Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Sunday Morning (Burning Man... Still Not There!)

So, back to trying to explain this year's burn.

We travelled Friday, rested and shopped Saturday.

I woke up at six Sunday morning.  Connor was still sleeping, so I let him keep resting while I showered and got ready.  Plus, I had not had a good night and wanted to see if I could get it out of my system.  I hadn't slept.  Much at all, actually.  Some combination of nerves over meeting Max, and what that might be like.... would he like me, would I like him, would we like each other, what if not, what if, how would we find each other, where would we camp anyway, would our same spot as last year be open.... all those nerves and then this pretty overpowering feeling of not wanting to go.

Like, I did not want to go to Burning Man.  At all.

All night, I tossed and turned and didn't sleep and I just didn't want to go.  I seem to remember just lying there thinking about how much work it all is.  How it's hot, and tiring and draining and all I would be doing was waiting in a hot car in a hot lineup to camp who knows where and then be hot and dusty while setting up camp that wasn't as easy as a tent peg here or there but would actually involve work.  Hot, sweaty, dusty work and the week wouldn't get any easier.  No luxuries here.  I didn't want to go.

I'm not sure if I contemplated going home or if I just really didn't want to go.

I get like that sometimes, pre-travel... I think about the waiting in the airport or the flights themselves or whatever other discomfort the travel will entail and I sort of mentally decide it'd be better to just not.  And this was a very poorly timed feeling of not wanting to go to Burning Man.

Yeah... the night before.  Ugh.  It wasn't fun.

I was, to be honest, also thrown off by a comment someone left here, randomly, that while I know it wasn't true, upset me and hurt.  So I'm sure seeing that the night before and feeling way off from that didn't help, but still.  I had a pretty bad night and so woke up with my alarm, just kind of going through with it because what else was I going to do?  Stay in the hotel room for a week until Connor came back around on his way home?  Probably not.

I don't remember how I got myself out of the funk or if it was better once I woke up or if I just made the decision to go and hate it... but I washed my hair for the last time in a while (ahhh showers... so luxurious when you know you won't have one for another eight days) and woke Connor up (the alarm...lights...and shower hadn't worked so I talked to him til he grunted) and we headed out.

The drive was easy.  Always thankful for that.  I made a road kill spotting chart and got to 20 poor dead animals by the time we got to the playa.  Or by the time I got tired of looking... it's hard to know.

We stopped for a roadside pee somewhere near where we always do and when Connor was done he looked behind us and saw a chunk of traffic coming so we hustled back into the truck to avoid the super slow and kind of sketchy driver we'd passed earlier.  (Sometimes you pass people with trailers and you can tell they've not driven with one before and it's often somewhere between scary and dangerous, so they're good to not be near.)

We did well with music, hitting Pink Floyd's Pulse once Connor had had a listen to a song that's been meaning a lot to him and had a moment of personal clarity.  (Which was awesome to witness, but I left it to his privacy and didn't ask too much about it.  Just handed him the tissues when he asked for them.)

(Connor told me he thought my theme song for this year should be "I Want to Break Free" by Queen, but I wasn't sure I needed a theme song and kind of feel like a lot of my breaking free has already happened... but I sang along anyway and I get where he's coming from.)  (Actually, as I'm typing this I'm listening to the song and it means more to me now than it did then.  Go figure.  Well done Connor.)

At some point, we stopped for gas, with about half of the rest of the known world.  (Or ok, maybe just a whole lot of other drivers) but somehow we came in the entrance that they wanted us to and had good karma behind us and had an ultimate gas pump awesomeness!  (Probably saved us half an hour, this magical moment)  Connor, when he went in to pay, went in with the intention of buying a lighter (always have one on you for safety reasons when camping, is what he said when I told him I had one with me... because I always have on on me when camping and hiking! anyway) and forgot the lighter but was stoked to remember (or be reminded, technically) to get ice so we'd be able to cool our drinks and have ice water during set up, yay, more success!  Ice!

This year the highway near the playa was much much busier than at the same time last year.  In fact, this year we actually stopped on the highway.

I don't know why.  Don't know if it was traffic or pulsing or an accident or what (you hear rumours from drivers ahead of you, but we couldn't get a signal for gate radio or BMIR so were just... waiting)  but yeah, the highway was much busier.  Plus, we were maybe an hour later than I might have liked, in my perfect world.  But hey... we were close.

And the city was dusty!  Or at least, it was dusty where I was assuming the city was.  The wind and dust we'd heard about from Saturday still seemed to be around, and yes, it was hot.  It's the freaking desert in Nevada in August after all.

We hit the turn off of the highway (which is when I start to feel like we're "there") at 11:11.  An auspicious timing if I don't say so myself.

I think by this point I was most nervous about our hopeful camp spot still being open and felt like every moment we waited in line was a moment someone else might be pulling into our space.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Fine For Now

I have my laptop back, which is so nice.  (I did borrow my parents' for the week as they're away at the moment but man is it frustrating to use someone else's computer and forget all the shortcuts and trackpad movements aren't the same!)  The repair place couldn't replicate the issue (doesn't that always seem to happen?  Same when I take my car in... so it's doing this thing intermittently?  Yeah, we couldn't make it happen....) so I suppose it's just a matter of either ... everything's fine?  Or, it'll go nutty again and either I'll be in the last days of my extended warranty or I won't.

Will deal with that if and when I have to.  Here's hoping I don't have to.

Because I didn't have my computer to do the things I would normally do in the evenings (photo editing, watching a show, etc) I ended up re-reading my posts from my last two visits to Burning Man.

It was interesting.

First of all because it's kind of annoying to read blogs that have already been published as they aren't in an order that works for my brain.  And because I kind of just wanted to read about the journey already, none of this random other stuff that had nothing to do with the trip.

It was also hard to re-read some of the struggles I went through.  Especially with my body and with Jay that first year.  It was really nice though to have the memories to look back on and to have a record of small details that I might otherwise have forgotten, because those memories brought back other memories and made them more vivid.

