Posts Tagged ‘trains’

How Did I Do All That?

April 17, 2017

I mean.

I am not really sure, but man, it flowed, lovely and smooth from one experience to the next.

Until now.

Sitting here at my table doing my little evening routine, listening to some old school-house music, Tortured Soul, in my bunny slippers, it is Easter after all, with my belly full of warm homemade soup, I am rather astounded.

I am.

I got a lot done.

There is still so much more to do, I have so much paper writing yet to attack, but I know how I am going to handle two of my papers, which is a relief, sometimes just knowing what I am going to write about makes the process so much less stressful.

It’s still anxiety making.

I mean.

I have three papers due.

Yet.

I took a huge leap forward today.

It started slow and it started with not wanting to get out of my bed when the alarm went off, but I knew that danger, and I knew I wanted to go to the earlier yoga class this morning, I had to be up in the Castro to do some homework by a certain point and going to a later class wouldn’t have worked.

And.

I just knew I needed up and out.

The class was hard, but really good and I’m grateful I went.

I had a lovely breakfast here at the house (organic oatmeal with banana, cinnamon, nutmeg, raw cocoa, sea salt, and blueberries; a soft-boiled egg,  and an amazing toasted coconut/almond milk latte) and did some morning page writing.

I checked my syllabus, packed my books, got my notebook, my class folder, and put on some makeup, pulled my hair up in a bun, hopped into my rain boots and headed to the MUNI.

I caught the N-Judah to the J-Church.

I read the entire time.

I finished two chapters in my Trauma reading.

As well as getting into a third on my ride back from the Castro.

I got off the train at the Castro Street Station and marveled with glee at the little rainbow lights lining the escalator.

How I do love you San Francisco.

I do so much.

I strolled through the main drag with my umbrella and my rain boots and smiled at all the fellas in their Easter finery.

I ran a couple of errands then went up to Firewood Cafe.

I met with my person and another friend for lunch then we adjourned to another friends apartment up on Noe and 19th.

God.

Rent control.

How I envy folks who have it.

The apartment is a huge one bedroom with front room, dining room, big bathroom, hard woods, fireplace, huge kitchen.

I was definitely having some apartment envy.

It was the perfect place though, the big couch in the front room, the table, the chair I put in front of the couch.

We all got settled and I started the recording on my phone.

And this time I got it!

I got a half hour session of a Couples Therapy dyad.

“You’re good!” They both exclaimed after we finished the session.

Thank you guys!

It felt really good.

I had a few moments when I was unsure which way to go or what to say, but I didn’t think to hard about it and I noticed my counter transference and actually noted to myself in the session, “hey!  That’s countertransference! Remember that!”

Of course, now, in this moment, I have no solid clue what it was or what it was in regards too, but I knew I had it and I used it in the session and I know that when I go back and listen to the recording again I’ll be able to hear it in the recording.

So happy I got that out-of-the-way.

And while I was on the train riding to the Castro to meet with my friends who were going to help with the project, I had an idea about what to write for my Trauma paper.

Very happy about that.

Part of my “stress” if you want to call it that, is that I need to listen to things again before I write the paper, I can’t just pick up a book or a class reader or an article or my notebook and get the information there.

I have to take an extra step for each paper and listen to a recording, break down what is happening in the recording and use it for the papers.

It is a lot more work than a normal paper for me.

That being said, I feel so much more competent about what I will be writing about and I feel a lot better about the state of my papers.

No.

I did not do any paper writing today.

Although I did write a lot.

I thought about it, but I also didn’t want to stress myself out about it.

If I got to it, great, but that I did so much footwork for the material that will go into the writing, for two different papers, is huge.

I actually accomplished a lot.

Plus.

I got to see two wonderful men in my life who mean so much to me and have a nice Sunday lunch and walk underneath the cherry trees in the Castro and be seen and be helped.

It was truly lovely.

I hopped back on the train and was heading back to the house and my smart feet actually hopped up when I hit Church Street Station.

It was ten of four.

Oh!

I could go check out a spot I used to go to way back in the day.

And I did.

And it was good.

I got to see some folks I haven’t seen in a long time and get grounded and then hop back on the train and come home.

Home.

Home to cook my soup.

I made homemade hot and sour soup today.

I took a large Mason jar of my chicken stock (made from last weeks roasting chicken), 1 bag of large wild caught shrimp, a container of organic tofu that was cubed, a small box of Hen of the Wood mushrooms, a small box of crimini mushrooms and tossed them in my soup pot.

I added a good heavy splash or five of Bragg’s Amino Acids, instead of soy sauce, loads of fresh ground white pepper, some rice vinegar, ground ginger, garlic and sliced in a fat organic carrot and some chopped Swiss Chard (I would have used bok choy, but the store was out and the chard actually worked really well).

I put it on the stove, set it to simmer and then realized it was going to be at least an hour before it was ready.

I could do more reading.

Or.

I could sneak in another yoga class.

Yoga won.

I slipped into the studio three minutes before it started.

It was not Vinyasa yoga, like I did this morning, but restorative.

I could not have done another Vinyasa class.

But restorative, lots of slow, soft, warm stretching, yes ma’am.

It was perfect.

I got back, tasted the soup, oooh, added a little more white ground pepper, lit some candles, put on my bunny slippers and had myself an amazing dinner.

The soup was so good.

Umami bomb.

I am astounded and I have a new favorite.

I am very happy how my Sunday went.

Not upset that I didn’t get the writing done I was thinking I might, but I got the things done that I needed to do and I did exquisite self-care.

Happy day.

I saw friends, chosen family, ate delicious food, did yoga, not once, but twice! Made tons of progress on my homework and walked underneath blooming cherry trees in one of the prettiest cities in the world.

Where I live does not suck.

Nope.

I am the luckiest girl.

I really am.

And now I’m ready for Monday.

Night all.

xoxoxoxo

 

 

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Balance

March 20, 2017

I don’t know how it actually happened.

But.

It actually happened.

I did yoga, visited a friend in the East Bay, hey y’all San Leandro is much cuter than I remember, read four chapters in my Trauma reading–officially finishing the reading for the next weekend of class, listened to a two-hour podcast for said Trauma class, roasted a chicken, and made homemade chicken soup.

What?

I didn’t drive myself crazy trying to do it either.

It all just sort of sweetly unfolded.

