Posts Tagged ‘The End Up’

Big Day

November 7, 2017

I got to work and walked in and sighed.

I already had a super busy day and I was tired before I even walked into the door at work.

Not in a bad way, just in a sort of thrown into unexpected places way and reflecting on what had transpired in the time before I got to work.

Super intense meeting with my supervisor and a lot of deep work around a specific client, who I saw this evening and got to apply all the things that I had worked on with my supervisor.

Which was really fulfilling and also a little exhausting.

And exhilarating too.

I felt like I was really being a good therapist and that my client was making some amazing headway.

I feel better and better the more I get to see my clients and learn about them and those that show up consistently and let me bear witnesses to their growth is really an amazing thing to witness.

At times exhausting, the work is challenging, but as I expressed to my boss today I am so grateful for it.

I didn’t even see my boss until after 4p.m. today, I was at work at the house, picking up my charge from school, and she was off and running her Monday as well.

I think we were both pretty tired from the day, but it was good to connect with her.

She’s great to work for and super flexible with my schedule.

Which is good since I’ll be going in late one more time next Monday.

I’ve been asked to come in again next week to work further on the lecture series, “People Who Usually Don’t Lecture.”

The women that are running the project have a certain vision and they have produced so many of this lecture series they really have a clarity about what needs to come across and what resonates with the audience.

So.

Although all the work I did on the narrative was not for naught, ugh, I still am going to have to re-write it.

I could heavily edit what I wrote, but I think a fresh rewrite with the direction they want from me will make it a far stronger piece.

I have a very clear idea what they want and I know how to write it and I have the opening line in my head so I know where it will go.

Sometimes, most times, all I need is that opening line or thought, the idea opens the door, I walk in and then I start describing what I see, it’s like walking into a warm room with a rag hook rug on the wood floor, a fire burning in a stove, a rocking chair with a soft throw on the arm and a pillow against the back.

I just need to settle into that chair and write what I see on the walls, tell the story in the pictures I see.

There I am running away from home to San Francisco at the ripe age of 29.

What happens.

Here’s a snap shot of DNA Lounge.

Here’s a picture of me in the back patio of The End Up after having been up all weekend.

All the things and crazy dark adventures, a Polaroid on a push pin board.

That time I made out with my best friends boss at The Elbow Room in the photo booth.

And forgot that I had a strip of photos of us kissing.

It fell out of my wallet when I was looking for something, and my friend picked it up.

“Oh my God!  You made out with STEVE!  YOU MADE OUT WITH MY BOSS?!  He’s gay!”

He wasn’t that gay that night.

Here’s another one of a night at Bruno’s on Mission Street, all dressed up for Halloween and getting ready for a night out on the town when my dealer calls and hey, he just got out of 850 Bryant (the jail here in San Francisco) and how much do I want?

Well.

Fuck.

I’ll start with three grams and go from there.

Hung over.

Cracked out.

Dancing at strange parties with strange people and all the misadventures there of.

The producers wanted a little more of the nitty-gritty of my using and then what happened.

I had put too much of an ellipses in the narrative and it made it seem like I did a line of blow and then suddenly got sober.

They wanted to hear more about the despair.

Because.

Well.

Drama.

It gets your attention, and it provides the vehicle to show how far I’ve come, the things I went through, and who I am.

They also wanted me to talk a little bit more about my nannying.

And what it means to work with children.

“Oh, I think I know what you mean,” I said to the woman speaking to me, “that I get to give the kind of love to a child that I never had for myself growing up.”

She teared up.

Yes.

That.

Let me pull your heartstrings.

Let me show you how resilient I am.

It’s not necessarily a drama play, it’s what really happened, but I have ten minutes to cover all the things and they wanted to sharpen certain points for power, so that it lands with the audience and connects them to me and my story.

Whew.

That’s just going to have to sit on the back burner for a little while and percolate.

I have a full client load this week, therapy tomorrow morning before work, group supervision mid-week, when I normally don’t have it until Saturday–but I’ll be in class Saturday so I have to do it this Wednesday, and yeah, that, school, it’s a school weekend.

No wonder I walked into work and already felt exhausted.

Sigh.

It won’t be that bad.

It’s not that bad.

And I am grateful I get to do this project, it is nice to be wanted, it’s nice to know that I have been chosen because I have something powerful to share and that I am someone who knows how deliver a story.

So that’s what I’m going to do.

But the re-write has got to wait until Sunday after I get out of class, I just don’t see getting to it before then.

I still have reading for class I need to attend to, and well, the week full of stuff.

Grateful that I have pockets of respite and some lovely things planned too, that have nothing to do with work and school and clients.

A girl needs a little fun too.

Especially when there’s so much else to attend to.

I need to let myself let loose a little too.

All work and no play makes me a very dull girl.

And I’m so not dull.

Seriously.

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Girl Date

May 30, 2017

I totally took myself out today.

I did it all.

First.

I let myself sleep the fuck in.

I mean, I didn’t get up until 9:15 a.m.

So sleeping in, especially considering that I am up three hours earlier tomorrow so that I can meet with my supervisor–whom I would have met with today but it was a holiday.

I totally treated it like a holiday as well.

I went to a yoga class that I used to be able to go before I started my current nanny gig.

I had lunch with my favorite, most loved person in the entire world.

Pause.

Let me just let that sink in.

I got to have lunch with the person I hold in the highest esteem, who loves me unconditionally, who sees me, who supports me without question, who witnesses everything I do, who helps me see when I am self-sabotaging, and how to change that and be better and stronger and sweeter and softer and live my life to the fullest full definition of happy, joyous and free.

I mean.

That is an extraordinary gift.

We met at Souvla on Divisadero and had great big salads and talked and got totally caught up and I revealed myself and there was no shying away from me or judging, only complete sunshine and love.

I am beyond grateful for this man in my life, I wouldn’t have the life I have without him.

He is a human, don’t get me wrong, I am not putting him on a pedestal, he shows me how to be more human myself, more vulnerable, more willing to show up and more present in the moment when I do.

He is the greatest gift and I do not know what I would do without him.

We are even talking about making travel plans together.

We have talked about it before.

