Posts Tagged ‘The Pan Handle’

Back At It

May 26, 2016

Holy shit do I feel better.

Nothing like a little 24 hour bug to put my health in perspective.

I had no idea I was that under the weather.

Until I woke up this morning and felt so much better, so rested, so ready to conquer the world.

Which was a good thing since the family missed having me around.

I made so much food today.

Holy shit.

Triple batch broccoli soup.

Double batch turkey and black bean chili.

Oatmeal for the boys for the rest of the week.

Cut up raw veggies and fruit for lunch boxes and snacks.

And.

Cheese tortellini with pesto sauce.

Oh and a dozen hard boiled eggs.

Not that boiling eggs is such an ordeal, but yeah, I did the food up today.

Plus.

Getting back into the routine with the boys who seemed so much bigger and older and well, sassier.

Which is generally what happens when I go away for a long weekend or don’t see them for a little while, they are going to push my boundaries and see if I will hold them the same way I normally do.

And I did.

Little struggles here and there but after a tiny bit of acting out, a few time outs and quiet time moments, we got our groove on and had a really nice day.

I felt great.

Until I didn’t.

And that did, thankfully pass.

Although it did freak me out for a moment.

I got super dizzy and head rushed running up the stairs to grab a book for the six year old and suddenly found myself standing and wobbling back and forth in the boys room.

Hot and cold by turns and almost passed out.

Granted I ate almost nothing yesterday, but I ate well today, and I caught myself before I toppled and breathed and it passed.

But it was a spooky moment and I am grateful I had neither boy in my arms or anything in my hands had I fallen.

I was also absurdly grateful that I had taken yesterday off.

I would have not made it through the day.

No way.

No how.

It is nice to get back into my groove, though I adore the traveling, I am also a creature of my comforts, my tea, my music, my space, my transportation.

It was hella nice to be back on my scooter and not on a subway.

“You’re an above ground kind of girl,” he said to me–the gentleman I stayed with via Air BnB, “you’re not much on the trains are you?”

I do prefer to be above ground, I love trains, but sometimes subways and undergrounds I can do without, I like to look at things, I love to watch the landscape go by, I like to see the sky.

I also like to walk and that’s always a good way to experience a city.

Or any place I travel too.

It’s good to see things and smell things and take in the environment.

Today I was happy to smell the sea and drift wood smoke and a charcoal pit being lit up, the eucalyptus in the Pan Handle, so good.

I felt happy and free and alive.

And I also smell of fabulousness.

I got my new perfume!

It came into Tigerlily and I picked it up right before work.

Rose Flash.

Fuck me it’s so good.

Super sexy and lush and floral, tuber rose and spicy and a bit musky, but not too much, just a hot kiss of it and the dark rustle of angel wings on fire.

Oh.

I fucking love it.

I could just rub it all over my body.

The girl at the counter was so happy for my happiness that she threw in a body oil on the house also in Rose Flash.

I shall go about my days dipped in deliciousness.

And my nights drowned in the lovely of it.

I like to put on perfume before I go to bed, especially on my wrists and on my neck, behind my ears, so it floats in my hair.

I will crawl naked into bed, float down under the comforter, raise my arms over my head and bury my face in my hair or my shoulder and breath the perfume into myself, my heart, my spirit.

I don’t know when I started that.

But I think it may have been when I was sixteen or seventeen and had splurged on a bottle of Calvin Klein Eternity.

I wore it all the time.

In fact, I probably over wore it, not realizing that my nose got accustomed to the scent, I would put on a lot more than I needed because I wanted to smell it on my body.

“There goes Carmen, wafting again,” one of my mom’s friends snickered as I passed by.

I was horrified.

I had no clue.

I learned then to put it on at night as heavy as I wanted to, the scent washing me to sleep and curling me into dreams.

Feverdown.

Eiderdown.

Soft warm clouds.

Ambient lightness.

Like a lit globe of fairy dust and tales of adventures and wandering.

My sister told me after we had moved out of the house in Windsor, that there were times she would go hang out in my room and lay on my bed and that my sheets always smelled of my perfume.

I found that sweet.

I still find that sweet.

And I am so happy to have this new scent to waft me into sleep and dreams and reverie with.  I am a very lucky girl.

I’m happy and healthy and taken care of.

I paid my rent today.

That always feels good.

I get to go to yoga in the morning.

That will feel lovely.

And.

Cherries are in season.

Oh so sweet.

My life.

A bowl of cherries.

A wash of spiced perfume.

The moon riding over the wine dark seas.

My heart on my sleeve.

Exactly where it should be.

All is right in the world.

Love.

Love.

It’s all around me.

 

 

Advertisements

You Needed A New

January 27, 2016

Cog.

Huh.

I never would have guessed that.

And in my own perverse little way.

I am a little proud of that.

I have ridden my bicycle so often and for so long that I basically had worn down the teeth of the rear cog and that was why my chain was slipping and my crank wasn’t turning.

