that I am spoiled by the beauty that surrounds me, the character of living here, even if a lot of people I know are getting priced out of living in the city.

Hell.

One of my dear friends is a doctor and her husband is a doctor too and they couldn’t afford to buy a house in San Francisco.

They found a sweet place in North Berkeley and they commute.

Many of the artists and craftsman and creatives that make San Francisco, San Francisco, have left, gone over to Oakland or further Seattle, Portland, Brooklyn.

And I am still here.

Hanging on by a tether to the edge of the sea and every time.

EVERY.

SINGLE.

TIME.

The wheels touch down and the plane lands, I smile.

I know I am home.

“Hello house!” I said when I walked in.

“So good to see you.”

Yeah.

I know.

I talk to my house.

But it is an animate space full of color and art and creativity and it’s my little space and it is my little piece of San Francisco.

And in my own teeny tiny way.

I believe I add some of that special San Francisco treat to the area I live in.

I am a character.

I am colorful.

And I don’t know where better to express who I am with as much joy as I have for being who I am, than in San Francisco.

“I love your hair!” The baggage handler said to me as I checked my bag.

My flight was delayed, see above, fog in San Francisco, and I checked my bag through to SFO rather than carry on.

There was no charge and since it was a direct flight I wasn’t worried about losing it in transit.

Plus I was going to hop on BART and then the N-Judah to get home.

I was in no rush.

The flight was short and I would say that I spent more time in transit to and from the airports than I did actually on the plane.

I made some phone calls, caught up with some lady bugs, sighed content with happiness to see the familiar Victorians going by the MUNI glass windows and when I hit Sunset on the N-Judah I called ahead to Thai Cottage and placed an order for Tom Ka soup with chicken and a side of brown rice.

“Ready in fifteen minutes!”

Yes.

I got off at 46th and Judah, hustled my bag home, and turned around and walked over to Thai Cottage to grab my lunch and dinner.

I was not cooking today.

In fact, I did make it out to the grocery store, but only to make sure I have coffee for tomorrow and apples for the making of oatmeal all week.

I’m not sure what I’ll do for food at work this week, but I just did not have it in me to cook up a bunch of food.

In fact, I am all tuckered out.

Travel can do that to me.

Even though it wasn’t a great big journey.

it was a big deal.

Saying good-bye to my grandma was a big deal, a bigger deal than I expected.

I hugged her and said “I love you,” at the curb side check in.

“I love you too,” she said.

And we looked at each other.

There.

Right there.

Don’t start crying.

It surprised me.

Where did that come from?

I understand myself well enough to see that I had some expectations going into it, not knowing what to expect I created something for myself to hold onto, the idea of history, or story, of finding out where I am from.

Instead what I got to see is this small, resilient woman, who raised four children and walked through 87 years of life see me for who I am and love me despite myself.

“You look good with flowers in your hair,” she confided in me out of the blue last night in the kitchen.

“I used to wear fresh gardenia’s in my hair, when I lived in Paia (on Maui)” she continued, “I would pick them and wash out the ants,” and she mimicked putting one behind her ear.

I am seen.

And I got to see my grandmother.

A friend jokingly responded to a photograph I posted on Instagram, “gee, no resemblance, at all.”

I laughed.

It is there.

Not just in the flowers in our hair.

But in the survival, the resiliency, the strength of a woman, the getting through, the doing the best one can with what one has.

I hope I am able to summon as much quiet strength and grace as my grandma displayed to me as I go forward.

I don’t know exactly where I will end up.

But fingers crossed.

It will still be San Francisco.

I am with myself wherever I go.

But it feels best when I am home.

Where my heart is.

I left it here and shall return again and again and again.

To reclaim it.

Dust off it’s weary travel self.

And.

Put it right back on my sleeve where it belongs.

In San Francisco

Crunch Time

August 9, 2014

This is it folks.

My last weekend before I head out.

Which means that I get it all done this weekend or it won’t get done.

Not that I have a whole lot of things left to do, a few errands, the optometrist tomorrow for contacts being the biggest one, but the niggling little things that need to be taken care of that I can’t really do other than this weekend.

Plus there’s the getting in to see everyone that I need to see before I leave.

