Posts Tagged ‘tourist’

Almost There

October 6, 2017

Almost to the weekend.

So close I can taste it.

I am ready.

I am so ready.

It’s been a long week, not horrible, just long.

I’ve seen my therapist, had a huge aha moment with her, felt some things get inwardly re-arranged and they’re still settling.

I saw my supervisor and we had an amazing session.

I have seen six clients this week.

I have two more to see tomorrow.

I have worked full days at work.

I have one more to go.

One more.

Then.

Saturday.

OH.

How I have been dreaming about you.

It just can’t get to me fast enough.

And the week has gone by pretty quick, for which I am grateful.

Sometimes anticipation of an event can make the time getting there super painful.

Exquisite pain.

“It’s almost Christmas!” My little girl charge said twirling around in her ballet leotard and tutu.

I hate to break it to you kiddo, but it’s the first week in October, it’s going to be a minute.

Despite, yes, ugh, seeing the first Christmas decorations up at Nordstrom’s Rack last weekend when I went to do some clothing shopping.

I mean, sure, they had some Halloween stuff up too, but really the bulk of it was Christmas stuff.

I was a touch horrified.

Let me enjoy the autumn please.

Let me have my Halloween.

“What are you going to be for Halloween?” My oldest boy charge asked me.

He was not satisfied with my response of “a nanny.”

“Come on!” He demanded.

“Um, a grad student?” I smiled.

“No!” He said, literally stomping his foot.

“What about a psychotherapist?” I added, trying not to chuckle too much at his expense, he was so serious.

“That’s not a costume!” He opened his eyes really big and huffed out air from his cheeks.

I don’t have a costume, although I could pull off a pin-up girl really easily, I have a couple of dresses that are retro pin-up.

But pin-up might be, um, well, a tad sexy for my nanny day job.

I might wear of Day of the Dead skull print dress.

It’s also a touch on the pin-up side, but I can down play the make up and hair, and make it cute instead of sexy.

Child appropriate.

I won’t see my therapist that day, she’ll be out of town, but I will have clients, at least I think I will have one, I have to double-check, it feels like one of them recently cancelled for that day, but I can’t remember off the top of my head.

So.

Whatever I do wear needs to translate to going in to my internship and seeing clients.

I get a head of myself.

It’s not Halloween yet.

Nor is it Christmas.

I am just anticipating my weekend.

And that’s enough.

I’m almost done with my antibiotics too.

Which is nice, they upset my tummy a bit.

I have one more day and then done with them.

I still have had intermittent tooth pain, but I’m dealing.

Just taking ibuprofen and trying to stay hydrated.

I feel like drinking more water is always helpful, no matter what.

I hope the pain passes.

I had it come on pretty bad yesterday at the end of the work day and it was distracting at my internship, then I woke up this morning and nothing.

A bit of pain in the late afternoon today, but end of day at work was doable.

It’s been not so hot over the past week.

I do hope it passes.

If it continues or gets worse I’m just going to suck it up and make another appointment and let my dentist poke around in there some more.

Not excited for that.

So.

Hey tooth fairy.

Cut this lady a little slack.

The dentist didn’t see any cavities, nothing showed up on the x-ray, so stop hounding me for a tooth, I ain’t got one to give.

Anyway.

Who cars about my teeth when the weekend is almost here.

I’m not excited, really, ha.

I have to also remember, in all the excitement to book my ticket for travel.

I need to book by October 15th.

Which means I should do it this weekend as next weekend, October 13th-15th, is a school weekend.

I am happy that I can still use the ticket and book flight.

It’s nice to look forward to travel.

Even if I won’t necessarily take it for a little while.

I will still get to take it and I won’t be throwing $435 down the drain.

I have wasted plenty of money on lesser things, but travel is sacred to me.

I love to get on a plane and go.

Oh.

I always want to come back home, but I do like to go somewhere new and explore it, sometimes I also want to go to somewhere I know.

I will always have a lech to travel to Paris, always.

It is familiar and still foreign enough and though I have been many times, there always is something new to see.

I almost found myself applying for a two month artist in residency for next year.

But then.

Haha.

I remember, um, you might be in school those two months.

Not going to happen.

It’s a prestigious fellowship.

It’s two months rent and $1,000 a month to support your time plus travel expenses.

Nothing to sneeze at.

I applied for it once, I think that’s why I got the notice in my e-mail today.

But I had to laugh after I took a minute to realize, of course I can’t go for two months to Paris in 2018 since I’m in school and have other really important obligations, but I laughed at the photo the fellowship was using as an enticement.

It was two people romantic and laughing in the sun on a bridge near Pont Neuf.

Which is a gorgeous and magical.

But the fellowship is for February and March.

Which are not sunny months at all.

AT ALL.

They are dark and cold and dreary and wet and rainy.

That photo definetly taken in summer or late spring.

Not way it was FEBRUARY.

Also it’s why, I bet, they do the fellowship at that time because it’s probably the least traveled time to go to Paris, thus cheaper, than any other time, maybe August, which is when the city basically shuts down in the heat and everybody leaves to go on vacation.

It was a lovely fantasy, though, to indulge in for a minute.

But really.

My time needs to be focused here.

Here is where it’s at.

All the things.

And Friday.

Hello weekend.

I have waited so long for you.

I can taste your nearness and it is maddening.

Seriously.

