Mon, 07 Mar 2005

Playa del Fuego 2003

Yeah, I haven't even finished with my entry for Burning Man this year, but this PDF entry should be a bit shorter, so my lazy butt is doing it first.

This PDF was a bit different from previous ones, both in general and for me specifically. A lot of the planning for it happened at close to the last minute, but everything did manage to come together in time for the event. I also left my planning to the last minute, but I'm familiar enough with my camping gear that I can toss everything together pretty quickly.

I was only there from Saturday afternoon through Sunday afternoon; I worked on Friday and Monday. While I had arranged for a ride to PDF, I hadn't found one back on Sunday, a situation I will not allow again. It was simply too stressful looking for a ride on Sunday afternoon with the prospect of possibly having to call in to work and say I couldn't make it in on Monday.

Aside from that, the weekend was beautiful. This was a much more mellow burn than even previous Fall burns. At other times, I've had the feeling of a very active burn--go and do stuff and experience things. At this one, people set up their camps and proceeded to just hang out. I had a moment late Sunday morning where I just looked around the site and was nearly overwhelmed by how beautiful everything was. I felt forced to lay down and rest, for fear that I might explode with happiness.

I didn't really do a whole lot over the weekend. I hung out at the Gold Bar, a pastime I can easily recommend to others. I rangered a bit. I hung out at Primal Phred. I watched the main burn. I hung out in the pavilion. I had a great weekend with my friends.

And I made Jill very happy by finally consenting to a body shot. Yes, Jill has drunk a mudslide from my navel. She seems, oh, slightly pleased about it.

I'm very happy to have gone, even if for but a scant twenty-four hours.

Post-PDF Dump

Originally from an email sent to the baltwash-burning mailing list:

(Not that sort of dump, Dale.) :)

I typed all of this up for my diary then figured I might as well send out to the list (with some of the more personal bits removed--sorry).

As a result of being at PDF, I'm now very used to walking anywhere and running into friends. Now, of course, I expect this to extend into the rest of the world, so I keep catching glimpses of people and I get all hopeful for a moment or two. "Is that Dale over there?" "Hey, that looks like Sean!" "Red hair, hey it's Suz! Oh, just a red hat." Of course, at PDF, I almost goose--er, said, "Hi, Rob" to several people in orange hats.

I love my tent. I stayed nice and dry, at least when I was in it, and all my gear remained dry and mud free, despite the location of the tent in a river of mud. (It's a Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight CD. Only really sleeps one person with gear, but it works quite well for just me.)

Rob's radio station rocked. If I didn't like the current music, I could just pop in the earphones and listen to something I liked, especially if Rob or Dale was spinning at the time.

The main burn was beautiful. Declan got a great shot of it, too:

http://www.mccullagh.org/image/10d-3/the-burn-2.html

Once it was going well, I liked the view from the side, with the internal red glow coming through the gaps between the still-unburnt logs on the outside. And the fire team did an excellent job just getting it lit in the first place.

The wet ground was conducive to the "spin white gas onto the ground at your feet then light it" effect, though I was successful in not emulating Sean. (i.e. I didn't set the fuel dump on fire.)

I like Alex's (dancingmantis) poi. Three wicks, short, long life even with white gas, and metal rings for handles to facilitate movement of the poi. Now I need to make a set of my own like that. I think I'll work on my planned single wick monkey fist poi first, though.

I did burn myself with Alex's poi, though. (I wasn't quite familiar enough with the handles to have attempted an over-the-head thread the needle.) It's probably the worst burn I've had from poi (some blistering, which mostly subsided by morning) and also the most fun I've had burning myself. :)

Helping quadgirl lose her fire virginity was fun. And she looked good with the staff, too.

There was one particular woman spinning that had a very beautiful spinning style. I didn't get to talk to her afterwards and see who she was, though. (Too much other stuff going on.)

Many thanks to Tanya for lending me her pink wig, pink lipstick, and glitter on Saturday. They all went well with my pink dress and pink umbrella.

http://www.mccullagh.org/image/10d-3/camp-hon-1.html
http://www.mccullagh.org/image/10d-3/camp-hon-2.html

Once again, PDF Iron Chef was a blast. Many thanks to Leah for running it a second time. This time around it was vegans versus carnivores, with a theme ingredient of tofu. The vegans managed to win over the judges (even though the carnivores had sushi with eel; I mean, eel sushi, c'mon :) ). I wish I'd been able to taste more of the dishes. (In particular the vegans' oatmeal-fruit-tofu pie looked very good.) I was busy making sure things were coordinated (or micromanaging, depending on how you look at it) and by the time I got to taste the food, most of it had been eaten. But the vegans added more tofu to their curry, Magorn had a lot of chicken dish and sauce, and Suz saved me a piece of sushi. So I had some things, which was an improvement over last year.

The Gold Bar was again fun. I like just hanging out there, talking to Whiskey and company, and chatting with people as they drop by. It's too bad they were down a couple of people (having a baby right before PDF, how silly :) ) and that they packed up early and left on Saturday.

I was also sad to see Dale and Sara leaving Saturday evening. And while I'm missing people, I was disappointed not to see Alicia or Laura there. Silly people, moving away from Baltimore. :)

Primal Fred was fun, though a bit distant. Jill's body shot bar looked fun for those participating. Not really my thing, though. I'm too private a person (and too shy) to do body shots in public.

I think I'll camp in the general camping area next PDF. While I liked the theme camps, it's a good hike to get out there. And they can be loud (especially the DJ who set up across the way from Psychedelic Shamans; I probably should have tried to talk to him, but I was far too tired, even if I couldn't actually sleep very well through the loudness). I also like hanging out in the pavilion, which is really the hub of PDF.

There were so many other things I loved about this burn. You're all wonderful people and I'll see you at the next one!


Phil! Gold