Posts Tagged ‘Black Rock City’

Holy Shit

August 21, 2016

I’m packed.

I sort of want to throw up in my mouth.

It’s just stuff and things.

I told myself as I looked over the stack.

Three bins, one cooler, one tent, one camp chair, blankets, bedding, pillows.

It doesn’t sound like much.

But it makes enough of a stack that I am a little concerned about my playa ride share.

He’s got a VW Cabriolet.

He’s also picking up food for some of his camp mates plus whatever gear he has and of course water.

I keep envisioning the car already full and there’s no room for my stuff and I’ll have to leave something behind and what the fuck would that be since I have everything I need and want in those bins, clothes, crinolines, boots, tent stakes, work gloves, hammer, lantern, extra batteries, tights galore, bunny slippers, a leopard print coat for night time gamboling.

I need it all.

And I am also still on the look out for a person to bring it all back as well.

I have co-ordinated with the people who are gifting me the airplane ride home, pinch me, it’s still so surreal, and I’ll be meeting them at their camp on Wednesday of the event at noon.

So I’ll need to be all packed down and tidied up by eleven, giving me an hour to get across to them.

It shouldn’t be terribly difficult.

I’ll be camping at 5:40 and Guild with Anonymous Village.

More specifically I’ll be staying with the ladies of the Wolf Pack.

All my things will be staying there to be transported, by whom TBA, including my playa ride, which I will be loaning to a friend who’s going up with her fiancee–it’s his first burn and he doesn’t have a playa ride.

I got some lovely and sweet news today.

My ride will arrive on playa one week from today.

And.

The front fork has been fixed, my tires pumped up, pedals greased, chain greased, and, holy moly talk about service, my bicycle light batteries recharged.

I was just astounded.

Thank you Thumper!!

I have been so blessed with gifts this Burning Man and I haven’t even gotten out there yet, but it does feel like a miraculous thing, this getting out there.

I know I don’t have to worry about my stuff.

It’s all just stuff and things anyhow.

Yet.

I would be upset if it didn’t come home or it was mishandled, but ultimately as long as I get back safe and sound it doesn’t matter about the rest of it.

Sort of.

I would miss my hats and boots and utility belt, my new shoulder harness, my hair flowers and my make up box.

I would miss all my funny knee socks and silly tights.

But ultimately.

I would be ok if somethings went missing.

I repeat.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Ride to the event.

Early Arrival pass.

Fluffing shifts with Media Mecca.

Dusty Family reunion.

Ride home in a Cessna!

I got the low down on that too.

Aside from the meeting the crew, pilot and one other passenger, and getting to the camp by Wednesday noon.

I’ll meet them at their camp which is 7:30 and A at noon with me, myself, and I and one small carry on bag.

They will take me to the airport, load us up and the we fly to Reno, one hour pit stop for refueling and then back into the air, final destination San Carlos airport.

I didn’t even know there’s an airport in San Carlos.

A little secret.

I didn’t even know where the fuck San Carlos was until I googled it.

Heh.

I can BART and MUNI back to my place.

It’ll take about two hours via public transport.

Possibly more.

I may opt for a car.

Not sure yet and I certainly don’t need to figure it out right now.

The plane will be picking up someone in San Carlos and turning right back around.

They could be back in Black Rock City before I even get home!

I am still in shock that I am packed.

Heh.

I still have to re-pack to go back to Glenn Ellen on Monday.

I have been unpacking and repacking my rolling suitcase a lot for the last couple of weeks.

One more go and then I can put it back in the close for a little while.

Such a good little suitcase, it’s been a lot of places-Paris for six months, Rome for a weekend, London for a weekend, New York for two different weekends, Florida twice to see the moms, Anchorage, Alaska, Minneapolis, Madison a couple of times I think, LA, Chicago.

The little suit case that could.

And so many other short little jaunts here and there.

I’m wondering when it’s going to lose the back wheel, it’s starting to wobble a bit, and that will be the end of her, but until then I’ll be hauling it back out for the last week of work before I go to Burning Man.

All the packing.

Whew.

But.

I really am pretty much done.

Today I got the last few things I needed for playa and a couple of household things that I have needed and went around the Haight to peruse the vintage shops and the Burning Man supply stops and you know what I bought?

Post card stamps.

Heh.

I really don’t need anything and though I tried on a bunch of stuff, there really wasn’t a thing that I wanted.

Oh, I had ideas, but they were all thwarted and I realized as I was wandering the foggy street that it was really nice to know I’m prepared and prepped and my food is waiting patiently in my fridge all nice and frozen and really, all I have to do is the next action in front of me.

And it will all happen.

Right on time.

Like it always does.

OH!

The one thing do I need to do, note to self, PRINT OF MY EARLY ARRIVAL PASS.

There.

I will remember that now.

Thanks.

And.

Good night.

xo

 

 

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OMFG

August 20, 2016

OHMYFUCKINGGOD.

OHMYFUCKINGGOD.

OHMYMOTHERFUCKINGGOD.

Did I read that right?

I think I had to read the message three times because I couldn’t fucking breathe and then I was on the phone so fast it was ridiculous.

