Posts Tagged ‘dust’

Getting Into A Groove

September 5, 2017

It took a minute.

It was slow going at first.

I still felt a bit sluggish and slow.

I slept late.

I went to bed fairly early and slept super hard.

I went to yoga and that helped a great deal.

I was stiff and needed to shake the rest of the dust out of my body.

My nose was still tender and I was a bit congested, but by the time the class ended I had sweat up a storm and my breathing was clear and clean.

It felt great to get into the class and I was super happy to find out that my favorite yoga teacher had moved back, I knew he was going to be visiting from out-of-town some holiday weekends, so I just thought, oh my God, he’s on the schedule, you got to go.

And it turns out he’ll be a permanent fixture again, which I am super grateful for.

His classes are hard, but hard in a really good way.

I have had very emotionally clearing classes with him and today it was just clearing the rest of the Burning Man out of my system.

I got back into my routine, a tiny bit, got some grocery shopping done, small run to the market in my neighborhood, I returned a ton of internship e-mails and did some scheduling stuff with clients.

I did lots of writing.

I had a super sweet engaging phone call with my best friend.

I am so lucky to have the people in my life I do.

So damn lucky.

And then.

Yes.

I did.

I got into my homework for the next school weekend.

I outlined what I need to read.

I did some reading.

I went over my syllabi.

I also wrote out a homework assignment and turned it in.

Super grateful I took the time to open up my school stuff and check in with my syllabi as I discovered the assignment for my Cognitive Behavioral class was due tomorrow.

“Oh fuck!” I said out loud.

Followed by a “damn it!”

Then I just sucked it up and got into it.

I had the time and I let myself dive into it.

I had plans to meet my person up in the Castro and I needed to run a few quick little errands before meeting with him.

So I read and did homework until I had to leave and yes, I got the assignment written and turned in.

Grateful for that.

I also did some writing for my Jungian Dream class that was good to work on.

And I got a tentative date for the commencement ceremony.

May 19th.

I like having a goal to shoot for.

It helps me to see what I am moving toward.

Although I don’t want to live in the future, it’s nice to have a carrot.

Graduation.

Ooh.

Man.

It just sounds really good.

I still have the majority of the year to get through, but it goes fast.

I know from experience.

It does go fast.

The time it whips by.

It does help that I have a full schedule, that makes the time go by.

And that I have things that I look forward to, people I get to see, snippets of sweetness that keep me moving forward.

Before I headed out to Burning Man I sat down with my employer and mapped out the year, well, not quite, we mapped out until my last weekend of school.

The school calendar for my charges was given to her, so we just went through each month and some days I’ll be going in a little early to help out with the brood when there’s a parent/teacher conference, or a bit of vacation for the kids.

I’m going to get out a little early this Friday, for example, as the family is taking a long weekend.

And.

In November, oh yes, I’m getting a ten-day stretch while they are away for a long vacation around Thanksgiving.

They’re European and don’t celebrate Thanksgiving.

I’m super stoked.

I figure I’ll do lots of homework and maybe a kind of staycation.

No need to figure it out now, just something to keep on the back burner.

Things really do seem to be flowing well for me, keeping the personal life balanced with the recovery life and work life and school life.

Yes.

It is a lot.

But not having Burning Man prep on my mind and being done with that chapter seems to have freed up a great deal of mental space for me and now that I have readjusted to being back in San Francisco I feel ready for whatever comes next.

I suspect it will be marvelous.

My life is not boring, let me tell you.

It’s full of passion and dreams and love and it blows my mind how much I have been given and that I can be of service here in the community and my fellowship is simply grace.

The love that I get to experience fills me and I feel expanded and buoyant with it.

Awed.

Amazed.

Astonished

I am wonderstruck with love.

How did I get so lucky?

I don’t need to know the answer, only that I am and grateful and not taking anything in my life for granted.

Alive.

So very alive.

There is so much yet to experience and do and feel and go.

I was chatting with my person tonight over a big salad, salads are very appealing right now after a week in the dusty dust, about moving on from Burning Man, that maybe I don’t go next year.

That maybe there are other places to travel to.

I have been doing a list of places in my affirmations and I think anyone of them may be a better alternative.

They all have showers, that’s for sure.

And though I adore the event and everything that I have gotten from going, maybe it’s time for a new adventure.

11 burns is nothing to sneeze at.

Even with a nose full of dust.

Anyway.

Enough Burning Man.

It’s time to move on.

At least for right now.

I have much more important things to focus on.

It’s going to be a good week.

I can feel it in my bones.

Seriously.

Bring it on.

 

 

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Waiting

August 16, 2017

For more to be revealed.

I am waiting.

And.

Yes!

It’s happening.

Oh my God.

I have a ride to Burning Man.

Holy shit.

And the best part?

She’s a 74-year-old first time burner.

I want to have that much spunk when I’m in my 70s, let me tell you.

She and I were connected via some mutual friends who suggested to her that she contact me as someone who has experience going to Burning Man.

I said, sure, I’ll let her pick my brain, happy to share about food prep, how to get there, how to get back, how much water to bring, etc.

I had seen a post in a community forum for my camp that I will be staying with and it appeared that she was also looking for a ride to the event.

So.

Imagine my surprise when I get a message from her saying that she’s decided to not only drive to the event, but she wants to give me a ride.

What?!

I was not, in any way shape or form expecting to go to Burning Man with a 74-year-old woman virgin burner from Santa Cruz.

The playa hath provided.

Or.

God.

As the case may be.

I will not have to rent a car!

I will share drive cost, split the vehicle parking pass with her, and give her all the Burning Man tips she can possibly handle.

I can’t believe I have a ride!

I am so relieved.

And that she’s willing to go on my time frame, which allows me to go to class on Sunday.

The weekend the event opens, next weekend, holy shit, is the same weekend as my first weekend of school.

I have to go.

I’ll be in class Friday 9a.m.-4p.m.

Saturday 9a.m.-8p.m.

And.

Sunday 9a.m.-12p.m.

I’ll hop on my scooter, get home and throw myself together.

I will have to be packed and ready by 1p.m.

I’m sure there will be a little wiggle room, but the fact is we’ll want to get on the road as  soon as possible, it’s an 8-9 hour drive depending on the traffic.

Which on a Sunday really shouldn’t be too bad.

We will stop in Reno at the 24 hours SafeWay and buy ice, dry ice, water and anything that may have been forgotten in the melee to get out-of-town.

I am pretty seasoned at going, like I said, this is year eleven, and I pretty much have all my stuff ready, it’s just not all in the same spot.

And considering that I don’t live in a big space it won’t take me real long to compile everything and have it ready to go.

Really.

The packing shouldn’t take me more than an hour.

I figure I’ll suss that out this Saturday.

Get all my bins out, shake off the dust, so to speak, the dust never seems to quite go away, and get it all organized in one spot in the garage.

Depending on how much room she has in the car, which doesn’t sound like a ton, I may only take my one big cooler.

I have a large cooler and a medium size cooler.

The large one is the one I invested in for this year, it’s on wheels and holds a lot more than my medium size one, plus, it’s a much better insulated cooler than the one I’ve taken the last few years.

I have a ride!!

I am over the moon.

Aside from the fact that I get to be of service, I mean, she is an elder states(wo)man and it’s an honor and a privilege, I believe, to take someone who means a great deal to her community, to her first Burning Man.

At the age of 74.

How freaking radical is that?!

I love it.

I get to be of service and she’s really happy to have the company.

I think it is a total win/win scenario.

I also feel like she’s not going to have any issue leaving a little early from the event, I’m pretty much hoping to leave as early as possible Sunday morning and get out an on the road.

I want as much time Monday to recuperate and take 18 different super hot showers and time to wash all my clothes and get the dust out of my hair.

Wow.

I am over the moon.

I have a ride.

Such a relief.

And yes, the thought of driving my own car was a lovely thought, but not the possibility of losing a big deposit on a rental from Burning Man dust.

One day.

Perhaps sooner than later.

I will have my own car.

And I will offer someone else a ride out to that thing in the desert.

Until then.

I am happy as a clam.

A dusty one, mind you.

To have this opportunity.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Or at Burning Man.

Seriously!

I Didn’t Do Much

August 3, 2017

But I did a lot.

I mean.

I really did.

I didn’t even go to yoga.

No.

I slept in, I lounged in bed, I was dreamy and soft and it felt so nice to lie there and let my body be and not spring forward and charge off into my day.

Oh.

I had thoughts of going to yoga.

But they were dispelled for better things.

I took the morning easy.

I ate a lovely breakfast and made myself a latte.

I made some phone calls.

I talked to people I loved.

I got right with God.

I wrote.

I wrote a lot.

I mean.

I can fill a page, the words they stream endlessly out of my finger tips, scrawled across the page, margin to margin, all the thoughts and dreams and feelings there on the paper, my pens in a mug on my table at the ready.

I do go through my pens.

My cheap little guys that I buy at Walgreens.

I am particular.

I only like the Wexford black ink pen.

That’s the generic gel ink pen that Walgreens markets.

I love it.

I begged a friend, who asked me what I wanted from San Francisco, when I lived in Paris, to bring me back pens.

The gel ink is the smoothest and the pen is just the right grip for my hand.

Ask me sometime.

I’ll show you the place it sits on my fingers and the writer’s callous there.

Yes.

I have a callous on my middle right finger from writing.

I rather adore that callous.

I also have a distinct muscle in my forearm, again, my right side, I am right-handed, that is pretty developed solely from doing the writing I do every day.

I love words.

Can you tell?

I did more than write today, although I did not go far from my house.

I made it to the back and sat in the sun for a brief moment in the afternoon around 2:30pm when there was fleeting sun that came through the fog.

Mostly I stayed home.

I did work on the house.

I cleaned out my closet and got a bag of clothes and a couple of pairs of shoes to sell to Crossroads.

I also moved everything in my kitchen, and pulled up the rug that I’ve had for the last three and three-quarters year, it was just a simple rag rug, but it had gotten pretty worn out and a bit ragged and I’ve been wanting to replace it for sometime.

I ordered a replacement on Amazon and it was delivered yesterday.

So.

Everything got moved, and I pulled up the old one, shook it out super hard, I did not toss it, it still has a use for me–I’ll be taking it to Burning Man and lining my tent with it.

I also had a long conversation with a woman who was referred to me by a friend in the fellowship who is going to Burning Man for the first time and she had a lot of questions and I just let her pick my brain for nearly an hour and told her where I was going to be camped and all the fellowship and community that is out there and it felt really nice to share my experience, strength and hope with her.