I got up and went to yoga and it was good and I stayed pretty present in the class, only running out the door in my brain a few times trying to figure out schedules and such, but mostly I was just there in the studio doing the yoga and breathing.

I did not want to go this morning and I almost talked myself out of it, but in the end, my body won and walked me over to the studio.

My brain was mollified by the rest it got from worrying and I felt good being in my body.

Which my brain tells me will never happen as I don’t have a 22-year-old yoga body, but I do have a 44-year-old body and there was a woman in her 60s today doing yoga, that’s what I love about it, anyone can do it, although, yes, there does seem to be a proclivity for a certain type of person to be doing yoga, I do see a lot of different ages and abilities.

Yesterday there was a woman next to me who was obviously pretty new to yoga and it reminded me how awkward and uncomfortable I was in my first weeks of classes, and it also demonstrated to me that even a woman with what I would in my twisted brains says has a “better body” than me, wasn’t able to keep up with the class and I did.

This is not a judgement, it was just good noticing on my part and it helped me see that even though I am just getting in two classes  week, I’m staying in it and I can see that I have gotten better, even when I think I never will, I have.

And that we all have different bodies, some more flexible, some less flexible, some more balanced, some less balance, and that all of us, at least in that class, are doing the best we can and we showed up.

I am grateful for showing up.

I am also grateful for going over to the East Bay and catching up with my friend.

I miss her.

It’s hard when friends move and the number of folks that I have said goodbye to who have moved out of San Francisco is challenging.

And it’s hard to stay in connection with folks, even if they are just a train ride away.

Living in the Outer Sunset makes it challenging.

I was going to ride my scooter to a BART station and park it and go over, but after yoga, I was jut too tired, and sort of loose in my brain and I thought, screw it, just grab the N-Judah train downtown and take BART from the Embarcadero.

Yes.

It did take longer than had I been on my scooter.

But.

The upside?

I had time to read!

I finished the reading for my Trauma class and was very happy to get off the train in San Leandro and see my sweet friends smiling face from her car as she drove up to pick me up.

God damn it was good to see her.

I got to see her new digs and go for a scenic drive around the hills and have yummy lunch and catch the fuck up.

She understands my conundrum quite well having gone through nursing school.

Grad school is a hard, lonely, hard, lonely, time-consuming, expensive, did I say lonely, road to trudge.

Add work into that mix and it feels like that is all I do.

Work.

Whether it is school work or work work, it feels like work.

Then I realize, maintaining relationships is work too.

And that all this work, it does pay off.

My friends’ a nurse.

I have friends who are doctors and lawyers, lots of nurses too, I know PhD’s in history, I know teachers and filmmakers, I know landscape horticulturists and creative writing professionals, I know someone at Oxford for fuck’s sake.

We have all done this to get somewhere.

The work is work and it is a joy too.

Although, I have to say I appreciate it more, this work, when I make room for the work that it takes to make sure that I am staying connected to my friends and fellows.

That might actually be the most important work there is, might, ha, it really is, these relationships are what gets me through, I couldn’t do this on my own.

I just could not.

Oh.

Sure.

Sometimes I do wish I could, but I can’t and for that I am grateful.

When I tried to do it on my own, well, I fell pretty flat.

When I began to work in concert with others in relation.

Well.

I started getting somewhere.

I want to keep connecting and reconnecting.

I want to keep that balance.

I am not sure what that looks like and for today, well, I don’t have to, I did have it, I did see my friend, I did do yoga, and homework, a lot of it, and I did meal prep, which is always important to me, I did all the things.

And they were nice.

They really.

Really.

Were.

 

 

Stars in My Hair

March 2, 2017

And smiles on my face.

Yes.

I got a few more replacement hair geegaws in the mail yesterday.

So yes, that was me with a sequined star in my hair today.

I had a nice hair day, actually, I had a hella good hair day, happens now and again and it was nice to be out and about with it.

I had a special solo date with one of my charges today.

We took buses and trains.

We walked up and down hills.

And we had ice cream.

Well.

She had ice cream, I watched and smiled at her absolute delight in the ice-cream.

We saw dinosaur skeletons and penguins and giraffes and sharks and butterflies.

We went to the California Academy of Sciences today.

We also visited Claude, the albino alligator and we had lunch at the cafe.

It was just the sweetest day and it was with much pleasure that I recalled all the other times I have gotten to go to the Academy and visit it with my charges.

Today was a stellar day especially since it wasn’t a typical day to be at the Academy, there was no school holiday, there were no class field trips, there weren’t even that many tourists.

A few.

But mostly.

Nannies and charges, grandma and grandpa and a stray dad or two.

It was the emptiest I think I have ever seen the facility.

I have been there on a few days when it is horrendous.

Like.

Oh.

The day after Thanksgiving.

Fuck me.

That was intolerable.

Wall to wall.

Lines like no ones business, even the member’s only line was crazy.

My charge was so overwhelmed I think we stayed for all of a half hour.

I think I ended up taking him to a play ground in China Town that was near where I lived at the time in Nob Hill.

Anyway.

Today was smashing as far as there not being a lot of people and it was special to just be with the one little girl.

She and I get a long rather fantastically at this point and she trusts me and that feels good and sometimes I get the angry monkey, but mostly, I get the “I love you Carmen,” lady who will say it out of the blue, when I am least expecting and shine bright my whole entire day.

I also was just feeling beautiful today, light, clear, clean, lightened and getting to hang out with my little girl charge and her giraffe socks, literally, she was wearing yellow giraffe socks with brown spots and little knobby heads, was such a gift.

Today almost felt easy.

I know it won’t all the time, there are challenges, but I just felt good, at ease with myself and I know that has to do with changing how I am little bit by little bit and seeing what I need to see and letting go of what I can.

Tomorrow is another sunny day.

And another after that.

Then the rain again.

But.

I am feeling ok with it all.

The rain will help me get my paper done.

I have a mid-term that I have to write this weekend.

But I realized that I have a bit more free time than I thought and basically have an entire day open on Sunday.

Oh.

I’ll go to yoga, that’s my weekend warrior (pose) deal as of now with not being able to get to yoga during the week, but aside from that I have an empty Sunday.

I’ll crack out the paper and then be done for this next weekend of classes.