 

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No Rest For The Wicked

May 22, 2017

But.

I am going to try.

I am zonked.

It’s been a long day.

It started at 5 a.m. today, yesterday?  I don’t even know, what day is it?

Yes.

Sunday.

And yes.

I already have my alarm set for the morning.

I have to get up early and go meet with my supervisor.

My internship starts this week.

I’ve the meeting tomorrow and then training starts on Thursday.

And.

You know.

Work.

And um.

Hello.

Jet lag.

Current Paris time is 4:53 a.m.

That means, 24 hours ago I was just about to get up and finish my packing.

And it was a great big last day of a last day.

One last morning of having coffee on the houseboat and then off to Clingancourt.

Which I almost bailed on.

Crowds cause me some anxiety.

My friend I went with pretty much noticed that ASAP.

“You don’t have to stay if you don’t want to,” I was told, and I knew that, but I also wanted to make the effort.

I’d never made it in to Clingancourt before, I had only gone one other time and it was closed.

I wandered around and took street art photography.

The thing about the market is that it’s in not the prettiest neighborhood, lots of low-income housing tenements, it’s just at the Periphery of the city, so it can get quite a bit sketchy, it’s a haven for pick pockets, and there’s a lot of dingy, trashiness to it, plus there was a lot of construction going on.

However, once you make it into the actual market, it’s great.

It’s just getting through shark infested waters.

I’m bad with pushy tourist scam artists and crowds and what feels very edgy and compromised.

I also recognize that I am sensitive and it takes a lot of work for me to shut out that kind of lifestyle and edge.

I used to do it pretty damn well, but truth be told I haven’t had walls up that high in a bit and it felt exhausting and I was a little ashamed that I wasn’t able to keep it better together, apologizing to my friend too much for how I was dealing and it just left an uneasy taste in my mouth.

But.

I did have fun in the market itself, I saw some beautiful things and actually bartered a little bit with a vendor and got 10 Euro knocked off a pair of vintage earrings.

Scoring them for 20 Euro instead of the 30 Euro listed.

Great deal.

Especially considering that the other pair of earrings I had seen that I was very drawn to were 1750 Euro!

Of course they were, but my god, so gorgeous.

I also had a sweet chat with the woman running the stall and it felt nice to be able to at least tell her that I was so grateful for her time showing me her beautiful jewelry and I felt pretty damn good about remembering the word for earrings in French.

The longer I was there the more came back, although when I got tired, which was often, I don’t think I actually ever got a big full eight hours of sleep, I would lapse in the quality of my French.

Still.

Overall.

I think I did pretty good.

And though Clingancourt was a challenge for me, I can say, I did it, and I also got a very cool poster, a 1955 Scandal sheet, that I was able to score for 10 Euro.

Felt fun to do that.

Although I ended up missing seeing a few people I had hoped to catch up with, after I got back from the market I was too zonked out to try to do anything else.

I sat on the prow of the houseboat and I wrote awhile in my journal and just enjoyed the hell out of the sun.

Super grateful that my last day in Paris was sunny.

Not as warm as I might have liked, but really nice.

And.

After I got packed and sorted a friend and I went out to grab a bite to eat and I decided to get dressed up a little for my last night in Paris and wear my earrings and put my hair up and if only for that I am super glad I went to Clingancourt, my earrings were such fun to wear.

It was lovely to take one last walk along the Seine, to see all the folks lined up at the Musee D’Orsay, to window shop a little, and oh God, yes, get one last little souvenir for stuffing into my suitcase.

Or, as the case may be, for wearing around my shoulders.

I picked up a gorgeous black cashmere (my first cashmere) wrap from this beautiful little shop.

I met the owner and chatted and she called me out as being an artist and then showed me the book her little sister had just gotten published and then told me about Nice and Picasso and Miro and art and al the artists that used to come through their home–the photograph of the book her sister wrote is the woman as a young girl with Pablo Picasso making faces at her.

It was super sweet and she asked me for my information so she could follow my blog.

Which frankly was an interesting moment, when she asked if I was an artist and I am, I’m a writer, a poet, a dreamer, an arranger of colors and sounds and atmospheres in myself, but when someone asks me if I am an artist I always seem to have a moment where I pause and think, no, no, not me.

I’m not really an artist.

But.

I am.

I write poetry and once in a while it is good.

And once in a while I will write a blog that makes me think, yes, I got it, that was art, that was beauty.

But do I paint or draw, no, not so much, do I make music, nope, although I do aspire to be lyrical in my writings.

Nevertheless I gave her my blog address and for a moment I was again a woman artist in Paris, talking art with another artist in a beautiful shop full of soft, delicious things to touch and wrap around me.

It was a comfort on the plane to have the cashmere wrap and I don’t doubt that I will wear it often.

Sensual and soft, warm and engulfing.

All the lovely things.

And now.

My darlings, my dears.

It is time for rest.

I must be up early and I have been going for 24 hours.

Good night my dears.

From a very.

Very.

Grateful.

And.

Lucky girl.

Ooh La La

May 19, 2017

Je suis fatigue.

I am tired.

I was up at 6 a.m.

I couldn’t sleep.

Oh.

I tried.

But gave up the goose around 6:20 a.m.

I popped up and decided to head out to a spot over by the Arc de Triomphe to see some fellows this morning at 8 a.m.

