kshandra: The Burning Man effigy, lit in blue neon, arms by his sides; an orange half-moon is visible over his shoulder. (BurningMan)
Had the lovely realization yesterday that, if someone were to call us and say "you need to pack up and bug out NOW," we could do it. There are a few more things left to pick up that will make things better, but we could absolutely get by on what's ready now.

I'm probably going to be waiting for the other shoe to drop until we're finally on Gate Road.
kshandra: The Burning Man effigy, lit in blue neon, arms by his sides; an orange half-moon is visible over his shoulder. (BurningMan)
Bear with me on this one...

  • It's one hell of a party song.
  • I associate it (still) with watching World Series of Poker coverage on cable.
  • The first year I drove to Burning Man on my own, it was the last song I heard on terrestrial radio before I lost signal heading into Gerlach.
kshandra: California custom license plate reading ♥KOOSH (Koosh Plate)
One of the things that has kept me from making a "driving to BRC" playlist is that there are too many songs that I want to be first. This is one of them.

kshandra: "DONE!" written in purple stencil-font lettering at a 45 degree angle (Done!)
As I mentioned last fall, [personal profile] gridlore and I have come to the conclusion that we are just Too Damn Old™ to keep fussing with a tent on-playa every year. So we did our taxes as soon as all of the paperwork was in, determined what our budget was (an attempt to apply for financing fell about as flat as I had expected, so we were strictly cash-on-the-barrelhead), and started searching in earnest.

Then one of my coworkers sent me a link to something he found on OfferUp - for a THIRD of our budget.

A blank canvas

It's little more than a bed with walls around it, but that was all we were really looking for, anyway. And we knew that with that low a price tag, odds are we were going to wind up putting as much money into it again to get it ready to use.

Little did I know just how much sweat-equity would be involved... )

I've got some serious New Relationship Energy for this thing, lemmetellya. We've got the exterior artwork planned out (I ordered a custom stencil for the back which turned out beautifully), and little by little I'm getting stuff together for the interior. Found a storage ottoman on Craigslist to brace the lower half of the bed (the head is permanently mounted, but the foot is a free-floating piece of plywood so you can convert it to a couch during the daytime); I picked up an area rug from Freecycle last night, but it may be a little too MOOPy (which is a concern for me even though it'll be indoors the whole time). My boss is going to spot-weld the trailer for us next week, and will likely help us replace the cracked plexiglass window. (Doug was highly amused by how this became a group project in the 36 hours we had it parked behind the warehouse before moving it to storage.)

As I was leaving dinner Tuesday, I recognized a group of people walking towards the restaurant - including my very first boyfriend from HS. Much to my amazement, he sent the rest of his party in to get a table, then walked me back to the truck, where he took my hands and asked my forgiveness for the way he'd treated me when we were dating. "I was an ass, and a beast, and to put it in AA terms, I'd like to make amends." As the saying goes, you could have woken up to find the Sphinx with a new nose and not been more surprised than I.
kshandra: The Burning Man effigy, lit in blue neon, arms by his sides; an orange half-moon is visible over his shoulder. (BurningMan)
[personal profile] gridlore and I are in agreement that this was our last year tent camping for That Thing In The Desert. We've done some basic research and determined that we are looking for a used 13' travel trailer (something like a Scamp or a Casita). For health reasons, we are specifically looking for Deluxe models with an onboard flush toilet.

We're not going to be doing any serious shopping until February when our tax refund comes in, but expect lots of stupid questions from us once we get to that point.
kshandra: The Burning Man effigy, lit in blue neon, arms by his sides; an orange half-moon is visible over his shoulder. (BurningMan)
Back when [livejournal.com profile] dafydd and I were still together, it was common (perhaps even traditional) to hear him declare in early September, "Well, time to go fix what Burning Man broke."

He only ever said it about his truck. [personal profile] gridlore and I aren't that lucky.

As noted in his own journal, Doug broke three metatarsals in his right foot while we were starting to tear down camp on the final Monday night of the event. I asked, more than once, if he wanted to go to Medical; he declined, and I was too brain-fried, despite having veto power, to insist on it.

It was Wednesday morning before he finally admitted "Okay, this isn't just the neuropathy; something's fucked up." Fortunately, Renown was a direct shot up 2nd Street from our beloved Grand Sierra, and everyone we worked with there was terrific. They got him splinted up and sent us on our way with crutches and both print-outs and digital copies of his X-rays. (They offered him The Good Drugs, as well, but we would have had to fill the script while we were still in Nevada, and we were already nervous about what Medicare was going to do with this visit. Fortunately, Doug had had the good sense to pack the rest of the meds he'd been given for last month's procedure, so he wasn't in complete agony.)

Meanwhile, I keep looking down at my own right shin and wondering WTF is going on...

As noted in the tweet above, I finally stopped trying to grin and bear it on Sunday and took myself to Urgent Care. The doctor I saw said I should get an ultrasound the next day to rule out a possible abscess, and come back to see him once the test was done.

15 minutes after calling me to schedule said ultrasound, they called me back and said "We're cancelling that appointment, the doctor wants you to go to the ER instead."

Where I spent two hours and $200* to get diagnosed with leg pain. Dude, I told you that when I walked in here.

I spend the next two days faithfully taking the Motrin they gave me, then email my primary physician for a follow-up appointment when I don't see any improvement. (I'd also had truly atrocious blood pressure readings on both Sunday and Monday, and figured the sooner I got that seen to, the better.)

Gratifyingly, they called me this morning as I was getting ready for work, saying they could fit me in. Confusingly, my BP was back to what passes for normal for me (136/84 - not great, but miles better than the 209/95 they got in the ER on Monday). Reassuringly (if a bit frustratingly), my doctor said "Yeah, it's a contusion, and where it is will take a long time to fully heal. Keep it elevated, heat or ice depending upon what feels better."

In the words of the National Enquirer's old gossip column: "...and how was YOUR week?"

* It was going to be $250, but when I stopped by the cashier's office after today's appointment, they gave me a Prompt Payment discount. File under "linings, pewter."
kshandra: The Burning Man effigy, lit in blue neon, arms by his sides; an orange half-moon is visible over his shoulder. (BurningMan)
I'm doing my best not to freak completely out, after what happened last year. We are in 200% better shape on every possible front (which, of course, does not mean either of us is 100%, but I'll take what I can get), but I don't think I'll relax completely until we are actually on the freeway heading east.

I am never really prepared to go - I don't think anyone ever is. But I am so ready to be there.

kshandra: Graffiti of hands ripping open a dress shirt, Superman fashion, to reveal the word FAIL (FAIL)
[personal profile] gridlore and I made the incredibly difficult decision about an hour ago not to go to Burning Man this year. He is simply not bouncing back from his latest hospital stay the way either of us would like; I've been dealing with massive separation anxiety as a result, and was having real trouble trying to figure out how I was going to fulfill my volunteer commitments out there without falling to pieces wondering if he was okay back at camp.

At least now he'll be able to go for the follow-up labwork they were asking him to do on Monday (and not getting their heads around "the nearest hospital is 120 miles from where I'm going to be for the next week").

Comments disabled, as I posted to FB before coming here, and I think I've hit my limit on sympathy at the moment.
kshandra: The Burning Man effigy, lit in blue neon, arms by his sides; an orange half-moon is visible over his shoulder. (BurningMan)
Checking in briefly to let everyone know that [personal profile] gridlore and I survived Monday's apocalypse on-playa; our tent isn't quite as waterproof as I might have hoped, but nothing was damaged. Doug is recording daily video blogs that we'll upload when we get back.
kshandra: The Burning Man effigy, lit in blue neon, arms by his sides; an orange half-moon is visible over his shoulder. (Default)
(x-posted from the bookfaces)

Last night sucked. Realized earlier in the evening that I was having an optic migraine; I sent myself to bed early because the visual effects were starting to make me dizzy, then woke up at 2am and couldn't get back to sleep until almost 4 (not least because I was lying there thinking "Damnit, I can't get up and pack because it'd be too noisy").

Once I was up this morning, I finished getting the rest of my clothes packed, including my post-event bag, then had to grab myself by the scruff of the neck and drag myself out to the car, or I would've been even later getting to work. (I kept looking around the house and thinking "Shit, that's gotta go in a box...that needs to go in my backpack...damnit, did we pack those already?")

If we had to just seal our boxes right now and go with what's already packed, we would be fine for the week, but there are a few more "fiddly bits and fjords" that will make the event a more comfortable one.

I'm SO ready to be on-playa. Contrary to the last time I said that in public, I'm almost ready to make the trip.