I think that is also why I have been feeling good, oh aside from having done all that inventory and moving on from a situation that was not going to be healthy for me to engage in, breaking an old engrained habit, that, I have done so much reading and homework already for the next weekend that I don’t have any reading to do at all this week.

I don’t know that I have a had semester with this much being done.

I have been far more proactive with my reading and papers.

I also, I realized today, haven’t had any male attention distracting me.

I haven’t had a boyfriend or been dating anyone all that much.

Oh.

I have my eye on someone, almost said something tonight, but his friend was so obviously ready to bounce and he wasn’t alone, it was just too awkward.

Hoping I’ll see him Friday and I think I am just going to say something, at least kill the fantasy and clear the path.

Meaning.

Find out if there is something there, I think there is, I’m certainly flirting enough, and if there’s not, if it’s just friends, then to clarify that.

Less to preoccupy my mind.

And hey.

If there is something there.

Well.

Heh.

That would be cool to find out.

Not that I feel any sort of urgency, which is a good thing, it’s just there when I see him.

There’s a little jazz in the air between us.

I like jazz.

Ha.

Life is nice.

You know what, it really is.

Super grateful for it all.

Sunshine.

Stars in my hair.

Little girls in giraffe socks.

Penguins in the water.

Blue morpho butterflies in the air.

Ice cream cones and naps on the train.

A smile on my face.

And a little kiss of music in my heart.

Thanks San Francisco.

It was a super sweet day.

Seriously.

 

And Then There Was Hail

January 24, 2017

Holy shit was there hail today.

It hailed at least three, four times today.

Hard.

The first was this morning writing and drinking a nice coconut/almond milk latte and thinking about my week and trying to not freak out about school and practicum and stuff.

Trying being the operative word.

What if I sent in a fucked up resume?

Why would he want me?

I don’t want to deal with it anymore.

And I’ve only begun to deal with it.

Then the hail.

Rather jolted me from my place of anxiety.

Oh yeah.

There is only so much I can do today and the most important is to get to work on time and yes, I’ll be taking a car please and thank you.

I took a few deep breaths and yes, I know there is plenty to do, but in that moment, this morning, I had done all I could and it was time to leave.

Slip into the new rain boots.

And really I am astounded at myself for not getting them sooner.

“Your feet are big!” My employer exclaimed.

And I laughed.

Yes, they are big, especially in comparison to her tiny tootsies, but I wasn’t offended in the least, I think that’s a big part of why I never got rain boot before, they make my feet look astoundingly huge.

But who cares?

My God, they keep my feet warm and dry.

And they give me an excuse to pull out all of my tall socks that I normally don’t wear except when I’m in boots at Burning Man.

I have been happily pillaging my sock drawer for the last few days.

I am almost sad to see the rain go.

Almost.

I am hella happy that I will be back on my scooter tomorrow.

It just guts my commute time.

I am very ready for that.

Plus.

It’s cheaper.

I mean, even cheaper than MUNI.

I pay less in gas that lasts me days then for one ride on the trains.

Granted I am grateful for those trains.

I rode one home tonight after dinner with a friend who was celebrating a birthday.

It was a surprise being able to make it, but I am glad I did.

It was good to catch up and have company and talk and hang out.

I am trying my best to say yes when people want to spend time with me.

I went out to tea yesterday.

I went out to dinner today.

Not too shabby.

I did the deal and had a great time there too.

Sometimes everything that I hear is everything that I need to hear.

It was good.

So good.

Everything today was good.

Even getting caught outside with my two charges and getting caught in a horrendous down pour and hail drop.

Thank God we were huddle under a couple of the big palm trees by Mission Dolores High School, the trees gave a bit of shelter and we all were in rain boots and jackets and I had my umbrella, but there was nowhere to go, it was stay put, huddle up and keep the wee ones close.

The crazy hail stopped and we dashed to Dolores Park Café.

Animal crackers and mini pizza for them.

A big café au lait for me.

And a sweet message from the mom and dad, “where are you, we’re coming to pick you up.”

So nice.

We did some puddle stomping before we got picked up.

Nothing says good times like stomping puddles with little ones in rain boots.

Stupid fun.

We got back and played with robots and stuffed dogs and chatted and I am happy to say that I am super glad that I am working this job.

I feel appreciated and though the kids occasionally have a hard time, Monday’s are traditionally hard anyway, by the end of the day we were best pals again.

The dad and I took pictures off the back porch of the rainbow, double rainbows, that happened after one of the hails storms.

The mom and I rescued a hummingbird that had bashed into the sliding glass door of the patio.

The six and a half-year old gave me the “huggies” because he missed me.

The four and a half-year old vehemently defended me to her play time fancies when her brother tried to ensorcell me to the Legos.

It was a good day at work.

It was a good day for easy does it and letting me be enough.

I tried to explain to my friend how it was that it had taken 14 years of rainy season before I got rain boots and it really comes down to that, “I’m not enough, I’m not worthy, rain boots are an extravagance.”

And the truth is that nothing that brings me happiness and warmth is an extravagance.

I mean.

Maybe if I got like fur-lined rain boots, but no, the things that I deny myself sometimes because of that unconscious belief that I am just not allowed for not being enough.

It’s good to see it.

It’s even better to have accepted it.

It’s there, it’s a part of my make up.

And.

The best thing is that with that acceptance I was and am able to now take actions that help me see just how enough I actually am.

I am plenty enough.

There will be times when I forget this, but having accepted that it is a basic part of my make up I can take action to alleviate the symptoms of martyrdom when it trips me up.

Nobody is going to be affected by my lack of rain boots.

Except me.

I won’t be going without again.

It’s too lovely to have dry feet.

And I am allowed that.

Probably.

Most certainly.

A whole lot more.

But for today I will be happy that my boots kept me dry in the crazy last gasp of this winter storm.

Tomorrow there is the sun.

I am ready for it.

And I’m sure my rain boots won’t mind a break.

Shit.

I live in San Francisco.

They will see action again.

Serious action.

I am sure of it.

 

My Bunny Slipper

January 19, 2017

Game is on hard tonight.

I mean.

It’s happening.

And so too, the softest, fuzziest, warmest socks I could pull out of the drawer.

I changed socks three times today.

Will this be the year that I finally buy rain boots?

It might.

Even if it’s just in preparation for the next rainy season.

Especially if I should be staying with my current family, which I plan on doing so, I do like them quite a bit.

