Posts Tagged ‘Upper Haight’

That Was Fun

March 19, 2017

And it didn’t kill me.

It was just tacos.

And I don’t like tacos.

But.

I went anyway.

I know, did you read that, I don’t like tacos.

Who doesn’t like tacos for fucks sake?

I love tacos, people, love them, rub those greasy soft tortilla wrap things all over my naked body, smear me with guacamole and sour cream, drape me in cheese.

And then watch me binge out on all the other things that I would be eating if I decided to eat something that I refrain from for my abstinence.

I was laughing with a friend.

Like anything with sugar.

“You can’t just have one piece?”

(or one beer or one shot or one line)

No.

Chocolate cake would eventually go something like this–one piece of chocolate cake, becomes two pieces, becomes, let’s eat the whole damn thing, and have a big glass of milk and since nothing is better after a “meal” let’s have a cigarette and fuck since I’m smoking I might as well have a cocktail and if I’m going to have a cocktail let’s call my dealer and get a bag of blow.

And.

Well.

There it is.

Chocolate cake equals cocaine.

You think I jest.

But that is my truth.

So no tacos for me.

I had the taco salad without the taco.

Fuck.

I had Mexican food twice today, that was not planned.

Much of today was not planned, on purpose, I wanted to leave some space to be free to actually have a day off and be flexible.

I did get up and do yoga, my arms are a little sore, but not too bad.

I had a nice leisurely breakfast and took a hot shower and went to meet up with my person and do the deal and cry a bit about being overwhelmed with the internship stuff and school and practicum and stuff and life.

She slowed me down, and really helped me get into the present, into today, into the joy of living and admonished me to have fun, which she actually does a lot now that I am thinking about it, she often tells me to have fun, and I decided to take her suggestion and see if I could have fun.

It wasn’t always easy today, I can get stuck trying to make things happen, but I just tried to let myself go with the flow and show up where I was supposed to be and after that see what happens.

What happened was a nice lunch, a manicure and a pedicure and then a scooter ride over to Waller and Stanyan to Free Gold Watch to play pinball.

I actually got sore wrists from playing.

Hehe.

Does any one get carpal tunnel syndrome from pinball?

I might have today.

I played my favorite, The Addams Family, and also I played The Twilight Zone a lot.

Then I zipped over to Turk and Divisadero, got right with God, made a confession at group level about being wildly adverse to fellowship and needing to do it and supposedly having to have fun and I don’t want to eat tacos.

And I got merry hell from my friends and ended up going out to some taqueria on Divisadero with a crew of people and hanging out until there was no one left to hang out with.

Got to love it when I take suggestions.

I don’t regret them ever.

Oh, sure it’s uncomfortable, social stuff is, being vulnerable, letting people see you, but I have community and as I do ramp up with all the school stuff I really am trying to keep my toe in the pool, maybe even sit on the steps and get a little submerged.

I remind myself, hey you, you like to swim, don’t be afraid.

And I will be afraid and that’s ok, but I don’t have to let the fear run the show.

It did a lot early in the week when I was freaking out about my schedule and meeting with my site director and setting up what my internship was going to look like.

I was anxious and in so much fear.

It was unnecessary, it was unpleasant and I just got spun out.

Anxiety is useless.

It’s worrying about the future and trying to worry so hard that I have all the fretting out-of-the-way before the actual event happens as a way to control the uncertainty of the event.

I want to be in control because if I don’t know what’s going to happen, something really bad might happen.

So I find myself pre-emptive and I fret.

God, how I fret.

And you wonder how it was that I was diagnosed with clinical anxiety ten years ago.

Yeah.

I had no clue that was what was going on with me.

It’s always been there, I just hadn’t the vocabulary to describe what was happening, or the knowledge that it wasn’t normal, or that there were things I could do to alleviate it.

Or that, I don’t know the horrific shit show of things that happened to me as a child were traumatic and might have long-lasting effects, like, um, I don’t know, being scared to be out of control of my environment because something bad this was coming.

Anxiety?

Nope.

Not me.

Bwahahahahaaha.

Fuck.

