Notes from Burning Man

Blurps, bleeps, and sputters from this year’s Playa Blahg, Blahg, Blahg.

Here’s how it went, weather-wise:

Monday—Horrible. Ass-spackling, goggle-pounding dust storm with visibility down to zilch. A lovely day to stay the eff home and practice Margarita consumption in front of the idiot box.

Tuesday through Friday—Awesome. Perfect. The best weather imaginable.

Hot and sunny with light breezes, capped by warm, calm, nights. Burning Man at its best.

Saturday—Shit hits fan. Flags at camps begin blowing at 10 am, and the breeze is from the southwest. Uh-oh. Thousands of Burners decide to bail and get the hell out. Weenies. But, I must admit, not a bad call. Not bad at all.

Sunday—Typical half-ass, crummy, post-Burn day. Sunny, cooler, with northwest winds of 10-20. The kind of day where one can imagine the playa itself is saying, “OK, you’ve had your little party. Go away now.” For those of us who hang tough, though, Temple Burn is magnificently epic.

Notes for Senior Burners: It’s very, very good for us to remember one crucially important detail—we can’t drink like these young, howling, face-painted college primitives. No way. You gotta stay within yourself. Know your role. Take it one cocktail at a time. Then again, four glasses of wine at lunch sure does pave the way for a killer nap at 2.

And for those camping in trailers/RVs with built-in CD players, I did some sleep research this year that yielded excellent results and might be helpful to you in the future. Get one of those 60-minute weather CDs. I used one called “Hawaiian Rainstorm.” Put it on when you hit the sheets and turn up the meteorological white noise. These discs do a great job in covering over the relentlessly thumping “oonch oonch” din of Black Rock City when you want to sleep. Much better than ear plugs, I’d say.

I’ll give the staff of the alternative playa newspaper “Piss Clear” credit. They said last year was gonna be their last, and they were true to their word. No “Piss Clear” in B.R.C. this year. I missed their irreverent ravings madly.

I don’t get all the people running around at night with no lights on, or maybe one little chintzy lame-ass light. Nothing says “I’m a boring jackass” louder than some quasi-invisible nimrod shuffling through the night with no costume and no lighting. And the neighborhoods themselves, especially those near the outer ring of the city, are darker than Marilyn Manson’s lipstick collection. What’s up, darkwads? Too cool to put some lighting on your dwelling? Your bike? Yourself? Too broke to buy a glow necklace for 49 cents? Pitiful. Goddamn, have a spot of fun next year and lighten up a bit. Literally.