Posts Tagged ‘action girl’

Of Course You Are!

March 20, 2015

This was the response to a text I sent out this morning.

This morning delirious with joy.

“I’m going to Burning Man.”

Was the text I sent out.

Like, I’m really going to go to Burning Man.

It’s happening.

Funny thing too.

I had done a lot of writing about it this morning and this constant let go, I don’t know how to let go, idea of going this year and how it’s going to play out and what’s going to happen and the how of it.

Never the why.

There has never been a why.

I don’t think I have ever asked myself why I want to go to Burning Man, I just do, there’s not a reason for the high heat, high desert, high altitude, the dust, the odd ball weather, flash flood last year anyone?

The long hours driving there and back, the preparation, the planning, the frankly, obsessing, what boots, how many pairs of socks is the perfect amount, should I color my hair pink this year or purple or blue or just go full on blonde?

The wrangling of time off, when I have worked for other families not in the Burning Man community.

“We actually need you to work that week after,” the mom said, “do you think they could change the date on the event?”

This was a real question.

Sure, let me get back to you on that.

Why would anyone in their right mind go?

“You don’t drink, do drugs, eat sugar, or flour?”  He asked as I ticked off the list, “why the hell do you come out here?”

“I like salt and caffeine,” I replied and cackled like a mad woman.

And there’s that.

I am crazy.

Crazy like a fox and crazy in love with the Universe who listens and hears my desires and peers into my heart and goes, “ah, there, that’s what she needs, let’s see what I can do about that.”

And boom.

I’m off to the burn.

I was writing, like I do every morning, before heading out to work and being realistic about what I wanted to ask off for with the family, I’ll be sitting down with them tomorrow to discuss moving forward as it marks my 6 months with them, and I was thinking, do I bring up Burning Man or not?

I want to go.

Can I afford to go?

How do I get there?

What’s the plan, Stan?

I realized that if it was going to happen it would happen naturally and organically, without me mucking about in it, without me manipulating it, without me being dishonest.

I could tell the family that since my school dates coincide so nicely with the event that I am basically going to ask off for it and throw caution to the wind.

That the going would happen if it was supposed to happen.

I did say a prayer, write it really, for God to show me the way forward with it.

I don’t usually go back and re-read what I write in my morning pages, the point is not to write a readable book, it’s to get the gunk out of my head and clear space for my day (a day I must say that I needed to be clear and present for, it was hella busy at work), a way for me to be balanced and have perspective around the day before heading out into the world.

But.

I really did write a lot about Burning Man this morning, ending my morning pages with this: “God, please show me if you want me to go.  I want All The Things.  I do want to go.”

I’m not going to bullshit.

I want all the things this year.

I mean, it’s nice to have someone advocate that for me and my friend, who’s sticker I bear so proudly on my laptop, certainly pointed out to me years ago that I deserve them.

But sometimes it takes me a minute, or a month, or a year, to get that I really want all the things.

I do, I do.

I want to go to Burning Man and I want to go to Hawaii and I want to go to Atlanta and I want to go to graduate school, and hey, look at that, things are happening.

I want a boyfriend who wants to go to Burning Man with me.

Not a boyfriend who makes fun of me going to Burning Man.

I didn’t make fun of your motorcycle club man, don’t make fun of my dust bowl, ok?

I wanted a clear sign.

And well, ha.

I got one.

I was riding my bicycle up Lincoln Avenue, that part where the hill is the hilliest and there’s still blocks to go, but if I am in a good groove, it’s not so bad.

Ping.

I heard the messenger app on my phone go off.

I had a feeling.

But I mean, I didn’t know.

I thought briefly for a moment who it could be and then forgot and got on with my bicycle commute.

I have to pay attention to traffic and though the commute is rote for me at this point, I am still riding a bicycle in traffic and I’m in it for about 35 minutes in the morning and another 35 in the evening.

That’s over an hour, more usually as I don’t always go straight home after work.

And in that hour a lot can happen if I’m not paying attention.

I got to work, the ride was smooth, lovely, light wind, high clear, blue, blue, blue skies, I smiled at the world.

I was ten minutes early and I did my long draught of water, followed by some stretches and then I sat down on a bench across the street from work and checked the message.

It was a message from God.

Not to be dramatic or anything.

It was a message from my original playa mom.

The OPM.

Or in other words.

The Action Girl.

Oh damn.

Oh yes.

I read the message and my smile got so big and I think I made some unintelligible yelping happy noise and bounced on the bench in glee.

The family is planning on going and they wanted me to come and help out and the getting of there and back will be taken care of and the getting of a ticket will be taken care of and I can camp with them.

OMG.

Yes!

I’m going to Burning Man.

I didn’t even really think, I just replied, yes!

And yes again and yes some more.

Happy, happy.

Joy, joy.

Not sure the specifics yet, but I don’t really need to be.

I can sit down with mom and dad and the Junebug and see what needs to happen and when and how.

But never why.

I don’t need to know why I need to go.

I am just going.

I’M GOING TO BURNING MAN!

Of course you are.

Bahahahahahaha.

Thanks for the sign God.

xo

Mary Fucking Poppins.

 

 

 

 

Is it Tax Season Yet?

January 10, 2013

Yeah, I know, who the hell wants to think about taxes?

Me.

That’s who.

I expect that I will be getting a refund.  I did not make much last year, fell way under the $30,000 a year mark, lived in San Francisco, managed to go to Burning Man, pay rent, visit the mom’s in Florida, and move to Paris.

This is from doing a daily, and I mean daily, inventory of my money.

I don’t have much, but man, I know to the penny where it goes and what it buys.

It did not buy a lot of frivolous things this past year.

I did not go on big spending sprees, unless you count buying extra socks for Burning Man a spending spree.

I just call that survival of the fittest.

I remember being in the Walmart in Reno with Action Girl and she tucked two twelve pack socks of men’s white cotton tube socks into the growing pile of last-minute buys before the playa.

Socks?

“Great for gifting!”  Action Girl replied, “that and whiskey.”

It really is the small things at Burning Man that will do you in, socks, q-tips, lip balm.

I did not eat out a lot, although I did get to go to some very nice restaurants before I left the Bay…man did I ever, when I thought back recently to the plethora of nice places I got to get a bite at before moving, I was moved, and a little hungry.

I have, however, reached the nadir of my finances, but I feel good about where I am.  Despite spending my last Euro on dinner time fixings tonight, I know I have income coming in.

Taxes.

My tax return won’t be a lot, but it will definitely take the pressure off trying to find work here, which is slowly finding me.

I was asked to help out with a once a week tutoring gig for a friend who has too much on her plate.

Done.

Wednesday, one hour a week, 50 Euro.

50!

She even told me that she would just give me the next’s months worth of lesson plans.

Awesome.

Plus I have my little gig out in la ghetto.

Fuck, man, drug dealer cars are drug dealer cars all over the world.

If it has tinted windows and is a BMW, Jaguar, or Mercedes, I am going to assume that you are slinging something on the corners.

Oh, wait, you are slinging on the corner, in front of the tabac on Rue Emile Zola.

Is poor Zola rolling over in his grave?

Or does he have a tidy little crack habit too?

I went out to the suburbs, the projects, and I kept an open mind and I kept my mouth shut and I left my camera in my bag.  I played with N. and K. I was thrilled, not, to find out that they both had stomach bugs over the last week.

But, I don’t believe I caught anything.

And I got to practise a little teaching on them.

I told the woman who asked me if I could help her out that I never had tutored before.  Although the first go round when she asked, I nodded and said, yes, of course I have.  Don’t be silly.

I had my little white lie hanging out in my head and I called back today and said, hey, you know, I want to help out, but I lied.  I have not tutored.  Granted I can handle an 8-year-old for an hour and I certainly know how to sing some songs and do some stories and I bet I am  actually a good teacher.

I mean I have taught baby sign language, swimming, singing, numbers, letters, colors, English, mostly to kids under four, but I bet I could translate it to an 8-year-old.

She laughed, and said, no worries, I’ll walk you through what she has worked on and leave you with a month of lesson plans.