I’m out a lot in the elements, I was much of today, going to school pick up, coming home from school with my charge, then again tonight after work, it was wicked.

I was going to hire a car and then the pool cost was over $20 and I was like, fuck that, no, I’ll wait on the train.

And the train was fine, but I got wet again, even with my umbrella and many layers, not having rain boots, my shoes did get wet and when that happens and the cold toes, yikes it takes forever to get warmed back up.

Working on it.

Like I said, the bunny slippers are out in full force and that helps, plus, lighting up all the candles in the house and yes, I just made a nice fresh, hot cup of tea.

Thank God for tea.

I remember when I eschewed it, now I carry the shit with me.

I laughed today when I was packing up my personal bag for work, I am discovering that I need to re-think my bag plan a little, carrying a purse is oh, so very adult, but not really handy I’m finding when I’m out and about a lot in the rain with the charges and taking trains and carrying extra umbrellas and rain jackets and little miniature pack backs and snacks and water and shit.

I’m like a walking snack factory.

My really nice, for me, Hobo purse, is getting beat the fuck up.

So, I decided to switch it out and use one of my messenger bags.

And I discovered a secret cache of tea bags in one of the pockets.

“That’s where that went!” I exclaimed and chuckled.

Now if only I can figure out where I lost my expensive prescription sunglasses.

Yeah.

They are lost.

I think maybe at school?

I carry them in my bag with in a case that I keep a cleaning cloth in and the last time I can remember using said cloth was over the school weekend.

I should give the front desk a call tomorrow.

I may not wear the sunglasses much, but when it’s sunny and I’m outdoors, I do like having them and they were really expensive, maybe the most I have ever spent on a pair of glasses, so yeah, um, I’d like those back.

Speaking of making phone calls.

I called and left a message at one of the practicum sites I am going to apply to.

Hoping to hear back by the weekend and do some follow-up as to what they are looking for in a MFT intern (Marriage/Family Therapist) and what I need to do to apply to the site.

The information on their website says cover letter and resume.

I can do that.

But I also met the person who runs the institute in person at the practicum fair last year, so I wanted to speak more with him, I left the message for him and I’ll be awaiting further instruction.

I will also be working on putting together my stuff, resume, cv, cover letter, this weekend, I have looked over the information the school has up on its website and hopefully I should be able to knock out a decent one before I go into my first open house next Wednesday.

Yep.

Next Wednesday.

A week from today.

I will be attending my first open house at the CIIS Church Street site.

Church and 30th.

Two and a half blocks from my job.

Not bad if you can get it.

Fingers crossed.

I don’t believe that I need a resume and cover letter ready to go for the open house, but I feel like it might be really handy if I did, if it turns out they are willing to accept them in person.

It would feel good to hand one over.

And the site is being managed and supervised by a professor and TA that I worked with last year at the “retreat” in Petaluma before the fall semester started.

I am fairly certain they will remember me and I feel that it would be a good show of my commitment and desire to work with them by having all my materials ready to hand over when I show up Wednesday.

The rain it shall continue through the week and weekend and perhaps this is for the best, drought status and all this last few years, as well as helping me knuckle down and get the work done.

I mean.

I typically do, I’m not too much of a slacker around that, but yes, staying on top of things is nice.

I got my last book in the mail today when I got home and read through the book material that I got yesterday to get me caught up.

So, I’m making some nice steady progress.

And.

I am just about warmed up.

Bunny slippers and tea to the rescue!

Maybe too I’ll take a little time tonight and hunt and peck about for some rain boots.

I just checked the weather.

Solid rain not just through the weekend, but into next week as well.

Sigh.

I am glad I covered up my scooter this morning.

I don’t think I’ll be using her this week, maybe not for a week, actually, if the weather forecast is correct.

Yup.

It might just be time to succumb to the ugly boot store and get myself something to keep my feet warm.

Looking cute can be sexy.

But feeling cold and wet is not.

Feeling warm and cozy, in my bunny slippers, might just be the sexiest thing yet.

Seriously.

You should check them out.

They rock.

Took The Day

January 17, 2017

Off from school.

But not from work.

Monday is Monday and the work week has begun.

The monkeys had off today, Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

One of them had a play date with a school friend and so the oldest and I had our own solo adventure.

We went to the Exploratorium on Pier 15 down by Fisherman’s Wharf.

I have not actually been to it since it moved from the Palace of Fine Arts.

It was awesome fun.

The whole day was pretty much awesome fun.

We rode the bus, we took the train, we caught the F-Market trolley.

Riding the MUNI when I have no objective, no schedule, no rushing, is actually rather a pleasure.

The 24 line has extraordinary views.

The F-Market trolley is historic and just a sweet and awesome adventure, especially on a pretty day in San Francisco with a 6 1/2 year old boy.

We talked trains a lot today.

A lot.

We even got stuck on the F-Market for a while when  the bus in front of us ran out of gas.

I shit you not, on Market Street by the Powell cable car turn around.

The bus just crapped out.

Of course we were stuck, but there was so much to see and explore, most the people got off and went their ways.

Me and my charge stuck it out, explored the trolley car, talked to the driver and eventually caught another bus to The Ferry Building.

We walked around there, hit the loo, got him a banana and me a cafe au lait, then caught the next F-Market to pier 15 and spent literally the entire day there.

We had a blast.

We had lunch there, the cafeteria much better than I was expecting and the view, well fuck, it was basically the span of the Bay Bridge.

Really can’t complain about a window seat right by the water looking at a glorious piece of architecture.

My charge and I ran around all day and occasionally I would sit and just watch him play.

The sweetest was watching him engage with a group, three girls, of just barely pre-teen or tween girls who had still enough playful enthusiasm to be taken with my precocious charge and his directing the play.

I watched and it just melted my heart.

I had no need to do anything, not check my phone, or corral or coerce, I just sat and watched them play.

My charge had told me about his recent crushes on girls and he was in 7th Heaven.

I wasn’t going to ruin the moment for him at all.

The only interruption was taking a photograph that all the girls were happy to comply with.

Such sweetness and generosity of spirit and simple joy.

It was just such a nice afternoon and really nice to take a break from school work and reading and getting my syllabi in order and my practicum stuff.

That being said.

I have my next readings outlined for Couples Therapy and I have them packed in my bag for tomorrow.