Brava!

I mean.

I have had the bicycle for three and a half years.

But the last two years, living in the Outer Sunset, bicycle commuting to the Mission five days a week, putting in over thirteen miles a day, usually 14, sometimes 15, why, of course I had worn out my cog.

Damn Gina.

The shop also fixed the flat and actually replaced the tube for free considering that there was no evidence on my tire that I had punctured it, fault lay with the shop and they took care of it promptly.

It was nice to have my wheels back under me.

Especially after the shared Uber ride into work.

My God.

I don’t mind the sharing the resource, I don’t mind going out of my way a little bit to get from here to there–I like to think of it as taking the scenic route.

However.

I am scent sensitive.

No shut up.

I’m not being a fucking pussy about this.

There are two smells that really make me feel like I am going to vomit and I got both of them today.

The first was from an middle age woman with a bad bed head do and an obvious hangover.

The smell of alcohol was not so bad, yeah, I gagged a bit from it when she turned and asked if she could recline the front seat, um, ok?

But it was the smell of cigarettes.

Deep, dirty, skin yellow, brown in the wrinkles of the fingers, nicotine stained.

It was like driving with a sack of formaldehyde.

She reclined her seat, put in ear buds, popped on her sunglasses and fell asleep in the front seat.

The second passenger, though much more dapper and clean, was not a bouquet or roses either.

Nope.

He was a big smelly sack of raw onions.

I mean.

Fuck.

It was like he’d just eaten a raw onion sandwich and then shoved a few shallots under his arm pits.

I was like.

Dude.

The window went down and I got some fresh air, but it was a tasty ride.

So different to be on my bicycle, in the dark night, whistling through the Pan Handle, the rich smell of just turned dirt and the bark of eucalyptus trees.

The smell of evergreens in Golden Gate Park.

And the spot, the one spot, close to the De Young Museum, where Fenugreek must grow–the delicious smell of maple syrup always wafts out at me from the bushes, I invariably think about bacon, the skillet breakfast at a O’Malley’s in Waunakee where the family would go every once in a while for a Sunday breakfast, and waffles.

I could ride back and forth that little bridge a 100 times just to get to smell that again.

But I am too concerned with getting home, the whisk of my pedals beating the air and the sound of the waterfall splashing over Storybrook Crossing keeps me company.

A few critters, who though did not smell as bad as my companions from this afternoons ride, nonetheless, were not to be messed with.

A big rambling raccoon, that startled me in the grass as I turned onto Chain of Lakes and my front light hit his masked face.

And the dog, wait, what the hell, that dog is going to get schmucked crossing Lincoln, I should stop and scoop it up and.

Oh no.

That’s not a dog.

That’s a skunk.

I whipped past and watched the little critter scurry into the underbrush.

Lots of critters out and about.

I thought, as I rode, about how long I’ve been riding my bicycle, riding bicycles in general, in San Francisco.

I have bicycle commuted from the Mission to jobs in the Mission.

I remember, with much fondness the five minute commute I had for a year and a half when I worked at Mission Bicycle Company on Valencia and 18th.

I lived at Folsom and 23rd.

It was such a sweet commute.

I have commuted from the Bayview to the Mission–Palou and Third to 18th and Alabama.

I have commuted from Nob Hill to China Basin and Noe Valley.

I have commuted from Nob Hill to the Mission.

You may see a pattern here.

I do a lot of work in the Mission.

I have commuted from the Outer Sunset to Cole Valley, NOPA, and the Castro.

But the commute I have now, is the longest.

I also, briefly, for a few months when I was in transition and staying out in East Oakland (EAST not West, thank you very much) commuted from 51st and International to North Berkeley.

Yeah.

Like that.

I had some interesting rides.

The prominent scent was not Fenugreek however.

Although it did have a sweet, sickly smell to it, it was not a natural smell.

Nothing says good times like rolling through the valley of crack and prostitution on your way to nanny.

I have ridden a bike up to Twin Peaks.

I have ridden more than one century–that’s a 100 miles–though not for a while now.

I have ridden through parts of the Bay View that I don’t even think people now exist.

I have seen things.

I have been seen as well.

I whistled at a pedestrian about to walk into the street against the light as I was crossing Divisadero on Fell Street.

“Whoa!” He said, “thanks!”

Then, without much thought, he said rather loudly, “holy shit! You’re beautiful!”

Thanks man.

That’s always nice to hear.

Can’t say my ego minds.

Most of the time, though, it’s just me and the bicycle and my thoughts, which fortunately are usually not too loud, I’m in my body when I am on my bicycle, even when the knees hurt and the hips are a little tight and my bag was heavy with stuff tonight, I am in my body and alive.

It really is a gift.

I love my bicycle.

I really do.

You Still Writing Your Blog?