We travel in a similar way, carry on only, get situated, go get connected with fellows and then walk and see and witness and art and churches and more art and museums and cafes and sitting still next to each other and also knowing that we both are self-sufficient travelers, that neither of us is afraid to say, give me space, I want to do a wander on my own or nap or whatever.

We have mutual friends in Barcelona as well as Paris.

We are talking about going to Barcelona together and maybe taking the TGV to Paris or Marseille, probably Paris as we have friends there too and I will need very much to see my Parisian girlfriend and her new family.

Next May.

When I graduate from my Masters of Psychology program, a grand European tour with my mentor, I couldn’t really think of a better gift, his company means so much to me.

So.

Yeah.

Lunch was fucking fabulous and we also dished and laughed and I talked about needing to set firm boundaries around any extra nanny work that may try to weasel its way in when my employers are away in July.

And then he went his way and I went mine.

Off to the MOMA.

I wanted to catch the last day of the Matisse/Diebenkorn show.

Of course.

It was sold out, even as a member of the MOMA I couldn’t get in to see it.

And truth be told, I don’t really care a fig for Matisse, and I’ve seen so much of his work in Paris that I didn’t feel that I was missing out.

I could have my girl date with myself just fine wandering around all the other galleries without having to stand in the huge, and I do mean HUGE, line that was queued up for the show.

I strolled through the second floor galleries and got acquainted again with one of my favorite artists in the museum–Clyfford Still–1906-1980.  I adore his work, there is one painting especially that always gets me and I did my stare in awe and wonder at it for a good fair amount of time before taking myself for a cafe au lait at the Sight Glass cafe on the 3rd floor of the museum.

I sat and dreamily dreamed and people watched while sipping my coffee–days off always included cafe breaks and nursing a coffee while people watching.

Then I hit the Larry Sultan photography exhibit, which was extraordinary.

And.

Since everyone was in line for the Matisse/Diebenkorn show, the gallery was practically empty.

Heaven.

I got my art girl dose in heavy-duty.

Then having some time and seeing that the sun had decided to cut through the fog and make an appearance, I strolled through Yerba Buena Gardens, and yes, got another coffee, this time iced, and planted myself on the sheltered terrace of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, sipped ice coffee and watched the clouds scut through the sky.

I am always so overwhelmed and grateful for the gardens and the art and the fountains and though the skyline has changed dramatically in the fifteen years I have been in San Francisco, there is still all this familiarity for the place I was sitting in.

How many times had I gone through that park high or drunk?

Smoking cigarettes and slamming extra caffeine to keep up with the high-end dining restaurant that I worked at, Hawthorne Lane, how many times had I caught cabs in front of the Metreon to go to my dealers or to have myself carried to the End Up or 1015 or some underground party.

So many times.

And the dread and the terror that was just below the surface of my skin, beating my heart with fear as I walked the paths through the garden to work, short cutting on my way to the restaurant to work a double to make up for all the money I blew on blow.

And.

Instead.

Twelve and a half years later.

Coiffed, sweetly dressed, yellow silk flower in my hair, expensive shoes on my feet, Hobo purse in my lap, having just left an exquisite show at the MOMA, I sit happy and serene, joyous and free, in that same space, quietly and consistently showing up to make amends to the area and to assuage that damage I did to myself.

So grateful I don’t have the words.

Although.

I have to say I will always keep striving to find them.

Grateful for sunshine, clarity, serenity, communicating my needs, being emotionally transparent.

For all the good things in my life.

For my life.

God damn.

Life is more than fair, you know, if it were fair, I’d be dead.

And I am so not.

I am exquisitely alive.

So.

Fucking.

Alive.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

It’s Already

December 1, 2015

That time.

I register for second semester classes tomorrow!

What the hell?

How did that happen so quick?

I will say one thing about this whole going to school and working (nearly) full time, the time, it goes fast.

I don’t have to register tomorrow, I have until the 3rd of January; however, I am one of those folks who just likes to get it done now.

In other words.

A perfectionist.

I’m a perfectionist and I am aware of it and I am aware that it is a defense mechanism that I employ to feel safe.

It rarely works.

That’s ok too.

I can see it, which is the biggest thing.

Awareness.

Acceptance.

Action.

Like I am very aware that I don’t have to write the 5th paper for my Human Development class; however, I have been outlining the reading as I go along in case I change my mind and decide to really get a solid A in the class.

At the moment of the four papers I have turned in, we only need to write 4, the fifth is an optional paper that we can drop, I have a B, an A, and an A+ I figure the fourth paper will probably be an A as well and combine that with my participation in class and what I am assuming will be an A for my final project, I should get an A for the class.

And yet.

Here I am making notes like I might just write that fifth paper.

Just in case.

Just in case what, I have no idea.

Just to give my head a little something to worry about?

I like to keep busy, but I don’t need to make unnecessary work for myself.

So.

In a very small voice.

With the option to change my mind.

I am declaring that I will not be writing the 5th Human Development paper.

Sigh.

Let go Carmen.

I have plenty of other places I need to focus on anyhow.

I will finish the reading for all my classes in the next day or two and then I will start the final project for Human Development.

I am not going to worry.

I am not going to stress.

I say this without totally believing myself, but I say it in the spirit of being ok with myself if I do.

The thing about accepting my perfectionism and accepting myself when I fall into it.

It really has so much to do with fear.

Fear I’m not enough, you won’t love me, I’m unlikable, unlovable, you’ll abandon me, if I can make things perfect you’ll stay, so let me fix things the way you want them so I can protect myself and not get hurt.

And you wonder how it is that I chose being a therapist as a career path.

Ha.

Knowing this doesn’t necessarily change the defect.

Doing the work around it does and I have done a lot, I mean A LOT, of work on this.

Of course, I suspect there will be more.

And I am ok with that too.

It was helpful today that I also got to talk with two of my best friends in the world and re-connect and then run into another friend this evening after work who wants to go out to dinner one of these nights, I have no idea when, but maybe, and it just was good.

Good.

To hear my friends voices and to be heard back and to tell them how much I loved and missed them.

One of my friends I may get to see this week and that makes me a very happy lady.

I realize too that it’s the last day of November.

Christmas season is upon us and the month will pass quickly.

