Posts Tagged ‘playa nanny’

Congratulations

April 6, 2017

 

Congratulations Burner!

Hello Carmen,

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

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

Holy toledo

The best news ever.

Well, maybe not ever, but.

LOOK MA!  I’M GOING TO BURNING MAN!

Woot.

Heh.

Not excited.

Not even a little bit.

Not even.

Fuck.

Who the hell am I kidding.

Over the motherfucking moon.

I’m going.

11th year in a row.

It’s a special year for me too.

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

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

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

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

One of the best San Francisco street parties.

But.

It cannot hold a candle to the actual event.

I mean.

What the hell can?

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

Well.

Heh.

I do.

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

I still went.

I have been out as long as 23 days.

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

My burn this year will be the standard event.

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

This year.

Well.

This year, this lady is not working.

No “Working Man” for me.

I mean.

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

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

I’m going to Burning Man.

Pinch me.

I need supplies!

I need a new bike.

Sigh.

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

Fuck.

I will also be sourcing a ride there and back.

I do have a parking pass.

So.

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

The ride will come together.

My gear will come together.

I really have the majority of it anyway.

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

I will need to get a bicycle.

A new air pump for my air mattress.

And possibly a second cooler.

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

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

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

I was like.

Yes.

Yes, please.

Oh my God.

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

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

Heh.

I am going to have all the adventures.

ALL.

Of them.

Yes.

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

But.

I always am!

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

Or.

All the crazy stuff that my brain manufactures.

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

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

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

At least for me.

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

Some years more so than others.

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

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

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

Boy did I ever.

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

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

No.

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

Fuck.

I need to celebrate.

I’m going to Burning Man!

Luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

It’s A Small World

August 18, 2016

There’s a second family out here in Glenn Ellen hanging out and overnighting and they are sweet and fun and nice people.

And.

Heh.

They know a lot of my friends.

Ah Burning Man.

You get me all the time.

I just got offered a nanny gig out there for next year.

The mom was very serious about it and I told her I couldn’t quite yet commit, especially as the mom from the gig I was supposed to do this year wants me for next, but I liked her energy, this new mom and her connection and I felt a lot better engaging with her than the other mom.

Who knows.

She did ask for first option on me and I gave her a handshake affirmation.

But I think it’s great and funny they know some very good friends of mine.

I just had to laugh.

Smallest little world.

San Francisco.

Burning Man.

Nannying.

Graduate school.

All the stuff all the things.

All the things.

I ordered more of my books last night and checked over the syllabus for a couple of my classes.

I have been reading the Gestalt book that got to me late, which is hilarious, since the class ended last Sunday.

However.

I do have a paper to write on it and I feel since it’s a modality that is resonating with me that I shall finish the book and feel more competent in doing the paper.

I don’t actually think I will have a difficult time writing said paper, it’s just six pages long and I’m pretty good at knocking out the writing.

Which also feels good to know since I have decided to pursue a PhD.

Yeah.

I know.

I’m just beginning the second year of my three year Masters program and already I am thinking about what is next.

But.

It is important for me to acknowledge that I am going to go for it.

I’m happy and excited and a little bit scared.

It’s going to be a lot of money.

In the end, though, I know it will be worth it and yes.

My ego will be well pleased with  the title, Dr. Carmen Regina Martines.

Say that three times fast.

What cinched it for me was my Ethics professor.

She really embodies what I want to be when I grow up, well, not an Ethics professor per se, but an all around academic, an advisor, a therapist, a consultant, I mean the woman has consulted for the White House, for the state of California, she has been an expert witness at the Supreme Court level.

And she’s a riot.

And she’s smart and funny.

But most importantly.

She is of immense service in her community.

She travels, she has clients all over, she has a couple of offices, she teaches, she helps battered women and works with the prison systems, she advocates for the elderly and deals with elder abuse and my god, yes.

Yes.

I want that.

I want to be in that position where I can be that person.

Plus.

She outlined it for me in five minutes.

Sweet, simple, fast.

She told me how to accrue hours, well, not necessarily accrue them but that I don’t have to go towards the clinical side and accrue an additional 4,000 on top of the 3, 000 I have to get to sit for the boards to be licensed for the MFT certification.

Which in and of itself is a huge deal.

3,000 hours.

Sweet Jesus on a pogo stick.

That’s a lot of time.

She told me though, get my MFTI number (Marriage Family Therapy Intern) and start accruing the hours and interning and doing all the stuff and when I am close to the end of the program approach her with a dissertation.

Huh?

What?

Obviously, not a full dissertation, but the outline, the big bullet points, the basics of what I want to work on.

I have had a few ideas pop around my head and I have actually had the moment not once, but twice in class when a professor said to me, that would make a great dissertation.

I am a writer.

I can write.

I write all the time.

Why not apply that knowledge, skill, and abilities therein towards a doctoral degree?

She also gave me a good suggestion to get started.

Start a file and whenever I read an article that seems interesting, I put it in that folder.

