Posts Tagged ‘The Marais’

Flanneur

July 22, 2018

Which means, “one who strolls,” in French.

Or something like that.

Google it if you’re not sure.

I am fairly certain, but my French is not that great.

It’s good, but not great.

I know enough French to get me in trouble, its assumed by my accent and the way I talk that I do speak it fairly well, but as I explained to a new English-speaking friend today, I get caught up in trying to say the right word and the rapid fire Parisians are three sentences ahead of me while I am still thinking of the word for “dressing room.”

Which is “cabine,” if you wanted to know, and I did remember, but not before the sales person figured out my French was not as good as assumed.

I actually didn’t really buy anything today, well, food, not that much is open on Sundays.

Oh.

There were tons of shops open in the Marais, but nothing really called to me, except, heh, the shops that weren’t open.

Sunday in Paris is a family day, a rest day, most places are closed and I decided early on today that I would do my best to take it easy today too.

I mean.

I still walked like seven miles, but at an easy, relaxed pace and I did end up taking the Metro home from my final destination as I wasn’t feeling like walking fourteen miles.

I could have, it’s still light out, the sun has not set and it’s nearly 9p.m.

Gorgeous light in the apartment.

My last night alone here, the family returns in the morning.

Then!

I’m off to the South of France at lunchtime.

I’m very excited.

It will be nice to be on a train for a little while, the ride is about three and a half hours, and it will be fantastic to see a new city.

My friend knows the area well, we are staying at her favorite hotel in Marseilles, which has a view of the port.

We will go to the big museum there and have a nice dinner, I’m sure, and on Tuesday we will be taking a car to the markets in Aix-en-Provence, then on the way back to Marseilles we will be going swimming in, I forget the exact French word for it, some secret little beach on the Mediterranean.

So stoked.

My friends return in the morning and I’ve been instructed to be ready to leave for the train station by lunch time.

Not going to be a problem, I’ll just be packing a few summer dresses, my toiletries, and my bathing suit.

I still cannot believe I will be swimming in the Mediterranean Sea!

So happy.

And.

Honestly, I could use a break from Paris.

I know.

What?

Did I say.

I have had this feeling before, I did last time I came, at one point in my trip, I’m done with the crowds, I’m done with being stared at on the Metro (I have a lot of tattoos and though one sees them a bit more than they used to, it is very rare to see a woman with as many tattoos as I have, and it’s warm, I’m showing a lot of skin, not obscenely, by no means, but it’s unusual, and man, I get the looks), I’m done with snotty French waiters.

Not all waiters are horrible.

But I usually have one or two that are assholes and I got that one today at a cafe I met a friend at on Rue Madame.

It’s a damn cute cafe though.

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I had my “usual.”

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I like coffee.

And I like the sparkling water.

I just finished up one now.

Nothing says I’m on vacation like the two of them together.

Plus.

Taking the time to sit still and enjoy them.

I tried to sit a little more today, but it can be hard, my brain tells me that I must go and go quickly and get in as much as possible and do, do, do.

A human doing, not a human being.

But today I let myself sleep in, I laid in bed after I woke up until 10 a.m.

Then a nice long shower, a leisurely breakfast, and some laundry, so nice to have laundry here, I am super grateful for that and not having to cart it to the mat down the block or up and down five flights of stairs.

Then coffee and writing.

I didn’t leave the house until after noon.

I decided I didn’t need to do the Louvre, that had been my sort of “plan” but that I could just walk and see where it led me.

I walked through the Marais.

I walked to the Seine.

It was gorgeous.

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I mean.

Come on.

I walked and walked and walked.

Then I crossed over this bridge and went into the Latin Quarter, which I don’t much like, way too many tourists, way too many, but it was on my way to where I was meeting my friend and I realized that I had plenty of time to just walk all the way there without being rushed.

And.

I stumbled upon the Cluny Museum!

Never having been, I popped in for a wonderfully air-conditioned visit and saw the famous tapestries.

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They were beautiful and it was a sweet little detour.

After that I walked over to the Luxembourg Gardens, but needing food I kept my eyes open for the right place to grab a bite.

And lo and behold!

A miracle!

Not only a new organic, locally sourced restaurant, but one with beautiful flowers everywhere, and, and, and!

A non-smoking terrace!

All the cafes, well, except this one, have smoking areas on the terrace, and everyone it seems, smokes, except my friend, thank God, and I made the grave mistake my first night eating outside and my food might as well have been dipped in nicotine.

It was gross.

And I used to be a smoker, so that’s saying something.

But this little spot, was no smoking and I was really happy.

The food was surprisingly good and the terrace was super pretty.

The service was a little spotty, but that was obviously because it was a new restaurant, turns out they’ve only been open three weeks, and I was more than happy to be patient about it.

Which I’m grateful for, because when my food did arrive, the waitress got my order wrong the first go around, it was superb.

Best lunch I’ve had here since I landed.

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A really beautiful crustless Quiche with vegetables, a green salad and these delicious sausages.

That and the atmosphere, made me super happy.

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And then I walked through the Luxembourg Gardens before meeting my friend at Cafe Madame.

A sweet, slow, “lazy” day.

Heh.

I still walked 15, 418 steps and climbed 15 flights of stairs.

And now.

Well.

It’s time for dinner and getting ready for my trip tomorrow.

I hope your Sunday is as lovely as mine was.

Bon soir!

 

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The Light

July 21, 2018

Today was magic.

