Posts Tagged ‘Whole Foods’

20,650 Steps

June 27, 2018

That’s how much I walked today.

I wasn’t even sure I was going to write this blog.

I just got out of a bath at the Air BnB I’m staying at in Brooklyn and I laid down on the bed and closed my eyes and I could have stayed there all night.

I mean.

I think I was lying there for at least five minutes, maybe more.

I got up though to put on lotion.

My skin has been changing a little, getting a little dryer as I get older and I don’t like how it feels, so I got up, slathered on some lotion and figured I would at least make an attempt at writing something.

I really did walk that many steps.

I actually walked more than that, I didn’t carry my phone with me all day, so there were a couple of flights of steps not counted and some pattering around the house exploring, but mainly, I was on the move today.

From flying out last night to landing here this early afternoon to strolling all over Brooklyn, I had quite a day.

I am pretty damn beat.

I got about three hours of sleep on the plane.

Not my best showing.

But I am sure I will catch up on that tonight.

And since I’m not on a schedule I can sleep as long as I like.

I have two plans for tomorrow.

The first is the Brooklyn Museum to see the David Bowie Exhibition and the Judy Chicago show.

The second is to see an old friend from SF who moved here years ago and go do the deal tomorrow night at 7:30p.m.

He and his girlfriend started something up a little while back that apparently is like what recovery is in San Francisco.

I had to laugh, since I’m a regular attendee at a spot that models itself after recovery in New York.

It’s always better where you got the message first.

So I will get a little piece of San Francisco tomorrow night, which is sweet.

It’s nice to still be connected to friends 13 years later.

I don’t foresee as much walking tomorrow as I did today.

The walking was actually not really planned.

I decided to walk around the neighborhood a little after I had gotten settled in and had taken a nice shower to wash off the airplane travel.

One block lead to another and another and another.

I like the neighborhood.

Very residential, lots of row houses.

God, I love the brown stones in Brooklyn.

And I love the culture of sitting on the stoop or in the front part of the brownstone, what would be a yard, but is just a square of cement patio.

I loved seeing so many people sitting out on the stoops and watching the neighborhood go by.

I felt like I fit in.

I could see living in Brooklyn, this part of Brooklyn anyway, I’m not quite as much of a fan of Williamsburg, which is quaint, but doesn’t have the row house appeal of this part of Brooklyn.

Bed-Stuy, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill.

Gorgeous houses.

They get fancier and fancier the closer to the water you get.

By the time I had walked to the Brooklyn Heights promenade I was pretty in awe of the houses.

So pretty.

Of course, I’ve only been here when it’s warm, I don’t know that I could deal with the winters, I know they are vicious.

I had enough winters being in Wisconsin as long as I was.

It’s warm, the day was warm, not too hot, it will get warmer as I stay.

Today was about 80 degrees, by Saturday it’s supposed to be low 90s.

It’s going to be hot, hot, hot.

But I will enjoy that too, when the sun goes down and I’m still outside walking around in a light weight dress.

I wore my bibs out today and got lots of compliments on them.

I also got lots of compliments on my tattoos.

I was actually surprised to not see more folks with tattoos, could just be the part of the city I’m in, who knows.

I had a conversation outside a coffee shop on Lafayette Avenue with a youngish girl who wanted to pick my brain as she was planning her first tattoo.

We had quite the conversation.

I like that I can just fall into talking with people, it feels nice.

I did have a moment of feeling a tiny bit lonely tonight when I was back at the Air BnB having procured food from the Whole Foods three miles away.

That was the last stop on my walk, and I have to say, I was a bit out of it by that point.

But.

I did manage to wrangle up breakfast food, coffee, snacks, cold brewed coffee, bottled water, and fruit for the rest of the week.

I plan on eating breakfast at the house and then other meals out.

Although I only ate one meal out today, and it wasn’t with much fan fare, though I have to say, it was nice to eat it outside on the patio at the joint I went to in Fort Greene.

Dinner I didn’t have it in me to plan, cook, or go out for, I was too tired after getting back from the grocery store.

I made oatmeal and a hard-boiled egg.

I’m sure I will eat out plenty the rest of the week.

Anyway.

I’m happy to be here and excited for sleep and to see what the rest of the week shall bring.

Here.

Let me at least leave you with a few photos:

2018-06-26 17.11.47-2

2018-06-26 16.52.54-1

2018-06-26 16.50.11-2

2018-06-26 16.48.11-2

2018-06-26 15.03.36-2

And now.

Now.

It is time for the rest.

Seriously.

 

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The Best Thing

June 22, 2018

About writing progress notes this week has been this: “therapist out of office next week, rescheduled with client for…”

Therapist is out of office next week!

I’ve one more day of work and one last client to see tomorrow before I get to go to New York.

I’m so excited.

Although it does seem a touch surreal that I will have five weeks off of work, I am ready for it.

I was told recently that my type A ass might have a hard time settling down to relax so to be careful that I don’t over book myself during my time off.

Yeah.

Sure.

Bwaahahaaha.

I’ll take it easy.

I perhaps won’t take it as easy as the average slothful bear, but I will take it a little easy.

I’m so ready for a little vacation time.

I really am.

Ready for all the fun too of getting prepped to go.

Even though the sandals I ordered online came and they don’t fit well, I still have many cute outfits and shoes to wear.

And I have the weekend as well to shop.

I probably will get at least a dress or two and if I run across some cute sandals, well, yeah, I will.

I will be downtown on Saturday getting a hair cut.

I haven’t gotten a hair cut in ten, eleven months.

I am due.

My hairstylist, who I have known for years, but never actually gotten a cut from, has her salon in the Flood Building, so I’ll be downtown on a Saturday and I figure I can do a little shopping for myself and my trip.

I don’t need to, there’s nothing super pressing that I must get, but it will be nice to peak around at things.

I always like having another dress in the closet.

And part of the money I have set aside for travel is always earmarked towards outfits for said travel.

I’ve been saving for a while and I have a nice chunk I can afford to bring with me to New York as well as what I have saved for Paris.

