The set up.

•June 15, 2012 • Leave a Comment

This young long haired guy all dressed in nice jeans and a sweet fitted black utility kind of jacket holding a skateboard paces around me slowly a few times as I am parking my bike to pick my son up from camp. His friends are a bit away leaning on the fence looking into the playground. I put my bike at the top of the steps and go to walk into the playground. He stops me and points at my bike.
Him:”um, can I ask you something?”
Me: “sure.”

He takes an tortuously S L O W survey of the ramp. He looks back at the sidewalk, stares at a scuffed spot on the wall and then bends down and puts his hand about 4 inches back from where my backwheel is, looks up at me and states very slowly: “What would you think if your backwheel was let’s say….right here?” I respond, “Do you mean my frame should be extended? or you want me to move my bike back so you can skate the ramp?” He stares at me, then looks at his friends in what seems like shock: “Yes to Skate.” Then staring at the scuffed spot on the wall with intensity he states with certainty, “I am interested in this spot right here.” His friends all nod and he moves my bike back four inches.

When I ask him if he would like me to move the bike out the way he looks at me like I am crazy and says emphatically, but sweetly like he is talking to a dunce, “No, I like it right there.”

All the friends stand silently at the fence, fingers holding the links squinting into the late afternoon sun as he paces his route angling the skateboard in his hand. None of them have cameras out. There is no talking going on.

After extracting my son from a game of basketball we head out of the playground to head home. As we walk up the ramp the I guess the skateboarder has finally decided upon his line. He drops his board to the sidewalk takes his big first push then sees us walking up and aborts his ride just in time. He apologies for not seeing us.

I apologize for having to take my bike. He nods.

Thunder in SF. The joy. The pain. The sunshine. The rain. Friend’s Music.

•April 13, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Yesterday was Thursday the 12th. That day was like walking through old honey dressed in a snowsuit; odd, cumbersome and something I wouldn’t chose to do again. I nearly got run down by a man racing down the street in those 5 toed shoes when his dog went one way round a tree and he went the other. Blam they landed in a pile at my feet. I saw a unicycle scooter ridden by a different man in those same shoes, with a man purse…I wrote a check the IRS and then looked at my bank balance and the state of the union my tax dollars go too, sent emails to the wrong people, lost things, broke things and and and I tried to blame Mercury, but it is MARS that is direct and playing the shadow of Mercury’s past retrograde.. But, then thankfully there was a storm unleashed in SF with thunder and lightening and buckets of rain. The shit was swept off the sidewalks and the air smells sweet and clean and I even got my kid to school on time! Today is Friday the 13th. I love Friday the 13ths as a rule. The celebrate the contrary. They ask for adventure. I think they just set things straight. Outta the cleansing of the rain comes the sorta sunshine of today….and these songs from friends sound like that.

To begin, The Sandwitches. If you have never heard of this amazing trio of San Francisco ladies change that right now. I snuck out in the crazy thunder, lightening and rain last night in SF to see them play. Here is some sunshine after rain perfection with guitars and drums.
My Heart Does Swell – played in the bathroom at the Shattuck Down Low

Over in NYC, but staying with that playing off the stage theme are The Jigglers. My besty from gownin up plays bass. I love them. Especially when they play in front of shoes and in between clothing racks and sing about rain and stuff loud and raucously. And they sound a bit like the storm of last night in SF.

Staying with that hometown glory theme brings me to Vintage Trouble and Ty Taylor (who I’ve happily heard sing since elementary school – i am lucky!). Slow and all about love…sun after rain and rain after sun and on and on.

Back on the local front is Terri Weist. I am so glad this lady is recording songs again. She and her guitar sing songs that make me want to stay in with candles, scotch and chocolate,clean out the closet, scrub the floor, take a bath and make the inside world right as rain and juicy like all the sides of love.
Three Timing Man

And last but not least for the day is this one. It made me so happy in the midst of rain, thunder and things just breaking and spilling and emails and shit going askew. It sounded to me kinda like maybe after the rain had gone one Sunday afternoon Sabbath’s bass player Geezer Bulter met my Gran Heba when she dressed as a fortune teller and had a picnic with her and her strawberry rhubarb pie, chicken diVAN, tarot cards and tea leaves..
Aaron Novik Warfarin

And, I know if we met we’d be friends. And walk around in the haze of dry ice singing together.
The joy. The pain. The sunshine. The rain.

enjoy. thanks for the music friends.
love you
m

Confessions on International Woman’s Day: Smile at a Single Mama.

•March 8, 2012 • 3 Comments

Before I begin, I must warn you, there will be potty mouth here, a few emotional confessions, unethical use of punctuation and some RUN ON SENTENCES – so if you are squeamish – take a Valium.

