Posts Tagged ‘post event’

Better Late to Blog

September 1, 2014

Then never.

Monday, September 1st, approximate time 1:20p.m.

I hear it’s a holiday out there, but I am still here.

Here in the dusty remnants of Burning Man, which is no longer Burning Man, fyi, mister high as a kite spinning poi on the Esplanade.

The event is over.

Go home.


Here at camp, the breaking down continues, without me being broke down.

I am so far, so proud, so good, so on point with the self-care I have never actually felt this ok at this juncture in my previous journeys on playa.

Typically I have been pretty beat up and burnt out and done, done, done.

Not to say that I’m not done.

I am.

I am packed.

I am ready to go.

I have my bins sorted and stacked outside the door to the trailer and my exodus outfit ready to be put on, speaking of, exodus has been really mellow, longest wait I’ve heard of today was about an hour.

Most folks seem to be getting out within thirty minutes.

Peak population happened early a.m. Friday morning, hitting around 65,000.

Then the people, well, they started to leave.

The fear of the great wait in line is intense and I see many folks packing it up and hauling out before Man Burn or Temple Burn.

I understand completely, sometimes you just got to get out.

For right now, for me, it’s just the sit tight and wait.

The bug is asleep, mama and papa are wrapping up what they need to do for their jobs and I am in a holding pattern.

It’s a little like waiting in the gate to the airport for the plane to be cleaned off from the previous flight.

I can see the copilot and pilot cross checking their perspective duties, I can see the land crew doing their job, my job is to wait.

I am ok at that.

It does make me a tiny bit anxious.

I have places to go.

Things to see.

New York, New York.

But there is not much to be done except quietly take in each moment as it comes and accept that I am here for another twenty-four hours.

The plan is to drive two vehicles to Reno, one I will drive and the other mom will drive.

The vehicles are both rentals.

One will be returned to Reno and then the other will take us back to San Francisco.

The mom has one more meeting she has to attend at 11 a.m. tomorrow morning.

I will be ready at the time she needs to go to her meeting.

All my bins, four total–three medium, one small–will be in the mini van that will drive us back to SF. Then I will hop in the other mini-van and drive to her meeting with her.

My charge and I shall hang out while she wraps it up and then once the meeting adjourns, we’ll hit the road for Reno.  The first rental will get dropped off and then I’ll climb aboard the second and hit it to SF.

We should land sometime late in the evening.

I am hoping for a quick pit stop at Whole Foods to grab road food–all things fresh, my god, I am grateful to the Commissary, but the food is getting me down–apples, fresh water, an iced coffee, a big salad for the road, and then on to the City by the Bay.

I am missing her.

I see that the majority of my friends have made it out and back to SF and I am a teeny tiny bit jealous.

However, I am grateful that I won’t be staying as long as I did last year.

Tomorrow will mark 19 days.

Last year it was 22 days.

I was not exactly broken last year, but the ten-hour dust storm white out the day we were supposed to leave did not help, I definitely felt cracked by the time we got off playa.

Fingers crossed all will go smoothly and we shall enjoy a pleasant and non-eventful trip back.

Not everyone is so lucky.

One of the team members came by today with a broken thumb.

There was a camp mate who broke his heel early last week and had to leave.

Then there’s all the folks who get dehydrated or sick or lost or broken in other odd and uncomfortable ways–today a gentleman confused a bottle of kerosene with a bottle of water.

Last night someone drank a bottle of water that was not water but GHB.


I am pretty damn lucky, dusty, yes, dirty yes, I can’t wait for my shower, but my health has held.

Lots of fluids.

Lots of naps.

I probably took more naps this event then I have done in my prior seven outings.

I also have been meditating.

That does not hurt in the least.

And going to bed early.

I haven’t gone out dancing.

Unless you count the ten minute shake my booty at Distrikt that I did last Thursday for a hot second.

I have, however, ridden my bicycle a lot out here.

And I am happy to say, the ankle is holding up.

A twinge now and again and the ride up was pretty uncomfortable, but I don’t think that will be an issue the way back, but good for the most part.


I can tell it’s still not 100% but it’s so much better.

I should be able to ride my regular bike when I get back to the city.

I am certainly going to give it a go.

I slowed down a lot with this event and really kept the focus on the job and the duties that I needed to do.

It means that my event was quite a bit different then the last seven, but it also means that I won’t be returning to my regularly scheduled life needing a week and a half to recuperate.

I suspect that there will still be tiredness and some dusting off of self to do, but so far, so good.

I’ve got about 23 hours left on playa.

Fingers crossed they are uneventful, restful, easy.

