September 8th, 2004


Burning Man 2004 My Playa Journal

Wednesday, September 3

I am so exhausted. After looking for my precious, comfy, big-butt bike for a couple of hours late last night I finally collapsed into bed around six AM and then Beau's new friend Brett, who I really like, and am so glad that he and his nice family are camping next to us, came and knocked on our door around ten this morning and woke me up, argh. Beau and I both like to stay up all night taking it all in and then coming back to the RV to play with our various electronic toys before we fall over in heaps of dusty mess.

It's been the dustiest I can ever recall it having been, so dusty it almost wipes out my resolve to stay, but I just whine about it inwardly for a little bit and then as soon as I leave our RV and visit one of the many people here who I adore, it all comes back to me, the love, happiness, freedom, and creative inspiration that I feel when we are here.

I met the coolest guy today over at my best playa friend's Julia, Jay, and Mark's camp. I didn't know or recognize him from previous years. He seemed nice and kind of low key and friendly. Earlier in the day I had seen him gathering up Polaroids of people. He took an awful one of me and I was reminded that I have scads of my own Polaroids to get out there and take. Anyway I liked him immediately because he had a good vibe and felt like an old and gentle soul and when I saw him again later, when I took over my enormous bowl of guacamole for the potluck that was canceled due to dust, heh, he was there again. Mark said, "Oh I've been wanting you two to meet. You're both in the entertainment business." He told me that he was a documentary producer/filmmaker, ding, ding, ding, one of my absolute most favorite art forms on the planet. I always meet the best people out here.

You know, there aren't too many other jobs that I would find more interesting than this, I mean as far as I'm concerned, because I find documentaries so compelling. I would rather hear someone say, "Oh yeah, I just happen to produce documentaries," than "I am an Academy Award Winning Producer of a film that starred everyone from Meryl Streep to Tom Cruise." Give me someone who cares about our world and makes documentaries about real life, that either educate or help people in some way, or transport them out of their own lives for a couple of hours and I'll be in the land of joy. Which of course I was when not only did he turn out to be someone who produces documentaries, but -- and this is going to blow away my Scott -- he was the senior producer of TV Nation -- please tell me you're heard of TV Nation, it's one of my all time favorite television shows. Can you imagine? I'm pretty sure I have the DVD set but he said he wasn't certain it had come out yet. That puts him up there in the pantheon of cool people I respect like the sweet family across the way from us who powered a bus all the way up here on vegetable oil.

BTW he's spent the last two days covered entirely in the most amazing shades of blue and green paint, wearing a wild pink wig and shaking maracas at people -- he's also super kind and friendly. I hope he finds whatever it is he has come here for, whether it's art or women, connection or inspiration. And the wonderfully sweet and caring vegetable bus family gave me a lovely hand picked and tied sage wand that they picked themselves somewhere on a high mountain pass in Colorado. God, I love the people who come here.

There are so many wonderful people out here. I may have written about this before but my brain is so full of this dust that it's become even fuzzier than usual, but the other night when I came home late after hanging out with some more wonderful people in center camp, I stopped and played with Kama in her Pink Poodle Camp for a good while and met some more good people. I brought plenty of alcoholic beverages for my friends who obviously aren't alcoholics, and I like to pass them out to my friends here who are thrilled to have them, because they've pretty much sucked up all of their own by now, and since I don't really drink anything more than a few sips of a wine cooler once or twice a year, seriously, I've got lots to share.

Awww, my friend Phil just knocked on the door, (I'm kind of hopping around in time here because I'm editing these posts and plugging in stuff as I go), he came by to give us the jacket back that Beau had loaned him last night and his Mom sent over a really fine bottle of wine. People are so generous here, you can't stop the giving. I never ever leave my own camp and go anywhere else without people showering me with gifts. I never come home with empty hands. On the other lovely hand I never go out there without taking a basketful of gifts to give out. Last night this sweet woman I had met the other day at Kama's camp came by and left the entire set of Gigsville trading cards. I am so thrilled about this. I've been collecting whatever few cards I could put my hands on for years.

