i arrived at Burning Man at 3:30 AM on Tuesday. Oddly the exact anniversary of the total lunar eclipse and Paul's prank last year.
Wrybread's Photoboof was sporting this on the back:
Someone stenciled FREE PAUL ADDIS on First Camp and in the Cafe !I think it was SugarBunni... And Wrybread made an awesome stencil with Paul's face on the Obey face. I didn't have anything for him to stencil on, but i will find something and get it up to R someday. What he did with the Photoboof was the best of all... see pix.
I was offered soup at Fandango, where Michelle Burke and Dave were. [How does that woman always look so fresh and daisy-pretty on the playa? Emily Shurr has this gift too...] I discovered happily that Ballistic Bob was camped with Fandango too. He'd made Caution tape that read "SAFETY THIRD." I got to tell them about what i believe is that FKO battle cry's origin in our community - from Dennis Hescox's Castle sign (actually spelled "Safty Third" which i visited while Mike, who built it, was still alive. http://www.bitchwick.com/amacker/castle/pages/saftylane.htm
Ballistic had a habenero-infused vodka he'd make - 29 habeneros put into the vodka 2 years ago. Why the hell didn't he tell me this 2 years ago?? it was fabulous. The soup, while good, was nothing compared to the Some Young Guy she whipped up Thursday night for the annual BLD cocktail party at Chez Newt's. I mean, WOW. It was spicy and creamy somehow exactly what you wanted in the hot dry desert. Go figure. Oh yeah, it was actually Tom Ka Gai.
On Wednesday night, Argyre got a radio call looking for someone to guard the Man. He turned and asked me if I would like the job. Midnight to 3 AM. OK, that was funny....
Thursday's cocktail party and the Museum of It Was Better Last Year were both stellar. I hope there are pix somewhere.
Spoon did a heroic job of bringing the entire bar to the playa in a truck By Himself !!! We missed Newt - and Newt's home brews and concoctions - but Spoon was brilliant, and he brought homemade mojitos and 3 kegs of really good beer. I took home two empty large Skye vodka bottles, which i have been collecting for a few years in order to make a Blue Bottle Glass Wall in Baja ... inspired by Mike's Castle. But mine would be thinner with the bottles placed up and down, vertically, so the light shows thru.
My big BM ® © experience was solely Friday night, seeing Wally's fireworks at the Flaming Lotus Girl's gorgeous "Mutopia" burn on Friday night. I really wanted to see Xian's Elevation. I just had no way out there. http://blog.wired.com/underwire/2008/08/elevations-lone.html Michael Christian is featured in this story though: http://current.com/items/89236628_burning_man_art_build_08
Another Art Project I am sorry I missed was a diner called The Red Eye. I had talked to so many folks about it... i am asking it's creator for a copy of the reportedly brilliant menu. Here's a photo someone took: http://tinyurl.com/5efca6
After the FLG explosive presentation, Mona and I retired to the SkippyDrome and had our usual evening of fun, barbed-tongue insults traded back and forth, scintillating conversation with our BLDers, slim membership that it was this year, and reminiscences of friends gone (Allison, Analog Tom, Jeff Holmes, Frank Bonita and my cat, Sailor). We were regularly visited by guests with either a craving for one of Mona fresh blended ice mojitos with fresh lime! (I swear he packs a nuclear blender) or guests on girl hugs boy looking for a safe place to relax, and of course, much worship of Skippy.
For a cat that was supposed to be near death 2 years ago, he sure is going like gangbusters! Mona built him a box with a layer of ice below and above, and he jumps into it whenever he feels vaklempt. Otherwise he wandered the BLD with his blinky lights and his leash and when he was tired of that, but not tired of being outside, he had a large flower pot with cat grass and moss in it which he'd curl up in.
Mona got to give Science Lessons on the playa to random burners who were attracted by his wind generator.
I slept really well most nights, except for the night where the shitheads across the street - Gate and Perimeter assholes - stayed up all night, drunk and screaming and insulting anyone who wandered past. Then they lit an M-80 in their burn barrel. It went off as if it was in my head. (My tent was next to the road except for Blair's truck which was on our Perimeter.) I could still see the flash with my eyes closed. Then, an hour later, they lit another one... I almost bounced out of my tent and pulled their card.... but i drifted back to sleep under the stars.
My favorite Art Car that I saw was Lady Sassafras, a 3-decker Mississippi paddle boat from New Orleans with an awesome sound system and great taste in music. Mona pointed out they had been playing what sounded like traditional New Orleans big band and zydeco, etc, and the last track which blended perfectly, had been Brian Eno and Byrne.
My other favorite Art Car i didn't find on the Playa, but check out this year's Slug... the Snail (actually the Golden Mean) http://blog.wired.com/underwire/2008/08/math-strange-dr.html
The next night some guy next door to the jerks unloaded a piano and began playing all night.. it was great! He had this amazingly diverse repertoire and was very talented. Even his Billy Joel covers were grand because everyone knows the lyrics and he had 50 people singing along with him. He finally played "Freebird" on Saturday during the white out. Then he did "Sweet Home Alabama"... the crowd sang "In Black Rock City lived a governor, BOO BOO BOO" ... heh
We got a sudden crowd huddled into Newt's bar when we were in a whiteout for 6 hours my last day, Saturday. Thanks to Shoegirl and Jewel, I had a fabulous pair of purple goggles to keep the dust out of my contacts and was invincible. I dread the thought of a white out - i lived through the one that lasted 3 days after the event several years ago. But when you are in it, with your friends, and protected by goggles, it's brilliant.
I think all we need for a whiteout is a trampoline and Wish You Were Here blasting out of Playa-sized speakers. The latter part i got, down at Fandango where Michelle Burke and her boy Dave, and Ballistic and some NASA geeks were.... it really was fun! We danced fake ballet in the streets and had a damn fine party of it.
Now i am back, and doing radio frequently on KFJC. I am apparently at odds with the Program Director again, though. I had a brief respite after being internally decapitated and all, but she's back on my case and making up bullshit reasons for not giving me an airshift i have been doing all summer... grrrr. At least i have my horse 3 days a week... that makes for a relaxation probably as close to meditation as i have ever come.
this was funny http://tinyurl.com/5zxnwx