I am already booking up and it’s not even begun.

I was also trying to figure out if I want to do something for my birthday, which falls on the 18th of December, one week before Christmas, two days before I fly out to Paris.

I will be working that day.

I worked it last year as well.

I went out to a dinner with my ex-boyfriend.

I didn’t like the restaurant and my ex hadn’t wrapped my gift and it was not something I wanted or that fit, it was horrifyingly too big, and I think.

I would like to not have that experience again.

I would like to do something, but it is notoriously difficult to gather folks the week before Christmas to do something.

Every one has plans.

Every one.

I’m remembering my birthdays in SF and the one in Paris.

There was my 30th birthday party, a surprise party for me, at Casanova on Valencia Street.  My room mates, who I had only known for a few months, threw me a surprise party and invited 30 people to the party.  How I even knew thirty people after only being here a couple of months still blows my  mind.

The next year I was working at Hawthorne Lane and we went to Delfina for dinner.  Lots of wine.  Lots of fancy food.  Big bouquet of surprise flowers from friends back in Wisconsin on the table, then over to Blondies and more drinks and then someone pulls out some blow and then we’re off to the End Up.

Ahem.

Next birthday was horrendous.

Awful.

Back in Wisconsin heading into the nadir of my dark night of the soul.

My friends try to pull an intervention on me.

It doesn’t work.

I come home and my room mates have thrown me a surprise party and despite not wanting to drink I am lifting a beer and heading down to Pop’s on York and 24th to meet with my dealer.

Happy Birthday!

I got sober three and half weeks later.

I don’t remember all my birthdays from that time, the last ten years, there have been good and not so good and a few awful and really bad, but none of them were like that last birthday I had before I got sober.

Even the worst was a 1,000 times better.

So.

I don’t do anything for December 18th I’ll be ok.

Heck.

I’m fucking flying to Paris with one of my best friends two days later.

Not like I don’t have something to look forward to!

My life.

It’s not picture perfect.

Despite my attempts at perfectionism.

But.

Man.

It is really fucking good.

REALLY.

Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy!

April 26, 2014

I am feeling so exhilarated right now.

Partially because I came from a night of fantastic dancing with an awesome group of friends.

Partially because I am alive and made it home safe and sound on my Vespa.

Tonight marks the first time out past sunset solo riding for me.

I was really nervous about it and I wasn’t going to go out on the Vespa tonight.

The weather was lovely for waking up without my alarm, grey, rainy, the sound of the rain, the hush and thrum of the ocean, it said, shhh, curl up in bed and don’t worry about a thing.  Stay cozy.  Stay put.

Don’t do a thing.

I have to say it was frustrating for me to slow down that much today.

I got up and showered and wrote more morning pages then I typically do and then I did a long meditation, ok, long for me, fifteen minutes, and I had some coffee and I really wanted to go for a walk on the beach, but the rain which had been drizzly, became more steady and I was stuck at the house.

Stuck with not much to do and not much to read.

I finished my book yesterday and hadn’t had the chance to grab something else.

I debated working on some writing, I did some laundry, I contemplated taking the MUNI into the library at 19th and Irving or perhaps all the way into the main branch.

As my quandary increased I kept myself busy just taking care of the things that needed to be done at the house and as I was taking out the compost I ran into my house mate/landlord/friend.

We talked about some household stuff then she invited me up for lunch.

I tossed together a quick kale salad and grabbed my mug with a tea bag and went up to her place.

She turned on the fire-place and we had salads and caught up and drank tea and I snuggled her cat and warmed my toes by the fire.

Not a bad way to spend a day off from work.

Sitting by the fire with a friend, a cat, a mug of tea.

That got my through much of the afternoon and then around 3:30 p.m. the sun started to poke through the clouds and it cleared up.

I gathered myself and my camera and went for a walk on the beach.

It was amazing.

There was no one on the beach.

I was the first to arrive after the rain.

It was stunning.

I felt like I had been given this extraordinary gift.

The spacious ocean and the waves, the pelicans, ravens, the sand plovers, the gulls, and me.

The wind whipped my hair around and I headed into it to keep my face free of the distraction, snapping photographs with both my phone and my camera.

After the rain

After the rain

Blue Skies

Blue Skies

I did not get as much alone time with Ocean Beach as I might have wanted, maybe twenty minutes and the joggers and dog walkers and the tourists in the neighborhood beach motels started to come out.

But that I got to have any time at all on the beach all by myself really felt like the most amazing experience.

A gift.

I got back to the house, downloaded my photos, posted a few photographs to my other blog, here , and then made the decision to ride my scooter to Church and Market where I was going to be meeting up with my friends to get ourselves together for some dancing.

I ate a lovely meal, slightly distracted by my nerves and my decision to ride my scooter.

I had paid attention to the roads when I was walking back from the beach and they seemed pretty dry.

Dry enough that I was willing to take the Vespa out.

Especially since I was not interested in paying for a cab when I got done with the dancing and I wasn’t too psyched on riding my bike out there and back.

I ate a lovely bowl of the black-eyed peas I made yesterday and ate an apple and took lots of deep breaths and said, ok, only thing I need to do first is fill up the tank.

But I did not even need to do that.

It was 3/4s full from the last time I filled it.

I topped it off though.

$2.73.

Bwahahahahahaha.

Oh, I love my scooter.

Yes I do.

I took it easy riding it into the Castro, no lane splitting, I gave myself lots of time and I actually got to where I needed to be far earlier than I thought I was going to be.

Riding my scooter is quite a bit quicker than my bicycle.

It was daylight still when I hit Church and Market, but by the time I left, it was dark and I got on the scooter with a touch of trepidation, but not awful, just more deep breaths, and I rode from the Castro to the SOMA, Church and Market to 6th and Harrison.

I got there, parked, locked the handlebars, peeled off my gloves, dropped them into the little compartment on the rear wheel hub and went dancing.

It was spectacular.

We were the only folks there for about a half hour.

We acted like total tourists and took photos all over.

None of mine turned out, but I was happy to just be dancing and having the freedom to eat up the dance floor.

We were goofy and silly and laughed and hollered and screamed and made many a scene and waded through the smoke machine and just had a stupid good time.

