Posts Tagged ‘Dogpatch’

Congratulations

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.

LOOK MA!  I’M GOING TO BURNING MAN!

Woot.

Heh.

Not excited.

Not even a little bit.

Not even.

Fuck.

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.

But.

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.

Well.

Heh.

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.

Well.

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.

Sigh.

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.

Fuck.

I will also be sourcing a ride there and back.

I do have a parking pass.

So.

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.

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.

Heh.

I am going to have all the adventures.

ALL.

Of them.

Yes.

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.

But.

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.

Or.

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.

No.

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.

Fuck.

I need to celebrate.

I’m going to Burning Man!

Luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

Will There Be Naked People?

October 8, 2014

He asked as we cruised up Chain of Lakes hitting the pavement one bicycle after the other.

I laughed.

“Maybe, yes, probably,” I chuckled to myself, “maybe not the kind of naked people who you want to see.”

The last time I saw a naked person at Decompression was about three years ago and she wasn’t exactly naked, but she was shirt cocking (what does one call it when it’s a female doing it?  Shirt cunting?) and it was disturbing.

I don’t know why, I didn’t stop to analyze it.

I don’t like shirt cocking in either male or female of the human species.

If you don’t know the reference it means a person, usually male, usually gay, usually a little older, who is sporting a white (I suppose it could be another color, but they always seem white, like the person is compensating for not wearing tidy whities thus they wear a white shirt) t-shirt with no pants underneath.

No underpants, that is.

The line of questioning was brought up by my companion riding through the park this evening.

“Carmen!”

“Hey, Blake!”

Glad I remembered your name, always a touch awkward when you meet someone and then can’t recall their name, although they never seem to fail to nail yours down at the moment of reconnection.

I met Blake last week, Thursday or Friday evening riding through the Pan Handle.

“Nice rim,” he said to me as we were waiting for the light to change on Masonic.

“Thanks,” I smiled, “you’ve got a nice ride too.”

He started peppering me with questions about my bicycle, have I always ridden in fixed, how is it riding in San Francisco with only one speed, where did I get my bicycle, how did I navigate the hills, etc.

Turns out he had just moved here two months ago.

I departed my twelve years living in San Francisco wisdom, “The Wiggle is essential,” I said.   And it really is, especially for anyone who lives on the Western edge of the city, it’s the only way to avoid the big hills.

I also diverted from the path a slight bit as the bike route will take a bicyclists slightly off course and I thought I had lost my riding companion to a different course, when he popped up again on Martin Luther King Jr.

“How did you get past me?” He asked.

“Oh just a little short cut, you’ll catch it sooner rather than later if you keep riding this way, where are you headed?”

“46th and Kirkham.”

“Neighbor!  I’m at 46th and Judah.”

We rode through the park together and chatted about the differences in bicycling in San Francisco versus Austin, where he’d just moved from.

I have ridden in Austin and the predominant flatness is quite appealing.

But there is something to the briskness of riding a cool October evening through Golden Gate Park that fills a space inside me with lightness and an expansive sense of gratitude to be alive.

It’s nice to make a bicycle friend.

It was nice to reunite on the ride home tonight.

I like knowing the people in my neighborhood.

“You live in the best part of town,” he said to me, shaking his head with envy, “the beach, all those cafes, the beach, surfing, the beach, do you surf?”

“I’ve gone out a whopping three times,” I said, “but I do love listening to the rumble of the surf as I write in the morning or blog it out at night.

In fact, I can here that roar right now, in between the spaces of the words I am typing, it’s a nice counterpoint and rather meditative.

Especially at the speed I type at.

I am lucky to live here.

I did contemplate what it would be like to be back in the Mission though, today as I whipped onto Valencia Street from 17th as I headed into work this morning.

Man the commute would be so much easier if I was in the Mission.

I would move back to the Mission if something became available that is comparable or better than what I have now.

I would.

I love my spot though, and it is home and I doubt that what I have here can be replicated there.

It will make a long commute to Decompression this Sunday, however.

I did it last year and I rode my bicycle.

I met a friend for coffee at Four Barrel then we rode our bicycles over to the Dogpatch for the party.

I actually wasn’t on the list to get into the event, but I ran into my, at the time, employer, who was going in with her husband and the little boy I was taking care of.

I danced and roamed and hung out with friends and had a mini family reunion, mostly of little people, all my little Burning Man charges, and I am hoping for some more of that this weekend.

“What’s Decompression?” Blake asked.

He and I were talking about weekend plans and I had mentioned that I was going and since he was new to the city he had to go, it really is such a San Francisco party.

“It’s the official San Francisco after party for Burning Man,” I replied.

Which led to the naked people comment.

I think that there is a contingent of people who look at Burning Man as one big beautiful naked person festival.

And granted, there are some gorgeous naked people who get groovy out there in their birthday suits, I mean, they are certainly the ones getting their pretty selves photographed and in Rolling Stone.

But just like when you go to a nudist colony, there’s more than one Uncle Bob shirt cocking his wrinkly bits to put me off the idea that the majority of naked people are attractive.

The opposite is true is what I find.

But who am I to break someone’s fantasy.

“There’s naked people,” I said again, “and dancing, and music, and art, and fire, and it’s of course, loads of people in costume.  You should definitely check it out.”

“See you later!”  I called as I spun down Lincoln off of Chain of Lakes for my last leg of the journey home.

Blake crossed over Lincoln with visions of naked girls dancing in his head.

“Yeah!  At Decompression.”

“I’ll be there,” I said.

Fully clothed.

“Night!”

“Night, neighbor, safe riding.”

I smiled and whipped the rest of the way down the road.

See you at a Dogpatch near you soon!


%d bloggers like this: