Posts Tagged ‘DIY’

Off With Their Heads!

April 17, 2015

Or something like that.

I am going to the Steampunk Masquerade Ball with Serpent Mother on Saturday at NIMBY in Oakland hosted by Airpusher Collective.

I have no idea what I am wearing, perhaps a mask?


But in the spirit of trying new things, going new places and having new experiences, I agreed to grab a ticket, $30, and go with a girl friend of mine who I don’t get to see a lot of and really want to reconnect with.

And she’s got a car.

So I won’t have to BART over.

Even though the event is offering shuttles from the BART, which is hella cool, I much prefer to not have to take the N-Judah to the BART en costume.

What costume that is going to be, fuck if I know, but I’ll pile my hair up on my head and stick some feathers and flowers in it and wear a mask and my playa boots and say fuck it that’s good enough.

I actually dug out my Burning Man bin and found what I had forgotten, that I lost my favorite goggles last year and need to replace them.

That I don’t have much by way of costume, either.

Really my wardrobe, in its current state is what I wear when I go to Burning Man, give or take a pair of striped socks.

I feel a tiny compulsion to purchase “steampunk” attire, but I don’t want to drop a load of money.

Really, though, I am just happy to have some weekend plans aside from doing the deal and making food for the work week.

Sometimes that feels like all I do, although, that feeling is not a fact and I know that the basics that I do cover allow me to go out and have the experiences that I crave.

This is going to be fun, I will see some folks, hopefully, that I don’t typically see until I am out on playa, and I will get to hang with my friend, catch up, dance, look at art, be fabulous, wear fishnets (please, I have many pairs and they haven’t been worn in months), dance some more, be around fire (fire! fire!) and the Flaming Lotus Girls work–Serpent Mother.

I love me some fire art.

I do.

I do.

There is just something about it that makes me happy.

I don’t recall why I did it, but when I was four years old and I lit a bunch of paper bags on fire in a dry lot behind the apartment building we lived in.  I got the bags, I got the matches, I rounded up the neighborhood kids, and I lit that shit up.

Of course my ass got lit up soon thereafter.

I didn’t know what a drought was, but the neighbor lady did and boy, oh boy, did she bend my mom’s ear.

My favorite smell?

Firewood burning.

More specifically, bonfire on the beach, but I will happily take the smell of any wood burning, well, except chemically treated plywood, I’m surprised I’m not dead from the shit I inhaled when I was a homeless kid building campfires from scavenged wood in Miami, that stuff is horrible.

I almost always have candles burning in my home.

I love the way matches smell when lit.

I used to be a smoker.

But you know, cough up a little blood and a lady changes her mind.

“I saw that!” He said, drawing back, “don’t you dare ask for one!”

He chastised me.

I didn’t even realize that I had leaned forward inhaling the dry smoke wafting from his Camel cigarette at Burning Man.

I was out with a friend taking photographs and he smokes.

I don’t, not for nearly ten years now, well, May will make ten years, but that night, I don’t know what it was, had he offered I might have.

Burning Man is one of the few places and times I have been tempted to smoke, but I never have and doubtful I will start this event either.

There is a romance to it though.

All things must burn.

Maybe it’s the ephemeral, maybe it’s the magic of fire.

I could watch wood burn in a barrel and be happy as a clam for hours.

My first time out as a playa nanny the dad handed over his fireman’s jacket, the real deal, and I happily wrapped myself up in it and got as close to the burn barrel as possible.

I should have been a fire fighter.

That was a dream I had once.

But I’m too old now, that’s for sure I cannot imagine what it would take at the age of 42 to get into the fire academy.

Rather I’ll relish the work of others and stand aside to fantasize.

Burn baby burn.


There’s a day yet to decide what to wear, not that I think it’s really all that important, but I do want to dress up a little, flex a little Burning Man muscle, have some fun.

“Make sure you have fun this weekend!” She admonished me as we walked out the gates tonight at Our Lady of Safeway.

“Do something nice for yourself,” she added, and hugged me.

I do like to take a suggestion, I’m good at following directions.

I will do something fun.

I promise.

I won’t worry about what to wear, rather I will just be glad that I splurged on the ticket and I will get to go and have a new experience.

The event is being held at NIMBY in Oakland, which is a huge DIY warehouse on Amelia Street.

It’s funny when I think about it, there are lots of DIY things and art that I find compelling and amazing and attractive, yet I have no compulsion to DIY anything.

But I am always amazed by people who are, I admire the carpenter, welder, sculptor, painter, fire magician type folks, hell even a seamstress amazes me.

I have no skills along those lines and I find that kind of talent and ability quite sexy.

Maybe one day.

But for now.