So I'm glad I've got those memories written down, even if they're not 100% or 24/7.

Which reminds me.... the tv show 24?  If it was actually twenty four hours in that guy's day, why did he never have to pee?  Shouldn't, like, a few minutes have been him in the bathroom or something?

Anyway...

Yeah.  Computer's back.  Is "ok", and that'll have to do for now.

Aaaaaand now I have to pee.  Thanks, Jack Bauer!

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Uh Oh....

And..... just as I was planning on typing out the first day at Burning Man my computer started bugging out.

No, really, not making this up.  Seems a little too familiar to me from a motherboard failure on a previous laptop and so I immediately stopped typing, did double backups, and checked to see if I'm still under extended warranty (I AM!)

So computer's going in today and that probably means no posts this week (or longer if they take too long with it?  Fingers crossed) as I don't think I have the patience to blog on my phone.

Might see if I can fish out my old laptop but it's.... old old and I don't know that it'll even run anymore, it's been that long.

Oh, hey, my folks are going away for a couple of weeks, I just thought, maybe I could borrow their laptop for a bit?

(And hopefully remember all my passwords that aren't auto-filled on a different computer, d'oh!)

Ok.  Well, just a warning.  Computer going in today after work, so maybe no more posts.

Wish us luck!  (My computer and I that is!)

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

What I Did Manage To Write Down

The best laid schemes of mice and men..... but I did manage to write down the first couple of days' worth of ... whatever.

I woke up that Friday morning at the first hint of my alarm (very early o'clock) and it was dark.... and raining!

It hadn't rained in ages and so I hadn't even thought to pack pants, or planned on wearing them at all this trip but I threw a pair on (and then was grateful I had as this was a colder year down in the desert!) and headed out.

I took a gravol, as usual, as my stomach really doesn't like extra early wakeups, but man this one hit me hard and I kept having to keep myself awake most of the morning!

We got the first ferry out, and Connor had me wait in the customs line and I got the giggles.  I got the giggles because it felt very much like we were all cattle in a cattle line waiting to go to the slaughter house!  That, and the girl behind me didn't stop sniffing and the guy in front of me got more and more disturbed by her sniffing!  Oh, and it was still five something in the morning.  And my feet were wet because pants?  But sandals.  No socks.  Whoops.

So I was super dozy on the ferry and then kept telling Connor I didn't recognize any of the drive.  Like, at all.  "You sure this is the way we've always gone?"  "Yup."   Huh... I guess taking gravol each time I've taken this trip really makes me not notice stuff, eh? So, yeah, I got a whole new trip all morning, which was rather novel.

At a certain point mid day we decided to stop for gas and lunch and Connor realized we'd accidentally stopped at the same little place/town as last year.  Go figure!  I got wifi in the starbucks and grumbled that the US travel package I'd bought still wasn't letting me receive texts.  Grumble indeed.

We made it to Klamath Falls mid afternoon (ish) and I remember a whole lot of bugs at the door to the place we were staying.  Made me wonder if the bug-apocalypse that had been happening during build week down in Black Rock City had really ended like they were saying... swarms of bugs ick me out.

One of the things that was really noticable on the trip was the lack of water.  Especially once we hit Oregon.

I know we've talked and heard about being in a drought, and it's been in the news and we're aware of it, but seeing it up close and personal was shocking.  We'd pass lake after lake and the water wasn't just low?  It was barely there.  You could see the water line and the level of the actual water far far far below.  Rivers too.  It was frightening.  It's one thing to see it in a picture and go gee, that looks bad.  It's an entirely different experience to see the effect the lack of rainfall and precipitation is having on bodies of water.

I wish I'd stopped to take a picture, it really was that bad.

I knew Max was already on playa, he'd left the night before and I hadn't heard from him since. (We'd been texting back and forth for a month or so, and not hearing from him was unusual)  I could have put it down to lack of cell service or him being on playa and turning his phone off as he said he would but I kind of told myself it must mean he's not all that interested and... fine, I wasn't all that interested either.  Self preservation much?  (Rolling my eyes at myself, really, because come on... just breathe silly.)

Connor still is madly in love with the section of the drive I could have sworn we do on the second day, but it's the straightest highway ever.  Just... straight.  Yes, we have that in the prairies but this is somehow better.  So says Connor, anyway!

I felt like we were travelling with more burners than in previous years, or maybe the gravol had just worn off by then... we also hit construction that Connor swears has been ongoing for years now and nearly got stuck in a tunnel (yay for that not happening!) because traffic had to stop due to some kind of flagger miscommunication and, well, I'm just glad it all worked out is all.  Oh, and that Connor didn't continue the conversation he started with "do you want to think about how much weight is over top of us right now?" as we drove through the tunnel.  No, Connor, I really don't, thanks.

I felt a bit squirmy sitting for so long, body wise and my tummy was still a bit iffy (I haven't mentioned it but the super amazing food on the cruise was also super rich and my tummy wasn't sure how to handle it, even though it was all gluten free) so dinner was a bit of a whoops as I got the extra hot wings and... then had to sit for a few after dinner going uh.... that may have been a mistake.  Poor tummy.

The drive itself was easy and I'm always grateful for a safe, easy drive.  Connor tried hard to bug me by quoting a tv show character every time he burped, but I managed to half ignore (having grown up with a brother helps with that skill!) and half laugh.  So Friday was good. We made it safe to Klamath Falls... no one got annoyed at anyone.  My tummy survived, my body survived, and I purposely wasn't getting too excited about potentially meeting Max.

Like, seriously.  I wrote it down.  "Not getting excited about Max."  I made the note.  It was a thing.  Not excited.