See you soon.

One More Night

September 5, 2013

I almost don’t believe that to be true, but it does appear that this is my last night on playa for 2013.

I am ready to be done.

And not a bit shamed by that fact, although I felt that perhaps I should be when I gave a lady friend a ride back from the shower depot to the Heavy Machinery yard.

“How long have you been up?” I asked.  Not at all expecting the response that I was given, especially as it is her second year camped with them and her first year working the yard.

“Since July 31st,” she said, and then paused.

“I am about over it, but I have about another week and a half I think,” I could see her mentally counting on her fingers.

“Damn.” I said in quiet awe, “that’s close to two months.”

And I have been whingeing about three weeks.

We all have our limits though, and I know some folks that can’t do the week, let alone two or three, or a month.

Two months?

That’s a kind of devotion I am not sure I have in me.

I miss my fellows too much to stay that long.

I said a brief good-bye to one at lunch today, realizing I was about it of that specific crew and how I am looking forward to re-seeing and re-connecting with my people.

A lot of whom have been posting amazing photographs and I am envious of the fun they had, despite the fun I had.

I did have fun, I can admit that.

Even with the tears rolling down my face in the back of the Soccer Mom van while it was parked at Ranger HQ, I could admit I had fun, I was just momentarily overwhelmed and sad.

The emotions tend to roil out here, and there was a minute when I thought I am never getting off playa, there is no end in sight, the car is broke down and there’s no way home.

The car actually, my employers car, has had some problems, which seem resolved, we will certainly find out more tomorrow as we hitch up the trailer and pack things to move.  Dad has acquired another truck with a flat-bed and a tow hitch just in case.

If the car does break down it will get towed to Reno, taken to the shop, and taken care of.  Which means I may be in Reno two nights instead of one.

I don’t care.

As long as it’s not another night out here.

I really am done.

Despite wanting to have the cojones of the girl from the Heavy Machinery camp, the first to arrive and the last to leave, I just don’t.

I know my limits and my limits have been met, and then some.

Mom actually offered me an escape hatch with her assistant going back to San Francisco tomorrow afternoon.

I said no immediately.

I have absolutely no abilities to make small talk or interact with a stranger at this moment.


I can sit and be quiet with the family, but I just don’t have it in me to make new friends with a stranger on the seven hour ride back to San Francisco.

Besides, a nice hot shower, followed by a nice hot bath, followed by a nice hot shower, at the Pepper Mill in Reno is really where I am at.

That also breaks up the drive time and gives me a moment to get uncrusty and uncrispy before heading into the city.

I am certain I will still need a day or two of laundry and letting my brain, body, and soul get used to the clamour of the big city again.

But I just could not fathom riding back with a stranger.

Besides, I know it would put a lot of unnecessary strain on the family to get everything together and deal with the baby.

I am going to finish my job and finish it well.

He reaches for me now, and goes to sleep without a fuss at nap time, and does the fist bump with explosion, I can’t quite give him up yet.

I may change my mind tomorrow, but I want my time to finish well with the family.

And I want my pay, all that I can get, all the days that we contracted for.

My time will go short when we get back to the city.

Mom is only contracted with the Burning Man Organization for another month.

I won’t have the nanny gig in North Oakland.

And I don’t know what my hours are going to be.

I am going to be taken care of, but I did find myself doing a quick troll in craigslist.

This usually gives me the hee bee jee bees, but I managed for five minutes, and if push comes to shove, it looks like there is work out there for me.

Besides, I have not come this far to be dropped on my ass.


One more morning to wake up to, hoping I may actually catch a sunrise, I have missed the majority of them, coming to right after the sun has come up.

I had my last sunset tonight and did a walk about to the nearest large burn barrels and back to camp after dinner, God I am done with the commissary, grateful, oh, don’t get me wrong, but I am done with it, to settle my tummy.

The sky was gorgeous, the mountains majestic, the burn barrels resounding with the crackle that I have come to associate with Burning Man.

I pulled out my camera, it is my last sunset after all, and took a load of photographs.

Burn Barrels




Burn Barrels

Burn Barrels

I took a last walk with the baby before handing him over to mama for bath time, pajama time, snuggle time, and bed time.

We walked the camp perimeter and watched as the last red-gold dusted the sky.

The baby made the sign for “all done” with his hands as the sun sank below the clouds and dipped into the crease of the mountain range.

All done indeed.

All done.

Hands in the air, alongside the face, back and forth, slow jazz hands.

Kiss the baby.

Say good-bye to the mountains and the sky and the fire.

Wave to me on the horizon, as I pull away, a soft fade, the scratch of a fiddle bow, a loving crooning lullaby, good night my friends, sweetest dreams.

I will see you again next year.

All Gone

All Gone

Broke Down

September 3, 2013

But not broken.


But clean.

I got a shower tonight and I am all clean and shiny and ready for bed.

Wait a minute, it’s like 8p.m.

Shouldn’t I be out there doing something?

There’s not a whole lot to do out there, but you know, maybe I should wrangle something up.


I am going to wrangle myself an episode of Breaking Bad and chill the hell out in the trailer.  There’s not much left out there, except the four-hour exodus line.

Which is shorter than the six-hour exodus line for most of the day.

The gate was shut down mid-afternoon for dust storm white outs and a brief but fierce rain shower.

I was nowhere near gate, I was busy getting upset and dirty.

My bike is broken.

Add to that my Hello Kitty cup, which bounced out of my bike basket yesterday and broke, my Iphone, which won’t hold a charge, yes that is right, my phone be broke.

Don’t bother calling me.

I won’t be answering.

There are so many things to do, but nowhere to go, no one to call, no ability to do so, no bicycle to ride.

Oh yeah, that’s what I was writing about, my broke bike.

Though the lovely Playa Bike Repair shop fixed my flat tire, the bike mechanic did not put my bicycle back together correctly, swapping out one nut for an incorrect size and also not putting my axle in place, leaving it exposed to the elements, and last but not least, instead of using the bolt on the bike flag, he just duct taped it to the frame.

My pennant fell off last night on my way back from the Temple burn and my wheel felt really wobbly, the chain kept catching and I was unable to do any back brake action, plus the seat was all janky and I vowed to fix that shit in the morning.

I did not get around to it until the afternoon, right as the weather was changing from dust storm white out to impending rainstorm.

I had the wheel off and on three times, the seat raised and lowered, the washer on the back axle re-greased and re-threaded, and the ball bearings weren’t sitting right and the whole things was just making me crazy and I am getting pelted by heavy rain and a bad case of the fuck its.

Throw the whole damn thing in the trash.

That’s what I thought.

Instead, what I got was a couple of lovely ladies from the camp to help me.

Between the three of us and a lot of bicycle grease we re-adjusted it, but once the bearings were coupled and aligned we realized that there was a part of the sprocket missing and it was not true.

Dirty, greasy, dusty and annoyed.

I love you Playa Bike Repair, but my bike is no longer serviceable and I don’t have a ride for the rest of my time out here, which sort of bums me out, but I suppose there’s not a thing to be done about that.

I am going to take a photo of the back wheel and order the missing part and bring it with me next year.  The bike is going into a container and being stored with some of the family things.

It has already been decided that I will be back next year.


And even if I don’t nanny, which I probably will, the family has extended the camp to me and made room for me, whenever I want I have another camp to stay with.

That’s pretty lovely.

There are a number of camps that will take me in, no matter what I am doing or where I am working.  I know I will be at Burning Man next year, even though I am still here and quite ready to…

Fuck me.


I am going to yell.

“Fucking hippies put down the god damn drum, no more vision quests you asshats, go the fuck home.”



The stragglers can now leave the neighborhood.

The event is over folks, get out.

Anyway, as you may be able to tell, I am tired.

It’s not that late, but I am tired.

And I got a pretty full night’s sleep, seven hours?

I worked a half day, but it does not seem to matter, my brain is a bit overwhelmed and my emotions are close to the surface and my body is tired and my bike is broke and my phone don’t work.

Anyone writing a Burning Man country western song yet?


It’s all going to be alright.

‘cuz it already is.

The baby and the mama and the papa are over at First Camp having bbq and potluck, but I said I will pass, I wanted a shower so bad I was willing to forgo the invite and besides I wanted to see my uncle before he left.

We had one last meal together with his friend Henry, aka Odin, and my friends John and Erica.  It was a lovely last meal.  Everyone of them leaves tomorrow.

I don’t know who I know that’s going to be left much past tomorrow.

It should be an interesting ride, these last couple days.

There’s some of my camp mates left, they decided with the inclement weather to just stay put and ride out tomorrow.

Smart move.

The burn barrel is getting stoked and I am foretelling a hot cup of tea and an apple fireside.

Then I don’t even know if I will make it to watch an episode of Breaking Bad.

The Breaking of Carmen being the show on tonight.

I might just fall the hell out into bed.

Start over again tomorrow.


Excuse me.

I am done.

I thought I was done already.

But I am truly done now.

Four more days.


I better get some sleep on.

Night friends.

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