Consistently adding and then after a little time go in and look at the things that have been catching my attention.  She told me, “you will see a pattern, it will emerge and you will find a topic and then you will write and bring it to me.”

I can do that.

She also happens to sit on the board that I would present my dissertation to.

And she told me, I can help you, I can read it over and say, more here, less there, pull this apart, look at that, and make sure it is APA formatted and just all the things.

My God.

I am really going to do it and not from the standpoint of just bettering myself and my circumstances, which it will, have a doctorate in psychology is a big fucking thing, but it will be better for my community, for the people I want to help, I will get to be of better and bigger service.

Not that the service I do now is anything to sneeze at.

It’s not.

So to have a conversation with this new mom, curious to know about me and what my goals are, I piped up a little at dinner and I think I caught her attention with an experience I shared, to have this mom ask me about my future and my goals.

It was pretty fucking cool.

And that she could see it and it appears to be something she’s also tracking towards and she knows some of my favorite San Francisco people?

It was an exciting exchange and the first time I have voiced it outside of my school intensive and a few of my closest friends in the cohort.

And my professor.

Who caught my attention to ask me a question as I was leaving the last day of class by yelling after me as I left the building.

“Hey Dr. Martines!”

Oh my god.

That was a mighty good feeling.

Mighty.

Mighty.

Mighty.

Good.

Dr. Carmen Regina Martines.

Yes please.

Your Smile Could Melt Glass

April 12, 2016

He said, “you are so gentle and kind.”

And you, you my friend are high as a kite and married.

But hey.

Thanks, I do appreciate the compliment and I wished him a good night and I left Java Beach and came home and wrote a really big letter to my program director.

Because, you see, I had my heart a bit broken today and I am sure there are some of you that are going to roll your eyes, but fuck you and go read another blog.

I was at work today and granted, I was cranky, the reason I was there was to let in the housekeeper and she was an hour late.

Dudes.

I had to make some phone calls.

I got right with God.

And by the time she showed up I was happy and serene and getting myself settled in to do some homework, write that paper I have due for Madame Mildred Dubitzky.

Except it felt tremulous and awkward and my mind was too full from all the material we covered over the weekend.

So.

Some review reading and the process of knowing that often I sit down and don’t know what I am going to write and then I write the paper.

While in the midst of this I was poking around the academics page on my school site and then I saw it.

The dates for the fall semester.

Wait.

What?

Fuck.

NO!

No.

No.

Fuck me.

The first weekend of classes is Labor Day Weekend.

September, 4-6th.

What the fuck.

I’m at Burning Man.

I stared incredulous at the screen, Labor Day weekend, why would they do that?  The school didn’t last year and I made my plans last year knowing that.

I made the assumption, I know, I know, that it was going to be the same kind of schedule.

And yeah.

It was going to be tough and it was going to be wonky and I might lose some sleep, but I was going to go, I got a job, I got a ticket, I got a purpose.

And it’s my tenth year.

And though I don’t want to dwell on it because I will start crying again.

It’s the 10th year anniversary of Shadrach’s death and he was the reason I went in the first place.

I took his ashes, not all of them, but enough, a whisper, a soft remonstrance of a kiss on my forehead, prayers for happiness in the ether, the never ending spiral out of love that I know he swims in, that his joy and smile and love are still with me.

And.

Oh.

Fuck.

Ten years is a long time and a lot has happened and I have grown and it still hurts and I still miss him and I always, always, have a moment, just for him, just for me out in the deep playa and I will really miss it.

I was too upset to keep working on my paper.

I called my person.

I was told to contact the school.

I scoffed, I said I was going to accept it.

(Roll over)

I also said I was going to pray and just focus on today and doing the things I needed to do.

I called another one of my people and sobbed.

He told me to take a good, brisk walk, like big, and move.

I did that.

I told the housekeeper I was going out to run errands and I just strode like a woman on fire through the Mission.

I walked into a nail salon and got my nails done.

Black.

My mood was a little dark.

I took myself out to lunch afterwards and didn’t get on the phone, but I knew I was going to have to tell the family I had contracted to work for.

It was only going to be the right thing to do.

My heart hurt and I was still too tender to do that.

I got back to the house and made a cup of tea and the housekeeper was almost done.

She wrapped up, I took care of securing the house and I hopped on my scooter and headed to the Sunset.

First the Inner then, the Outer.

Pit stop at Dr. Kurtzbay to pick up my new progressives–re-lensed my green frames–and found a pair of sunglass frames I liked to get a prescription set.

Then from the 7th and Irving to 46th and Judah.

I dropped off my laptop and hopped back on the scooter.

I felt at a loss with what to do with myself.

I did some grocery shopping at SafeWay.

Then came home, put groceries away, looked at my homework and shelved it.

I just couldn’t do it.

I read for a while, non-school material, more of The Widow of One Year, by the fabulous John Irving.

Then I sat and meditated for awhile in the back yard, getting some sun on my face.

And after that.

Ha.

I took a nap.

I was so zapped.

I thought I slept a half hour.

I slept an hour and a half!

I made some dinner, and frankly, well, I couldn’t cook.

