Posts Tagged ‘Reno’

When Was I Happiest

January 6, 2018

Today?

I just asked myself that.

In a prompting kind of way, hey you, you need to write your blog, get your fingers moving on that keyboard, make some fucking magic happen.

Because all of the seven people who read my blog really want to know what I did today.

Meh.

I recently got an update from WordPress that I have once again celebrated an anniversary.

Eight years of blogging.

Eight.

What the fuck did I write about?

So many things, so many thoughts.

I have published over 2,400 blogs.

My average blog is somewhere between 1100-1300 words.

But for the sake of simplicity, let’s just say 1,000.

That means that I have written over 2,4000,000 words.

Over two million words!

Who the hell knew there were so many words in my head?

I never suspected that I would be where I am in now in my life when I started writing this blog.

I was living on Taylor and Washington in a large studio that was on a cable car line.

I was working as a nanny in China Basin.

I made really good money.

More than I actually make now, if you can believe that, because it was all under the table.

I had a very nice Felt 35 racing bike that I did my commute on.

I was horribly lonely.

I felt like all I did was grind at work, I worked at least 50 hours a week.

Which is funny, as I put in about fifty hours a week now and go to graduate school full-time.

But at that time I was going through a lot of weird stuff.

I was desperately trying to get abstinent with my food, which I did do in that apartment, but it took a hot ass second.

I was trying, oh so very hard, to get some head way on my book, said head way has come to naught in many ways, but you know, I started this blog by publishing each of the chapters one by one in the pages.

If you should want to read some really bad writing, well it’s there.

For sure.

I had a friend read the book in manuscript form about four years ago and he told me with no mincing of words that if he didn’t know better he would have never believed that the person who wrote this blog was the same person who had written that book.

My writing, suffice to say, has gotten much better.

That’s what happens when you practice.

You get better.

I have had eight years of practicing this blog.

Some days I am so inordinately pleased with what I have written that I may actually go back and re-read a blog.

But not very often.

I generally throw it down on the page, I”m just transcribing my thoughts, and really, thank god I have some fast typing skills, I’m just writing what I am thinking.

It’s a little like having a one-sided conversation with me.

Hey how was your day?

Let me tell you about mine, and then I’m unleashed upon you.

Or something like that.

I am reflecting as I did my Morning Pages this morning in the place where Morning Pages originated for me, about ten years ago.

Yeah.

If you thought writing a blog eight years in a row was something, check out my history with writing my Morning Pages.

Ten years, going on eleven.

I realized that this morning as I sat in Muddy Waters on Valencia and 24th.

I had a chiropractor appointment this morning and some time to kill before I had to be into work.

So instead of getting up stupid early, I let myself sleep in, packed my breakfast and brought it with me, planning to eat it at the cafe while having a cafe au lait before going into work.

The cafe is much the same as when I first started hanging out at it.

I had moved to a shared apartment in a rent controlled Victorian on Capp Street and 23rd and Muddy’s was the closest cafe to me and the one where I did a lot, and I do mean a lot, of sitting with another woman and reading out of a big blue book.

So many women in that cafe, before my regular Wednesday haunt, as well as my regular Saturday gig and many other times in between.

And it was also the scene of The Artist Way group that I was a part of for a year and a half.

It was an awesome group.

We met for an hour before rolling up the hill to a spot in Noe Valley on Wednesday nights.

We would grab the big round table towards the back of the cafe and anywhere from 6 to 10 of us would sit down for about an hour and share about the assignments we had done from the book.

We did one chapter a week, followed the instructions regarding the assignments, and talked about our experiences working the projects and doing the morning pages.

The book suggests that every morning you take time to write three pages long hand.

Emphasis on long hand.

No typewrite, keyboard, tablet, computer.

My blog does not count as morning pages and never has.

There is something so captivating about writing on paper with a good pen.

I was writing in one of my Claire Fontaine notebooks that I brought back from Paris this morning and I reflected on how it was in that group that I came to the realization that I wanted to go to Paris.

That I actually wanted to move to Paris.

It would take some years before I moved, but by participating in that group I realized how much I wanted to go to Paris and I took myself on a solo trip for ten days after doing the work in the book.

I took myself on artists dates, I went to museums, I bought myself nice paper, I sat and daydreamed in cafes and watched clouds roll by.

I looked out those same windows today and marveled.

Look how far I have come.

Look where I am now.

My best friend in Paris messaged me today about when I’ll be going back.

I have been to Paris five times since I made that decision, and yes, one of those times was to live there for six months.

I have re-written that book.

Although I still don’t think it’s at a publishable place.

I have written poems.

I have performed with djs in nightclubs reciting my poems.

One of them became a recording.

I have lectured on stage.

I have traveled.

I went to Burning Man, a lot.

I traveled to New York by myself as well as New Orleans to go see art.

I have taken 1,000s and 1,000s of photographs.

I have written millions of words.

I think I have a few million more.

I have done morning pages in Paris, London, Rome, New York, L.A., New Orleans, Madison, Wisconsin, Anchorage, Alaska, Burning Man, Reno, San Diego, Las Vegas, and probably a bunch of other places I can’t remember now.

But they all started one night in a Muddy Waters coffee shop on Valencia and 24th.

Opening a door that has led me down this meandering path of creation and love.

How lucky am I?

Luckiest girl in the world.

