Posts Tagged ‘The Wiggle’

All The Pretty Bicycles

August 5, 2017

I got another donation today for the ALC!

Aids LifeCycle that is.

I’m registered to do the ride next June, just scant weeks after I graduate with my Masters degree in Psychology.

That’s going to be one hell of a month, let me tell you.

I suspect though, that the riding and training are going to be just exactly what I need to not be too focused on school, graduation, my internship, all of that.

The exercise will be good for me.

Aside from fine tuning my legs and ass.

I miss by bicycle commuter legs and derrier, let me tell you.

Yoga is nice and I’m totally loving my increased flexibility, but my bicycle behind has gone the way of my one speed parked in my garage since I started doing all my commuting on my scooter.

Aside.

It fucking rained this morning!

I heard it and registered it while I was sitting and wrapping up my morning writing.

I remember thinking, “that’s weird, it sounds like it’s raining.”

But I didn’t really think it was raining.

It was raining.

I got to ride my scooter to work in the wet and I was not anticipating that this morning.

It ended up being fine and the rain ceased a bit when I got to the Inner Sunset and Laguna Honda was dry, it did rain a little bit in Glen Park, but it passed by the time I was done with work.

Thank God.

I don’t like riding when it’s wet.

I didn’t like it on my bicycle.

I don’t like it on my scooter.

I can do it on either, although I have not tried riding my one speed to my job in Glen Park.

I could.

But man.

It would be a haul.

I would have to avoid the hills, I couldn’t make it up the big hills.

I would have to go around.

Making the 6.6 mile commute to work about 8.5 miles.

This means heading all the way up Lincoln, cut through the Pan Handle, take the Wiggle, hit 17th to Valencia, Valencia to 30th and Church and I would still have to climb Chenery to Fairmount.

It would likely take me 50 minutes on my bicycle.

On my once speed, on a road bike I bet I could winnow it down to 45 minutes.

I can scooter it in 20 minutes and I am not sweaty when I get to work.

If I had a geared road bicycle, which is what I will have soon, I thought I was going to buy one while I was on break from the family, but stuff just kept coming up and the press for the bike was never very heavy on me.

Now that I have two donations under my belt and I am starting to get emails from my ALC representative I’m starting to feel itchy for a road bike.

It’s been seven years since I had my road bike.

It was a Felt 45, 56 cm.

I got it for $500 from a rider on the tour who had upgraded to a nicer ride, he totally gave it to me for such a deal.  Here is the most recent version of the bike that I had on the ride in 2010. Only about $2900. No sweat.

Ugh.

The Felt was great, sturdy, I was able to do all my training rides on it, but it didn’t have the top granny gear, which I want this go around my knees are ten years older, and there were a couple of hills on the ride when I did it in 2010 that I had to stop on and rest.

I didn’t walk a single foot.

I didn’t push my bike.

I never took the sweep vehicle for a ride to the next rest stop.

Although one time the van passed me and the driver told me that she almost pulled me out, I was in an active bonk.

A bonk is what happens when you’re on a long ride and you haven’t eaten enough to fuel the ride, it generally happens on long rides.

I remember well that it was a long training ride that day, I was some where out past the Nicasio Reservoir on my way to Pt. Reyes, it was a century ride I’m pretty sure (100 mile ride) I think, I don’t recall exactly and I was very much looking forward to stopping and eating and my brain was loopy and I was slow and I couldn’t figure out why it was taking me such a long time to climb the hill I was on.

I was totally bonked.

I got off my bike and just about fell over.

My friend saw me and ran inside the deli and got me a loaded baked potato.

I literally was sitting on a parking lot cement curb marker in the middle of some supermarket parking lot in Point Reyes with sweat and tears running down my face eating a hot potato so fast I can still feel what it felt like falling down into my tummy and when the food hit I got high.

I am not joking.

I bonked once on the ride to L.A.

Again.

Thank God for my mentor and riding partner, he saw it happening.

I had agreed to run a meeting on the beach and instead of going to dinner had hustled down to do the hour on the beach at sunset and I am super glad I did, it was glorious, but then standing in line for dinner I began to faint, like weaving on my feet as I stood there waiting for my turn to queue up to the steam tables.

And the line was long.

My friend saw another friend and hustled me over to her and told me to stick my head between my knees he’d be right back.

He came back with two pints of milk.

“Drink this now!”

I didn’t argue, just sucked down the milk, the effect was electric.

I almost threw up, then the milk sugars roared through my blood.

While I was getting re-calibrated my friend hopped back into the dinner line and brought me back a tray which was basically a pile of mashed potatoes.

“I can’t eat this for dinner!” I exclaimed.

“You will eat all of that and then you can have some protein, you have zero blood sugar, you got to get it back up or you’re going to the med tent.”

He was quite right.

Anyway.

I had a lot of adventures and misadventures.

The four flat tires and getting stung by a wasp on a training ride to Petaluma and back.

Now that’s a story.

For another blog.

The point is.

It’s time for me to get the road bike.

I might wait until after Burning Man.

I might not.

If I end up having to do the rental car, which is what it’s looking like, I may eschew the cost of getting a playa bike, as I’ll have to get a bike rack and that’s another couple hundred and I don’t know, I’m thinking maybe I just fucking walk the event like I did my first year.

The road bike has to be and I will invest in a good one.

I have done a little research and I’m getting it narrowed down.

But.

Yeah.

It’s time.

I can feel it in my bones.

Time I got my bicycle on again.

Thank you so much to my two donors!

You rock.

And if you want to donate.

Just click here.

I’ll update you as things move along.

Be assured.

You’ll probably get hella tired of reading about my bicycle adventures.

But.

They’ll be fun.

I promise.

 

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One Shot

October 20, 2015

It doesn’t happen very often.

And.

When it does.

It happens on the way home from work rather than on the way to work.