I will get some reading done tomorrow, even if it’s just to pick up the kids from school.

I am really digging the getting the kids from school.

It’s nice to have some time out in the world by myself and getting paid for it.

I get to make phone calls and check messages and connect with people.

I feel more seen and I feel that although my schedule has been a little up in the air, and will be for a few months, I’m ok with it.

I’m getting 35 hours a week minimum and when the baby is a little older and mom and dad are back at work it’s going to be 40.

If I don’t work the 35, if they let me go early or ask for me to come in late, I still get paid a minimum 35 hours.

Thank God for regularity and for sustenance.

I am so grateful and I didn’t even have to ask about last week, they paid me for the 35 hours.

Even though I had to call out two days in my first two weeks of work.

So there’s that.

Grateful.

I have had my moments of having to assert myself around my pay and when I receive it and what I get paid for, or don’t get paid for, and it was just easy and light and not weird.

I just took the check and said thank you.

I asked when they want me tomorrow and I got my start time.

I may be taking the middle charge to dance class.

Our own little solo adventure.

And at some point this week, not sure when, I will be taking a short side trip over to The Liberation Foundation on Folsom and 18th and speaking with the director there about the practicum program.

I have an open house to go to next week Wednesday and I want to be on top of the next moves.

Today I just wanted to have it be a Monday at work and not worry about school.

I knew that the most important thing was to show up on time to work and show up for my job, then to show up and do the deal with my people at 6:30p.m. tonight, and that if that was all I did today, that would be alright.

Of course.

I did sneak a few other things in there, some grocery shopping, and some writing, aside from this blog I got a good four pages in this morning.

I wrote a lot about Paris.

I realized how excited I was to be planning a trip there again.

I also realized that I have never really been to Paris in May.

Nope.

Paris in Spring.

Divine.

The first time I went was in 2002 and it was August and it was hot and the city was pretty emptied out, a lot of stuff was closed and did I say it was hot.

Holy shit it was hot and I had not realized that it was going to be that warm and I had not packed great clothes.

The next time I went was in June, 2007.

That time I was sober and smarter and had a much better valise of clothing.

Then I moved there in November of 2012 and was there until May 2013.

But I left on May 1st.

So technically I didn’t really get to experience it.

The last time was last Christmas, 2015, and though it was far warmer than when I had lived there, it was cold and a bit dreary, as Paris tends to be in the winter.

I am so stoked that I will be there in May.

Soft warm nights.

Warm to hot days.

Flowers blooming.

All the trees in the gardens blossoming.

The smell of the city, not too hot yet, but warm and inviting.

Ooh la la.

I am looking forward.

It’s a few months away, but as I have come to see, the days they do go by when I am pre-occupied with school and work and doing the deal.

Paris will be here before I know it.

Until then.

One more evening of reprieve before I dive back into the books.

I do think it only just and fair to let myself have at least a full day off.

Even if it’s not from work.

It still feels like a break.

Time for more tea and a quick video before bed.

Good night.

Sleep tight.

Don’t let the bed bugs bite.

Seriously.

I hear they have big teeth.

Shiver.

 

Unexpected Dance Party

January 8, 2017

I really had not thought that was in the plans for tonight.

I just got back from dancing a good solid two hours at Mighty.

God damn I love House music.

It was so good.

I am going to be stupid sore tomorrow.

I did yoga this morning, ran around all day long and then danced, pretty damn hard, for a good two hours.

I might skip yoga tomorrow and just let myself sleep in.

It’s raining furiously at the moment and I’m thinking I got a good damn work out in, I could be ok with not going to the studio in the morning.

And I’m up late, it’s almost one a.m. and by the time I finish the blog and get to bed it will probably be 2 a.m.

Not that late.

But late for me.

Late for a school girl, a working girl, a busy girl, like me.

I might have been the only person at the club with school books on them.

That’s how I roll up on the club now, bag of text books instead of a bag of blow.

Heh.

I had a pretty good idea that I would be out all day long when I left the house early this afternoon, and I knew I would be taking the BART over to Oakland in the early evening, I figured I might have time to do some reading for school on the train.

I wasn’t expecting to be going clubbing, or I might have left them at the house.

Be that as it may, I did do a little reading, but mostly it was just funny to be out at a club dancing and have all the stuff and things that I carry around with me in my day-to-day life.

But it was worth it.

I got in on a guest list.

Unexpected.

I got free waters all night.

Lovely and unexpected.

I got a ride back from the East Bay to the club.

Totally unexpected.

And.

I got a ride home from the club.

Super grateful.

I mean.

Seriously.

And it was such a turn around from my early experiences in the city with the trains and with Uber.

I have an app on my phone that basically tells me when the trains are running, but this afternoon it was constantly telling me that the train was either stopped or stalled or delayed.

So I took a car to go up to Tart to Tart.

Only to see a train pulling in as my car was pulling up.

Too late to cancel and well, fuck it.

It was a horrible ride and I arrived quite cranky, bad, bad, bad navigation, bad driving, the driver took a speed bump at full speed in Golden Gate Park and I got tossed up in the seat and hit on my head on the roof of the car.

The best part was that the driver shouldn’t have routed through Golden Gate Park, but his navigation directed him there and despite a friendly suggestion that he avoid the park, he did a circle anyway.

Coming out exactly where he had gone in, a nice loop through, a scenic detour, I told myself, be grateful, you’re in a car, it’s a gift, you aren’t wet, you are being carried somewhere, you don’t have to drive, the park is pretty.

Restart your day.

Oh yeah.

That’s a great idea.

So I did.

I just said my morning routine in my head and I started over.

Then I met my friend for a lovely afternoon at the cafe.

We sat and chatted and caught up, she was in Paris over the break from school, and then a walk through the Inner Sunset and lunch.

We parted ways.

I got a manicure.

Then.

The trains, again, running off, I really think that the weather may have had something to do with it.

I got another car.

I needed to make it to the BART to get over to the speaking gig in Oakland.

The driver was not from the city and did not believe me when I suggested he take the left hand lane on Oak instead of the right.

The right feeds to the freeway and always jams up tight.

He argued with me, told me the navigation was right and proceeded to get trapped in the turn lane onto the freeway.

I suggested that he really would have a better time if he got into the left hand lane, he basically told me I was wrong, the navigation knew better, and he was going to stick with the navigation.