Grad school has definitely stirred that pot, from working with the stuff that comes up for me, working through a lot of it, processing, training myself, learning how to deal with my emotions, finding things that stir me up, realizing how things land in my body and how my body is affected.

All sorts of things.

I am super grateful for all the things and the getting to work through them and not have “death by tacos” and hanging out and getting connected with a group of pretty awesome, talented, kind, cool, smart folks.

In other words.

I had fun.

Mission accomplished.

 

The Opposite Action

July 31, 2015

From what I think I should do is usually the action I need to take.

So.

With that in mind, I slept in a second day in a row, just because, wow, bed, it’s a nice place to be.

“Where did you go on summer vacation?”

To bed.

“Where did you camp on summer vacation?”

In bed.

I jest.

A tiny bit.

Bed, it was nice.

I did get up and I did take care of business, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t, now would I.

I did the deal, I read the works, I said the words, I knelt, no I did not genuflect, fuck off, but I did get humble.

I find that kneeling puts me in a place of humility, it drops me into a level of acquiescence to do that opposite action that I so often do not want to take.

Like.

Um.

Having fun.

Yeah, I know, how hard is it to have fun?

Well, you see, it’s just not allowed.

“I love coming over to your place, it’s like there’s a party going on whenever I come over.”

AW!

That might be one of the nicest things I have had said about my little home.

Beats the time I had a friend over to my place in Nob Hill and she said it was like being in a shop display.

I wasn’t sure how to take that, in fact, I’m still not.

But it felt like a backward compliment.

The former statement though, about my place being a party makes me happy to hear, I like that, and it is a celebratory space and a comfy space and, dare I say it, a welcoming space.

I could use better communal seating, no couch, but it’s not bad for the size of what I have, there’s a chaise and a table and four chairs and my bed and it works.

Plus lots of art and I like to burn candles and I like listening to music while I’m here.

It is a party, my party, I’m the main attendee, but you know, I do like guests, so you know.

Anywho.

After doing my morning, or dare I say, my early afternoon routine, I knew I wanted to do two things, one was cook some food up for the next few days so I wouldn’t have to eat out, and the second, was to yes, take the suggestion that has been given to me more than a few times this past week, go out and have fun.

Well, damn it, ok.

I guess.

I did my morning writing and realized while doing it that, yes, I do want to go to the Turner Exhibit at the DeYoung, but I would like to go with my friend who brought me down to LA to see the LACMA and the MOCA.

He’s a big art fan too and I want to go on a museum date with him rather than a solo outing on my own.

Although, I may change my mind and just go tomorrow anyway.

But today, what sounded like fun was being a little silly and being a little girly and being a little Burning Man.

I made plans to go to the Upper Haight.

But first!

The stuff of life.

I went to Noriega Produce and picked up a few essentials and then popped into Establish to look around, I always find something I like there and today it was a card, I owe someone a thank you and I found a sweet little card and it felt pretty darn nice to write a note and drop it in the mail later on today when I was in the Haight.

I got back from the market and cooked up lunch, and what was dinner and will be lunch and dinner for me tomorrow as well (and stuck one container in the freezer to bring to Burning Man, slowly but surely accruing all my food stuffs, I don’t have much left to prepare for, except picking up some apples to take with me, but that won’t be until I’m on the road)–sautéed organic chicken thighs with onions, garlic, white sweet corn, and brown mushrooms along with a pot of brown rice.

Then I hopped on my bicycle, despite rather not wanting to ride, I had a feeling I needed a little exercise and the ride provided just exactly what I needed, and headed up into the Haight.

I went to Good Will and found the dress of the century.

I have never been so lucky at a Good Will.

Ever.

I found a fantastic kelly green and white polka dot 70s vintage sun dress with rushing in the back and a full swing out skirt, it has a sweet heart neck line that ties around the neck with strings and it made my heart sing when I tried it on.

I wanted to come out of the dressing room and parade around the store, “look at me!  Look what I found! I never find stuff like this!”

I restrained myself, barely, and gleefully changed back into my street clothes, but don’t you worry, I’ll be wearing that dress tomorrow, heck it might make for the perfect thing to wear on a museum date with myself, and it will definitely be going out with a big old crinoline underneath it.