I arrived with plenty of time and was able to grab a quick cafe creme at Comptoir de L’Arc, a little cafe I got turned on to by a friend when I lived here four and a half years ago.

And!

I got a message from that friend today, she’s going to be in town for a quick visit and we are going to meet up at a spot tomorrow with a few other fellows, hang out, do the deal, and go to some French fellowship after.

I am super excited.

I may be super exhausted, but I’m going to sleep when I’m dead.

Or.

Perhaps after I write my blog.

I really did make a big run on the day.

Up so early I felt like I got a scandalous amount of things done today.

One of which has been on my list of things to do in Paris that I never quite got to the last few times I was here.

I went to Marche Aux Enfants Rouge this morning after doing the deal.

I bought cherries and Belle Pomme de Boskop!

My favorite apples in Paris, I believe that they come from Belgium, but they are the apples I used to buy at the market at Square D’Anvers when I lived next to it.

I took my booty to the park nearby, Parc du Temple, sat on a bench and watched the children play in the playground and the ducks paddle about in the pond.

It was spectacular.

Quiet.

Serene.

I had a moment, a Paris moment, and I almost laughed out loud, this, this sitting still on a park bench in a quiet park, off the beaten tourist track, in a sweet neighborhood in the 3rd Arrondisement, may have been one of the highlights of my trip.

It was so serene.

Sometimes a girl has to fly around the world to sit still.

I’m sure I’ll have other opportunities to sit still, although perhaps not tomorrow, as a friend and I are heading to Clingancourt early, but I will give it a shot.

Speaking of friends.

There is nothing, and I mean, nothing quite like bumping into a friend at random in the Marais.

It was amazingly serendipitous.

We walked all over the Marais, chatted, caught up, window shopped.

And.

Ha!

I got my Paris sweatshirt!

Except.

Heh.

It’s not exactly a sweatshirt.

It’s so much better.

And.

It’s so damn me.

It’s a pink satin bomber jacket that I got to have custom patches put on it.

There’s one on the right arm that says Rue Cambon, 1st Arr.

Rue Cambon is where all the fashion house are.

And.

The patch on the back.

Rue de Mauvais Garçon, 3rd Arr.

Literal translation:

Street of the Bad Boys.

Yeah.

I will run with that.

I haven’t had an impulse buy like that in some time and with that I am pretty tapped to with my spending.

I have gotten all my booty and then some.

In fact.

I am a shopped out, museum’ed out, and just about walked out.

My ankle is holding up and I am super glad I go the walking shoes, and I have been careful to not push too hard.

I can easily go too hard too fast.

Which is why I am very happy that I took time today to sit down and watch ducks for a while.

And despite being tired, which frankly makes it harder for me to speak French when my brain isn’t running on a full nights sleep, I got wonderful compliments about my French several times today, and many times over the course of my time here.

I was told by one person that my French was so pretty and where was I from.

He was shocked when I told him that I was from the states.

“But you have no American accent!”

Thank God.

Not that I’m not happy I’m where I’m from, but it does help tremendously to not have the American accent, there is much that is disparaged here about America and sometimes, well, it’s just nice to slide under the radar.

Not that I slide very far under the radar.

I am still quite noticeable in Paris.

I have tattoos you know.

But.

It’s also nice to be recognized.

I had dinner again at a little place by the Musee D’Orsay on Rue de Bac called Cocorico.

The waiter waved me to the table I had last night, the owner came over and chatted with me and we talked about where I was from, again, surprised that I was from America, with my lack of accent, about me being on vacation, that today I was tired, but happy to be eating in her lovely restaurant.

She asked me what I had been doing and I told her, walking and museums and then I told her about the show at the Orangerie and the amazing installation there and she got excited and said she was going to go.

It was a super treat to be chatted with in such a manner, I’m not a local, but I wasn’t treated like a tourist.

She bought my cafe creme for me and when I went to leave she asked my name, “Carmen,” I said, “comme l’Opera.”

Carmen, like the opera.

“Enchante,” she replied, ” je m’appelle Odette.”

I told her it was such a pleasure to meet her and that I was so happy to enjoy her delicious food and I wished her a good night and a good weekend.

I floated out the door.

It’s the little things.

I felt very special.

Thank you Paris for dressing me up in pink satin jackets and making me feel noticed and loved.

It means the world.

It really does.

Sunshine & Rain

May 17, 2017

I got both today.

Loads of sun this morning and early afternoon.

Perfect for sitting on the deck of the houseboat and writing and drinking cafe au lait, watching the boats go by, flirting with the boat cats–there are three brown tabbies that nestle on the houseboat that is docked next to this one, soaking up the sun.

The rain was forecasted for tonight and the rain will last, according to the weather, but I am hoping there will be small reprieves when the sun comes out again, until I leave on Sunday morning.  There is a chance for sun again on Saturday and I do hope that happens as a friend and I are going to go hit the Clingancourt brocante and vintage market.

I expect that the rain will push me into the Louvre tomorrow to see the Vermeer show and drift about.

I don’t ever have a plan when I go to the Louvre, go in, get out, drop some postcards at La Bureau de Posts–nothing quite like getting the Louvre postal stamp on your postcard.

Slight aside.

I got an amazing congratulations baby card today in my travels about, one that says congrats on twins in French!  Super happy I found it, I will be dropping that off for sure from the Louvre.

Today I did the Pompidou as my museum.

And there was no need to do another.