Enough so that I can eat nice food, drink a plethora of iced beverages, mainly iced coffees as I walk the streets of New York, get myself notebooks, one of my favorite souvenirs to bring back from any trip, a few pairs of earrings, a mandatory souvenir as well.  I love having little things like that I can wear or write in that remind me of the trip.

I love my DC notebook.

I love my Paris notebooks.

I have had a New York notebook from my last trip that I got at The Strand bookstore that I filled up with stickers and museum ticket stubs.

I can literally compare notes to my last trip.

I feel that this one will be better.

I know it will be better.

I also have done some of the other little prep type things that one needs to do when traveling.

I put a travel alert on my debit card so when I use it in New York my bank won’t freak out and turn it off.

I made an appointment for a service for my car, the guy in the shop said it would take less than a half hour, I’ll be bringing her over to Berkeley for that on Monday.

I have all my toiletries bought and set aside.

And I reached out to the Air BnB host who said I would be able to check in early.

I will either get to do the full check in right when I get there or depending on whether or not the cleaners are still there, I will at least get to drop my bags.

Which is really all I want to do.

Just not have to drag my luggage all over Brooklyn until 5p.m.

I figure whatever happens I will make a foray out into Brooklyn right away.

I’m thinking of lunch on Dekalb Avenue at one of the restaurants I went to when I was there the last time, then a trip over to the Brooklyn Museum to see the David Bowie Exhibition.

Then a trip to Whole Foods on Lafayette Avenue and back to my Air BnB with food for the next days breakfast.

That’s a loose plan.

I may also meet up with a friend for coffee and doing the deal, depending on schedules and if we can connect.

Either way.

I am super happy I get to have the early access to the Air BnB and I’m hella happy that I only have one more day to go before I can begin the fun of getting my travel on.

The weekend will be full, but not too full.

I will have to do group supervision on Saturday, with my fabulous new haircut, and I’m hoping to get in a mani/pedi and some eyebrow waxing.

Although I might skip that and do the Korean day spa on Geary–Imperial Day Spa–and get myself some sauna time.

I have enough time on Monday after the car to do a mani/pedi if I want to.

I have the whole day off.

I don’t fly out until 11:55 p.m. Monday night.

The only thing I have scheduled for Monday is the service maintenance on my car.

I’m so glad tomorrow is Friday.

I am so ready for my New York adventure.

So, so, so ready!

Nice Little Day

December 24, 2017

Yoga.

Writing.

Loads of writing, just my morning pages, but the last week was super busy with early starts every day at work–I worked seven hours of overtime last week at my nanny job, so I didn’t get to my morning writing every day (skipped one day completely) or I got just a half page or maybe a page in.

Today I wrote four pages.

It felt so good.

Nice breakfast.

Leisurely latte.

Laundry.

Little bit of grocery shopping.

Group supervision.

Group today was really small, so I got to do a super long check in and do work around three clients, I don’t typically get that much time, my group is usually six of us and sometimes I get maybe fifteen minutes, twenty max, today, loads of time.

It was really good and it was also a sweet group to be in today.

Lots of support around my clients.

And.

Oh.

So nice.

I had a number of clients cancel this week and next.

Normally I wouldn’t be too happy about so many clients cancelling, but since my solo supervisor is on vacation for the next two weeks I was looking at having to get extra coverage.

As it turns out with all my cancellations next week I won’t have to at all.

Thank God.

It’s not a huge deal, but I get a lot more from my solo supervisor than the woman I go to if he’s not available.

Not to say she doesn’t have value, it’s just different and the rapport is not as strong and well, I get more from working with my supervisor.

And frankly, it’s nice to have some time off next week from clients.

I will only have two sessions next week.

One client Tuesday evening and one client on Thursday.

That’s going to be a short week for me.

And then a four-day weekend.

I will enjoy that quite a bit.

After supervision today I went into the fray.

Yes.

I went downtown on the Saturday before Christmas.

It was lit.

But.

I knew where I was going and I had a plan.

I even found parking that wasn’t metered.

I usually try to duck into the lot behind the Mint, it’s infrequently open, but once in a while you can score.

I wasn’t able to, but I went around the block and on a hunch I turned down Jessie Street and there it was, a spot, no meter, and only a block and a half from the Sprint store.

Yup.

I went and got a new SIM card for my new Iphone 8 and it’s working great.

It took a few minutes, but that’s all I had to do was stand around and wait, the tech guy in the shop did it and I didn’t have to pay for anything, which was really nice.

Then.

Heh.

I went even further into the crazy.

But it felt a little exhilarating because I had a single destination point and a gift card to Sephora burning a hole in my pocket.

I left the Sprint Store on Mission, slid through the back door of Bloomingdale’s and strode right through the makeup and perfume counters, zipped through the Westfield Mall and zig zagged through the masses of people on Market Street.

The line for the cable car was crazy.

I went into Sephora and I did a swoop.

I pretty much knew what I wanted and went to the exact make up aisles I wanted to grab products from.

I’m a total lip gloss junkie.

I picked up one of the Sephora brand lip glosses that I use on the regular and three different shades of Anastasia of Beverly Hills–one bubble gum pink with high glitter, called Girly, I know, I know, I was totally channeling my thirteen year old adolescent self (even though I never wore makeup when I was a teenager, making up hard for lost time) and then a pretty Vintage Rose gloss and a subtle glitter called St. Tropez.

Yeah.

I know “subtle” glitter.

But it sort of is.

Heh.

I had enough left over on my gift card that I splurged on a box of pretty highlight illuminating powders.

Super pretty.

I love makeup.

I love dressing up.

I love that I looked super chic and urban in my all black leotard and boho black skirt and leggings, my hair up in a high messy French bun, and my rose velvet pink Tretorns.

I had a total moment of “I have arrived.”

Which is funny.

But.

There it is.

I had that moment.

I felt happy and light and airy walking out of the crowded store.

I did not have any issue with the crowds, I got back to my car, had plenty of time to sneak in a quick pop over to Whole Foods and pick up a couple staples and fill up my gas tank before heading over to the NOPA to get right with God.

That was great.

I made dinner plans with a friend for next Saturday, I got connected, I participated and it felt lovely.

