Saturday, September 03, 2005

~*...burning man...saturday...*~

saturday, september 3

69 saturday
it's oral sex tuesday squared! it's like that snake that bites its own tail...oroborosomething? remember to focus on the task in front of you, while enjoying the gifts of another. today's motto: is is better to give and receive. a true gift economy. larry would be proud. hosted by everyone in brc.

photo by henry chambers

random repeating saturday event in black rock city

dj spincycle's worldbeating bonanza - world tour
saturday & sunday, 1:00pm-4:00pm
every afternoon, 1-5pm, wednesday thru sunday for world beats served up by resident dj spincycle. recommended garb: arrange to have someone else's body pressed against your. hosted by: gooferville @ esplanade and 9:30

photo by tristan savatier

random one time saturday event in black rock city

southern style vodka party
the 8th annual vodka party hosted by your down-home friends from the atl. our hospitality is here to cool you down and get you hot! don't make us take 45 gallons of vodka home! hosted by velvet soulmine @ bipolar and 4:30

photo by tristan savatier

fire conclave in its full force will create the protective fire circle around the man. the fire will extract from the sun and will bring the man to life in pyrotechnic delight.

another morning at the house of lotus. the sun began to bring the intense desert heat that had been my comfort for the past five days, and i once again welcomed it with open arms. the heat was always a reminder that i needed to remove clothing. the contrast of the day's heat and the night's cold was an excellent metaphor for the extremes of the burning man festival. radically extreme.

seeing as my bike was liberated the night before, i was not looking forward to walking back to our camp. what am i saying? if there ever was a long walk that would be filled with radically creative randnormness, it was walking through burning man. but my feet sure were tired. bikes are not essential on the playa, but they sure do give you the ability to get around faster than on feet. as i began my trek back to our camp, i noticed a walmart roadmaster bike just like mine (but with the stickers still on it) parked in front of a trampoline near the house of lotus. i had seen the same bike in the same spot the previous morning as i searched diligently for my liberated dredimaster bike. i then made the assumption that the person who liberated my bike the night before had mistaken my bike for his, so i decided to claim the bike in front of the trampoline as my new dredimastermobile. on the ride home, i realized that the back tire was flat on my newly claimed bicycle, probably the reason why the previous owner decided to liberate my bike. oh well, the bike got me back to my camp in less time than it would have taken me to walk. i would take care of the flat tire later.

after changing at our camp into my normal desert friendly daytime attire, i grabbed scott from my krew and headed over to the c4 camp to see some friends. i was still riding my flat tire bike, so our goal on the way to c4 was to find the bike repair camp. i never did find the bike repair camp, maybe because of all the distractions that demanded my attention on the playa. or maybe cause i could still ride with a flat. either way, i was covering more ground with a flat than i would have on foot. i wasn't really about to complain.

near the esplanade and 4:30, scott and i came across a camp that was about to enjoy some morning yoga. i had yet to do any yoga on the playa, so we took the opportunity to tune into the force with other yogis. actually, it was more meditation and chanting than body movements and balance. chanting everything from om to eeeeeee, the collective consciousness of our morning yoga meditation group was powerful. participating in something that reminds you that we are stronger together than by ourselves is always a great feeling for me. its collective thought and unified action. have you ever wondered what thoughts are made of? what would happen if you could channel and shape your own thoughts and the thoughts of other people? i've always believed that thought is energy, and if you get enough of that energy together it can cause things to happen. i like using prayer in the church as an example. you get enough people thinking the same thing, praying for the same thing, don't be surprised if it happens. the problem is people believe that some other force, like god, was responsible for the results of all that prayer instead of believing that we collectively have the power to bring about change. maybe that's the problem with religion, the idea that we are somehow separate from god, and should spend our lives worshipping, praising, and giving money to this separate "being" in exchange for a "reward" that we will receive at the end of our lives. well, whatever you want to call her, its good to know that there is a direct line to god on the playa.

i asked god how many pairs of shoes he thought was a lot of shoes. he said one. true story!

after morning yoga, scott and i parted ways and i headed towards the place to be in the daytime if you want to get stop was the deep end. that morning, the deep end theme camp, resembling being in ibiza on a hot summer day, was going off a bit more than usual. maybe it was the insane friday night energy that overflowed into saturday combined with the influx of "weekend warriors" that began showing up the night before. whatever it was, the deep end was the most bumpin i had seen all week.

searching the web for burning man pix brought me to this ^^^ dude's site, halcyon. this guy has a very fascinating perspective on life, as seen through his site and pikchaz. i really enjoyed his views on being an artist.

"the act of declaring yourself an artist is a bold one. you are saying 'i consciously alter my environment. i shape the world. i create." - halcyon

this reminds me of something the dean of the faculty of arts at ryerson university said a few weeks ago as he introduced artist mariko moro.

"an artist is someone who sees more than his fellows and records more than he sees."

in an amazing video i saw on burning man, halcyon said that a costume implies that you are pretending to be something that you are not. he prefers the term outfit, the clothes are just an outfit for your personality. i really need to meet this guy (and goddam he's hawt).

i was getting a little bit hungry, so i thought i'd head back to our camp and grab some food. on my ride back to our camp, i came across a camp that was bbq'ing hot dogs and gifting them to anyone walking by. eggsaktly what i needed, and of course only on the playa. no need to make it all the way back to my camp for food when there are people just giving it away on the playa.

i stopped at a camp that was holding a poi workshop. i was very excited to learn some new poi techniques, so i parked my flat tire bike and pulled out my poi. spinning in the desert with other poi enthusiasts was an incredible experience. i often describe spinning poi as extending the length of your arms with a weight on the end of chains and tuning into the force. i had only mastered the weave and the corkscrew , and could not wait to learn more techniques from experienced poi masters...and there were plenty of them on the playa spinning everything from tennis balls to fire poi. i was able to learn the butterfly, and adjust the corkscrew into a windmill. man, am i ever addicted to spinning poi. when i am more comfortable with my technique, i can't wait to spin fire. fire is sooo sexxxy.

after an excellent session of tuning into the force with my poi, i jumped on my bike and rode across catharsis, hoping that i would run into my om krew somewhere near 7:30 and catharsis. well, the force was flowing strong through me that day as i heard my name yelled out as i rode down catharsis. i turned to see my friend yasmin, dressed in a gorgeous sequined skirt and high heels, running towards me. i had found my om krew on the day of the burn, and was elated to see familiar canadian faces on the playa. we were soon joined by the rest of the om krew, leanne, mike, and neil. i was so happy to see them. they had been trying to find me all week, even looked in the burning man registry for our theme camp, "the jedi council of canada". seeing as we never really registered our theme camp, it was difficult for my friends to find me. yet there i was, reunited with them at last. it reminded me of how i ran into mike and leanne in toronto the week before on queen street...random encounters reminding us that the force is powerful and connects us all.

i left my flat tire bike at their camp and borrowed a spare bike they had. our friend jonas would later fix the flat on my bike. we headed across the desert towards the temple of dreamz.

photo by tom pendergast

photo by gabe kircheimer

there was a wedding going on at the temple, so we stopped and enjoyed watching the union of two souls openly declaring their commitment to share their lives together in front of all of us freakz in the desert.

heading east, or i guess its east, more like heading towards 4:00 according to the man, we ended up chilling out in a large tent called the dream dome. inside this large white dome tent were many sofas and mattresses to chill out on, including a mattress on a large wooden tower in the middle of the dome tent. being inside at that time was a good thing for us as a very intense dust storm raged outside. dust storms on the playa are wikkid. sometimes you cannot even see one foot in front of you. they don't last too long, but when they hit you better be wearing goggles, a mask, and start heading for shelter.

photo by nicolo sertorio

meeting so many incredible and creative people on the playa all week was sensory overload, so it was refreshing to hang out with friends from home. not just friends, but the om family that i choose for myself. i hope to head down to the burn next year with my om krew, maybe even drive the om veggie diesel school bus down to the playa. looking at my own history in the faces of my friends was exactly what my soul needed that afternoon.