It filled me up with art.

I saw a Vassily Kandinsky I had never seen before that I quite liked, I love his early works quite a bit, and this fell into that category.

I also saw some beautiful photographs and I took loads of photographs from the top deck of the Pompidou.

I got some great shots of Sacre Couer and also of the Eiffel Tower, the Eiffel Tower ones I am quite enamored with as the storm clouds were coming in dark and fierce.

The down pour that followed was insane.

I had met a friend at the museum and we ran through the streets, well, ok, I didn’t run, not so much, the ankle is getting better, but it is not racing through the wet streets of Paris better, between awnings and eventually we ducked into a Japanese restaurant.

Some hot tea and a little sushi later, semi-dry, and walking back to the houseboat on the Seine in the rain.

Sometimes when it rains in Paris it is fucking desperate and awful.

I remember when I moved to Paris in the winter of 2012 how bad it was, so cold, so dreary, but tonight it was neither, after the deluge, the rains were misty and softer and the streets got that glow from slick water on pavement and the streetlights, green, gold, crimson reflected on the pavement.

So gorgeous.

I got back wet and I had to take a lot of pains to get on the house boat without breaking my ankle, but I did, and I’m dry now and all sorted out.

I took some time to go through my photographs and post those up to my social media and I also took the things I bought today out of their packaging so that I would have more room to smash them all in my carry on.

I am about shopped out.

I spent just about all the money on shopping that I have earmarked for myself.

Um.

Because.

Heh.

I finally let myself buy some French lingerie.

I had to.

I have always wanted to and so.

Well.

I did.

I got two of the prettiest bra and panty sets ever and a body suit.

I couldn’t help myself.

It was trop cher, ma cherie, but I had it in my budget and so I let myself do it.

It felt pretty glorious and truth be told it was really letting myself have a treat.

A treat that I continued to let myself have by also getting a few more Claire Fontaine notebooks and some makeup from Sephora.

Yes.

There is Sephora in San Francisco, but I wanted to buy some here, I try to get a thing or two from the Paris Sephora since it was in Paris in 2002 that I first discovered the makeup store.

I bought a lipstick and some Urban Decay eye shadows.

Sure.

I paid a few Euro more than what I might have at home, but every time I use it, I will think of Paris and that is well worth the cost.

And.

Yes.

I got my tattoo!

C’est très superb!

I got the French word for non-conformist on my left forearm.

“Anticonformiste.”

In script.

It is super pretty and fits well with my other tattoos.

I had fun talking to the artist, Manish, who is visiting from Nepal.

I also got to have some cute conversations with a few gentlemen who walked into the store to get tattoos, one older man who was quite excited by my dragons and then proceeded to show me the one on his arm, beautiful work, and we chit chatted in French about tattoos for a while and where I got mine and how much fun they are.

All the fun stuff.

I have had such a lovely time.

And I still have a few days left for some more.

The rain speaks to me of sleeping in and a slow serene day at the Louvre tomorrow.

A demain, mes amies.

Et.

A bientot!

Museums A GoGo

May 16, 2017

Today I hit the Jeu de Paume and the Musee D’Orsay.

I am not museum’ed out.

Yet.

But I will be pacing myself.

The crowds were pretty thick at the Musee D’Orsay, and thank God for the Paris Museum Pass, so nice to just pop to the front of the line and not have to be herded through the main gate.

They had a beautiful exhibition with “Etoiles” as the thematic, “stars” lots of Van Gough, Monet, even Georgia O’Keefe, there were artists I had never seen and pieces that resonated so deeply with me, my breath caught in my throat and tears welled in my eyes.

Or every hair stood on end.

One of the Van Gough’s so blew me away, deep and visceral in my body, I caught my breath.

It was deeply surrounded by viewers and I got as close as I could withstand the crowds and breathed in the beauty of it.

I tried to look for postcards later in the museum shops that were of the same piece and I was disappointed, the flatness of the card did the painting no justice and I could not bring myself to buy one.

I did, however, get my museum shop on.

I do love a good museum shop.

I bought a book for one of my charges and postcards and a cloth sack for myself and a magnet of a Klimt piece that I saw in the Etoile ensemble that did translate from the painting to the magnet.

I took lots of photographs and I stopped and sat and periodically rested.

I went all the way to the top of the museum and caught the perspective from the interior, and from the exterior.

I got some pretty pictures.

I am quite happy.

I am a bit of a shutterbug.

I am not sure if I am going to post them up to my other blog or not, I’m thinking, as I continue further with my schooling and career goals that I do have to change-up some things with my blog.

I still haven’t quite figured it out and while I’m in Paris I’m not going to worry about it.

I really just want to enjoy my leisure time here, I am slowed down quite a bit, even with my ankle feeling better.

Tomorrow I will return to the Marais, I have a tattoo appointment at 3:30 p.m. and I will hit the Pompidou either before or after the tattoo.

I also may pop around the shops and do a little more window shopping.

It’s awful fun to do.

I am doing well with my finances and there’s a few things I still haven’t gotten to get, but then again, I have really done so well with what I wanted to get that I am alright if I don’t score a bunch of souvenirs.

I have to be careful, I only have so much room in my luggage.

I bought a poster today that I’m not real sure how the hell I’m going to get back.

But.

I had to get it.

