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February 12, 2017

Sweet home.

I’m not there yet.

Even though I am home.

That’s not the home I am talking about.

“Welcome home,” he shouted into the dusty air, “ring the bell.”

I rang the bell.

I skipped the rolling around in the dust though.

Fuck that shit.

It’s dusty enough up in this mess.

Yup.

I’m planning my return trip to the playa.

It’s a little early, I suppose, but I am going to get my little early ducks in a row.

I’ve decided that I am not working this year.

I am going to go and just have fun.

I am going to stay with a different camp than I have before, I’ve been a member of the camp since it’s inception and have spent time there, and have friends there, and one of them mentioned to me that it was time to come out and camp with them this year and not work and really enjoy the festival.

The art.

The joy.

The get about and the get around.

I found out my when my first weekend of classes will be for the fall semester.

Last year they fell on the same weekend of the event and I was not able to go for the full amount of time.

I went up early and left early.

I was only there four days.

It was lovely and I’m super glad I went, but it was not enough and I didn’t get to see any of the burns because I left Wednesday morning of the event.

By plane.

There is that.

It was one hell of an amazing experience to fly out of Burning Man.

I don’t know if that is necessarily happening, but I’m going to let it all fall together.

I decided in my heart to go last Sunday and then I did some research and discovered that the low-income ticket application will open in a few days.

I need to update my profile and the minute it opens, February 15th, I will be applying for it.

One of the big reasons that have always worked the event is to get into the event.

But.

I don’t want to work it this year.

I want to actually go and not be tied down and when I researched a little I discovered I could definitely afford the low-income ticket and I will apply to it.

Then yesterday I discovered that the first weekend of the fall semester for my cohort will be the weekend before the event.

Thank God.

I can go!

Well.

I won’t quite say that yet.

I still have to clear it with work.

I will ask on Monday if it’s a possibility.

I already have a lot of my vacation time tied up to my trip to Paris in May, but I do have some days that are not accounted for and I want to use them for the event.

I may have to do some negotiation with the family in regards to it, but I think that they will be amenable to me going.

I sure do hope so.

It was me doing a happy dance today when I told my friend before class that I found out the weekend dates for the fall and that there was not a conflict with school, it set my day, I was super pumped.

Granted that feeling dissipated, class work was challenging and showing up for it and being present for the material made me completely forget about the event, about travel times and dates and plans and things and stuff and more things.

But.

When I got home and said “hello house,” I smiled, my eyes drawn to the print on the wall, a photo shot from above, from an airplane above the event and I remembered quickly.

Home.

And it will be the ten-year anniversary of my best friends passing and me taking his ashes out to the Temple.

It will be my 11th burn in a row.

It is a part and parcel of me.

There are experiences that I have had there that I cannot rationalize or explain.

Love and light and dirt and dust and spiritual transmogrification.

So many times.

Not just once, but time and time and time again.

Dancing the tango with a beautiful 24-year-old man from Norway who was tall and blonde and yes, heh, Nordic, with a gorgeous sweet accent and the bliss of being kissed under the stars, bent backward and kissed as though every song of the stars above depended upon the breath in and out of our bodies as we melted into the dust.

Riding out to the trash fence at sunrise on the art car “A Horse With No Name” and seeing the shots of fire thrown out against the playa, piercing and bright and bathing the dust with golden smote, softening the blue smoke bathed mountains with flames of light.

Running into a friend unexpectedly in a church pew by an organ and telling him a fairy tale in the mid afternoon heat and swelter.

Reciting poetry underneath the upraised arms of the Man and the face of the man when I looked into his eyes.

“Do you know how easy it is to fall in love with you when you recite poetry,” he said.

Why do you think I recite poetry?

I want you to love me.

And somehow.

I don’t know how.

I don’t need to know how.

I find myself easier in my person, able to let that love in, to be scaffold with it, to allow myself to be exactly who I am, hair bedecked with flowers, standing tall in cowboy boots with polka dot socks and my crinoline blowing in the breeze, my umbrella of poesy flowers opened to shelter me from the sun, face bedecked with smiles.