we jumped on our bikes and headed back to their camp where i asked jonas to fix my bike flat. it was dinner time, and i needed to get back to our camp for some food and to change into my evening clothes before the man burned at 9pm. we traded walkie talkie frequencies so i could find them later, and i jumped on my newly fixed bike heading towards my camp. that was the last time i'd see my om krew until i returned to toronto. it was just after 6:30pm when i arrived at our camp, only to find that no one was there...and i didn't have a key to the rv *grrrr* not having access to my things in the rv frustrated me to no end, and they didn't want to leave a key hidden somewhere at our camp for fear of someone breaking in to our rvs when we weren't there. this sucked for me though as i was hungry, and wearing daytime clothes. the sun was going down fast, and i knew i'd need an extra layer or two once the sun set. i hung out at our camp for an hour hoping that someone would come back, but no one did. good thing our cooler full of booze was there underneath our shelters, so at least i had booze to keep me company. by 7:30pm i jumped on my bike and decided to head towards the man on the promenade looking for my krew...yah, like i had a hope in hell finding them, but it was obvious that no one was coming back to our camp. they were all on the promenade waiting for the event of the week, the burning of the man.

the canopy that covered the maze beneath the man had been removed and a large area around the man was cleared out for the burn. there were already thousands of people gathering around the man as the sun was setting in the distance. over the next hour, thousands upon thousands of black rock city-zens congregated around the neon lit effigy of a man. i had seen people dressed up all week, but that was nothing compared to the outfits and creativity that was radically presenting itself that evening in preparation for the burn. it was like everyone was saving their best outfit for the night of the burn. the desert was lit up with neon outfits of all kinds, glowing bodies, necklaces, and accessories, imagination, creativity, and art cars trying to find the best parking spot on the promenade to see the man burn. there were even people walking around with signs protesting the burn, people wanting to save the man. i guess anything goes on the playa :)

the energy of anticipation was so overwhelming, i had forgotten that i had not eaten dinner or been able to change out of my day time attire. thanks to a very cute boy who gave me two glow sticks, my outfit was at least somewhat visible at night.

as night fell, the neon lights of the man illuminated the center of the playa and was the focus of all of the burners gathered there for the celebration.

the area around the man lit up with fire, the fire of hundreds of fire spinners wielding flames together in so many different ways. fire poi, fire staff, fire hoola hoops, even fire skipping ropes, all erupted in flames around the man. it was beauty unlike anything i had ever seen before.

from beneath the man's arms came fireworks as the platform base ignited into flames. then, fireworks began to erupt from beneath the man illuminating the sky above him. the cheers and screams from the thousands of burners gathered there created an energy of celebration that words cannot begin to accurately describe.

the screams and cheers intensified as the man crumbled to the ground in flames, the heat covering us like a wave. it felt like a rebirthing for me watching the man burn to the ground. my world, and everything i had thought it was, had been shattered by the creativity and imagination of black rock city, and burned to the ground that saturday night. i would never be the same again, my eyes had been opened to possibilities that i never could have imagined or dreamed of. i understood why burning man was a different universe that exists beyond description.

it took over 20 minutes for the man to burn to the ground. it was an experience i will never forget. my first burn. and even though i was not able to physically share it with my friends, i was one with everyone who was witness to the burn. the force is strong on the playa, beyond powerful it is.

i headed back to my camp where i rendezvous 'd with my burning man krew. everyone was high off of the celebration and burn that just took place. it squashed my frustrations and disappointments that clouded my thoughts earlier when i couldn't access the rvs. i grabbed something to eat and began putting together my outfit for the evening, the dark dredi of black rock city.

for the star wars episode three premiere in may, i had a hooded dredi robe custom made for me by my friend dana. it was a reversible robe made of black cotton on one side, and black chinese silk with red dragons on the other side. i remember someone complimenting me on my costume at the premiere saying that my costume was the best one there. i said thank you, and said "do you wanna know why my costume is the best one here? because its not a costume." the only difference between what i wore to the premiere that night and what i'd normally wear out on a weekend was my lightsaber. i only bring out my replica saber for special occasions, otherwise i'll bring out my toy saber as i did that saturday night at the burn.

i stopped off in center camp for a bit and watched some beautiful acrobatic performances before heading to the esplanade.

