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.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Your Mileage May Vary

It's weird to think that August is ending.  I feel like it just got here.  And remember, I'm writing this over a week ago, knowing it will post today... the day the Man burns.

I've seen photos of the Man going up, the on site construction.  It's massive.

Mas sive.

And although at this writing I haven't seen it in person yet?  I can almost guarantee I won't want them to burn it.

I'm not sure what the burning represents to each of the sixty something thousand people there, but to me last year it was incredible to see the work, effort, engineering, and artistry that went into the structures and to know that they were only there to be there.  They were made, hundreds and hundreds of man hours, and transported...and built in this desert...in the middle of nowhere... just for the sake of art.

For the sake of doing something that means something.  Of getting together and saying art is important, being a good human being is important.  Taking care of yourself is important.  Giving for the sake and joy of giving is important.  Taking care of your surroundings and leaving no trace is important.  Picking up after yourself is important!  Being present is important.  Being alive and participating in life is important. It's all important.  And when we've reminded ourselves of that, and had some fun and given hugs and connected with strangers who aren't strangers at all, we take it all down and it was as if it never was.

Live life while it's happening.

That's what the burning of the Man means to me.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Odd

This aging process is a weird thing.

I look at my friends, those within five years of my age on either side and I see lines forming.  Grey hairs too.

It's weird.

Some of my friends have kids.  Kids!  We're not old enough for that!

And we all seem to have jobs, and some are married, have mortgages.  And injuries.  Oh the injuries.

Backs, necks, knees. 

I don't know.  What will it be like to be 60?  80?  90?  What will it be like to look at a best friend and see an older person?

What will it be like when friends start to pass on...

This is all very strange and surreal, this being human... aging... life.

But for now I'll just type away at my keyboard and enjoy whatever today's going to bring.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Time Keeps On Ticking, Ticking, Ticking...

It was interesting looking over some of my pre-Burning Man posts from last year.  Because I feel like I've been just as anxious/worried, but for sort of different reasons.

The ticket getting thing was a major stress.  The possibility of a ticket not showing up for Connor and me therefore having to drive myself was a big stress.

Not feeling 100% my best stomach wise from the stress was a stress.

My parents are moving, work is weird, Jason's stressed, there's been a lot of stress going on.

Plus, I don't really know what I'm getting myself into...quite.  I mean, sure I know what Burning Man is kind of, but there's no way to know what I will do or see or experience.  Maybe I'll do better with the heat.  Maybe I'll meet some really awesome people.  Maybe I'll have even more fun than last year.

Will Connor and I be joined at the hip?  Will I feel bad if I don't want to spend time with him?  Will I be able to find him a nice lady friend to hang out with?  What will the weather do?  Will it rain?  Be crazy windy?  Dusty?  Hot?  Cold?

So many unknowns.

And so while last year I was maybe most worried about the trip itself and travelling with strangers and all of that, I'm still worried.

How will it be with just Connor and I and no other people to talk to or buffer or interact with?  What if I get tired of him?  Will I offend him?  Should I care?

I'm sure what will happen on the road will happen and we have BCAA coverage and I trust Connor in that way and we've discussed the "we're just friends" thing (discussed it last year at the Burn actually.)  And I'm worried about getting home in time, and what if X, Y, or Z happens and I'm stuck in the desert with no way to let work know I'm stranded?

And what if I meet someone who seems cool but then I can't get myself out of the conversation with them or the food that I'm getting isn't good or we get pulled over at customs or... I just...

I'm still worried.

Or I mean, I was.  Seeing as by the time this posts I'll have been in Black Rock City for most of a week and am probably so grateful I went through all this stress and worry and whatnot to be there.

Part of what's been hard has been the things that have not been under my control.  Like the postal service delivery.  I can't control that.  At all.  Not when it would arrive or anything and the whole waiting from dawn to dusk for delivery?  Not fun.

And Jason got really sick the days he was supposed to work on my bike and I didn't know what to do so that was also out of my control, because I offered to just leave it as is but he really wanted to help and fix it up so I had a lot of anxiety and stress about that.

I think a lot of it was time stresses.  I'm not a "leave it to the last minute" person at all.  AT ALL.  And way too much of the details of this particular trip were still coming together extraodinarly last minute.  Which pushed my worry buttons too too much.

Which threw off my body.

Which made things worse.

Rinse and repeat.

So, yeah, I worried last year, and I worried this year.  Maybe it's a newbie thing?  Maybe when I go again I'll have even less to worry about.

Right?

Right.  Let's go with that.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

*Shaking Fist At Things*

One of the major differences between my prep for Burning Man this year and last is my social media connections.

Now, on the plus side, being on all the social media thingamies did connect me with a ticket, it also made me annoyed.

Annoyed at people who were... well, no need for details... annoying me.

And that's not what I wanted to think about going into Burning Man.

I'm not sure it did anything good for my nerves either, seeing so many other people being nervous or not having a ticket or whatever. 

On the plus side, I did get to see awesome photos of the setup of the city and the art, so that was good.

I'm not sure how connected I'll stay to the Burning Man community online once I'm home, or maybe it won't matter for another 10 or 11 months...

But, yeah, it was frustrating, especially in the last weeks of planning and prep to find myself judging and being irritated by people online.

It kind of doesn't make sense...
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, 2006-2014 and then some.) Kay? Kay.