Posts Tagged ‘Uber’

One More Day!

May 18, 2016

One more day of work.

Then.

Off to New York.

I have made some decisions regarding my trip.

One.

I am not taking the subway to the Air BnB when I get into JFK at 10:30 p.m. at night.

I don’t feel like showing up to the place after midnight.

I’m going to get a car.

I am going to let myself not worry about navigating the trains, I’m going to let myself have a little experience, see the city from a car at night.

I think the view alone from a car will be worth the splurge.

I am also going with a good amount, obscene it feels like, of money.

I have saved all semester and I have a comfortable little cushion to let myself spend and the luxury of not being anxious about making the right train and transferring to the right line is well worth the cost of a car.

In fact, I’m also going to take a car to the airport when I return as well.

My flight back is way early, 7:30 a.m.

Which is awesome since with the time change it puts me at getting back to SFO around 9:30a.m. and I took the whole day off from work.

I’ll probably train it back to the house from SFO.

I’m hella comfortable with that commute.

But in New York, I’m going to let myself have the experience of not being anxious about train times and getting here to there.

I will take the subway while I’m there, I won’t be on a time frame, it’s loose and flexible.

I want to go to the MOMA, the Guggenheim, the Whitney, but if something comes up and I miss one of those because I am having some other grand adventure, than cool.

I’m going to be flexible.

I um, heh, want some souvenirs, because that’s how I roll.

And I did actually come up with a tattoo piece that I may go have checked out at Three Kings in Green Point.

If I can get it for a good price I will.

If it seems like it would take up too much time and energy then I won’t.

I do want a pair of earrings, or three, a bunch of notebooks, bunch of stickers, postcards from the museums I make it to and what ever the hell floats my boat.

I would love a sweatshirt and I always love getting a hat from the city I visit.

I don’t actually have the one I got there two years ago, I am not sure where it got off to, but I don’t have it.  I do have the one I got in Paris in 2007 and I love wearing it, I am always reminded of the street where I got it, the time of day, and how I just fell in love with it.

I’d like a good New York cabbie hat or fedora.

God damn.

I am excited.

Coffee galore, walking, oysters at a restaurant somewhere, photographs, graffiti, I want to make sure I bring my camera and rechargeable batteries.

I am also thinking about getting one of those brick recharger deals.

I drain a lot of juice on my Iphone when I take photos or when I use it to navigate anywhere.  And if for some reason I’m out and about in a part of town and don’t feel like subway back to Clinton Park, I’ll get a car and that means having my phone powered up.

I will be out on the town.

I will not be hanging at the Air BnB.

That is simply to have a place to sleep and do my blog at night.

I plan on being up and out and going the majority of the time and it would be handy to have an extra bit of juice for the phone.

I met with a lady this evening after work and told her about what I was doing and why and her whole face lit up.

“That’s like bucket list stuff for me,” she said her face glowing.

Girl, if I can do it, so can you.

So grateful that doing nice things for myself helps the women I work with give them the allowance to do the same things too.

Travel was such a dream for me when I was younger and I am so grateful that I am allowing myself more and more to embrace it.

I was writing this morning about where I want to go and things I want to do.

Take the Empire Builder Train Line.

Go to Paia, Maui–see the place where my grandmother was born.

Go to Burning Man in 2017 since I can’t go this year.

Go to Hudson, Wisconsin and see my best friend and her family.

Those are the tops on the list, but there are so many others.

I would love to go back to Alaska and really see it during the summer.

I still want to see Venice and go back to Rome for more than a weekend with more than the 50 Euro I went with.

I am still in awe how that happened.

Rome for 50 Euro.

Cape Town, South Africa.

Toulouse, France–I owe it an amends to be seen truly instead of the drunken, hung over stupor I did it the first time.

So many places.

And you know.

I’m going to go to all of them and more.

Because I am alive, I love myself and I am fucking awesome.

Yeah, yeah, I know.

But for a woman who came from where I did to be where I am at it is only by grace that I am here and I feel like I owe my God the happiness and joy I find in traveling.

It fills me up, it lights me up.

New places, new experiences.

New faces.

New art.

God.

I can’t wait to just cram my face full of art.

I’ll have something to compare the new MOMA to when I get back.

I haven’t been to it yet, not having really had time to what with school and work.

But I will when I get back.

Especially since I won’t have to be doing homework every weekend.

Hell.

I’ll also do some little trips around here.

Why the hell not?

Get on a train and see where I can take it.

Scooter down the coast.

Or up it.

I’m not sure about taking my scooter over the bridges, but I could see going around the coast  a little.

Oh summer vacation.

I am so happy to meet your acquaintance.

Feels funny to say that at the ripe old age of 43, but there it is.

One more day of work and then some play time for me.

I have so earned it.

Seriously.

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Second Wind

December 13, 2015

And I have no idea where it came from.

Maybe the adrenalin of riding my scooter through the Mission and over the hills towards the Outer Sunset on a Saturday night.

Oh.

Yeah.

With the left over drunken idiots of what used to actually be a cool San Francisco treat.

Santa Con.

Look drunk hipster santa with drunk elf in fishnets, get the fuck out of the way, I just came from Psychoanalytic class and I am not interested in either your psycho-sexual dramas or your apparent desire to play out the Death Drive in jumping out into the street looking for your Uber, Lyft, taxi or other vehicle of conveyance.

Get ye the fuck back to the North Pole or wherever the fuck in the Marina you came from.

Please.

And.

Thank you.

It could be that I just had a second wind because I had to take the time to run to the grocery store, I slightly miscalculated my food for the week, no biggie, but without something to toss in my oatmeal in the morning, apple, etc, I was going to be a very sad lady.

So.

I dashed in and out of the SafeWay in the Castro, which was happily devoid of trashed Santa’s and drunk elves, although definitely equipped with a plethora of cranky trolls working the registers.

I got what I needed and jumped back on the scooter and actually made it inside my house by 9p.m.

I have no idea how the hell that happened.

I left class at 8p.m.

Happy to make such a quick trip and feeling adrenalin from the mad grocery dash and the defensive driving back home, I used it and threw in a load of laundry, packed my lunch for tomorrow, balanced my check book, opened and hung up a few Christmas cards and threw myself in the shower.