There are so many things to say on this International Woman’s Day. One day can’t begin to shout about all the things to shout out against – such as the really, I can’t even believe how fucking ass backwards the debate on reproductive rights is…why even are we debating this…people get your beliefs out of my pussy and womb. Utah with your push to become the first state in the country to ban contraception education in public schools and Rush Limbaugh (I am not even gonna make a link there are too many!!!!!) you two are winning the race for most ridiculous JackShitAssFlobble spewed too loud and too often.

But, I don’t want to talk about that.

There are also so many things to celebrate about woman. It should just be a given that woman are celebrated. Just because. Why does anyone need an example or a reason?

But, I don’t want to talk about that either.

I want to talk about something down home small and personal: Being a Single Mama. While there are so many big things to say about this. So many details and thoughts to shout and dissect; I just want to talk small today and say thank you. Really, really thank you. For International Woman’s Day – I want to holler out my heart and thank the universe for giving me MY heart, for getting to be a woman and getting to be a mama. And, I want to thank all the people who support that space without judgement, often without even thinking about it.

For all of you out there that have ever lent a hand, offered a ride, come over to babysit, picked up kid from school, been woken from the sweet haze of sleep by a phone call to run out the get medicine or Gatorade in the wee hours before dawn, dropped off groceries, fixed a computer, left clothes by the door, poured a shot of whiskey, called to ask how are you?, offered a shoulder, a hand to be held, been on the other end of 107th incoherent tearfilled phone call or even just offered up a smile to a single mama. You did big. Might, have been nothing really special to you, but chances are you changed a day, made the impossible possible and softened some sharp edge. I know I thank you. Each of you everyday.

What I am getting at is that kindness celebrates women. Being available to see and do celebrates women.

I was reading this most wonderful zine the other day called Hip Mama. (the gift of the subscription I am grateful for.) I was in line to get a cuppa coffee, the expense of which I can’t justify, feeling overwhelmed with the logistics of early dismissal from school for my son mixed with day work and night work, sports practices, and coming up with money for the school camping trip coupled with the nagging sensation of gratitude mixed with helplessness piled on top of I-plainass-need to make it to the end of the day having made it to work to make money to care for my kid in one place, while and the exact same moment in a different place picking up my kid, making dinner, checking homework….

While lost in the vast vapid expanse of HOW???land I was surrounded by couples with little kids and laughter, I am certain with their own stories, but they were not sharing mine. But, in the Zine there was Samantha Updegrave and she was, and I had shared hers. The tears rolled down under my sunglasses as I was called back to the sleepless nights, how am I going to fill the fridge, what is my name, did I shower this week, who is this child tirelessly wailing, where does the will come from to not strike out in anger, and I thank whatever the fuck it is out there that is bigger than me for the fact that all of a sudden the absurdity of a situation… child’s huge poop, their squished up face with huge tears, the mess on an already dirty floor… opens the heart to love and laughter. And, I thank you. All of you. For every act of kindness given or tossed or even dropped my way that helped me through that time!

I’ve made it passed the sleepless nights, the how am I going to fill the fridge and pay the rent. I have a real haircut, I sometimes go out. Even buy myself mani-pedi’s and expensive moisturizer on occasion. But, I am still there sometimes – a mess of tears and laughter: a single mama longing for a free food delivery service you can think order too that brings along jokes, strong rum balls and everything you forgot at the store and explains why you said NO to your child in clear rational way.

Right, this is getting at why you should celebrate women – your mama, your lover, your friend – all of them:

Better than I ever could Samantha in her story in Hip Mama says it like this:

(After a night of no sleep, no support crying baby finally asleep.)

“I put water on to boil and steep tea. Light incense, unsure of what good it will do, and I sit. An anger burns hot in my chest, the physical sensation of heat surprising, and quickly dissolves into a sadness. A deep staying sadness that finds me a frightened child. An unworthy daughter. An untrustworthy friend. A never-to-be-artist. An unlovable lover. An average student. A failed wife. A struggling single mama. Not enough.

“Arriving at this sadness, traveling through a darkness I once thought was reserved for others and holding it as my own, unravels me. My desire to do better than what’s right, to be everything all the time, to be good, all keep me wrapped up in failures. Sitting in stillness in the face of the storm with my eyes open and my heart breaking, I discover the expansive space that holds my true love, my innate capacity for kindness. The catch is that I need to make room for myself in that space as well. Its the only way to unfreeze the eternity.”

And, then before all is settled and understood, your child awakes calls to you and you find the courage to face another day. Women are strong, resilient and something special. Thanks so much for supporting me! family, friends, strangers, and universe. Now PLEASE make Rush, Rick, Mit and Ron GO AWAY so that it doesn’t get harder to be a woman. This would be good.

