On to Phase 3!

Having gotten back from the desert, dusted off a lot of things, done all the laundry in the world… I got a couple days of relaxation before I’m off to the next part of all this.

From here on out internet connection is going to be sparse at best. I may be able to squeeze out a few tweets (which you can see on the lower left of this site, or automatically redirected to Facebook if you are reading this there) but I am unlikely to get much of substance out.

so… If you don’t hear from me in the meantime… See y’all in November!

A few pics from the desert

The little bootleg Go-Pro camera I was using was not really ideal for the task (or for any task really… it was very cheap) so there weren’t a lot of decent pics in the meager few I took.. but here are some!

Duane and Jess’s battle scarred trailer.

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The fun of packing.

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Everything I was bringing… it looks like a lot, but it’s much less than I am used to!

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We barely even massively overloaded the poor little thing!

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What the tire looked like after it spewed tread all over the interstate south of Reno

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Long dusty lines of cars waiting to get in at one or two in the morning SUNP0008

But we eventually made it!

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I did not kiss the ground… but I admired it. SUNP0010

Even as built up as the city has become early on… there was still open space around us.

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A shot of the centerpiece of my tent… a light/fan combo wrapped in fairy lights.

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Sunsets in the desert are unlike any others… this does not do it justice.

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There was much glow… I would have loved to play with this if my ability to stand the proximity of other humans was not at an all time low at that moment.

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This was something like a quarter mile of giant sound reactive rings… the light travelled down them at the speed of sound so that by the time the last ring reacted… the music it was reacting to would be there too.

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This does not in any way accurately depict the audio and visual madness of the playa at night.

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Packing up. A camps worth of trash and recycling to haul back to the real world… and a fantastic dust storm about to crash down on us.

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So yeah… a few images that entirely fail to show the amazingness. Some day I will figure out a solution that captures good images AND allows me to experience the event without constantly feeling like I have to record it. Some sort of body mounted auto-camera… or brain shunt… or unpaid personal intern… I am totally accepting applications for that last one.

Cliff Flinging: Stage 1: Complete!

We have returned from The Man What Burns Dustfest 2016!

I started keeping a journal of what all was going on but had a bad day and lost all interest so you are spared such things as a nerdy chart of the temperature of my forehead from day to day. You are welcome.

There are a very few pictures as well, but the camera I was using was not really suited to the task so I didn’t really try terribly hard. I’ll post a few later if any of them are any good at all.

The Good:

Burning Man continues to be an expanding and evolving explosion of unbridled creativity. The things happening there are mind-meltingly amazing on all kinds of levels and it is absolutely impossible to accurately describe the many encounters and experiences that make up that very strange week in a place humans were not meant to survive.

I was able to spend time with old friends, meet new ones, connect with people who I would otherwise never meet. I got to use my problem solving skills to help rescue someone who found their outfit  had become integral to their bicycle and made martinis for strangers in the middle of the night.

Our camp, Briny Depths, was one of the easiest to set up and tear down of any I have ever been a part of. Our nights of serving Ramen (Chicken and Miso broth with seaweed flakes, onion, baby corn, and lovely noodles) were highly successful and fun. The camp-mates I already knew were people I was delighted to spend more time with and the ones I did not were people I am now happy to know.

The weather was… really nice! I never felt terribly hot, or so cold that I needed much more than a lab coat. I think this is partly because it was a very mild year and partly because I am used to living somewhere where the weather is trying to kill you most of the year and barely tolerable for about three days every season.

Despite one of them injuring Damon a little… most of our neighbors were really pleasant, amusing, accommodating, and not at all annoying. Since almost every year there has been a camp nearby that made me want to strangle the entire world to make them stop… that was pleasant.

The Bad:

I have been reading for a few years about the propagation of “plug and play” camps where very rich people essentially have a camp created and delivered for them with cooking and administrative staff and the like… and they were certainly in evidence. A certain kind of person seems to come out of these camps and that kind is very entitled and not very invested in the community and city. Softening that a bit however, they seem to have somewhat displaced the last minute frat boy explosion that used to occur… and since they have people to clean up after them, the playa seemed less trashed the night of the burn.