I knew I had to call the family I was supposed to work for.

I did.

Barely able to do it without breaking my voice.

Then I went and did the deal and I was of service and did my commitment and helped out a new lady and went to fellowship and after I shared with a woman who graduated from CIIS this past December.

“Oh CIIS empties out at Burning Man, you should see if they can change that, really contact someone,” she said while I listened.

A friend of mine in the cohort mentioned the same thing.

But aren’t I asking for the entire cohort to kowtow to my schedule?

Then I thought.

Fuck it.

Just take the action.

So.

I did.

Hey D_____-

I don’t believe we have ever met, but I am in the ICPW 2015 cohort, happy to be heading into my last month of my first year.  A little overwhelmed too!  But, over all super excited and grateful to be on the path.
That being said I was heartbroken to see that the first weekend of the ICPW 2016 fall semester is Labor Day weekend.  I work at Burning Man and was planning my travel there around school, and my assumption, my wrong, I know, that the dates would be similar for the first weekend of the second year–that is after Burning Man.
I know it’s an odd request, but it is a spiritual experience for me, part of my practice, my ten year anniversary of going as well as my best friends ten year anniversary of his death–I took his ashes to Temple my first year, and I have gone back every year since, holding many positions of service in the community.
I am sure that I am not the only student at CIIS that attends Burning Man and I am aware that there is a least one other in my cohort who was planning on going and has purchased tickets.
If there is any leeway, flexibility or other options for that weekend I would greatly appreciate your thoughts.  I am bereft.  I do understand if there is no recourse, I will forfeit my going to the event for my schooling, I have already notified my employers to look for another–however my position is extremely challenging to fill.  If, again, there is anything I can do, please let me know.
If not, I hope that for the future that the department may consider those of us who go to the event for their spiritual practice.  I have been sober 11 years and am also of service in the recovery community there.  In fact, if it hadn’t been for an experience at Burning Man two burns ago, I wouldn’t even be at CIIS–feel free to see my application essay, it’s all spelled out there.
Thank you again for your service as Program Coordinator, your efforts are noticed, if not always acknowledge directly.
Sincerely yours,
Carmen Martines
I have no idea what comes next.
But I tried.
I made an effort.
And for that I am grateful.
Fingers crossed.

All Showered Up

March 13, 2016

And ready for Daylight Savings!

Not fucking really.

Not really excited to be losing an hour of sleep on the last day of my three day weekend of school.

It’s supposed to rain again tomorrow, I won’t even notice the difference, it’ll still be gray.

That being said, I am sure that by Monday the extra hour of daylight will be lovely.

Just contemplating the loss of the hour is not fun.

Oh well.

Class, again, went well today.

I am feeling the material and understanding it and doing well and I got to say thank you and good bye to the woman I was the therapist for in the last six sessions of class.

It is a powerful thing to do this work and again, a powerful thing to be told that I am doing well.

I sure hope so.

It did feel like I got a lot out of the work and also that my client did as well.

We lost one of our cohort today.

That was sad.

And yet, despite the confirmation for the student that the program was not a good fit, it confirmed, again, for me, that I am on the right track.

I am not always on the right track anywhere else.

Or at least that I can readily see, but I think, I feel like I’m doing alright.

I’m also going to need to reach out to the relatives on my father’s side of the family and get some more information about the family history for one of my papers.

It’s big stuff.

I’m excited to learn more about my family and as I was thinking about it during class, I had two thoughts, one I wonder if my fondness from mangoes has anything to do with the lineage of my family.

And two.

I really want to go to Hawaii.

I have never been and I have been sticking money away for a while now in an online savings account that I have titled “Paia, Maui.”

That’s where my grandmother was born in 1928.

I really want to see that.

I really want to connect to that history and culture and be there.

It may not be for a bit.

I don’t have vacation time for it at this time.

Although I do have the money to go.

I have thought about when would be a good time, summer, fall, winter, I assume that Christmas is a really busy season.

I have a four day weekend in July for the holiday.

Although I was also keeping that tentatively on my plate for a possible travel to Wisconsin to see my best friend and her skulk.

Ultimately, seeing my friend is the priority, Hawaii can wait, but I feel that it is very much in the near future.

New York and Burning Man, my retreat for school, and possibly a dash back to Wisconsin for a long weekend of hanging out with the best friend.

It’s a good year of traveling.

Who knows what else may come into the mix.

Opportunities seem to be everywhere.

But yes, Hawaii, I would love to go and see you.

It really is about time.

There are stories to write here, experiences to be had, reconnection to be made.

I felt that today, sitting in class, talking about the traumas associated with immigration and exile and how displaced people, refugees, slaves, indentured servants, get moved around, how solace is found in the mothering environment.

I feel that I would find solace there.

I just peeped around the interwebs and I can definitely afford to go.

It’s going to be a matter of when.

I have a odd feeling that it may be sooner than I think but I cannot put my finger on why, I know the family I work for is going to be going on a trip around the time that I will be going to the retreat in Petaluma for my retreat, but I actually am wondering if the dates are lined up.