October 7, 2015

He asked as we pedaled our bicycles up the hill past the Rose Garden in Golden Gate Park.

I was riding home on my whip thinking about all the things that need to be done and the grocery shopping that I was about to embark on, so, so, so grateful to be meeting a friend after work who gave me a lift to SafeWay.

I got all the things I need to get through the week and then some.

It would have been two, probably three trips on my bicycle had I loaded up my messenger bag real full and rode my bicycle real slow.

I don’t ride my bicycle real slow.

In case you were wondering.

Although.

I don’t ride as fast as some.

If I was on a geared bicycle I would actually be faster.

I am on a one speed and it only goes so fast before I am just needlessly spinning my crank.

I coast down hill pretty damn fast though, and that is often where I will catch up to those who have passed me on the uphill climb.

Which is what happened as I sped through the park, thinking about autumn in Wisconsin.

There are parts of my ride home, specifically the Pan Handle, where there are some old growth oak trees, when I am reminded of fall in the Midwest.

The smell in the air.

The leaves scattered on the ground, the shadows falling from the trees and the old sodium lamp posts lighting the way.

I am reminded always of the CS Lewis book, “The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.”

The lamp-post always get that reference for me.

And.

There is a kind of magic about the park, especially at night, when the shadows are long and the stars hang low overhead, when it’s past the last of the day’s commute and the runners have done their runs and the bicycle traffic is light to none existent, and I feel as though the entire way is mine.

The soaring on my bicycle through the air, the whick of wind against my neck and pulling through my hair.

I passed by the DeYoung and started the slight descent to the Rose Garden that heralds the last big hill climb on my ride and then, literally, it is all down hill from there, down towards the sea, the salt wind, the bonfires kissing the dunes, and the shaded night heralding my heart home.

I usually holler out, “passing on your left,” but I actually thought I might startle the rider I was coming up on, so I just gave him a wide berth and whipped past.

“Carmen?!”

“Yup, that’s me, who’s that, you better pedal harder to catch up!”  I laughed as I hit the down slope on the hill, bottomed out and began the climb.

“Use your momentum coming down the hill to push you up the next one,” my friend taught me on training rides for the AidsLifeCycle.

I never forgot that advice and it’s really the only way to get up hills on a one speed in San Francisco.

I heard the bicyclist behind me drop it into gear and push up the hill.

“Hey!” He said, “it’s Max! How are you?”

“Hello!”  I said, “doing good, just got out of work, heading home, you?”

“Just left 7th and Geary,” he said, “heading home too, hey, did you start grad school, how’s that going?”

“I did!”  I said.

“I just had my second big weekend of classes, it’s kicking my ass, trying to balance all the things, working 35 hours a week, carrying 12 credits in grad school, doing the deal, you know, trying to not get too far into the future or I’ll freak out.”

“Yeah, I feel you, that’s a lot, but you can do it,” he said.

“Yup, I just keep focusing on what’s exactly in front of me,” I said and spun the crank.

Just keep my eye on the next foot fall, don’t get carried away thinking about how I just got my schedule “figured” out and the mom asked me today to totally switch my hours from a 1p.m. start to a 10 a.m. start next Monday and Tuesday–the boys have two days off from school.

And.

If I get too consumed with my schedule and I am not flexible with myself I will freak out.

“Hey, you still writing your blog?” He asked me next.

“Yeah, I’m sort of in awe that I am doing it, but it’s so helpful, it lets me get all the stuff out of my head, it’s like a nightly inventory [sic] I need it, I don’t think I can drop doing it, although I’m still not sure how I am able to find the time, I do.”

“It pops up in my Facebook feed every once in a while,” he continued, and we crested the hill and began the descent home.

“Nice to run into you!” I shouted as he slowed down to take the turn and I sped, yes, right through the stop sign and rolled on into the velvet night laying splayed out before me.

It does leave me with a sense of wonder, this little blog does, I am still finding words for my experience, still aching to share those experiences with you, the reader, lovely reader, hello, you do fill me with regard and wonder too.

I wrote last night about being mindful that I was writing for myself and frankly if I think about the people reading, or not reading, my blog, I will get weird about it, but that doesn’t mean that I am not aware of you, sweet reader, in fact, I regard you with respect and no small sense of honor.

Thank you for stopping to read the words.

Oh the words.

They do mean so very much to me.

Speaking of words.

I am knocking out the sonnets for the Burning Man poetry project I have had on the back burner for the last couple of weeks.

I was supposed to have some things ready for my collaborator, and I did, I do have some sonnets I wrote, but I did not like the way they read and there was something missing.

I found the missing ingredient.

And.

I have been flying.

I wrote out the supporting framework for ten sonnets and then fleshed out one completely yesterday.

Today.

Well.

I was on a roll.

I wrote two sonnets back to back and I probably could have written a third, but I did want to make sure that I addressed some reading for my Human Development class or I would be falling behind for the paper that I must have written in this upcoming week for the class.

I love when the words come and the images and the song of the world seems to croon to my ear and I am connected to that elixir of light and poetry.

I feel blessed.

Graced.

Lightened.

Enlightened.

And.

Loved.

I am such a lucky girl.

Full of words.

And wonder.

I am.

I Still Read Your Blogs

April 28, 2015

Good to know.

Good to see you again, friend.

Really fucking good.

Although the time catching up over tea fucked my commute, it was well worth it.

When the fog comes in, it comes in with a vengeance.

By the time I was on the Wiggle it was already crazy, I got pushed so hard by the wind and the fog that I felt as though I was about to topple off my bike.

When I got to the Pan Handle it was like riding through soup.

I actually got splattered, big heavy wet drops of fog gathering on the leaves and falling on your head like fat ass raindrops.

It was worth it though.

My heart, oh, you messy thing you, was so happy to catch up.

Cautious.

Curious.

A touch afraid.

I mean we had not parted ways on the best of terms, nor had we acknowledged each other the last few times we had bumped into each other.

That’s the thing about this town.

It’s rather small.

And eventually you’re going to run into folks.

Whether you want to or not.

Or they want to or not.

It happens.

And it typically happens when it’s supposed to.

I can see that very clear.

Crystal like.

So, to run into my friend and acknowledge him and then get the nod on a hug.

Priceless.

Worth the glare downs and the stare downs and the weird and then even, a cup of tea.

A reunion of sorts.

Or, perhaps, a refreshing, a rebooting of the friendship and who knows what’s going to happen or where things are going to go.

I can only see so far ahead, the fog blocks my view, but it felt good to re-connect and get right with each other.

Life is too short to not have your good friends beside you.

I don’t have a lot of close friends.

Despite what Facebook may suggest.

“You are as much of a Facebook junkie as I am,” my ex-boyfriend said early on in the relationship.

Not really.

I thought to myself, sure, I have a lot of “friends” but that doesn’t mean they know me all that well.

Although I still get a kick out of having some one message me and let me know that they read a blog or two and how much they got out of it.

It’s a really nice by-product of doing the work, my insights helping another person.

Sometimes it’s family.

My sister, a cousin, or an aunt.

Most times it’s an acquaintance from around the block, a friend of a friend, if you know what I mean.

Occasionally I will have some one reach out and talk to me and relate their experience, especially when I was going through the initial break up with my ex, or when I was in Anchorage with my dad, or when I moved to Paris, or when I moved back, and I will get support, love, insight.

And that is lovely.

And delicious.

But most of the time.

I don’t know who reads my blogs, unless you’ve subscribed, then I have a list of folks who are following, although they may not necessarily read my blog, they get it sent directly to their inbox on the e-mail account they request.

I currently have 266 followers.

And as it read in my OkStupid profile, before I deleted it, there are people who read my blog who aren’t my friends.

There are people who follow it whom I have never met, yet they too, will once in a while reach out and it’s like getting a kind tap on the shoulder, a psst, hey, thanks for writing that, it helped.

And I feel grateful.

But I write with no one in mind.

I write with not particular audience.

Well.

Maybe God.

God’s always a good audience for me.

“Santa brought me my basketball hoop, what do you want from Santa?” My little charge said as I changed him out of his nap diaper (so close to being potty trained, not quite there, still has to wear a diaper at naps and at bedtime, but almost) to his big boy pants.

“A boyfriend,”  I said, smiling.

“Hey Santa, I mean God, I mean Santa,” I laughed out loud, but continued, “please bring me a boyfriend!”

“But don’t wait until Christmas ok?”

“Santa and God are sort of the same thing,” I told my charge, “they both have white beards and know your hearts desire.”

I continued with my theological discourse as I gathered him up in my arms to head down stairs and off to the park where it was glorious and warm and sunny (which is why the fog was so fierce tonight, the heat from today draws it into the city from the coast), “although I don’t really have a conception of God having a long white beard, God is just love, that’s how I see it.”

“I love you Carmen,” my charge said.

I teared up.

“I love you too, bug,” I said and kissed the top of his head.

“Meow loves you too,” he continued and then bestowed tiny kitten kisses from his stuffed cat on my face as I carried him downstairs.

Tell me I don’t have the best job in the world.

“I can’t decide,” she said to me one day as she watched me from the door of the nursery at the old Burning Man offices on 3rd and 16th (where the new UCSF Mission Bay Hospital is), “if you have the best job in the office or the worst.”

It can go either way.

And I have had my bad days.

But most of the time.

My job, and not just the one that I do to pay the bills, but my primary purpose, it is so fulfilling, that whatever the passing pain that may come from a growth spurt around a person, place, or thing, is well offset by the love I receive back when I am willing and accepting to receive it.

I got some of that tonight.

And though it was not the same sort of hug I received from my charge.

It was one of love and God and all the good stuff.

All the things.

