Posts Tagged ‘UW Madison’

Sunshine

June 14, 2018

And tan lines.

Yeah.

I have some of those.

It was a rare San Francisco day of sunshine with no fog and a perfect mid-seventies temperature.

I actually wore a sundress and sandals.

I did not wear layers.

I even left the house with only a light jean jacket, though, I will admit, I was a touch nervous about that, I usually go out and about with a sweatshirt and the jean jacket and tights under most of my dresses.

“Where are your clothes?!” My little lady charge asked me today.

She meant, where are my tights, I don’t think that she has ever seen my bare legs.

Not many folks have!

It’s not often bare legged weather here in the city.

Which is why I’m so excited for New York.

Where I will work on my tan line for sure.

I jest about the tan line.

I have no need to lie about in a swimsuit, I just find amusement from the obvious demarcation of white skin next to brown on my cleavage.

I got a touch more sun today than I thought I would and even though I wore sunblock I definitely picked up a lot of color.

It’s nice though.

So nice.

To be outside for work.

I’m not always, but I got to take the baby to music class today and then to the Upper Noe Valley Rec Center for a while.

The park was packed.

Everyone was out.

The weather, like I said, was spectacular.

It made me feel buoyant and uplifted and happy.

Sunshine makes me very happy.

Especially on my face, on my body.

I like being warm.

Not super hot, but warm and toasty.

I got plenty of that today.

I also mostly just had the baby which was nice too.

We spent time in the back yard as well, hence the additional sunshine that probably tipped me over into the obvious tan line arena.

I love that they family has a nice back yard.

It’s not overly styled or groomed, but it is sweet and has trees and grass and it’s well maintained.

I appreciate being able to be outside and just sprawl on the lawn.

Sprawling on the lawn is something I think of from living in the Midwest.

I don’t often miss Wisconsin, but when I do, it tends to be summertime.

The warm, soft air at night, the lakes around Madison, the farmer’s market around the capitol building, hanging out on the terrace at the UW.

Or taking the ferry-boat in Merrimac to Devil’s Lake to go swimming.

Floating on an inflated rubber tube and staring up into the endlessly impossible blue, blue, bluest eye sky.

I wouldn’t mind a week of that.

But no more.

Maybe not even that much.

Maybe four days of Wisconsin, like a long weekend.

My best friend from back home left me a message yesterday about how we need to get together sometime this upcoming year, but family, etc. gets in the way.

I know the feeling, although for me it’s school and therapy clients.

I don’t know when the next time I will get to the Midwest and that’s ok, I do love it here in San Francisco and it’s really where I belong.

I was quite happy driving into work this morning and grateful to allow myself the perspective of how lucky I am that I am still here.

And how much certain times of year and qualities of light remind me of my childhood.

I believe I sought solace in the landscape and in the sky and there is something about the blue sky next to the ocean that seems so interwoven into my being.

I feel comforted by that sky and I was today.

And warmed.

And toasted.

I felt happy for no particular reason.

That was nice too.

Just feeling present and alive and happy.

Not worried about what will happen next.

Just doing the next thing in front of me.

There’s quite a lot of relief in that.

And!

Oh!

I got a message today from my school.

My diploma is in!

I can go pick it up from the registrar’s office.

Tomorrow!

My boss told me I didn’t actually need to be in until 11 a.m. so I will take advantage of that extra time and go downtown and pick up my diploma.

I am very excited.

I recently took a print to get framed at Cheap Pete’s and I was ogling the certificate frames and there was one I really liked and I was fantasizing about framing my Master’s Degree diploma in it.

I had no idea I would get it so fast.

It was lead to believe that it wouldn’t be available until July.

Then again.

I made every possible effort to get my graduation materials in early and on time.

I roll like that.

I figure when I get the call to pick up the print I’m having framed I will bring my diploma in with me and get the pretty certificate frame there.

I don’t know that I’ll hang it on the wall here.

I don’t know how long I’m going to be here.

But I will hang it.

And having it framed, for me, honors the work that I did to get it.

It’s a big damn deal.

It deserves a special frame.