I am still jacked up.

I didn’t have any coffee past 10:30 a.m.

Although I could have used one and I thought about it.

Nope.

This is pure herbal tea and adrenalin.

I suppose I am just getting the end of the semester, almost there, keep pushing through, last day of classes is tomorrow, shot of energy.

I do hope that it wears off before I crawl into bed.

The last two nights I did not sleep well.

And I thought after Friday’s full day of classes and little sleep I would totally have gotten some.

But I was up.

I had a bit on my mind.

Blocking someone’s number out of my phone and the ramifications of how and when to set some boundaries really came up for me.

I didn’t really write about it last night as I was caught up in the spell of Christmas magic, but yeah, I have had some uncomfortable interactions with a person and through my own fault, I fully concede I let them step all over my boundaries, a situation that I could have rectified by choosing to not engage with the person, well.

It blew up.

Not, I suppose as bad as it could.

But for a minute there with the text messages coming in rapid fire and the tone and quantity of them.

I got a little spooked.

I have a history of having dealt with some trauma around a romantic relationship that turned sour and the man who I had dated and lived with for five years, after a rough break up, started to stalk me.

That continued for two years.

I will not say this person was stalking me.

I just felt that old fear come up.

And I realized that I was the person who invited it into my home.

I was mad at myself.

But then.

After the awareness.

Fast acceptance.

I don’t believe I have moved so fast from awareness of a defect of character to acceptance.

It rolled right through me.

I forgave myself and realized that I had failed to listen to my gut in regards to the person a long time ago and that listening to my gut is important.

I have been listening.

I hear rumblings, but don’t know what they are associated with and then I start to have feelings and those feelings I ignore.

So.

No more ignoring.

And then some action.

I did some inventory.

I erased the messages.

Actually I was busy erasing them as they came in.

I probably erased ten or twelve of them in rapid succession, then I realized I needed to call in the troops and I got on the phone and talked with someone, checked in, got my suggestions.

Got off the phone.

Deleted more messages that had come in during the conversation.

Then gave myself a big pause.

Took a big breath.

Prayed.

And organized my self.

Picked up my phone.

Scripted a very simple text.

Word for word what had been suggested to me.

Sent it out.

Blocked the contact in my phone.

I had already taken the person off my facecrack friends list earlier in the day.

Perhaps an early warning sign that something was on the horizon.

I will likely see this person next week.

We swim in the same waters, so to speak.

And I am ok with that.

I don’t believe there will be face to face confrontation, in fact, had the person called, I would have taken it, but the mass texting was too freaky and after one very pointed, passive aggressive, manipulative text, I had no inclination to speak with the person on the phone.

That option went right out the window.

I learned some powerful things and I acknowledged deep in myself that I knew this was coming.

Which may have been why I let it go as long as it did.

Not healthy.

Not for me, not for the other person.

However, I am not, will not, beat myself up for the experience.

In my own limited way, I was trying to be of service.

And the other person, well, I believe, too, was trying to do the best that could be done.

That’s what I believe.

That at the bottom of it all.

We are good people.

Communication sometimes goes astray.

And sometimes I need to have space from a person.

That is ok.

I get to be grateful for the time and the growth experience.

And I hope to rest well soon.

One more day of classes, and I found out my day will end a little early, 3:30p.m. instead of 4p.m., a nice gift for the last day of classes.

Almost there.

One final presentation project and two papers to go.

And.

Like that.

My first semester of graduate school.

I am utterly amazed.

And still unfortunately.

Wide awake.

Oh well.

So it goes.

At least I have a Christmas tree to keep me warm and bright.

And dreams of Paris soon to come.

Did you think I forgot?

Ha.

Housewife?

December 11, 2015

Uh no.

But then again.

Yeah, kind of.

Ha.

I was just in a Uber coming home trying to describe to my driver, English is his second language, what I do for a living.

He was curious, many drivers are, when they pick me up from work, they make assumptions that I live in the house, but obviously, I am not the account holder, that’s the dad.

It was pretty much decided, unanimously, between the mom, the dad, and I, that I would not be riding my bicycle home.

The storm hit about a half hour before my shift was done.

There appeared to be a window this evening when I might have made it home on my bicycle, but that rapidly closed when I noticed the rain starting to fall, then down pour, then yes, that’s correct.

Hail.

Uh.

Yeah.

Not riding my bicycle home through a hail storm.

Then lighting and thunder.

“You’ll take an Uber,” the dad said, “I’ll call for you.”

Thanks man.

I left my bicycle in the garage.

I’ll figure out how to get to work on Monday, well, on Monday.

Probably a car right back.

Hell.

I might do a car tomorrow or possibly Sunday.

The weather is supposed to clear by tomorrow at 6 a.m.

I’ll be up at at it early, 6:30 a.m.

If the rain passes I will take the scooter.

It will still be slick, so I will have to be very careful, but I won’t have to cross any MUNI tracks on my way into class.

If the weather is still nasty and cold and rainy, I’ll just bite the bullet and call a car.

Taking the MUNI train in is also an option, but it would be morning rush commute down town, I’m not sure how long I would have to budget for it and I am rather more willing to pay the cost of taking in a car than arriving late.

Anyhow.

Minutiae.

I was grateful to get the ride home and the conversation with the driver was funny, although I am not certain he was trying for humor.

Rather just communication.

He asked after a rather long pause what I did for work.

“Private nanny,” I said, “I work for the family that lives at that house.”

He didn’t understand the word for nanny.

“Babysitter, household manager, teacher, governess, play mate, laundress, cleaner, cook, errand runner, girl Friday” I was running out of things to say that made sense.

He interjected.

“Housewife!”

I laughed.

Um.

No.

But yeah, kind of.

It reminded me of my mom coming over to my house in Madison when I lived on E. Dayton Street, and she was helping with with something,  I think I was moving and trying to clean and organize.

I was also in school and working full time the Angelic Brewing Company.

And.

Studying/training to get my black belt in Shaolin Kempo Karate.

Hiya!

Heh.

Busy even then.

Story of my life.

We had pulled out the fridge in the kitchen to clean behind it and my mom made a face, there was years of cat fur accumulated behind the appliance.

“You need a wife!” My mom said with authority.

