Posts Tagged ‘alchemy 2009’


November 28, 2009

To get these off my hard drive, mostly.

doomdoomdoomdoom, cabaret zombie and teeth brusher extraordinaire

Driving around on a golf cart with my fellow camp placer was about the most fun I had, there…completely not my “vibe” or “scene…”


Unlike Alchemy, say, where I can don my best moustache for hilltop weddings:

That was actually my first moustache…ah, Doom. I miss her so.

Schpeaking of Alchemy…Sunday night was pretty awesome. Sunday nights always are. I don’t know why. Everybody’s full of happy burn time, only the cool people are left, whatever…I don’t know. It was actually miserable, weatherwise. Poooouuuuurrring rain, and cold.

Center Camp Mistress organized a potluck, which was just a smash. People brought leftovers, grills and stoves, we had everything from chips and dip to fresh curry to ice cream.

Drinking, of course, APW brought the Totherightoftheeffigy Bar down.



Bartending for the masses

Alchemy + Sunday = art burn

Bleeder track, CampCamp animals and ?

We had fun, tossing stuffed animals into the inferno. In the rain.

Umbrella Camp FTW!

Tunnas like water.

Ranger Rack, pontificating

Me et Ranger Rack, smiling in the dark

I found this tableau terribly ironic. That was one major spoiler, of the potluck, was the mess people left.  A Burning Man cup from 2003, boldly proclaiming LEAVE NO TRACE on top of a very dirty, cluttered potluck table. My co-life saver helped me clear it off, and we dragged it into the rain for a washing (melted ice cream = crappy potluck donation, but he gladly, when we found him, took the boxes to the fire).

Eh honhonhon, un petit pou tequila pour vous, n’est pas? Non, je pense c’est rum. Mmm…rum…pirates…YERRR!!!

Many modeled the latest in garbage bag wet weather wear. Ooo la la! Tres chic!

Philosopher’s Stone had a teeny little printer, and was able to take pictures and give people copies on the spot. It was neat!

I love this picture for the company with which I keep, within it. He and I have shared quite the adventures, on the mountain and in the middle of the desert.

The glorious end. I also have a sticker that says “THE REGAL” on my bathroom wall. And the draft of what I’d originally written, a few days after Alchemy:

Alchemy was awesome, in so many ways, on so many levels; some I will manage to put into words and/or photos, others will remain buried in my psyche.

THIS is decomp, right here…the surreality of standing in my living room last night, sitting on Chris’ couch, the loudness of the silence…when I got back from Burning Man, I felt nothing. “How’s your decomp going,” I was asked. He got a shrug. Back to work and Taco Night.

But now…I sit here at work feeling full of this wonderful secret…like when I wear my rubber duckie panties under my work clothes…nobody knows why I’m smiling, but I feel great.

Well, actually, I don’t feel great. I feel achy, exhausted, congested and sore.

Anyways. The following is a list for me, to try and remember what I might blog about. Well, screw it. Let’s start with Sunday night.

I don’t know why Sunday nights are so great…sure, some of the greatness is the fact it is “One-percenters,” as a passerby noted. Maybe people are just…calmer. Like, it is all over, now. We can relax and just hang out without putting on a show, or a costume…I know I felt great, wearing normal clothes. I felt WARM, wearing normal clothes, ha ha. “You’re wearing a bra??” someone brayed, dismayed. Yeah, and I’m WARM! Unlike the previous night of flounces and garters and cleavage, wherein I was shivering in my coat, under a blanket. Lying on the ground.

 Yeah, for the last two nights, I found myself being “one of those.” Lying around on the ground, canoodling under a blanket, half passed-out…lying around in the Wonder Dome, marveling at the  abject awesomeness of it all (and canoodling) – laughing hysterically at the silliest stuff. And ya know what? I liked it.

“…rangers are born, not made. When an Ewok and a unicorn love each other…bechawawa!”

“What does a chihuahua have to do with it?”

…oooo, the Wonderdome is wonder-full. Especially when the rain is whipping around outside, cold and frenzied.

My half-moustachio’d friend had had a full day of…let’s say hooliganry. It started in the morning, with a Pixies sing-a-long. Then standing by the road, howling poetry and rambling stream of conciousness. Like a mad prophet wandering in the desert.


He wandered up. “Do you have a drink? If you want me to shut up, you have to put something in my mouth…” as he rambled on about dicks and butt plugs, I made him a drink of cherry vodka and blue Boone’s Farm.