I shall be content to don a dress and mask and boots and join in support of some extraordinary artistic talent.

Thirty dollars beyond well spent.

Doing the Work

July 1, 2013

Getting the rewards.

I woke up this morning from a fantastic dream.

I haven’t woken up in the middle of a REM session in some time.

It was a disturbing dream as well as it was quite realistic and for a moment I had thought it had actually happened.  I dreamed that I sleep walked to the neighbor’s house and made out with a boy.

MMMMmmm yummy.

I know it did not happen but it was a delight to wake up to.

I also woke up to a renewed resolve to take care of myself and really do the work that is necessary to get myself back on track.

I did my morning routine, made bed, said some words, asked for some guidance.

But instead of going right into the make breakfast and do some writing, I got fully dressed, tossed the bedding through the wash and went grocery shopping, for real sustainable food.

Not ice cream.

Not cookies.

Not popcorn.


I got oatmeal and apples, bananas, low-fat cottage cheese, wild tuna, organic brown eggs, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, organic sweet 100 cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, home-made humus, good food, real food, nothing processed or dipped in sugar.

Then I came back and made oatmeal with banana and Frog Hollow apricots.

I made a pot of French press.

I said thank you for this food and I sat and ate it with mindful intention.

I savored it.

Then I wrote.

I felt cleaned out and hollowed from the pain of willful check out and ready to start over fresh.

Then I meditated and what do you know!

I got some direction that was unexpected and wonderful and I took the directions.

I went on an Artist Date!

I have not done one in some time.

One could argue that my six months in Paris was one long extended artist date, but it was also hard, heart breaking, heart wrenching work.

An Artist Date is light and easy and fun and just for the little girl in me.

I took myself out a walking on Haight Street, I was headed to Mendel’s.

Mendel’s is an awesome arts, crafts, paper, fabric, costume, DIY store.

They have a little bit of everything for everyone.

They also have the best sticker collections I have seen in a long time.  I am a whore for stickers.  I have said it before and I say it again.  I am also a picky whore.  I don’t like all stickers and I often will go into a shop that has them and leave disappointed.

Not today.

I got decorative butterfly stickers, classic movie poster stickers, Tiffany stained glass art stickers, Redoute rose stickers, and collage art mermaid stickers.


The little girl in me clapped with glee.

I also got supplies to make myself a hair clip.

Oh, not just any hair clip, but a HAIR CLIP.

Ok, if you’re a dude, you can stop reading for the moment as I girl gush.

I got fabric glue, recommended by the clerk, three kinds of ribbon, an oversized vintage wooden bicycle button, a bare clip to glue everything too, pink ostrich feathers, burlap fabric (to give it a sort of rustic steam-punk edge), sea-foam netting, and a fabric bird clip.

Put a bird on it!

I am making an oversized, over the top, over done just enough, hair fascinator for the playa.


Because the ones I see in the store are a lot of money and I haven’t found one yet that combines all the elements of whimsy that I want them to have.

Plus, I have thought for years of doing it and after trolling Etsy the other day for some ideas I just decided I would make one for myself.

I got a lot of ideas.

I saw a lot of fun material.

The clerk that was helping me out and making suggestions like the direction I was taking it and said, “when you’re done send us a photograph and we’ll put it up on our site.”

Will do.

I also scored a black straw hat at the Good Will and I have some plans for that as well.

I got glue baby.

After my delightful artist date I confirmed that I will be house sitting for friends in the city this weekend.

Not the friends who had reached out to me either.

Turns out they could not afford my ask.

Turns out I was fine with that and I made not judgements and had no qualms and felt really good for asking for what I needed without first saying yes to the commitment.

I would have said yes, gotten there, realized they thought they were helping me out and when I wanted to get paid there would not have been recompense.

Or perhaps there would have been, but it would not have been worth my while.

I officially ask for what will actually cover my costs to house sit.

If I am going to do it I need to make a certain amount.

I had another set of friends hop on the house sitting gig train minutes thereafter, literally, they ask me what I needed, I responded, they said GREAT we can do that, that’s normal rates, you’re in kid.

I have sat for them before, so it’s a nice gig and I will get to be in the Castro, fortunately after the melee of Pride weekend and out of the melee of Fourth of July in East  Oakland.

This is also good as I picked up a commitment to be somewhere on Sundays and to take care of being humble enough to ask for help with my food issues.

The relief I got asking for help was huge.

I don’t want to do the work, I just want the reward.

But it does not work like that and I realize if I just got the reward it wouldn’t mean as much, it would be trivial.

I did not trivialize myself or my experience today and I had a really good day.

Basic and service oriented.

With a few stickers and feathers thrown in for fun.

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