I don’t know about that, I’m partial to men.

But.

I know my mom’s point.

A busy person can always use a hand with stuff.

So far, however, I’ve been the busy person who is also the busy person’s helper.

I’m organized, efficient, smart, capable.

I get shit done.

Like a friend said a few weeks back, want something done?  Give it to a busy person to do.

True that.

This busy person had a good full day of it too.

I got up early, showered, did the deal, had some breakfast, prepped my bicycle, wrote for a while, then I practiced my final project presentation and timed it.

I’ve got it pretty down.

Happy about that.

Tomorrow I’m going to print it off at school.

I had a friend offer to print it off at her job, but then I found out there’s a computer lab at the school, I will check there first and see if I can handle it without having to lean on my very busy friend.

Who also has her own final project presentation to be concerned about.

I also tidied up the house a bit so I wouldn’t have to worry about it this weekend and then off to work.

Work was busy.

In a very good way, as it made the day pass and I’m always down for that.

Especially when the weather was ick all day long.

The boys stayed in, despite trying to lure them out they wouldn’t budge and I gave up pretty quick, fair enough to stay inside and read and play with magnet tiles and trains and help cook with me.

I have two little sous chefs who love helping in the kitchen.

They are adorable, although sometimes a bit too eager to help, fingers going here and there and messes happening pretty quickly.

At one point I had to take them both outside, a break in the rain luckily happening, and pat them down, poufs of flour fluttering up in the air.

I made homemade pizza.

I did not make the dough, but I did go to the Lucca Ravioli and buy all the stuff to assemble the pizzas–pepperoni, sauce, cheese, pizza dough–and to the corner market for mushrooms and spinach.

I made five pizzas today!

Plus roasted marinated chicken thighs and garlic brown butter roasted brussels sprouts.

And smoothies.

The family just got a new Vitamix.

In the last three days I have made four different kinds of smoothies and one gigantic batch of pureed broccoli soup (the mom loves my broccoli soup), one big container into the freezer for the family when I am away at school this weekend.

I do sound like a housewife!

And in a way, I wouldn’t mind being one.

I like domestic things, especially cooking.

But.

I also would have to be many other things too.

Writer, blogger, poet, lover, world traveler.

And probably many, many, many other things too.

I have many facets to my nature.

Just because I am naturally a caretaker doesn’t mean I don’t get to caretake myself too.

Which to my own credit, I have done well today.

My lunch and dinner are packed for tomorrow, my books, notebooks, and school effluvia are all set aside and ready.

My alarm clock is set.

Here we go!

Last weekend of my first semester of graduate school!

Yeehaw.

And

Maybe some day I’ll have a partner.

In crime.

But this weekend.

Even though I may be up for an offer.

Heh.

I am more than happy to wife for myself.

 

 

Scrolling Face

December 4, 2015

Crack is not going to write my blog.

Ugh.

I have just had a flat day.

The most exciting thing about today was riding to work in a down pour and saying  the serenity prayer on a loop in my head.

You know it’s gnarly weather when I get off my bike to cross the street on foot by the MUNI tracks, Sanchez and 17th.

They are the worst.

I have nightmares about them.

I got to work fine but it was stressful, the sound of the rain on the road and the woosh of the cars going by, getting soaked before being a quarter of the way there.

But I did get there and there is where I will be doing a lot of being.

Tomorrow that is.

It’s the mom’s birthday so I will be going in at my regular time and staying three hours past so that mom and dad can go out to dinner at Michael Minna.

Go dad.

I am going to take a car in.

I took a car home.

The dad paid for it.

And I felt weird because part of me just wanted to be on my bicycle and now how the hell am I going to get my bicycle back?

I’m riding back in to work on their dime, which is cool.

But I have my bike in the garage and it’s a little cluster fucked.

I could, I suppose, just leave it there the weekend.

I’m not going to be using it.

I’ll be on my scooter during the day Saturday and hopefully that night I will be hanging with a friend for sushi and Christmas tree hauling.

If he’s not sick.

Sick sucks.

Lot of folks been sick this flu season.

So far.

Knock on wood.

I have not.

Grateful for my health and the flu shot I got a month ago.

Anyway.

I figure, I wasn’t supposed to be on my bike coming home and it did throw a little snag in my evening’s plans, but I was happy to get a ride home–the rain has stopped but the streets are still wet and slick and it’s cold and dark.

Not the best times for riding a bicycle.

Despite working longer hours tomorrow I am super happy it’s Friday.

The week has gone by in a rather stretchy, long, nebulous way.

I think it’s because I have homework looming.

Probably.

And I miss my friend who’s been sick.

And the days are short and the night’s long.

It’s holidaze.

Although I do like the lights and the trees and the present wrapping and card writing.

I picked up my holiday stamps today while out running errands with the boys.

I have no idea why I like cards so much.

I’m a paper kind of gal.

There’s something about writing a card, wishing a sentiment, placing the stamp, putting it in the mailbox.

It’s special.

Even the boys, ages 3 and 5, know that it’s special to mail something off, they argue fiercely to get to be the helper who puts the cards in the post box.

And the oldest one is constantly folding paper and stapling it and drawing and now writing on it, making “books” and sealing envelopes.

Cards and letter writing is special.

All writing is special.

Plus.

There’s something about sending a card, I know how good I feel when I get one in the mail, I actually prolong opening personal mail until I am fully in the house and all my bags and sweatshirts and stuff are put away, lights are on candles lit, music playing.

I like ambiance you could say.

And then.

I open the envelope.

Savoring the feel of the paper.

The contents of the card.

Or note.

Or letter.

I know I am a tad old fashioned.

I can’t seem to help myself.

And I don’t think I want to change it now.

I remember being sad when the e-card phase was happening.

I don’t like getting a fabricated video card or a weird GIF with family members heads cut off and stuck on elves.

I would rather get something in the post.

Then.

When I get the card I string it up on a piece of curled green twine with a little bit of red ribbon and possibly a silver bell and hang the cards in cascades down the string.

They are a cheap and easy Christmas decoration and they make me feel good and special and loved.

Viscerally loved.

Perhaps that is why I love them so.

And the best cards.

I save.

I’m a little picky.

But that’s me.

Some I know are instantly going in the recycling after the holidays are past.