Gigsville is an enormous theme village out here, much bigger even than we are by far. They used to set up the sweetest encampment that looked a lot like a real suburban neighborhood, with front porches, fake grass front lawns, mailboxes, picket fences and whirligigs -- very fun and cute. I don't know if they're still doing it because I wasn't able to get out there -- Burning Man is just too damned big, your first couple of days are blown setting up your own camp and building whatever art you've brought to share, and then you've got your own campmates to connect with, and the main points of the city to take in, and then the next thing you know it's time to burn the man. Anyway Lighthouse, that's the playa name of this generous orange haired sweetie-pie, met me the other night and when I found out she was from Gigsville I told her how much I loved the fact that they each have these cool self designed but group produced trading cards and she promised to hook me up with a deck. I thought it was sweet of her to offer and just let it go because things tend to happen like this out here, it's easy to get distracted, and she never said she was going to get me a deck while she was here, but there she was with her hand held out to me. I'll try to find some way to share some of these with you, there may be a site somewhere on line where they've put them up so people can see them.

Oh that reminds me, I was supposed to hustle on over to a 12 Step meeting. I haven't been to Anonymous Camp yet and I love those guys. I'm not an alcoholic, at least not yet, but Lord knows I'm addicted to pretty much everything else, (shopping, debting, cats, TV, food, sedatives, people and their approval, art anorexia, the list goes on and on), so just hanging out with 12 Step pals gets me centered and grounded pronto. I won't be taking them any tequila though ; )

Everything takes so much longer to do out here and is so much more exhausting than it is at home. You'll tell someone that you're just going to run back to your camp to get something like a pickle, and you'll be right back, then hours later you realize that you forgot to go back. Or you know that something really cool is happening in a certain location at a certain time but you just cant get it together in time to get over there -- that's what we refer to as Playa Time and everyone understands about this. "don't worry, we're on Playa Time," is a common refrain heard 'round here.

Well, I've got to go deal with this sickening, RV, black water, full tank situation. The shit thing is probably the worst part of this experience, worse than the dust, and everyone has their own way of dealing with it. One friend of mine who I would love to describe in this sentence as being super cool and wonderful but can't because I don't want to bust her anonymity when I'm talking about shit, just brings a bucket and plastic bags for her daughter to poop in, then she uses baby wipes and ties them all up and throws them away somewhere else. She doesn't want her daughter to have to deal with the gross porta-pottie scene, and believe me, it can be gross, but it's a great place to take pictures of people because almost everyone winds up around there at some point. Not me though, I bring my own toilet, I'm too easily offended by other people's crap and vomit.

I was pretty upset when I heard that they weren't going to be pumping them out for us this year, but when I went to Playa Info to complain I learned that I'd been misinformed, and that they are pumping them for us. I never complain officially about anything out here because I am just so grateful for all the work that people do to make this happen and I figure that if I'm not in there fighting for our rights then I had just better shut up and consider myself lucky for whatever I get for the price of my ticket, but when I heard this, I had to go say something. It just wouldn't be fair to let people spend so much money to haul these trucks with toilets in them so they don't have to deal with the gross porta potties, and then suddenly decide not to service them anymore.

The dust has been really bad this year, so bad that every time we open the door a big gust of wind blows about a quarter of a bucket full into the RV and I'm dreading the clean up. I don't even want to sit outside on any of our chairs and if you pat anything, like the sofa or a pillow a small cloud of dust puffs up into the air and gets sucked up into your nostrils. We do what we can to stay healthy with salt nasal spray and moisturizing gel, and dust masks are a treasured give away out here so we always bring plenty and then forget to give them all away because we're so busy

Mary-Alice is getting mad at Soren right now because he keeps tracking dust in and out and walking around barefoot. I like them, they've been great neighbors. I love all of our neighbors this year, well, every year really. We always luck out. I do my usual neurotic, anxious freak out thing where I worry about placement, etc., and then I get that I am always just where I am supposed to be. I mean how much better can our location be than sandwiched right in between two wonderful families with fourteen year old boys.