(Which means somewhere inside I was totally excited about meeting Max)

Saturday I slept in til nine.  I had weird dreams, including one where Connor insisted on going onto the playa with a massive gaping back wound from where his doctor had removed a giant melanoma (skin cancer).  I told Connor about the dream because I woke up so mad at him... he wouldn't listen to me saying he should cover the open wound!  He laughed... but then asked me to try to analyze the dream... what did I think the cancer represented?  I told him I didn't know, but maybe he should listen to me more.

We went for an early lunch at the place we've always gone to and then in the parking lot ran into an older couple in an RV going to their first burn.  We exchanged pleasantries and they asked if we had any advice and I thought of a few things and then blanked.  They had early entry and were heading in that day to his brother's camp, but one of their friends was watching the weather and had texted them from home to say it was far too windy and there were whiteouts and gate was closed so they were going to wait it out for a while in Klamath Falls.

We told them to just go anyway, and didn't learn til later that Saturday was pretty much a whiteout and no one got anything done and no one got in for hours at a time.  Whoops.  Hope they didn't listen to us after all!

We went grocery shopping and had a massive chip decision to make.  Ended up with just plain dorito mini bags rather than an assortment.  Last year we got an assortment and ended up not eating the cool ranch doritos because ick.  So we decided to not repeat the cool ranch fiasco and stuck with the plain.

While we were packing up our groceries, someone in the parking lot yelled out at us to "have fun" and it made me so happy.  That, and the battery powered hand held spray fans Connor found in the sporting store!  New best friend that thing would become!

The place we were staying had double booked the Saturday night so we went back to the hotel we'd stopped at on the way last year.  Turns out they'd over charged Connor last year and so we got a "reduced" rate.  Which was great.  But.... well, anyway.  I'll let that one one.  Wasn't my VISA that got overcharged and Connor was happy.

I was a bit grumpy mid day, which is fine as usually by the first evening I get super grumpy.  I think part of it was Connor letting me choose the music for most of the day.  Honestly, I think that can really help me stay calm and less out of my zone.  We stopped in the liquor store and the gal told us we looked "really normal" for burners.  Which... I guess that's a compliment?  Sure!  I'm normal looking you guys.  And I go to Burning Man.  Who knew?

I was a little surprised at how much money I'd burned through in just two days, but travel will do that to you.  Ferries, gas, food, "mexican drinking juice" (Connor was tired too and couldn't remember the word for tequila.)  By the end of the day Saturday, I'd used up most of the US cash I'd brought with me, but I kept some aside for ice.

Oh, and I got stamps with some of that money!  Ahem.

So yeah, travel day, rest day.  All good.

Oh, and I called my cell provider to ask why the travel package wasn't working and felt just a little bit silly when he talked me through turning on my roaming.

Uh, yeah... I knew that.  Just... kinda... forgot.

Whoops. 

Monday, 21 September 2015

Third Time Lucky

I've heard it said that your third burn is a hard one.

That perhaps the newness of it all that had you in awe your first burn, and the excitement of return that championed your second burn have both faded, leaving you with the reality of what is a difficult, challenging, and often far from perfect experience.

My third burn, however, was pretty damn awesome.

I'll start off by slathering a layer of confession over everything here... I did not write in my journal while I was there.

*Gasp*  I know!  But there wasn't time in my days, or evenings and when I did try to make the time to sit for a few to write, my thoughts still couldn't piece together the moments and the days just melted and blurred together so I just let it be and let it go and I was far too happy to really mind anyway.

There are moments of my time that stand out vividly in my mind and memory, but others that have already softened.  There are times where I'm able to place something on a day or night and others where I just know it happened and am not really sure where in the week it took place.

The biggest thing that happened this burn; the thing I am most changed by, is finding Max.

Max, who in the short time I've known him, has shown me more love, compassion, thoughfulness, and joy than any other man I can remember being with.

Max was more than I ever dreamed of and my burn was completely magical.  If still challenging and difficult at times.

When I was leaving Nevada, two weeks ago today, actually... I felt that I never ever wanted to write about Max and I.  I wanted nothing more than to keep it all to myself and to hold it close to my heart and I still do.

I have, over the years, had comments here from those both well meaning and some perhaps less so that have made me wary of sharing this particular part of my journey, and I do not want to have to battle through those who aren't always able to see through the fact that I only share what I want to here.  That my life and experiences are far more complicated than the parts I choose to edit and share online.  But I also know I have some of the most supportive people who come here to share in my journey and who will smile alongside me, and on top of that, I want to remember.  I want to be able to look back, years from now and say ahhh yes... that's how I felt.  That's how it started... those are the details I like to be reminded of.

So my third burn was an entirely new experience for me and I already know I don't have the words to do it justice, but I'll try my best to put together enough to share the bubble of happy I have in my heart right now.

As an old friend said, when I emailed him about my burn and my heart... I guess you're going to have to change the name of your blog now, aren't you?

Yes.  I guess I am, my friends.

Don't let them tell you Burning Man doesn't change your life.  It's been changing mine since Jay and I first talked about going together at the end of 2012.


Saturday, 19 September 2015

Stamps!

So so far, every year I've gone to Burning Man, I've tried to send postcards home.  There are post offices in Black Rock city and those of us who love mail (me, me!) can get something in the mail that's been cancelled with one of their post offices.  And it's cool.

Plus, doesn't everyone like getting something in the mail that's not a bill?  YAY!

But, my first two years, finding stamps in the States proved to be difficult. 

Because we travel down on a weekend, the post offices we might happen to come across are generally closed.  And the places I asked at (gas stations, grocery store) never sold stamps.

So I'd have to rely on asking very nicely at the BRC post office (I offered to help deliver mail last year in exchange for some stamps, man that was hard work!) and the year before that one of the gals I'd travelled with had a couple of extras she let me buy off of her.

This year, I was determined to keep trying to find stamps and after forgetting to ask at the grocery store (and not bothering to ask at the liquor store!) I randomly asked at a... don't know what to call it... Fred Meyer kind of store?  An "almost everything" store?  And they had stamps!  YAY! 

