Posts Tagged ‘umbrella’

First Book Ordered

July 26, 2019

And summer is done.

Well.

Not quite.

I still have a few weeks before school starts, but I am already doing just a little reading for this upcoming semester.

I said I wouldn’t touch school books until after my trip to Cuba.

I got back Tuesday night at 7a.m.

My god.

My bed was so nice to get into.

I love to travel, I really do, but there is nothing quite like your own bed.

Especially after sleeping 8 nights on a really hard mattress.  I have to admit I was a little let down when I saw my room, but after doing a walking tour of old Havana with a local architect, I got over that shit.

My casa, in comparison to much around me, was really quite nice.

It is one thing to know about the Cuban embargo.

It is another thing entirely to experience it.

The country is poor.

I mean.

Really poor.

And dirty, the streets are disastrous, the cars are all old and there is no smog control, so much exhaust.

So much.

And not actually that many cars, lots of classics, yes, which was fun, I won’t lie, and super cool to see, but there were lots of horses and carts too.

Horses and carts people.

Traveling from Havana to Vinales one day for a trip to visit a tobacco and coffee farm, I counted more horses and carts than actual cars on the freeway.

ON THE FREAKING HIGHWAY.

More horses then cars.

I am not kidding.

These were some of the cars I got to see and go for rides in.  I actually went for more rides in classic cars than regular cars, I didn’t actually take photos of them all.

Sometimes I don’t want to act like a tourist.

Even though I am totally a tourist, I just couldn’t really bring myself to pose on the cars, it didn’t feel like me.

I did, however, quite enjoy cruising around in them, especially when they had A/C.

It was fucking hot.

It was humid.

So humid.

My hair did some batshit crazy things.

And I was constantly sweating.

Er.

Glowing.

I was glowing.

A lot.

 

As you can see, I was “glowing” quite a bit.

I also learned to wear my hair up real fast.

Real fast.

And I was hella grateful that I had brought a travel umbrella.

I actually didn’t use it that much for rain.

There were some showers and one big storm, with hail!

But mostly, I used the umbrella for sun shade.

I was reminded a lot of Burning Man in that regard.  I usually  bring a parasol for the hot days out on playa.

In fact.

Havana reminded me a lot of Burning Man and in some ways having had the experience of going to the event was actually very handy.

I had to bring everything that I wanted or needed.

There were no stores to buy sunblock or extra toothpaste.

I had to use my water filter bottle or buy bottled water, there is no drinking water from the faucets.

Everyone buys bottled water.

Everyone.

It was really dirty, Old Havana is all cobblestone and dirt roads.

I mean.

500 year old cobblestones ain’t clean.

Plus add dogs, cats, and chickens to the mix, garbage, and potholes everywhere.

I’m super glad my friend who had been before cautioned me to wear really sturdy shoes and to bring anything that I might want because I was not going to be able to purchase it there.

I cannot tell you what it was like to see people queuing up for chicken, or to buy one bread roll.

The black market is a real thing there and I found out that I had participated without even knowing it by eating beef one night.

All beef is allocated to the government, restaurants are allowed to have it.

I had it and that means that it was bought on the black market.

Most of the time though I did stick with Cuban classics and I was quite happy with that.

My casa had breakfast every morning, fruit–usually a slice  of watermelon, some papaya, 1/2 a banana and slices of mango with coffee followed by one egg and one slice of avocado.

No bread for me, which my host couldn’t quite understand, but I’m sure she was happy to have the extra roll I sent back each morning.

I dined in a lot of private restaurants, basically in people’s homes.

And I found a couple of cafes that became my haunts, Cafe Bohemia and Papa Ernesto.

Aside, Che Guevero’s given name is Ernesto.

 

This is Cafe Bohemia.

I was so happy to have Pellegrino and mango blended with ice, which they called frappes.  I had a lot of mango.

A lot.

My poop turned orange.

I know.

But it did!

I have never had orange poo before.

Anyway.

The cafe was a life saver as too was Mas Habana.

A restaurant I never would have stumbled upon on my own as it was down a super dirty street with a lot of construction on it.

But I had made a reservation to do a tour of the houses in Old Havana and my host wanted to meet there.

It was a fucking oasis.

An air conditioned oasis.

I went back every day from that point on, either for lunch or for dinner.