After my score at Good Will I was riding pretty high.

I went to the two dance shops on the block and picked up two pairs of ruffle panties, white and black, because every body, I do mean, everybody, men and women, should have a pair or two of ruffled bloomers for Burning Man, and besides they were $5 a pair.

Come on.

Then the other dance shop where, yes I did, I scored a tutu for $13!

Hell yes.

And.

It’s hot pink.

So I’ll have something to match my hair to.

Ahem.

I have one jar of Manic Panic I am reserving for after I work with the family again in Sonoma–I get in the pool a lot with the boys and I have no intention of doing my hair hot pink only to have the chlorine strip it right back out.

Learned my lesson on that one already, thank you very much.

I also picked up a five dollar pair of patterned fish nets at the store.

Quite pleased with myself, I made my last stop of the shopping trip–The Sock Shoppe.

Oh.

How do I love thee?

Let me count the tights.

The funky ones and the butterfly ones and the checkerboard patterned and the flowered ones, and oh yes, the fancy high end ones with a love song lyric scrolled over the legs, I’ll take those too.

I have a Sock Shopped addiction.

But I only hit the place once a year, pre-Burning Man, and I was well within my budget.

So.

I had fun.

And fun wouldn’t be fun if I didn’t stop at Free Gold Watch.

That’s right.

I got my pinball on.

Damn Gina.

It was good.

I had raided my piggy bank for quarters before I left the house.

Two games of The Machine–Bride of Pinbot and Ten games of the Addams Family.

I had fun.

I absolutely did.

And I took the other suggestion and did no graduate school reading today.

I just let myself have a day off.

Simple stuff, shopping, cooking, writing, a bicycle ride, a few pinball games, some butterfly tights and a tutu.

Life is really good.

Especially.

When I get the hell out of my own way.

And take the opposite action.

Serenity by the Sea

September 15, 2013

“It’s so peaceful out here,” my ladybug said to me this afternoon as we walked from Trouble Coffee back to my place.

It is indeed.

I sat on the back porch twice today for my meals.

Lunch and dinner al fresco, the sun broke through the fog, the ravens took wing swooping and diving and occasionally deigning to sit upon a roof top and survey the world with bright eyes before careening off into the blue sky again.

I woke up rested in my new bed, ate a leisurely breakfast, did some writing and then a hot shower, coffee, and the meeting of minds at the coffee shop.

I caught a ride to the Upper Haight with her and went grocery shopping, returning via the N-Judah with sacks of supplies to eat my lunch on the porch right outside my door.

It is really sublime to open the door and step out to the sun and hear the crash of the surf and smell the ocean, just there, just a few blocks down, three to be exact, and feel so calm, so relaxed.

So serene.

After lunch I chit chatted with my friend, landlord, room-mate, but not really room-mate, our spaces are pretty autonomous even though we have a common entry way, there is enough space between her space and my place.

Yet, it is also near enough and open enough that I can just holler up the stairs and see what she is up to.

She had busy work, her weekends are geared to work and her daughter was recovering from a slumber party, who sleeps at slumber parties?  They should be called up all night and giggling parties, and she was pretty chill with her My Pretty Ponies corralled up in a nest of cushions on the floor.

Not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

I checked in with my friend about furnishings she said I could borrow for the in-law and I showed her the new set up, my bed basically, and how the space was shaping up.

I got the go ahead on the chaise lounge in the garage and the next thing you know she has dusted off two chairs and pulled out a shabby chic beach blue table with folding leaves, and a couple of night stands and voila!

I am totally set up.

It is amazing.

I have a home.

It feels a tiny bit like a motel room to me as everything is so brand new and clean and un-marked.  I have not put any art on the walls or photographs.

I am awaiting the right time to go out to a friend’s house way out in the Excelsior and get my boxes out of storage–photos and art and notebooks, my grandfather’s spice rack, and if I am not mistaken a couple of lamps.

When those things are procured I will have my space fully realized.

That and a rug, a throw pillow for the chaise, and a soap dish for the bathroom.

And that’s it.

I have  a home.

I have a home I want to stay put in, for a long time.

This feels like home in a new way and in an old way too.

