Posts Tagged ‘media mecca’

Holy Shit

August 21, 2016

I’m packed.

I sort of want to throw up in my mouth.

It’s just stuff and things.

I told myself as I looked over the stack.

Three bins, one cooler, one tent, one camp chair, blankets, bedding, pillows.

It doesn’t sound like much.

But it makes enough of a stack that I am a little concerned about my playa ride share.

He’s got a VW Cabriolet.

He’s also picking up food for some of his camp mates plus whatever gear he has and of course water.

I keep envisioning the car already full and there’s no room for my stuff and I’ll have to leave something behind and what the fuck would that be since I have everything I need and want in those bins, clothes, crinolines, boots, tent stakes, work gloves, hammer, lantern, extra batteries, tights galore, bunny slippers, a leopard print coat for night time gamboling.

I need it all.

And I am also still on the look out for a person to bring it all back as well.

I have co-ordinated with the people who are gifting me the airplane ride home, pinch me, it’s still so surreal, and I’ll be meeting them at their camp on Wednesday of the event at noon.

So I’ll need to be all packed down and tidied up by eleven, giving me an hour to get across to them.

It shouldn’t be terribly difficult.

I’ll be camping at 5:40 and Guild with Anonymous Village.

More specifically I’ll be staying with the ladies of the Wolf Pack.

All my things will be staying there to be transported, by whom TBA, including my playa ride, which I will be loaning to a friend who’s going up with her fiancee–it’s his first burn and he doesn’t have a playa ride.

I got some lovely and sweet news today.

My ride will arrive on playa one week from today.

And.

The front fork has been fixed, my tires pumped up, pedals greased, chain greased, and, holy moly talk about service, my bicycle light batteries recharged.

I was just astounded.

Thank you Thumper!!

I have been so blessed with gifts this Burning Man and I haven’t even gotten out there yet, but it does feel like a miraculous thing, this getting out there.

I know I don’t have to worry about my stuff.

It’s all just stuff and things anyhow.

Yet.

I would be upset if it didn’t come home or it was mishandled, but ultimately as long as I get back safe and sound it doesn’t matter about the rest of it.

Sort of.

I would miss my hats and boots and utility belt, my new shoulder harness, my hair flowers and my make up box.

I would miss all my funny knee socks and silly tights.

But ultimately.

I would be ok if somethings went missing.

I repeat.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Ride to the event.

Early Arrival pass.

Fluffing shifts with Media Mecca.

Dusty Family reunion.

Ride home in a Cessna!

I got the low down on that too.

Aside from the meeting the crew, pilot and one other passenger, and getting to the camp by Wednesday noon.

I’ll meet them at their camp which is 7:30 and A at noon with me, myself, and I and one small carry on bag.

They will take me to the airport, load us up and the we fly to Reno, one hour pit stop for refueling and then back into the air, final destination San Carlos airport.

I didn’t even know there’s an airport in San Carlos.

A little secret.

I didn’t even know where the fuck San Carlos was until I googled it.

Heh.

I can BART and MUNI back to my place.

It’ll take about two hours via public transport.

Possibly more.

I may opt for a car.

Not sure yet and I certainly don’t need to figure it out right now.

The plane will be picking up someone in San Carlos and turning right back around.

They could be back in Black Rock City before I even get home!

I am still in shock that I am packed.

Heh.

I still have to re-pack to go back to Glenn Ellen on Monday.

I have been unpacking and repacking my rolling suitcase a lot for the last couple of weeks.

One more go and then I can put it back in the close for a little while.

Such a good little suitcase, it’s been a lot of places-Paris for six months, Rome for a weekend, London for a weekend, New York for two different weekends, Florida twice to see the moms, Anchorage, Alaska, Minneapolis, Madison a couple of times I think, LA, Chicago.

The little suit case that could.

And so many other short little jaunts here and there.

I’m wondering when it’s going to lose the back wheel, it’s starting to wobble a bit, and that will be the end of her, but until then I’ll be hauling it back out for the last week of work before I go to Burning Man.

All the packing.

Whew.

But.

I really am pretty much done.

Today I got the last few things I needed for playa and a couple of household things that I have needed and went around the Haight to peruse the vintage shops and the Burning Man supply stops and you know what I bought?

Post card stamps.

Heh.

I really don’t need anything and though I tried on a bunch of stuff, there really wasn’t a thing that I wanted.

Oh, I had ideas, but they were all thwarted and I realized as I was wandering the foggy street that it was really nice to know I’m prepared and prepped and my food is waiting patiently in my fridge all nice and frozen and really, all I have to do is the next action in front of me.

And it will all happen.

Right on time.

Like it always does.

OH!

The one thing do I need to do, note to self, PRINT OF MY EARLY ARRIVAL PASS.

There.

I will remember that now.

Thanks.

And.

Good night.

xo

 

 

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I Got You

August 5, 2016

Really.

Nicer words couldn’t be said.

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

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

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

That being said.

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

Great.

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

Haha.

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

And you know, I would do the same.

I’m helping out where I can.

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

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

However.

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

Often times, many hours before noon.

And yes.

I do get my shit done.

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

Happy as fuck to help out.

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

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

“Yes!” I replied.

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

Yup.

Exactly.

Ugh.

But.

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

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

Fingers crossed.

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

That being said.

I am still planning on the car rental.

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

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

Bwahahahaaha.

Um.

Yeah.

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

Holy shit.

School!

Like in three days.

Fuck me.

I’m getting excited, albeit a bit nervous.

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

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

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

Classes start the next day.

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

In the mean time.

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

Get ready for work tomorrow.

There’s a lot to do.

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

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

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

Broccoli Soup.

Beef Stew.

Beef Stroganoff.