Then when it was a bit after midnight a few folks had to go and me and two of my friend decided to stay just a little longer.

I got there at 10:15p.m. and stayed until 1:15 a.m.

Three good solid hours of shaking my ass.

Then out to the brisk air, exhilarated, goofed up, riding a wave of dance endorphins, hugs from my friends, one, off to the MUNI, another off to cab it home, and I, I to the gallant steed, my sweet lady Vespa.

I unlocked the helmet, put on my gloves, buttoned up my jacket, snugged the helmet on tight, pulled the choke, revved the engine, let her warm up and zoomed off into the night.

I did get a little turned around and overshot my turn off, but I made it back to Fell Street and took it all the way out until it merged with Lincoln Avenue.

I am not 100% certain, but I believe the ride was twenty minutes.

Amazing.

And I am home and my blog written one hour after leaving the club.

Not bad at all.

No, not at all.

Happy feet.

Happy Vespa.

Happy heart.

Happy!

Happy!

Joy!

Joy!

Vroom!

Vroom!

LETS GO HARDER!

February 17, 2014

He shouted in my ear.

I smiled and danced away.

Twirled away, closed my eyes and watched the music smash against my eyelids.

The gentleman, it was his birthday, then approached my darling friend Bonne, “let’s go harder!”

“Let’s just pace ourselves,” said Bonne and smiled.

Bahahahahaha.

This from a lady who had a bowl of chicken soup before the dance-a-thon and the previous response not a response from the little old lady with bad knees who had a cup of herbal tea at a cafe before meeting up with my friend to go to the End Up.

Oh yes, that bastion of drugs, house music, and late night parties all San Franciscan.

The End Up serving San Francisco’s after hour scene since 1973.

The End Up

The End Up

Where I have ended up frequently in the past, but not so much in the last few years.

The idea to go was Bonne’s a few weeks back she texted me and another lady friend who had cut a rug, literally, at a house party back in December and we had all vowed that we would find time to do this thing called dancing once again.

And we did.

I still cannot believe that we did.

We got there at 9p.m.

“You ladies are the first ones here.”

The bouncer said checking out ids and bags, no drugs here sir, promise.

Not even any caffeine.

Well, not for me anyway, my friend had gone over to the Shell Station across the street and scored a Red Bull.

Oh, back in the day.

I have bought cigarettes there, gum, Red Bull, and most importantly, sunglasses.

Yup.

Nothing better than rolling, literally and figuratively out of the End Up into the bright morning sun.

Our birthday friend was sporting his sunglasses inside.

At 10 o’clock at night.

I had almost talked myself out of going out tonight.

But I didn’t want to disappoint my friend and in an effort to get out and do things, I had said to a number of folks, that yes, I will take your suggestion and have some fun.

I had fun today.

I did.

I slept until 9:30 a.m.

That is fun and quite unusual for me.

I took the morning easy, mellow, slow.

Wrote.

Ate breakfast.

Meditated.

Then took a bike ride along the ocean.

When I came back for lunch the back yard was calling my name, so I ate lunch al fresco, ensconced in an Adirondack chair facing into the sun and read my book.

Then I drank some tea and sat outside for almost an hour reading.

When I finished my book I did the unthinkable.

I had a nap.

Craziness!

I napped on a Sunday.

I am surprised the word did not come crashing to an end.

After the luxurious 45 minutes of snoozing I had in the middle of the afternoon, I rode my bicycle up to Cole Valley and dealt with my playa bike that has been needing attention since, well, since I was at Burning Man in, uh, September.

I got it over to American Cyclery and the owner happily took her in.

He even tagged it for his own private project.

I was actually quite flattered.

It was sweet.

I had a bit of time on my hands and ducked into Free Gold Watch.

Pinball!

Free Gold Watch

Free Gold Watch

The Machine

Bride of Pin Bot

Play Boy

Play Boy Pinball

I have walked past Free Gold Watch a number of times on Waller Street, but never actually went in.

I had been under the impression that they were just a t-shirt printing shop, not really an arcade.  But arcade they are.

They even had a Ms. Pacman.

I played The Machine for a while, getting back into my groove from so long ago when I used to play pinball down at Challenges on State Street in Madison.

I dated a manager there and knew loads of the guys running the place.

In fact, I believe I dated two guys that used to work there.

Yeah, I just admitted that I dated arcade dorks.

Fuck off.

They were both cute though, in their little brown polyester pants and striped referee shirts.

Sigh.

Oh, memories.

The Ms. Pacman cracked me up too, I noticed as I was dropping a quarter into the slot, the sticker that says, “she swallows!”

Holy crow, batman, what the hell.

I have never seen that before, but it was original signage on the game.

Ha.

She swallows indeed.

I spent about an hour playing games then headed off to Church and Market for my commitment, after that, a cup of tea at Church Street Cafe.

Because, yeah, that’s what I do before going out dancing, I have some herbal tea.

Bonne laughed at me when she came to the cafe and saw me all curled up in a big leather chair with my tea and the newspaper.

“You look so cozy.”

Indeed, I felt cozy and I did not feel much like getting up, but I did, I did and I rallied and we went.

She caught a cab and I rode my trusty steed down to 6th and Harrison.

I thought it would be amusing to take some shots of my bike while I was there.

The Whip

The whip

I was given lighting instruction by a man with a very large parrot on his shoulder who was bouncing along to the music seeping through the door and smoking a cigarette at the curb.

We had a fun little chat and then it was time to go in.

The music was great, but much to both our chagrin, the coat check was closed down for the night.

Fortunately it was not as busy as either one of us had suspected it would be and we were able to keep an eye on our things.

Feck.

I had my messenger bag with me, I was not about to let that out of my sight.

All our things stayed on the dance floor, occasionally nudged out-of-the-way of the birthday boy or the two Asian couples that were so obviously on E it was adorable to watch.

I mean, at one point the four of them were all in a circle holding hands and swaying to the music.

It was really too cute.

Addled, absolutely, but sweetly so.

Bonne and I also had us a little photo shoot, because, come on, why not?

We’re at the End Up and we are not drinking or going HARD, we are just dancing and smiling and hugging and having an awesome time getting down to some old school House music.

We played tourist at the End Up.

