Monday, May 25, 2015

Burning Man 2013 - That Year I Took Pictures (PT I)

I had an awesome, amazing time in 2013. I think it was the most fun of any burn yet, with the least amount of set-backs - and also the only year I've ever really taken pictures of the things I saw at BRC. I took those pictures for YOU guys, for this blog. But then life laid down little things, and these little tasks and distractions soon scattered over the surface of my mind, until I couldn't get anything done because I didn't know what I had to do. My blog got buried. I've never been very regular in my updating, but I got myself TWO YEARS BEHIND! If you've ever had this problem, I really suggest reading the book Getting Things Done. It helped me organize my life.

I could just start from my more recent journeys, but instead, I've been catching up my old entries. I want to record these for myself too. When I first started this blog, it was just to share about a place I really love, and about the way it changed me for the better. But, now, I see it as a recording of my adult life. My first year at Juplaya was right before my senior year of college. What I share, the behaviors of my friends, the strange situations I find myself in, these all really happened, and I write it all the way I remember it. The closer to the dates of the events I can get to writing the blogs, the closer I will be able to get to how I really felt at the time, before memory was tainted by time. This is getting more important to me.

And part of that is because of how, almost two years later, I find it harder to piece together the memories of BRC2013. And it was SO AWESOME! The first year (2011) was nice, but not bringing a bike was the worst decision I could have possibly made. There were also problems with campmates, and I was stuck in culture shock.

I missed Burning Man 2012. In fact, on the day that the man burned, I got fired, and my boyfriend at the time broke up with me. It was a bad year all around, and I felt so out of place in my hometown.

SO, I went at 2013 with enthusiasm. I got a ticket early in the year, like I did in 2011. I had money at the time from working a stupid cashiering job all holiday season long. Starting immediately after buying my ticket, of course, they started cutting my hours. Eventually, I was making the 45 minute commute (one way) for a four-hour shift, and paying around $8 round trip to do it. Then they started giving me those shifts only a couple times a week. I wanted to quit - I was making less than $30 per shift after factoring gas into the equation, and that seemed like it really wasn't worth almost hours of my life... but I was a stupid money whore and wanted to wait to as close to Burning Man as I could so I could get all the money I could before I finally did quit. But I waited too long, and got fired. It's not worth it to work at a job you really want to quit that isn't even paying you that well. Life lesson learned.

I ended up giving my friend the Fire Demon a ride. He has a huge bike with a crazy impressive sound system, powered by a car battery. It's a massive, heavy bike. He actually took it apart into two pieces, and attached each piece to the bike rack that was getting bent because of it. I had people from a different camp take my bike in their UHaul.

My poor little car did great, but I'm sure it's much more weight than she should carry.
We basically both were of the mindset that we should bring as much stuff as possible to make life easier while we were there, and to have more random stuff to offer people. We went to Wal-Mart a night or two before and went a little crazy - we bought lights, rope... I don't even remember everything, but I know I spent somewhere around one or two hundred dollars. I hate Wal-Mart and its associations with Burning Man. It's horrible and it should stop... and yet I do it too. It's like some kind of crack. I feel guilty for shopping there when I know it's such a horrible company. But, there was nothing really that either of us needed or forgot, and we only had to go to one store for our non-food supplies.

Speaking of food, this year I decided to get a pressure canner and pre-prepare my food. I got tired of having the same things all the time, so this time I'll plan things out better, trying to can more stuff throughout the year so I can pick and choose my menu easily, and without additional cost. I made vegan chili and soup made with farmer's market veggies. It was time-consuming, and a bit intimidating, but as long as you look up the guidelines and FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS, everything should turn out just fine. Some of the benefits to having a bunch of canned food on the playa are a) no ice needed, b) no plates needed (you can eat it right out of the jar), and c) easy cleanup. I just closed up the lid, and put them back into the flat of jars. It isn't the most space-efficient option, nor is it the lightest, but it's easy. Of course, you can always re-use the jars after they're clean, but you have to buy new inner lids, to be sure it has a proper seal. All in all, it's tried, true, and low waste. Plus, you know exactly what you're eating, and you don't have to worry about how cold your cooler is(n't).

Pic of the back seat - full up! (trunk looks just the same, but more organized)

Waiting in line to get to the gate.

Getting closer to the gate...
One of the gifts I gave the playa in 2013 was some Rune readings in Center Camp. My Tarot-Reading friend did tarot readings. There were so many people there, that it didn't take very long for me to get burnt out doing it. But the readings gave things that were critical for these people to hear. It was as if these people had been directed to this nexus of energy just as I had. It's a hub! I've heard similar stories before of people 'just running into' people at Center Camp, who later reflect back and realize they were meant to be there. Then, of course, I took a bunch of pictures of the art there. Here are some of my favorites.

Center Camp Art!

Center Camp Art!

Center Camp Art! By one of my camp-mates.

Center Camp Art! Complete with my friend's hand

I was pretty much drunk the entire week. I had been training for this: I religiously drank at least one alcoholic beverage every single day for a month before the event. I didn't want the alcohol to make me sleepy, like it usually did, but I wanted to be very drunk. As my tolerance built up, the sleepiness faded away. It worked. And I was able to stay hammered the whole time. An interesting side note: I have never seen or heard of anyone having any kind of hangover from any intoxicant of any kind on the playa. Tiredness still happens, but I've never heard of anyone having an actual hangover. If I've thrown up on the playa, it was when I was too drunk to remember it (and I don't usually black out...)

On a drunken romp around, I saw the following notice on a building, saying it didn't pass code:

After bringing so much attention to it, someone came along with a sharpie and edited it. After that, someone else came up and passed the building. Yay! I helped! *cue the cheesy grin* *stumbles out*

Art Car Amazement on the Esplanade
Never a dull moment

The spaceship in the background, underneath the Coyote, was what the Man was standing on.

I blame the thumb being in the picture on me being drunk the whole time. :P
The Man!

Drunk me: "Ohmahgurd - I gotta take a picture of this one!"

I don't remember what camp this was, but I met up here with a few other friends to see Beats Antique play (for the first time).
So, before we went to see that Beats Antique concert, my campmates and I went to go see this guy who home-brewed a special Andean-inspired elixir based with some sangria, and shared some with us. It kept me going alllllll night long, especially in combination with the special tea my campmates shared with me. The concert was amazing. Afterwards, my Tarot-Reading friend and I went dancing all night long along the esplanade. She also got me to go inside the Tesseract, aka mirror box. It was amazing, and I highly recommend it. I ended up camping with the camp that brings it to the playa the very next year.

Blurry pics of Art Cars from atop a CORE structure

Art Cars from above

Art Cars from above

My Favorite Panel from the awesomely-creepy Photo Chapel.

CORE (Circle Of Regional Effigies) Burn