Later that evening, at the “Art Burn,” he was kneeling on the ground singing Good Day to some glowing, bright orange coals – the first line or two. Egged on by the stars I belted out, “…I took out the trash today and I’m on fire…”

A guy came over asking something about “…the voice of an angel…” (which I definitely don’t have, but was tickled to no end to hear said), recognized me (from what?) and started saying something about how if I’m “as obnoxious next year…”

I laughed, commenting to my compatriots, “He thinks I’m obnoxious!” (They disagreed.)

“If you could be even MORE obnoxious next year….” he continued. At this point my friend came running up with headphones. “In honor of the show we saw together!”

He had it on Girl Anachronism. I bounced out into the rain, away from the fire, to have a moment with Amanda. It was AWESOME. The whole Dresden Dolls exchange there, for a few minutes…egads. There is so much left to tell – from just Sunday, but I fear it really isn’t very interesting to read, as a recap.

November 11, 2009

CarnEvil pics from Gizmo (CampCamper)!

(Big Puffy Yellow/Charlotte burners)

Philsopher’s Go to Burning Man!

October 19, 2009

I have had the great fortune of becoming chummy with a Dirty Southern Burner mainstay, The Philosopher’s Stone. Intelligent, fun, and techno free!

They do these bowls of rocks:


The other bowl says something like, “Thoughts.” At Transformus, I pulled out a blank pebble. At Alchemy, my stone said “Death.”

On the one hand, I think it is hilarious. On the other hand, I think it is sad the Universe couldn’t have given me something a little more cheery and inspiring.

October 19, 2009

campCamp was so much fun. They did an amazing job building it, and sitting around harrassing people. Here’s two distance shots:


I enjoyed harrassing the Lamplights, as they lit the end of the path, there. “Ooooh, yeah, just like that…easy…easy…don’t drop it! Yeah…there you go (as they slid it onto the pole)…” Etc.

DOOM was up in those woods, there, behind the couch. The couch was perfect for watching Dale Jr. on the TV we had – yes, it worked. Hilarious. People were like, “You should have emptied it out and used it as a frame or something…” Yeah. No. TV in the woods was much funnier.


“Welcome to CampCamp. Now get out.”

You can also see, there on the right, the hunting blind.

Now, see it in action!

I couldn’t beg people to sign up for CampCamp! this year. I think Transformus will be a very different story!

Wednesday night

October 14, 2009


Right-o. So, here’s some more pictures from Alchemy 2009:


Wednesday morning. The “critical infrastructure.” (Ha.). Center Camp and Lamplighters Camp – and “First Camp,” there on the rightest side. The blue and white bus I drove to Burning Man in. It is a far cry from the first year, when Thursday morning was just the stage – that you can’t see in this picture, for all the finery and doo-dahs. Nary a tent.

Lamplighters really came together this year, with a big ol’ tent, lovely robes, flaggery and really beautiful graphic work, courtesy of NatX.



I helped too! Screwin’ and nailin’  – and then I helped APW build stuff!


We are all The Man.


Welcome to Alchemy! Now get out.

The Effigy had minions:



They were well supervised, of course:


These kids really worked hard –


who knew teenagers had the capacity to not be self-serving little shits (aside from any parents who might be reading this…your kids are sooo great!)?


Wednesday night was the mini burn. Leftover effigy scraps reattached into a mini effigy, courtesy of one Mr. Tunna Kerosene.


It was also drag night, but I was the only one who got the memo.


Or who had time to comply, at least. Wearing warm clothes with pockets was pretty great! Down the road, in LaFayette, there’s a lost and found baggage store. It is way over-priced, but chock-full of randomness. You can totally tell when one person lost a suitcase, there’s a rack of similiar stuff – like at a thrift store, you can tell when someone died and the family donated everything…back to fire.

One of the DSB mainstays built a great couch:



NatX, when not lighting lamps and making flags, had his face in a camera all week:


Chesire is to his ___ as NatX is to his camera…


I actually went to bed fairly early…my last chance for a full night’s sleep!


We’re all in this mess together…

October 10, 2009

Here’s the covers for Alchemy 08 & 09 mix CDs I made:




The latter, titled “We’re All in This Mess Together*, is fairly self-explanatory,

In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience.

The one from this year:

Radical Self-expression
Radical self-expression arises from the unique gifts of the individual. No one other than the individual or a collaborating group can determine its content. It is offered as a gift to others. In this spirit, the giver should respect the rights and liberties of the recipient.


There is nothing I do not love about this picture.

