Archive for August, 2011

Shhhh

August 31, 2011

I am sitting here in the semi-dark as the heavy bass thumps in the background, fire works explode, and revelers revel–the playa party is starting to get really serious.

It is Action Girls birthday and she and friends and Papa Thumper are out on the Slug.  If you don’t understand the sentence I just wrote, that is ok.  Suffice to say I am at camp holding down the fort.  I am watching the bug.

I am absolutely enthralled with this little girl.  In love beyond my wildest dreams.  In love so bad it just hurts.

Sigh.

This post is going to be short and sweet.  Just like her.

Technically I don’t ‘have’ to write a post today.  I already did my post a day for today.  However, I am a little weepy and needing to just document it, I suppose, and I don’t have access to my pen and notebook.

I might write a poem.  I might sing a song.  I might have just had the most intense love moment I have ever experienced in my entire life and I had to write about it.  Had to.  I thought that early when she kissed me all over my face it was the most awesome thing imaginable, kissed each eye, kissed each ear, kissed my forehead and my mouth, then put her head into the crook of my neck and wrapped every one of her limbs around me.  I thought, this cannot be topped.

I was wrong.  It was topped, just moments ago.

It is late.  Juni is up way, way, way past bedtime.  It has been an exciting day.  All of our friends and family are here.  Grandpa Mike and Uncle Spence came in this morning.  And so many friends came in and out of camp today to wish Mama Grace a happy birthday.  So much excitement.  Plus a dusty day out there.  She got a little wound up, birthday cake and special treats all day probably did not help either,  and went right past I’m sleepy into I’m a little crazy with lack of sleep.

I have been trying to be mellow.  We are in a quiet space.  The sleeper sofa is pulled out.  Friend blanket is being intensely snuggled with.  And I am here in the trailer with her.  This, I realize is a night-time change of routine and thus has some getting used to.

She is also being the most notorious love bunny snuggle monster I have ever dealt with.  This little monkey, pirate, princess, turkey pants little girl has pulled every heart string I have tonight and then a few I did not even realize I had.

I finally gave up and crawled into the sleeper sofa with her.  We rubbed noses.  She curled right up into me.  Friend was tucked in and arranged for proper snuggling.  She threw a leg over mine.  When the hell did they get so long?

“I love you, Carmen.”

“I love you too, Juniper.”

She nestled down, sighed contentedly, then told me the story about the three little javelinas and the coyote.  Then she turned over and just looked at me.  I mean really, deeply, truly, madly, looked at me.

I felt like God put his finger on my heart and pushed it hard.  I lost my breath completely.  Such love.  Such beautiful shining love.  It broke my heart.

I rubbed her nose with my finger and just looked right back, I wanted to pull back, but when a child looks at you, really looks at you like that, you can’t pull back.  I let my heart be broken, broke open, cracked apart.  I brushed her hair off her face and she whispered something.

“What’s that?”

She rolled up to my ear and said, “will you rub my back?”

Dying.

“Yes, of course.”

She kissed me, “thank you.”

Have I died and gone to Juniper heaven?  Apparently so.  I rubbed her back and she lay there vibrating with happiness.  I might be the luckiest person alive.

At least at this moment.

Of course, when she thought I had left, I am quietly sitting in the dining area, she tried to sneak out the door!  Right out the door to the trailer.

“Uh, excuse me, little miss, where are you going?”

“I want my mommy and daddy.” And she tried to push open the door to the trailer.

“Nope, bedtime, now, monkey pants”.

Tears, complete mental breakdown, shuddering little shoulders.  She crawled back up into bed and wailed.  Wailed.

We compromised.  I just tucked her into her parents bed and sang her a lullaby.  I’ll move her once she is sound asleep.

Megan Miller asked if I was going to have children when I saw her at Red Lighting

Junebug Tests Out Her Wings

J. Gets Ready for a Parade

.

I guess so.  I might need more of this, even if it completely destroys my heart and breaks it to smithereens.  I must have more of this.

Charlie once looked at me with that same deep soul gazing search.  Said those same words, “I love you Carmen”.  And I thought then too, how do parents do this?  How do they deal with this astounding amount of love?  It blows my mind.

Juniper, by the way, also accused me of having favorites today when I said she was my favorite little monkey in all the world.

“Charlie’s your favorite,” she said very seriously and ominously toned.  She had equivocally decided.

“Charlie is my favorite little boy,” I said emphatically.  “You are my favorite little girl.”

“That is good,” she said, “oh look!  I spy with my little eye, a pirate flag.”

And that settled that.

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I Found The One!

August 29, 2011

 

It only took having a small playa breakdown last night; a few tears amongst friends and then a good chat with Mrs. Fishkin.

I came to the realization, which many of you may already know if you read my blog, that I don’t like my job.

I believe the word I used with Arin was, I hate my job.  I do not hate the little girls, let me reiterate, I love my S. and my K.  I don’t like the constant micro-managing, the texting, the constant having to update the parents, the lack of trust in me and my abilities.

And to, I believe it may be time for me to stop being a nanny.  It’s time I moved on.

Being at Burning Man will always pull something out of you emotionally.  The conditions, the complete change of environment, the ability, if you so allow yourself to go there, to access emotions that you don’t allow yourself to have otherwise.

I was walking out onto playa last night, the event officially opened at 6 p.m.  The quiet, not so secret secret, was that the powers that be in the law enforcement agencies asked the organization to open the gates six hours early to alleviate the traffic congestion that was backed up to Reno.

So, when I got back from doing the deal at Anonymous Village, I ran into my “family” heading out to see Burning Man and got invited along.  The Wilsons, Nurse, Mama Grace, Mrs. Fishkin, and myself went out to the playa to see the event as a family.  It was really nice, no art cars, no bikes, just us, walking out together to see what there was to see and experience what there was to experience.

To be fair, comparing my current job to nanny position I had before may not be the fairest thing to do; however, it is apparent that I am not happy there.  I was debating with   Arin if perhaps I am not happy as a nanny period.

And the fact is, no, I am not.

I love my charges.  I have learned so much from being a nanny, I cannot even begin to express what it has wrought in my life.  However, it is time to move on.  I have other things that are calling to me and other things that I feel I need to be doing.  I have visions of returning to school, of getting involved with fashion, of doing more writing, of being published.

I am the one holding myself back.  I am the one with reservations.

I hereby, in front of God and everyone, declare that this current nanny position, with K. and S. is my last one.

I am ready to move one.  They will be going to school in September of 2012, preschool, and at that time my employment with them will be up.  That gives me approximately one year to let myself explore the options of whatever else comes next.

I don’t have to “figure it out”.  I just have to acknowledge that my time being a nanny is finite.  That there is something else to come and the time to embrace it is fast arriving.

I remember when I was working at the veterinary hospital, a job I took because I thought that I might want to be a veterinarian.  A very wise woman suggested that instead of applying to and committing to going to vet school that I try working at one for a while instead.

I found out I don’t want to be a veterinarian.  I do not have the passion for the science.  I also don’t like the way blood smells; particularly dog blood.  I am not queasy around it, but I dislike the smell of it.  And after listening to a vet exclaim about the cancerous tumour that she had found on a gall bladder I realized how excited she was about doing the medicine and that I distinctly did not have that kind of enthusiasm.

Love of animals, absolutely, enthusiasm for gigantic fatty cancerous tumors, not so much.

But I held onto that job like the wheels were going to fall off.  I was too afraid to look elsewhere and as a result I grew more and more dissatisfied with my job.  My outlook on my life became gloomy, I was not a fun co-worker, and eventually I hated going to work.

I have enough recovery now to see that is the exact position I have put myself in once again.  I am done being a nanny.  I want out.  I want a child for myself, as in my own.  I don’t want to rear anyone elses.  I don’t want to.

I don’t have to explain myself.   The arc of this career is done.  Just like the arc of the veterinary hospital played itself out.  As did managing and running a brewing company.

They had expiration dates.  My nannydom is expiring.

Now, in this moment, in this reality, in this crazy environment, I get to recognize and see distinctly that the career is coming to an end.  I don’t want to go to Paris as a nanny.

I will still be moving to Paris, but there is something other happening.  What?  Eh, I do not know.  Nor do I have to know.

Fuck, I did not ever dream in my craziest dreams that I would be a nanny, for god’s sake, what?  What I do know to be true is that if I take the action to do something else, something else will happen.  If I have willingness without the action, I am fantasizing.

These are my first actions.  Admitting to myself, my true self, that I don’t want to be a nanny anymore was a huge action, then saying it out loud, then letting myself have the feelings around it.

Ironically, I believe this will actually make the rest of my time out here really awesome with Junebug as will it make my return that much better to my other families.

And I do, see that it is really clear that the universe, God, thank you very much, wanted me to have this experience.  That I was not wrong for having spent the years being a nanny.  Junebug is evidence of that; as is Reno; as are S. and K.

The bugs dad actually told me the other night that he figured out that I spent more time with Juni then he did–he had done the math.  I was responsible, in part, for this wonderful little creature growing up to be this amazing little girl.  And folks, she is flat-out astounding.

Yeah, fuck you, I’m bias, so what?

I mean I got to have not one, but two dry runs with raising two sets of infants to be toddlers.  I now have the experience that I will need to be able to have my own children.  I know how to do it.  Oh, I’m not an expert, I still make mistakes, I do not do it the “right” way, but I have learned beyond what my own parents were able to do for me.

I have gathered that information that was lacking in my own life experience.  I was once very afraid to have children.  I, in fact, vowed I never would.  I knew without a doubt that I would royally fuck them up.  I did not have a child hood that I could look back on and go, “oh, this is how it’s done”.

Let me pattern my child rearing on this skill set.

Uh, no thanks man.

Hell, I don’t even have Cliff Notes from my childhood–unless you count what not to do.

Alright, I am being a little harsh.  My mom and my dad, to a point, did instill some values  within me that I will always be grateful for; however, they are not the parents I will want to role model raising my own children on.

Luckily for me, I get to have all sorts of influences.  I have gotten to learn about all sorts of styles.  I have been present for all sorts of experiences.  And I will lean on them all–some things to do, some things, perhaps, not to do.

And to be able to do that I need to make more money.

There, I said it, the “ugly” word–money.  I need to make more money.  I need a career in which I will make enough to sustain a family as well as one in which I will be able to sustain my heart and my creativity and my love of life.

Not just totter along mundanely for the entirety of my adult life.

And being a nanny is not mundane in that sense of the word, it just doesn’t fulfill all that I need fulfilled in a job–I am rapidly approaching growing out of it, just like my little monkeys grow out of their baby clothes and shoes.  The fact that I recognize this, acknowledge and accept this is to be celebrated.

Oh yeah, I have fear, don’t get me wrong.  But I have had fear all along.  I may always have fear, but I also have faith, a kind of faith that grows daily, deepening as my experiences lead me to where I need to go–Burning Man, Paris, San Francisco.

And I know this because I have discovered some one out here.

Me.

I am falling in love with myself.  Have I mentioned that?  I found the “One” at Burning Man.

It is me.

Now, that is funny, the one was here all along, I just had to stop looking outward.

Once again, God has given me exactly what I wanted!  It just doesn’t look like how I imagined.

But then again, it never does.

 

Be Careful What You Ask For!

August 28, 2011

Star Fuckers Oasis

Oasis at Burning Man

Because the playa will give it to you!

I need to get more specific with my requests, apparently.  Last night I had a “date”.  I put this in quotations because those words were not mine.  I would not have called the experience a date, I would call it being taken hostage.  I however, made the best of the situation and had a good time.  I, as well, took care of myself and got rid of my date when it became quite obvious he wanted to spend the night in my bed.

My bed is sacred space, people, you are not getting into it if you are drunk on Dave Marr’s infamous margaritas, nor do I want you there after watching you need help to do a bump of cocaine.  You are really fucked up if you need help to do a bump, I can say this from personal experience.

Not my idea of sexy.

So, how in the world did I end up going on a date with this person?  Like I said I sort of was taken hostage, kidnapped, playa napped.

I got hollered at from the deck by Media Mecca on my way to go get a cup of coffee last night before heading over to meet Mrs. Fishkin at the Black Rock Roller Disco, which was having a special Ladies Night for the DPW girls.  Who rock, fyi, DPW is a hard job to rock and to be a woman on top of it, that is saying something. Department of Public Works.  Basically these are the people who put together the physical infrastructure of the city.

They build the trash fence, among many other things, by hand and walk out over nine miles to pound in the plastic fencing to catch-all the crap that people forget to pick up or that gets blown away (note to all the drug fiends out there, I heard the most interesting thing last night, this guy would actually walk the trash fence looking for baggies of drugs that got blown up against it.  He never had to bring in his own stash because he would find so much!).

Note to self, stay the fuck away from the trash fence.

Oh, wait, I already went out to it.

I rode the perimeter yesterday on my cruiser bike.

Another note to self-tights are a fabulous fashion statement, but don’t do a lot of protecting the bum from soreness generated from biking over eight miles on a cruiser bike with a banana seat.  I may need to get extra padding for the seat if I do another excursion like that, or at least wear more between my butt and the corduroy.

Although, I have to say, the swish swish of my tights as my legs pedaled against the corduroy of the seat was an oddly comforting sound.  A sexy susseration that was almost as lulling as the rustle of the plastic palm trees out at the Star Fuckers Oasis.  I made the Oasis one of my stops on my bike ride.  I sat and looked at the sky, then I leaned back into the couch, then I took off my water bottle off my carabiner on my belt, and put up my feet and stuck a pillow behind my head, stretching out on one of the couches at the oasis.  I napped.

I napped.

Good lord, it was delicious.  The palm trees provided shade and a soft white noise that was soothing and lulling.  I spent an hour at the oasis and will be going back.  I will try to get out there at some time during the event at night as well.  It is so far out in deep playa that a lot of people don’t make it out there.  It is quiet.  And with my face turned away from the city being built up, it was just me and God’s show.

And what a show.  The Calico Mountains, the sky, the horizon, the flat of the desert stretching out to meet the foothills.

I took a lot of pictures before and after napping.  I don’t think they do any justice to the enormity of beauty, but they remind me when I am not here and soothe that part of me that can get homesick for the desert when I am not in contact with it.

I shared with some one that where I work is under a lot of construction and there is a large gravel lot with a lot of heavy machinery equipment and a long bank of port-a-potties.  I found myself walking past them last week with the girls and finding myself homesick for the playa!

I am not homesick for port-a-potties.  Just so you know, they are just a symbol, don’t get me one for Christmas, now, ok?

Anyway, I digress.  To review, headed to Commissary to fuel up on coffee for get together with Mrs. Fishkin, who also got hijacked last night, and intersected.  When hollerred at next time, will simply wave back.

But, instead, I rambled up the steps to see who was there and what was happening.

Dave Marr’s margaritaville apparently.  After watching the blind leading the blind with the coke, I decided it was time to excuse myself.  I said good night, have fun, I am off to the Disco.

I waved, and went down the steps, only to be followed by the gentleman who had needed some assistance with his drug usage.

Now, I should say, in his defense, I like this guy, he is a sweet man, and I would not have bothered with a stranger.  I would have just gone.  But I was polite and he asked if he could come and I said yes.  He took my arm and escorted me to the Commissary, where, yes, it did in fact feel like we were on a date.

A Burning Man date.

The Commissary was pretty deserted, but there were a few souls still hobnobbing about.  R. got some coffee and a bowl of Cocoa Puffs.  I got my coffee and an apple.  We sat down and ate our date night meals then hit the port-a-potties and went to the Roller Disco.  We walked all the way holding hands and actually having, in hindsight, a relatively coherent conversation.

Although R. scandalized a set of Australian girls who had just gotten on Playa by pretending to fuck the sheep out in front of the Artery on the Esplanade.  I just about peed my pants laughing.

The Roller Disco was also a hoot.  We made two laps around holding hands before R. wiped out in a more than spectacular manner.  If it weren’t for the fact that I knew he was a horrid skater I would have said that he prat fell, it was that dramatic and funny.  His long legs up in the air, head tossed back, shoulders slamming down onto the wood floor that makes up the skate rink.  That he just lay there laughing, flaying his limbs around, made it that much more hilarious.

R. is a good sport.  And it was really fun to watch him enjoy himself as much as he did.  I excused myself pretty damn quick and just danced on the side lines.  If you can’t skate, or don’t want to, don’t feel like you can’t hang out at the Disco.  They have some of the best music on playa, especially when you have become inundated with thumpa-thumpa music by mid-week–just old school disco and funk.

After R. took a few more laps around the rink we wandered back to camp.  He had his bike parked by Media Mecca, where I am camped.  He toured the camp and hopped up into my trailer.  Also knocking over the table in the trailer, which to give him some credit for, is a bit wobbly.  But I was about done.

Then the back rub offer was made, shoulders were squeezed and I acquiesced to a rub down.  I had turned down the proffered make out session, so I felt that he knew that I wasn’t interested along those lines and he was offering the back rub from a “gifting” place.  I accepted.

I know better.  But I accepted, in that lies my part.

Not the worst thing I have ever done, but after five minutes he was just wanting to cuddle.  Ie, he wanted to sleep in my bed.

I closed my eyes and thought, this isn’t so bad.  He’s nice.  He’s warm, maybe a little snuggle is a good thing.  I’m not having sex with him, we’d just be sleeping together.

But, I was in full on playa makeup, harlequin tights, and a tutu.  I also had Junebug duty in the morning.  Would I get the rest I needed?  Prolly not.  And then the margarita breath hit my nose.

Oh, no way, motherfucker.  I poked R.  Hey, does cuddling me sleeping over?  Because you can’t.

I did it!

And he got up, like a gentleman, an inebriated gentleman, but a gentleman, nonetheless, gave me a hug and went out into the night to find his bike.

I washed off the make up, went to the port-a-potty, did my business, tended to my needs–baby wipe bath, and lotioning of all body parts, especially my feet.  Then I did my nightly routine and promptly fell into a deep, blissful, satisfying sleep.

Which was really a good thing because by 11 a.m.  I had been to the Commissary and back for breakfast, dressed, make-upped, and had a number of Juniper adventures, including–visiting Little Man Zack, walking the Esplanade under our parasol, riding a stuffed dragon, saying good morning to all of our friends at Media Mecca, and going on a trampoline adventure.

The bug is currently napping, after a small temper tantrum, and I am going to wrap this up, because more adventure awaits.  And hopefully more playa dates.  But ones in which a sober person asks me out.  I did smile foolishly at myself last night when R. took my elbow and guided me around a tent line staked out to some rebar–I had asked to walk on the playa holding hands.

I got exactly what I asked for.

Sober, though, ok, sober for the next one, please.

Almost Time To Burn

August 25, 2011

I just printed off my early arrival pass.  I stuck it in a safe place and I went and made a cup of tea.  I was talking with Sarah earlier and told her I was ready.  I am ready, I am set, now all I have to do is get through tomorrow at work.  Which in reality, should not be so hard.

I will get to go in 45 minutes later than normal as K. is off to a dentist appointment.  The parents are taking her in to see if there is something wrong with her jaw in regards to her “not eating”.

This is what “not eating” looks like:

Today she ate for breakfast: 1/4 of her 8 oz fruit smoothie, 1 miniature waffle, a handful of Honey Nut Cheerios, another handful of Elmo Cereal Snacks.

Snack: More Cheerios and Elmo snacks

Lunch: 1 jar of prunes and oatmeal, 1/3 of a banana, five or six good bites of Annie’s Mac-N-Cheese, 2 bites of humus, 3/4s of her smoothie

Snack: Elmo cereal

Dinner: 3 slices of apple, 2 bites of humus, 1 slice of Kraft American Cheese, ALOT of peanut butter and jelly, and sweet potato fries.

Plus, she had a 7 oz bottle of milk in the morning before I got in.

Yup, this kid, she’s starving.

She also pooped twice today.  Pooping, in my experience is indicative of eating.

I don’t think the kid has an eating disorder.  I don’t think she has anything wrong with her jaw.  I think she is a wise little monkey that has gotten her parents attention and intends to keep it.

I was thinking today, maybe I’m just jealous.  I don’t think that I got this much attention my entire child hood.  They obviously want to make sure that their child is well taken care of.  I just don’t have this much experience dealing with parents that want to have so much control over their daughters environment.  It spooks me out a little, I have to admit.

Mom is constantly giving me new foods to try.  This week it was a Fiber One Peanut Butter Brownie.

MOM!

Come on.  Stop it now.  Give her time and stop pushing crazy ass food on her.

Mom joked today that K. has been eating so much because she knows that I will be gone to Burning Man for a whole ten days and she’s not going to eat for anyone else.

I don’t think they are going to have a problem.  Although now that I think about it, it may be a challenge to get her to eat for me when I get back.  God only knows what kind of habits will be instilled while I am away.

I guess that is the sacrifice I am going to have to make.  I really don’t think that there is any turning back now.  The cats are taken care of, the rent check goes in the mail tomorrow, all bills are paid and up to date, all packing is done (with the exception of a few toiletries and makeup that I will be using to get ready for work tomorrow), there’s food in the freezer for me to eat when I get back, my early arrival pass is printed and safely tucked up, my ticket is at will call.

The only thing I really have to do is stay present.  I realized this some time yesterday as I was out on my afternoon stroll with the girls, I have been so engrossed in getting ready, that I have almost missed out on some truly beautiful moments with the girls.  So today I took the time to really connect with my environment and be in the moment.  I almost, not quite, forgot that I was going to be leaving tomorrow.

I worked on Calling In The One.  I cut out more pictures for my collage.  I wrote my artist pages.  I smelled the air, the fragrance of the wild fennel around the 4th St. Bridge slays me every time.  I enjoyed the sun on my skin.  I sang songs with the girls, who now make certain request–K’s favorites are “Twinkle, twinkle little star and Bah, Bah Black Sheep;” S’s favorites are “This Old Man and The Wheels on the Bus”.  I went to the Farmer’s Market, and practised restraint!  I just bought a basket of delectable black berries and 1 nectarine.  I flirted with the Kettle Corn boy, god, he is cute!  I read the newspaper.

I checked in with Cass as well tonight and went to Grace Cathedral after work.  All in all a really nice day.

Simple and sweet with no drama.

I am almost ready to do this thing!

Plus, I get to sleep in tomorrow for an extra 45 minutes.  I am stoked.

Tea Party!

August 24, 2011

Today was glorious.

Glorious, I tell you.  I was outside a lot today and the sun was out from the minute I walked out the door until the moment I walked in.  I love warm sunny days in San Francisco.  They are so beautiful, partially because of their rarity.

Now, I know that the weather here is not that extreme.  True, but it is often flat.  Foggy. Grey. Misty. Rainy.  None of these things are bad, they are what they are, but sunny, oh, now sunny makes for a happy nanny.

I was out with the girls all day long today.  We went over to the UCSF campus and ran around the quad.  We danced in front of the Bakar Center–they were piping music out to the little patio area in front of the campus pub/cafeteria, and it was actually pretty good–French mod sixties jazzy.  S. got really into it and we just kicked it there for a while.

I saw the good ladies at Peasant Pie who gave me grief last week when I ran into them at the Farmer’s Market because I hadn’t been in so long.  I stopped buying coffee there.  It adds up.  Man, does it add up, especially the way I drink it (sneaking in a little Burning Man moment-my electric kettle is packed and a pound of fresh organic Italian roast from Rainbow and my coffee filters and one cup drip and a few boxes of unsweetened vanilla almond milk.  I will be having cafe au “laits” on the playa, yes, yes, I will).  The girls were very excited to see their friends and we stopped outside to have a snack and a tea party.

Their tea party consists of water and Cheerios, but I say, it is still a tea party.  Especially when you are wearing the hats they are wearing.  S. has this gigantic brimmed hat that is a bright teal blue with purplish lollipops on it.  Che at Peasant Pie pointed it out to Christy and said, “I want a lollipop hat!”

Really, who doesn’t?

My hats are all packed too.  And my flower pieces for my hair.  And my ribbons.  I love to play dress up.  Another reason I am a good nanny, I like to dress the part.  Although, when I have the tattoos showing I may not appear the typical portrait of nanny that many would think of, but it is San Francisco and I learned how to nanny out of the Burning Man nursery, you take to things a little differently.

The girls and I had a great morning walk and it also accomplished the goal of making them both hungry and tired.  Good things both.  S. ate such a huge lunch I almost could not believe it, I wrote everything down and when I read it back to her mom she was just as incredulous as I.  Although, we have both discussed how voracious this little girls appetite is.

And K. ate well too.  Her parents are still flummoxed as to her “problems” with food.  I was getting her dinner ready for her when S.’s mom came in to pick her up and she watched me feed K. some quesadilla while I was standing in the kitchen prepping dinner.

“Why, she’s chewing!”

Yup, she does do that, at least for me anyhow.  Apparently not for the parents.  But like I said, she is a smart little girl and I think she has definitely realized how much attention she gets with her refusal of food.  She is just manipulating her parents into giving her more attention.

She does not do that with me because I realized as I explained to S’s mom in the kitchen earlier, that I am not invested in the outcome.

Oh, I was.  I was a wreck there for a few weeks.  Now I don’t care.  She’s going to eat what she wants when she wants.  I am clever and have noticed patterns; like she eats more when S. is there as it is a ‘competition’ to get my attention away from S.  She will actually clamor for food.

K’s mom jokingly, but with more than a wistful hint of I wish you would do this, said that I need to come in on the weekends to feed her.

Not a chance in hell.

I am too busy calling in the one.

Thought I had forgotten about that did you?  Nope.  I am still doing the exercises.  They are interesting.  Lots of writing affirmations.  Today these are the ones I wrote:

1. I am calling in the one (each affirmation was repeated 10 times)

2. I am a brilliant, prolific, acclaimed, financially succesful writer.

3. I am going to live in Paris and go to school at the Sorbonne.

4. I will lose the last of the weight and maintain a healthy weight while staying abstinent.

5. I will be getting married at Burning Man in 2012.

There was also a meditation and I did that too.

And yes, scoffers, they do seem to be working.  I feel more beautiful and loving and I am smiling more at people.  I feel more connected with the girls. I sent my mom a pretty card this morning.  I am opening my heart to give and receive love.

Or I could just be excited because I leave in two days for Burning Man.

Either way, I am happy, happy, happy, joyous, and free.

Sun Hats and Sassiness

The Girls Have a Snack

The I Don’t Feel Like Blogging

August 23, 2011

Blog.

Is true.  I don’t and yet, here I am with my little fingers flying.  Bowl of apple and yogurt in my lap and a cup of tea by my side.  And too many tempting down loads on my computer calling my name–True Blood, Breaking Bad, Entourage, Weeds.  I could be having a serious tv fest right now, but no, I’m blogging.

Wah.

The blogs are beginning to be a little one note, Burning Man, and I don’t know what to tell you, Burning Man, but I am probably going to write, Burning Man, something about that thing in the desert, Burning Man, that you may not have heard about.

Burning Man.

I could also write about my hair and how good it will look, at Burning Man.

Or my cats and how sweet they are and that I won’t miss them too much while I am at Burning Man.

Maybe I could write about my best of “Dance Your Pants Off” mix that I am playing right now, the one that I put together to go to Burning Man last year.

Sigh, I guess you’re just going to have to deal.  This blog is about Burning Man.

You know, that thing that they do out in the desert where they build a big man and burn it down in feminist protest.  Thanks, Stephi, that one still gets me.

I keep hearing about more virgins going out, which is really cool.  Kap and I have exchanged a few e-mails, he’s staying at 6:15 and Funeral (and he put WTF? Next to it, I did not know how to explain the lettering of the streets without getting really confused in my own head, swear to God it took me four years before I finally felt comfortable navigating the streets, I am sure I will still get lost this year.  I get lost at least once every year).

It has gotten to the point, I realized earlier that I have been thinking about and prepping and preparing and playa’ing so much over the last few weeks that it doesn’t seem real.  I also just realized that this is my first year since my first year when I haven’t gone up with JuneBug and Action.  It feels weird to think that Mama Grace is already out on the playa.  I miss my family.

I also don’t know how to explain, although I think I came closest when I was talking with Sarah about it, how once I am on playa it is as if I have only ever been there.  I believe that the environment forces you to focus on your immediate surroundings so much that you really become in the now, in the true moment.

And for me that feels like straight walking with God.  The sky, the Black Rock Mountains, the horizon and the clouds that bunch up there at sunset.  The full moon rise on a purpled evening proffered up like an engagement ring to the desert.

Whisper sweet playa promises in my ear and seduce me away to deep playa where we will walk hand in hand and discuss the music of the spheres.

As the day gets closer the days get more and more strange.  None of the parents in my current nanny gig have ever been.  I cannot express to them what it is like to prep and all the little things that go into the planning.  That, no indeedy, I cannot take a bus into the city and pick up supplies.

Gerlach could not be considered a city, or even a town really.  I think of it as a little hamlet of Black Rock City.  And there really are no supplies, well, maybe a few, but nothing that I would leave playa for.

And yes, virgins, the playa “does provide” but really, bring your own shit.  Don’t rely on the generosity of others, which, while it will happen, it won’t happen how you expect.  So, if there’s something you just got to have, bring it with you.

Like, oh I don’t know, water.

Just paused for a little musical jam session.  I was listening to this getting ready for a night out with Mrs. Fishkin, Nurse, Monkey, Minx, Squirt, and a host of other ladies, Rose?  I am sure I am forgetting some and adding others.  We had a mani/pedi party at Monkey Butt Mecca.  It was fabulous.

I am bringing my electric tea-pot and I am thinking I may need to have a tea party.  Fancy pants hats, gloves, tittering, and gossip.  Oh, yes, please.

I don’t know if I can wrangle up cucumber sandwiches, but I may try.

Things I want to do:

Dance

Take a scooter ride to see the art with Curley

Jump on a trampoline with Junebug

Fly a kite

Be kissed

Be asked out on a date….I did all the asking last year.

Climb–there is always at least one art piece that I just have to clamber to the top of

Take a stroll at sunset in my crinoline and hoop skirt with my parasol

Drink too much coffee

Nap–playa naps are über delicious

Wear a lot of crazy make up

Burn stuff

Watch stuff burn

Burn more stuff

Walk hand in hand with some one–anyone really, there is just a kinetic energy about walking the esplanade with another’s hand in yours, be they friend, acquaintance, lover, child, charge

Make new friends, I always do, and I am always surprised by who they are

Make some art

Blog–oh you know it, I will be blogging.  I have back stage access, remember?  I will have internet.  Although no phone, and I am very happy about that

Maybe have a  meal at L’homme Flambe, the only five-star French restaurant on playa

Oh, the things I will do.  I could enumerate them all night.

But then I wouldn’t have time to watch True Blood!

Gotta go.

Early To Work

August 22, 2011

Early to rise.

Not totally stoked on that, even though it’s only a fifteen minute difference.  Tomorrow mom and dad will be taking K. into the feeding clinic to see what is wrong with her.

I still claim that there is nothing wrong.  But I am not a professional.

Well, maybe, I could be a professional know it all.  But frankly, who cares about work, when I just got a fabulous new hair style?  I ran into Calvin Friday night and he told me that I should come in for a session.  I thought, hmmm, yes, I will want something fantastical for the playa.

However, I went with something pretty.  We talked about it and although we could have gone in a totally wild direction, I wanted to go pretty.  I usually go edgy or extreme, but I was feeling the pretty.  Cass has been talking about me coming into my feminine wiles, who knows, perhaps so.  I do know I want to attract a certain kind of attention though, and it is not from the hip/slick/cool set.

Pretty.  I’m so pretty, hmm, don’t know the rest of the words to the song, but I can hear them in my head.  I am definitely feeling a mite more sassy as the days go on.  And I am so looking forward to Thursday.  Four days people, four days, then I am playa bound.

I got the rest of my storage bins out of my storage locker.  Little dusty, but not too bad.  I have packed one completely and have two to go.  I currently have two loads of laundry working as well, I am going to pack as much clothing as I can get away with into my bins in the next day or two.

I was also going to make soup tonight, but the hair session went a little longer.  And I just came home and went straight into make it happen mode.

It certainly does not hurt that Calvin also makes a mean cappuccino.  I only had three.

Oops.

I also had a very relaxing time at Solid Gold.  The music was perfect, the end of the afternoon hazy in the city, the people passing by, the warm air of the hair dryer, Calvin showing me old photos he found on his camera from four years ago.

My god, so much has happened in those four years.  It was like looking into another era.  The funniest ones, ones I had completely forgot about where from a play date we took to Ikea in the middle of the week.  We both ate off the children’s menu, so he’s got these photos of us eating child’s portions of swedish meatballs and fries, and little tiny plastic cups full of soda.  We went around to all the sets in the store and pretended we were cooking or cleaning.  I just about fell out of my chair looking at the pictures of Calvin in an apron taking a pan out of the oven with oven mitts on. He also had me in a few in a child’s bedroom display that were hilarious.

I had gotten into the bottom bunk bed in a kid’s room and crawled under the quilt and snuggled in with a stuffed panda bear.

I remember this Asian woman walking past and not even realizing that I was a real human being in the bed, not just a prop.  She looked around, patted the bed, looked at the price tag.  I tried desperately hard to keep quiet and still and not pee my pants from laughing and Calvin was dying.

The pictures were hysterical.  And I had really long hair.  My god my hair was long.

Some times I miss the length.  I do love that my curls are coming back in, that I have enough length to support curly hair again.  Actually it’s quite funny, at least to me anyway, I have styled my hair a lot like the girls recently.  We all have about the same length hair.  I can try little scenarios on them and if I like it, I do it for myself.

That is not to say that I go out in public wearing my hair like them.

Ok, I did once, I couldn’t help it, we all were in pig tails.  It was my first time sporting little miniature pig tails since I loped off all my hair two and a half years ago.

I am currently growing it out, I don’t know how long I will let it go.  I want to donate it one more time to Locks for Love.  I really got a lot of donating to them before and it feels like I have got at least one more good long set of hair in me, before I grow up and get adult hair.

Whatever that means.

It is ten pm on a Sunday and I am jazzed.  I could freak out about not being tired, or I could just accept that I am excited for this next adventure and if I need to, Burning Man!!! I can always take a little nap tomorrow, oops, no I can’t dad will be home early to get K.  for the feeding clinic.  Oh well.

I refuse to get upset.  I enjoyed my time at the salon too much today.  I actually fell asleep in the chair!  But once the color and style were done, I danced around the salon doing my happy dance, it helps that I was wearing pink argyle tights.

And, Calvin, we so need to have a dance party at the salon, because that would be hot.

It would in fact be, sexy as fuck.

Sunday Session at Solid Gold Salon

Calvin Strikes Again!

Full and Busy Weekend

August 20, 2011

I am almost there, the playa that is, you may be tired of hearing about Burning Man.  You may not, it all depends on whether or not you are going.

If you are going, you are so not tired of talking about Burning Man, it is all that is on your hot little mind.  My mind is alternatively spinning like top and restful, serene, and content.

Why?

Because my kitties are being taken care of.  Yes.  Thank you Mister Apley.  I cannot thank you enough.  Sigh, the relief.  And the Lady Pell is going to give me a hand tomorrow and take me to Rainbow.  I will be making a rather large number, for me, of purchases there and not having to take my bike to haul everything back makes me a very happy girl.  I will be getting the usual staples to go through my week, but also a couple of special playa treats.  Treats which I have denied taking out with me and see no more reason for that denial.  I like these things, so I’m going to buy them.  They will make me very happy in the hot afternoon sun.

Coconut water with pulp and sparkling water.  I am a fool for both.  I have not bothered to bring special beverages with me ever before.  I am also bringing coffee, the good stuff, some organic blend or another from Rainbow, and then I will probably pick up a pound of the shi shi stuff at Four Barrel because, why the fuck not?  And good tea.  My food is taken care of and my regular drinking water too, so I can splurge.  And so I am getting a case of the coconut water.  I could bathe in it.