I'd finally managed to buy stamps to send postcards back home!  I did it!  Yay me!

So, stamps in hand, I then utterly, completely forgot about post cards, post offices and stamps for the entire trip until I got home and was unpacking and found my treasure, long awaited US stamps.

D'oh!

So hopefully next year, or next trip to the states, I can remember that I have stamps and can mail a letter back home to Canadia land!

So yeah... yay me but... uh... ooops!?

Friday, 18 September 2015

How To Floss, For Reals

I may have mentioned it but my dentist retired recently.

I took this as a good time to switch dentists and went to one that my parents had had recommended to them.

I liked him, and so this week I had my first "new patient" checkup.  (I'd already had to see him for a chipped filling so had met him but not really had my first cleaning, etc.)

The hygenist noticed a few things (frigging fillings... soft teeth and "bad" saliva or something damnit) and then talked to me about how to reduce the something or other buildup.

She showed me how to floss!!!!

I mean, I always floss, but she showed me how to take it way down into the... uh... something spots and then to kind of scrub against the teeth with the floss until it squeaks!  And then she showed me how and it squeaked!  I've never heard a floss squeak before!  It means more clean!  Yay!

So now I'm going to do a better job at flossing and hopefully that will keep down the... something and make the something else better.

Yay new dentist and new learning of tooth care stuff.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Fortunate One

One of the things my trip to Alaska reminded me of is how very lucky I am to live in this part of the world.

This particular coast, and I can now extend that up into Alaska, is absolutely stunning.

It is greens and blues and water and hills and mountains and sky.  The scenery is breathtaking and I get to see it all.  The.  Time!

Sure, I perhaps don't see fjords and glaciers and chunks of ice floating down at my regular beach, but the scenery is still that beautiful ocean and the green green green of the trees and surroundings.

It was interesting talking to some of the locals in the towns we stopped in and hearing that they had similar weather to Vancouver, if perhaps more rain.  I suppose like many people see Canada as a vast, winter wonderland, I had envisioned Alaska (outside of Spring/Summer) as being utterly snowed in and... well, snowy.  So to hear that it's not all that way?  I suppose I felt naive. 

The favourite joke I heard, on a bus trip up to see a glacier was when the fellow driving us was telling us what wildlife we might run into.  As it was the season of the salmon run, he mentioned we might see bears.  He told us, however, that if we saw a bear with no teeth that we should not be worried.

Because those would be gummy bears.

Heh.  Get it?  Gummy... bears?

Yeah, I giggled over that one for a long while.

First night out on the boat I saw what is probably one of the top three sunsets I've ever seen in my life.  The photos I took of it seem faked.  Unreal.  Photoshop coloured or something, but the sky was just that glorious.

But yes.  This coast of this part of the world?  Super, super pretty.  I feel very lucky to live here, and to have seen so much of it.

West coast, you is super pretty!

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Oh... Right

I had a steak set aside for Monday night's dinner, the idea being that I'd need a good, solid boost of protein and iron and it would get me through my first full week back.  Rawr!

When I pulled the steak out to get it ready to cook, I noticed it looked a little sketchy.  And so I checked the "best by" date and that's when I realized that it wasn't best before the 15th, it was the year that was 2015 and the steak itself was a good few days overdue.

So good thing I figured that out beforehand, eh? 

Way to be tricksy 2015, sneaking up on me like that, pretending you were the middle of the month!

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

The Fifteenth

Today is mid way through September, which is funny, because I really feel like the middle of August was just yesterday.

It's certainly been about that long since I've sat down and written anything, really at all.  For the first time, I didn't sit at the end of each evening at Burning Man and record my day.  More on the why of that will become clear as I do what I can to write about my experience this year.

Which, I'm not sure how that will go, to be quite honest.  I want to remember it all, every moment, but it has all blurred together... was blurring together even as it happened, and so there may be moments that are lost in my mind.  Perhaps just for now.  Perhaps for ever.  And there's also part of me that wants to keep it all close.  To not share.  To just hold the magic in my heart and not let go of it.

So I will be patient with myself.  And my heart.  And my stories.  And what's going to get told will get told.  In its own time.  A summary?

The cruise was nice.

Burning Man was incredible.  And I very much want to keep it a secret, while also wanting to shout it from the rooftops.

So baby steps.

And patience.  I have no notion of how this story will tell itself, so I won't force it.  You know? 

Monday, 14 September 2015

Home

Hi.
I'm home.
For realsies.

Like, actually here and functioning although I'm pretty sure another round of sleep and an extra weekend would be most excellent.

All is well, I'm incredibly happy, and quite honestly not sure where to start.

My gear has all been washed and cleaned and put away until next year, my apartment is tidy, my family, friends and loved ones are all well and good and life is pretty damn amazing.

How about you?  How have you been?  It's been forever after all...

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Ahhhhhh

Ok self.  Breathe.

Breathe and relax and well done.  You did it.

Not only did you manage to write four week's worth of blog posts in two days (WOO HOOO), you, by this point, have also returned from two trips, two adventures, and have gone back to work, albeit unwillingly.  (Ahem, shhhh, we don't talk about work, remember?)

So now it's the weekend.  You can officially relax.  And do laundry or unpack or clean or whatever you might not have managed to get done this week, groceries maybe?  Or did you take care of that before you left too?

Whatever it is, just know that today is Saturday, Summer and all the adventures there in have come and gone and you did it and it's all good.  Well done on the post writing, welcome home.  Now go relax.

(I would mention maybe possibly writing some posts for next week but I don't know what state of mind you're in so I don't want to bother you and figure it's more important to give you a high five than a "get going again" push right now.)  So, well done. 

Go sit by the ocean if you haven't already done so this week.  Not much ocean in the desert, you know?

Friday, 11 September 2015

Random Thoughts Pre-Cruise

I wonder what the temperature will be like in Alaska?

Why are things so expensive on the ship when you're already paying a ton to be on the ship?