Home and a hot bowl of chicken soup with brown rice, veggies, and Andouille sausage and folding all the laundry I did earlier.

A super sweet, chill, lovely little day.

Tomorrow should be much the same, relaxed, restful, happy.

I’m going to go to yoga again in the morning, have the same leisurely sort of morning I had today, meet with ladybug and roast a chicken.

I’m thinking I’ll go to the Inner Sunset and treat myself to a mani/pedi and some eyebrow waxing, a hot cafe au lait and maybe a book from Green Apple Books, pop into the spot on 7th and Irving and get right with God and call it a day.

I’m not worried about it being Christmas Eve, it’s just a lovely Sunday that I get to relax.

And Christmas.

Well, that will be chill too.

I’m going to go over to the East Bay in the afternoon and see a girlfriend and go to a movie matinée and get Chinese food.

Super simple.

And that’s it.

No pressure.

No expectations.

I’ve been given so much this holiday season.

I have nothing to ask for.

It’s been intense.

But it’s been a really lovely Christmas.

Anything else is just more sprinkles.

(or glitter)

On top of the frosting.

Of some very lovely cake.

 

Kindness

March 10, 2017

I was blown away by a conversation I had with my boss today.

It started out as a bit of a joke around how I didn’t strike yesterday for International Hooha day yesterday.

That’s Women’s Day for you.

But you know what I mean.

I told her it just didn’t feel right to strike on my job when I work for a mom who runs her own business and has three children.

We joked a bit and the conversation turned to family and I found myself sharing things with her that I have not shared with previous employers.

I found myself sharing as though she were my friend.

Cautiously.

Yes.

I mean I needn’t go into gory details.

But.

I did tell her a bit more about my family.

Specifically my dad.

Which I found myself quietly feeling out the words to explain the relationship and also, and here I was really surprised by my openness, that I was thinking about going and seeing him this July when the family is traveling in Europe.

They will be gone for three weeks.

And.

I was just told tonight as I was leaving that they have the dates for their trip and also the dates for a work trip the dad will be taking at the end of this month.

I am going to help out while he is away for a week.

I’m not sure exactly what that will look like, but I will be helping out more.

I also suspect that I won’t mind at all.

She, the mom, is really becoming my friend and it’s a different relationship with a boss than I have had.

Granted.

I have had some amazing.

AMAZING.

Parents that I have gotten to work with.

Let me repeat that.

Amazing.

I am really lucky to call the majority of them my friends.

But I would also say that it was more after the fact than during the beginning of the work relationship.

I just find myself so at ease with her and I feel like I am a different person than the nanny I was when I first started.

I am also much more sure of myself and I am very aware of how good I am.

Which is not ego, but humility.

It would be false pride to belittle what I do or to downplay it.

“I could not do what you do,” my person told me last Saturday, “you really do astound me with how good you are, I still remember how you just pulled out a bag of snacks that one time I ran into you with the boys.”

She recounted a time years back when I was first began doing recovery work with her and I had a nanny gig at the time in Cole Valley.

I ran into her and some fellows and I had one of my charges with me and I had snacks and diapers and back up clothes and milk and wet wipes and god only knows what else, probably a teething ring or three and bags to put wet clothes in and hand disinfectant and the kitchen sink and…

She remembers, though and recounted it, not for the first time, with awe, and I don’t think anything of it, that’s just how I roll, prepared.

There used to be a time though when I was a lot more uncertain of myself and my worth.

I don’t think I was ever uncertain of my abilities, just not of my worth.

I  remember fondly an “intervention” some friends of mine did at Samovar Tea Lounge after I had just moved back from Paris.

It was a combination welcome home and you’re amazing and should be making more money at your job and we want to help you do that.

Eventually all that peer support sunk in and I got the picture.

I started to advocate more for myself and I started to get better jobs.

And now.

Well.

It may really be the best nanny gig I have.

Health insurance.

Paid vacation.

Sick leave.

Invitations to imbibe of their food, nice food, organic food, really nice procured stuff.

I drink nice tea and have all the coffee I could possibly want.

I get to be out and about with my charges.

I have a credit card in my name.

Of course, I can’t get cash with it and they are fully aware of what I use it for, but it’s so handy, I pick up dry cleaning, I use the card, I run to Whole Foods or Rainbow, ditto, I have it to put extra money on the Clipper card (the MUNI pass for the trains), or to take my charges to Dolores Park Cafe for mini pizza.

I have the dream nanny job.

And.

I LOVE my boss.

I feel appreciated, understood, and we talk.

Like we have conversations about the world, the state of the nation under the current administration, art, Paris, Burning Man, San Francisco, homelessness, the mayor, rent and rent control, health insurance, school stuff.

I mean.

I have shared a lot.

So today it was not new exactly, it was just sharing on a slightly deeper level and twice I found myself tearing up in empathy for her kindness and good heartedness and how she just looked at me with her big blue/green eyes and it seemed as though she got it.

She got me.

In fact.

I felt like I was in the field with her.

The field is a psychology term that I liken to be in a therapy session.

There is intuition there and connection and things are seen from both sides, the therapist and the client.

There is often a kind of subconscious connection and things pop up and out and it happened today.

I thought something as she handed me the baby and then she said exactly what I was thinking.

I have found things like that happen to me when I am in tune with another, but I don’t know that it has ever happened with an employer, although as soon as I write that I have curiosity about that statement.

Regardless

It happened.

We connected.

It was a moment of awe that I got to take in and I was just super grateful for her.

And for the little lady bug who tonight when I was making dinner stopped me, looked up, and said, “Carmen I love you, and Carmen,” she said and paused almost shyly, “Carmen, you’re beautiful.”

I stopped stirring the pot and looked at her, this little fairy elven woods creature with big saucer blue eyes and the fey downy blonde eyebrows on her face rose as her eyes widened, and she looked up at me, “you want to hug me now don’t you?”

“Yes,” I do, F__________.”

“Ok.”

I put the wooden spoon down and gathered her up and hugged her.

“I love you too.”

And I do.

Very.

Very.

Very much.

I am such a lucky girl.

Luckiest girl in the world.

And.

I’m also a school girl.