“I grew up in the bay area and my first memories are of the beach,” I told my ladybug as the sounds of the Beach Boys was playing at Trouble Coffee.

“I feel like I have come all the way home, after a very long meander,” I finished, sipping the hot Americano and looking out the door at the light in the sky.

That special kind of light that bounces off the water and paints the  buildings in sand washed warmth.

When the last tweaks on my in-law were done and I had a cup of hot tea in me I decided it was time to take my inaugural walk to the beach.

I slipped off my Converse and socks and put on a pair of polka dot flip-flops and headed to the ocean.

Flip Flops

Polka Dot Flip Flops

I took them off as soon as I hit the sand and climbed up the dunes to the crest to see the sea spread before me, splendid and board, all-encompassing, shattered with light and sunshine.

Sand Dune

Sand Dune

Pacific Ocean

Pacific Ocean

I breathed in deep.

Delighted to be here, the crash of the waves drowning out any noise in my head.

I understood in a split second why, early into my sobriety, I was drawn to the sea.

The noise was louder than the noise in my head.

The serenity of not hearing the constant monkey wrench grind of my thoughts and the chitty chitty bang-bang of useless dreck being constantly manufactured.

Just the bash of the waves and the crescendo of the surf.

It created a kind of dream like meditative state.

I felt like I was walking in a silence that was deep and powerful and lulling.

The lullaby of the ocean.

How have I lived this long without that noise in my ears?

I walked out to the surf and got my toes wet.

The water swirled around my feet and my heart soared above me, a kind of delirious feeling of vertigo threatened to over take me and I swayed watching the clear bubbles draining away back to the ocean as the tide pulled back out.

Dogs splashed past me, lovers leaned into each other and laughed, sharing a private moment on the vast beach.

Lovers

Lovers

The sun and sky.

The wind and the water.

Tide

Tide

I wondered, as I took my camera and aimed it at a kite surfer, will I get bored with this?

Will it become blase?

Or will it continue to delight and soothe and comfort me?

I tend to think the latter.

I am grateful to be here and excited to see what develops in this land of sand and salt.

The tears in my eyes were probably caused by the wind pushing its way past my glasses, my vision blurred as I pointed the camera directly to the sun and shot another photograph.

Kite Surfer

Kite Surfer

My heart burst with the beat of the ocean and I brushed the moisture off my face, pocketing my glasses, I stood, eyes closed, surf rolling over my feet, and said a few words of grace.

For graced I am.

Blessed.

Loved.

Salt saturated.

Serene.

Home.

Home by the sea.

Unexpected Artist Date

August 4, 2013

With my friend Katie.

So nice to run into people on the street who are going the same way you are, but hey, would you mind, I have to make a detour to Flax?

Uh, yeah, count me in.

Although it is really easy for me to drop a batshit amount of money in there and I already feel like I spent the money that I made this weekend in the city, but yes, I want to go.

I was walking back from the Upper Haight is a really leisurely manner, debating what I wanted to do, where I wanted to go, and who I wanted to see.

I was done with the nanny gigs and had gone down into the Mission to the office to get my bicycle and bring it back to the people I will be working for at Burning Man.

I rode it through the Mission, through the Castro, over the hills and through the woods, to Burning Man we go, along the Wiggle, through the Pan Handle, across at Clayton, left at Stanyan, right on Cole and over to the house.

Whew.

That was a work out.

And if you think writing that paragraph took me a minute, imagine riding a slow, low slung chopper bike through the hills and valleys of San Francisco.

But I made it and I supremely enjoyed the ride there.

The wind was cool, the fog was coming in, but the sun was still peeking out from the banks of fog and it felt delicious on my skin as I pedaled through the city, waving at a few people, smiling for the sheer fun of it, imagining that I would soon be making my inaugural ride on playa with the new saddle.

Which is comfy, but there are still issues.

Sigh.

Cruiser

Cruiser

My legs are too long.

The saddle does not sit back far enough for me to get good leg extension on the frame.

That being said, it is still a serviceable bike and it will be great on playa, it’s flat, the wheels are nice and fat and I have a snappy purple pennant and a new silver bell.

Ding ding.

You should have heard me whistle as I rolled through the Panhandle, I amused the shit out of myself.