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Packed!

August 21, 2017

I’m ready for Burning Man.

All I have to do is get through the week.

And what a week it’s going to be.

Oof.

I have supervision tomorrow morning in Hayes Valley.

Then work, nannying, up in Glen Park.

I might, depending on what is going on with my supervisor and some paperwork, have to spin by my school and drop off a practicum trainee review.

I have seen the review and tomorrow we will be discussing it.

I’m not super excited to tell you the truth.

It wasn’t as great a review as my other supervisor, but then again, this supervisor is tough and smart and I doubt he gives very high marks to anyone he supervises.

I did good.

Don’t get me wrong.

Although I didn’t like his additional comments about how my schedule, school full-time, working full time, the practicum hours at the internship, how I’m working six days a week and have to be careful to not get overloaded and to take time to recharge.

Sigh.

I did a lot of recharging today.

And.

I also did a lot of work.

Laundry, cooking–made a pot roast (god damn was that a great supper, I marinated it over night in olive oil, garlic, sea salt, black pepper, adobo, thyme; then roasted it super slow and low for almost three and a half hours, I also soaked it down with homemade chicken stock to keep it moist while it was cooking and surrounded it by baby potatoes, parsnips, carrots, and turnips.  I ate a nice juicy slice of it for dinner over some brown rice and put a pat of butter on it and some salt, because salt, and my fucking god, heaven), went to yoga, cleaned my house, and yeah.

Packed for Burning Man.

Four large bins, one medium bin, got my cooler ready to load up, but I won’t load it until the day I head out, which is next Sunday.

I’ll be keeping everything in the freezer until the very last moment.

My four man tent, a folding chair, and my parasol.

Ta da!

I’m pretty good at the packing for the desert trip, it’s just a matter of getting my bins sorted and having laundry done.

It used to be that my wardrobe was pretty small and basically I was wearing whatever I owned out on the playa.

A little time and a little bit of purchases here and there and I have slowly acquired a playa set of clothes, although a good bit of my wardrobe still does hop into a bin, it’s not my entire closet.

And there are some things that I absolutely won’t wear out there, which is relatively new in the last couple of years, I would just dump everything I had in my bins and empty my closet.

I do need to get a pair of sunglasses, some good aviators, I couldn’t find my sunglasses and then I realized, oh yeah, stupid, paid way too much for a set of Oliver Peeples prescription sunglasses and lost them at school last semester.

Ugh.

So.

Yeah, that’s about all I have to purchase for the trip, that and the things that will wait until I get out-of-town, like ice and water, that I’ll pick up in Reno at the 24 hour SafeWay.

My ride is coming to pick me up at 1 p.m. next Sunday.

The drive takes about 8-9 hours.

I figure we’ll land on playa around midnight–the stop in Reno and any other pit stops or gassing up that needs to be done.

My ticket and the vehicle pass are at Will Call.

I was gifted a low-income ticket from the organization, it’s still $198 and the vehicle pass is $80, but it’s cheaper than the regular ticket, and I got a ticket, there’s always so many people who can’t seem to get a ticket since the event started selling out years ago.

I remember very well the first time that happened, I was nannying for the head of Media Mecca and there was a great kind of awed hush that came over her when the announcement was made over the radio channel.

It was astounding to think they sold out.

Used to be you could just buy a ticket when you got there.

You could buy a ticket at Rainbow Grocery for fucks sake.

Now it’s a big deal, it’s a lotto, they’re more expensive, they are much harder to get.

But.

Well, I keep getting lucky, I keep getting to go.

I get to keep wearing big flowers in my hair and pretty dresses and my cowboy boots and crinolines.

I don’t show much skin out there per se, sure, my bra top will show, but I always wear a bra, I’m not a run around the desert naked kind of gal.

I like a tan, but not that much.

No.

I wear gingham dresses and crinolines, or fun tights and frilly panties and loose cotton tops.

At night I wear leggings and jean shorts, and layers, I have a cheetah print jacket with a pink silk lining that I only wear at Burning Man.

I have my goggles.

And I have my box of makeup.

Really.

What I like to do is wear lots of geegaws up in my hair and put on pretty makeup.

Throw in a crinoline and my cowboy boots and that’s it.

Oh, yeah, and a few bandanas, always, one around my wrist and sometimes one around my the top of my boot, it’s nice to have a spare for the dust that kicks up.

And like that.

My day is just about done.

I need to get the last of the laundry out of the dryer and wrap up a few loose ends here at the house.

Then my full week, supervision, work, clients, therapy, and let me not forget my first weekend of classes.

Whew.

It’s going to be busy.

But good.

I know my week will be very good and I will have my moments, my quiet, sweet moments in my little home by the sea to ponder how good I have it and how much I am loved.

Luckiest girl in the world.

And packed for Burning Man!

Fuck yeah.

Where Am I?

September 1, 2016

Who am I?

Who is this woman?

Flying up in the sky.

At oh, about 12,500 feet, over the Sierra’s, which let me be frank, was a fuck of  a lot better than how I got over the Sierra’s.

Really, nothing says it’s going to be a long ride to the playa than finding out that the roof on the car that was picking me up was not in working order.

Oh yes.

That’s right.

We drove through the night, in an open top convertible VW Cabriolet.

It was cray cray.

And may I just add.

Hella fucking cold.

I mean, we drove through the mountains at night with the top down.

In the end, it didn’t matter, we got to the playa, albeit once we landed the poor kid’s car got crop dusted with playa from every vehicle driving past.

Who the fuck needed to do dust angels on the playa when we were already covered?

He dropped me, dropped all his clothes, from an untied garbage bag stuffed in his trunk, and once I got all my stuff out of the odd nooks and crannies I had to shove my things into, I gave him a hug, told him to relax and have fun and pointed him in the correct direction.

I have no clue what happened to him.

But I am assured he had enough molly and hits of LSD to make sure it was a fun trip to his side of the playa.

Note to folks.

Don’t tell your ride share that you are carrying drugs on you.

Just don’t.

Discretion is the better part of valor.

Also.

When it’s suggested that you not have your bicycle cover up your license plate or obscure it in any way, really, listen.

OH.

And.

Navigation in certain desolate places in Nevada is not always spot on.

“Don’t turn,” I said loudly, I didn’t holler, I didn’t grab the wheel, but I almost did, he was totally on autopilot listening to his navigation system.

“But the navi says to turn left,” he said in a voice that was young, 23, slightly white male privileged and very naive.

“Honey,” I said in a kind voice, a voice that was beginning to be over being kind as I had talked him out of returning to Reno to buy bell peppers from the Safeway after having a text fight with one of his camp mates all the way past Fernley, “there’s not a road there.”

There was a dirt track leading God only knows where, but it was not leading to Burning Man.

The navigation insisted and for a moment I really thought the kid might just off road it and defy my suggestion.

Fortunately he did not and we got into Gerlach and refueled at the last gas station in town.

Then.

Burning Man.

I should call it “I didn’t get much sleep, man,” I mean really.

I didn’t get a lot of sleep.

I had gotten up on Friday at 7:30 a.m. worked then came home and left for the event and drove through the Sierra’s, remember in a chilly, drafty open roofed car.

Although, I will say it was beautiful, the Milky Way, the dark skies, the stars, the nebula and the two shooting stars I saw, exquisite.

We landed on playa around 3:45 a.m.

After a rather long, protracted grocery stop in Reno, wherein there was much re-packing and re-sorting of the small amount of space in the car.

After getting through Gate, getting the kid’s ticket from Will Call and getting to where I was camped, it was 5 a.m. by the time I had gotten my stuff to my small spot on the playa.

What was fortuitous though, was the sky starting to brighten.

By the time I had my tent up, my bins sorted, and my air mattress inflated, it was already beginning to get hot.

I tried.

Oh.

I tried really hard to lay in my tent on my new blow up mattress, but man, without a shade structure, it was just too hot to sleep.

I got up.

I did shit.

I did eventually take a nap in the communal shade structure and thank God.

I might have cracked.

I only really got emotional once the whole morning, and that was when my air mattress pump died.

I was like.

Fuck me.

It hadn’t held the charge and only blew up my mattress about a quarter of the way.

I was bereft.

Until.

Heh.

The playa doth provide.

A friendly neighbor in camp said, oh go across the street to the Electro Shock Therapy camp, they can help you out.

And help out they did.

It was a solar powered camp that had strips of chargers and before you knew it I had gotten my air mattress blown up, bed made, and was lying in a hot box trying to nap.

I retrieved the item that was to save my life, a black out sleep mask, and found myself reclining in the shade structure.

I got about an hour and a half of sleep.

Enough to get me going again.

I went to a birthday party that night and dressed up and was up until about midnight or 1 a.m.

Most nights I was up about that late and most days I was up by 7 a.m.

One day I was up at 5:15 a.m.

I went to watch the sunrise with some friends from camp on an amazing art car that took us all out to the far reaches of the event at the trash fence.

It was a spectacular sunrise.

And there were beautiful sunsets.

Long bike rides to deep playa.

Crazy conversations struck up out of nowhere.

Running into unexpected friends.

Being told how good it was to see me.

Getting tons of hugs.

But.

No kisses.

No boys.

No hook ups.

I just treated the whole thing like and art and recovery retreat.

It was fantastic though, no matter the  I am tired bit.

I am not spent.

I am happy.

Happy I got to go and got some good photos.

Although I am a little concerned, I’m having some trouble with my regular camera.

I think the dust has finally gotten to it, I’m going to try a few things, but I may have lost some photos.

Such is life.

And I have my memories.

Loads and loads.

And a day to sleep in before I head back into school.

A day to readjust, catch up on the sleep, and um, oh, yeah.

Go see Mike Doughty play.

Nice to be home.

I have no complaints.

Not a one.

I am so very happy.

Yes indeed.

I get to sleep in a dust free bed, I got the playa out of my hair, and I get to see a great musician tomorrow with friends.

Life is lovely.

Nighty night y’all.

I have some much needed beauty rest coming to me.

Sweet dreams my friends.

Sweetest, undusty dreams.

Holy Shit

August 21, 2016

I’m packed.

I sort of want to throw up in my mouth.

It’s just stuff and things.

I told myself as I looked over the stack.

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

It doesn’t sound like much.

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

He’s got a VW Cabriolet.

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

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

I need it all.

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

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

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

It shouldn’t be terribly difficult.

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

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

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

I got some lovely and sweet news today.

My ride will arrive on playa one week from today.

And.

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

I was just astounded.