When I was at the Jeu de Paume they were having a sale in the library and one of the prints that was on sale was from the Marilyn Monroe, Phillip Hausmann exhibition that I went to Christmas of 2015.

I had to buy it.

When I had seen the original print it was 25 Euro.

Today it was 2 Euro.

Um.

Yeah.

I’ll risk transporting that.

Especially since the bag that I had gotten with the same image was destroyed soon after I got back from the trip with pink hair dye.

Oops.

I have a magnet of the same image, Monroe barefoot in a black cocktail dress leaping up in front of a cerulean blue backdrop.

Her face and the bare feet really got me.

The blue background is brilliantly done as well too, it highlights the blonde blond of her hair and the cream of her skin and the bare feet, something so tender and vulnerable and real.

I love the photograph.

I’ll see if I can scare up a cardboard poster shipping container.

I’m sure I can pick one up at the post office.

But what with the numerous notebooks, the gifts for the children I work for and the new dress I don’t have much space left for stuff in my carry on.

I put back a Diane Arbus book that I was sorely tempted to get and resolved that I would get something else.

I have always loved getting earrings, so I’ll grab a pair and I do want to get a hat.

Hats from Paris are the bees knees.

Just saying.

I also will be bringing home a tan.

I have been out in the sunshine all day and it was glorious.

A bit hot, but so good.

Tomorrow it is supposed to be 83 degrees, today was the same.

Then rain is forecast for the rest of the time that I am here and the temperature is going to drastically drop.

So.

Tomorrow.

Sundress time.

Lots of pictures while the light is good and a new tattoo, a visit to one of my favorite museums and of course.

Cafe creme.

I mean.

When in Paris.

Do what the Parisians do.

Right?

Hello Again

May 8, 2017

I have been remiss my friends.

I have not been keeping up with the blogging.

I did post last night.

A poem.

But I had no energy after the emotionally exhausting day of classes.

It was a big school weekend.

A lot of deep work.

So much.

And it’s all great stuff.

But.

Fuck.

A girl could stand a break once in a while.

I did get to see my friends a bit more than I have in the past school weekends.

I had a girlfriend dinner with two of my favorite ladies in the cohort on Thursday.

We met at Mazzat, a Lebanese restaurant in Hayes Valley after I got out of work and had scootered home to let in my friend who was hanging in the Outer Sunset waiting for me to get back from work.

She needed to drop off her overnight stuff.

We were having a slumber party.

Hence no blog Thursday night.

It is just not a nice thing to do, I have a small place and I wanted to be a good host and although my friend did encourage me to write, I didn’t feel that it was necessary.

All my delicious catching up and being with her and our other French friend in the cohort at dinner had filled me up, made me happy, completed my experience for that day and it was more important to crawl into bed with my friend and whisper and chat and talk girl stuff.

God.

It’s nice to have girlfriends.

She is like a sister to me and we have pretty much connected to each other since the first week of retreat our first year.

God damn.

I am done.

DONE!

With my last weekend of classes.

I am officially now a third year student.

Holy shit.

And.

Oh, thank you sweet Jesus.

I went to the financial aid office this weekend and sorted out my aid and my package and the lady in the office was super kind and accommodating and it was all done in five minutes.

Such a help.

And I am so grateful to have that settled.

I should be getting enough that I can pay for the tuition for my summer school practicum and for the supervisor and have a bit left over, about $1400, which should cover my costs for out-of-pocket therapy for the summer.

That’s the plan.

It felt so good to get that taken care of.

In other housekeeping stuff.

I e-mailed the bookstore when I got home from class today and listed the books I’d like to sell back, some of which the awesome manager at the bookstore had told me when I was selling back in the fall, to hold off until spring, that I would get a better price.

So.

Fingers crossed.

A few bucks in my pocket this week.

Always handy when a lady is getting ready to travel.

OH.

MY.

GOD.

I leave for Paris in four days.

Four!

I am so excited.

It is finally here.

I have three days at work.

I have to go tomorrow and meet with my supervisor before work and I am hoping that I will be able to run a few quick errands before heading to work.

I need to pick up a few travel toiletries.

I went grocery shopping today after class to pick up some essentials to have in the house for the next few days, as well as to have some things for myself in the freezer when I get back from France.

I bought a new neck pillow for the flight as well at the co-op in my neighborhood.

It felt super fun to tuck it on top of my roll on suitcase.

This trip to Paris will make it number three for this particular suitcase.

It has also taken me to London once, Rome once, New Orleans, Anchorage, Minneapolis, Madison, New York twice, Orlando, and Los Angeles.

It’s a damn good piece of luggage.

It may need to get replaced soon, one of the wheels is getting a little wonky, but having had it for seven years, I think, that’s not bad, and I’m sure I’m forgetting a trip or three that it has taken that I didn’t list above.

No.

I have not taken it to Burning Man.

Ha.

That is the one place it does not go.

Soon it shall come out of the closet and get filled with clothes and shoes and stuff and things and I will be heading out the door to SFO to London to Paris.

The only small fly in the ointment is that I got a slightly changed flight out of London to Paris, and now I have a bit of a layover in London, so I won’t get into Paris until 5p.m. on Friday, May 12th.

I was supposed to get in around 10:30am’ish.

Oh well.

I will probably save myself some travel hassle from Charles de Gaulle and just take a cab to my hotel.

Mama Shelter.

There is a music venue across the street that my Parisian friend told me about today, Fleche d’Or.