After I finished our conversation I got serious about re-organizing my space and cleaning, everything got dusted, even all my books.

And I winnowed through my books.

I’ve been wanting to sell a bunch of them for sometime.

I only have so much space in my in-law and though the idea of having a big library and loads of bookshelves is super serious appealing.

MY GOD how I want that.

Someday.

A house with a big library, books upon books upon books, paper, ones I can pull down from the shelf, hardcovers, and read, and inhale and love on.

But.

I repeat.

My space is small and I have only so much room and the stacks of books were starting to collect too much dust and really I haven’t had much time for pleasure reading since I started grad school.

So.

I dusted them all off, sorted through the ones I was absolutely not going to part with.

Like.

My copy of Bastille, Issue #2.

The small press that published my short story in Paris, “The Button Boy.”

Poorly edited, there’s a typo and a misprint.

But.

Fuck.

My short story.

In print.

In a publication.

I can say with no small amount of writer’s pride that my first publication was in Paris.

Not selling that guy.

Then a few books that were given to me as gifts and hold far too much sentimental value to ever let go.

Ever.

And the funny thing is, whatever doesn’t sell, I will happily take back and keep.

There will be some that don’t.

But for the most part I am such a sucker for the printed word, I tend to buy hard covers or first runs, so when I do sell I tend to be able to sell most of what I have brought with me.

There was a little sadness packing up the books.

But.

It’s stuff.

And when I came home tonight from doing the deal up the street.

Fuck was it good tonight!

I was so happy to come into my super clean, super tidy little home.

Fresh and clean and dust free, with a new carpet in the kitchen.

And.

Ha.

A “new” book on my table.

I discovered a book I bought two years ago, right before the first semester of my first year of grad school.

I had never gotten to read it.

Two years later.

I started and I’m 37 pages in.

I have my hopes that I will finish it before my text books start arriving in the mail, because as soon as they do, that’s the end of my pleasure reading.

I assure you.

Sneaking in one more day of leisure before I go back to work on Friday.

Yoga, this time for sure, in the morning.

Shower, morning prayer, writing, breakfast, go sell the clothes, go sell the books.

And then a mani/pedi.

I have a client consult in the early evening.

And that’s it.

The days of leisure and pleasure reading will soon be over.

It’s been a sweet little bite of time off from my day job.

My house is clean.

I did a lot of cooking today too, all my meals for Burning Man are in the freezer as well as covering my first weekend of my first semester, so I don’t have to cook or deal with that.

Yes.

It’s a few weeks out.

But it’s nice to have it done and there won’t be down time soon like I have had.

Sigh.

I have no complaints though.

It’s been a good run.

I feel rested.

I feel rejuvenated.

I feel ready for the next chapters.

And I feel happy having taken care of my home.

My sweet little sanctuary by the sea.

It may be small.

But.

It’s all mine.

And.

I do love it so.

Yes.

Yes, I do.

 

Preparations

July 21, 2017

I have started gathering the things.

All the things.

All the things that will get dusty.

Yes.

I was once again reminded by a friend yesterday that Burning Man is coming.

Holy shit Batman.

I have had a lot of other things on my mind.

None of them dusty.

My friend asked me over an iced coffee at Java Beach yesterday in the early evening whether I was done packing for Burning Man.

Um.

No.

I haven’t even started.

Then again.

It’s a no brainer at this point.

This being my 11th burn in a row.

11.

Where does the time go?

Seriously.

It goes though, it really does, and knowing that I realized I did sort of have to get on the stick and get some things ordered.

Love me a little Amazon for that.

I got a new camp shower.

I left mine on playa last year.

It was brand new and full of water and ready and waiting for me to use it in the camps communal shower.

But.

Um.

Fuck.

Major white out dust storm totally negated doing that.

And by the time it was over.

Well, it was nightfall and no fucking way do I ever want to take a shower in the desert at night.

Way too cold, I mean, no.

So.

I left the bag thinking, I’ll grab it tomorrow, and I didn’t, it just hung out by the showers, and I totally forgot it.  It was a short trip for me, my shortest to date at 4 days, and I actually, yes, for the first time in my history of going to the event, did not shower once the entire time I was there.

I made up for that a lot when I got home.

A LOT.

Anyway.

So I ordered a new camping solar shower bag.

I also got some more solar lights, I have some, but it’s always nice to have a few more and I feel like I was a little too dim at times last year.

I will be in a tent again.

Unless some fairy godmother has a trailer hiding up their sleeve.

I don’t mind the tent, it’s a big guy, four-man, and it’s one of the ones that you can completely set up yourself, it took me ten minutes to do it my first time opening it out of the package.

Super freaking easy.

It also fit, quite well, my queen size blow up mattress.

I’m a whore for a nice comfy sleep space.

I have sheets for the mattress, a quilt, pillows, fuzzy throw blankets.

Aside from the fact that sleep is super important out there, the temperature at night can drop drastically and I have been in some super serious cold sleeping conditions.  I prefer to be over prepared with a nice cozy bed than not.

I decided it was time to upgrade my bins and splurged and bought a new four box set.

My bins are ok, but they’re super old and they don’t seal as well as they used to.

I just said fuck it and added them into the Amazon cart.

I am sure I will be quite happy I did so.

