Posts Tagged ‘self-sufficiency’

Fluffy, Fluffier, Fluffiest!

July 30, 2016


I sent out an e-mail to a friend who works at Burning Man.

I asked for some help in regards to my situation and I offered to be of service in return, which is really the only way to go, I don’t expect special treatment, but if I could get what I was asking for it was going to make my Burning Man experience.

In a big fucking way.


I got a positive response.

They needed help and absolutely happy to help with an early arrival pass.


The only way to arrive.

I may have to wait in a tad of a line at the Gate, that happens, since I’m not arriving super early, but early enough that I am going to be able to enjoy my burn in a way that I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to do.

I asked to get a pass in for the 27th.

One day before the event opens, basically, but it’s going to give me a full day and a half to my time at the burn.

I am so happy.

And so happy to help out.

I am going to be a fluffer again for Media Mecca.

It is not what you think, get your mind out of the gutter.

A fluffer is a person who helps get ice and water for the specific team that is busy working their asses off being of service to a specific part of the community.

I have always had special ties to Media Mecca as that is where I was camped my second year on playa, nannying my first playa nanny gig.

Mom ran Media Mecca and I got to see these little bits and pieces of the back end of the event and frankly, it’s fascinating, but then, I was also very new in my experience with Burning Man and really focused on my charge.

I missed so much too.

I was busy working.

And I will work this event too.

But not like I was doing when I was a nanny.

I got asked to do a shift Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of the event.

Which means grabbing up water coolers and hopping in a golf cart and running over to the Commissary and flashing the ice and water pass to the monitor, you bet your ass you got to be credentialed to get ice, it’s gold out in the desert, hello, please.

Then washing out the coolers and getting the requested amount of ice for the area you are fluffing and hauling it back to camp and distributing it where it needs to go.

Done and fucking done.

I love doing it.

It’s pretty simple, it’s an easy way to be of service and it’s a nice little work out too.

Plus, I’m happy to be doing anything at Media Mecca, they are my people.

I’ll get to see people that I only see at Burning Man, from all corners of the world.

I was thinking about next year, actually, yeah I know, I haven’t left for this event yet, but, I won’t have a retreat for school and I will be able to take a full week of vacation time to go to Burning Man and fingers crossed, the start of third year will not be over the Labor Day weekend.

I’d be able to go for a longer stint.

I’d like to do a bigger volunteer effort and work with Media Mecca again.

It feels like home and I know a lot of the team members and the alumni.



Anything to secure me going another year.

I want to help though and doing a service out there really is the way to go and so, I’m so grateful to get to go and help out, I’ll tote some water and haul some ice.

No fucking problem.

Besides, it’s amusing to no end to tell people I’m a fluffer.

The response is hilarious.





Thank you for booking your trip with!


I did it.

I rented a car.

Not a big one, just a little one, I don’t need a truck or van to haul my shit and I realized that instead of trying to figure it out, to put on my big girl pants and just rent a car and drive myself.

In fact.

I’m hella excited to do the drive on my own for the first time ever.

Guess who gets to choose the music.


Guess who gets to stop where she wants for bevvies and snacks?


Not that I will be stopping much, aside from gas, for snacks and meals.

I’ll be bringing my own food with me and I may also stock up on the water too before I go.

My plan is a crazy one, but it will be the one to get me the most amount of time at the burn.

I’ll be coming from two weeks of work with my family in Glen Ellen.

They are going to rent me a car for the two weeks I’m with them, so I can come and go and as well as come back to San Francisco the weekend in between.

I’ll be returning the car the evening of the 26th, that is my last Friday with the family.

I’ll get done with work at 6p.m. and drive straight to SFO.

I will drop off that car and go pick up my car.

I will come back here to the house and pack all my things into the car and I will drive through the night to Burning Man.

Hopefully getting there early morning before the heat starts up.

I’ll be tired, but excited, I have already done the trip in one shot three times before, driving straight from San Francisco through the night to the event in Nevada.

It can be done and I will be happy to do it.

As it gives me one full extra day.

I’ll have the early arrival pass, I have a vehicle pass, I have a car (yes, I’ll be getting it cleaned and detailed before I return it, I know what vehicles coming off playa look like and I budgeted that into my travel costs), I have my own tent, a camp chair, a blow up mattress, a cooler, blankets and bedding and pillows, solar lights, and all the costumes and hair flowers a girl could possibly want and a couple of crinolines, goggles, utility belt, tools, harness, and boots.

And heart shaped sunglasses.



And my bunny slippers.


It’s fucking fun.

Who knew?

I’ll be able to leave the event on my own steam, knowing that I can get back in one straight shot.  I plan on leaving the event on Wednesday, the traffic out will be very, very, very light, which will be super helpful, and I’m hoping to get home late Wednesday night.



Clean out the car.

Car wash it.

Return it.

And then go to Mike Doughty that night.

You know what’s funny?

The show is in Burlingame.

Which is, ahem, pretty much right by the airport.

Funny how it all works out when I act in faith.

And the next day?

My first official day of my second year of graduate school.

It’s pretty fucking awesome.

Here’s to be fully self-supporting.

With a little, oh, really, a lot, let’s be honest, help from my friends.

My dear.




See you in the dust!

Sunday Sounds Like

February 3, 2014



The slip, slap, slosh of rain pattering down from the sky.

Sunday sounds like going slow.

Taking care of the small things.

Fixed the flat tire on my bicycle today.

I was going to take it into the shop, but the weather was so wet and cold and drear that I found myself balking big time at going out in it.

The idea of taking my bike into the Mission then wandering around in the wet waiting for it to be taken care of, then hanging out all day long until my commitment at 6:30p.m. just sounded yuck.

Wet and cold and yuck.

I mean, I like hanging out in the Mission, don’t get me wrong, but I did not like the idea of getting my bike back and then riding it around in the Mission on Super Bowl Sunday in the wet.

No thank you.

Not that it would have been all that bad, most folks were inside watching the game, but, yeah the day called for something else and when the person I was supposed to meet also texted to cancel meeting, I said, screw this, I am staying home today.

But I need to fix my bike.

Sunday sounds like self-sufficient.

Or nearly almost self-sufficient.

I had to ask the housemate’s boyfriend for a hand with the tire just at the very end.

I pulled out a tube from my stash and got my tire lever and went to the garage, flipping my bike up side down I ran my thumb along the wheel looking for an obvious, ah there, piece of glass.

It was huge.

Definitely from a beer bottle, brown glass, and I am fairly certain it was from the smashed bottles I tried skirting around on my way home from work Wednesday.

I remember hearing my wheels crunching through it and silently hoped that I would make it home without incident.

And I did.

Of course, only to get the flat the next day.

I took off the wheel and stuck the lever in between the tire and the rim and pried the tire off the rim, pulled the tube, tossed it, and got the tweezers out.

I pluck the piece of glass out then took a damp cloth to the interior of the tire and made sure there were no other offending bits hiding out in there.

Then I put a little air in the tube, aligned the tire and the rim and got them back together again.

I was feeling pretty pleased with myself, look mom, I can change a flat!

Until I couldn’t get the last bit of tire onto the rim, that’s always the tightest part, and I hollered up the stairs for a pair of guy hands.

The housemates boyfriend ambled down and lent me a hand, then polished  a bit of the chrome on his Harley Davidson.

My brain went to, when will I be doing that?

Maintenance on my bike?

I don’t mean my bicycle either.

I suppose I should rephrase that, bike connotes motorcycle and well, that’s not quite where I am going, although the principle in pretty similar.

Because Sunday also sounds like scooter.

I got a reply from my friend about his Vespa and he said, let’s talk, I am sure you can get hooked up with the scoot!

I hadn’t heard the text ping in and when I did see the message I did a double take, then yipped out loud with glee.

Oh, hello scooter town.

I will need to talk with him and see if the old offer stands, the price, the paying it off in installments and the whatnot of owning a scooter.

I will need to take the licencing class and I will probably have to get insurance, not certain about all that stuff.

Or what that all costs.

But Sunday also stands for spending plan.

Which I did this early afternoon after fixing the tire on my bicycle (I will still be replacing the tire, it’s got punctures and cuts and really should be replaced, but I will do that on a day when it’s not raining, possibly Friday since I will be in the Castro for work), tallying up my expenditures from the month of July and writing out the plan for February.

I have a good idea how much income will be coming in having confirmed Fridays for the month as well as a full day on Wednesdays, I can pretty much count on a steady income for the month.  Knowing how much I spend and what I can save and where there is wiggle room is great.

I love having a plan.

I don’t always stick strictly to it, but knowing how much I spend, where it goes and what my expenses are really gives me a lot of freedom.

Like, I don’t like how much I have been spending eating out.

It’s not a lot, but I have been eating out one to two and occasionally three meals a week.  I used to never do that.  But living further out and having a different map of places I go to do the things I need to do makes it that way.

More home cooked meals, more soup.

Made a white and red bean soup/chili today with corn and diced carrots, carmelized onions and garlic, and pan sautéed organic chicken breast meat.  Then cooked up a big pot of brown rice.  I will have beans and rice and chicken for my meals all week, good solid protein, nice hot meals to have at work.

A bowl of that and an organic apple equals a happy girl.

“Wake up and smile,” she told me on Saturday, “it will change your day.”

I did that today.

I really woke up and smiled.

It made my face feel a little off, like I was crankily moving muscles that did not want to move.

I felt stupid doing it, but I take suggestions, so I tried it.

Hmm, might be working.

Try that again.

Still feels silly, but yeah, better.

Then I drifted off a few more minutes of sleep and woke up at 8a.m. on the nose and grinned.

I mean grinned.

Goofy as hell.

But it did work.

Felt good to do that and to take the nap in the late afternoon as the last of the rain dissipated, a soft splash, a tiny patter of drops falling from the eaves, the burble of a pot of beans simmering on the stove, and the sound of yes, I will say it, myself snoring.


I startled awake with a little snort.

Sunday, we did ok, didn’t we?

And now I am ready for the week.

Soup made, scooter plans unfolding, bike wheel fixed, rest had.

Sunday sounds like self-care.

And serenity.

Time To Look For New Work

September 24, 2013

Oh, I am still a nanny.

That apparently, is going nowhere.

However, now that the big event in the desert is done for a few months, the hours will be cut back.  Plus, I am not doing the North Oakland nannying and suddenly, in two weeks I will go down to two and a half shifts a week.

That is not going to be enough.

So, time to find some new work, or some more work, or I don’t know a lottery ticket.

I don’t buy lottery tickets, though, so that last may not be the best way to secure income.

I find myself curiously unperturbed about the money, it will come, it always does.

I do find the thought of having to meet new families a little disheartening.

Can’t they all be Burning Man people?

The mom in Cole Valley committed to keeping me despite not even needing me much past October in the capacity that we are currently doing–Monday, Tuesday 8:45a.m-5:45p.m. and Wednesday as a half day, 8:45a.m. to about 1p.m or so.

I do have a share on Mondays and Tuesdays, so they are both higher paying days.

Leaving Thursday and Friday open.

If I tell another person I know who works at Burning Man that I would like to work there, come on, I am good a stuff man, I will kick myself.

I feel like I have been obsequious.

The work with my friend at the design firm is not happening and though I am loath to open up Craigslist, that may be the next step.

That and putting it out to the Universe.

“Hey God!  Where do you want me to work?”

“Louder, I can’t hear you!”

And please, make it lucrative, ok?



I don’t believe that’s how it works, but sometimes I feel at such a complete loss.

I have had a lot of folks suggest things and careers to me.

“Teacher, you are a born teacher,” my friend said to me one Sunday night.

“OH my God, you are soooo good at massage, I would hire you in a heart beat, be a masseuse, please.”

“You should manage one of those start-up thingys,” more specific with that one please.

“What about being a copy writer or editor?”

I have looked into a lot of careers and had a lot of ideas about what I should be doing.

All I can manage to come up with is that I need to make more money.

At the rate I am going I won’t have my student loans paid off until I am 60.

I think, maybe a little earlier than that.


Let alone have some of the things that I would like to have in my life.

A yoga practise would be nice.

Really nice.

There’s a good studio just blocks from the house.

A scooter.

A new dress.

Paying off Barnaby the money I owe him for the plane ticket.

A floor lamp for the studio.

I am not asking  a lot.

But self-sufficiency and solvency.

I would like those things.

I have never wanted.

Not really, there have been moments where it seemed daunting, where the next job was coming from, the next bag of groceries, the next rent check.

But they have always come, or something has happened to facilitate my care.

If you don’t want what you have, why would more make it better?

I want what I have.

As I sit at this table, loaned to me by a friend, typing away on my laptop, covered in Burning Man stickers, which has been my faithful steed for writing in San Francisco and Paris, travelled with me and blogged in London and Rome, I cannot count myself as a person who is not cared for.

Really, really well.

I am content with a simple life.

My quality of life, my inner quality, is so vast and rich and abundant.

I am not lacking for anything.

I am enough.

I do want to sustain myself though and continue to care for myself and my needs.

So, yeah, more work has to come in.

It can be different, I don’t have to be a nanny, but you know the fall line, that line down a snow-covered mountain that the snowball is going to roll down, that line seems to easily fall toward being a nanny.

“You would make a great doula!”

Or what ever that thing is.

I can’t figure it out.

You have some suggestions, peep me yo.

In the meantime I just look around at my sweet home, decorated with my pictures and postcards, photographs, and drawings, and I see that I am so in the spot.

Some smooth Barry White just came on the stereo.

“Playing your game baby, just you and me.”


This is a game, isn’t it?

It’s not about what I have in the bank, it’s where I spend it and the realization that work is not the answer.

It is what I do when I am not working, although doing a good job at my job feels, well, good, duh.

It is this, my writing, in the morning, in the evening, aint’ we got fun?

It’s in the long walks down by the beach.

Or along the Seine when I was in Paris.

It is about taking out my camera and capturing just this moment here, right now.

The work will find me.

It usually finds those willing to do it, no?

The life has to be what I focus on as well.

No more so than now.

If I have spare time to spare, I do have work full-time this week and close to full time next week, then I am obligated, to myself, not you or another, to get out there and live my life that I have been given.

Especially here, in San Francisco.

How fucking fabulous.

I get to live here.

It’s the Paris of the United States.

And if I can’t live in Paris, France.

I happily, gleefully, gratefully live in San Francisco, CA.

Which has never, not in all my years, dropped me on my ass.


But, a yeah, you got a job, you know, let me, uh, hear about it, like.

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