The light all day long.

Extraordinaire.

I was blown away by all the different kinds of it.

The light on the Seine.

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And in the sky above the Eiffel Tower as I crossed Pont Alma, a “pont” is a bridge, on my way to the American Church to see some friends this evening.

The light was also amazing coming through the church windows, but well, I don’t take pictures in churches, at least not most of the time.

I was happy to traipse through the light tonight after leaving the church to head to the Metro to go to the 11th Arrondisment to, yes, another place filled with light.

L’Atelier des Lumieres.

Oh my God.

It was extraordinary.

I mean.

I cannot quite put words to it, but there were often tears on my face as I sat in the dark listening to the beautiful music they scored the works of Klimt to as the light and color and shapes melted and merged and coalesced into all these beautiful paintings that I am so very, very fond of.

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Klimt is one of my favorite artists.

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So when I stumbled upon this show a few weeks back I made a mental note to myself that I would go.

And I went.

And I went after a fairly packed day of stuff previous to it, but it was perfect to go, it was actually a nice thing to do after my full day, as I sat still for close to an hour watching the show.

Previous to the show I had been at the aforementioned church way across town.

Before that a visit to Marche aux Enfant Rouge for a roasted chicken, cherries, apricots and a beautiful nectarine.

Before that shopping in the Marais.

I scored a dress!

I can’t believe I scored a dress in Paris.

It’s not always the easiest place for me to shop.

I was very, very, very happy to get the dress.

Before the shopping?

Art.

Lots and lots and lots of art.

I went to the Musee Pompidou.

They had a great exhibition from the 1930s on architecture and furniture and then I gamboled through the permanent galleries and stumbled quiet without knowing it, unto the most beautiful art film I think I may have ever seen.

It was called “The Silence of Ani,” by Francis Alys.

It was stunning and I can’t even do it justice, but it was like watching a poem unwind.

Here’s a Vimeo of it, it’s about thirteen minutes long and well worth it.

Imagine seeing it in the middle of Paris, in the afternoon with no one else in the theater with you.

Superb does not do it justice.

And before the museum?

Yes I did.

I got a tattoo.

heh.

At Abraxas, where I have gotten all my Paris tattoos, on Rue St. Merrie in the Marais.

Speaking of all the light, here’s a shot of the tattoo after my long day of running around the city, just as the sun was setting in the kitchen window of the fifth floor walk up.

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And though there are probably a lot more things I can say about today.

I am also light-headed with the tiredness.

I think I will call it a night and let myself rest for a while and nibble on some of those delicious cherries I got from the market today.

Bisous!

 

Not Excited Yet

July 13, 2018

But I’m hopeful I will get there.

I realized tonight when I wrapped up with my last client that I only have one client left to see before I go to Paris.

Paris seems far away and a touch surreal at the moment.

I have been so busy walking through this housing situation that I have spent little to no time thinking about Paris.

Cue standing in the dental aisle at Walgreens this afternoon when I went in to fill a prescription.

Why am I standing in front of the toothpaste?

I have toothpaste at home.

I don’t need toothpaste.

But I kept coming back.

Until I remembered.

Oh snap!

I need travel size toothpaste!

I’m traveling soon.

I leave in three days!

It just has not really landed at all.

I am, of course, very much looking forward to seeing my dear friend.

I miss her so much and it was hard to finish my last semester of school without her.

Friends are so damn important.

It will be good to reconnect, to have lots of time with her, and of course, to have the best and most brilliant of insider guides to the city that I love only second to San Francisco.

I am always so happy that I get to live here.

Yesterday I went and visited a friend who used to live in the city but has done what so many of my friends have done, moved out of the city across the Bay.

She lives high up in the Berkeley Hills and it was a beautiful home and a lovely, stunning really, view of the city, the bay, the fog pushing over Twin Peaks, but I could not imagine living there.

I love San Francisco.

Sure.

It’s changed, but everything changes.

And it’s still, to me, one of the most beautiful places in the world, especially to live.

I also ran an errand and took back a bicycle rack that a friend had loaned me last year for Burning Man.

That took me to Alameda.

Where I did see a few cute houses, but it felt so suburban and removed and I also could not see myself there.

Or in Oakland.

Or in Berkeley.

I see myself in San Francisco.

My focus on finding a place is focused on the city proper.

And let me tell you.

I have been looking.

I have seen a few things, but not much.

I have responded to a few things, but gotten no response.

I do feel like when the dust is settled here and all the paperwork signed and taken care of that I will be throwing all my might behind finding a new place.

I will also officially throw it up on social media and I’m quite hopeful that I will find a good place.

I have been quietly telling a few friends and starting to put the word out.

The fact is though, at this point, it’s so close to me leaving for Paris that I really should skip even looking, I don’t know that I could do anything or get anything together before I leave.

I think it’s time I get excited!

I think it’s time to contemplate what I am going to be doing, walking around in the best city to walk, seeing art, street art and art, art.

Getting to spend time shopping in the Marais at all the little paper shops for notebooks to smuggle home with me.

Gah.

I bought a book today to read on the plane and I couldn’t help myself, I bought a new notebook too.

It was too cool to pass up and I knew I must have it.

There was a little voice in my head saying don’t accrue any more stuff!  I need to get ready to move and the less to pack, the better.

But.

Well.

I couldn’t help it, I bought the notebook.

And I did some writing siting in a cafe waiting for my friend and her new baby to come and join me.