It was hysterical.

Bon Bon

Bon Bon

41 at the End Up

Three Day Weekend Work it Out

Water Fall/End UP

The Famous Water Fall

I remember once meeting a woman who was 40 and she went dancing every weekend at the End Up and it was her life and her exercise and her all.

“Shoot me dead,” I told a friend, “if I am ever 40 and still dancing at the End Up.”

Well, lucky for me, tonight I was 41.

Ha.

Never say never.

And as the morning winds its way into the wee hours just before dawn, I think, I am really lucky to have such a good girlfriend and such an awesome experience.

Really lucky.

And to then hop on my bike and cut through the crisp night air, plunge through pockets of cold magnolia blooms scenting the air in the Upper Haight, to the spice of eucalyptus in the Pan Handle, and the fresh pine evergreens as I flew, really, there was no traffic, down the center of Lincoln Avenue, and turn my steed faithfully home.

Because, yes Virginia.

Fun was officially had.

Connection

February 16, 2014

I stood on the corner of 7th and Irving dithering between getting a ride back to Ocean Beach with someone I did not know very well or catching the train into Cole Valley to run errands.

I took contrary action and joined the new friend.

I can always take care of my bike tomorrow, or better yet Monday.

I have to get my playa bike out of the garage of the family in Cole Valley.

They have a ton of storage and a huge garage and my bike being there has not been much of an issue, but they will be doing some construction and it needs to go.

Except, go it don’t.

In the process of getting the flat tire fixed at the Playa Bike Restoration facility at Burning Man it was reassembled incorrectly and despite many in my camp trying to get it back together, together it was not.

I had debated taking it to the shop in the Mission, but that is a long haul to take it and after my really great interaction with the guys at American Cyclery I popped back in last week to chat and they said they could take care of it.

I was going to take care of it today.

I took care of lots.

I cleaned and swept and shook out the rugs and I went to Tart to Tart and did the deal and than did some more of that stuff and spoke in front of strangers and told some stories, none of which I can remember, but it sort of wilted me out.

Sometimes I get energized, sometimes I get taken over.

I got taken over and I got tired.

I also was allowing myself to go a little slower and instead of jam pack my day with stuff when the ride was offered back to the hood, I thought, sure, why not, why not make a new connection, talk with a person who I admire and let them in and see where it goes.

We had a great talk and exchanged numbers and now I know another person in the hood, she’s over at 42nd between Noriega and Pacheco.

Perfect.

“You know everybody,” my friend said to me over green curry at Thai House on Valencia at 16th.

I don’t know everybody, but, yeah, I do know a few folks.

The more I get to be here, the lovelier that is.

Granted, it’s not like I am crazy close with every friend I have on Facebook, but I am doing my best to take some contrary action and put myself out there to make new connections and to foster bonds between me and others who want me around.

For instance, yes, it’s true, this 41-year-old lady with old creaky knees is going dancing tomorrow night at the End Up.

A girlfriend of mine, who I adore, but don’t really spend a lot of solo friend time with had messaged me and another girlfriend about going to the End Up on Sunday, as it’s a three-day weekend, President’s Day, and she’s always heard the three-day weekends are great there.

They are, from my recollection, and it will be House music.

Right up my alley.

So, tomorrow, after I take care of some business at Our Lady of Safeway, I will be meeting her at the End Up at 9p.m. to dance it out.

It’s been a while since I have been clubbing and I am sure it will be interesting.

It’s been a while since I have been to the End Up, old friend of mine, we do go back a few years, I met you over a decade ago, can’t ever forget that first time.

Flying into SFO, taking a Blue Shuttle to the End Up where a friend is waiting, dropping E, dancing on the patio, going to the Mission, hanging out at Casanova’s, losing half the party, leaving my suitcase in the trunk of a strangers car, winding up in the photo booth at the Elbow Room, and making out with the gay manager of Harvey’s in the Castro.

Sleeping over on the couch of the gay manager from Harvey’s boyfriend’s living room tucked into a little one bedroom at San Carlos and 17th before the rent for a one bedroom at San Carlos and 17th went for $2900 (I know someone who lives in one of these places currently, sleeps half her time at her friends place in the Mission, then Air Bnb’s her apartment out two weeks out of the month so that she can cover her rent costs) and there were still hookers in the alley way shooting up heroin and shitting in the gutters between parked cars.

I also won’t soon forget my friend, who I did hook back up with the next day, coming across the pictures from my foray into the Elbow Room.

“Oh my God, did you make out with my boss?!”  He cried, half in horror, half in glee, “he’s gay!  And he has a boyfriend!”

“Shut up,” I said and tried to snatch back the strip of evidence.  It would not be the last time for me and drunken pictures in that booth.  I have about five of the strips in my possession stashed away in a box of photos.

“Dude, did he taste like Carl’s cock?” My friend continued laughing at me.

I don’t know that I will be making out with any gay men on my Sunday foray to the End Up, but you never know.

I do know that I am dancing.

Can’t remember the last time I went out on a Sunday night to dance too.

Just following those silly suggestions.

“Why don’t you go have fun,” said John Ater, “try doing that, instead of the panicking, see what happens.”

Any one else down for fun?

End Up.

Tomorrow night.

9p.m.

We could even make out.

Or not.

 

Don’t Panic!

February 14, 2014

Or panic.

But whatever you do.

Don’t panic.

Or sit on the side lines and watch self panic and giggle.

Then go to the End Up and dance your ass off.

Last night as I was finishing up my soup blog I received a text that immediately precipitated a “I’m going to panic at any moment.” episode of anxiety.

I frantically spooned soup into Mason jars and thought, “oh, dear Lord, what am I going to do?”

Death in the family?

No.

Lost a job?

Nope.

The tax man cometh?

Niet.

STD results positive.

NOPE.

None of the above, and probably not what any human being with half a, sane, brain, would deem as panic worthy.

What happened was that I was informed that my services as a nanny would not be needed for the rest of the week and until next Thursday I am off.

Like six days.

Like oh my fucking god, what the fuck do I do?

Panic.

“Honey,” he said with a gruff chuckle, “that’s what you do, you are so used to panicking that you just go straight there.  Why don’t you just tell the kid, to shut up and let you take care of it.”

