Posts Tagged ‘mythical unicorn’

All the Animals

April 15, 2014

Today I just had one monkey and with that in mind I asked mom for a permission slip to go on a field trip.

Academy of Sciences here we come!

I really did ask for a signed permission slip.

That’s the policy at the Academy in regards to nannies and caretakers. If you go with your charge and the family membership with a note from the parent and the signature matches the card and the family member states your full name, upon showing your id saying that you are said person, you get in free.

That’s a lot of freaking effort to pull the wool over someone’s eyes, but apparently they used to have a lot of problems with people sharing the membership.

I don’t know what the cost to go is, I cannot remember the last time I paid to get in it.

As a practicing nanny I go lots of places with the kids and don’t pay my way in, the family covers the cost, or if I do pay out-of-pocket, I get reimbursed.

Discovery Museum.


Carousel in  Golden Gate Park

Maritime Museum.

Randall Museum is free, but gone there lots too.

Little Farm.

Redwood Steam Trains.

Definitely done that.

Don’t forget I also dated the grandson of the original engineer who built the train tracks up in the Berkeley hills.

Nannies need loving too.

So, today’s adventure was off to see the fishes and the snakes and the frogs.

The python’s, not my favorite to visit, but they had my charge spell-bound.

On a normal day I take loads of photographs of my charges and send them willy-nilly through the air to the parents phones via text.

Not so much today.

The lighting in the Academy sucks for photos.

Flashes are useless in the underground aquarium and reflect off the curved walls of glass. Plus, the light is super low and back-lit and my charge, though definitely enjoying himself was super serious in regards to his watching the fish.

At one point we were in the underground part where there is a tunnel that you can go below the aquarium and be surrounded by fish and turtles and all manner of creatures paddling about, and he just sat in my lap and watched.

It really was pretty amazing.

In fact, I saw two fish playing together.

I never thought about that before, playful fish, but they really were, they were having a good time chasing each other around. I could almost imagine them having a goofy little conversation.

The Academy was far busier than I thought it would be, and then I realized it was probably Spring Break. There were too many big groups of kids and they weren’t tourists, they seemed kids on vacation with mom and dad and maybe a daycare or two had a group.

But a lot of kids were running around.

Poking fingers here and there, slapping the glass to get the attention of a penguin, the penguin exhibit was a lot of fun today for my charge, though.

One of the penguins was paddling close to the aquarium wall and was following us back and forth as we were walking. It was close to lunchtime and I suspect he was thinking I was bringing him some food.

But it was close to lunch time and we needed to go, so off we went, reversing our travels from the Academy in the park, through the park, back out to Stanyan and yup, there he goes, with his little paw stuck in his bag of snacks, a sleep.

And then it happened.

The most illusive of all animals showed his face.

The nap Unicorn.

You don’t believe me do you, but there is such a thing.

It is a magical beast that bestows nannies with the gift of a quiet sit down lunch without a charge underfoot. You don’t need to be a virgin to be gifted by the nap Unicorn, he will bring you things with no strings attached, like the New York Times Sunday Magazine supplement, and after lunch cups of tea, and quiet.

Glorious quiet.

The nap Unicorn brought me an undisturbed three-hour nap.


The last time I was visited by this mythical beast was the first day I had with my Thursday girl, who immediately endeared herself to me for taking such a gigantic nap on our first day together.

This charge today has never taken a three-hour nap with me.

I have heard that he will and has for his parents on a rare occasion, but never for the nanny.

Often it is because his little companion that I also have a share with is not a big napper, 45 minutes, twice day if I am lucky. And they don’t often overlap with my other little boys nap schedule.

Today, said short napping charge was on vacation with his family.

So, I had only one charge and one very long nap.

Oh glory.

It was lovely.

Though I will admit that after two hours I start to be on pins and needles anticipating when the wake up would happen. I had his lunch ready to go an hour before he was up.

In fact, I actually went and checked on him to see if he was still asleep.

I mean, I totally believe in the nap unicorn, but I still had to see for myself that it was true.

Although, now that I am thinking about it, one should never look the Nap Unicorn in the mouth, take the gift and don’t question it whatsoever.

I mean, I even read through the entire April issue of 7×7 as well as the New York Magazine and the entertainment section of the Sunday portion of the newspaper.

What a nice Monday.

Then I got done and got to see a lovely friend and confirm some dance plans for next Friday.

Monday, you are not always this nice an animal.

We need to meet like this more often.

Glad to have met your illusive acquaintance.


I’ll Be Here All Week

September 2, 2013

Temple Burn happened tonight.

And as the clock ticks forward another year is done.

Burning Man really does mark all sorts of anniversaries for me.

This burn, my 7th burn, has been intense, full of small revelations, and a kind of cathartic dropping away of my self.

The self that wants to be autonomous and do it my own way.

The self that wants to isolate and be by itself.

The self that will strand me at the camp, by myself, waiting for some mythical unicorn or a romantic relationship to materialize.

Instead, what has, is family.

Strong family and friend ties.

I had a wonderful dinner with my uncle this evening before the burn and we talked about the spirituality of Burning Man, which for both of us is the connection, the human connection to each other and our fellows out here.

My friend made this awesome sticker this year–Dust Cult–Family Reunion, and that is exactly what it is for me.  A place and a time where I connect and re-connect with friends, relationships becoming more than just acquaintances, but truly family.

