Posts Tagged ‘tent’

Congratulations

April 6, 2017

 

Congratulations Burner!

Hello Carmen,

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

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

Holy toledo

The best news ever.

Well, maybe not ever, but.

LOOK MA!  I’M GOING TO BURNING MAN!

Woot.

Heh.

Not excited.

Not even a little bit.

Not even.

Fuck.

Who the hell am I kidding.

Over the motherfucking moon.

I’m going.

11th year in a row.

It’s a special year for me too.

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

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

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

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

One of the best San Francisco street parties.

But.

It cannot hold a candle to the actual event.

I mean.

What the hell can?

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

Well.

Heh.

I do.

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

I still went.

I have been out as long as 23 days.

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

My burn this year will be the standard event.

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

This year.

Well.

This year, this lady is not working.

No “Working Man” for me.

I mean.

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

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

I’m going to Burning Man.

Pinch me.

I need supplies!

I need a new bike.

Sigh.

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

Fuck.

I will also be sourcing a ride there and back.

I do have a parking pass.

So.

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

The ride will come together.

My gear will come together.

I really have the majority of it anyway.

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

I will need to get a bicycle.

A new air pump for my air mattress.

And possibly a second cooler.

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

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

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

I was like.

Yes.

Yes, please.

Oh my God.

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

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

Heh.

I am going to have all the adventures.

ALL.

Of them.

Yes.

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

But.

I always am!

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

Or.

All the crazy stuff that my brain manufactures.

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

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

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

At least for me.

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

Some years more so than others.

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

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

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

Boy did I ever.

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

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

No.

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

Fuck.

I need to celebrate.

I’m going to Burning Man!

Luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

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Dry Run

August 4, 2016

Well.

The good news is I did a dry run.

The bad news is that I need another tent.

Fuck.

I bought a tipi off Amazon and did not read all the fine print, the super fine print hidden way below all the glowing reviews.

The ones that said, the floor is not attached!

Not a good tent.

Super unhappy I bought this tent.

Want my money back.

Those comments.

Ack.

Ah.

Sucker you blew $120 on a tent that you can’t use on playa.

Because the side walls are not attached to the floor.

I might as well string a tarp and sleep under that.

There would be absolutely nothing between me and the dust.

For one moment, one, I thought, I could make this work.

Then.

I laughed maniacally at myself.

Yeah, right.

There is no amount of duct tape that will make this work.

None.

And.

At least I found out, I am super glad I took it out of it’s bag and went to set it up, I wanted to see how many stakes of rebar I should buy to reinforce the tent stakes and I was going to put it off for another week, because you know, facecrack was so exciting to troll.

Gah.

But I had a nice productive early afternoon, I went grocery shopping and cooked food and finished completely my food prep for playa.  All my food for the days I will be up is in the freezer happily chilling, literally, just waiting for me to throw it in my cooler with a few bags of ice.

Today I made garlic, ginger, chicken and shrimp fried rice with bacon, corn, onions, brown mushrooms and peas.  I have three options to take with me.  This yummy bite, or the pork, chicken, bacon fried rice I made last week, or the Italian vegetable and tomato stew with herbed ground chicken and brown rice.

I have three different menu options.

All set.

So after I had my yummy lunch and had some tea and rubbed one out.

Hey, a girl’s got to have priorities, and since there was time and um, quiet, the housemate’s out of town, why not have a little afternoon delight?

Anyway.

After I finished the business at hand, heh, ha, ah, I amuse myself, sorry, I grabbed the tent and made my discovery.

Of course.

Then I spent the next couple of hours being annoyed with myself, ruing my decision making abilities and beating myself up for not getting it right.

Like that helps.

But it was what was happening.

So.

I rolled the tent up, no I can’t return it, I tossed the stuff, receipt, packaging, etc. before realizing I had a dud, and put it away in the garage and took a walk and made a phone call and got some much needed perspective.

“Didn’t you just get gifted a ticket?” My person asked.

Yes, yes I did.

And I sold the one that I had previously bought, so I have money.

In cash, in my wallet.

And I also have the humility to share when I am obsessing about something and use it that as a way to reach for a spiritual answer.

Which I did and then had a friend approach me and say, hey after I get back from the Water Front camping trip, you can borrow mine.  We’ll just set it up in my drive way and make sure it’s what you need.

Fuck yeah.

Thanks man.

And if it’s not the right fit.

Fine.

I will still have the time to go and buy one before the event.

And instead of trying to figure it out online, maybe go to an actual store and see actual tents and get what will work for me.

It was also suggested to me that I keep trying to find a ride, to save the money of renting a car and have faith that I can get up there.

Which of course scares me.

But.

It’s true.

I bet a ride could come through and it would be nice to not worry about getting a rental and all the cost of leaving a deposit that I won’t have access to for 30 days, that’s like school book money and readers that I would be able to buy instead.

Remember Carmen.

You’re a grad school student footing all your own bills.

If you can get help.

Fucking let people help you.

I just don’t want to be a parasite or a whiner or not self-supporting.

There is a balance and I want to find it.

I am going to keep the car rental reservation, but I will update my ride board post and just be open.

Open to the possibility that I don’t really know what’s best for me, that perhaps I need to ask for help, and take suggestions and show up and help where I can.

Tomorrow I get to go in and help out at BMHQ (Burning Man Head Quarters) and I’m super stoked on that.

So let me be super stoked that I am going, that it doesn’t matter if my tent snafu was a fuck up, maybe I can give that tent to someone or keep it for something else, might be fun for Lighting in a Bottle or something.

Or I can try to sell on Craiglist.

It’s not used.

Just unpackaged.

There’s plenty to be happy about, I get to go to the event, I got a free ticket, I got early arrival approval.

I’m totally taken care of and I get to help, in my own teeny tiny way, host one of the best, biggest, most amazing experiences in the world.

Like literally.

There is nothing else like Burning Man.

I get to do this thing.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Regardless of my crappy tent purchase.

It’s going to lead me to the experience I am supposed to have and that will be wonderful.

I am absolutely positive of that.

Everything is exactly how it should be.

It.

Always.

Is.

 

It Took Me A Minute

August 3, 2016

I had to phrase it just so.

I am a little afraid of what is about to happen.

Excited too, though.

Hella excited.

I was given a ticket to the event.

You know, that thing in the desert.

Yeah.

That.

And I am beyond over the moon, I was not expecting it, though it was inferred that it could be a possibility, I bought the ticket knowing that I may have to pay full price and hey, if that’s the price I need to pay to go to the event.

Well.

Fuck it.

I’ll pay.

Things though, they work out.

And I was gifted a ticket.

I can’t describe how I reacted to the e-mail I received other than I made a lot of little high pitched yelping laughs of joy and jumped around my room like a baby kangaroo let out of the pouch for the first time.

I can sell the ticket I have!

I can sell the vehicle pass too!

I was given a pass as well.

The interesting thing is that I didn’t ask, but I did offer, I offered to help where I could, without expectation because I dearly love the event and the people involved, especially in one little nook of the playa and the thought of getting to hang out with them in any capacity makes me glow.

I was texting with a friend from school who has not gone and she doesn’t quite get it.

And.

Well.

Lots of folks don’t quite get it.

Great.

No worries.

I can describe it until I’m blue in the face, I can show pictures, I can express my feelings, I can talk about all the friends that I miss and only see on playa, I can talk about dust storms and white outs and double rainbows and the hot springs and the smash of stars at night and the howling at the sky when the sun sets, but nothing ever compares to the actual experience of going.

And it’s branded on my heart.

It’s imprinted on my soul.

I can’t get it out, that’s playa dust for you.

Once it’s in there it’s pervasive and never leaves.

So yeah, I’ll be at the offices this week helping out with a little project and I am so happy to get to go in and do grunt office work.

It’s sort of stupid.

I mean.

It’s a day off from work, yet, I am choosing, happily to go volunteer some of my time to help out my favorite team.

It just really makes me happy.

I was asked to come in, if I had any free time on Thursday, and the crazy thing is I do.

I don’t normally, I would be at work, but the family I nanny for is out of town and I have the day free.

I figure I’ll get up and do some yoga then go down to the offices in the Mission and hang out with friends all day and do office work.

The things I like to do on my day off.

Heh.

I’m actually really happy to go.

And I am super happy to get to sell this ticket, hopefully make someone happy who wasn’t able to get one in the main sale.

I’m selling it for the same cost as I paid.

$540 gets you the whole shebang–ticket to the event, vehicle pass, taxes paid, etc.

I was nervous to post to social media for a while, I sort of don’t want to deal with it, but after offering it to a few friends I knew might be interested I decided it was time to put it out there.

I was also, heh, nervous about selling it until I had the other ticket in hand, but I’ve looked at the email I got earlier today while I was on my lunch date so many times that I know I’m getting the ticket.

I was going to wait until I had it in my hand but then thought, I could help someone out, maybe someone like me who wanted to go and couldn’t get it together.

