Posts Tagged ‘Boogaloos’

And So It Begins

July 28, 2015

Not once.

But twice today.

Messages on social media from folks I don’t know.

“Hey, so and so mentioned I should talk to you about getting a ticket to Burning Man, it’s my first time!  I’m terribly excited, the Universe has conspired to get me to go and I need two tickets, can’t wait to meet you on playa!!!!!!”

Heart emoticon.

Smiley face.

Exclamation point.

People.

Come on.

I don’t have a special in.

I mean, I got one certain trick I can do, and that’s about getting myself a ticket.

Nobody else.

Now.

I won’t lie, I have facilitated a few people getting tickets to the event.

I tipped off a friend one year to the low-income ticket and she applied to it and got it.

But that really has nothing to do with me other than I passed on some information that might be considered pertinent.

This year I did actually help a friend by connecting him to a former camp mate of mine who had an extra ticket and it was such a random event of just happening to see via social media after having just talked to my friend who needed a ticket and I connected the two, but they did all the heavy lifting.

Note to general public.

Like you, mister, on my Instagram feed.

I don’t have access to tickets.

The box office at Burning Man does.

And the OH MY GOD sale is about to happen, so that’s like your best bet.

Get yourself a subscription to the Jack Rabbit Speaks, the Burning Man newsletter and find out how to get on the STEP program–the Secure Ticket Exchange Program–if you want to get access to kind souls who may have a spare.

That’s another way as well, but commenting on a photo from last years event wondering if perhaps I could, you know, help a brother out, is not how you’re going to get in.

I mean.

Maybe someone somewhere gets that kind of deal.

But I’m not your lady.

So just stop.

Funny thing, I could actually use a spare myself.

I have a friend whose birthday and anniversary are coming up and happen to fall during the event, I would love to get him out there.

But.

Just so you know, I’m not about to go search the web for hashtags with Burning Man in it and beg for special Universal dispensation.

In a way, that sort of mysterious gift has already been given to me when the mom and the little bug, not so little anymore, reached out and said, all that longing I had poured out into a blog was heard and they wanted me to join their camp before someone else cottoned onto the fact that my schedule had become open and I could go to the event.

I wasn’t sure until I found out what my graduate school schedule was going to be.

Aside.

I got four books in the mail today.

Three more to go.

And fortunately of the four that came today are the two that I must have done a bit of reading in for the retreat week.

One of the book in its entirety and the other about three chapters.

It’s an intense amount of reading, but as I look at the stack,  I know I can do it, just like I know when I sit down to the pair page, the words will come.

I don’t always know where they come from, they just come.

The reading will be the same.

I will find the pattern and the times that work best for me.

End aside.

And I am going to damn enjoy my Burning Man this year.

I ran into a dear friend today in the Mission who I have not seen since last year’s event, and we caught up and she met my charges, we were on our way to Boogaloos for lunch, and we dished about the event, when we were headed up, what we were doing–she’s going to be on Gate for the first time, me as a nanny.

“But I heard through the grapevine that you’re not working that much?”

Nope.

Four shifts.

And maybe there will be more, but it won’t be like it was last year.

I explained to my friend the 22 our of 23 days that I worked last year, plus, let me not put too fine a point on it, but I worked the full week before I left for the event as well.

In essence I worked a month with one day off.

And that day off was total emotional upheaval and the storm that froze up the playa for a full day and had me stuck in the commissary, worse places to be for sure, I know, for five hours while the rain poured and the lighting smashed and the thunder shook the air and yes, it did hail too.

But that emotional upheaval, well, fuck, it was so worth it.

I mean.

I am looking at a stack of graduate school readers and psychology texts.

It was at Burning Man last year that I had it tossed at me, “well, what’s your part, this same thing happened last year with these folks, who came back and worked for them again?  You did.  What are you going to do different?”

There was a lot more to it than this, but he ended the speech with, “you’re a child psychologist getting paid babysitter wages, what are you going to do about it?  Do you have an undergraduate degree?”

I said I did.

I do.

“Well, go to grad school, kiddo, and find another job in the mean time, this one isn’t so good for you.”

And they are not bad people, the folks I was working for, we just weren’t the best match, and I wasn’t happy.

I gave notice, got a new job, and applied to graduate school.

I got accepted.

I got a $30,000 scholarship.

I got financial aid for the rest, $60,000, but who’s counting?

And I got a ticket to go to Burning Man.

But I don’t have one for you.

Just saying.

But should the Universe comply, happy face, smile, heart emoji, I’ll see you on playa!!!!!!!!!!!

Ahem.

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Just Tell Me Your Story

June 3, 2013

What ever you feel comfortable with, just let me know, start where ever you want and tell me about yourself.

A little while later I realized that it had been a while since anyone had heard the full story.