I met with one of my lovies tonight, who came into the city from Moss Beach and brought her amazing little dog, a red Boston Terrier, with her and picked me up from my gig in the Castro and drove us over to Waller and Masonic to get right with the Universe.

Then out to the beach.

Literally, we had to park way out, there’s Outside Lands happening in Golden Gate Park and my little neighborhood was overrun with cars.

We found a spot after much circling and adjourned to the Thai Cottage and caught up over Tom Kha coconut soup with lemon grass and prawn;  chicken satay and pumpkin curry with chicken and brown rice.  So good.

It was such a lovely way to end my week.

A week of much ups and downs and some second guessing on my part.

Days of wondering what is the right thing to do and how do I move forward with work.

Today, this morning, specifically, I just felt horrible, like I had messed things up, made things complicated, trying to appease everyone and make the situation work for the entire world and I realized that I don’t need to figure out anyone else’s needs.

Just my own.

41 fucking years old and I still am trying to figure out what other people need so that I can respond accordingly and appease all outside sources.

Ugh.

But I recognized it and for that I was grateful and though I spent more time than I would like ruminating on the situation, I finally left it alone and focused more and more on what was happening in my day and I reached out to a lot of people, made phone calls and asked others how they were doing.

Man, does that help.

Not focusing on me.

Because there is nothing to worry about and when I am anxious over things I can’t control I just ruin my day right away.

I practiced by being as happy in the moment as I could be.

I wore my headphones into work and listened to upbeat music and even sketched a little dance move on the last block to work.

I danced in my studio last night.

Not very hard.

Not with complete abandon.

But as if no one was watching and I was happy.

It felt so good to move a little, to sing, to listen to music and feel buoyed up by it.

I tried to keep that a recurring theme in my day.

Just move a little, laugh a little, love a little.

Or a lot.

It was my last Friday with my little guy who is heading off to pre-school.

We will have more days together, next week for sure, but this was our last solo day and I was so happy to have a day with just him and be sweet and snuggly and laugh with him.

His sense of humor just makes me roar out loud laughing.

One might think I am a little insane with it, but it does my heart good to laugh like that.

And I ran a few errands with him since I was in the Castro and picked up a couple of toiletries that I still needed to round out my supplies for the playa.

I went over my accounts, my check book, my inventory of what few things there are left to procure and made sure that the rent and the phone would be covered and I would still have something left for groceries through the week before I leave.

I need to pay the rent before I go and I also need to ask my landlord to water my plants.

I still wish I had been able to Air BnB my studio and offset my rent for the month, but oh well, I am just glad I have a place to come home to and a place to live in San Francisco.

And grateful I get to go out to Burning Man again.

It really is a great gift and I hope that I will bring my services to bear well there.

I also found out that my first playa bunny will be there pre-event for a few days with her folks and I get to have a Junebug reunion!  I am over the moon to hear that the family will be there and I can’t wait to see her, it’s been almost a year–last year’s Decompression Party in the Dogpatch, I believe.

Crazy that this will be my 6th year on playa as a nanny.

Six years.

And my 8th Burning Man.

I am a lucky girl.

I really am.

So, I don’t mind the crunch time coming, it’s all falling into place and my ducks are in a row.  The logistics of getting here to there and all the little self-care things I need to do for myself as I wind down to the final countdown of days, are in place.

The event focuses on radical self-reliance, which for me means focusing on radical self-care.

Many of my friends are going this year, but I won’t be having the same experience, nor will I have the ability to wander off into the playa and be a goofball with no conception of responsibility.

I have to be on my game to nanny.

That self-care that I do is brought into high focus out there.

I don’t stay out late.

I get up early.

I write.

I eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner at pretty regular hours.

I shower as often as I can.

I nap as often as I can.

I eschew a lot of the experiences that folks go to the event to be a part of.

But that’s ok.

I am a quiet, small piece of how the event gets to be what the event gets to be for so many folks.

I am part of the support staff to the people who need to manage the people who put together the event.  It’s a really lovely thing for me to know, that I get to help, in my own quiet small way, by doing what I do as a nanny to that the organization can put on one of the most amazing events in the history of the United States and of my time.

It’s an honor.

One I prepare for with diligence.

One I am just about ready to go get it on.

It’s crunch time folks.

T-minus six days.

 

Early To Blog

January 2, 2014

Early to bed.

Home again home again.