I brought tons of small toys to give away to the kids. I passed out Crayons and baby Barbies and playsets, and these cute little interactive aqua pets that were a big hit with the kids. We also gave out a lot of candy, or keena as Beau used to call it when he was a baby. Some of the parents are smarter than I am about this and will wave off the candy but take the animal crackers instead. I'm guessing they're both equally unhealthy. I gave out little princess crown sets to my favorite little girls but I ran out of them before I could give a set to my favorite little girl of all, Monique's daughter Star. Oh man do I love star. She's so beautiful, this little angel with gorgeous brown eyes and soft curly hair. She was the most grateful and the sweetest of all the little girls I met, and she held my hand which naturally melted my heart. Her Mom look so cool with all of her tribal gear and this bone through her nose. We're hoping to hook up with them when we get back home and go hiking together.

I saved her, (Star), from the teenagers a couple of times when they were trying to give her condoms instead of the jawbreakers that she came by to ask for. They were telling the little kids that they were balloons, oh man kids. We bought these HUGE jawbreakers somewhere along the way and they were a big hit. I only wish I'd bought more of them, no one could fit them in their mouths so I don't really know why they were so popular. Soren took a hammer and smashed his into bits and then he ate them, smart kid. Oh there goes Bret on his bike. He and Beau took empty bottles and wedged them into their back wheels somehow so that they've become a kind of modern version of the old playing cards in the spokes sort of deal. A lot of people think the kids are riding dirt bikes when they ride by because of the sound they make.

The Department of Animal Regulations came by today and rounded up all of our kids with nets. I thought it was a little scary but the kids loved it. We dressed the medium to little kids as animals for a parade and then the surprise was when these folks came by in their red jumpsuits and rounded up the kids and put them in their art car paddy wagon thing. Then they took turns putting the kids who weren't scared up for adoption. It sounds awful but the kids were laughing and screaming and having a great time. Before they left they gave all of us Black Rock Animal Reg tags for 2004, little bone shaped ID tags on chain necklaces. Jay and I both thought it was a wee bit too reminiscent of that scene in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang where they ice cream truck lures the kids out with the promise of treats but then the sides fall down and it's really this evil kid catching prison circus-like car.

I met an enormous dolly costumed woman walking by and begged her to come over to Kidsville. She had made a giant papier mache dolly head with screwed up dreaded hair and one black hole for an eye. She was wearing a nightie and could peek out of this bit of lace that hung down the front of the dress. She looked like one of my favorite animated cartoon characters -- the reassembled dolly in the first Toy Story, the one that the mean older brother neighbor had stolen the head of, shaved it's hair off and then attached it to some kind of crabby crawling robot thing.

Anyway she was walking by and I asked her to come in so she did. The first kids she approached on one of our trampolines were scared at first. One of them, one of the meaner little ones, said, "Ewwww, you're a big scary dolly. Go away! Fuck off!" I told him that wasn't a nice thing to say and that he would hurt the big scary dolly's feelings so they hugged and made up. It was so funny. Then I took her by the hand and led her in to the center of our village and introduced her to some of the other kids on another trampoline. I'll show you pictures when I get back. We had fun.

I've been really liking the people from Santa Cruz that I meet here. Whenever I think of Santa Cruz I think of my old high school friend Seira who I know went there. I wonder how she is. Anyway she obviously made a good choice because the Santa Cruz folks all seem very cool.

My friend Julian of and the billion bunny march camp, blew me away with such an act of kindness I almost couldn't accept it, but for the fact that I was desperate and didn't want to have to pull up camp to drive miles and miles to Reno. He gave me his bike. Isn't that amazing? He and his wonderful wife/partner Jackie are the dearest, most generous people. I think there are people who love them because of the fine art that they make and want to be photographed by them and included in their book, whatever, I love their art and am honored that they would even consider wanting to photograph us, but what I love about them is so far beyond this. It just goes deeper than that for me.

You know that feeling you get sometimes when you meet someone and you think you just must know them from somewhere else because they feel so instantly familiar and they just fit? Well, that's how I feel about them. Then they go and do this, give me their bike. I'm just so touched and blown away by this. Bikes mean everything out here, without one you are so screwed because this place is so big and you aren't allowed to drive once you come in, unless you have a licensed mutant vehicle or art car. Nevertheless I keep nursing this fantasy that I'll somehow find my bike before we leave. Dream on...

