Posts Tagged ‘Glen Ellen’

And Like That

September 4, 2016

I got a date.

Now that was fucking fast.

I don’t know that he is necessarily the man I have been hoping to manifest.

But.

Then again.

I have no idea.

Funny this.

He asked me out over a year ago and then I ran into another guy who I thought was him and I asked that guy out thinking it was the first dude who had asked me out.

Oops.

Not the same dude.

But they both do look a bit alike.

That being said, this is pretty much a blind date.

He was someone who friended me on social media after reading one of my blogs.

I think a mutual friend must have shared it, because I am uncertain how we connected, just that I remember he asked me on a date, but we never did connect.

Then a couple of weeks ago, right before Burning Man, while I was still working in Glen Ellen, he messaged me on Instagram.

I think he liked one of my photos or I liked on of his, who knows, but he reached out and asked me out to dinner.

We chatted a bit and I said probably after I get back from Burning Man, but yeah, I also got that school thing happening, so, it might be a minute.

And then.

I forgot about it.

Except there it was on my phone tonight, a little message in the in-box on my Instagram account.

And like that.

I have a date tomorrow.

I’m not certain exactly what we are doing, but we’ll hang out after I get done with school.

Sunday’s I have a half day, done by 4p.m. and I also have Monday off, so if it goes well and I’m out a little late I’ll be cool with it.

I’ll be happy to celebrate getting through my first weekend of the second year program.

I ordered more books today, well, one more book, a big gun, the DSM 5 and I also got my advisor situation worked out.

My advisor is on sabbatical this semester.

Which is cool by me, we didn’t really click and I never met with him.

My new advisor is actually the head of the program department, and though I know he’s really busy, I also had him for one of my classes last year and I really connected with him and how he communicates is right up my alley.

I got the paperwork sorted and I’ll be having him sign off on it tomorrow.

I had a tiny moment of panic today when I thought about things, all the reading, all the paper writing, all the paying attention and learning and doing, there is so much of it.

But.

Then I remembered.

I only have to do today.

I only have to show up, to the best of my ability, on time and alert and to participate.

Sometimes that participation is just to make sure I take a moment, sit down and eat my lunch.

The next things will fall into place, the next actions will happen, and the next thing you know I will have my masters in psychology and I will be heading into the doctoral program at the school.

I get a head of myself.

Just a note to self.

One day at a time.

One moment at a time.

And.

I don’t have to figure it out.

It will happen how it is supposed to happen.

But damn Gina.

Am I ever so glad that I have a writing practice, that I sit down here every night and write.

That I sit at this same table every morning and I write.

Write, write, write.

It’s a good habit, it’s a life line, it’s the thing that makes my blood surge and my heart beat and I decompress and unwind and let the day do it’s thing on the page.

Sometimes it’s really good.

And.

Sometimes.

Well.

It’s ass.

But.

I do it anyway and I keep doing it and one day, millions of words later, and I do mean millions, the blog I published last night was number 1,900.

I average 1,000 to 1,500 words per blog.

Which means I have written over two million words on this site.

Not bad man.

I don’t know what that breaks down into hours, they, the infamous “they,” say that it takes 50,000 hours at something to be considered a master.

Want to be a master cellist?

50,000 hours.

I wouldn’t say my blogs take me an hour to write, they typically take about a half hour to 45 minutes depending on what I have to say or what kind of mood I am in.

And the longer I have done them, the faster I have gotten.

My typing skills are pretty sharp, lots of practice, yo.

So.

Let me just think about that if I’ve got 1,900 published, which is less than I have written, I have a few dozen drafts that have never seen light of day and about another 50-100 that I scrubbed out after wanting to be careful about what I am writing and making sure that I am keeping the focus on me and my experiences and not judging others for whatever their experiences are (but I’m not perfect, it still sneaks in once in a while), so let’s just say, 2,000 blogs.

2,000 blogs at 45 minutes=90,000 minutes/60 minutes to the hour=1,500 hours.

Nowhere near a master.

But.

That being said.

I’ve spent thousands of hours writing.

And I don’t see it easing up any time soon.

For which, I am grateful.

One of my cohort and I were discussing options in regards to the program as we move forward and she was curious about the come to Jesus moment I had at the intensive week.

I shared my experience and basically outlined some thoughts about wanting to do a dissertation and get my PhD in East/West Psychology and what that might look like.

I really, fyi, have no fucking clue what that would look like except that I would be Dr. Carmen and also that I could do more with the PhD than I can with just a regular MFT license.

Which is not to say that I won’t sit for the MFT boards.

I will.

I want to be able to get my hours and also intern and make money as a therapist while working toward my PhD.

And if I keep with my writing practice.

Well.

“Oh my god, you’ll be great, you’re already a writer, you should totally go for the PhD,” she said with much assurance.

Thanks lady.

That’s nice to hear and I’m so grateful to get to do the work by getting to do this work, this little exercise that has carried me so far, let me work on so many issues, writing things out, letting things go.

Growing all the damn time.

I am so grateful I am a writer.

Even if my audience is small.

Motherfucker!

I have an audience.

How fucking cool is that?

Pretty cool.

Seriously.

Way.

Fucking.

Cool.

 

PS.  I promise my dissertation won’t use profanity.

I think.

Heh.

The Internet Connection is No Bueno

August 24, 2016

Seriously.

I’m going to have to take this blog somewhere else, I get such awful reception in the room I’m staying in, I started it in a Word doc but have transferred it over to my WordPress platform which keeps going in and out.

Story of my life.

Half the time that I am at home the internet will drop or I can’t get online or I’m standing on one foot doing the electric boogaloo trying to pick up the signal so I can post my blog.

I could go elsewhere in the house, I suppose that may be the answer at this time.