I am somehow more me and entirely at peace with who I am and how I am and it’s not so weird, it’s just me, and I’m not that unique, I mean, did you see what she was wearing?

Or not wearing.

Of course I want to go home.

It’s home.

Anchored in between the Black Rock Mountains and the Calico’s, underneath the rising moon and the setting sun, the howl of love that whisper whips across the playa until we are all crying out of our aloneness a coming together, a community, an expression of magic, yes.

That.

Magic.

May I always be a part of that kind of love and mystery.

And.

Yeah.

Fingers crossed.

I’ve cleared the first hurdle, school conflict, now to ask off from work for event.

Then.

I’ll get a ticket after that.

And.

Soon.

I’ll see you in the dust.

I’ll be there to welcome you home.

I promise.

 

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Where Am I?

September 1, 2016

Who am I?

Who is this woman?

Flying up in the sky.

At oh, about 12,500 feet, over the Sierra’s, which let me be frank, was a fuck of  a lot better than how I got over the Sierra’s.

Really, nothing says it’s going to be a long ride to the playa than finding out that the roof on the car that was picking me up was not in working order.

Oh yes.

That’s right.

We drove through the night, in an open top convertible VW Cabriolet.

It was cray cray.

And may I just add.

Hella fucking cold.

I mean, we drove through the mountains at night with the top down.

In the end, it didn’t matter, we got to the playa, albeit once we landed the poor kid’s car got crop dusted with playa from every vehicle driving past.

Who the fuck needed to do dust angels on the playa when we were already covered?

He dropped me, dropped all his clothes, from an untied garbage bag stuffed in his trunk, and once I got all my stuff out of the odd nooks and crannies I had to shove my things into, I gave him a hug, told him to relax and have fun and pointed him in the correct direction.

I have no clue what happened to him.

But I am assured he had enough molly and hits of LSD to make sure it was a fun trip to his side of the playa.

Note to folks.

Don’t tell your ride share that you are carrying drugs on you.

Just don’t.

Discretion is the better part of valor.

Also.

When it’s suggested that you not have your bicycle cover up your license plate or obscure it in any way, really, listen.

OH.

And.

Navigation in certain desolate places in Nevada is not always spot on.

“Don’t turn,” I said loudly, I didn’t holler, I didn’t grab the wheel, but I almost did, he was totally on autopilot listening to his navigation system.

“But the navi says to turn left,” he said in a voice that was young, 23, slightly white male privileged and very naive.

“Honey,” I said in a kind voice, a voice that was beginning to be over being kind as I had talked him out of returning to Reno to buy bell peppers from the Safeway after having a text fight with one of his camp mates all the way past Fernley, “there’s not a road there.”

There was a dirt track leading God only knows where, but it was not leading to Burning Man.

The navigation insisted and for a moment I really thought the kid might just off road it and defy my suggestion.

Fortunately he did not and we got into Gerlach and refueled at the last gas station in town.

Then.

Burning Man.

I should call it “I didn’t get much sleep, man,” I mean really.

I didn’t get a lot of sleep.

I had gotten up on Friday at 7:30 a.m. worked then came home and left for the event and drove through the Sierra’s, remember in a chilly, drafty open roofed car.

Although, I will say it was beautiful, the Milky Way, the dark skies, the stars, the nebula and the two shooting stars I saw, exquisite.

We landed on playa around 3:45 a.m.

After a rather long, protracted grocery stop in Reno, wherein there was much re-packing and re-sorting of the small amount of space in the car.

After getting through Gate, getting the kid’s ticket from Will Call and getting to where I was camped, it was 5 a.m. by the time I had gotten my stuff to my small spot on the playa.

What was fortuitous though, was the sky starting to brighten.

By the time I had my tent up, my bins sorted, and my air mattress inflated, it was already beginning to get hot.

I tried.

Oh.

I tried really hard to lay in my tent on my new blow up mattress, but man, without a shade structure, it was just too hot to sleep.

I got up.

I did shit.

I did eventually take a nap in the communal shade structure and thank God.