I also ordered a new rug.

Yes.

I will be taking a rug to the event.

But not the one I ordered.

I’ll be taking the rug in my kitchen.

It’s gotten a bit thread bare and I wanted to replace it, so I ordered one-off Amazon and I will use the old one at the event.

It’s super nice to keep the dust down inside the tent if you have a little bit of flooring material.  So instead of throwing out the old rug, I’ll use it for my tent and be quite happy I have it.

I also ordered a new cooler.

I have one, but it only stores about four days worth of food.

I will be there this year for a full week.

A cooler never used to be a big deal since I was always working with some team or other or being a nanny, my food and water and ice were always taken care of.

Last year was the first year I had a cooler with me.

So.

I upgraded to a bigger one and one that has a long handle and wheels.

Fancy.

What else did I get?

My mind is drawing a blank.

Oh!

Yes.

A couple of 24oz Mason jar drinking mugs with handles and screw top lids.

Super nice for having my iced cold brew coffee.

I ordered so much cold brew coffee concentrate last year, yes, that’s how I roll, fuck the bullshit, just get the concentrate, I might as well have shot it up, a couple of times I wasn’t really thinking about it being concentrate and just poured it out like it was, well, not water, but regular coffee.

I was a little zipped up.

Ha!

Anyway.

I like the mugs, the screw lid keeps the dust out and they travel nice and I keep one for my coffee, iced, always, and the other for various forms of fizzy water.

I do love me some bubbly water.

I think that was about it.

I still have to source a bicycle, so I didn’t get bike lights, having lost my faithful steed last year, I also lost all the lights I had on it, wheel lights, basket lights, etc, etc.

But until I know the kind of bike I’m getting I will hold off on getting all the bright and blinky.

Although, not for too long.

The days they do fly by.

I still haven’t gotten a ride there and back yet, although I have updated my post on the ride share board, nothing so far, a couple of nibbles but nothing that was a good fit for my situation.

Keep your ears peeled.

This is when I wish my blog wasn’t dark, that I still was putting it up on social media, I usually get all sorts of offers in regards to Burning Man stuff when folks read my blog.

Ah well.

So it goes.

My clients don’t seem to know that I am out here blogging away.

I also took the time off officially from my internship just a little bit ago when I got home from seeing my clients.

It’s official.

Off from work.

Off from internship.

Supplies slowly coming together.

It will come together it always does.

Usually in some odd ball, goofy, yes, totally Burning Man way.

“Man I love Burning Man!” My friend said last night as we were wrapping up coffee and heading out to do the deal.

“You don’t even go!” I exclaimed.

“Nope, never been, don’t want to go, but fuck, I love it when the city empties out, it’s so nice to have parking in the Mission for a week!” He said with a chuckle.

Fingers crossed one of those cars will have me in it heading to the event.

Fingers crossed people.

Seriously.

Where Am I?

September 1, 2016

Who am I?

Who is this woman?

Flying up in the sky.

At oh, about 12,500 feet, over the Sierra’s, which let me be frank, was a fuck of  a lot better than how I got over the Sierra’s.

Really, nothing says it’s going to be a long ride to the playa than finding out that the roof on the car that was picking me up was not in working order.

Oh yes.

That’s right.

We drove through the night, in an open top convertible VW Cabriolet.

It was cray cray.

And may I just add.

Hella fucking cold.

I mean, we drove through the mountains at night with the top down.

In the end, it didn’t matter, we got to the playa, albeit once we landed the poor kid’s car got crop dusted with playa from every vehicle driving past.

Who the fuck needed to do dust angels on the playa when we were already covered?

He dropped me, dropped all his clothes, from an untied garbage bag stuffed in his trunk, and once I got all my stuff out of the odd nooks and crannies I had to shove my things into, I gave him a hug, told him to relax and have fun and pointed him in the correct direction.

I have no clue what happened to him.

But I am assured he had enough molly and hits of LSD to make sure it was a fun trip to his side of the playa.

Note to folks.

Don’t tell your ride share that you are carrying drugs on you.

Just don’t.

Discretion is the better part of valor.

Also.

When it’s suggested that you not have your bicycle cover up your license plate or obscure it in any way, really, listen.

OH.

And.

Navigation in certain desolate places in Nevada is not always spot on.

“Don’t turn,” I said loudly, I didn’t holler, I didn’t grab the wheel, but I almost did, he was totally on autopilot listening to his navigation system.

“But the navi says to turn left,” he said in a voice that was young, 23, slightly white male privileged and very naive.

“Honey,” I said in a kind voice, a voice that was beginning to be over being kind as I had talked him out of returning to Reno to buy bell peppers from the Safeway after having a text fight with one of his camp mates all the way past Fernley, “there’s not a road there.”

There was a dirt track leading God only knows where, but it was not leading to Burning Man.

The navigation insisted and for a moment I really thought the kid might just off road it and defy my suggestion.

Fortunately he did not and we got into Gerlach and refueled at the last gas station in town.

Then.

Burning Man.

I should call it “I didn’t get much sleep, man,” I mean really.

I didn’t get a lot of sleep.

I had gotten up on Friday at 7:30 a.m. worked then came home and left for the event and drove through the Sierra’s, remember in a chilly, drafty open roofed car.

Although, I will say it was beautiful, the Milky Way, the dark skies, the stars, the nebula and the two shooting stars I saw, exquisite.