I got it to the house, tucked it away in the garage and bid my bicycle adieu.

Next time I see her to ride her it will be at Burning Man.

Yippee!

After I dropped the bike off to my employers I decided despite not knowing exactly where I was going or what I was doing  I wanted to walk.

The slowing down on the cruiser made me realize what a lovely city I bicycle through on a pretty regular basis and don’t pay attention to.

I walked and looked and smelled.

Granted I also ducked and dodged and crossed the street a few times when I was in the thick of the throngs of Haight Street shopper/tourist/homeless/’kind bud’ madness.

Slight aside: how is it that there are homeless guys and gals hanging out at the top of the park spare changing for medical marijuana, er McDonald’s, and they have gorgeous tattoos?

That shit cost some money.

Believe me,  I know.

Granted I see a lot of shittastic tattoos and homemade gun tattoos and prison tattoos and I let my room-mate practise on me tattoos, but some of them are really good and the really good usually means, really big money.

Anyway, the amount of homeless dreck and dogs that happens right at the mouth of the park is always a little weird to navigate through but I do notice things as I push the pram to the Golden Gate Children’s Area.

God I am lucky to have such close access to that park.

Aside over.

I did some window shopping, tried on some clothes, but there’s not really anything I need and I don’t want to spend money on more stuff right now.

I realized as I was putting away my weekend bag I really have prepared myself better for this Burning Man than I have for any other.

Of course, with it being my 7th I sort of know what works the best for me and what makes me the happiest to have with me.

I let myself get those things this year.

But I don’t need to go over board and when I was assaulted by all things neon, sparkling, and bedazzled at the Piedmont store on Haight, I knew it was time to get the fuck out of Dodge.

I walked back out of the store to see I had a message and I got a hold of my friend who was already up in Noe Valley.

That decided me.

I would go up to Noe Valley and hang out and then go do the deal up at St. Phillips and see my people.

Like I said before, I need my fellows more than I have ever realized and I need my friends and that’s where they were going to be.

So I decide that is where I would go.

As I was walking from the Upper Haight down to the Lower Haight I saw the 24 bus go by and thought, well, shoot, I could just keep walking down to the bike shop, grab my one speed and head up the hill or…

I could bump into a friend going my way, by way of Flax.

Yes.

I got glitter glue.

And stickers.

Heh.

And one post card to send myself from the event.

I always do.

It’s nice to come back and have a post card from your most authentic sparkle pony self to remind you of the time you spent out there.

I like to send myself postcards where ever I go.

I had a nice meander through Flax while my friend got her art supplies for a class she’s teaching and then we went up to the Valley.

It was perfect.

I saw friends.

I laughed.

I poked fun at myself for having bunny stickers in my bag and glitter nail polish on, but really I love it, and I feel happier, sillier too, sometimes, for it, and tomorrow I will whip out the glitter glue and go to town.

But for now, the day is done and I am going to fix myself a little more tea and watch a little Orange is the New Black before I punk out.

More glitter tomorrow.

Me, A Book, & A Bicycle

July 28, 2013

That was today’s story.

End of blog.

Well, ok, there may have been a little more to today than just that, but not a whole lot more.

I went grocery shopping in the Haight on a Saturday at Whole Foods.

That was exciting.

I was mistaken for a tourist, which was funny.

“Pretty cold, eh?” A store owner asked me as I peeked my nose into a corner store that I walk past frequently when I am pushing the stroller through Cole Valley and the Upper Haight neighborhood.

“Uh, yeah, typical weather, I guess, I’ve got my layers on,” I said politely.

“Oh, you’re a local, look at that!”  He grinned up from the paper he was reading, “I should have noticed you weren’t in flip flops and shorts.”

Yup.

Layers.

It might be hot, humid, and sunny most everywhere else, but here, on this side of town, it’s about 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit, with a thick veil of fog and a chill breeze snaking up your sleeves and under your coat.

I just got back from a bike ride from 46th and Irving.

It took me about twenty minutes.

It is not flat like people have been telling me.

Uh, no.