I don’t want to though, I’m all cozy in my room and I need a bit of a break from the day and the family and the stuff and things.

I know very well why I am not the woman who would ever accept an in house nanny gig, meaning a live-in.

It’s just way too hard to assert boundaries when there’s no physical space, and fuck, I have a super hard time asserting boundaries anyhow.

I tried a bit today and it didn’t go well.

Which was sort of the expectation I had all along when I have thought about what I need to ask for in my job for me to do a good job.

I actually don’t want to talk about it right now since it feels very unresolved and very not able to address it in the moment and I feel pretty stressed about it.

Stress and anxiety never really serve me and as I sit in my room in this big house out in the Sonoma country side I put into my mind all the love and support I have from my friends and know that whatever happens, I’m going to be fine.

I just don’t have much practice with conflict resolution in my work life or in my life in general.

I can’t stand conflict, let me be up front.

Conflict in my life was not typically met well.

I joked with a friend tonight that I was terrified to have conflict because I realize that I think I’m going to be beaten if I bring up an issue that I have needs around.

And.

Yes.

This is a dramatic reenactment of my childhood shit that still lingers when I least want it to.

I also know that a lot of this can be circumnavigated the more I communicate what I need.

I also know that sometimes people don’t want to hear that you have needs or aren’t interested in helping you meet them.

And that’s ok too.

This is all my stuff.

My stuff I get to work on and if it doesn’t work out, hey, there are other jobs in the sea, I’m good at what I do, I am smart, capable, loving, kind, compassionate and accommodating.

Too accommodating for my own good, as the case may be.

I’ll leave it at that.

Which yes is vague blogging, but I really don’t feel comfortable airing it out here until I know what is going to happen next for me.

As there is still conversation that needs to happen.

Anyway.

One nice thing about asking for what I need is saying what I have to have in regards to hours for the fall and being met with an affirmative yes, that is doable.

Basically what I did last year, work 35 hours a week on weeks I’m not in school and weeks when I am, 28 hours a week.

It’s enough to get by and cover my costs if I am frugal.

I also found out that I am going to have a slightly different Friday than I was expecting.

I thought I would be here in Glen Ellen with the family, but mom asked me to go back to the city early, after work on Thursday and help out by being at the house on Friday while they are still here in Glen Ellen and cooking for them so that they are set up when they get back from the summer vacation and have things ready for the boys for the first week of school.

I can totally do that!

It helps me out as much as them.

I’ll be able to return the rental car early, Thursday night, rather than trying to helter skelter it back on Friday and then get back to my house to leave with my ride share to the event.

I’ll also be done with work and in the city by 6p.m. versus leaving Glen Ellen at 6p.m. and then having to drive back with Friday traffic.

This means home by 6:30 p.m. and ready to go by 7p.m.

I e-mailed my ride and let him know that I would be ready an hour and a half earlier than I thought.

There is also a very good possibility that I will be done sooner than 6p.m., but I am going to play it safe and not promise that I will be available sooner than that.

I did indicate there was reason to believe I may be done sooner, but it all depends on how much cooking I get done and how fast the InstaCart delivery gets to the house.

If it follows like it did the last time I cooked for the family when they wanted a big supply of dinners in the freezer from me when I went to my school retreat, I’ll be done by 5p.m.

That would be the most optimal.

I would love to come home and leisurely get my organized stuff out to the front of the house and change into something appropriate for a long drive and maybe shot gun a coffee or thirteen.

I mean we will be driving all night.

But that is fine with me.

I am so eager to go.

Just have to make it through the next two days without imploding.

I know that ultimately for me this is a great growth opportunity and that there is no malicious intent on either side, and it’s also just a job.

It may be challenging to get what I need or to ask for it, but if this isn’t the right place for me to keep growing and being of service, there are other places.

And I’m grateful, I’m grateful for the conflict, I’ll probably change my mind about that tomorrow when we talk, but I know that I’m growing and that this is change and change begets change and I deserve to grow.

And to know that conflict doesn’t mean annihilation.

It just means communication of uncomfortable things.

And I don’t need to be right.

But I do need to be happy.

And that means, communication.

I just need to say what works for me.

Even if it’s not heard they way I want it to be heard, or it’s misconstrued.

I know I will be better off for having voiced it.

Here’s to having a voice.

Here’s to change.

Even when it sucks.

Especially then.

Since that typically is the time when I grow the most, benefit the most, and find even greater reserves of love in my life.

Love.

Love.

It’s all about the love.

Always has been

Always will be.

Love.

Psychodynamic Psychiatry

August 23, 2016

You soul sucking little fucker.

Geeze Louise.

I think a little bit of my brain tried to ooze its way out of my ear when I wasn’t looking.

That being said, I just killed a good portion of the reading I need to have done for my first weekend of school.

Yeah.

I know.

It’s confusing.

I have already had 8 days of school, but that was the intensive (two classes completed in one week), my semester officially begins the 2nd of September, which is why I shall be returning from the dusty dust quite a bit earlier than I want to.

Ah well.

At least I get to go.

I had another person tell me recently, thank you so much for your unsolicited advice, that I should just speak to my teacher and tell him (note him, note now I think you’re sexist, and white, and old (at least from the photo), and probably haven’t been laid in a while, oops, am I projecting?) and let him know that it was Burning Man and important to me and I would catch up on my classes soon.

A yeah.

Not so much.

My school program is an Intensive program, it’s a weekend program.

It meets five times a semester for three days and in that time I am expected to process, digest, and understand the same amount of information that the weekday students are getting in 16 weeks of class.

I can’t miss any of the first weekend.

It would be graduate school suicide.

I do have a person in my cohort who decided to take off this semester and part of that decision did indeed have to do with going to Burning Man.

I did not feel like that was any kind of option for me and I sort of wondered, partially in worry and partially in awe, that the fellow was going to do it that way.