I might have cracked.

I only really got emotional once the whole morning, and that was when my air mattress pump died.

I was like.

Fuck me.

It hadn’t held the charge and only blew up my mattress about a quarter of the way.

I was bereft.

Until.

Heh.

The playa doth provide.

A friendly neighbor in camp said, oh go across the street to the Electro Shock Therapy camp, they can help you out.

And help out they did.

It was a solar powered camp that had strips of chargers and before you knew it I had gotten my air mattress blown up, bed made, and was lying in a hot box trying to nap.

I retrieved the item that was to save my life, a black out sleep mask, and found myself reclining in the shade structure.

I got about an hour and a half of sleep.

Enough to get me going again.

I went to a birthday party that night and dressed up and was up until about midnight or 1 a.m.

Most nights I was up about that late and most days I was up by 7 a.m.

One day I was up at 5:15 a.m.

I went to watch the sunrise with some friends from camp on an amazing art car that took us all out to the far reaches of the event at the trash fence.

It was a spectacular sunrise.

And there were beautiful sunsets.

Long bike rides to deep playa.

Crazy conversations struck up out of nowhere.

Running into unexpected friends.

Being told how good it was to see me.

Getting tons of hugs.

But.

No kisses.

No boys.

No hook ups.

I just treated the whole thing like and art and recovery retreat.

It was fantastic though, no matter the  I am tired bit.

I am not spent.

I am happy.

Happy I got to go and got some good photos.

Although I am a little concerned, I’m having some trouble with my regular camera.

I think the dust has finally gotten to it, I’m going to try a few things, but I may have lost some photos.

Such is life.

And I have my memories.

Loads and loads.

And a day to sleep in before I head back into school.

A day to readjust, catch up on the sleep, and um, oh, yeah.

Go see Mike Doughty play.

Nice to be home.

I have no complaints.

Not a one.

I am so very happy.

Yes indeed.

I get to sleep in a dust free bed, I got the playa out of my hair, and I get to see a great musician tomorrow with friends.

Life is lovely.

Nighty night y’all.

I have some much needed beauty rest coming to me.

Sweet dreams my friends.

Sweetest, undusty dreams.

Joyeux Noel

December 25, 2015

And it was.

Truly.

A very merry Christmas.

My friend and I went to the Centre Pompidou today for a Christmas day full of art, art, art, and yes, more art.

I am such a glutton.

I was like a kid in a candy store.

All the art.

All the time.

Merry Christmas to me.

Thank you God, Santa, Pere Noel, St. Nicholas, Father Christmas.

It was an amazing day, lovely, quiet in the morning, the streets not too busy, the boulangerie on the corner amazingly open so my friend could grab a bite and the train ride a quick and painless one to the Hotel de Ville Metro stop.

Then.

Onto the museum.

And oh, so grateful for the museum pass once again, as the lines were astounding and long.

We zipped right up front and got right smack into the building.

Dropping coats at coat check and riding the escalators right to the top of the building to the observation deck next to the restaurant on the fifth floor.

Amazing views.

Really.

Just amazing.

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Sacre Coeur in the distance.

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Gargoyles on top of Notre Dame.

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Hotel de Ville.

So much beauty.

And I hadn’t even gotten inside yet to get myself steeped, smothered, drowned, divine with art.

Here are some of my favorites from the museum today:

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I got to my very, very, very happy place.

Lunch was had, late in the afternoon at the cafe in the museum, then off to see friends at St. Elizabeth’s in the Bastille by Metro Temple.

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Such a pretty neighborhood.

Then, we walked for a while.

Ending up in Saint-Denis, which is not such a pretty neighborhood and we hopped on the Metro quick like to get out of the hood.

Winding back here in the 15th at Motte-Piquet Grenelle.

A coffee for me.

Some chocolates for my friend.

More walking around the neighborhood.

Not much was open, it is Christmas day.

But.

We did stumble upon a fantastic restaurant–Le Primrose–which was full of French folks, nary a tourist but us, and had an amazing dinner.

I had mushroom risotto with raw ham.

Yes.