I can’t wait to get it.

So yeah.

Today was full of sunshine.

It was just what I needed.

Seriously.

 

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Hold That Thought

April 18, 2018

I was supposed to register today for my fall semester in the Transformative Inquiry PhD program.

But.

Nope.

Holds on my registration.

My first thought, “but I don’t have any over due library books!”

Literally.

Second thought, “or videos!”

When I was in my undergraduate program at UW Madison Four Star Video was affiliated with the UW system, I don’t really know why, but it was and I had a video that was over due.

By like a year.

And the school wouldn’t release my financial aid funds until I returned the video.

But I had already.

Or so I thought.

I had given the video to my boyfriend, my first boyfriend, now that I think of it, Rob, to return to the video store.

He said he did.

But as it turns out, he did not.

I hadn’t been dating him in a while, a while for me at least, six, seven months, and had barely seen him around the campus, he wasn’t a student, but his father was a professor in mathematics at the school.

I was so broke.

I remember it so distinctly.

I really needed my financial aid and I had to pay out $90 to the video store to replace the rental.

It was “Gone With The Wind,” I have no idea why they hell I had rented that movie, although I do like it, though the book is so much better, and was astonished that to replace the video it would be $90.

Partially because it was a double cassette movie, two different cassettes.

I am so dating myself.

I couldn’t track down Rob, but I could track down his father.

I went to his office and I waited until he had office hours.

He remembered me fondly and asked after me and I was suddenly shy to say why I was there, but I needed that money and the financial aid office refused to let it go, I mean, I reasoned, wouldn’t it make sense to just give me the fucking money and I pay the fine?

But no.

I had to pay the fine first.

I girded my loins and told Rob’s dad and he was so sweet, he opened his wallet pulled out the money and wished me the best of luck.

I ran back to Four Star Video, which was a haul, UW Madison is a huge campus and Rob’s dad’s office was on the other side of Bascom Hill, it was probably a two-mile hike, but I feel like I did it in twenty minutes.

I paid the fine.

I got my financial aid.

As it turns out, I don’t have any outstanding video rentals or over due library books, note to self, I do have a book I need to return next class session.

LAST CLASS SESSION!

I can’t get too excited yet.

I am not there.

I still have two papers to write.

I still have work to do.

My therapist and I talked a lot about it, how it feels surreal, how it doesn’t feel like it’s actually happening.

I’m having my best friend over for dinner tomorrow night to do party planning and catch up and I have to say it feels weird to be planning the party as it’s not really hit me yet that I’m going to graduate.

My therapist look at me at one point in the session and said, “you’re going to graduate.”

I’ll take her word for it.

Therapists are supposed to hold the hope.

heh.

Anyway.

The hold seems to stem from the fact that I am not yet graduated from my Master’s program and I can’t register online for a PhD while my grades are still out.

I have been provisionally accepted.

Which means I have to graduate before I can be in the program.

But.

I can register for classes.

I just have to go to school and do them via hard copy.

Hard copy!

Shit.

That sounds like craziness.

I remember when I went for my undergraduate the school had just switched from the stand in line and hand register and hope that you can get to all the classes you want to get to, to using the phone.

And man.

It was so important to call ASAP.

Once your time was up it was a hustle.

I remember waiting with my booklet of classes and the phone, dial-up, though at least not a rotary phone (although, yes we did have a rotary phone in middle school and high school, a big yellow one that hung of the wall in the kitchen nook in the house in Windsor, that had a super long curly cord that my sister would stretch tight so she could have phone calls in the bathroom without anyone overhearing her), and I would have to put in my student id pin number and then punch in the code for the class.

Sometimes I was lucky, especially by second semester Junior year and most of my Senior year, and I would get right into the classes I wanted.

But often.

So often.

I would not get what I wanted and thus began the negotiation of what class to pick up that would fulfill my schedule needs, I worked full-time (nothing’s changed, well, that’s not true, I don’t work in a bar anymore), my school requirements for my degree, and whether or not I had any interest in the class.