The city has grown a lot! The downside of this is that there is no way you can go, nowhere you can walk, to find a truly dark and quiet place. Even with early entry you could walk into the deep playa and turn in circles and not see a dark spot in any direction. With this explosion also comes and explosion of art cars… which are really neat, and some are an absolute wonder to behold… but many of them are mobile sound systems that would get clubs shut down for violating urban sound ordinances, and the sound overlaps and combines into an arrhythmic drone of unending dance music and terrible hip hop. This has always famously been the case to some degree, but the intensity has been turned way up!

Tents suck! Even with the mild weather, a tent that does not have additional shade and wind protection is a terrible place to be. In the past I have always brought some sort of extra shelter if I was using a tent, or used some sort of shelter other than a tent… but as I was flying in to California then being entirely dependent on others a tent is what I had. I made it as homey as possible but it made a terrible retreat from the world.

One of the tenets of Burning Man is “Radical Self Reliance.” I absolutely pride myself on having everything I need to survive and the ability to improvise anything I need to conquer whatever challenges arise out there. This year I was very much dependent on my camp-mates which (as much as they were awesome and amazing and provided everything I needed) vexed my sense of self. This is a mixed thing and something I sort of feel OK with and sort of like I am not OK with it enough.

The Ugly:

When I was making martinis someone gave me a cookie. I kind of expected it was the sort of cookie that made you giggle too much and crave macaroni and cheese. What I was not expecting was to spend over 24 hours unable to do anything more than sit very still with my eyes closed. Breakfast took three and a half hours to eat and if Jess hadn’t been feeding me water every so often I would have dried up and blown away. Very Yikes! I would have very much liked to have spent that time exploring and meeting people.

I also missed a bunch of time wallowing in a very deep and uncomfortable pit of depression and self reflection. I have a lot of very difficult things demanding my attention and facing them is part of why I am doing all of this. It did put a damper on my (perceived) ability to leave camp and wander the city. I think I saw the requisite big art pieces… but missed all the little things you find wandering the streets.

So in summary… In some ways this was one of my best years out there and in some ways it was my worst… but I still want to go back and my brain is churning with art projects and things I want to do out there.

Time to jot down notes, make lists, and recover a bit before the difficult days on the horizon!

Chaos, Dust, and Sleep Deprivation

And we haven’t even left yet!

Everyone has gone to sleep so I am stealing this calm moment to update y’all on my adventure. I may or may not get a chance to post anything before we go tomorrow, and after that I certainly wont be saying anything until we get back.

The last few days have been a whirlwind of preparation. My own stuff had to be packed and re-packed with the supplies I had shipped here, and Duane had a lot of work for me getting his trailer ready and cutting the steel for our shade structure. It has pretty much been; Wake up, DO THINGS!, eat food, DO THINGS!, sleep.

Tomorrow we do the final things, pack everything up, make the traditional hundred last minute stops, and then we head north to the Playa.

I am one hundred percent not ready for this. A lot about this trip on the whole is well outside my comfort zone, and this part is no different. I am not used to being quite so dependent on others in an environment I pride myself for being super prepared for… but I am OK with this. This adventure is not about walking well worn paths, it is about being open to what the universe wants to throw at me.

OK, sleepy now, the morning awaits, with more dust, more steel, and frantic scramblings. Nighty night!

A quick update!

After three days or so of no sleep… sleeping in the back of a truck was heaven!

Network is way spotty up here so a quick update.

My flight was ideal. No layovers and the entire row of seats to myself… also instead of peanuts there was stroopwaffle.

Got a burrito, picked up Duane’s mom and sister and went waaaaay north for the wedding. Somewhere on top of a mountain,  its lovely.

Slept… i feel SO much better!

Wedding is in about three hours, then we head back down on monday maybe? Then run mad errands and off to the desert on Wednesday.

It seems like my “downtime” in September is going to be pretty minimal before im back on the mountain working, and probably most of that will be in Fresno. Much less slow languid socialization than i had assumed and more ZOOOOOM!