I know what that sounds like, it just means it was not cured.

But.

Fuck me.

It was delicious.

Full.

Replete.

And delirious from a day of walking the neighborhoods, walking the museum, climbing up and down the Metro stairs and my friend and I decided to call it a day.

Or a night, as the case may be.

And we arrived back here fairly early.

Tomorrow is our last full day in the city before returning to regular life, “regular” what the hell in my life is regular (aside from my morning routine, which I have managed to keep up here despite being on vacation), in San Francisco.

The day, is loosely planned–the Jeu de Paume, for we have not managed to get into the art exhibit, despite showing up three times there now–an early start to the day, planning on being there as it opens.

Then, to the Marais.

To Abraxas, if it is open.

For yes.

Ha.

Tattoos.

My friend and I both sport plenty of tattoos, and what better souvenir than one I can carry with me for the rest of my life?

Besides, I got one the last time I was here, same place, different tattoo artist, and I have a feeling it’s a nice tradition to have.

Then, lunch, and shopping in the Marais.

After a quick jaunt over to the American Church to say a good bye to friends.

Dinner in the neighborhood at Cantine du Trouquet (because, yes, it was just that good that we have decided to go back for dinner for our last night in Paris).

And.

Finally.

Finishing with a night time trip up the Eiffel Tower.

Because.

Why not?

It has been an amazing trip and I am ever so grateful for my friend and the company as we walked about Paris.

It feels special to be of service–to be a good tour guide, to be able to speak French, which is not nearly as rusty as I thought, although never quite as good as I want it to be, and to share the Paris that I love with another person.

I have had a marvelous time and am so very happy that I had such a Merry Christmas this year.

Once again.

Joyeux Noel from the City of Lights.

Et.

Trop bisous pour toi.

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At 51:55 You’re Giving Me A Hand

October 22, 2015

Massage.

Jesus, people, what do you think I was doing?

Ha.

I got the cutest message today from a friend I made at Burning Man, on top of all things–the Mayan Warrior.

An enormous art car with the most furious sound system ever.

It really is mind-blowing how much this art car rocks.

The stacks of speakers defy description.

I remember the first year it came out, must have been 2013, and it turned on its sound system while still in the city proper and the little boy I was nannying woke up from sleep screaming.

The power of the bass rattled the entire trailer, I am uncertain if it was the bass shaking me that woke me up or the screaming child or a combo of the two.

The Mayan was wrangled quickly, it was fortunately also pre-event, so the city wasn’t too built up yet, and they were told firmly to lower the volume while they were in the city proper.

And they did.

But.

When the car goes deep playa, it goes deep playa loud.

It also faces its stacks of speakers out toward the deeper desert, out past the trash fence where there is nothing but emptiness and black skies full of the swaths of starlight that you can only get that far out.

Swirls of brilliance on black velvet.

Not that I was looking at the stars that night.

I was deep into the music.

I wish I knew who was the dj prior that had been spinning, I loved Jennifer Cardini’s set, it was amazing, but the set before had absolutely blown my mind.

And.

The circumstances too, now that I think about it, I recall Wednesday night the reason why I was on the Mayan Warrior in the first place–I had just come from a wedding at Dream Land.

A wedding that I randomly got caught in the ceremony and helped to literally sing the service to the bride and groom.

And yes.

I caught the bridal bouquet.

I wonder if that means I will get married at Burning Man next year.

It would be year number 10.

That would be something fun to do.

So many fun things to do.

So much life to live.

So much soup to make.

My God.

The soup I made today.

I have to say it.

I am a pro.

I made a soup I have never made before, pureed cream of broccoli soup, and I slayed it.

I am so grateful I can cook.

And I am grateful that I get to for the family, it’s fun, I feel a sense of accomplishment with it and there is nothing like having a five-year old ask for more broccoli, now please!

Fuck yeah kid, let me feed you some more broccoli.

I am grateful for the gifts and abilities I have.

“She cooks for you too?” The mom from yesterday’s play date said in a hushed voice while I was putting together another plate for her daughter.

Yup.