We landed on playa around 3:45 a.m.

After a rather long, protracted grocery stop in Reno, wherein there was much re-packing and re-sorting of the small amount of space in the car.

After getting through Gate, getting the kid’s ticket from Will Call and getting to where I was camped, it was 5 a.m. by the time I had gotten my stuff to my small spot on the playa.

What was fortuitous though, was the sky starting to brighten.

By the time I had my tent up, my bins sorted, and my air mattress inflated, it was already beginning to get hot.

I tried.

Oh.

I tried really hard to lay in my tent on my new blow up mattress, but man, without a shade structure, it was just too hot to sleep.

I got up.

I did shit.

I did eventually take a nap in the communal shade structure and thank God.

I might have cracked.

I only really got emotional once the whole morning, and that was when my air mattress pump died.

I was like.

Fuck me.

It hadn’t held the charge and only blew up my mattress about a quarter of the way.

I was bereft.

Until.

Heh.

The playa doth provide.

A friendly neighbor in camp said, oh go across the street to the Electro Shock Therapy camp, they can help you out.

And help out they did.

It was a solar powered camp that had strips of chargers and before you knew it I had gotten my air mattress blown up, bed made, and was lying in a hot box trying to nap.

I retrieved the item that was to save my life, a black out sleep mask, and found myself reclining in the shade structure.

I got about an hour and a half of sleep.

Enough to get me going again.

I went to a birthday party that night and dressed up and was up until about midnight or 1 a.m.

Most nights I was up about that late and most days I was up by 7 a.m.

One day I was up at 5:15 a.m.

I went to watch the sunrise with some friends from camp on an amazing art car that took us all out to the far reaches of the event at the trash fence.

It was a spectacular sunrise.

And there were beautiful sunsets.

Long bike rides to deep playa.

Crazy conversations struck up out of nowhere.

Running into unexpected friends.

Being told how good it was to see me.

Getting tons of hugs.

But.

No kisses.

No boys.

No hook ups.

I just treated the whole thing like and art and recovery retreat.

It was fantastic though, no matter the  I am tired bit.

I am not spent.

I am happy.

Happy I got to go and got some good photos.

Although I am a little concerned, I’m having some trouble with my regular camera.

I think the dust has finally gotten to it, I’m going to try a few things, but I may have lost some photos.

Such is life.

And I have my memories.

Loads and loads.

And a day to sleep in before I head back into school.

A day to readjust, catch up on the sleep, and um, oh, yeah.

Go see Mike Doughty play.

Nice to be home.

I have no complaints.

Not a one.

I am so very happy.

Yes indeed.

I get to sleep in a dust free bed, I got the playa out of my hair, and I get to see a great musician tomorrow with friends.

Life is lovely.

Nighty night y’all.

I have some much needed beauty rest coming to me.

Sweet dreams my friends.

Sweetest, undusty dreams.

On Track

August 25, 2016

I’m super stoked right now.

I just finished reading the last bit of my assigned reading for one of my classes.

It’s so nice to have it done, to have understood and digested a lot of it too.

Oh.

I’m sure I will have “forgotten” most of it by the time class rolls around, but there is a lot more going on in my brain than my mind wants me to acknowledge.

Also.

Fuck.

I am so lucky.

How I made it to where I am considering the trauma I underwent from pre-birth on, it’s a fucking miracle.  Just reading about it in my texts books sometimes overwhelms me, but I feel lucky, graced, blessed.

I mean.

I have always secretly believed I was something special, shh, don’t tell, that there was just something intrinsically different in me, yeah, yeah, terminal uniqueness is also a quality that can separate me out and make me unhappy, but I’m talking about more than that, something different.

If life were fair I would be dead.

Hell.

I wouldn’t have been born, I shouldn’t have considering how sick my mom was, how traumatic things were for her when I was born and then the innumerable things that happened as I grew up and I mean, can you just say resilient?

I am so resilient.

So even though I can get through the big things, sometimes the little things, job conflict, will throw me for such a loop I can’t get the hell out of the way to gain any kind of perspective on it.

I mean.

I did have fear and it was not a fun time yesterday after I set my boundary with my boss, but I had to set the boundary and though the response was not what I would have preferred, it wasn’t as bad as all that in the scheme of things I have undergone and gone through.

But my brain blows shit up.

I also am acutely aware of my part.

I people please, I am a perfectionist, I can be over accommodating of the needs of the people for whom I work.

Boundaries were crossed early on in my job and I didn’t address them when they happened.

The past, can’t change it, but I can move forward and not keep doing the same things.

I have been well aware of that too, that I can’t go back and beat myself up for not doing it better, no should’s please, I did what I could in the each situation and have been given time to assess how it works or doesn’t work for me.

I adopted a here and now sort of attitude towards the whole thing.

What can I do right now, right here, to take care of myself?

Pretty fucking basic.

And so, I got a break today, appropriately timed and well delineated and fuck, I got school reading done and I got to rest, not really as I was digesting really big psychology theory, but I got to be out of the way in my space in the house, quiet with a cup of tea and a book.

I returned happy to work and there were no other altercations, issues, or weirdness.

Ok.

That’s not true, I still felt a little on pins and needles, but that again, is my feeling and asserting a need, even though it be a small need, for me, is a very big deal.