I may go check it out after I get checked in and settled.

Could be a fun, spontaneous first night in Paris sort of deal.

I was thinking I would get myself to the hotel, check in, unpack a few things, hit the shower and go out into the city.

I will grab dinner, somewhere in the neighborhood,  Les Desnoyez or perhaps Le Baratin.

I mean.

I sort of want my first night in Paris to be special.

A lovely hotel with a rooftop terrace.

Music at the club.

Dinner in a French bistro.

A walk past Pere LaChaise in the evening.

Oh.

The things I am going to do.

I am excited.

And as the weekend is wrapping up and I just turn around and head into the work week I know it will go fast and before one can say “croissant” I will be leaving on a jet plane.

I am so ready for it.

Seriously.

 

 

Letting Myself Get Excited

May 3, 2017

I think today it finally sunk in that I am really going to go to Paris soon.

Like I fly out next Thursday.

It has a lot to do with the being done with my papers.

It also has to do with clearing up some housing issues and having all my places situated.

One of the spots I’ll be staying in is actually a place I have stayed in before.

Mama Shelter.

I stayed there when the hotel first opened in 2007.

I got a stellar deal on it since it was new and in a somewhat, not now, but at the time, dodgy neighborhood.

But it was perfect for me.

It reminded me a lot of the area of the Mission that I lived in, dodgy, but charming, easy to navigate and really not a tourist spot.

A bit off the beaten track.

But a very lovely part of off the beaten track.

109 Rue Bagnolet.

It’s in the 20th arrondissement, predominately still a very working class neighborhood.

Not really central, but two, three blocks, five-minute walk to the Metro line 2 and near Pere LaChaise and my very favorite books store Le Merle Moqueuer.

There’s also Le Chat Noir, where I have done open mics, and Rue Denoyez which has some fantastic graffiti and mural art.  I mean there’s some fantastic artists in the 20th, I have a lot of photographs of murals and graffiti from my many walks through the area.

I’m only there one night, though, then staying with a friend in a more central location.

So I’ll get my gritty “real” Paris feel for my first night and rendezvous with my old haunts and cafes and libriaries  before heading toward central Paris for the rest of the trip.

I am so excited.

I was talking about my trip today with my therapist and how it came about and challenges I have had in the past with female friendships and how excited it was to have planned this trip with my French friend in the cohort, how happy I am to have her as a friend and how I have a tough time saying what I need in relationships with women.

I didn’t exactly have the best modeling around female relationships.

We talked about how important my friendships are and how I often feel a bit lonely, so many of my friends have moved out of San Francisco and I have said goodbye to many precious ladies.

I will say good-bye to more as the school year wraps up this weekend and I won’t see some faces until next fall.

And.

Some faces I won’t see at all.

I am sad for that, I will be crushed when my dear friend moves back to Paris, but then again, what a fabulous excuse to get me to go back.

I assure you I will be visiting her a lot.

We have already tentatively talked about next May and I am sure there will be many other trips to Paris to see her sweet face.

And there will be this trip to Paris.

I decided to even let myself do the super uber touristy thing.

Something I have disdained from doing, but um, actually sort of want.

A Paris black zip hoodie.

My friend that I lived with in Paris had one and I secretly loved it but I couldn’t ever bring myself to buy one, somehow it just felt too hokey.

But I realize.

I want one.

So.

Heh.

Expect to see some photograph of me in the near future sporting a black, zip hoodie with Paris emblazoned across the chest.

Fuck it.

I’m only going to live once.

I have also gotten an idea of what I want for my Paris tattoo.

Anticonformiste. 

In script on my left forearm.

I definitely am not someone who conforms much.

Whether physically, emotionally, or spiritually.

I often find myself doing things differently.

I am also smitten with a monologue on the Bon Entendeur music app that I have on my phone which has actors speaking about moments in their lives, scripts, films, revealing moments, then it’s woven into the tracks, deep house, chill, electro, and one of my favorites that I have been listening to a lot is Astier, Anticonformisme.

The track list is so good.

Astier starts out talking, in French, about how his mother was always drawn to certain people, neither rich or poor, of a certain temperament, that tend to buck the system, to be artists, lovers, musicians, humans, and how he admired this trait in his mother and how she brought him up to appreciate the creative.

I love the monologue and the music is just so good, I’ve been listening to it a lot to have French in my head for the trip.

I will probably queue up Amelie as well as Je t’aime Paris, soon, they are sort of my go to movies to get my ears back into French.

I digress.

Back to my tattoo.

I just thought, what a fucking awesome idea for a tattoo, which is anti-conformist thing to do, getting a tattoo, and it speaks to me, speaks to me of my love for French house music and electro, of being an artist, of doing things outside the box.

I am pretty sure that’s what I am going to get, but I’ll leave it open.

I am going to get a tattoo though.

And yes.

Ha.

My sweatshirt.

Hey, I live in the Outer Sunset, often a land of heavy chilly fogs, I need another hoodie.

I only have three.

Heh.

Oh Paris.

All the things we shall do together.

I am counting down the days.

I am watching the weather forecast.

I am planning my outfits.

I am greedy for you, my love.

I shall be seeing you soon.

Oh.

So.

Soon.

Yes.

 

I’m Done!

May 1, 2017

I’m done!

I’m done!

I am done.

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

That was exactly my experience.

Almost spooky how it wrote itself.