i stopped at a few camps on the esplanade to dance before i ended up at theme camp called the swinger's lounge. i thought i had found the place to be, but alas the name of the camp was deceiving. i saw no swingers in the swinger's bar, but i did find some friendly people and a well stocked bar. i ordered a pale ale and had a fascinating conversation with a canadian named john. he was from british columbia. i asked him why the bar was called the swinger's lounge and yet was lacking swingers. he took me outside where a large 30 foot illuminated platform stood. attached to the platform was a 100ft zip line. people were lining up to climb the platform, grab on to the zip line, and swing the 100 feet across and back down to the playa surface. he told me that people were swinging naked earlier in the day. i watched in amazement as a man dressed as a stickman lit up with lightning wire zipped down the line. way too kewl.

we headed back to john's camp to grab some supplies and then he joined me on my journey to the end of the known universe.

my friend from toronto, terri d, was camped at 10:00 and hysteria. it was the last corner of playa addresses. there was nothing beyond that address, just desert and mountains. it felt like the end of the known universe. it took john and i a while to reach there on foot only to find that terri d was not there. that was alright though, their camp was lit up in blacklights and neon lights, and was filled with some crazed canadians from british columbia whom we kewled out and danced with at the edge of the known universe. at the other end of the known universe at 2:00 and the esplanade, superstar dj tiesto was playing a morning set. free sets from the best djs in the world, all in the middle of the desert. incredible. but seeing as i'm not a huge tiesto fan, and i was on foot, the king of trance was not worth me walking to the other end of the playa. instead, we ended up at the row of music stages next to the house of lotus at 10:00 and esplanade where we danced the night away once more and welcomed the last sunrise i would experience in black rock city.

the energy of the people that night was exponentially more intense than it had been all week. the man burning sparked a fire inside everyone on the playa that night, and we celebrated together through dance, art, and creativity peacefully as one. the conscious, the unconscious, and the subconscious came together and exploded in a week of imagination that is black rock city.

my friend baby g aka candy explosion, danced hand in hand as we welcomed the sunrise together on the playa. it was a perfekt way to celebrate my last sunrise on the playa before heading back to the world of capitalism, machines, and noize that we call home...that we used to call home. black rock city is home. where we lay our head the other 51 weeks of the year is just a place we exist while counting down the days before we return back home to black rock city.

- phenormenon \m/^_^\m/

Friday, September 02, 2005

~*...burning man...friday...*~

friday, september 2

fetish friday
due to the incessant year-round complaints i got about last years friday theme, this year you get to explore all od those kinky fetishes you never wanted to tell anyone about. go get tied down, eaten off of, dressed in latex panties, or whatever kinda kink does it for you. just remember to clean up and leave no trace. hosted by: everyone in brc

photo by greg eymundson

random repeating friday event in black rock city

advanced rope bondage
5:00pm-6:30pm friday
10:00am-11:30am saturday
join our experienced crew for a tour of advanced erotic ropework. we hope to demonstrate suspension and other advanced techniques. show up early! our dome is a no-photo zone. hosted by: camp arachnid @ fetish and 7:30

photo by aaRon gautschi

random one time friday event in black rock city

fight club - part 2

fights will be moderated, but only the fighters determine their level of contact and duration. we fight in order to express our mutual respect for each other's arts and find the enlightenment therein. hosted by: camp ubercarney @ esplanade and 9:30

photo by tristan savatier

three daze and not enough naps later, i decided to head back to our rvs and get some well deserved shut eye. the sun was shining brightly friday morning, but not bright enough for me to find my bicycle. yup, it seems as though my attempts at making my bike look different from everyone else who bought the same walmart roadmaster special wasn't really that effective. i took off all of the stickers on the bike and rearranged one so that it said "dredimaster". i guess another dredimaster was at the burn and mistook my bike for his. if there's any place in the world where you could run into more than one dredi, the burn is a pretty good start. i did notice another roadmaster bike like mine, but it definitely wasn't the dredimaster ride.

i was not looking forward to the walk back to our camp. it would take about 35minutes to walk back to our camp, and i was beyond tired. but we are on the playa, so finding people to double you back to your camp is as easy as asking.

when we reached our camp, i had one last beer and a morning bowl then i curled up for 12hours of shut eye. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.......................