I’m not going to price gauge, I’m just asking for exactly what I paid.

Which is basically going to cover the cost of renting a car, gassing said car, and detailing said car when I get back from the playa.

Plus, because I don’t have a credit card.

I have to put a deposit in cash on the car and they take almost a full month to refund that deposit.  It’s a big damn deposit too.

It’s a bit of a pain in the ass, so being able to sell the ticket is going to help me recoup the loss of money from transporting myself up.

And in other news.

I got some more gear in the mail.

Tomorrow I plan on doing a dry run and setting up my tent in the back yard, even though, I hate to admit it, I’m a little intimidated to take it out of it’s neat and tidy little sack and mess it up.

However, I want to make sure that I know how to put it together and I’m going to get rebar to reinforce the tent stakes, so I need to know how many pieces of rebar I need to purchase.

That and some work gloves and I’ll be set.

I’m pretty much ready.

I’ve got cold brewed organic coffee concentrate.

I got my tent.

I got my bed.

I got a car rental.

I got a spare ticket and vehicle pass.

Hit me up love.

Let’s get dusty together!

 

Post Script

The ticket and vehicle pass sold before I even finished the blog.

 

Have You Hugged Your

July 28, 2016

Tent today?

I have.

OMG.

It was hilarious.

I mean.

I should really be video taping myself unboxing my things for Burning Man.

Right now.

I am rocking out my new bunny slippers.

Oh yes.

Giant white fluffy bunny slippers with little black eyes and pink ears and pink noses and yes, little whiskers.

Totes adorbs.

I know I’m a 43 year old woman.

Fuck off.

Hahahahahaha.

Besides, having slippers in the morning is so very nice, a trip to the port-o-potties in slippers is so much nicer and there’s just something so je ne c’est quoi about wearing fluffy animal slippers on playa.

It’s just the thing to do.

And in the mean time, my toes are cozy.

Because it’s July and it’s fucking cold ass fuck out here.

Cold.

Foggy.

Did I mention it’s cold?

I mean.

REALLY.

Cold.

Turn on the heat as soon as I walk in the door cold.

Fog city baby.

So.

It’s something grand to have new slippers on my toes.

Oh, and heh, the bunny slippers have little cotton tail too.

I’m going to barf with joy.

Bwahahahaaha.

If I can’t laugh at myself than I don’t what to do.

Life is full and funny and awesome and has a few bunnies in it.

The way it should be, you know.

And.

A new tent.

That’s right, got off track with glee over my bunny clad tootsies, my new tent, my first brand new tent for the event.

I have had a tent before, bought it off a sidewalk sale in the Mission my second burn, way before the Mission was too gentrified to get a good deal at a junk sale.

Now it feels like things are very much geared to the tourists and the guided walks and the junk sales have gone the way of many, many small treasures and experiences that I used to have in the Mission.

Oh.

There is still magic, it’s just gone a bit underground.

Anyway.

I digress.

I got my tent in the post last night, but did not open it as I had other things on my plate to deal with, but I did today before work.

I also yoga’d it up today.

Four days in a row.

I’m making yoga while the sunshines.

Er.

While the fog lasts?

Hmmm.

Yeah.

I’ve got this week and next week with a very open work schedule and I have been able to get myself to class every morning this week before work.

Granted I’m sore as fuck.

But I can see some benefits, I’m moving better, I feel stronger, my head is not as loud, and it’s nice to feel stretchy.

Plus the next month will get crazy after the first week of August and I’ll be out of town a lot with work and school and Burning Man, so might as well get it now while I can.

When I got back to the house after yoga I had a nice hot shower, ate some breakfast, and made some coffee and wrote for awhile.

Then.

I ran up to Other Avenues and bought a few groceries, re-upped the coffee supply and hit the nectarines.

God damn I love a good nectarine, but crunchy like, I like them crisp.

The market had some nice ones and I chatted with my mom while I was picking through the fruit.

I updated her on the rest of my comings and goings and the eminent start to my second year of graduate school, then got back to the house.

And.

I was ready.

I had the time.

I am good at delaying for some gratification.

Ahem.

But.

I could only wait so long.

I opened the box and pulled it out.

It has an awesome carrying case and it’s exactly what I was hoping for.

I smiled and yes, I totally hugged it to my chest.

I was very happy.

Granted.

Yes.

I will have to supplement the posts for rebar, regular tent stakes do not hold up in the winds of Burning Man.

You got to have rebar if you’re going to tent it.

And I am tenting it this year.

But, I got my tent!

I am also back to square one looking for a ride.

The ride I had tentatively found on Saturday is not certain when he will be going up, plans seem to be changing and he may not go up until the Wednesday of the event.

And well.

Fuck.

That’s not going to work for me.

I need to come back that Wednesday.

Granted I don’t have to leave right away Wednesday, but I really want to be back in the city by Wednesday night so that I have a day to decompress and shower off the dust and get my shit together for school and since I have the tickets to go see Mike Doughty play.

Which I’m not going to miss.

Too many friends going, and one of them, well, it’s her birthday, I sort of really have to be there.

And, you know, I want to see Doughty play.

It’s going to be hella intimate, and small and that is just the experience I want to have.

And then it’s school the next day.

Oh all the things.

But.

At least I’m prepared.

I just have to get from here to there and back again.

I have a ride to and from my school retreat.

I confirmed with the family that they will be renting me a car for the two weeks that I’m working for them in Glen Ellen, so I will be able to get out and do the deal in Sonoma or Petaluma if I need to, and I’ll be able to come back to SF the weekend in between the two weeks.

That’s going to be a nice little perk.

Having a car for a weekend.

Not that I will have to do any more Burning Man prep at that point, but you never know.

I’ll be coming back into the city the night of the 26th and returning the rental car and all fingers, toes and other body parts crossed, I will be leaving the next morning for the playa.

Again.

No clue how I am getting there and back.

But.

It really is all falling into place.

I mean.

Hello.

A new tent.

And.

Bunny slippers?

Please.

I got my ticket.

I am so ready to burn.

Bring it the fuck on.

Seriously.

Fully Self-Supporting

July 25, 2016

AKA.

Motherfucking adulting.

I did it.

I just bit the bullet, had some faith, looked over the facts and decided it was time to put on my big girl pants and grow the fuck up.

I bought my shit for Burning Man.

Enough with the asking all my friends who aren’t going or who might not go if they have spare gear.

It’s about time I had the essentials.

I know I will be going to Burning Man again after this year, sort of in my blood you know, and I might as well have my own solar shower and blow up mattress.

And.

A tent.

Camp pillows, since I’m not sacrificing the ones on my bed.

No way, no how.

An extra storage bin since I think I had one go kaput last burn.

A small cutting board.

A folding camp chair.

Tennis balls (Hello Kitty pink tennis balls!) for capping rebar stakes on my tent–a four man tipi canvas tent.  Rebar I didn’t order online, I’ll go to a hard ware store or Home Depot and get six maybe eight lengths of 12″ rebar to stake my tent to.  Then I’ll slice open the tennis balls and cap the ends of the rebar, one walking into rebar in the middle of the night on the way to the potty scar on my leg is enough.

Some more bike lights.

Because one really can’t have enough of the blinky blink on your bike, it’s nice to be seen and they’re also handy for when you’ve parked the bike and wandered off to explore and holy shit there’s a hundred bikes here, where’s mine?

Which is also why I have a pennant flag on the back of my bike as well.

A head lamp.

Yeah.

I finally have succumbed.  I have never had a head lamp and inevitably at some point I think to myself, why didn’t I get a head lamp, it would so come in handy at this moment while I’m looking for something in the dark and second guessing what bin I put what in.

A flash light.

A Hello Kitty flashlight.

Because.

Hello Kitty.

Duh.

And last but not least.

A pair of bunny slippers.

Because.

Bunny slippers.

Hello.

There was this moment today when I was doing my morning writing, after having done my morning yoga and hot shower, and now here’s breakfast and coffee.

When I realized.

You know, Martines, you could do this thing without having to beg, borrow, or steal your friends stuff.

You could oh, say, have faith that you have enough.

I have begun having nightmares about my financial aid package from school and not being able to afford my next year of grad school.

Which is just baloney.

And the $500 I dropped on supplies will be only a teeny tiny drop in the bucket should  I not get the aid package I’m counting on.

Anyway.

It’s all fucking fear and fear ends up driving too many of my decisions and I realized that I had to let go to get moving on and allow myself to take care of myself.

I can do this.

I know what to get, I know what to bring, I know what I need to have and what is nice to have.

I also sat down and actually read the survival guide.

I haven’t done that in years.

In fact, I have not been given a survival guide in years, as I have worked and usually what I get is the ticket handed to me, which is a gift, but I have’t had a survival guide in the last five years or a What, Where, When.

I’m getting all the goodies this year.

I’m a tourist yo.

That’s not to say I won’t be of service.

I will.

I will do all the things and bring my best self and not have expectations about what I can get from the event, but what can I bring, what can I contribute?