I was flabbergasted.

I responded that I have lived in San Francisco for fourteen years.

“I can tell you want to be right,” the driver responded.

“No,” I said, “I want to get to the BART station and not get stuck on the freeway.”

The passenger in the front intervened, “she is right, you are in the wrong lane, and you are going to get stuck going onto the freeway.”

The driver finally acquiesced to changing lanes after the man up front explained it to him.

I was stunned, did I just get a scolding and a talking to because I was a woman telling a man that Google maps didn’t always know the best way to go.

I think I was.

I haven’t had that kind of out-and-out blatant sexism in a while.

And for the first time ever I gave a driver a bad rating.

I had no compunction about it at all.

He didn’t apologize for being rude to me or arguing with me, and even though he was correct, I wanted to be right versus being happy, it was really a jarring experience.

I got out of the car and got to the BART and made it just on time to get to where I needed to be in Rockridge.

The speaking gig went well, I don’t remember anything I said.

Well, I swore a lot, but I tend towards profanity, and I was told it was good.

So that was nice.

Then.

I got talked into the dancing and I just said, fuck it, yes, I’ll go.

Then the ride to the club, the free pass in, the awesome music, the dancing until my knees wanted to buckle and the ride home, all more than made up for a few goofy transportation snags.

It was a really nice way to end a day that had been a bit on the wonky side.

Grateful I got to get right with God and be of service and then to go hang out in the church, the club, and dance and raise my arms and raise my voice and sing and shout and stomp.

God loves music.

Dontcha know?

Seriously.

Music and dancing are spiritual to me and I got right with God.

I got my groove on.

Hella on.

I may also have to get my ibuprofen on before I crawl into bed.

But it was worth it.

Very much so.

Thank you God for House music.

Thank you so very much.

And for always getting me to the church on time.

Always.

Regardless of the navigation.

 

 

Gearing Up

January 7, 2017

For the weekend.

I got stuff to do people.

Places to go.

French friends to reconnect with.

Plans to make.

Plans that may be changing.

I may postpone my trip to Paris in May, my friend won’t be going back the time we had originally made plans on being there together, she’s made some suggestions and we are going to get together tomorrow in the afternoon and hash it out.

Oh.

I’m still going.

There is absolutely no doubt about that.

Just that the timing may be different, more toward late summer or fall.

The entire point of the trip was for us to spend time together, she’s from Paris and has spoken often and passionately about a Paris I have had glimpses of but not quite gotten to see.

She wants to show me and I am all in.

We just have to push it back a little bit.

Once we have figured that out I will look at making my other travel plans, Puerto Rico.

I may take a few days and go there in May, swap out the timing on the two trips.

There will be travel.

And tomorrow there will be much get about on the train.

I have parked my scooter and covered her up.

It’s going to rain.

And it’s going to rain a fucking lot.

For over a week.

Oh well.

Before the train I will be going to yoga, I haven’t been all week trying to navigate my new schedule with the new job, but I signed up for the 9 a.m. class tomorrow and I will squeeze in a class on Sunday as well and perhaps one on Thursday, help me get mellowed out before I have my first weekend of classes.

Yup.

That’s next weekend.

I got my second text-book in the mail today.

The stack of notebooks and text books begins to grow once again.

So this weekend will be getting as much stuff as I can done before next weekend’s first classes.

I will do the deal at Tart to Tart with my person tomorrow at noon.

Then a manicure.

Then lunch with my friend.

I’ll probably find a cafe to hole up in for a few hours and crank out some reading.

I’m not going to bother coming home after I do the deal and meet my friend for lunch.

I’m gong to be heading over to the East Bay to a speaking engagement and I figure once I’m out, I’ll be out all day and just get it all in.

Sunday I’m having a lady over to do some work and then I’ll cook for the week and work on my practicum applications.

Because that shit has to get done.

And after next weekend I will be in the doing homework mode.

I mean.

Fuck.

I already am.

I have reading assigned for all my classes.

But after next weekend’s round of classes I will also have the papers and the projects that inevitably follow a weekend of classes and I have to get my practicum stuff together.

So yeah.

I’m almost, not quite, but almost, grateful for the rainy days.

I will not be out running amok.

Not that I tend to anyway when I’m getting prepared for the school weekend.

But you know.

Easier to sit still when it’s rainy and cold.

I do wish that it passes quickly and that it clears by the weekend so that I can ride my scooter to school or even to a day or two of work.

It is just so much faster than the trains.

I finally figured out the fastest way to work today.

I found the magic through streets that get me from Diamond Heights to my spot in Glen Park.

It’s a lot of hills and it’s a little nerve-wracking, but I’m getting used to the commute and it is intriguing to be in a part of the city that I haven’t had much experience with.

It’s funny how a little change in my work location opens up an entirely new part of the city and all the things that I had no clue where there are there.

It’s fun to discover stuff.

And the new job continues to be quite lovely.

I am really going to like it, I am liking it more and more every day.

Even though today was a little hard.

It wasn’t hard because of my current job, it was hard because of my previous job.

I saw the boys today.

Oh, hello tears.

I am super grateful I didn’t cry at the school, but it took some enormous draw of strength to not do so.

I saw the little guy first when I went to pick up my current charges from school.

He was out running around, he and the little girl in the family are in the same class and I figured I would see him, but I had no idea how hard it would be.

Which, you know, is a gift, when someone affects me like that, when I have that kind of depth of feeling, I don’t have to run from it, it’s a gift, it means he meant something to me.

He still does.

He means so much.

I said his name.

He looked at me, and for a moment he didn’t recognize me.

Then.

“CARMEN!”

He flew across the playground and threw himself in my arms (pausing to cry, I’ll be with you in just a moment) and hugged me so hard.

So very hard.

“I missed you,” he said and shuddered and then clung to me even harder, “I missed you so much.”

“I missed you too sweet guy,” I said and squeezed him back.

I set him gently down and asked how his Christmas was and his first week back at school and then I took a few pictures of him with my little girl charge and there was another hug and then he raced off to the playground and that was that.

I hugged my new charge and we got her back pack and bag of stuff to take home and signed her out.

I saw the old mom.

We said “hi,” and she said, “did you see?”

I did.

I nodded.

She told me his older brother was coming out and very much wanted to see me as well.

Ugh.

Slight pause to clean off my glasses.