To whit.

The following (with certain bits and pieces deleted for anonymity sake) is the message I received this morning.

(This morning when I woke up mildly anxious to figure out how I was going to get off playa.)

Carmen; This is ______, T’s friend from J’s birthday (leader in _______)
 
T told me that you need a ride back from the playa Wednesday
 
We have a commercial pilot in camp, he is bringing his 3 seater personal Cessna
 
He’s flying out Wednesday to the Bay Area to pick up our camp lead’s son and he has a seat on the plane (only room for a small bag so you’d have to send your stuff home with someone else outside of our camp)
 
wanted to offer you this option as your first playa gift…. call me 123-456-7890 if you are interested ❤
Am I interested?
Oh holy sweet Jesus, of course I’m interested!
I don’t think I have ever gotten on a phone so fucking fast in my life.
It rang through and the next thing you know we are chatting like the old friends, as it turns out, old alumni!
She went to UW Madison like me, graduated a year after me, knew all the old haunts, Essen Haus, Angelic Brewing Company, and had in fact, almost not answered the phone because she thought it might be someone soliciting donations from the UW Alumni fund.
I still have my old 608 number from Wisconsin.
Hehehehe.
It was just the most astounding, amazing, over the top offer.
I can’t freaking believe it was offered, that I was given such a gift.
I’m fucking FLYING back from the Black Rock City Airport to an as of yet undisclosed Bay Area airport.
It’s a small plane, so I don’t believe it can land at SFO.
And frankly, I don’t care, I can get a bus, a train, a Lyft, a ride from so many places once I’m back in the area, I am so not worried about that part.
The only hitch is that I have to get someone to bring my gear back from playa to San Francisco.  It’s not much, but it’s stuff, tent, a few bins, a cooler, my air mattress, a folding camp chair.
I will start putting the feelers out tomorrow.
I just didn’t have the band width to do it today.
It was just a great big day all around.
I couldn’t even post it up to social media for a while because I was afraid the offer might suddenly poof!  Disappear and it was just all a figment of my very fertile imagination.
I told a few friends first.
That was fun.
The first person I told was my friend who happened to have coffee a few days back with the lady who gifted me the ride, she told me what had gone down.
They were talking all things Burning Man and my dear friend (who I happened to meet at Burning Man 9 years ago this burn!) mentioned that I was going and that I had to come back early from the event, Wednesday, to be in the city for my school program and that she had no idea how I was going to manage that.
I wasn’t doing too bad on that front, actually.
I had a friend at school offer to pick me up in Reno and get me back from there if I couldn’t find a ride, she would leave for school a day early–she commutes in from Reno–to get me.
I would just have to figure out how to get off playa, get my gear in someone’s vehicle, and manage to connect somewhere in Reno.
Tough.
But not impossible.
Then of course, the impossible happened.
When I talked with my new friend on the phone, go Badgers!  She told me the story and then said, “well, I knew how you were going to get home,” and that’s when she message me.
She was, I swear, almost as happy to gift it to me as I was to receive the gift.
Although, I feel I might have a little edge on being overwhelmingly happy with the turn of events.
Fuck me.
I’m flying home in a Cessna!
I love airplanes.
I love flying.
I secretly would love an airplane someday.
A pilot’s license would be awesome.
I have been up in airplanes before at Burning Man.
I met and befriend a gentleman who goes be Blind Pilot a few years ago and got to go up not once, but twice in his plane.
The thought of getting to fly all the way back to San Francisco is just amazing to me and feels like the chance of a lifetime.
I told a friend tonight and she freaked out a little, “wear a helmet!”
Giggles.
I’m not scared of flying.
I’m just that type of person.
And if I don’t wear a helmet when I’m riding my one speed whip around San Francisco I certainly don’t expect or plan on wearing one in a plane, regardless of how small it is.
I’m so psyched.
I’m so grateful.
I had these moments today that just blew fairy dust and sugar crystals deep, deep, deep into my heart.
Oh, Burning Man, how do I love thee.
Year ten.
Amazing, that.
It’s going to be short, just a four day shot, but my God, it’s really shaping up to be a fantastic burn.
I have some packing to do this weekend, but I’m ready for it, I have a clear schedule with few responsibilities after having canceled my date (which doesn’t mean I’m not up for a date, I just wasn’t able to quite match the schedule of the person who wanted to see me).
I do have to go back to Glenn Ellen on Monday.
I have the option of going on Sunday night, but I think I’m going to let myself sleep here Sunday night and just get up early and commute to work against the traffic.
It should be easier going out of the city.
Not that I’m even going to bother worrying about that.
It’s Friday.
I’m home for the weekend.
And I got a fucking FLIGHT back from the playa.
Luckiest girl in the world.
For real.

Grace Over Drama

July 19, 2016

New favorite acronym.

Just saying.

I realized today as I was scootering to work and practicing what I was going to say to my boss that my fear was that I was going to fuck it up and not say it perfect and that was the reason why I had been waiting, consciously or not, to say my piece.

I had to get it perfect.

Ugh.

Girlfriend.

Haven’t you learned yet?

I don’t have to be perfect.

I am not that powerful, I can’t fuck anything or anyone up.

I’m not God.

I can only show up, do the best I can, speak, and let go of the results.

All of my people were behind me and I did the simplest little thing, the tiniest little change of my behavior and the next thing I know I was able to have a conversation because I had taken my break.

I didn’t ask.

I just took it.

I timed it and made myself sit down the entire time.

Well, except for when I got up to make a cup of tea.

I put everything on the back burner, literally, I was cooking, the boys were either napping or in quiet time, dad wasn’t working from home and mom was busy doing mom stuff.

I just sat.

I realized that knowing what I knew, that I am valuable, and needed and I’m good at my job and that I can ask to be of service to my job, to put into it rather than to take from it, but I can’t be of service without taking care of me.

So.

I asked the mom to help me.

I said I was happy to be flexible week to week during the summer time as long as I was getting the meal break I needed, especially since the boys are out of school, not in summer camp, and I’m working extra hours this week.

I told her that I felt the responsibility was on me to take the break and that I didn’t last week and that by the end of the week I really wasn’t my best self.

That I love my job and my charges and want to be the best I can.

Which means making sure I get a break.

The mom was super chill and easy and it was no big deal.

I was like.

Did I just make a shit load of drama and crash out my weekend for that?

Fuck.

Fear is so over rated.

Grateful beyond belief that I walked through it.

And I found that the family wants me to work for them into the fall and we’ll review again in January.

So.

Work is set.

Now the focus is back on Burning Man.

Like it’s ever really left.

I met with a girlfriend after work and had a nice meal over at Chow and got caught up and we tried to figure out the whole tent deal and the stuff and things.

And.

I don’t know.

It feels complicated and I’m not sure it’s the right answer, but we shall see.

Of course, I then got home and tooled around on the interwebs trying to figure it out.

Ah.

Obsessive thinking, so nice to see you again.

I remind myself that it’s got to be easy, simple is always the answer, simply find a ride, a shelter, a ride back, an early arrival pass, a, oh, fuck, stop it.

It will all come together.

I got the ticket.

Even though I don’t have the ticket yet.

Which I am beginning to wonder about.

There was a charge of $20 for two day secured mail and it’s been a week, plus the weekend, and I’m wondering, where’s my ticket, yo?

Or give me back my $20 cuz I got supplies to buy.

Of which I have managed to buy and set aside a couple of food staples, a parasol, and some baby wipes.

I got a tutu already, chill.

And boots, which I bought way back in February when I thought I was going to be working as a nanny at Star Star Camp.

And a shoulder harness.

Those things, my goggles, my plethora of bandanas, and my tutus, yeah, I have more than one, and I’m pretty set, in fact, costumes, hair stuff, flowers, ribbons, make up, I got that shit covered in spades.

You know.

It’s just the big stuff.

Ride.

Shelter.

Ride back.

Figure out how to get the bicycle there.

Fuck!

I just realized I need to text my OG playa family, the dad was going to drop my bike on Wednesday and I got pulled into working a late day for the family.

Note to self, text in morning.

That being said I do have feelings that things are going to work out in some crazy, sweet, magical way.

Burning Man.

How do I love thee?

Let me count the dusty ways.

The McFishlickers.

Action Girl, Thumper, Junior.

The “commiscary.”

Bacon.

Sunset over the Calico Mountains.

Curley.

The Trash Fence.

Rabbi.

Uncle Boy and the Gerlach Stage Coach.

Hand massage.

Poetry in the twilight.

Star Fuckers.

Anonymous Village.

Camp Stella.

STELLA!

Run Free.

Solar lights on bicycles.

In the inner circle for Man Burn.

Man Crew.

The art placement crew.

All the art.

ALL THE FUCKING ART.

The Hug Deli.

Dream Land.

The Monkeys.

The Temple.

Shadrach’s ashes.

Flying a kite on playa.

Mary Fucking Poppins.

Juno.

Lady Town.

The Nurse.

The Wilsons.

The Love.

The freaking Slug.

Gooey.

Hash marks on the trailer.

Ice cold coconut water left on my step.

Hearing my name shouted out from a passing art car.

All my crazy hair styles.

Tan lines.

Santa Claus at the burn barrel, 6 o’clock keyhole.

The sacred and the profane.

The hot springs pre-event.

Being a fluffer.

Explaining to the over heated gentleman on the Esplanade what a fluffer was.

I think I dashed his hopes.

Ha.

The Elco.

Gigsville.

Media Mecca.

First Camp.

The Poop Deck.

All the characters, all the dust, all the pretty, pretty, pretty people.

Sparkle ponies.

Fire.

Fire.

Fire.

I got my ticket to the circus.

I just need to find my train there.

I’ll be waiting at the station with my small stack of colorful clear bins stuffed with striped socks, goggles, crinolines, makeup, flowers, and joy.

Lots.

And lots.

And lots.

Of.

Joy.

Can’t wait!

Seriously.

Ready.

Not really.

But totally.

Ready.

Set.

Go!

Looking Forward To Seeing

July 12, 2016

You in Black Rock City!

Welcome home!

But first I need to fleece your wallet.