Some, however, go in a special stack and once in a while I will go through them and be filled with love for that person and their thoughts.

I am really blessed.

I have so much love in my life.

I am always taken care of.

See car ride home.

And even when the wrapping paper is not what I want it to be, the gifts always astound me.

So whatever I can bring.

Whatever small song of love I can send out into the world.

I will.

It just takes a moment.

Putting pen to paper.

Placing the Charlie Brown Holiday stamp in the top right corner.

Throwing some glitter in there.

It’s not Christmas without glitter.

Just sayin’.

And posting the cards up in the mail.

Not quite letters for Santa.

Or.

Romantic love letters.

But love nonetheless.

In letters bold and sweet and still swooping in my funny cursive across the red envelopes.

A Christmas wish for you.

Like bright chinaberries against the snow.

And the low light of the North star in the sky.

Helping to find your way home.

I wish you love.

Joy.

Happiness.

Prosperity.

Abundance.

And more.

Love.

Always yours.

Carmen.IMG_7440

 

 

What Day Is It?

October 3, 2015

Where am I?

I know it’s Friday, but it feels like the beginning of the week.

I am in my second weekend of graduate school and it just hit me.

I left feeling pretty elated though.

I got through the project with my partner, despite a few hiccups, there was horrible traffic on the Bay Bridge this morning, three accidents, and she was almost 40 minutes late to class.

Hell.

I thought I was going to be late.

And I had a friend driving me to school.

It’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass and the morning Friday commute from out here in the Outer Sunset was fraught with extra idiots and delayed traffic.

Fortunately my friend is a consummate San Francisco driver and was able to navigate out of the traffic jam and back on the way with relative ease and no little cleverness.

I was thinking he might want to moonlight as a taxi cab driver, except that all my friends who are taxi cab drivers are trying to get out of the gig since it doesn’t pay very well.

I had the option this evening of taking MUNI home, but I really just wanted to get home and I called for a Uber and man, that ride home took as long or longer than if I had ridden my bicycle.

I was like.

What the fuck?

Oh.

It’s Friday.

It’s end of happy hour beginning of weekend, crazy drivers, crazy pedestrians, and a driver who is not from the city and it took me and the guy in the back seat, also a fellow student at my school, having to tell him twice to turn back around and how to get on Fell Street from Market.

Obnoxious.

I did feel for the kid though, he was just a kid when I got right down to it, I wanted to be mad, but the rash of acne on his face and the played out dance music on his generic radio Pandora station really gave it away.

Then I found out he didn’t even live in San Francisco and I almost said, “pull over, I’ll grab a cab at this point.”

I went from feeling fairly rejuvenated to pretty tired by the end of the trip.

That’s ok.

It’s ok that it’s Friday and I will be in bed soon.

I have to be up at 6 a.m. to get ready for class.

Fortunately I am done with the Human Development chapter outline and I am completely caught up on two of my other classes reading.

I do have some reading to get completely caught up, but it’s not enough to panic over and it’s not enough to sit down and do it right now this evening, I’m too pooped.

When I got home I parlayed what last energy I had into taking a hot shower.

My God.

That was just divine.

I could have crawled right into bed.

But.

Habits.

They die-hard.

And.

I knew I would not be able to completely unwind without writing my blog and letting the day fall out of my head.

A great deal of this blog is just processing the day and writing down my experiences and how I get through them, or avoid them, as the case may be at times, but mostly, how I walk through the day and what I see and feel and how that affects me.

Or.

Rather.

How I let those things affect me.

The lie is that he/she affects me.

They affect me when I allow them to.

And.

My cohort affects me.

I really adore the hell out of some of them.

Love really.

I like most of the cohort, and that in and of itself is an amazing thing.

There are a few I’m not great big old fans of, some that have styles different from mine and a few odd ducks that rub me the wrong way, but no one I find horrid and offensive.

And that is miraculous.

But.

I do tend toward a certain few.

And I realized how much I enjoy them and spending time with them and it’s not just about the classes, although of course so much of it is about the class work, it’s about the human connection I have made with them.

One of my classmates made it a point tonight to express how much we need to hang out outside of class and I am so down with that.

Although I tell myself I don’t have the time, I can make a little time here or there for her.

Plus, she lives in town.

There’s another lady I really want to hang out with as well, although I am not certain how we are going to make it work since she lives in Nevada, the hanging out will have to be on school weekends and it’s challenging for me.

But.

Again.

Worth making the effort.

It is rare when I find people who I connect with well.

I know.

I know.

“You have so many friends on Facebook!”

Yeah.

I know.

How many of those friends called me today?

Or texted.

Or said hey, let’s hang out.

Or.

How’s grad school treating you?

What’s new with work?

Dating anyone?

Granted, I’m not giving all my friends a fair shake, they know how fucking crazy ass busy I am.

They are busy too.

It’s the human connection though, I crave it, I want friends, I want to be open and vulnerable and intimate.

No I don’t.

But it sounds nice.

No.

Really.

I do want intimacy.

I do want to be seen.

Even when it’s not the pretty stuff, even when I’m sad or mad or ashamed or upset.

I want you to see me.

Human.

Messy.

Alive.

That’s the gift.

I’m so alive to the moment and yes, tired, but still awake and loving my life and yes it’s busy and I don’t always know which end is up, but I do know I am present for it, I do know I am showing up for it.

And I do know.

How very grateful I am for my friends.

So much love.

Yes.

I mean.

For you.

Happy, Joyous

July 5, 2015

And packed.

Yup.

I called it an early night, although I had said, yes to dancing, yes to hanging out, yes to more stuff, my heart was just not in it.

And I have to say.

Thank God.

I got back from a really big emotional night, walking in the rain, with no umbrella–which in the South, is not such a huge deal, at least it’s warm–but slightly chagrined as I had actually bought an umbrella earlier in the day (and of course as soon as I bought it, it stopped raining, oh well, I’ll have a new ‘brolly for the playa), and had a late dinner and took it easy.

I talked to a dear friend on the phone and found myself in tears.

It’s been quite the experience.

Overwhelming, moving, intense.

And I did not do it all and I did do a bit of self-flagellation for doing self-care.

