Burning Man 2011

I’d like to thank the Academy for giving me the most amazing mother in the world, a mother who when I was eleven years old gifted me my first (and favorite) journal (with a metallic unicorn on its cover) and Swan Lake on vinyl, an inspirational break from the heavy rotation of my Beatles collection. She chauffeured me to and from acting school, dance classes, and chorus, and at the height of my teenage divadom managed to throw only one jar of nails at me. I’m grateful to her for not only raising me to be a tolerance-minded, adventure-seeking, free-spirit, but also for the crazy-gene I obviously inherited from her. When I moved to Los Angeles in my early twenties without a job, apartment or knowing a soul there, my mother genuinely believed it was a great idea (and it was). The crazy-gene that we share enabled her to drive my four wild children from Lake Tahoe, Nevada to our home in Portland, Oregon so that I could run wild in the desert. An hour outside of Reno when she was pulled over for speeding she realized she’d left her purse at the hotel, but the officer let her go and nearly died laughing when she told him she was watching the kids so her daughter and son-in-law could go to Burning Man. Without you, Mom, I wouldn’t have been able to return to the place I call Home. Thank you for once again giving me the opportunity to soar. I love you so much.

To the good people of Black Rock City…

Strange-Charm, thank you for taking me in that first year and for being my campmates every year since. I love you both.

Free Puppies, the best neighbors a burner could wish for, especially Courtney for letting me sing a little harmony on my new favorite song (The Family Tree), Todd for the massage and yoga, and Brett for your lovely voice and the peanut butter treats. You guys rock.

DeMentha Mojito Dance Party, the hardest working bar in BRC with the tastiest drinks and lip balm EVER! Special thanks to the gorgeous boy w/the Jesus mane who kissed me on the dance floor – oh, to have known you better…! xo

Lamplighters Bloody Mary Wednesday where I acquired the Jelly/Jam joke we told all week (email, call or text me to hear it).

Pickle Joint for providing a most excellent pickletini, loads of laughs and some of the most creative events on the playa.

Simon and Fem for the black “Holland Burners 2011” band which will only leave my wrist when it decides to fall off.

Club Verboten for Beatles Night No. 3. Singing and dancing with hundreds of hardcore Beatles fans who knew every nuance of every song was absolute euphoria for me! My love to the young Apolo Anton Ohno looking fellow whose enthusiasm matched my own and who helped pull together the Hey Jude group hug at the end. Big love to the tall Brit who traded lead and back-up vocals with me all night. It was magic, guys, magic. See you next time.

Gherkin Lounge where we met beautiful Terry and Troy, the dark angels who shared all the brotherly twin wisdom they had to offer. It was an honor meeting you both. Thanks for letting us climb to the top of your dome and a very special thanks to Troy for listening to my Rite of Passage and for hugging me instead of judging me.

Sore Nipple Camp for introducing me to the infamous Sybian – finally! A perfect way to start the day!

Erik w/InTicket who purred five little words that have kept me laughing ever since. You are a true deviant. Respect, Brother. I yearn for more of your stories.

To the Texan with the bullhorn at Funtown for delivering my second favorite quote, “I’m gonna need a yes, it’s OK for you to motorboat my taint, because silence is not consent, People!”

The Soul Train for the BEST traveling tunes on the playa. I’m coming aboard next year, Baby!

To the rowdy cowhands at Brand-UR-Ass’N More for branding my boobs (pic texted to close friends upon request).

The Silkscreen Artist at 6:15 and G who did the most beautiful art in the blazing sun for everyone. My pillowcases are incredible. Thanks to your sweet mom too for sharing her homemade salsa, guac and chips with all of us. Your camp embodies the true spirit of Burning Man.

The grilled cheese Viking at Fandango’s awesome Booty Mash-up party. I was famished; You appeared. I love you, man.

Duckpond for raging day and night, night and day – your fifty-foot slip n’slide never gets old.

The French Quarter – what could be better than a shot of crocodile tears and a big bowl of spicy gumbo to set me on fire in the middle of a cold night? It was worth the wait.

Distrikt for kick-ass dubstep 24/7 – unce unce unce never sounded so good!

Misting Dome @ 9:00 & F (?) – thanks for providing a slice of cool heaven on the playa which seems to be maintained by invisible mist fairies. Who are you people? Why have I never seen you?

My very good friend, DW, the smartest person I know, a kind and gentle soul with more to give than I can comprehend.

Thanks to my best friend and hubby who turned out to be a natural burner. It was no surprise that scores of people sought you out of the crowd to throw their arms around you. Your warmth and beauty is contagious. I hope this is only the beginning for you. I love you still and evermore. xo

And to everyone, everyone, everyone who danced their way across the playa with me. When the man fell I floated through throngs in the fiery glow catching snippets of conversation as if it were a dream. I drifted in and out of their tears, joy, bewilderment. “That was amazing!” ~ “I’m so happy I met you! Let’s stay in touch…” ~ “He was here just a minute ago…” ~ “Where are you guys going?” ~ “This is insane!” – “Where are we?” ~ “We need to pack up now…” – “I’ll never forget you…” ~ “Let’s meet at Comfort and Joy…” ~ “Well… I guess this is goodbye…” ~ “Do you remember where I left my bike?”

My heart swelled. I knew this feeling. My eyes and ears did the work knowing too well it would be an entire year before I’d be Home again. Anth believes one of the main reasons that Black Rock City fits me like a glove is its openness. When burners talk they really talk. There are no secrets. Everyone is happy to share their stories and since Full Disclosure is my safety zone I feel completely at ease there. The playa connects us to one another in some strange, serendipitous way. We’re all there to give. We are all there to receive. And after one week of magic (dust storms, unbearable heat, scorching sun and all) we pack up and leave. Throughout the year when I meet burners we share a unique understanding and caring for one another. Yesterday quite unexpectedly I ran into a burner-dad on the playground of my daughters’ school. Hugging him filled me with a light that stretched from my heart to his and all the way back to the center of Black Rock City. It has been said that Burning Man is over. For those who follow trends or were more content when there were several thousand fewer people and little or no infrastructure, maybe so. But for those of us who need to cut loose in the desert for one short week a year and then quietly, longingly, burn the rest of the year, BRC is more relevant than ever.

29 more days until SF Decompression.

130 more days until tickets go on sale for Burning Man 2012.

357 more days until The Man burns!

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7 responses to “Burning Man 2011

  1. Duckpond has a 150 foot slip’n’slide – just saying

  2. I neglected to mention a whole 100 additional feet of slip-sliding love – sorry, Duckpond!! xo

  3. We would love to have you back at the “WORLD FAMOUS SORE NIPPLE CAMP!!!”

  4. I was in the Club Verboten for the Beatles night…wow….three generations of old timers, the 40yr old children of old timers, and 20 year old children of the 40 yr olds. It seemed to me (a geezer) that the younger they were, the more words they knew to the songs. For sure, a great Burning Man moment, and sad to say, that was the last year for Club Verboten. Omar’s swan song….

  5. Oh, nooooo! I’m so sad to say goodbye to Club Verboten. What a send off, though. Thank you so much for the memories. It really was a very special moment in time. Love you forever.

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