And.

Turkey and black bean chili.

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

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

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

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

But I’m going to play it safe.

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

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

Plus.

Well.

Frankly.

I would love a break from the fog.

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

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

And I’m sure to get that in Petaluma.

Plus.

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

It’s a busy, busy, busy month.

But a lovely one for all that.

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

YOU’RE THE BEST!

Seriously.

And So It Begins

August 1, 2016

I just dropped a nice fat $200 on books.

I started ordering my text books for the fall semester.

Considering how much reading there is to do and that I will be going once again to that thing in the desert, it was time to whip out the debit card and get online.

I did not really want to.

I just paid rent.

But.

I figure if I can be adult and self-supporting to get my ass to Burning Man.

I certainly can begin ordering my text books.

Besides I really will have to do a bunch of reading before the event to be prepared for school.

Hell.

I’m going to have to do some reading this week before I head up to the retreat for school, which is next Sunday.

I cannot believe it’s already time for the retreat.

Argh.

But then again.

I can.

The time, it does go fast when you are busy and I have been keeping myself busy for sure, take the last couple of days, just getting the certification for my CPR and First Aid Adult/Child/Infant was a time consuming thing.

But I got it done and I don’t have to do it for a few more years.

It didn’t feel like I had any time off though, it felt very much like work.

I mean.

I don’t know anyone who would choose to do one of these courses for fun and relaxation.

Though.

They can be funny.

There is always that one dude who picks up the baby mannequin like it’s some toy and they get the surprise of their life when the face falls off of it.

Today one guy, who happens to work at a private elementary school, just picked up the baby mannequin by it’s feet and sort of swung it around.

The instructor was horrified and demanded he treat the doll like it was an actual baby.

Alien baby.

But sure.

All kidding aside, I am grateful that I took the course and have a refresher, it’s really good to know, and knock on wood, hopefully I won’t ever have to use it.

After I finished the course I headed over to Oakland for a friend’s housewarming party.

It was really sweet.

And I ran into all sorts of people, some folks who I don’t normally get to see aside from on facecrack or instagram.

Or at Burning Man.

I chatted with folks from Media Mecca, my home away from home, and it was really sweet and good and I felt like I was seeing family.

I like that I get to have this extended community of artists and creatives and hard ass working people who strive to be something, who are engaged with each other, who form this secret little society of folks that I somehow stumbled upon and now can’t imagine being without.

I realized how much I want to be out there anew when I was ordering my books.

I mean.

I don’t want distraction or school thoughts or work worries, I just want my Burning Man.

I will have them, anxiety is just a part of my life, exercise, yoga, the like, that helps, but I have a busy old mind and it will ruminate on anything it can get its hands on.

That being said, I will do as much reading for school as I can before I head up to the event.

It’s probably a good thing that I will be working for my family in Glenn Ellen for two weeks.

I will be forced to be in one spot and spend the evenings reading school material.

I get the impression that I won’t have as many papers to write before the fall semester begins from the classes being held at the retreat, but it does look like there is some pretty heavy reading load for the first weekend of classes and I won’t be in a spot to read at all that week before as that’s Burning Man.

All the thoughts and stuff and things.

Two of my classes don’t have syllabi up yet, so I don’t even know exactly what to expect for the first weekend.

I just can tell from the one class that is listed that there is going to be a lot.

Graduate school.

Second year.

Hard to believe.

But there it is.

Time just keeps moving on.

I ran into someone who got the same degree I’m working on five years ago.

I had no idea she was a psychotherapist and we chatted and caught up and it was really good to hear her experience and to know that I’m on the right track, for me.

I may not know exactly what it looks like and sometimes I feel a bit confused by the mechanics of the school system, but I do know that I am heading in the direction that seems to be that of private practice.

That’s my hope anyhow.

And she has a private practice and it was really good to hear that she was doing well and that she had a sustaining private practice just five years out from graduating from the program.

In fact, it sounded like she had a decent number of folks follow her from her interning to her own practice.

That would be amaze.

I know I get a head of myself.

It was just really nice to see this lovely over lap of friends and school and recovery and Burning Man and kids, oh I got to see some gorgeous little monkeys and get some great snuggles and hugs, and romp a bit with two of the brightest five and a half year old twin boys.

Oh the tow headed goodness, the smell of sweet baked boy warm and soft and snuggly, it’s like some sort of bread that sustains my heart, the real manna from heaven, the smell of golden boys warm from the sun.

Ah.

Yes.

And so it begins.

But it never really ends, it doesn’t slow down, it just speeds up and I know one day I will look back and wonder how fast it all happened.

So I must take a breath.

Pause.

Breathe.

Look around.

And be grateful for this rich, full, happy life I have.

Truly.

The luckiest girl in the world.

And possibly.

One of the busiest.

But.

In the best possible way.

Seriously.

From The Playa

September 8, 2015

To La Playa.

I’m not sure how it happened.

We were rolling down the street looking for a parking place.

He turned the wheel of the RV left and we were on La playa.

We had just left the playa.

The playa at Burning Man.

It’s been a long, strange, dreamy, love trip.

I’m not sure how this blog is going to go, I’m not sure what rabbit hole I fell down into.

But fell I did.

It’s been a while since I have posted a blog, or written a blog, and I have to say, I have missed it, and I have not missed it.  I have missed the daily practice of sitting and organizing my thoughts and sorting through my feelings, but I feel a feeling that I am loath to say.

I don’t want to share with you.

I don’t want to tell.

I want the secret space between here and there to be sacred.

“I woke up and there was a Carmen shaped hole next to me,” he said to me last night after coming back into the RV.

It was cold up at Donner Pass and we snuggled together in the twilight that seeped through the black out curtains on the vehicle–it was still covered in shade and playa dust guards, there was still plenty of dust left from our journey back into the world.

But.

For a moment here.

A moment there.

There was no other person.

No other place.

I was completely present with one person.

We had met Friday night.

It was a cold night.

He was dressed up like Santa Claus.

I had just left the Cafe at Center Camp.

It was a cold night and it had been a dusty day, horrid with dust, knock down scary with dust, white out dust, screaming dust tornadoes, knocked over shade structures, throttled with dust, broken with dust.

I had been pretty wiped out by it, especially after my bicycle broke down on the way back from spending time with friends at AV, a village a lot of my friends were camped out at, and was a bit demoralized by the time I had gotten back to camp.

It was far later in the day than I had anticipated getting back and I missed saying good-bye to Junebug and her mama, who had, smartly, avoided the imminent dust storm and hopped off playa before it hit.

When my bike broke I gamely walked it for a while and thought, no biggie, I’ll just take my time and walk it back to camp, but I was on the other side of the world and by the time I had gotten to First Camp I was done with it.

I popped my head into a few places looking for folks I knew, but no one was to be found, all hunkered down with the storm blowing about.

I made it to Media Mecca and stashed my bicycle in the back.

I went in and gratefully found friends.

One of whom, thank you lovely Minx, gave me and my broke bike a ride back to camp on a dusty golf cart.

I arrived dusty, late, and a bit broken from the weather.

Junie was gone, Mama Grace was gone, the camp was rocking with the dust storm and I was exhausted.

I hugged Papa Tom and crawled into the trailer where my fairy godmother and father were graciously allowing me to stay.

I was cold and dusty and tired and wiped the fuck out.

I pulled off my boots and gingerly started wiping the layers of dust off my face.

It took some time.

I ate an apple.

It was dusty.

Everything was dusty.

I am still dusty now, as I write, I can imagine and feel it, and there is no describing it, it does not matter how many pictures you see online or how many descriptions of it there are to read about, until you have lived through a white out dust storm at Black Rock City, you will just never quite comprehend it.

I’m sorting my feelings and thoughts as I write and I know this blog is a bit disjointed.

I am a bit disjointed.

Although I am showered and I have done all my laundry–three loads washed and dried and folded.  I have gone to the grocery store up the street and bought a few provisions for my house.  I have called and checked in with some folks and taken messages from some other folks.

But my thoughts are often with him.

Mister Claus.

The twinkle in his green eyes and the way he held me close.

I get a head of myself.

Even with no expectations of further engagement, though I am sure there will be, I have a jumble of thoughts and feelings and the price for having been so open and honest and available to someone, the effects have yet not been sorted and this sad, distracted little blog is just a way to sort through the photographs of him in my head.

Four days of spending time with a person is a long time.

Four days at Burning Man is forever.

Was it four days?

Three and a half.

Starting when we met Friday evening to this afternoon, Monday, we spent every moment together.

Exceptions were few, a bathroom break, I took a shower–in the most janky shower contraption ever–while he took a nap, a bicycle ride across playa on Sunday to break down my camp while he broke down his, with these exceptions, we spent every moment together.

From the moment he kissed me at the burn barrel in the six o’clock keyhole outside of Center Camp Cafe.

Until the moment he kissed me goodbye in front of my house this afternoon around 1:30/2pm.

We spent the moments together.

We spent every day together.

We spent every night together.

We rode our bicycles out to deep playa and back.

We went to the Baa’s art car and watched the burn from the top of a gigantic sheep.

We snuggled at Dream Land.

We told each other endless stories under the stars, under the roof of the RV, entwined around each other for body heat and comfort–it was the coldest event I have been to in years.

We walked through the Temple together, the cafe together, around First Camp together.

I showed him the secret spots and introduced him to friends.

We told each other tall tales and laughed and giggled, and ugh, I even snorted, he got me laughing so hard a few times.

It was a grand old-time.

And I am not sure how to reconcile it all and I don’t know that I want to share all the details either.

I just don’t.

Some things belong in my heart.

“Keep yourself open,” he said to me today.

He said so many things to me.

He held up a mirror and I saw myself, sans makeup–when was the last time I spent so much time with someone and did not wear makeup?  I had no time to put on a face, he saw it all, every dusty bit of it, and accepted it, embraced it, pleasured it, hugged it, kissed it.

There was nothing I hid or tried to hide.

I was open.

And perhaps that is what Burning Man does.

Or.

Perhaps it is what I allow to happen in my life when I say, fuck the dust, go out dancing, play with your friends, ride your bike into the wind and when a stranger throws a log onto the fire and asks if you have been a “good girl this year,” I can smile and say.

Yes.

I was a very good girl.

And.

I was given the most amazing gift.

A gift that has no strings, no direction, no expectations attached.

Just the sweetness of being in a man’s arms who held me tighter than I have been held in some time and fed me with words and desire and made me see exactly how far I have come.

I have come so far.

I don’t know when I work tomorrow.

I don’t know what I have to do for school–Friday is the first day of the school year, the official start.

I don’t know if I will see Santa again.

But I believe.

I have faith.

I believe in magic.

I have lived to tell the tale.

Even if I have kept some of the details to myself.

I hold them all in the crucible of my heart.

And will move forward with them there, gently held in that space between the bowl of the dusty playa sky and the warm omnipotence of the ocean blue where he left me on the doorstep to a new way of being.

Seen.

Accepted.

Embraced.

Known.

And kissed.

Oh.

So.

Very well.

Kissed.

Do I Stay

March 17, 2015

Or do I go?

That is the question.

The next question is where do I stay if I go?

I know that’s convoluted already, isn’t it?

And how do I go and with whom do I go?