I think they may not be, I think, in fact, that the family may be gone the week before my retreat?

If that is the case, then maybe then.

It would certainly make for a very busy August.

Which reminds me.

Start thinking about what I want to take with me to Burning Man.

I have a very nice set up for the job I will be doing out there, but I know from my own personal experience, there a few things that I will want to have with me.

It’s nice to order them and have them and stock them up and not think about it too much.

Replace my shoulder harness or get it stitched up.

Check in with my OP (Original Playa) family and get the status on my playa bike.

I know it will need some tending to and might as well get things going.

This is also just a way to make busy, I’m aware of that, but it is a kind of busy that I find fun and engaging and a nice mental break from all the school stuff.

One more day.

And thank God it’s a short day.

I will be done by 4 p.m.

Then off to the Castro.

Hang out with my Puerto Rican fairy godfather.

I’ll pick his brains about Puerto Rico.

Another place I would like to go back to.

I have been once, but it was quite some time ago.

It would be fantastic to go back with a little more family history and also to go sea kayaking again and swim in the bioluminescent sea.

All the things.

All the places.

All the reconnecting.

It’s a good life, my little life, down by the sea, that rain is falling and the wind is blowing, but hopefully soon, sun.

And until then.

I will be the sunshine in my own life.

I’m getting pretty good at it.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

Time Off Request Granted

March 1, 2016

I’m going to Burning Man!

Fuck yes.

Hell yes.

Whoopee!

My family gave me the time off.

Time off for my school retreat (paid vacation, although it’s called a retreat it did not feel like one last year, I hear it’s not as bad as the first year, but whatever, it’s still school, ain’t no vacation) the week in August that I need.

August 7th-14th I’ll be in Petaluma.

And like a complete repeat of last year I will leave the retreat and head straight to Glen Ellen to nanny for the family from August 15th-24th.

Then I will leave there, head back to San Francisco, pack my shit, and head up to Placerville with one of my new camp mates, as yet unknown, to join the new playa family I will be working for this Burning Man, 2016.

On 8/25 I’ll care pool with some one in the crew to Placerville.

8/26 I’ll help the mom with the kids, yes, I’ll be nannying two this year, which is a first, but there is also grandma at camp, the eldest will be 3 1/2 by time of playa and has already been there three times, no four.

The baby will be 9 months, which is actually a great time, and means lots of snuggling and holding a baby, um, something I quite love and miss even though I get lots of love and snuggles from my boys, baby snuggles are something so delicious and I rather miss them.

Plus, both will be napping still and I am not going to be alone in the work.  So I feel quite comfortable with the set up.

8/27 we’ll depart to the playa!

8/28-9/5 nanny on playa

9/6 depart back to Placerville and carpool back to SF.

It’s going to be a big August!

And September.

Hell when isn’t my life big?

I am also being well taken care of, the camp, Star Star Roadhouse is located on the last road of the 9 o’clock spoke.

I’ll be out there, but I sort of like that after the experience of being in a similar area, a little ways off from there.

In fact, ha, I was reflecting how funny God is.

I rode my playa bike past them numerous time last year and wondered what the camp was about and although I never made a show there I was hella intrigued and wondered, I mean I really did, what it would be like to camp with an established camp.

Looks like God was listening.

When isn’t he?

Yes, I use the male pronoun, get over it.

She/He/It.

God.

Looking out for me.

Hearing my heart’s desires and responding in kind.

I started writing about going a few weeks ago, maybe a month?

And when I started writing the affirmation I sort of shot the moon.

I thought I was asking for a lot, but figured, hey, ask for it, and see what happens–this was before I had been approached by the family, or gotten the referral from a family I used to work with–I was asking for these things:

A ticket, early arrival pass, a place to camp, A/C, showers, compensation, a ride there and back, food, and my Beloved.

Well.

Ahem.

What the family is providing me with:

A ticket and early arrival pass.

An office trailer room with A/C and access to electricity

Yes!  My electric kettle will be coming again as will my Ipod home player.

Access to shower trailer.

All meals, water and NA beverages

Access to crew shade/lounge and walk-in refrigeration.

HOLY SHIT.

Plus, um, oh, thank you God, the food is pretty much organic, the people I am working for do big time catering–I am so taken care of.

And.

Yes.

Compensation.

I will be covered for the money I’m losing at work, since it’s not paid time off.

As for my Beloved.

I don’t know who that is.

But I hazard to say, it’s happening, he’s happening, love is happening, everywhere I am blessed and graced and given what is in my heart.

It helps that I am willing to do the work.

Even when I want to run away from it and go grocery shopping at Rainbow for kale.

I know, crazy right?

I had another yoga class today and after wards I was thinking I could run to Rainbow and pick up some kale and make a big salad for lunch and dinner.

I got home, threw myself in the shower, changed clothes, dried my hair, put some makeup on and realized that I was rushing to do something that I did not need to do.

I was making busy when I could actually sit down for a half an hour and relax, maybe do some school reading, I read before yoga too, and not go run off across town before work when I had done food prep yesterday.

