Posts Tagged ‘burner’


April 6, 2017


Congratulations Burner!

Hello Carmen,

You’ve been awarded a Low Income Ticket to Burning Man 2017: Radical Ritual. 

Here’s what you need to know about your Low Income Ticket:

Holy toledo

The best news ever.

Well, maybe not ever, but.




Not excited.

Not even a little bit.

Not even.


Who the hell am I kidding.

Over the motherfucking moon.

I’m going.

11th year in a row.

It’s a special year for me too.

It’s Shadrach’s tenth anniversary of his passing.

He’s the reason why I went to my first burn.

“You really should go to Burning Man, you are such a burner,” he told me at my first Decompression party.

He had a loft in the Dog Patch neighborhood, close to Esprit Park where the Decompression Party is held annually, the after Burning Man party, which until I went to Burning Man was super exciting until I went to Burning Man and then it’s a little anti-climatic.

One of the best San Francisco street parties.


It cannot hold a candle to the actual event.

I mean.

What the hell can?

There is nothing like it on Earth and every year that I get to go I am excited and nervous and I don’t know if I’m going to e able to swing it this year and then.



I do.

Even when I was only able to go for four days last year.

I still went.

I have been out as long as 23 days.

That’s when it starts to get weird, FYI.

My burn this year will be the standard event.

When I was there for long stints of time, 14 days, 18 days, 19 days, two years in a row of 21 days, the infamous year of 23 days that was one of the worst dust storm years ever and long, slow, painful hours stuck in a trailer, I was working.

This year.


This year, this lady is not working.

No “Working Man” for me.

I mean.

It’s always a lot of work, no matter how you slice it, I spend a lot of time getting prepared, but I won’t be tied to any job this year, I won’t be nannying, I won’t be doing a thing but enjoying the event.

I even pulled a few shifts last year, though they felt pretty negligible, I helped where I could and I’m not the person who shirks from work, I’ll help out where I can when I go this year too, but I won’t be working scheduled shifts.

I’m going to Burning Man.

Pinch me.

I need supplies!

I need a new bike.


Although resigned to the loss of my playa bike, I am still sad to be without her and I will be sourcing a new bicycle.


I will also be sourcing a ride there and back.

I do have a parking pass.


That’s a nice thing, I can exchange that or give that to anyone who can give me a ride.

The ride will come together.

My gear will come together.

I really have the majority of it anyway.

I have my own tent, I have an air mattress, a cooler, clothes, boots, bandanas, hats, camp chair, flowers for my hair.

I will need to get a bicycle.

A new air pump for my air mattress.

And possibly a second cooler.

I did well with one cooler last year, but I was just up there four days, I may need a second one, nothing to be super concerned about.

The bicycle will be the first acquired thing, the rest will follow.

I already have a coffee date with a lovely Siren from Siren’s Cove, the camp that flew me home last year, that was one hell of a gift let me tell you, when I posted up on social media that I had scored a low-income ticket she immediately requested girl time coffee date at Center Camp Cafe.

I was like.


Yes, please.

Oh my God.

This is going to be some kind of crazy new experience for me.

Not having to be tied to anything, being able to hang out, not having responsibilities, I mean, other than keeping myself alive and hydrated.


I am going to have all the adventures.


Of them.


A friend of mine laughed when I posted the announcement as well, gently giving me shit about how I am always surprised that I am going.


I always am!

It seems like such a big deal, how will I make it work, how will it happen when I’m in Paris, when I’m between jobs, when I don’t have money, or it’s conflicting with school.


All the crazy stuff that my brain manufactures.

And I don’t have that so much this go around, once I found out that school didn’t conflict and that I got the balls to ask off from work, well it only seemed to follow that I was going to have to go.

It would just be a matter of getting the ticket and the ride.

I always say, if you want to go, you’ll go, and once you have the ticket, it’s pretty much guaranteed.

At least for me.

And granted, like I’ve said, I’ve gone and I’ve gotten rides and tickets and I have worked my ass off out there.

Some years more so than others.

But, really, every year, even my first year, when I was “just” going to take my best friend’s ashes to the Temple, I ended up working.

That was 2007 and the Man was vandalized and burnt early and the organization rebuilt it for the burn night.

I ended up being in the cafe when a worker for the Man Crew came in and told the cafe manager I had just spoken to about signing up to volunteer and they didn’t have any shifts, I was literally walking away, and she grabbed me, “you’ve got shifts now!”