This is my very favourite song ever when I need inspiration in how important it is to keep on loving.

love.big.and laugh a lot. lot. lot.
~m

YEESH. Baybee it is frickalickcoldass grey outside and speak out for free speech!

•January 19, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Happy New Year. Been a grand while since I have been in this spot. Hi.

In true San Francisco style I am sitting inside my drafty flat wearing multiple hoodies huddled around a steaming cup of tea typing into a laptop ‘freely’ searching the internet wondering what the nearly universal disdain of San Francisco’s housing stock builders was for such practical good things like insulation and radiator heat was about. Was it to make us more hearty? To drag us out to coffee shops and clubs to huddle in hoodies and wooly hats coldly together wondering why there was not heat there either? To foster camaraderie on the 14 Mission at 3:30 in the afternoon – when we complain about the stifling heat?????

I wonder. And, I have no answer save in laughter and song both I can find freely on this thing called cyberspace – a reminder to stand up and shout out for the things that are important….free speech is one! Yesterday’s Day of Action against SOPA/PIPA was a beauty to behold. The million signatures to recall Wisoncon’s Scott Walker another.

In true SF celebrate the ironic style I am procrastinating from the work I need to do to pay my rent, as well as avoiding my New Year’s Resolution which I heard whilst listening freely upon the internet to the Speeches of Martin Luther King Jr. the other day, when I should have been earning my dollars – and I heard him say…”Procrastination is the thief of time…” so, well with out further rambles I leave with the links below. Enjoy. xo

In laughter and truth I point you to my fellow yoga teacher and beloved belly warming cynic Mark Morford:

How to survive an SF cold snap

In song I give you some good lawdy slow blues and some good lewdy love. Because both will keep you warm enough…

Sonny Boy Williams … the snaps at the end are slaying me down.

The Intimitable Lucille Bogan. Free (and rather explicit) speech.

If the above does not inspire perhaps Muhammad Ali ….

If we don’t stand up for ourselves then the above will turn into the below…..

Dub Mission & I want you to want me

•September 12, 2011 • 4 Comments

For the record…I want you to want me, I NEEEEEEED you to NEEEEEEED me…doesn’t work on dancefloor of life…but, dancing might.

Last night I went to one of my favorite parties in San Francisco. The long standing ever fun Dub Mission. For years I’ve been enjoying residents DJ Sep, (who I heart in multiples of billions for her amazing deep and eclectic collection of Dub and her seemingly total refusal to ever match a beat or smooth you from song to song it is like a full on enthusiastic tour of ooooooh check this out!) Maneesh the Twister, Ludichris, J-Boogie, and Vinnie Esparza.

Just a little PSA:

They’ve got the amazing Poirier coming Sunday September 25! be there, don’t miss that boy! My son, who is a really a pop meets, easy listening hip hop and alt country kinda kid who controls the radio whenever we are in a car did not unplug the ipod when Poirier’s mixes came on…he said LOUDER!)

For whatever reason it is always a funny little meat market in that low ceilinged room. It is though the boys are desperately grasping for the lub rub they missed through the work week and didn’t manage to conjure up on Friday or Saturday. Except for the boys who come to dance and there are always a few with slow sweet dubbing steps that will dance dance dance without that desparado touch touch lemme kiss you now grope-de-grope going on. I love those boys and have danced many a Sunday night away learning some new moves and loving the contact high of it all (and some red stripe.)

Last night while dancing with my friend the inevitable hey you are a female dancing without a male rubbing on you already onslaught began with an earnist young fellow clutching his drink and doing a little sway kind of dance staring at me. Ok, dudes…if you want to dance with a gal – you should be dancing not staring and swaying. I did the simple turn your back and move away. But, this one was not deterred. He followed me around the dance floor. I avoided him and a few others who got the picture sooner. But, this one fellow, he was determined. So finally I stopped and said, “Hi. I am not going to dance with you. I came here to dance free and not be picked up by anyone. You can dance near me, but you have to dance and not lurk.” He clutched his drink more and just stared at me.

My heart just melted for this guy – a young Indian fellow in fresh pressed brown shirt and thick thick accent and a sunken in chest…as a Yoga Teacher, when I see that my heart wants to reach out and not just correct the bad posture, but give space to heal the afrearing that makes one look like a turtle . I thought well hon, your intention for today was to see the people and head the Dalai Lama’s words “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”

So. when pleaded with me to let him buy me a drink, I said, “Instead of buying me a drink turn around throw you hands in the air and dance over there and let yourself love being here. You are not going to get what you want from me.” He just kept staring at me and said you are a nice person, I need to dance with you and buy you a drink.” So I took his hands and I threw them up in the air and said, “Dance. DANCE! I don’t want a drink. I am not going to dance WITH you. I am going to dance here and enjoy myself. Try it.” He said, ok, but will you be my friend? I feel alone here.” I told him I’d be his friend and that my friendship was going to include me walking away to dance with my friend while he put his drink down and just danced without trying to pick up any girls. He looked like he was going to cry. But, he smiled and actually laughed. But, then said you are not going to dance with me????????? I hugged him, said nope, but I like you enough to tell you that if you enjoy yourself someone else will dance with you and I walked away. I don’t know if he danced, but he didn’t follow me. And I danced.

and my goooodness if this does not get you dancing…i dunnnnno

xo
see the people. ❤
~m

hard times and empathy continued…

•July 18, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Indiscriminate shooting.