I don’t often sit in cafes in San Francisco and write anymore.

I do the majority of my writing here where I am sitting right now, at a tiny table in my tiny kitchen, heaped high with notebooks and folders and books.

God.

I love paper.

I love writing.

I wrote a love letter in the new notebook.

I think that’s why I decided I had to buy it.

It is perfect for writing love letters.

And it was.

After my friend left I had some down time to sit for a while before I headed into my internship.

To sit outside, in the warm late afternoon sun, with a bottle of sparkling water, at a park in the Mission on Valencia Street that I used to bring former charges too and write a love letter while looking up at the bright blue sky, well, it was something else.

So no regrets about buying the notebook.

It will be used.

I will also buy more when I am in Paris.

Along with my standard pair of earrings, lipstick/lip gloss or eyeshadow, postcards, museum magnets and whatever else small momento I feel I should need.

I am so looking forward to seeing Paris through my friends eyes that I will have to buy something outside of my normal repertoire of souvenirs.

I thought about perhaps buying a market basket, I do love how they look.

And.

Yes.

I have contemplated a new tattoo.

I have one in mind, I will see if it stands the test of time when I arrive.

There’s a shop in the Marais that I get my work done at and I’ll see if they have an opening when my friend is off to a wedding out-of-town one of the weekends I am there, get myself a souvenir that I can wear always.

I like that quite a bit.

Of course.

I will take lots and lots and lots of photos too.

I promise.

Psst.

Here are a few from my recent trip to New York.

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Back yard patio at a lovely little restaurant in Williamsburg, The Rabbit Hole, where I had the most amazing soup and salad–broccoli cheese consume and the salad was like a deconstructed BLT with avocado and fried leeks.

So good.

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Bunny rabbit lamps!

From Le Grand Strip, on Grand Ave in Williamsburg.

I swear to God I almost bought them, but not knowing where I am going to live stopped me.  Once I’m settled I may actually buy them, the owner said she could ship them for me.

Bunny lamps!

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A triptych of feminist Latina women at the Brooklyn Museum.

Why, yes.

That is me in the middle.

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Mural in Fort Greene Brooklyn.

More to come.

Paris soon.

T-minus three days and counting.

But who’s counting?

 

Did You Get Your Ticket

March 8, 2018

To Burning Man?

My friend asked me tonight.

“My what?” I asked.

“Your ticket to Burning Man, aren’t you going?” He replied, “I saw they went on sale today everybody was posting about it.”

“Oh, I don’t know if I’m going this year, I probably won’t be, if I get into the PhD program I applied to I won’t be able to, I hadn’t even really thought about it,” I said.

“But, I did get my ticket to Paris!”

Burnign Man, what’s that?

Heh.

But oh.

Paris.

Yes, Paris.

 

I bought my ticket last night after confirming times and dates with my dear friend who I’ll be staying with.

In the Marais.

The Marais!

My favorite part of Paris.

I am so lucky I get to stay with her.

She’ll be busy, I was told I’ll be pretty much on my own as she’s studying for her exams for school, and I, well, I have no problem with that at all.

I can entertain myself just fine in Paris.

I have before I certainly can again.

Long walks.

Window shopping.

Sitting outside at cafes and writing.

People watching.

Wandering through the museums.

Going to the markets.

Sitting on benches in parks and getting sun on my face.

It will be warm.

Sun dresses and sandals!

I booked my ticket to fly out Sunday July 15th.

It’s a direct flight, which is awesome sauce, and with the time change I will arrive in Paris around 4:30 pm in the afternoon.

I’ll hop the train from Charles de Gaulle and transfer onto a Metro Line, and take it all the way to the Temple Metro station and then walk with my luggage to my friend’s house.

Oh my fucking God.

I’m going back to Paris.

I am so excited.

I do love it so.

I will also be taking a three-day weekend with my friend to her family’s summer-house on L’il de Re (I haven’t yet figured out how to get the French accent marks over the words) which means swimming pool lounging and beaches and sunshine and my friend.

And a road trip!

In France.

It’s not a long road trip but it’s five hours.

I think that it will be a blast to drive outside of the periphery of Paris into the country side and then to the coast.

I’m so happy I got the ticket.

And I got a good, I mean, damn good price on it, I found a ticket for $788.

I was over the moon.

A round trip ticket from San Francisco to Paris for under $800 is fucking amazing.

I’m quite pleased to say the least.

It will be my graduation present to myself.

And.

Heh.

Speaking of graduation.

I also ordered my cap and gown.

Things are really coming together.

It’s been a busy time, though, I can assure you.

Today felt like a really big push and I was a bit beat by the end of it, but I accomplished quite a lot.

I had a hard time falling asleep last night, my heart was beating so loudly in my ears it took a while to drift off.

Although, drift I finally did, despite the loud sound of my blood in my ears and the ruminations in my head, I did sleep.

I also got up pretty early and was at work by 7:45 a.m. and spent the majority of the day with the baby and doing a lot of laundry.

A five person family makes for a lot of laundry.

A lot.

The baby was also super fussy, he’s teething pretty bad, so much carrying and snuggling was had.

It was not a bad thing, but I was a little worried that I wasn’t going to be able to get to the work that I had brought with me.

Specifically getting the annotated bibliography written that I needed to do.

Fortunately for the second nap of the day facilitated me being able to do some work.

The only thing was the baby was in a carrier.

So.

Yes.

I did in fact write three-quarters of my paper with a baby strapped to my chest.

I felt a little like Wonder Woman to tell the truth.

Or something of that kind.

Super Nanny maybe.

Super Nanny also made a fucking fabulous meal–slow roasted ham that I studded with cloves and rubbed down with brown sugar, garlic smashed potatoes with butter, cream, sour cream, garlic, salt, pepper, and yes, I did, cream cheese; asparagus in a Meyer lemon brown butter sauce with shaved pecorino, and two salads: tomato and red bell pepper in olive oil and balsamic with parmesan and a fresh kale salad with chopped apples, carrots, red onions, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese and an olive oil and apple cider vinegar dressing.

Plus, three loads of laundry washed and folded and put away and all the general tidying and straightening up I tend to do anyhow.

In hindsight it’s obvious I had to do the homework, the paper writing, I was attending to so many other things, of course, I should note I was at work, and I like to do a good job.

I like my job stability and it was nice to have the baby, albeit a slight inconvenience to have him swaddled upon my chest, while I was doing my homework.

I also read an article.

Then I got home and cooked myself a quick simple dinner and finished my paper and read two more articles before heading out to do the deal.

Burning Man.

Well.

I’d forgotten clean about it.

But the truth is.

I wasn’t planning on going this year.

Too many other things to do.

Oh.

All the things.

All the things I get to do.

I am so very lucky.

Really.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Although sometimes I think I should just put busiest girl in the world.

I am, truly, lucky to get to do the things I do.

Or graced.

Probably that more so than luck.

Yes.

That.

Grace.

 

Let’s Go Out in The Sunshine

May 15, 2017

But before I do.

Let me write my morning pages on the deck of the houseboat and eat a plum.

In my long black, sleeveless dress with my bare feet (well, one bare foot, my right ankle was still wrapped up in its Ace bandage) up on a wooden deck chair.

Still need to rest my ankle when and where I can.

It’s not nearly as bad, but I can tell when it starts to get cranky and then, it’s time to sit, rest, let it go, not push too hard.

I have sat far more this trip than I ever have any prior time here.

I have to say.

It’s damn nice.

I’m not so freaked out that I’m not going to get to have the experiences I want to have.

In fact.

I’m pretty ok with whatever experiences that I continue to have here as they have been simply marvelous.

I will never forget sitting on the deck and drinking coffee and watching the Batobus go by with their tops heavy with tourists.

Not ever.

Nor the way the tree dander floated on the wind along the Seine as I walked the river this afternoon perusing the book sellers.

I picked up a couple of really great postcards and had some nice chats with vendors.

I walked from the houseboat down past Notre Dame and had lunch on Ile St. Louis.

I finally got the crappy Paris service that folks complain about, but I also recognize that I perhaps went too long before having my lunch.

Sometimes the walking just pulls me along and I have to go another block, see another building, watch another couple entwined around one another.

Paris.

You are so enchanting.

I feel enchanted being here.

Like I am in a fairy tale.

I made up for the crap service at lunch by finding a fabulous cafe on the edge of the Marais with bright blue chairs and red tables and had the most fabulous lemonade I have ever had.

And.

A cafe creme.

When in Paris.

ALL THE CAFE CREME PLEASE!

It’s my splurge.

The lemonade was so tart it made my whole face pucker, it had no sugar, which is right up my alley, since I don’t do sugar, but the crushed ice and the big sprig of mint made it a savory, refreshing and delicious.

Sitting in the sunshine didn’t hurt either.

After some slow sipping and sitting I wandered the Marais.

And.

Yes.

Yes, I did.

I hit the fucking jackpot.

I found a papeterie that carried a ton of Claire Fontaine notebooks.

I bought six.

Heh.

I am a very, very, very happy girl.

I also swung into Abraxas Tattoo.

Yes.

I will be getting another tattoo.

You know.

That’s what I do.

I will be going in Wednesday at 3:30p.m.

I will probably do a big swing through the Pompidou prior to getting the tattoo.

I am getting Anticonformiste in script on my left forearm.

A visiting tattoo artist from Nepal, Manish, super kind and we had a great chat about when I was going to come in and what I wanted, will be doing the work for me.

I expect that the tattoo won’t take but an hour.

So I may do the Pompidou after.

But the Pompidou I will do.

Tomorrow I will start the museum circuit.

I have the four-day museum pass and Saturday I have plans to go with a friend to Clingancort on Saturday and well, Sunday, I fly home.

But let’s not talk about Sunday yet.

Today is just Monday.

So.

Back to the Marais, back to my strolls.

Oh.

The reminds me, since I’ll be in the Marais again on Wednesday I should pop into the Marche aux Rouge Enfants.

The Market by the Red Children.

It is located by a former orphanage where the children wore red coats.

Thus the name.

It is a gigantic food market.

Closed on Mondays, so no journeying though the stalls, but it will be open on Wednesday.

I am feeling that is where I will be getting my lunch and maybe taking it to Place Vosges to eat before getting inked up.

Not a plan, but a thought, I make no plans, they melt away, I am just letting myself really experience Paris.

Walking through the Marais I also swung into a couple of stores and yes, I found the perfect black sundress.

Superb!

I am very happy to have found it, not too pricey, 59 Euro, and my goal of finding a dress in Paris is complete.

It almost never happens that fast.

In one day I found my dress, all my postcards, put a deposit down on a new tattoo, and got Claire Fontaine notebooks!