“Hey,” he said to me, as I walked through the crowd at the burning Temple.

He smiled and held open his arms and I stepped forward into an all-embracing hug.

I had gone out to the burn, which I was loath to do at all, on my own.

I had not planned on it, I had my own plans and ideas and they got shot in the foot.

I wanted a shower so bad I rode my bike miles out to get it, only to discover that the hours had been cut short to accommodate those folks that wanted to be at Temple Burn.

I could not even muster up a resentment.

I just climbed on my dusty steed and turned around.

I thought about going to the cafe, but had no desire to fish out money from my wallet, which has been stashed in the trailer since we first got out here.

I had a night last night.

And thought, I want mellow and quiet and I don’t want crowds and I want to be alone.

Except, that well, I don’t.

I got back to camp and it was dark and empty, everyone having already left for the burn.

I thought I could stay here, make a cup of tea, I got my ya yas out last night, I went dancing, I went to Xylophage, the Flaming Lotus Girls piece,catching it as the fuel died and the art ended. I went dancing at two different art cars and at a disco party on the Esplanade.

I ferried some folks about on the golf cart.

I saw a girl struggling with a gigantic rolling suitcase walking across open playa, she was crossing from one side to the other where her ride was waiting.  I rolled up, said, get on, and took her, the suitcase and a friend carrying the rest of her gear to her camp.

I got home late and I slept “late”…9 a.m.


I had today off, my first day off, since well, I am uncertain, but it’s been over three weeks, I think.

I still have a week of being here.

I don’t know what that is going to look like.

I don’t think my family does either, but we are all a little crispy.

Everything I tried to do today back fired, gently, in my face.

Friends who I wanted to see having already struck camp and left, friends I had not known were out here, only to discover that they were and still not being able to locate them.

The man I met and spent the most magical night with ever, never finding me again and though I know where he is camped I cannot bring myself to go and seek him out.

“I don’t like being chased,” he said to me, on that night, not so long ago under the stars.

“I am not interested in chasing,” I replied.  “I am worthy of being found, if you want to see me you will find me.”

I remain unfound.

The times for the showers and the commissary being altered to accommodate for the big burns throwing me off.

My camera suddenly going kaput and when I went to download all the photographs I had taken last night the only thing that opened was some photos I took in Paris.

In 2009!

What the fuck?

I did not realize I was going to have today off, so I did not make plans to do anything and felt like I had too much time on my hands.  Then I realized, fuck, I am tired.

I took a nap in the afternoon and felt better for it.

I don’t always out here, sometimes it feels like I am no more rested then when I laid down to begin with.

Upon awakening I reviewed my day and tried something new with the camera, and voila!  My photos magically appeared again.

Then the dinner with my uncle, which was sweet and he handed me a napkin when my eyes misted talking about what this next year will bring.

I left him to do my own thing, only to get shut down.

Only to go where I was supposed to be the entire time, with my brethren at the edge of the night in the deep dark desert.

“Please, let this be the end of isolation for me, I let go of my ideas of what I need to do with my life and who I should be with.  Please help me be present for people who want me in their life,” I whispered out to the fire.

I did go to Temple.

I did watch it burn.

I could not sit in the trailer while the world was solemn and still and holding hands and each other out under the stars in the high desert air.

The lack of music, the stillness, the quiet only broken now and again by a sob, the crackle of the wood, it was eery and magic and love and family and renewal and I found myself raising my own voice into the coyote howl of love that rose warbling and grief-stricken and brazen into the heavens.

I walked forward, into the soft crush of people and said my piece.

I thought of Shadrach and his spirit.

I thought of the dying of self that I have had materialize out here.

This crucible of agony and dust and heat and fire, baking me and cracking me open again.

To raise my tear-stained face and walk into the arms of a friend I had not thought to see or have held me.

“It’s nice to see you this way,” he said to me last year as I tried on a new service position within the Burning Man community, “you were so untouchable when you were nannying.”

I remember those words and it was he that I sat in the back pew of The Church Trap the first day of the event and told fairy tales too.

Unexpected, apropos, and graced to fall into his hug.

I lay my face against his neck, sighed and let myself go, tears slid down my cheek and onto his shoulder, he embraced me and spoke kind words into my heart.

“Thank you,” I whispered in his ear, pulled away and looked into his sweet face, he kissed my cheek and melted into the crowd.

“Please help me to not isolate, please help me to be accessible and of this world.”

Seems like my prayers were answered in that moment, an unexpected, crooning lullaby of love and joy and tears, the howl of the collective human at the burn, the quiet soft voice of my friend in my ear, the embrace, the walk back under the stars, the ringing of my bicycle bell as I climbed into the saddle and rolled back to camp.

Just as my camp mates, all twelve of them that were left, tumbled out of the soccer mom mini-van to ransack the communal snacks and build a fire.

I pulled up my rocking chair and let myself be known.

I’m here all week, 8:45 and C, just a hop, skip, and a jump from the Tokyo Ranger station, off of what is left of the 9 o’clock plaza.

Come by, I’ll tell you a story, let you in, hold your hand, and make you a cup of tea.




And loved ones.

Until I see you next year, I hold you close and dear, more so than you may know.

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