Ok.

Plus, I got word from the mom who I helped out over the holidays and she asked for a couple of gigs, one for next week, one the following, and one the next.

This is all adding up.

I will be able to pay Barnaby the rest of the rent tomorrow when I get paid for this weeks work and I will have a few Euro, uh dollars, um, jesus, pounds, for the trip to London over the weekend.

How cool is that?

Not only have I gotten to travel all over the world, literally, I have done it on less than $30,000.

Eat in.  Drink coffees and not lattes–which translates here to not drinking cremes but drinking noisettes (shot of espresso with a little froth of milk on the top), don’t do drugs–they be costly, don’t drink–you buy stupid things when you are drunk, write down everything you buy to the penny, add it up every month, pay for everything in cash, including plane tickets, ask for help–I am not even going to gloss over the support I have gotten from friends and family.

Sometimes you have to hold out your hand.

I am not proud that I had to ask for help, but thank god I did, I would not be sitting here with food in my belly if I had not.

Hungry?

Get humility.

“Honey, what are you afraid of?”  John Ater asked me in the back of Ritual cafe in the Mission in San Francisco.

“I don’t have enough money, fuck, I don’t have any money,”  I said, the tears pricking at my eyes.  Don’t cry, don’t let him see you cry.

“Are you wearing mascara?”  John said, with a dry chuckle.

“Ugh, fuck you.”  I said wiping under my eyes.

“Honey, you’re never going to go hungry, all you have to do is ask.”  John sat back into the deep leather couch and crossed his arms over his chest.

He was right, sometimes the only thing you have to do is ask.

How I hate asking for help.

Yet, I have gotten to do so, I have gotten to get humble and I have received.

Love, euro, food, hugs, support, faith.

I have so much faith right now.

Plus, I am fairly sure a tax return will be happening.

Regardless, it is obvious I am being taken care of.

Sure it doesn’t look like anything I would have imagined, but you know, for all my writer’s abilities, my imagination is not so hot.

My fantasies, schemes, and plans, are pretty one-dimensional when it comes right down to it.

I keep telling myself to not quit, Paris, before the miracle, and to not get discouraged.  Despite not rolling in the dough, I am rolling in the deep, blessed, to get to experience yet again another side of life that I would never have even known if I had not taken the leap.

Paris.

The wet pavement glossy and slicked with colors, you live in Paris.

It is worth every cent.

Shoes Are Nice

January 3, 2012

Hey there-

This blog was really written yesterday, but I could not get online.  So, you’re in luck, you’re gonna get two tonight.  Here’s yesterday’s blog and hang tight, there will be another to follow.

The question bears repeating.  What do you do when you don’t have the internet access?  Do you get sad, do you watch a lot of crap, do you get a little resigned and cry a wee tear or two?

Who the fuck took the jam out of your donut?

Well, that would be my day.

Action girl and Junebug came by this morning and took the cats.  Uni hid, Frankie fussed, I just about wanted to crawl under the bed myself and cry.  In fact, I was praying between clenched teeth as I swatted at Uni through the back of the couch.  Come the fuck on cat.  Get out.

She doesn’t like to get moved.  I can’t say i blame her.  I don’t like to move myself, and yet, here I am again, moving.  Moved, I have moved.  Although not very much in the last hour or two.  I have been watching Snatch courtesy of Calvin’s dvd collection and drinking tea.  I have tidied my small pile of possessions and put away my toiletries in the bathroom.  Tomorrow is a new day.

And, fucking thank God.  I am done with the holidays.

Of course, whenever I did want to get on my pity pot something would happen to change my perspective.  There was the woman wearing no shoes at the MUNI stop when I went by in my cab, that gave me something to think on.  Andie had dropped me and the rolling suitcase up in Nob HIll once I finally was able to get my cat out from, not underneath the couch, or behind it, but actually inside the god damn thing.  I had somewhere I needed to be at 12:15p.m. this afternoon.  So, I hauled my stuff up four flights of stairs, two trips, and put away my things, packed a little lunch, and headed out the door.

I flagged a cab and told him “Valencia and 15th”.