Fuck me.

$541.10.

Yikes.

But.

Fuck it.

What’s a few bucks?

I would regret it so much if I didn’t go, I’m supposed to be there and there is the off chance I may be given a ticket anyway.

I won’t count on it, that’s a great way to cop a big fat resentment.

But should it happen.

I will sell the one I just bought and use that money to buy myself a nice tent.

That was my compromise to myself when I was looking at the money.

And I have it in savings.

I would have to dip into my prudent reserve, but fuck it.

I am only living once, I want to live it fully.

Besides.

When I think off all the fun that I am going to have.

I mean.

It’s going to be a very different experience for me not working the event.

I mean, what the fuck am I going to do without having something or some kind of job out there define me and my experience?

I might just go to Burning Man for reals.

And although I am not able to go for the full event, I will still be getting four possibly five days of the event to experience.

Which is also more than I have had to experience in years.

Granted I have been up on very long runs, 21, 22, 23 days in a row.

Working always and having very little time off.

Coming back destroyed from the event, exhausted, sick, crazed a little, wondering why I did it again this way.

I’m quite curious to see what it will feel like to be completely autonomous at Burning Man.

To not be on a schedule or tied to camp, to come and go as I please could be really fucking fun.

That’s not to say that I haven’t had fun my other events, I have, I have had a lot of fun, I have also worked my fucking ass off and broken down a few times.

Emotional catharsis is a good thing but it does’t have to be a big burden of the event for me.

I want to go and be free and easy and breezy and light and bright and all things wonderful.

Oh I know.

There’s going to be dust and tiredness and crazy emotional swings, that happens but there is possibility here that I haven’t had before and a kind of joy, such joy, that I get to go.

There a plenty of folks who don’t like the way the event has changed or won’t go anymore or feel like something has been lost, or God, it was better last year, but I don’t feel that way.

I still feel like a kid in a candy shop with a handful of coins ready to buy my hearts desire for a few pennies.

Plus.

So excited to see friends that I really only see when I am out there.

The great big dusty family reunion.

I’ve started taking some actions toward finding a ride.

I did explore the ride board on the event site a little, but I’m hoping to catch a ride within the community of my fellows who are going.

I got one offer, but he was going up days earlier than I and staying all the way through the event.

I suspect I am going to have to get a ride up with one person and get a ride back with another.

Not that many people will be leaving the event Wednesday, and though I don’t want to leave that early, I do have school to be going to and the Mike Doughty concert with my friends Thursday night, and at least the drive out won’t be a grid lock of cars.

I will hopefully get all the dust off me so the audience doesn’t spend it’s time sneezing during the show.

I posted to a couple of camps that I used to camp with and have friends at, but aside from the one offer, nothing more yet.

It will fall into place.

I know it.

And for tonight.

I don’t have to figure it out.

I did the big action, even though I balked for a moment, I took the action, and I bought the ticket and vehicle pass–the taxes and the vehicle pass bumped up the price, the ticket is $390–I’m hoping that I can offer the vehicle pass as incentive to get a ride.

Anyway.

It’s done.

I’m going.

And for the rest of tonight I’ll just be thinking about my outfit for tomorrow night.

I’m going to see Diana Ross!

I got a message asking me if I wanted to go and got me and a plus one and got free tickets and I asked a friend from school and he said yes, so I’ll be heading to the Orpheum Theater tomorrow night after work to see the lovely and supreme Ms. Ross.

I joked with my friend about how big I was going to try and get my hair.

Unfortunately, though, I’ll be arriving via scooter and will have helmet head.

But that won’t stop me from throwing it up in a big messy bun and sticking a bunch of flowers and shiny things in it.

Plus.

Ahem.

My disco platform shoes that I bought in New Orleans?

Oh yes.

Those will be coming out of the closet.

I have to be fabulous.

It’s Diana  Ross for fuck’s sake.

There is not excuse to not be.

In the name of love.

So apt.

So true.

So excited to see my life unfold, big and bright, wild and huge.

A little like Diana’s hair.

Heh.

Luckiest girl in the world.

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.

From The Playa

September 8, 2015

To La Playa.

I’m not sure how it happened.

We were rolling down the street looking for a parking place.

He turned the wheel of the RV left and we were on La playa.

We had just left the playa.

The playa at Burning Man.

It’s been a long, strange, dreamy, love trip.

I’m not sure how this blog is going to go, I’m not sure what rabbit hole I fell down into.

But fell I did.

It’s been a while since I have posted a blog, or written a blog, and I have to say, I have missed it, and I have not missed it.  I have missed the daily practice of sitting and organizing my thoughts and sorting through my feelings, but I feel a feeling that I am loath to say.

I don’t want to share with you.

I don’t want to tell.

I want the secret space between here and there to be sacred.

“I woke up and there was a Carmen shaped hole next to me,” he said to me last night after coming back into the RV.

It was cold up at Donner Pass and we snuggled together in the twilight that seeped through the black out curtains on the vehicle–it was still covered in shade and playa dust guards, there was still plenty of dust left from our journey back into the world.

But.

For a moment here.

A moment there.

There was no other person.