Jul. 31st, 2014 10:34 am
kshandra: Cartoon of a young girl, a purple streak in her hair, at a computer; the text reads "dear blog, I HATE EVERYONE!" (I Hate Everyone)
Walked out this morning to go to work, and noticed that some of our camping gear was moved. Asked [personal profile] gridlore about it; he didn't do it, but we decided it was enough to make us move his cot (mine was already under the futon in the living room, where I'd put it after buying it last year) and our back-up tent (the cabin tent is in a HUGE storage bin all on its own) into the house.

It wasn't until I came back out to get in the car that I realized someone had stolen our cooler.

It looks as though I can replace it at either Costco or Target today, which is great. And really, we'd been living on borrowed time, leaving the gear unsecured in our carport; we don't currently have renter's insurance (though I'll be correcting that ASAP; it was a godsend when they took EVERYTHING from our locked garage back in '09), and even if we did, that single item wouldn't come close to making our deductible. I'm just glad that's all they took; they left the 5gal. water cooler, Doug's new cot, and both tents.

But the money I'm using to replace the cooler was the money Douglas and I had put aside to go to dinner tonight, to celebrate the anniversary of his not-dying after the stroke last year, and I'm PISSED.

(And as I noted when I posted this on FB earlier, I know this just sounds like passive-aggressive begging, and I'm just too tired - physically and mentally - to give a fuck.)
kshandra: Animated: Kermit the frog in front of a red velvet curtain, flailing happily (Yaaaaaaaaaay!)
...was a brilliant intersection of my fannish home and my playa home.

[tumblr.com profile] myrkrida, thank you for letting us dream with you.
kshandra: The Burning Man effigy, lit in blue neon, arms by his sides; an orange half-moon is visible over his shoulder. (BurningMan)
Less than 12 hours before I leave for the desert. Possibly less than 10.

I asked [personal profile] gridlore earlier tonight if I always get this anxious before I leave. His "Oh, HELL yeah" was oddly reassuring in a frustrating kind of way. To me, there feels like there are whole new levels to the panic this year, though. It's been two years since I actually had to set and strike a tent; I actually wound up downgrading from the 12x16 cabin tent I wanted to have (which was its own saga this year - the rainfly didn't get packed in with the tent the last time I used it, and I missed picking it up when I originally got my gear out from [personal profile] murphymom's basement) in favor of the 9x9 dome I know I can deal with on my own.

Or at least I used to. I've lost a fair amount of mobility in the past two years, and I don't know if I can still do it.

On top of that, I've got bonus First Day Of School angst, because I'm in a new camp this year, and while the mayors love me, I really don't know anyone else in the group that well, and I'm worried that I won't fit in well. (All the more reason to panic about whether or not I can put my own tent together, because I don't want to look completely helpless.)

But there's really nothing left for it now but to go.
kshandra: The Burning Man effigy, lit in blue neon, arms by his sides; an orange half-moon is visible over his shoulder. (BurningMan)
(The following is a compilation/extrapolation/mash-up of multiple responses I've made across the intertubes in the last 36 hours - but it should all be in one place for posterity.)

The offers of gear/rides/etc. to actually get me out to BRC this year are incredibly generous, and I thank you all. But in all honesty, it was shaping up that I wasn't going to make it this year even before this happened.

Going to Anticipation is only my fourth cross-country trip in my life, and my first ever out of the country. I have no idea what kind of recovery time I'm going to need. [livejournal.com profile] gridlore and I get back from Montreal on 12 Aug (our flight's scheduled to arrive SFO 2330 11 Aug, which is as near as makes no difference once you figure in Baggage Claim and travel time home). That's NINE DAYS before my standard date of departure; it's anyone's guess whether I'd even have the [spoons | action points | insert analogy here] for the drive to and from BRC, to say nothing of actually surviving the event. (I like visiting [livejournal.com profile] dafydd on-playa; I'd prefer not to do so as a client.)

Further, those loans come with an emotional cost, one levied exclusively within my head.

I'm not one who's very good (at all) at the sweat-equity type of stuff that's needed within a camp; I sit in the trailer at DMV doing Tech stuff all day because that's all my body is capable of if I'm still going to have the energy and ability to get between the two places. So I pull my weight back in camp by making damned sure I have EVERYTHING I'm going to need for the week. Sitting in a campsite full of borrowed gear would take its toll on me, because I'd look at it and think "damnitall, I'm leeching off people who care about me again."

(I actually had a short, but really good, conversation on this with one of my village-mates.... A couple of years ago, a group of us pooled resources and not only bought his ticket for him when it looked like he wouldn't be able to attend, but arranged for his flight from Reno to BRC. And while he was certainly touched by the gesture and grateful and all of that and voluntarily gave back as much as he could while he was there, he also felt as though the village "owned" him as a result.)

It's flattering as hell that so many people - village-mates, DMV coworkers, and just people who don't Burn themselves, but know how important it is to me - have said "I cannot imagine the event without you there, and I will do whatever I can to make sure I don't have to experience it." But the repeated cries of "No! You MUST be there!" start pushing all my old peer-pressure buttons, and that gets awkward.

Consider also that I've already worked last-minute miracles getting out to the event once; I haven't missed a Burn since I first came out in '03. I know a lot of people who would envy me on that point alone. Yeah, it's gonna suck not being there this year (particularly with all the awesome changes happening in camp), but it's just gonna make next year that much better.
kshandra: long-haired woman silhouetted against a stormy sky (Bad)

My bike - gone.

All three tents (the dome you all remember, the new one I had last year, and a second dome I picked up on Freecycle and never bothered bringing out) - gone.

My cooler - gone.

My drink Igloo - gone.

Bastards were thorough...they went into my bin, pulled out all the camp food, and left the raverbait and zipties. (I'm surprised, though; they left my two Slumberjack pillows and the Army duffel with my two sleeping bags.)

This is the third bicycle [livejournal.com profile] gridlore and I have had stolen in the six years we've lived here - including one that was chained to the railing in front of our door. And we live in a second-floor apartment.

The ONLY silver lining in all of this is that (for once) I actually meet the deductible on my renter's insurance.

Even if we didn't have Montreal to think about paying for this year, I'd be hard-pressed to replace everything before it was time to leave. And while I was willing to consider accepting charity from my village-mates to cover the cost of my gas or whatever (I did not ask, nor would I; it was offered freely, when that looked to be the only obstacle to my making both WorldCon and the Burn), this is too much to ask of anyone...too much to ask of all of them.

I love my village...my City... to pieces, and I'm going to miss the holy fuck out of everybody, but this is absolutely the final nail in the coffin of my going.

I'm gonna go be sick, now.
kshandra: The Burning Man effigy, lit in blue neon, arms by his sides; an orange half-moon is visible over his shoulder. (BurningMan)
I was out at dinner with [livejournal.com profile] i_got_u_feed when we both got a Tweet with the following link in it. M pulled it up on his iPhone and, well....

Heady Leaves the LLC )
kshandra: The Burning Man effigy, lit in blue neon, arms by his sides; an orange half-moon is visible over his shoulder. (PokeAtOwnRisk)
(crossposted, with some edits, from my BMan village's board)

Decided that I needed boot covers to go with my Fabulous Playa Coat™ last month. Went shopping with [livejournal.com profile] hederaivy, from whom I was going to commission them, and couldn't find purple fur for any amount of love or money. Found a vendor online who not only offered them in purple, but makes them in extra large sizes to go around my *&^%$#@! calves. "I need these by 10/10," says I, as I'm having them shipped to my office (my neighborhood is NOT one where you want to leave a package on the doorstep). "No problem," says the vendor, "it usually takes us 1-2 weeks to ship."

This was on 9/19.

I emailed the vendor on Wednesday to say "Um, dude, WTF?" She writes back, saying she'll check the order status and promising that they'll be here by today.

I get another email this morning with a 0100 timestamp. "if you give me your home address I can have them forwarded there instead and they will for sure arrive there by Saturday delivery."

I gave her that address at 11; she has yet to reply. If I don't come home from Faire tomorrow to see [livejournal.com profile] gridlore waiting for me with a box o' fuzzy, I will be...displeased.
kshandra: The Burning Man effigy, lit in blue neon, arms by his sides; an orange half-moon is visible over his shoulder. (Faces)
Pictures of my trip to and from Burning Man are now on Flickr. I did my best to tag everything, but I'm sure a couple slipped through the cracks.
kshandra: The Burning Man effigy, lit in blue neon, arms by his sides; an orange half-moon is visible over his shoulder. (Permanent Free-Floating Kids' Table)
Sitting in the trailer just now, I hear a voice behind me. "They told me what room you were in, so I came to bug you." Like [livejournal.com profile] dafydd didn't know to find me here, anyway.

A five minute visit, and a big hug, and I was feeling considerably better. I'm glad we're at the point now where he can bolster my spirits without my falling all over him. (Though admittedly, it might have been a different story twelve hours ago.)

Thanks again, sweetie.
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