I am set.

I want for nothing.

The rest is icing on the cake.

Tomorrow I will start the round of museums and get the Paris Museum Pass activated by going to the D’Orsay.

The Orangerie is closed, so I might pop into the Louvre as well, there is a Vermeer exhibition happening that I would love to see.

No pressure to do the Louvre in entirety, not that I could, it is so enormous, I can’t even express it, over two city block long, two wings of art, each wing having four floors, there is no way I will ever see everything in the Louvre, ever.

Not that I need to either, I have seen the things that I want and even the infamous, and tiny, Mona Lisa, but the big draws are always too much for me to deal with, too many people, I like the smaller rooms and galleries.

But the Vermeer looks like a really good show, so definitely I will go to that.

Plus.

I know the “secret” entrance to the Louvre in the Tuilleries that helps to skip the massive lines that are the queue for the entrance under the I M Pei Pyramid.

So.

Just a quick zip in and out.

And no agenda.

Really.

I am so happy to be here and I am having a fabulous time.

Really relaxing and slowing down and enjoying the delicious sun and the walking and the houseboat and the cafe creme.

Heh.

Always that.

Bon soir mes amies.

A demain.

Trop grosse bixous!

Boarding

May 12, 2017

Not that I will be boarding soon, I have about an hour and thirty minutes before my plane starts to board.

But.

I am in the boarding area to London.

Where I will have an hour layover and then.

Yes.

Paris.

I will arrive in Paris tomorrow at 5:15p.m.

About 24 hours from right now.

Of course, Paris is 12 hours ahead and the time traveling is not actually 24 hours.

There is some time travel happening.

In a manner of speaking.

My flight to London is 11 hours 45 minutes.

Yawn.

That’s a long time.

I hopefully will take a very big nap.

I am nervous about my ankle, it’s hard to travel with a sprain, the air pressure in the cabin, having it lower than it should be, I should have it elevated as much as I can, but that’s not going to happen.

I am also sitting in the boarding area early hoping to chat with the flight crew.

I want to see if I can switch seats.

I’m in the middle.

I have done a long flight in the middle before, but not with a bad ankle.

I am going to see if they have anything in first class, smile real big and bat my eyes.

Although, I’m not one to really use feminine wiles to get my way, a smile, and a please and a thank you generally go far.

I use my manners more than anything else.

I doubt it will happen, but I will ask.

Can’t hurt to ask.

And.

I will ask for getting on early so that I don’t have to hobble on with every one else.

I definitely needed extra time to get through security.

I kept my shoes on and my ankle brace on and the security did a pat down and a chemical swipe of my shoes.

It was rather funny, but I wasn’t in a hurry and I was glad that they let me keep my shoes on.

I have my ankle wrapped pretty well and my plain Jane sensible walking shoes on.

I do hope that I will be able to do the museums and to be able to get to some spots that I want to.

Fuck.

At this moment I have completely changed my thoughts and plans regarding my flight, I am sitting in the boarding area next to a very loud woman who is reciting a great deal of evangelical text at great volume.

Listen lady.

It’s too late to save me.

I’ve already saved myself.

Take your proselytizing and go elsewhere.

PS.

I can’t hear you anymore now that I put on my oversized Head Candy noise cancelling headphones.

All I can here is the playlist my French friend put together for me.

“Pour Carmen.”

Merci bein mon amie, je t’aime trop la musique.

I also have been doing the internet fall into a hole looking at all the fun stuff that is happening in Paris this upcoming weekend and week.

I almost got into to the pop up sauna that is at the Moulin Rouge, but it was fully booked.

Oh well.

There are plenty of things to do.

I have been popping around the Time Out Paris magazine.

It’s fun to pursue all the things.

I don’t actually have any agenda anymore.

I can’t do Paris the way that I have done in previous years, at a full tilt boogie.

Nope.

I will be going slow.

I will be soaking in the City of Lights.

I shall be walking slow.

Moving slow.

Seeing it all.

Taking it in.

I’ll still go to plenty of museums, how can I not, but I will be pretty strategic about it, I don’t think I will do the Louvre, I mean, I may, but only a few certain parts, I will have to pick maybe one wing and then one floor instead of trying to do two of the wings, it’s just miles of walking and I don’t have miles of walking in me.

I figure I will find my spot and sit and stare at some art and get my fill.

Fuck.

I don’t know what I am going to do.

I am just going.

I mean I really do have to toss out all the ideas I had about what I would be up to.

I have to scale way back.

But.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing for me.

A little restraint.

That can be a good thing.

I know I will have an amazing time and I know I will have adventures.

I will meet people, I will see old friends.

In fact, I have a date to go to Rue Madame with a friend on Sunday and catch up with him and some fellows and then off to stroll, hobble, around Les Jardins de Luxembourg.

That’s the Luxembourg Gardens, if you didn’t figure that out.

I will definitely be sitting still more than I have in the past and I am thinking I may use the buses a lot more than when I lived there, the stairs up and down the Metro are going to be hard.

I can’t dash.

So, maybe staying street level most the time.

And going places where I can really get a lot of bang for my buck, like the city center, the Marais, etc.

Ah.

It’s all good.

I’m ok.

I get to go, my ankle wasn’t so badly sprained that I can’t get out of bed.

I mean, had it been as severe as the one I sustained three years ago I would have been fucked.

I probably would have cancelled the trip.