after an excellent rest, i suited up into my friday night normurai outfit, grabbed turtle, and went cruising around the playa. problem for me was that i didn't have a bike. wow, you really need one to get anywhere efficiently on the playa. the place is just too big to walk.

i grabbed turtle and headed over to the crazed canadian cosmik catz camp. on our way there we stopped off at the deathguild thunderdome to watch a few fights. remember mad max beyond thunderdome? well, thunderdome is on the playa. two men enter one man leaves!

two fighters enter the thunderdome and are attached to bungy cords so that they are suspended above the ground. they are equipped with a weapon of their choice (or no weapon at all), and then fight each other to the end of the battle. the weapons ranged from large swords to huge hammers (covered in foam and duct tape of course). hundreds of spectators watched from above and around the thunderdome yelling "two men enter, one man leaves! two men enter, one man leaves!". i had seen mad max, i'd seen pix of thunderdome at burning man, but it is nothing like hanging off of the dome as you look down watching people fight. watch video of the deathguild thunderdome here.

we then stopped off at a camp called euphoria. it was put on by a wikkid krew of peepz from salt lake city, utah. they had a large dancefloor pumpin heavy breakz, a swing, and a trampoline. i grabbed my mug and went to the euphoria bar to get a drink. i asked turtle where his glass was. he told me that had not yet had a drink from a bar on the playa. i was floored! "what do you mean you haven't had a drink from a bar on the playa?". it was actually turtle's first time cruisin around on his own since he got to the burn. he was rollin with our krew the first three nights. it was about time turtle explored the playa on his own, or at least without an entourage of 7 other people. i love the krew i went to the burn with, but there is too much to experience and see on the playa for me to agree with 7 other people what to do, where to go, and when to do it.

the girl working the bar at euphoria was a cutie from salt lake city named collette. it was great chatting with her as she provided me a window into mormon culture. she reminded me that even utah has candy kids and herb smokers. i also found out that the euphoria krew was also involved in the august rave in salt lake that was busted by the national guard. yah, what a fiasco! helicopters, troops in full assault gear with machine guns, and excessive use of force to shut down a group of ravers dancing. its mind blowing to see that in a state where you can have six wives is balanced out by zero tolerance on drugz...and they don't joke when they say zero tolerance.

here are some links to discussions about the raid including video. nutz!.

kutv, utah
video of the raid

while at the euphoria camp, i met a guy from los angeles. he really wanted to spin records at this camp, in which he had no part in running. he asked one of the guys at the euphoria camp if he could play some records boasting "i've got the best record from the world's best djs man. its for your benefit that i play." pffft. that didn't last long. shut down!

turtle met a beautiful girl at the euphoria camp and for the rest of the evening had a partner in crime. noice one turtle!

it was getting about that time...time to do some more dancing with everyone in black rock city on the friday night of the burn. everything that was to be built from the ground up was completed by that night, and everyone who planned to be at the burn all year was finally on the playa. it was full steam ahead for a night of debauchery on the playa, and i already had the desired effect.

photo by scott london

cruising across the promenade that night provided an unlimited number of creative distractions. we came across a camp called the barbie death camp. thousands of barbie dolls in precarious positions with each other, and a few ken dolls thrown in there for good measure. most of the barbies were being escorted into an oven by assault rifle toting soldiers. maybe the barbies were raving too much in the desert and needed to be stopped before it got out of hand.

we came across this, um, i guess a statue of a face, in the middle of the desert. here is what it looked like in the day time...

photo by scott london

at night, the artist responsible for this installation projected his face on to the statue and that friday night he was talking about dreams, what they mean to him.

i stopped off at the pangea stage to hear some groovy beatz. there, i met a dude from seattle dressed in a furry bear costume. he was appropriately named honey bear. i grooved with him and his krew before asking them if they wanted to see the kewlest thing on the playa (a very bold statement being in the most creative city in the universe). of course i had sparked his interest, and the interest of his krew. i pointed to the series of red lights off on the distance and told him to go czech it out. he did better than that. they had an art car that could hold almost 20 people. it was a large fun fur covered vehicle with a huge flourescent mushroom erected in the middle. the mushroom spinning mushroom cap was covered in cds underneath. with two spotlights pointing up at the mushroom, the reflektion against the cdz were very trippy as the mushroom cap spun around in circles. 16 of us piled on to the art car and began our journey towards the red lights in the middle of the desert, jungle music pumping from the art car's humble sound system.

it didn't take long to arrive at the light harp. not having a bike wasn't so bad when you've got an art car to take you around (and they are everywhere). hearing your body make music at the light harp went over very well with the seattle crew. daam that light harp is wikkid!

after making music with out bodies, we jumped back on the art car and headed towards animal control. animal control is a theme camp that houses stray animals that have been have rescued (abducted) from the playa. if you are dressed up in fur, like a bunny rabbit or a bear, you could be a target. riding around on a home made paddywagon powered by two bicycles with a large wagon on the back, animal control "rescues" people dressed up as animals on the playa. they will put you in the back of their wagon, sedate you (with booze), and take you back to their camp where you will be remain in the animal holding facility until someone comes and adopts you. brilliance. its not like you are forced to do anything you don't want to on the playa, but if you're dressed up as a bunny rabbit on the playa you're probable down for being "rescued" by animal control. "come adopt me! i'm being held at 4:00 and catharsis!".

problem was, we couldn't find the animal control camp at night, so we gave up on adopting any animals that night and ended up at the house of lotus. paul oakenfold was playing somewhere on the playa that night, but i really couldn't give a shit about hearing him play. at least it was good to know that there are no v.i.p's on the playa, and everyone had to pay to get in...even if you are the "best dj in the world". pfft, isn't that tiesto's title? as for lotus, yes, i spent every night there because of all the stages at the burn, the house of lotus had the best beatz. there were three other stages right beside it too, so i always had choice...and a better chance of running into my krew, which i did.

i was on my second bottle of malibu rum to gift others, and it went over very well....very, very well at the house of lotus. man, the things people will do for a shot on the playa. gawd i love it. drink, alter your reality, fuck, dance, express, do whatever you want...but don't be careless about smoking weed on the playa. the nevada sheriff's have been patrolling the playa for the past few years. having such an open festival of freedom and creativity eventually had to be mediated by the law somehow. drinking underage is a no no. serving booze to underagers is also a no no. being high isn't illegal, but possessing drugz sure is. and seeing as they can't really bust someone for being on drugz, the only drug they can catch you with is weed. word on the playa was that the sheriff's had night vision goggles to see people smoking at night. if they caught you with weed, they are also more likely to catch you with something else. word to the wise, don't smoke weed out in the open if you have more drugs on you. otherwise, if you get busted fro smoking weed you're shit outta luck when they find whatever else you have. good thing my friends didn't have anything on them when they got busted for puffin a phattie that morning.

two of the peepz in my krew were smoking a nice sized phatty with a german couple as the sun rose. all of a sudden, the german girl grabbed my friend's hand and started pulling him away. he said "where are we going, we're not done smoking this joint." the girl kept on pulling him away saying "they got him, they got him." as my friend turned around, he noticed our other friend talking to two sheriffs, one of whom was now holding the joint they were smoking. my friend went back to help out, knowing that neither of them had drugs on them. the police asked them where the rest of their weed was, and their answer was "we don't have any. some guy just gave us this joint on the dancefloor." after emptying their pockets on to the playa and getting thoroughly searched, the police let them go and went after bigger fish. what a shitty buzz. in the most free and liberal community you have to look over your shoulder when smoking weed. gawd i love canada.

i had asked friends about smoking weed on the playa, and was warned by all of them to be careful when puffing rootz at the burn. i wasn't about to fuck with nevada police, especially seeing as i look like i smoke weed. if i wasn't me, i'd flag me. as if the black guy with the dreadlocks doesn't smoke weed, i'm a sure thing. and they'd be right too, but i wasn't about to validate anyone's assumptions on the playa, especially the police. so funny enough, being the herbalist that i am, i didn't smoke much weed at all at burning man. i had a few tokes here and there, mostly around our camp where we felt more comfortable, but not as much as i normally would at an outdoor festival.

another incredible night on the playa, another sunrise at the house of lotus. there is no place like home...and the man burns the next night.

- tell your friends about me \m/^_^\m/