Posts Tagged ‘The Jack Rabbit Speaks’

And So It Begins

July 28, 2015

Not once.

But twice today.

Messages on social media from folks I don’t know.

“Hey, so and so mentioned I should talk to you about getting a ticket to Burning Man, it’s my first time!  I’m terribly excited, the Universe has conspired to get me to go and I need two tickets, can’t wait to meet you on playa!!!!!!”

Heart emoticon.

Smiley face.

Exclamation point.

People.

Come on.

I don’t have a special in.

I mean, I got one certain trick I can do, and that’s about getting myself a ticket.

Nobody else.

Now.

I won’t lie, I have facilitated a few people getting tickets to the event.

I tipped off a friend one year to the low-income ticket and she applied to it and got it.

But that really has nothing to do with me other than I passed on some information that might be considered pertinent.

This year I did actually help a friend by connecting him to a former camp mate of mine who had an extra ticket and it was such a random event of just happening to see via social media after having just talked to my friend who needed a ticket and I connected the two, but they did all the heavy lifting.

Note to general public.

Like you, mister, on my Instagram feed.

I don’t have access to tickets.

The box office at Burning Man does.

And the OH MY GOD sale is about to happen, so that’s like your best bet.

Get yourself a subscription to the Jack Rabbit Speaks, the Burning Man newsletter and find out how to get on the STEP program–the Secure Ticket Exchange Program–if you want to get access to kind souls who may have a spare.

That’s another way as well, but commenting on a photo from last years event wondering if perhaps I could, you know, help a brother out, is not how you’re going to get in.

I mean.

Maybe someone somewhere gets that kind of deal.

But I’m not your lady.

So just stop.

Funny thing, I could actually use a spare myself.

I have a friend whose birthday and anniversary are coming up and happen to fall during the event, I would love to get him out there.

But.

Just so you know, I’m not about to go search the web for hashtags with Burning Man in it and beg for special Universal dispensation.

In a way, that sort of mysterious gift has already been given to me when the mom and the little bug, not so little anymore, reached out and said, all that longing I had poured out into a blog was heard and they wanted me to join their camp before someone else cottoned onto the fact that my schedule had become open and I could go to the event.

I wasn’t sure until I found out what my graduate school schedule was going to be.

Aside.

I got four books in the mail today.

Three more to go.

And fortunately of the four that came today are the two that I must have done a bit of reading in for the retreat week.

One of the book in its entirety and the other about three chapters.

It’s an intense amount of reading, but as I look at the stack,  I know I can do it, just like I know when I sit down to the pair page, the words will come.

I don’t always know where they come from, they just come.

The reading will be the same.

I will find the pattern and the times that work best for me.

End aside.

And I am going to damn enjoy my Burning Man this year.

I ran into a dear friend today in the Mission who I have not seen since last year’s event, and we caught up and she met my charges, we were on our way to Boogaloos for lunch, and we dished about the event, when we were headed up, what we were doing–she’s going to be on Gate for the first time, me as a nanny.

“But I heard through the grapevine that you’re not working that much?”

Nope.

Four shifts.

And maybe there will be more, but it won’t be like it was last year.

I explained to my friend the 22 our of 23 days that I worked last year, plus, let me not put too fine a point on it, but I worked the full week before I left for the event as well.

In essence I worked a month with one day off.

And that day off was total emotional upheaval and the storm that froze up the playa for a full day and had me stuck in the commissary, worse places to be for sure, I know, for five hours while the rain poured and the lighting smashed and the thunder shook the air and yes, it did hail too.

But that emotional upheaval, well, fuck, it was so worth it.

I mean.

I am looking at a stack of graduate school readers and psychology texts.

It was at Burning Man last year that I had it tossed at me, “well, what’s your part, this same thing happened last year with these folks, who came back and worked for them again?  You did.  What are you going to do different?”

There was a lot more to it than this, but he ended the speech with, “you’re a child psychologist getting paid babysitter wages, what are you going to do about it?  Do you have an undergraduate degree?”

I said I did.

I do.

“Well, go to grad school, kiddo, and find another job in the mean time, this one isn’t so good for you.”

And they are not bad people, the folks I was working for, we just weren’t the best match, and I wasn’t happy.

I gave notice, got a new job, and applied to graduate school.

I got accepted.

I got a $30,000 scholarship.

I got financial aid for the rest, $60,000, but who’s counting?

And I got a ticket to go to Burning Man.

But I don’t have one for you.

Just saying.

But should the Universe comply, happy face, smile, heart emoji, I’ll see you on playa!!!!!!!!!!!

Ahem.

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The Man Burns In 60 Days!

July 8, 2015

Shut up.

Oh my fucking god.

I got the Jack Rabbit Speaks in my e-mail today and just about threw up in my mouth when I read that.

I mean, it caused a visceral gut reaction that I was just not prepared for.

Despite actually being pretty well prepared.