Should I pack warmer clothes?  I mean, it's not winter.  And the weather forecasts don't seem that cold.  Jeans... or is that overkill.  It's still summer, right?

What about candy?  I wonder if I'll want candy?  Like, should I bring skittles?  C-Dawg says I can't bring any food onboard.  Maybe not worth it.  Hmmm... now I want skittles. 

And an OHenry bar.  I want that right now.  Well maybe not.  I really wanted it an hour ago, but now I'm post banana scandal and probably won't eat for a bit, just to be on the safe side.

Wow, did I actually manage to write all these posts?  Really? I didn't think I'd be able to.  That's like a month's worth.  Weird.  And then I won't have written for a month again, so will I be back to forgetting how to write?  Will I have to sit on my couch my first weekend back and force myself to write again?  Hmmm... or maybe not.  I'll have two trips to write about after all.

Ooh, that reminds me, I should pack some paper and pens for the cruise.  Like, to journal maybe.  Or, I'll just type it up on my computer.  Without internet.  So blogger won't work.  Uh, as a word document I guess?  I wonder how many times I'll forget I don't have the internet while I'm on board and will try to do something I hadn't even realized was online because it's all just *there* when I'm at home.

I still think it's a good idea to bring my computer on the trip.  Give me something to do in the evenings if I need it.  Not that I necessarily will, but I won't be living it up in the "nightclubs", that I know.

OOh, I just cracked my back stretching.  That felt kinda good.  But also, I've been sitting here for a while.  Crazy.  Like, all morning.  I wonder how many words I've written.  I could find out for sure.  But... I have to pack once I'm done this.  Well, this and one more post.  Then I have to pack.  And then wash my hair.  No, maybe go to the store first, because I'm not sure what I'm having for dinner yet.  And then wash my hair.  And then... uh... double check things?  And then more packing probably.  And then it'll probably be dinner, if not past dinner and then, I'd really like to just sit and chill and relax.

I'm not wearing pants.  A warm top and a sarong.  Not super hot this week.  Cold warm.

I hope the cruise feels cold to me, because I don't want to get used to cooler weather or else the transition to the super hot desert could be bad.

I mean, it'll be hot and a shock no matter what but... yeah... opposite climates really.  Which, when you think about it, is majorly cool.  What a great summer, I'm really lucky.

Man, my living room is a mess.  I'll just not look over that way.  Oooh look, the sun's coming out outside.

Oh, my Dad just emailed me back, said yes to jeans.  Need to add that to my mental packing list.

Which.... what should I wear for travelling tomorrow.  OH, and I have to make sure I have an overnight back for the hotel in Van on Sunday.  Wait... no, I'll still have my suitcase with me?  Wait, better email Dad again.

My knee is cold. 

Whoops, looked into the living room again.  Look away, me, look away!

I really hope my seedling replanted plants don't die.  I'll water them goodly and then again when I'm back mid-trips.  They should be ok, if a little wilty.  Hang in there little guy(s)!  Not so worried about that one, but the other guy?  Maybe a little worried.

Ok, I could sit here for another hour just babbling what comes into my head.  I should stop.

My wrists are sore.

I should go for a bike ride, fill up my front tire.

Or... not.

Lots to do.  This is actually kind of procrastination.  Positive procrastination.  Is that a thing?  Is now I guess.

Ugh.  Hope the ice lines at Burning Man aren't too long.  Hope my body does even better in the heat than it did last year.  Connor said that would happen.  Hope he's right.

Hope Sarah enjoys it.

Hope everyone enjoys it. 

Wonder what I'll think about the cruise.  I've always wondered.  Now I'll know.  Funny that.

K.  Stop now.  Really.  One more post to go, so stop and get that started ok?  Ok.

K.  Bye.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Plans

One of the things that also threw me a tiny bit before we left for Burning Man was Sarah letting me know that she may have to leave early. 

Something had come up for her, an opportunity that if it happened, she couldn't really say no to, so she wanted me to know that she might have to leave Friday rather than Monday.

I wasn't upset exactly, more surprised, and it was sort of a combination of that being totally out of the blue, and not in my mental plans of how the week would play out.  She still may be there all week, she'll hopefully be able to contact home mid-week and see if she needs to leave and if she does Connor's pretty sure he can take all my stuff back since we managed both of our gear in his truck last year, so it's not that I feel stuck or abandoned.  Just didn't expect it.

I suppose I'm a little surprised as I know what it's like down there and how much I don't want to leave, but Sarah doesn't know yet, and may not feel the same way about it or even like it much at all once she's there.  I think I'm just feeling like for me it's such a long way and an expense and so difficult that it would suck to have to miss three days of it.  Now, that being said, there's no guarantee that work will always allow me the time off I want and I may, some year, have to miss some of Burning Man because of "real life" or work or whatever.  (Knock on wood, all good please) But maybe I just want her to fully, really enjoy the entire experience and am pre-emptively bummed out that she might miss some of it.

But, again, I have no idea if that will even happen or what.  Who knows?  I don't, yet.  That's for sure.

So here's to Burning Man always seeming to remind me to not have anything to firmly set in my mind.  Smooth, safe, easy, comfortable, wonderful.  Those are what I'd like the trip to be.

Or, really, at this point, to have been, because in theory, I should be back by now.  Hopefully safe and sound and happy and well.  So there you go.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Ugh

I'm only writing this as a post because it's happening as I'm sitting here pre-writing posts, but I'm having a banana bad stomach moment.

Like, I first noticed it when I would stay over at Jason's last year and not being able to eat most breakfasty things for gluten reasons, I'd have a banana for breakfast and wait to eat for real when I got home.

But one time I did that and then almost immediately felt nauseated and ended up throwing up. 

I put it down to nerves or something, but really I had no idea and it weirded me out, but I forgot about it.

And then it happened again.  Breakfast and some gluten free toast I'd brought and?  Got sick to my stomach. 