Tomorrow is my first day back to school.

So.

Off to bed I go.

See you on the flip.

Sweet dreams my loves.

Sweet dreams.

Finding a Groove

January 5, 2017

Not really.

But I’m just going to pretend that I am.

I did, however, feel like, hey, you got this today.

I mean.

I really just have to show up, that’s the gist of things, that and not freak out about the fact, I almost wrote, fucked of it, of school starting next week.

What the hell.

When did that happen and I have to do all my practicum shit and wasn’t I going to do to that during the break.

What was I doing?

Oh yeah.

I was sick.

I guess I have somewhat of an excuse.

And I have time, I remind myself, I have some time.

Granted, not a lot, I do need to get on the stick, but it will happen.

Some how it always does.

Even when the train won’t come.

Even when I decided to leave my scooter at work.

I actually did that.

I rode to work today and then the rain decided to rain again and it didn’t slack off and it was cold and I just felt funny about the idea of getting on my scooter.

I mean.

Really funny.

I heed stuff like that.

I just do not need to force riding home in the dark, in the cold, with the rainy rain and the slick streets and nope.

Not going to do it.

I figured, I got out of work an hour early, we are still figuring that all out and I don’t doubt that it will be a little wonky for a little while as the mom and dad and new baby get their routine down.

The house guest left today though, one less person in the house, and though I know that she was and is a good family friend, that there was a bit of breathing space that was tangible when I came back from picking up the kids from school.

I have to say, I am getting into that part of the job, going to grab the kids at school.

Getting out of the house, having a little purpose, packing snacks, making plans to do things.

Of course all plans to go do things and stuff at the park were cancelled as soon as the rain started back up, but the forecast looks clear for the next few days.

I should be able to ride my scooter home from work, I’ll just suck it up and take the train in again tomorrow, and Friday as well.

After that, who knows, I keep hearing about a monster storm that is going to dump a load of rain on us over the weekend and it looks like solid rain all next week.

Sigh.

Tomorrow though, no rain, means an outing to the park and hopefully a break in the clouds and some sun on my face.

And perhaps.

A visit with my former charges.

I ran into the mom dashing in during the rain to grab the boys and we had a quick hug and she asked if I had seen the boys, and I had not.

Which did make me momentarily sad, I wish I had, it would have been nice, but the rain being what it was, maybe it was for the better.

“You have been very missed,” the mom said, “there have been a lot of tears, a lot.”

Oh.

Dang it man.

That made me mist up.

But.

I did assure my former employer that I would be doing lots of pick up and that tomorrow and the days following I would look for them.

I would love to give them great big fierce hugs.

I do miss them.

That being said I can see that this current job is going to serve me really well and I am happy that I have made the change.

I really like the mom.

In fact, I think I may have told her more about myself than I have most of my previous employers.

Granted, there are some that definitely know more about me, as they have been in my life past my employment with them, but for the most part, I don’t divulge that much.

I told the mom today that I was sober.

It just sort of came out.

I ran into someone who I do the deal with and he waved and said “happy new year” and I figured, well, here’s a great opportunity and I just told her as we were standing in line at Whole Foods in Noe Valley.

It felt good to divulge and be honest and like I said, just to see that this job is really a good fit for me personality wise and money wise and principle wise and even environmentally wise.

They use all organic products, right down to everything they clean with.

They eat organic, they listen to music together.

The dad put on Leonard Cohen today for the baby to hear.

“It’s really important to get them into music young,” he said.

Hell yes.

I like their art.

I like their house.

I like how it’s clean and cozy, but not super tidy, organized, but not fanatic.

I really like how the mom pulled me aside at the grocery store when I said, “I’ve got the list let me know what you want me to grab.”

“Actually, I don’t need the list and what I want you to grab is food for yourself,” she looked at me very seriously and touched my arm, “we’ve discussed it and I understand your food stuff, but we really want you to have some staples in the house, in case you get hungry in a pinch, or need some food, we want to make sure that you have what you need and aren’t going without.”

Oh my God.

So nice.

And maybe for the first time ever I really embraced that.

I mean.

I didn’t go grab some lobster tail and steak.

But.

I did get a box of my favorite tea and a 1/2 gallon of unsweetened vanilla almond/cashew milk (I can drink milk, but um, it’s not always the best idea for me to, heh, it can be a little hard to digest, I’ll leave it at that), I picked up some carrots and apples and a couple of Japanese sweet potatoes.

Things that I can nibble on, tea that I can sip, I was told very firmly to drink what ever coffee is in the house, they have a friend who is in the coffee business and apparently they have a lot in the house.

Good to know.

Especially since I bring coffee with me.

Should I forget, I’m covered.

And.

I got the “I love you,” tonight from the little girl.

That was unexpected and really lovely.

I also got the “you’re stupid,” a couple of times, but that’s pretty par for the course.

Mom, dad, and the older brother got the “you’re stupid” too, so I didn’t fee too awkward about it.

I also got a rousing walk up the hill from the J-Church with the brother and sister, stomping rain boots, umbrellas, snacks, and a bright and loud version of The Yellow Submarine.

It was pretty awesome.

I laughed a lot today and for that I am grateful.

Yeah.

The rain sucked and I was cold by the time I got home.

But that’s what hot tea is for.

And bunny slippers.

Seriously.

Get a pair.

They are the bomb.

A little more tea and then off to bed.

I am still a bit tired, the new job stress is easing, it’s still a bit exhausting hauling all over and having a new schedule and the cold and the rain.

But I’m making my way through.

So grateful for this experience.

Really grateful.

Getting the fuck out-of-the-way and letting the good stuff in.

Please and thank you.

All day long.

All day.

I Got You

August 5, 2016

Really.

Nicer words couldn’t be said.

I got some sweet messages from playa friends today regarding my cry for help and a friend will be loaning me his tent come Saturday.

This makes better sense than the following: getting a tent from friend who told me he could help me last night, why?

Said person has never been to Burning Man and does not know the amount of havoc dust can wreak on something.  As much as I appreciated the offer, even while it was being made I was thinking, I may well go with something else I don’t want to destroy my friends stuff.

That being said.