I have a cache of goodies that I have been stockpiling over the last two months including the top contenders: sunblock, baby wipes, bottled sparkling water, lotion of various sorts, my favorite coconut hand salve for gifting hand massage–that’s right, I gift massage, come check it out, I’ll be camped in the boonies, but I guarantee it’s worth the bike ride for a visit.

I also have tea, natural soda, green vitamin mix for making sure I have enough greens in the mix, greens are too hard to keep out there, especially the way I will be working and traveling this year.

This will be my first year in many, many, many, where I am doing all my own food.

I actually haven’t had to think about food or food prep since my first year.

I am not bummed out by this at all.

I will likely eat better than what I have experienced at the commissary for the last few years, not that the commissary is bad food, it’s just that with my diet being what it is, I miss out on a lot of the food options that the commissary provided and I had to be really careful about what I was putting on my plate.

What ended up happening a lot was mostly salad bar.

I don’t have to do that since I’ll be bringing my own food.

I have a few things, and if worst comes to worst, I’ll rely on apples, nuts, and oatmeal.

I can get it dialed in real simple.

But, I’ll make some tasty things happen and I’m not too worried about it.

I mean, it will come together.

There’s just a lot of small logistical stuff that I have to attend to.

I need a cooler too.

I have one tagged in Amazon that I will probably get for myself, but if anyone out there has a spare, I may hit you up for it.

I always feel bad though, asking for supplies, unless said person has been to Burning Man with their things, the unsuspecting regular camper is not going to be to up on the dusty condition of whatever I borrow coming back.

Ah!

The Burning Man Gods have heard me!

I’m square.

Tent, air mattress, blow up cot, and a cooler.

I reached out to my people that I am camping with, and nanny’ing a few shifts for out on playa and got the thumbs way up on being able to dial in the things I need.

Hells yes.

It is such a help that I am camping with long time, hard-core, have done the deal, know what to do and have the equipment type folks.

Sigh.

That’s a huge relief.

Ok.

Now.

That leaves some bicycle prep, which is not too bad–my bike is still in pretty good condition after last year, I do need a new pennant, but I can get that off Amazon for like $2.50 and some more bicycle lights, and zip ties, I need to zip tie my basket to my handle bars, it’s not really a bicycle basket, but it has done the trick so well over the last three burns, I’m just going to continue to use it.

I have hella socks.

I have plenty of tights and stuff and my make up kit is actually above par at the moment.

I’m looking at really just making sure I have foods supplies.

There it is.

I just got excited.

Whoot!

I’m going to Burning Man!

I have been so busy with the traveling, Atlanta, LA, the week working in Sonoma–and then the stuff with graduate school, the scholarships, the syllabus, the week-long retreat that is coming up–before I go to Burning Man, a possible road trip with a friend, which I am thinking may be off the table, but I will know more about that tomorrow.

This summer is indeed a full and busy summer, pretty much as I suspected, rolling right along, gathering speed and herding me into a completely new chapter of my life.

Graduate school.

“Just get ready to hunker down and tell people you’ll see them in a few years,” she said to me on the phone as I relayed some fears I have about the things and the stuff and getting the reading, I keep telling myself it’s just not going to be as bad as I think (in fact, I plan on bringing all my reading with me to Sonoma when I go the next time the family vacations there), I’ll always have something on me person to read and I probably won’t be watching any videos or down loads for a while.

Good thing I finished Orange is the New Black last night.

Damn that was a good season.

Oh.

And I need a god damn parasol.

I fucking left the umbrella I bought in Atlanta on the plane.

Grr.

Never even opened the darn thing.

Oh well.

It’s all coming together and I don’t have to fret.

I work hard and continue to gather the things one small thing at a time.

There really is no other way when I’m commuting via bicycle all the time.

Today, for instance, I bought some electrolytes that will fit my food plan.

One more small thing taken care of.

And now that my bicycle is working like it should again, oh my god I needed a tune up so bad (new chain, paraffin dipped so I don’t have to think about keeping it lubed up for a year, new bar tape, new brake pads and the cable tightened up, everything tightened, tuned, and clean, she looked so pretty when I picked her up, like new, I’m not kidding you–thank you Dan at Mission Bicycle Company!), not even funny, I’ll be on the preparation tip.

I’ve been also freezing some stuff–fruit, ice, and yes, mwhahahaha, cold brewed coffee that is either Four Barrel, Stumptown, or Ritual, I’m going to have some nice ass iced coffee on playa, you can believe that.

The next few weeks are going to be busy, but I’m in it and I can feel that it is all coming together and instead of wanting to throw up.

Well.

I’m hella excited.

And I now want to buy some sparkly tights.

I mean.

Really.

I can always use an extra pair of tights.

I am a sparkle pony after all.

I have to live up to my name.

Heh.

Submit A Story!

April 29, 2015

So I did.

And then I forgot that I had.

Then I got a nice little note saying, hey, we got your story and we’re interested, but so many projects!

But we like it.

We’ll keep in touch.

And what do you know.

He kept in touch.