Nah.  The stuff is too tasty for that.  I also am going to hop over to the Alamo Square Flea Market in the early afternoon with Beth, and possibly Margo.  I will come back from shopping put the groceries away and make food for the up coming week.  I am just going to keep it simple and make a big batch of French Red Lentil soup with spinach and freeze up whatever I won’t eat over the week.  That way I’ll have meals for the week that I don’t have to fuss over and I’ll have meals in the freezer when I get back from the event.

Because the last thing I am going to want to do is cook after I get back.  Shower, yes.  Cook. Not so much.

Then off to the flea market.  I want to browse, because flea markets are fun for that.  And possibly augment my Burning Man outfits.  I am super excited to also be well taken care of in this department.  Really, well, for the first time for me.  Oh, I have had some fun stuff, don’t get me wrong, but I haven’t always had comfortable boots, this year I do.  And I haven’t always had enough of the basics, like socks.  I have lots of socks this year.

And a few fun things that I have found over the last few weeks–a hoop skirt, a frilly crinoline, some fun tights, and a few hair accessories.  Plus, my hats, with the exception of the one that has ostrich feathers (no feathers on the playa people!  No boas puh-leeze), will all be going with me.  I stopped trying to find the perfect cowboy hat after trying unsuccessfully for four years and I’m going the fedora route.  Plus my French cabbie hat from Paris will be making its third appearance and a fabulous wide brim sunhat (although I don’t honestly know how much play that will get, it’s not equipped for wind.)

My secret desire, I suppose it’s not so secret once you blog about it, is to find a nightstand at the flea market.  I am ready to acknowledge that I have created the space for another person in my life.  I was talking to Sarah about the Calling in the One exercises and how I have been really getting into them, but that feng shui’ing my house really made it evident that I am taking action to bring in this man.

Seeing these pockets of space that I am holding is evidence and I know well from past experience that nature abhors a vacuum.  I can see the space getting filled and I am getting excited.

Plus, I can tell all the work is paying off too, as I balk less and less (although I still do) at the exercises.  Today  wrote a letter of forgiveness to my mom.  Now I may not send it to her in the form that I wrote it, but I believe that I will be sending something to her soon.  It feels right.  I have gotten two really sweet letters from her since I set the boundary about not taking phone calls right now.

Ironically, both times I got the letters, I wanted to call.  However, I still need to acknowledge my own recovery and keep the focus tight on me and not mom.

In the letter I forgave her the money she owes me.  Now, my mom may argue that she owes me no money.  And I would argue the fact right back that she does in fact owe me quite a lot.  However, I don’t need it.  I have never needed it.  If I did, I would have gotten it by now.  So, to hold on to this old idea that I can’t take care of myself, that I won’t be financially secure until I get paid back is bullshit.

Besides, I love my mom and do not want this hanging over our whatever growth may come.  The money was never the issue.  The issue is that I have always believed that I needed something more from my up bringing.  Yet, the fact remains, I am a pretty awesome person who lives a fantastic life and I would not be where I am without the upbringing I had.  Or the experiences.  So, I let go the money.  It is a symbol and I feel like it’s been hindering me, my growth, my finances, my relationships.

The relief I got from doing that writing was huge.  I am meeting with John Ater up in Noe Valley tomorrow night and will be bringing it with me.  If I don’t send it to mom, I may just burn it at, where else?  Burning Man.

Then it will be Sunday.  One speaking engagement, one set up commitment, two meet ups for doing the deal at Four Barrel, one hair coloring session at Solid Gold with Calvin (sexy as fuck, thank you very much!) and pack for Burning Man.

Whew.

I should go to bed right now.

Nah.

Feng Shui This Motherfucker

August 18, 2011

I just spent the last two and a half hours rearranging my house and making it a welcoming place for a partner.

I cannot believe I actually did this.  Granted, I have been taking the suggestions everyday, so why this should surprise me, I don’t know.  I think it means I am really making a concerted commitment to looking for my romantic partner.

I have become one of “those women”.  You know, the one with a couple of cats pushing forty, looking to make it happen.  But I don’t feel desperate, that I believe is the difference.

I do feel different.  I do feel more open.  I have made some nice connections recently.  With people in the neighborhood where I work, at the Farmer’s Market at UCSF, in my neighborhood where I live.  It is exciting.

I took the girls over to the campus to visit the Farmer’s Market (aside, I got the sweetest, juiciest, most succulent black berries I have ever had in my entire life, they were absolutely astounding.  And well worth the cost of $6 for the basket.  I cannot believe I paid that, but after trying one there was absolutely no going back.) and ran into Christy from Peasant Pie.  She hassled me for not coming in over the last few weeks.

It’s true I had not been in for over a month.  I started bringing coffee into work and stopped buying coffee over there.  Partially because I was afraid that mom would ban me from leaving the block and I would get cut off from my caffeine supply and partially because it adds up fast.  I was buying two coffees a day.  Even with my own refillable mug, the cost was adding up.  I still buy coffee out, but it tends to just be on the weekends now.  I make sure I have coffee at work and I bring in almond milk with me in the morning.  Which reminds me, I need to bring in more coffee filters to work.

They only “drawback” with making coffee at work is that I tend to drink more of it then I was before.  I will find a balance.  I have at least abstained from having it after 2:30 p.m most days that I work, I don’t need to have any caffeine in my system on a school night after a certain point.  I can spin out real quick and be up way past my bedtime.  And although, at the time I did not think of it as a drawback, I realized today when I saw Che and Christy, that I had also cut myself off from a couple of female friendships that I was developing; in effect I isolated myself more in my job, which can get pretty isolated anyhow.  I was encouraged to visit them and I will be doing just that from now on.

Hell, I am going to be up past my bed time tonight anyhow, as I spent the time I normally would writing my blog and watching a show, re-arranging my space.

Todays lesson was about making space.  I have intuitively known that I needed to do this as I recently withdrew from doing the In Our Own Words production as well as turning down the possibility of doing the AIDS ride next year as a Training Ride Leader.  I work fifty hours a week and I do the deal every day.  I could not see taking on anything else.  I cleared up that space and also, not working on weekends.  I am holding onto keeping some of that space uniquely free as well.  I am giving myself Saturday nights as date night.

This will be my last night heading over to Noe Valley on a Saturday night.  I will be going to see John Ater before I head out to the playa and then I will be making my last appearance in the neighborhood for a while.  It is too far to travel and takes up too much of my time.  I am going to return to the Marina and Fort Mason on Saturday mornings.  I will continue meeting with Cass after and then the rest of my Saturday is free to do what ever the universe decides I should do.

Next, the book suggested Feng Shui for a partner.  I have heard this theory before and I knew intrinsically what I had to do when I got home.  First, I had to take the desk out of my bedroom.  My bedroom is going to become off-limits for working.  I am breaking my own rule right now by writing my blog in here, but I don’t get a signal anywhere else in the apartment for internet.  Which means I will be investing in internet as soon as I get back from Burning Man so that I keep my bedroom space free of work.

I also moved the bed a little so that I can accommodate another bedside table.  Basically I am creating space for another person.  I also cleared off a couple of shelves in the bathroom medicine cabinet and a shelf in my closet.  I can see that there is also a little more space I could make in my closet, but I was pretty hands on rearranging my house, so that will happen in the next couple of days.

I took my desk out of my bedroom, put it in the living area and pulled the love seat into my bedroom.  I already like my bedroom better.  It is cozier and I can see it becoming a little more romantic.  It is not a work space, but a relax space.  And despite having had the space, I have not spent a lot of time in my living room area, partially because I have had my desk in my bedroom and thus end up at it at the end of every day typing and working.

Next, and perhaps biggest in its own sort of way, I arranged my cafe table to seat two.  I had it pushed into a corner with just one chair pulled up to it.  I am making it inviting for another to sit and share a meal with me.  Now, it could be a romantic dinner or it could be a friend, which I realized the other day, even though I have had friends over, I had made that space an exclusive seating for one area.  I am revoking the table for once placard.

Yes, that’s right, I would like to make reservations for two, please.

Thank you very much.

Bunny Love

August 17, 2011

I almost titled this post: “Turn On Your Heart Light”.  But I am not that cheesy.

Or am I?

I am officially becoming sappy.  This book is doing it for me.  Well, I suppose what is doing it for me, is that I am taking the suggested actions.  That is usually what works anyhow.  Taking some one else’s suggestions.  My ideas, my plans and schemes and little designs get me nowhere.

Work was good, the girls were lovely.  We went on a long walk today and that was helpful, eating and napping wise, and just being out side in the good air.  We actually went on two walks today, but the second was just around the block really, the first was a little more of a trek–stoke the appetite and sleepify the toddler.  That’s how we do it.

So, after the girls went down for their naps, like lights being abruptly shut off, I sat with my hot cup of ginger spice tea and wrote my artist pages, my daily gratitude list, then cracked the book on day five’s lesson.

I read it with a slightly argumentative eye, but read it nonetheless.  Then I did the exercise, which was a meditation.  I have to say, it has been very helpful for me to be expanding my meditation practise.  And I find that I do the meditations where ever I have a moment or two, they are starting to become second nature.

I found myself in front of the microwave at one point today during nap time re-heating my tea and I closed my eyes and did a mini-meditation while the tea was heating.  Then I did the one directed in the book.

Although it felt über cheese ball.

The fact is, I sort of knew it would work as I had a prescient moment around the meditation.  I have a certain sort of sleepy warm state that I drift into when I take a cat nap, and it is the warmest, softest place.  I imagine being swaddled in warm white blankets and sunlight with bare feet and I am surrounded by cushy pillows and the air is warm and gently blowing over me.  I have sort of an idea of the space, too.

At times it is a big sunken patio surrounded by flagstones, I smell grass, I hear trees rustling, there is the soft, incessant babble of a creek or stream.  Always warm, always a certain kind of sunlight.  That midafternoon, Saturday sunlight that nestles in between 2 and four o’clock in the afternoon.  A time when siestas are supposed to happen.

Anyway, so the meditation is to sit still and start at your toes and feel your body all the way up to your head and then feel “the one” sitting next to you, breathing your same breath, and heart beating in sync.  I forget exactly how the author worded it, and then after wards, as a “bonus” practise you were to take that same feeling out into the world and reflect on intuitive feeling from others.  To feel with your heart, so to speak and then notice the response.

Well, I have to tell you, I expected something to happen and nothing did.

Except that I snuck in a nap at work, which was glorious and utterly needed.  And I did drift off into the warm, soft place.

Then I ran into Uncle Bunny.  And after we had a chance to catch up I got a great big hug from him.  He was the feeling!  I just about fell over.  I wanted to pull back, it was overwhelming and totally unexpected.  And he was tactile too!  Damn.  He had a soft, white, cashmere sweater draped around his shoulders.  I just about died from the feeling, it was too lovely.

And now I know that I will be investing in a cashmere throw.  That is the softness that I always think of when I have that sort of daydream about the sunshine and the white pillows and a soft blanket.  It is cashmere.  I did not know.  I don’t own any cashmere.  But I will be making a purchase soon!

I floated home.  I drifted up California street.  There was so little effort in riding up the hill it was insane.  I nearly waved to the tourist in one of those open-topped buses chugging up the hill. I did grin beatifically at the people on the cable car and I pulled into my door way to get my mail and there was the post card I had sent myself from Maxfield’s Cafe–the one I picked up at Mission Dolores.  It was tucked into the top of my post box.  It was the first thing I saw as I was getting out my keys.

And it said-“your life is full of wonder and overflowing with love”.  It was like getting a perfect fortune cookie fortune.  I smiled and opened up the door to the house.  And I put up the beginnings of my collage.

I was going to tuck it in the closet or put it in the kitchen.  I was going to put it on cardboard or poster board or a piece of found wood.  Instead I put it directly up on the wall, where it belongs, just off to my left, where I will sit and look at it every time I sit down to write my blog or work on my computer.

I have come full circle from the young girl in the house in Windsor day dreaming about Paris, to a grown woman getting ready to follow my heart and move there.  And both dreams began with a collage on a white wall.

I feel  a little like E.T. right now, yup, I am a cheese ball–I have turned on my heart light.

Get over it.


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