Every once in a while I make it the 6.5 miles from work to home without having to put my foot down on the pavement.

It is the most delicious and delirious thing and I realized as I was crossing Divisadero on Oak that I might actually have a unicorn of a ride happening.

I made the timed lights, I picked up my speed, I felt my left knee complain, I said, come on baby, we got this, and zoom zip, through the light and rolling down the Pan Handle and it’s all, almost, but not quite, downhill from there.

I have made it once to work from my house, 46th Avenue and Judah to Lexington and 20th, on my bicycle without putting down a foot.

It was a reckless ride and not something that I need to experience again.

I just wanted to see if I could do it, and I could, but it meant running lights, stop signs, riding down Lincoln all the way to the Wiggle and a lot of clever maneuverings on my bicycle that weren’t the safest.

I am really safe on my bicycle.

Some folks are nuts.

I want to live.

I have so much to live for.

Just the level of contentment I have for my little home right now, it knows no bounds.

I got the cutest message from a woman in my cohort about a photo I had put up on Instagram with my little nook in the corner of my studio that has a chaise lounge and a “new” reading lamp, that it looked like just the place to curl up and read all of Professor Dubitzky’s reading in.

Of course she didn’t say Professor Dubitzky.

Ha.

She said, “Milly D.”

Our inside, though, I am sure the professor does know and winks at it, name for the teacher.

What I love is that the class is all Freudian analysis and yes, that’s right, my corner seat is a chaise lounge.

The doctor is in.

Er.

The graduate school student is in.

I have started writing “I am a therapist” in my morning pages where I write my affirmations.

It follows right after the one that says, “I am an artist.”

And I added another today.

“I own a brand new Buddy Scooter.”

Yes.

I am back in the market.

I talked a lot about it with a friend of mine who is really good with money and negotiating and asked if he would help me go down to Scooter Centre and get a good deal on the scooter.

It does not look like they have the Buddy I want, I want the Buddy Italia in Avocado, in the shop.   Although, I bet they could get it in if they don’t have it in stock.

It’s a 170cc, goes up to 60 mph and gets 92 miles per gallon.

It also has a two-year parts and labor warranty which includes road side assistance.

It’s about $3200.

I could go buy it right now.

But.

That would mean using my prudent reserve and my student loan disbursement up.

I would feel uncomfortable not having a prudent reserve and I don’t like that feeling where there is nothing in the savings account.

So.

I talked to my friend tonight and told him about how I have been setting aside money and also that I expect I will get a bonus at work on my birthday again, which is a week before Christmas, so it was basically a holiday bonus, but whatever, I don’t have to label it anything other than a gift.

A gift that I am banking on using to buy the scooter.

In conjunction with the money I have been setting aside.

The plan, God is laughing, I hear you, my thought, is that I will go down on December 19th, which is the day after my birthday and hand my friend my money, I figure, go to the bank, withdraw the cash and walk in with cash and get a better deal, and let him do the negotiating.

Which means in 60 days I’ll have a new scooter!

This is the plan.

Who knows if it will happen, but that’s the thought process so far.

I won’t get burned buying a used “Vespa” again, although I wouldn’t mind a Vespa, new, they are a bit more expensive then the Buddy and I would have to wait a bit longer to save up the money, probably at least another six months.

I don’t want to wait that much longer.

My knees be aching again and maybe, yes, maybe, it’s time to stop commuting 15 miles a day on the thing.

It’s been 10 years of riding a bicycle in this city.

I would miss it.

And.

I would miss the exercise.

But.

I can do different things.

I can learn to surf, I got a wet suit.

I can scooter to a pool.

I can go to yoga.

The time that I would save from riding my bicycle would not be a great deal, but it would be significant enough that I think I would be able to take a yoga class or go swimming at a pool on the way to work.

Who knows.

I am not going to worry about the exercise part, it’s important to my life and I need it to keep the crazy brain at bay.

I thought all these things when I was riding through the park, the cool breath of October flowing over my body, ruffling my hair, there is nothing quite as sexy, to me, I don’t know that any one else who’s ever experienced it (not that I have asked), but, there is something so sensual about getting off my bike when I get home and after I lock up the garage I go inside my cozy, sweet studio, and sweep the hair up off my neck and it’s cold.

Cold.

From the wind and the air.

It is such a delicious feeling to lift the cool hair off my neck and swirl it up into a bun.

I shiver thinking about it.

I would miss that.

But then again.

I won’t miss the painful knees.

I did make sure to get to work early and do a lot of stretching, it’s the IT band in my knees that is too tight and I can do some things to strengthen the muscles around my hips, that’s why I was contemplating yoga a little while ago–although, really, in what time?  The stretching helps, but sometimes I think, maybe, just maybe, 10 years is a good run for bicycle commuting in San Francisco.

A decade of riding these mean streets.

I have seen a lot of change.

And more than one lost tourist with the Blazing Saddle logo on their bike stopped at Oak and Stanyan trying to figure out where they are on the map and where the hell the bike path goes and where is the fucking ocean anyway?  And the bridge, how do we get to the bridge?

I have even ridden folks through the Pan Handle and around the Wiggle to get them to go where they are going, I did that not too long ago, I was stopped, asked for directions and I noticed the glazed look coming over the woman’s face when I told her where to go and what streets to take, and just took pity.

“Follow me, just follow me for the next ten minutes, and I will get you to Market, at which point I will cross the intersection and you will turn left and be able to follow Market Street where you need to go.”

Just here to be of service.

I don’t have to think about it too much.

But it is exciting.

I like the idea of change and my life getting bigger and fuller and lovelier.

Not that more is needed.

I have everything I need.

And more than I ever expected to have.

So.

Much.

More.

So.

Much.

Love.

Crack And Cherry Popsicles

August 7, 2015

The sickly sweet smell preceded her as she walked out from the Mission Community Center.