Also, I need a ticket.

Yeah.

You caught my drift, I’m talking going to Burning Man.

The person I reached out to is already staffed up.

My services, though appreciated, are not needed.

Cool.

Moving on.

Now what do I do next?

Do I register in the Secure Ticket Exchange Program?

That way I won’t run the risk of buying a scalped ticket.

This is actually a conundrum for me, I have gone and worked the last seven burns, meaning I haven’t bought a ticket in seven years.

I don’t even know what they cost anymore.

I suspect more than I want to shell out.

But if I go as a tourist, which man, that just seems weird, but might be the change I need, I will have to shell it out.

No getting around it.

So, I do the buying of the ticket, which is sold out, which means I do the get in line with thousands of others and hope that I get one, fingers crossed and all that, which I can do, then.

Where the hell do I camp?

And with what.

Gah.

I realized that as well, though I was in a gilded cage, and it was just that my last two burns, it was a trailer, on the grid, with electricity, natch, and access to staff potties, and I also knew where I was camping.

With my employers.

Down town looks out for me if Media Mecca is full up.

I know folks in other parts of that area, First Camp, Capitol Hill, etc, however, I don’t know any of them well enough to feel comfortable saying hey, want to let me camp with you.

Unless I was working for one of them.

Which could be an option.

But not having nannied for any Burning Man families since the event ended last year–with a vomit explosion from the poor bunny as we hit sea level coming in toward Carquinez Bridge–I am really out of the loop.

I am not interested in being a Ranger.

That’s never done it for me.

I’m good at admin stuff, nanny stuff, cafe, I did some cafe shifts my first year.

But again, I don’t really have any direct links to the borg any more.

Round about ones, friends and acquaintances, but not sure how comfortable I am reaching it out.

It feels like asking for a hand out.

I don’t want to beg to go to Burning Man.

I just want to go.

So.

The right thing to do is to forget about that.

That’s what I think, although that does scare me a little, what will I do when I get to Burning Man if I don’t have a schedule and a place to be and meals, that’s another thing, I’d have to bring in all my food, I’ve been fed and fed well the last seven years.

Maybe it’s time for me to pull my weight there.

Not that I didn’t bust my ass working.

Oh I did.

You may think a nanny is a glorified baby sitter, but there’s a lot to it and it’s easy in the default world, well not easy, but easier.

I do have my uncle on Gate.

But I’m not sure I want to run with Gate.

I am a bit too sparkle pony for Gate.

I am a good fluffer–which was what I asked if I could help with at Media Mecca–but again, I don’t even know where to start with that.

I missed being at Mecca the last two years, but maybe it’s just time to move on.

I was told there’s no space, so mind, get used to it, that’s not where you’re going to be staying.

I know there are lots of options.

I know it.

I could, of course, I’m sure stay with Camp Stella.

I camped with them my first year out.

I know I could probably get myself into Anonymous Village as well.

And I know a good few folks at Run Free.

I have options.

Hell.

Now that I think about it.

I could camp with my uncle too.

I bet his camp has space.

I’ll be tenting it of course, no more trailer for me, unless something strange and spectacular happens, which one does never know, the strange and spectacular are common place events at Burning Man.

I went so far as to research tents and got lost in a pie hole of glamping sites.

Oh my gosh.

I do so want a Lotus Belle tent.

It is so beautiful.

And over a months rent for me.

The tents are around 1,090 pounds and upwards.

What the hell does that even convert too?

Approximately $1600 American dollars.

A yeah.

No.

I looked at tipi’s.

There are some cute ones out there.

Yes, see, sparkle pony, I’m looking at cute, not thinking stable or secure.

I’m all like Arabian Nights and rugs and throw pillows and lanterns and shit.

I will probably get a blow up mattress.

I loaned mine out to a lady some years ago and I think it got trashed.

Ditto my camp shower.

There won’t be any drama over me taking shower this year, that’s for sure.

I did find some canvas bell tents that do seem more in my price range, though.

Here is the one I am thinking about from SoulPad.

It’s only 230 pounds.

Much more in my price range and still uber cute.

Though, if I had the dough I would get this one instead.

Stupid cute.

Because who doesn’t want to camp in a circus tent?

Especially when the theme this year is Carnival of Mirrors.

I might need to get a top hat too.

Lots of stuff to think about.

That’s the other great thing about Burning Man.

All the obsessive thinking I get to do around planning on it, going to it, negotiating work, navigating to and from, food, clothes, being self-sufficient, radically so, being of service to my community, gifting.

Loads of things to think about.

Like maybe not a blow up bed, but a hammock instead.

Don’t get me started.

Let me first focus on getting a ticket.

I am going to go.

Just in case you were wondering.

Now how does that happen?

That is the question.

 

You Look Like The Promises

March 15, 2015

He said to me tonight and handed me a pink piece of laminated paper.

That might be the best compliment I have gotten.

It made me reflect on how amazing my life is.

I can encapsulate it in just today and the simplest of pleasures.

Eating a wonderful breakfast, I cooked myself, with all organic ingredients, drinking a coffee pour over with Four Barrel espresso, writing in my pink glitter notebook, doing laundry with lavender soap, my sheets always smell so good, speaking of, having fresh sheets on the bed.

There was a time when I didn’t even own sheets.

Wearing a sundress in March.

Putting on sunblock, since it was sunny and warm, almost humid, and I was traveling to the East Bay, North Berkeley to be exact, and it’s usually sunnier there then here.

Spending time with dear friends, baby shower, celebrating life, discussing family, goals, dreams, Burning Man, graduate school.

The smell of jasmine, wild and prolific on the fence.

My feet bare, fresh pedicure sparkling in the sun, the grass warm.