My friend.

I wish for you all the things.

Always.

You Have Changed So Much

January 14, 2015

He said.

“You are so beautiful, look at her,” he said to the man sitting next to me.

Thank you.

I have grown up a lot.

My heart so tender today that I would rather not write tonight for fear that if it, my heart, were any more on m sleeve, it might burst.

Just the ache that fills me when I look at the ten pink Gerber daisies my boyfriend left on my scooter for me to discover when I got home tonight is enough to make me want to stop writing.

I know the only way through this is to grow through it.

That was not a typo.

I really have to grow more.

Just when I think I can stop stretching my arms toward the sun I find myself needing to reach even harder toward that warmth and light.

The sunlight of the spirit I need more than ever now.

I still feel so new at this thing called living.

I still find myself trying to find my voice.

Last night as I was heading to bed I played the Bach cello Sonatas again that I had been listening to, one in particular that reverberates within me when ever I hear it, Cello Suite in G Menuett 1 & 2, and I cried.

It just filled me with grief and joy and sorrow and gratitude and awe and I was astounded that I could feel so very much, that I could hold all those emotions at one time and feel them each and every one.

Painfully so.

Gratefully so.

I held him in my arms and kissed his hair and said, “shhh, I hear you, I hear you, I hear you, it’s ok.”

He sobbed like the two and a half tired toddler he was, overwhelmed with the sugar from a rice crispy treat and a trip to his older brother’s pre-school class for a family share day.

He was inconsolable with feelings.

He wasn’t able to express, without screaming in frustration what he wanted.

He wanted it all.

And he could not find the words to ask for everything he wanted.

I am forty years older than him and sometimes I feel like that too, the words get stifled in my chest and I cannot find the way to have you hear me, to express myself, that my heart is tender, that you have touched it, that I feel you, even when you retreat again and leave me here to stare at pink flowers on an aquamarine table, next to a bunny night-light from Paris, tears well up and then down.

I breathe.

I held him and calmly spoke to him and let him know he was heard and it was alright and he didn’t need to do anything but breathe.

“Take a big deep breath,” I told him and inhaled through my nose and exhaled slowly.

“Again.”

“Baby, try again, you can do it, I’m here, I’m here holding you, you are safe.” I said and held him and swayed next to the sound machine.

It took some time.

It always does when our hearts are so full and there is so much to say and no words to express all the feelings but to holler in a scream, NO!

NO!

He screamed.

The tantrum lasted about 20 minutes.

It felt longer and all at the same time timeless, effortless, the screaming, the heart wrenching holler of a frustrated child.

And when it was done, a snuggle, a story, a song, lullaby my baby, down to sleep.

A two and a half hour nap and it was like the world was a brand new place and yes!

Let’s go to the park and play fire engines and slides and hide and seek and tag and please, more shovels, and diggers, and sand, yes.

Feelings they pass and when I am overwhelmed, I remind myself, this too shall pass.

And.

To thine own self be true.

So I do what makes sense, I make a cup of tea, I arrange flowers in a Mason jar and smile that I have once again been given so much more than what I asked for and that, yes, I am allowed to ask at all.

I don’t have to be a quiet wallflower.

I can keep changing.

I am not the same woman.

I am this woman.

Alive, imbued with emotions, all allowed, intelligent, funny, sweet, beautiful, hopefully more on the inside than the outside–that’s where it counts, really, physical beauty fades, but heart beauty, that which is inside, that only grows deeper in beauty and fullness.

Rich.

That is what this life is, full of flavor and spice.

Salt and pepper, smoked paprika, grated nutmeg, golden turmeric, spicy ginger, sultry cinnamon, spiky mace, sweet Cicely, clove, anise in all its wild glory.

So much.

Tonight as I was riding home through the park, just past the end of the Pan Handle where it ends at Stanyan, I rode by a patch of the park that smelled so pungent I was bowled over with memory.

Wet, dark, damp, sweet, the smell of soft rotting nectarines and the wound of a night-blooming jasmine melded my heart to the here and now and the little girl I was so many moons back.

I did not perhaps have that same comfort and soothing that I was able to give the littlest boy I take care of, but I could connect the woman I am to the girl that I was and see how far I have come and see how tender I can be to that part of myself and know that no matter how open and vulnerable I feel, that I really won’t be hurt be letting others see exactly what there is to me.

All of it.

I am as see through as the pink of a bunny rabbit ears.

Have you seen that?

The translucent light, pearled and pink with blood and the white of a fur softly ringing the tender skin, that shines through a rabbit-ear.

That is me.

Tonight anyway.

Tomorrow?

Let’s not go there, shall we?

Just let me sink, soft, and unbound into the sound of cello rasping away into the evening as the stars shimmer over the woods, deep, wild, and omniscient in their tangled ramble toward the sea.

 

I’m Just Going To Float

October 9, 2014

Home.