Jiggedy jig.

Home.

God what a fantastic thing that.

I am so looking forward to crawling into my own bed tonight.

Just cannot wait.

Started my blog early, I am beat, I never blog this early, usually I have something going on something on my agenda, a thing, a person, an idea, a I dunno, somethin’.

But tonight I have bed on the mind.

Bed and an uninterrupted night of rest.

“Mommy, daddy?” She said with a small plaintive cry, that crept into my ear as I lay on the couch in the dark, the hooting and revelry in the Mission winding down a bit.

Although, it would wind back up at certain moments, a few times I wondered if there was a block party happening or a roving party, sometimes it was just fast cars and slamming doors, sometimes hollers for cabs or drunken revellers coming in from the night.

Either way, I was on high alert despite the hour and I had woken a few minutes prior wondering if I had heard a shuffling noise from the bedroom.

I had just drifted back down to a possible level of sleep when I heard her little whisper from the other side of the door.

I got up, looked at the clock, 3:40 a.m.

Ugh.

I opened the door to her room and found her having crawled out of her bed laying propped against the door face down on the floor.

I scooped her up, “mommy, daddy, home soon, let’s get back in bed,” and snuggled her back in, resetting the lullabies on her little music machine and quietly shutting the door.

I stood outside in the hallway for a moment listening as her breathing deepened and she went back to slumber land.

Slumber land where I will be tonight, repeat, in my own bed.

Ah, my own bed.

Nothing like a night on a strangers couch to make one realize how happy and wonderful it is to have one’s own bed.

I am not doing another over night nanny gig.

“What if someone gave you a $1,000 to do it?” My friend Calvin asked me as we headed to Trouble to catch up and have coffee, soon thereafter to be followed by Thai Cottage, a good New Years day combo.

“Ok, sure, I might consider it, but man, it sucks, and nothing, nothing went wrong,” I replied.  “In fact, it was the perfect scenario, both the babies (I say babies, but it was an eleven month and a two and a half-year old, so not exactly babies) went down right on schedule.”

There was no struggle with the bed time routine, there was no, “I need to pee again, or I want water, or read me another story.”

It went off without a hitch.

I even watched a great movie, The Reader (ok, a bit depressing, but beautifully done) on the large flat screen television in the living room with the worlds largest cat on my lap keeping me warm.

I had hopped in the car from the Cole Valley gig and went directly to the Mission, 25th between Guerrero and Valencia, and got the low down at the house there.

I met the two and a half-year old little girl, adorable, the dog, ridiculously sweet and cute, got all emergency numbers programmed in my phone, got paid, and was invited to partake of anything I could need or want for food.

In fact, the dad left a twenty spot on the counter in case I had not had dinner (I had already eaten, but was very touched by the generosity) and said “help yourself to anything.”

Thanks, but no, not so much.

I did have a snack in the evening after I finished last nights blog and had started watching the movie, and breakfast and coffee this morning, but there is nothing quite like your own home with your own food and the things that make you feel comfortable therein.

Like I said, nothing went wrong.

No emergency, aside from re-tucking the little girl back in, and the inevitable cry of the baby, hungry for his first morning bottle, at 5:40 a.m.

Double ugh.

But just being on high alert at all times, not really getting sleep, not really resting.

“This is why I don’t want kids,” I thought as I stumbled up for the couch, to the kitchen, in the dark, grabbing a bottle from the fridge I popped it into a bowl in the sink I had set up the night before, just a few hours before really, and ran hot water over it.

I got the baby out of the crib, trying to not engage, I knew if I was quiet and calm I could probably get him re-settled in with a warm bottle and he might sleep another half hour or more.

I quickly changed his diaper, re-settled him in the crib, re-set his noise machine and slipped the warm bottle into his little paws.

I walked backwards out the door, shut it and lay on the couch again, dozing off fitfully until 6:33 a.m. when he hollered out he was good and ready to get up, so let’s go, lady!

And go I did.

It feels like the same day in some weird kind of way and not a holiday or a day off, it feels, really it is, like I worked some marathon shift and am now recuperating from it.

I got done at 10:15 a.m. and hustled over to Philz to meet someone and do the deal.

I was going to stay in the neighborhood, but we finished early and all I wanted was to get out of the Mission.

I wanted home, home by the sea.

