Posts Tagged ‘dusty’

Party!

May 14, 2018

Well.

Not yet.

But.

I got a lot of stuff done this weekend for the party.

I am very stoked.

I’m pretty much done with it.

I might buy some more beverages though and maybe one more pack of hotdogs and buns.

But.

For the most part, all the graduation beach bonfire party stuff is set!

Very exciting.

Yesterday I got up at the crack of dawn and met my best friend, who greeted me with coffee, thank goodness, and we hit the beach to scope out the fire pits and to do a test run on the teepee.

Of course.

Ha.

Ugh.

I didn’t realize the teepee pole and stakes were not in the tent bag.

I was mortified.

But.

We still got a good look at the lay of the land and when we got back to my place I found the stakes and the pole and we set it up in the back yard.

I also pulled out my Burning Man tent, which, yes, was dusty as fuck, just to see if it might be usable.

In the state it was in when it was set up, no.

But now.

Possible.

I hosed it off yesterday and let it air dry and then I hosed it off again today and let it dry and it’s in pretty damn good shape.

I am actually surprised that I got as much dust off of it as I did.

I also sorted out some clean extra storage bins I had bought for last years Burning Man and stocked them with blankets, a quilt, a flashlight for breakdown, and two solar mason jar lights.

I have also put together my picnic basket with supplies–paper plates, napkins, disposable utensils (don’t really need them, but I figured for condiments and such they might come in handy), a lighter for the tiki torches and to light the bonfire.

Tiki torches!

I mean.

It’s going to be a party.

Plus a sound box on a boom.

I put together a Spotify playlist and there will be 60s surf music and soul classics.

I also went grocery shopping today.

I was going to do it later in the week, but what with the endoscopy and such I thought that it would be better to knock it out today.

So I did.

I got a couple more cases of sparkling water (I still may get some more beverages, that feels like something I might be a touch short on).

I got all natural beef hot dogs, turkey dogs, and some Italian sausages, mild and hot, because well, I like them and it’s nice to have variety.

I got brioche hot dog buns.

I got ketchup, mustard, mayo, and dill pickle relish.

I got a couple of bags of chips.

Those weren’t planned, but they just hopped into my grocery cart, I figure they will get eaten.

I got marshmallows and graham crackers (honey and cinnamon).

Shit.

I got some fancy chocolate.

I’m not eating it, but I may vicariously enjoy providing lovely chocolate goodness for others.

I got skewers for roasting said hotdogs and marshmallows.

It was fun and sweet to buy the party supplies and think about how nice it is to have good food and bevvies and fun lighting and all the really nice things for a lovely party on the beach.

I suspect we will be the envy of the fire pits.

I’m happy to say that I also got some sleep today!

I was out late last night, having a beautiful dinner with my best friend at Che Fico, the new, hot Italian Taverna on Divisadero Street, and didn’t get to bed until 1 a.m.

I didn’t sleep more than eight hours, but getting up at 9a.m. felt like serious indulgence.

It was really nice.

I had a good breakfast and did a lot of writing.

I had both the ladies I was supposed to meet with today cancel.

So.

Gasp.

I did something amazing.

I read for pleasure!

It was so nice.

I took a book I bought last year and sat in the back yard, in the sun, for an hour and read.

Then I did food prep for the week.

Which was also nice, I hadn’t done food prep with all the writing papers and school stuff happening for a couple of weeks.

Speaking of writing!

I got back my grade for my Research Methods final paper.

“A”.

Which means I got an A in the class, having turned in everything prior, three other papers, and having gotten 100% scores on everything I will get an “A” for the class.

So nice!

My god that was good to see the grade already in.

Tomorrow I will be going to CIIS, hopefully for the last time in a while, I could use a little summer break from the campus, and dropping off my final pieces of paperwork.

I had my group supervisor sign off on my hours yesterday and with that signature I have all the things I needed to graduate.

I’ll go in the morning before work, make photocopies of the paperwork and drop it off at the office.

I keep the originals which will get turned into the BBS to have an AMFT # assigned to me.

The copies will prove that I have accrued enough hours of face to face therapy to graduate.

I have gotten more hours than I need to graduate and I am happy to continue getting hours.

Though this week will be a slower week with clients.

I had a cancellation tomorrow so just one client and then clients on Tuesday.

But no one else the rest of the week because of the endoscopy procedure and getting ready for my graduation.

Super excited.

It’s beginning to feel really real.

Happy, so much so, to have gotten the majority of the party preparations out-of-the-way.

Now it’s just a matter of showing up  in my cap and gown and walking that stage.

I can’t wait!

 

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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.

 

 

Hello Again

September 4, 2017

It’s been a minute, hasn’t it?

I have missed my little blog, I have.

I got back from Burning Man last night.

I am back a day early and I cannot be more grateful for it.

I needed to get back, I was missing my world.

I also wasn’t wanting to sit in any kind of exodus line, the last time I had tried to leave on Sunday morning I ended up being in line for almost four hours.

Four hours on playa.

Four hours to go three miles.

No fucking thank you.

And I had to be back by today to give myself enough time to recuperate and unpack and unwind.

And.

Um.

Shower.

Holy Mary, mother of God.

Fuck me.

That shower was something else.

A spiritual experience for sure.

I knew when I heard that the temperature was going to rise and peak out on Sunday that I wanted to come back Saturday.

I didn’t need to see the Man burn.

I have seen it burn ten times.

I wanted to get home without a shit ton of traffic.

I asked the woman who I had traveled with to the event if she would be amenable to leaving a day early and she was quite down for it.

And in given that there was a death last night at the burn I am extraordinarily grateful that one, I did not witness it.  And two, that I had left before the event turned morbid.

Death happens.

But I am relieved that I did not witness it.

I had a very different burn than I have in the past.

First, of course, because I was not working it.

I had to laugh, even when I tried to pick up a volunteer shift at Artica slinging ice, I got turned down, they had more volunteers than they needed.

Every time that I thought I might have worked, it was pushed down and away.

I spent a lot of time sitting in Center Camp Cafe writing.

I sent lots of cards and post cards off and I did a lot of journaling.

I hung out at my camp with the ladies of the Nest, a sweet group of women that I have known for years and witnessed their growth into extraordinary beings.

It was super sweet to have such a girl centric time.

I wasn’t on the prowl for the playa boyfriend.

I didn’t need to look for anything.

I have everything I want.

I went dancing twice.

Once in camp, an amazing dj came and played at our potluck dinner for the camp.

The music was the best I had experienced in years at the event.

I danced hard for two hours.

Happy in my body and light on my feet.

Although, the knees felt a little rough the next day.

I got to know a few folks in my San Francisco fellowship whom I have known for years but not really connected with.

I went on bike rides with the posse.

I got caught in dust storms unlike anything I have experienced before.

Prior years I was always working very close to my accommodations and they included access to trailers.

A dust storm would spring up and I would be hiding out in a trailer.

A huge dust storm came up and I was obliterated in it.fullsizeoutput_ed1

The “clean” spot on my face was where my dust mask was.

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I mean, you can’t even tell I have tattoos for god’s sake.

I had been caught off guard and though I saw the storm coming, it came up too fast for me to get the fuck out of Dodge.

I spent about an hour of it laying on a bench outside of the Temple.

Completely exposed.

I rested my head on the bench, curled up next to the fencing it was by and held on for what literally felt like dear life.

I kept my eyes closed.

I wasn’t wearing goggles.

My bad.

Stupid too, since I have a pair.

I was, thank god, wearing something, my big aviator sunglasses, but my eyes still got totally coated with dust.

It was an extraordinary experience.

Not exactly pleasant.

But I surrendered to it and rode it out saying prayers inside my head and breathing slow and steady.

There was a break in it and I thought go!

I got my bike, made it five feet and it whipped up again.

I was told later the wind was roaring along at 45 mph.

The dust battered me and I held still straddling my bike for about another hour.

There was a man standing next to me on a trike.

He might have been three feet away, probably less and he was invisible to me.

I could have reached out to him and touched his arm.

I didn’t.

But.

Knowing there was someone else there made it palatable.

The experience was mind-blowing.

No pun intended.

It also lead to an experience that I had never had before.

I got topless at Burning Man.

That has never, ever happened.

I stumbled into camp, with another of my campmates who had gotten blasted by the dust too and we let the women in camp strip us down and clean us up.

She got completely naked.

I couldn’t quite do it and in fact was walking away to wipe myself down solo when I realized what a monumental task it was going to be and I started crying.

I went back and said, “help me.”

And they did.

I dropped all my pretenses, and my clothes, well, I couldn’t step out of my under wear, there really is a limit for me, and just surrendered.

I got sprayed with a vinegar and water mixture and then a baby wipe down.

I got all the dust off my eyes and eyelashes.

I actually left my hair up in the puffs and antlers and let it be the way it was.

I was told it looked pretty spectacular and just let it be.

I had to have help getting dressed and it felt as though I was a priestess being made ready for a ceremony.

We all went out that night in a mutual friend’s, who is staff at the event, car.

I wore a long white dress and fresh makeup.

I had my hair up and added some goggles to the mix, I wasn’t without them the rest of the event.

We rode around the playa, the six of us, sitting regal in the back of the Jaguar convertible, the “Shaguar” which was painted hot pink with black spots on it.

I felt like some sort of playa princess.

And I was happy to be with the women around me.

All of whom I wouldn’t have met outside of recovery.

I am lucky and grateful to have them in my life.

I felt seen and loved.

Really loved and really included.

What more could I ask from Burning Man?

I’m so glad I’m home though.

I missed it more than I had expected.

And my heart is glad to be here.

Despite having a bad tummy today, which happens sometimes after coming back from the event, especially after being smacked so hard by the dust, I am happy to be home.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

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So very free.

Packed!

August 21, 2017

I’m ready for Burning Man.

All I have to do is get through the week.

And what a week it’s going to be.

Oof.

I have supervision tomorrow morning in Hayes Valley.

Then work, nannying, up in Glen Park.

I might, depending on what is going on with my supervisor and some paperwork, have to spin by my school and drop off a practicum trainee review.

I have seen the review and tomorrow we will be discussing it.

I’m not super excited to tell you the truth.

It wasn’t as great a review as my other supervisor, but then again, this supervisor is tough and smart and I doubt he gives very high marks to anyone he supervises.

I did good.

Don’t get me wrong.

Although I didn’t like his additional comments about how my schedule, school full-time, working full time, the practicum hours at the internship, how I’m working six days a week and have to be careful to not get overloaded and to take time to recharge.

Sigh.

I did a lot of recharging today.

And.

I also did a lot of work.

Laundry, cooking–made a pot roast (god damn was that a great supper, I marinated it over night in olive oil, garlic, sea salt, black pepper, adobo, thyme; then roasted it super slow and low for almost three and a half hours, I also soaked it down with homemade chicken stock to keep it moist while it was cooking and surrounded it by baby potatoes, parsnips, carrots, and turnips.  I ate a nice juicy slice of it for dinner over some brown rice and put a pat of butter on it and some salt, because salt, and my fucking god, heaven), went to yoga, cleaned my house, and yeah.

Packed for Burning Man.

Four large bins, one medium bin, got my cooler ready to load up, but I won’t load it until the day I head out, which is next Sunday.

I’ll be keeping everything in the freezer until the very last moment.

My four man tent, a folding chair, and my parasol.

Ta da!

I’m pretty good at the packing for the desert trip, it’s just a matter of getting my bins sorted and having laundry done.

It used to be that my wardrobe was pretty small and basically I was wearing whatever I owned out on the playa.

A little time and a little bit of purchases here and there and I have slowly acquired a playa set of clothes, although a good bit of my wardrobe still does hop into a bin, it’s not my entire closet.

And there are some things that I absolutely won’t wear out there, which is relatively new in the last couple of years, I would just dump everything I had in my bins and empty my closet.

I do need to get a pair of sunglasses, some good aviators, I couldn’t find my sunglasses and then I realized, oh yeah, stupid, paid way too much for a set of Oliver Peeples prescription sunglasses and lost them at school last semester.

Ugh.

So.

Yeah, that’s about all I have to purchase for the trip, that and the things that will wait until I get out-of-town, like ice and water, that I’ll pick up in Reno at the 24 hour SafeWay.

My ride is coming to pick me up at 1 p.m. next Sunday.

The drive takes about 8-9 hours.

I figure we’ll land on playa around midnight–the stop in Reno and any other pit stops or gassing up that needs to be done.

My ticket and the vehicle pass are at Will Call.

I was gifted a low-income ticket from the organization, it’s still $198 and the vehicle pass is $80, but it’s cheaper than the regular ticket, and I got a ticket, there’s always so many people who can’t seem to get a ticket since the event started selling out years ago.

I remember very well the first time that happened, I was nannying for the head of Media Mecca and there was a great kind of awed hush that came over her when the announcement was made over the radio channel.

It was astounding to think they sold out.

Used to be you could just buy a ticket when you got there.

You could buy a ticket at Rainbow Grocery for fucks sake.

Now it’s a big deal, it’s a lotto, they’re more expensive, they are much harder to get.

But.

Well, I keep getting lucky, I keep getting to go.

I get to keep wearing big flowers in my hair and pretty dresses and my cowboy boots and crinolines.

I don’t show much skin out there per se, sure, my bra top will show, but I always wear a bra, I’m not a run around the desert naked kind of gal.

I like a tan, but not that much.

No.

I wear gingham dresses and crinolines, or fun tights and frilly panties and loose cotton tops.

At night I wear leggings and jean shorts, and layers, I have a cheetah print jacket with a pink silk lining that I only wear at Burning Man.

I have my goggles.

And I have my box of makeup.

Really.

What I like to do is wear lots of geegaws up in my hair and put on pretty makeup.

Throw in a crinoline and my cowboy boots and that’s it.

Oh, yeah, and a few bandanas, always, one around my wrist and sometimes one around my the top of my boot, it’s nice to have a spare for the dust that kicks up.

And like that.

My day is just about done.

I need to get the last of the laundry out of the dryer and wrap up a few loose ends here at the house.

Then my full week, supervision, work, clients, therapy, and let me not forget my first weekend of classes.

Whew.

It’s going to be busy.

But good.

I know my week will be very good and I will have my moments, my quiet, sweet moments in my little home by the sea to ponder how good I have it and how much I am loved.

Luckiest girl in the world.

And packed for Burning Man!

Fuck yeah.

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!

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.

Yes! This Works

February 17, 2017

Best e-mail response ever.

I spoke with my boss yesterday about taking time off to go to Burning Man this year.

Yes.

I am aware that Burning Man isn’t until the last week of August.

I am one of those people who plan pretty far out in advance and it came down to needing to ask sooner rather than later as the family I nanny for is going to be in Europe for three weeks.

Without me.

In July.

So.

To take off a week of time in August was actually a great big request and I was shy to ask for it

I mean.

It’s Burning Man.

Folks have an idea of what that means.

Especially if they have never been.

And most folks might not be inclined to let go of their full time nanny so she could go romp around in the desert for a week when the kids are gearing up for their school semester and they have a baby and full-time work and um, yeah.

But.

She told me, the mom, that it could probably work, to e-mail her the dates and she would get back to me.

I did so last night.

And I actually sort of forgot that I had e-mailed her and then.

This morning.

Yes!

I got the best answer.

I got the “Yes! This works!” Response.

I just about fell out of my chair.

I haven’t gotten my ticket, I won’t know for eight weeks whether I have gotten the low-income ticket, but really, the biggest hurdles have been cleared.

First.

That I don’t have any school conflict with going to the event.

Second.

That my job is willing to let me go.

Huge hurdles.

The ticket will come.

I know too many people and should I get denied the low-income ticket, I do feel like I will be able to negotiate getting one at the full price.

Fingers crossed that won’t happen, I could use the cash for other things, but I will if I have to.

Have to is should be re-phrased, get to, if I need to I can.

The gift of the time off is the big deal.

“You need to have fun,” my employer said, “it can’t just be work and school, we want you to be able to go and play.”

My god.

What a gift this job is.

I am so grateful to have it.

Today was super chill.

Almost too chill.

I could have fallen asleep.

In fact, had my charge dropped off, I would have.

She never quite did though.

I had one little monkey home sick from school today and the mom and the baby and the grandma, who is visiting, were out and about.

I stayed back.

Tidied up the kitchen.

Drew pictures and colored with my charge.

Lots and lots and lots of music, reading stories, and snuggling.

“Carmen, scratch my back more please,” she said and collapsed over a big throw pillow on the couch.

Happy to oblige, I sat and rubbed her back and snuggled with her.

We had picnic on the floor, played foxes, rescue fire fighters, cops and robbers, and veterinarian.

We ran away from scary robots and ghosts.

My little girl charge is a fierce lady and it’s really quite fun to be with her high-spirited energy, even when she’s sick, we had just a sweet day, no getting out to the park, no riding the train to grab my other charge, my first shift there since I started where I didn’t go outside at all.

I did feel a little sleepy from the lack of outside stimulation, but I got through it and it was really just nice to have a day playing with my charge.

And tomorrow is Friday.

Oh.

Glorious weekend.

How I do love thee.

Let me count the ways.

Yoga.

Doing the deal.

Meeting with my person.

Getting my tattoo touched up.

And?

Who knows what else.

Yes.

Most likely there will be homework and reading and stuff and things, meal prep and grocery and what have you.

But.

I do want to let myself have fun, to relax a little to not be too serious or overcommitment to making all the things happen.

The weather today, no rain when it had been forecasted, was a boon, I was able to ride my scooter to and from work and I got to do a little speaking engagement and get some grocery shopping done.

The rain comes back tomorrow.

Which always changes my plans a little.

The not riding my scooter sort of deal.

I suspect that whatever happens it will be fine.

I’m so happy to have a couple of days off.

One more day of work.

One more.

Oof.

Hella grateful for that.

And.

Yeah.

Burning Man.

I am so very thrilled.

I am.

I am.

I have time to do some bicycle research.

Sadly.

My playa steed did not make it back from the event last year.

I was upset when I found out, but then, grateful after I had time to do some work around it and yes, some grieving too, that bike meant a lot to me, but now I get to have a new experience out there.

A new bike.

A new camp.

Not working.

Just going to participate and have fun.

Fun.

EEK.

I hope I can handle not doing any work for a week.

Ha.

As if going isn’t a hell of a lot of work.

I always have work to do to get to go.

But.

It’s a labor of love.

Dusty love, but love nevertheless.

Ah.

It’s been a good week.

Grateful it’s almost done.

I need a break.

But.

You know that already.

And some fun.

I don’t have to wait for Burning Man before I have fun.

Hell no.

So.

Bring on the fun.

I am ready.

Primed, in fact.

Seriously.

Bring it.

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.

All The Mother Fucking Things

August 22, 2016

I got it done.

I almost cannot believe it.

I finished the reading for my Gestalt class so I can write the paper tomorrow.

Brief aside, so early into the blog, but.

I know I’m on the right track when the last sentence of the book, involving an imaginary conversation that Fritz Perls is heaving with Freud (a dead Freud, seven years gone at that point) stirs me to tears.

I was moved.

And I am excited that I have found what I believe to be the therapy modality that I want to work with and also.

Heh.

All things Burning Man.

Gestalt and Burning Man.

Yup.

I have a desire to write my dissertation on a theory I have around Gestalt and the evolution of Burning Man, the here and nowness of things.  I am rather nascent in my explorations, but I do know that I am heading in the direction of what I want to do and I am so very happy to think about combining two different things into a project that could lead me to dissertation.

Anyway.

I get a head of myself.

Which is so not Gestalt, and so not Burning Man.

But is so easy for me to do.

In the moment, I am sitting in my pajamas, yes, before 8p.m. on a “school night” for me as I will be getting up early, early, early to drive to Sonoma for work in the morning.

I made the decision to stay here overnight and go up early so that I could wrap up any lose ends and take care of things for my imminent trip to the playa.

I cleaned the house, re-packed my clothes bin for the burn, I had a suspicion that I was not really well packed, that I may have over packed a little in fear and went through all my gear to make sure I really was going to use it or wear it.

I’ll only be out for four days and four nights.

Which means 8 outfits.

I paired down a little what I had and organized it better.

I was tempted to go back through all my bins, but when I did a mental inventory I knew that I was fine and really well set up for the event.

My camera has freshly charged batteries, I have my back up phone battery charger, I have all my tent, bedding, sleep, cook, cooler, and hair supplies.

Hello.

You know this girl is going to get her big, pink, flowered hair on.

Please.

Then I took care of business.

I paid rent early.

I don’t like to have that hanging over my head before going out there, and it feels good to be accountable.

I won’t have to worry about paying any bills when I get back, I can just ease back into my life with little thought–paid my DMV renewal on my scooter, early, but hey, the bill came in the mail, I don’t want my dusty brain to forget it when I get back, and organized my ticket, vehicle pass, and yes, I printed off my Early Arrival pass.

I have them all right here, right at my elbow, just waiting for my return on Friday night.

I’ll be leaving work by 6p.m. at the latest and returning the rental car to SFO, grabbing a car from the rental drop off to home, then my ride share will come and get me, it’s looking like 8:30 p.m. for the pick up.

We load up and drive out.

I confirmed with him via e-mail, updated him in regards to groceries and water–suggested that we not get water in SF, but rather pick it up at the SafeWay in Reno which is open 24 hours.  Less weight in the car, less gas to get us up over the Sierra’s.

He totally agreed.

I also went shopping for a few things to have at the house for when I get back.

And I’ve packed my suitcase, so recently unpacked, again for this week’s work in Glen Ellen.

All that I have left to do is dry the load of laundry in the dryer and write this blog.

Heck.

I even addressed all my Burning Man postcards and stamped them up.

I met with two ladies today and did the deal, too.

Which was super good and really grounding, they are such gifts, I am so lucky to get to work with them and share my experience, strength and hope.

My other lady did a phone check in and by the time all that was done I felt really ready for the next phase of my development.

An extraordinary thing that.

One which lead to me realizing that I had no real need to go out all willy nilly and secure further stuff and things for that thing in the desert.

That, I, in fact, had everything I needed and a little more (one white crinoline and one black crinoline), that there was no reason to stir my anxiety pot by driving around town in the VW Bug rental car.

Especially when I got the perfect parking spot in front of the house last night.

Why move it and cause myself stress to buy things I don’t really need, but think I might want.

Nah.

I got it.

I really am ready.

The few things I have left to get are just a couple of food stuffs that I want to wait until Reno to procure–some apples, one more container of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and some carrots.

As for the rest of it.

It’s done.

I am so glad I didn’t leave the neighborhood, I am so glad I took time to re-pack and re-organize and also to realize that I really am done.

It’s done.

I’m ready.

The rest of the week is to show up kind and compassionate with sweetness, tolerance, and love to work.

To write a six page Gestalt paper and to do some reading for another of my classes.

Thank you Sunday.

For being, well, easy like Sunday morning.

Giggle.

It’s been fruitful, restful, and far less stressful than I thought it would be.

Hella grateful.

Seriously.


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