Tuesday, 30 September 2014

So Different!

Oh hey! 

Did I ever tell you about the new mirrors on my car?

I don't think I did!

So a few years ago, after my parents were in a car accident, my Dad took a refresher driving class.  A great idea and one I think wouldn't be such a bad thing for me to do one of these days either.

Anyway, the fellow told my Dad he should get some "blind spot" mirrors and my Dad did and raved about what a difference it made to his vision when driving.

I kind of smiled and nodded but didn't go out of my way to do anything about getting some for me, but a while ago Jason brought it up too.  He really strongly recommended I get some and said he didn't know why everyone didn't have them and so one day when we were in Canadian Tire for something else, I picked up some of the little mirrors for myself.

Jason put them on for me and then had me sit in the car while he stood in my blind spots so I could see how well they worked.

At first it was awkward.  It felt like there was something in the way of me looking in my mirror but I pretty quickly got used to them.  And once I got used to them I had a hard time knowing how I'd ever driven without them.

You guys, these things are brilliant.  They go in the outer corner of your rear view mirror and allow you to see things that would otherwise be in your blind spot.  You can still shoulder check your blind spot but you already know there's nothing there because you can see it in the mini mirror.

I actually found out that they can help when you can't see out of your rear view at all when I was transporting my bike to Jason's for him to fix up before Burning Man.  Without them I would have been really uncomfortable on the drive, but with them, I felt like I could see who was behind me with some careful looking.

I really really like them you guys and I'm surprised they're not somehow standard or something.

So yeah, think about getting yourself some blind spot mirrors.  Be aware that it'll seem weird at first, but once you're used to them being there, it's awesome.  I feel like I'm driving better... if that even makes sense, but maybe it's because I'm that much more aware of what's around me...or not.

Monday, 29 September 2014

The Small Blues

I've been right on the edge of needing/wanting a big cry all week.  Well, all last week anyway, and I'm assuming this week will feel fairly similar.

It's partly being overwhelmed, partly the change of seasons, partly just life.

People keep saying this is the last of the sunny weather, but man I'm saying nothing until I have to.  Sure, it's dark much earlier than I'd like and that makes the days seem shorter and somehow less motivating but there's always another side to a story and at least I'm still waking up with some light outside.  Right?

Jason fielded both of the big cries I did get in last week, bless him, and while I started out just needing a hug and to vent about work (don't talk about work, Victoria, even though you want to!) both times I ended up telling him I missed us being really really together and wouldn't he just un-break up with me already?

As always seems to happen with Jason, I felt much much better after, and he pointed out that we're still spending time together... he still cooked us dinner last week and it's not as if we're not... kind of together, I don't know, it seems to me it's a mental thing for him.  He needs time to just focus on him and holding together the pieces of his life and not having a "girlfriend" has seemed like something of a relief.  Even though he's still seeing me, spending time with me, talking to me, supporting me, and hugging and cuddling me when I ask him to.

Do I miss the "extra" closeness, if you know what I'm saying?  Sure.  But not as much as I might have thought.  I keep asking him if he could find time for a sleep over just a SLEEP over because for me there's something about sharing space for an extended period of time that I'm missing.  Plus the whole I sleep naked and sometimes he does too and damn I miss feeling someone's chest pressed up against my back.

Was that too much information?  Sorry.  It's not as if he had much time over the summer either, and I don't want to borrow worries but I know sometimes fall can be a lower, tougher time for me and I both wish he'd reconnect with us, and would let me help him... I don't know.  I'm babbling evasively here I feel.  Not able or wanting to really talk about what's going on or why but if only... if only... you know how that goes.

I'm ok, not in a bad place, just feeling like I have a lot to get out and I'd rather it came out than got stuck inside.  Because when it gets stuck inside, I find myself at the breakfast table sobbing, makeup streaming down my face at videos like this...



So here's to hopefully continuing to let it out, and being more and more ok every day.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Now I'm One Of The Guys, Yo

Peeing standing up is awesome you guys!

Ok, hi, sorry, that was probably a waaaay too weird way to start a post but it's a Saturday, everyone's sleeping in anyway.

But seriously.  Guys, like, boy guys, you've got it so awesome with the whole ability to stand up to pee!

I've used my pee funnel thing before, usually when hiking when Jason wanders off behind a bush to pee and I think, well, guess I'll go too, but I've always hid myself behind a bush and crouched down and just used the funnel to kind of... direct things.  But, last weekend when we went for our drive/walk/hike thing we'd pulled over by an abandoned building for a break/change into shorts (BECAUSE EXTENDO SUMMER YAY!) and pee break.  I figured I may as well give it a go but instead of crouching this time, I stood up.

And it was awesome!

Just... standing there to pee.  Ladies... seriously, it's awesome.  No need to sit, crouch, squat, hover, none of it, just... stand there and wheeeeeee!

I don't know, maybe the novelty will wear off but damn, the convenience of being able to stand while tinkling?  Is pretty damn rad.

Yo.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Extendo

I don't know how it's been where you live, but we've had an extendo summer here.

It's been warmer and sunnier for....ever it seems and I've loved that a lot.

But it's certainly starting to be Fall now.  Autumn.  As I've mentioned, the days are getting shorter.  And some of them have a certain crispness to them.

The trees are starting to shed a few leaves, or needles, and some of them are tinged at the edges with brown or orange or something just not quite green.

Jason and I went for a drive/hike last weekend and it was gorgeous.  Sunny, warm enough for shorts, still summer by any stretch of the imagination, even in the middle of the forests, or in the always freezing rivers.

The seasons do tend to change more gradually here than in other parts of the world.  We're west coasters after all...we tend to be a bit mellower all round.  But this has been a lovely Summer, and I'm happy she decided to stick around to the very end of the party.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Trying To Breathe...

I have two friends who are thinking of coming to Burning Man next year.

I say "coming" because I'm assuming they'd come with me.  I might be wrong on that, but it's been implied in the conversations.

Which panics me.

(Doesn't take much some days, I know, but still..)

First of all, I love them both dearly and they're both easy going so I'm sure they'd get along, but... they don't know each other... what if they didn't?  One's a long time friend of mine from waaay back in the day and the other is a current co-worker I've known for about five years. 

Second of all, how would we all get down there?  Three of us and all our stuff won't fit in a car.  Would we rent a vehicle of some kind?  Go with Connor in his RV thing? 

Plus, what if they don't like it?  What if we annoy each other?  What if they rely on me?  What if they want me to show them around etc.?  WHAT IF I'M THE EXPERT?  I'M NOT THE EXPERT!!!  I've only gone twice!  Both times I've gone with Connor who knows how to get the rebar into the playa... how to get the rebar out of the playa at the end of the week when it's stuck... knows how much things have to be secured against the wind... what a dust storm can do to a tent.. your eyes... I can't take care of two people who've never been before... who will take care of me if I need it????  AND HOW WILL WE GET ALL OUR BIKES THERE OMG I CAN'T HANDLE IT!!!!

So...yeah... it's stressing me out a bit.

And I'm going to have to let that go...

*Deeeeeeep breath....*

Oh boy.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Not Enough

I couldn't sleep last night.

I just lay there thinking about the way I'd tried to describe that "fire party" in my post yesterday and how I'd come nowhere near to managing.  And the thought of that wouldn't let me sleep.

So here I am...trying again.  Hoping to get at least somewhat closer, but knowing that even then, Burning Man is not something you can really fully understand and appreciate until you've been there.

This photo.  This photo is from last year (and no, I didn't upload it to flickr, but I wanted to show you a photo because I felt that might...sort of help) from after the Man burn when I wandered around the circle of art cars and spent ages watching this one particular art car making fire.  This photo is one of my favourites from last year because this was one of my favourite moments.  And although it's not from this year, it does show a little bit of what I'm trying to describe.

Burning Man is dark.

Um... at night that is.  (Sorry, I just feel the compulsive need to make sure no one thought I meant "dark"... like... brooding and mean or whatever.)

It's not like going to the beach at night and thinking it's so dark because the nearest streetlights are an entire block away.  It's not even camping dark... it's hard to explain.  You're just out in the middle of this vast open space and there is no light.  This year especially as the moon was (crap, what's the term for a not-full moon...waning?) not really there at all and stars don't actually cast light (don't get technical on me here, I'm describing, not Science-ing.)

So it's basically pure dark out there unless you count looking back at the city and seeing the neon lights of the camps.  Because Burning Man does light up at night.  It has to... this is sounding redundant but it's frigging dark.

When you're out on the playa (the open space where the art is, not the city where the camps and people are) there are no theme camps or sound stages or flood lit dodgeball courts or skate parks (yes, these are things) there are just scattered art installations, some of them lit, some not, and there are bikes (which should be lit, but some are not) and there are people (who should most certainly be lit, but many are not) and there are the art cars.  (Which have to be lit, and approved as lit enough to be allowed to drive at night.)  The art cars are fun during the day and spectacular at night.

There are art cars in as many different shapes and styles as you can imagine but the ones that most capture my attention are the ones that have... for lack of a better term... flame throwers.

Like the car in the photo above.  I couldn't even tell you what the vehicle itself looked like.  Probably some variation on a truck, because it was what was on top of this art car that mattered.  Six, eight, ten flame throwers that when pulled (by the certified flame...person, because although there is a saying on the playa "safety third" the truth is, when it comes to things like fire?  it's safety first and above all else.) shot out flame like streams of fire, but also a loud... whistle sort of scream.

So each time the mad-max looking guy would shoot out flame there would be this scream of noise and this rush of the noise of the flame itself and a blast of heat as if you were standing right next to a campfire because...well, all of a sudden you are.  And the light.

So much light.

Again, if you look at the photo... and close your eyes and use your hand and just look at the right hand side of the photo?  Could be daylight.  Orange daylight sure, but it's that bright.  So you're standing by these art cars and it's dark but not pitch black because some of them have neon or LEDs or whatever else they have to make them bright and there's music thumping away from most of them and then it's BRIGHT like daylight and hot like you just stepped into the drier mid cycle and it's this huge blast all at once and it's exhilarating.

So that first night this year, the Sunday night, when we biked over to see the art installation shooting fire.. and the group of art cars seeming to have a "I can out flame you, you glorious piece of work you" party or flame off or something... it was so very Burning Man to me.

Because I don't go to party, I go for... something else.  Something I can't always put my finger on, but the effing fire?  The things that throw fire and shoot fire and make giant fire balls fly into the air and shock me with heat and light and noise and holy sh*t it's so much a reminder of how alive you are?  That's Burning Man.

I don't know.  You really do have to have been there... witnessed it.  Felt it.  Seen it.  It's... indescribable.

But, you can go to youtube and search for something like "burning man art car fire" or something and see a video like this one, that is sort of like what I saw (El Pulpo is my favourite... a Burning Man "sweetheart") but it still won't give you the real feel of it.

It rattles your body.  Well, mine anyway, and I feel each flare and burst in my heart and my soul swells up and wants to explode with it and then when they give off a big burst it's almost too much.  Too much heat... light... energy...and then it stops and you can breathe again.

I don't know if I've come any closer to trying to explain just this one moment.  This one tiny piece of this place and this time and everything.

But I love Burning Man.  And I wish I had the words to put you there even just for a moment.  But words are not enough.

But I'm trying.


Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Sunday... The First

So, Sunday.  (Again.  Because I feel like I didn't actually talk about it last time.... And my brain broke.)

We arrived to the playa (highway traffic line!) at ten thirty or so.  I started to get hot in the car but dealt with it (stripped down, fanned myself, put up shades on the windows) and I thought about how it was already different from last year when I was in the line to get in and already uncomfortably hot (and probably overheated) but with no idea how to deal with it (or that that was what I'd be dealing with) and no idea that that was no where near how hot I (and it) was going to get.

It was awesome being there, and seeing all the vehicles, especially the crazy ones and seeing the people, especially the crazy ones (!) and feeling like it was just beyond awesome to be there again.  At the ... gate (?)  (I think?) we were asked if we had any of the contraband items (feathers, fireworks, fidos, fucking awesome attitudes, felines, firearms) and we had to admit to him that we were, in fact, in possession of some fucking awesome attitudes.  Fortunately, he let us in with them since we didn't have any of the other dis-allowed items and after he checked the vehicle (for stowaways and the contraband items) he scanned our tickets and car pass (there was a moment where we held our breath when he scanned Connor's ticket.  I mean, I was pretty sure it was real but still...) and on we went.

We got to the greeter's station and he took one look at us and said "you've both been here before, haven't you?" which made me feel really happy.  I guess I wasn't wide eyed.  Just grinning wide.  He gave us our maps and guides (so you know where the art is and where the available camping spots are and where and when events are happening) and told us "Welcome Home."

It meant a hell of a lot more to me this year than last year when I showed up, was greeted and kind of... didn't get what all the fuss was about.

I reached over and gave his hand a big squeeze and he looked at me and said, "Oh you need a hug, don't you!?"  and I smiled, tears in my eyes, nodded and opened the car door.

This great big man (tall and strong) wearing a long leather kilt and some sort of top hat and vest ran around the front of Connor's truck and gave me a gigantic, lift you off the ground you are my best friend and I love you kind of hug.  And I knew I was, indeed "Home."

It was so sweet.

And so was seeing the male greeter in green florescent hot pants give an equally big hug to the driver of the vehicle two rows over from us.

I was already chit chatting with people, thanking them for their work (I still don't know how people take the heat and sun so well, but... then again, I do live in Victoria, BC, not Reno, Nevada...or somewhere similarly warm and sunnyish) and so happy to be actually, for real, entering the city.

We glanced down at the clock and then at each other.  We had expected to be in line to get in for hours (like last year I believe it was at least five hours, perhaps more) and this had been so short!  We drove to where we'd thought to camp and realized it was only 1:30.  We'd gone from pavement to spot in two hours.  Amazing.

I'd wanted to be close to the portapotties because it had been lovely to be near last year, but there weren't any spots free.  We found one, but it was reserved for "building a kick-ass art car" as the awesome guy told us when we got out to look.

We ended up on the same street we'd planned to be on, but further down. I was frustrated it had worked out that way, it seemed a long way away from where I'd "wanted" to be and I was hungry and annoyed that the meal plan I'd decided to try this year didn't start for another day.

Realistically, I now recognize that this is a fairly normal occurrence.  As your body adjusts to the heat, the dryness, and most especially the altitude, you get cranky.  It's "normal" for the first few days to feel off... but of course I didn't think of this or remember this, I was just... annoyed.

So cranky I was.  We were "too far" from the bathrooms, we had "no food" and hadn't had any ALL DAY but I just shrugged it off, ate crackers and beef jerky (because radical self reliance means that I had enough to keep myself from starving had all other food sources fallen through) and drank water and sat watching as the people and vehicles of Burning Man made their way past me.

By about 6:30 that evening, it was cool enough for us to set up the tent and put our bins into the storage side so Connor could set up his "back of the truck" sleeping area.  We met some of our neighbours (it was relatively empty at this point, we could still see through to open playa behind us) and I was happy that they were vets.  Seasoned burners somewhere in their fifties, and cool people.

I watched the sun go down behind the mountain and joined in the chorus of howls as it disappeared. We got peckish and Connor said he'd make us some of his freeze dried food. Except his stove didn't work.  (Um... kind of like last year?) And I started to get annoyed again.

But... my temperature was good. (Polar opposite of my first night last year when I was almost literally roasting and had to sleep outside)  And I was really pleased with that.

There was a tequila bar down the road and it had great music; some Floyd, some Dave Matthews Band, I was happy, if a little hungry and grumpy.

We went for a ride, out to see the Man and the Temple and some of the art.  I was madly in love with "Squares", a beautiful, interactive sound and light piece, and I went and spoke to the artists and thanked them for their work.  I gave them one of my necklaces I'd made as a thank you and they seemed really touched.  But damn, I loved their piece.  (I tried to find a photo of it to link for you, but I can't, and I didn't take any shots myself, my camera not being great in low light and me not wanting to take a shot that didn't do the art justice.)

There was also a fantastic dead tree sort of thing that when you got closer turned out to be made of bodies and body parts and again, I wish I could show you how stunning it was.

We chatted to the man sitting at the base (that early in the week and technically before the event actually begins on Monday there are still many pieces unfinished and you can often see the artists working on them, which is also pretty cool!) of the structure and he said he was just watching it for his girlfriend, the artist.  We told him to pass on to her how beautiful and striking the piece was and then we biked on.

We saw a huge collection of art cars, and what we first thought was some kind of awesome art car party (woo hooo!) was the line up of art cars waiting to be inspected by the Department of Mutant Vehicles (that's right... the DMV) to see if they would be given permission to drive at night.  It was awesome.  Beautiful!  Colourful!  Creative!  ART THAT MOVES!  Crazy people doing crazy things to things that move and transport and make noise and shoot flames and why?  Because.  Burning Man.  It was great to see so many art cars at once, and I'm so glad we got to see that.  It was a super fun, silly, happy thing that I didn't even really know happened.

I am in love with fire and things that shoot fire and so after the art car dance party lineup I biked us towards what seemed to be some sort of fire party!  There were five or six flame throwing/shooting art cars all looped around a flame throwing art installation somewhere mid-playa and I was in heaven.  FLAME!  FLAME!  FLAME!!!!! Noise, heat, brightness, so glorious.  The octopus that most people have seen in Burning Man videos was there (he's my favourite) as was a scorpion that shot fire out of its... tail spike and the word LOVE shooting fire and I don't even know what else.  I could have sat in the middle of it all night being happy and revelling in how HOT the fire was and how BRIGHT it made everything!

It may sound silly to say but when it's dark...dark dark like you don't see in the city dark, and something shoots out a sh*t ton of fire in a flame throwing burst of noise and fuel?  It's frigging amazing, and beyond bright... and hot.  And when there's five or six or seven of them doing it all around you?

I can't even explain to you what it's like.

It must sound surreal from the outside, but all I know is I'm not getting anywhere close to explaining it.  It's magnificent.

And fun.  And crazy.  And ridiculous.  And art.  Stunning art wrapped up with engineering wrapped up with f**%ing flame throwers and the happiest people you'll ever see in your life.

Because everyone's grinning.

No one more so than I.

We biked back home and I was annoyed by what looked and acted like "frat boys" who had pulled in next to us.  Ugh.  I have never been a fan of frat boys and especially not at Burning Man.  Now I was grumpy.

Hungry too, which I'm sure didn't help but?  The temperature?  Almost felt... chilly.  YAY!

There had been a breeze for most of the day which had been amazing and to feel actually not hot at night?  Miracle.

I found myself really wanting to talk to Jason.  I turned my phone on just in case and was stunned to find I had service.  I hadn't had it for most of the last part of the drive, and hadn't had it at all last year so it was... sort of disappointing to have it.  I didn't want to be able to talk to "the real world" but I did try to call Jason (hard not to talk to someone when you have so much you want to say) and I texted C-Dawg to let her know I was good and then I was tired.

Connor kept on thanking me.  Saying that none of this would have happened if it hadn't been for me.  My faith and determination to get him a ticket and get us there.  I... didn't know what to say to that, I have a hard time when people tell me something like that because I don't see myself as someone that makes things happen.  Maybe I should start to...

Anyway.  I went into the tent, got out my journal and wrote that I could hear noise in the distance.  That things were already dusty.  There were art cars.  Driving past.  Making noise.  Music.  Sound.  And lights.

"I'm here."  I wrote.

It was probably 1am by the time I got settled enough to actually go to bed.  Burning Man.  I was at Burning Man.  With all the dust and noise and lights and art cars and.... everything.  I was there.

"I'm here."


Monday, 22 September 2014

Odds and Ends

I survived Boot Camp again last week.

Didn't want to go, but did and am glad I did.  Didn't hurt so much the next day or so either, but I also consciously took it easier and made sure I was adjusting.

Jason and I had a great afternoon this weekend.  I was really really upset about some life things and he called and listened while I cried and cried and you know those cries where everything just comes out and then you feel better?  Yeah, that.  And then we went down to the ocean and took some photos and saw deer and otters and a loon and damn, we live in a beautiful place.

I felt 100% better after seeing him and talking to him and he said that he felt more relaxed than he has in a while, so I'm super glad we had that time together. 

My gum bruising has healed SO MUCH better than the last time.  Maybe just different spots... but I also used Arnica on the outside area and advil for the first few nights.

Oh, and I think as well as taking it a bit easy, and stretching, I feel like the epsom salt baths I soaked in the two nights after boot camp really really reduced the aches and sore spots.

I kind of think they're miraculously awesome.

Oh, and I cleaned.

Vacuumed and dusted and even the top of the fridge type cleaning.

Took nearly two hours (how do people with houses do it?!) but other than my cooler, sleeping bag, and foamie that I have to take to C-Dawg's but keep avoiding doing because that means that Summer and Burning Man are actually, really over and I'm not ready for that yet, my place looks tidy and clean and that makes my brain go ahhhhhh.

It finally started to feel like Fall though.  Some rain.  Cooler temperatures.

I wore my boots for the first time in ages.  (And one of the...uh...very well off ladies at boot camp said it's the first time she's had the roof down on her convertible in months.)  (Ahem.)  (They're not my crowd.  They're friends of C-Dawg's neighbour.)  (Ahem.)

I watched the Scotland referendum vote last week too and got really anxious and had to stop watching it.  But watching Scottish newscasts made me realize just how Scottish I am and how Scottish we look.  (If I haven't mentioned it before, my parents were both born in Scotland, so I'm a first generation Canadian... Och aye.)

So, yeah.  Things are fine and ok (minus some big cries and emotional stuff and still not wanting to talk or think about things with Jason...) and I've already got the light clock going and I'm noticing how much earlier it's getting dark.

There are probably some other random odds and ends I could tell you (like I changed the blade on my razor.  you're welcome) but other than saying that I'm happy to be done the last two books I've read because they both dragged, I don't know what else I would want to say.

So... the end. 

Seacrest, out!

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Film

I took a film camera to Burning Man this year.  (I can't remember if I mentioned that already... in fact I'll probably tell you things about/from Burning Man more than once because I can't remember most of what I've said about it v/s... did I just say that only in my head?  Or to someone at work?  A friend?  Etc. and so on.... so sorry if I do.)

I thought a lot about it because I grew up shooting film.

I know, I know, that sounds dumb.  Unless we're twelve, we all "grew up" shooting film, but I just mean that somehow I've noticed my old film shots are different.  Especially my black and whites.

So I took a film camera and some rolls of black and white film.

I didn't take the camera I grew up on.  My Dad gave me that a few years back and wow did that ever mean a lot to me and I wasn't willing to risk losing that camera or having it injured in some way.  I talked about it a lot with Jason, not really wanting to pay for another film camera, but not wanting to take MY camera.... and then we found the same camera online for $60 and, well, it seemed like it was meant to be.

I only ended up using one roll, I think the dust really got to the poor beast and when I started to try to shoot with the second roll it was just so gritty (the mechanics) and I didn't want to make a bad thing worse so I left well enough alone.

The shots aren't back now.  Apparently black and white film has to be sent away (I'm suspecting Siberia, but perhaps that's just my impatience in our "give it to me now" world) and so I'm waiting to see the shots.

I have a couple that are fairly engrained in my head already.  As in, I remember taking them and I'm pretty sure I know how they're going to look.  But it was also a wider lens than the 50mm I'm used to and I'm curious about that.

And, of course, I'm curious to see how I did.  Did I capture "Burning Man" the way I tried to?  Will I like these shots more than the digital ones I'm nonplussed about?

Will I be disappointed? 

Will they translate to anyone else?

I don't know.  But... I'm hoping it's not too many more days until I can find out.

Because you guys?  I took a film camera to Burning Man.  And I think that's really cool.

Friday, 19 September 2014

An Addiction, I Figure

I've been feeling miserable lately when I spend time on the internet.

Having connected to some new-to-me social media networks in the last six months for my "other" writing persona (sigh) I've found they can occasionally make me feel happier, but more commonly bring me down.

I don't know if Jason was right in saying that I needed to be connected to all these sites and while I suppose I have connected to some people I ordinarily wouldn't have been able to connect with, it's also ... just not been good.  I don't feel like harping on the why and I'm sure it's partly my fault and I should just ignore and limit my time, but it's sort of addictive.

I used to wonder why my Dad seemed so hooked on the news... it was all so negative, how could he stand it and why was he bothering.  And then I find myself obsessively checking the same social site twenty eight billion times a day just to see if there's anything new.

This is not necessarily a new problem for me.  I had to ban myself from Stumbleupon years ago and a few other sites that were either draining my time (and life) or my spirit, but because Jason suggested these sites would be good for... whatever might come of my writing... I feel like I "should".

Plus, with things being not so awesome since I've been back, I've been blue... and have been trying to distract myself with .. well, the interwebs.

Sigh.

I'm hoping it's just a phase, but I know that it's one of my struggles.

Distracting myself... with things I find on my computer.

I need to go back to Burning Man where the world was so entertaining all I needed to do was sit... and look.... and be.

But seriously... I just did it again.  Took a break from posting.  Went to a particular site, looked at this, that and the other and started getting angry, making up stories in my head and f*&%.  I hate it.  Time to look at changing things I think...

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Oh Yeah

So the filling.

The filling I thought I lost.

Which... I guess I did, but anyway. 

My dentist was able to get me in Monday afternoon and I think I'd sort of naively hoped that I wouldn't need freezing, that they'd just pop in some filler to refill the stuff that'd fallen out.  Right?  RIGHT???

But... when I got there, the dentist said it was actually tooth...in between two fillings that had collapsed and then I stopped listening because I figured it meant freezing.

I do not like the pain from the freezing needles.  Why can't they make that not hurt?  Why do I then spend another bunch of days not with a sore tooth but with a sore jaw from where the needle went in?

I asked him why it seems like I keep getting cavities and needing fillings when C-Dawg has never had any.  I thought he'd give me a speech about dental hygiene and eating sweets but he said "basically?  Life's not fair."

Which... both did and didn't make me feel better.

So, yeah, they had to make a bigger hole and put in lots of stuff and I won't say I enjoyed the process or having half my face (no exaggeration) frozen for the rest of the day.  (Until, like 7pm at which point I ate crackers because I'd been craving things that went crunch.)

Now I still have that bruised jaw feeling (the hygienist told me that's basically what it is, a bruise where the needle goes in and you can't do anything about it although I swear Advil has been helping) but at least there's no more hole in my tooth.

I didn't cry this time (I cried last time I got a filling from the pain of the freezing needles) but I did get all sweaty-fainty so that wasn't much fun.  It was also weird to be told I had had a "significant" amount of freezing and would not be able to feel all the way up to my ear... or most of my tongue, cheek, lips, face...etc.  And I only got a little panicky about choking on my own spit that I figured must be building up but I couldn't feel because..hello frozen and I got panicky because I was having a conversation in my head and started to get the giggles and figured that would be really bad but then it was hard to not keep getting the giggles so.... a lot of deep breathing.

I'm glad I don't have a fear or a phobia and that I have good dental care and reasonably averagely healthy teeth. 

They always tell me I keep my teeth very clean.  I just wish that whatever it is that's getting in there and causing the decay and stuff would go away.  Me no likey the owies, thank you very much.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Back To Life

I felt really good when I got back from Burning Man.

Like, really good.

I felt relaxed and happy and like everything was right with the world.

Jason said I looked radiant.  Gorgeous...or stunning, I don't remember anymore, and he said he'd never seen the changes Burning Man could have on someone in person.

He's the only one who noticed anything particular.  Some folks told me it looked like I'd toned up.  (I guess biking for a week will do that to you) and people mentioned I "looked good".

I tend to get compliments when I've had a bit of sun.  I'm a very pale person and although I'm not a fan of skin damage, a little bit of a tan suits me.  I always get told I look healthy.

So I got some of that too.  I felt like I came back more attractive than I was when I left, and that was a feeling thing, not a how I actually look thing, although the Playa hair and tan and relaxation did help somewhat I suppose.

I still feel good, I guess.  But as I told Jason when he said he wanted to shoot how I was looking, I was pretty sure it would fade.  It's hard to be confronted with the reality of day to day life and the lives of those around you and the bitter and the stressed and the angry and to keep feeling relaxed and free and...perfect.

But I guess I just wanted to point out that the way I felt coming back this year felt like a 180 from how I felt when I came back last year, and that's been awesome.

I didn't come back feeling ugly and unattractive.  Maybe I almost came back feeling the opposite.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

R&R (And Then Some More)

So what did I do this weekend, you asked?  (Ok, you didn't ask, but someone somewhere might have asked me this so let's just go with it, shall we?  K.)

I rested.

I did pretty much nothing.

Except rest.

I don't know.  People kept suggesting it's the last sunny weekend we'll get (even with Extendo-Summer)(trademarked) but Jason was away for work and I feel like I was still recovering (and why does it matter if Jason was away for work?  I don't know, because if he hadn't been we probably would have done something or at least hung out or maybe gone to the beach for a couple of hours, I don't know) from being away and I just didn't want to do anything.

And then I lost a filling.

Not that that has anything to do with anything either, but somehow it made me feel like I should... not eat.  No, that's not true (man I'm on bouncy brain today, aren't I?) but anyway, I lost a filling (Pretty sure I crunched it out eating popcorn kernels, but I LIKE THEM!) and didn't notice until Friday evening, or only noticed Friday evening and so that was weird...

And I just didn't want to do anything.

I felt like I should go to the gym.

I napped instead.

I watched shows.

I... tried not to let myself get spinny crazy in the head too much.

I had amazing naps.  Both just about an hour long.

I forgot to do things that didn't really matter.

I half-assed-ly vacuumed.  I went for a walk with a friend and heard his latest love life story.  I went for another walk with other friends and caught them up on Burning Man and told them they should both come next year.  (She might.)

I emailed friends I made at Burning Man.  I sent them photos I'd taken.

I... lay on my couch a lot.

I didn't do much at all.

And I think that's ok.

I think things might get a little nutty around here soon and I might wish for days like this weekend.  Sunny, lazy, I don't have to do anything at all if I don't want to days.

We should all have more of those.

The end.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Ahhhhhhh, Light

The thing I've been loving about these mornings lately is that I've been waking up to daylight.

I know it's been this way for a while, but I also know it's changing and so I've been consciously recognizing it and enjoying it of late.

When at Burning Man, it would be the light that would first wake me.

Were it still cool enough in my tent I would go back to sleep but it was pretty consistent that the latest I would/could sleep would be around 8.  After that and the tent would be too hot for comfort.

But there was also that sense of... I'm here... the day has started, why would I want to still sleep now that I'm awake!

Sure, when I was sleepy enough I'd catch a few more zzzs.

Now that I'm home, I still wake up most nights thinking I'm there and someone's going to walk in on me naked in my tent and so I pull my sheet over myself half awake before I realize I'm not still at Burning Man and I'm in my apartment, not my tent.

And then I'm a little sad.

But I have liked waking up and having the sun be out.

I've kept my blinds half open, half hitched up (if that makes sense) so that as I'm waking up I can look right out and see the sun, see the day, see the light and it makes me happy.

I like waking up with sun.  With light.

And I think that's a good reminder for me to get my "light alarm clock" ready to go.  Because it may not be quite the same, but it's better than waking up to pure dark.

But I will say how much I'm loving these lit mornings, and feeling really blessed to have them.

Thanks sunshine... I know you're doing what you can to give me an extendo-Summer and I appreciate it.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Ow

I hurt all over.

But, like, not in a "I'm sick" kind of way but in a "C-Dawg took me to her boot camp" kind of way.

So, yeah.  C-Dawg took me to her boot camp.  I've never done a boot camp before and am not a huge fan of group exercising type of things and plus I don't like to hurt and plus plus I don't know what else, but C-Dawg has been going for a few months and has noticed the benefits and I figured I'd give it a try.

Ow.

The lady who runs it was awesome and adapted everything for me and my newness.

C-Dawg had told me that the other ladies in the group had been at it for a year or more and so not to even compare to them at all.

But still.  When I went to do the sit ups holding the bar all the other gals had held and whatever'd with and could barely lift the bar thing?  I felt a little weak.

Or maybe a lot weak.

But I was also so tired by that point that I didn't care.

And I didn't feel too bad after it and I didn't puke during it (yay!) but I'm feeling it today.

Not pain, just "I exercised" and "my abs don't want to function today" kind of sore.

I think I'll try again next week, but I felt the need to complain about it here for a minute.

Partly because I lay down earlier and had a hard time getting back up.

My abs are mad.

Or something.

Anyone want to carry me around for the rest of the day?

Friday, 12 September 2014

Oh Yeah!

In TOTALLY other news, about a month ago my VISA expired (or whatever you call it) and they sent me a new one.

And, whether I wanted it or not, this one had one of those wavy magic, I forget what they're called right now things.

Not the chip, but the... uh... wave it at the place where you usually type in your P.I.N. or swipe the swipy thing and OMG why won't my brain come up with what it's called?  Hang on.. gotta google for Pete's sake...

OK.  VISA calls it the "payWave" which is no cooler than me calling it the swipe thing, so Swipe Thing it is!

So.  I got this new VISA and it has this feature thing that allows you to just kind of... wave/swipe it at the terminal bit and... you've paid.

I've always thought it was SUPER sketchy and vowed to never use it if I ever got it.

And then at some point in the first week of having it I thought I'd give it a try to find out just how sketchy it is and you guys it's super creepy!

BUT AWESOME!

I felt like I was stealing the first time I used it.  All I did was touch my card to the thing and beep!  I had paid.

What if I'd stolen the card????

I asked the girl and she said you can only do smaller payments with it and that it does eventually ask you to sign in or something but still.  I could theoretically do a lot of damage with a card that wasn't mine if all I had to do was swipe it to pay!

But, I suppose that's VISAs problem should someone ever lose their card or whatnot and they must have security features and whatnot in place.

So after I told myself it must be "safe" or else they wouldn't be doing it and I got over the fact that it felt like stealing every time I paid but didn't pay, I started to enjoy it!

No need to type in numbers!  No need to sign here please!  Just BEEP!  Done!  Paid!  SO EASY!

I don't know, I still find it a combination of magical and creepy and cool and wrong, but yeah, I'm starting to like being able to just tap my card and have things magically happen.

Technology is getting pretty weird, you guys.  Makes me wonder what on earth our children will be amazed by.

If anything...

BEEP!

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Click

The other thought I had was that I should apologize photo wise.

I doubt I'll be uploading any of my Burning Man photos to this flickr account, which means I won't be accompanying any of these posts with photos from my trip.

I may be wrong, I may change my mind, but right now I'm not thinking so.

I haven't used this flickr account in ages.  I've talked a little bit about the why behind that I think, but I also have been a little disheartened with my photos of Burning Man since I got home.

The internet has been flooded with amazing photos of this year's burn.  Absolutely stunning shots.  Shots I didn't take.  Shots I'm not sure I could have taken had I been trying.  Oh, and that's a thought I should tell myself.... Self?  You weren't trying to take amazing photos.  You just wanted to document your trip.  Take it easy on yourself ok?  You were taking nice photos of your awesome trip.  Chill out and be nice to yourself.

Hmm...

So, anyway, I got a little upset when comparing my photos to those I've seen online and so I haven't really touched my photos.  Not even to delete.

I'll get to it I figure.  As I said, it's been a harder transition brain power and emotion-power wise and I'm just taking it slow.  No rush for anything.

I did get off the photos of the wedding vow renewal I took, and other than that I've just sat on the shots I took.  All thousand of them.

And a roll of black and white film that I'm waiting to have processed.

I think I'll like those.

So yeah, I'm sorry that my Burning Man posts probably won't have Burning Man photos to go with them. 

It is what it is, you know?

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Because

You'll have to excuse me if my thoughts come at you in a far less than sequential way.

I'm not even sure I want to sit and say (as I did last year) this happened and then that and then this and then that so it will all just come out as it does when it does.  And we'll all have to be ok with that.

I didn't do as much at Burning Man this year as I might have wanted to.  But that's just the "should haves" talking, really, because I realized last year that there is NO WAY on Earth you can do anything near "all" the things you want to do/see/experience at Burning Man.  Like, ever.

So I didn't go with any plans this year.

Other than "get there and back safely", "stay healthy", "not get overheated", I really didn't have anything I felt I *had* to do.  I had a friend ask for me to mail her a postcard and even that was somehow annoying to me.  I just wanted to be there and not have to *do* anything.  So I could very easily sit here and say I didn't see enough art, I didn't go to enough events, I didn't do this or that or waaaaaah I'm so sad/mad/disappointed or I could just say the truth.  I'm really really happy I got to go this year.

I said to Connor that it feels like it's easier to bring how I feel at Burning Man back home, and that I kind of feel like it will be even easier each time I go.

I'd been told that second year is kind of an odd one for folks because the magical "I'm at Burning Man for the first time" feeling isn't there and while I wouldn't say anything like that happened for me, I did feel different this time.

I wasn't... trying to fit in... or trying to survive, I was there, and I was a Burner. 

I think I knew that before I left though... and I don't know if I've talked about it here yet, because it was Jason that started pointing it out to me and I haven't quite wrapped my head around what that means for me.

Part of me feels like I haven't earned it.  I've only been twice.  I haven't contributed enough.  I haven't been enough of a participant to really feel like I can call myself a Burner.  Does it even get a capital B?

But I also feel like I'm ok if I take a year off.  Do I want to go back next year?  Absolutely.  But if it turns out I can't, or it doesn't work out in a way that I'm comfortable with?  I'll be ok.  Because it's here within me now.  Maybe that only makes sense to me, but I just feel like I figured it out this year.  Figured out what it is about it that I get.  And love.  And value.  And it doesn't only exist in that one spot for that one week.  It's something I have within me, and can carry with me wherever I go.

Do I want to go to Burning Man forever and ever?  Yeah.  I do.  Do I want to drag all my loved ones and see each of them appreciate what it is that's awesome about the place?  Yes. 

Because that's part of what's amazing about the place.  What I love about it, and what it means to me?  Might not be anything like what it is about for someone else.

Or maybe it is, I don't know, I'm talking outloud to myself right now, processing as I type I suppose.

But then part of me also wants to recognize that as hard as it is for me to admit, it might not be for everyone.  That thought makes me sad, but I should probably accept that it's true.  Even if for simple reasons of comfort.  Too hot... too far away... a frigging desert...too many people...too loud...not someone who camps...needs running water...can't handle portapotties...the physical environment alone might not be something that everyone wants to deal with or can deal with.

I've got a large number of people in my life who have no desire to go.  And I want to make them understand why they're wrong, but maybe it would be worse if I dragged them and they hated it.

Maybe I'll go and hate it one year.

I know I had some moments of un-happy this year and the grump factor was high for a while.

I don't know.  I don't even know where this post started...I think it started with a warning that my thoughts might not be terribly... straight and organized.

I guess I was right.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

The Outskirts Of It All

I woke up a few Fridays ago, what... three Fridays ago now?  Does time travel that quickly while feeling like it all just happened???  But nonetheless, I woke up early early in the morning and did my final travel checks and then I got a text from Connor at 4:48 am.  "No more sleeps!"

Indeed.  No more sleeps.

"Well, two more road sleeps." But that, in my mind didn't matter.  I was already nervous/anxious/excited and above all else, it was still too early for my body.  Dealt with that and with one last "have an amazing time" phone call from Jason, we were on the road.  Well, technically, on the ferry.

Where it was utterly foggy.  And, I was once again amazed at how long it took for my cell phone to switch over from my coverage to a US carrier.  I know, it's the little things.

There were those travel moments that you had to be there for... the "fog so thick it blocked the sun....for a few moments" and the golden labs who were both adorable and hilarious and me trying to not get too excited about the fact that I was once again on my way to Burning Man.

The border guard asked weird (to me) questions and we stopped for gas at a gas station that sold more camo gear than I'd know what to do with and I bought my first bar of chocolate wax (which Connor found so nasty he tried to throw it out when I wasn't looking, but I caught him and ate it myself.  ha!)  (ahem.)

The part of the drive we were most concerned about (heading through Portland) was fine, other than a small accident that delayed things, and then we just kept wondering how far we'd actually be able to get.

Long (but didn't feel long) story short, we made it twice as far South this year our first day of travel.  I suppose that's what happens when you take a much smaller, more efficient vehicle and don't stop for a leisurely breakfast or lunch.

We got to Klamath Falls, Oregon (our home away from home from last year) around six and I think because we were a day ahead of ourselves, we didn't see as many burners as I remember seeing last year.

There were also swarms of midge bugs that weren't there last year that caused a great deal of amusement (when I'm happy and in a good place, it doesn't take much to amuse me, really) and I got utterly overwhelmed at the BIGNESS of it all when we walked to a BBQ joint for dinner.  It was all just TOO MUCH and I was overwhelmed with having been with Connor all day and having had noise (radio) all day and just... too much.  I was really not in a good place and didn't know what to do.

Last year there was the four of us so I felt like someone else could entertain Connor or each other and this year I suddenly felt the responsibility was all mine and it was too much.

I felt like I was going to lose it so I told him how I was feeling and I felt so much better after that.  It was like giving myself permission to be honest about the suckage made it better.  I told him I was overwhelmed and didn't want to feel responsible for him and he said basically no worries, take care of you, I'm good.

I don't think I slept particularly well or much that night and I remember having a dream where Jason was DD (of all people) and his ex kept trying to feed me edible marijuana sticks (is that a thing?) and I just wanted to talk to her and it was a weird night.

We had a lazy morning, did our grocery shopping, saw that the Kmart we'd shopped in the year prior had closed.  We had to go buy pillows as Connor had forgotten his... for the fourth year running (but he loves his new pillow very much so it's all good in the end) and then we checked into an actual hotel (instead of camping!) and man oh man was that ever comfy.  I revelled in how comfy the massive bed was.  We went out for Chinese for dinner but it wasn't quite as expected (deep fried everything) and I had a shower... with running water (knew it'd be the last for a while) and I fell into another not terribly great sleep.

Early wakeup Sunday (ugh) and then?  WE WERE OFF!  TO BURNING MAN!  LET'S GO, LET'S GO, LET'S GO!

I was so excited and happy.  But super nervous.  I took a gravol just make sure things didn't get... unhappy and then I waited and waited for us to hit Nevada.

Oh Nevada.  The one little corner we drive through is all hills and rocks and more hills and it's so beautiful and different and it's lovely.

Not that Oregon and California aren't pretty too, but once we hit Nevada I feel like we're there.  So close.

We hit traffic too.  I don't mean "traffic" the way city dwellers know it, I just mean there were other cars on the road for the first time and it was weird.  Burner cars.  And trucks.  And vans.  And busses.  With bikes.  And lots of stuff.  And... we're all going to the same place aren't we?

And then... I had to pee.  I mean, I often have to pee, but usually I don't have to PEE pee, but this time I had to pee.  And I didn't say anything for too long and then I was like "uh, Connor?  I have to pee"  He was like "on a scale of 1-10?" Um... 10. Been 10 for a while now... I was reaching for my pee funnel and bottle (it's a thing... it's worth it) when he realized I was serious and there was a quick pull over and ahhhhhhhhhh... we got away from some of the traffic too as a bonus.  Whew.  No peeing in the truck necessary.  (Plus, the damn seat belt pushed right on my bladder, I swear!)

We got to the highway turnoff and... oh.  Shoot.

Connor had said he didn't want to turn up too early because there'd be a line and it seemed he was right.

I also started to get warm and took evasive action (!)  I stripped down to my skivvies... (while putting on pretty sparkly makeup) and got out my fan and put up a sun shade on my side.  I wasn't going to get overheated this time, but it was warm.

And then we were on the playa.  In line, but... at Burning Man.  We'd made it.  No matter what, we'd made it and we were there and I was happy.

We had a super easy in, and in less than two hours (holy smokes!) we were through the gate.  We found a spot to camp vaguely near where we'd wanted to be and we set up the shade shelter and just sat.

We both wanted to be out of the heat (it was mid-day by this point) and just get used to the elevation and temperature.  And, plus... we were there.  There and .... yeah.  Awesome.

Last year, we arrived at Burning Man late Monday... like, early Tuesday morning, technically. This time?  It was Sunday mid day and we were there.

Fantastic.

Monday, 8 September 2014

So....

So I arrived back from my trip on Tuesday night.  I was physically exhausted from two days' worth of travelling and I barely managed to shower, eat some cereal, and collapse into bed.

Didn't sleep well, tossed and turned, but was still able to get up bright and early the next morning to head to work.

I feel like I looked and felt a little rough, but I was there and it was great to see everyone.

I got lots of hugs and the weather was sunny and the day was great.

I felt pretty disoriented and strange being back and it was hard knowing that I'd gone through this experience that had shifted my perspective and feelings about myself and my life and to come back and see that everyone else was just where I had left them.  Stagnant.  Odd.

I rushed over to Jason's after work, and after I babbled on a bit about my trip and basically said "I don't know what to say or think about it all." things didn't continue to be awesome.

Jason's life kind of fell apart while I was away.  And Jason told me that he needs to not be in a relationship right now.

This pretty much blew me out of the water and ripped what little normalcy I had out of my grasp.

We both still love each other, and he wants to still be friends and spend time together (although as he's struggling through everything that's going on, it may not be that much time anyway) and I just don't know what to think.

It's terrible timing.  Or, at least it was terrible timing, it's been a few days now, but that first and second day after he told me were not good.  I pretty much called in sick from work and lay on the couch "watching" bad tv.

I do not at this precise moment in time want to talk about it.  Nor do I need any whispers in my ear telling me anything even if it's meant to be helpful, supportive or whatever.  I just didn't want to not say anything because, well, my mind was pretty mushy post trip and that just turned my thoughts into jello.

It's Sunday night as I write this and I've managed to do a few loads of laundry, and just today got my bins sorted and cleaned and I'm just about to put my sleeping bag into the drier.

I'm not sure I've been taking very good care of myself since I've been back, but I'm hanging in and coping and I'm just a little dazed.

I had a good trip, as smooth as could be.  Imperfect, but that's the beauty of it all.

I hope you're all well, and your lives are good and solid and stable and that you are taking care of yourselves and that your lives didn't fall apart while I was away.

I'll see what I can get around to writing, but even the nitty gritty of the trip will take me a while, and probably would have even without the Jason complication.

So, yeah, I'm home, I'm pretty discombobulated and feel like I'm rebuilding myself in a good, but slow moving kind of way here.  It's all good.  Ish.  You know?

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Hi

Home.  So sleepy.  Coping.  Will try to post soon.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

In Theory

In theory I'm home now.  Possibly last night?  Maybe this morning?  Not sure...because I'm writing this from the past!  (cue spooky music...or sci fi music...)

Which, oddly enough reminds me about how much I liked it when I got my car and it was a 2010, but at the time it was only mid-2009 and every time I got in it I was like "I'M IN A CAR FROM THE FUTURE!!!!"

Ahem.

So, yeah.. in theory I'm home.  I remember getting a bit unwell on the drive home, a sore throat kind of cold sort of thing that I figured was going from the dry playa dusty air all week to the damp moistness of this beautiful coast.

I'm hoping I come home healthier this time round, and even happier than I came home last time.  Which is very.

Yay for home....theoreticallyprobablyIthink?

Monday, 1 September 2014

Because I Just Can't *Not* Do It


Happy Labo(u)r Day y'all! And happy September while we're at it.
Please don't steal stuff from here, it's not nice. But leave a comment, why don't cha? And drink more water. It's good for you.

P.S. If you think you know me? You probably don't. If you're sure you know me? Pretend you don't. I'll never admit I know what you're talking about anyway.

P.P.S. All this stuff is copyright from then til now (Like, 2006-2016 and then some.) Kay? Kay.