On my last day I went there for both lunch and dinner.

I was the queen of beverages at every meal.

San Pellegrino.

Mango frappe.

Cafe con leche.

I had the same amazing appetizer each time, sometimes it was just my meal since I filled up on all the bevvies, tostones rellenos–stuffed fried plantains.

OOOOOH.

So damn good.

Mashed plantains made into patty’s, fried, and then topped with smashed avocado and a shrimp.

I was in heaven.

 

Mas Habana was my little haven.

And on my last night, I splurged and had lobster.

Also black market.

But, fuck it, it was my last night and I knew it was going to be good.

It was in fact, amazing, bathed in a beautiful garlic broth and shelled for me.

All I had to do was scoop it up in a spoon and sigh with delight.

The staff was great and my last night discounted my bill, “for being such a nice customer.”

I am a good tipper.

Once a waitress.

Always a waitress.

I had many more adventures, but I’ve got to get up early tomorrow.

So more pictures to come.

And more tales to tell.

I have a few more days before I need to knuckle back down for school, I promise I’ll show and tell a bit more before I get buried in the reading.

Promise.

The Man Burns

June 5, 2017

In 90 days!

Throwing up in my mouth.

SHUT UP.

Wait, I’ve been so super involved in my internship saga and supervision and training and ending my blog, and summer work schedule and shit, I just about peed my pants when I saw that posted on a facecrack group I belong to and really I was like, whatttttt?

Shit.

It’s time to get my stuff together.

Yeah, yeah.

I know.

It’s three months away, but that’s the burn, the event starts a week before that and considering that I am in school the weekend that I will need to leave for the playa, I’m going to have to get my ducks together faster as I won’t have much prep time for the event the weekend that I leave.

I am going to have to start stockpiling beverages, and start food prepping, well, ok, maybe not quite yet, but it’s a good idea to start getting a few things together.

Fortunately.

I have a tent, new last year, a nice 4-man that I did really well in.

I have a blow up mattress, a cooler, a chair, my bins.

Although I might invest in some new bins, the ones I have are easily seven or eight years old, I could stand a slight upgrade.

I may also pick up another cooler, not working event means not getting fed and means bringing all my food, I did pretty well last year, but the one cooler was only for four days of the event.

I’ll want basically double what I brought.

Fine.

That’s not too big a deal.

It’s small stuff really.

I have all the outfits I could possibly want, a decade of going to Burning Man has supplied me with plenty of playa clothes.

I may splurge on a pair of tights, but I don’t need socks, or bandanas, I don’t need goggles or a utility belt, I also have a thick cloth and lace back harness with a little saddle bag that was super handy last year when I didn’t want to wear my utility belt.

I have great boots.

I have my Mary Fucking Poppins umbrella.

I have almost all the things.

And I have Amazon.

For all the other things I need.

I went online this afternoon after having a really nice, slowed down, mellow day.

Slept until 8:15a.m. got up and stripped the bed down and washed all my linens, yes, I’ll be sliding into fresh crisp sheets, such a pleasure, tonight, plus a big load of laundry.  I went to yoga, even though it was an instructor who I don’t like, went anyway (you are going anyway, I told myself this morning when I saw there was an instructor change on the studio’s schedule), took a hot shower, washed the hair up good, ate a nice breakfast, drank a coconut milk latte, put my availability on the calendar for my internship and wrote.

And wrote.

Such a luxury to not have much to do today.

I had a mini panic attack, not really, sort of, yesterday when I realized that for the first time in weeks I didn’t have anything scheduled today.

I called my person and confessed my nerves, I like to be busy, makes it easier to not listen to the radio KFuck in my head,  on AM Station ‘Thinking All About Myself All The Time,’ and told on myself.

I got a cute text this morning telling me what I should do, I don’t think should was part of the message, it was more just a quick list of things to do today.

Rest.

Eat.

Yoga.

Mani/pedi.

Navel gaze.

SUCCESS!

I did all the things.

Yup.

After my writing this morning I headed up to the Inner Sunset and hit my nail spot, I had to wait a little, got a cafe au lait at Tart to Tart and read a trashy magazine in the salon.

Mani/pedi, waxing.

Yes, the eyebrows needed some tending.

Then hopped back on my scooter and headed to the grocery store to pick up some stuff to cook and food prep for the week.

