Getting Crafty


I made another little foray to a store today to prepare for all things Burning Man.

Which meant I was buying accessories for my hair.

That’s how I get ready.

Yeah, fuck off.

I know you are all busy making sure that you have enough propane for your fire dinosaur, but I like the little things, the pretty things, all things girly.

“You can do that because you don’t have a dirty job,” my uncle said to me last night as we were having dinner.

I love my uncle so I was not about to contradict him and he was buying dinner, so…

But I have changed diapers at Burning Man that would make the most hardened DPW burly man shrink in horror.

Nothing says good times like a poop explosion in the front seat of a hot car in a dust storm and discovering that the diaper bag is out of diapers and baby wipes.


But he is also right, I don’t work in the building of Burning Man, although I support the very infrastructure that does so, when you are a nanny for the Placement Manager’s son (ie the woman in charge of the team that places over 1,000 theme camps) you are an important part of the machine.

A small cog, but an important one.

Just doing my little part.

I don’t get as physically dirty is what my uncle was alluding too.

And again, he’s right.

Part of being a nanny and a good nanny, if I do say so myself, is making sure that your charge is well protected from the elements.  Which sometimes means not getting out and about in the elements.

No one expects a thirteen month old baby to weather the storm.

They do, however, if you work Gate.

You’re gonna get dusty working Gate or DPW or building Man base, that’s how it goes.

This will be my fifth year as a nanny at Burning Man and it may be my first year really allowing myself to embrace me, my authentic personality and who I am.  Although I have been slowly building up my box of goodies over the last few years.

Yes, I am that girl who wears glitter and flowers in her hair (and cries a lot).

I wear make up and bright colors and I tend to stand out.

Partially because I am cleaner than the average worker out there pre-event and during the event as well.

Despite the experience being about radical expressionism I have seen the community act like a highschool pecking order and if you are too this or too that, fluffy and pretty, you get snubbed.

I have been snubbed.

It bothered me a lot when I first went pre-event to nanny and I felt ostracized.

Then I got the fuck over it.

Folks who criticize someone for not being dirty are looking for self-esteem just like the person who won’t fraternize with the girl in school because her shirt is stained or her shoes are not the right brand of sneakers.

I work hard and I look good while doing it.

I also love prettifying everyone around me.

You want your make up done?

I will do it.

I will bedazzle and bejewel you right the hell up.

So, in this manner of speaking I have been doing my own bit of Burning Man prep by getting the things that I like, the stuff that makes me feel pretty–ribbons and bows and gingham and polka dots.

I went to the Discount Fabric store on Mission and 17th Street today and I got buttons and bows and fabric flowers, shimmering netting, gingham, barrettes, and swatches, and trinkets and geegaws.

I am making myself a bunch of fun little hair pieces and fascinators.


Because I like to play dress up and Burning Man is where I fully embrace that.

“I love your colors!” He said to me tonight. “So Summery and pastel and gorgeous.”

I am not a hipster, although I can ride a fixed gear like one, I like color in my wardrobe, and in a sea of black I stood out, in a pretty way, if I do say so myself.

I wear a lot of what I wear on playa in my daily life, same tights, same socks, same makeup, same big flowers in my hair, this is part of the reason why I love living in San Francisco.

I get to be me.

I also made a trip to the bike shop to chat and check in with the manager.

I wanted to know if I could order a few things for my playa bike–which is a big chopper cruiser with fat tires and a banana seat–and he said yes!

Which totally stoked me out as the not having to pay retail is a huge bonus.

I did not spend a great deal of money on all my little ribbons and bits and bobbins, $40 bucks total, and with the money I am going to save by not paying retail for the bike supplies, I feel completely justified in the small splurge.

I deserve to be pretty and I get to embrace that as a part of who I am.

There is something gratifying about that too.

My sister was the pretty one and I was the smart one.

But I believe that we get to be all things, pretty, smart, crafty, I am not pigeon holed into being one thing.

And just because I wear a crinoline and polka dot socks and glitter eye shadow does not mean I am not pulling my weight at the event.

I bust my ass.

I don’t know how not too.

It makes me happy as well.

Being creative, getting crafty.

I have seen these little hair pieces for a while now in stores and I most of the time I think, wow, forty bucks for that?  I can make that.

And now I have all the gear to do so.

Looking forward to getting out the scissors and the glue and the ribbons and flowers.

I am an artist.

I get to look like one.

I get to embrace my inner girliness.

Ain’t nothin’ wrong with wearing flowers in your hair.

I mean, this is San Francisco.


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