I'm so sad and angry for my friends Julia and Jay who can't be together because Jay is from England and our government won't recognize binational lesbian relationships. It's so fucked! Anyone else, well, anyone else who is heterosexual, would be able to marry their partner who would then become a citizen and get to stay here, but our government are keeping these dear women apart, separating Jay from Julia and her kids, who are like her own to her, because they have this antiquated idea of what love is and what constitutes marriage. I want to clobber someone, but who? I was thrilled to learn that Cheney's daughter is out and that he has finally stated publicly that he doesn't support Bushes evil marriage amendment thing. If nothing else galvanized my decision to vote for Kerry, it was finally this.

I saw a manta ray car today and spoke with the people who had made it. It was super pretty and fishy. I loved it. There's also a gorgeous aqua blue jelly fish tank car that I've seen driving around at night out there. It has hundreds of waving tentacles and it looks very trippy at night.

I have to remember to be careful whenever I bike past Camp Arctica, the ice camp because there are always so many people riding by with heavy, precariously balanced bags of ice and if you get in their way and they're forced to stop, they sometimes topple over. This happened to me the last year I was here and I got so cut up and bruised I had to limp to center camp where I sat and cried and felt sorry for myself.

People have been so kind and complimentary to me about my hair. There is so much kindness and friendliness here when out there in the world we often pass each other by and my Mom thinks there's something really wrong with me because I am forever reaching out and trying to touch people with comments and compliments. She wants me to be reserved and proper and while I can put on this social mask for any of her charity functions, fashion luncheons, or a meal at one of her clubs, this is the exact opposite of who I am or would ever want to be.

On my way home tonight I stopped by pickle camp and tried one of their many varieties of freshly sliced and nicely chilled pickles. They're so funny with their green pickle signs, Beatles music blaring, giant pickle margaritas and cutting boards full of freshly slices pickles. "Here try this variety, you'll love it, it's rich and nutty."

My Burning Man 2004 Playa Journal, 9-3-04 Day

I'm having a hard time making sense of my entries. I'm confused about the order I wrote them in, darn it. Oh well. I'm in Reno with Beau now, staying at a big funny casino, and am going to upload them a bit at a time as I'm able to. I had an accident in the RV and wound up having to go to the emergency room here -- not a car accident, but a stupid people accident. I got second degree blister burns all over my right leg and foot and they are really scary looking.

I put a huge mug of water in the microwave to boil for tea so I would be wide awake and not in any way contribute to the accidents that people have out there on the highways when they're tired. Plus I didn't want to hit a cow or one of the kamikaze bunnies. They tell you not to swerve but that would be me, swerving to save a bunny. I had been driving so slowly that people were having to pull around me and that's when people get hurt. I would keep signaling and pulling over whenever I could, but it's a fast moving two lane highway that twists and turns around mountains and there aren't always places to pull over.

I set my tea on this cutting board and because the car is overloaded with all of our dusty crap and bags and bags of trash it's easy to trip and fall. I lost my balance and put my weight on this precariously balanced cutting board where I had just set the boiling tea and it poured down my legs, splashing a little onto Beau and filling up my socks with boiling water that melted the skin off my ankle. It came off with my sock when I ripped it off. I was in sooo much pain, oh man was I in pain.

Anyway with the big blisters and my semi-sprained back and two doctors telling me to put my leg up and rest for a couple of days, we decided to hole up, wash up, and try to get some sleep. Funny how I am addicted to so many things but feel absolutely no pull at all towards all the glittering neon lit machines downstairs that are built to separate me from my money. Ha ha casino, I'll take your cheap room with the enormous Jacuzzi fuck-tub and keep my money thank you. Lots of burners here, lots of sweet good-bye hugs.

I'm having such a good time. The sad phenomenon about this place is that, like some disappearing Irish fairie city, it starts breaking down and disappearing just as soon as you finally find your place in it -- kind of like Shangri-La. What I mean is that after the two-three days it takes to acclimate -- let go of your expectations and just be willing to let it be what it is -- just when you finally start making meaningful connections with people and having a truly super good time, it's almost over. Tomorrow is the big burn and then, pouf, people start packing up their glitter and their wings and they start leaving. Although now that we have this unbelievably fine temple/mausoleum, (and I mean truly, unbelievably beautiful, I wish all of you could see this powerful piece of art), it gives us one last big burn on Sunday night to rally round. We'll stay for that so I can say good-bye to Sonia for Ana and all of you and for myself. I'm also carrying generic good-byes for people so you can know I let people, places and things go for all of you.

I am listening to some of the best oldies funk on one of our many playa radio stations. If only the real world could be as free as this. I love that all the DJ's swear and get drunk and play whatever the Fuck they feel like. Nope, there aint no Clear Channel out here -- no cops shutting down anyone broadcasting anything more than a watt. How did we let this happen, let our own government sell us down the road like this and take away all of our rights? "Here we are live from the heart of the playa with Heat Wave, On the Groove Line, Power 92.4, your hot hits of the eighties on the Burning Man power station. Hope you're having fun out there on the playa. Empower yourselves people." Oh yessss, here come The Commodores with Brick House, yeay! Oh man, now they're playing Get Up and Boogie. I should go find these guys and give them all of our Red Bulls and Vodka because we're not going to use it and I can tell they will.

I took our big, ice cold bottle of tequila and s'more fixins out to our burn barrel and hung out for a while tonight. That was fun. I really like our mayor Zaphod! What a sweetheart, and he looked so cute today in his nurse costume. We're very lucky to have him. Dave too, I love E-Dave! Why can't we all be polyamorous and marry several people at once? Why can't I really mean that?

Did I tell you that the super Christian camp across the way packed it in and left? Mark had me laughing today as he was describing them coming in saying, "Okay everybody huddle up. We're entering Sodom and Gomorra -- group hug, stay strong." And there they were right across the street from us for a few days, handing out their water bottles with a big sign on their tent promising dream analysis but really offering "salvation" instead. By the time they left they were covered in dust and wearing all kinds of beads and necklaces just like the rest of us. I wonder what happened -- if they just realized this was so far beyond them and out of their league that they'd better get out before the Devil sucked them in, or if they had some kind of revelation, "Hey guys this whole fire and nakedness in the desert thing isn't really all that bad, let's get out of here and look for people who really need saving."

Oh that's the way, uhunh, uhunh, I like it. I wish I could get ahold of the play list for this night's broadcast or a tape of this. It's so good, reminds me of being in eighth grade.

Oooh man I've got a sunburn, and even my hair is killing me, must be my scalp. I must have burned it. Hey, I have nothing to complain about, people get really hurt out here. My new friend Pants ran into a guide wire out there in the dark somewhere, (it was surrounding a piece of art and had stupidly not been lit which is just careless and dumb), and nearly cut his ear off. He actually tore his ear away from his fave and went to the med tent and got stitches. They said he should go get some plastic surgery but he's here for the duration. I'm telling you, people are devoted.

Today was the critical tits parade but I missed it. This is a tradition here where all the women who don't mind getting ogled by thousands of cheering burners and not just a few hooting yahoos, take off their tops and ride around in this great group of bicycles. It started out as this kind of group act of female empowerment and may be changing into something else. I've never done it because frankly, I'm not overly fond of my breastys.

Most of the art cars that drive around here have some of the best comics operating their megaphones, well, great comics, and inadvertently funny drunks, but the comics blow my mind. I don't know how all of these camps manage to find such sharp people to do their amplified playa humor for them. Do they hold art car auditions or just turn it over to serendipity, always managing to get the funniest person to narrate their journeys?

God, they're funny, sometimes I laugh so hard tears run down my cheeks. I laugh and smile so much out here that I get facial spasms from using muscles that are unfamiliar with getting this kind of a work out. I started feeling like the guys on the mics were maybe all the same guy today, maybe someone Burning Man picked up at The Comedy Store and gave one of their grants to -- the stuff they say as they drive by is that funny. Every night when I come back to Kidsville there will be at least one or two enormous cars lit up, decorated, and filled to the skies with people all hooting and dancing and waving, with their music blasting. They are so damned loud, and they don't care what they say, there's very little censoring here. I mean right smack in front of Kidsville and some guy on a megaphone is shouting, "Can anyone help me find the clitoris," or, "Look out kids, I'm seriously fucked up here and I'm making a left on something that might be a street, wooooo!!!!"

One night I came home to find an enormous sailboat car with pirates at the helm and a moving two story Jamaican tropical playa party car with life size palm trees framing the entrance and stairs parked in front of our village. They had both come down the street from opposite ends and were squaring off in front of our camps. "This is an art car show down," one of the guys shouted, and with that both cars proceeded to rev their engines and try to out blast each other with music and happy, hooting revelers. I get a little wistful sometimes when I come home and see stuff like this because I am greedy, and am always aware of the ticking clock, the passage of time, and I want more, more friends, more sights and sounds, more experience, more hugs and connecting, but I have to come home and go to sleep sometime.

I've seen more skirts on men this year than ever before. Men look so hot in skirts especially kilts and tutus. You can really see their legs in skirts and there is something very enticing about the whole, "Hmmm, I wonder if he's wearing anything under that skirt," thing.

I've been having a really hard time getting on line from my RV, (oh poor me in my RV with my electricity and plumbing while there are so many people out there eating dust), so I went to the Playa Information camp, pulled up a couch and was finally able to send out a couple of posts to my journal, mainly because this VERY cool sixteen year old named Phil figured it all out for me and helped me get back on line. This kid seems like a genius to me, I recognize a kindred soul when I see one, so I scooped him up, dragged him home with me and he's been hanging out with us ever since. Right now he's jumping on the trampoline with Beau and Brett and a cute little girl I don't know yet.

When I was hanging out on one of the few super dusty couches at Playa Info with Phil today there was a guy seated just behind me who had me laughing. He'd read a e-mail and then exclaim something like, "My dog misses me and he's crapping all over the house. Oh poor Felix!" He was so funny. I told him about the angry gal I had seen in Center Camp complaining about the lines and her latte not being perfect enough. He said, "Oh yeah like, When I'm in the other desert my coffee comes like that," and he snapped his fingers. It just struck me as funny, how ridiculous it was for someone to be this demanding out here of all places. She really was being a bitch. I wanted to get seventies stoner hippy on her and say, "Hey man, chill, you're harshing my playa ride dude."

I would love to share some of my photos with you. I'm going to try but I feel lucky just to be able to write these posts, let alone get them posted. The servers are overloaded and the satellite link has a two-second delay that's makes things kind of iffy. Plus, aside from the pornsters who are busy at work uploading whatever snatchy snapshots they can steal, there are a couple of pretty complex streaming projects going on and they tend to shut things down every so often. I'm in a pretty good spot for getting on though, I have direct line of site to Gerlach and I'm near one of the big repeaters so I lucked out. People are blown away that we can get online from here this year. I even found a real working phone on The Esplanade last night and picked it up thinking there would be some funny recording on the other end, or that it was one of those, Talk to God phones where someone is on the other end pretending to be a God or Goddess for you. You can take your pick.

Oh YES, now they're playing Fire! This isn't eighties wasn't Fire a seventies song? I think I remember it from when I was in eighth grade. Damn I love this music, I wonder where these guys are, I'd love to go visit them and get on the radio with them and screw around. I'm turning this up, woo!

Oh God I just realized how much dust I have in my ears when I tried to scratch and itch. There is no way that someone reading this who hasn't been to Burning Man, or who doesn't have a very open mind, could possibly understand why we would be willing to live like this in order to be here.

Beau and his friends are playing around on the walkie talkies. I feel like I should stop them but they're having so much fun and I'm thinking, "Screw it, this is Burning Man, let them have some fun and freedom." There are so many people out there screwing around on the radios, I doubt anything these guys do will mess anyone up too badly. Right now they're just saying stuff like, "Burn, burn, burn the children," but earlier they were answering people's calls and misdirecting them, "Yeah, man I'm right over here, to your left, yeah that's it, I see you now." They were even using Phil's satellite phone thing to order pizzas. I was just like this when I was there age.

Earlier Phil, Bret and Beau hung out in our RV playing computer games on the TV I bought for Beau on the way up here. They were so happy playing games and watching DVDs that I just left them in their nice comfy home, while I went out with Dave, Mark and more wonderful Kidsville people. We had such a good time driving around in Dave's gorgeous black lit poetry fridge magnet car, handing out drinks from the cooler and words. Dave gives the best tours and I am able to see things with him that I would never be able to see on my own. I just don't have the stamina to travel that far, even on my bike.