I do.

Yesterday I made my home-made chili, ground chicken with black beans and red and yellow peppers, onions, garlic, mild chilis, I am cooking for kids, mind you.

I had a moment today when I was plating the boys dinner and I thought, I should take photos and do a nanny cook book.

All the ideas.

All the stuff.

All the things.

Poetry.

Cooking.

Writing.

I could say I am a Renaissance woman.

If anyone knew what that meant any longer.

“I didn’t know that!” The mom exclaimed yesterday when I was being questioned by the playdates mom about my back ground and how I came to be a nanny.

I had been working as a legal secretary in a small criminal law firm.

All the jobs that I have done in this city.

Waitress–Hawthorne Lane

Waitress–Absinthe

I also almost waited tables at Zuni, but the owner, the day I had my first day of training, put a hiring freeze on the restaurant and I was “let go” before I had really started.

Mortgage Broker associate.

Yeah.

Me.

I did that too.

Hahahahaha.

I was not good at it.

But I sold myself so well in the interview that I got the job and yup, hit my rock bottom there.

“Where did you come from!?” My boss asked with surprise, literally jumping back startled as I slipped out of the conference room.

I had been taking a nap.

Underneath the conference table.

On the carpet.

In the dark.

All day.

I quick before I got fired.

But that was a few weeks later.

I left the office that day with carpet imprint on my face and I probably left a small pool of drool underneath the table.

AH.

The good old days.

I have also house sat, dog sat, baby sat.

I did event managing for the first, and the only Mission Bicycle Festival, there would have been more, but the residents on Lapidge really balked at having a street festival there.  I also helped manage an investor party for a restaurant that was trying to open in the Mission.

I did costumer service in the Bayview produce markets.

I was a customer service representative for a specialty veterinary hospital here in the city, in the Mission–SFVS–for two years.

I almost worked at the SPCA for a while, but after a few months of volunteering doing kitten socializing I realized that the majority of the staff needed to do some human socializing and didn’t take a job there.

I worked as an assistant to a sex educator film director.

I got him coffee and ran errands while he directed the actress who taught people how to properly do BDSM bondage.

That was an interesting shoot.

I never knew there was so much involved with making the sheets look good for the shot.

I have been an English tutor in Paris.

I have been a nanny in Paris.

I have been a nanny here in San Francisco.

And of course.

“She nannied at Burning Man too!” My boss told her friend over dinner conversation while I watched bemused by the three-year old shoveling roasted cauliflower in his mouth.

Yes.

That’s right.

The three-year old likes roasted cauliflower.

I am that good.

I also think it’s like cauliflower chips, really, roasted cauliflower is stupid good, all crispy and crunchy and garlic salty.

“You nanny at Burning Man,” the second mom said incredulous.

Yup.

I have.

And I danced a little to.

A LOT.

Just check me out here.

21:53 and yes again at 51:55.

I’m the girl with the giant smile.

And.

The polka dot dress.

And.

Yes.

Of course.

The goggles on my head, it was a dusty year out there.

And.

Always.

The flower in my hair.

Hello.

It’s Burning Man people.

You can take the girl out of Burning Man.

But.

You can’t take the Burning Man out of her hair.

Or the love.

I definitely got my love on that night.

Grateful that I don’t mind looking silly on video.

Because I do.

And grateful that I have such a big full life.

I am a very lucky girl.

I am.

It Was A Nice Twenty Four Hours

August 29, 2013

While it lasted.

And then it was gone.

Back on baby duty.

I am here at the camp and Burning Man is truly getting it on tonight.

There are fifteen different sound systems competing with my thoughts as I sit here in the “front yard” in a camp rocking chair close to the trailer keeping one ear cocked toward the baby sleeping inside.

El Pulpo Mechanico just went by.

Surreal and wonderful, mechanical octopus with flames spouting out the tips of its eight legs waving up and down, draped with women in Steam Punk attire heading to the Steam Punk Rave at the French Quarter tonight, which is in the neighborhood.

I can look across the street and see the back side of the four-story facade they erected.