Shouldn’t I be cramming 800 different things into my day and night, who needs sleep, or quiet time, or writing time, or any of that when there is spiritual intoxication to be had.

But the fact is, self, I do.

I need quiet time.

I needed to get off campus today and take a break from it all and I needed food.

Real food.

Not fried, processed, greasy, sugary, carnival food.

I swear there is not a piece of fruit to be bought in the mile radius of my hotel.

And the offerings around the Georgia Dome and the Centennial Convention Center did not help me out.

I searched the internet last night and found a few farmer’s markets and a couple that looked really promising that were close to the MARTA–the municipal train for Atlanta–and I took the half mile walk to the station and chose to take self-care with my food and prioritize that before anything else.

And lo and behold.

The damn thing was closed for the holiday.

Despite it being posted on the website that it was open.

I was frustrated and upset and was kicking myself, I should have just stayed put, sucked it up and gotten by with whatever I could get by on.

Then I asked myself what would a friend of mine do.

It just popped right into my head.

Uber.

I opened the app on my phone, dropped the pin and was picked up in five minutes, which was nice since it was raining on me, and my parade.

The driver was awesome and as I explained what I was doing and where I had intended to go, he made a suggestion for me and we headed to Little Five Points.

It was perfection.

I felt like I was with my people.

My tattooed, slightly edgy, yes, you might call them Atlanta hipsters, and I relaxed and for the first time since I have been in Atlanta, I wasn’t the only girl around with tattoos.

The driver dropped me off at Aurora Coffee and I had a scrumptious cold brewed iced coffee and a local organic bottled fruit and vegetable smoothie and a banana.

I got right with the world and felt so much better.

I walked out and wandered around the neighborhood and discovered the Junkman’s Daughter.

A vintage store meets head shop meets rockabilly meets costume emporium.

I bought my umbrella, a pair of tights, a pair of earrings and a crinoline to wear underneath my black and white polka dot dress.

I was quite pleased.

Especially since the crinoline was such a steal.  Had I bought it in San Francisco, it would have been $50 at any of the stores on Haight.

Here.

It was ten.

Score.

Then I saw a atm for my bank and I was able to finally deposit the check I had been carrying around since Wednesday from my employers for my health insurance for the month of July and as I was taking out a few bucks in cash I had a feeling and looked over at what.

What am I looking at?

I suddenly saw it.

An organic market.

Just there.

Just hidden, set back from the street and not the first thing anyone might notice had they not been looking for it.

Hallelujah.

I went in and was so happy.

Organic, fresh, healthy, sustainable, tasty food, get in my belly.

I bought some raw almonds, a container of cut up papaya, three bananas, three apples, and some raw coconut.

I sat in the store at a little cafe area and had some almonds and a banana and decided I was ready to go back into the fray.

I, yes, went back to Aurora and bought another coffee, I mean, when was I going to have any better where I was headed and proceeded to order up another Uber.

I got back to the hotel, slipped into my crinoline, it looks fabulous underneath my polka dot dress, if I do say so, and then went out to grab some solid food.

Yes.

I went back to Smoke Ring.

And was it packed.

Holy moly.

The secret was out.

But I was handily sat in the same section and my waitress remembered me and kept my ice tea glass full and made menu recommendations and treated me like a princess.

I over tipped and with a belly full of smoked chicken, brisket, corn on the cob and smoked and grilled brussels sprouts, I walked the mile back to the convention center.

And yes.

I was a tourist.

I bought a magnet.

I bought a couple of postcards and filled them out and dropped them in the mail.

I even bought a t-shirt.

Gasp.

Then, instead of trying to push and make things happened, I just took a walk.

I ran into a friend, who too was desperate for sustenance and I gave him an apple.

I don’t know that I have ever seen someone so happy for a piece of fruit.

I sat in the grass for a while and drank a bottle of sparkling water and got some sun on my face, the rain had stopped, and I gave myself the quiet I needed before heading in with all the other folks from all the other places all over the world and got my gratitude on.

And now.

Well.

it’s just about done.

It’s a quarter of three in the morning and I have to get up in an hour.

Part of me thinks I should just head to the air port now.

But I think it better to at least get a few zzz’s under my belt.

Grateful for this experience.

Grateful to not beat myself up.

Grateful I let myself take care of myself.

I am a better person for the experience.

When I take care of myself.

I can be of better service to another.

And that.

Really.

Is how to be.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

Let alone packed and ready to head home.

See you soon.

In a foggy city on the other side of the country.

Thank you Atlanta for all your gifts.

Big hugs.

I’ll see y’all in five years.

The Rock

March 22, 2015

Not the wrestler.

The island.

Alcatraz

The view from Alcatraz

I went out to Alcatraz today with my dear friend whose birthday celebration happens to coincide with the 65th anniversary of the penitentiary closing.

The last inmates were shipped off 65 years ago and they shut the prison down.

Thank God.

I cannot think of a worst place to be, and I am sure there are worse, but to be stuck on a rock in the middle of the bay and see the beguiling San Francisco just across the way is a kind of torture I just don’t think I could bear.

“Don’t worry, we’ll be back in San Francisco soon,” my friend patted my arm as we waited for the ferry, the line was long, so many of us, though not many of us from San Francisco itself, were waiting that I did have a moment of panic.

I laughed out loud.

I am that obvious.

Take me out of the city and I am itching to get right back to it.

Although my friend and I agree, I seemed to have out grown the Mission, and though I don’t look my age, 42 (and thank you Uber driver for the flabbergasted look on your face when I told you my age), I do feel it quite often, and I am a grown up living in a grown up place.

The Outer Sunset.

Oh.

There’s some kids out here, surfers and guys and gals, and some hipsters and the like, but it does seem a community less focused on the hip, slick, cool, and of the moment.

I am not a tech girl, but as I realized, again on the Uber drive to the Ferry Building (when the bus rolled over the hill on Judah I remembered that there was construction on the Sunset Tunnel between Duboce Park and Cole Valley and I was about to embark on a journey that would put me way behind schedule, I called for a lift), just from living in San Francisco I am often a head of the curve with tech and its uses.

I’m still not savvy enough to use my google map or to know how to delete apps of my phone.

Thank God a friend noticed me struggling with my Iphone and showed me how to get Tinder off it.

Complete and total side bar.