I received the following missive this morning after I hopped off my bike and stretched out my legs before starting my very busy shift today at work (swimming lessons, t-ball practice, potty training, cooking–wild Alaskan Salmon anyone?) and let out a little whoop when I read it.

Hi Carmen. Your post is scheduled to go up a week from today on Tales From The Playa. Thanks again for writing.

)'(

Jon Mitchell | @ablaze

managing editor, Burning Man

So cool.

I’m going to be published on the Burning Man blog!

I’m excited.

I had sent the story in last June.

I was thinking about that and wondered, what the hell was I doing last June that out of nowhere I decided to send the Burning Man blog a story.

Oh.

Yeah.

Damn.

I had just had my severe ankle sprain.

The one that way laid me for weeks and still, yes still, hurts on the occasion.

Small aside.

I feel like I am rehabbing my entire body.

My knees hurt, my ankle hurts, my shoulder hurts, all injuries sustained while working or getting to and from work.

Even the spraining my ankle was in conjunction with work–I was anxious about having enough time to commute to work in the morning and I had a double scheduled that day and wanted to take my scooter in rather than ride my bicycle.

I decided to gas it up, feeling like since I was tight on time, might as well do it now before I need to worry about it in the morning and I got frustrated kick starting it, it was cold and didn’t want to start, and I went too fast (story of my life) and bam!

Sprained my ankle so severely that ten almost eleven months later, it’s still not completely healed.

I’ve been doing stretches, ankle strengthening exercises, hip strengthening exercises (damn they hurt), and rolling out my back and shoulder every night on the yoga roller when I get home from work.

My creaky old body needs a hot tub soak.

End aside.

I was laid up.

I was trying to keep busy.

I got a Jack Rabbit Speaks e-mail–the official newsletter of the Burning Man Organization–and I must have read one of the Tales from the Playa and I got a wild hair up my ass and decided to submit.

I think my exact thought was something like, I can write better than that!

And maybe I will.

And I put my money where my mouth was and submitted.

And then didn’t hear back until after the event sometime, mid-September of last year.

I had completely forgotten I had submitted.

Jon had sent me a very sweet message about how the story mattered to him and he wanted me to know that it was still in his bailiwick and forgive the tardiness in regards to it.

Sure thing!

Thanks for keeping me posted.

Then I forgot about it again.

I am sure the process of getting pieces in is far more arduous than I can imagine.

I am sure everyone has a great Burning Man story they just have to tell and then they decide to and well, maybe the story is great!

But.

Maybe, the writing, not so much.

I cannot imagine how many bad blog pieces the staff on the editorial team has to read.

I suspect it’s the same with every one who has anything to do with publishing.

There are few of them and many, many, many of us, with our stories and words and art and ideas, and hey, what about me?

Don’t you want to know about my story?

This one time at Burning Man.

I coasted a good bit of the day on the steam from the e-mail message.

It was really nice to think about.

I’m going to be published on a blog independent of mine.

I have a few other times and now I get to have another piece out there.

Then just as I got close to the end of my day at work, I did what I had been telling myself all day long not to do.

I started to read the submission.

“Oh shit!”

I thought.

This is ass.

Do I really swear that much?

Fuck.

Maybe I do.

Oh God.

I wrote what?

No.

That’s horrible.

ARGH.

Insert ego here.

Then smash it all to smithereens.

I put it out there and I let go of the results and when I actually got the results I wanted, to have a story on the website, I might have changed my tune.

Like.

Let me fine tune the sucker some more.

I had the same reaction when I got my first short story published in the Paris Journal of Spoken Word–The Bastille.

I was really happy about my submission.

Happier still when I found out they wanted it and they were going to publish it.

Not so happy when I finally read it in print.

Oh God.

I wrote that?

It sucks.

It is not good.

It could be so much better.

I am my own worst critic.

And yes, I stopped reading my story.

I just said, no.

I have better things to do than mentally masturbate about what I could have changed in the piece before submitting it.

I am not perfect.

Nor are my blogs or my stories or my poems or the books that I have written but not published.

Not a one of them holds up to my inner, fiercest, critic.

They all suck.

But.

I keep writing anyway.

I have to.

That’s just the way it goes.

“I’ve been an artist for the last 41 years,” he said to me last night as the cake was being passed around, small slivers of chocolate cake from Sweet Inspirations, I could smell how rich it was and had been a tiny bit nauseated when the cake was unveiled for the anniversary celebration.

He patted me arm.

“Good for you for doing what you’re doing with graduate school, you’re going to be a great therapist, but don’t forget your art, and don’t give up on it, it’ll happen when it’s suppose to happen.”

He smiled, gave me a hug, and walked out the door.

Who the hell was that?

I had never met him before and it was like God just sent a little angel to give me a hug.

Thanks man.

And then the e-mail today.

It was nice.

Affirming.

Lovely really.

And my defect of character–perfection–can just take a time out tonight.

The story is not the best, but it’s sweet and endearing, and true and I am grateful I get to share it.

Grateful it will be published.

Flaws and all.

Imperfectly.

Perfect.

Just like me.


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