Posts Tagged ‘unboxing’

Hello Friday

August 12, 2017

My God.

You smell amazing.

There is nothing.

I mean.

NOTHING.

Like coming home to a package from Chanel.

Oh.

God damn.

And even thought I knew what it was, I still unboxed it like it was a surprise.

I was so giddy.

So happy.

The biggest smiles.

And.

The most delicious of smells.

Yes.

That’s right.

I am back to my scent.

I have adored wearing Rose Flash, it’s been a nice little thing to have and I get sweet compliments on it.

But.

It is not Chanel.

It is not my scent.

My signature scent for decades has been Chanel Egoiste.

Pour Homme.

That’s for Man.

Yeah.

I wear a men’s cologne.

I never set out to wear a men’s cologne, it was a complete accident.

There are no mistakes in God’s world.

It was meant to be, but I didn’t know it at the time.

I found it at a discount store in the mall, one of those stores that specializes in products that have been discontinued.

It wasn’t in a box.

It must have been a sample from the big department store that was closing across the way.

I don’t know.

I had only been in the big department store once, I can’t even remember what the name of it was it wasn’t one that I was familiar with, then again it was in a land I was also unfamiliar with.

Iowa.

Yeah.

For a very strange year when I was 20 years old, I lived and worked in Newton, Iowa.

The short version of the story was that I was there to help my sister raise her child while her husband waited to get out of prison.

Actually they weren’t married yet, that happened at the prison a few months after I moved there with her to help her with my niece.

I swear.

This is the short version.

The long version is the book I wrote, the second in my memoir trilogy (yes I wrote a trilogy, no, it’s not published), called The Iowa Waltz.

Anyway.

We had moved there, my sister and I, as her fiancée was caught breaking bail in Wisconsin and was extradited to Iowa to serve out his sentence at the minimum security prison outside of Newton.

I got a job waitressing at Palma’s, this crazy Greek restaurant where the owner insisted that all the “girls” wear heels when working.

And dresses.

I might have gone to that department store to buy a dress, I think, in fact, that was why I was in the mall at all.

I certainly did not have a lot of extra money to spare, my sister was getting food stamps and WIC.

And I lied my ass off to get the bartending job.

My first shift the woman training me rolled her eyes, “you have got to be kidding me, you don’t know how to make a margarita?!”

It was a margarita night.

It was on special.

And.

It was strawberry.

I learned really fast.

And within a few weeks I was zipping around, tottering really, god how my feet hurt, the other bartenders and making pretty decent tips.

For Iowa, anyway.

The wife of the owner was the “bar manager” and she was a notorious Sambuca drinker and what is that Italian wine, god she drank it by the bottle and it was red and always chilled, Lambrusco?

And.

Fuck.

She smoked.

I mean.

I smoked, probably a pack a day at the time, but she smoked rings around me.

We were allowed to, oh the good old days when you could smoke while you worked.

Gagging.

Voula!  That was her name.

Shit, that just popped right up in my brain, I have not thought about that crazy bitch in a while.

Voula smoked three packs a day, easy.

It wasn’t that she necessarily smoked that much, but she always, I mean, always, had a cigarette burning in an ashtray.

And not just one, but five, sometimes six or seven.

“Do not put out any of her cigarettes, do not dump them, don’t do it, doesn’t matter if the ashtray is full to overfull, do not dump it, you will get the wrath of Voula,” my trainer told me.

She also told me under no circumstances to flirt with Voula’s husband.

Ew.

Yuck.

Why the fuck would I?

He was gross.

Balding, smoked just as much as she did, except he smoked cigars, and he had a big paunch and swinging jowls, I mean, not attractive.

“She will fire you if she thinks you’re flirting with him,” the head bartender told me, “she’s fired four girls in the last month.”

Fuck.

I won’t flirt, like I said, gross.

But.

I had drawn his attention.

And he made it clear.

I don’t remember what he said or how but it translated to I needed to buy another dress for work, and there was no mention of a clothing allowance or a uniform stipend, the money had to come out of my own pocket.

So.

The mall.

I must have found a dress.

And somehow I wandered into this strange little store next to the big department store, cheap trinkets, discounted stuff, old holiday decorations, odd toiletries and make up, junk basically.

But.

There.

On the shelf in the back right hand corner of the shop.

The bottle of Egoiste.

I do not know what compelled me to smell it.

I must have been registering it before I opened the lid and inhaled.

Oh.

Holy Mother of God.

It was the most amazing thing I had ever smelled.

Warm and spicy, musky.

Sexy.

Vanilla, coriander, sandalwood, rosewood, subtle cinnamon.

Not that I could have told you that then.

Fuck.

I was nineteen.

It just smelled amazing.

It blew my mind.

It was $19.99.

I had twenty-five dollars in my wallet.

I did not hesitate.

I bought it.

One of the best decisions ever.

I got fired two nights later when the boss lady’s husband decided to keep the bar open late and play poker with his buddies and he wanted a personal bartender.

Yup.

You guessed right.

Me.

I never once did a thing.

Nothing.

Didn’t matter.

I was fired when I came into work the next day.

“Get out of my bar,” she screamed at me, “you’re fired you fucking whore.”

Yeah.

And goodbye.

Funny thing.

I actually got my next bartending job because of her.

“Wait, what?  You worked for Voula for two months?” The woman interviewing me said, she was the owner of Boots and Spurs, why yes, I did work at Iowa’s largest country western night club, how did you guess?

I nodded, abashed, I had indeed gotten fired.

“You’re hired!” She exclaimed, nobody makes it two weeks with Voula, let alone two months.”

She laughed out loud, “hell, I only made it four days, she was one of my first employers, years and years ago now.”

“You must be amazing, when can you start?”

And so began my illustrious career in a country western nightclub.

But that’s a blog for another day.

Or you know, just read the book when I finally get it published, there’s plenty of stories there, believe you me.

Anyway.

I was hooked.

I fell in love in Iowa with a men’s cologne from Paris.

So many, many years ago.

And I got a bottle today in the mail.

Such an amazing gift.

I opened it and smiled and laughed and giggled and hopped up and down a little.

And then I opened it.

Oh.

That smell.

So good.

So, very, very good.

And just for a moment.

I was transported back to that small town mall in Newton, Iowa (home of Maytag Washing Machines!) and my 19-year-old self.

My god.

How far I have come.

How very fucking far.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Best smelling one too.

Heh.

 

 

 

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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.

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.

 

 


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