Posts Tagged ‘theme camps’

I Am Not Writing About Him

August 28, 2013


But if you come by my trailer I may tell you a tale.

I will add this as well, I have never not felt compelled to write about someone.

However, some things, well they are not to be shared.

And I am a greedy girl and this is mine to keep.

However, I will tell you about other awesome things that happened today.

At Burning Man.

In no particular order, since it is late and I just really want to go to bed, the following things happened.

-On the way back from lunch, driving along Commerce at 6:45 there was a camp I passed in the Soccer Mom (the name my boss has given the white mini van that she is using for her team’s work at the event) with my little monkey in the back, we passed “Cat Camp”.  Where four people were sitting in lawn chairs meowing at everyone who walked past.

I pulled over the car, popped open the door to the back took my bunny out of the car and said, ‘what does a cat say?’

And he said, “eeyow.”


They all applauded.

His first word, according to mom, was meow and I told that to the two women in their early sixties holding little card board signs that said “meow”.  The husbands, I am assuming they were husbands, all meowed in approval and gave him high fives.

-Tonight I watched a woman sing opera from the top of an art car that was in the shape of a Greek war-horse with flame affects coordinated with the aria she was singing from Puccini.

Then to make it even more amazing, she was joined by a friend who did fan and pole dancing on a pole that was anchored in the middle of the ship and must have risen another fifteen or twenty feet into the sky, and yes had fire spouting out the top.

The opera singer finished with a piece that was also choreographed to coincide with the dancer doing the most astounding and graceful acrobatic pole work I have ever seen.

The entire audience was enthralled and holding onto their breaths.

This was happening out by the airport and as such there were no booming art cars with sound systems that rattle your teeth or raver pant kids mooping their beer cans on the playa.  It was under the dark night sky sprayed with stars for a small intimate group of approximately thirty pilots and friends.

I am still astounded that I got to be there.

They finished with “Bésame Mucho“.


–I found my friend Thomas from Paris, giving his first hug on the morning of his first day on playa.

It was a hug to end all hugs.

Then I hugged the woman that he did a ride share with, a complete stranger he met on a Burning Man ride board, for bringing him.

She told me that may have been the best hug she has ever had.

Happy to oblige.

–I threw ice cream sandwiches out the window of the Soccer Mom as I was driving back to camp to a man sitting on a platform swing chair with his son who were serenely sitting watching all the folks walk past the intersection.

I don’t normally carry ice cream sandwiches on me, I don’t eat sugar, you know, but once in a while I will take an ice cream treat from the commissary and hand it out to someone.

I know this is completely against the “rules” but I figure I haven’t eaten desert at any of the meals they serve and taking to ice cream sandwich bars felt fine in my heart and it sure was pleasing to see the grins on the father and son as I pulled up to them in the Soccer Mom and tossed the cold treats out to them from the open window.


Then I drove off.

Hit and run ice cream.

Hmm, that’s like a great band name, should I ever decide to start a band.

Either that or a playa camp name.

-Some of the names of camps I passed by on my goings about today: Pink Heart Camp, Red LIghting, Cat Camp, Puking Sparrows (that’s just not a good visual), Cargo Pant Camp, Campoline (trampoline camp), Lazy Fuckers Camp (four fat folks sitting on folding chairs drinking Starbucks Frappucino’s out of cans.  I am not kidding. Total tourists), Camp Stella, Camp Run Free, Costco Soul Mate Trading Outlet, Cosmonaut Camp (they have a super cute mail box with little stuffed monkeys in space suits, complete with little helmets dangling all over it), Distrikt, Duck Pond, Ass Stamp Camp (come on by and we’ll but a tramp stamp on your ass and serve you some fresh sangria!), Sparkle Pony Camp, The Lost Penguins, Free Photo Camp, First Camp, The Ghetto, and of course my camp–Equilibrium, where we do wine bongs and corn dogs.

Well, I don’t do either, and as of yet I have not see a wine bong happening, but they did put out the chair of ‘Center of Attention’.

It is a big stuffed wing chair on a pedestal with steps leading up to it, an arch way over it drapped with swaths of fabric and flowers, and a sign that says, “Center of Attention”.

Anyone who sits in the chair immediately is to receive the entire camp, or whomever happens to be in camp at the time, attention, wherein they are showered with compliments and made to feel the total center of attention.

I saw it happen once today and it was actually really sweet.

-I went to the post office and mailed post card and letters.

Nothing says I love you like a little note from Black Rock City.

-I went to Media Mecca again to register my camera, but it was once again swamped. and I was not able to stay long enough to do the process.

Then I was pulled aside and engulfed in a huge hug from a friend from London and another from Chicago who just had a baby and admonished to come back to Mecca now, damn it.

Afterwhile I was told, come back after hours and don’t worry about it.

Then I ran into Jason from the Pin Hole Camera Project who wanted me to go out and take photographs with them (I rode along with them last year on a complete whim, and because one of my camp mates was friends of his and had the most extraordinary time.)