And I had not even given him the full story, I did a damn good job, but there were little parts left out here and there and I tried to keep things relevant to my creative process and the work that I do writing and how I got to where I am at, writing every day, blogging every day, attempting to take photographs every day, even when I believe I need that extra space in my messenger bag for groceries and not my camera.

I still take photographs every day.

Street Art

Street Art

This for instance was a stencil on a sidewalk outside of Duboce Park Cafe where I was headed to my third coffee of the day, but I get ahead of myself.

I met with my friend today at Boogaloos on Valencia and 22nd and we got caught up.

I had the tofu scramble with home fries and ranchero sauce and sliced tomatoes instead of the biscuit, coffee with soy milk, and great conversation.

All of which was vegan.

Two months.

I realized that today, I have been vegan for two months.  This may mark the longest stretch of time that I have ever gone vegan.  I have done vegetarian a number of times, but neither flavor for longer than a few weeks.

Not that I was super meat centric, until I was in Paris, shocker, but I do feel good with it.

And, again, shocker, it’s a lot easier being a vegan in the Bay area than it may be anywhere else in the world.

We caught up and discussed a little bit of the project that he was doing and what it would entail, taking some photographs, doing a video, answering some questions, a basic interview, and telling my story.

We took a load of photographs in front of the corner building on Hill Street, which is a law office in yellow brick.

Thank God for digital.

I joked with my friend that I could never be a model since I have no idea about how to present myself, or how to work my angles.

I am usually looking off into the distance or making a face or my mouth is wide open in laughter.

Yup.

There were a lot of those photos in the group that he took; however, with a little patience and some gentle coaching, “inhale through your nose and exhale, relax your face, look to the right, then at the camera,” I was able to take a few shots that I believe may be flattering.

I had dithered around this morning trying to figure out what to wear and I realized as I was sifting through my slight wardrobe, that it did not matter, dress in what I normally would wear.

Leggings it was, a short teal t-shirt dress, a screen print t-shirt with a bicycle on it from an arts collective in Oakland, and my hair in pigtails, with yes, heart-shaped earrings in blue sparkle.

Add my messenger bag to the mix and my bicycle and you have me.

Voila.

After taking photos we retired to Ritual Coffee Roasters and scored the back couch in the rear of the coffee-house.  It may be my favorite spot to settle in, with a book, or a friend, or a confidant.  I realized that I have made a lot of important life decisions on that couch.

In fact, I was able to describe to my friend exactly the conversation I had with John Ater when I made the decision to quit the bicycle shop and travel and take photographs and write–it was on the same couch.

I have sat and cried on that couch, caught up with friends over shots of espresso, sipped lattes (when I was still drinking milk) with girl friends, made life altering decisions, read important big books on that couch, done intense writing, taken suggestions.

I have lived a great deal from that coffee shop.

Calvin and I have had lattes on the side-walk in front of the shop window blasting old Michael Jackson on a boom box.

I have played dominoes there, snuggled with one very cute boy in the window, drank spicy sweet chai with Shadrach there, when I still was imbibing sugar and Shadrach was still around to drink coffees with.

I was glad to have a comfortable forum to retell my story.

The Americano went down smooth and I got into the details.

My life, so many details, so many words.

Again and again, as I look at how my life has unfolded, from leaving the Bay Area when I was a little girl to traveling back, once, twice, and now thrice, may this third time returning be the charm (and the last time I leave), to all the adventures I have had along the way, I am amazed.

One that I am here at all.

So many things conspired against me to even be here at all seems like a sort of miracle.

If life was fair, I would be dead.

I ain’t dead yet and I don’t plan on going that way anytime soon.

There are no mistakes.

A little Asian girl with a pacifier in her mouth, bright yellow daisy flowers, pink rim, wide dark brown eyes, toddled over to me and asked to explore my bag.

Her mom, not her birth mom, came over and explained to me what was going on.

I smiled and nodded, and said, “I know what she wants, I am a professional nanny, she’s fine, she’s not bothering me at all.”

I wanted to tell the mom it was going to be all right, but I don’t know that for her, I just know that for me.

I let the little girl explore my messenger bag and look at my water bottle and we chatted, well I chatted and she nodded at what I was saying, while my friend wrapped up the notes he had been taking about my life and my story, discreetly taking out his camera and shooting a few more photographs.

It does not even feel like my story, it’s just an experience, a living, a lust for saying yes and allowing myself to be authentically me.

That is how I love myself, I let myself be myself.

Whether that is flirting with a beautiful little girl and talking to her with a smile on my face and acknowledging her curiosity or allowing my own, it does not matter.

I wear my heart on my sleeve and that is why I get to continue to tell this story.

It’s yours as much as mine.

And I know a great couch to sit on while we get caught up.


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