Which triggered the memory of it happening before at Jason's.  Could it be the banana I wondered?  Nah... probably just co-incidence.

Except I think it happened again and I realized ok, I clearly should stop having bananas on an empty stomach first thing in the morning, my tummy doesn't seem to like it.  So I stopped.

But just a few minutes ago, I had to stop writing these "I'm going away soon and want to leave things for people to read" posts because it was an hour past lunch and I hadn't eaten anything since breakfast.  So I got up and since I'm currently trying to not buy groceries until I'm back so they won't go bad, but also trying not to leave anything around like, say fruit, that might go bad, I decided I'd have a banana.  Fruit, decent, reasonably filling.

And now, here I am, just after eating the banana feeling like I'm going to throw up.

I'm distracting myself by writing about it, and I took some Gaviscon too but man, what is the deal with my stomach and not liking bananas in particular when it's empty?  I no like.  Bad banana, bad.  Sorry poor tummy, I didn't think it would be an issue as it's not breakfast!

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Balance Is Not Being Stationary, It's Constant Shifts And Adjustments

As I sit here, composing posts, (and I've been at it for the better part of a morning so far here, as well as an hour or two last night), I'm having to remind myself it's all ok, and that I still have time.

Because, you see, at the time of this writing, it's a Saturday, and I leave for Vancouver tomorrow, a Sunday.  And we board the ship on the Monday.  And I'm not packed yet.

I'M NOT PACKED YET!!!!

Yes, I have the clothes vaguely laid out and somewhat thought through and I have my lists I will check, but when I get up to stretch or to pee or something, I see things that I feel like I should be dealing with.  Like my phone charger.  Or the pile of workout gear in the hallway.  My brain starts to get panicky and tells me YOU GOTTA PACK!!! 

At which point, I stop, and breathe and remind myself I have all of the rest of today, and tonight if I need it, and even some time tomorrow (Sunday morning)  It's ok.  It's going to get done.  And I remind myself that getting this writing completed is also something I wanted off of my mind and that I'm choosing to take the time to do this now, and within another hour or so I'll be free, completely free to pack and check on things and make last minute lists and so it's fine.  It's all good.  I've got it under control.

Yeah, that's right, I'm self talking myself.  It's funny when I think about it that way but it's also something I'm glad I've learned.

I saw a "behind the scenes" (not back to school!) video the other day that showed bloopers of a burner artist making her indegogo campaign video.

In that blooper reel, she'd make a mistake, stop and then say to herself "I've got this.  Cuz I'm awesome."  And I really liked that.  It's kind of adorable (as is she) and I feel like it's something I should try saying to myself.  I've got this, cuz I'm awesome.

So I will get packed, I will.  And I will ensure I've got what I need and what I want for the trip and I'll even, I bet, have some free time this evening to relax and watch more Friday Night Lights.  It's all going to be fine.  Things will get done.  There's an entire day left yet, and the night if I need it.  It's all good.  Relax.  Don't let your worries get in your way.  There's still time.

Deep breath.  Now get back to writing, would ya?

Monday, 7 September 2015

Too Much Unknown

One of the things I very briefly mentioned was also something that started to cause me too much stress in the weeks leading up to Burning Man and that was the potential of spending time with someone on playa.

As I mumbled in that previous post, I connected with someone online via a shared interest in both photography and Burning Man.  And in our chats and messaging we discovered, among other things, that the reasons we loved Burning Man and art in general were similar.  And he wasn't unattractive.  A "burner" looking guy from his photographs, although not necessarily someone I'd be drawn to on a day to day, who knows.  Once we both sort of realized that our chats were beyond the surface layer we both realized that beyond meeting to say hi (which makes me nervous enough) we might find that we liked each other, emotionally, and in a more romantic connection kind of way (no I don't mean sex but I don't not mean sex ugh, just shush!) and that what we might find when we met could be... very cool.

For a week or so, my brain tried to run away with this.  What would it mean post playa?  Would it mean we were so madly in love and had had such a wonderful connection we'd try to be long distance somehow and then move our lives together?  Would it mean that?  And of course I had to try to shut that thought process down real quick because crazy making, thanks.  And, as Jason put it when I called him and explained what I was freaking out about "You're adults.  If you connect in that kind of way you'll figure it out."  Oh.  Well that was simple, wasn't it. 

So let's shut down that train of potential worry, ok?

But then the worry train went down the slightly more practical track of how exactly would this all work?

I mean, a)  how do we even logistically find each other to say hi and meet?  He knows where he will be staying (he's with an established camp) but I don't.  So that means I would have to go to him.  ARGH.  Pressure!  Because then that pushes my buttons of what if he's not there, what if I go and can't find him, what if what if what if?  And add that to the regular what if he doesn't like me when we meet, what if I don't like him when we meet that I get on a normal date anyway and it became a lot to think about.  So that's one thing.

But then b) what if we manage to pull off finding each other (which I hope isn't as complicated as I know it could be) and we don't like each other (or I don't like him)... well, that should be ok.  I can just say that Sarah and I have plans or excuse myself in some way and I should be able to make that ok, but then I might be super disappointed because I'd already started to wonder about how amazing it could be so that would suck and it would not be fun to be disappointed at Burning Man because... it's BURNING MAN!!!  So... I did what I could to just ignore any possible thoughts of we're going to LURVE each other to eliminate the potential of disappointment.  So now two thought processes I was having to manage.

And then there was c)  what if we actually like each other?  A little or maybe even a lot?  What if we connect in some really wonderful way, well then what?  And I'm not talking about the post event, I'm talking about during.  When would we find time together?  When would we get to talk or connect or whatever?  Would I spend my entire burn locked up in a tent smooching?  Would I see nothing and not hang out with Sarah because I'd want to be by his side all the time?  What about all the events he's planning on going with and the people he knows and connects with?  What if it takes over everything?  What if we don't have enough time?  What if we connect early on but can't make our paths cross again until the last day and then we haven't had enough time?  This... worry train of thought #3 probably messed with me the most.  The what if it's good thought.  Because really... it was not in my plans to go and meet someone.  It was just in my plans to go and be there and maybe stretch myself and push some shyness type boundaries and to survive the heat and enjoy the amazing experience that it is.  What if this guy ... changes all that.  And so I had to do what I could to really really shut down that train of thought.