So.

I am grateful, super grateful, for that and I will not bitch or complain.

I shall take the experience as it has been given to me with a great big smile and a very sincere Merci bien.

Trop merci.

Merci beaucoup.

Ooh.

The flight crew is coming in.

Got to jet.

Er.

Hobble off.

Into the sunset.

See you in Paris!

Trop bisoux pour toi.

xxxxxx

Made It

March 25, 2017

To the weekend.

And I’m just hella happy to be home writing my little blog and it’s not even 9p.m.

I’m already in my bunny slippers.

At least I have some good music on.

There is a dance party up in here, y’all.

I’m listening to Parov Stelar, Mama Talking.

So fucking good.

I’m not quite sure what to call it, Neo Swing,  Electro Jazz, maybe Electro Swing.

Whatever.

I fucking love it.

I definitely dance my ass off when it comes on and I’m quite happy to have discovered some new tunes.

Dancing makes me happy.

And I haven’t had very much chance to do it recently.

I don’t think I have been dancing since right after New Years Eve.

To be honest, I’ve been pretty bushed with the work, the school, the internship, the supervisors, the finding a therapist, the whole damn deal, it’s taken a bit out of me, but I’m grateful and I know it won’t be forever.

I do suspect that it’s going to be about a year or so of being pretty exhausted and trying to keep whatever equilibrium I can.

I also suspect that it will be exhilarating and exciting and overwhelming and sure, why not, I bet it will be fun too, it’s fun to be on the path, to be headed somewhere, to have a direct goal, a vision, I feel like I’m fighting the good fight and doing the work and I know that is its own reward.

Yeah.

I also look forward to a time when I’m actually taking real clients and making money, like real money, I’m just getting by at the moment, it’s not a bad getting by, but it’s a tight getting by for living in San Francisco.

Especially when I start to contemplate having to start to pay out-of-pocket $120 a week for therapy.

The money will be there though, I know it, I have faith, and I’ve a bit socked away for a rainy day.

In Paris.

Actually, I fucking hope that it will not be rainy in Paris when I get there, I will want to devour every last bit of the city and I am hoping for sunny days, warm nights, long walks through the markets, the Marais, where I will be staying, a lunch at a cafe by Place de Vosges, a visit or four to Les Rouge Enfant Marche, a trip out to see the Louis Vuitton Institute out in Parc de Butte Charmont, a walk through the Pompidou, a tattoo, I mean, hello, that’s what I do, at Abraxas, a shopping visit to Fleux, a hat from a vendor in the Bastille, an afternoon at the Jeu de Paume, the Orangerie and the D’Orsay, a walk along the Seine, a walk up to Sacre Couer, a dinner at Odette and Aime, maybe a visit to a Brocante, grab a book and some postcards from Le Merle Moquer, fuck, as long as I’m in that neighborhood I suppose I’ll have to hop to Pere Le Chaise for a stroll, oh the places I’ll go.

I’m allowing myself to use half of my travel savings when I go to Paris.

The rest will be used for Burning Man tickets, travel to and from, supplies, food, and camp gear and that infrastructure.

Of course.

I haven’t gotten the ticket to Burning Man yet.

I have, though, to Paris and I have a place to stay, so I’m allowing myself to spend some money a few nice things and experiences while I’m there.

Not extravagant by any stretch, but for me, decadence.

I’ll eating out, I’ll definitely be drinking cafe cremes in cafes, I’m for sure going back to Cantine, that was fabulous, plus, I know my friend whose place I am staying at in the Marais, will have all sorts of good recommendations for me.

I swear.

Paris dreaming is what is helping through this part of the school process.

I’m in the short stretch of the semester, I’ve got to write a paper this weekend, I remind myself, there’s only two weekends of class left.

I e-mailed my advisor regarding all my paperwork, the supervisor, the therapist, and the internship hours, all the things, and I will be going in next Thursday to get his signature and turn over all the forms to the practicum office and registrars office.

This is happening.

I’m pretty happy with this turn of events, it’s been, yes, a bit nerve-wracking, a bit anxiety inducing, my own doing, but, to be able to walk into my next weekend of classes, two weeks from today, and have my internship nailed down, my schedule of hours, my supervisor set up and scheduled and have started my therapy requirement for the Master’s program requirement, big fucking stuff for me.

I was hoping to have my Community Mental Health project done too, but I’ll be ok with what I just mentioned.

Plus.

I have been knocking back the reading for my classes.

I may try to finish up Couples Therapy this weekend on top of writing my paper for my Trauma class, I will be working next weekend, so I don’t think I’ll be writing any papers.

The kids are also on Spring Break and the family is not going anywhere.

The big yummy hours of reading time I had this week will evaporate the next week.

I’ll get as much prep done this weekend and really, I’ll be damn fine with what ever comes of it, I’ve really been kicking it out.

So.

NO.

I’m not at all sad that I am not out at some club tonight celebrating Friday.

I am happy to be here, at home, rocking the fuck out of some good music.

Besides.

I’ve got a yoga class in the morning.

And.

I will make sure I spend some time hanging out with people tomorrow.

Some fellowshipping and some socializing.

Now.

Excuse me.

I need to dance around my room a little more in my bunny slippers.

Happy Friday!

I Don’t Know

June 9, 2016

And I mean that with every ounce of my being.

I don’t know shit.

But.

I’m showing the fuck up anyway.

Doing the deal.