Getting an unexpected lift back to the city with a friend and catching up on life, dating, recovery, more talk of Burning Man.

Lots of thoughts about that thing in the desert.

In fact!

I just checked the curriculum page on CIIS for the Integral Counseling Psychology Masters Weekend intensive, and yes, drum roll please, I can go!

I may not have it paid off from work, but I don’t care.

My biggest concern was that I not miss my first weekend of classes.

The retreat for the graduate program is August 9th-16th.

The first weekend of classes is September 11th-13th.

I can go to Burning Man!

Oh my god.

I just got teary eyes.

Ha.

I am a sap.

It would be my 9th year going and it would me an awful lot to me to go and see the gentleman who said to me, “you’re a child psychologist getting paid baby sitter’s wages.  What are you going to do about it?  Do you have an undergraduate degree?  Go to graduate school.”

That conversation changed my life.

Changed it in a big way.

I was ready for the change and didn’t even know it until I was sitting with tears rolling down my face in a little dome on the playa at Camp Run Free talking with Daddy Don from L.A.

It would be something else to go up to him and say, I did it.  I applied, I got in, I’m going to graduate school.

Thank you for holding my hand during such a challenging time and thank you for not coddling me either, telling me like it is and helping me see a way out.

That would be such a gift, to give him a HUGE hug.

Burning Man dates?

August 30th through September 7th (Labor Day).

I can go!

The event falls perfectly between the retreat and the first weekend of classes.

What else?

My class schedule in August also happens to coincide beautifully with the week that the family I am employed with wants me to come up to Sonoma with them–August 17th-21st–and stay with them in Glen Ellen.

I mean.

How perfect is that?

And the best part is that I didn’t have to manipulate a single thing.

Once I realized that I could go I got on the horn, the e-mail horn, and shot off a message to someone in the organization at Burning Man whose team I volunteered on the one year I didn’t nanny on playa.

I have gone 8 times.

My first year I volunteered with Cafe.

My second, third, fourth, and fifth years I was a nanny for Junebug.

My sixth year I was a fluffer (get your mind out of the gutter) for Media Mecca.

My seventh and eighth burns I was a nanny again for a different family, also with the organization.

I would love to fluff again.

Basically, in Burning Man parlance, a fluffer is support staff to the people building the city or running the infrastructure thereof.  Fluffers get ice and water and bring them back to camp for the team they are supporting, or they go out to art camps and bring them water and ice, or the crew that does the fence before there is any city out there to service.

It’s basically hauling ice and water, but I got into it when I was there and really felt a part of by doing the small tasks that help the camp run.

Sometimes the smallest things are the biggest things.

Why folding a chair up at the end of the night and stacking it in the corner helps me to not pick up or drink, I have no idea, it’s the paradox I never want to figure out.

Figure it out is not a slogan after all.

I am just feeling such joy right now.

I get to go to Burning Man.

Even if I can’t help out on the team, and there’s a good chance I might not, I know how they must be inundated with offers to help since the event has become a sell out event, but I know I will go.

It’s just in my stars.

My screen saver on my laptop is actively cycling through Burning Man photos as I write.

From the same year that I was a fluffer at Media Mecca.

I will take that as an auspicious sign.

I have friends that want me to go to Burning Man and not work.

I am not certain I can, I really feel that I have to put something back for all that I am given.

However, I can certainly work less than I have the last two years.

I am so grateful right now.

Yes!

Yes!

I don’t have a ticket.

I don’t have a place to camp.

I don’t have a tent.

But I do have a dream and it is where my heart lives.

At Burning Man.

When I am out on the playa, by myself, beneath that domed sky, so high, so cerulean blue, the light filtered through a haze of dust, the sunset blending into the indigo sky, and I am home.

My heart soars.

I have my chat with God, one of many, many, many I usually have, and I get overwhelmed with the gratitude I have for my family and friends, that little dusty reunion of my Burning Man family that I get to make a pilgrimage to every year for the last eight.

I’m going to Burning Man.

I just know it.

Why?

This is my year.

For all the things.

All The Things

All The Things

 

Something Else is Being Planned

July 22, 2013

Without your knowledge.

I am looking at next weekend and the following two weeks as a great big surprise party that the Universe is throwing me.

I was going to go help out one of the families next weekend at the What the Festival in Oregon, but their needs changed and my need was negated.

So, no music festival in Oregon for me.

Just means that something more spectacular and more up my alley are coming down the pipeline.

To horribly mix my metaphors.

If how I felt today was indicative of how I will react, which it isn’t, but for the moment I will say it is, I am going to be just fine.

I had no plans today except to be at Church and Market for one hour at 6:30 p.m. today.

I slept in, did laundry, got off–hey you got to make hay while the sunshines–both sets of roommates and girlfriends were out of the house and well, me being the only one in the house, I made use.

Showered.

Breakfast.

Wrote.

Read.

Wrote some more.

Worked on some stuff for the design firm for a little while and planned out what I would need to do for her for the remainder of the week.

And billed for the two weeks prior–not much man, but the experience is so worth it I have no complaints.

None.

Had some lunch.

Did my hair all sassy and set out for the city.

I ran into Sean.

HI SEAN!

On the street as I was crossing from 15th over Market.

He was on his bike and pulled over and gave me a big ol’ hug and we chatted about his new job and how much he loves it and the pop up restaurant and Burning Man.

I haven’t seen him since last year’s burn.  I thought I might catch him at the Media Mecca BBQ in Petaluma but that did not happen.

It was good to see him.

I love random friend spotting.

Not too long thereafter I ran into another friend I had not seen in a while.

For obvious reasons.

She looked horrible and I was so sad to see her that way and so happy to see her again the two feelings negated each other.