The offer made to me today to help is from a long time burner, who has more than one tent and already told me what he’s got is hella dusty.

Great.

So I’ll get a little taste of playa before I even get to playa.

Haha.

But it really was such a sweet message to get and to know that I have friends who are willing and happy to help out.

And you know, I would do the same.

I’m helping out where I can.

Today I was at BMHQ (Burning Man Head Quarters) and I helped the Media team for a few hours and got caught up with friends and had one of the team members run down my shifts for on playa.

Basically exactly what I did before when I was a fluffer, and since I’m an “early riser” or how did she say it, “a morning person” bwahahahaha, that anyone thinks I’m a morning person is amazing I am so not a morning person.

However.

I get up and I get shit done and I don’t stay up all night long with extracurriculars anymore and I am much more of a morning person than I used to be, like I get up before noon.

Often times, many hours before noon.

And yes.

I do get my shit done.

I have no problems taking the early shifts at Mecca for fluffing.

Happy as fuck to help out.

Happy to see friends today and catch up and happy to have my tent idiocy addressed.

“Oh!  I know exactly what you ordered,” a friend said, “you got the white one, not the green one!”

“Yes!” I replied.

“Which makes total sense, because it’s white and will deflect sunlight, but the green one is the one with the attached floor,” she finished.

Yup.

Exactly.

Ugh.

But.

Oh hey there, my friend suggested that despite having recycled the box and the receipt, that I could still return it to Amazon.

I just e-mailed Amazon, wrote a little comment about why I don’t want the tent and asked to return it, they’re going to review my request and I’ll see shortly if I can send it back.

Fingers crossed.

I also, in the way of being open to all things that might cost me less money to get to Burning Man, updated my ride request on the ride share board.

That being said.

I am still planning on the car rental.

I don’t want to rent a car, I’d so much rather get a ride or you know, magically get a car from a friend who has a spare.

Like anyone in San Francisco has a spare car I can take to Burning Man.

Bwahahahaaha.

Um.

Yeah.

I’m going to continue to look, but I know that getting out is the big deal, that getting back on time for school is what’s important.

Holy shit.

School!

Like in three days.

Fuck me.

I’m getting excited, albeit a bit nervous.

I haven’t received my school book that I need for one of the classes yet, but if I don’t get it before the retreat starts I’m sure I can borrow from a friend while there.

I much rather have my own copy, that’s for damn sure, so fingers crossed it will get delivered by Saturday.

I leave Sunday, the retreat starts at 4p.m.

Classes start the next day.

The calendar looks a little wonky, but I have faith it will all be exactly how it is supposed to be.

In the mean time.

I just keep doing the next action in front of me.

Get ready for work tomorrow.

There’s a lot to do.

Despite the family being out of town it will be a busy day.

The mom has requested that I make up a bunch of food for the family to have while I am away at the retreat.

So tomorrow morning I’ll go into work and receive a very large InstaCart delivery from Whole Foods and make the following:

Broccoli Soup.

Beef Stew.

Beef Stroganoff.

And.

Turkey and black bean chili.

It’s going to be a busy day of cooking for me.

I’m going in at 10 a.m. and hopefully the delivery will get there pronto so I can start the process.

I’m planning on meeting a lady for coffee and reading at 6:30p.m.

I don’t think it will take a full eight hour day to do the cooking.

But I’m going to play it safe.

Then I will do the deal at my spot at 8p.m. and after that Saturday will be one more day of yoga, meeting my person, getting the tent gear from my friend who’s coming into the city from Santa Cruz, and getting reading for my retreat, plus a speaking engagement on Saturday night and somewhere in there, yes ma’am and sir, I’m going to try and sneak in a mani/pedi.

I’m almost looking forward to school just to be slowed down in one spot for a week.

Plus.

Well.

Frankly.

I would love a break from the fog.

I haven’t seen the sun in days, it’s constantly bundle up time, cold, foggy, dreary, wet, damp, did I mention cold?

I wouldn’t mind some heat for a few days.

And I’m sure to get that in Petaluma.

Plus.

I will get to spend time with my friends from school.

It’s a busy, busy, busy month.

But a lovely one for all that.

Thanks again to my friends who reached out to help with Burning Man.

YOU’RE THE BEST!

Seriously.

Open Mouth

April 16, 2016

Insert foot.

Oh goodness.

Sometimes I just open my mouth and the stuff that falls out.

Heh.

Oh well.

I was told by a gentleman tonight that he would be traveling in Europe for the next three months, in case I missed seeing him around, not to worry.

I replied, “I find you so disarmingly attractive that I am almost grateful for the reprieve.”

Jesus, Carmen.

He’s like um, a child.

I think.

I am going to guess he’s about 15 years my junior, but my, so very pretty.

Oh, all the pretty boys, they do, well, do me in.

I also explained to a girlfriend who had asked after me when noticing I was a bit in a fluster that I was also ovulating.

Happened this morning.

Should have known when I woke late in the night to use the bathroom and I saw the moon setting blood red over the sea.

Just a little reminder that I am human, and a woman at that.

I am grateful for this body, even when it doesn’t act like I want or look like I think it should.

Which reminds me.

Go sign up for the 9 a.m. yoga class at Yoga Beach.

That’s the only time I have to do yoga tomorrow.

I have to meet my person in the Inner Sunset, do the deal, then hop over the Bay to a friend’s house in North Berkeley for her baby’s first year birthday.

Hard to believe it’s been a year since I went and visited her and the proud papa at the hospital with their gorgeous new born.

So grateful to get to take the time out of my schedule to see some friends and snuggle some babies.

I got some damn good snuggles from the boys I work with today, which sort of saved me.

I have had a few moments this past week wondering if it just might not be easier for me to work for a family that doesn’t work from home.

Sometimes I miss my days of autonomy and going to the park on my schedule and not being monitored.

But then I get the best love from the boys and it fades, the desire to look elsewhere for work (although damn, I do miss working with babies) with kids that still take naps and parents that don’t work from home, and I get the biggest hugs and melt.

I mean, I just melted a couple of times today with these boys.

