Posts Tagged ‘unstructured time’

I Raise Your Black Friday

November 27, 2013

And up you a Tuesday.

Today was my first day off in seven days, my first day of six days off, and my first day of not knowing what the fuck I was going to do.

I knew I needed to do some shopping.

I did not get it all done.

However, I did get more done than I would have suspected.

Even venturing downtown to pick up a bottle of my favorite perfume.

Egoiste pour Homme, by Chanel.

If you have any concept of French you may have sussed out that my perfume is actually a men’s scent.

And I like to think it funny, especially where I am at in my life and how far I have come, and all the work I do, that I still douse myself in something that directly translates to “selfish” in English.

Of course, I did not know this when I first saw the little bottle on the shelf at the half-price discount and over stock store in Newton, Iowa where I was living, working as a bartender at, wait for it.


Iowa’s Largest Country Western Nightclub.

That’s right.

It was sexy sexy times let me tell you.

Nothing says good times like underage bartending, teased hair, hot pink polo shirts (the staff’s uniform, a hot pink polo with Boots-N-Spurs crested over the breast and a picture of a bucking bronco tossing a cowboy in black ink over the back.  With this plucky little bon mot stitched into it: “and that’s no bull-shirt”), Budlight on tap, Budweiser in bottles, the “import” was Coors, ‘cuz it was from like the other side of the Rocky’s, pool tables, jukebox with loads of Alan Jackson, Patsy Cline, Billy Ray Cyrus (yes I knew how to Boot Scoot and Boogie and if you ever ask me how I will have to punch you in the face), and various other Country/Western/Country Pop singers and bands.

I had just gotten paid.

The rent was paid and there was a little left over.

I was living in this weird little two bedroom on the main strip with my sister, her husband, their baby daughter and we were just trying to make it all happen.

Two young girls, one baby, one ex-con shifty motherfucker and some pluck.

I wanted to get something pretty for myself and had succeeded in not finding a thing at the mall.

We were wandering through this little discount store when I saw the perfume.

I don’t know why I took it down and smelled it, but it blew me away.

It was the most amazing thing I had ever smelled in my life.

It was half off and though above my budget, I had to have it.

I sprayed myself down.

I probably hosed myself down with it.

It has a sharp citrus, grapefruit smell to it edged with a little deep rosewood.  Which is probably why it works well with men and me, I tend to have a strong chemistry that eats up perfume.  Then it mellows and develops into a smooth floral almost to my nose a tuber rose, but not as heavy, then it gets spicy and woodsy like wild geranium, and it finishes warm on the skin with a semi-sweet vanilla nose.

It is astounding.

I have had men and women stop me on the street and ask me what I am wearing.

Sometimes I like to spray a little on the base of my throat before I go to bed and just smell it wafting over me as I pull up the covers.

It is intoxicating and I have never had anything else work quite so well for me.

Oh, I have tried, Issey Miyake’s Feu D’Issey (Fire), came close–but it was discontinued within a few years of its release.

I wore it when I could not find the Egoiste any longer.

It was pulled from normal stores and became a boutique only scent in the United States.

Meaning, you can only buy it at Chanel boutiques.

In Paris, where I got my last bottle, you can get it in the Marionnaud’s which remind me of an upscale Walgreeens pharmacy, as well as the boutiques.

I sprayed my last little drops onto my neck this morning and after the teary bout I had upon awakening, yes, I cried this morning when confronted with free time.

Isn’t that just fucking ridiculous?

Most people are starving for free time, down time, relax time.


I can’t get enough of pack it in time, make more happen time, get it done time.



Who are you talking too?

Jesus H. Christ on a fucking raft.

I got a glimpse of the inside of the thought though and that was interesting.

I was unwilling to get out of bed, it was warm and soft and snuggly, but I was wide awake and knew I was only going to lie there and think and well, the thinking is not a good idea.

So I popped up out of bed and got my day started.


Brush the teeth.

Strip down the bed and wash the sheets.

Kneel down beside the bed and say some words and read some stuff.

And then ask for direction, because I don’t have any and the idea of a whole day of free time is freaking me out and cue tears.

I realized as I got anxious and it threatened to swallow me up that I am always trying to make up for lost time, that if it doesn’t get done now it never will, I am always trying to make it happen, when most the time, “it” just needs me to get the fuck out the way.



That’s me.

Selfish, what do I have or think I have that I am trying to hold onto?

I am trying to be perfect, not need your help, and keep it all together.

I am trying to hold onto doing it all on my own, all alone.

Of course to no avail.

And it isn’t what I really want anyhow.

But seeing that I was castigating myself for not getting more done made me laugh, out loud.

Oh, for fuck sake, I had already accomplished a load of things this morning.

I added to that list by making a really awesome breakfast, having a couple of mugs of fresh ground pour over Stumptown Coffee, then writing three pages long hand, paying my rent a week early, balancing my check book, cleaning my kitchen and bathroom, sweeping the floors, shaking out the rugs, taking out the trash, pulling in the garbage cans from the curb, doing another load of laundry and meditating.

All before lunch.

Yeah, I don’t do anything at all.

I said I am done being silly and I am allowed to splurge and buy myself a new bottle of perfume, I helped out this weekend at the Makers Mart and the money felt like it should spend joyously.

I eschewed my bicycle, rode the N-Judah downtown and went to Maiden Lane where the Chanel boutique is and bought my bottle of “selfish”.

I picked up a few other things on my way back to the Inner Sunset where I had a tea date with a friend and a manicure appointment.

And I had a really nice day being down in the shopping district before it was Black Friday.

I won’t go near that or any other shopping district this Friday.

This Friday I am hoping will be blue.

As in surfing the ocean blue.

That’s how I am going to celebrate the day after Thanksgiving.