We all sit on these comfy benches on the back of this truck with a canopy overhead and cruise the playa. Dave stops for interesting firey art installations or mind blowing trippy things and we get off and play for a bit. Julia, Jay and Shaya tried this rolling wheel thing one night where they hang on and turn end over end. It was pretty amazing. But tonight we just cruised and would pick up people and give them rides. The night air was cool and crisp and finally a little free of the dust that has been plaguing the city. First we picked up some very drunk guys who were spouting off about politics and stuff that made someone ask Dave to ask them to find another ride. He was so kind and tactful about it. They knew they weren't being too considerate and that we had a car full of younger folks so they got off without a fuss. It helps that Dave is this enormous man, tall-enormous, like a basketball player. Then later we got a group of giggly tripping blondes who sat on guys laps and told me they loved me and that I was, "Sooooo beautiful," and "I love you!!!" Everyone says this out here, including me, so it can be a little hard to discern who is wasted from who is just high on the vibe. They were sweet though and I enjoyed their company.

We picked up a nice guy covered in a red fake fur costume who called himself The Cherry Fairy. He had a little proper ladies pocket book that was stuffed with cherry flavored Jolly Ranchers that he would hand out along with hugs and naughty comments about losing your cherry and finding it again in his purse. He was a sweetheart.

I've been having a sort of prickly time with a few of the Germans in our camp. I don't know why. Maybe because they're a bit more direct and brusque than I'm used to and we all know what a sensitive little flower bee I can be. The first time I went to talk with this group of people to share toys and candy with them they hurt my feelings when they cut me off abruptly saying, "Vee are not accepting any tales of voe here." I was just answering their question about why I hadn't been here for two years. Then another one of the mom's in their camp was kind of rude to me later and just now their little girl, (oh man is she beautiful, she is going to be a stunning woman someday), smacked me in the face because I gently asked her to stop knocking over this other little girl who was trying to ride her bike. She did say, "Excuse me," twice before she smacked me though.

I made up with the parents of the little girl and befriended her parents so it's all good now. Funny how the second you make an unfair sweeping judgment about a group of people, you're proved wrong. It just took being generous, friendly and forgiving on my part to turn things around. I gave their little girl a princess crown and before I knew it, she was blowing me kisses and I was loving all things German. My grandmother was German after all.

I'm back in the RV now making cheese enchiladas to take to our nightly potluck. Last night I made a huge batch of my famous guacamole but the potluck was canceled because of the never ending dust. You really can't eat things outdoors when they're covered with thousands of grains of crunchy playa dust. Hmmmm...lemme revise that, you really can't eat food when it's covered in playa dust ; ) I think I have sex on the brain because I am so deprived. It's hard to be the condom fairy when you're single here, yep, Scott better be ready when I get back because I am taking him down!

Today I got Beau and his sweet new friend Brent to help me clean up the motor home and thank God they did because it was getting really bad in here. I found the cord for the printer, so hopefully I'll be able to make some of our art projects. I did finish Julian and Jackie's glittered snail though and they loved it.

Beau brought me a bag of ice from Camp Arctica so I'll finally be able to have some ice in a drink, yes, lovely. Although after what has been the most clear and sunny day so far, it's beginning to get chilly again. It was super cold last night, get out your polar sleeping bags cold.

I have met some of the nicest people here. It's always that way. I mean there are the fun and colorful, wildly partying people, that provide the eye candy for those of us who while we participate too, we would rather be out there taking pictures or sitting in center camp with a cup of cocoa and a laptop, or getting into deep conversations with people we've just met, than pole dancing naked on the top of a moving art car.

It turns out that Brett's parents are part of the original playa fish group. How cool is that? There they are, the lovely clown loach fish mounted to their bicycles and ready to swim across the night sky. I adore the playa fish, no scratch that, I worship the playa fish. It's a little like being camped next to Tom Cruise and I feel very lucky. Okay gotta go, talk to you later...

cherry fairy