Posts Tagged ‘vintage Vespa’

Perfect Hair Day

October 18, 2014

Being wasted on a couple of little boys.

And no.

I don’t mean immature men.

I mean little boys.

I am working late tonight on a Friday.

I don’t mind it all that much as I was able to start late.

Two p.m.

I slept in last night after an engaging back and forth with a friend for a while last night as he sat contemplating life, the universe, loss, love, narcissistic thinking, eccentricity, egoism, moving on, and what comes next.

I couldn’t tell you what comes next, except that I am eager for my friend’s return and also for the weekend.

I have a looker tomorrow for my scooter and I am hoping that it will be a sale.

Especially since there’s not a thing wrong with it, except that I haven’t started it in a month.  My friend who sold it to me started it up a few weeks back, but I am fairly certain it was really about a month ago.  It may take a little effort to start it.

Hard to sell a scooter when you’re afraid to kick-start the engine.

I am also concerned that said buyer has never ridden a clutch scooter before and will have no idea how to work it, but, hey, neither did I and I learned.

I do wish it had worked out better for me, but there’s always the fact that I took action and tried it out and gave it my best.  I took the Motorcycle Safety course, I got my licence, I learned how to drive a clutch and for a few moments I was riding a beautiful vintage Vespa.

You know.

Until I broke myself, well almost, I suppose a sprain is not a break–it’s worse, trying to start the thing up.

If it sells tomorrow I will be pleased and I will turn around and take myself up to Vespa San Francisco and see about getting a new one.

One that starts with a push of a button and a turn of a key rather than a kick starter.

I obviously won’t have enough money to be able to buy it straight out, but I will have enough from the sale of my own to be able to put down earnest money and then do a payment plan.

I have been looking at the Vespa as a forced savings account.

I would not have been able to afford to buy it out right from my friend, still owe two payments on it, but being able to pay a down payment and then do monthly payments with him was like saving for the real deal.

That’s the hope anyway.

Who knows what will happen.

Me and my perfect hair day are not going to worry about it all that much tonight.

I am here for another three and a half hours then a Lyft ride home.

A Lyft ride in and then out again.

It was nice to not have to ride my bike into work today, although it did feel a little strange to be riding in a car to work.  I also did not go straight into work, I headed over to Capp and 23rd street for a little doing the deal and saw some familiar faces I had not seen in a while and heard some good stuff.

I do miss my Friday night peeps, but that cannot be helped.

I also am a bit bummed that I will be missing Mike Doughty’s show for his album release of Stellar Motel is tonight at the Chapel on Valencia Street.

I thought it was next weekend when I said I would work for the family tonight.

Oh well.

Next time.

There’s no further news on the dating front either.

But that’s ok.

I still have my date lined up for Sunday and that gives me a week to take another action or five or six or whatever actions I need to take to let myself be asked out or make myself available for the next date in this dating game I am playing.

I was scrolling through my Facecrack friends and came across a few faces that I may have to ask out, some guys that I think would say yes, some that I am pretty sure if I said I was available would be down.

I feel that a lot of it, a lot of the dating thing, is just being available and getting out of my typical schedule and space.

I keep expecting to run into someone on the Mission while I am working, but then again, most of the folks I probably want to date have jobs during the day and aren’t hanging around the Mission playgrounds and neighborhoods.

I mainly see moms and other nannies in my line of work.

It’s not exactly the hot bed of dating.

In fact, much of the time when someone asks me what I do I wonder what they think.

Like it’s any of my business what someone thinks about what I do.

Sometimes this is the hardest job I have ever had.

And sometimes, like now, it’s pretty easy and sweet.

I’m sitting in the kitchen with a nice cup of tea on a very nice chair next to an exquisite table with pretty things all around me, being paid for my time, watching the monitor of two sweet little boys sleeping.

The rest is, however, well-earned.

It was quite a busy day for me since I started late and I was not able to do all the stuff that I normally do while the youngest one is napping.

I did show up to the house a little bit before the family got back from school pick up, so I was able to get a good start on things, but you know, I had to keep it moving.

And potty training, though not disastrous, was darn close and bath time was a big negotiation, but in the end when both the boys were snuggled into my lap in striped pajamas and we were reading Dr. Seuss’s “The Places You’ll Go” and one boy has his hand in mine stroking it softly and the other has his head underneath my chin, then well.

The perfect hair day was perfect.

I got to nestle with small, delectable humans and provide love and comfort and ease to them.

I’d say that’s a pretty damn good day.

Regardless of how my hair looks.

You Need Help

June 2, 2014

Starting that?

He asked me in thick, Russian accent.

“I know how to start.”

He came over from next door.

I had not even realized he was there, sitting in the passenger seat of the car in front of the house to the left, watching me trying to start the scooter.

Two quick thrusts and he had it going.

It is me.

I paid attention, however, not just to the thick layer of grease and black grime on the man’s hands, he must have been working on his car in the driveway and had stopped to sit and have a smoke, but to how he positioned his foot on the kickstart.

When I had the opportunity to re-start it later, I placed my foot exactly like he had and it kicked right over.


Yes, come on now, you know there was going to be something to follow.

It died on me a lot tonight.

While I was riding it.

Just suddenly, no juice, motor died.

Good night.

In traffic.

At a stop sign.

As I was about to go through a red light turning green.

As I was turning down Church Street.

The Church street incident was actually rather funny, I just let the scooter coast right to where I was going, parking it in front of the church across from SafeWay.

However, the ride home was a little intense.

It only happened in first gear.

So I wonder about that.

And I was able to restart it without having too much trouble.

It was just trouble in that I was in traffic.

The thee times it happened on my way home I was able to pull over to the meridian or to the intersection in the cross walk and get it going again without interrupting the flow of traffic too much.

I would like to not have that experience again.

It had gas.

So, not sure what’s the deal.

At least she’s started.

In other news.

There is not much news.

Just  a quiet Sunday.

Loads done, writing, photography, hike in the dunes down by Ocean Beach, went grocery shopping, did laundry, made homemade split pea soup with veggies and chicken and brown rice, canned and froze up a batch for the week, totaled up my spending for the month of May, balanced my check book, wrote out my spending plan for the month of June.

You know.


I even sat and read a couple of magazines for an hour with a cup of tea.

It was a Sunday.

There was a minute or two when I felt lonely, but I realized that alone and lonely are two very diffrent things and I am not ever alone.

I need the quiet, but I can get isolated, so I made some phone calls and I let myself be still for a little while, getting in a fifteen minute meditation helped.

There can be a kind of melancholy to Sundays.

There was thick, cool fog, most of the day as well.

At one moment, I thought the sun was going to manage to cut through it, but it never quite pushed off.

I was surprised when I rode my scooter into the Lower Haight and down towards Church Street, to see that there actually had been sun in the city today.

I wasn’t living in the studio this time last year, still getting my feet underneath me living out at Grace Land and working in North Berkeley predominately.

I did not have the fog experience.

It is an experience.

It was coming in full gale force as I was riding back from my commitment this evening.

There is a chilly kind of romance to it, swaddling the trees, the thick clots of it, the smell of sea salt drenching the air, the cold that makes me want to snuggle up by a fire.

I was pretty cold when I got home and hopped into the shower and got in a nice hot de-frosting of my bones.

I get about on the scooter faster than on my bicycle for sure, but the lack of movement in my legs and the sitting on the seat are not inductive to generating body heat.

I’ll be back on the bicycle tomorrow.

There is no point in riding it to Cole Valley.

I will get to work just as fast on my bicycle and won’t be concerned about stalling out in traffic.

I am sure there’s a logical explanation to that as well.

Again,  a surfeit of worry.

Which is nice to have.

I still have plenty of anxiety about other things.

However, as the days collect and the fog condenses, literally around me, I do find myself easing up a little more each Sunday.

I used to cry when I had down time, it freaked me out that bad, to sit still, with myself, or go for a quiet walk on the beach, that was too much me, too much feeling.

I did have a bit of a cry tonight, but really it was just from gratitude for my life and knowing that I may not have the cash and prizes I see others having, I do have a wealth of love in my life when I let myself see it and feel it and experience it.

Even a quiet day in San Francisco, is still a day in San Francisco.

Were I to offer a day like I had today to myself years ago, I would have jumped all over it instead of trying to shy away from it.

Hey lady, how about you cook some homemade soup in your sweet studio by the ocean, write for a while, walk on the beach, drink tea and lounge about with a Vogue on your chaise lounge, and then go for a ride through the Golden Gate Park Panhandle on your vintage 1965 Vespa scooter?

How’s that sound?

Pretty fucking spectacular, if you ask me.

Look ma, no hands.

I mean.

No complaints.


Plus, my hair, you know, looks pretty awesome.

And I’m going to Burning Man for the eighth year in a row.



She is good.

Yes, please, help me start my scooter.

I mean, come on, who has neighbors that know how to start a vintage Vespa?


That’s who.

I have so much.

Especially when I see that I am never, ever alone.

Love is everywhere.

Just look about.

I could be sitting right next to you waiting for you.

It was for me today.

I suspect it will there for me tomorrow too.



Nice Vespa!

April 25, 2014

What year is it?


Fucking awesome!


Then, kerchunk.

I killed it on the hill turning onto Fell Street.


That’s what you get for flirting with the guy on the corner.

Well, I might have killed it anyway, it’s my newest challenge, going up a hill in gear, first mind you, while using the rear brake to stabilize me and then easing off said brake, letting out the clutch and giving it a little gas.

Not too much.

Not too little.

Just the right mix.

I have it down when I am in the flats and am getting proficient enough with it that I can smoothly slow down, down shift, stop, and ease it right back out after the stop and keep moving forward.

Most of the time.

I still have my moments.

Then, I have to think about the fact that today was time number seven, of being out on my Vespa riding, and three of those rides were short with someone else with me.

I took it up to Church and Market today to do a meet up at Crepevine and then head over to Our Lady of Safeway, except that I didn’t.

After my meeting at Crepevine it started to rain.

Not a lot.

But enough.

Enough that my companion urged me to skip where I was going and head home before it did start to really come down.

The rain wasn’t supposed to start until tomorrow, but that’s what happens in San Francisco.

The weather can be a little tricky and I did not want to push my luck with it.

As it happened, I made it back without getting more than just a little sprinkled on.

And I can say that I am getting the hang of it more and more.

I still have what I call my pre-game warm up.

I get nerves.

I get anxious.

I have to breathe through it, roll my shoulders a little, loosen up my body, say a word to the powers that be and give myself more than adequate time to get where ever I am going.

There is a ritual involved to rolling it out and starting it up and I am getting a small routine, but it’s going to be a little longer before I just hop on and cruise off.

Granted, it’s getting easier to will my way into riding.

I expressed tonight at the restaurant that I am more scared than I would like to let on, but then, I have had moments of unadulterated fun, the moving through the park, on John F. Kennedy, has really helped, the green, the lushness, the Chain of Lakes, the Bison in the paddock.

Even, yes, the frisbee golfer warming up tonight as I headed home in the dusk trying to beat out the rain fall.

There’s another thing I can get myself into, frisbee golf.



I like those sorts of activities.

It would require a small investment to buy a couple of discs and I could hop my scooter and be over to the course in ten or fifteen minutes.

My friend’s partner, said friend who sold me the scooter,  got really excited for me when she saw me last, giving me a big hug she said, “it’s going to open up the city to you in ways you cannot imagine.”

I knew she was right when she said it, but I think I am just starting to get an inkling of what that might look like.

I am a bit bummed that there’s rain forecasted for tomorrow, I know, I know, we need the rain, but I would have like to have ridden the Vespa into the Castro tomorrow, met with my friends, then headed over to the End Up for some dancing.

I am not willing to take her out yet in the rain.

I will, I am sure, at some point take a ride in the rain, but unless it’s absolutely necessary, I don’t see the point.  I can take MUNI, not worry about my burgeoning scooter skills, and stay dry.

I had visions of perhaps going to Kabuki before heading out, but perhaps I will save that for the weekend instead.

Dancing is the only thing on the menu, so far.

I had my half day.

It definitely threw me for a loop, getting out of my routine, going in early, leaving early.

I did not care for it and I did not know what to do with myself, but I just told myself, next little action in front of you and see where it leads.

Lead me home, but not quite to the house, I buzzed by, on my bicycle, earlier, I am still riding my bike into my nanny gigs, and hit the Noriega Produce Market for groceries and supplies to get me through the weekend.

I knew the forecast called for rain, so I figured, get the shopping for food out-of-the-way.  Then back to the house, chop up some raw veggies, eat some hummus, have a bowl of homemade soup and do my “morning” pages, which were clarifying and helped me resolve to continue taking next action, which, yes, led to me meditating.

I can stand that.

The quieting of my mind.

Getting into my body.

“You are so hard on yourself,” she said to me tonight, leaning over the table, “you really don’t have to be.”

I don’t even know it.

I don’t see it.

I don’t feel it.

Once in a while I can see I am learning to ease up.

But most times not.

It’s rather like learning to ride this vintage Vespa, it’s a practice, an easing up, a letting out the clutch and an easing off the throttle.

I am so used to going full throttle and riding the clutch with a death grip.

Ease up.

Slow down.

Mellow out.

Be nice to the scooter.


Be nice to me.

I may not have gotten as much done today as I would like (laundry, cooked food for the weekend–black-eyed peas with kale and broccoli, laced with browned organic ground pork and onions and garlic, pot of savory brown rice–turmeric, garlic, black pepper, ginger, adobo, wrote four pages long hand–I had the time, rode my scooter, met up for tea with someone who has a better perspective on my life than I do, worked a half day, finished my library book–Telegraph Avenue, Michael Chabon) but I did do a lot more than I let myself acknowledge.

For today, for at least this moment.

I acknowledge I do a good job.

The best I can.

And that is pretty damn good.



April 14, 2014

You are not my friend.

“I just realized, I mean, truly, deeply, madly, how insane my need for perfection is,” I said to my friend on the phone today.

I mean I am off my rocker with needing it.

It could just be that I am über aware of it.

I see it’s roots so deep in my psyche and I wonder will I ever extract it.

“Gratitude, you get be grateful about this, and laugh, have fun with it,” she said to me yesterday as I was letting it go and surrendering again.

Surrendering this old, old as the hills, old as the age spots on the back of a bent old man pate, old as the sun, old as the rain, old, old, old, idea that I am unlovable unless I am perfect.

And in the pursuit of that perfection I isolate myself, not the perfect body, not the perfect job, not the perfect outfit, certainly, not the perfect hair, no matter how many different filters I use on Instagram, it’s still just hair, it could use a trim too, and I will continue to be on my own until I let myself get vulnerable enough to not be perfect.

To let go my pride, my vanity, which is ultimately some warped kind of self-loathing, that too, does not serve me.


Where did all this come from?

I am not a great scooter rider yet.


That’s my brain.

I can’t get it down, I am not smooth off the start,  I am still awkward with the brake, I had to re-start it twice, I had to let people pass me at intersections, I am just so not good enough, why did I ever bother?


Good fucking times.


I had gone out and practiced today, and it’s a practice, let me remind myself.

Practice, not perfection.

A slow, gradual, sustainable learning.

I don’t need to be whipping across town on my scooter, yet.

I can take it slow.

I have options.

There wasn’t even anywhere for me to go.

I had an idea I might, might try to head over to Stonestown.

I wanted to see how close the YMCA was to me and I am interested in getting a membership there.

They have a pool.

I like to swim.

I made it to Kirkham and knew that I was not going to go to Stonestown.

I live between Irving and Judah.

If you’re not familiar with this part of San Francisco, the streets run alphabetical.

So, ugh, yeah, not even a couple of blocks and that goal shattered.

However, I did get it into gear and I did ride and though I did kill it, I also was out on my longest solo ride to date.

And remember, I have only taken out the scooter, including today, five times.

I was out on my own for an hour.

I did swing back by the house and grab a quick snack and throw a Japanese sweet potato in the oven to roast for lunch while I was out making the neighborhood rounds.

I rode up Lincoln to 41st, turned left, rode past Chain of Lakes in the Golden Gate Park, so pretty, so pretty, so pretty, and then wound my way through to the other side, the Richmond side of the park, then dropped down and rode to La Playa and down and back a few more times.

I went around my block a bunch, up the hills a bit on Irving, down to the beach and just around and about.

I got pretty good at the shifting between second and third and a few times dropped into fourth as well.

But, like when I was learning as a kid, the lowest gear, 1st, is my nemesis.

And not an evil bad nemesis, but a kind I don’t quiet understand yet.

That’s all.

I wasn’t sure if I was not letting out the clutch well, or if it was sticky, a couple of times it seemed that I was struggling turning the clutch to 1st gear.

I am actually going to ask my friend to come out and do another ride with me this week.

And I found out I won’t be working this Friday again, so I am going to practice that day as well.

“Before you know it, you will be zooming around town and it will be old hat, and you’ll be a natural,” my friend gave me a little pep talk as I down loaded my experience as well as my insight around my crazy pursuit of perfection.

Which, thankfully, is not so bad that I didn’t go for it, ie, didn’t try to learn how, didn’t bother to get my motorcycle license or try to learn something new because, unless I can do it perfect, why try at all?

This attitude used to stop me.

I wouldn’t even get out the gate.

The old idea is still there, but I can see it.

I am aware of it.

I have to accept it.

Ah, acceptance, there you are again.

Because it’s not about self-improvement, it’s about self-acceptance.

And allowing myself to fail at stuff, get up, try again.

Roll the scooter through the intersection, pull it up on the kickstand and kick-start it again, wait for the old lady to cross the street, roll the throttle, squeeze, slowly let out the clutch, let off the foot brake and scooter on.

I spent an hour practicing.

Then I took a walk to, well, walk it off.

Walk off the attitude, the adrenalin, and to laugh at myself a little.

I came home, had a great lunch, then made some homemade soup.

This weeks flavor?

Split pea soup with brown rice and organic chicken, broccoli, zucchini, carrots, celery, garlic, sea salt, black pepper, Spike, and onion.

It is sooo tasty.

I had some for dinner when I got back from my later afternoon adventures, which included a successful trip to buy a few new things for my wardrobe and going to see a friend who was celebrating a big anniversary in the Mission.

I rode my bike there.

But I can see riding my Vespa there soon.

With a little more practice and a lot less perfection than I might want.

But with the perfect spice.


With a dash of acceptance.

And a big pinch of self-love.

Recipe for a successful day, month, year.

Hell, probably my whole life.


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