I said to my friend as I departed the 7th and Irving venue for this evening’s fun after work segment of my day.

I am still getting used to the change-up in my schedule and I am not always finding what I want as far as that goes, but then, friends pop in who I haven’t seen in a while and it’s all good.

I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

“We should, you know, hang out, since you live two blocks away,” my friend said giving me a hug good-bye.

“Float home?”  He also raised an eyebrow.

“Yup, float, drift, sail, you know, on down the road,” I nodded to my steadfast whip, my stead, my girl, my bicyclette.

“Ah.”

Ah, indeed.

It has begun to feel like floating again, not always, but more and more.

I am road ready again.

It took about two and a half weeks for me to notice, but yes, there it is.

In my pants.

Uh.

That sounds a little weird.

But yes, I noticed in my pants yesterday that things were different.

The thighs on my pants were just a little looser and then today, in my jeans, which I had picked up from the tailors (nothing says grown up like taking a pair of pants to the tailor) yesterday.

I had to get the crotch of them patched up.

I ride out the inside of my pants where they rub on the saddle of my bicycle.

You put in twelve to fifteen miles a day on your bicycle and you’ll need to patch up some jeans too.

I am glad I had them professionally altered.  I have done it myself, sewn up a few pairs or two a couple of times, patched them up.  I do ok, but they generally wear out pretty fast and I get annoyed and I just toss the pants.

Or on the occasion, I will make a pair of blue jean shorts from them.

These pants though, I got them at a clothing swap and they are a pretty damn perfect fit.

They are also expensive jeans and I was loath to throw them out  or cut them up, so off to the tailor’s.

And.

What do you know.

My blue jeans are a little looser too.

I have ridden off the scant pound or two I put on while I was down and out with the MUNI blues.  I did not put on a lot of weight when I hurt my ankle, maybe a pound, maybe two, just enough to notice and be annoyed.

It was mostly that I lost muscle tone from not riding my bicycle all the time.

Two and a half weeks of riding six times a week, 12-15 miles a day, and well, I am toned up again.

And I did float home.

I had already climbed the little bit of hill that I have to navigate to get home and from the Inner Sunset it’s mainly down hill for me.  I just have to watch for the traffic, which at 8:30 p.m. at night is not so bad.

Not so, this stretch of road, during rush hour, but I only have taken Irving Street after 8 or 8:30 p.m. over the last few days.  Most of the time I am cutting through the park and the traffic there is basically nil.

I was thinking about the year that I have been bicycle commuting through the Inner Sunset to the Outer Sunset, and noticed, quite distinctly, the difference in my attitude.

I am comfortable riding in my neighborhood.

I am not scared of the traffic.

I am used to it.

And I am faster for it.

I am not stupid about it, I stop when I need to, I watch out for traffic, I pay attention, I am just easier in my skin riding around the neighborhood.

I am used to it.

I moved out here a little over a year ago and I feel pretty at home with the environs.

I ride my bicycle up Lincoln during the day and through Golden Gate Park at night since I started the new gig, it’s quite a different experience for me then it was a year ago.

I felt like I was on high alert whenever I was travelling via my bicycle, either down Lincoln, which even I will admit is bat shit crazy at times, at night, riding down Lincoln with the traffic whizzing by at 40 mph; or going down Irving during the end of rush hour traffic with the sun setting sharply in my eyes.

Now.

I feel a lot more comfortable and I like that.

It makes the commute faster too.

I am making it to work in under 35 minutes from door to door.

Today I did it in 32 minutes.

Which ties for my fastest time.

It depends on the traffic and also on the time of day.

Mondays I hit a lot of commuter traffic, so it puts me a little slower, but for the most part I am making it in quite a brisk fashion.

Much, much faster than MUNI.

Floating.

It does feel like that, coming through the twilight dusk of the Pan Handle, with the traffic lights flashing through the trees and the winking red tail lights of bicycles ahead of me, it feels magical, the giant trees and the thick swaths of grass and the paths winding through.

The street lamps in the park always remind me a bit of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, there’s one particular street lamp that always seems to be glowing with a tiny bit of mist around it, the dusk purple and rich, just pushed back a small space with the warm yellow globe of light and the traffic lights in the clearing, well, it’s sweet and dear and it makes me grateful to live here.

So very grateful.

It is a good life this one I have.

I have a good job.

I have amazing friends.

I have this incredible and beautiful city to live in.

I have a sparkling bicycle to traverse it upon.

Floating home indeed.

 

Simply Sunday

March 17, 2014

I did not try anything new today.

I did not push myself to accomplish anything, go surfing, ride a 50 mile ride, write a novel, learn a new nanny skill, or practice a dating technique.

I just let today be Sunday.

I slept in.

I read.

I wrote.

I meditated.

I went for a walk on the beach.

It was foggy.  The rest of the city was warm and sunny, but in the Outer Sunset, it was foggy.  The sand was actually warm from yesterday’s sun, or so it seemed to me, it was not cold, by my standards down on the beach, it was foggy though and there was no sun.