I made a short pit stop at 7th and Irving to get my head screwed on straight and decided to eat out for lunch, forgetting that its New Years day and the few places that were opened were swamped with lines.

I climbed on my bike, shouldered my messenger bag with all my over night stuff and just hit it to the ocean.

I made an omelet and started the day over.

By 3:30p.m. I was back in my right mind, but still off a little, uncertain how to spend the rest of the day when I got the text from Cal saying let’s get coffee and though I had a full pot of French press at the house and a Philz Canopy of Heaven, large, and I need to be up tomorrow at 7a.m., I said, “yes!”

Finding myself in Trouble at 4:30 in the afternoon doing the unthinkable, having a large Americano, banking on the fact that I may be pushing over my caffeine threshold and getting the opposite effect.

Caffeine doesn’t “wake” us up.

Adrenalin does.

Caffeine triggers the adrenal glands to release adrenalin into our bodies, but the glands only have so much, so if you constantly are releasing adrenalin into your body eventually the glands have nothing left and you get the reverse action.

You get tired instead of awake.

I knew this and gambled.

Gamble paid off.

I am fucking zonked and it’s not even 8p.m.

I could have skipped writing this at all and gone straight to bed after dinner with Cal.  I figured I better not, though, don’t want to muck with my sleep schedule any more than I already did.

Besides you don’t “catch up” on sleep either.

And according to my Wikipedia:

However anecdotal evidence suggests that many individuals with ADHD already use caffeine to self-medicate themselves or their dependants, and they find that it has the opposite effect to normal, such as inducing a “calm-down” effect that encourages sleep instead of making them more active and stimulated.

Now, I ain’t saying I have ADHD, but I do have a racing brain and maybe a touch of the OCD thing, and I do find this to happen when I get over caffeinated.

And now, I am losing the blog’s focus altogether, hit by another wave of the sleepy.

Time to pack it in, time to crawl into my little blue bed down by the sea.

Night all.

Welcoming in 2014 high on caffeine, Thai food, and good company.

Not a bad start to my year.

Not bad at all.

Cut & Run

September 13, 2013

Run!

I turned, said, excuse me a minute, and pulled the water bottle out of my purse.

I took a large drink, finishing off the liter that had sustained me through hours of following small black arrows on the floor of Ikea, and breathed deeply.

Screw the budget, I will be ok, just get the help.

“Ok, do it,” I said to the guy at the Information help desk, one of many kiosks of hell that I had navigated around for hours, giving him the go ahead to charge me for another service at Ikea.

In toto, I spent $919.

Run away!

When I think about it, as I am reclined on my new bed with its five new fluffy pillows, new white duvet, new beachy duvet cover, new sheets, and mattress, it was worth every cent.

Frankly, I got away with a deal, if I am honest with myself.

I got a new bed, a new mattress, dishes for six, silverware, pots and pans, two sets of  glasses, bowls, knives, a can opener, pot holders, three frames (just finished framing my posters from Paris that I got at a book seller’s along the Seine the day before I flew back to the States), a toilet paper holder, three candles, a dish rack, plates, and saucers.

I did pretty fucking ok.

And my “I can’t go over that” money limit was $1,000.

I had no plans on spending it all, but I knew I could if I had to.

I worked my ass off at Burning Man and I am now reaping the rewards.

Or reclining the rewards, if you will.

But at that moment in Ikea when I was looking at the delivery costs and the assemble it costs and where the fuck is it in which aisle, I almost cut and run.

Fuck.

Everything.

And.

Run.

I had a bad, bad, bad case of the fuck-its.

In hindsight, that happened super fast, as soon as my friend and I were in her car, I realized that we had been in Ikea for almost four hours.

Whew.

They know how to snag you and the lack of being able to see to the outside world,(sort of like being in a casino, now that I think about it), the unnecessary parading of you through rooms and rooms and corridors of things that you don’t need until you can get to the stuff that you do need, is exhausting and disorienting.

Add two trips to the bathroom and one to the “display” show rooms, after a full on onslaught of the regular store, and no wonder I was panic-stricken.

I caught my breath and turned and walked right through the

False.

Evidence.

Appearing.

Real.

I said, ok, I will pay for that.

I will pay to have you deliver, assemble, and sort for me.

I hand it over, I am here to surrender, let me turn it all over to somebody else.