I remember well a father of one of my charges told me years ago, seriously, six, years ago, “Carmen, your problem is you can’t ask for what you need, you have to speak up.”

He wasn’t saying it to be mean, he was saying it because he wanted me to ask for what I needed, that he knew that I was not capable of doing it and that it was ok and not just ok, but allowed.

Encouraged even.

It blew me away then, and I don’t think it actually sank in for some time, I was allowed to ask for what I need.

What a gift he gave me, you are allowed to ask for what you need!

Now the difference is, with time and perspective, also knowing that though I ask and it may not be met and in that doing I get to make sure I don’t harbor resentment.

I fail to ask many times because I anticipate not getting the need met, so why bother, and then the resentments flourish and I’m stuck in the bathroom sitting on the toilet “peeing.”

I’m really praying and asking for help and clarity and what is the next action to take.

Lucky for me I have faith and I don’t have to explain that either.

And friends.

Fuck me.

I am so lucky to have the friends I have.

The amount of support I have gotten from my friends is unbelievable to this person who for so very long felt rather alone and not able to cope or ask for help.

I wasn’t allowed to ask for help.

I don’t know when that got hammered into my head, but man, it was from a very young age.

Now I’m like, help, help, help, all the time.

Well.

Perhaps not quite like that, although there are times when I am incapable of asking for help, they have gotten fewer and farther between.

And as I feel this softening in me, this loosening up, this growing, I am more and more and more grateful for these experiences I have.

I can help so many people just be showing up and saying, hey, I went through that too and here’s how you survive, here’s how you are not a victim, here’s how you in fact, are allowed to prosper, to thrive.

Thrive.

That’s what I want.

Therein lies the striving and the living and the having fun and oh!  The fun countdown is on.

Two more days of work, then I am out, out, out.

Out to the dusty dust and the art and the big, wide open skies, and floating across the playa on my bicycle and smiling from ear to ear and wearing big pouffy crinolines and ridiculous amounts of flash and bang in my hair.

Out where my heart sings 24 hours a day and my friends are all around and though there is a lot of work, it really is so much fun.

“Funishment” a friend coined it last year.

Yup.

And god damn, I am ready for it.

So ready.

I really am.

Bring it on!

Bring on the funishment!

This lady needs some.

Yes.

And.

Yes, please.

I Got You

August 5, 2016

Really.

Nicer words couldn’t be said.

I got some sweet messages from playa friends today regarding my cry for help and a friend will be loaning me his tent come Saturday.

This makes better sense than the following: getting a tent from friend who told me he could help me last night, why?

Said person has never been to Burning Man and does not know the amount of havoc dust can wreak on something.  As much as I appreciated the offer, even while it was being made I was thinking, I may well go with something else I don’t want to destroy my friends stuff.

That being said.

The offer made to me today to help is from a long time burner, who has more than one tent and already told me what he’s got is hella dusty.

Great.

So I’ll get a little taste of playa before I even get to playa.

Haha.

But it really was such a sweet message to get and to know that I have friends who are willing and happy to help out.

And you know, I would do the same.

I’m helping out where I can.

Today I was at BMHQ (Burning Man Head Quarters) and I helped the Media team for a few hours and got caught up with friends and had one of the team members run down my shifts for on playa.

Basically exactly what I did before when I was a fluffer, and since I’m an “early riser” or how did she say it, “a morning person” bwahahahaha, that anyone thinks I’m a morning person is amazing I am so not a morning person.

However.

I get up and I get shit done and I don’t stay up all night long with extracurriculars anymore and I am much more of a morning person than I used to be, like I get up before noon.

Often times, many hours before noon.

And yes.

I do get my shit done.

I have no problems taking the early shifts at Mecca for fluffing.

Happy as fuck to help out.

Happy to see friends today and catch up and happy to have my tent idiocy addressed.

“Oh!  I know exactly what you ordered,” a friend said, “you got the white one, not the green one!”

“Yes!” I replied.

“Which makes total sense, because it’s white and will deflect sunlight, but the green one is the one with the attached floor,” she finished.

Yup.

Exactly.

Ugh.

But.

Oh hey there, my friend suggested that despite having recycled the box and the receipt, that I could still return it to Amazon.

I just e-mailed Amazon, wrote a little comment about why I don’t want the tent and asked to return it, they’re going to review my request and I’ll see shortly if I can send it back.

Fingers crossed.

I also, in the way of being open to all things that might cost me less money to get to Burning Man, updated my ride request on the ride share board.

That being said.

I am still planning on the car rental.

I don’t want to rent a car, I’d so much rather get a ride or you know, magically get a car from a friend who has a spare.

Like anyone in San Francisco has a spare car I can take to Burning Man.

Bwahahahaaha.

Um.

Yeah.

I’m going to continue to look, but I know that getting out is the big deal, that getting back on time for school is what’s important.

Holy shit.

School!

Like in three days.

Fuck me.

I’m getting excited, albeit a bit nervous.

I haven’t received my school book that I need for one of the classes yet, but if I don’t get it before the retreat starts I’m sure I can borrow from a friend while there.

I much rather have my own copy, that’s for damn sure, so fingers crossed it will get delivered by Saturday.

I leave Sunday, the retreat starts at 4p.m.

Classes start the next day.

The calendar looks a little wonky, but I have faith it will all be exactly how it is supposed to be.

