dan (dan501) wrote,

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burning man hodge podgey memories - and photos


that's one of the very first things I did at burning man this year. I had some cantaloupe left over from the drive and I dipped it in playa dust. it's tasty. it's salty and sweet. I like combining flavors. I tried it first before offering it to, nay, pushing it upon others. playa gets everywhere when you're in black rock city. it just does. one of the things that helps me be ok with that level of dirt penetration is that it's eatable. edible. I mean you can eat almost anything. I suppose LA dirt is technically edible. but it tastes like tucker. not that I was OCDishly unOK with the dirty before, but I got even more ok when I first ate playa.

the man wasn't standing when we arrived. they were working on him. kind of weird to see the man not there. also kind of made me feel like the cool crowd. the early adopter. the progression of black rock city was something I noticed a lot more this year than last. last year, the entire place was overwhelming from the moment we showed up monday afternoon. this year, when we arrived saturday around brunch time, the city was much emptier. I'm torn. I like the intimacy with neighbors that is created both by the fewer people and by the knowledge that they're also the cool ones who showed up early. I like the esplanade and the playa to be hopping at all times. seeing the playa and esplanade in less than full swing was a little deflating.

without fail, every single night I passed in black rock city, I set my poi on fire. in camp, in the street in front of camp, on the esplanade, at the man, at the temple, at the other temple.
I spun poi on a car.
I spun poi in the dark.
I spun them near the box.
and I spun them with a fox.

I mentioned that my camera was stolen, right? did I also mention that I had a spare camera? it's that holga/toy camera with which I took that railroad picture and that crazy woman creek picture. I wasn't feeling too photographic after the playa thievery incident. but I did manage to take one roll that came out pretty well. behold...

camp prometheatrics had some nifty tall scaffolding. that was the spot of choice for watching the sunrise. I saw the sunrise a bunch of times and the sun set a bunch of times. the clouds turn orange/pink/red. the mountains look majestic. the dust makes stuff hazy in a soft beautiful way. one sunrise, I literally saw the sunlight pouring over the mountains and I watched as it bathed more and more of the playa in its rosy dawn orangey goodness. it was as if orange molten steel from a factory was pouring over the mountains and rushing right at me. pictures of people and stuff with the sun rise/set as the background were some of the pictures I most missed.

I spent one night gallivanting with daniela and mercedes. we hijacked an art car. we fended off a couple of sleazy guys. we danced at dis/re orient. we danced on thunderdome. we were all climby sexy go-goy and I was even gymnasticy on the bars. we drove our hijacked art car directly to the privy and directly to our camp. kind of made me want to make an art car for next year. but I also think hijacking an art car is better than making your own.

we did group rainbow dressup day. several of us wore most or all rainbowy stuff. we wandered and got all sorts of compliments. you can't quite see it in the photo, but my rainbow bowtie kind of made the outfit. I also had a rainbow parasol, but I completely forgot to tote it with me. group costumery, by the way, is the way to go. check out last year's halloween (hi mom, hi dad).

there were many pilgrimages to the man.

some at night, sometimes with fire, sometimes during the day, sometimes in dust.

we had many fun duststorms. some of the lost pictures that I took were of some guy named raphael on a dragon art car on which we road through a fierce duststorm. he was the first one to sign the model release. his hair was all windswept and his face all playa coated. I miss those photos. we were riding through the open playa and we could see maybe 10 feet in any direction from the car. when we ended up at the urinal, I lost my hat and had to give chase. it was a very blustery day.

then there was the sculpture and the zoline. I commissioned fyrebringer to make me this swell sculpture which was to serve as a disclaimer for the trampoline. check out this post after last year's burning man - I feel utterly cool for my follow-through on that disclaimer. I got a myriad of comments and compliments regarding the sculpture, legions of people took its picture and almost everyone got the joke. in a spineless display of lack of photographic taste, I cannot decide which of these photos of it I like best.

please vote for one, two, three or four. (or they all suck)

the zoline was a lot less fun this year than last. mostly because I apparently got the wrong one. it didn't bounce as well - maybe because the fabric was a bit ripped right out of the box. even after it was mended by lovely seamstress natasha and lovely bobbin sierra, it re-ripped a bit and people complained about bottoming out and hitting the ground. nobody showed enough interest in it for me to bother giving it away. that was a disappointment.

I spent some time aboard la contessa - a pirate ship. I don't mean a scaled down abstract interpretation of pirate ship. I mean holds a hundred lubbers, avast matey, the dread pirate wesley never takes prisoners, mecha barbura sturaisanda big ass, full size, built on a bus, masthead sporting pirate ship. in the desert, mind you. there were even people sleeping in the slave quarters when I was aboard. I talked to cassandra about it and she said she was into spending a spell as the masthead. then I failed to run into la contessa again. next year I'm making it a priority action item to print my tps report and get cassandra on the front of that ship topless.

I climbed on the coolest jungle jim ever. imagine if dr seuss and mc escher got together and made a jungle jim. it was twisty and turny and distorted and grand. I had an interesting exchange of moves with the yoga guys on said climbax. they got some pictures of me doing a one handed gut plange in lotus position on this roller coaster of a jungle jim while wearing a cat in the hat suit. I forgot to get their contact info for the pictures.

so even though I had a couple of big letdowns, like the camelbak/camera, like the trampoline, and like the lukewarm shower by the pool, overall I was still blown away by burning man and intend to go back every year forever. I intend to tell other people to go. I probably intend to tell YOU to go. so get on that.


on a non burning man side note, as I was about to go to sleep last night, some friends IMd me and said they were having a bad drug experience and I should come over. I didn't feel put upon by them, I was glad to go. I understand the drug karma that that's what you do for people so that when you're having the bad experience, others come to your aid. I packed up mc hammer (note the "customers who bought this also bought...), a couple dr seuss books, blinky poi, and headed east in a wheelbarrow. I was up until 7amish helping these guys through their bad ordeal. good plot twist - totally didn't see that one coming.
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