Posts Tagged ‘Radical Ritual’

Waiting

August 16, 2017

For more to be revealed.

I am waiting.

And.

Yes!

It’s happening.

Oh my God.

I have a ride to Burning Man.

Holy shit.

And the best part?

She’s a 74-year-old first time burner.

I want to have that much spunk when I’m in my 70s, let me tell you.

She and I were connected via some mutual friends who suggested to her that she contact me as someone who has experience going to Burning Man.

I said, sure, I’ll let her pick my brain, happy to share about food prep, how to get there, how to get back, how much water to bring, etc.

I had seen a post in a community forum for my camp that I will be staying with and it appeared that she was also looking for a ride to the event.

So.

Imagine my surprise when I get a message from her saying that she’s decided to not only drive to the event, but she wants to give me a ride.

What?!

I was not, in any way shape or form expecting to go to Burning Man with a 74-year-old woman virgin burner from Santa Cruz.

The playa hath provided.

Or.

God.

As the case may be.

I will not have to rent a car!

I will share drive cost, split the vehicle parking pass with her, and give her all the Burning Man tips she can possibly handle.

I can’t believe I have a ride!

I am so relieved.

And that she’s willing to go on my time frame, which allows me to go to class on Sunday.

The weekend the event opens, next weekend, holy shit, is the same weekend as my first weekend of school.

I have to go.

I’ll be in class Friday 9a.m.-4p.m.

Saturday 9a.m.-8p.m.

And.

Sunday 9a.m.-12p.m.

I’ll hop on my scooter, get home and throw myself together.

I will have to be packed and ready by 1p.m.

I’m sure there will be a little wiggle room, but the fact is we’ll want to get on the road as  soon as possible, it’s an 8-9 hour drive depending on the traffic.

Which on a Sunday really shouldn’t be too bad.

We will stop in Reno at the 24 hours SafeWay and buy ice, dry ice, water and anything that may have been forgotten in the melee to get out-of-town.

I am pretty seasoned at going, like I said, this is year eleven, and I pretty much have all my stuff ready, it’s just not all in the same spot.

And considering that I don’t live in a big space it won’t take me real long to compile everything and have it ready to go.

Really.

The packing shouldn’t take me more than an hour.

I figure I’ll suss that out this Saturday.

Get all my bins out, shake off the dust, so to speak, the dust never seems to quite go away, and get it all organized in one spot in the garage.

Depending on how much room she has in the car, which doesn’t sound like a ton, I may only take my one big cooler.

I have a large cooler and a medium size cooler.

The large one is the one I invested in for this year, it’s on wheels and holds a lot more than my medium size one, plus, it’s a much better insulated cooler than the one I’ve taken the last few years.

I have a ride!!

I am over the moon.

Aside from the fact that I get to be of service, I mean, she is an elder states(wo)man and it’s an honor and a privilege, I believe, to take someone who means a great deal to her community, to her first Burning Man.

At the age of 74.

How freaking radical is that?!

I love it.

I get to be of service and she’s really happy to have the company.

I think it is a total win/win scenario.

I also feel like she’s not going to have any issue leaving a little early from the event, I’m pretty much hoping to leave as early as possible Sunday morning and get out an on the road.

I want as much time Monday to recuperate and take 18 different super hot showers and time to wash all my clothes and get the dust out of my hair.

Wow.

I am over the moon.

I have a ride.

Such a relief.

And yes, the thought of driving my own car was a lovely thought, but not the possibility of losing a big deposit on a rental from Burning Man dust.

One day.

Perhaps sooner than later.

I will have my own car.

And I will offer someone else a ride out to that thing in the desert.

Until then.

I am happy as a clam.

A dusty one, mind you.

To have this opportunity.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Or at Burning Man.

Seriously!

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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.

Little Boxes

February 22, 2017

In the hallway.

I got my first little small packages of joyful celebration in the mail today.

Yeah.

When I discovered that I had gotten the time off request for Burning Man from work I made some celebratory purchases on-line.

I couldn’t help myself.

I got some hair flowers.

Heh.

Yes.

And some glitter barrettes.

Because.

Hello.

Sparkle pony.

I had a host of hair flowers.

Like.

A lot.

Really.

From all over, from places I have traveled too, a hair flower from a wig shop in Brooklyn, to a hair piece from Magazine Street in New Orleans, to barrettes I have gotten in Paris.

But.

After the lice apocalypse over Thanksgiving.

I got rid of them all.

I know.

I know.

I could have quarantined them or something.

But I was in a frenzy.

When they comb through your hair and it takes four people, FOUR, three hours to get through all of it and they can’t and won’t guarantee that they got them all, in fact, they did not, and I had two more treatments, when you go home and firebomb your house and put everything and anything that is fabric in the wash, thereby blowing the fuse to the washing machine because you’ve overloaded it, and you throw away your brush, all my hair accessories went the fuck out to the trash.

It was such a horrendous and horrific experience.

I just couldn’t fathom ever putting that stuff in my hair again, even if it meant starting over completely from square one with some basic hair elastics and bobby pins.

Part of me thought.

Well.

Hell.

Maybe that part of my life is over.

You know.

The one where I play the part of the girl with the flower in her hair.

Maybe she needs to grow up.

Yeah.

That lasted all of a few seconds the minute I found out I could go to the event.

I was online buying hair shit like nobody’s business.

I will say this year I won’t be dying my hair any funky colors.

Been there.

Done that.

I’m good with just going with my natural shade of brown and quite happy to augment my hair with accessories versus hair dye.

So.

Yes.

Some fabric roses.

A yellow satin one and a dark red velvet one.

Some daisy hair clips.

Pink and white.

Little, like tiny miniature daisies that you see growing in the outfield of baseball diamonds.

And.

Yes.

Glitter barrettes in pink, teal, and silver.

Because.

Glitter.

See aforementioned sparkle pony.

I may have some other things arriving too.

Ahem.

Yes.

I did.

I went ahead and ordered a jackalope headpiece.

Yes.

It was expensive.

Yes.

I don’t care.

Yes.

I got a tax return.

I am fucking going to embrace it.

A friend at the event last year had a pair of horns with flowers that really were sweet and she loaned them to me for a night and a day and I wore the fuck out of them.

I have been ogling a pair of jackalope bunny ears and horns on Etsy for three years now.

I got the news about getting the time off and I went to the site and I bought them.

In fact.

I totally splurged and bought a bigger set then I had originally been looking at.

It can’t be called an impulse buy if I’ve been thinking about buying them for three years.

Or so I rationalized the purchase.

Check them out.

Here.

God.

I am such a dork.

And.

Nope.

I don’t give a flying fuck what you think.

I am happy.

And they are fabulous.

The artist is going to make the ears in candy floss pink and use cream flowers for the headband.

I also asked that she incorporate some daisies into the piece.

Since.

Favorite flowers, yo.

I’m stupid psyched to see them.

I should get them sometime in March.

Plenty of time to co-ordinate outfits before the Burn.

Heh.

I also reached out to a camp today about camping with them.

I really liked where I camped last year.

But.

I want to try something new.

Not too new.

I know plenty of folks where I asked to camp and the head of the camp is a dear friend of mine and someone with whom I experienced my first burn with when he and I were both affiliated with another camp.

Then he split off from that camp and started his own and I was always working and camping with whomever I was working for.

But.

NOT WORKING.

No.

Not working this year.

I have vowed to myself that I am going to Burning Man.

I am going to participate and help out wherever I camp.

But.

I am not working the event.

No nannying.

No fluffing.

No nothing.

Just me and a spiritual experience out in deep playa.

Aka.

Make out session.

Hahahahaha.

Sleeping in whenever I want.

(If I can manage a shad structure over my tent this year, it gets hot early and there was little sleeping past 7 a.m. in my tent last year)

Staying up late.

Not being tied to anyone else’s scheduled.

Free to play.

Free to wear flowers in my hair.

And jackalope horns.

Because why the fuck not.

I’m an artist.

I get to express and dress as I want.

Not to impress anyone.

No.

But because it makes me happy to do so.

I love playing dress up.

Putting up my hair.

Putting on make up.

I’m just going to go and play playa princess all fucking week-long.

So help me God.

I deserve to put myself first for a turn.

And.

Like that.

I just got word back from the head of the camp, that I am indeed invited and welcome to camp with them.

I’ll be at Camp Run Free this year kids.

Seems quite apropos.

Does it not?

 

 

Yes! This Works

February 17, 2017

Best e-mail response ever.

I spoke with my boss yesterday about taking time off to go to Burning Man this year.

Yes.