But hey.

I can’t decide how others live their lives and I get to prioritize what works best for me.

And I get to go to both things.

Actually, there’s more than two things happening here as well.

I will also be going to the Mike Doughty Living Room show on September 1st.

I have a hankering to ask him out for a cup of coffee and shoot the shit for a little while.

I may do it just to say I did it.

I mean.

What if he said yes?

That would be fun.

But back to the school stuff.

I am proud of myself for kicking through that chunk of reading.

I did 135 pages of pretty wordy reading, it was some serious deep theoretical writing.

I also went through the beginnings of my DSM 5 Desktop reference book..

I am getting myself primed for my Psychopathology class.

Say that five time fast.

There’s two really big papers and the information is dense and I wanted to make sure that I attended to the reading before going to that thing in the desert.

Pretty much what I did last year.

Get as much reading done as possible and write all the papers that I need to before going, which will allow me to come home and de-dust and get my head on straight and have a day of rest before jumping into the fray of a three day school weekend.

The bad news was originally that the school weekend is Labor Day weekend and bah humbug, I’m supposed to be doing all the things in the desert.

Now.

My thought is.

Yay!

Labor Day weekend.

I’ll have a day off before I go back to work!

Typically I roll right from the school weekend right into the work week and there is no down time, there is only get down time, get it done time, get going time, make it happen time, don’t have enough time, what fucking time do I have to set my alarm for time, do I have enough time to do yoga time, and get my God on time, and let’s not forget blog time and sleep time and please, God, let there be some sexy time in there too.

Whew.

That’s a lot of time on my mind.

So.

Despite feeling like I am in a holding pattern this week at work in Glen Ellen.

I am grateful to have some “spare” time to throw at the reading for school.

Grateful to know that I have all my gear packed and my house neat and tidy and my bed is made with fresh sheets and the garbage went out this morning and the compost and I watered my plants, paid rent early, and all I have to do is keep showing up steady for work and being sweet and kind with the process.

And in a small aside.

I got my period!

Fuck yeah.

This makes ten in a row without my menses on playa.

Not something I want to deal with.

I swear I willed the little fucker into being just to have it over with before I hit the playa.

Even when I was cramping up a little and my back was sore, is sore, and I was like, thank you God for reminding me to pack the ibuprofen in my bag, I was also doing little mental cartwheels of joy that I don’t have to deal with it at all on playa.

One last thing to not have to pack.

The only thing I really want to get before I go is a toothbrush.

I like having a fresh guy when I get back.

I like having all the things clean and tidy and neat when I get back, a new pair of black Converse waiting in my closet and fresh set of sheets on the bed, fresh washed clothes in the closet, swept floors, and a new toothbrush.

It’s a nice way to restart the daily life of living.

I suspect that since I’m only going for four days, the shortest time I have ever gone, that a lot of those things won’t feel quite the same as they have in the past, but they will still be nice.

And that’s what I want to give myself when I get home.

Nice.

I’m sitting pretty right now.

Happy to have done so much work on my Monday.

Happy to have done all the work yesterday to be ready for the weekend.

Happy to have some sunshine too–that fog was serious this weekend in San Francisco.

Happy!

Happy!

Joy!

Joy!

T-minus four days and counting.

But who’s counting?

Heh.

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.

There’s No There There

August 24, 2015

And it was lovely.

I received a cute text message from my ex-boyfriend this morning while I was making breakfast and plotting my moves for the day–what to pack, laundry to do, marketing that I needed to do before leaving to come back up here to Glen Ellen–I’m just in, 27 minutes ago I landed–and I had no emotional reaction.

I saw the text.

I recognized the number.

I saw the photo.

I laughed out loud.

It was a photo of an inside joke we had and that joke might have been one of the sweetest things about our relationship that I can feel now a warmth and fondness for.

It was so nice to realize that.

I cut up an apple and tossed it with cinnamon and nutmeg, and some sea salt, threw it in with the oatmeal on the stove, turned to the electric tea-pot, took the kettle, poured boiling water over the fresh ground coffee and felt my inner emotions.

Nothing.

No fear.

No excitement.

No anxiety.

Nothing.

Wow.

That is so nice.

No animosity!

Just a quiet gratitude for the man, for the message, and for the sweet memory that he sent me, a funny little inside joke that had been a place of resting laughter for both of us even when the break up was sad and hard to do.

It felt nice.

We exchanged a few more texts then he went his way and I went mine and I forgot about it until I was working with a lady bug at the house and we were going over some instructions on how to write inventory.

I pulled my notebook out of the stack and flipped open to the pertinent inventory and laughed as I saw my ex-boyfriends name at the top of the list.

I shared my experience with quiet gratitude and showed how I was able to get from that place of resentment to where I am now and that it works, it really works when I do the work.

Live and let live.

Easy does it.

First things first.

There again, an hour later with another lady bug, the same gentle reminder that the solution and the problem have nothing to do with each other and that really I can practice spiritual principles, stay in gratitude, and do the next action in front of me and I will be abundantly taken care of.

Exquisite.

In fact, that’s what this whole weekend was about.

What the last few weekends have been about.

Yesterday I got a text from a friend in regards to our busy ass schedules and how we had been trying to make plans to see each other before Burning Man and how it was obviously not going to happen, she was till packing and I hadn’t located my bins nor even gotten to the point in my day when I knew where or how I was going to buy said bins, and nope, not going to see you before the burn.

I mean, we live in the same town.

But.

There was no way to make it work so we made a date to go dancing on the playa–she and I and another friend had gone to the NIMBY Steampunk Masquerade Ball that the Airpusher Collective played at where the Flaming Lotus Girls Serpent Mother was fired up (yeah, I know, you haven’t been to Burning Man and have no idea what I just wrote) and the same group is doing a repeat of the ball on playa.