If I go into it with that mental attitude I know I will have a great experience.

And being beholden to no one for their gear, not responsible for making sure I don’t wreck it or break it or give it back so dusty they sneeze for the next year.

Nope.

All my own stuff.

All my own responsibility.

Oh.

That’s not to say I don’t still need help.

I do.

I do.

I need to find out if the possible ride offer up is an actual thing that could happen.

I need to find a ride back as well.

To that end I posted on the Burning Man ride board this evening after dinner before I went out to do the deal.

Taking action.

Letting go of the results.

I mean.

I’m going.

Even if I don’t have a secured ride back.

I’m going.

I’ll get back.

Just like I will get there.

I also figured out my food plan for the event and actually prepped and froze half of my meals.

I am going pretty basic and simple and I can eat it cold or heat it up if I want to.

I’m having the same thing all four days, makes it simple for me, I don’t bore easily and I make tasty food, I’m also a creature of habit with my food and that helps to no end.

Breakfast will be a serving of Uncle Sam Flax cereal–which is basically just toasted unground golden flax–as well as some raw almonds, and a cut up apple with sea salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon, as well as some unsweetened vanilla almond milk.

Lunch and dinner will be the same thing: Italian vegetable and ground chicken stew with turmeric and Italian herbed brown rice.  The stew is made from sauteed onions, garlic, ground chicken meat, sliced black olives, mushrooms, zucchini, roasted white corn with sun dried tomatoes, and a large can of crushed organic tomatoes, sea salt, pepper, oregano, basil.  I mixed in the herbed brown rice with the stew and put it up in single serving containers in my freezer.

I’ll pull one out of the cooler in the morning to thaw and that will be lunch, and then leave one out for dinner.  They’ll also act as ice for any bevvies I want to keep cool.

This meal will be accompanied by raw carrots and sea salt and an apple for dessert.

My evening snack: raw almonds, 1/2 an oz, and 1 apple.

Done, done, done, and super freaking easy.

I also ordered some cold brewed organic coffee concentrate.

Iced coffees with unsweetened vanilla almond milk.

All day long bitches.

Aside from that.

I need a pair of aviator sunglasses.

I’m not taking my retarded expensive prescription sunglasses to Burning Man.

No fucking way.

A $20 pair or two of aviator’s and the rebar and maybe some work gloves.

Actually.

Definitely some work gloves.

So what I have left is a run to Cole Valley Hardware for rebar and work gloves.

Sunglasses I can get anywhere.

Message my friend who has my old quilt, that’s my bedding, plus the set of cheap sheets I got for the air mattress and a couple of fuzzy throws I have.

And maybe my hot pink bunny pillow.

Because.

Pink bunny.

Ah, Burning Man.

Where I can be tough and capable and fully self-supporting.

And.

Also wear hot pink glitter lipgloss and have bunny slippers.

Something for all the parts of me that need to be expressed.

Self-reliance.

And.

Sparkle pony.

The man burns in 40 days!

Not that I’ll be there for the burn.

But whatever.

I’m set.

Seriously.

Luckiest girl in the world.

 

Unboxing

July 22, 2016

I hear it’s this thing.

This weird little things, where people post videos of themselves unboxing packages, iphones, laptops, Disney tchotchkes, etc.

Although, I think it’s meant specifically for technology gadgets.

I had an official unboxing moment just now.

Except.

Perhaps I should call it an “unenveloping.”

I GOT MY BURNING MAN TICKET!

I AM NOT EXCITED AT ALL.

AT ALL!

OH MY FUCKING GOD!

I’M GOING TO BURNING MAN!

Heh.

Sorry.

Couldn’t help myself.

I knew that the ticket had arrived as I got a message via e-mail that it had been delivered earlier this afternoon while I was at work.

That put a big old smile on my face.

Great big smile.

And there it was, just outside my door, sitting patiently waiting for me, in a brown envelope from UPS in the shared hallway of my spot.

I got it.

I put it on my table.

I hung up my coat.

I returned a few texts.

I lit some candles.

I mean.

Hello.

Ambiance.

Burning Man is sexy, no?

Then.

I delayed gratification.

I ate a sweet, ripe, black plum.

Which, though you may not know is very apropos.

“My favorite fruit is a black plum,” Shadrach told me, biting into a luscious black plum he’d gotten at the Civic Center Farmer’s Market.

Then he told me a story about this little girl in kindergarten who had a very sad lunch and he shared what he had all the while thinking, she can have anything she wants, just not the plum, plums are my favorite.

“Oh!  I just love plums,” she said and smiled.

I can see it.

I can see the sweet inner turmoil of six year old Shadrach.

Then.

He smiles and hands it to her.

I love plums.

Mostly because of that story.

And though it was not meant to be a serendipitous thing, it was, I now realize, the absolutely right thing to do, to stop and eat a plum before I opened my Burning Man tickets.

Shadrach died years ago.

His death is the reason I went to Burning Man in the first place.

He used to host Decompression parties at his loft in the Dogpatch.

“You are so Burning Man!” He would tell me. “You so need to go!”

He was right, he usually was.

But I never quite got it together.

I always was a little behind the ball.

Shadrach was in a coma for a week in the ICU at General Hospital, the details don’t bear repeating, suffice to say, it was an excruciating week and also one filled with so much love and tenderness and family and fellowship and community.

I still feel the ripple affects of that week in my life and in my heart.

He officially died the 30th of July.

One month later I was at Burning Man with a packet of his ashes.

“Do you think it’s too late to go?” I asked a friend at the hospital, “Burning Man, that is, I should go, I should take his ashes there, do you think that would be appropriate?”

The response was a resounding yes, a quiet yes, but a yes nonetheless that allowed the seed that Shadrach had planted years before in my heart to finally crack open.

“Sometimes God breaks your heart open so that you can know more love,” she said to me, quietly in passing as I bawled in a church somewhere in the Mission.

And out of that broken wide open heart grew this wilding wilderness of flowers and fire and magic and danger and excitement and glory and friends and more friends and extraordinary, beyond belief experiences.

This year marks number 10 for me.

Ten burns.

In a row.

Not bad.

Not bad at all.

Each its own challenge.

Each its own experience.

Each having its own heartbreaks, awakenings, striped raw emotional catharsis.

Always the same.

And yet.

Always different.

Dusty.

Hot.

Cold.

Windy.

Extreme fluctuations in weather, rainbows, rain storms, fucking hail one year, double rainbows, warm nights, freezing cold oh my god I’m going to die of exposure nights.

The year that I had a severe allergic reaction to wood smoke from a forest fire that was so big the smoke was drifting in from hundreds of miles away and I ended up in the med tents getting my nasal cavity washed out and crying like a helpless baby.

All the dancing.

Every year.

On top of cars, art cars, ships broke down in the sea of playa, on my bicycle, in the dust, at the trash fence, at the burn, riding around in sailing sloops, getting a hold of golf carts and riding out into deep playa on art tours.

Going out and taking photographs.

Sunsets.

Sunrises.

Home.

Oh, it’s home.

And I know I sound like a kid, a happy, crazy, woo-woo kid, but I sort of don’t care.

Especially since I went through the heart break of thinking I wasn’t going to get to go.

And now.

Well.

Over the moon might actually be a bit of an understatement.

I was thinking about things today as well, prep and all the stuff and things.

And I realized that I am going to have to really just let it all happen exactly how it’s suppose to happen, to not force things, manipulate things, to go light and bright, easy breezy carefree.

Maybe I don’t co-ordinate with my OG playa family and get my bike back up and running.

Maybe I walk like I did my first event.

Maybe I stop worrying about a tent and just go with the two man that was offered to me.

It’s not like I’m going to be there very long.

The ride, again, will happen, there and back.

I know it.

Things just work out the way they are supposed to.

My heart is wide open and the flower planted there so long ago continues to bloom and unfurl.

The love has not faded.

Only grown deeper, stronger, more entrenched in me.

Grateful beyond words for this experience.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

I’ll see you in the dust.

 

 

Grace Over Drama

July 19, 2016

New favorite acronym.

Just saying.

I realized today as I was scootering to work and practicing what I was going to say to my boss that my fear was that I was going to fuck it up and not say it perfect and that was the reason why I had been waiting, consciously or not, to say my piece.

I had to get it perfect.

Ugh.

Girlfriend.

Haven’t you learned yet?

I don’t have to be perfect.

I am not that powerful, I can’t fuck anything or anyone up.

I’m not God.

I can only show up, do the best I can, speak, and let go of the results.

All of my people were behind me and I did the simplest little thing, the tiniest little change of my behavior and the next thing I know I was able to have a conversation because I had taken my break.

I didn’t ask.

I just took it.

I timed it and made myself sit down the entire time.

Well, except for when I got up to make a cup of tea.

I put everything on the back burner, literally, I was cooking, the boys were either napping or in quiet time, dad wasn’t working from home and mom was busy doing mom stuff.

I just sat.

I realized that knowing what I knew, that I am valuable, and needed and I’m good at my job and that I can ask to be of service to my job, to put into it rather than to take from it, but I can’t be of service without taking care of me.

So.

I asked the mom to help me.

I said I was happy to be flexible week to week during the summer time as long as I was getting the meal break I needed, especially since the boys are out of school, not in summer camp, and I’m working extra hours this week.

I told her that I felt the responsibility was on me to take the break and that I didn’t last week and that by the end of the week I really wasn’t my best self.

That I love my job and my charges and want to be the best I can.

Which means making sure I get a break.

The mom was super chill and easy and it was no big deal.

I was like.

Did I just make a shit load of drama and crash out my weekend for that?

Fuck.

Fear is so over rated.

Grateful beyond belief that I walked through it.

And I found that the family wants me to work for them into the fall and we’ll review again in January.

So.

Work is set.

Now the focus is back on Burning Man.

Like it’s ever really left.

I met with a girlfriend after work and had a nice meal over at Chow and got caught up and we tried to figure out the whole tent deal and the stuff and things.

And.

I don’t know.

It feels complicated and I’m not sure it’s the right answer, but we shall see.

Of course, I then got home and tooled around on the interwebs trying to figure it out.

Ah.

Obsessive thinking, so nice to see you again.

I remind myself that it’s got to be easy, simple is always the answer, simply find a ride, a shelter, a ride back, an early arrival pass, a, oh, fuck, stop it.

It will all come together.

I got the ticket.

Even though I don’t have the ticket yet.

Which I am beginning to wonder about.

There was a charge of $20 for two day secured mail and it’s been a week, plus the weekend, and I’m wondering, where’s my ticket, yo?

Or give me back my $20 cuz I got supplies to buy.

Of which I have managed to buy and set aside a couple of food staples, a parasol, and some baby wipes.

I got a tutu already, chill.

And boots, which I bought way back in February when I thought I was going to be working as a nanny at Star Star Camp.

And a shoulder harness.

Those things, my goggles, my plethora of bandanas, and my tutus, yeah, I have more than one, and I’m pretty set, in fact, costumes, hair stuff, flowers, ribbons, make up, I got that shit covered in spades.

You know.

It’s just the big stuff.

Ride.

Shelter.

Ride back.

Figure out how to get the bicycle there.

Fuck!

I just realized I need to text my OG playa family, the dad was going to drop my bike on Wednesday and I got pulled into working a late day for the family.

Note to self, text in morning.

That being said I do have feelings that things are going to work out in some crazy, sweet, magical way.

Burning Man.

How do I love thee?

Let me count the dusty ways.

The McFishlickers.

Action Girl, Thumper, Junior.

The “commiscary.”

Bacon.

Sunset over the Calico Mountains.

Curley.

The Trash Fence.

Rabbi.

Uncle Boy and the Gerlach Stage Coach.

Hand massage.

Poetry in the twilight.

Star Fuckers.

Anonymous Village.

Camp Stella.

STELLA!

Run Free.

Solar lights on bicycles.

In the inner circle for Man Burn.

Man Crew.

The art placement crew.

All the art.

ALL THE FUCKING ART.

The Hug Deli.

Dream Land.

The Monkeys.

The Temple.

Shadrach’s ashes.

Flying a kite on playa.

Mary Fucking Poppins.

Juno.

Lady Town.

The Nurse.

The Wilsons.

The Love.

The freaking Slug.

Gooey.

Hash marks on the trailer.

Ice cold coconut water left on my step.

Hearing my name shouted out from a passing art car.

All my crazy hair styles.

Tan lines.

Santa Claus at the burn barrel, 6 o’clock keyhole.

The sacred and the profane.

The hot springs pre-event.

Being a fluffer.

Explaining to the over heated gentleman on the Esplanade what a fluffer was.

I think I dashed his hopes.

Ha.

The Elco.

Gigsville.

Media Mecca.

First Camp.

The Poop Deck.

All the characters, all the dust, all the pretty, pretty, pretty people.

Sparkle ponies.

Fire.

Fire.

Fire.

I got my ticket to the circus.

I just need to find my train there.

I’ll be waiting at the station with my small stack of colorful clear bins stuffed with striped socks, goggles, crinolines, makeup, flowers, and joy.

Lots.

And lots.

And lots.

Of.

Joy.

Can’t wait!

Seriously.

Ready.

Not really.

But totally.

Ready.

Set.

Go!

Up Past My Bed Time

July 16, 2016

But, oh, so don’t give a fuck.

The dancing.

It was so worth it.

Spectacular.

Although.

I have to say, the crowd, the kids, the young, entitled didn’t come for the music, but came for the see and be seen and don’t know who the dj is but I’m going to dance in front of him and make out with my friends even though he asked us to get off the stage, crowd, was not a crowd I’m much a fan of.

That being said.

I danced hard and long.

Three hours.

No.

Scratch that, three and a half hours.

Solid.

Didn’t really move, well, I moved, but I didn’t move much from the spot I was in most of the night.

I texted my people.

I said where I was at.

I stashed my purse and coat underneath the dj booth.

The benefit of getting to the show a little early is not just having a nice prime spot up front, but also, usually some decent access to a set of speakers or a turn table set up.

I hid my shit underneath the dj’s coffin and checked it once.

Sent back a couple of text messages, I’m up front, and left the phone in the purse and forget, well, I didn’t forget it, but I was pretty happy and at ease and with my friends and my school chums and also a sort of date, we both happened to be at the show and casually bumped into each other and he bought me a water and it was cute.

I haven’t been out in a while.

Some things change.

Some things stay the same.

My knees are older.

I can’t drop it like it’s hot.

Fuck.

I can’t drop it like it’s lukewarm anymore.

But I can still shake my hips and shimmy and have a great big happy smile on my face and get right with God.

God is music.

Didn’t you get the memo?

I got a right proper smile, a mouthed thank you, and the nod from the first dj after he finished his set.

The same one who was ignoring the trio of oddly self-fixated girls that were trying way too hard to be sexy and wound up looking too much like a promo ad for a cheap smelling sex lube.

I mean.

I’m sorry ladies.

Yes.

You have beautiful bodies, but there’s so much more to living than that, it’s fleeting, it’s never going to be what you want and then it’s gone and you haven’t grown your heart or your soul.

I actually felt sorry for them after I got over being in judgement.

I like who I am.

I love being sexy, don’t get me wrong, but I think I am sexy because I am comfortable with who I am and also, I have no actual grasp on what I look like.

I sort of get lost in my own head and forget who I am.

I am just this body, this heart, this amalgamation of parts walking around housing a soul that loves to be light and joyous.

I’m not always.

That’s not sustainable.

But, oh, when the music is good and I’m in it.

I’m really in it.

“I knew we would find you here!” One of my darling girlfriends said as they arrived to greet me with hugs and love and squeals of happy that we were all out on a Friday after an atrociously busy week.

All of us know exactly what a big deal it is at this point in our lives to carve out time to go and do what we did.

Dance at a club in San Francisco.

It’s no big deal.

And yet.

It’s a huge deal.

I’ve officially thrown my schedule way off whack just by getting home at 2 a.m.

I have things to do tomorrow, people to see, coffee to drink, doing the deal to get done.

And yoga?

I mean.

Not sure that I’ll be going to the 9 a.m. class which is usual Saturday morning deal.

But I do want to go.

Although not necessarily for the exercise, I got plenty of that, but to keep the momentum going and also because my work hours will switch back to 10a.m-6p.m. next week, meaning no more yoga before work.

I’ll probably get in one class in the evening and have to do classes again next weekend.

Tomorrow, should the coffee date not go great, and who knows, dude hasn’t confirmed that we’ll be meeting, I may just do an afternoon yoga class.

Then again.

My brain just might wake me up and say, get on with your day and don’t muck with your sleep schedule.

All in all.

Luxury problems.

Truly.

I am super grateful to have gotten through the week, ask for what I needed at work, spend some very sweet time with the boys, and thank God, make it through without getting any serious crazy.

Really, though it was a long week, it went by fast and I’m already looking toward next week and hey, lady, stay here.

Stay in this moment.

Feel your body.

My body, which could use a snack, I burned up some calories, I broke a good hard sweat.

A mind that needs to process the goop and the gack and the random thoughts of weirdness and throw them out here on the page so that I can retire with a clear head and sleep the sleep of the just.

And also.

Sleep the sleep of the person who has been told they can borrow a blow up mattress for the event, Burning Man, man, I’m always working that in somewhere, and also the nice rest of knowing that I do have a tent, and a good tent at that, lined up and a place to camp with friends.

The ride there is slowly working it’s way out.

We shall see what happens.

And my bicycle is being handled.

Really, it’s all coming together.

I just can’t quite see it yet, but as I told a friend earlier today in a message, once you make the decision to go and get the ticket, the rest just falls into place.

It always does.

It always has.

Good and dreamy and sweet.

Just like how I feel right now in my danced out skin.

Night all.

See you on the flip.


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