Because I don't know.  I don't know any of this.  I don't know if we'll find each other (we probably will) or if we'll like like each other (because I figure we'll like each other, it's Burning Man and he's a burner/photographer after all) or what we'll do about that if we do.  It'll just happen.  I'll figure it out.  Or not.  What I kept trying to tell myself is that it's going to be the burn it's going to be and I can't control it from here and really, I can't even really control it from there. I can just make choices and do what I want or need or feel like doing when I am there.

Sure, I can hope and maybe even think about and imagine how I'd like it to go or what I'd like to happen or what I think could happen but that doesn't mean anything at all.  What's the point in imagining us cuddling up together watching a sunrise in deep playa when I have no idea if I'll be doing anything near that the entire week.  When I don't even know if I'll want to be around him or spend any time with him. 

Maybe I won't like him but his friend at camp and I will fall madly in love with each other.  Maybe it'll rain and dust and wind all week and we'll be stuck in our own camps and never make it to meet.  Maybe Sarah and I will get caught up in such wonderful adventures we'll lose track of days at a time and just have the best time ever.  I don't know.  But it was stressful having those potential thoughts going in, that's for sure.  So I did my best to shut them down and turn them off when they attempted to show up.

Which meant cooling the jets somewhat with the chatting and messaging with this guy.  And, yes, we did talk about all this, well, we talked about the potential for disappointment.  I didn't really bring up the "what if we connect" part other than to say, you know, if we do like each other, the week's not going to be long enough and he said yes, he's conscious of that as well.

The funny thing about this post, you guys, is that by the time it's published?  Whatever is going to happen will have happened.  This post is set to publish on the day we are planning on leaving Black Rock City.  So by the time you read this... it will all have happened.  Or not.  Exactly as it was meant to, for better or worse.  And my biggest hope as I write this is that I don't feel like I missed any experiences because I was too wrapped up in wanting to be with this person I don't know yet.  That's the one I'm having a hard time shaking.  And that's probably because I can't imagine what it will be like if we do like each other... so I'm just going to let those thoughts go and let it happen as it will.

Far too much unknown though, this little unexpected wrinkle in my plans for this burn.  I really had none.  Other than getting us all there and back safely, and staying physically comfortable in the desert, and saying hi to old friends from last year.  Those were the only plans I had a month before the burn.  But apparently I was meant to come across this person, in this way, at this time.  I do not know what will happen or what it's meant to be.  Perhaps I won't even know by the time this is published, perhaps it will be clear the moment we meet.  We shall see what's meant to be.  Playa provides after all... just not necessarily what you expect or think you want, but always what you need. 

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Ouch

The week before my first trip, Jason and I went to the beach to get some sun and down time.

On the way back, we stopped at a pub to grab some food, and something I don't even know that I want to talk about, because it upset me, happened.

Jason is often friendly with strangers, and at times this bothers me because I just want to be quiet.  But this particular day he'd had a few beers and was social and loud.  So he started up a conversation with a random guy across the bar and it turns out this guy grew up in a town near me so we chatted a bit once Jason and I had eaten.

I really just wanted to get home but Jason was in chatty mode so I grinned and put up with it and tried to make the best of it by reminiscing with this guy about high school parties and the like.

At one point, Jason got up to go to the bathroom and the guy turned to me and said "that guy is super creepy, you should run and have nothing to do with him."

He said a few more things, but that's the gist of it and I had no idea what to do.

My "politeness" kicked in and I just sort of kept a smile on my face and nodded and didn't say anything too much, other than no, he's a good guy, he's just a little drunk and, well, I didn't know what else to say.  This guy went on to tell me that Jason's a bad photographer and I shouldn't be working with him and he could find real photographers for me.  I just listened.  It was... awkward to say the least.

I got the bill and when Jason got back I insisted we head out and polite farewells were exchanged by all.  We got in the car and I was utterly upset but as we drove away, before Jason could tell me what a nice guy that was (because he was, very nice, especially to me, and to Jason's face) I told him what the fellow had said.

Jason shrugged, said it didn't bother him, but for me?  It was really really upsetting.

It was upsetting because I don't like hearing people don't like Jason.  I know I was uncomfortable with him when I first met him but it hurts to hear other people, strangers, seeing him in a negative light. 

I was also upset because this called into question MY judgement of Jason.  Maybe this guy was right?  Maybe Jason is creepy and awful and I just can't see it because we were together?  And so I went into a not so nice place.  Called Jason an hour or so later and said I think I'm having a panic attack because of that guy and that situation.

Jason calmed me down, let me talk it all out, how I felt about the guy being mean and how I didn't trust myself and how it all just spun into my head and got worse and worse and how I had to try to talk myself out of it by reminding myself he's not creepy and I know other friends of his who don't think so either.

But man did it ever mess me up.

Once I calmed down, it messed me up for other reasons.  The guy was so super friendly to Jason.  And if he was that "creeped out" by him would it not have been more honest to excuse himself and say he didn't feel like chatting or something?  And why did he have to slam his judgment on to me?  He doesn't know what our relationship is.  He doesn't know that Jason and I were together.  That we were a couple and that Jason's been a massive support and encourager for me.  Why did he feel he had to tell me that he didn't like Jason, was there some ulterior motive to that?  Was he trying to rescue a damsel in distress in his eyes?  Or what?

And then I started to wonder how sober that guy had been.  And why it mattered.  And how people perceive me.  And why that matters.

But really, it was upsetting and hard to deal with and I didn't like the experience at all.