She looked like a shrunken, beaten, scrawnier version of Mick Jagger on a bad run.

But she was alive and I was grateful.

Both to see her again and to see that I don’t have to do that shit today.

No, no I do not.

My life.

I am so cotton picking grateful for my life.

I have a life in which I am free to travel about, to work, to eat well, to see friends, to drink hot spicy cinnamon tea (the Bengal Spice is in the house, yo), where I get to ride a bicycle that is really cool.

It is really cool.

That I am allowed to not be in bondage to drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, sugar (21 days now!) and most of all from those bad habits I indulge–believing my thoughts about myself rather than reflecting that I am a result of my actions.

Little revelations that grow and change and change me.

Charge me.

Light me up like a battery.

Fly me to the moon.

Did you see the moon rise tonight?

It was heralded by ribbons of pink smoked clouds and indigo skies.

It rose heavy, white, creamy soft, full.

The juxtaposition of it, the beauty of it in comparison to some of the squalor I pass on my bicycle ride back to Graceland, transported me.

I felt like I was on an alien planet.

I felt like I was in a George Lucas sci-fi movie.

That may be all it is.

That welter of gratitude for the skyline and the press of the moon behind the criss cross of telephone wires across International Ave.

That could be it completely.

There is sustenance and beauty everywhere that I can let myself see.

I could not even find it in me to worry about my finances and what will happen when I get back from Burning Man and who will I nanny for where.

I just did not have it in me to not coast along the serene line that just taking the next action in front of me led my day down to.

Sometimes that really is it.

Hot shower.

Clean laundry.

Good food.

Hot coffee (Stumptown!).

Cuddle cats that chirp at you.

The line of the clouds beckoning me on, pulling my heart up and forward as it pulls my eyes, feet splayed on pedals, rollicking past the taco truck at high velocity, the tarnished Talk of the Town sign blinking out in burnt neon, the royal indigo and blushed peach sky, the moon.

La bella luna.

I salute you.

Simple, elegant, there, not needing explanation or definition.

Just there.

Beauty.

God.

Love.

You.

Where Are You Camped

June 2, 2013

I don’t remember.

I know I am not going to be by Media Mecca this year, but I won’t be too far off, the big Ranger station?  Somewhere along 3:45 and C.

What about you?

When are you going up?

I’ll be getting there August 17th, leaving the Bay on the 16th, staying overnight in Reno, then hitting the playa that Saturday.

Yup.

I was at a Burning Man BBQ today.

It was awesome socks.

I got to go out with an old friend who picked me up from Graceland today and we drove out to Petaluma for the Media Mecca BBQ and gathering.

I saw faces I had not seen since last year’s event and faces I had only connected with via Facecrack, and a few more friends who I had briefly seen at another Burning Man centric back yard bbq my first week back.

It was lovely to catch up, sit in the sun, in the grass, out in the California country.

To watch the fire under the hot tub licking the sides of the big round trough of water up on cinder blocks.

“It’s like a hilly billy hot tub,” my friend noted as I sat snuggling with his “puppy” ( a four-year old Pyrenees Mountain Dog, a dainty 118 lbs) as we watched the host stuff another log into the fire pit underneath the tub.

“It is fucking brilliant,” I said to the host early in the day as he showed me and my friend around the house and the  gardens.

It, the tub in question, was a large round horse trough up on cement blocks over a brick patio.  Underneath the tub, which had just been filled earlier that day with fresh water, was a fire pit.  The host looked at his watch and calculated, staring now, around four pm, the water should be hot enough to climb into by nightfall.

Good thing we left right before nightfall, another event beckoned my ride back to San Francisco, or I would have been cavorting naked in that tub.

And I am not a ready, set, disrobe sort of gal.

I like keeping my clothes on, thank you very much.

“When are the girls going to come out?” My camp mate asked my first year on playa at Burning Man.

“Uh, my girls?  Do you mean my breasts?” I asked a little askance.

“Yeah, aren’t you going to let them come out and play?” He continued.

“No,” I said, “I am not that kind of Burning Man person”.

I never want the playa name “Dusty Tits” frankly or “Dusty Bits” either, for that matter.

I am not a get naked at Burning Man girl.

I don’t ride in Critical Tits, although one year I got inadvertently swept up in the crossfire, I don’t wear sheer items on playa, I just don’t get naked.  Unless it is pre-event and in the dark and out at the hot springs.

I am not a cavorting topless lass.

You perhaps can conclude then, the hot tub, hilly billy or no, was quite alluring.

It was also fun to hear from folks who have seen the Sparks A Burning Man Story, a documentary that was premiered at South By South West and has its West Coast premier this Thursday, June 6th at the Roxie Theater on 16th and Valencia.

“Have you seen the movie yet?” My friend asked.

“No, I have seen the trailer, but not yet the film, I heard the tickets were sold out to the premier, I am bummed I missed getting one, I really want to see it,” I said to my friend.

“The shot of you is pretty spectacular, you look all blissed out and sunshiney and smiley and like you were just dancing your heart out somewhere or having a cosmic moment with the Universe, you know, like you do.” He said with a fond smile on his face.

You know, like you do.

Yeah, I do know.

I do have those moments.

On playa and off, where I let people in and I get a little dreamy and I recite poetry or get transported by music or I get caught up holding someone’s hand and telling a story.

I have not been a lot of places where I am so my authentic self and so guarded at the same time.

“Where’s your Burniform?” My friend questioned me.

I smiled.

I am in it.

My uniform usually consists of tank tops, boy briefs, tights and boots.  I’ll strap on a pair of goggles to my leg, wrap a bandana around my wrist, and maybe another around a boot.  Slap together some sort of belt and carabiner with a water bottle attached to said belt.