It wasn’t stopping the herds of folks from all points not the Sunset from going to the beach.

Most were not prepared for the weather upon arrival and I saw a lot of shivering folk.

As I was returning from my walk on the beach I passed the N-Judah depositing people at its last stop before turning around at LaPlaya and heading back to the center of the city, I heard this from a rider descending.

“Fuck!  It’s freezing!” She said shivering intensely.

She was youngish, early twenties, perhaps late teens, possible San Franciscan who was newish to the city and not conversant, yet with the micro-climates throughout.

She was wearing a skimpy pair of jean shorts, flip-flops, and a sheer tank top over a bikini top.  I felt for her and tried not to say, “welcome to the Sunset!” too loudly, but I did smile when I passed by.

I was wearing jeans, flip-flops, a tank, a t-shirt, a sweatshirt and a light coat.

I can say I am a local.

Perhaps not a born and bred San Franciscan, but a local, for sure.

I give good directions too.

And I know how to dress in layers.

It took sometime.

I got inoculated to the Mission weather and would often, gleefully, I admit, observe the ring of fog surrounding the flat inner circle of sun falling in the Mission and bless my lucky stars that I didn’t live in an area locked in cold mist and fog.

Now, well, I don’t mind.

I am loving my little place by the sea.

I like that I can walk out the door and see the heavy roll and swell of winter waves smashing onto the sand and walk away my busy head, drowning out the sound of obsessed with everything Carmen, to just enjoy the air and sand and sea.

Plus, I have to say it, I don’t like riding my bicycle in the Mission anymore.

I find it too stressful.

I am a bicycle commuter, not a weekend leisure rider.

I am well versed in traffic and have ridden consistently in the city for the last 8 years.  I follow the rules of the road, most of the time, and I am hyper aware of my surroundings.

I was meeting my friend in the Mission for a spot of tea and some catching up this afternoon and I left giving myself plenty of time to get there.

I wasn’t going fast, just my normal clip, but I had to slow down a lot because of the heavy traffic.

Not car traffic.

Bicycle traffic.

Heavy, amateur bicycle traffic.

In no specific order, but just to annoy me, the following happened within five minutes of hitting the panhandle–

Bicycles riding the wrong direction on the path.

Bicycles passing on the right in my blind spot.

Bicyclists not using turn signals and suddenly turning or stopping.

A fleet of tourist on hybrids and a dad with a kid on a double bicycle that hollered out at me, “you go girl!” as I rode past.

Clumps of bikes that took up the full two lanes as they rode forward chatting amongst themselves.

A couple of bicyclists that were wearing ear buds who did not hear me when I passed, yelling out “on your left,” to make sure they didn’t swerve into me, swerved into me anyway.

Maybe I am a bit of a purist.

But.

Use a light at night.

Take out the ear buds.

Open your eyes.

Please, please, please, don’t pass on my right to pass on the car turning right–I don’t really feel like watching someone die today–it’s just scary and stupid.

No body needs to get there that freaking fast.

End small bicycle rant.

I am sure that once I am up and running on my scooter I will have a different kind of rant to rant about, and I was well aware of that as I hollered out “nice move douche bag,” on a fellow bicyclist who was cutting a corner to catch a light and nearly took out a woman walking through the cross walk.

Ok.

Slow down myself.

I don’t need to get there that fast either.

Once in the Mission I wanted to just get off my bike and walk.

It really was overrun.

Perhaps not as much as yesterday, the weather was nicer, but still.

I was happy to leave it locked up for a bit, walk around the Valencia corridor a bit, bought a dear friend a birthday present at a little shop, and then head over to my other friends house for tea time.

We went to Boderlands Cafe and got decaf chai teas and walked over to the park at Valencia between 19th and 20th.

The weather was perfect, hot, sunny, and the proverbial ring of fog circled it’s cold cat feet around the saucer flat bowl of the Mission.

I shed a layer and caught the waning sun before it dropped behind Twin Peaks and reveled in the day, the tea, my friend, her dog, conversations, catching up, and actions to take to move forward.

Then I met another friend and we went on a little bike ride to Church and Market and after some time there, I headed back out on my bicycle, when the day has ended, it’s Sunday and folks are inside mourning the True Detective sized hole in their Sunday evenings.

I rode through the Wiggle and onto the Panhandle, with nary a bicycle incident in sight.

In fact, I hit it down Lincoln Ave and rode the rest of the way home at a clip that I dare say was not pedestrian.

Wind in my face, sharp smell of pines in my nose, the cool air swishing past, free.

It was a nice way to end my day, a nice way to round out my weekend.

It was a good day.

Simple.

Sweet.

Sunday.

A walk on the beach, a bicycle ride through the park, tea with a girlfriend.

My life is fantastic.

Just saying.