I'm not really sure what I'm to take from the situation and trying to analyze the potential "life lesson" hidden within is just upsetting me and making me uncomfortable so I'm just trying to let it go.

Which, really, I probably shouldn't have re-hashed it by writing about it here but ... oh well... done now.

At least the wings were tasty.

Friday, 4 September 2015

So Well Done

I started re-watching Friday Night Lights the week before I was going on the cruise.

I loved the show when I first watched and thought it would be a nice little trip down memory lane to watch a few episodes.

But, wow.  What a show.  Really. 

I had forgotten just how much I love all of the characters.  Eric and Tami Taylor?  The best tv couple ever, each of them adorable and wonderful in their own ways and a marriage I would love to echo in my own life.  Loving and fun, but honest and real at the same time.

And there aren't really any throwaway characters.  Even the sort of lesser characters are full and rich and charming and well played.  I forgot how much I enjoy each and every one of these people.

Eric and Tami are probably my favourites.  Followed closely, if not surpassed at times, by Tim Riggins.  And then, of course, Matt Saracen and the wonderful surprise of his best friend Landry.

It's just a damn good show and I'm happy I thought to give it another run.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Releasing

I was sorting through things earlier this Summer, looking for items to clear out of my place.  And along with t-shirts and other memorabilia I wasn't sure what to do with, I found my old journal/diaries from the last five years.

I made a decision at some point that I wanted to write every day, and so I started buying daily moleskine books and each night I'd write something.  A poem maybe, or my thoughts about the day, or things I was worried about or grateful for, whatever.

I'd occasionally, flip back during the year to see, for example, what I was thinking when I first met Jay, or Jason and then I'd ponder what had maybe been on my mind at that time and what I was maybe right about, or not.

I pulled these books out, with the intention of seeing if there was any good writing in there I could share somehow, but as I glanced through them, I got more sad than inspired.

What I saw, when I looked back on some of my journal entries from 2010 is a lot of sadness and hurt.

Yes, I know that's my personal, private space to vent, and yes, I know I've been through some dark, sad times, but it was sad to see some of the same "complaints" and stories I tell myself... I've been telling myself for half a decade.

Because that means I'm maybe just stuck in the story rather than it being an actual truth.

I know even sometimes here, people have pointed out when I've seemed negative or down or stuck in a rut.  It always hurts and is upsetting when it's pointed out but I do reflect.

So I reflected.  And I chose not to read through it all.  I chose not to re-hash the hurt I felt being single for so long and how torn up I was with a lot of things with Jay.  Or even with Jason.

(I rarely re-read what's here, which is interesting as it's publicly available, and people read it and assume what I wrote a while ago is still where I'm at seeing as they just read it today...  But even here, it's mellower and more edited than my private diary journalling.  That's just whatever's raw and needing to come out.  Good or bad.)

The decision I came to, for better or for worse, is that I'm taking those old diaries to the playa to be burned in the Temple.  I'm choosing to release the old thought patterns that I've been stuck in for too long.

Does that mean I'll instantly only have happy, positive thoughts and never think anything sad or self-pitying?  I doubt that, but it's a conscious choice to release and let go the thoughts and thought patterns that are potentially keeping me stuck.

To let go of "no one likes me", "I'll always be alone", and all the rest of it.  It's a choice to stop reliving those thoughts, or at least to not have them permanently on record.

I didn't want to just shred the writing, and I didn't want to keep it.  It's personal.  But not needed.

I may be throwing out some good writing, or some good poetry, but that's ok too.  I'm taking my last five years of my life and putting them into the Temple of Promise to be burnt the Sunday night of this year's Burning Man.  May this allow my thoughts and thinking to be new and clean and healthy and to only serve to make my life happier and healthier and more full of love.  Most especially, self love.

(But not in a naughty way!  Get your brains out of the gutter, I'm supposed to be the only one there!)

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Like Green Day Says

So it's September.  Wow.

Summer felt long and good and wonderful but still, it feels like September is meant to be a ways off.  Not... here.

Around here, September is back to school for the kiddiwinks but I know in other parts of the world, much of the United States for example, school's been back in session for a while, so it's not necessarily a world-wide phenomenon that September equals backpacks and lunches.

Something that's been throwing me off a little, and therefore making me smile, is that some photographers online have been sharing their BTS photos.

Which always has me scratching my heads because why would they need to go back to school?  Or do they have kids?  What are these photos of ohhhhhhh Behind The Scenes.  Ohhhhhhh.

Not Back To School, but Behind The Scenes.  Which... I seem to forget every time!

So yeah, BTS may not necessarily mean it's time to wake up because September's here.

Right Green Day?

Right.  Behind the Scenes.

This post brought to you by the oddity that is my brain when I space out.  Thanks.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

You Guys?

You guys I love sleeping in. 

I mean, I used to love actually sleeping in late (I could sleep til 11 easy.  Sometimes one but those were the late nights.)  But now it's not so much the time (I generally am up within the same hour every day, even on non work days I'm not up much later than normal, it keeps my sleep schedule solid.) as it is the luxury of not having to get up.

I love being able to take "just five more minutes" for as long as I want.  I devour that feeling of being able to roll back over and go back to sleep because I don't have to be anywhere or do anything, I can just frigging sleep.

It's so cozy and comforting.

Sleeping in on holidays isn't quite the same as there's often a feeling of "Oooh, I want to get up and see/do/experience whatever is out there" because you've gone to this place to see/do/experience something and you don't want to spend all day in bed, so even on holiday there's a sense of "I should get up now" even if it's just to go lay on a beach with a book.

But when it's a long weekend or Christmas holidays or something like that?  I love just being able to stay in bed.  To quietly get up when I want, at a pace I want and to not have to do anything more than get up and sit at my couch.

Those moments of hitting the snooze button and knowing I can keep doing so as I make myself that much more comfy and cozy in my bed?  I love those moments.

A lot.
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, 2006-2017 and then some.) Kay? Kay.