Nine pages, 2,832 words.

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

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

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

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

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

It all happened.

It all got done.

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

Holy shit.

I haven’t done that in a while.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I can take it easy the rest of the weekend.

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

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

I made it through!

God it feels good.

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

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

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

I am grateful for my hood.

Seeing people I know, being seen.

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

I had a date as well.

We went to Thai Cottage.

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

I am actually quite proud of myself for that.

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

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

But I went in and out of being interested.

The kissing was nice.

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

I’ll have to go on another date.

I’m not usually this ambivalent.

It’s usually a yes or a no.

This guy is a maybe.

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

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

And next week.

Paris.

Oh my God.

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

It’s not so surreal.

It’s happening.

I am so very excited.

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

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

He asked me to send Paris a kiss from him.

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

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

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

There will be plenty for me to do.

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

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

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

No stress for the rest of the week.

Just showing up for my responsibilities and recovery.

For friends.

And fun.

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

I got my papers done!!

So.

Over the moon.

Seriously.

Number One

April 25, 2017

It’s official.

I have logged my first hour of supervision towards my MFT License for the state of California.

Only 2,999 to go!

Heh.

I’m so happy it’s hard to believe that I could be this excited about having to work so many more hours, free, mind you, or not free if you consider how much I have taken out in student loans to pay for the Master’s in Psychology degree that I am working on, but excited I am.

I also just set up my Track My Hours account, which is a BBS (Board of Behavioral Sciences) approved way of tracking the hours needed to get the license.

It’s happening.

I will be tracking solo supervision with my off site supervisor, once a week.

I met with him today and we talked about being in service to the client, tracking my hours, figuring out what my record keeping was going to be like, confidentiality, my time off for the week I’m in Paris (I can only miss two supervision dates for the semester, Paris will be one of them and Burning Man the other, at least for this semester), and what I want to think about or questions I may have for our next session.

I’ll meet with him two more times before I start taking clients at my internship.

There I will be accruing the majority of my hours for practicum, solo one on one client hours, child hours, couple hours, group hours.

I will also be tracking my own therapy hours, since my program requires I do 50 hours of personal therapy with a licensed MFT as well.

Tomorrow will be my fifth time meeting with her.

I am actually excited to share about getting my first hour of supervision today and what that feels like.

Exciting.

Exhilarating.

Happy.

There’s a very long way to go but I know that I need to acknowledge this milestone, it is a big one, my first hour.

It’s like the first dollar of a new business.

Especially as this is going to be my career, this is what I am doing, this is what I am, a psychotherapist.

I will be licensed and I will have a private practice.

I will also go for my PhD, because, well, I can be of more service in my community, I might as well, as my supervisor at my internship is supporting me in that endeavor.

And.

Ha.

Dr. Martines has a really fucking nice ring to it.

Don’t you think?

I’m really thrilled right now and happy.

I still have loads to do this week, two more papers to write, some more work to get out-of-the-way, but it’s happening, this is happening, one little hour at a time.

One day at a time.

Showing up and suiting up and learning.

God damn.

All the learning.

I also received a verification e-mail from my Couples Therapy teacher, my final paper made it to him.

Grateful that’s out-of-the-way.

And I got a small present, from me, to me, in the mail.

My perfume in a small travel size that I can take with me when I go to Paris.

I ordered it because I knew I would want to smell good when I’m there and it’s another little carrot for me to get the work done so I can go.

I am going to need every single second of that ten days in Paris because life is going to get really full once I get back.

I start my internship the day after I return from Paris.

I will be jet lagged as fuck, but I will be there.

I will also be in supervision that day as well, and a full day of work, and all those things.

I however will be fine.

Ten days in Paris.

So close I can taste it.

I can hear it.

I was talking to my supervisor today about it, he asked where I’m staying, how much French do I speak, what will I do.

I mean.

What won’t I do?

But first.

Here and now.

Therapy in the morning and work and having a conversation with the mom about hours for summer, the kids will not be in school and she wants me to start earlier.

And work more hours.

40 instead of 35.

I’ll be able to do it since won’t be in school.

Neither here nor there, yet.

Just on the horizon.

Day to-day I have my marching orders to get through what needs to be taken care of.

Travel perfume.

Check.

Passport.

Check.

Cute sandals for walking around Paris?

Check.

Place to stay?

Check.

I’ll be grabbing a museum pass at the airport when I fly in and I’ll be off and running, well, walking, one strolls through Paris, not runs, unless one is there to run the marathon, which I am not.

The only marathon I am going to be doing is how many museums can I get to in one day.

If done well, I can get the Jeu de Paume, the Orangerie, and the D’Orsay in one day, they’re all rather close together and accessible.

I can do the Louvre, or not, although if I have the pass I probably will, in one day, and there’s so much that to do anything else except drink coffee, is probably too much.

I’ll do the Pompidou on its own.

I’ll hit the Musee Moderne and the Palais de Tokyo on the same day, they’re right next to each other.

I might go to the Rodin museum.

I will absolutely get myself out to the LVMH that Frank Gehry designed.

And I think I may hit the Musee Marmottan Monet.

Aside from that, walks in the Marais, markets, and Claire Fontaine notebooks.

Oh.

Heh.

And a tattoo.

I will want to do that too.

Perhaps something to commemorate my first hour of supervision.

Yes.

I rather like that idea.