She was wasted, sucked up.

Not the frenetic skinny tautness of a meth head.

This was classic crack head.

Sucked up and withered away.

And yes.

You guessed it.

I spotted it.

If you spot it, you got it.

I am so lucky that I got it, then it went the fuck away.

I had a day today and then I would get these moment, call them God shots if you will, coincidence, serendipity, what have you, but I saw them as divine signs as a gentle reminder that even when I “think” my load is heavy, it is light.

And it does not smell like artificial sweetener, corn syrup, and red dye number 127.

Or crack cocaine.

She saw me.

She saw me see her.

She scuttled away.

That’s the best way I can put it, scuttled, like a stunted hermit crab trying to escape a fat gull on the beach.

I put my hand on the head of the five-year old I and gently pushed him to walk on the other side of the stroller, he did not notice, too engrossed in the story he was telling me about the tooth fairy.

He has now officially lost two teeth and the tooth fairy better deliver tonight.

He’s got some expectations.

For the second tooth he wants.

Yes.

A hovercraft.

Dude.

Listen, I know it’s getting all sorts of crazy up in this joint, San Francisco rents, tech crazy, $2,000 skateboards zooming by on remote control, but little dude, I don’t think the tooth fairy is going to pony up for a hover craft.

Just saying.

Although he got to have so many special things today I’m surprised the kid could function.

He had a minor procedure and was in and out of the doctors and back home before I got to work, a simple thing, really nothing to worry about, but you know, kids, they can get anxious, so to assuage the anxiety and to help ease him through–it got to be his day.

Man what a day.

I’m not jealous of his day, it was too much of an emotional roller coaster what with the numerous videos and special snacks and outings, literally I was worn out with the treats before I had even been there an hour.

Prior to my arrival there was juice.

Popsicles.

Ice cream.

Bowls of oatmeal, which, yeah, sounds great, you know healthier than say a grape popsicle, but laced with raisins and mounds of brown sugar.

And the little brother got to imbibe too.

I have never walked into the inferno like this before.

The sugar tsunami was in full effect.

We did ease up, he only got one more cookie over the course of the day and special lunch out at Tacolicious, but it was an up and down day, sugar can take a lot out of kid and it took its course.

But he was also sweet and we had some wonderful moments today and I was pretty on keel.

In fact, considering how my day had started, I was doing hella good.

I feel like there was a lot of foreshadowing that there was going to be stuff happening and I remember praying this morning to get to work and home safely on my bicycle.

Well.

That did happen.

But so did a lot of near accidents.

Weird traffic.

And.

Yes.

A fucking traffic cop nabbed me on the Wiggle.

Fuckers are cracking down.

There is just nothing worse than the whoop of a traffic cop on a motorcycle (hello I’m on a bicycle, you don’t need to scare the fuck out of me as well as issue me a huge ass ticket) and the flash of the red and blues.

Do you have any idea who I am?

Sigh.

Just another fixed gear riding bicycle rider blowing through a stop sign on the Wiggle.

“You know there’s a stop there!” The cop hollered at me.

“Yes, I do, you are right,” I said, already in tears, partially because it was windy and partially due to the adrenalin of nearly getting smacked by a driver right before I turned onto the Wiggle where the trap was.

I swung my bag over my shoulder, pulled out my wallet, handed the cop my drivers licence and tried not to say anything.

I had just turned onto the Wiggle from Haight Street and zipped right into a truck that was in the middle of the road, no flashers, no cones, nada to indicate that it was about to drop a storage Pod onto the street as I rode by.

Nothing says good times like almost getting hit a second time on my bicycle commute.

Oh yeah, I didn’t mention that a fire truck blew through an intersection, and I heard it and pulled over, but the van right behind me, didn’t and proceeded forward only to almost get jack knifed by the engine which was blasting its sirens so loudly to warn the van that my entire body squeezed up in fear.

The van abruptly pulled over.

Narrowly missing me and the fire engine.

Add then, the Pod drop.

Then the cop pulling me over and of course I was in tears.

“You didn’t even slow down,” the cop sighed, shaking his head, “is this your current address?”

“Yes, it is,” I replied.

I did not reply.

I DID slow down.

You should have seen how fast I was going.

I always slow up at the stop signs, but yeah, a lot of times I roll through.

But.

I also always signal my turn, stop for any pedestrians in the cross walk and make sure the intersection is clear.

I don’t blow lights.

I don’t want to die.

I have been bicycling in the city for 9 years and it’s bad out there with the Uber drivers and the Lyft drivers and the tourists on the rental bicycles and the plethora of people bicycling through neighborhoods and it seems just mean, but yes, I did too slow down.

Damn it.

But did I stop?

No.

So, I’ll take my ticket.

But.

“I was startled by the Pod dropping in the middle of the road, it almost hit me, and you’re right, I didn’t stop, and I accept the ticket, but would you please go back and ask the driver to cone off the area, somebody’s going to smash into him.”

I reached for the ticket.

The cop leaned over, “sign this.”

And then, sotto vocce.

“Don’t say anything because my partner is writing out a formal ticket to the guy right next to you, but I’m just giving you a warning, ok?  You’re free to go and I’ll make sure the guy puts cones out.”

He patted my hand, ripped off the ticket and handed it to me.

Whoa.

Dude.

Did that just happen?

Amaze balls.

I hit it and obeyed the traffic laws the rest of the way to work.

Well.

Most of them.

Ahem.

And I was happily surprised that I was so even keeled.

All day.

Until.

My lunch break when I found out, that yes, the family is able to accommodate my request off for the 25th of my student orientation, but guess what?

They’re not going to be in Sonoma for a week.

They’re going to be in Sonoma for two and a half weeks.

Oh my fucking god.

Oh my fucking god.

Oh fuck me.

FUCK.

Breathe.