I am aware that Burning Man isn’t until the last week of August.

I am one of those people who plan pretty far out in advance and it came down to needing to ask sooner rather than later as the family I nanny for is going to be in Europe for three weeks.

Without me.

In July.

So.

To take off a week of time in August was actually a great big request and I was shy to ask for it

I mean.

It’s Burning Man.

Folks have an idea of what that means.

Especially if they have never been.

And most folks might not be inclined to let go of their full time nanny so she could go romp around in the desert for a week when the kids are gearing up for their school semester and they have a baby and full-time work and um, yeah.

But.

She told me, the mom, that it could probably work, to e-mail her the dates and she would get back to me.

I did so last night.

And I actually sort of forgot that I had e-mailed her and then.

This morning.

Yes!

I got the best answer.

I got the “Yes! This works!” Response.

I just about fell out of my chair.

I haven’t gotten my ticket, I won’t know for eight weeks whether I have gotten the low-income ticket, but really, the biggest hurdles have been cleared.

First.

That I don’t have any school conflict with going to the event.

Second.

That my job is willing to let me go.

Huge hurdles.

The ticket will come.

I know too many people and should I get denied the low-income ticket, I do feel like I will be able to negotiate getting one at the full price.

Fingers crossed that won’t happen, I could use the cash for other things, but I will if I have to.

Have to is should be re-phrased, get to, if I need to I can.

The gift of the time off is the big deal.

“You need to have fun,” my employer said, “it can’t just be work and school, we want you to be able to go and play.”

My god.

What a gift this job is.

I am so grateful to have it.

Today was super chill.

Almost too chill.

I could have fallen asleep.

In fact, had my charge dropped off, I would have.

She never quite did though.

I had one little monkey home sick from school today and the mom and the baby and the grandma, who is visiting, were out and about.

I stayed back.

Tidied up the kitchen.

Drew pictures and colored with my charge.

Lots and lots and lots of music, reading stories, and snuggling.

“Carmen, scratch my back more please,” she said and collapsed over a big throw pillow on the couch.

Happy to oblige, I sat and rubbed her back and snuggled with her.

We had picnic on the floor, played foxes, rescue fire fighters, cops and robbers, and veterinarian.

We ran away from scary robots and ghosts.

My little girl charge is a fierce lady and it’s really quite fun to be with her high-spirited energy, even when she’s sick, we had just a sweet day, no getting out to the park, no riding the train to grab my other charge, my first shift there since I started where I didn’t go outside at all.

I did feel a little sleepy from the lack of outside stimulation, but I got through it and it was really just nice to have a day playing with my charge.

And tomorrow is Friday.

Oh.

Glorious weekend.

How I do love thee.

Let me count the ways.

Yoga.

Doing the deal.

Meeting with my person.

Getting my tattoo touched up.

And?

Who knows what else.

Yes.

Most likely there will be homework and reading and stuff and things, meal prep and grocery and what have you.

But.

I do want to let myself have fun, to relax a little to not be too serious or overcommitment to making all the things happen.

The weather today, no rain when it had been forecasted, was a boon, I was able to ride my scooter to and from work and I got to do a little speaking engagement and get some grocery shopping done.

The rain comes back tomorrow.

Which always changes my plans a little.

The not riding my scooter sort of deal.

I suspect that whatever happens it will be fine.

I’m so happy to have a couple of days off.

One more day of work.

One more.

Oof.

Hella grateful for that.

And.

Yeah.

Burning Man.

I am so very thrilled.

I am.

I am.

I have time to do some bicycle research.

Sadly.

My playa steed did not make it back from the event last year.

I was upset when I found out, but then, grateful after I had time to do some work around it and yes, some grieving too, that bike meant a lot to me, but now I get to have a new experience out there.

A new bike.

A new camp.

Not working.

Just going to participate and have fun.

Fun.

EEK.

I hope I can handle not doing any work for a week.

Ha.

As if going isn’t a hell of a lot of work.

I always have work to do to get to go.

But.

It’s a labor of love.

Dusty love, but love nevertheless.

Ah.

It’s been a good week.

Grateful it’s almost done.

I need a break.

But.

You know that already.

And some fun.

I don’t have to wait for Burning Man before I have fun.

Hell no.

So.

Bring on the fun.

I am ready.

Primed, in fact.

Seriously.

Bring it.

Serenity Now!

February 16, 2017

I couldn’t figure out why I was in such a mood this morning.

Not a horrible mood.

But just a bit flat.

I’ve been doing a lot of Trauma reading for class and I wondered, am I getting into it, the reading, too deeply, am I dissociating?

Then.

Ha.

I realized.

Oh.

Hello.

You haven’t had a day off in ten days.

You’re not dissociating.

You’re just fucking tired.

Heh.

And the tired went its way once I got moving.

I am grateful that I let myself take it real slow though, on my way to work I saw a motorcycle accident.

The rider was being attended to on the ground and his cycle was broken, I mean broken and in bits all over Lincoln Avenue.

There was a cop taking a statement from the person I am assuming was the person driving the car, he looked shaken up and it was pretty obvious what had happened.

He didn’t see the motorcycle and he accelerated into the turn and hit him.

Lincoln is a two lane road in both directions, but heading in from the outer avenues always feels a little tense, as there are a lot of cars that are pulling into the right hand lane and there are also cars parked on the right hand side of the road, the visibility is low and I learned very fast to stay in the left hand lane on my scooter as much as possible.

It was a bit spooky and I rode the rest of the way into work at a slow, measured, calm pace, no lane splitting, just cool and relaxed.

Having done the commute enough times now on my scooter I have a better idea of how to gauge the timing on it and I knew that I was fine to take it at a more mellow clip.

Grateful for that.

I would rather be a little late than dead.

And I wasn’t late either.

Work was busy.

One of my charges was home sick from school.

That always makes for a little extra work.

But.

I felt very of service and I was able to rally her spirits enough with a promise of using the stroller to get her out for a little while when it seemed she had high energy.

We made it to the Upper Noe Valley Recreational Center and on the way I ran into a classmate from my cohort!

It was super nice to see her and give her a great big hug and then off to the swings and some hanging out in the sand box.

We didn’t stay long, my little charge ran out of juice pretty quick, but timing wise it was perfect.

By the time we got back I was able to have a quick bite, then turn around and hop on the train to pick up the other sibling from school.

He and I went to Dolores Park after pick up and ran around and played hide and seek and tag.

We were at the park for about an hour, then headed back to the house, grandma was on her way.

Yes.

Grandma visit for the next week or so.

The timing is nice for the family, next week is “ski week” at the school and all the kids are off, it’s sort of like an early Spring Break.

The family I work for will be staying in town.

I am not sure if my hours will be less or more than what they are now, I worked a little late for them today, but I’m pretty much guaranteed off by 6:30 p.m.

I also talked to the mom about Burning Man today.

She didn’t give the complete all the thumbs up in the air, she has to check out her calendar, but she said they would try to make it work!

She asked me to send her the specific dates and she would look into it.

So when I came home tonight.

Yes.

Yes I did.

I updated my Burner Profile on the Burning Man site and applied for the low-income ticket.

I had to write a little essay about what the event means to me, how I have experienced it, what I will bring to the event.

As well as show economic need.

The graduate school tuition bill will help establish that.

Heh.

I also sent them my W-2 and a copy of my paycheck stub.

All electronically.

It took me a minute to figure all that out, but I am amazed, I got it done.

I got a confirmation e-mail back and now I just wait and see.

The organization promises to respond within ten weeks of the application.

The Burning Man organization is allotting 4,000 low-income tickets this year.

They’re still expensive, $190.

But considering the current ticket cost is $425, it’s a bargain.

Of course, as always, I don’t want to pay anything.

However.

This year, for the first time ever, I am planning on going to Burning Man.

Not.

“Working Man.”

I have worked every single event I have gone to.

Ten of them.

And considering that I am in school and working full-time I just decided that it was about time for me to just go.

I can afford to camp and provide for my own needs.

I don’t have to work to get my costs covered.

I got a tax return.

There are funds that I can earmark towards infrastructure needs and getting to and from the event and you know, maybe some hair flowers and glitter.

Heh.

So.

Fingers crossed I get the time off and the low-income ticket.

If I don’t get either.

Than so be it.

I am happy to have just taken the actions.

I can let go of the results.

The results are not mine anyhow.

They never have been.

That’s up to God.

And.

Well.

God seems to like me out at Burning Man.

We have a good time hanging out together on playa.

So.

I don’t expect to get dropped this year.

Burning Man 2017.

Let’s do it!


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