That was a quick update? Shut up, it could have been longer!

 

Shop closed! Everyone out of the pool!

So I am not great at analogies…

Thank you everyone who ordered! Your goodies will be winding their way to you in one of a number of ways, possibly dream courier! So leave cookies and scotch out on your bedside table as is the proper convention for dream courier tips and enjoy!

When I return I will be making a new series or flickerboxes, more journals, and some other surprises :cough: stuffihaventthoughtupyet :cough:.

I’m off to the post office! Wheeeeeeee!

 

Stepping out over the edge!

Less hours than I really need left before I am in the air. I still need to do about a hundred hours of cleaning, pack, go over the rest of my yard with a weedwhacker, maybe eat food, possibly nap… probably not…

So… just a few items left at Apocalypse Hive! And I will be taking them all off sale in about an hour… lets say… 3:45pm EST so I can get the final packages to the the post office before I don’t see them for a couple months.

Really really last moment now!

I think this journey will be the longest I have ever been away from my cats in an extremely long time, the most I have ever packed for a vacation, and the least I have ever packed for Burning Man. So many firsts.

 

On the edge, feet firmly planted, here we go!

Final paycheck in hand I filled out my exit interview and left Blooming Foods… I may be freaking out a little.

I am quite good at my job and well liked, so if jobs exist when I get back I am certain one of them has my name on it, but it is still quite stressful.

And speaking of stress! Three days to get everything done! Aaaaaaaaaah!

I have two big bottles of Uel Zing concentrated cold brew coffee to get me through this! I’m good! Oooh, product placement! Gimme free coffee guys!

Anyhow… with so much to do I may or may not get to add one last push of items to my shop, but there are still a few things left!

3 Flickerbox Hexes! One red, one grey, one white!

3 Robots?

8 Notepads!

If I can I’ll be adding a more deluxe notepad tomorrow, but either way the shop will be shutting down for the season (until I get back) on Wednesday, so if you are waiting until the last minute, this is pretty much that minute! Eh? Eeeeeeeeh?

Damn the cliff! Full speed ahead!

I need to start packing… I don’t currently actually own luggage per se…

This problem is solvable, it will be solved, I will solve it, it may have already been solved by someone else, well then never mind.

Continuing to go a bit mad, but I carved out time to finish a few more items.

By popular demand! Notebooks!

They are smaller than the last batch, which is actually much more work to make, but people seemed eager to have some they could shove in a pocket.

So shove away! These are vaguely pocket sized! If your pockets are not tiny!

There are also some Flickerbox Hexes and some Robots? left… those who have pinged me outside of the shop… I am vaguely aware that that happened but I am running quite ragged, the candle is burning at both ends and the middle and has been doused in kerosene and lobbed into a barbecue. the store is there and it tells me what has been sold and reminds me to deal with things, anything else is very hard to grab on to. I will try in the next couple days to turn my attention that way.

In the meantime I am still playing with pricing these things… I suspect I am underselling my efforts, but for now $8 plus shipping, still reduced shipping for multiples.

Eh? Eeeeeeeeh?

A few steps closer to that cliff!

There are still some Robots? left! Get em while you can! Eh? Eeeeeeeh?

I am juggling so many projects right now my mind may explode like an over ripe melon full of something that explodes. These next two weeks are going to be a ballet of time management and not going mad… neither of which are what I would call my strong points.

Fortunately it’s really really hot and humid so I am not left exhausted and drained of vitality at the end of every working day! Or is it that other thing where I am? So easy to confuse the two.

Today I offer you the fruits of something I have been working on for a couple of months now. I am really proud of them and wish my crappy phone pictures could do them justice. Has anyone seen my camera? No? Ah well, we work with what we have right?

SO! I present to you… for $10 plus shipping… The Flickerbox Hex!

Eh? Eeeeeeeeh?

The store is a touch limited in that I cannot post video there so here’s one here.

 

Aren’t they pretty? Don’t they beckon? Aren’t they for sale Right Here?

Eh? Eeeeeeeeh?