Posts Tagged ‘Steampunk Masquerade Ball’

Time To Edit

April 27, 2016

My mouth.

Or my pen.

Er.

My blog.

Haha.

Nope.

I mean.

Well.

Maybe.

I have done the thing where in I have facecrack friended a blind date before our first date.

It doesn’t feel like a blind date though, we’ve texted a lot, had a few phone calls and awkwardly face timed twice now.

We’ve got a date for Saturday and it’s been discussed that it’s going to be an all day date.

I also clarified if this was a hook up or a date.

Not that I am opposed to the hook up, he’s sexy and there’s chemistry already, so, there’s that, but it seems more than a hook up, there’s a lot of commonality.

Especially in the not drinking/drugging thing–he’s straight edge and well, if you haven’t figured out what I do you can always ask me privately, I’m not into breaking it all the way down on my blog, it’s um, not seemly.

Plus.

We both have loads of tattoos, always a plus.

Like pinball, baseball, music, books, and it’s apparent he’s intelligent.

I am liking it.

The only draw back is the distance.

I feel like I’m sort of breaking my own rule about dating someone on the other side of the bridge.

Hooking up might be different, but dating is a challenge with distance.

Never the less, there will be a day long date Saturday and I’ll know more at that point.

I’m tentatively excited.

I don’t want to have expectations.

They lead to resentments.

But.

Yeah.

There seems to be something here and of all the Tinder dates and matches he’s definitely head and shoulders above the rest.

So we have enough friends in common that we inevitably both posted on a mutual friend’s facecrack time line in regards to her anniversary today.

And there it was.

“I see you,” he texted me.

I laughed to myself.

I had already done the facecrack troll on his page.

I chided him a little, but totally said yeah, we can friend it up.

Despite being very well aware that all my blog posts are visible to anyone who friends me.

There’s a lot of incriminating shit here.

And.

There’s none at all, all at the same time.

I am transparent, most of the time, I put it out there and sometimes it ain’t pretty.

That’s ok.

If my blog scares him off, then well, it wasn’t meant to be.

I do know that I’ll most likely curtail any more writing about him.

Especially if this leads to dating, which I suspect it could.

No need to live in the future though, just taking it one moment, text, call, date at a time.

I have plenty, plenty, plenty on my plate.

The reading for school, the negotiating my last weekend of school–a lot of people want to have get togethers and hang out and such and I’m rather of the opinion that I would rather not, but I also kinda would.

I’m on the fence.

Like I said just a moment ago, I don’t have to figure it out now.

I know that I’m definitely hanging out with one of my girlfriend’s on Sunday, she’s goingt to crash over here and we’re going to have a slumber party.

And another of my girlfriend’s and I are going to the Steampunk Masquerade Ball at NIMBY the following weekend.

I like my cohort.

But I’m not sure I want to get real wrapped up in trying to spend time with everyone before the weekend is over.

I mean.

I’m still going to have to go to work and do the deal and I’ll have papers to finish before I head to New York too.

Ah.

See.

I can get caught up in the future so quick.

Be still my funny head and relax, all is good, I’m on track with my reading and I have a date for Saturday with someone I find funny, smart, sexy, and attractive, who I already know I can carry a conversation with and who won’t kiss me with beer breath.

I just keep showing up for what’s in front of me and the weekend will get here when it’s supposed to.

A little yoga.

A little work, a lot, boy, talk about work, today was a long play date with two other kids from school, I cooked up a storm and must have gotten a great work out in–all the toys I picked up, I cannot begin to count how many times I bent over and grabbed Lego’s or train tracks up off the floor, Magna Tiles, stuffies, blocks, Octonauts, books, markers, all the things.

A good bit of doing the deal.

I have a little something to do every night after work, someone to meet, somewhere to go, some church to sit in and get settled down about my life, recovery, all the jumble of work and school and time management and dating.

It’s been fun, though, this flirting.

I will not say that it hasn’t.

But yeah.

Thinking about it as I just texted him a good night thought, it’s time to not write about it anymore.

It’s not my place to reveal details and also, I know myself well enough to know I put my heart on my sleeve pretty damn quick.

Hell.

It’s usually out there all the time anyway, but I don’t need it to be seen so quick.

He may not have figured out the links to the blog yet anyhow, but I would rather him get to know me by hanging out with me.

And.

Well.

Since I feel this has potential, it’s got legs, it might go somewhere, well, then it’s mine to cherish and experience, keep private so to speak.

Oh.

No worries.

I’m sure there will be plenty of titillating things for me to write about.

Fuck.

I can make just about any blog I write provocative.

I’m a flirt.

At least in print.

Fingers crossed I can convey it in person.

Heh.

I’ll let you in on that.

I will be flirting.

And I will be wearing a dress.

Polka dots maybe.

Giggles.

See.

Already, an inside joke to myself.

I got to stop while I’m a head.

Nighty night

Y’all.

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Full Time Get It

April 20, 2016

Registered.

First semester, second year, grad school.

Bring on the student loans!

Blech.

At least I still have scholarship monies coming.

I had that thought this morning as I was preparing to sit and twiddle my thumbs for too long while I was juggling my reading for my Clinical Relationship class–the server kept crashing, too many of us all trying to register at the same time.

Remember when it was by telephone and you had to wait for the automated person to tell you if you got in?

Yeah.

I’m old.

Shut up.

I just barely and I mean, by a year, maybe a semester, missed the experience of having to go to a table and wait in line to register at the UW Madison where I got my undergrad degree.

Times they do change.

I was going to get up early and go to yoga today, but when I woke up I was too sore to do it and three days in a row is a good run.

Odds are that I will go again Thursday.

Four days a week.

I can deal with that.

But today I knew I needed to register and I figured it was more important to get some good sleep, rest up, get registered and do some reading for classes.

Of course.

I was promptly on line at my designated time.

To get annoyed.

The server crashed again and again and when it wasn’t crashing it was terribly slow.

I contacted the program director who notified the registrar and it was dealt with.

But not before I could get fully registered.

Last semester this had me in a tizzy.

This go around I was like, what ever, I’ll register when I get home from work and that’s pretty much exactly what I did.

And now it’s on.

Full load.

Second year.

Crazy.

I still have plenty to do before I get to the next wave of classes, but the days they go by and the weeks and I am sure before I know what hit me I will be onto my second year.

However.

I must say.

I am so looking forward to summer vacation.

It’s not really vacation considering I will be working full time.

But without being in school full time it’s going to feel like I have so much time on my hands.

I am sure I will find things to fill the time up.

I’m definitely getting more excited about New York.

That’s for damn sure.

Four days off.

Out of town.

No responsibility.

No work.

No school.

Heaven.

I need to confirm with my friend that all is still cool with me staying in his place in Brooklyn and also, getting all the details on how to get into his place, etc.

New York in May.

Spring in the city.

I can’t even imagine it.

Focus Martines.

Let me at least get through the next couple of weekends.

The school work will continue to happen.

And, as I stated, a couple of dates if I can sneak them in and some self-care too.

Plus I’m looking forward to seeing my friends from cohort too.

One girlfriend is going to spend the night here on our last day of school so we get an extra night of hang out time.

And another girl friend and I are going to go to the Steampunk Masquerade Ball at NIMBY in Oakland before I hit New York as well.

Although I was tempted when I first got the news last week about my class schedule and the Burning Man conflict, to cancel on going to the ball.

I was feeling pretty sad about it.

But.

I think it will be good to go with my friend, who is a Burning Man virgin, but wants to go next year, and play and dance and show her the scene a little.

And it will be a nice way to celebrate for me too.

I’ll dance and get some fire art on, I had a great time when I went last year.

There’s lots to do, but not that much right in front of me.

“My principle today is easy does it,” I said on the voicemail.

Slow down.

Is what I was thinking to myself.

My life gets pretty unmanageable when I get going to fast–losing my keys, hello–and I did not want to get caught up in that this week as I could see myself, even this morning, trying to go faster than I needed to.

There is no emergency.

There is no drama.

It’s all about having fun and continuing to take the next action right in front of me.

In an easy, relaxed, mellow way.

In fact.

The more I slowed down, the more time I seemed to have today.

It was really  nice.

Side bar.

God damn do I love Soulwax.

I forgot I had picked up this album into my music library and I am so grooving the fuck out on it.

Love music.

Love dance music even more.

Totally distracted by how hot this fucking track is.

Damn Gina.

Ok.

Back to the regularly scheduled blog.

Heh.

It’s a beautiful day, I have a beautiful life.

I’m happy.

Sometimes, yes, I am sad too, or overwhelmed, or there seems to be too much to do and not enough time.

But that’s Carmen time.

God’s time, though, there is so very much of it and all I have to do is stop trying to put my agenda in front and things just open and bloom and it’s amazing.

I really am in awe how it happens.

Doesn’t matter how many times I have seen it, getting out of my own way, and suddenly, ease and beauty, light, joy, life, magic, really, all right in front of me, blooming like wild roses in the woods.

God’s time.

God’s schedule.

I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

Right now.

Right here.

Having this very experience.

So fucking good.

Luckiest school girl in the world.

Seriously.

 

The Good, The Bad

April 9, 2016

The grad school.

It was a tough day.

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, literally.

In deep REM sleep.

I cannot remember the last time I woke up from that kind of REM and I couldn’t remember my dream.

It dissolved on my tongue like soft hazy fog, there, but not there, and it left a bitter coating in my mouth, a kind of taste I could not quite get off my palate.

A longing to go back to bed may have just been the crux of the desire and really, I did wake up on the wrong side of the bed, not the side I normally wake up on and it, the day, felt off, as I unconsciously hit my snooze button instead of the alarm off button.

Hmm.

REALLY?

You never hit snooze.

But.

I had a general dread about going into the day.

I couldn’t pin it right away, but I have since, and suffice to say I am grateful for the TA’s and the professors and the holding space they create for us as we move through the learning of how to become therapist.

I am in the client in this round of the semester and I don’t feel comfortable.

And.

This is ok.

As I wrote about in one of my papers, I am hyper self-aware of what is going on for me and what is up for me, or not up for me.

I had a little mini-break through in regards to some work stuff, but I would have come to that on my own without the dyad work.

However.

I came to realize that I say yes a little more often than I should be with my family and work environment.

I am all flexible when it comes to accommodating the families needs, but hey, oops, some of my needs, especially as I am coming out of a long school weekend, are not being met.

Not by a long shot.

I reflected and realized that I can say, “hey, let me get back to you on the scheduling,” instead of just saying yes in a blanket statement.

Sure, no problem, I can totally do that for you.

Oh, hey lady, do you realize that you just messed up your recovery schedule and your new yoga practice in one fell swooping yes?

Fuck.

I self-sabotaged the hell out of myself without even realizing what I was doing.

Ah.

But I did realize.

And I am practicing acceptance and the action will come.

I can pause.

I can reflect.

I don’t have to answer right away.

There is no emergency.

Ah.

All the learning.

So much.

My brain feels a little full and I am glad that I took some nice measures for myself today.

I took the N-Judah into class tomorrow and realized that I don’t want to do that again, despite the train getting me to my destination on time I spent most of that time, over a half hour, standing on the train and I was wedged in weird and my right knee has been tender all day for the stress I put on in in the awkward position I was in.

In fact.

Pause.

Go get the ibuprofen.

There is no need to suffer and it feels a little inflamed.

Excuse me, be right back.

Much better.

I did not enjoy the experience and I took a car home after class today.

Faster, yes, a bit pricey, but fuck it, I deserve to let myself have an out after a long week.

I mean, really.

It’s been a long week and there is no end in sight.

I have two more days of classes and then back to work.

Ok.

Actually.

There is an end in sight, it’s called Monday afternoon.

And the get together with my playa family has been cancelled.

Side bar.

I got my new holster for the event and it rocks!

Happy to come home to a little gift to myself.

And one of my cohort friends and I made the decision to go and have an adventure, and it will be a kind of celebration too, end of our first year of the masters program in Integral Counseling Psychology at The California Institute for Integral Studies.

Yes.

We are going to go the Steam Punk Masquerade Ball at NIMBY in Oakland on May 14th.

I went last year with a couple of girl friends and had a ball, and danced my ass off.

I’ll wear my new holster.

That makes me smile to think of that, hanging out with my Burning Man people and celebrating with my friend.

End side bar.

There will be time.

There will be pause.

There will be a fucking break.

I’ll have a day and a half off.

I will yoga it up.

I will sleep in.

I will wander around and take a walk on the beach or go to the DeYoung.

I will take care and take respite and I will be ok.

I am ok now.

Really.

There is no emergency, there is no drama, everything is going to be alright, because it already is.

I don’t feel all that surprised by the day and the classes and how I felt going in and the day was a sort of confirmation of some of my fears and also a way through the work and a lot of gratitude for the fact that I have already done so much of the work.

SO MUCH.

And I’m not talking grad school.

I am just talking about me, myself, my life, my journey.

That sounds like I am something to fix, I keep doing this work, but it is rather getting adjusted and making fine, small, tunings that help me stay inline, on the path, moving forward.

In that movement, I can find rest.

I can allow for reprieve and as I see myself having bowed down to the needs of the family before the needs of the nanny, I can act with a little kindness and compassion for myself.

I am doing the best I can and learning as I go.

Sometimes I have to re-experience something to get the full affect.

I’m not saying old behavior, because it’s happened, so it’s current behavior.

What is new for me is to accept that I did it and that I have options in the future.

I don’t have to think about it more tonight.

I made it through my first day of classes for my second to last weekend of my first year of graduate school.

I know.

That’s a bit of a tongue twister.

But.

I’m showing up and doing it.

I turned in two papers and I have done all the reading for the weekend.

I participated in every class and got back some really awesome comments on one of the papers I wrote for my Multi-Cultural class.

I am pleased.

A little tired.

And ready for a cup of tea.

And yes.

Some Project Runway Allstars.

Please people.

The lady needs to decompress.

Heh.

 

 

There’s No There There

August 24, 2015

And it was lovely.

I received a cute text message from my ex-boyfriend this morning while I was making breakfast and plotting my moves for the day–what to pack, laundry to do, marketing that I needed to do before leaving to come back up here to Glen Ellen–I’m just in, 27 minutes ago I landed–and I had no emotional reaction.

I saw the text.

I recognized the number.

I saw the photo.

I laughed out loud.

It was a photo of an inside joke we had and that joke might have been one of the sweetest things about our relationship that I can feel now a warmth and fondness for.

It was so nice to realize that.

I cut up an apple and tossed it with cinnamon and nutmeg, and some sea salt, threw it in with the oatmeal on the stove, turned to the electric tea-pot, took the kettle, poured boiling water over the fresh ground coffee and felt my inner emotions.

Nothing.

No fear.

No excitement.

No anxiety.

Nothing.

Wow.

That is so nice.

No animosity!

Just a quiet gratitude for the man, for the message, and for the sweet memory that he sent me, a funny little inside joke that had been a place of resting laughter for both of us even when the break up was sad and hard to do.

It felt nice.

We exchanged a few more texts then he went his way and I went mine and I forgot about it until I was working with a lady bug at the house and we were going over some instructions on how to write inventory.

I pulled my notebook out of the stack and flipped open to the pertinent inventory and laughed as I saw my ex-boyfriends name at the top of the list.

I shared my experience with quiet gratitude and showed how I was able to get from that place of resentment to where I am now and that it works, it really works when I do the work.

Live and let live.

Easy does it.

First things first.

There again, an hour later with another lady bug, the same gentle reminder that the solution and the problem have nothing to do with each other and that really I can practice spiritual principles, stay in gratitude, and do the next action in front of me and I will be abundantly taken care of.

Exquisite.

In fact, that’s what this whole weekend was about.

What the last few weekends have been about.

Yesterday I got a text from a friend in regards to our busy ass schedules and how we had been trying to make plans to see each other before Burning Man and how it was obviously not going to happen, she was till packing and I hadn’t located my bins nor even gotten to the point in my day when I knew where or how I was going to buy said bins, and nope, not going to see you before the burn.

I mean, we live in the same town.

But.

There was no way to make it work so we made a date to go dancing on the playa–she and I and another friend had gone to the NIMBY Steampunk Masquerade Ball that the Airpusher Collective played at where the Flaming Lotus Girls Serpent Mother was fired up (yeah, I know, you haven’t been to Burning Man and have no idea what I just wrote) and the same group is doing a repeat of the ball on playa.

So.

I will be going to that.

And when we commiserated about work, and doing the deal, and all the stuff, when I texted her what I had to get accomplished before I leave for Burning Man, it left me breathless.

I mean.

Really?

How the hell am I going to get all this done and not lose my mind?

But then I read, again, “first things first,” and knew I would get it done by focusing exactly on the task in front of me and not living in the next hour or the evening or tomorrow.

I just stayed focused on what exactly was in front of me.

Then I wrote three pages long hand, did my laundry, made my bed, did the deal, knelt down asked for some stuff, said some thanks, pulled out the bins, started packing them up, slow and methodical.

I went to the grocery store and picked up a few things to just get me through the day and a birthday card and gift for one of the ladies who was coming over to the house.

Back to back to back.

I met with three ladies, did some reading, shared some experience strength and hope, asked in return that they do some things while I was away at work, confirmed our calendars for September–I won’t be able to meet with any of the ladies until after my first week on campus on school.

Then.

I texted my ride to Glen Ellen.

Confirmed a pick up time 20 minutes from the text.

I packed my bags up for Glen Ellen–a coupled days worth of clothes, my laptop, the books and readers and notebooks pertinent for the week and what I have to do for school before I leave.

I then proceeded to finish folding the laundry, take out the trash, and organize my bins.

I packed them more than 3/4s full and was on the last leg of packing when my ride pinged me.

I have perhaps fifteen minutes of packing left to do when I get back to SF on Wednesday.

I got my stuff for Glen Ellen, locked up the house, hopped in my friend’s car and we headed over the bridge.

A pit stop in Mill Valley for an hour of doing the deal, then a drive through the rolling golden lit hills of Sonoma to Glen Ellen.

We grabbed a bite to eat and figured out gas costs that I need to reimburse him for–he’s basically done the trip there and back and there and back and there and back for me, since I didn’t rent a car this time.

Then a dash up the road and I am here at 9:30 p.m.

It’s 10:15 p.m.

I am almost done with my blog, I’ll make a cup of tea, chill for the rest of the evening and get a good night’s sleep before work in the morning.

I couldn’t see how the day would play out when I was awoke with the bang and thump of my housemates little girl and her friend playing, I couldn’t have imagined such a smooth and seamless transition from here to there.

Nor that I would have such moments and pockets of grace and gratitude for the experience of just living my life to its fullest.

One day at a time.

One hour at a time.

One moment at a time.

Easy does it and there it is.

I’m here.

All the things are happening.

And I got done everything that I needed to do this weekend to be prepared for my trip to the playa.

Tomorrow and Tuesday I will write my two papers.

Then I am good to go.

I get to show up for work tomorrow happy and rested for the boys.

I get to continue to live this full, happy, joyous, free life.

I am the luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

I mean.

Have you seen my hair?

La Vie En Rose

August 23, 2015

It’s back.

My hair is pink.

Manic Panic Hot Hot Pink.

And it’s a bout to get hotter in here.

I am currently sitting here with another dose of the hair dye on my head under a turned inside out plastic storage bag.

I know.

Sexy.

How can you stand not being here with me and my pink bag of hair?

Ha.

Everything is coming up roses.

The literal translation of La Vie En Rose is “Life in Pink.”

But it means more than that, “life in rosy hues” is a nice translation; so too, “life through rose-colored glasses.”

I don’t always think of Edith Piaf, the French singer who sang the famous song, although I have some of her music, I think of Grace Jones on the cover of Island Life, an album that my Aunt Marybeth had and one that I envied to the point of buying it when I had the capacity to do so.

I also envied my aunt’s voice, and her softball throwing arm, playing catch with her in the back yard in Windsor I was amazed at the strength in that arm.

I loved listening to her sing the Grace Jones album and had no idea that it was a cover.

I did not know it for many years.

It stayed with me though, the life of the exotic, the hint of something more beyond the back yard of the house in Windsor, a small square of color and light out of the world of Wisconsin that I lived in.

I like to think that I live that life now, the life through rose-colored glasses and yes, I do think I have an idea for my next tattoo.

La vie en rose in script across my collar bones with pink roses.

It’s a thought anyway.

For today it will suffice that I was able to get done a great deal of things that will allow me to transition from work to the playa with greater ease than I believe I have ever had.

Of course I have had the help of many friends to do this.

My playa family, dad and junior, came and picked up my playa bike, freshly pumped tires and a readjusted bicycle basket with zip ties securing it to the handle bars and zip ties reinforcing the new purple pennant I will be flying across the violet indigo twilight.

I am so very excited to go.

Sad too.

I am going to miss my friend that I have gotten to hang out with a bit today and last night–he’s been giving me rides and helping me secure things and I cannot express how grateful I am for his help.

It takes a village to get me to Burning Man.

But the going is happening and in very short order too.

I will be leaving early Thursday morning.

How early depends on when I get picked up.

My friend offered to drive me over to Berkeley when we were originally discussing it, but he’s got to be in Stockton at 7:30 a.m. and that is not going to happen.  I will need the family to scoop me.  Either on the way out-of-town or grab and go to Berkeley.

I can’t possibly take all my stuff on BART.

I don’t have that much stuff, but I have too much stuff for that.

I, of course, have the most important stuff already packed and much to my chagrin, I was not able to have it ready for the dad when he came to grab my playa bike.

The back yard has been getting some major work done and there were three working guys coming in and out and I could not find my bins in the re-arranging of things in the garage.

I also had a vague memory of one of my bins finally combusting upon re-entry last year from the burn and thought, well, perhaps I had thrown out all my bins with that one.

It turns out, that they were underneath a lot of stuff and I just missed them in the looking, but I got it packed after my bike had left to get situated in Berkeley, and it contains some of the fun stuff: a leopard print shrug coat with a hot pink satin lining (which, why, yes, does match my hair), a soft fuzzy sky blue blanket, a long vintage hot pink sweater jacket that is circa 1962 and a fucking fabulous find at Establish on Noriega and 46th for $12, my goggles, my utility belt, a shoulder harness for days/nights when I don’t want to wear a holster, a small Caboodle box (yes, I have a Caboodle, shut up) of nail polishes, and my playa boots.

What more does a girl need?

Well.

Hair flowers, ribbons, fedoras (4 total) a fascinator–that I wore to the Steampunk Masquerade Ball at Nimby a few months back that will be making a return to another masquerade ball on playa, baby wipes, sun block, and a box full of makeup.

Yes.

I will be bringing food too.

But, that won’t get packed until the last-minute and I will also be doing a hit and run on the Whole Foods in Reno for fresh stuff–apples, carrots, any other fruit that can last a few days out there–nothing perishable like peaches or berries though, it will die upon hitting the playa.

I do have frozen fruit though and yes, a bag full of frozen coffee ice cubes that I let myself have a treat with earlier today in between getting back from running errands down town and running up to Target in the early evening for storage bins.

I do not like Target.

But I had no other options.

I get panicky in big box stores.

I could feel that I was getting a bit weirded out and when my friend asked me if I needed anything else I could tell all I wanted was to get the hell out and even if I had anything else, it didn’t matter, getting out was what mattered.

I did however, get everything on my list and for all intents and purposes, I’m done with procuring the supplies.

Now all I have to do is pack the rest of the stuff up, which just means transferring my closet to the bins and then, away I go.

It’s been a lot, but as I have walked through my day with my head full of pink curls I have felt buoyant and light, happy and joyful and excited.

There have been pockets of sad and some feels have come up.

But.

Heh.

Guess who got their period a week early?

Yup.

Thank God.

I was dreading the idea of dealing with it on playa and yes, I know I just wrote about that and I had enough sense to masturbate before it hit, oh did I write that too?

Ha.

Not like I am going to do it at work, hello.

And it’s been a stressful month, I realized that I needed to well, um, de-stress, and so I did and then I got the news from my body and well, it’s all good.

I’ll be on playa by the time it ends and my hair will look fabulous, and I’ll be ready to actually enjoy that thing in the desert.

In fact.

I am really looking forward to it.

I think I may be able to unwind out there better than I have here.

Irony, no?

The Ball Was

April 19, 2015

Well.

A ball.

I mean.

Really.

It was just smashing.

Lots of fire.

The Serpent Mother was amazing, thank you Flaming Lotus Girls, thank you so much, and it was such a nice treat to be outside underneath fire sculpture, the flames leaping and hissing, the steel tig welded just so, the soft, warm embrace of the air rushing over my skin, it was luscious.

To be outside in a dress with my hair up and flowers and birds in it, well, that is a good night.

Add two wonderful girl friends and some really good music (huge props to CPTN JAY of Airpusher–hella tight, catch it on soundcloud.com/cptn-jay for an amazing set of deep house), and just lit my heart right up.

“This is God,” I mouthed to my friend.

This is God.

Thank you God.

For music and fire and dancing and art.

For joy in my body.

For feeling connected and right with my world.

Really right in my world.

I got to hang with girl friends and download the recent adventures and misadventures in dating.

I got to listen to them and share about life, love, recovery, moving on, graduate school, Burning Man, babies (friends who have just had them), and travel plans for Atlanta in July.

My life feels good and full and I feel a part of my community again.

Rather like I am coming out of a shell.

“You do the work,” she told me today over coffee at Tart to Tart.  “Since you and I have been working together over the last two years, the amount of work you have done is formidable, you really show up and do it.”

“Being humble is also acknowledging that, not just the defects, but the assets, you have changed and it’s pretty amazing to witness.”

Thank God.

I will admit I was nervous.

I can isolate and get disconnected to easily.

I can live in my little space, with my laptop and pretend to know what’s going on and feel content being connected via social media, but it is not a tangible experience, I’m not touching real people, hearing the timbre of their voices, the emotions and the longing to live and love and learn.

I got a good healthy dose of my people today and it was just what I needed.

From a number of different communities and fellowships I get to be a part of.

“You really get into that, don’t you,” a fellow asked me today as we were folding up metal chairs and stacking them in a corner of the room.

“Burning Man?” I asked, “yeah, I love it, it’s hard not to and I am really excited to get to go again this year.”

Super excited.

And my little cache of Burning Man supplies is slowly growing.

Each week I am buying one or two small things, spreading out the spending over the next couple of weeks so I don’t take the hit all at one, and I picked up a couple of little things at the grocery store.

I was able to sneak in a run on Safeway and one to Other Avenues and placed my first order with Instacart to be delivered tomorrow.

I was too tight on time to do all the grocery shopping today I needed to do and since the first delivery is free, well, sign me up.

The fewer things I have to haul on my bicycle the better.

Not that it felt like too much of an issue today, I felt really good in my body, strong and light and quick on my bike.

Up to the Inner Sunset for a while, back to the Outer Sunset over to Safeway on the Richmond side, a quick jaunt on Great Highway, passed by the beach and back, and then home.

I did some cooking and had a really nice meal at home.

Red butter lettuce wraps with sautéed ground turkey with onions, garlic, ginger, zucchini, mushrooms, and brown rice, topped with diced English cucumber.

So good.

I filled my belly, ate an apple for dessert, drank some tea and hopped in the shower.

All prepped and fed and polished and shined up and then I got to play some dress up and put on my outfit for the evening’s merriment.

I wore my new dress, fishnets, my fascinator I made last year for Burning Man but never wore out on the playa, put my goggles around my thigh as a garter belt, and piled my hair in a messy up do with more feathers and black glittered roses, a bit of makeup, a pink glitter lip, and a mask.

Voila!

Masquerade Ball preview

Masquerade Ball preview

Fascinator

Fascinator

I love playing dress up.

Don’t tell.

I had a few mis-fires putting it all together.

But when it happened.

It happened.

“You look amazing!” A woman said to me as we passed by heading into the will call line at NIMBY for our tickets.

“So do you!” We stopped and swapped smart phones and took some photos of each other then went in and got silly dancing.

And in the crush of people heading out from one room to the outdoor area where Serpent Mother was lit up and spitting hot pink neon fire agains the crisp midnight blue sheet of a sky, I heard my name hollered out and was crushed in a gigantic hug.

Friends.

They are so good to have.

I hadn’t seen him since the night I went out to dance my tears away after my ex had broken our relationship off.

I was celebrating a milestone, ten years in the intensive care unit, with some friends at Public Works.

I was not really in the spirit that night, still crushed by the wall of emotions I was trying to keep at bay, to be present and celebrate the ten-year anniversary and to let my friends love me while I grieved the short, but intense relationship I had just been relieved of being in.

Tonight.

Well.

It felt like celebration.

It tasted like red velvet fire cake and smelled of playa, soft, sweet, dusty, and popcorn, and just a touch on the nostalgia side of town, with a nice big dash of anticipation for this years event.

“Take the hugging to another area!” A loud bark of a voice jovially ushered us out into the courtyard.

Unexpected Reunion

Reuniting with playa friends is the best

We paused, caught up, swapped photos and then meandered off into the night.

He caught up with his friends.

I went with mine.

Dancing happened.

Then more dancing.

Then some wandering into the fire effects of The Serpent Mother where I ran into another friend and he lit up his portion of the Serpent and sent flames shooting into the sky.

Fire!

Fire!

All in all it was the most successful of adventures.

And although this last photo is blurry, this was what it felt like.

Happy

Happy

In my element.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

Off With Their Heads!

April 17, 2015

Or something like that.

I am going to the Steampunk Masquerade Ball with Serpent Mother on Saturday at NIMBY in Oakland hosted by Airpusher Collective.

I have no idea what I am wearing, perhaps a mask?

Bahaha.

But in the spirit of trying new things, going new places and having new experiences, I agreed to grab a ticket, $30, and go with a girl friend of mine who I don’t get to see a lot of and really want to reconnect with.

And she’s got a car.

So I won’t have to BART over.

Even though the event is offering shuttles from the BART, which is hella cool, I much prefer to not have to take the N-Judah to the BART en costume.

What costume that is going to be, fuck if I know, but I’ll pile my hair up on my head and stick some feathers and flowers in it and wear a mask and my playa boots and say fuck it that’s good enough.

I actually dug out my Burning Man bin and found what I had forgotten, that I lost my favorite goggles last year and need to replace them.

That I don’t have much by way of costume, either.

Really my wardrobe, in its current state is what I wear when I go to Burning Man, give or take a pair of striped socks.

I feel a tiny compulsion to purchase “steampunk” attire, but I don’t want to drop a load of money.

Really, though, I am just happy to have some weekend plans aside from doing the deal and making food for the work week.

Sometimes that feels like all I do, although, that feeling is not a fact and I know that the basics that I do cover allow me to go out and have the experiences that I crave.

This is going to be fun, I will see some folks, hopefully, that I don’t typically see until I am out on playa, and I will get to hang with my friend, catch up, dance, look at art, be fabulous, wear fishnets (please, I have many pairs and they haven’t been worn in months), dance some more, be around fire (fire! fire!) and the Flaming Lotus Girls work–Serpent Mother.

I love me some fire art.

I do.

I do.

There is just something about it that makes me happy.

I don’t recall why I did it, but when I was four years old and I lit a bunch of paper bags on fire in a dry lot behind the apartment building we lived in.  I got the bags, I got the matches, I rounded up the neighborhood kids, and I lit that shit up.

Of course my ass got lit up soon thereafter.

I didn’t know what a drought was, but the neighbor lady did and boy, oh boy, did she bend my mom’s ear.

My favorite smell?

Firewood burning.

More specifically, bonfire on the beach, but I will happily take the smell of any wood burning, well, except chemically treated plywood, I’m surprised I’m not dead from the shit I inhaled when I was a homeless kid building campfires from scavenged wood in Miami, that stuff is horrible.

I almost always have candles burning in my home.

I love the way matches smell when lit.

I used to be a smoker.

But you know, cough up a little blood and a lady changes her mind.

“I saw that!” He said, drawing back, “don’t you dare ask for one!”

He chastised me.

I didn’t even realize that I had leaned forward inhaling the dry smoke wafting from his Camel cigarette at Burning Man.

I was out with a friend taking photographs and he smokes.

I don’t, not for nearly ten years now, well, May will make ten years, but that night, I don’t know what it was, had he offered I might have.

Burning Man is one of the few places and times I have been tempted to smoke, but I never have and doubtful I will start this event either.

There is a romance to it though.

All things must burn.

Maybe it’s the ephemeral, maybe it’s the magic of fire.

I could watch wood burn in a barrel and be happy as a clam for hours.

My first time out as a playa nanny the dad handed over his fireman’s jacket, the real deal, and I happily wrapped myself up in it and got as close to the burn barrel as possible.

I should have been a fire fighter.

That was a dream I had once.

But I’m too old now, that’s for sure I cannot imagine what it would take at the age of 42 to get into the fire academy.

Rather I’ll relish the work of others and stand aside to fantasize.

Burn baby burn.

Anywho.

There’s a day yet to decide what to wear, not that I think it’s really all that important, but I do want to dress up a little, flex a little Burning Man muscle, have some fun.

“Make sure you have fun this weekend!” She admonished me as we walked out the gates tonight at Our Lady of Safeway.

“Do something nice for yourself,” she added, and hugged me.

I do like to take a suggestion, I’m good at following directions.

I will do something fun.

I promise.

I won’t worry about what to wear, rather I will just be glad that I splurged on the ticket and I will get to go and have a new experience.

The event is being held at NIMBY in Oakland, which is a huge DIY warehouse on Amelia Street.

It’s funny when I think about it, there are lots of DIY things and art that I find compelling and amazing and attractive, yet I have no compulsion to DIY anything.

But I am always amazed by people who are, I admire the carpenter, welder, sculptor, painter, fire magician type folks, hell even a seamstress amazes me.

I have no skills along those lines and I find that kind of talent and ability quite sexy.

Maybe one day.

But for now.

I shall be content to don a dress and mask and boots and join in support of some extraordinary artistic talent.

Thirty dollars beyond well spent.


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