Anyway.

Off to have some tea and get a little rest.

I have much to do.

And do it I shall.

HOUR ONE LOGGED!

Heh.

Sorry.

Just had to say it one more time before I turn in.

It’s kind of a big deal.

 

What The Fuck

April 13, 2017

Are you doing to yourself, kid?

I literally had a Cher from Moonstruck, “SNAP OUT OF IT” moment this morning.

I got up with my alarm, grateful to see that the rain was clearing and that I would be able to ride my scooter to work.

Ah work, back to work, it’s been a minute, is it time to go back already?

Yes, dear, glad you enjoyed your days off, time to hit it again.

I made a nice breakfast and had some coffee and I was just about to settle into some writing when I had this great idea to check the school website and find out about summer classes.

Like which ones I should register for, what I need to have to get to the next step, you know, keep progressing.

Note to self, as it was brought up by a dear friend in the cohort, “you’re planning on taking summer school and practicum?!”

Um.

I was.

Sort of.

I mean.

I had no idea what compelled me, fear, oh, yeah, fear, I forgot, hahahaha, to go online today and blow almost all my morning writing time on trying to figure it out.

Figure it out never works for me, and yet, there I was neck-deep into the figuring it out.

Getting more and more over my head, and without even realizing it, panicked.

Why did I take the last two days off, I should have been dealing with this, I don’t know what to do, I’m fucked, the system is fucked, why hasn’t my advisor responded to my e-mail, why is the registrar so stupid, what is wrong with the….

Whoa girl.

Back the fuck up.

I sent a friend a text asking about the summer courses, she’s always so on top of it, and I got a lot of information back, none of which I was able to assimilate or understand and when I read one of the texts I just about lost it, there was too much, it was too much, I can’t do this.

Do what?

Self-inflicted idiocy, getting myself all worked up over nothing.

I could feel the fear rising in my body and getting stuck at the top of my chest and trying to ride up into my throat.

Very grateful I caught it when I did.

Stop.

Slow down.

Breathe.

Look around.

You are sober, you’re dressed in nice clothes, they are clean, you just ate breakfast, you have coffee, lunch is packed, coffee for work is packed, your hair is done, you have makeup on, the scooter is ready to go.

You are fine.

Breathe.

I started to ignore texts that were still incoming from a number of places.

I don’t have to engage if I don’t have the space.

Then I looked at the time.

Shit.

I had wasted 45 minutes of my precious morning routine on this fuckery.

I hopped up, did the dishes, took out the trash, organized my things, turned my phone to silent and sat and wrote.

Rent is paid.

My phone bill is paid.

I am ok.

I paid for my scooter insurance for another six months.

I have paid for my Healthy SF for the next three months.

I am fine.

I am enough.

It is enough.

I have my practicum placement.

I have a therapist.

I have supervisors.

I don’t need to know what electives I could take for summer.

I can take them in the fucking fall.

If I wasn’t doing the internship I would have the god damn summer off from school.

So relax.

You are ok.

All I had to do, all I have to do, I told myself, was show up to work alive and on time, stay sober and show up tonight at my commitment.

Oh.

And maybe put some gas in the scooter.

I could do that.

When I got to work I was relaxed, had calmed down, and was able to respond to a message from a friend who is going to Paris in May with his wife and two boys about some friends I have in Paris and where he could meet them.

It was nice to stop, get out of my head, and be of service to someone else.

And Paris.

Oh yeah.

That.

You’re going to Paris, doll, in a few weeks, you have a place to stay, you will see friends, there are museums to go to, streets to walk, Metro’s to ride, postcards to write.

I was pretty back to myself and in my body by the time I got to work, which was good, it was full tilt boogie, the kids had missed me, and truth be told, I them, and I got tackled upon my entrance.

“CARMEN! I missed you! I love you! I’m so glad you’re here!”

“Tag! You’re it!”

And it was on.

It was on all day.

The cleaners came.

I made dinner.

I made dessert.

I washed laundry, folded laundry, put laundry away.

I played soccer, Mother May I, tag, hide and seek, good dog/bad dog (the four-year olds made up game), cops and robbers.

And last but not least.

I played lots of snuggles and thank God.

I got to play stay at the house and watch the four-year old nap while the older boy went to the dentist.

I played Debussy’s Clair de Lune and folded towels and baby blankets.

I returned the texts and messages I had to return and I chatted with a few friends.

I also acknowledged that I did accomplish some stuff today in regards to school, even if it wasn’t what I had set out to do, I did discover that the school had posted all the weekend dates for the next Fall and Spring semesters.

That was surreal.

To go through the next year and plug-in those dates into my calendar, ending with the last weekend in May 2018, which will be my last weekend before graduating.

Not that I even know when the ceremony will be.

But I will be there.

Summer school or not, the work will get done.

I also finally managed to set up the forwarding on my school e-mail, they just switched over to a new system, so that all school e-mails are sent to my Gmail account.

That was a big deal.

Just taking all the little, teeny tiny steps to get there.

And breathing.

Pausing.

Responding.

Not reacting.

When the fear sets in.

I see you fear, you just want me to be to be aware of all the pitfalls that might befall me.

Thing is though.

Fear is the pitfall.

Fear is the trap.

Faith is my answer.

And it was my spiritual principle.

God has not brought me this far to drop my on my ass.

I am taken care of.

I am.

Seriously.


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