Boy did I ever.

I ended up pulling three or four ten-hour cafe shifts.

And that started something for me, being a part of, being involved, and though I am a little scared, let me be honest, to be untethered, I am also excited, I am so excited to get to go and just be a participant.


I won’t roll in the fucking dust when the Greeters greet me, there’s enough dust in my bins in the garage to carry me through that experience, I will be seeing the event with a new set of eyes.


I need to celebrate.

I’m going to Burning Man!

Luckiest girl in the world.


Cool Air

March 2, 2016

Sweet jasmine.

The air rushed over me and the lush, intoxicating, syrup of jasmine blew in through my nose and bloomed over my heart.

The smell right now is insane and gorgeous and cool delicious.

It makes the ride home so good.

The day went fast and I am excited for tomorrow.

Date night.


Wednesday is not a typical night for me to go out on a date, but this just happens to be when we can meet and that’s probably for the best, I’m going to be in it for school this upcoming weekend.

I have two papers and I’m deep into the reading.

I got a lot of it done, but there’s still more to do and I have to go have my experiential exploration.

For my Multi-Cultural Counseling and the Family the class has to go somewhere outside of it’s comfort zone, culturally.

I am planning on going to the big Chinese super market in the Inner Sunset and attempting to buy some groceries.

Although I don’t need them, I need the experience of being out of my element in an environment where I don’t know what’s happening, or can speak the language.

I’ve had the experience before, being somewhere and not knowing the language or how to get around, but we have to do something locally, something uncomfortable and the grocery store came up as I had the experience trying to shop there when I first moved out here.

I was absolutely flummoxed.

I just wanted some apples and I saw some in the bin out front of the store.

But nothing was in English, nor did any one in the store speak English and the signs were not in English and I was the only person in the store who wasn’t Chinese.

It was surreal.

And amazing and scary too.

The unknown.

It always is.

Putting myself out into unknown spaces, trying new things, meeting new people.

Being vulnerable.


I believe, in that space, that vulnerable space, when I let myself be seen, there, just there, in that flame of light, I am somehow more known, and more loved and more open to being a human being having this oh so human experience.

Grateful for every last succulent bit of it.

Even when it’s uncomfortable.


What a gift, annoying, difficult, wonderful, amazing.

Learning, showing up, being new at something, growing.

All the things.

All the things I need to get for Burning Man!


That’s where my head went to last night as I started to make the budget in my head, the spending plan, the, yes, I am going to have awesome amenities, but fuck, I don’t have a blow up mattress, lent that to a girl friend few years back and I don’t think it made it off playa alive.

So new blow up mattress and some bedding, I’m not willing to sacrifice my lovely sheets or pillows to the playa, but some sort of bedding must be had and pillows and maybe something soft and furry.

I have two soft fluffy throws I’d be willing to bring out there–as they both went out last year and actually made it back and were not really much worse for the wear once I threw them through the wash.

It was super cold last year at night, however, and so I’m thinking another snuggly blanket may be necessary.

I should go through the bins and check out what I need to get.

I loved having a shoulder harness last year, but I think I lost a rivet on one of the arms and a strap is loose, sure I could get that fixed, it was better than the utility belt scenario that I have had for a few years.

Not that I won’t bring that belt, it still got used, but I like having something smaller and lighter on me and a shoulder harness was nicer for that.

Goggles are good, I still have a fairly new pair from last year.


Always on the look out for a better pair of boots.

Last year I just bought a cheap pair that were on sale and ditched them when the event was over, just tossed them right in the trash.

I may do that again, I may upgrade and just see about having a good solid pair that I take back out there again.

I mean.

I’m sort of a Burner for life is how I see it.

Maybe some day, I’ll say, hey, enough, enough with the hot and the dusty and the blinky blinky and the hippies and the burniform and the misconceptions that everyone else in the world has about Burning Man and I’ll just stay home.


Not this year.


I’ll happily pay for another ride on the merry-go-round of “funishment.”

There is just something about the whole damn thing that gets me right in that sweet spot, my dusty little heart, the high skies, the colors of the sunset, the being there, so there, that there is no where else to go or be, just there.




A little list will be started.

I won’t have to put together as much as I did for last year since so much is being provided for me, but I do believe that I should go through my stuff see what may need replacing or augmenting, upgrading, or if there are any little additions that will just make me happy to have and thereby a better experience for me.


I need a new parasol.