In the mean time.

I just keep doing the next action in front of me.

Get ready for work tomorrow.

There’s a lot to do.

Despite the family being out of town it will be a busy day.

The mom has requested that I make up a bunch of food for the family to have while I am away at the retreat.

So tomorrow morning I’ll go into work and receive a very large InstaCart delivery from Whole Foods and make the following:

Broccoli Soup.

Beef Stew.

Beef Stroganoff.

And.

Turkey and black bean chili.

It’s going to be a busy day of cooking for me.

I’m going in at 10 a.m. and hopefully the delivery will get there pronto so I can start the process.

I’m planning on meeting a lady for coffee and reading at 6:30p.m.

I don’t think it will take a full eight hour day to do the cooking.

But I’m going to play it safe.

Then I will do the deal at my spot at 8p.m. and after that Saturday will be one more day of yoga, meeting my person, getting the tent gear from my friend who’s coming into the city from Santa Cruz, and getting reading for my retreat, plus a speaking engagement on Saturday night and somewhere in there, yes ma’am and sir, I’m going to try and sneak in a mani/pedi.

I’m almost looking forward to school just to be slowed down in one spot for a week.

Plus.

Well.

Frankly.

I would love a break from the fog.

I haven’t seen the sun in days, it’s constantly bundle up time, cold, foggy, dreary, wet, damp, did I mention cold?

I wouldn’t mind some heat for a few days.

And I’m sure to get that in Petaluma.

Plus.

I will get to spend time with my friends from school.

It’s a busy, busy, busy month.

But a lovely one for all that.

Thanks again to my friends who reached out to help with Burning Man.

YOU’RE THE BEST!

Seriously.

Dry Run

August 4, 2016

Well.

The good news is I did a dry run.

The bad news is that I need another tent.

Fuck.

I bought a tipi off Amazon and did not read all the fine print, the super fine print hidden way below all the glowing reviews.

The ones that said, the floor is not attached!

Not a good tent.

Super unhappy I bought this tent.

Want my money back.

Those comments.

Ack.

Ah.

Sucker you blew $120 on a tent that you can’t use on playa.

Because the side walls are not attached to the floor.

I might as well string a tarp and sleep under that.

There would be absolutely nothing between me and the dust.

For one moment, one, I thought, I could make this work.

Then.

I laughed maniacally at myself.

Yeah, right.

There is no amount of duct tape that will make this work.

None.

And.

At least I found out, I am super glad I took it out of it’s bag and went to set it up, I wanted to see how many stakes of rebar I should buy to reinforce the tent stakes and I was going to put it off for another week, because you know, facecrack was so exciting to troll.

Gah.

But I had a nice productive early afternoon, I went grocery shopping and cooked food and finished completely my food prep for playa.  All my food for the days I will be up is in the freezer happily chilling, literally, just waiting for me to throw it in my cooler with a few bags of ice.

Today I made garlic, ginger, chicken and shrimp fried rice with bacon, corn, onions, brown mushrooms and peas.  I have three options to take with me.  This yummy bite, or the pork, chicken, bacon fried rice I made last week, or the Italian vegetable and tomato stew with herbed ground chicken and brown rice.

I have three different menu options.

All set.

So after I had my yummy lunch and had some tea and rubbed one out.

Hey, a girl’s got to have priorities, and since there was time and um, quiet, the housemate’s out of town, why not have a little afternoon delight?

Anyway.

After I finished the business at hand, heh, ha, ah, I amuse myself, sorry, I grabbed the tent and made my discovery.

Of course.

Then I spent the next couple of hours being annoyed with myself, ruing my decision making abilities and beating myself up for not getting it right.

Like that helps.

But it was what was happening.

So.

I rolled the tent up, no I can’t return it, I tossed the stuff, receipt, packaging, etc. before realizing I had a dud, and put it away in the garage and took a walk and made a phone call and got some much needed perspective.

“Didn’t you just get gifted a ticket?” My person asked.

Yes, yes I did.

And I sold the one that I had previously bought, so I have money.

In cash, in my wallet.

And I also have the humility to share when I am obsessing about something and use it that as a way to reach for a spiritual answer.

Which I did and then had a friend approach me and say, hey after I get back from the Water Front camping trip, you can borrow mine.  We’ll just set it up in my drive way and make sure it’s what you need.

Fuck yeah.

Thanks man.

And if it’s not the right fit.

Fine.

I will still have the time to go and buy one before the event.

And instead of trying to figure it out online, maybe go to an actual store and see actual tents and get what will work for me.

It was also suggested to me that I keep trying to find a ride, to save the money of renting a car and have faith that I can get up there.

Which of course scares me.

But.

It’s true.

I bet a ride could come through and it would be nice to not worry about getting a rental and all the cost of leaving a deposit that I won’t have access to for 30 days, that’s like school book money and readers that I would be able to buy instead.

Remember Carmen.

You’re a grad school student footing all your own bills.

If you can get help.

Fucking let people help you.

I just don’t want to be a parasite or a whiner or not self-supporting.

There is a balance and I want to find it.

I am going to keep the car rental reservation, but I will update my ride board post and just be open.

Open to the possibility that I don’t really know what’s best for me, that perhaps I need to ask for help, and take suggestions and show up and help where I can.

Tomorrow I get to go in and help out at BMHQ (Burning Man Head Quarters) and I’m super stoked on that.