“What are you going to do?” She asked me two years ago this July, we were just pulling into the Caribou Coffee shack on my way to the airport in Minneapolis.

I had been having a rough couple of months.

I had a severe, like ridiculously severe, in an air cast, out of work, in bed, crying like a baby, unable to do anything for myself, except put on funny stripe socks to bolster my mood, ankle injury and I was heading back to precarious work and the not knowing.

The constant not knowing.

It could have killed me.

Or not.

In the end, it didn’t.

I do remember telling her, my friend who doesn’t have my disease but has some sense of it, she’s a smart cookie, that it ultimately doesn’t matter.

I have a purpose.

I have one primary purpose.

And as long as I take care of that I will be alright.

“I just really want to use heroin,” she wept into the phone.

Well fuck that.

We got together.

We sat over tea.

We did the deal.

We hugged it the fuck out.

And I feel like stellar motel in the sky with lucy and diamonds on the soles of my shoes.

I could dance party until dawn and work a full shift with my boys and be absolutely spot on.

It does not matter what I do.

Well.

Ok.

There are some things I need to do, help others, be a good friend, show up, share my experience, strength, hope, the good stuff, the what works for me stuff.

I don’t advise.

I just give some suggestions and let it go.

Sometimes it is heady and intellectual, but tonight, for me, it was all heart and love, unconditional love for a woman who’s name, ha, I just realized, I don’t know her last name.

If this was a lover.

I might, um, a, be you know.

I tiny bit ashamed of myself for not having his last name on the tip of my tongue.

But this?

Fuck no.

It’s not important.

What is important is that I made myself available and I mainly just listened.

I’m not a doctor.

I’m not a therapist.

Yet.

But.

I have a special set of skills and with those and some experiences to share, some working knowledge of a basic text, I have a purpose.

I have a point.

I was just reflecting on this as I was looking over air fare to Wisconsin for July 4th weekend.

Yeah.

I know.

Am I fucking nuts?

The Midwest in July.

Do I want to die?

The mosquitos will be big as rescue helicopters.

The humidity will make my curly hair a wild mess.

I will get some stares.

I have a few tattoos.

And though they are more prolific in the Midwest than they used to be, I guess folks be watching LA Ink or something, there are still few women who have neck tattoos or chest tattoos or partial sleeves, let alone all three.

Plus.

Heh.

My hair will be pink.

Which.

Whatever.

The last time I was there it was half purple and blue.

I got a few looks.

I got proselytized to as well outside of the ice cream store in downtown scenic Hudson on the river.

Nothing like a young girl, a teenager, somewhere between sixteen and eighteen I would guess, talking to me about God.

Oh doll.

I know God.

And I know God well.

Do I understand God?

Fuck no.

Does God understand me?

Yup.

Do I need to know what God is or does or how God works or doesn’t work?

Nope.

I just have this deep, unshakeable belief in this entity that absolutely and completely loves the fuck out of me.

Who also has a wicked sense of humor.

And.

Never, ever, ever.

Ever, ever?

Never.

Has failed to take care of me.

Ever.

I don’t always get what I want.

But I have never not gotten what I needed.

And so often.

All the time really.

I am surprised, blown away, beleaguered by the love I am given.

All I have to do is turn and shine that love on someone else.

And I am taken care of.

Taken care of in the best sense of the world.

Sometimes I imagine, my small, petty, limited mind.

That my God is a gigantic sunken living room with white fur carpet everywhere.

Hella plush.

Big old pillows everywhere.

Warm soft fuzzy

There is a fire pit.

There are big, huge, gigantic floor to ceiling windows with let in oodles of warm gold light.

I am held in this luxurious love.

Sometimes God is a memory.

A sense of flying.

A swimming through the aqua blues and greens of the pool at the high school in DeForest, swimming laps back and forth in the last lane, the one by the windows, when on a quiet Sunday the pool was empty, the parking lot empty, and no one in the pool be me swimming in and out of patches of aquamarine love.

Held.

Perfect.

Serene.

A float.

Sometimes it is the emotional, melodic beat of drums.

The pounding in my heart that echoes a song.

A rhythm.

My body moves without thought and dance.

Dance is God.

Music is God.

Love is God.

All of it.

I am all of it.

Subsumed.

Taken.

Ravished.

Overtaken.

God is art.

God is standing love struck like a bulldozed girl on Valentines day who finally gets the red carnations call over the loud speakers in school from the principal’s office, come get your flowers at lunch break, to find out that it was her secret crush who had a secret crush on her too, in front of Kandinsky’s “Accent en Rose” at the Pompidou when I moved to Paris in my 40th year of life.

Cold.

Wet.

Miserable with the rain and the getting lost and the hungry but not sure for what.

The aching legs from walking lost in the Marais, the wet socks, the squish, so un melodious, of my Converse as I stepped onto the escalator up to the fifth floor.

Sacre Couer in the distance.

The towers of Notre Dame.

Montparnasse.

The sky mottled with grey, purpled, black, silver lined rain clouds, the bent heads scurrying through the courtyard underneath the flimsy arms of tourist stall umbrellas.

Wondering down the hall.

Wonder (ing) in wander.

Wander (ing) in wonder.

Awed and overcome.

Constricted with the pleasure of art unfolding around me.

Then I turn and see the Kandinsky and I am rose flushed.

Flashed out in love.

High on art.

Stranded in the wilderness of my romantic heart.

Bereft and beguiled.

Beatitudes battering my breath.

Caught.

There.

High in my throat.

Tears welling up and sweltering onto my fevered face.

God.

Is in the details.

In the ellipses between the frames.

In the pause before the eruption of fireworks after the rocket has launched into the sky.

God is.

Or God.

Is not.

What is your choice to be?

I already made mine.

Love.

Always there.

Always holding me.

Always this.

Always this.

Always this.

Love.

My love.

Just.

Love.

 

Vale of Tears

November 7, 2012

Overwhelmed today.

Lost it a little in the Marais.

I was trying to find the Lizard Lounge to meet Barnaby for lunch and to go off and get my Iphone up and running.

Despite having been there yesterday I could not find it to save my life.  I spent two hours wandering around the same six block radius getting more and more frustrated.

It was not fun.

I rushed over to the Marais from the American Cathedral area around 2:15p.m.

I was late.

I had run into Jim from New York who I had met last time I was in Paris.  He did a complete double take when he saw me sitting next to him and it was awesome to smile at him and give a little wave.

I had been expecting to see him sooner, but as it turns out, as he is a teacher, and school is on holiday, he too was on holiday, in, well, where do you think?

New York.

I like Jim.  He is no-nonsense, straight to the point, a bit of a joker, a literary person, and prone to profanity.

A man after my own heart.  He and his wife have lived in Paris for quite some time and he made a point to talk to me in French as well as English.

He told me that I had popped into his head a few times these last few months, he was wondering when I was going to come back.

This made me smile.

Paris was expecting me and wondering where I was.

Nice to have people who remember you and welcome you back.

“Welcome home,” he said as we parted ways and gave me a big hug, “see you soon!”

He dashed off toward L’Etoile Charles de Gaulle and I to Alma-Morceau.

Metro stations.

I got my GO pass.  Completely and entirely worth the 67.90 Euro.

Completely.

I have gotten my Metro on in the last few days.  On top of doing a lot of walking.

A lot.

I do miss the bicycle, but as our house guest is here for another few days, it does not seem like a good idea to un-box it.  Plus the forecast calls for rain for the next two days.

I got off my Metro stop at Les Halles-which frankly is an overwhelmingly big station (I also found out it was completely unnecessary to get off at this stop, there is a closer one to the shop that Barnaby tattoos out of, he showed me this evening and I smacked myself on the forehead, I could have been avoiding this station the whole time! Oh well, now I know) and ran to Abraxas.

I was fifteen minutes late and Barnaby was not there.

Then I thought over our conversation from this morning and I realized that we were supposed to meet at the Lizard Lounge.

Shit.

Merde, I mean.

Dashed out the door realizing also that I did not have the best idea where the cafe was, however, I did remember the signage and it was on a bright red awning that hung vertical from the first story, with a gold lizard on it.

Should not be too hard to find.

Fuck my mother.

It was retarded.

I got lost.

How can I get so turned around?

I wandered around the same six blocks criss crossing the side streets and then going back to the shop oh, I don’t know, four times.

And of course, my phone does not work, and I can’t call to get directions and no one at the shop has any idea where the Lounge Lizard is, because it is an Anglo Pub and all the guys at the shop are French and why the fuck would they hang out at an Anglo Pub?

Ugh.

When I am upset, my French gets worse.  I get tongue-tied and I was not making much head way with the guy at the front desk, who as it turns out is a little on the not so nice side.

I was fairly sure he knew what I was saying, but he refused to hand over the shop phone, despite the artists downstairs telling me, just go up and use the shop phone.

I left nearly in tears after the third time being back.

Then I tried to retrace my steps one more time.

Nada.

Rien, I mean.

“Fuck you Barnaby,” I hissed under my breath.

Uh, hello brain, not Barnaby’s fault that you are chronically lost, or a chronic lost cause, I cannot tell you which, truly.

Then I said to myself, go home.  Just go home.  You do not have to keep wandering around.  He has surely left the cafe by this point and despite having an appointment that I was to meet with Corrine tonight, I did not have to find the cafe at that right exact moment.

Yes, it would be annoying to go home, boot up the computer, get on the interwebs and find the cafe, but it could be done and I have a Metro pass and it won’t cost anything.  I can make a cup of tea and eat at the house and get grounded.

When I finally surrendered to the situation, I felt better and realized, hey look, there are some really neat things to see.

I slowed down my speedy walk and cruised around the Marais and went into a few shops–I almost bought myself a hat, uh, chapeau, I mean, at one store, it was so fabulous–but I know better to shop when I am anxious as I tend to buy things I do not need.

I may, however go back for it, little birthday present for next month.  The shop was fantastic and I definitely will be back.

If I can find it again.

I did take a card, though, and by that time I will have a working Iphone, I will be leaving the house with Barnaby tomorrow, so that should not be a problem, and I will have my map app and I will find the store again.

Although, knowing me, I will probably get lost anyway.

I got home, put the kettle on the stove, used the bathroom, and was nibbling on a pear when Barnaby got back home.

I burst into tears.

No, that is not apt, I burst into tears with Corrine this evening, rather, I leaked tears and put my head down on my knees.

We had a really good chat and check in and again he reminded me that it was all alright.  Truly, it is, I can see that, but this strange place, with strange words, and strange food, has made me a little strange too.

Stranger in a strange land.

I will get acclimated and accustomed and my French will get better and money will be had and all will be alright.

Because it already is.


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