Huntress of the Lens


Thursday, May 20, 2010

River Time-The circus is packing up and leaving town.

Well, it's that crazy river time of the year again, and this year seems to have flown by. Shayla and I pack up our shop and go to the Russian River Resort for Women's Weekend and tattoo at the event. This is our third year for this event and it's always a highlight of the year for me! It is relaxing and crazy at the same time.

To travel a tattoo studio is like packing up a circus to move it to a new town, except that the circus knows it won't have to return to its original location in three days and have everything set up just the way it was before. We're not a traveling shop, and even though we've done it a few times it always feels like chaos and the terror that we'll forget something we really need.

Every year the amount of things I've been certain were essential has grown smaller. The first time we did it I had three of the largest Rubbermaid buckets packed full to the brim and never used most of the stuff I brought. Last year I was down to two buckets, but still felt compelled to bring 14 rolls of paper towels when 5 would have sufficed. I over-pack, it's a thing I've always done, because it won't matter if I have 67 things if number 68 is the one I need.

We're taking Tiffany from our beloved Mosh Pit body piercing this year, so we'll be making room for her and all of her equipment in the room. Blair is coming to be our manager, but Molly (my usual right hand) can only come for one day and night. She will get to drive her own car there though, so I don't have to worry about getting her back to Napa for work. Kristen Van Dyke is performing this year, and she'll be staying in our room with us if other accommodations haven't been found. Picture this: One hotel room with two queen sized beds in it. 6-7 women sleeping there, dorm style, and two tattoo stations plus one body piercing area created during the day.

Right now I feel this kind of panic, like I should be down at the shop packing even though it's only seven in the morning. I only booked one giant tattoo today, which was foolish of me, but I missed it on Sunday because I was so sick from working all day in the sun the day before. My parents are in town for one more night, I want to spend time visiting with them. A dear friend is having an open house at her new salon and I promised I would stop by there to support her in her new venture. This is too many things to get done in one day, and yet I will have to just figure it out.

A part of me thinks I like it like this, and that this is what it must be like for a race car driver or the Octomom every day. It's like juggling, or herding sheep. Making lists and working efficiently is very satisfying when I can pull it off. Last year there were about fifteen hundred women attending the event, although I don't think I did more than a dozen tattoos. It's go, go , go all weekend until the sun goes down, then we get to just hang out and have a good time. It's not a super profitable venture, we have to pay for the hotel room and don't really have the ability to accept debit cards so we end up pricing based on how much spare cash women have brought with them. It's great networking though, and I always see at least a couple of clients during the year that I gave a card to during the event.

What it really is, is a chance to be in a whole new location filled with women who are all there to have a good time, and to just be away. Away from this shrieking blue jay, this over-stuffed house, these tomatoes that still need to be moved to their large pots and the mess that is my side of the bedroom. I'll miss Michael, and yet I always realize just how madly in love with him I am while I'm gone and I come home with that part of me re-charged.

Last year I left for the event as one person, and returned as another. The "New Me" was born there; lasting changes that have left me a better person.

This year Jen and Angelique are inviting me to fire-walk with them. This thought fills me with terror, and also excites me because I believe I can travel the coals hand-in-hand with two of my power-women and reach the other side transformed. We'll see, I think I'm uncertain at this point, but at the same time I know I'll do it. I don't know why the month of May has somehow become Overhaul-of-the-Spirit month for me, but if I evolve this year as I did the last who knows who will be coming home on Sunday afternoon? I know the year ahead will be full of challenges, upgrading my Soul could really make a valuable difference in how it goes for me and those I care for.

We're packing up our circus and taking it on the road. I'm driving west into the sunset of the familiar and also the land of "Who knows what might happen?"

I don't think this is an interesting blog per se, but I do blog in the mornings during the weekend while the resort slowly wakes from the chaotic party the night before. Maybe you'll get something great from that location. Actually, this time of year marks the beginning of my blogging in the first place, the most significant of the early pieces was called "A Love Letter of Sorts" ( ) yet now that I went back and looked, it wasn't one of the first at all. It was one of the first things that felt important to say anyway.

This has been one very interesting trip around the Sun for me, and here we go again. My next missive will be written from an early-morning table full of coffee and cigarettes at the beautiful alternate-universe of the Russian River. I can't wait to find out what this year has to offer!

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The fish can fly, the dogs and cats dance together and all the flowers are edible.