It’s not horribly steep and I did not stand up on my pedals but once, but it is a steady climb and about ten minutes in, despite the nippy bite of ocean wind and the lowering fog bank, I was warm and breaking a sweat.

I am sure I could cut down that time by about five minutes once I am used to the route.

But that is what about how much time it took for me to get from 46th and Irving to Cole and Frederick.

Twenty minute commute to work.

Instead of a forty minute commute to work.

I will pass by fish markets and sushi restaurants, there’s an Andronico’s, a surf shop, all the little markets and cafes and restaurants on Irving in the inner Sunset.

Although I may not ride my bike through that part of the neighborhood frequently, there’s a lot of traffic coming and going and parking and not much using of turn signals.

But I did not see once prostitute.

Nor one drug deal.

Or hear a siren.

I did get a few cars that drove a little too close for comfort.

But that is going to happen where ever you bicycle.

Other places I rode my bike to today–the Mission and Bernal Hill.

Although I did not ride my bicycle all the way up Cortland, it’s a little too steep for a one speed.

I swung through the Mission, stopping by the bike shop to see about picking up my bicycle saddle, but they were swamped and I had a moment when I realized if I were to stay I would probably end up jumping in and helping them and I had a place to be and it was not at the shop.

I will go by tomorrow.

Sunday will be quieter and I will swing over to my friend’s house and grab the ride and see about getting it outfitted with the new saddle.

It does sparkle.

It will look pretty fabulous.

It will.

I shelved the saddle (having snuck in the back no one in the shop even registered I was there) and sorted out the mail for the design firm, recycled the junk mail, and stealthily left the way I came in without being seen or noticed.

I caught myself contemplating going back and working for them while I have these next two weeks of down time ahead of me.  But I could hear my friend’s voice in my head, “don’t go backwards,” and I knew he was right and I don’t want to be there and there are better things for me to do with my time.

Even if it is just to sit on my bum and read a book.

I picked up a used copy of  Stephen King’s 11/22/63 and headed to Martha’s to await my 4pm check in.

I got a cup of coffee, spiked it with cinnamon, settled down at a table, put my feet up and dissolved into a book.

To only dissolve into tears a little later when I did my check in.

What is it with the emotions man?

I mean they were not as bad or overwhelming as yesterday, but yeah, still there.

“It sounds like you feel like a newcomer,” she said to me, “really raw and vulnerable.”

Yup, that sounds about right.

Really raw and vulnerable.

But not checking out with a vat of ice cream or a bag of donuts.

Just a book and a cup of coffee.

I wondered as I sat there and talked and looked out the window at the sky, just far enough removed from the fog that it was not misty on Bernal, but still chill, the cirrus clouds, high, wispy, tattered, spun across the blue sky, I wondered, if maybe I need to go back on antidepressants.

“You sound depressed,” she said to me.

And that hit a little closer to home than I thought it would.

I will admit I have been feeling blue, but I have been chalking that up to the discomfort of being rootless and getting back to the bay and starting over.

“Hey Carmen,” an acquaintance said this evening, “missing Paris?”

Fuck off.

“A little,” I said and smiled wanly.

“Oh, I’ll bet,” he continued.

Dude.

We aren’t friends, now stop it.

“Do you have any girlfriends you can lean on right now,” she asked and sipped her tea as I pulled my eyes away from the high feathery clouds and back to her green searching gaze.

“I do.” I said and thought how I got to see Joan and Tami this week and that was really good.  How I got to see my lady Jennifer last night and how good that was.

I had also called another friend earlier today to ask what she was up to.

“Just got done with work…dinner?  coffee? are you still in town?….”

The text read when I wrapped up at Martha’s and just as I was putting down my phone and turning off the ringer, she walked in.

Saved by the friend.

We went to dinner.

I met her daughter.

We headed out to the ocean and I saw the room.

It’s looking good.

It’s all looking good.

“You are doing the work, I can see that, it sounds like you just need to be gentle to yourself and work on acceptance.” She said and I nodded.

Nothing in my world is a mistake.

Not myself.

Not where I live.

Not who I am.

A room by the ocean, a bicycle to ride, a book to read, time to accept the reality of my life and to honor the gifts therein.

And my friends.

Thank you for my friends.

Again and again and again.


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