No other place.

I was completely present with one person.

We had met Friday night.

It was a cold night.

He was dressed up like Santa Claus.

I had just left the Cafe at Center Camp.

It was a cold night and it had been a dusty day, horrid with dust, knock down scary with dust, white out dust, screaming dust tornadoes, knocked over shade structures, throttled with dust, broken with dust.

I had been pretty wiped out by it, especially after my bicycle broke down on the way back from spending time with friends at AV, a village a lot of my friends were camped out at, and was a bit demoralized by the time I had gotten back to camp.

It was far later in the day than I had anticipated getting back and I missed saying good-bye to Junebug and her mama, who had, smartly, avoided the imminent dust storm and hopped off playa before it hit.

When my bike broke I gamely walked it for a while and thought, no biggie, I’ll just take my time and walk it back to camp, but I was on the other side of the world and by the time I had gotten to First Camp I was done with it.

I popped my head into a few places looking for folks I knew, but no one was to be found, all hunkered down with the storm blowing about.

I made it to Media Mecca and stashed my bicycle in the back.

I went in and gratefully found friends.

One of whom, thank you lovely Minx, gave me and my broke bike a ride back to camp on a dusty golf cart.

I arrived dusty, late, and a bit broken from the weather.

Junie was gone, Mama Grace was gone, the camp was rocking with the dust storm and I was exhausted.

I hugged Papa Tom and crawled into the trailer where my fairy godmother and father were graciously allowing me to stay.

I was cold and dusty and tired and wiped the fuck out.

I pulled off my boots and gingerly started wiping the layers of dust off my face.

It took some time.

I ate an apple.

It was dusty.

Everything was dusty.

I am still dusty now, as I write, I can imagine and feel it, and there is no describing it, it does not matter how many pictures you see online or how many descriptions of it there are to read about, until you have lived through a white out dust storm at Black Rock City, you will just never quite comprehend it.

I’m sorting my feelings and thoughts as I write and I know this blog is a bit disjointed.

I am a bit disjointed.

Although I am showered and I have done all my laundry–three loads washed and dried and folded.  I have gone to the grocery store up the street and bought a few provisions for my house.  I have called and checked in with some folks and taken messages from some other folks.

But my thoughts are often with him.

Mister Claus.

The twinkle in his green eyes and the way he held me close.

I get a head of myself.

Even with no expectations of further engagement, though I am sure there will be, I have a jumble of thoughts and feelings and the price for having been so open and honest and available to someone, the effects have yet not been sorted and this sad, distracted little blog is just a way to sort through the photographs of him in my head.

Four days of spending time with a person is a long time.

Four days at Burning Man is forever.

Was it four days?

Three and a half.

Starting when we met Friday evening to this afternoon, Monday, we spent every moment together.

Exceptions were few, a bathroom break, I took a shower–in the most janky shower contraption ever–while he took a nap, a bicycle ride across playa on Sunday to break down my camp while he broke down his, with these exceptions, we spent every moment together.

From the moment he kissed me at the burn barrel in the six o’clock keyhole outside of Center Camp Cafe.

Until the moment he kissed me goodbye in front of my house this afternoon around 1:30/2pm.

We spent the moments together.

We spent every day together.

We spent every night together.

We rode our bicycles out to deep playa and back.

We went to the Baa’s art car and watched the burn from the top of a gigantic sheep.

We snuggled at Dream Land.

We told each other endless stories under the stars, under the roof of the RV, entwined around each other for body heat and comfort–it was the coldest event I have been to in years.

We walked through the Temple together, the cafe together, around First Camp together.

I showed him the secret spots and introduced him to friends.

We told each other tall tales and laughed and giggled, and ugh, I even snorted, he got me laughing so hard a few times.

It was a grand old-time.

And I am not sure how to reconcile it all and I don’t know that I want to share all the details either.

I just don’t.

Some things belong in my heart.

“Keep yourself open,” he said to me today.

He said so many things to me.

He held up a mirror and I saw myself, sans makeup–when was the last time I spent so much time with someone and did not wear makeup?  I had no time to put on a face, he saw it all, every dusty bit of it, and accepted it, embraced it, pleasured it, hugged it, kissed it.

There was nothing I hid or tried to hide.

I was open.

And perhaps that is what Burning Man does.

Or.

Perhaps it is what I allow to happen in my life when I say, fuck the dust, go out dancing, play with your friends, ride your bike into the wind and when a stranger throws a log onto the fire and asks if you have been a “good girl this year,” I can smile and say.

Yes.

I was a very good girl.

And.

I was given the most amazing gift.

A gift that has no strings, no direction, no expectations attached.

Just the sweetness of being in a man’s arms who held me tighter than I have been held in some time and fed me with words and desire and made me see exactly how far I have come.

I have come so far.

I don’t know when I work tomorrow.

I don’t know what I have to do for school–Friday is the first day of the school year, the official start.

I don’t know if I will see Santa again.

But I believe.

I have faith.

I believe in magic.

I have lived to tell the tale.

Even if I have kept some of the details to myself.

I hold them all in the crucible of my heart.

And will move forward with them there, gently held in that space between the bowl of the dusty playa sky and the warm omnipotence of the ocean blue where he left me on the doorstep to a new way of being.

Seen.

Accepted.

Embraced.

Known.

And kissed.

Oh.

So.

Very well.

Kissed.

Gone Fishing

August 27, 2015

Officially.

When this blog is done.

I’m out.

Ten days people.

No blog.

So get it now.

See you in the dust people.
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See you later alligator.

Get ‘Er Done

August 25, 2015

Good god damn, I’m good.

Or I’m on fire.

Or I’m just hella fast at typing.

Perhaps a little of all of the above.

I just finished my third of four papers that need to be done before I head out to that thing in the desert.

I wrote a ten page, 3,226 page document in, wait for it, 2.25 hours.

How do I know it was that fast?

The professor asked that we e-mail her an empty message at some point after the retreat ended so that she had our e-mail address in her address book.

I did e-maile her this evening.

I got a response to said e-mail while I was writing the reaction paper and when I sent off my paper it was approximately two hours and fifteen minutes later according to the time date stamp on the first e-mail message she sent.

The paper just flew out of my fingers, in fact, I was about to become one of those people whom she had warned about, the person who has so much to say that they write more than the required amount.

There was a firm limit of ten pages on the paper and I wrote ten.

I could have written more.

There was so much ground to cover that I only got to a few things, the things most important to me, the things that I learned the most from, the conflict wherein i had the most difficulties navigating and all the lessons therein.

I learned a lot.

In the group, not so much in the paper, writing the paper just allowed me to flesh it out, to put the words to the feelings, to tell the story of my experience.

I don’t doubt that every single person in my group has a story to tell and a riveting experience of learning.

Or not.

Maybe I was the only one, though I am self-centered, I am not that self-centered.

I learned a lot because I put myself out there a lot, I was in the hot seat a lot, I initiated and I got into the mix.

It wasn’t always what I thought and I wasn’t always graceful, I fell on my face a lot, I made a lot of assumptions–you know those things that make an “ass” out of “u” and “me.”  Man, did I make a lot of those and I had no idea that I was making them until my fellow group members started pointing them out.

I made mistakes, but I learned from them.

I fell down, but I got back up and I got back in the dance and it was with much gratitude that I wrote the paper.

I feel really good about getting it done as well as it is one less thing on my plate before I go to Burning Man.

I am really excited.

The count down is beginning.

My bins are pretty much packed, I’m getting picked up early Thursday morning, 7 a.m. or 7:30 a.m.

Hell I would be wiling to get picked up earlier than that, I am ready to get out of dodge.

I do have one last paper to write and I will do that tomorrow.

I almost attempted to sneak it in tonight, but my head is no longer in that space and I would need to readjust my brain to get into another paper.

I’m not worried about it either, it’s a short guy and will clock in at two pages, max three.

It’s actually a two-part paper, the first part is 1-2 pages in length, the second is a proposal and is no more than one page in length.  So, en toto, three pages.

I can have that done in less than an hour and while it would have felt great to get another one knocked off, my juice for the paper writing is not there and I wanted to have a little candy left over for my blog.

Speaking of blog I am having serious considerations of not bringing my laptop to the event.

This would be the first time in many, many, many years, that I would not bring it out.

First, I am uncertain that I want to risk it being out there, I just bought this baby, my Macbook Air, and I want to have it for the entirety of my graduate school career.  I have no idea what the dust could do to it, but I know that it can frizzle electronics pretty bad.

Second, I may not have internet access.

I have worked the last six years in areas where I was able to get onto the internet via those I was working for.

I told myself yesterday that I would not take my laptop.

I told myself today that I would.

I am in a quandary.

Then I think, maybe I need to have a different experience, maybe the blog needs a break, I mean, maybe I need a break from the blog, really unplug myself and go out there and experience the magic sans internet and facecrack and social media.

I mean really get off the grid and be in the moment.

I don’t know yet, but I suspect my heart does and I may allow myself to put down this sweet baby to allow myself a new and different adventure at Burning Man.

I realized too that I am better prepared than I have been in, well, ever.

Despite having a posh ass place to stay the last two years, I really felt so compelled to work and make things happen that I did not allow myself a lot of leeway with what I brought and what I bought.

Plus, I have accumulated the stuffs now, I have the things that I are nice to have, but not necessary to the experience, but still really nice to have–a shoulder harness, a utility belt, a furry blanket (I need to bring a pillow and I am wondering if I will sacrifice one of my bed pillows to the cause), lots of socks–I mean lots, I have more socks than there are days on playa, but it’s always nice to have extra socks and if I decide I need an outfit change I will have the matching stripes, polka dots, hearts, flowers, argyle, checks, or solids, to do the outfit due justice.

And most important.

My tea kettle and favorite tea are packed as well as two bags of really good coffee.

I’m ready.

I’m almost done with the paper writing and having knocked the big gun out-of-the-way tonight I feel I can breathe a little easier and enjoy the rest of the time here in Glen Ellen with the family.

But.

Burning Man.

I’m coming for you.

I’m ready to get dusty.

