Tag Archives: Northside

What do a pet sitter & a Lady Gaga tune have in common?

Today we celebrated Sandra’s birthday. I met Sandra through a pet sitting service and we hit it off right away. When I was in India, she and her daughter, Angelina, took care of my dogs and cats. My little one Mia really took to Sandra’s little one and, from time to time, Angelina comes over to visit.

We recently celebrated the little white dog’s birthday (we counted it as shepherd Bodhi’s as well since I got him at a shelter and don’t know his age). It was an excuse to wear party hats and brightly colored plastic leis (not sharing those pictures). Some Saturdays we’ll meet halfway and go to Chinese buffet. But today I was treating Sandra and Angelina to one of my favorites restaurants, Melt.

We were lucky enough to get the last good table out in the back. What fun! Sandra commented on how hip the waitpeople were, “like New York,” she said. “They all have tattoos,” I replied. “We’re in the city, not the ‘burbs.” At times like this, I miss my old neighborhood Northside.  I am hooked on the Avocado Bliss, the one time this mostly vegan allows cheese (smoked mozzarella) on a sandwich. Our salads were gourmet and had lime cilantro dressing. Yum. And did I say? This was a shockingly sunny day, absolutely beautiful, more like summer than early spring.

Angelina was quiet waiting for the meal. She was engrossed in her own private music. When Lady Gaga came on, she told us and started nodding her head. Sandra said “That was so funny when you sent the email saying you couldn’t get a Lady Gaga tune out of your head!” Yes, I owed this bit of pop culture to a ten year old. For if it were not for Angelina, I wouldn’t have a clue who Lady Gaga is. If I still went dancin’ at the Dock or Adonis gay clubs, I’d be in the know. It’s not turning 59 as much as living monk-like except for those times I choose to go out into the world.

So now I have “Poker Face” in my head — a song that really has little redeeming value except for its dance beat. In the car on the way home, we heard Angelina’s voice from the back seat, “Let me show you what I’ve got!” I turned to her mother and raised my eyebrows. Sandra said “She doesn’t know what the words mean yet.” We passed a Dunkin’ Donuts and the two buddies shared a little game they play when passing this sugar castle. “They had them every corner in Massachusetts,” Sandra informed me. I asked, “What she can ‘show’ what she’s got is a bag of dunkin’ donuts.” It’s a new phase in my life to admit it takes a ten year old to keep me hip.

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Reminiscing with Rose, Poem #10

Sometimes I go to lunch with 83 year old Rose. I deliver meals to her and one time she said “I like your company!” How refreshing — to say something so direct.

We went to one of her favorite neighborhood places and, since it didn’t take very long and the sun was shining, I asked her if she’d like to ride to the library with me. I had two books on hold and one of them was a funny novel that I was ready for. The library visit was a simple transaction. I asked her, “anywhere you’d like to go?” Wistfully, Rose answered, “Northside.”

Well, there was no question about it. Northside is one of my favorite places. I lived there 15 years, after all, in that beautiful grandiose Victorian on Haight Avenue. I took the lovely woods shortcut through Mt. Airy and in no time we were in the neighborhood where we both once lived.

Poem #10

We both have memories here
but your sighs are deeper.
Your husband died and I only retired.

Monday ~ with 108 Poems, #5

It may be rainy, gray, & cold outside but I choose not to let it spoil my day. For today is a good day already, I know this. I have chosen two activities which will fill me with warmth and who knows how much more?

I am picking up my dear friend Eileen. She has been mostly housebound after foot surgery. We will have lunch at one of our favorite places, Melt, a mostly vegetarian restaurant in my former neighborhood of Northside. It reminds me of Mullanes, a great & funky restaurant downtown whose closing saddened many people. So, for me, Melt is my new Mullanes. I love to support Northside and I love all the choices I get at Melt.

Then, tonight is yoga class with Melissa. I claim she has near magical powers since she helped me like yoga after dismissing it for literally decades. Now I love it, probably mostly because it quiets the ego and allows me to surrender to the asana. Although I often begin with stiffness, I almost always find flexibility by the end of class. This is a good thing!

All of these lead me to poem #5:

We stretch ourselves with our noontime questions.
Lodged in my body, the unanswerable ones
gently release themselves during evening yoga.