That’s it.

I don’t get too fancy, although I do have a crinoline I break out to flounce around in once in a while.

I will certainly flounce in it this year.

“You should see the picture she took of me,” my friend said, “it was hilarious, it is one of my favorites,” he scrolled through his photos on his Iphone.

“Meet clown at 5:15 and esplanade Monday.”

This was written in black sharpie marker on his forearm.

Neither of us knew what to do with that information, but a clown was expecting to be met the next day, that was clear.

It was a day out in the country, short ribs on the grill, smoking fire warming up a cauldron of water, it’s not a Burning Man party without some fire and smoke happening, pitchers of lemonade, watermelon salad, home-made guacamole, one large dog, and lots of stories.

Lots of stories.

I don’t know where I am camped this year, I forgot and my sense of direction is shoddy anyhow, but I do know I will be there and I will have my camera and there will be more stories to be told.

More memories made.

More life experienced.

I am a lucky, lucky, lucky girl.

You can see it in the smile on my face.

And maybe you will, if you managed to get tickets to the movie!

The Crazy Keeps Coming

August 10, 2012

I laughed out loud today as I was leaving the house to go to work.

Leaving work to go to work.

Then I left work to go to work.

After which I left work to go to work to go to work.

Does that make any sense?

Basically I worked three jobs today.  Aside from my normal every day take care of myself job.  I worked three jobs.  Three.

First, house sitting, which this morning, I frankly had to do it, I shut the cats out of the bedroom.  Mushi comes in and starts trying to wake me up to feed him at 6:45 a.m.  A few times he has been successful in this.  I get up, pee, feed the cats, go back to bed.

Then I realized, the cat is training me and is better than an alarm clock.   I stopped doing this three days into the gig, but the cat still comes in and says good morning by stepping all over my head.  Then Ms. Penelope pants wants to come and snuggle and sleep on my face.

It is sweet, but I am not ready to be awoken by a mouthful of whiskers and fur and purring.  So, this morning, when it was 6:45 a.m. on the dot, I just got up peed, and went back to bed and I shut the door.  I slept all the way through to m alarm clock, set for 8:15 a.m.  Heaven.

Up, wash, feed animals, fix breakfast, make coffee, make bed, pray, write, send off a few texts, write some more, make lunch, make up, hair, meditate.  Then off to work.

Which I realized as I was saying to myself “time to go to work,” that I was already at work.  I laughed out loud.

The regular job was good, plenty to do, that is for sure.  Lots of tourists, lots of test rides, lots of phone calls, e-mails, back and forth with vendors, sell a couple of bikes in there, invoice, then respond to a few more messages.

Can you come down to the Burning Man HQ for a Media Mecca meeting tonight at 6:30 p.m.?

Yes.

I check in with the guys at work, can I leave a little early?  I have an appointment.

Yes.

Go from work to work to work.

Get to the Burning Man HQ.  Run into so many familiar faces, get lots of hugs, see old art hanging in a new space, I have not been to the offices since they moved off from the Bay View neighborhood, and get situated in the 15th floor space.

See the team.  Video conference with team members from Singapore, Chicago, Sydney,  North Beach (said person couldn’t leave their office in North Beach so joined in), and a few other spots I did not catch.  Got my schedule.  Got connected with my team members, introduced myself then sat back like a little fly on the wall and got to listen to all things distinctly Burning Man.

Of which my biggest concern ended up being addressed-how am I getting there.

My pumpkin and fluff mate Sean is going to give me a lift.  I will be traveling with him and his boyfriend to the Playa.  We all have the early arrival pass for the 24th.  Thus, we will leave San Francisco the evening of the 23rd.  Driving through the night to get to Gerlach the morning of the 24th and then hopefully some one will help tow in Sean’s trailer.

Not sure on the logistics of that or what that even means, I am literally just a long for the ride.  The timing is great, though, it will give me a day to get settled onto the playa, get my tent set up, and get myself situated.  Say hi to some old friends, John Curley, I am coming for you!  And hopefully get acclimated to the altitude before my training shift on Sunday.

My first real shift will be 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Monday.  Then I will have Tuesday off.  Back on Wednesday 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Off on Thursday. Friday will be a half day of fluffing, 8:30a.m. to 1:30p.m. then a full fluff day on Saturday 9a.m. to 5 p.m.

The awesome thing is going to be working with my boy Sean, we are already good friends and we will work well together.  Hauling wood and toting water.  Really all I am is a girl friday dust bunny.  But every little cog counts.  When I think how much time and effort and co-ordination is involved in just this one little tiny frontier of Burning Man it really puts into focus how much work is involved to get this little camping trip up and running.

It’s just event planning for a 60,000 person party.

No big thing.

Woof.

After two hours of sitting through some really interesting conversations, off to the next meeting, where, frankly the real work for me is done.  Then back to the current house sitting job to feed the fishes, feed the cats, feed myself a late night snack and then sit down to do my end of day job, this blog.

And voila!

My day of work to work to work to work to work is almost done.  I have about twenty minutes left to sit, finish writing, edit, post, swap out the laundry, drink my tea, don’t forget to breathe, brush the teeth then fall into bed.

Where upon I get to get up and do it all over again.  Except I will be meeting Carolyn at Ritual before work to do some work.

Baha.

Really, all I am saying is that my life is pretty full right now and that is alright with me.

It truly is.

To be fifteen stories up in the air settled on a cushion with a friend leaned into me watching the fog from above the city line roll down purple and grey, amassed like gauzy swaths of felt onto the Castro as the sodium lamps along Market Street lit up and the golden pink sunset smoked over the city while listening to voices from all over the globe plan on how to best be of service to a community of artists, that is a gift.