From here on out all my weeks are six days weeks.

And I need to stay on top of my food prep.

I got back from the grocery store, had a very late lunch, al fresco on the back porch.

It was intermittently amazing and horribly chilly, depending on whether or not the wind was blowing.

It was sunny though, so I really didn’t care, when it got too chilly I retreated back to my little studio and just sat in the sun coming in through the back glass door, I got my sunshine fill in for sure.

I made dinner.

Very simple.

Roasted chicken, pot of brown rice.

I got the stuff to make soup out of the chicken when I finish it up.

A chicken can go a long fucking way for me.

It was while I was cooking dinner that it hit me.

Oh yeah.

Fuck.

That thing in the desert.

I better get on taking care of the things I need or the damn thing is going to be here and I’ll be caught with my dusty pants down.

I made a list in my head of the things I needed and the things I wanted.

First.

The things I need: new air mattress battery operated pump, mine broke last year; batteries to run pump; a playa bike and a bike basket.

My bike died last year, it’s a long story, better told elsewhere, but suffice to say I wasn’t expecting to have to replace my faithful stead and I have had some resistance to doing it and I realized, just do it.

So.

Yup.

I got my playa bike too.

One speed beach cruiser.

Done.

I also got the other stuff too, the pump, batteries, and the bike basket.

I have photo evidence that some of the things that were on my old bike are still out there for me, my bike pennant, and the vanity plate that had my name on it, that I got at the LA airport when I did the AidsLifeCycle ride, as well as a pair of fuzzy velvet dice I got in Reno many years back.

Every one needs a pair of fuzzy dice.

I mean, really.

I’m super psyched to have it out-of-the-way.

The thing that I didn’t get, out of my budget right now, but I may still throw down for it, is a pop up car port for shade over my tent.

I am not sure if I will get it or not.

Regardless.

I got my stuff and I posted up to a group I belong to that I am also looking for a ride to and from the event.

So, it’s all out there in the Universe.

I’m pretty excited.

It will be here before you know it.

And.

Ha.

This is great.

To wrap up my day, after, catching some last sunshiny rays on the back porch for dinner, chilly, but so pretty, and the wind had died down a little, I scootered up to a place up on Quintara and 20th and did the deal.

Always a good way to wrap up a day.

I went up to a woman and thanked her for what she had to share and she paused and looked at me, “I know you,” she said.

I looked at her and I realized, yeah, I had seen here somewhere else before, “you do look super familiar,” I replied.

She smiled.

“I wasn’t sure until I saw you up close, you were at Burning Man in 2015.”

Ha!

Yes.

As a matter of fact I was.

Heh.

We caught up and it was funny, my God has such a sense of humor, you know, the afternoon that it hits me that Burning Man is just around the corner so I do my big playa order.

And.

Boom.

I run into someone I met at Burning Man.

I love my life.

And.

Though I am by far not ready for the event.

I am much further ahead then I was this morning.

Seriously.

The Man burns in 90 days!

 

 

Poetry In Translation

February 6, 2017

Is like taking a shower in a raincoat.

Yes.

I went and saw a movie today.

That was a line between two of the characters.

It was lyric and sweet and the sweep of it was soft and gorgeous.

I was unexpectedly free this afternoon.

I had some things come up and I had to change my plans.

I had managed to get up and go to yoga, even though I really didn’t think I was going to after the late night I had last night.

I had turned off my alarm and just planned to let myself sleep in, but I was up in time to make the late morning yoga class and I went.

I really didn’t think I was going to, even after I had gotten out of bed.

I went and washed my face and brushed my teeth, drank a glass of water, took my iron supplement and flax-seed oil and went to get dressed.

I opened the door to the closet and pulled off my yoga pants from the rack and put them on.

I almost laughed out loud.

It was just so automated, my body telling my brain what it wanted to do and just doing it regardless of the brain that was like, no, you’re not going, my body was like, sorry Charlie, as my hands pulled up my yoga pants and then my sports bra and top, I actually chuckled at myself, I was that surprised.

Sometimes I have smart feet and they just carried me along despite my brains weak protestations that I could just go at another time.

Yeah.

Sure brain.

You get me into some hot spots you know, why don’t you just take a back seat today.

The yoga was good, but hard, I mean, it was a super challenging class, but I found myself letting it be hard and doing what I could to keep up and just being there was more than good enough.