Thank you Thumper!!

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

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

It’s all just stuff and things anyhow.

Yet.

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

Sort of.

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

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

But ultimately.

I would be ok if somethings went missing.

I repeat.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Ride to the event.

Early Arrival pass.

Fluffing shifts with Media Mecca.

Dusty Family reunion.

Ride home in a Cessna!

I got the low down on that too.

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

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

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

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

A little secret.

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

Heh.

I can BART and MUNI back to my place.

It’ll take about two hours via public transport.

Possibly more.

I may opt for a car.

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

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

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

I am still in shock that I am packed.

Heh.

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

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

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

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

The little suit case that could.

And so many other short little jaunts here and there.

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

All the packing.

Whew.

But.

I really am pretty much done.

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

Post card stamps.

Heh.

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

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

And it will all happen.

Right on time.

Like it always does.

OH!

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

There.

I will remember that now.

Thanks.

And.

Good night.

xo

 

 

OMFG

August 20, 2016

OHMYFUCKINGGOD.

OHMYFUCKINGGOD.

OHMYMOTHERFUCKINGGOD.

Did I read that right?

I think I had to read the message three times because I couldn’t fucking breathe and then I was on the phone so fast it was ridiculous.

To whit.

The following (with certain bits and pieces deleted for anonymity sake) is the message I received this morning.

(This morning when I woke up mildly anxious to figure out how I was going to get off playa.)

Carmen; This is ______, T’s friend from J’s birthday (leader in _______)
 
T told me that you need a ride back from the playa Wednesday
 
We have a commercial pilot in camp, he is bringing his 3 seater personal Cessna
 
He’s flying out Wednesday to the Bay Area to pick up our camp lead’s son and he has a seat on the plane (only room for a small bag so you’d have to send your stuff home with someone else outside of our camp)
 
wanted to offer you this option as your first playa gift…. call me 123-456-7890 if you are interested ❤
Am I interested?
Oh holy sweet Jesus, of course I’m interested!
I don’t think I have ever gotten on a phone so fucking fast in my life.
It rang through and the next thing you know we are chatting like the old friends, as it turns out, old alumni!
She went to UW Madison like me, graduated a year after me, knew all the old haunts, Essen Haus, Angelic Brewing Company, and had in fact, almost not answered the phone because she thought it might be someone soliciting donations from the UW Alumni fund.
I still have my old 608 number from Wisconsin.
Hehehehe.
It was just the most astounding, amazing, over the top offer.
I can’t freaking believe it was offered, that I was given such a gift.
I’m fucking FLYING back from the Black Rock City Airport to an as of yet undisclosed Bay Area airport.
It’s a small plane, so I don’t believe it can land at SFO.
And frankly, I don’t care, I can get a bus, a train, a Lyft, a ride from so many places once I’m back in the area, I am so not worried about that part.
The only hitch is that I have to get someone to bring my gear back from playa to San Francisco.  It’s not much, but it’s stuff, tent, a few bins, a cooler, my air mattress, a folding camp chair.
I will start putting the feelers out tomorrow.
I just didn’t have the band width to do it today.
It was just a great big day all around.
I couldn’t even post it up to social media for a while because I was afraid the offer might suddenly poof!  Disappear and it was just all a figment of my very fertile imagination.
I told a few friends first.
That was fun.
The first person I told was my friend who happened to have coffee a few days back with the lady who gifted me the ride, she told me what had gone down.
They were talking all things Burning Man and my dear friend (who I happened to meet at Burning Man 9 years ago this burn!) mentioned that I was going and that I had to come back early from the event, Wednesday, to be in the city for my school program and that she had no idea how I was going to manage that.
I wasn’t doing too bad on that front, actually.
I had a friend at school offer to pick me up in Reno and get me back from there if I couldn’t find a ride, she would leave for school a day early–she commutes in from Reno–to get me.
I would just have to figure out how to get off playa, get my gear in someone’s vehicle, and manage to connect somewhere in Reno.
Tough.
But not impossible.
Then of course, the impossible happened.
When I talked with my new friend on the phone, go Badgers!  She told me the story and then said, “well, I knew how you were going to get home,” and that’s when she message me.
She was, I swear, almost as happy to gift it to me as I was to receive the gift.
Although, I feel I might have a little edge on being overwhelmingly happy with the turn of events.
Fuck me.
I’m flying home in a Cessna!
I love airplanes.
I love flying.
I secretly would love an airplane someday.
A pilot’s license would be awesome.
I have been up in airplanes before at Burning Man.
I met and befriend a gentleman who goes be Blind Pilot a few years ago and got to go up not once, but twice in his plane.
The thought of getting to fly all the way back to San Francisco is just amazing to me and feels like the chance of a lifetime.
I told a friend tonight and she freaked out a little, “wear a helmet!”
Giggles.
I’m not scared of flying.
I’m just that type of person.
And if I don’t wear a helmet when I’m riding my one speed whip around San Francisco I certainly don’t expect or plan on wearing one in a plane, regardless of how small it is.
I’m so psyched.
I’m so grateful.
I had these moments today that just blew fairy dust and sugar crystals deep, deep, deep into my heart.
Oh, Burning Man, how do I love thee.
Year ten.
Amazing, that.
It’s going to be short, just a four day shot, but my God, it’s really shaping up to be a fantastic burn.
I have some packing to do this weekend, but I’m ready for it, I have a clear schedule with few responsibilities after having canceled my date (which doesn’t mean I’m not up for a date, I just wasn’t able to quite match the schedule of the person who wanted to see me).
I do have to go back to Glenn Ellen on Monday.
I have the option of going on Sunday night, but I think I’m going to let myself sleep here Sunday night and just get up early and commute to work against the traffic.
It should be easier going out of the city.
Not that I’m even going to bother worrying about that.
It’s Friday.
I’m home for the weekend.
And I got a fucking FLIGHT back from the playa.
Luckiest girl in the world.
For real.