My friend went to check on something she was getting for her unit and as I stood there struggling to not go into financial shock, I have the money, I have the money, I have the money, I made a spending plan, I have a list, I stuck to the list, this is ok, the mantra of you are enough you have enough rolling through and calming me down.

Until I was calm.

Face.

Everything.

And.

Recover.

I walked through the fear and said I would pay the piper.

Now, the fun part.

The guy at the desk said, no, that’s silly, let me save you the $40.

Go grab a cart, I will show you were the stuff is and you can load it onto the cart and take it to the check out and then go to the delivery people, you don’t have to pay to have me help you.

Well, ok, then.

I went, got a cart, and returned to the help desk.

He trotted ahead of me, I realized that he was probably doing something he was not supposed to do, and jogged along behind making wide turns with the flatbed cart to catch up to him.

He quickly pulled down the boxes and bits and ascertained everything that I needed and the next thing you know I am in line, having saved some dough, and my friend pulls up behind me and says, oh hey, that will totally fit in my car, you don’t have to pay to have that delivered, we can do this.

Well.

That was a brilliant turn of events.

I stayed put and I got the help I needed.

We got everything back to the house and I unpacked the vehicle, stacking things in their appropriate places.

While the unloading was happening my friend made herself some lunch and then I did the same and we ate on the back porch in a patch of sunlight that seemed to have poked through the fog just especially for our al fresco dining experience.

It was lovely.

Though not as lovely as the dinner I had later this evening.

“You need help,” my friend said to me as I sat with a bewildered look on my face trying to decipher the cartoon drawings that Ikea gives you with the 8 million pieces and parts of the bed frame.

“Call your guy,” she said.

“Ask him to come over early, before the movie,” she finished.

“I can’t do that,” I replied, anxious all over again.

The Mister and I were supposed to go see the 7 p.m. showing of Spark, A Burning Man Story, at the Roxie this evening, but the way the bed assembly was going, there was going to need to be a miracle for me to get it done before he arrived.

“Just ask for his help, I heard him say, if you need any help, to ask.” She looked at me and arched an eyebrow, “so ask.”

I am getting an idea of why I have been single for so long.

When you, meaning me, are as autonomous as I have been in my life, doing it myself, not asking for help, well, then why be in a partnership, I’ve got it all covered, can’t you see, I don’t need your help.

But I needed his help and I wanted his company.

So, with my friends assistance, I wrote him a text asking for help.

And lo, he replied of course, he’d be over in just a bit.

We never made it to the movie.

But I did get him in my bed, frame, that is.

Get your head out of the gutter.

It took forever.

Even with me having pulled it all out and laid all the pieces parts one end to the other, it still took hours and hours.

And it might be the best fun I have ever had setting up furniture.

Why have I been doing it all myself all this years?

I am an idiot.

Or just in fear.

A little of both, I suspect.

The bed, well, it’s made, with fresh sheets and a fluffy duvet and I am leaned up on some nice soft pillows and listening to some jazz.

And thinking about the dinner we had on the back porch, in the dark, with the crash of the surf in our ears, the mist of the fog on our faces, and some Thai Cottage take out in our tummies.

That and the text he sent me after he left about how I am scrumptious.

Yay!

A new bed and I am scrumptious.

Here’s to walking through that fear.

I am done running away.

Here to stay.

For a good long while.

In my cozy new bed.

A Different Kind Of White Out

September 9, 2013

I got the keys!

I got the keys!

I got the keys!

Well, not to the new place, that is still to happen.

But I got the keys to the garage and the garage leads to the door that leads to my in-law.

Yay!

I move in tomorrow, I will also get the real keys tomorrow, but I am more than happy to have access at all.

Tomorrow, for the first time in over a year I will be sleeping in my own space.

No room mates.

Just me.

No bed yet, either, or other house hold thingamabobs.  But whatever, that all will come.  They usually do, and always much faster than I expect them to.

Although if you have any spare pieces parts or bits, let me know, ‘kay.

I ain’t got nothing.

Not even a carrot peeler.

Note to self, add that to the list.

I really am starting from complete scratch having gotten rid of all the things I had household wise when I moved to Paris.  I told my friend when I wrote out the check for September rent, pro-rated to not include the first week when I was busy being in the dusty dust, that it meant I was getting better stuff.