How old am I?

42.

Take forty of those suckers.

Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out.

“So we need to figure out all the rental car stuff before you head out to your student retreat,” the mom said clicking over her calendar.

OHMYGOD.

“Ok,” I said.

“I thought you were only going a week,” I said.

Breathe.

“Nope, two and a half, from the 14th through the 30th,” the mom replied.

HOLY SHIT.

I sort of fell of my spiritual beam.

Why?

Well, let me tell you the ways.

Cohort retreat with the incoming ICPW (Integral Counseling Psychology Weekend Cohort) students from this Sunday, August 9th through the 17th in Petaluma.

Then I turn around, come back to San Francisco, head to the air port, pick up a rental car and go back to Glen Ellen and work for the family until, yes, the 28th.

When I am supposed to leave for Burning Man.

I tried not to vomit out the fear in my mouth.

Away from my people for a month, my five ladies for a month, no for five weeks, because when I get back, the first weekend after Burning Man, is my first full on campus weekend.

Six weeks before I can meet with a lady bug.

I made some phone calls.

I got right with God.

I said, “however I can be of service, and yes, I will make up the date on the 25th by working an extra day for the family, either the 22nd or the 23rd (I have off the weekends still, but like it matters, the one day I have off will be spent packing my shit for Burning Man, good thing this is not my first rodeo).

And I will be accountable for the Monday prior to the student orientation and I will have to be back to work the morning after.

So, a fly by to San Francisco and then right back to Petaluma.

The good news?

I won’t have a lot of food expenses.

I get paid an extra $50 per day I’m with the family outside of San Francisco.

I will have a rental car so I can go do the deal in Sonoma and Petaluma.

I will be too busy to be freaked out about anything.

I will be so in the present moment it will be exalted.

And as I rode my bicycle home through the park tonight, the one fast filling up with lights and fences and stages and sound machines and port-a-potties (Outside Lands starts tomorrow) I was so in my body it was spooky.

And exhilarating.

I am alive.

ALIVE.

And there but for the grace of god go I.

No cherry popsicle for me today.

No crack cocaine.

Just all the things.

Wow.

I mean.

All the things I could possible schedule into my life.

Now’s the time I’m going to get asked out by the love of my life.

Because, hey why not pack something else into my schedule.

Bwahahahahaaha.

See you on the other side.

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.

Everybody’s Got Their Own Agenda

March 24, 2015

I heard her voice in my head as I shouted at the woman who passed me on the right and pushed me into traffic on the commute into work.

I had already had a few moments of uneasiness on my bicycle.

It rained last night.

Not a lot.

But enough.

The roads were slick this morning and as I was pedaling across Lincoln at 20th my back wheel slipped under me a moment.

I righted and breathed and continued forward, cautious, but aware.

Again the wheel slipped, just a touch, rounding a corner in the Pan Handle.

When it’s just damp enough to cause all the street oil to sluice up to the top of the pavement it feels scarier then when it is a full on down pour.

Slick roads are worse in my estimation than rain.

I thought about the rest of the commute and that I had time.

I always give myself ten minutes more than I need to get to work.

I like to get off my bike, stretch out my shoulders, wiggle out any kinks in my legs and drink some water.

I like to also have caught my breath and had a moment to get centered before entering the fray.

Monday’s especially can be a ruckus, especially after having two days with mom and dad, the charges are not always grateful to see me, despite having fun moments after I arrive.

Upon arrival I often hear a “no!” or “go away!” or the pitter patter of feet running to mom and dad.

That’s ok.

I’m used to it kid.

Sometimes I get the opposite response, but not always.

So, lots of time for me to travel my way cross town.

Monday’s are also a challenge for me as a bicycle commuter.

It is the one day of the week that I go into work early and as such I am in actual commuter traffic.

Not just car commuter and Google Bus commuter, but bicycle commuter, traffic.

I will forget, have forgotten, most other days that there are many, many, many more bicycles on the road then there used to be and also that four days of the week I am riding in to work outside of busy rush hour traffic.

Not so Mondays.

I generally am hitting the end of the rush, but I can get caught in it, or catch up to it, almost always on the Wiggle, sometimes in the Pan Handle if the lights are not in my favor.

I was doing alright after negotiating the Wiggle until I crossed Duboce and hopped onto Sanchez.

As I was crossing over Market headed toward 17th, a rider passed me on the right.

DON’T PASS ON THE RIGHT!

I yelled, startled.

Damn it lady.

You’re forcing me into traffic and riding in my blind spot.

Stupid lady.

I didn’t say bitch.

No.

I was annoyed though and thought about giving her a lecture on being polite to other bicyclists.

I mean, I pass cars all the time on the right, except when they are signaling a right turn, then I go around to the left.

Bicyclists and pedestrians, though, I always pass on the left.

And yes.

I am that annoying person who hollers out, “on your left.”

Sometimes I will whistle sharply if I think a person can’t hear me who may be crossing an intersection while looking at their phone screen.

But most of the time I pass on the left and I let you know that I am there.

It’s something I learned on training rides in 2010 when I rode in the Aids LifeCycle tour from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

I learned a lot on those rides.

How to fix a flat, how to carry momentum to get up a hill, how to ride clipless, how to ride a back to back, how to ride a Century (100 miles) what it felt like to bonk, what I needed to do to not bonk, how it felt riding Whites Hill in Marin the first time.

How it felt climbing Mount Tam and doing the Southern Hills Climb.

How saddle sores felt.

I happily will skip having that experience again.

I occasionally rue not having registered for the ride this year, I was thinking about it a lot, but I decide to apply to graduate school and go to Atlanta for the International Conference, and see my grandmother in Chula Vista and go to Burning Man.

That’s more than enough for my plate this year.

And I still have a few ideas up my sleeve for travel.

