Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Burning Man 2013 - How was your trip?

Burning Man 2013 - How was your trip?

Here I am again back in the real world after my 3rd trip to the dry hot/cold dusty weirdo land that is Burning Man. Once again friends, family and coworkers are asking out of politeness or actual intrigue, "How was your trip?" or as my Uncle Tony put it, "How was Burning Tree?". Well..

I arrived at the Reno airport feeling like a seasoned vet as friends started pouring off their flights, met Kendrick and knew he was a kindred spirit right away, played Car Tetris getting more supplies than is safe packed into an SVU, gave Tempe his new name: Optimist Prime, saw 2 weirdos with a REAL OWL in their car during entrance traffic, they claimed it was the owl who played Hedgewick in Harry Potter (yeah right), helped introduced Kendrick the virgin to playa angels and the dust stroke, arrived at my Burning Man home at 3:15 & Esplanade and joined 170 or so of my closest friends at the best damn camp on playa, met my new friends from Tennessee, was enthusiastically greeted by Kostume Kulters who may or may not have been drinking, was completely in awe of the playa at night again, rode around on the Electric Bubble Bus with MC Christopher who makes each person feel like a VIP, went to church, came across an abandoned crashed UFO, thought to myself the Man is so short this year, was 100% entertained by Stefan Spins fire hula hooping skills and showmanship, was covered in SPF 50 each day by Baba the Love Sponge, walked out to opening day of our runway dripping in diamonds, talked and goofed and never got tired of MCing on our frontage, probably let the power of the microphone go to my head, gave away about 5,000 pairs of Mickey and Minnie ears (hot item on playa this year), used my megaphone for good and a little tiny bit of evil, did the triple pickle back pass with Geoff, twerked on the runway, introduced myself as Assmaster, got all sorts of strange looks, helped Kimmy put Kong's tutu on for TUTU Tuesday, visited the Crop Circle Cantina, had a very nice conversation with a handsome bearded gentlemen in a French Maid costume, we gifted him said costume earlier in the day at Kostume Kult, he said it changed his whole experience for the better (this is what we do), saw 2 muppets performing Lionel Richie's All Night Long, could not stop laughing, was blessed by a lady/man with the "Pineapple of Truth", laughed for hours again, dropped into Balls Deep (A dome full of yoga balls), danced in front of the Mayan God art cat, loved the Ichthyosaur Puppet Project, also loved both of the spinning and strobing animated sculptures, was very entertained by the Sheep art car's back entrance (which I initially thought was an Aardvark), was given a tour of the pinata art car's control room (Yes, there is candy inside), was gifted my pirate name "Queen Dancing Shark" but then changed it to the much better "Lady Tiger Shark", took another Pirate Night journey aboard the Nautilus X to deep sea adventures with sexy pirates and wenches, drank some mighty strong whiskey from Ian, fell in love with a soft fluffy white furry art car that matched my playa coat, started a Little Mermaid sing-a-long while laying with pirates in a piece of art, asked strangers to tell me something interesting about themselves, wore my very first pair of pasties, finally found Robot Heart, was NOT disappointed, participated to my hearts content, watched when I was overwhelmed, was attacked by vicious piranhas in Black Rock Lake (Don't go swimming there, its just not safe!), finally saw a fight in the Thunder Dome, was fairly intimidated/jealous by the chicks at Death Guild and their flame throwers, witnessed LOTS of fire at Charcade, figured out how to shove ear plugs far enough into my head so they are effective, slept quite well, enjoyed Miguel's "hot coals" dance moves, found new species of fungi art in the Flaming Lotus Girl's Tree sculpture, rode along side TOAD as he charmed the masses, got a sore butt from my little pixie bike, totally biffed it off of my bike while acting like a dork and weaving through the BELIEVE artwork, shook the dust out of my party cat onesie and got back on the wagon, climbed the Like Temple but then quickly climbed down as it was "too cheesy to spend a sunrise there", wore lots of onesies and questioned whether or not I am a plushy at heart, accidentally peed on my onesie and decided maybe I'm not plushy material, found a forrest of Truffula trees, was just thrilled with all the people willing to play along with my goofy ideas (that never happens in the real world), ran in circles like a kid, marveled at El Pulpo Mechanico again and again, watched Tempe run off into the dust "Gooodbyeeeeee!", met The Devil at a bar, made s'mores on wire coat hangers with the lost boys/girls of Kostume Kult, went to a sexy safari party at Club Bang Bang again where the sexiest beasts are found, saw the sun come up AGAIN, had my very first set of pasties removed by a a band-aid (yikes), watched those nutty marathoners run by our frontage, cat called hotties from our dance platform with Amanda, heard a really funny story about a group of crabby crabs, danced the Sexy Snake...Sexy Kangaroo...Sexy Gopher...Sexy Sloth!, watched the flames crawl up and over the Man during the most beautiful burn to date from the best seat in the house the Electric Bubble Bus, my eyeballs and brain melted from the sight of it all, felt the crowds energy level rise during the burn, was prepared for the dust storm after with my goggles and dust mask, enjoyed coming home to find friends to talk to in the common shade, lost my voice, once again did not make it to Bubbles and Bass, slept no more than 3-4 hours a night, said Good Morning each day to my neighbor Exactly, just wished I had more time, packed my things including about 20 extra lbs of new costumes, said goodbye to the early burning Temple from afar, sat in exodus dust storms and traffic that moving once and hour, drove back into the default world, had a very big breakfast at Peg's Glorified Eggs, washed the shit out of our rental car, took an amazing shower where I used 3 hotel mini bottles of shampoo, enjoyed the very little bit of time I had left with my west coast friends, got on the plane in Reno with LOTS of burners, got on the plane in Phoenix with very few burners, started dealing with the decompression back into reality and that about brings me to now.

Photo Credit: Jendra Jarnagin
I have to say my trip was less spiritual this year and more about the fun and silliness. It could be reflective of my default life and how I haven't felt deep spiritual connection in a while or just a particularly silly year. Either way it wouldn't trade it for anything. Now that I have a few burns under my belt, I can bring knowledge of the things that worked and didn't work to next years event. During exodus I was asked if I am planning to go again next year. I  always say "No, I'm going to Europe next year!", but who am I kidding? As a friend once said, "My name is Fortune Cookie. I'm from the future. This will not be my last burn.".

I took some pictures but for the most part I just tried to live in the moment. Besides my camera isn't good enough to really capture any of the amazing sights you will find at Burning Man. I'm grateful for the talented folks who do take great photographs and video. My friend Stefan made this amazing video this year that really captures Burning Man's romantic side.
Please enjoy...


  1. Thanks for sharing your wonderful world on the playa! I'm bummed I missed the Lionel Richie concert.

  2. Enjoyed reading your post and watching the video

  3. That's funny...because last year on the playa I said "I will definitely LEAVE europe to come back next year" :-D.
    I read through the internet in anticipation of my next burn and found your writing...and you gave me some great ideas :-). I have to come back to cosume kult and thank you for that...and try something new ;-). Andre