I cleared out what does not work for me and will be replacing it with better things.

Nature abhors a vacuum.

The stuffs will happen.

In the mean time, my friend is lending me a great big blow up mattress and some bedding, a small dresser, a chaise lounge, and a small table.

It’s enough to get me started.

I have started with less before.

And I am going to have fun putting together my new space.  I am going to enjoy the hell out of it.  I am getting some plants, I like greenery, and well, I am getting all the things to make it my home.

Plus, although I have yet to touch base with her since my return, I do have some things in storage at a friend’s house out on San Jose Ave.  I don’t recall there being any furniture like things, but I will have all my photographs and postcards and paintings and pictures.  And my grandfather’s spice rack, which is going to look really good in my kitchen.

The kitchen looks great, brand new cabinets, a full size gas stove, a three-quarters size fridge with freezer.  Oh, add ice-cube trays to the list.

Shit, hang on, I really do need to get out the list and write this stuff down or I will forget it.  Not that I think I need to make ice any time soon, but you know, it’s nice to have when the city is experiencing an Indian Summer.

Not that I could tell as I rode my bicycle out to the 46th Avenue.

Where I am now to be found–46th between Irving and Judah–in the fog bank.

My glasses were misted over by the time I got to the house and I will be pocketing them for future foggy rides, better to be slightly blurry from not wearing the glasses than blind for riding in white out conditions.

At least this white out doesn’t taste bad and leave a coating of alkaline on your skin.

It did frizz the hell out of my hair though.

Ah, curly hair, how I love to hate to love you.

But as I stood waiting for the N-Judah to swoop me up and take me back to Cole Valley, I left the bike in the garage at the house, I don’t need to worry about moving that as well, I thought, I could really get used to this.

I like the smell.

It feels cozy.

I like wearing cozy clothes.

I sleep better in cooler weather and I like to sleep under blankets.

Ack.

Add to list.

Anyway.

I liked the shroud of fog.

I like the fuzzy lights of the train pulling through the dense cushion of mist.

It was pretty.

I like the pretty.

Oh snap.

I can go for a walk on the beach tomorrow at sunset.

How freaking cool is that?

And I got my first mail there.

I sent myself a post card from Burning Man.  I did not read it yet, but I propped it up in my bathroom.

Sigh.

My bathroom.

Nobody I have to share it with.

I can get up in the middle of the night and use it and not put on my pajamas.

Nothing says good times like a naked potty run.

Seriously.

There will be runs to the coffee shop, Trouble Coffee is a block away and Java Beach is two blocks away.  There will be meanders to Mollusk Surf Shop, I will eventually learn how to surf, damn it.  There will be dining at Thai Cottage.  Holy shit, that was the bomb tonight.

Surprise take out dinner around my friends kitchen table with her boyfriend and daughter.  Best Thai food I have had in ages.  Super awesome brown rice with yellow curry and tofu for me and they had the red pumpkin curry with tofu, plus an amazing mango salad.

Yum.

And cheap.

New favorite and I have only had it once.

But I foresee many a visit in my future.

Oh, yeah, a Thai Cottage picnic on the beach at sunset with iced coffee from Java Beach.

I remember about 8 and a half years ago I got this urge to go out to the beach a lot.

I was discovering a connection to a power greater than myself.

Stand in the ocean and try to make the waves stop.

See how immense the world is.

How small I am, insignificant, really.

I went every day for a week, over and over and over.

I walked in the surf barefoot and the cuffs of my jeans were soaked and salty and I was loath to wash away the smell.  I organized a beach bonfire one weekend and all my new friends came out to show their support, we stood next to each other smelling the clean sweet scent of the sea and the warm crackle of burning wood singed with marshmallows and dropped cinnamon graham crackers.

It seems that all along the siren song of the ocean has been calling me back.

Your wayward daughter returns, my love.

I shall see you soon.

And like mermaids we shall call each to each, I shall wear my trousers rolled, and eat a peach (well, probably a nectarine, I like them better) as I walk upon the shore.

I do believe, however, that they, the mermaids will sing to me.

I can hear them even now.

And that I will not drown.

Rather I shall rise from the surf a kind of Venus.

With punk rock hair and the laughing mouth of a glad hearted girl.

 

 


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