La Vie En Rose

August 23, 2015

It’s back.

My hair is pink.

Manic Panic Hot Hot Pink.

And it’s a bout to get hotter in here.

I am currently sitting here with another dose of the hair dye on my head under a turned inside out plastic storage bag.

I know.

Sexy.

How can you stand not being here with me and my pink bag of hair?

Ha.

Everything is coming up roses.

The literal translation of La Vie En Rose is “Life in Pink.”

But it means more than that, “life in rosy hues” is a nice translation; so too, “life through rose-colored glasses.”

I don’t always think of Edith Piaf, the French singer who sang the famous song, although I have some of her music, I think of Grace Jones on the cover of Island Life, an album that my Aunt Marybeth had and one that I envied to the point of buying it when I had the capacity to do so.

I also envied my aunt’s voice, and her softball throwing arm, playing catch with her in the back yard in Windsor I was amazed at the strength in that arm.

I loved listening to her sing the Grace Jones album and had no idea that it was a cover.

I did not know it for many years.

It stayed with me though, the life of the exotic, the hint of something more beyond the back yard of the house in Windsor, a small square of color and light out of the world of Wisconsin that I lived in.

I like to think that I live that life now, the life through rose-colored glasses and yes, I do think I have an idea for my next tattoo.

La vie en rose in script across my collar bones with pink roses.

It’s a thought anyway.

For today it will suffice that I was able to get done a great deal of things that will allow me to transition from work to the playa with greater ease than I believe I have ever had.

Of course I have had the help of many friends to do this.

My playa family, dad and junior, came and picked up my playa bike, freshly pumped tires and a readjusted bicycle basket with zip ties securing it to the handle bars and zip ties reinforcing the new purple pennant I will be flying across the violet indigo twilight.

I am so very excited to go.

Sad too.

I am going to miss my friend that I have gotten to hang out with a bit today and last night–he’s been giving me rides and helping me secure things and I cannot express how grateful I am for his help.

It takes a village to get me to Burning Man.

But the going is happening and in very short order too.

I will be leaving early Thursday morning.

How early depends on when I get picked up.

My friend offered to drive me over to Berkeley when we were originally discussing it, but he’s got to be in Stockton at 7:30 a.m. and that is not going to happen.  I will need the family to scoop me.  Either on the way out-of-town or grab and go to Berkeley.

I can’t possibly take all my stuff on BART.

I don’t have that much stuff, but I have too much stuff for that.

I, of course, have the most important stuff already packed and much to my chagrin, I was not able to have it ready for the dad when he came to grab my playa bike.

The back yard has been getting some major work done and there were three working guys coming in and out and I could not find my bins in the re-arranging of things in the garage.

I also had a vague memory of one of my bins finally combusting upon re-entry last year from the burn and thought, well, perhaps I had thrown out all my bins with that one.

It turns out, that they were underneath a lot of stuff and I just missed them in the looking, but I got it packed after my bike had left to get situated in Berkeley, and it contains some of the fun stuff: a leopard print shrug coat with a hot pink satin lining (which, why, yes, does match my hair), a soft fuzzy sky blue blanket, a long vintage hot pink sweater jacket that is circa 1962 and a fucking fabulous find at Establish on Noriega and 46th for $12, my goggles, my utility belt, a shoulder harness for days/nights when I don’t want to wear a holster, a small Caboodle box (yes, I have a Caboodle, shut up) of nail polishes, and my playa boots.

What more does a girl need?

Well.

Hair flowers, ribbons, fedoras (4 total) a fascinator–that I wore to the Steampunk Masquerade Ball at Nimby a few months back that will be making a return to another masquerade ball on playa, baby wipes, sun block, and a box full of makeup.

Yes.

I will be bringing food too.

But, that won’t get packed until the last-minute and I will also be doing a hit and run on the Whole Foods in Reno for fresh stuff–apples, carrots, any other fruit that can last a few days out there–nothing perishable like peaches or berries though, it will die upon hitting the playa.

I do have frozen fruit though and yes, a bag full of frozen coffee ice cubes that I let myself have a treat with earlier today in between getting back from running errands down town and running up to Target in the early evening for storage bins.

I do not like Target.

But I had no other options.

I get panicky in big box stores.

I could feel that I was getting a bit weirded out and when my friend asked me if I needed anything else I could tell all I wanted was to get the hell out and even if I had anything else, it didn’t matter, getting out was what mattered.

I did however, get everything on my list and for all intents and purposes, I’m done with procuring the supplies.

Now all I have to do is pack the rest of the stuff up, which just means transferring my closet to the bins and then, away I go.

It’s been a lot, but as I have walked through my day with my head full of pink curls I have felt buoyant and light, happy and joyful and excited.

There have been pockets of sad and some feels have come up.

But.

Heh.

Guess who got their period a week early?

Yup.

Thank God.

I was dreading the idea of dealing with it on playa and yes, I know I just wrote about that and I had enough sense to masturbate before it hit, oh did I write that too?

Ha.

Not like I am going to do it at work, hello.

And it’s been a stressful month, I realized that I needed to well, um, de-stress, and so I did and then I got the news from my body and well, it’s all good.