Yesterday I posted: hard times, empathy & the salt of the earth… … here the story and thoughts continue.

The demonstration I stumbled upon late Friday night in response to the shooting of a 19 year old man by SF police for fare evasion on MUNI was a heart felt response by folks to a shooting by the police of a young black man and to the recent occurrences of police shootings locally and the growing feeling of living in an us/them state.

Turns out the young man the police fatally shot after a foot chase, in which, the officers were shot at by the young man, was recently released on parole in Washington state for a sex offense and was sought for questioning in the slaying of a 19 year old pregnant woman last week. She and her unborn child victims of being in the wrong place at the wrong time – on a street that where a dispute was intended to be solved by gun fire.

Man slain by SF police was sought in Seattle death
Jaxon Van Derbeken, Chronicle Staff Writer
Monday, July 18, 2011

As life is want to do events have many layers. Which, interestingly at bottom still point to the same thing, so long as we don’t get lost in the layers. Doesn’t mean we don’t address the layers and the pains and injustices at each point. But, we can’t stop at a layer. We need to continue to go deep to the bottom of it and remember that this shit is the symptom of an unconnected world. Where we choose to see others as other and not as humans entitled to the same love and resources as ourselves and our own community. It is the story of race and class in America and around the world.

Does the fact that the young man shot by the police was a sex offender who found it ok to indiscriminately shoot up a street to solve a dispute change the fact that people stand up and say the Police shouldn’t shoot people to solve disputes?

BART Shooting Puts Spotlight on Slow Pace of Reform

The police carry guns. The public carry guns. The public is not safe from gun violence. The police and the government as an institution believe it is ok to solve a dispute with violence and death. The public as an institution believe the same. So, I DO think there should be a protest that SHOUTS. “Don’t shoot. Spend money on schools, healthcare, libraries, art, urban farming, family planning in every neighborhood equally…” It comes back again to empathy.

Why a lack of empathy is the root of all evil

From casual violence to genocide, acts of cruelty can be traced back to how the perpetrator identifies with other people, argues psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen. Is he right?

Check here for a pod cast of Simon Baron-Cohen talking on Philosophy Talk about his theory on empathy and evil.

musical thoughts gone here…<3 ya! ~m

Steve Earle – Tom Ames Prayer

K'naan – Somailia

hard times, empathy & the salt of the earth…

•July 17, 2011 • 3 Comments

Lets start with some Baby Huey.
“Having Hard Times in this Crazy Town. There’s no love to be found….eating Spam and Oreos…”

Lately I have been thinking hard on the hardness of times. Last night walking home I ran into a mostly peaceful, but angry demonstration in response to the Police shooting of a 19 year old boy from Bay View for fare jumping on the MUNI. This is the second shooting by the police involving mass transit in this city in the last month.

Times are hard. People don’t have resources. The budget cuts are going to make that even more apparent. The talk of training officers to deal with people as fellow human beings is great…but, isn’t there something so vomit inducingly nasty there….I mean come on. The police are the people. Just like the government is. Just like rich people and poor people. Check it out. All people. Crazy huh. Some people are clean and easy. Some folks follow the rules, some folks break ’em, most folks make their own and break them and expect other people to follow the ones they make, but don’t follow…we all do that. The problem is some folks have might and not empathy….and where there is a lack of empathy, there is harm. Because without empathy we don’t care what happens to the person or community of people because their pain or happiness doesn’t matter. Lack of empathy is cold shit. If there is evil, that’d be it …. truly not caring about the other.

Jeremy Rifkin on Empathy!

“we are actually soft wired to experience another plight as though we are experiencing it ourselves”

Which brings me to ‘the salt of the earth‘. I love that expression. Salt is epic. It is flavor. It has been fought over, used as money…it is so simple it unites flavors and brings them to life…really we are all the common foot soldier, nothing without each other and community…we all have it in us to bring out the flavor of the other. Empathy.

It is a Rolling Stones song. The seal on the awesome album Beggar’s Banquet…

Bettye LaVette does it too…and lawdy goodness she does…

and so does Johnny Adams…and I gotta say this one is my favorite…

love.
~m

 
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