First, at the park, the eldest laid down on the bench next to me and pillowed his head on my lap, and proceeded to tell me that he wasn’t hungry.

In fact.

His exact words were, “Carmen, you’re the best.”

Pause.

“I don’t need snacks, I just need snuggles.”

And then he just cuddled against me and we sat and watched the pigeons try to sneak up on the graham cracker crumbs from his brother’s snack.

And.

Tonight, as I was going to leave, the youngest, galloping out of the kitchen, arms wide open, “Carmen, I love you, I will miss you, I love you, pick me.”

“Of course I will pick you,” and I scooped him up and pressed him tight to my heart.

He laid his head in the nook of my neck and just stayed there.

We had the longest hug, he just didn’t want to let me go.

I left with my heart so full of love.

It was a good day.

Still a little challenging.

There was another play date and it too ran over, but there was more direction in the day and I was able to get a decent break and sit down and chill out for a few minutes before the onslaught began again.

I was done by six and scootered over to Church and Market.

I had plans.

All of them waylaid.

I was going to go grocery shopping.

But sometimes, I swear, Whole Foods, it was too much, too much money, too much attitude, too many people sampling things and frankly, the produce actually looked bad.

I said, screw this.

I left.

I went to get a manicure.

The salon was packed and couldn’t take me.

Ugh.

I wandered around Aardvark Books then went over to the Church Street Cafe and had a tea.

I sat in the big leather chair in the window and daydreamed.

It was good to just sit for an hour and tool around on my phone, no good Tinder updates, sorry, although I have to say sometimes I do wonder about the profiles, dude you are not 35, and if you are, you need to see a doctor because you are aging really poorly.

It’s mostly, nope, nope, nope, oh hell no.

Nope.

Nope.

Nope.

Maybe.

Um nope, good first photo, second one pretty scary.

Nope.

Nope.

Nope.

Oh, you’re cute.

Oh, wait, too many photos of you drinking, or smoking or 420’ing.

And I will ultimately “nope” you if I see the following: women in the photo–either you want to get down with me and your girlfriend or you’re too lazy to post a photo without your ex-girlfriend in it; kids, unless specified that I am cool Uncle “Jake” or some such thing, I don’t feel good about guys putting photos of the kids on a dating website that’s geared toward pretty fast hooking up, I mean, ok, use your cute dog–god damn that is a cute dog! But don’t use your kid to troll, um, gross.

Obvious lying about age, smoking cigarettes, posting in your profile that you really like to drink, yeah, it’s obvious, most guys under a certain age (although that didn’t stop me tonight, blush, blush, blushing), and every once in a while there will be a guy I know that I go, hey, yeah, I have always liked you.

But.

Inevitably I get either a. no response b. a jackass’ery response and a bad joke (are you serious?) c. an “I’m just on here for fun.”

What the fuck does that mean?

Whatever.

Next.

So this is all to say I don’t have any dates lined up for the weekend.

I do have friend time, yoga time, recovery time, and me time.

I’ll take it with much gratitude.

And fingers crossed, I’ll sneak in a manicure too.

Whatever happens, homework anyone, I will have fun.

Be light.

Be flexible.

Be loving.

Be.

Well.

Beloved.

 

 

Next Time I See You

August 14, 2014

It will be on playa.

I laughed when I realized this.

I just got off the phone with a friend who is going for her first time and is probably more ready for the event then I am.

I’m pretty ready, though.

Tomorrow begins the long haul into night.

Tonight is my last night at home until September 3rd.

That’s basically three weeks away from home.

Then I will turn around and head back out the afternoon of the 4th to see my friend in New York and spend my first weekend off playa having my first weekend in New York.

My friend sent me a text today about having made reservations at Peter Luger’s for Saturday night.

At 10:45p.m.

I can’t remember the last time I ate dinner that late at night.

It was the only reservation they had so he grabbed it.

“You’ll be full for the plane,” he texted me back.

Yes sir, I will.

“No thank you, madam flight attendant, I will pass on your peanuts, I am still full of steak.”

My employer and I joked about how we were indulging in all things fresh and green today, since fresh and green does not travel well out there in the desert.

She has made a big batch of green smoothie to have for her and the monkey and I have been eating extra nice things for me all week–my typical yummy homemade beans and rice with veggies and chicken has been upgraded with organic avocado for the last day and I have let myself have nectarines and berries that I won’t get out there.

I do have food covered and that’s a relief to not have to pack up three weeks worth of food.

Although there are a few things that I will probably still pick up at the Whole Foods in Reno–the family’s last stop before heading to the event.  Where I will also have a great big green salad with veggies too from the salad bar.

I’ll get apples and low-fat organic string cheese, tea, sparkling water, nice things to keep in my trailer for when I am not able to get to Commissary or I need a snack.  I do have a little mini fridge in my space and can keep a few things cold, not frozen, but cool enough that if I don’t open the door a lot, apples will keep for the duration of the event.

I will also pick up a couple of containers of unsweetened vanilla almond milk to have with my coffee and tea–my beverages happen to be my splurge items for out there.

There’s nothing like some cold bubbly water out there.

Perrier Pink Grapefruit.

Whole Foods Brand Italian with Mint.

Grolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water.

And of course nice coffee and tea.

I will pick up a package of Stumptown Holler Mountain at BiRite tomorrow when I am nannying in the NOPA.  I like good coffee and see no point in depriving myself of it on playa.

The mornings can be cool to cold before the sun gets up in the sky and heats up the playa, a good hot cup of pour over Holler Mountain while the sun comes up over the desert is divine.

Not to say that I won’t drink plenty of Commissary coffee, I will, I will live on coffee out there and iced tea and of course water.

I become the beverage queen.

It’s one of my indulgences.

That and cheap sparkly makeup from the drugstore.

My makeup box is packed.

In fact, it really is all done, this blog seems to be the longest time-consuming thing on my list, a very short list, of things left to do.

Work tomorrow.

9 a.m. to 5p.m.

Small break.

Work again.

6p.m. to approximately 11p.m.

Borrow the mom’s car and head out here.

Load up my bins into the car, drop the rent check with my housemate, drive the car back to Cole Valley, unload it, have a cup of tea, my last one in San Francisco for three weeks, then sleep.