So.

I will be going to that.

And when we commiserated about work, and doing the deal, and all the stuff, when I texted her what I had to get accomplished before I leave for Burning Man, it left me breathless.

I mean.

Really?

How the hell am I going to get all this done and not lose my mind?

But then I read, again, “first things first,” and knew I would get it done by focusing exactly on the task in front of me and not living in the next hour or the evening or tomorrow.

I just stayed focused on what exactly was in front of me.

Then I wrote three pages long hand, did my laundry, made my bed, did the deal, knelt down asked for some stuff, said some thanks, pulled out the bins, started packing them up, slow and methodical.

I went to the grocery store and picked up a few things to just get me through the day and a birthday card and gift for one of the ladies who was coming over to the house.

Back to back to back.

I met with three ladies, did some reading, shared some experience strength and hope, asked in return that they do some things while I was away at work, confirmed our calendars for September–I won’t be able to meet with any of the ladies until after my first week on campus on school.

Then.

I texted my ride to Glen Ellen.

Confirmed a pick up time 20 minutes from the text.

I packed my bags up for Glen Ellen–a coupled days worth of clothes, my laptop, the books and readers and notebooks pertinent for the week and what I have to do for school before I leave.

I then proceeded to finish folding the laundry, take out the trash, and organize my bins.

I packed them more than 3/4s full and was on the last leg of packing when my ride pinged me.

I have perhaps fifteen minutes of packing left to do when I get back to SF on Wednesday.

I got my stuff for Glen Ellen, locked up the house, hopped in my friend’s car and we headed over the bridge.

A pit stop in Mill Valley for an hour of doing the deal, then a drive through the rolling golden lit hills of Sonoma to Glen Ellen.

We grabbed a bite to eat and figured out gas costs that I need to reimburse him for–he’s basically done the trip there and back and there and back and there and back for me, since I didn’t rent a car this time.

Then a dash up the road and I am here at 9:30 p.m.

It’s 10:15 p.m.

I am almost done with my blog, I’ll make a cup of tea, chill for the rest of the evening and get a good night’s sleep before work in the morning.

I couldn’t see how the day would play out when I was awoke with the bang and thump of my housemates little girl and her friend playing, I couldn’t have imagined such a smooth and seamless transition from here to there.

Nor that I would have such moments and pockets of grace and gratitude for the experience of just living my life to its fullest.

One day at a time.

One hour at a time.

One moment at a time.

Easy does it and there it is.

I’m here.

All the things are happening.

And I got done everything that I needed to do this weekend to be prepared for my trip to the playa.

Tomorrow and Tuesday I will write my two papers.

Then I am good to go.

I get to show up for work tomorrow happy and rested for the boys.

I get to continue to live this full, happy, joyous, free life.

I am the luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

I mean.

Have you seen my hair?

It’s Late

August 22, 2015

And I’m wide awake.

I drank coffee too late this evening.

I knew I was courting a disaster, but I could not help myself.

My ride pulled into a strip mall somewhere outside of San Francisco before the Golden Gate Bridge crossing to use the loo and I hit the Starfucks.

Yes, please, a tall cup of crazy.

But.

I needed it and I am ultimately not too bad off.

Yes, I am up late and I feel a touch wired, but I also would have been up late any how getting myself rearranged as I just got back to the city.

I’ve been gone since the 9th or 8th, I forget which, and it’s been a long time from my cozy home and my steady routine.

God damn.

It’s nice to be in my house.

And it’s also so nice to be playing music.

I did not have much music time while I was at the grad school retreat and I have not had much, none really, at work while being in Glen Ellen.

Wow.

I just looked up from the screen and wow, I’ll say it again, I love l my little house.

It is so sweet and clean and just me, just mine, just a little bungalow down by the sea.

The smell of the ocean as I crossed the bridge, ah, home, I rolled down the window and hung my head out and sucked in the cool fog and salt air and was grateful to once again be rolling over a bridge heading into San Francisco.

I am not here for very long, tonight, tomorrow, half the day on Sunday.

I am going to be cramming a lot of stuff in the next few days, although, yes, that’s right, no homework.

As I have gotten the two biggest papers out-of-the-way I can breathe a tiny bit and give myself the next day and a half to prep for the playa.

I am prepping now as I type.

Oh yeah.

It’s that time.

Going pink.

I whipped out the last jar of Manic Panic in the medicine cabinet that I have been saving for just such a moment and went to town.

I actually think I may have to get another jar, my hair is more blonde than the last time I did it, lots of swimming in the pool, lots of sunlight on my hair over the last few weeks, and although I have successfully dyed it pink before with a jar or less of Manic Panic, it sucked it up so much that I don’t know if the color is going to be true.

One of my errands to do tomorrow is to hit the nail salon and get the digits done and the face waxed.

I so need it.

Partially because I miss the pampering of it and partially since it’s been more than a few weeks since i have been anywhere close to a nail salon.

My nail and waxing spot also happens to carry Manic Panic, so if it doesn’t take tonight, I’ll pick up another jar and go at it again.

This will be the last time though for a while.

It’s a luxury and I am going to be keeping things to a tight budget for my spending while I am in school.

I don’t really have a lot of other Burning Man errands to run, although I have prep to do.

My Burning Man family will be coming over tomorrow in the morning to get my playa bike and anything that I have packed and ready to go.

Which right now is basically nothing.

But.

As I explained to my friend I don’t have to pack a bunch of costumes and I don’t have bins of stuff.

I just open my closet and put the clothes that I have in my closet in a container or three and that’s my costumes.

I don’t have a “Burniform” I just go as I am.

Granted, with pink hair.

Or purple.

Or blue.

Or rainbow-colored.

But I just go as me.