The kid, being me, the panicked little girl who is afraid that she is going to be homeless without work and a steady stream of it happening right now.

Suffice to say that after getting paid today I have rent for March set aside and I have a few ducats in savings.

In addition to that, I spent a good portion of yesterday after I worked a 9 hour shift, did the deal, and blogged a post of over 1200 words, I cooked up enough soup to last me through the millenia, I’m not running out of food any time soon.

Or at least until next Thursday when I go back to work.

Nope.

Panic strikes.

Partially because I dont’ know what to do with all that time.

Also, there’s a part of me that equates time off with spending money.

Which makes complete sense, as that’s when I have the time to run errands.

Six days off, may completely break my bank, is what my brain tells me.

Truth is, I am ok.

Oh, I could be better and there’s always more work to be done.

But.

“Why don’t you try to have some fun,” John Ater said to me.

Ugh.

Fun.

Ok.

Fun.

Here we go.

Impromptu dance party with a friend I don’t often see as he’s in school and I am in work most the days we could hang out.  He saw my post about this time off and said, let’s have coffee and tiny dance party at your house.

Dude.

Down with that.

He just left.

Why?

I actually got the text from the land lord to simmer down.

Bahahahaha.

Can’t remember the last time that happen.

But it is a school night and we were being boisterous.

My friend co-opted my OkCupid profile and made it more “approachable” and he said I had to give it the 48 hour test, not touch the changes he made, there is one that I want to, but the rest are actually pretty damn good upgrades to what I had written.

But it was hilarious and hey, wait a second I am having fun and I don’t have to wake up at 7 a.m.

Hmmm.

Of course, I did boot my friend so that I could do my blog post and wind down for the evening.  He joked that he expects I will be up at 6:30a.m.

Nope.

Maybe 7 a.m. though.

It’s hard to get my body out of that mode when I am used to getting up at 7a.m.

I actually pre-wake before my alarm and look at the light in the sky, I can generally tell if it’s worth while to get up, the alarm is imminent and I don’t want to hear it, or if I can still snatch a few more minutes of sleep.

I said, “Shaddup, I won’t go to bed until midnight.”

I had to shush him laughing at me.

Ooh.

Up so late.

I will however, be getting up at a decent hour so that I can shower and clean my place and have things tidy and neat since I am meeting a girlfriend for lunch and then I am getting my massage that I have had booked five weeks ago in.

After which a little meet up with Mister Ater and some fellowship up in the Haight neighborhood.

I have the same Saturday plans as always with a speaking engagement thrown into the afternoon, but come Sunday, I am dancing.

I am, indeed, going to the End Up.

I had a friend text me a week ago about it being a holiday on Monday and we should go out dancing at the End Up.

I declined, I have to work that Monday, I said.

But then one family decided to go out-of-town to visit family and then the other family had an unexpected schedule change pulling them out-of-town too.

And holy shit, I can go dancing at the End Up on a Sunday night before the holiday on Monday.

It is going to be some hot ass people watching, puhleeze, three-day weekend in San Francisco with Monday off?  The End Up will be full on cray cray.

Should be some fun in that.

I will be sleeping in Monday.

Hey y’all who wants to come dance with me Sunday night?

Let’s do it.

Monday got nothing planned.

Tuesday a friend and I will kick it, and he’s the one selling me the scooter, so I will probably be doing all things scooter and having some coffee and catch up.

Wednesday evening I take the course, the classroom part, anyhow for the Motor Cycle Safety class.

Then Thursday back to work.

That’s a lot of down time and not a lot of down time already.

I have stuff happening and I know enough to realize that something is shifting in my world and to go with it instead of freak out and panic.

I will be new places and have new opportunities just from a little shake up in my schedule.

This could be great fun.

Let’s not panic and have a blast.

Who’s in?

 

Perched Atop A Yoga Ball

December 7, 2013

High above the city.

Up in the Castro hills this evening doing a nanny gig.

I am sitting very proper and correct with the stunning view of the downtown twinkling and winking and sparkling out the balcony window.

They do have one hell of a view up here.

And a large screen monitor with a remote keyboard hooked to the internet.

No hunching over my laptop today on my non-ergonomic table and borrowed chair.

I have to get a better set up at the house.

I was doing my morning pages today and I could feel the shoulder starting to sing and I believe that it is definitely exacerbated by the writing, which, fuck me, though it don’t pay the bills, yet, I still love to do.

Am compelled to do.

“You may only write for the joy of writing, you may never make money at it and you will count yourself as lucky that you give yourself the space to do it.”

Yes, ma’am.

You are entirely correct.

Which reminded me, that and the back and forth shop talk with a friend back in Wisconsin who has been sending me drafts of a short story he’s been working on, that I need to submit again to the Bastille before the dead line is up.

They contacted me about submissions and I have been meaning to send them something, if only to say that I am published a second time in Paris, despite not currently being in Paris.

The pay for the short I submitted was to see my own name in print and a free copy of the journal.

But hey, like I told my friend, I can say for ever and always that my first short story was published in a Paris literary journal.

Can’t really sneeze at that.

Nope.

I am going to not only submit another story, but I am going to send them some photographs.

The solicit for materials mentioned photographs, and well, I took a few when I was there.

Grateful over and over and over again that I took so many.

Grateful too that I Instagramed a bunch, not even 1% of what I took ended up on Instagram, but a few did and as I randomly scrolled through the photos  I put up today on my wanders through the Castro and the Mission, I drifted down my own feed and saw them and remembered exactly where I was when.

The rain, the light, the cobblestones slick and shiny, the tower, the staircases in the Montmartre, Christmas Eve climbing up them to Sacre Coeur for midnight mass, all the street graffiti and paste art, the street lamps, the shadows of snow fall, the cafe chairs and tables at closing time, Odette & Aime.

Oh, I took some photographs.

I will be taking more.

It’s a great hobby to have for me.

I would actually be adding a few into the mix with this blog were I writing it at home, but I don’t want to download my photos to the computer here.  And I don’t want to wait until I get home to write my blog, I am working until 11:30 or midnight, depending.

I got here at 11:30a.m.

I did get a big break in between.