He did not move, he was putting it into the navigator.

Fuck my mother, you cannot tell me you are a cab driver and you don’t know how the fuck to get to Valencia and 15th.

I said as much, with perhaps not the profanity.

“How do you spell Valencia”?  He asked.

Oh my god.

I can just tell you how to get there, please, let me give you direction, it won’t hurt, I promise.

I was nice, spelled it out, and I got where I needed to go with time to spare and yes, a wee little bit of perspective change when I saw the woman without shoes.  I may not have a place to call my own, but my fucking god, I do have a pair of shoes on my feet and I had lunch in my purse, and I was in a cab.  A cab headed to meet my people.

I got some gratitude.

Even when the self-pity threatened to wallow over me in waves of amber, I managed to remember that woman and her bare feet.  I would look down at my shoes and remember that woman without shoes on her feet.  My shoes are new.  I walked into Shoe Biz yesterday and bought new shoes.  I needed a pair, my Converse had holes in them.  And there they were, brand new Vans on my toes, and that woman had nothing between the soles of her feet and the pavement.

I don’t think she could feel her feet from the look on her face, but still, I am sure it was not pleasant.

And then God had a little chuckle.  As I came out of the bathroom an hour later with tears in my eyes as I had admitted to some one that it had been a hard day.  It had been a disconcerting day, I had given my cats away.  I had scared them to death by poking them with mop handles and then scooped them up and forced them into a small box to be carried over the bridge and across the bay.  Granted, I know their new home is smashing, but I still did not enjoy the process.

With tears standing in my eyes and the self-pity party ready to get its party hat on and do a little dance, I happened to have a conversation about books with a gentleman with blue eyes who asked me to go out for coffee.  He’s quiet.  I have seen him before.  I thought perhaps, he’s gay.  But, as a friend once pointed out to me in regards to another man who I thought was gay, Carmen he’s beating you over the head with his penis, I think was the exact wording, I don’t always have good judgement or the ability to see when a man is attracted to me.  I should have realized it yesterday when I saw the bookish boy, I said hi and scampered away like a scared bunny.

That should be my first clue.  If I run away he’s probably not gay.

Anywho.  Yeah, vulnerable and sad, I stood on the corner of 15th and Valencia and talked Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor to a man who then suggested we have coffee some time.

REALLY?

What in the world was that?

I gave him my number and he headed off to City LIghts to go peruse the stacks and I headed up to the other side of Dolores Park to say hey to a friend who just got done having fibroids the size of softballs taken out from her uterus.

My problems again are what?  My “lack” of housing and my new shoes.  OR my clean womb?

There it was again, perspective.  Nothing’s wrong.

But I seriously had that thought, that first thought that came into my mind when I was crawling around on the floor trying to locate my cat to ship her off to the East Bay–just walk out the door, leave it open, let the cats go feral, and go kill yourself.

Come the fuck on.  That’s all you’ve got?

I made some phone calls on the walk over to my friends studio.  I talked with John Ater and I told him I just did not get it.  I feel like I am working really hard and not accomplishing anything.  I “feel” like I am doing it wrong.

Who, the fuck said there was a right way to do things?  And wasn’t I the one who said if I lose the cats if I lose the apartment that I would be ok with it because I wouldn’t be working at a job that I hated having the soul sucked out of me.

I think I was.  And guess what?  It happened.  I lost my cats, I lost my place to stay.  But I got to stop working a job that I really disliked, really, really, really (it also helped to have Shannon reiterate to me about how horrified she was by the thought of the family constipating the child so that she would not poop at night on their watch).  Yeah, I did not like working for them, did not matter how good the money was.

Fuck, though, it was good.  Oh well.  Pay cut, happiness increase.  Or so I keep telling myself.

I did a lot of walking today and I did some bike riding and I wore my new shoes and I ate good food and I got to be out in the sunshine.  I also got to be a little sad.

Nothing wrong with that.  I miss the cats, they were a comfort.

On the other hand I got to have the most beautiful little girl in the world sing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer to me and I have the knowledge that the cats are well taken care of.

They are not running about the street with no shoes on and neither am I.

 


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