I got rid of Tinder, Hinge, and OkCupid on my phone.

I kept OkCupid online though.

A girl has got to have a few balls in the air.

Or a cute tour guide to flirt with.

Dude.

The cute guy at Alcatraz knew my girl friend and I were there for the @Large exhibit by Ai Weiwei.

“Anyone from San Francisco,” he hollered as we joined a small group clustered below the penitentiary sign.

Alcatraz

Alcatraz

 

My girlfriend and I nodded.

“Here for the art exhibit?” He asked.

We nodded our heads, it was pretty obvious, yes, we’re locals and yes we came out to see the art, not so much the cell blocks–we were the only folks in the group to acknowledge we were there for the art.

Though it was pretty impressive to see the prison.

And spooky at times.

Especially when the fog started to roll in.

Fog

Alcatraz

The guide gave us directions and we went to the exhibit.

It was truly amazing.

Ai Weiwei

Ai Wei Wei–Blossom

The light was one of the things that would have saved me if I was an inmate at Alcatraz, little else.

The artist, Ai Weiwei, though confined to China, seemed cognizant of the light, spectral, haunting, smashed by the sea and melting through the wired panes of windows.

It was dreamy and dangerous and affecting.

The first piece was a large floating Chinese dragon kite.

Dragon

Dragon

It was astounding and wound through a large holding cell space.

Dragon Body

Dragon Scales

 

 

 

 

 

Dragon head

Color and light

Then the portraits of various activists and artists laid out on the floor with Lego’s.

Legos

Edward Snowden in Lego’s

Lego Art

Lego Activists

If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, I do encourage you to take the trip out.

I don’t know that I would have gone out otherwise and I am glad to say that I did.

The art was exquisite and the juxtaposition of it in the prison was superb.

Haunting.

Depressing.

There was a room, “Hydro Therapy” that gave me the goosebumps.

It was like someone had stepped on my grave.

Bathtub

Hydro Therapy Room Alcatraz Psych Ward

I had a flash of an inmate disrobing and being hosed off with high pressure water, the light refracted around the enamel bathtub and I took the shot and shivered.

I had no desire to walk through the cell blocks are take a photograph in one of the tiny cells.

Although, I laughed and acknowledge that a few of the cells were actually larger than my studio.

The light better too.

But I would not trade what I have for a prison cell.

Even if the square footage was impressive.

I counted a lot of my blessings today talking with my dear friend as we traversed the Farmers Market at the Ferry Building (a bit over priced–$7.00 for two Aztec Fuji apples, albeit delicious and gigantic) and picked up lunch and snacks for the afternoon adventure.

I had divine boxed salmon sushi from Delica and two of the most amazing rolls I have ever had that I bought ala carte, sushi rice with rare roast beef (sushi doesn’t have to be fish, fyi, “sushi” means food on rice, it is often vegetables and fish though, the beef was exquisite and I couldn’t even bring myself to share it with my friend, who thankfully had brought her own lovely lunch) draped over the top of it topped with fresh wasabi.

Oh my goodness.

I get to live in San Francisco being very near the top of that list.

I get to go out on ferry boats and travel the bay and see amazing national park areas, Alcatraz is part of  The Golden Gate National Park System, I mean, basically right in my back yard there are all these incredible parks and land marks.

Plus.

You know, the Burning Man community started here, Bakers Beach, baby, and all that Burning Man is to me.

My friend and I discussed that a lot today as well.

I have started my list of the stuffs that need to be gathered.

Another reason to love the event, it brings out the inherent hunter/gatherer in me.

And of course, there was much talk of the graduate school program and just how far I have come in a short time.

I mean.

Really, it was not quite two years ago, I was coming home from Paris and when I got to Berlin to change in my Euro (the only money to my name) I got back $10 American.

I came from that to where I am now.

I work my ass off.

I took a moment or two to bask in my glory, to reflect on my gratitude for this city, for my dear, darling friend, and when we saw our photograph taken by the tour guide on the trip,  we didn’t have any problem shelling out the $30 bucks for two copies of it.

I’m lucky.

Or graced.

Or lucky.

I got to open up the cell door of my own imposed prison and walk out of it.

Free.

Clear.

And moving forward.

Becoming even more myself and more in love with my city by the bay.

It was with much gratitude and love that I stepped off the gangplank of the ferry and hopped the F-Market back downtown.

It was truly an experience to see the city from Alcatraz.

But I prefer to see Alcatraz from the city.

My home sweet home.

San Francisco.

What A Long Strange Day

March 1, 2015

It’s been.

Not a bad day.

No, not at all.

Just strange.

Disjointed, out-of-place, off my schedule, up and about and going places and doing things, not much things, but things, that I don’t ordinarily do and places I haven’t been to in a long time.

24th Street for one, below Valencia Street.

It’s been a long while since I was in that neck of the woods.

I had a workshop that I was running up in Noe Valley today and it was sort of smack in the middle of my early afternoon.

Too early for me to get lunch out and about, but too late to get stuff done here in the neighborhood before I had to be up in Noe.

I did get a call from a girlfriend as I was writing this morning and we made plans to meet and hang out after my commitment was up.

A commitment that I am extremely grateful I got to show up for and do and be of service.

“You are gifted,” she said to me, “you really know how to do this thing.”

I’m not sure if she was referencing my style or the way I ran the workshop or what, but I do have to say, I was quite happy with how it came off.

I have never done anything quite like it before and it was a unique experience for me to go through.

One in which I did a lot of reflection around for the weeks coming up to it and one in which I was happy to say went off so well.

It was also fun to dress up for it and flounce about town in my polka dot party dress.

A lot of the workshop was showing the steps I took to be my authentic self in recovery and discussing body image and sexuality and how I have found growth, amazing growth in those areas.

It felt not only appropriate but down right correct to be dressed up in my outfit with my hair done up with roses and bright red lipstick on and just be me.

I have felt like I am stepping more and more into my skin and I so do like that.

Afterward I took myself out for a late lunch at a little Chinese restaurant, Tung Sing, on 24th.

Simple, light, easy, steamed veggies and shrimp, brown rice, green tea.

I ate half my meal, packed up the other half for tomorrow, and walked down 24th from Noe Valley into the Mission nibbling on an apple I picked up from the Farmer’s Market in Noe Valley.