And.

Further more if I wanted to get kale that bad I could just walk up to Other Avenues and buy some.

I realized I was running away from doing the work.

So.

I sat down and I wrote the rest of my inventory.

The concept really got me and I did a lot of writing on that, then the four people on my list.

Four.

God that is just awesome.

I still have a few things to write, an ideal, but that’s it.

And in the writing I got to see how damaging I am to myself when I act like I am not worthy.

I am worthy.

I am enough.

I am lovable and worthy of love.

I mean.

I have said these things for years, but still felt, underneath it all that somehow, I was still unworthy, not enough, something broken in me.

I just saw how it was thrust upon me and not in a way that was done consciously despite the damage done, I don’t excuse the behavior or the abuse I went through.

However.

I am not living in that place any longer.

The healing continues.

And then when I was done.

I rode my scooter to work and I had forgotten, I mean, completely, that I had sent off the request to the parents for Burning Man.

Half way through chatting with the mom about the week and cooking and school schedules for the boys, she just suddenly interjected, “Oh, and all your time off requests are fine, you can have the time off you asked for.”

OMG.

What?

I tried hard to not burst out hollering in joy.

“Of course, we’d rather have you than not, but yes, you can have it off.”

Thank you God.

So not knowing who my Beloved is?

What ever.

It’s obvious I’m being so taken care of.

I’m not going worry about this.

God’s got it.

And I’m going to Burning Man.

Burning Man.

Burning Man!

Mary Fucking Poppins rides again.

I just hope my Beloved’s name is not Bert.

Now.

Wouldn’t that be funny?

Bwahahahahaha.

Sorry, just gleeful, it’s sort of spilling out here.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

Free.

Free.

And.

Oh.

So.

Very.

Loved.

 

Fingers Crossed People

February 29, 2016

And I am not talking about who gets the best Oscar picture win tonight.

I didn’t even know tonight was Oscar night.

I was busy living my little, BIG, life down by the sea today.

I had a great day and it’s hard to believe the weekend has already flown past, but yes, it has, and as I gear up for the week I am happy and content and ready to rock this bitch out.

I just asked off for Burning Man.

It’s an unpaid ask off from my employers and if they say no, there’s little I can do, I won’t quit my job to go to Burning Man, well unless I got some extraordinary offer, or won the lottery.

Considering I don’t play the lotto though, it’s unlikely to happen.

I also asked off for a doctor’s appointment to have an eye check up.

I think it’s time to update my prescription.

I love my glasses so much though, that I am going to have them re-lense the frames versus getting new frames.  It’s going to have to be a two part process, which it’s a good thing that I have my old frames as well, I’ll swap out the two and wear one set while the others get taken care of.

I am also going to get myself some prescription sunglasses.

Good for being on my scooter and also good for being on playa.

I didn’t wear my glasses very often out there last year and I feel like my eye sight is just changed up enough that I am going to feel better having glasses or prescription lenses with my sunglasses while I’m out there.

Please let me get the time off!

I am actually glad that I got it off, the request, it took a moment, I had to do some work and then, I was like, just ask.

They can say no.

And that’s ok.

And they can say yes and that would be freaking awesome.

If they say no I’ll deal with what that means.

But, yeah, I am hoping for a yes.

I also notified them of my second year school retreat, August 7th-14th.

It’s going to be another busy summer.

Yes, I know it’s February, but not for much longer and the weeks they zoom by sometimes and the next thing you know you’re on a plane or driving in a car and traveling down the road.

Plus, the family does a lot of planning and a lot of scheduling and have already started talking about reserving the house in Sonoma that they go to each summer.

Last year it worked out with out any conflicts of timing and I want to be able to ask now so that they are prepared and I’m being transparent.

I did the work.

Got to let go of the results.

Like yoga.

I went again today and signed up for a morning class tomorrow before I head into work.

It feels good to keep showing up.

I did better today although the class was challenging the teacher was really good and though the poses were tough, I tried and I also had a much better day on the mat.

My feet stuck on the mat, almost like glue, my housemates borrowed mat is a dream in comparison to the one I had used the days prior.

I actually think I’ll bring that mat, the slippery one, out to Burning Man with me.

I will have a distinct, defined, practiced, practice by that point.

I am sure I will want to do yoga while I am out there.

I know plenty of folks that do.

Ha.

Before you know it, I’m going to be burning sage in my room.

Well.

Maybe not, it’s a tiny space, it would smell up real quick.

I did catch a whiff of it as I stepped out onto the street, or floated, really, I got that floating feeling today again during class and after.

I had the thought again, “I could get addicted to this,” it feels really good to be in my body and out of my head and to let the world drop away and just be inside this gift that carries me around all day long.

I am having a happy time taking care of it.

It helps my head so much too.

I took care of other things too, I didn’t just get all blissed out on yoga, I grocery shopped and cooked and did the deal.

I also heard an inventory and I am astoundingly grateful for the experience and the honor of hearing it.