I said, “Jason, I am just an amateur photographer.”

“So,” he replied, “you’ve got a good eye and besides I want to play a round of frisbee golf with you.  When are you not working? I want you to come out with us.”

Well, as it turns out, I am off tomorrow morning, in exchange for working a long night shift tomorrow night.

No problem.

As long as I have off Thursday night.

I have a date to go see a movie on playa.

Which I won’t tell you about either.

And since there’s nothing else to write about, that I am willing to share, I shall bid you an adieu.

More on the morrow.

Blowing you kisses, but keeping the majority to myself.

Kiss me a lot, as I am afraid of losing you afterwards.

A little Sad, A Little Lonely

August 25, 2013

I just wish that you were here to hold me.

Fell into the self-pity trap today.

Everyone has someone but me.


I hate that my head goes there.

I am just feeling a little isolated while everyone is out there building and hammering and setting up theme camps and getting their party on.

The event opens in eight hours and it’s already pretty crazy out there.

But I am not out there.

I am in here.

I am at camp.

I agreed to it.

The parents are in the middle of their longest shifts.

Dad went on shift today at 7:30 a.m. and is still working.  He had no breaks, no naps, cereal for dinner.  Mom started at 8a.m. and she is still working.  Although she did get a nap and I got an hour break mid day.  It is eleven p.m. right now.  Mom should be in by midnight or so, dad a little thereafter.

In that hour break, while mom napped with the baby,  I would have gone out and taken photographs, but my camera was in dad’s car and dad was all over the place, but never in the neighborhood.

I might have gone for a bike ride, but the wheel is flat.

Maybe, I thought, I should just take a nap.


You only have this hour, do something with it.

I am working now.

Not crazy work, but I am here, I am awake, I am tied to camp until mom and or dad comes back.  Dad is actually working fairly close to me so it’s not a huge deal that I am here and since I knew I was going to be in it I told my friends that I would not be out and about.

However, I am feeling lonely, the irony of being at Burning Man is that sometimes you can get really isolated.  And I also happened to have fallen into the expectations trap once again.  Which I had believed to have avoided really well, but fucking things snuck up on me today.

Too many couples cuddling around me in cute furry outfits.


Go away.

I want to be cozying up to some snuggle bunny.

I want someone to be holding my hand and making out with me.

Which is pretty much what I always want at Burning Man and I typically get bit by that expectation.

I have written of it again and again and again and frankly, I am tired of it.

“You will keep repeating the same relationship until you learn what you need to learn,” she said to me when I complained about my room-mate.

I can’t get out of this relationship, it is with myself.

I am stuck with me.

I write the god damn affirmations all the time, but sometimes those old records get slipped out of their dust covers and I am playing the I am so lonesome blues once again.

Really what it comes down to is that I am tired.

I have been working twelve days in a row, seven of which have been out here on playa, and the last two have been 8 a.m. to midnight or there about.

So, yeah, feelings, I am having them.

What I am doing, however, is just letting them happen.

And I am practicing good self-care.

I expressed that I really needed a shower, and I went and took one.  I got in a small nap today too.  The hour that I was free to wander about I ended up sitting down in a camp rocking chair and closing my eyes.  I accidentally fell asleep.

My intentions were to do something, but when the bicycle and the camera were taken away and I was left with nothing but myself, myself needed to sleep.

I certainly did not think I was going to do that, especially with the camp next door blasting old Snoop Dogg.

But I fell the fuck out.

And when the mom popped out of the trailer one hour later I startled awake and apparently I woke up on the wrong side of the rocker.

I was emotional, I still am, but it is passing.

And this is Burning Man, where the crucible is harsh and the layers get scrubbed down fast and the emotions are just there.

Part of being able to have these emotions, too, is that I am safe and protected and very well taken care of.  I have food and shelter, amazing shelter, hot tea, and shade during the day time, A/C when ever I need it.

Sometimes when I have everything I need I end up yearning for things I want, it’s somehow permissible to yearn then.

But truly, if I am not happy with what I have, why would more make me happy.

I like myself and I like that I can feel.

In fact, I am very lucky.

I am not checked out.

I am present.

Oh, so present.

Which is a gift.

The nice thing about having a good cry?

It’s done.

It’s cathartic and I usually feel hollowed out and clean and ready to be filled with joy afterward.  I am allowed to be sad, I am allowed to run the full gamut of feelings.

And they are feelings, not facts.

Which doesn’t discount my need to have them.

Thankfully I don’t stifle them anymore.  I have them, they go, and then I move forward.

There will be another 24 hours of really intense work–which is not quite that hard, more just that I am tired to it, I am here to be of service and I get to be a little cog in the machine that makes Burning Man go.

That is pretty special.

Tomorrow I will throw on my crinoline in acknowledgement of the gates opening and I will smile and gift my love and my strength and my grace.

I have plenty yet to give.

And a heart freshly washed with tears to open up to the sky.

One week down.

Two to go.

Hang on, it’s going to be an emotional ride.

It always is.

Getting Crafty

July 7, 2013

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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