I learned a lot of courtesy on those rides and what it felt like when another rider did not extend the same courtesy to me.

Sometimes I can be an asshole and need to prove a point and I could feel that come up in me when I saw the woman on her bicycle stopped at the traffic light at Sanchez and 16th.

I wanted to lecture her.

I wanted to tell her how it’s done.

I know better though.

It’s not my place to tell another person how to live their life and I had a flash of a driver yelling out the window at me to “wear a fucking helmet!”

Which doesn’t do much from saving my startled self when I get screamed at.

Hey asshat, when you are so focused on the behavior of someone else you’re ignoring yourself.

Just saying.

So when I coasted in to a stop at 16th and Sanchez I held my tongue.

I looked at the woman.

She was oblivious.

She was not seeing me as I was straddling my bike waiting for the light to change.

She also was fiddling with her phone and had ear phones in, so the likelihood that she heard me holler about passing on the right was nil, and she wasn’t going to hear me and my “friendly” I know better bicycle protocol about passing on the right.

I paused.

And I brought my attention to the road ahead of me.

The trickiest part of the commute, especially when its slick, the turn at Sanchez onto 17th.

There’s a great bike lane on 17th, but turning left I have to cross two sets of MUNI train tracks at a parallel instead of simply cutting straight across.

It is far to easy too slip on them.

I have in the past, but never gone down.

I kept my counsel, the light changed.

The woman hadn’t seen the light change, she was a bit behind me.

I signalled a left turn.

I signalled that I was slowing down, that’s a flat open palm hanging down at a right angle waving back and forth (think of a reverse beauty pageant queen on a float waving).

Then I signalled that I was coming to a slow stop.

A squeezing in of my hand into a ball.

I turned left.

I crossed at a diagonal and made it completely over the tracks with no slippage, I turned my head, the woman was directly to my left, riding in between the train tracks, not even in the bicycle lane.

“It’s your life lady,” I thought to myself and then, out of no where, I should move over, she’s going to pass me and cut me off again at the light.

I could just feel it.

Except.

Well.

She wiped out on the tracks.

She went down.

Hard.

I am still not sure how I avoided hitting her.

She was passing me and her bicycle nearly toppled me, I weaved to the right, and rolled off my pedals, sliding my feet out of my foot retention straps (oh how do I love thee my Hold Fast straps) and squeezing slow and steady on my brake so I wouldn’t slip too.

It all happened in slow motion.

I can still see her right hand, fingers spread, reaching to catch her fall, I can see how if I hadn’t swerved just at that moment, how I would have rolled over her hand.

I shudder.

She broke her basket on her bike and bananas flew into the street.

A car drove over one and the smell of ripe banana wafted over the tracks and assaulted my nose.

“Are you ok?” I asked, stopping, looking back, “do you need help?”

“I’m ok, I’m ok,” she stood.

I watched her pick up her bicycle and shakily run her hands over her body.

“Are you sure?” I asked again.

“Yeah, thanks,” she said and waved me off.

The car that had rolled over the banana was stopped a few feet a head of me.

I rolled up on her.

“She ok?” The driver leaned out the window.

“Yeah, she’s ok,” I smiled.

The driver smiled.

“Whew.”

Be careful out there kids.

I was a little discombulated but so grateful that I hadn’t yelled at her.

That I kept my lecture to myself.

I am certain she learned what she needed.

That’s the thing.

We all learn exactly what we need when we need it and I can’t hurry any one’s process up.

Mine included.

I can be right.

Or.

I can be happy.

And today I was very happy to make it to work in one piece.

Very happy.

Will There Be Naked People?

October 8, 2014

He asked as we cruised up Chain of Lakes hitting the pavement one bicycle after the other.

I laughed.

“Maybe, yes, probably,” I chuckled to myself, “maybe not the kind of naked people who you want to see.”

The last time I saw a naked person at Decompression was about three years ago and she wasn’t exactly naked, but she was shirt cocking (what does one call it when it’s a female doing it?  Shirt cunting?) and it was disturbing.

I don’t know why, I didn’t stop to analyze it.

I don’t like shirt cocking in either male or female of the human species.

If you don’t know the reference it means a person, usually male, usually gay, usually a little older, who is sporting a white (I suppose it could be another color, but they always seem white, like the person is compensating for not wearing tidy whities thus they wear a white shirt) t-shirt with no pants underneath.

No underpants, that is.

The line of questioning was brought up by my companion riding through the park this evening.

“Carmen!”

“Hey, Blake!”

Glad I remembered your name, always a touch awkward when you meet someone and then can’t recall their name, although they never seem to fail to nail yours down at the moment of reconnection.

I met Blake last week, Thursday or Friday evening riding through the Pan Handle.

“Nice rim,” he said to me as we were waiting for the light to change on Masonic.

“Thanks,” I smiled, “you’ve got a nice ride too.”

He started peppering me with questions about my bicycle, have I always ridden in fixed, how is it riding in San Francisco with only one speed, where did I get my bicycle, how did I navigate the hills, etc.

Turns out he had just moved here two months ago.

I departed my twelve years living in San Francisco wisdom, “The Wiggle is essential,” I said.   And it really is, especially for anyone who lives on the Western edge of the city, it’s the only way to avoid the big hills.

I also diverted from the path a slight bit as the bike route will take a bicyclists slightly off course and I thought I had lost my riding companion to a different course, when he popped up again on Martin Luther King Jr.

“How did you get past me?” He asked.

“Oh just a little short cut, you’ll catch it sooner rather than later if you keep riding this way, where are you headed?”

“46th and Kirkham.”

“Neighbor!  I’m at 46th and Judah.”

We rode through the park together and chatted about the differences in bicycling in San Francisco versus Austin, where he’d just moved from.

I have ridden in Austin and the predominant flatness is quite appealing.