The back covers are from my old friend CrimeThinc:

Beyond the life you live, you have no “true” self—you are precisely what you do and think and feel. To create a community in which each of us can live life to the fullest, we must make it possible for all of us to pursue our dreams and be free and creative. Otherwise we’re cheating ourselves of each other’s potential, as well as our own. We must make our freedom by cutting holes in the fabric of this reality, by forging new realities which will, in turn, fashion us. Putting yourself in new situations constantly is the only way to ensure that you make your decisions unencumbered by the inertia of habit, custom, law, or prejudice — and it is up to you to create these situations.

 Freedom only exists in the moment of revolution.


(radical self-expression)

For the lover speaks a different moral and emotional language than the typical bourgeois man does. The average bourgeois man has no overwhelming, smoldering desires. Sadly, all he knows is the silent despair that comes of spending his life pursuing goals set for him by his family, his educators, his employers, his nation, and his culture, without ever being able to even consider what needs and wants he might have of his own. Without the burning fire of desire to guide him, he has no criteria upon which to choose what is right and wrong for himself. Consequently he is forced to adopt some dogma or doctrine to direct him through his life. There are a wide variety of moralities to choose from in the marketplace of ideas, but which morality a man buys into is immaterial so long as he chooses one because he is at a loss otherwise as to what he should do with himself and his life. How many men and women, having never realized that they had the option to choose their own destinies, wander through life in a dull haze thinking and acting in accordance with the laws that have been taught to them, merely because they no longer have any other idea of what to do? But the lover needs no prefabricated principles to direct her; her desires identify what is right and wrong for her, for her heart guides her through life. She sees beauty and meaning in the world, because her desires paint the world in these colors. She has no need for dogmas, for moral systems, for commandments and imperatives, for she knows what to do without instructions.



I hadn’t intentionally set out to do a series of 10, it just fell out that way, and I like it.

Alchemy 2008: “Decommodify…or perish” setlist:

“We find we can do without immense quantities of goods…”

Placebo – protect me from what I want

Camper Van Beethoven – When I win the lottery

Bow Wow Wow – W.O.R.K.

 – _

World Inferno Friendship Society – Tattoos Fade

L7 – American Society

The Partisans – Blind Ambition

Fischerspooner – Sick of TV

the Dresden Dolls – War Pigs

Circle Jerks – Live Fast, Die Young

Ryan Adams – To Be Young…

Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers – Affection

Gary Wilson – 6.4 = Makeout

Lords of Acid – Heaven is an Orgasm

“…we attempt tonight to present you with a picture of the era…drawn by those who revolt against some of the aspects of the hidden revolution.”

Mad Happy – Renegade Geeks

Menomena – Rotten Hell

I’ll try to work on this year’s playlist tonight .


Alchemy 2009: “Shlock and Awww…” setlist:

“Do you ever get the feeling that everything in America is completely fucked up?”

Black Box Recorder: Child Psychology

Les Sans Culottes – Allô Allô

the Damned – Jet Boy Jet Girl

Rasputina – Howard Hughes

Frank Harris – Masculine Women & Feminine Men

Suburban Lawns – Janitor

Rene Bloch – Raunchy

How Long Are You Staying – Bill Joy

the Dresden Dolls – Shores of California

Army of Lovers* –

Esthero – If tha mood


Noel Coward – What’s going to happen to the tots?

the Tiger Lillies – Gin

Quintron – Swamp Buggy Bad Ass

Gene Marshall: Green Fingernails

vic manteloy – dial-up lottery blues

Panic! at the Disco – Nine  in the afternoon

*I loved this song and video in high school. Looking for that link sent me on a lovely little tour of nostalgia. Looking up eurotrash videos from my youth is a standard drunk and bored youtube exercise.

I still listen to their two hits:

and torture people with this one:

Can I just TELL you how much I wanted that blue hair? I sing this one:

I honestly, leading worship music on youth group mission trips to Africa and applying to Bible colleges, didn’t know what “gay” was, or “club kids,” or anything except I loved that garter belt, and shiny fabrics, and fast music and bright hair.

Katamari Origami!

October 10, 2009

So, one of my busmates to the playa was the sweetest, cutest little slip of a thing – she of the nifty clay pendants pictured previously. She also made little origami balls – but BM? Pshaw, Alchemy! Alchemy has the biggest balls of all!



Also, DOOM!

CAMPCAMP photos!!!!!!

October 9, 2009



I just like saying “trebuchet.”

October 6, 2009

I like pretty much any word that makes me sound smarter than you.

Whilst cleaning the burn scar from the Temple Burn atop Effigy Hill, someone commented next year, whoever builds the effigy has to use dowels. No screws and nails and other things one must go back and painstakingly remove from the ground. This led to all the non-metal ways to construct something – my contribution was a temple made out of a refridgerator box.

“A cardboard temple!”

And a cardboard trebuchet.