Enough time to get over to 2900 24th Street and catch up with my people for an hour.

Enough time to get soaked riding my bicycle in the rain.

Enough time to sit and have a nice dinner with myself and the last few chapters of Clockers at Herbivore, was craving the Mexican beans and rice.

Enough time to pop over to Valencia and 18th and go up to Arin Fishkin’s open studio, give the artist a hug, give the kid a hug, give the hubby a hug, scratch the dog, check out the new prints, awesome, then back out the door, into the wet and rain and back up the hill to the spot here.

I walked my bike.

I had just enough time to do so.

I wasn’t really into getting on it again with the rain falling  heavier and the happy hour segue into the late dinner and cocktail hour, the taxi’s getting flagged, the people jumping in and out of traffic with umbrellas, the slick streets.

I opted to just walk.

Got here wet and soggy, but they have a dryer and all my layers are nice and toasty now and I have to say, this is rather a fun experience, listening to some excellent electronica mix of the dads on the computer (he’s a professional dj amongst other talents and has a fantastic music library), writing on top of the yoga ball.

It is down pouring right now and though it may disperse by the time they get back, the weather is cold, the wind is growly, and I don’t have any desire to get on my bicycle and brave the storm.

No freaking way.

I am either getting a ride out to the beach from the dad or calling a friend who happens to drive taxi, I already checked to see if he had a vehicle that I could toss a bicycle into the back of, I asked the parents to pay me out for the week partially in cash in case I have to hit the taxi.

Then the next two days off.

I have tentative plans to go surfing, but not sure what this weather is going to be doing.

I also just found out that 2ManyDjs are playing at Mighty tomorrow night for the clubs’ 10 year anniversary.

First, how is it ten years?

Damn, Gina.

I remember going to the club when it first opened.

I was there a lot for a while, it was part of my mix–DNA Lounge, The End Up, 1015, Mighty–you could say I like the dancing, jah.

The posting I saw said sold out, but if I could get tickets I would be there in a heart beat.

The last time I saw them was at the Mezzanine just a bit over 9 years ago.

I danced so hard.

I might have had some extracurriculars in my system, ahem.

But they really are an amazing group.

They played New Years Eve in Paris, but I was working.

I am not working tomorrow night and I would love to see them.

I have a couple of commitments to attend to in Noe Valley, but after that, nada.

Well, as the rain continues to fall I will continue to be grateful that I am currently dry and my work week is just about over.

Working it out, holding on, grooving to the good life.

My, my, my, it is a good life.

It Wasn’t A Walk of Shame

October 6, 2012

Until I got to work.

Damn it.

I spent the night over at the lover’s house in the Mission.  I feel all relaxed and easy in my skin.  I slept soundly.  I had packed my over night bag.

It’s not a walk of shame if you pack an over night bag.

I saw some walks of shame this morning.  Most noticeable the girl on 14th street with no shoes on, dress on backwards, carrying a pizza box.  At least she was getting her breakfast on.  If I had my camera ready I would have gotten a great shot.  It really was the classic walk of shame.

But this, what I was doing?

Nah.

I had brought my toothbrush and my nice lotion, a change of clothes, don’t want the co-workers to see you in the same duds as the shift before.

No thanks.

Although, I did forget an extra pair of socks, so I am a little bit of a dirty girl, despite the morning shower.  And the boy bath products.  I was prepared for the Irish Spring scenario again, so I brought a little bottle of coconut papaya lotion with me and a bag of makeup.

What I was not prepared for was the gigantic mess my hair had become.

Sex equals bed head.

Serious bed head.

He said I could blame him, but I think I may have had a little something to do with it.  Writhing around on a bed doesn’t make for a nice blown out hair do.  And I have so much more hair than I used to.  The last time I had a lover I had very short-cropped hair.  Then I had no nookie for over a year, you, know, I was busy, “Calling in the One,”  much to my chagrin and the statement I made earlier last year, “I will get married at Burning Man next year.”  My hair has grown out a bit since then.

That, Burning Man prediction, by the way, was this past Burning Man and I, Jesus, did I even get a kiss?

Oh, yes, that’s right, Dubble’s friend North kissed me.

That was lovely, but pretty much a not going to go anywhere scenario as the gentleman had a girlfriend back home.

I don’t know about you, but I think that a kiss can be more intimate than most people allow and I would not want my boyfriend kissing other women, but that’s just my opinion.

Back to the walk not walk of shame.

Which, I have had me some.

Ooh yeah.

The time I was living on 22nd and Alabama and dropped some really good E and it hit harder and faster than I was expecting and I was getting ready to go out to the club and suddenly I HAD to change my outfit, it just would not do for the night that was about to go off.  Out came the glitter, the flower hair clips, the ribbons, the sparkles, the flowy shirt and god only knows what else, the platform Steve Madden buck leather shoes–I remember that–I could hardly walk the next day, although I did do walk my in my heels, I won’t do the barefoot walk, no way, no how.

I had gone to 1015, then to the End Up, then to an after party, then to an after, after party.

About early afternoon, somewhere high up in the Castro, or lower Twin Peaks, the view was astounding, I also remember that.

I never really did do black outs, sometimes to my great chagrin, I do have an astounding memory.

As I looked out over the bowl of the city the sun twinkling sharply of the towers and spires and the water, I realized it was time to go home.

I said good-bye graciously to my hosts and began to gather my things.

“Girl, where do you think you are going,” one of the fabulous gay boys said with a wry chuckle.

“I’ll just go flag a cab,” I said, shouldering my bag and fishing out my sunglasses.  This was during a time that I discovered that I always needed sunglasses and would often buy them at the gas station kitty corner to the End Up when I was making cigarette and gum runs over from the club.

“Honey, have you seen what you look like recently?”

Ah no.

I went to the bathroom.

Oh my god, what the hell has happened to me?

My very long hair had been “artfully” braided by someone at some point in the night, entwined with god only knows what, ribbons, flowers, was that a glow stick in my hair?

It was.

I had put on more glitter eyeliner at the club.  Apparently I was just not fabulous enough when I had left my house on Alabama Street the night before.

I had various in and out bracelets from the clubs on my arm as well as door stamps, one of which was on my cleavage.

I was a hot mess.

