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Oh it’s a Perfect Day

img_0692 Indulge me. We are four days into the recent storm with promise of at least one more day of non stop rain and dangerously to the brim reservoirs. Oroville Dam, 50 miles south of us is back in evacuation orders and I feel as if all of Northern California is washing away. Like can we ever have a happy medium? Either we look like Mad Max at Thunderdome or we’re you know, an ocean.

I am thinking back to Wednesday, February 15. A perfect day.

Wednesday was a beautiful day. Gray in the morning. Blue in the afternoon.

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It was kind of a two-fold reason trip. I had a reading to do as part of Notre Dame de Namur University’s Creative Writing Series –thanks to poet Zack Rogow (who read with me) down in Belmont. But my Wednesday morning was at the top of Russian Hill, hanging with a good friend of mine—one of my original friends in San Francisco. Most of us of course have long since left because you know, priced out. But it always warms my heart to have a moment back in The City–even if it is a shadow of its former self. I was still on the clock as a reporter though…..so I brought my notes and my phone and got to look at down on North Beach and hear  the clock on St. Peter and Paul’s Church tell me to hurry it on up.

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After filing a couple of items, I totally wanted to go down to Russian Hill but my friend and I had some pressing concerns.

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Down to Zen Spa on Union Street for a long  afternoon of talk and green tea and nails and oh yes, that wonderful moment when a spa woman you’ve asked to wax your eyebrows turns around and says ‘What about mustache? It’s looking big!” Because who says nah, that’s okay, keep the stache?

16681913_10155088929384407_6124818170128306768_nBlue sky. 3 O’Clock in the afternoon on Union Street. I’m holding on to this image of blue sky in case I never see one again.

Then it was a drive down to Belmont. For the reading where we got to read in the beautiful Wiegand Gallery at the top of campus. A nice showing of students. Full of questions at the end. All laughing at the right spots in the three stories I read. Notre Dame de Namur has a pretty diverse student population–which was amazing to see and so refreshing. I found myself wanting to send a kid there. And I got to read with Zack Rogow–who was my professor way back when at University of San Francisco in the late 90s. Here he is below reading poetry by the poets who influenced him as well as inspired poems he wrote.

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At the end of the evening I headed to Bush and Taylor to Club Moderne for a nightcap and a quick visit with one of my favorite photographers who recommended The Aviation.

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It’s purple. It’s yummy. It’s 12 bucks. Yikes. I’m such a mountain woman these days. That’s 3 dive bar drinks in the mountains. But you know, worth it. I had a second reason for hitting up Keith Song. He does these great calendars every year and since he’s kind of family at this point usually I see him at Christmas but he didn’t make it to the mountains this year. So voila. I finally have this year’s calendar.

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In the morning with high winds in town, I just hung out with my buddy Lynn in her apartment. Not wanting to go anywhere. And she’s a huge fan of uber eats. So when we felt like deli we had it  brought it to us.

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As good a day and a half as any in San Francisco. I got to no museums, no restaurants. no cafes, no shopping unless you count the 30 seconds in Sephora before I got overwhelmed by product. It felt like one of those days when I used to live there instead of being a tourist. And I’m happy not to be a tourist.

Also because I’m totally obtuse and traveled on Valentines Day, I got to the City and was like wait why is the city hall all lit up red? What political thing is being done or said?! I was running through every organization I could think of, possible anti-Trump statement (but wouldn’t it be Orange?!). And then I was like. Oh. LOVE. LOVE. Valentine’s. Sigh. I’ve been married and a mother too long.

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For the first time in a long time, I can’t wait to get back to San Francisco. Damn. I actually miss my city of my 20s. I think I have to come back in April for a few more days.

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Two Nights and Morning in San Francisco

Last night I had the pleasure of doing a reading of three short stories at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont. The audience of mostly students were amazingly attentive and after the reading came up and asked great questions, talked about their own struggles with writing, and told me about how the details of my Latina characters meant something to them.

I knew what they meant. I’ve grown very fond of a few characters in my short fiction  that are loosely based on the old grumpy Mexican grandfathers in my life and their various eccentricities (like wearing socks with flip flops around the house , for example).

I also enjoyed the eclectic presentation and reading of my former professor and friend Zack Rogow, for making me revisit some poetic masterpieces that I’d not heard in awhile. It was a great evening over all.

I was struck by comments students made about my stories and their interest. I then woke up as we do these days to Trump America and campuses being raided by ICE agents for DACA kids. I just don’t understand the fear these luddites have over brown kids getting an education. What’s it to them? In my town of Greenville so many are proud to NOT get an education–so it’s not that brown kids are ‘taking’ an education away from white kids. What is it then? I needed a break from Greenville.

It was a great thing to witness such a diverse student body.  It’s hard to even fathom the hatred right now.

It’s Thursday morning. The wind whipped itself through Northern California something fierce. I’m waiting out the storm with coffee and a view out my friend’s window in Russian Hill. I really needed an infusion of San Francisco——even though SF is only a shadow of its former self–still it was enough to make me feel whole and hopeful.

North Beach coffee and breakfast awaits.

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Reading at Notre Dame de Namur in Belmont, CA Feb. 15th

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Anyone in the Bay Area want to come to a reading? I’ll be there.