So let me be super stoked that I am going, that it doesn’t matter if my tent snafu was a fuck up, maybe I can give that tent to someone or keep it for something else, might be fun for Lighting in a Bottle or something.

Or I can try to sell on Craiglist.

It’s not used.

Just unpackaged.

There’s plenty to be happy about, I get to go to the event, I got a free ticket, I got early arrival approval.

I’m totally taken care of and I get to help, in my own teeny tiny way, host one of the best, biggest, most amazing experiences in the world.

Like literally.

There is nothing else like Burning Man.

I get to do this thing.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Regardless of my crappy tent purchase.

It’s going to lead me to the experience I am supposed to have and that will be wonderful.

I am absolutely positive of that.

Everything is exactly how it should be.

It.

Always.

Is.

 

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!

Side Bar

July 11, 2016

Do your spending plan, Martines!

Aha.

I realized today that while I was worrying, needlessly, there is no need to worry, because it all works out in the end and I have the ticket, I’ll be buying it this week and I have the time off from work, that I don’t also need to worry about money.

It’s stupid.

When I think about how I went to Burning Man my first time, well, yeesh, I have so much more for me than I did then.

First, I’m employed.

I was on disability at the time.

Nothing says good times like getting diagnosed with PTSD, clinical anxiety and clinical depression and then being told I was classic ACA and here’s some meds and whew boy howdy, you should be in therapy, and yeah, we think, maybe take some time off from work and like practice not wanting to kill yourself.

That was a shock.

I mean.

I was so overwhelmed at that point in my recovery, I had no idea that I had so much going on, but once I had been sober about a year and a half, or there about, it all sort of floated up to the surface.

I’m forever grateful it did.

I have done so much work.

So much.

And I have no regrets, not about my past or my present or my future for that matter.

So to worry now seems like a waste of my time.

As I told a woman I’m working with, hey if you got to obsess, obsess about Burning Man.

I mean.

I got over the anxiety really quick when I realized that it always comes together, it always falls into place, I never quite know how, I just keep taking some actions and things happen.

I also bought a parasol today.

So at least that’s out of the way.

Ha.

I also spent a lot of time looking at tents on line and thinking, you know, maybe this is the year I actually dial in a good tent for myself.

I have borrowed tents, I have stayed in trailers for work, I have had crappy used tents that I bought at side walk sale on Valencia street before it was the Valencia Street it is now.

What would it be like if I got something decent?

And buy my own air mattress.

Actually, I had an air mattress but loaned it to a friend one of the years I was working and staying in a trailer and she killed it out on the playa.

That’s what the playa does.

It destroys your stuff.

Which is why I also am loathe to ask for a loaner tent from friends.

I have plenty of friends who camp, but there is just no way to get the dust off your stuff once the dust has hit.

It doesn’t come off.

I looked at bell tents.

I looked at teepees.

I glanced briefly at a yurt.

Briefly.

No yurt for me.

So.

After too much time and nattering around I realized that what I really needed to do was look at what I had in terms of cash money coming in and going out.

I won’t get paid time off for the week and I won’t get paid to be there.

I am buying the ticket.

I am going to have to help out someone with gas.

I have to do all my food and water.

These are typical things that most folks need to get.

I just haven’t done it in a while.

I sat down, after a fairly lovely day, truly, yoga in the morning, coffee with a friend, a nice breakfast, some writing, getting to see another friend, being gifted some lovely over bought produce.

You got to love a friend who over buys at the farmer’s market then tells you to come over because he got you plums.

Hello.

Yes please.

I paid a visit and left laden with much loveliness.

I made the best little salad for lunch: fresh baby mozzarella, the tiniest sweetest plum tomatoes, fresh basil, and a warm soft boiled egg, some sea salt, olive oil, splash apple cider vinegar, ooh, it was good.

Then plums and strawberries for desert.

Such a spoiled princess.

I told that to my friend’s husband last night at the party, that as much as San Francisco has changed and as much as I grieve the loss of art and creativity and edginess, I do so love the food here.

Fresh, organic, local, every kind of fruit and vegetable you can imagine.

I am so wildly grateful for that, it’s such a good place to live for food.

I also did food prep for the week, a little run up to Other Avenues, the co-op I’m a member at in my neighborhood, picked up brown rice, eggs, oatmeal, an onion and some other odds and ends, ooh, yes, a parasol.

I saw it, knew it was the one and bought it.

Came home and whipped up an Italian stew with brown rice–sauteed an onion with some ground turkey, added lots of fresh basil, a large zucchini chopped up with some brown mushrooms, a bit of white corn and sun dried tomato and then some more crushed tomato and garlic on top of that.

Delicious.

And then I went back to online stalking of tents.

Then, finally did my spending plan.

Which I had put off doing until the last minute because I also wanted a distraction from my date that I had for dinner tonight.

Said date going quite well, thank you very much.

Wink.

Wink.

Nudge.

Nudge.

So it was good to have a distraction and also to see that I could probably spend the money to get a decent tent set up and maybe not hound my friends for gear.

Maybe.

I’m going to see what happens with the ticket, my expenses and such and if I can offset the cost of the ticket I think I shall.

But it’s late, and tomorrow’s Monday.

And yeah.

Like that.

Bye bye weekend.

It was fun.

See you soon.

 


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