I have to admit I am pretty crashed out.

I woke up at 7:30 a.m. and never went back to bed.

Nor did I take a nap and I should have.

I was just too awake when I woke up.

I sprang from the bed and went to the port-a-potties to do my thing and on the walk back I just felt alive and good and here and I wanted to go to the commissary and have breakfast, I was hungry.

I figured I would take a nap before going back on duty this evening at six p.m.

Ha.

Ah, oh well, I am tired, that is for certain, but I did tell the folks I would stay back and watch the camp and mind the baby and sigh.

“You are not getting paid enough!” Two of my friends now have said that.

I wonder.

I mean I have not raised my rates since I started doing this six years ago, and I do feel pretty well taken care of, at this point I don’t give a fuck.

I don’t feel like there actually exists another world outside of the one I am currently in.

The dust, the wood smoke, the girls in their hot pants and high boots prancing about in pasties or less.  The art, the noise, the squawk of the announcer at Slut Garden moderating the sexual olympics, the disco mashed up with the techno mixed with the tired in my body.

There is no where else.

I keep thinking I am going to try to do some work or schedule a time to move into my place when I get back to SF and my brain just fades off, caught by the sight of a boy spanking a girl with a monkey spatula in the middle of the street.

Held back from the world outside by the playa police who insist I stop and pay attention to all the things around me.

Saucy

playa policing

I have to say, it is the surrealist blog I have ever written.

Usually I am in the trailer writing and the world does drift off enough to allow me to concentrate on words and syntax and story.

But that’s really challenging when bicycles dripping with glowing flowers are gliding by or hula hoops webbed with ribbons roll across the street or when I look out toward the nine o’clock plaza and see a giant ship’s mast rising up from the skyline.

It’s hard to concentrate on what I want to say.

A few times I have contemplated not posting the blog or putting up the photographs, but then there’s nap time and I am without something to do and attached to the trailer and I will open up the laptop (which is so covered with stickers that it’s easy to see where I have been spending my down time) and find myself doing some photo editing or scrolling through the ones I already took looking for a gem to crop and post.

Speaking of photographs I went to hang out with the Pin Hole Camera crew, but they had a day tucked into their camp developing film.

I hung out at my old camp instead, seeing Mrs. Fishkin, and Nurse and Sister Sister, Magee and Wild Bill, Erica, and Curley.

It was so nice to catch up with my people.

Mrs. Fishkin and I went to the cafe and had coffees–seems so long ago but it was only twelve hours ago.

A floating peacock just slid by down the road.

Aside–I don’t know if it’s being on playa or what it does to my taste buds, but man, my tea tastes spectacular out here, richer, more robust, more flavorful.  It’s like the best tasting tea in the world.

I had lunch with a dear friend at the Commissary and we shared some growth moments and struggles we have been both going through, getting re-grounded to go back out and tackle the jobs at hand.

There is a live horn band really laying it down over yonder.

That would be nice, get out and see some more music.

I did not get out too far into the playa to see art today, but I did catch a few pieces.

Penny the Goose

Penny the Goose

Art Car

Art Car

Dragon

Dragon

I stayed close to camp, it was too hot to go far a foot and my bicycle got another flat tire.  It apparently needs a different size tube.  I tried to swing by the playa bike fix it shop to pick one up but it was a mob scene and I could not bear to wait in line.

And I saw my first wine bong as well as being offered my first wine bong.

“No thanks, I am working tonight,” I said.

“Oh just do a little one!” The person replied.

No such thing as a little wine bong.

“I can’t I am allergic to alcohol, but thank you so much for the offer, enjoy!” I added and went to seek out a sparkling water.

“Wow, that sucks, well, at least you can do other things,” the person offered in commiseration.

I smiled and kept my response to myself, there are no other things for me, I won’t be making a midnight run to the herb camp either.

Ah, I am sleepy, and getting cold, the temperature just dropped a few degrees.

Time to stoke the fire, stretch and put on another layer.

I probably have another two hours before going off duty.

Let me not to think about that.

I am just going to keep watching the pretty lights go drifting by.


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