I Am, Uh, Good?

October 3, 2013

Good.

Period.

Not question mark.

Too funny.

I just got off the phone and finished a good check in with one of my people and there was no drama to report, no anxiety, no fear of finance, or work, or food, or sex, or jesus, who the hell is this person?

We ended up talking about different styles of yoga.

I told her I was thinking of taking some yoga and I got the thumbs up.

Certain things I really need to run past others, I can get on the self-improvement kick real quick instead of the self-acceptance thing, and especially around exercise or body stuff, I need to run it past someone else.

And yes, the green light.

Tomorrow I will go to the yoga place and check it out.

I am meeting someone at Trouble Coffee at noon to do some reading and talk some life experience, and strength, and you know, stuff.

Then I figure after an hour of that I will be ready to walk into the yoga studio and say, sign me up.

I have tomorrow off.

I have a speaking engagement in the evening and there is the outside possibility that the Mister may have some time.

The message I received was, maybe Thursday, maybe Saturday.

Maybe I need to date someone else, or make it known to him that I want to date someone who I get to see more than every other week, maybe.

I like him.

I do.

But man, I am 40.

I ain’t saying let’s get married and pop out some kids, but I am saying, jesus fucking christ on a pogo stick, please, some more time together, and some like intimacy.

Like.

I am a dirty girl.

I want to get laid.

But I dont’ want to get laid out of a relationship, Burning Man’s over, ahem.

That being said, my friend on Sunday said something quite pithy about it and it’s been rattling around in my head for the whole three days since we sat down to tea.

Powerful, successful, busy people make time for people they are interested in.

I think he’s just not that into me.

If he were I would be getting some more attention.

I think.

I started scrolling through OkStupid a little again.

I got a few hits, some from guys I actually went on dates with years ago.

But, dude, I’m sorry, there was no chemistry the last time we went on a date, why would there be now?

Thanks.

But no thanks.

So, that’s the only thing I have any concern about?

Life, yeah, is good.

Work has been lovely.

The boys have been just peaches and the days at the park have been so lovely.

Today we went to Kids Kingdom in the Panhandle and there were musicians playing on the benches by the basketball court and not your usual buskers that hang out around the Haight trying to make spare scratch for a hot meal and a pack of cigarettes, an eighth and a bottle of rot gut.

Nope.

I think, I mean, maybe they weren’t but, they were musicians in town for Hardly Strictly Blue Grass, which is this weekend, they were so good.

I have never heard someone play banjo the way this man was.

It blew my hair back.

It was the perfect soundtrack to hang out in the park.

Sunny Indian Summer in the PanHandle.

Lead the Way

Lead the Way

I let my older charge out of the stroller and walked behind him as he toddled toward the play area, enjoying the music, the sun, the dappling shadows on the grass.

The baby was in the Snugli happily chewing on my sweatshirt drawstring, teething he is, and I felt just a sense of everything being exactly how it is supposed to be.

The entire day.

The entire eveing.

Everything.

Even the Mister.

You know, there’s nothing wrong with anything that is happening.

I am getting to learn what I need to learn and I am absurdly grateful for that.

I also made some phone calls today.

Leaving messages with most, but finally getting back to some of the messages that have accrued over the last few days.

One of which was a message from someone I used to work with a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.

Wisconsin.

His father had passed a few weeks back and he discovered a load of photographs from the time we worked together, some of which his parents were in.

I remember them well, sweet, and supportive of their son and his, strange decision to move to San Francisco.

Anyone moving to San Francisco from Wisconsin has to be strange you know.

Why would you leave?

He and I caught up and made tentative plans to have coffee next weekend.

I haven’t sat and had coffee with him in over 8 years.

That is a long time to not see someone who was a huge part of my life when I first moved to San Francisco.

I paved the way for him into a job at the Angelic Brewing Company.

He introduced me to San Francisco’s Mission District.

Vouching for me to my first room mates at 805 York Street.

He was at my first Thanksgiving that I cooked in San Francisco.

A meal that was supposed to be him and two other old co-workers from the Angelic and ended up becoming this epic dinner of 13 orphans.

I have so many fond memories of him.

And some fear too.

I acted badly toward then end of the time I was friends with him and for a long time it was suggested that I not reach out, that my motives may have not been the best.

Sometimes when you are a certain age you play hard and then you grow up.

I just played hard and ran away.

I ran away to the place I needed to be, but I abandoned a lot of friendships along the way.

It was nice to hear his voice and know that the fear is silly and that he probably has no judgements about me.

I am usually the only one really judging me anyhow.

But as of the last few hours, well, I haven’t got a thing to judge.

Oh, I am certain I’ll shake something up.

But right now?

I am just fine.

I am good.

I am perfect.

I always have been.

I just haven’t always allowed myself to see it.

Perfectly flawed.

Perfectly, deliciously, human.

Perfect me.


%d bloggers like this: