Posts Tagged ‘Esprit Park’


April 6, 2017


Congratulations Burner!

Hello Carmen,

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

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

Holy toledo

The best news ever.

Well, maybe not ever, but.




Not excited.

Not even a little bit.

Not even.


Who the hell am I kidding.

Over the motherfucking moon.

I’m going.

11th year in a row.

It’s a special year for me too.

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

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

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

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

One of the best San Francisco street parties.


It cannot hold a candle to the actual event.

I mean.

What the hell can?

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



I do.

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

I still went.

I have been out as long as 23 days.

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

My burn this year will be the standard event.

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

This year.


This year, this lady is not working.

No “Working Man” for me.

I mean.

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

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

I’m going to Burning Man.

Pinch me.

I need supplies!

I need a new bike.


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


I will also be sourcing a ride there and back.

I do have a parking pass.


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

The ride will come together.

My gear will come together.

I really have the majority of it anyway.

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

I will need to get a bicycle.

A new air pump for my air mattress.

And possibly a second cooler.

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

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

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

I was like.


Yes, please.

Oh my God.

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

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


I am going to have all the adventures.


Of them.


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


I always am!

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


All the crazy stuff that my brain manufactures.

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

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

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

At least for me.

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

Some years more so than others.

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

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

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

Boy did I ever.

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

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


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


I need to celebrate.

I’m going to Burning Man!

Luckiest girl in the world.


Call A Girl

October 13, 2014

Hottie enough and you might get her attention.

I may have just asked a guy out that I know on OKStupid.

We were bantering back and forth about the dismal dating world online and also about Tinder and whether or not I would have any success on it and I sort of said, why don’t we go on a date?

I mean.

Why not.

I am giving all things a new try.

If it’s getting suggested to me that I need to go on dates and that I should date a bunch of guys, this was suggested to me as well a while back by John Ater too, then, perhaps I should start going on some dates.

I probably back assward asked this guy out and honestly, I have no idea whether or not we’re compatible.  We run in the same circles, although haven’t really done any socializing outside of them.



Why not.

I got to jump-start this thing some how.

And I also gave my number to a guy that I met at  Decompression today.

He also kissed me.

I saw it coming and was ok with it, then the taste of beer in my mouth like a cold dead aluminum can made me pull back.

“Uh, sorry, I don’t drink, and you’ve got a beer on you,” I said stepping back, and sure as shit, Tecate.


“Excuse me a second,” I said and dug into my messenger bag and got my water bottle.

I took a pull of water, swished it around my mouth and spat.

It wasn’t that bad, but the last thing I want with 9 1/2 years sober is even the faint taste of beer in my mouth.  Bad enough when I have to walk through a cloud of pot smoke or worse, a haze of crack smoke, but beer taste in my mouth, no, no, no thank you.

“Oh shit, I’m so sorry, you told me you don’t drink earlier,” he said apologizing profusely.

I had met him earlier in the afternoon and I am not even sure how, we were standing in the same general area?  I just looked up and there was this very tall man staring at me with a big smile on his face.

“Do I know you?” I asked smiling.

“You certainly look familiar, your smile is gorgeous, I don’t think I would forget having met you,” he smiled and stepped a little closer.

He offered me a sip of his beer.

“No thanks, I don’t drink,” I said.

We chatted for a few minutes, then I meandered on down the street.

I ran into all sorts of lovely folks.

And I saw my little guy from the previous nanny share I did before my current job.

He was so adorable and cute and delicious.

We danced to a marching band drum corp and had a splendid reunion.

I missed seeing all the folks I thought I was going to see, there were a lot of folks there and eventually people sort of blur together and its hard to find folks, but I figured, just like at Burning Man, I would see the people I was supposed to see.

Juno and her aunt.

Photographer Sidney Erthel, who bestowed upon me the magical words, “I have some great shots of you and Juni from the event, I’ll be sending them too you.”

Oh yay!

Bettie June and Zack.


Big Daddy.


Kat and Kepi and Pnut.

PQ and Playa Martha who I used to nanny for, I missed their daughter and the new baby, they had gone home with grandma for naps, but I got to catch up with the folks and get hugs and photos and that was super sweet.

I walked around a bit more trying to locate people and just kind of gave up on it.

I was slowly turning into a pumpkin.

“There she is!”

I turned and there was the tall gentleman from earlier in the day beaming at me.

“Hello again,” I said and smiled.

“I really feel like I know you,” he said, “there’s just something about you, are you in recovery?”

“I am,” I said and wondered where this line of conversation was going since he had a can of beer in his hand.

“Do you ever go to ecstatic dance?” He asked.

I told him I had gone once to the one in the Mission and he told me about Wednesdays and Sundays in Oakland.

I told him, I have been invited there many times, but that it’s just a haul for me to get to, especially living out at Ocean Beach.

“Wait!” I said, “you must know my friend B____.”

I described me friend.

“I do!” He said.

I smiled.

He smiled.

He leaned in towards me, “I can’t help myself, I really want to kiss you, may I kiss you?”

“Sure,” I smiled again, it certainly is nice to be asked.

And yuck.

Beer kiss.

Oh well.

“I am really sorry,” he said again, “I know this is probably awkward, but I would like to see you again, may I have your phone number?”

I said yes and gave him my number.

“Let’s just make it a coffee date, though, ok,” I said.

We hugged.

I wandered off in search of more friends.

I did not run into anyone else, and as the sun was setting and thoughts of my early start at work tomorrow looming, I hopped on my bicycle and rode off into the Sunset.

The Outer Sunset, that is.

I got home and had a little dinner.

I did not cook today, I went to Decompression and had some fun.

But I did go to the grocery store, so there were plenty of fresh veggies and humus awaiting me when I got home.

I had forgotten about asking my acquaintance friend on OKStupid on a date.

But then I got his message.

“Did you just ask me on a date?”



I’m trying new things.

I am.

I’m up for it.

Nothing changes unless I change.

I asked someone out and I got asked out all in the same day.

I guess I am changing.




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