But there is something to the briskness of riding a cool October evening through Golden Gate Park that fills a space inside me with lightness and an expansive sense of gratitude to be alive.

It’s nice to make a bicycle friend.

It was nice to reunite on the ride home tonight.

I like knowing the people in my neighborhood.

“You live in the best part of town,” he said to me, shaking his head with envy, “the beach, all those cafes, the beach, surfing, the beach, do you surf?”

“I’ve gone out a whopping three times,” I said, “but I do love listening to the rumble of the surf as I write in the morning or blog it out at night.

In fact, I can here that roar right now, in between the spaces of the words I am typing, it’s a nice counterpoint and rather meditative.

Especially at the speed I type at.

I am lucky to live here.

I did contemplate what it would be like to be back in the Mission though, today as I whipped onto Valencia Street from 17th as I headed into work this morning.

Man the commute would be so much easier if I was in the Mission.

I would move back to the Mission if something became available that is comparable or better than what I have now.

I would.

I love my spot though, and it is home and I doubt that what I have here can be replicated there.

It will make a long commute to Decompression this Sunday, however.

I did it last year and I rode my bicycle.

I met a friend for coffee at Four Barrel then we rode our bicycles over to the Dogpatch for the party.

I actually wasn’t on the list to get into the event, but I ran into my, at the time, employer, who was going in with her husband and the little boy I was taking care of.

I danced and roamed and hung out with friends and had a mini family reunion, mostly of little people, all my little Burning Man charges, and I am hoping for some more of that this weekend.

“What’s Decompression?” Blake asked.

He and I were talking about weekend plans and I had mentioned that I was going and since he was new to the city he had to go, it really is such a San Francisco party.

“It’s the official San Francisco after party for Burning Man,” I replied.

Which led to the naked people comment.

I think that there is a contingent of people who look at Burning Man as one big beautiful naked person festival.

And granted, there are some gorgeous naked people who get groovy out there in their birthday suits, I mean, they are certainly the ones getting their pretty selves photographed and in Rolling Stone.

But just like when you go to a nudist colony, there’s more than one Uncle Bob shirt cocking his wrinkly bits to put me off the idea that the majority of naked people are attractive.

The opposite is true is what I find.

But who am I to break someone’s fantasy.

“There’s naked people,” I said again, “and dancing, and music, and art, and fire, and it’s of course, loads of people in costume.  You should definitely check it out.”

“See you later!”  I called as I spun down Lincoln off of Chain of Lakes for my last leg of the journey home.

Blake crossed over Lincoln with visions of naked girls dancing in his head.

“Yeah!  At Decompression.”

“I’ll be there,” I said.

Fully clothed.

“Night!”

“Night, neighbor, safe riding.”

I smiled and whipped the rest of the way down the road.

See you at a Dogpatch near you soon!

Soft, Sweet, Wet Kisses

May 9, 2014

For me.

All for me.

Drenched with them.

Saturated with them.

Slowed down with lush.

Face full of mist, warm, enveloping, deft, dewy, succulent.

Safe.

I felt cocooned in the rain and mist and fog as I cycled, slowly, through the park.

I knew about one-third through the Wiggle (San Francisco’s bicycle route to get around all those hills from the Church and Market area to the Haight and all points West) that I was not going to ride my bicycle in the weather down Lincoln Avenue.

Nor was I going to take Irving with the train running and the parking and the commuters who suddenly get weird when the weather changes on a dime, like it can here.

I was not suspecting rain at all today, no fender on my bicycle, no thought in my head of wet weather.

After the nap time extravaganza of two hours that my little girl Thursday took, however, I began to suspect something was up.

It got humid in the afternoon.

And heavy overcast, thick, dark clouds, the smell of rain just wafting through Alamo Square park presaging the mist and fog and light Spring rain that was to marshal me home.

So, yes to the park, yes to light to none existent for blocks, traffic.

Just me, the bicycle, the wet, which was not the kind of wet that drenches you quickly, but soaks you in a quiet, seductive way.

It was not overpowering or cold.

It sprinkled down about me in the way that reminded me of soft warm rain in the late Spring in Wisconsin or even early summer, the rich smells not being the heavy drowsy perfume of lilacs, but rather the pungent spice of eucalyptus, searing sweet jasmine, and succulent honeysuckle, wet grass, and then, as I turned down Chain of Lakes, the seminal smell of the ocean.

It is the kind of weather that I wished, for a moment, that I did have a lover to walk through the park with, hold hands with, and yes, find a canopy of mimosa to shelter under and kiss wet and dark and long.

Spring has indeed sprung.

And summer is coming.

Summer.

I am going to experience it.

I am.

Not just the fog in the city.

But summer in California, in Bradley California, in just two weeks.

I am going to Lighting in a Bottle!

I got asked to go a couple of weeks ago but after just purchasing a ticket to fly back to Wisconsin I didn’t think I could swing it.

My friend shot me a text today, she’d gotten the weekend off, let me help subsidize your trip, will you please come?

How in the world can I say no to that?

A weekend with one of my best girlfriends, camping, a road trip–small one, Bradley’s only about three hours away from San Francisco–music, dancing under the stars, an opening salvo to the summer.

Oh my.

I had to say yes.

She bought the tickets and I am going.

My friend said I’ll sport you $100 off the ticket, take care of all the food, and get you there and back.

How could I say no?

I didn’t of course.

And of course, pride, ego, lack of humility, wanted to say, no really, that’s too much, but  I also know better than to look a gift in the mouth.

I said yes.

I am still going to give her $180 for my ticket (the ticket is $280–just a basic general admission ticket and we will be tent camping by the car) but that is a steal to see the line up, which is kookoo crazy good.

MOBY.

Beats Antique.

Amon Tobin.

Kraak and Smaak.

Claude Von Stroke.

And a whole lot more.

Plus, camping, yoga, art, pretty festival people, DANCING, dancing, dancing, and yes, more dancing.