I will get up in the morning and have breakfast, do a little writing if I can sneak it in before the family is up and running, then take over the caring for of the little guy.

I discussed the plan of attack with the mom and I will wile him away to the park where I am going to encourage him to run, run, run, as fast as he can as much as he can.

We will walk to the park, and I will run his little legs out to the best of my ability, then home around 10:45 a.m.  Load up the car, tuck him into his car seat, and out the driveway to the highway with a tired toddler bound for nap time.

We should get two to three hours of solid toddler sleep.

He slept three hours today.

I am hoping for the same when we go.

Then overnight in Reno at the Grand Sierra.

And yeah.

So, the next time I see you will be on playa.

Ha.

I am just looking around my house and wondering if I have it all packed and it really does seem so.  The little that is left is the laundry I have working in the washer and my toiletries for tomorrow.

“Are you excited?”

The text from earlier this evening read.

Nope.

I am not.

I wanted to respond.

I am not excited at all.

I am tired and upset and down about the job stuff not working out how I thought it was going to, but as the day progressed and I made it through, something brightened in me and I began to get just a tiny bit excited, and then when my friend called, I realized, well, shit, I am excited.

It’s a hometown reunion and I am looking so forward to seeing friends I haven’t seen since last year.

And getting to be in the middle of one of the most creative crucibles in the world doesn’t hurt either.

I can’t wait to see the art being built up.

To seeing the sky and the mountains and the moon rise and the sunset.

T-minus one day and counting.

Not like I’ve been counting or anything.

 

My Knight in Shining Armour

June 10, 2014

In his red Prowler.

No white charger he.

Thanks friend.

Serious.

I got picked up from the house today and got a ride out of the neighborhood up to the Inner Sunset to see some fellows and sit with my leg propped up on an uncomfortable folding chair for an hour.

Of course, what was more uncomfortable was admitting that I need to ask for help and how challenging that is.

“Our Carmen’s asking for help,” my dear friend said. “It’s amazing.”

“Oh, Carmen, she’s not good at asking for help,” my housemate told a mutual friend last night when he asked how I was doing and how come I had not hit him up for some aid.

I know it’s obvious, but damn, I didn’t know it was that obvious.

“Serious, you just shut me down,” my friend said earlier this afternoon, “like nothing.”

He was sitting on the chaise lounge in the corner with an ice pack on his foot and I was in the kitchen with a bag of frozen peas on my ankle.

I joke, it’s the blind leading the blind.

When he peeped me earlier today and asked what I needed, despite having a list of things on the table that I was looking at, I said nothing, I am good, indicating such via text.

Then, I knew better, I could feel it, this manipulation through withholding my honest response, and asked for something.

“Actually, I could use the company, if you are inclined,” I texted him back.

He was inclined and I am stupid glad I did.

Having another person in my home and getting to relate war wounds–his are far more serious than mine, he’s been in a cast for over two and a half months, two months of which he could put no weight on the foot at all–was a boon.

Commiserate with me please.

I tried earlier to remember what it was like when I was in a cast for breaking my foot, three toes and a portion of the top bone on my left foot (damn, this left foot is a tricky bitch, three severe sprained ankles, three broken toes, one broken foot bone, it’s also the same leg I so deeply bruised a month ago on my scooter when I ran it into the light pole in the Whole Foods parking lot), but I couldn’t recall it being so arduous as it is now to crutch about.

I suppose I am older and it takes a lot more out of a grown adult, I believe than a kid who’s seven.  I think I was seven, summer between second and third grade.

I was in a plaster cast from my toes to my knee.

A cast that I wore through so quickly that I had to have it re-plastered three times.

The last time the doctor warned me he would put me in traction and not allowed out of bed if I didn’t knock it off.

I was trying to walk on it.

I have always, apparently, had a mind of my own, I will do it on my own, I don’t need you, I got this.

No, I don’t got this.

I don’t.

I had accepted an offer of a ride from my friend in red Prowler two days ago to the Monday evening event and he had also offered to do a grocery run too.

I wasn’t going to take him up on it, but as the condition of my ankle is still such that I can’t put weight on it, I have to consistently ingest ibuprofen and elevate it, ice it and be gentle with it, I decided that yes, though I had some groceries from the Saturday shopping my dear friend who came out and spent the night with me; I should stock up.

So, I asked for help.

I even asked for the grocery store I wanted to go to, although, he had to pull that out of me.  I admitted that I have a challenging time shopping at SafeWay and he took me to Whole Foods.

My pocket-book has a challenging time at Whole Foods, but I got what I needed.

In fact, my god, I offered to hobble along and help him shop if he pushed the cart and he said, no, you stay here, relax, give me the list.

“Do you like Amelie?” He asked turning on the stereo in the car.

Uh, yes!

“Good, I’ll just pop this in the cd player, you relax and I’ll be back in a little bit,” he walked into the store.

I reclined the seat and listened to the soundtrack.

I recalled moments in Paris when I was bereft of food, money, aching with longing for things to be different, forced to concede that my best efforts weren’t leading me to a life living in a fifth floor walk up in the Montmartre, but rather getting back to San Francisco and living in a garden studio by the ocean.

“Look at this,” my friend said, admiring my little home, “all you need is a boyfriend to snuggle with and watch movies and feed you in bed.”

Ok.

Can I ask for help with that too?

That actually ran through my head, my tough lady head, maybe this whole experience is to tenderize you, get you vulnerable, let go that tough girl act, let people in.

It starts with friends who offer to help and maybe eventually I will let that certain man in.

I mean, people want to be needed and if I don’t allow people to help me, I am not needing them, I am not letting them in.

Needy and having needs are two different things and I believe I have thought them the same for a long time.

I don’t want to come across as needy, so I act like I don’t need you at all.

But I do.

I truly do.

“You are warm and kind and sweet and generous, why wouldn’t I want to help you?”  My friend unloaded the groceries on the counter and gave me a hug, “you call me if you need anything else.”

Ok.

I surrender.

I will.

The only way I am going to change is to act different.

You guys win.

I need your help.

