as of monday morning, that list stood at:
dr shoals shoe inserts
air pump for air mattress
towel (I'm a bad bad hitchhiker)
big blue cooler
post hole digger
monday morning, we checked out of the hotel and were off to brave all the donner propaganda to find the albertsons that wanted to sell us water. we found the albertsons and went in. this was the first time that we felt surrounded by burners. about half of the albertsons shoppers were sporting colored hair, interesting clothes, funky vehicles, familiar smiles and knowing nods (as opposed to "nice shoes, wanna fuck?" nods).
as we were driving off in search of breakfast, already feeling the friendly vibe and the comfort wtih strangers, I stuck my head out the window and asked local renoians where to go for breakfast. the nice lady pointed us to breakfast and off we went.
while breakfasting, an old couple seated nearby asked us if we're off to that ungodly den of depravity in the desert. we cheerfully said yup (cheerful, but not looking forward to the jesse helms lecture). the couple smiled and said they hoped to see us on the playa. then they gave us "civilized explorer" pins
then we were off eastward on highway 80 to l'homme de fuego.
I got some cute landscape pictures on the way. we saw some burners on the road. they waved, I anubissed them.
we stopped at the last rest-stop before l'homme de fuego. it was overrun with burners. we saw a plaid car, a pink hatted girl (I was wearing a pink hat and carrying a pink parasol), and some body jewelry. the lady selling the body jewelry flirted wtih me and said that my smile had great energy.
the rest of the drive to l'homme de fuego wasn't too interesting. but when we were first coming over the hill and first saw the playa, it was better than driving over the last hill and seeing las vegas spread before you. black rock, baby... black rock.
while waiting in line in our cars, an on-drugs guy in a big rv ran into our mini-van. we honked before he hit us, but he didn't get the big picture. oh well. at least we bought the expensive car rental insurance (not that it was our fault). we tried to put the bad omen behind us and forget about it so we could enjoy the rest of the week. it worked - I don't know about others, but I didn't think about that accident until it was time to leave.
I picked up my ticket from willcall with very little hassel. I gave the ticket window guy a bracelet.
on the road between the ticket place and the entrance, there were some really cool signs. they had about 3 words each and were in sequence a la burma shave ads. the sequence that made the most lasting impression on me was one that said "don't bring work to burning man, bring burning man back with you"
the greeters were very nice and friendly. lots of "welcome home." for the uninitiated, burning man folk say that their home is burning man and that the rest of the time they're out living their lives wherever they are. so welcome home is the way of acknowledging how at home you feel in the burning man community. though it seemed a wee bit pretentious at first, I quickly grew to love it. the greeter greeted me and asked if there were any newbies. I said yes and she gave some explanations and encouraged me to get out of the car, ring the bell, and shout. so I did. the cycle of encouragement and participation begins...
we drove to camp and began unpacking and setting up the big dome. we're visited by various naked people and several people we know - including taliesin.
everywhere I looked, I saw something cool. somebody was wearing something interesting, someone was drivign something interesting, someone was erecting something interesting (like pitching a tent). strangers offered to help us.
it was at this time, we first noticed the signs that were to become a big recurring event. the "blowjobs for the needy" sign and the "great canadian beaver eating contest." people started coming up and asking us about their blowjob (they're needy), asking us if we're accepting or if we're giving blowjobs, told us that they'd be back later [to collect their blowjob, we assumed] ... this sort of thing would go on all week (pay attention to foreshadowing... this will be important later in the movie).
the big dome gets set up and covered. the trampoline gets set up. we put off the small done for now.
that takes a while... after everyone goes to bed, cassandra and I wander to center camp. we meet interesting people. we give stuff away, we get given stuff. this one couple asked for a light. cassanra gave them a lighter (for keeps, not just to use). they were so happy with that and the pez that I gave them that they invited us outside to smoke the stuff for which they searched for a light.
after that, and some more hanging out, we went to bed. it was a full day.