Tear splatters.

I girded myself for the emotions and took my little girl by her hand and asked her about her day and she showed me the drawing she had drawn for me and then I looked up.

And.

Oh.

God.

His face.

All the emotions dancing across his face.

Shyness, excitement, joy, sadness, he paused and looked at me.

I smiled.

He smiled back.

Then he grinned.

Then he ran to me.

I caught him and lifted him up and hugged him and smelled his sweet neck and tried very hard, very, very, very hard, to not cry.

Saved that all for right now.

Ha.

“I missed you Carmen,” he whispered into my ear, “it’s been two weeks, it’s been too long, when are you coming back?”

“Oh bunny,” I said, and set him down, then I knelt down next to him.

“I missed you too,” I said and brushed his hair from his face and touched his soft cheek, how pale he looked, how sad and sweet and sincere.

“When are you coming back?” He asked me again.

I didn’t get a chance to say anything, the mom came and scooped him up, “we got to go ____________”

“I have to get them to the dentist,” she said, “sorry to rush off!”

“No worries, it was wonderful to see them, have a great weekend,” I said and smiled.

He looked at me, ugh, that look, then walked away with his mom.

I signed out my other charge and gave him a big hug.

“Guess what?!” I said and shook the sads out of my coat sleeves.

“What?” He asked very solemn.

“ICE CREAM,” his sister yelled, “ice cream, ice cream, ice cream, we’re going to go get ice cream.”

And we did and it was jolly fun and it helped soothe the ache in my chest to be with them and giggle and laugh and taste, them, not me, the different flavors at BiRite Creamery, and then sit and watch them devour their cones and then say, hey, let me get a coffee and guess what else, we got time for the park before we catch the train.

It was a good day.

A little sad.

A lot tender.

But a good day.

And I’m grateful for all the feelings.

“It must be hard,” my new mom said to me, when I mentioned that I saw the boys.

“For them, but also for you,” she said.

She’s an insightful person.

We get along quite well, I have to say.

“It was, but it was also good to see them,” I said, I might have been trying to gloss it over a tiny bit to keep myself together as I got my stuff to leave for the weekend.

“You must feel pretty tender, it might be harder than if you had just had a complete end with them,” she added.

“Maybe,” I said, looking at her deep blue-green sea glass eyes.

“But I’ll be ok, and I am so grateful to have made the transition to be with you,” I smiled, “thank you and please let me know how I can help next week, I’m very happy to be here.”

“Mom!” The little girl came running, “come eat dinner.”

Saved by the dinner time bell.

I got another hug from the little girl and a blown kiss from the boy and big, hearty, heart-felt thank you’s from the parents.

It was a good week.

I am glad.

My tears have dried.

And I am glad for both the expression of the emotion and that I can hold a vast amount of love and joy and emotions all at the same time.

I can love and miss the boys.

And.

I can be excited and happy for the new job.

And grateful for all of it.

All the feels.

All the things.

All the love.

Yes, love.

All the love.

It is so very, very good.

Even when it hurts.

Even then.

Seriously.

Train Time

January 4, 2017

I took a lot of trains today.

Five to be exact.

I don’t mind the trains, but man, the extra time to be in commute.

Ugh.

However.

The weather was not conducive in any way, shape, or form, for me to be on my scooter, no way.

If I’m having a hard time walking in the wind and rain, I cannot imagine what being on my scooter would have been like today.

When I got up this morning I basically threw the cover on my bike and settled into the idea of calling for a car.

Except.

My new employer texted and said, hey we won’t need you for another hour, don’t come in until 11 a.m.

So.

I had plenty of time to take the train.

And it was not as long as I thought it would be.

I had guessed an hour and a half to an hour and 45 minutes.

It was an hour ten minutes.

But still.

Considering that on my scooter it would be about 20-25 minutes, it felt like eternity.

I also brought the kids home from school on the train and then rode the train back from work to doing the deal and after that, finally, home.

I feel a little blown out from all the trains.

Granted.

I got a good idea of what one of my duties was going to be picking up the kids from school and I’m grateful for that experience as I will be out in the world and able to have some time away from the house and were it not raining, a trip to the park, to the library, to Glen Canyon, to all sorts of places.

I may have spent a few moments in the bathroom at work crying today.

I won’t say I didn’t.

But.

I know that once I get used to the job and the commute and the newness of it starts to fade, I am really going to like my job.

I am going to have a lot more autonomy, a lot more freedom and a lot more space than I did in my previous job.

I am super grateful for that.

And I also feel so very welcomed in the family.

The mom gave me a big hug tonight when I left, “I really feel like I want to hug you,” she said with her big, spacious, sincere blue eyes.

We hugged.

It was nice.

It is nice.

It’s still hard.

It’s just day two.

It might be hard for a little while.

It might be weird for a little while.

It might be awkward for a little while.

Might.

Ha.

It will be.

And that is ok.

I can see that it will also become easier, when I get a routine, when the family has a routine, hell, the baby is four days old, there is no routine yet, dad’s home from work, friend from out-of-town is there helping with baby, new nanny, first day back to school today, I’m surprised there wasn’t more crazy than there was.

The crazy was mostly in my head.

The family is super warm and very inviting and caring and lovely.

I mean it.

Really lovely.

We haven’t set up the payroll stuff yet and the mom and I talked about that a little bit today when I first came in.

She wanted me to know that should it fall through the cracks this week that I would just get a check and that it would get set up and that I would be taken care of.

She also said that I would get the hours I needed, that they would pay me for the set amount that we had agreed on, even if I didn’t end up working the full set of hours this week, I would be compensated for them.

I felt really good hearing that.

The dad joked that really it was the family that was on the two-week trial and not me.

“What?! You’re going, but we’re having pizza!” The oldest boy told me.

“Will you be back tomorrow,” he asked me, eyes, big, serious, searching.

“Yes,” I said, “would that be alright with you?”

I got the nod.

We had spent easily an hour sitting at the table over looking an astonishing view of down town San Francisco, playing play doh and rockets and building things and smashing things and telling stories.

“Sometimes I forget to eat my lunch, because, um, I’m chatty,” he told me.

He is and it’s adorable.

He’s got a huge imagination, a great memory, and an amazing vocabulary for a six-year-old.

We talked a lot.