Sans a few layers of clothing so that you can see I am wearing frilly underwear, but that’s about it.

Although if I had the time I would be inclined to get something extra and fun for the playa.

I have been invited out to cotillion and also to a beauty pageant.

I have no gown.

I have no tiara.

Neither does my friend who told me of the pageant, so I’m not overly concerned.

But.

I am excited.

I haven’t made plans like this to do stuff at Burning Man in years and years and years.

I am always working and while I will be working this burn as well, it won’t be the same as it has been in the past and I’ll have a lot more free time to actually go to Burning Man.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with myself, but I am excited to have the opportunity to go and play in a way I haven’t in the last 8 years.

Yup.

This will make burn number 9.

Kind of amazing.

I am one of “those” people.

And.

I fucking love it.

I love my pink hair and flowers and glitter and dressing up and makeup and smiling and being me times 150.

I love participating and seeing people who I only see at Burning Man–even when they and I live in the Bay Area–and having a big old dusty love reunion.

I love dancing and riding my bicycle and singing off-key and telling stories.

And I would love to be kissed.

REALLY KISSED.

I miss kissing.

I miss making out.

I feel like this is my last chance before graduate school swallows me whole.

I want romance and love and kissing and flirting and fanning about and silliness and sweetness and magic.

You know.

The usual.

Me and my pink hair and my great big open heart.

I can’t wait.

I am so excited and I am so grateful that I get to make this mad dash back to San Francisco, then back to Glen Ellen for work for three days, then back to San Francisco and then off to Black Rock City.

I am grateful I had a cup of coffee and that I  got to dye my hair.

I am grateful I get to do my nails tomorrow and buy a lip gloss or 18.

I am happy to get to see my Burning Man family and hug them and make sure the zip ties on my bike basket will hold.

I am grateful, over the moon, and utterly graced that I get to go.

Big deep breath.

All the things are falling into place.

The stars are aligning.

And every thing is coming up.

Well.

Ha.

Pink.

Go For A Swim!

August 19, 2015

What?

You haven’t gotten into the pool yet?

Go for a swim!

When your person, the person that I check in with almost daily, meet with weekly (except when I am out-of-town with work or Burning Man), and trust implicitly says get into the pool.

Well.

I thought about it.

Then a dear friend and I chatted this early evening and when I told him the same thing I could hear it too in his voice, what the hell am I am waiting for.

Well.

You see, I have a lot of reading to do and some papers to write, like four, I think, could be five, but let’s not talk about that quite yet, and I have things to think about and worry about and why, I’m quite the person for self-abnegation, why the hell would I do something I like to do.

I could feel the disinclination to want to do it.

I was balking.

I don’t know why, perhaps some sense of I just don’t have time to enjoy that stuff.

I must always be doing the working and the things and the figuring it out.

And oh what the fuck.

I got into the pool.

It was preceded by a pretty honest and open communication with the family I currently nanny for in regards to the discussion that was had about my not getting paid vacation pay for going to Burning Man and I re-iterated to the mom that I understood her viewpoint, I was taken aback, that I had gone back over the contract and that I saw she was right.

I can be happy or I can be right.

I am not right.

Nor was I very happy when the initial conversation happened.

That being said, I saw my part so fast it was sort of spooky.

I saw where I assume, I saw what happens when I make assumptions, I saw what happens when I act out of fear and don’t have clear communication.

I saw it all and again, the mom was right.

Was I still a little pissed at myself this morning when I woke up?

Damn skippy.

I wrote, I prayed, I ate a healthy abstinent breakfast, I took the time to make some phone calls and I did another spot check inventory then called my person.

Who was perfect and clear and blunt, but not mean.

She knows how the fuck to communicate.

I hear her so well and it was good to have the talk and get grounded and get my principle for today, which was “just for today” and it was soothing to hear her and be on track with my life and job and recovery.

The recovery piece has been a little bumpy since I haven’t had my normal menu of places to be and church basements to sit in, since I have not been around a metal folding chair and some over cooked coffee in a few days.

I have been a touch self-reliant with my program, doing the deal on my own, but also checking in with my friends and fellows and making myself available to be checked in with by my lady bugs, confirming with them that I will be in San Francisco this weekend.

Which reminds me I have one more phone call to return, I just remembered there’s one I haven’t slotted into the schedule.

Anywho.

It was good to touch base and be held accountable and see how my perceptions are skewed and what I can do to rectify that.

Get into the pool

Oh.

You mean, get out of my head and into my body!

Duh.

I haven’t ridden my bicycle in a week and a half.

I haven’t done much exercise, not nearly enough.

I have been sitting a lot and reading a lot and processing a fuck load when I was in school and the only exercise I got was a few dance exercises (which thank fucking God that happened when it happened or I might not have made it through that last day of T-Group) and walking to and from the dining hall.

I knew when I had a cup of tea after dinner and was on the phone with a friend that I needed to out myself.

I wasn’t really in the mood at the time of the phone call either having just finished dinner and sitting on the porch swing looking out towards the rolling hills of Sonoma county and the grape vines tiled along the hillocks, the glint of sun on the underbelly of a red-tailed hawk soaring high in the dusky blue sky, the oak trees bending into the twilight and the rising song of crickets in the grass serenading me.

No.

Really?

I don’t feel like changing up and putting on my swimsuit.

But.

One little three-year old came out to snuggle in my lap, then the five-year old, the mom came out and dad and the next thing you know we are having an open conversation about what we can do moving forward and if I felt that it was unfair not to be given some sort of compensation for the week I’ll be missing work (I’m not even talking about getting paid for the two days extra, well, extra in my calculations, not in theirs) while I am at Burning Man.

The funny thing?

I had pretty much forgot the whole thing by the end of the day.