It was such a huge gift, I got teary about it a few times and I’m not blaming my period on this, no, this was legitimate, awe and wonder at the process and seeing the progress of another woman becoming all that she can be.

It shook me when I was on the yoga mat and the instructor said something about letting go of the idea of perfection and something just slipped side ways and fell out of my heart with a soft thump on the floor, tears flowed down my face, and yes, there, the gratitude, the gift of being present and being with another on their journey.

Lovely.

Really.

Such goodness.

My petty desires, wanting a boyfriend, or sex, job security, getting to go to Burning Man, whatever it is, just slides away when I am presented with this opportunity to share my experience, strength, and hope with another woman and my heart just bursts open all over again.

Heck.

I even got some school reading in too.

I have to do some more this week and then next weekend, two papers to write.

They’ll get done.

The light.

I see it.

Raised in brightness.

Super saturated with ice cream colored sunsets and the kisslets of poems that trip against the back of my throat, the mocking bird call, the violets opening purple veined and yellow tinged with joy, green leafed in the morning and wilting beneath the full moon light in the evening.

I lift my eyes to the sky.

Subsumed in the music of the spheres.

I am here.

I am there.

I am everywhere.

This.

Then.

Is.

Love.

 

This Is Actually Happening

February 25, 2016

Holy shit.

Sometimes things do really just fall the hell into place.

I got a job offer for playa nanny this morning.

Granted, there are things to work out, logistics, meeting the family, etc.

But.

After a half hour conversation we’re pretty much in agreement.

I’m going to Burning Man.

I’M GOING TO BURNING MAN!!

I’M….

Ok.

Well.

Ha.

You can tell I’m freaking excited.

Plus, despite always wanting a little more time for myself to go and play, I really do feel connected when I am being of service.

Nannying on playa is definitely being of service.

The negotiating that I really need to do is going to be with the family I am currently employed with.

I would be taking it as unpaid time off as when I head off to my school retreat for a week I will be using the last of my vacation time with them.

They were really amenable with me about it last year.

I think perhaps because the mom has gone a number of times and also, I do a damn good job with their boys and I didn’t have a single sick day last year, nor have I had one ever, since I have started working for them.

I did take sick time to go see my father when he was in a coma up in Anchorage.

Hell.

My family flew me there on their dime.

And I had only been working for them for a few months at that point.

I am not too worried that they will be able to be flexible with me.

I certainly am with them.

For instance.

Tomorrow I’m staying a half hour late so they can handle some neighborhood duties.

Then Friday, the boys don’t have school, so I agreed to come in 10a.m.-6p.m. versus the 1p.m.-8p.m. the rest of my week normally is.

Anyway.

I am over the moon.

I’ll get the ticket, the early arrival pass, looks like they want 8-9 days on playa, a great location–on the Esplanade! Where I have never camped before.  The camp is big and has it’s own set up–kitchen, shower trailer, I’d be put up in A/C and not have to worry about a trailer or RV or, god forbid, a tent aka a dust coffin, plus a ride there and back.

And compensation for my time.

I told them what I make as a nanny for my current family and I believe we are going to negotiate a flat rate, they need steady flexibility more than they need an eight hour straight shift, I said I can be their on call person, and I will have time off to go do the deal.

I was very upfront with that need.

I have to do some regular check ins either at Stella, Run Free, or Anonymous Village.

Because that’s how I roll.

And I’m a better nanny for it.

Believe me.

Pinch me.

It’s the last week in February and I’ve got my playa happening.

I’ve been writing about it now, as I mentioned previously, for a few weeks now.

I think I got a Jack Rabbit Speaks and there was something in it about a tax or thing that the BLM wanted to charge the event and I recalled thinking, damn, it’s time to get my ducks in a row regarding the event and figure out how I’m going.

I mean.

There was never really a question that I was going to go.

I knew I was.

Just not sure how.

I remember with great fondness one of my dear friends hugging me fiercely at the going away party I had in Dolores Park before I moved to Paris saying to me, “I’ll see you at Burning Man.”

I was like.

Of course you will!

I don’t know how, since I’m moving to France, but yes, of course, I’ll be there.

And.

Ha.

I was.

In fact, the person who referred me to the family that needs help this upcoming event, was the family I worked for when I got back.

Funny enough, I had already met the mom and dad and the oldest sibling and the grandmother at Lightening in a Bottle a few years ago and had gotten introduced to them in regards to hey, this is a person you should chat with about bringing kids to Burning Man.

And voila.

A few years later.

Here I am getting approached by them.

I love Burning Man.

You might have figured this out.

I am a Burner.

Yup.

One of those people.

And in my own small, rather sweet, if I may say so, way I am a contributor.

Nope.

I don’t built the art or make the music.

But once in a while you may see me dancing in camp to my own private song and feel for a moment that you too can dance.

Or maybe you’ll see me on the street and I’ll point the way forward.

Or best of all.

I will get to look after the littlest ones, the babies and toddlers, the young shining faces, brush away the dust, you will see the shine, so the mom’s and dad’s can go do their work.

I support the people that bring you the event.

And I am damn proud of that.