Sometimes I would get home from work and comb through the class lists, looking for an interesting class that I might have overlooked, sometimes I would sit on the phone, continuously dialing and re-dialing the number.

I was persistent.

Persistance paid off.

Someone would drop the class I wanted and I would be having one of my twenty-minute or half hour tries at getting into a class.

It was always the best feeling when I would dial-up a number for a class that I had been trying for days, sometimes weeks (happened a few times) and suddenly there was a spot open.

And it was tricky.

I would not be able to register for the class and then drop the one I didn’t want, I’d have to take a leap of faith and drop the class first, knowing someone might grab the class I’d drop or that someone else might be trying for the class I wanted.

It always worked out.

I remind myself of that now.

Things will work out.

I will get my papers written.

I will get it all done.

I will get registered for my PhD.

And I will have a party.

All the things.

They will happen.

I have faith.

Thank God.

Ready, Set

March 28, 2018

Interview!

My PhD interview is tomorrow morning!

Holy crap.

I’ve got to get all the profanity, crassness, and foul language out of my system before going in.

Although, to give myself some credit, I am an articulate person.

I have a way with words.

Plus.

I interview well.

Which was not a talent I would have recognized in myself previous to this experience, but when I reflect on how I have done historically in interviews, I usually get the job, or the school to accept me.

Sometimes even when I don’t think I have done so well.

Hell.

Most times.

Most times before not too long ago, I would think that I hadn’t gotten in.

I didn’t think I was going to get back into my Bachelor’s program at UW Madison, I mean I seriously fucked up my first round of schooling there.

But I did, I interviewed with the dean of admissions after sending in an application letter to be readmitted and I was shocked I mean, shocked, when they let me back in.

There wasn’t even any waiting period, the woman basically told me at the end of the interview that I was accepted back.

That I could start that Spring!

It was the fall term and I think I had interviewed at the end of November, beginning of December.

I had not planned on that.

I hadn’t planned on getting in, I was “humoring” my best friend and a good friend of hers, a boss that I worked for, by applying to school again.

“You are just too smart to not be in college,” my boss said, echoing my best friend’s sentiments.

“If you don’t apply, I’m going to fire you,” my boss continued.

“What?!” I said, incredulous.

“I’m serious, Carmen, you really are just too smart, and I wouldn’t feel right if I wasn’t encouraging you to go back to school, go back, we still want you to work here, but you really should go back.” He concluded.

Of course I applied.

I didn’t want to lose my job.

And maybe there was a part of me that wanted to go back, to get my shit together, to do it right this time.

But I hadn’t expected to get right in, nor that I would be able to start in the Spring semester.

I had only a few weeks to adjust to the idea that I was going to be back in school full-time.

My boyfriend at the time was not at all pleased.

He was, in hindsight, though I couldn’t see it at the time, very jealous of my time.

He was also displeased, I suspected, because he had dropped out of UW Madison a couple of years prior and hadn’t managed to get his shit together to go back.

He did eventually.

After doing time for a felony conviction for stalking me.

But that’s another story, for another time.

Suffice to say.

The encouragement of my friends got me in and the encouragement of my friends here in San Francisco got me into my Master’s program.

I think they’re all still behind me for going for the PhD.

Last time I checked in with anyone it felt that way.

Although a few acquaintances did register surprise.

“Two more years of school!”

“We’re never going to see you at fellowship again!”

True.

And not so true.

Yes.

I will still be busy.

But I think I have learned well over these last few years to balance out my studies with my job, my recovery, and my social life.

Sometimes better than others.

And sometimes I really had to work hard at it.

Hell.

It’s been all hard work.

“Sometimes I wish I was done with the hard work!” I expressed to my therapist today.

We had a really huge session.

In fact, I left over time with her saying that she would like to support me in whatever I needed regarding our session.

I thanked her for that.

That’s the second time in a month my therapist has let me know that I can reach out for support after hours, or without having a session scheduled.

Though I don’t think I will do that.

I was quite touched.

I am, however, going to do some work.

The work it doesn’t really end.

It just changes.

And I change.

That’s the hope, anyway, that I will change.

Grow or die.

Ha.

Well.