I’ll be on playa by the time it ends and my hair will look fabulous, and I’ll be ready to actually enjoy that thing in the desert.

In fact.

I am really looking forward to it.

I think I may be able to unwind out there better than I have here.

Irony, no?

It’s Late

August 22, 2015

And I’m wide awake.

I drank coffee too late this evening.

I knew I was courting a disaster, but I could not help myself.

My ride pulled into a strip mall somewhere outside of San Francisco before the Golden Gate Bridge crossing to use the loo and I hit the Starfucks.

Yes, please, a tall cup of crazy.

But.

I needed it and I am ultimately not too bad off.

Yes, I am up late and I feel a touch wired, but I also would have been up late any how getting myself rearranged as I just got back to the city.

I’ve been gone since the 9th or 8th, I forget which, and it’s been a long time from my cozy home and my steady routine.

God damn.

It’s nice to be in my house.

And it’s also so nice to be playing music.

I did not have much music time while I was at the grad school retreat and I have not had much, none really, at work while being in Glen Ellen.

Wow.

I just looked up from the screen and wow, I’ll say it again, I love l my little house.

It is so sweet and clean and just me, just mine, just a little bungalow down by the sea.

The smell of the ocean as I crossed the bridge, ah, home, I rolled down the window and hung my head out and sucked in the cool fog and salt air and was grateful to once again be rolling over a bridge heading into San Francisco.

I am not here for very long, tonight, tomorrow, half the day on Sunday.

I am going to be cramming a lot of stuff in the next few days, although, yes, that’s right, no homework.

As I have gotten the two biggest papers out-of-the-way I can breathe a tiny bit and give myself the next day and a half to prep for the playa.

I am prepping now as I type.

Oh yeah.

It’s that time.

Going pink.

I whipped out the last jar of Manic Panic in the medicine cabinet that I have been saving for just such a moment and went to town.

I actually think I may have to get another jar, my hair is more blonde than the last time I did it, lots of swimming in the pool, lots of sunlight on my hair over the last few weeks, and although I have successfully dyed it pink before with a jar or less of Manic Panic, it sucked it up so much that I don’t know if the color is going to be true.

One of my errands to do tomorrow is to hit the nail salon and get the digits done and the face waxed.

I so need it.

Partially because I miss the pampering of it and partially since it’s been more than a few weeks since i have been anywhere close to a nail salon.

My nail and waxing spot also happens to carry Manic Panic, so if it doesn’t take tonight, I’ll pick up another jar and go at it again.

This will be the last time though for a while.

It’s a luxury and I am going to be keeping things to a tight budget for my spending while I am in school.

I don’t really have a lot of other Burning Man errands to run, although I have prep to do.

My Burning Man family will be coming over tomorrow in the morning to get my playa bike and anything that I have packed and ready to go.

Which right now is basically nothing.

But.

As I explained to my friend I don’t have to pack a bunch of costumes and I don’t have bins of stuff.

I just open my closet and put the clothes that I have in my closet in a container or three and that’s my costumes.

I don’t have a “Burniform” I just go as I am.

Granted, with pink hair.

Or purple.

Or blue.

Or rainbow-colored.

But I just go as me.

Sans a few layers of clothing so that you can see I am wearing frilly underwear, but that’s about it.

Although if I had the time I would be inclined to get something extra and fun for the playa.

I have been invited out to cotillion and also to a beauty pageant.

I have no gown.

I have no tiara.

Neither does my friend who told me of the pageant, so I’m not overly concerned.

But.

I am excited.

I haven’t made plans like this to do stuff at Burning Man in years and years and years.

I am always working and while I will be working this burn as well, it won’t be the same as it has been in the past and I’ll have a lot more free time to actually go to Burning Man.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with myself, but I am excited to have the opportunity to go and play in a way I haven’t in the last 8 years.

Yup.

This will make burn number 9.

Kind of amazing.

I am one of “those” people.

And.

I fucking love it.

I love my pink hair and flowers and glitter and dressing up and makeup and smiling and being me times 150.

I love participating and seeing people who I only see at Burning Man–even when they and I live in the Bay Area–and having a big old dusty love reunion.

I love dancing and riding my bicycle and singing off-key and telling stories.

And I would love to be kissed.

REALLY KISSED.

I miss kissing.

I miss making out.

I feel like this is my last chance before graduate school swallows me whole.

I want romance and love and kissing and flirting and fanning about and silliness and sweetness and magic.

You know.

The usual.

Me and my pink hair and my great big open heart.

I can’t wait.

I am so excited and I am so grateful that I get to make this mad dash back to San Francisco, then back to Glen Ellen for work for three days, then back to San Francisco and then off to Black Rock City.

I am grateful I had a cup of coffee and that I  got to dye my hair.

I am grateful I get to do my nails tomorrow and buy a lip gloss or 18.

I am happy to get to see my Burning Man family and hug them and make sure the zip ties on my bike basket will hold.

I am grateful, over the moon, and utterly graced that I get to go.

Big deep breath.

All the things are falling into place.

The stars are aligning.

And every thing is coming up.

Well.

Ha.

Pink.


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