I tried to wash, but it really was no good.

I came out of the bathroom and the whole room clapped.

I got a ride home.

That may win the walk of shame walks.  And there were a few.

This turned into an inadvertent walk of shame, or ride of shame, as I was on my bicycle this morning.

Come by the shop!  I am working.

Ugh.

After lazing in the sun for a while–there is nothing like waking up in a puddle of sunlight.  Good morning light is almost as good as good morning wood.

Did I just say that?

Ok, so I did not get as much sleep as a girl could get.

Hush.

I had a hot shower, put on my change of clothes, made the bed, did my morning get centered rituals and went to Rainbow to grab a little light breakfast and the stuff to make lunch today at work.

I do not know why  I was craving sour kraut.  But man, it looked really, really good in the cold case.

Maybe it was that damn blog I wrote the other day about making apple pies, I had cooking in the house of Windsor on my mind and one year we did this retardedly huge batch of sour kraut, over ten 5 gallon pickle buckets of sour kraut–the garden put out a lot of cabbage that year and I believe my step-father also supplemented with some extra from the farmers market.

We had kraut for years.

It was stunningly good.

I saw it at Rainbow and I wanted.

I had an after sex craving, I guess.

I got my black chai spice tea and almond milk, a couple of bananas, a raw bar, a Naked smoothie (ha), and some stuff to make for lunch, including sour kraut.

I hopped on my bike, chuckled when I saw the girl walking home with the bare feet and dress asunder carrying the pizza box.

No one will know, but me and my “tousled” hair.

Then I got to work, why is my stuff wet?  What is that smell?

That is not I just had sex smell, I mean yes, those are my panties and damn they are wet, but, what the?

OH

Fuck my mother.

The sour kraut opened in my bag.

Walk of shame.

You got me anyway.

It’s Three A.M.

July 21, 2012

Do you know where your blog is?

Ah, good gravy.  I did it.  I went dancing.  Full on slam tilt boogie.  Hollered my head off, shook my ass, got good and hot and sweaty and let it all out.

All of it.

I have not had a session like that in some time.  It was just what the dance doctor ordered.  I made new friends.  I saw old friends.  I smiled so hard my cheek muscles ached.  I sang.  I even cried a little.

Uh, I mean, I got mascara in my eye and it made them water.

Ah, yeah.

Music is cathartic.  Dancing is soul sustenance.  I need them both.

I could tell today that I might have to do a rally when the day was over.  But oddly enough, even at 9:30 a.m. this morning I knew I was going dancing.  I don’t know if it was a case of the fuck its.

Fuck work.

Oh, I’ll still be going.  I don’t know how not to work unless I am sick and even then it takes some grave ass sick to get me down for the count.  I just won’t be my normal, I slept 8 hours perky self.

I will have a lot of coffee and at some point I will probably crash the hell out. So be it.

That’s the biggest fuck it I have today.

No more calling in sick from the back patio of the End Up.  No more after hours after hours after hours parties.  No more trying to flag a cab to get home before the sun rises and my room-mate gets up.

Nothing is worse than creeping in early in the morning and running into a room-mate getting up for their job.

Shiver.

Oh, and I will be a little sore tomorrow.  I am sore now.  This body likes to act young, but it ain’t no spring chicken anymore.

I was envying the gorgeous blue suede platforms that Siouxsie was wearing this evening and half-heartedly wished I had worn my heels too.  They made a brief appearance before the evenings dancing began, but I took them back off after acknowledging that although retardedly cute, they were not shoes meant for breaking off a groove in.

Out came the Converse.

I am glad that I made that choice.  I would not have lasted half as long.  My knees are sore, my neck is sore, my arms are sore.

Such a good ache though, the tenderness in my body pure unadulterated evidence of having gone out and embraced my life and let myself get right with God.

Yeah, music is God for me.

Get your Flash Dance reference in now, please.

Music is spiritual.  Music is love.  Music moves me.  I can’t explain it, I just know it when I feel it.

I certainly felt it tonight.

I probably looked like I was rolling on some sound E.

Nope.

It’s not you, it’s the E talking.

Wait a minute.

It is me.

It is me channeling the heavens right down through the palms of my hands into my arms to radiate out my breast-plate and down through my feet and connect me to the ground.

I felt it.

“I think some one has a crush on the dj,” a friend once said to me after I heard an earth-shaking set at 1015 by Jonathan Ojeda.

Nope.

But I had seen God.

I had a white light experience.

They do happen.

It was the E talking.

Yet, still there is a fondness for that memory.  I was searching for something, communing with something, even when I was mucked up in the brain, I have always known that something was carrying me.

Maybe it was the J.Davis Trio.

Or Madisalsa.

Maybe it was Moby.

Or Dubtribe.

It might have been Jeff Buckley.

It certainly was Morphine.

Tori Amos nailed it.

Tortured Soul banged it out.

Exquisitely Soul Coughing.

Torn apart and put asunder by Terese Taylor.

Blown down and rolled over by Underworld.

Then they blew me up again.

I only mention this because I seriously had an orgasm listening to them play at the Warfield.  I danced so hard I got myself off.

It was definitely a spiritual experience.

Maybe it was the party panties.

Nevertheless, I have found God not only in the small quiet space between the notes but in the lyrics, the rhymes, the primal beat of the drum.

Music is evocative and like smell will take me back to a memory a place an emotion, so visceral, so vivid, that sometimes I can’t even listen to it.

I still have a really, really challenging time listening to Shuggie Otis.  The depth of sorrow I was in during the time of my life when I was playing Inspiration Information was devastating and horrid that even listening to Strawberry Letter Number 23 makes me cringe in remembrance.

I was very near my drug bottom and I could not play it anymore.

Music had deserted me.  I was left alone in the quicksand of my own brain.

I stopped because it was too painful to listen to.

My head made up its own mantras instead.  The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.  On loop for hours.

Horrendous.

Or

Stop it.  Stop it.  Stop it. Stop it. Stop it. Stop it. Stop it. Stop it.

Ad nauseum.

Shiver.

No more.

Music is my recovery, my raison d’être, my passion, my love, my inspiration

And I owe my life to the dance.

And a very beat up pair of Converse.


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