I have not gotten my butt to Coachella yet, maybe next year, but I am going to this.

It’s a nice, sweet, unexpected surprise.

I feel that there is more of that to come.

Scooter riding as a part of that surprise.

Glad again to not be on my scooter today, riding in the rain is one thing on my bicycle, I have 8 plus years of riding around this city in the rain on my bike and zero days of being on the scooter in the wet, I have no idea how it will respond and am not yet prepared to ride it and find out.

That being said, fingers crossed, I will be able to venture forth tomorrow to work at 19th and Noe, ie all places hilly, as I got it started, the scooter, last night.

My friend came over and I wheeled it out, showed him what I was doing, then stepped back while he asked, “have you been priming it before starting it?”

Uh.

What?

Um.

No.

Turns out, I probably was, accidentally, but not with real intent, that is giving the throttle a little gas to go through the system and get some fuel to the engine.

Oh.

Well, now I know.

My friend stepped up, gave the throttle a little twist, stepped on the kickstart, and kicked it over on the first try.

D’oh!

I knew it was me and not the scooter.

Yay!

I will give myself a little time to make sure I can replicate it all tomorrow, although, I feel quite certain I will be able to start it, I still want to make sure.

Because I don’t want to repeat the manic bicycle ride that I endured on Monday tomorrow.

I would rather go, sweet, soft, slow, and mellow, zooming up and over the hills on the Vespa.

I shall see what the morrow brings.

Nothing to worry myself with tonight.

Just the enjoyment of knowing that in two weeks from tomorrow I will be heading out and having a new adventure, seeing something new, having new experiences, and hanging out with one of my best girls.

Summer.

I think this may be my best one yet.

I am ready for it.

The warm soft rainy mist bestowing its kisses upon me has primed my engine.

I am ready to kick it off.

 

 

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.

Inexplicably Crazy

January 18, 2014

So I took some contrary action.

Might have had something to do with my little monkey who I watched today having the teething of monstrosity.

I felt so bad for the bug, it sucks.

The only good thing about teething, well aside from getting teeth to eat tasty food with, is that the pain is forgotten.

I don’t remember teething, do you?

I woke up a little cuckoo, truth be told.

I knew I was going to be free after five p.m. and I did not have any plans and I was dreading that unscheduled time.

I made a slight plan and did my best to adhere to that.

And I got outside.

I did lots of walking through the Mission today and went over to Capp and 23rd to hang out with some folks for a bit.

Realizing that I don’t really belong in the Mission anymore.

Not that to say I don’t really love being there, but it feels like too much, too much commerce, too much traffic, too many people trying to get someplace fast, fast, fast.

I just wanted to slow down.

Sometimes when I am odds with myself and my day I have a hard time deciding what to do anyway.

I hate to admit this as well, I don’t like riding my bicycle out late at night.

Especially on Fridays and Saturdays.

Actually, I don’t like riding my bicycle any time after 5p.m. on Friday, everybody is out getting their crazy on and it feels frenzied.

I actually stopped short of hitting a pedestrian today who was so absorbed in his little smart phone that he walked right off the curb and right into me.

I was going slow and had the premonition he might make that exact move, so I stopped and gentle patted him on his shoulder as I slid past on my bike.

“Be careful when you cross over the street without looking,” I said and patted him softly.

Which is great.

Because there have been times when I wanted to hit pedestrians for doing just what this guy did.

I think that by the time Friday rolls around I am exhausted from all the defensive bicycle riding that I do.

I am hyper vigilant on my bicycle, despite the increase in bicycle commuters, there seems to be more accidents happening, more people getting hit, more anger on the roads.

And perhaps it is just the Sunset, and I suspect that it really is, the amount of crazy driving when folks are looking for parking spots on Irving is just nuts.

It feels like I am in some sort of arcade game.

Except that I am not.

There is no do over here.

When I left work I still had no direction as to where I wanted to go but I knew I wanted out of the Mission and damn quick, the traffic had already begun to pick up and I whipped down Noe from 19th, hitting 18th, weaving around double parked cars and over to 17th and then to Church Street.

I hit the Pan Handle.

Debated going grocery shopping.

Had no desire to stop at Whole Paycheck.

Debated going to 7th and Irving.

But I already did that today, my brain whinged.

Yeah, and it sort of sucked, so maybe you should go again.

And I knew that I probably should.

I can’t remember the last time I double dipped in one day, but my brain really did feel on fucking fuego.

So, I steeled myself for a stop and instead of turning onto 7th Street when I was riding down Irving, I found myself blowing through the light and winging my way on down the road.

What the fuck are you doing?

I yelled at myself.

Stop.

I have had a couple of moments like that today.

Earlier on my ride into work I had a moment of not wanting to ride through the Pan Handle on the bike path, I would just be taking Oak Street all the way to the Wiggle, thank you very much.

But my head was absolutely screaming at me.

TAKETHEBIKEPATHTAKETHEBIKEPATHTAKETHEBIKEPATHTAKETHE….

I don’t recall every being that loud about taking the path.

I normally do zip on down the road and say, fuck you motherfucker, it’s not commute time, give me the full lane.

But I wasn’t feeling it.

I got spooked.

I took the bike path.

Same thing tonight.

I just knew I wasn’t supposed to ride my bike down Irving Street on a Friday at five o’clock.

I just knew.

I tried to blow it off, that little voice in my head, not the lying one, but the one that when I have a clear channel and have been doing the work, and believe you me, I have been doing the fucking work, I hear and am guided by well.

GETOFFYOURBIKE!

NOW.

O-fucking-k.

Chill.

I abruptly signalled a stop and swung my leg over the saddle, getting off and popping my bicycle up on the sidewalk.

I turned around and walked back to 7th and Irving.

I locked it up in its customary spot and headed out to Crepevine to grab some dinner.