What Happens

August 11, 2016

When I miss a day blogging?

Aside from my reader stats dropping like hotcakes.

I missed you!

I have been busy.

Busy with school, busy with the life of school, the getting up and going to class and eating and going back to class and little mini breaks where I get to walk around for a few minutes and grab a cup of tea and then back to class.

It makes for a long day.

I’m up early and in bed early.

My room mates are both already in bed.

I am in bed, literally, but just not asleep.

I will say,however, out of consideration for my room mates I may not write a very long blog.

I’m a fast writer, though and fingers crossed I can just kick it out.

My head is a little busy.

Gently trying to remind myself that I am pretty much immersed in school and although the world is spinning on outside the grounds of the school retreat, that there is much that I cannot quite get to process, or deal with.

For instance.

The school says they have not received my FAFSA report.

Which is not cool.

As it hinders receiving my financial aid package with which I pay for my very expensive tuition.

But according to the FAFSA website I did it, and it was processed in FEBRUARY.

Which feels about right, but how come the school hasn’t received it?

Nothing I can do at the moment except what I just did, shoot out and e-mail and be patient and continue to show up for class.

In other worlds.

I have a ride to that thing in the desert!

Thank you interwebs and Burning Man ride share board.

I have a ride there, but not back.

I have a back up emergency contact if I can only get to Reno, one of my classmates who lives in Nevada and commutes to school would be able to swing through Reno and get me if necessary.

I’m hoping to line something up for a straight shot back, but it is really nice to know I have a way there.

I’ll be heading up with a virgin burner who has an early arrival pass to help work on one of the art projects and has basically been put in charge of bringing up extra coolers of food for the team.

I’ll be able to swap my vehicle pass for the ride and if the cost of the gas goes over $80 I’ll split the costs with him.

The selling point for him was the vehicle pass and the fact that I can drive a stick shift.

Thanks mom!

He’ll be picking me up from my house around 8p.m. on Friday the 26th and we’re going to drive through the night to get to the playa.

I’ll have all my gear except my bike which will come up with my OG playa family.

Yay!

All the things.

They are working out.

And I’m going to cut this blog short.

My roommates need respite from my clickety clack and as crazy as this sounds, 11p.m. this week is up way past my bed time.

I have a 7a.m. start.

Night my friends.

I’ll try and get you a full report tomorrow.

Suffice to say.

Happy to have snuck in a few words here even if they were a little punch drunk with being tired.

Nighty night.

xo.

Today’s Stats

June 28, 2016

Sometimes I just don’t know what to make of my stats.

Not the body ones.

Or the emotional ones.

Even the mental ones.

Nope.

I literally mean the ones on my blog.

How come so many people are searching that one particular thing?

Why would someone in Mexico want to read my blog?

Who is creeping on my page?

Cuz.

That shit happens yo.

Sometimes I get a great big spike in reads and it’s typically, from my experience, one reader going deep into the blog.

It always leaves me curious.

Who is that person?

Or what are they looking for?

Do they just want to get to know me better, but just a little too shy to ask?

Are they just keeping up with the life and times of Auntie Bubba?

I mean.

Today was not super exciting, but it was special, as is any day I get through without picking up or using and as I was surprise popped to speak at the place tonight, it astounded me, once again, how much my life has changed and how very much I have to be grateful for.

Even when I don’t want to lighten up or have fun.

My life is light and fun.

That does not mean frothy or insubstantial.

If anything.

I believe that it is ever more expansive and open and wonderful.

Deep and complex.

Yet.

Utterly simple.

Easy?

No.

My life is not easy, but by following some simple suggestions.

Well.

Life is manageable and I can let go of the results and just see what happens.

So much can happen.

Least of all when I expect it.

I mean.

Shit.

I’m going to New Orleans on Thursday and three weeks ago that wasn’t even on my plate, let alone an idea in my head, let alone an actual reality, a plane ticket, a room to stay in, a place to meet my fellows, a French Quarter to explore.

I was talking to a dear friend of mine last night on the phone and she mentioned that she has always wanted to move there.

Me too.

It’s been one of those places always on my radar, even though I haven’t been back in so very long.

I made her a promise that I would report back and let her know how it was.

I suspect it will be fabulous.

I suspect I have no idea what will happen.

But it will be good.

I know this.

Having done enough traveling in my life at this point I know how to do a couple of things, pack, and navigate around and get in and out of an airport.

Those things used to cause me an unbearable amount of anxiety.

Just getting to the airport was excruciating and exciting and flavored with fraught anxiety and a curious longing for the uplift of the wings, the expanse of land below me, the clouds and sky alongside my face.

How often have I pressed my face against a window portal, dreaming dreams and aching with some unnamable feeling, some longing for shift in perspective and the glorious wonder of new things to be seen and experienced.

New faces.

New foods.

New streets to wander.

New art to see and be exposed to.

So much wonder in the travel.

The escape from the mundane, well, I don’t think my daily routine is mundane, I should re-word that, the exodus from the routine, to the new and the glad return, the gratitude I have when I land back at SFO and the chill fog coolness swirls about me and the doors open from the baggage claim gates to the outside world.

I am reminded of every time I have flown in and out of the airport.

Of the first trip here when I returned to the land of my birth.

To my last trip from New York.

All the Paris’s and Chicago’s and Minneapolis’s in between.

The Orlando trips, the Madison, Wisconsin trips, those times to Maine and back, Anchorage, Los Angeles, Austin, London, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Boston.

There are still so many places to go and visit.

But there is always home to return to.

And I normally do with a renewed vigor and love for where I am and what I am doing.

I do a lot.

Even when I am loathe to admit that.

I do a lot.

Just writing this blog.

I mean.

I forget that.

The work here.

The graduate school program.

The nannying.

The doing the deal and going to yoga and cooking all my own food (for the most part).

The showing up and be willing to take suggestions even when I want to blow a big raspberry at the person making it.

The willingness to be wrong.

The ability to make mistakes and not beat myself up for not being perfect.

The trying.

The dating.

The sex.

The life.

The love.

The music.

The words.

All the things.

I mean.

I am many, many things.

I am certainly not perfect and I am a pretty open book, although sometimes I can retire into silence and not know what to say to someone or I will lose my voice when I need to self-assert, I will second guess, and not trust my gut.

Or.

Worse.

I will hear that still small voice and ignore it.

There’s a big difference in not trusting your gut versus hearing something, knowing it’s not good for you, or that there’s a lot of information to look at and choosing to ignore it.

Hope for a different outcome.

And even these mistakes.

They are not really mistakes at all.

Just another foot fall on the path to where ever I am going.

To what ever destination God has in mind for me.

This week it happens to be New Orleans.

Who knows where I will go next?

I certainly don’t.

But.

I’m game and excited and over joyed with it.

The ability to do these things that were once such fantasies.

Sitting at the end of the bar at the end of the night rattling off tales of where I was going to go and things I was going to try and places I wanted to see and things I was going to accomplish.

Most of the time it was no further than the floor underneath the stool I toppled from.

Or.

Some strangers bed.

Most often, a miserable repeat of what had happened the night before and the night before that and so on ad nauseam.

There are things that repeat for me today.

Routines, roads I travel, steps I take.

But instead of them being a horrid Ground Hog’s day of terror.

The repetition breeds awareness and it deepens more and more with perspective and experience.

Revealing a steadfast love that takes care of me no matter what.

Always.

Always here.

Always there.

Everywhere I go.

This extraordinary gift.

This.

Overwhelming.

Overarching.

Expansive.

And.

Genuine.

Love.

 

Window in the Heart

August 27, 2014

I’m going to Graceland.

Er.

I mean Burning Man.

Yeah, that thing.

I actually went to it yesterday.

After the epic down pour, shower of hail, lighting and thunder, lighting strikes (three people were hit that I am aware of, one of them I met today he was across the street from my camp–it exited through his foot and blew a toenail off!) and being trapped in the Commissary for five hours, it was a great day.

Sort of.

I mean, in my head it was a crazy day, a day of trepidation a day of serious consideration about my work, what I do, what my part in my community is, what I can do to be of service, how to act from a place of love and how to let the fuck go.

I got up in the morning and did what I do.

Except it was with a certain kind of foreboding of what the day would bring, confrontation was on my mind and I was unnerved by the previous day and I the gift of an unexpected day off.

Sometimes unexpected time can throw me the fuck off.

What the hell was I going to do?

Well, you know, there’s that Burning Man thing happening.

The rain had started in the morning around 6:30 a.m.

I woke up to the pounding on the roof of the trailer and I went back to sleep, thinking it would pass and it was far too early for me to be getting up on a day off.

Despite knowing that I was not going to be up late anyway–I had to be up to go to the Commissary which is closed by 8:30 a.m.–if I wanted to have breakfast.  Especially since I would be riding cross town on my bicycle, not riding with the family since it was a day off.

I made my bed.

I said my things and read my stuff.

And I started to get dressed and that intuitive voice spoke up loud.

“GO!”

I was debating what to where, it was cool, should I layer, do I want this dress, those tights, “GO!” rang in my head again.

Ok.

Geeze.

Chill.

How about…

“Go!”

I looked at my watch, yeah, I guess I should go, I am going to be cutting it close with the hours and I don’t want to miss breakfast, so I slid into a black slip dress, threw on a sweatshirt and pulled on my boots, no makeup, no flowers in my hair, nothing glittery.

I mean, I figured I would just get all dressed up after breakfast.

I hopped on my chopper and hit to the Commissary.

I made it about half way from the 9 o’clock keyhole across the playa when it started to rain, not a down pour, but definitely a serious kind of rain, not a light mist, not a “I’ll just be passing through” sort of shower, but some serious water.

It was like taking a cold shower and I hustled up to the Esplanade and turned down 5:30 toward the spot and I got there, wet, but not soaked and happy to have made breakfast hours.

Little did I know how lucky I was to make it when I made it.

By the time my breakfast was done it was a downpour.

I had popped out to use the john and by the time I had gotten back it was falling hard.

There were about fifteen, twenty of us in the Commissary and we just sat it out, and the sky open and the deluge began.

It’s still wet playa around the tent today, despite having a full day of sun to dry it out, there are still spots of wet that are slick and slippery and stick like glue to anything with a tread.

I struck up a conversation with a  woman and we spent the next two hours talking children, she’d left her 20 month home with hubby to come out to the event (or soon to be hubby, he sent her as a wedding gift, they’ll be married in October), that’s the kind of hubby I like, and we just had a rapport.

And of course, hours to talk.

There were plenty of worse places to be.

I was tremendously grateful to have gotten out of camp–nary a thing to eat in my trailer except apples, and I would have been pretty isolated and by myself.

Not that I am horrible company, but it was far preferable to be where there were people and hot coffee and music.

We all sang along to “Singing in the Rain,” and giggled at the silliness of it.

The city shut down and a snow day was declared.

All vehicles held at the Gate.

Traffic turned back and Wadsworth and Fernley back to Reno.

I heard of 22 hour waits to get in.

Thank God I was at the Commissary.

And eventually, the lighting passed, spectacular to see a bolt shimmer down in a gap between the white tarp and all the lights above me flicker out.

The storm knocked out the power grid in the center of the city, the internet, and communications were reduced down to the radios and word of mouth.

After lunch I walked over to my friends camp which was nearby, the sun had been drying things out, but not enough for me to use my bike, and I spent time with them.

I went walking with a good girlfriend and had lovely talks and we wandered the playa with others on foot.

It was sweet and spacious and open.

No art cars, no vehicles, a scattered few bicycles, and folks walking, converging, conversing, getting to know their neighbors.

It was an amazing experience.

I went back to her camp, met with some fellows for an hour, then back to the Commissary for dinner.

By that time I was ok riding my bicycle and the event had re-opened the gates.

And now it’s Burning Man out there.

I had a few other things happen.

I’ll tell you later about all the magic of last night.

Now it’s time to wrap up and sleep.

I only got three hours last night and I worked a full day and I have a full day tomorrow.

But.

I found out that despite having yesterday off, I am still going to be given Thursday off, an unexpected gift.

When more magic shall be had.

On The Road

August 16, 2014

Well.

It’s been done.

I got out of San Francisco.

We left within a half hour of the planned leave time, which I must say I am quite impressed with.

To wrangle four adults and a toddler and all the things they need into a Bambi Airstream camper and one SUV to leave for “summer vacation” and get out within a half hour of the leave time is pretty amazing.

I don’t know that will happen on the way back, there’s all sorts of things that could happen between here and there and most of them I don’t have to worry about and I am not going to worry about.

In fact, the only thing to be thinking about at the moment is writing this blog and winding down for the night.

I just got out of the bath tub in my room on the 14th floor of The Grand Sierra Resort in Reno.

I did not go down to the spa, I actually do have a swim suit with me, but it’s packed in my bins, I wasn’t thinking I would be using it to access the pool and spa at the hotel, rather that the top is cute and would be something fun to wear on playa, ditto the bottoms.

I had my own little spa here in my room.

I filled up the bath tub and loaded it with bubbles and sat and shaved my legs with my hair heaped up on my head while listening to a compilation of music that a lover made for me when I moved to Paris playing on my laptop.

I tried to access the movies and radio and such on the cable television in the room, but it just was not going my way and well, remotes mystify me, not having had a television or electronic unit that needs a remote in over a decade, hell in over fifteen years, I decide to say  screw the hotel tv and just use my laptop.

I have everything I need on it anyway.

Downloaded a video as well while I sat in the bathtub.

I write the blog.

I make a few last-minute e-mails out to the world, then a video and an early night.

I slept alright at my employers house, but it was hard to get comfy and my brain was too excited for the journey and the doing and the going and the being on the cusp of the leaving, I did not get as much rest as I would have liked.

Tonight I will do better by myself and get to bed a little on the early side and get up and get ready for the last push to the dust bowl.

The weather is forecast in the mid to high 80s for the next week and mid 50s to 60s for the evening.

That is pretty damn good weather for out there, and the storm system has passed, no rain or hail in the near future.

Who knows what will happen closer to the event, but the weather when we land should be good.

It looks like we may actually get in a bit earlier than we thought, having left on time today from San Francisco and making really good time, we got into Reno much earlier than we did last year.

Dinner was an early affair at the all you can eat buffet, which frankly is all you can eat scary, amidst the jingle, jangle, of the casino just outside the door to the restaurant.

I did not eat all I could eat at the buffet.

I got a bit overwhelmed by it, truth be told, and went to the salad bar and had that.

Salad is safe.

Then some fruit and cottage cheese for desert.

A big glass of ice tea and I am out.

I am happy to only have the all you can eat buffet experience once a year, it usually occurs on the way in or out of Reno, with one of the families I have worked with.

Tomorrow will be the nice food at Whole Foods.

We will meet in the lobby at 8:30 a.m. check out, head to the grocery store and stock up, eat breakfast there, and then hit the road.

We may take one small detour to see the infamous turtle sculpture in Fernley.

Apparently there’s some ruckus because the sculpture has a tail that looks phallic and is disturbing to some of the citizens in the town.

Really, what’s one more penis on the way to Burning Man?

Then onward.

I just glanced out the window and saw the lights of Reno’s airport winking at me and I must say it is surreal.

Not from the standpoint of it being a hotel in Reno, but rather, that I know this hotel (and the Pepper Mill) as well as I do.

I don’t stay in hotels.

Yet, I have been in this hotel four times, same with the Pepper Mill.

I have spent more time in hotels in Reno than I have in any other city in the world.

Ha.

I was talking to the mom today in the car as we were easing out over the Bay Bridge about how it seems once I am on playa, that it all becomes one event, one great big long Burning Man, that I have never left, but always been there.

There is no other travel destination for me that I have gone to as often.

I have been to LA twice.

London twice.

Miami once.

Paris three times.

New Orleans once.

Rome once.

Las Vegas once.

Black Rock City?

Seven times.

This year marks my eighth burn.

I guess it’s official.

I am a burner.

See you in the dust.

Tomorrow!

 

The Last Big Push

August 15, 2014

And it’s almost time.

Go time, that is.

I made it through a double shift today, and truth be told, it was not so bad, although I had to apparently have some spice and drama to make it fun in between.

I thought I was going to have a nice mellow dinner somewhere in Cole Valley, a nice little sit down and gather myself for the oncoming onslaught of all things Burning Man.

But no, that was not to be the case.

I discovered, oh woe is me, that I had forgotten my charging brick for my laptop at my nanny gig in the NOPA.

How I managed to do that I cannot even tell you, it was right there with the apple and the fresh bag of Stumptown Holler Mountain I had gotten at BiRite this afternoon.

Right there with my notebook, my phone charger, my phone, my bag of pens and my messenger bag.  I had put it all on the corner of the dining room table so that I did not have to carry extra weight in my messenger bag when I took out the monkeys to the park.

I thought I had put it all back in.

But no.

I left the charger on the corner of the table and went on my merry way when my shift ended at 5 p.m.

My way which was graciously paved by the mom of my littlest guy, she offered to drop me off at the home in Cole Valley, but upon finding out that my stuff was still out at my place by the beach, that I was going to go get it after I finished my night gig in Cole Valley, she said she would just run me back to the house herself, save me a trip later.

Thank you!

Such an unexpected and nice gift.

It was when we were heading back that the discovery was made.

She asked me, “do you have everything?”

Then she ran down a quick, down and dirty list of the most important stuff that tends to go overlooked, power cords, phone charger, etc.

I opened my messenger bag and saw immediately that my phone charger was right where it was supposed to be, but not the laptop charger.

And there was only one place it could be.

Back in the NOPA.

FROGS!

She was unable to drive me all the way back, and we both sort of figured that my family in Cole Valley would have chargers galore.

True.

There would be a spare I could use that was attached to the trailer I am staying in.

However, it dawned on me, I am still going to need it when I go to New York, and I am going to need it tonight when I am writing and I will want it when I am in Reno tomorrow night.

And well, dang it man.

I had an hour before I was due in.

The family offered me a vehicle, but upon inspection, it was too much, I just was not prepared to get into the car and drive over in rush hour traffic, I also could not find the key and was beginning to feel a tad panicked.

Not the time to be in an expensive car driving in San Francisco rush hour traffic–my gut said don’t do it and I had the oddest flash of having a stupid accident in their car.

Not what I wanted to do.

So I decided to walk there and back.

I made it just about on time.

I was five minutes late coming back, but pretty much did the deal.

I caught a bus for a part of it, but actually beat the MUNI coming back because of traffic.

I got my charger, made it back to the gig, finished the dinner with the monkey, got him a nice bath and snuggled into some moose footie pajamas, and that’s all she wrote.

I did some sorting of my stuffs, taking a few things that I really didn’t need to have with me in the car for the first leg of the journey, and then ate a late dinner.

Whew.

I am done.

And yet, it’s only just begun.

The plan is to be on the road by 11 a.m.

I will have phone all day tomorrow as we will only be going as far as Reno.

We may even get in there early enough that I can hang out on the strip, or something.

I actually have an idea of what I want to do, if there’s time, there’s a little club that I want to pay a visit to for an hour in the evening.

Otherwise, it will be chilling at the Grand Sierra and taking advantage for one more night of running water and hot showers with strong water pressure.

Tomorrow I will get up here in Cole Valley and take care of the pumpkin, make sure he gets out and we run around the park and expend lots of toddler energy, then away we go.

It’s hard to believe the day is finally here.

I felt a bit like a hermit crab today as I trundled up the stairs to the first gig of the day, my messenger bag already full of gear and bits and overnight stuffs.

But there were pockets of time when time seemed to stand completely still and I had contemplation and serenity, and a deep silence filled with gratitude that once again, I get to go out to the desert and have an intense human experience that just cannot be had anywhere else in the world.

Supreme gratefulness.

There’s little for me to do tonight, except change into my pajamas, not moose footies, that would be something now wouldn’t it?

And have a cup of tea and a light snack.

I am a little too wound up to drop off to sleep right away, so I will watch a show and chill for an hour or so, but not too late, the day will be on me before I am ready for it I am sure.

Time to make the tea and get my butt into some pajamas.

I got places to be in the morning.

Tomorrow, bye bye San Francisco.

Hello Reno.

In just.

T-minus 13 hours.


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