Just back and forth and back and forth and read from a book about rocket ships and yeah, that was the last hour of my day, while the parents dealt with a visiting baby nurse and the house guest played stuffies with the little girl and when I checked in with the dad, “I’m just playing play doh, let me know what I can do to help.”

He looked at me and shook his head, “that is the best help you can give us right now.”

Which is nice.

And I feel trusted and that is really nice.

“You’re going to get lots or down time too,” he told me, “when we all go back to our normal lives and the kids are in school and the baby is napping, we hope you will read and study for school.”

Oh my god.

Such a nice thing to hear.

I mean.

Really so nice.

So despite the discomfort of change, even when change is good for me, it can be so disquieting, I know I am exactly where I am supposed to be for this next phase of my development.

I am excited too when I give myself the space to feel it.

It’s just mostly buried under the newness of it all and finding my feet as I get situated in a new home, with new closets and corners and nooks and crannies and things to learn and re-organize in my mind.

All the stuff.

All the things.

And tomorrow.

More rain.

So I think I’ll splurge on a car.

I had enough of the trains today.

Besides.

I’ll be picking up the kids from school on the MUNI and riding that back and forth all week-long.

It’s a quick commute and a little walk and I’m grateful for that as well, I spent a lot of time indoors at my previous job, very grateful for the opportunity to be back out in the world.

I rather missed it.

So.

Embracing the change.

Even when giving into the change makes me feel out of my comfort zone.

I know I’ll be in the sweet spot soon.

I can already see it coming down the line.

Just like the J-Church turning the corner on Church and 30th.

Or the N-Judah coming out of the tunnel at Cole and Duboce.

It may seem far away.

But it’s really just around the bend.

Thank God.

Flirting

November 2, 2016

With the idea of moving.

You thought I was going somewhere else, didn’t you?

Heh.

It’s come up a little recently.

First time was about two weeks ago when I met with my person up at Firewood Cafe in the Castro for dinner and some get right with God.

I had mentioned having a little anxiety about the commute to my new job that starts in January.

If I have to do MUNI it’s going to be screwy long.

It’s doable, two trains, but it feels so across town, and not across town in a direct line sort of way, that I do have some concern about it.

On my scooter I’m always faster than public transit, hands down, but still it’s further away than where I work now and I postulated what it would look like to move back to the Mission.

Or Noe Valley.

Or Bernal.

Or Glen Park.

I’d love a shorter commute.

And I would consider living with room mates for cheaper rent.

I would.

I mean.

I definitely would.

I’ve also thought that I man need more sunshine in my space.

Not having any windows in the in-law has always been a bit of a bummer for me, and yes, granted, I do always say the back door is a big glass door, so I get light, just well, I’d like more.

More light.

Less rent.

Closer to work and school.

That’s the hope.

I do like living alone and I do like my space and I do like my landlord and I do like living by the beach.

The fog this summer though was rough and yeah, it would be nice to be back in the thick of the city.

Anyway.

Like I said.

It’s a flirtation.

I have a month to month here and I have few things, really, my space is small and the only furnishing that is really mine is the bed.

The rest of my stuff belongs to my landlord.

I could pack it all up and move pretty quick.

I could probably do it in a day if I was organized.

And I’m pretty organized.

I’m not pursuing anything.

It’s, like I’ve said, a flirtation, but I am a flirt, so I’m putting it out there that I could move for the right situation.

And it’d have to be the right situation, as I’m not interested in working for it.

I’m not putting up an ad on Craigslist, I’m not giving notice to my landlord, I’m not actively looking.

It’s just out in the Universe, hey maybe it’s time to relocate some where more convenient to my new job and my school program.

Especially if I get my practicum internship where I am hoping to get it.

The location I’m vying for is actually only two blocks away from the new job.

It could be oh so handy to live closer.

It really could.

Anyway.

Speculation, flirtation, random thoughts and ideas.

No particular plan of action, no particular need to move.

Just the desire to find something that works better for me.

Sort of like when my current job stopped working for me.

Speaking of.

I got my last check today from my boss for health insurance.

Crazy.

It’s coming.

Seven more weeks.

Then I’m out.

The boys were quite sweet today and I could tell they missed me and they also weren’t as angry with me as they were the last couple of weeks, I think they are getting used to the idea that I am going to be heading on.

We mostly played at the house and did lots of drawings and coloring and making of altars.

They were both very enamoured with the Day of The Dead ancestral honoring and we put together a little altar in the back yard.

The oldest wanted so much to include me, asking me about my grandparents and great grandparents, and whether I had pictures of them that they could use.

I sweetly told him that though I was honored to be involved it was more for his family than for mine, but he was so firm in me participating he chose a fruit to symbolize me.

A persimmon.

I was so touched.

I don’t know why, but when someone notices you and loves you and does something for you in that they have paid attention to your likes, well, it’s mind-blowing.

It made me laugh, this little six and a half-year old knows me better than most of my ex-boyfriends.

I love persimmons.

My counter top in the kitchen looks like a persimmon harvest.

So, on his family altar I am represented with a persimmon; his mom with raw almonds; dad was a container of white sushi rice; his brother was a couple of pretzels; he was an apple.

We also put out a couple of mandarin oranges and a pear.

We put a cup of water on the altar and a candle, a birthday candle, it was too cute.

“Carmen!  We’re missing something,” he said to me.

Well.

Sure.

Liquor and salt.

But I don’t think your mom wants us to break into the booze.

The water will be fine.

Also, incense is nice, but again, mom’s not so much into stuff like that.

“Flowers!” He said, jumping up, “we need flowers, what are those special orange flowers?”

“Marigolds,” I said and smiled, “I bet we could get some at the corner store.”

In fact, you could probably get them on every corner in the Mission, but I wasn’t going to break the spell of magic for him.

“Let’s go!” He said, grabbing his coat.

“Hey, I’m going to go get your brother from Rock Band Land,” his mom came into the kitchen, “want to go?”

“No!  I need to get marigolds for the altar, and mom, pictures get me pictures of your grandmother.”

It was so endearing.

“I’m going with Carmen to the market to get flowers, I’ll see you soon,” he concluded.

And there was something about the ritual of it.

The flowers in a glass jar.

The fruit on a white plate.

The boy arranging them just so.

I felt precious for getting to be a part of.

Sweet.

Included.

Noticed.

Loved.

Me.

And.

My persimmon.


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