Woke up at 6:30 (with great difficulty) and headed out to the playa for a 7:30 meeting at the DPW Depot, our first morning meeting on the playa. Everything’s different now. There are so many more people than there were two weeks ago, and they’re all scattered around the playa versus centrally located in Gerlach. Some people are living in the Ghetto, others are stationed at the Depot or their own camps. It’s only going to get bigger from here.
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Last night we celebrated completion of the fence as well as our last big night in town. I hung out for a while with Ray Posado, Burning Man Transpo Manager. He’s had a looooong couple of days, organizing transportation of all the trailers, equipment, and big supplies from the ranch and various contractors. I think he’s gotten about a half hour of sleep since Wednesday. And yet! He made me laugh my ass off all night long. And it wasn’t just the fact that he has the best radio handle I’ve ever heard. (Tequila lovers will know what I mean.) We had a really great time playing pool and shooting the shit on the porch of the Black Rock Social Club. Afterwards, a few of us drove out to the playa, far beyond the fence, and spent the night under the stars watching the spectacular Perseids meteor shower.
You might be wondering what the DPW subsists on during long hot days on the open playa while they toil away pounding t-stakes, tying fence and erecting huge structures. You probably figure that they know what their doing, and maybe you could learn a thing or two from their years of experience. Well, they eat whatever’s around, and here’s what they drink:
I told you they were different.
This is my big bad meanie post to help you remember shite you’re supposed to, like, obey.
Pardon me while i temporarily step out of character and get all macho on you. I mean, at least I’m not saying “I was young, I needed the work.”
For the vast majority of you reading this, there is no such thing as arriving early. It’s a fanciful fantasy, a vicious pre-playa rumor concocted by rumor mongrels that roam the low seas of the the outer playa, just because they can.
Burning Man begins at 12:01 a.m., Monday, August 27. No ifs, ands, buts — or even whens. Yessir and Yes’m, that’s when it starts. That one whole minute after the midnight hour on that one Monday.
So please don’t even bother the gate crew. They have enough crap to deal with. They’re extra-severely-outta-control busy.
I’m sure you can relate. In fact, I’m betting you’re freaking out a bit right now trying to figure out how the hell you’re going to fit all that stuff into your Yugo, the Ishtar of cars. And when you leaving? Righto, that busy!
If you arrive early, you’ll be turned away at the gate and promptly be sent back to Reno. Do you really want to head back on down the road to Reno?
Do you really, honestly, and like, for real, want to feel dejected too?
Fence. Say it to a normal person, and they might look at you like: “Yeah, so what?” Say it to DPW and they’ll get a semi-crazed look in their eyes. A little drool maybe. You might sense a strange longing. Don’t worry, they’ll be fine. Eventually.
This is the day that Burning Man officially descends on the playa. Transpo starts; the DPW Depot gets built; Center Camp gets laid out; the man base takes shape, major art installations arrive. But the biggest thing by far is the fence. The fence that keeps loose moop inside the city limits when the wind blows. The 8-mile perimeter fence that gets pounded in and tied by hand.
Last night there was a bit of a party at the Social Club. It was fun enough that a few of us made the rounds this morning apologizing hopefully for whatever we might have said or done that was inappropriate/embarrassing/stupid. I have a headache. Let’s just leave it at that.
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“Four inches left. Mark it, 5:00 and Arctic.” That’s the word from the Octagon to one of the teams on the Survey crew. Coyote’s got one eye on the transit and a radio in hand, as he directs the placement of survey flags along the first street beyond the Esplanade. This year the city is three blocks extended past 2006, so the Survey crew has got 221 intersections to mark. Along with the Man base, 624 street pegs, and flags for Center Camp, Promenades, and four plazas. And you can’t believe how precise they are.
A Day at the Office
I spent most of the day in the Burning Man Office. You may have guessed, this isn’t a typical office. It’s way better. First of all, it’s on Main Street in Gerlach, Nevada, USA. Second of all, it’s got character: two-way radios, Burning Man art, random furniture, boxes of corn and melons, unplugged electronics, and playa pictures everywhere. Most importantly of course, this office is populated by burners. Burners who get shit done.