I get to be of service in my very small, very quiet way, and I am so grateful.

So very grateful for every rich full moment of it.

I am blessed.

Busy as all fucking hell, but blessed nonetheless.

Paris is Burning (Man)

August 8, 2012

My heart is yearning, Paris is burning (man), Paris is burning (man).

Double whammy.

Yowza.

Where the hell do I even begin?

Let’s start with:

Your request has been approved for Carmen Martines (aka: Media Mecca Fluffer)

Your confirmation # is (fill in the blank, I ain’t posting up my Burning Man ticket number in case one of y’all decides to get your happy ass to roll call at the gate and try to use it.  Won’t matter none any how because I’ll be getting my paper ticket in person this Thursday)

Message: Thank you, Carmen!

(1) – Gift – Black Rock City 2012

I am going to Burning Man.  In less than twenty-four hours my ticket was approved, early arrival was approved I was confirmed as the Media Mecca official fluffer (nutter) and I got a tent from Jennifer, a sleeping pad from Megan, and yes, that’s right, a ride to the event from Mrs. Fishkin.

Dude.

I am overwhelmed with gratitude, love, joy, excitement.  I cannot tell you how many times I “eeped” out loud and jumped up and down.

I’m going to Burning Man, I’m going to Burning Man, I’m going to Burning Man.

I am so excited.  I got the time off approved, my GM just sat right down and the computer and said just tell me what dates, of course you’re going.  In fact, he told me that some one had put in a request for the weekend of Burning Man (not to go to the event, some other trivial thing, ya know) and he told me that he did not approve it because despite me saying I did not think I was going, he thought I was.

I am!

I talked on the phone with my Media Mecca Mistress Ms. Lee Anna this morning and confirmed it all up.  She has put me down on the official map for the event, I will be camping next to her and Megs and John Curley (oh stop my heart is just going to beat with joy out my chest, I get to be next to Curley too!) and Will Chase and Megan and Lee Anna and Nurse.

I am dying.

Dying.

Oof.

In my wildest I did not see this happening.  I just did not.  Amazing what happens when I get the hell out-of-the-way.  Amazing what happens when I stop insisting that it has to go this way.  I am no longer playa nanny.

I am now the fluffstress.

I am going to get silly with the moniker, you know I am.

Stephanie saying to me, “you know, I mean, you know, don’t you, your mouth just screams blow job.”

Heh.

Fluff this bitches.

Now add to the happy mix this news, just in:

 

Departing Flight Leaving San Francisco, CA  (SFO) at 10:20 AM on  Thursday, November 1,  2012
Arriving Paris , France  (CDG) at 8:40 AM on  Friday, November 2,  2012
Flight From To Travel Time/Class
American Airlines
 Flight 2137
San Francisco Intl (SFO)
San Francisco, CA
10:20 AM
Dallas/Fort Worth Intl (DFW)
Dallas, TX
3:45 PM

Oh yes, that little thing.
That is the second ticket confirmation I received today in my gmail inbox.
I am moving to Paris.
It is on.
I fly out Thursday, November 1st, 2012 @ 10:20 a.m. from the International Hub at SFO to Paris.  One brief layover in Dallas then over night to Paris.  Arriving at Charles De Gaulle Friday, November 2nd at 8:40 a.m.  Just in time to hit the morning markets.
Oh holy mother of God.
I have done it.  The ticket is bought.  I am moving to Paris.
I am moving to Paris.  I am moving to Paris.  I am moving to Paris.
EEEEK!
And I found a ticket for about a hundred less than I was thinking I was going to spend.
Yes, mom, I bought a round trip ticket, so if anything should go wrong, I have an out.  If I get deported, not going to happen, I have an out.  If I hate it, not going to happen, I have an out.  I bought one with a three month turn around time, as that is how long my passport is good for when traveling to Europe.
Mrs. Fishkin reminded me to talk to Ellen, who I had totally spaced about, moved to Paris and had lived there and I completely forgot about that.  I nannied a few times for her and I definitely need to sit and chat with her and with Robyn, who is has been pointed out to me as well, lived in Paris.
I called Barnaby when I got home tonight and left a message.  I said I’m ready let’s do this.  He called me back and said, pull the trigger, I will see you in the city on Saturday.
So I pulled the trigger.
My bank account is now significantly less fat, but I am still solvent for this month.
Mrs. Fishkin also told me, time to tell the Universe that you need more money.
Ok then.
I would like to make more money, Universe.  However, I don’t want to work more hours, I don’t think I could possibly cram another hour of work into my schedule.  Mrs. Fishkin said ask you and you will receive, but be specific, and I realized, shit, I have asked before and gotten just that, more money.
I also ended up working for crazy neurotic parents that drove me up the wall with their micro-managing.
I want to work some where creative and fun, somewhere I learn more and get to be of service, utilize my people skills, I am good with people, have fun, did I say have fun?  Yes, be in the mix in the culture. Get to see people I love, engage with the community, write, and be paid well.
Live abroad.
Like, oh, in Paris.
Heh.
Oh my gosh.
I just got off the phone with John Ater, I called him first.  I got to thank him, and he said, “honey, I didn’t do anything, you did all the work.”
I agree to disagree, a tiny bit.
He listened to me, he told me to breathe, he told me to follow my heart, he told me to write, he told me to stop stepping on my own neck, he told me to be grateful for the pain because that is what turns me toward my higher power and the spiritual solution.
He told me the truth.  He told me I was lovable and worthy of love.  He showered me with love, still does.  I am forever in his debt and if I am able to pass along just a modicum of what he has given me, it won’t be enough to express all I have received.
I am the luckiest girl alive.
I am going to Burning Man and I am moving to Paris.

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