Not trying to mash my way into an electronic store or shoe store or what ever other store the rest of the world is trying to mash into.

I think I will opt away from that.

Tomorrow, another long day with almost nothing planned.

Maybe I will cry.

But it will be ok.

Letting out the grief helps me let in the love.

And that’s the best smell of all.

God Save Me From Unstructured

November 18, 2013



I am so bad with not having my day chock a block full that inadvertently, though I have been trying to hold certain days free, I blocked out a seven-day work week next week.

Damn Gina.

What are you trying to do to yourself?

Of course it was pointed out to me by my dear friend who was asking after possible surfing dates.

“Next Sunday?” He asked, eyes twinkling.

“Yes! Wait, uh, no, fuck, I said I would help some one out at the SF Craftsman Fair.”

He smiled and shook his head at me, “I thought you were holding Sundays free?”

I was.

I was!

However, I shan’t be cancelling on my friend, I want to help her out and I realized that despite wanting very much to go surfing with my other friend, that I do need to have some income to cover that six days off around Thanksgiving.

And, I have six days off.

So far I have only put down a lunch date with a girlfriend, who being a doctor, actually has a crazier schedule than I do, that Tuesday.

Otherwise, yes, so help me God, I am holding space.

I am holding space for you, I promise.

Even when it is so challenging.

The sun was out, I had just meditated and for the second time this morning I found myself in tears.

I had absolutely no idea where they came from, what they signified, or what caused them, although I have a theory to be explored short with, they just were there.

Sliding down my face, wet, salty.

Unlike the water I thought might be falling down my face this Sunday–I had tentatively made plans to go surfing with some girls down in Pacifica, but what ended up happening, classic miscommunication, is they assumed I had a car.


This lady only gets round by bicycle, the occasional MUNI ride, the once in a while motorcycle lift, and the ultra decadent cab ride.

Which being out in the Outer Sunset is a decidedly wicked treat.

One which I doubt I will be pulling out again.

The girls left for Pacifica, told me where they would be and see you soon.




The possible swimming did not happen, but the solidification of a lunch date with the aforementioned doctor shall.




Oh hell, I have nothing to do today.

Not true, I was meeting my dearest Joan in the Mission and we had a late dinner planned at SunFlower on Valencia and 16th.

Which was fabulous.

Hot and Sour Soup with veggies.

Pot of tea.

Divine company.


I had nothing to do during the early afternoon and that left me  wide open to the emotions of the week, the month, the year, fuck, who knows, my entire god damn life.

I wrote my morning pages, cried.

I did some laundry.


I paced around the studio, the sunlight shafting in through the open door, the seductive shush of the sea just underpinning all my spinning about the studio, the Adirondack chair beckoned.


I give up.

I will sit in the sun and meditate.



Nip of breeze every once in a while biting at my fingers with a delicious sharp chill breaking the warm sun that fell on my face and chest and legs, reminding me to stay anchored in my body.

My mind rambled about for a bit.

I breathed and pushed further back into the wood slats of the chair, muscles relaxing and then, again, tears.


It seems that when I give myself enough time I am going to have feelings, whether or not I want them.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, I want feelings, I just have a preponderance toward the good ones.

Yet, I know, intrinsically that the sad has to come out and that it eases.

I just want the relief.




I know what to do when this happens and I picked up my phone that was on the chair arm and started making phone calls.

I got what I needed.

Perspective and suggestions.

Suggestions I promptly engaged in and within a few minutes my mood had shifted and I asked myself what I wanted to do.

Kale salad!


Hula hoop!

Hoop time

Sunday Afternoon



Walk in the ocean with my pants rolled up around my knees.

The fact is, that despite wanting to very much get into the water, oh the longing watching the surfers from the shore, it was likely for the best that I did not go swimming today or go surfing in Pacifica.

I have to go see the doctor tomorrow about my shoulder and I can imagine that it would have been some physical strain to exert myself in and out of the water.

I was reassured by that small, intuitive voice in myself that the ocean was not going anywhere and that for today, at least, the best I could do was work it out with the hoop.

I picked a spot on the beach, breathed in the air, sucked it down really, and felt the sadness pool around me, but not engulf me.

I am just having some feelings.

I don’t have to know why.

I forget that quickly.

The thing about sadness, too, is that it is ephemeral and passes through me when I let it, quite quickly.

Though there was a certain melancholic tinge to the afternoon, it was more from the gray skies then from any grey interior feelings.

Ocean Beach

Ocean Beach

The beach was lovely, the tide low, the sun shimmering beneath the clouds, the blue skies breaching behind me over Twin Peaks, the kites in the sky.

I hooped for a while then sat on the sand and ate my salad and the most glorious pear from Frog Hollow Orchard, courtesy of the BiRite, and my heart just opened and expanded and beat.

Not hard or painfully.

Just fully.



You are alive.

I felt vibrant.


And yes, still sweetly sad, but it was just the echoes of the earlier emotion and the salt of the tears that had fallen blended with the salt in the air and I felt washed out and clean and ready to move forward.

A train ride into the Castro.

A visit with my dear friend.

A conversation about surfing, schedules, and life, with another friend and my day bloomed open.

Funny that.

Hold those doors open, make that space, and love settles in.

Not pain.

Not self-pity.

The sadness washes clean the space for the love to settle in.

I walked back from the bowl of soup, called my other friend and let him know it was good to see him, and knew that I was blessed with my life.

I bought groceries and gratefully boarded the N-Judah back to the beach.

My house with its fresh made bed greeted me, my hula hoop–I even hooped a few more minutes while I waited for the kettle to boil–some music on the stereo, some candles lit perfuming the air, and just now, the words, the solace of my day, and the muffled roar of the ocean beaching onto the sand again and again.

Time for more unstructured time.


%d bloggers like this: