Posts Tagged ‘wet suit’

Tumbled

December 30, 2013

I was in the washing machine.

And I stayed in it, I again, could not get out past the break.

I did not go to Sloat, too big, too sloppy, too scary, the waves were incredible this morning, slightly smaller this later afternoon when I went back out to the beach to sit and enjoy the sun.

When the temperature on your phone says it’s 72 degrees you get the fuck outside.

Because who knows how long that will last.

I also had laid down on my bed thinking I might actually take a nap after the morning surfing excursion, but when the sun flashed in through my back door I thought, I know better, I can take a nap on the beach.

Napping on the beach did not happen.

Such is my story.

Get up early, plan on napping, then never do it.

I was up at 6:30 a.m. and ready to go by 7 a.m. on the nose.

However, my ride slept beyond his alarm and I had some spare time.

Enough spare time that I considered throwing in the towel and skipping the entire endeavor completley.

Next time.

But my friend said, come on, let me get some coffee and I will be right over to get you.

So, after a later start than I was anticipating, but one which allowed me to write my morning pages and meditate before heading out, and with an extra cup of coffee under my belt, I loaded my borrowed board into my friends truck and climbed in the cab.

We headed down the highway to Pacifica.

The waves at Sloat did not terrify my companion, “those don’t look so bad,” he said, followed by, “look, there’s people surfing.”

Look I did and it looked too big for me.

He agreed to keep driving and we headed to Lindemar Beach, or Taco Bell Beach, as my friend called it.

There really is the fanciest looking fast food restaurant on the beach that I do believe I have ever seen.  It’s a Taco Bell, but it looks like a beach chalet.

The beach was packed, in fact for a moment we despaired of finding parking, but parking was found and we clambered into our wetsuits.

I pulled on my new booties and was quite happy to have them.

Later, as I walked the beach toward sunset and the water caught at my toes in the surf as I was shooting photographs, I thought it was a damn good thing I had gotten the booties.

The water was far colder than the last time I had gotten in.

Maybe not far colder, but it was definitely noticeable and I believe I would not have stayed in as long as I did at Pacifica if I had not had the booties on.

It was hard to stay in period.

Grateful I did not have anything else to think about.

I was smashed around in the water, but I rode in a few times on the white water, the sets were coming in so fast that I barely had time to catch them, the much more experienced riders paddled out past the break and I got to see a lot of great riding.

When I wasn’t busy getting tossed head over heels.

Yup.

I got slammed by a few waves.

One in which I actually ended up doing a complete somersault under the water, I got hit so hard.

As disconcerting as I would have thought it to be, I have to say, it was actually fun.

I just let my body tumble through the wash cycle.

I relaxed into it.

Control issues.

Ha.

I had no control today.

Not over my body, over the water, over my friends arrival, or his leaving of me in the water.

He just scooted out and surfed and I stayed back and floundered.

But I learned.

I learned to see when the wave sets were coming in and managed to paddle through a couple of them and actually turn my board around and ride a couple in.

No, I did not get up on the board.

But, hey, it was my third time out, with someone who has been out only about 20 times.  I had no expectations, I was just happy to get myself in the water.

I also felt the undertow for the first time, a really strong undertow, and it was unnerving.

I get it now.

I think I always had a conception of what that means, but until you actually feel it, there’s no comparison.

And if the undertow was strong in Pacifica I cannot imagine what it would have been like at Ocean Beach.

There were still surfers out when I was down at Ocean Beach this afternoon and I saw something that literally made me say, out loud, “Oh my god, did that just happen?”

It was a big wave and there was a surfer riding the top of the wave and he was riding it straight across, not coming down the face, but moving over the top and as the top began to smoke and smash and curl over, almost crumbling into itself, he lifted off the top of the wave and did a complete 360 in the air.

I gasped.

That was some amazing surfing.

I mean, I am sure I can YouTube something like what I saw and be impressed, but to actually see that from the shore as I was walking in the late afternoon sunshine was astounding.

I don’t foresee much surfing for me at Ocean Beach during the winter months, and most folks have said pretty much the same thing to me, go to Pacifica or Santa Cruz and leave OB for the experienced.

I will probably have another day out with my friend next Sunday, we’re definitely going to go again, especially since he just got his first surf board from Aqua Surf Shop yesterday.

Between his new board and my new booties, we are ready.

And I knew when I was done and I did not force myself to keep going.

I just got out.

My friend was out for at least another half hour, but when I was yelling in my head, “paddle, paddle, paddle” as a wave came up on me, and my arms just weren’t listening, I realized I was done.

I had run out of gas.

Sitting on the beach, watching the waves roll in their sets, the children in wetsuits zipping around on boogie boards, the dogs chasing balls, and the surfers lifting up and over the face of the waves to glide with elegant ease into the next wave it was hard to even imagine how difficult it is from just a few feet away from sure.

It looks so easy.

But it’s not, at least not for me, and though I thought, man maybe I should just boogie board, I knew (though I will do the boogie board thing too) that I was not about to toss in the towel on the whole experience.

Just on the morning.

No regrets.

I got in.

I suited up.

I showed up.

I even managed to get out of my wetsuit without pulling off any of my limbs with it.

 

 

 

Surf’s Up

November 24, 2013

In less time then I would ideally like I will be getting into that cold, cold water, wearing my wet suit for its virgin run.