 

Burning Man Dry Run

May 22, 2014

Yeah, yeah.

I know.

It’s not Burning Man yet.

But, it’s always Burning Man.

Oh.

Look at that, insert, thingy here–dress, tutu, pot of lip balm, string of lights, Hello Kitty duct tape, alligator clip, Sigg Bottle, sticker, necklace, boy–all year round, I look about and see things I should have, take, get, to bring with me to Burning Man.

That being said.

I still travel really light.

All things considered.

I don’t have a lot of needs.

Although, I do have wants.

Lots of those.

Want more socks, tights, hair clips, elastics, glittery makeup, coconut body lotion, lip balm in various flavors (strawberry currently rocking my world, Rose Lip Balm, and Philosophy Berry Jam lip gloss), bandanas.

Those are my wants.

All of my needs–water, food, shelter, showers, ticket, transportation to and from the event, early arrival pass–are met.

Since I will be working the event I am taken care of by the family I nanny for.

Yes, if you haven’t followed my blog too closely.

I am a nanny at Burning Man.

I am a nanny in San Francisco who happens to have gotten to work for five different families that work for the Burning Man Organization.

I have nannied for two board members on a part time basis.

I have been a temporary fill in nanny for one of the main art curators and the manager of the art placement team, which includes, the building of the man.

I have nannied for the head of Black Rock Solar and his wife, who was the Communications Manager and wore so many other hats I was never quite sure what her title was, aside from the most amazing multi-tasker I may have ever met.

Currently I nanny for the head of the Human Resources department, the head of the Rangers, and the Placement Team Manager.

That makes it sound like I am juggling a lot of babies.

Truth be told I have three families I currently am employed with, one of whom I only work one day a week with, but yes, I was referred to them by the head of the ticketing team.

So, all things Burning Man.

All the time.

Which is part of the draw for working as a nanny with these families.

They don’t really look twice when I wear full on make up to work or glitter, or got a new pink phone.

Total aside!

I got my new Iphone yesterday, yes, it’s the 5C, so it’s got a colored back panel and yes, it is pink.

If they had it in glitter I would be buying it.

I will still probably get a case, and you betcha, it may glitter yet.

The families are artistic, creative, colorful, musical people.

ARTISTS.

As I write I just looked up to think a moment of what I wanted to write further and the first thing I see is an aerial photograph taken last year by Will Rogers that was gifted to me by one family, the next thing I see is me and the JuneBug rocking it out in sunglasses and tutus in her dad’s El Camino (the dusty blue one without a front windshield or doors), I look to my right and see a Burning Man Evolution poster from 2009 on my fridge as well as my favorite sticker from last year’s event: “Fuck You It’s Magic”.

I am surrounded.

This will be year number eight in a row.

I have a dear friend who wants me to go and not work it as a nanny and she’s right, at some point I should probably just go to go, but as things unfolded this year, I am working the event again as a nanny.

And I am pleased as punch to be going.

There’s always a moment when I think, how the hell am I going to go next year?

I mean, I’m going, but how’s it possibly going to work out?

Before last year’s event I was in Paris and had no clue how it would work out, that I would be moving back from Paris and yes, working as a nanny again for people who run the event.

I just knew.

I would be going.

The how and the why of it, beyond me.

Always is.

I was informed of my leave date today for the event.

My Thursday girl, who I get to hug and squeeze and squish tomorrow, is going to be heading off to pre-school this fall and as such her parents requested my leave date to Burning Man so they could schedule her care when I leave.

They asked me three weeks ago for the dates.

See, I am not the only one looking ahead.

I had a quick check in with my Burning Man mom this morning before she left for the office about dates.

And it was pretty much what I expected.

I will leave San Francisco the morning of the 16th of August.

That Friday, the 15th, I will finish out my work week at their house in Cole Valley, nanny the evening shift for them so that they may have a diner with friends and do last-minute prep.

Then, in the morning, we will drive out.

We will overnight in Reno and get anything that couldn’t be got in San Francisco, including, a trip to Whole Foods.

Aside.

The Whole Foods in Reno may be the best and biggest and most amazing Whole Foods I have ever seen in my life.  It is really huge and of course, at that time of year, fully stocked with all things Burning Man.

We have a loose date as the return.

Me, the mom, and my charge will leave a little earlier this year, the dad, Head of Rangers, will stay longer and tend to things the week after the event.

I will be there the week before the event, the week of, and half the week after.

Rather than the full week after like we did last year.

I have not negotiated my ask yet.

And I will need to ask for more than I received last year.

My cost of living expenses are high–last year I wasn’t paying rent when I went to the event, my friend in Oakland was letting me stay at his place free until I was back on my feet.

This year.

Well, there’s a lot more costs–I pay my own health insurance, a monthly scooter payment and I also have scooter insurance now, rent, utilities, my student loan (which was just coming out of forbearance last year) phone.

Ie a lot more going on.

I also have not had a raise in my rate since I first went as a nanny.

Time for a cost of living raise.

I am nervous to ask, but I have to, so I will.

Fear you will not wrangle away my life.

I can’t have it.

I have the weekend to think about it and approach the family and see what can be done.

I also need to know about after Burning Man, I may be looking for employment, I am assuming my eldest charge will be heading off to pre-school soon, he’s of age.

That is a worry I don’t feel like thinking about.

Rather.

I will contemplate my dry run on the Burning Man event by negotiating my camping for Lighting In a Bottle.

I leave for the festival on Friday at 4:30p.m.

I get done with work at 4p.m.

I will scoot back to my house as quick as possible and have all my things ready to go for pick up–borrowing my housemate’s four man tent, grabbed my sleeping bag, a plastic bin with some clothes, and whatever food I am taking.

I went to Whole Foods and got things that will work, thinking just like Burning Man–Tasty Bites anyone?

I got 3/4s of what I believe I will need to go to the festival packed and ready.

Tomorrow night I will put the last stuff together and be ready to leave come Friday when work is done.

Four day weekend here I come.

Burning Man dry run.

Music, art, friends, camping, dancing under the moon, making out, fingers crossed, socializing, living.

My good, good, good life.

It is awesome.

It is so Burning Man.

 


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