Ah.

The Mission.

Loud.

Dirty.

Weirdly gentrified and old school drug addled all at the same time.

It was a boiling pot of tourists taking Uber straight to Balmy Alley in their Coach leopard print slip ons and Kate Spade clutches to snap photos of the murals to the homeless nut bag talking to himself on the corner where the line wound around the block to Humphrey Slocombe for artisanal ice cream.

Olive oil ice cream anyone?

I met my friend walking up the street and we window shopped and talked about life and schedules and Burning Man.

If I’m going.

I want to.

How I’m going to go.

I don’t know.

She’s already got her ticket, has a place to camp, is roaring into her second year ready to have a new experience after the debacles at the Gate last year getting stuck in the rain storm at will call.

I have no idea where I would camp, where I would get my ticket from, how I would go, what I would stay in, how I would do it.

But I suspect, do it I will.

She and I talked scenarios and meandered at a slow, leisure like pace.

We stopped at Philz so she could grab her coffee.

I declined staying for coffee.

I was actually a little overwhelmed by the crowds and the tourists and I cannot remember a time when I had ever walked into Philz before on 24th and Folsom and felt so not a part of.

It was such an awkward combination of tech guys and tourists and hipsters, but out-of-town hipsters, that I did not want to stay and intermingle.

Maybe another day.

Today I was grateful for my quiet, or quieter, life down by the sea.

There are tourists out here too, but it’s just a little different and not as developed and nowhere near as crowded.

So instead of grabbing a cup, large, no sugar, just cream, of the Greater Alarm, I went with my friend and looked at more shops and made sure to walk on the sunny side of the street.

I got my sunshine on, that’s for sure.

We walked up 24th to Noe Valley, stopping at Issa on 24th and Chattanooga and then over to Common Scents before hitting the Whole Foods salad bar.

Then.

Starbux.

Not because I like the tea or the coffee all that much, but because it’s central to my evening commitment, there’s WIFI and there’s big cushy window seats to people watch from.

And sky watch.

The sunset tonight was spectacular.

Not so much the news that I heard shortly thereafter, namely, that the spot I was headed to had been cancelled without notice.

Well shoot.

Who knows what I might have done with my day if I hadn’t been wandering around waiting to cover my Saturday evening commitment.

I was miffed momentarily, then whipped out my phone, looked up some information and headed off to catch the MUNI back to the Sunset.

Arriving at my destination early I popped into Tart to Tart and got a lemon ginger tea and read my book for about 45 minutes.

Then I ran into old friends also displaced from this evening’s routine.

We joked about being ex-pats and caught up.

It was as strange day, again, not unpleasant, just long and meandering and in some ways good for me to see that I have really grown quite fond of my side of town.

I’m a city girl for sure, just look at how I dress, but I need the quiet and the stillness out here, down by the sea.

I thought I would always be a Mission girl, for always and forever.

And while I know I will always be a San Francisco lass.

I may have turned the corner.

To becoming a local from the Sunset.

The Outer Sunset at that.

Who would have guessed.

 

Get Out With Your Girls

February 7, 2015

Ok then.

I did it.

I went and hung out with some ladies.

Jesus fuck.

I had no idea how much I needed to just hang out with some ladies and kick it at Burger Meister.

I didn’t even eat, I had gotten to do that already tonight at work, work, which was intense, long day, two sick boys, extra hours, thank god I made it through the week.

And let myself take a Uber into work this morning.

The gale winds did not speak well for traveling by bicycle and I knew the rain was close behind, I could smell it this morning when I opened the back door to my studio and heard the surf crashing on the beach.

I took a car.

That feels all luxurious and shit, which, let me tell you was not, despite it being Uber which I like a little more than Lyft, I tried the new Uber service, Pool, which was ok, although, the driver did the cardinal sin of waiting too long for the second passenger, they are only supposed to wait two minutes when picking up a shared ride, I came rather close to being late for work.

And I couldn’t tell if it was the passenger that was already in the car, or the driver, but the bad breath was foul.

Bad, bad, bad.

I got good and grateful though, to not be riding my bicycle in the weather and though it meant being trapped inside for the majority of the day, I got through.

And although I found myself meandering through the Mission in weird weather after work killing time, I took care of myself by doing a lot of contrary actions.

I had some thoughts about where I would go this evening after work, I had some choices, I could have flagged another car and headed toward the Inner Sunset, seen some folks over at 7th and Irving, but I had a feeling the ex would be there, and that was the allure to going there.

Oh.

No reason to engage, you know, just cause myself, some unnecessary pain, feel uncomfortable, and rub some salt in a  wound that is rapidly healing.

Don’t pick at it.

It’s still a relatively new tattoo, but I have found my hand drifting toward it, stroking the edges where the skin is still rough and pulling, healing.

Leave it be.

I reprimand myself.

But a few times I have found myself doing it without even thinking.

And that was what was tonight.

Sneaky, slithery, slippery thoughts, sniping their way into my brain, little ear worms of irritation, I knew better than to entertain them and I knew to take the opposite action of what I wanted to do.

So I ended up wandering around the Mission for about an hour before I needed to be where I knew I needed to be.

I window shopped.

I grabbed a tea at Church St. Cafe.

I read my book for a little while.

The desire to pick at the scab left me.

I went where I was supposed to be.

I saw who I was supposed to see.

And I was invited to hang out with a trio of lovely ladies at ye olde Burger Meister.

I took my own suggestion and fellowshipped.

I also talked up dancing next Saturday.

It’s going to be a long week-end for me, I’ll have Monday off for the holiday, so I thought, to hell with it being Valentines Day, I am my own best date, let me take me dancing.

I’ll have an extra day of recuperation if I blow out my knees.

Or my ankle.

Let me not dance too hard, now that I am thinking about it, I don’t want to do either and I can.

I just want to have some fun and work  it out.

And there it is.

I just wrote that and realized, what the hell is holding me back, go buy a ticket.

Good thing I did, the event is about to sell out.

All the early bird tickets are gone, so I had to shell out another five, but it’s worth it, the Basement Jaxx are one of my favorites, I’ve never seen them live and David Harness is also playing–I’ve seen David plenty and like his stuff–I’m going to dance myself out.

Public Works, next Saturday, Valentine’s Day, I’ll be giving myself the gift that I always want a gentleman to give me, the gift of going dancing.

“I’ll learn to dance, I’ll take lessons, I swear, really, this time, I will,” my ex of five years pleading with me on bended knee in the house on Gilman Street in Madison, the late afternoon sunlight fading into the gloom of a grey dusk in January, the frost patterns on the window catching the last glints of light on his face.

I gave into being in that relationship another week, maybe ten days, I don’t remember, but he didn’t go out dancing with me.

I learned to do it on my own.

I’m not the worlds best dancer, but I like to cut a rug and though I sincerely wish my body was in better shape, my feet are flat, my knees are creaky, I apparently have weak ass ankles, I can still get out there and let the music wash over me and get carried away and dance like there’s no tomorrow.

The music is love for me and I intend to drown myself in it.

I’ll be my own best date.

Speaking of dating.

That was something discussed by the quartet of females in Burger Meister this evening.

And yes.

I have been convinced to hop back into the online dating weirdness.

Although I didn’t care for the slightly smug message from OkStupid, “welcoming me back.”

I uploaded a new photo, checked my stats, scrolled through the matches, looks about the same, and said, ok, here’s to taking an action and letting go the results.

I also was given the suggestion, which I have had before and think I did, but I honestly don’t remember, of making a list of ten guys I would ask out and then, well, actually going and asking them out.

I’m ready and willing to give it another go.

The break up is done.

Three weeks ago tonight.

The relationship was short, intense, but short, and three weeks feels right.

This lady is back on the market.

You can check out my profile, or just get back to me here, or facecrack.

Or maybe, you might see me, smiling my head off, next Saturday at Public Works.

Doing that thing that I do so well, getting lost in the music.

Being utterly in my body and present.

Dancing.

Come on, you know you want to.

Super Sunday

February 2, 2015

Has nothing to do with any bowl, ball, or beer.

Just a lot of super sober activity.

I ran into a friend on my way down to the beach to climb the dunes and watch the last of the sunset.

I told him what I had done for the day, then flexed my muscles in a mock dance of humour.

“Look at me, I’m super sober woman.”

We both laughed.

He told me the beach was empty, but for “a smattering” of people.

I like that.

Smattering.

I did a smattering of things today, more so than I thought I would do.

Laundry, fresh sheets on the bed, sweeping, cleaned the bathroom, took out the compost, hung out with two separate ladies and did a lot of listening and bearing witness to.

Which in case you were wondering, can take it out of a person.

And at the same time, fill one up so much that the overflow of tears after my last lady had left caused me to pick up the phone and make some phone calls and express to each person I left messages for how much they meant to me and how grateful I was that they too had done the same service for me.

That I am not alone.

That I have a fellowship.

That I have a solution is so powerful when I stop and look at it.

The sun beamed benevolent upon my face and I sat looking at the wild flowers growing up in the cracks of pavement in the back patio, weeds, I suppose, but glowing, translucent baskets of yellow light, lanterns of joy waving in the high grass.

Then I got a hold of a dear girlfriend and committed some more details for the Atlanta trip.

My friend and I had discussed the conference back a while, but soon thereafter it didn’t look like she was going to be able to make it.

Circumstances changed and she can and I told my other friend I had made plans with, that plans had changed.

I didn’t like telling my friend that my plans had changed, but I spent time thinking over the last days what would work best for me and being with my girl friend was the best scenario for me.

And I found a place to stay!

I received a confirmation e-mail this afternoon that the bed and breakfast I looked into had a room that my girlfriend and I could share with two single beds.

Huzzah!

And it’s within a five-mile radius of the conference center, which is lovely, since it appears that there’s really nothing at all available closer in.

In fact, I am happily surprised that the room was available.

I quickly returned the e-mail, said yes, please, I’ll take the room, and I can put down a deposit to hold it or even pay for it all up front.

Whatever it takes.

To top it off, the cherry on the bed and breakfast sundae, it’s a spiritual center in mid-town Atlanta, a sort of yoga/workshop/spirituality center.

Called.

Yes.

The Self Discovery Center.

Giggle.

They have three rooms with either queen size or twin beds, each one has its own bath, and they provide a breakfast each day.  The grounds look gorgeous, there’s a meditation garden, mwahahaha, lots of trees, and a communal kitchen we can use (as long as we cook vegetarian meals there, though not a vegetarian I play one on tv quite well).

The cost?

$95 + $10 for any extra person.

Two lovely ladies for $105.

Which means that I’ll have a place to stay that will cost me $157.50 for three days.

Wahoo.

That leaves me plenty of wiggle room for travel expenses, I figure I’ll Uber into the conference and back, meals out, when I feel like I want to eat some meat, haha, and lots of coffee.

Oh.

There will be coffee.

I sent my friend my airline itinerary so she can match up her flight and travel times with mine.

The only drawback to the facility is that we can’t check in until 3p.m.

But, what ever.

I’ll go to the conference.

I’ll get my badge.

I will sign up for any workshops or seminars or what have you that seem interesting, I’ll take myself out to breakfast, wander the down town, maybe catch up with a friend who lives in Atlanta if he’s available, hang out in a cafe.

I am so stoked.

I am also quite stoked that I did my, yes, drum roll please.

Taxes.

I filed and I am done.

I got all the information I needed from my employers last year, coordinated all my forms and did the deal.

I just used Turbo Tax.

It’s the easiest thing and I already had an account set up with them.

Done and done.

Super sober Sunday then concluded with a sunset walk on the beach.

Well, in the dunes.

I didn’t actually roll all the way down to the shore, the air was getting cold and brisk and my ankle has been bothering me a little, so I took it easy and just stuck to the tops of the dunes.

My friend had been correct, there were only a smattering of folks out, mostly out in the water, the surfers catching their last sets before the sun set.

Then I came back to the house, ate a nice dinner, lit some candles and read my book for an hour while listening to some jazz and reflecting on how fortunate I am and how grateful I am for the simplicity of my life.

And the loveliness of my home.

I really do have a sweet little home.

My ducks all in a row.

Or my bunnies, I suppose.

I don’t know who won the super bowl.

But it sure feels like I did.

 

 


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