I was enjoying being in the moment with the boys, we went black berry picking and had a really nice walk and lots of snuggling and being silly with each other and time on the porch swing too.

I had legitimately let it go and had moved on.

Fucking unreal.

And.

Awesome.

The mom and dad and I talked about moving forward, when my contract was ending, what they wanted to try, not signing another year-long contract, but giving all parties a two month trial as I enter into graduate school and see what works for them and what works for them.

ASIDE

I just re-read that in my editing.  “What works for them and what works for them.” How amazing, I am still, unconsciously deciding my life on what works for them.

Fuck.

End aside.  And I’m keeping that piece in un-edited to remind myself that this is not about what works for them, but what works for me.

Now aside ending.

That maybe I would work extra household stuff, marketing and cooking and organizing while the boys were in school, to look at what I wanted for hours and that they would guarantee I got them and if I worked less, as they didn’t need me, or I had to take more time for school, that during those two months, my pay would stay the same.

Super generous.

And it felt right.

I said my gut wanted thirty hours a week.

My head wants 35 hours.

But I think I want a guarantee of 30 hours and if I need to supplement I can say so.

I can also work outside the family and do cash jobs, baby sitting gigs for families I used to work for.

Maybe just put it out there in my circles.

I don’t also have to stay with the family, I am aware too, though I did not say that to them, that I have options and if it seemed that I would do better financially to find  different situation that plays better, that I go with it.

Ultimately.

I am the only person who is going to care for me.

Though I have been assured by some lovely friends that I will be taken care of no matter what.

I believe that too.

I always have been, why the hell would it change now?

I also asked for a raise come my year.

The mom balked.

She replied that it was not standard to give a raise to someone who was going down in hours.

In fact, she intimated that when that happens the person involved makes less money.

I was taken a bit aback, but I reiterated that it was a year, that it felt right to ask for a raise, and that despite my hours lessening, and not exactly by my choice (they’re children are going into school), that my level of care and the quality of my work was not going to decrease.

We left it at that.

I also found this good information to know moving forward.

I’m not going to cut off my nose to spite my face, but I do deserve a raise and I felt it appropriate to bring it up.

They want me to continue working for them, I adore and love the boys, it could be the best of both worlds, I am just not going to not look at all my options, as again, I’m the one paying my rent in San Francisco.

I don’t see cost of living going down any time soon.

I felt good.

I communicated.

We will have another discussion.

And I went back to my room and put on my swim suit and got into the pool.

Into my body, out of my head, and my heart swelled and the old familiar comfort of swimming assuaged me and I felt connected with my body and limbs again and resolved that I would swim again every night while I am here.

Then I took a bath with French sea salts I found in the cabinet and soaked in super hot water.

I almost fell asleep in the tub!

I did good.

And I read for an hour after getting out of the bath–putting me at two hours of reading today–finishing up the reading that I needed to do for a class so that I could move into writing the paper for it.

Not too shabby for a Tuesday.

It’s nice to be reminded to take care of myself.

It’s nicer when I actually do.

Lucky Motherfuckers

July 15, 2015

That’s my camp.

Bahahahaha.

Oh.

I love it.

And I love that I am on this thread which updates me as to all the other “lucky motherfuckers” that I am camping with.

I received another missive from the Jack Rabbit Speaks, this time in regards to Burning Man with children and the infrastructure thereof and how to do it and how not to do it.

My favorite part was where it was suggested that Kidsville was not a baby sitting camp.

That one doesn’t arrive in Kidsville, drop the rugrats at the door and go off into the playa sunset to play.

I have had that experience.

“Oh you’re the Burning Man nanny?” She said, as her wild toddler boy feral with sugar and popsicle trails of juice dripping from his little dusty maw, swooped and swung around the camp while I was nannying my charge.

“No,” I said, “I nanny for people who work for the organization, I don’t work for the org, I’m not the,” inserting hands making quotation marks, “the Burning Man nanny, I’m just the nanny.”

I could see the crestfallen look that surfaced on her face.

Really lady?

You’re going to dump your kid on a complete stranger so you can go fall down a k-hole?

I don’t think so.

It’s not the first time I have been asked or had it alluded to that I could or should help out.

And the funny thing?

I will totally help out.

I have always been that person, you need it, I can see the legitimate need, I will offer my services.

But.

It’s on my time, it’s my decision.

And I bristle when the assumption is made that I’m going to babysit so you can play.

Unless, of course, I’m in your employ.

Then go get your play on.

Besides, I know this is going to be a much different experience for me nannying on playa than at any other time I have gone.

I won’t be working the hours that I worked before.

That being said, I won’t be getting paid for said work either.

It’s rather a swap of services for services.

I get a ticket, a place to camp, a ride there and back, all the infrastructure of camp, plus gear so that I don’t have to drop a dime on outfitting myself, and the company of some of my absolute favorite people.

I got all excited when a flurry of messages went out and I found out that so and so and so and so and he’s coming and they’re camping with us too.

And.

Well.

I am a lucky motherfucker.

Literally and figuratively.

I also sat down tonight and got in a cup of tea with my housemate and a catch up.

It has been a hot minute since we’ve sat and talked and caught up and it was really nice.

I forget sometimes that I have a friend who lives right over my head.

She’s not just my landlady, she’s a friend.

And so it was nice to get that catch up to get that friend feeling and to have some tea and talk.

I let her know all the travel that I will be doing, and also the possibility of travel that I may be doing as well.

Aside.

I need to talk to my friend about that possibility if the camping, The Grand Canyon trip, or maybe a road trip up the coast to the Avenue of the Giants is still on the table.

I have a possible vacation coming up at the end of July.

My employers are going to be in Tahoe and they are not taking me.

Granted the mom did allude to having some household projects for me, but I can’t imagine what they could be nor any project that would colluded to have me being in the city the entire week that they are in Tahoe.