I’m not one of a kind, there are more playa nannies than one would imagine.

It takes a village, a huge village, to plan that thing out in the desert.

I get to go home again.

I am so thrilled.

Shameless with delight.

One day I will get married out there and my family, my friends, my children, all the soft, trusting hands in my hand, all the strolls through Center Camp Cafe, all the braids and flowers in the hair, all the joy, will accompany me out to the base of the Calico Mountains and sing me forward.

I know exactly how hokey that sounds.

And I don’t give a flying fuck.

It’s all about the love and the giving back.

I get to do both and get taken care of.

Glorious.

This life of mine.

LUcKIEST FUCKING GIRL IN THE WORLD.

Seriously.

 

Go Be A Gay Man

February 24, 2016

For awhile.

Go have fun, don’t focus on anyone person, meet face to face.

All the good suggestions.

Lighten up.

Have fun.

Don’t get into any one person.

Ok then.

I can do that.

I am allowed to have fun, be sexy, be flirtatious, have a good time, get it.

Get it girl.

I did have some fun last week.

And no, it was not the horrendous Tinder date I went on.

No.

Someone else.

However, it seems it was a one time deal, haven’t heard much from the gentleman since the date.

But it was fun.

And I have to say, I needed the kissing.

I could use some more.

And the best thing?

I did not meet him online.

Nope.

Ha.

Met him at the grocery store.

That’s where it’s at.

Not necessarily the produce aisle, although every time I’ve gone back to Other Avenues this past week I have looked over the avocados with great fondness.

It’s in the face to face, not the screen to screen.

I have no skills online.

Not that I always have great skills in person either, but then again, I know whether or not I am attracted to the person.

I was attracted to Mister Avocado.

It was pretty obvious.

He was attracted to me, and we flirted, made friends, made a cafe date, and had a sexy little walk down and back to the beach.

It was good.

I will not soon forget being told by a man how beautiful and sexy I am.

“You are decimating me with sexiness.”

Love it.

I’ll decimate you again baby, give me half a chance.

However.

I was told to not focus on anyone person, go have fun, continue meeting people, again, like I said, face to face, no online silly shit, and well, be a gay man for a little while.

Flirt.

Be sassy.

Dance.

Be daring.

Be darling.

I can be all these things.

I look forward to more fun, more lightness and definitely more sexy.

I get to keep putting myself out there and letting myself be seen and also engaging when I am flirted with.

“I really like your glasses, where did you get them,” Mister Outer Avenues asked bottle of eco friendly laundry detergent in hand.

I was fondling the avocados as I mentioned before.

I didn’t even look up.

“Optical Underground,” I said, not curt, but a bit blunt.

He said something else, then I looked up.

Whoa.

Nice eyes.

Really nice eyes, great smile, engaging, pleasant, present.

And then I realized, oh shit, he’s flirting with me, um, flirt back?

Yes!

Flirt back.

I did, it worked, as you probably already figured, and we met later that night at Java Beach for tea and getting to know you fun.

It was fun.

Indeed.

I haven’t, however, had follow up.

So.

I need to keep connecting and letting myself connect.

I need to also look up and not always so much inside, and I don’t mean not focusing on what my heart sees, but that constant internal conversation my brain will have with me.

“Hey, are you thinking about me, I’m thinking about me, you should spend some more time thinking about me, hey, are you listening, I’m talking here!”

That inner crap will keep me so wrapped up in my own little world I will miss the avocado men in the grocery aisle admiring my frames.

How many men have I missed out on wandering about the world in my own small bubble of egocentricity?

God only knows.

Too many, I am sure.

Then again, it’s all God’s time anyhow, nothing is ever on my schedule.

Although, sometimes when things are on your mind, like, um, say Burning Man, the Universe seems to read me well, loud and fucking clear.

Yes.

That’s right.

Mary Fucking Poppins may be riding again.

Or at least opening her parasol once more on the dusty plains of the playa.

I started writing affirmations about going to Burning Man a few weeks ago.

Yeah.

I know.

It’s February.

But.

It takes planning, and negotiating, and work.

It doesn’t just poof happen.

Then again, ha, it sort of does for me, now that I think about it.

Poof.

Text message from a mom I used to nanny for, “Hey are you still looking to playa nanny this year?”

Um.

Hell yes!

This would mean ten years in a row.

A decade of Burning Man.

It would mean 8 years of being a Burning Man nanny.

First year I was just a participant, although I volunteered enough for the Cafe that they asked me to come back with them the following year–of course the following year I was on playa with my first, most specialist, most delicious, Junebug–and one year, the year I moved to Paris for six months, I was a fluffer for Media Mecca–which was like being a nanny for adults in a weird kind of way.

The mom said she thought of me immediately and wanted to connect me with the family and it would be two kids, which I have never done, but the ages are such that I probably could swing it, which means, they are young and still nap.

I don’t know the family that I would be nanny’ing for, but the mom said they were personal friends and I totally trust the referral.

I am pretty fucking lucky.

I have been given permission, suggested strongly, to get out there and get my sexy on and I have an offer for employment at Burning Man?