Yes, that’s right.

I am going surfing tomorrow morning.

“I will send you a message around 6:30a.m., that’s when I will leave the house,” he said to me tonight on the phone as I was walking my bike up one of the few hills in the city I have to walk my one speed up.

I had just gotten down with a full day at the Maker’s Mart down at the Old Mint building on 5th and Mission.

Come by tomorrow!

I will be there again from noon until 5:30p.m.

I am honored to help my amazing friend and artist Arin Fishkin sell her prints from her quintessential San Francisco Series.  They are a series that speaks more to the native San Franciscan, using iconography that someone who lives here would really appreciate.

I have my eye on a particular one that I want most bad, Baker Beach, it’s just gorgeous.

I rub my greedy paws together with glee.

Yes, it’s true, I will work for art.

Especially when it’s this good.

Plus, it’s nice to spend some time with a dear friend, check out some local art and have good coffee from Blue Bottle which is located just behind the Mint building.

So I had a full day when the offer was made and I have a full day tomorrow.

But.

“You make the time,” he said, “the swells have been perfect, I have a ton of stuff to do but I am going to make the time,” he paused, “and you can too.”

Yes sir, yes I can.

I will be up at 6:30 a.m.

That’s when the alarm is set.

I don’t think I will have breakfast, just some coffee.

I will make breakfast after the surfing.

I will still need to shower and change and haul my butt back over the hills and valleys to downtown but I won’t need to be there until noon.

The event opens at 11a.m. but since we were able to leave the gear all set up there won’t be much to do in the morning, so I have an extra hour.

I doubt we will be in the water more than two hours.

“I want to be in the water by 7:30 a.m.” he said and I agreed.

Oof.

The Dawn Patrol.

Making it happen, however, and saying yes to spending time with my friend.

Saying yes too because I know I will sleep when I am dead.

Ok.

I don’t necessarily mean that, but I will have six days off after I get done with work on Monday.

I feel I can push it a little tomorrow.

I will get to have my inaugural dip in my new wetsuit.

I will bring my boogie board too.

Might as well.

I am excited.

I don’t know that I will have much of a restful night.

I feel pretty jacked up after my bike ride home.

It is a blast to hit the long down hill stretch along Lincoln, but I find that after the steady up hill climb from the Mission, or the long drop into the Mission from Noe Valley, where I was at this evening, to the Castro, up the Wiggle, through the Pan Handle and onto Lincoln, that I have gotten all pumped up and warm and adrenalized.

It is a challenge to settle back down when I get home.

Plus I needed to take care of a few things before getting my blog started, it’s 11:15 p.m. and I am going to easily take another hour to an hour an a half to wind down.

Another hot cup of tea.

Some time to breathe.

Some time to kick out the last few words for this blog and to dwell on my life for a moment.

It’s a damn good life.

I got to see a lot of dear people tonight.

I got to ride my bicycle a lot.

I rode from my house at 46th Ave and Judah to Mission and 5th Street.  Then from Mission and 5th up to Diamond and 24th Street, back from there to home.

Round trip not sure how many miles that is exactly, but I clocked in over an hour today on my bicycle, probably closer to an hour and a half.

I have the thighs to prove it.

Strong, healthy, fast.

“You should have seen her,” he exclaimed to his friend around a mouthful of hand rolled cigarette as I was bidding my adieus this evening unlocking my bicycle and putting the lights on the handle bars and seat post.  “She turned that corner on Valencia and 16th like a bicycle messenger!”

“She’s fucking fast.”

I smiled.

Sometimes I am fast.

But I often get passed by other bicyclists, I think that what looks fast to another who is on foot feels quite slow to me.

Then again, I do take corners fairly quick, I lean into them and the connection to my bike is such that I take certain streets fast, nimble and without much thought.

My body becomes the bike and the bike my body.

It is just an extension of my thoughts.

When it is really good.

And often of late, it has been really good.

“I am getting OLD,” my friend complained to me.

“Old.”

I kicked him and smiled, I am older, although you wouldn’t always know it.

But I do know that feeling when your body is doing something that it is not used to.

You walk many miles after driving around in a car your body will be sore.

You ride a bike up and over hills you are going to be tired and you may feel old.

But I have gotten used to the commute and what used to horrify me now seems sort of second nature.

This is just the bike ride I do and it takes about this much time.

I can feel my body adapting to being in the saddle a little more and my legs getting stronger, my lungs pulling in air more efficiently.

Tomorrow, though, I am sure that I may feel, well, old, after some surfing.

But I am willing to have the experience.

Not just of getting up early when I could sleep in, but saying yes to spending time with a friend and making space for another new experience.

New experiences are pretty awesome even when I think they are not.

Spending time with friends is always worth the time.

Is what I am finding more and more and for that I promise to make the time.

And with that, time to get what little beauty rest I can wrest from the rest of the evening.

No rest for the wicked.

Or, perhaps I should say, the “old.”

 

Is That A Dozen Eggs

October 19, 2013

In your bag?

My friend asked me this late afternoon at the corner of Folsom and 24th.

We had coffee plans to go to Philz, but they were over run, so we meandered a short hop to Haus, kitty corner from Philz, and stood in line to get our perspective teas.

Yup.

A dozen organic, free range, omega 3 eggs, from Judy’s Organics.

Along with kale, some of which dislodged from my bag and spilled onto the floor.

Sorry, Haus, I didn’t mean to get organic kale on your floor, but as you’re in the Mission, which although truly gentrified to bits, does still have some of that stale bum urine rankness happening.  So, I don’t feel too bad about it.

I had gone downtown to interview for Healthy San Francisco, which I was informed, repeatedly, is NOT health insurance, but only for preventative care and emergencies.

Ok, I hear you, now, sign me up please.

Because despite the kale and organic eggs (and pinto beans and navy beans and brown rice, brown mushrooms, onion, and garlic, I am going to make a bean stew with the various accoutrements, apples, and almond milk), despite the healthy eating, living, bicycling, and hopefully soon, more surfing, you never know when you are going to get hit by a bus.

And I don’t have health insurance.

It’s been about a year since I have and it was pointed out to me that as an act of self-care I needed to take care of that.

Duly noted and taken care of.

A half hour later I exited the building, hopped on my bicycle and headed to Rainbow.

Because when in Rome you buy the organics at the best place you can.

I am debating becoming a member of a CSA as well–less groceries in my messenger bag–who doesn’t want farm fresh veggies and fruits, organic, dropped off at your door?

I just have no idea when I would schedule a drop off.

I mean, I am home, but I am out more than I am in.

Something to think about.

Lots of things to think about as I head into the weekend, which doesn’t much feel like a weekend since I am working a split shift tomorrow–10a.m.-1p.m. in the Castro, then 8p.m.-2a.m. in Potrero Hill.

It does, however, feel like a week when I am going to make some money.

Money I have plans for.

I went to Aqua Surf Shop today at Sloat and 46th Avenue and looked over wetsuits there and talked to an awesome guy, Devon, who told me he lived at 47th and Judah for 15 years, and I would really like it, about all things wetsuits.

He gave me some great advice and suggestions, including some thoughts about surf boards et al.

Aqua

Aqua

Sunday I am going to head over to Wise Surf Shop on Great Highway and check them out.

Then with the info I have under my belt I shall make myself a wetsuit purchase.

Because I will be able to afford to do so.

I have the full-time work happening.

Thank God.

I have also looked a bit on Craigslist for used suits, but I have yet to see something that will work for me.

I may also check out Sports Basement, since I am going to be in the Mission tomorrow, I decided I won’t be heading back to my house in between my split shifts.

I have a meeting of the minds at Philz on 18th and Noe Street at 1:15p.m.  then free time until I am due up at 26th and Hampshire (I think it’s Hampshire, yeesh, I haven’t been over there in a while, I know it’s at 26th and the hill is steep) so I can scoot over to Sports Basement and maybe REI and that other place I always forget is there at Division and 15th.

Do my wetsuit research.

Funny enough the one place I thought was too expensive, Mollusk, still has the best price for what I am looking for.

That being said I have only gone to two surf shops so far.

I have, as well, done online research, so I am not completely in the dark here.

Granted, I have yet to try one on and that I know is going to be some monkey business.

I did find out from a friend last Saturday that you can purchase a wetsuit and bring it home and try it on in the privacy of your own home and return it if it doesn’t fit.

You cannot return it once it’s gone in the water.

Good information to have.

So much to do.

I am keeping busy I am.

I am also contemplating taking part in the November novel-writing challenge.

I got an e-mail from a friend asking if I was taking part.

I checked it out and thought, nah.

But the thought wouldn’t go away and I do have as story, not a memoir, that I think could be extrapolated out to a novel, and yes, I can’t believe I am saying this, but it is Science Fiction in nature.

My friend who asked shot me another e-mail and said that the basic requirement is 1,000 words a day.

Uh, yeah, I can do that.

In fact, I already do that now.

I typically crank out a blog between 1,000 and 1,200 words every night.

I have some practise with this.

Now, I don’t know if the words will flow as well and I am not sure if I would do the rough draft to the novel on my computer or if I would do it long hand, but I bet I could.

And sometimes what I need is a kick in the pants to get something going.

I have had a little voice in the back of my head asking when I was going to be writing something new, other than my morning pages and my blog, and this may be just the thing.

I think I am going to give it a go and see if a few other of my friends are interested in doing it.

The challenge begins in November and goes through out the month and there seems to be a lot of support around the community that is generating the challenge.

I just need to say yes and set up the profile.

If I can haul $70 worth of groceries on my back from Rainbow to the house without breaking one of my dozen organic eggs, I bet I could write a novel in the month of November.

I really have no idea how that correlates, but it seems that it is taking the action and not thinking.

I am not going to think.

I am going to do.

November novel month here I come.

I’ll be the girl grinding it out in a wet suit.

 

You Do’t Know How Sick

October 13, 2013

You are until you’re not.

Holy Jesus.

I was a lot sicker than I realized.

And as it turned out so were my employers and their little baby.

Everybody has gotten it apparently.

I did not have it as bad as them, thank God.

I am not a fan of the vomiting thing.

I was super nauseous, but the cookies never did come up, just mostly the exhaustion.

I am not 100% better, but I am so much better that I have an actual real perspective on how bad it was.  Especially after seeing my family being laid so low.

I was supposed to do an over night for them but they are still recovering and getting better.  I worked a little for them this afternoon and got the baby out for a little time in the sunshine and at the park so mom could go out and do a little grocery shopping and papa could rest.

You need to nap after throwing up all night.

Yikes.

So, I actually had this evening off and that was a nice surprise.

I walked all the way up Noe to the very top of the hill after getting done with work.

The air, crisp, cold, autumn air.

It’s getting cold out there.

I relished the sunlight still coming through the atmosphere.  I know that the rain and the overcast days are not too far off, but until they get here I am going to play out side as much as possible.

Surf as much as possible as well.

Before heading over to the Castro this afternoon I spent some time a little closer to my house and went to Mollusk Surf Shop.

I wanted to price wet suits and get a beginning feel for what they have, which is mostly out of my price range, but they are having a sale on Patagonia wet suits and they do have my size in a 3/4 thickness, which is more than warm for my year round surf needs.

Oh yeah, one time in the water and I am already talking about my year round surf needs.

“Surfing is a really steep learning curve, it’s going to take years,” my friend and neighbor said to me tonight.

I saw him at the coffee shop and sprinted over.

“I did it!  I went surfing!” I jumped up and down and chatted him up.

I’ve known him for years, but didn’t realize he lived out here in the Outer Sunset.  A block away to be exact, on 46th and Irving.

Too funny.

And he’s willing to go out with me.

And he’s be showing another mutual friend of ours how to surf and it turns out said friend has a girl friend who also surfs and stores her board in his garage and its a long board and maybe I can borrow it.

Sweet.

“What are you doing Monday?” He asked.

“Fuck, I am working,” I said, in fact I am working a lot this upcoming week, but that’s ok with me because I want that wet suit I saw at Mollusk today.

We ran down the week and he’s pretty much booked all the days I am available and vice versa.

“Saturday, next Saturday,” he said, “I can take you out next Saturday.”

I am working, but only a few hours.

“Yes!  I can do that!” I hugged him tight and made a mental note to self to put down the date in my calendar.

“Perfect, and you are gonna be my guinea pig,” he added.

“I got a gig teaching surfing and I need some practise teaching on some people before I start there, it’s my first teaching gig,” he said and just like that, I have an instructor.

Woot.

“I’m all yours,” I said happily.

Now I have to wrangle up a wet suit by next Saturday.

I know what I want.

I have done enough research and I have talked to enough folks to know what to get–full body, 3/4 thickness, seamed and a pair of booties.  I may eventually want gloves when winter truly arrives and a hood, but I suspect a hood will bug the fuck out of me, so I am going to put that off.

The Patagonia wetsuit is wool lined and double seamed and $550.

But, it’s on sale, according to the guy at Mollusk who totally helped me out, for $347.

And they have my size.

I have looked online and I have been watching craigslist like a hawk, but so far, nothing.

I am leery of buying my first wet suit on-line since I don’t know sizing that well, but it has given me a feel for what is the right cost of things.

I need to check out Wise and Aqua Surf Shops, according to my friend and a few other folks I have chatted up, but if I don’t find anything better, I am going to get that wetsuit at Mollusk.

The board will have to wait for a little while and that I will probably buy used, my circle of surfing peeps is growing and I will ask around to borrow boards as much as I can.

Plus, with a wet suit, I can also just go for a swim in the ocean and get used to the way the water moves and how I move in it.  I can do open ocean swimming and work out my arms even if I don’t have a board, I can get my swim on.

Really, I am amazed at how much better I feel.

Just writing about the surfing has shown me how low my energy has been.

Nice to be getting back into my regular healthy self.

Just in time for Decompression.

I will be putting on my sparkle pony costume tomorrow and heading off to Esprit Park.

My costume will probably look no different from my regular attire, fyi, although there may be just a touch more glitter than normal.

Oh yeah.

Feeling better.

Feeling jazzed.

Feeling grateful.

Thank god the sick is just about gone.

I am over the moon.

Or somewhere in the surf.

Either is applicable.

Retainer

October 9, 2013

I may be going on a retainer for my Cole Valley family.

The mom’s contract with work is closing and seasonal, but she still wants me.

However, her time needs are going to be different.

She asked me what I thought if my hours were smaller but I still was paid the same.

I would say, yes, thanks, because otherwise I am looking for another job.

I don’t want to and I don’t think she wants me to, scratch that, she absolutely does not want me to look for another family to be with full-time.

I cannot make less money.

No.

I am amenable to the idea.

I have worked flat rates for families before.

Although in the past it was pretty much a I start at 8 or 9 a.m. and work until 5:30 or 6p.m. and if I get done a little early I get paid the same amount.  I was basically working 40-50 hours at a set rate, a salary basically.

To not have full-time work and then try to figure out how much is fair, I’m not sure how that will all suss out.  But yeah, I am fine with working less and making the same amount.

I still have to supplement.

It has not been full-time work ever with this family and sometimes that is frustrating, but mostly, it has worked out.  Especially when I am not worried about it.  I keep showing up and the money accrues.

That being said next week is going to be busy.

I am working Saturday through Thursday.

I could say I am working Friday through Thursday, now that I am thinking about it.

I basically have a six-day run.

One day, though, is not really at work nannying, Friday is my re-certification class at the American Red Cross.

Saturday is the overnight.

Sunday is Decompression.

I will be in the Castro for the overnight, then maybe pop over to Decompression for a while, or not, who knows.  Then go back to the Castro at 7p.m. and work a few hours.

Monday will be back to my “normal” work week.

With the addition of the new family in NOPA a half day in the afternoon on Wednesday and a full day on Thursday.

Long board and a wet suit.

I just repeated that to myself when I was writing it down.

Long board and a wet suit.

Every extra bit counts toward that goal.

I will need to get back into the water before I get my own gear, so I will be getting ahold of my friend and seeing if I can catch some more time in the water with him soon.

I could go Thursday afternoon.

Trying to figure it out is not going to help me write this blog.

I was also trying to figure out the yoga as I came home from my day and there was a spare yoga mat leaned up against my door.

My housemate is a fairy godmother.

She just knows.

I hopped on the studio website for Ocean Beach Yoga and I think I can pull off a class this weekend.  Possibly Thursday or Friday.

The weekend is pretty much out.

But I do so want to start doing this and stop talking about it.

Especially when the Universe drops a yoga mat off at my door.

I can take hint you know.

I have plans tomorrow, that hopefully includes some make out, otherwise I would tomorrow after work.

Dinner and discussion with the Mister.

I just got to ask the guy what he wants and say what I want.

We may have different agendas

I can’t read his mind and he can’t read mine and I have just been going on the assumption that he is super busy with work all the time, and you know, when you can’t remember your last day off and you work 12-15 hour days, I feel it is safe to assume that, but maybe there is something else that I am not aware of.

He’s going to pick me up after work and we’ll probably head over to Nob Hill and then grab some dinner afterward.  I have Thursday off with no commitment until noon and I don’t know if that will actually happen as the lady has not called to check in with me once since I met with her last week.

Doesn’t bode to well for that coffee date.

Which is why I made the date for Trouble Coffee, it’s in my neighborhood, if she fails to show up I still am nearby.  And maybe I can go to the yoga studio before my commitment in the evening, or even surf, if my friend’s around.

I will have to touch base.

I know that if I don’t go this weekend the ocean is not going to go away and my chances won’t have evaporated, I just want to commit to going once a week at least in the beginning.

Making new habits can be hard.

I have lots of willingness, but sometimes not enough action behind it.

“Willingness without action is fantasy,” a good friend of mine has said and I completely agree.

I can fantasize about a wet suit and a long board and hopping up on the waves, but the longer I wait to get back in the water the longer it’s going to take to get up on the board.

I have not fantasies about that.

I don’t expect that I will get on my feet for a while yet, but I am going to try.

I can also not obsess about my schedule.

I am going to follow through on the surfing and the yoga.

It is time.

I am going to also not wig out about this week and what my timing is like.

I remember once asking someone how they balanced all the people in their life.

He said he just focused on the one in front of him.

That’s all I need to do.

My intent is to surf and do yoga this week.

However that happens.

And get kissed.

Yes.

Let me give some time to that as well.

Sore, In That Really Good Way

October 8, 2013

No.

Not in that way.

I wouldn’t mind being sore in that way, but I digress before I even begin.

No, sore in the way I know that I did something yesterday, I did something big yesterday, even if I didn’t really do all that much.

I got in the water and that is huge.

And I am feeling it today.

Wow.

I mean, I knew I was going to be a little sore, my arms sort of stopped working yesterday and I accidentally dropped my friends board yesterday when we were heading back to his car, but I had no clue how sore I was going to be.

Then again, every time I picked up one of the babies and felt that twinge, I also remembered the waves and the feeling of getting on the board and what it felt like to be carried forward on the wave.

I want some more of that please and thank you.

I have been looking at wetsuits online and poking  through the postings on craigslist for a long board.

I am hoping to get a used board and possibly a used wet suit.

But if I need to invest in a new wetsuit at full retail I will.

I don’t know that I can afford a new board at full retail, yet.

Used.

I think I could swing used and I feel that I need to put out some feelers into the community, I am sure that I have a friend or two that may have a spare board or suit.

I don’t want to pester my friend who took me out yesterday too much, although he was a really good teacher, but I will, oh I will.

I want to continue this feeling sore trend.

Which eventually will build up into some nice muscle.

Yes.

I also need to pick up a yoga mat.

I am thinking of hitting a class on Thursday.

I have a full work day tomorrow and a commitment at 6:30 p.m. with plans to meet for tea thereafter.

Wednesday I have a dinner date with the Mister who I have not seen in two and a half weeks.

I have no expectations.

Although, see, already, I lie.

I do have expectations.

I am working on letting them go.

I am just going to show up and see what happens.

I did my spending plan for October and have $125 in my clothing allowance, I might get a new dress, that’s all.

I can use a date as an excuse to get cute, right?

So, that leaves me Thursday, go get me some yoga.

Stretch it out.

I know that one thing, stretching, will be really good for me.

I could have used some stretching before and after the surfing yesterday and I just did not even think about it, never crossed my mind.

Oops.

Friday, I could do some yoga too, I will probably want to after spending nine hours at the American Red Cross getting re-certified in Child/Infant and Adult CPR, First Aid, and AED.

Nine hours of hanging out with plastic mannequins.

Sigh.

What a way to spend a Friday.

But, you know, better safe than sorry and It does feel good to have those certifications, despite never having used them, I feel better for it, and it makes me a better nanny.

Keeping my qualifications up to date.

I also have a sit down that needs to get scheduled with one of my mom’s.

She wants to debrief about what happened at Burning Man while it is still fresh and see what we can do better for next year.

“I am planning on you will be with us,” she said to me this morning.

Uh, yeah.

I pretty much planned that too.

I have not had much that I wanted to discuss with the family, I figured the one or two things that I needed would be addressed, well, next year.

What has come up has been too things, one I need to be paid a little more, I haven’t ever raised my rates, although I did in a way when I asked for trailer accommodations, I know that’s not cheap to do, even when they own the trailer.

But, yeah, I do need to ask for a little more.

And, um, well, black water service for the trailer.

I don’t want to have to stumble out of the trailer at night to go pee.

Other than that, I am not sure what to ask for or talk about.

I feel like it went pretty well.

I could have used another day off, there’s that.

I could.

But I had a great time at the camp, their camp mates were awesome.  I loved being there with the baby and I think we really bonded out there.

I certainly fell for him out there.  Head over heels.

I mean how could you not?

Something to think on.

I’ll probably sit down with the mom sometime this week.

I do really love my families.

It’s a nice thing.

I will be doing an over night on Saturday, my first one, so my short work week is cool with me.  And it won’t feel like a short work week with the training on Friday.

Next week will be the beginning of a new relationship with my new family in NOPA.

I will work for them a few hours on Wednesday and then a full day on Thursday.

This will bring me up to four shifts a week.

If I can pick up a supplemental shift here or there I should be alright.

If I pick up a fifth day I will be able to afford a surf board much faster.

I have to say, I am even considering putting getting a scooter on hold for a while.

I know I was thinking it would be an awesome thing to get by my birthday, but maybe I have changed my mind, maybe I want a surf board instead.

Heh.

Yes.

Yes.

Yes.

Mmmmhmmm.

Give me more of that sore in that really good way.

Surfing, the new sexy.

That Was Life Changing

October 7, 2013

My life is now and forever irrevocably changed.

I am a surfer.

Did I get up on the board?

Nope.

Did I get on my knees, five, maybe six times.

Did I get knocked over by the waves?

Yes.

A lot.

Did I ingest a little salt water?

A little bit.

Have I stopped smiling?

No.

I told my friend who just dropped me off from a full day–surfing, coffee at Java Beach, hanging out with friends in the Castro, movie a the Metreon (Gravity), and a late dinner at Golden Gate Indian (vegetable Korma and basmati rice)–that he has changed my life.

I mean really.

First, that which I was most afraid of, the cold of the water.

Not cold.

Wow.

Does a wet suit really work.

I wasn’t cold at all.

I am sure that will change, the water will get colder, it’s probably the warmest that it gets right about now.  The weather the last few days, spectacular, in the 80s, wore my flip-flops all day and my swim suit and a little tank dress.

I felt fucking naked.

It was glorious.

But the wet suit, though I must have looked a travesty getting it on, works really well.

I forgot how I was nervous about the cold immediately.

And not once did I think shark.

Not once did I think much of anything.

I was just totally in the water, in the next wave, in watching the roll of the surf come up on me.

I got knocked around a little bit, we were in the rough, I never managed to paddle out past the breaking point of the surf, but I was alright with that.

And my strength is not as much as I thought.

There is a different kind of fatigue that happens.

Probably the cold water zapping a bit out of you, and plus as my friend pointed out, when you are a beginner you really do struggle quite a bit more than a seasoned surfer, and you work a lot to get not near the results.

The more you do it, the easier it happens and the less you struggle.

Today I struggled.

And that’s ok.

I am learning.

There is so much to learn.

So much.

I learned I need more core strength and that yoga is definitely on the table for me, I can see how useful that core strength is for paddling out, for balancing, for getting up on the board.

The board I never got up on.

The board I had a hard time pulling myself up on, but did, and I did catch a few waves, from first my belly, then my knees.

If you heard shrieks of gaiety, that was from me.

I waddled about in the surf a lot, did not make it far out and had the best time.

I just kept smiling.

I had a few moments when I was scared, the waves are a lot bigger when you are in the surf than you realize.

A lot bigger.

The other thing that surprised me, and this sounds funny, but it is much saltier than I realized it would be.

And you know me, I love that salty taste.

I am so happy to have found this.

I am so grateful to have walked through the fear.

And I can tell it is going to be one hell of an adventure, but one that with a small amount of financial investment, really all I need is a surf board and a good wet suit, I will have years of enjoyment from it.

I can see surfing for a long, long time.

My friend and I talked about surfing until he’s in his 80s.

I am down for that kind of life.

I am so happy to be out by the beach.

I popped my surfing cherry at Ocean Beach, San Francisco.

I need to make that into a bumper sticker, or something.

It is taking a lot of restraint to not go off trolling on craigslist for a used board and wet suit.

I looked a little bit this morning at wet suits for rental, I borrowed my friends today, eventually I will need to get my own, his is a little too long for me, he’s a bit taller, and I will need to get the booties, but really I bet I could have my own gear within a few weeks.

Especially if I buy used.

He’s recommending a long board, and that makes sense, I rode a long board today.

I can’t believe that.

I am forty!

I surfed at 40.

Freaking awesome.

It is an amazing workout.

I can feel how tired my arms are.

I am going to sleep like a baby.

And not a fussy, teething baby, but a zonked out, tired, baby.

I am a little wired writing about it and I want to schedule my next time in right now.

Right now.

My friend recommended once or twice a week.

Yes please.

I mean, I live three blocks from the beach.

I don’t have to have a car to take a board down, I can just walk.

I can store a board in the garage, there’s room, and a wet suit too.

Although I won’t go by myself.

Uh, no fucking way.

I probably will never go by myself, but I will go again.

And the sooner the better.

I have off Thursday and Friday (doing a big overnight on Saturday).

I work tomorrow, Tuesday, and a 1/2 day on Wednesday.

I would like to get into the water again by Thursday or Friday.

I want to commit to doing this weekly.

It will take me some time to get decent.

Probably the rest of my life.

But I don’t care.

I really don’t.

I had so much fun, the riding in, even on my knees, was amazing, so fast, I can’t wait to get on my feet and cut back and forth along the waves.

Surfer.

I like that I am adding something new to my repertoire.

Who knew?

Not I.

That’s for sure.

The gifts of moving out here to the Sunset keep coming.

The gift of the present.

I was so in the moment.

There was no thinking about anything, there was just being in the water, jumping up on the board, ducking through a wave, and paddling up and over a swell.

The sun on my face.

The salt on my lips.

The smile that would not quit.

And time with my darling friend.

Life is amazing.

My life is amazing.

And just a little salty.

Surf’s Up

October 6, 2013

Holy shit.

I am going surfing tomorrow.

This was not a planned thing.

Had it been, there would have been plenty of anxious writing going on previous to the decision.

See recent blogs on yoga, which I still have not gotten to that damn studio.

But if what I was just reading on the interwebs about what I need to get comfortable  with being a surfer is any indication, I am going to want to do yoga for the abdominal strength and core work.

Fortunately my abs are actually a bit stronger than they appear–bike riding.

I give the impression of soft and curvy, but there is a lot of hard muscle under that little cushion.

A cushion which will be a little insulating–I am going cold water surfing, NorCal surfing.

“Am I really going surfing tomorrow?” I thought to myself as the my body reacted to a cold shot of water running over my foot as I crouched down to catch a sunset photograph.

Sundown

Sunset

I watched the surfers bobbing up and down in the water and marveled at what they were doing.

I have always wanted to learn how.

And tomorrow is the day.

I received a phone call from a friend who happened to be out at the beach before a work shift.

He was calling to see if I was around and yes, I was, a half hour of free time before my afternoon of sit down and heart to heart over a cup of tea with a lady in my kitchen.

He came on over to check out my new pad.

He loved the studio and then crowed about the beautiful waves he had seen down at the beach; saying it was amazing surf and he wished he wasn’t going into work and he was definitely going out tomorrow, and hey!

What am I doing?

Oh snap.

“I’ve got an extra wet suit and a long board,” he said, bright shiny eyes beaming out at me.

“I’m in!” I shouted and hugged him.

I did not even think twice.

It feels really surreal to think that I am actually going to get into a wet suit tomorrow and paddle out into the water.

Really?

This is actually going to happen.

I asked my friend years ago, four or five years ago it feels, to teach me how to surf.

I watched old room mates learn about it and become absolutely enthralled and total beach bum surfers overnight.

I debated it back and forth and just never got around to it.

Something always came up.

“Oh, a board will fit right in there perfectly,” my friend gestured to a little free spot in my studio where I was thinking a stand up lamp may go.

I like his suggestion a lot better though.

A surf board!

I am not currently nervous.

I am sure that will change tomorrow, but I am going to do it anyway.

Somehow I don’t think it will be as scary as when I bought a swim suit in Paris at Decathlon and then went swimming for the first time at the pool in my neighborhood.

I bet I actually look kind of sexy in a wet suit.

A wet suit looks like a big giant set of Spanx.

bahahahahaha.

I am a little scared of sharks, but well, whatever.

I ride my bicycle through the street of San Francisco on a daily basis, that land shark, the car, is more of a worry to me than Jaws.

I may change my mind when I am actually in the water with my feet dangling above the dark depths.

And I had no idea what I was going to do with my weekend.

Ha.

Aside from go down to the beach today at sunset.

The weather today has been that rare thing that San Francisco only gets a tiny bit of–a real summer day.

Heck, I did not leave the house with an extra layer in my messenger bag this afternoon–not something I recommend for beginner San Franciscan residents or visitors.

I knew I was going to be just fine.

There’s a little nip in the air right now, I have the door open to the back yard, listening to the surf underscore the music on my Ipod shuffle, but even this is nothing compared to what I know is coming.

When the weather is like this I can go either way.

Sometimes it can overwhelm me, like I have to do something, go somewhere.

Make it count.

I made it count by eating lunch and dinner al fresco.

By having my friend stop by and see my place and sit and drink bubbly water on the back porch.

Hosting another friend soon after for tea and talk.

Then going for a bike ride into the Inner Sunset for a little while to get myself straight.  And then the round trip bike ride back, a staggeringly beautiful ride home into that golden hour of sun setting in the West.

 Gold

Color Drop

I sent my friend photos from the beach as he texted me about being excited for tomorrow.

“It’s going to be epic!”

He sounds like a surfer.

Will I start peppering my words with “dudes” instead of profanity?

Maybe.

I will definitely have fodder for my blog tomorrow and certainly something to say about my weekend.

What did you do this weekend?

I learned how to surf!

Eeeeep!

I am truly excited.

I have my Paris swimsuit, a chamois cloth, sunblock, a water bottle, a towel, hair elastic, a snack, lip balm, and a case of butterflies to bring with me.

And my camera.

I will take some photos.

I won’t haul it out to the surf, but a few shots of before and after, absolutely.

What a wonderful surprise.

I get to learn how to surf!

I am going to learn how to surf!

Ending blog shortly to go dance around my room like a silly person.

Hang ten.

Whatever the hell that means.

Sunday Slow Down

September 23, 2013

I might as well call it “Sunday Full on Stop.”

What the hell has happened to me?

Where has all my get up and go gone to?

I think it took a nap.

Well, I took a nap anyhow.

Sunday in the Sunset.

A walk on the beach as the fog was clearing.

Clearing Fog

Fog Clearing

fog filter

Fog Filter

 

 

 

 

 

I will say that the walks have been lovely and a great excuse to get my camera out and for me to get out and see what there is to be seen in my new neighborhood.

The beach was quite pretty with the lifting fog pushing up and inland.  I walked a path toward the middle where the sunshine was beaming through and the water sparkled with it.

Froth

Froth

I could not restrain myself and I walked again in the tide.

The water is cold but for whatever reason when I am down there I am drawn toward the surf and I want to have my feet in it.

I am not sure I can imagine the rest of my body in it, it is startlingly cold.

When I was on swim team in high school we kept it, the temperature of the pool, around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.  Occasionally it was warmer around 72 degrees.

And never less than 68 degrees.

You could, or I could anyhow, really tell the difference in the temperature.

To this day I do not enjoy swimming in pools that are warmer than 72 degrees.

It feels off-putting and sweaty.

Yes, you do sweat when you swim hard.

And if the pool is warm, its gross.

Yet, I have not done cold water swimming and I would guess that the water I was wading through this afternoon was around 55 degrees.

That is considerably colder than I have swum in before.

I could do it with a wet suit, I think.

All to come I am sure.

I don’t see living down by the beach without getting into the waves at some point.

I have heard a lot of disparaging things about surfing at Ocean Beach.

That water is too cold.

There are sharks.

The undertow is fierce.

But I see people doing it.

Not a lot of people, granted, but they are out there doing it.

I am sure I will want to find out how to do it as well.

For the time being I am, however, more than happy to just get my toes wet in the surf and inhale sharply with exquisite surprise when the cold water slaps at my feet and the suck of the tide going out pools at my ankles.

It is an intense moment.

One smack dab in the present and no escaping it.

I walked the shore line for a while, then popped up to Lincoln Avenue and Great Highway and took in the windmill from the beach.

It, the windmill, is an institution.

A landmark.

A distinct way to mark the city parameters and a tool that I have used for direction on more than one occasion.

Yet, I have never seen it up close.

Never.

I moved to San Francisco in 2002, Labor Day weekend, and there are still things and places that I have not seen in this lovely city.

I was not going to go.

I thought, whatever, I live here now, I will surely see it at some point.

But then I thought, wait, I am here, I have nothing else planned for the day and why not, it’s just across the road.

Go.

Go I did.

It was not an overwhelming piece of architecture.

But it was cool to see it up close and to walk around it and to wonder what was it there for and was it ever open to be explored inside.  The grounds led me to no distinct conclusions, no signs, except the cement stencilled with Samuel Murphy Windmill est. 1905 over the door leading into the base of the mill.

Windmill

Windmill

You can check out more photographs of the windmill on my other blog devoted to photography: http://www.whereintheworldisauntiebubba.wordpress.com

I thought, as I was taking the photographs there are lots of places that I have not been to or seen in San Francisco.

Perhaps I should treat this great city like I treated going to Paris, going to as many of the sights and museums and parks as I can.

I am close to Sutro Baths, never checked them out, certainly something I could do in the next weekend or two.

I think I will be doing lots of exploring of the beach.

I am sinking into the relaxed way of being out here.

The afternoon lazed away after my walk into a late lunch on the patio in the sunshine with my library book.

Day two of sitting and reading a book!

In fact, I was so relaxed and warm and zoned out from sitting in the sun I actually came into the studio, and like a cat, curled up in the sunny spot at the base of my bed and fell into a light nap in the late afternoon sunshine.

One of my favorite things to do, sleep in a patch of sunshine.

Not something I have done in a while.

I fell asleep with his kiss on my mouth in memory and a smile on my face and a wish for a quick week, he’s busy working and I have a full nanny schedule, until I will get to see him again.

Waking up after a quick snooze I had another luscious meal on the patio.

Then a bike ride through the neighborhood at dusk and some time to get more invested in the community of my fellows out here in the Sunset.

I am quite liking this slow down, despite my protestations to the different, this new way of moving quietly through the world.

I like that I wore flip-flops almost all day long and got sand in my toes and sun on my face.

Sundays are supposed to be a day for rest anyhow.

Grateful to be in a place where I will allow myself to do just that.

 

 

 


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