I came back home, changed and made breakfast.

I did some inventory and decided that I needed to change-up my plans for the day, but I was till going to head down to Let It Bleed and see my tattoo artist.

I need some touching up on the star tattoo I got two weeks ago.

But.

Shoot.

It’s not fully healed.

“Nope, I’m not going to touch it, the skin’s too tight, it’ll end up tearing, you’ll scar, we need to wait a little longer,” he told me.

So.

No tattoo for me today.

Suddenly having time, I called a friend in the Mission, let’s hang out, I said on the message.

I started to walk towards the Mission and decided to go see a movie before I headed over to my friend’s house.

I ducked into Opera Plaza and saw Paterson.

It was just the perfect reprieve and the perfect place to watch a matinée on a rainy Sunday in San Francisco.

The theater was actually quite a bit fuller than I had expected and it was cozy, smelling of warm buttered popcorn and the soft warmth lulled me and the movie with its fluidity of images and poetic moments, its small details and artistry drew me in.

I left happy and content and meandered a nice mellow walk to my friend’s house.

We chatted, had tea, he fed me an apple and a thick slice of brie, we caught up, compared notes about this and that, school, mutual friends, life.

It was just right.

Then I headed over to Firewood Cafe up in the Castro and had a big heart to heart with my person about the events of my day and got some suggestions and afterwards we went over to Diamond and 18th and hung out with a big group of fellows and I got to be held and it felt so good to sit next to someone who loves me and gives me perspective and also doesn’t sugar coat anything and yet advocates for me in a way I am not sure anyone has ever done before.

And now home.

Some Jeff Buckley on the stereo, I was just talking about the show that I saw him in when he was on tour with his album Grace last night with my friend in Oakland.

I love you.

But.

I am afraid to love you.

How I heard the news when he died, drowning in a river, the Mississippi to be exact.

I was setting up the Angelic Brewing Company for that night’s dinner service and had cued up Grace to play on the sound system and one of the waitresses walked past and stopped and said, “God, weren’t you devastated when you heard he’d died?  I haven’t been able to listen to this yet, thanks for playing it now.”

I gasped.

I had remembered only that day wondering when he was going to be on tour again, impatiently waiting for his long over due album My Sweetheart, The Drunk.

I ended up giving him a eulogy in my speech class that semester and crying shamelessly during it.

Music moves me.

When he sang Leonard Cohen’s version of Hallelujah during the encore at the Barrymore Theater in Madison I just about collapsed with the joy and the exquisite pain of the music.

But you don’t really care for music.

Do you?

Things change.

But somethings are indelible on my soul and that song, those words, landed and stuck.

I have a great deal of perspective since then and have grown, moved, changed, evolved, but poetry is poetry is poetry.

And when I walked through the streets of San Francisco in the overcast grey and threatening rain I was glad for the light and the rain and the soft forlorn grey and the sweet surreal beauty of the sky over the Opera House, in the alleys of the Mission, the graffiti murals washed clean and bright in the tepid grey of the day, my heart shifted and the bloom of the umbrella over my head sheltered me and led me forward into the heart of the city that I am so-called to be a part of and belong to.

I am.

Even when the day was different then what I expected.

The open window lets the rain in.

The open heart lets the love in.

Thank you San Francisco.

I do so love you.

I do.

Thank you for loving me back.

It has not gone unnoticed.

No.

It has not.

 

Is It Thursday Yet?

June 29, 2016

Fuck.

I’m ready.

I packed my bag this morning for New Orleans.

The only fly in the ointment?

The weather.

Damn it.

It’s rain and thunderstorms the entire three days I am there.

However.

The temperature is also 90 during the day and low 70s at night.

So, um, I don’t really care that it’s going to be raining.

I can carry an umbrella.

I may not ride the bicycle the Air BnB provides for it’s roomers, but I can walk or get around via a car, I’ve got Lyft and Uber on my phone, they are helpful little things.

I don’t have to figure out the buses or the city mass transit.

I’ll just call for a car and go where I need to go.

And I bet there’s something really romantic about New Orleans in the rain, especially warm rain.

When it rains here it’s cold and miserable.

I don’t believe that I have ever experience 90 degree heat and rain in San Francisco.

I would probably think the world was coming to a close, shit, when it gets over 75 degrees in the city, it’s a freaky heat wave to me.