Fuck yeah.

Also.

I filled up my gas tank tonight on my scooter for $1.50.

Bwahahahaha.

Got to love it.

Gas for a week for a dollar less than a ride on the MUNI.

Weather in the 70s for the next ten days.

Yoga.

Sunshine.

Love.

Burning Man.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Come and get it.

You know you want to.

Get ‘Er Done

August 25, 2015

Good god damn, I’m good.

Or I’m on fire.

Or I’m just hella fast at typing.

Perhaps a little of all of the above.

I just finished my third of four papers that need to be done before I head out to that thing in the desert.

I wrote a ten page, 3,226 page document in, wait for it, 2.25 hours.

How do I know it was that fast?

The professor asked that we e-mail her an empty message at some point after the retreat ended so that she had our e-mail address in her address book.

I did e-maile her this evening.

I got a response to said e-mail while I was writing the reaction paper and when I sent off my paper it was approximately two hours and fifteen minutes later according to the time date stamp on the first e-mail message she sent.

The paper just flew out of my fingers, in fact, I was about to become one of those people whom she had warned about, the person who has so much to say that they write more than the required amount.

There was a firm limit of ten pages on the paper and I wrote ten.

I could have written more.

There was so much ground to cover that I only got to a few things, the things most important to me, the things that I learned the most from, the conflict wherein i had the most difficulties navigating and all the lessons therein.

I learned a lot.

In the group, not so much in the paper, writing the paper just allowed me to flesh it out, to put the words to the feelings, to tell the story of my experience.

I don’t doubt that every single person in my group has a story to tell and a riveting experience of learning.

Or not.

Maybe I was the only one, though I am self-centered, I am not that self-centered.

I learned a lot because I put myself out there a lot, I was in the hot seat a lot, I initiated and I got into the mix.

It wasn’t always what I thought and I wasn’t always graceful, I fell on my face a lot, I made a lot of assumptions–you know those things that make an “ass” out of “u” and “me.”  Man, did I make a lot of those and I had no idea that I was making them until my fellow group members started pointing them out.

I made mistakes, but I learned from them.

I fell down, but I got back up and I got back in the dance and it was with much gratitude that I wrote the paper.

I feel really good about getting it done as well as it is one less thing on my plate before I go to Burning Man.

I am really excited.

The count down is beginning.

My bins are pretty much packed, I’m getting picked up early Thursday morning, 7 a.m. or 7:30 a.m.

Hell I would be wiling to get picked up earlier than that, I am ready to get out of dodge.

I do have one last paper to write and I will do that tomorrow.

I almost attempted to sneak it in tonight, but my head is no longer in that space and I would need to readjust my brain to get into another paper.

I’m not worried about it either, it’s a short guy and will clock in at two pages, max three.

It’s actually a two-part paper, the first part is 1-2 pages in length, the second is a proposal and is no more than one page in length.  So, en toto, three pages.

I can have that done in less than an hour and while it would have felt great to get another one knocked off, my juice for the paper writing is not there and I wanted to have a little candy left over for my blog.

Speaking of blog I am having serious considerations of not bringing my laptop to the event.

This would be the first time in many, many, many years, that I would not bring it out.

First, I am uncertain that I want to risk it being out there, I just bought this baby, my Macbook Air, and I want to have it for the entirety of my graduate school career.  I have no idea what the dust could do to it, but I know that it can frizzle electronics pretty bad.

Second, I may not have internet access.

I have worked the last six years in areas where I was able to get onto the internet via those I was working for.

I told myself yesterday that I would not take my laptop.

I told myself today that I would.

I am in a quandary.

Then I think, maybe I need to have a different experience, maybe the blog needs a break, I mean, maybe I need a break from the blog, really unplug myself and go out there and experience the magic sans internet and facecrack and social media.

I mean really get off the grid and be in the moment.

I don’t know yet, but I suspect my heart does and I may allow myself to put down this sweet baby to allow myself a new and different adventure at Burning Man.

I realized too that I am better prepared than I have been in, well, ever.

Despite having a posh ass place to stay the last two years, I really felt so compelled to work and make things happen that I did not allow myself a lot of leeway with what I brought and what I bought.

Plus, I have accumulated the stuffs now, I have the things that I are nice to have, but not necessary to the experience, but still really nice to have–a shoulder harness, a utility belt, a furry blanket (I need to bring a pillow and I am wondering if I will sacrifice one of my bed pillows to the cause), lots of socks–I mean lots, I have more socks than there are days on playa, but it’s always nice to have extra socks and if I decide I need an outfit change I will have the matching stripes, polka dots, hearts, flowers, argyle, checks, or solids, to do the outfit due justice.

And most important.

My tea kettle and favorite tea are packed as well as two bags of really good coffee.

I’m ready.

I’m almost done with the paper writing and having knocked the big gun out-of-the-way tonight I feel I can breathe a little easier and enjoy the rest of the time here in Glen Ellen with the family.

But.

Burning Man.

I’m coming for you.

I’m ready to get dusty.

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.


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