I made a phone call and drank a big glass of water and got some food.

Man.

I don’t know what was going on, but I could not ignore it.

We will intuitively know how to handle situations that used to baffle us.

I guess so.

Something was telling me to slow down.

I don’t have much planned for the weekend but I think I will take the MUNI tomorrow.

The nice thing is that I don’t have to rationalize what happen, I got home safe and sound and though I am home on a Friday night, I am happy to be here, with the smell of bonfires drifting in from the beach.

Maybe I should do that tomorrow.

Go down to the beach in the evening and have a little fire by the shore.

I do feel that a date for me is in the offing.

I wrote about that this morning.

Go to the DeYoung, see the Dieborken exhibit.

Or maybe over to the Conservatory of Flowers.

The Butterfly Exhibit has been extended through March.

Maybe a soak in a hot tub.

Something.

Nothing I need worry about right now.

No worries at all.

Especially since my bike is safely locked up in the garage and the voice in my head has mellowed out with the dinner and the quiet sitting of an hour in a room with bad flourescent lighting.

Crazy like a fox.

Yes I am.

But at least I fucking know it.

I also know what the solution is for it.

Thank God.

Unexpected Artist Date

August 4, 2013

With my friend Katie.

So nice to run into people on the street who are going the same way you are, but hey, would you mind, I have to make a detour to Flax?

Uh, yeah, count me in.

Although it is really easy for me to drop a batshit amount of money in there and I already feel like I spent the money that I made this weekend in the city, but yes, I want to go.

I was walking back from the Upper Haight is a really leisurely manner, debating what I wanted to do, where I wanted to go, and who I wanted to see.

I was done with the nanny gigs and had gone down into the Mission to the office to get my bicycle and bring it back to the people I will be working for at Burning Man.

I rode it through the Mission, through the Castro, over the hills and through the woods, to Burning Man we go, along the Wiggle, through the Pan Handle, across at Clayton, left at Stanyan, right on Cole and over to the house.

Whew.

That was a work out.

And if you think writing that paragraph took me a minute, imagine riding a slow, low slung chopper bike through the hills and valleys of San Francisco.

But I made it and I supremely enjoyed the ride there.

The wind was cool, the fog was coming in, but the sun was still peeking out from the banks of fog and it felt delicious on my skin as I pedaled through the city, waving at a few people, smiling for the sheer fun of it, imagining that I would soon be making my inaugural ride on playa with the new saddle.

Which is comfy, but there are still issues.

Sigh.

Cruiser

Cruiser

My legs are too long.

The saddle does not sit back far enough for me to get good leg extension on the frame.

That being said, it is still a serviceable bike and it will be great on playa, it’s flat, the wheels are nice and fat and I have a snappy purple pennant and a new silver bell.

Ding ding.

You should have heard me whistle as I rolled through the Panhandle, I amused the shit out of myself.

I got it to the house, tucked it away in the garage and bid my bicycle adieu.

Next time I see her to ride her it will be at Burning Man.

Yippee!

After I dropped the bike off to my employers I decided despite not knowing exactly where I was going or what I was doing  I wanted to walk.

The slowing down on the cruiser made me realize what a lovely city I bicycle through on a pretty regular basis and don’t pay attention to.

I walked and looked and smelled.

Granted I also ducked and dodged and crossed the street a few times when I was in the thick of the throngs of Haight Street shopper/tourist/homeless/’kind bud’ madness.

Slight aside: how is it that there are homeless guys and gals hanging out at the top of the park spare changing for medical marijuana, er McDonald’s, and they have gorgeous tattoos?

That shit cost some money.

Believe me,  I know.

Granted I see a lot of shittastic tattoos and homemade gun tattoos and prison tattoos and I let my room-mate practise on me tattoos, but some of them are really good and the really good usually means, really big money.

Anyway, the amount of homeless dreck and dogs that happens right at the mouth of the park is always a little weird to navigate through but I do notice things as I push the pram to the Golden Gate Children’s Area.

God I am lucky to have such close access to that park.

Aside over.

I did some window shopping, tried on some clothes, but there’s not really anything I need and I don’t want to spend money on more stuff right now.

I realized as I was putting away my weekend bag I really have prepared myself better for this Burning Man than I have for any other.

Of course, with it being my 7th I sort of know what works the best for me and what makes me the happiest to have with me.

I let myself get those things this year.

But I don’t need to go over board and when I was assaulted by all things neon, sparkling, and bedazzled at the Piedmont store on Haight, I knew it was time to get the fuck out of Dodge.

I walked back out of the store to see I had a message and I got a hold of my friend who was already up in Noe Valley.

That decided me.

I would go up to Noe Valley and hang out and then go do the deal up at St. Phillips and see my people.

Like I said before, I need my fellows more than I have ever realized and I need my friends and that’s where they were going to be.

So I decide that is where I would go.

As I was walking from the Upper Haight down to the Lower Haight I saw the 24 bus go by and thought, well, shoot, I could just keep walking down to the bike shop, grab my one speed and head up the hill or…

I could bump into a friend going my way, by way of Flax.

Yes.

I got glitter glue.

And stickers.

Heh.

And one post card to send myself from the event.

I always do.

It’s nice to come back and have a post card from your most authentic sparkle pony self to remind you of the time you spent out there.

I like to send myself postcards where ever I go.

I had a nice meander through Flax while my friend got her art supplies for a class she’s teaching and then we went up to the Valley.

It was perfect.

I saw friends.

I laughed.

I poked fun at myself for having bunny stickers in my bag and glitter nail polish on, but really I love it, and I feel happier, sillier too, sometimes, for it, and tomorrow I will whip out the glitter glue and go to town.

But for now, the day is done and I am going to fix myself a little more tea and watch a little Orange is the New Black before I punk out.

More glitter tomorrow.


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