I have this vision of Susan Sarandon in Bull Durham, yeah, I know it’s not set in Louisiana, but there is a Southern flavor to it, and I am reminded of Sarandon’s character walking home in the rain with a giant parasol umbrella.

Southern Gothic romantic.

So.

Yeah.

I’m packed.

I had a bit of extra time this morning, I was going to go to yoga, in fact, I had set the alarm to get up early so that I could, but I had the worst headache last night, bordering on migraine, in fact had a lover gotten a hold of me I would literally have begged off with a headache.

Not something I have ever done.

I have never said no to sex because I have had a headache.

Anyway.

It was pretty rotten and I crawled into bed early and when the alarm went off, I was like, nope, back to sleep.

I figured I could get in another two hours before I should get up and that’s exactly what I did.

I might have actually gotten ten hours of sleep last night.

Which was fantastic.

I definitely needed it and I think I was fighting off a little something.

That was what compelled me to stay in bed more than anything, yeah, I wanted to go to yoga and it would have felt great and I am not going to be able to make it in to the studio until after my trip, but.

I staved off whatever sick I was feeling.

And today was 100% all the way.

The sleep was sexy and needed and wonderful.

And now I am ready to go.

Except.

Well.

I have two more days of work to get through.

I don’t typically pack so early, normally I pack day of or the night before.

So I have thrown my own internal travel time clock off a little bit.

I would catch myself thinking, more than once, that I was leaving tomorrow and get all excited, then realize, wait, shit, no, I have two more days before I travel.

Hmm.

I am actually wondering if I should repack considering what the weather is going to be like.

I packed three sundresses.

I really want to wear sundresses.

But.

If it’s not sunny, I mean be more comfortable in a pair of jeans.

Then again, I keep telling myself, 90 degree heat regardless of the sun being out.

90 degree temperatures calls for less clothing than I am used to, I just keep thinking cold, San Francisco rain.

Three sundresses, one crinoline, one pair of wedge sandals, and my swimsuit.

I may not swim either.

Then again, that could be fun, a swim in the rain.

Who knows.

Things never go as I plan.

I thought I might be seeing someone tonight and the things never fell together and then I was supposed to meet with my person and that got cancelled and then instead of being in the Castro I am suddenly in the Inner Richmond sitting in a church basement I rarely frequent.

But it was good.

And I saw my people.

And I felt great leaving knowing I done what I needed to do to take care of myself and my recovery.

I had a moment when I was like, fuck it, I’m just going to go home.

Except.

What was I going to do?

Oh.

I know what I was going to do, watch a bunch of Orange is the New Black and beat myself up for not doing the deal and then feel guilty because I didn’t do the yoga too.

I should not do that.

And I argued a little with myself.

But the smart feet won out and when the time came to make the turn to my house or to God’s house.

Well.

It was pretty easy to choose.

And voila.

Head on straight, happy in my self, home sound and safe, happy I took the right turn instead of the left and now I can watch some OITNB without any quilt, thank you very much.

Plus.

It keeps me connected.

I wasn’t drifting, but I was feeling some isolation in my program and consistently doing the deal since the past semester of grad school ended has helped tremendously with that.

Granted I already have grad school stuff on the mind and I actually just now checked my courses from the past year and yes, all A’s.

YES.

ALL A’s.

Granted a bunch of my classes were pass/fail, that’s the nature of some of the courses, (I passed them all, should you be wondering) but the one with grades, A’s, which means, though I have not gotten my last paper back from Psychodynamic’s, I must have gotten a solid A on it.

And my Family Ethics and Law Course.

The one with the big, gnarly take home final, I got an A.

Sweet.

That feels really good.

Not a bad day at all.

Not necessarily the day I planned.

But.

So it goes.

My best days are always better than my best laid plans.

Always.

Mary Poppins It Up

February 7, 2014

I am not riding my bike to work tomorrow.

No, the wheel is fine, no more flat tires this week.

I just don’t want another day of riding in the rain.

It is supposed to rain all weekend and I have enough time tomorrow morning to take the train and use my umbrella.

My gigantic, heart-shaped umbrella that I ordered especially for Burning Man this past year having been inspired by my friend in Rome who had one similar.

I think I shall wear a red dress and put my hair up to just have some icing on the cake.