Perhaps not that stark, not that black and white.

But I was pretty miserable today and sad and angry and upset.

I talked with my therapist about my health stuff, going really into detail, letting her know how I was affected by the system I seem to be unable to get out of.

And.

By my history.

What health advocacy looked like in my home.

In my family of origin.

Which was shit.

I only went to the doctor in an emergency.

There was no healthcare aside from the mandatory doctor’s physical before school each year.

There was only a doctor’s visit when something horrible was happening.

And it had to be really bad to get the attention of my mom.

Really bad.

I remember an incident that happen when I was seventeen.

Mono, strep, and tonsilitis all at the same time.

I was delirious.

I remember calling my mom and begging her to come home from work.

She told me she couldn’t.

I walked around the house crying and delusional with a fever that was so high the emergency room doctor chastised my mother for not bringing me in sooner.

He was irate.

It was one of the few times I remember my mom getting me a special treat from the market, croissants (day olds, but fuck, I had never had such an amazing piece of bread) and crab salad (fake crab, but crab!) and ice cream.

I certainly felt special and the words of the doctor faded out of my perceptions in a haze of fevered ice cream eating and sleep.

But the impact lasted.

I wasn’t allowed to ask for help, I wasn’t allowed to get sick, I wasn’t helped out when I was, I had to take care of myself and figure it out and doctors, dentists, hospitals, the medical system, all seemed scary and also not allowed for me.

I have done a tremendous amount of work to get through it and to be where I am, but it raised its head and there I was in therapy with a pile of tissues around me and angry tears on my face.

And.

Oh, the gratitude.

Some client advocacy from my therapist who made some suggestions and gave me some very valuable information.

Information I will be acting on pretty much immediately.

Well.

First the interview.

Then new insurance!

It’s how I celebrate now.

Not popping a bottle of champagne.

But rather.

Gifting myself.

Better.

Health care.

Officially.

#adulting

Sit The Fuck Down

April 22, 2016

And write.

Martines.

Jesus.

It ain’t Friday yet.

But it’s so close I can taste it and I am so ready for the weekend, it’s been on my tongue for days.

Confirmed date tomorrow night.

Confirmed will be shaving my legs.

Wink, wink.

Nudge, nudge.

Yeah.

Like that.

I was going to go on a blind date with a gentleman and hit a dance club, but I was pinged yesterday by a lover who I would rather hang out with than someone new and well, I already know how the date will go.

REALLY, REALLY, REALLY.

Fucking well.

Not to put too fine a point on it.

That being said, I was looking forward to dancing and this specific paramour does not strike me as the dancing type of guy.

Although he does remind me of the slightly sad, Russian dancing bear in a John Irving novel.

I don’t know that I will ever tell him that, he’s got a lot of swagger and bravado.

And sexy.

And well, most guys don’t want to hear that they remind me of a morose bear.

I don’t know that he knows quite how sad he is.

However.

That is none of my business.

He is also hella fun and we hit it off and yes, hit it, the last time we hung out.

So.

More of that, yes please.

But the dancing had to happen.

My energy is high, the moon is full, and I am all yoga’d up.

“You must be really flexible,” a possible date messaged me after I mentioned I was heading out the door to the yoga studio.

Thank you God for the yoga studio on my block.

REPEAT.

On my block.

So freaking convenient.

Seriously.

I had such a great experience with it today too.

I had reverie at that end of the class when I was in the last and final resting pose, after doing a terrific heart opener and I had this epiphany and massive amount of gratitude overwhelm  me.

I realized that this man, a friend of mine to this day, my first love, my first crush, unconsummated love, unrequited love, disaster of a best friend, but the best and longest friend and someone who no matter what or where, I am still connected to, I realized this man saved my life.

I mean literally.

When I was not able to check out via drugs and alcohol, when I didn’t have a solution that was stuffing substances down my throat or up my nose, I was in need of some sort of relief or I might have died, I am not kidding, and this man was my relief.

I loved him and in that love I found a kind of solace and comfort that I couldn’t find in myself.

Never mind that it was fantasy or unrequited.

One, it was safe, it was unrequited, he wasn’t interested, able, or other, to engage in a romantic love with me.

Two, it was a way to check out and not be present in the horror of what was happening in my life when I was in highschool.

The house wasn’t burnt to the ground.

But there was definitely a scorched earth policy happening in my home.

And as it got worse I found myself escaping into what ever I could and often that was books and or fantasy.

It was a few more years before I was able to find relief in alcohol and drugs from the disease of discontent that I was absolutely full blown in, although it would not be without much time, work, and perspective before I reached that conclusion.

Today on the yoga mat I had a sudden vision of myself as a ballet dancer and I remembered my friend and how he impersonated me my second semester freshman year at UW Madison.

I think the statute of limitations is up, so yeah, um, ha, I defrauded UW Madison for the grant and scholarship monies due me and my friend, a guy friend, my best friend, went to all my classes and got away with it until someone from our high school busted him.

He was a great actor and pulled it off until that point.

And when he had to leave, well, I didn’t drop out officially, so I just took some more failed grades, except.

Ha.

In ballet.

My friend pulled a C in the class.

He told me later the teacher had a crush on him.

Yeah.

Like the whole world at the time probably did.

He was improbably attractive then.

Not that he isn’t now, just, well, different.

So.

Here I am in yoga having this reverie about floating through the air like a ballerina and also some cross dreams of floating in blue green water-I was a swimmer in highschool–and I am blasted with love and gratitude for my friend.

He loves me.

We love each other.

Haven’t seen him in years, five maybe, but we still are connected.

And in that moment, in the yoga studio, on my back, breath flowing in and out of my lungs, my heart just blew open with joy and the realization of how much I owe this person for letting me just have those great big love feelings.

They, the feelings and the fantasy, really did save my life.

They buoyed me up through very trouble waters and times.

They got me through.

And for that I have unlimited love for him.

Not unrequited.

Not needing to be fulfilled, just this deep special, enduring awareness of love for this man and how affecting it has been and how lucky I am to have had it.

To still have it.

We talked earlier today as he was leaving the house on a beautiful spring day in Minnesota with his twin girls heading to their first music recital as first graders.

I could hear how joyful and happy he was and it made me happy to hear it.

I had him on my mind after the yoga class and then something else reminded me as I was at the park with the boys and I called him out of the blue.

“You will let me know if you get to Wisconsin, I mean it, I will drive to see you,” he emphatically stated on the phone.

He’ll be in Madison for family late June early July.

I’ve been thinking July 4th weekend to go back and visit my best friend who lives up in Northern Wisconsin in Hudson, across the river from the Twin Cities.

“I’ll drive to Hudson, it’s actually closer than Madison,” my dear friend said.

“I haven’t made a decision and I need to see what my summer is going to look like, but yeah, since I’m not going to Burning Man, well,” I paused.

And said it.

“I’m feeling a big pull to come to the Midwest, I’m not sure why, but it’s been there for a few months and I feel like it’s time,” I smiled up at the trees, the playground swings full of children, I felt full of joy.

“You come and I will drive to you, I got to run, one minute warning,” he chuckled.

“I’ll keep you posted,” I said and hung up the phone.

I didn’t say I love you.

It’s implied.

He loves me.

I love him.

It’s all just love, love.

And once and awhile it’s making love to a man who reminds me of a sad Russian circus bear, who really, when it comes right down to it, reminds me in a way of my friend.

If that means having my cake and eating it too, who am I to analyze it?

I’m just here to have fun.

And my God.

I’m this much fucking closer to Friday.

And the music is good.

So excuse me.

I have a little more dancing to do under this full moon before my night is through.

And my weekends begun.

See you Friday y’all.

Or.

Ha.

Depending on how my date goes.

Saturday.

Heh.

 

Full Time Get It

April 20, 2016

Registered.

First semester, second year, grad school.

Bring on the student loans!

Blech.

At least I still have scholarship monies coming.

I had that thought this morning as I was preparing to sit and twiddle my thumbs for too long while I was juggling my reading for my Clinical Relationship class–the server kept crashing, too many of us all trying to register at the same time.

Remember when it was by telephone and you had to wait for the automated person to tell you if you got in?

Yeah.

I’m old.

Shut up.

I just barely and I mean, by a year, maybe a semester, missed the experience of having to go to a table and wait in line to register at the UW Madison where I got my undergrad degree.

Times they do change.

I was going to get up early and go to yoga today, but when I woke up I was too sore to do it and three days in a row is a good run.

Odds are that I will go again Thursday.

Four days a week.

I can deal with that.

But today I knew I needed to register and I figured it was more important to get some good sleep, rest up, get registered and do some reading for classes.

Of course.

I was promptly on line at my designated time.

To get annoyed.

The server crashed again and again and when it wasn’t crashing it was terribly slow.

I contacted the program director who notified the registrar and it was dealt with.

But not before I could get fully registered.

Last semester this had me in a tizzy.

This go around I was like, what ever, I’ll register when I get home from work and that’s pretty much exactly what I did.

And now it’s on.

Full load.

Second year.

Crazy.

I still have plenty to do before I get to the next wave of classes, but the days they go by and the weeks and I am sure before I know what hit me I will be onto my second year.

However.

I must say.

I am so looking forward to summer vacation.

It’s not really vacation considering I will be working full time.

But without being in school full time it’s going to feel like I have so much time on my hands.

I am sure I will find things to fill the time up.

I’m definitely getting more excited about New York.

That’s for damn sure.

Four days off.

Out of town.

No responsibility.

No work.

No school.

Heaven.

I need to confirm with my friend that all is still cool with me staying in his place in Brooklyn and also, getting all the details on how to get into his place, etc.

New York in May.

Spring in the city.

I can’t even imagine it.

Focus Martines.

Let me at least get through the next couple of weekends.

The school work will continue to happen.

And, as I stated, a couple of dates if I can sneak them in and some self-care too.

Plus I’m looking forward to seeing my friends from cohort too.

One girlfriend is going to spend the night here on our last day of school so we get an extra night of hang out time.

And another girl friend and I are going to go to the Steampunk Masquerade Ball at NIMBY in Oakland before I hit New York as well.

Although I was tempted when I first got the news last week about my class schedule and the Burning Man conflict, to cancel on going to the ball.

I was feeling pretty sad about it.

But.

I think it will be good to go with my friend, who is a Burning Man virgin, but wants to go next year, and play and dance and show her the scene a little.

And it will be a nice way to celebrate for me too.

I’ll dance and get some fire art on, I had a great time when I went last year.

There’s lots to do, but not that much right in front of me.

“My principle today is easy does it,” I said on the voicemail.

Slow down.

Is what I was thinking to myself.

My life gets pretty unmanageable when I get going to fast–losing my keys, hello–and I did not want to get caught up in that this week as I could see myself, even this morning, trying to go faster than I needed to.

There is no emergency.

There is no drama.

It’s all about having fun and continuing to take the next action right in front of me.

In an easy, relaxed, mellow way.

In fact.

The more I slowed down, the more time I seemed to have today.

It was really  nice.

Side bar.

God damn do I love Soulwax.

I forgot I had picked up this album into my music library and I am so grooving the fuck out on it.

Love music.

Love dance music even more.

Totally distracted by how hot this fucking track is.

Damn Gina.

Ok.

Back to the regularly scheduled blog.

Heh.

It’s a beautiful day, I have a beautiful life.

I’m happy.

Sometimes, yes, I am sad too, or overwhelmed, or there seems to be too much to do and not enough time.

But that’s Carmen time.

God’s time, though, there is so very much of it and all I have to do is stop trying to put my agenda in front and things just open and bloom and it’s amazing.

I really am in awe how it happens.

Doesn’t matter how many times I have seen it, getting out of my own way, and suddenly, ease and beauty, light, joy, life, magic, really, all right in front of me, blooming like wild roses in the woods.

God’s time.

God’s schedule.

I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

Right now.

Right here.

Having this very experience.

So fucking good.

Luckiest school girl in the world.

Seriously.

 


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