Anyway.

I let my house mate know when and where I would be going.

Petaluma for a week.

Sonoma for a week.

Burning Man for a little over a week, 8-9 days depending on who I want to ride back with, how my burn is going will be the choice.

The small quiet voice in me says leave a little early and get yourself acclimated and back into the default world and set up so that you can go to graduate school proper that next weekend, because that is what is happening.

My first official weekend of graduate school happens that week that I get back from the burn.

Then again.

I think.

Heh.

Well, burn that candle to the ground, get as much as you can, get all the experience, come back dirty and dusty and burnt and start afresh and yeah, like that.

I may see how I feel around that depending on how much reading I can get done before that weekend, plus, I know I will have papers due after I do the retreat, which I will likely write while I am working in Sonoma.

Yeah.

That’s right.

When I looked at my schedule to tell my house mate the dates I would be gone I freaking realized that I would be going from Petaluma right to Sonoma.

Do I stay there and just go from Petaluma to Glen Ellen?

Do I even bother to do the drive back to the city to turn around and go right back to Sonoma?

I mean.

That doesn’t make any sense.

So I may actually be completely out of San Francisco for two solid weeks in August, back one week, then out to Burning Man.

Whew.

That’s a lot.

And I realize.

This weekend.

No emotional sabotage thank you very much, I will be too busy living my life.

And I will get my books and my papers and my readers and whatever else I need to get and get the fuck on it.

I set myself that goal.

Retrieval of said materials and the accumulation of the stuffs to do the things.

My Burning stuff started to arrive today and I now have solar lights to string up on my bike frame.

Makes sense that I prioritize getting my course work for graduate school too.

I only get to be a lucky motherfucker if I keep doing the work.

That makes me.

A lucky motherfucker.

Very lucky.

Let It Go

June 22, 2015

Let it all go.

Revel in the sunshine, thick, golden, syrupy sunshine, splayed down the mountains.

The song on the radio.

The blue sky above.

My foot on the pedal and I’m off to Glen Ellen for a week for work.

I was anxious this morning, I find traveling extraordinarily exciting and fulfilling, but there’s always a touch of anxiety around it, what to pack, how to pack, am I taking too much, too little, do I have my toothbrush?

It was also a day of coordination, clean up the house, make sure my ducks were in a row, tidy up the back yard from the bonfire the other night, make the bed, water the plants, do a little grocery shopping so that I was able to eat for the day, but not my typical three market shopping.

Just a run up to Other Avenues–a pint of strawberries, a 1/2 dozen eggs, a travel size box of toothpaste.

I may or may not, the verdict is still out, being going to LA at the end of the week.

I have let go any expectations, I don’t want to force things, I am liking the idea of a friendship and going slow so LA might be off the table.  I haven’t heard either way, but I know, I know without a doubt, that there is nothing wrong.

I mean.

I am working in sunshine all week.

I may get to go to LA at the end of it.

And next week?

Atlanta.

I am going to get to wear summer clothes, no scarves thank you very much, for the next two weeks.

That is such a huge gift.

I love San Francisco, but I love sunshine too.

Having been previously diagnosed with seasonal depression when I was younger (not to mention the clinical anxiety, and depression I was diagnosed with as an adult) sunshine is like medicine to me.

I love Wisconsin, but I don’t think I can ever live there again.

Not enough sunshine.

And I love the Outer Sunset and the beach and I know without any doubt in my mind that I will always live by the ocean, how can I not, it soothes me, it cradles me to sleep, “you can hear the ocean from here!” He said opening up the back door to my studio.

But.

I could really do without the cold summers and fogginess.

I know it’s the tradeoff for having rent I can afford in the city, although the rents in the neighborhood have gone up and if you had told me a couple of years ago that I would be living in the Outer Sunset I would have told you to go fire up your crack pipe.

I yearn for sunshine.

So.

This work trip, a gift.

All travel, really a gift.

I watched the ocean sparkle and glimmer with light this afternoon on the way out to the airport, my employers had me rent a car and Uber out to SFO to pick it up, and was stunned again by the beauty that is just there, right there for me to access.

I enjoyed the ride.

I love car trips.

I like driving.

But I like being a passenger even more.

The watching out the windows, the light moving past, the glamour of road travel.

Yes.

I am a weirdo.

I think road travel has a certain kind of glamour to it.

It also has a certain sound track and I spent a lot of time flipping through the radio stations on the car before I found what I liked.

It should be classic rock and maybe some blues and ballads to sing to.

A little folk is lovely, but classic rock does it for me.

It’s how I grew up, it’s what was playing on the radio when my mom and sister and mom’s boyfriend took the first big road trip of my life from California out to Wisconsin.

I was four and a half?

Five tops.

Riding in the back of the Volkswagen Bug, listening to music, watching the clouds scroll by, and the light, the light always capturing me, doing something magical and alchemic to my soul.

My heart burnished with 70s rock melodies and high bright blue skies and sunshine.

No wonder I wanted to move back out West as soon as I graduated from college.

Once I had made the first initial foray I knew I would never come back.

My mom told me she knew that when I got to San Francisco there was no turning back for me, she had not wanted to buy me the plane ticket, it was a gift, one of the few my mom got right on the nose (I asked for it specifically, it may have been the only time in my life I really asked for what I wanted from my mom and she gave it to me.  Thanks mom.) and I knew she regretted it on some levels, her baby flying the coop at the ripe age of 29.

When I drive in California, those songs come back to me, the sunshine comes back to me, I am overwhelmed with sense memory and the smell of the air, the slight oceanic tinge, the dry grass, the time of day even will envelop me with memory.

Some concrete and tangible.

Some vague, yet, so strong, so filled with meaning and emotion I could feel my tender heart, well, growing more tender.