Because if you are going to wear rainy day gear you may as well have fun with it.

I don’t have rain gear, something I have been meaning to remedy and the time has just consistently gotten away with me.  I have not made a trip to Sports Basement to do so and the couple of places I did check in with, although having some, it was not what I was looking for.

Determined to not feel cold and wet all day at work I put on the back fender to my bicycle and charged up the lights on my laptop–I have rechargeable bike lights that charge on the USB port on my laptop–making sure they were at their brightest luminosity.

I wore thick winter leggings, in black glitter, a pair of jean shorts, a long sleeve black top over the tank top, a sweatshirt, my jean jacket, and my black glitter infinity scarf, put my hair in pigtails to keep it off my face, pocketed my glasses–too hard to see with rain drops all over them–and put a hat on my head.

I arrived at work earlier than I expected, also having left ten minutes earlier in case people were cuckoo on the road, which happens often when the weather turns wet, and way over heated, but ultimately, dry.

Not bad.

The day was mellow for me, the rain held steady all day and my little charge and I did not do much besides reading  and singing and making little videos to send to her folks.

We did “You Are My Sunshine” and “If You’re Happy and You Know It”.

Adorable.

Really adorable.

Her grandparents were in town to celebrate her second birthday and when I showed her grandmother the video this afternoon of her singing she clutched my arm and said, “Oh, thank you!”

Apparently my photos from our days have made their way to the grandparents and she gushed about how much they love getting them.

It felt really nice to be acknowledged and to share the joy of getting to work with their grand-daughter.

I also took advantage of the grandparents being with us in the early part of the day to clean and tidy and take care of the house, a little birthday gift to the parents.

I don’t always feel compelled to go above and beyond that much, but it really was also a way to keep myself busy while they played with her.

Then they were off to see the sites and my charge and I went for a little walk.

I bundled her up in the stroller with extra blankets and layers and popped the plastic skin over the top and we ducked out during a slight break in the rain to stretch my legs and give us a little change of pace.

We walked a few blocks, went to BiRite sampled the blood oranges and cheese.

I bought my bag of Stumptown Holler Mountain and some gorgeous organic apples.

Then a quick duck into The Mill for an Americano with almond milk, for me, not my charge, and by the time we got back to the house it was lunch time.

We ate together and sang some more songs and then snuggled and she went down like a little dream boat to nap and I had two hours to read and catch up on some e-mails and texts.

One of which was the very exciting text message from a friend who read my post about researching getting a glitter helmet, and lo and behold, he has one I can haz.

Yippee!

Oh, dear lord it is stupid cute.

Black glitter with silver stars.

I have been trying to get the photo that my friend sent me to one of my other accounts to have it for the post, but the internet is a little wonky right now and I am done trying.

I don’t feel like wasting more time on it, suffice to say, it is spanking cute.

In fact, serendipity, it matches, exactly, what I was wearing today.

Made me laugh right out loud when I was sitting down to breakfast this morning and checking my phone to get the text from my friend and then see the photo attached.

I yipped with glee, basically.

Said, “I want,” and “yes please.”

We’ll meet up for lunch soon and the hand off shall happen.

Oh my things are moving that way.

It will be so lovely to show up for work without having broken a sweat.

So nice.

Funny, wonderful, really, how things fall right into place when they are supposed to.

I mean, my friend offered me this scooter years ago and I wasn’t ready.

For what ever reason, I am now.

Has something to do with doing the work, I suppose.

Going where the resistance is and walking through it.

Or riding through it, as the case may be.

Tomorrow, though, no riding of vehicles, except the train and the bus.

I shall go slow.

I shall wear my trousers rolled.

I shall, wait, I am not going to the beach, I am going to the Castro.

I shall use my Mary Poppins umbrella and show my that my heart really does belong in San Francisco.

Where I will show up, dry and in good cheer for my last nanny shift of the week.

I almost forgot it’s Friday.

Nice how the week has gone by.

Nice to have shown up for it.

Small actions that have led, almost miraculously, to me signing up for the Motorcycle Safety Course, confirming the buy of a scooter, and being given the helmet of my dreams.

“When it’s meant to be,” she told me once, “it will all fall magically into place in a way you cannot imagine.”

I could not have imagined this last week.

And yet, here it is.

How wonderful.

 


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