Not sure what I did with the one from last year, but I’m pretty sure I left it hanging off the back bumper of the Flash trailer I was crashed in.

Mary Fucking Poppins has to have an umbrella.

That’s just the rules folks.

So many exciting things in my life.

So much life in my life.

I’m happy.

Really happy.

And it just so happens that was my spiritual principle to practice today.


It’s a good one.

And I am definitely right there in the middle of it.

The middle of the boat.

Right smack dab.

In love with my life.





On The Road

August 16, 2014


It’s been done.

I got out of San Francisco.

We left within a half hour of the planned leave time, which I must say I am quite impressed with.

To wrangle four adults and a toddler and all the things they need into a Bambi Airstream camper and one SUV to leave for “summer vacation” and get out within a half hour of the leave time is pretty amazing.

I don’t know that will happen on the way back, there’s all sorts of things that could happen between here and there and most of them I don’t have to worry about and I am not going to worry about.

In fact, the only thing to be thinking about at the moment is writing this blog and winding down for the night.

I just got out of the bath tub in my room on the 14th floor of The Grand Sierra Resort in Reno.

I did not go down to the spa, I actually do have a swim suit with me, but it’s packed in my bins, I wasn’t thinking I would be using it to access the pool and spa at the hotel, rather that the top is cute and would be something fun to wear on playa, ditto the bottoms.

I had my own little spa here in my room.

I filled up the bath tub and loaded it with bubbles and sat and shaved my legs with my hair heaped up on my head while listening to a compilation of music that a lover made for me when I moved to Paris playing on my laptop.

I tried to access the movies and radio and such on the cable television in the room, but it just was not going my way and well, remotes mystify me, not having had a television or electronic unit that needs a remote in over a decade, hell in over fifteen years, I decide to say  screw the hotel tv and just use my laptop.

I have everything I need on it anyway.

Downloaded a video as well while I sat in the bathtub.

I write the blog.

I make a few last-minute e-mails out to the world, then a video and an early night.

I slept alright at my employers house, but it was hard to get comfy and my brain was too excited for the journey and the doing and the going and the being on the cusp of the leaving, I did not get as much rest as I would have liked.

Tonight I will do better by myself and get to bed a little on the early side and get up and get ready for the last push to the dust bowl.

The weather is forecast in the mid to high 80s for the next week and mid 50s to 60s for the evening.

That is pretty damn good weather for out there, and the storm system has passed, no rain or hail in the near future.

Who knows what will happen closer to the event, but the weather when we land should be good.

It looks like we may actually get in a bit earlier than we thought, having left on time today from San Francisco and making really good time, we got into Reno much earlier than we did last year.

Dinner was an early affair at the all you can eat buffet, which frankly is all you can eat scary, amidst the jingle, jangle, of the casino just outside the door to the restaurant.

I did not eat all I could eat at the buffet.

I got a bit overwhelmed by it, truth be told, and went to the salad bar and had that.

Salad is safe.

Then some fruit and cottage cheese for desert.

A big glass of ice tea and I am out.

I am happy to only have the all you can eat buffet experience once a year, it usually occurs on the way in or out of Reno, with one of the families I have worked with.

Tomorrow will be the nice food at Whole Foods.

We will meet in the lobby at 8:30 a.m. check out, head to the grocery store and stock up, eat breakfast there, and then hit the road.

We may take one small detour to see the infamous turtle sculpture in Fernley.

Apparently there’s some ruckus because the sculpture has a tail that looks phallic and is disturbing to some of the citizens in the town.

Really, what’s one more penis on the way to Burning Man?

Then onward.

I just glanced out the window and saw the lights of Reno’s airport winking at me and I must say it is surreal.

Not from the standpoint of it being a hotel in Reno, but rather, that I know this hotel (and the Pepper Mill) as well as I do.

I don’t stay in hotels.

Yet, I have been in this hotel four times, same with the Pepper Mill.

I have spent more time in hotels in Reno than I have in any other city in the world.


I was talking to the mom today in the car as we were easing out over the Bay Bridge about how it seems once I am on playa, that it all becomes one event, one great big long Burning Man, that I have never left, but always been there.

There is no other travel destination for me that I have gone to as often.

I have been to LA twice.

London twice.

Miami once.

Paris three times.

New Orleans once.

Rome once.

Las Vegas once.

Black Rock City?

Seven times.

This year marks my eighth burn.

I guess it’s official.

I am a burner.

See you in the dust.



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