I teared up driving into the sun under a canopy of spreading oak trees as I turned up Sonoma Mountain Road heading to the house the family has rented for the next week.

There was something about the sun dappling through those branches, the Steve Miller Band on the radio, and the smell of it all that made me so aware of how amazing my life is and how much work and effort it has taken to get back here, having circled back and completed this revolution of change and growth in my life.

To be exactly where I am at.

The still point.

Of.

Perfection.

See You In An Hour

June 20, 2015

What a nice surprise.

I wasn’t expecting to have a date tonight, but things change.

“That was not the plan,” I told my friend tonight outside on the curb across the street from the Safeway in the Castro, “not the plan at all,” then I appropriately blushed.  Thank God it was already dark outside and it could just as well have been the red neon light from the Burger Joint then my face flushing.

He laughed, “nothing ever goes as planned.”

This is true.

I have had a few changes in my schedule, small ones, these last few days and watching how that has happened and the way it has shaped me day is interesting.

Typically, yeah, I know, it’s a Friday, but typically on a Friday, I would be making a cup of tea.

Check.

The teapot is just about to boil.

And writing my blog.

Double check.

Writing the blog.

But I would not be going out further.

When I am writing the blog it is usually indicative of the day being finished and the only thing that I am going to do after I put “pen to paper” is watch a download on my laptop.

I don’t know when tonight will end as the last time I hung out with the man, we were up talking until 5:15 a.m.

Thank God I don’t work tomorrow.

In fact.

My entire day opened up, I have, wait for it, nothing planned.

NOTHING.

I mean I will find an hour to do that thing that I do every day, but since I’m not working and not meeting with the people I usually meet with, I can be flexible with that.

I can go anywhere.

I can do anything.

Tomorrow is a big white clean slate.

In fact.

As of 11:15 pm tonight I have a bunch of big clean open space and time.

That is exciting.

Not nerve-wracking.

I’m wide open to the possibilities, however they present themselves.

I am excited for my life.

I mean, I am excited a lot, all the time.

“Did I read your blog right?”

A friend texted me this afternoon.

“Did you get a full scholarship to grad school?!

Yup.

I did.

And if that’s not exciting enough, I have a date for a Friday night too.

Not bad, Martines, not bad at all.

Pretty fucking awesome, because I have a date with someone I really like and it’s not a blind date with some yahoo off a dating website.

I have not checked Match.com or OkStupid since the night he asked me out.

“You mean, when you asked me out,” he’s teased me a few times.

Sure.

That night.

I don’t care, I don’t have to be right, I can just be happy.

I didn’t ask him out, he asked me (see, I can’t do it!!) but I will acquiesce that position any time) I would rather be happy with him than right.

Being right never makes me happy.

Small or big things.

Being right just makes me an uptight asshole afraid that if someone else is right that there is something wrong with me.

Nothing is wrong here.

Nothing at all.

It’s Friday.

After all.

That in and of itself is a happy thing.

Today was a happy day too.

The boys were a bit wound up when I got to work, there is much excitement for the weekend, the family is leaving for Sonoma tomorrow, Glen Ellen to be exact, for the next ten days.

I will be going there Sunday evening.

I’m not working until Monday, but I figure I’ll grab the rental car from the airport and head up early Sunday evening so that I am settled in and ready to start Monday morning rather than drive up super early on Monday and be off kilter the whole day.

I am not as anxious about spending the week with the family as I thought I would be.

Of course.

My mind has been preoccupied with other things.

Heh.

Oh, that does remind me, I need to buy a swim suit before I head up to Sonoma, the one I have is more of a lounge by the pool suit than a swim laps suit and I suspect I will be in the pool a lot over the week with the boys.

Plus, I may do some lap swimming on my own.

I won’t be riding my bicycle for a week and that means I need to find something else to do for my exercise.

I use my bicycle for transportation, not really for exercise, but it kills two birds with one stone and I need to exercise, I get wonky in the brain if I don’t.

I will foresee swimming laps and long hikes.

That should keep the brain chemistry balanced.

I will also be checking out the fellowship in Sonoma, I haven’t really done so before, I’m curious to see what is there.  I won’t be coming into the city for my regular routine at all.  I’ll be in Sonoma until I fly out to LA on Friday.

I got the thumbs up from the employers to get off a little early on Friday, I’ll zoom the car back to the airport and hop a plane and be heading down the coast.

I googled the LACMA last night.

I can’t wait.

Another museum to add to my list (The Louvre, Musee D’Orsay,  Musee de l’Orangerie, The Dali Museum, Musee de Quai Branly, Musee Carnvalet, Musee Rodin, Centres Georges Pompidou, National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo Palaise, Le Petite Palais, Musee Marmottan Monet, Guimet Museum, Maison de Victor Hugo, I’ve been to a few museums in Paris, heh, The MOMA in San Francisco, The Legion of Honor, the DeYoung, The Cartoon Museum, The Museum of Jewish Diaspora, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Metropolitan Museum in New York, National Gallery London, Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome and the Davinci Museum, then the old standby’s The Wisconsin Historical Museum, The Milwaukee Art Museum, and The Art Institute of Chicago.  Oh, and the Anchorage Museum when I was up in Anchorage in December taking a break from sitting bed side while my dad was in a coma–God I needed that break.

I am probably forgetting one or two or three, but obviously, I have a special thing for museums.

For art.

“I’m not a Burner,” he said, “I’m probably not ever going to go.”

And that’s ok.

Burning Man is a museum for me too–all the art, that’s what I go for, that and the community that has grown up around me there.  I have made some amazing friends there and have had my heart lit on fire by the art.

I’m ready for the LACMA and maybe the Getty.

I’m ready for more happy.

But then again, I always am ready for more.

More experiences.

More life.

More love.

Bring on the weekend.

I am ready.


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