errantember: (Default)
This has to be have been one of my best Flipsides ever!

I wasn't even sure I could make the event until the day before, because I was helping a relative recover from foot surgery. The final check-up appointment went well, however, and off I went!

I dragged my new yurt and 150 lbs of billboard vinyl all the way from Dallas. The car overheated at higher speeds, so I'll need to do some repair work and some load-lightening before I take the whole project to Portland this summer.

I arrived at The Cult of the Purple Taco shortly before dusk. To my joy, I discovered that several of my close friends and several more people I had met had come out from Georgia's Alchemy crowd and were camping in the *same* *camp*! Alchemy is my favorite burn after Flipside, and a large part of the motivation for taking my career on the road was to see that crowd more often. And here they were! Purple Taco didn't have enough space for my yurt, and I hadn't even started cutting the vinyl necessary to cover it, so I set up just the skeleton at Time Lords as an art project, and so I could enjoy and geek out on all my hard work with other homebrew housing enthusiasts. Some of the people who helped me unload inadvertently dropped the ends of the roof rafters into poison ivy, which was, unfortunately, one of the few negative themes for the event.

I proceeded to assemble the yurt on Thursday night, and only needed a bit of help to hold the roof ring up while I put it enough rafters to float it. I offered the helpers Technu, but they wandered off before I could deliver. I encountered my first hard-core yurt enthusiast during the setup, and we talked for over 30 minutes about it. I have a few easy ideas about how to stand the roof ring easily so that the structure can be set up by one person. I think once I have it down, it will take less than 30 minutes from start to finish.

The theme for the pairing of the yurt and the Metro is The Tortoise and the Hare. I'll be painting an enormous turtle shell on the yurt covering, and making a cute little head and fins to complete the motif. The Metro, at 55 horsepower, will be the Hare.

On Friday I spent some time hanging out with the Tacoteers and the Alchemists. I checked out The Hive project, headed by the same person who's been running Circle of Fire in the many years since my brief administration, which was super-cool. The idea is to create a center-camp-like at Flipside, with a modular design that could be added on from year to year. It was both beautiful and functional, and I got some great ideas on how to proceed with the vinyl covering for the yurt from that team. Kudos to Adam and crew for the project, and to Adam specifically for taking on so many projects that enhanced the burn. I also spent a few lazy hours lounging in the creek, the first time I'd ever been in it. It was hippie soup, but it felt great. I didn't see any of the promised leeches, despite being knee-deep in mud much of the time.

I felt slightly cheated, but other took the slight with greater equanimity.

On Saturday I got up after Not Enough Sleep to help out with serving our famous Purple Tacos. I had some good discussions with M. about emotional content being brought up by the burn, and also acted as a busker during the later part of the Taco experience to try to bring in people to finish off our ingredients. Our crew also made a visit to Burning Glam, where I procured a fabulously tight and slinky red top that I wore the rest of the day. I defaulted to wearing purple to show my esprit-de-corps with the camp the rest of the time.

Saturday evening I decide to have a new non-sober experience accompanied by my closest Atlantian friends.

Some vignettes from the experience:

I started out with my A. crew.

We started at a camp with excellent shade, a good view of the outside sky, but also a lot of fun internal lights. The sun went down as we came up, with the digital light replacing the natural in a beautiful, smooth progression.

Being completely entranced to my knees by Paula performing at Circle of Fire. At moments like these I often wonder if she's still married. :)

The delightful condition of being able to simultaneously go way out into serious visual effects and synesthesia, but still being able to concentrate, hold a conversation, and laugh at and make jokes. I recall getting several compliments for my witticisms, which felt good.

The general sensation of multiple levels of consciousness between total talking-to-God territory and lucid conversation happening at the same time, switching into each, or at least not having to wait long until the right one came along, at will. A friend later said "that sounds like lucid dreaming," and he was spot on.

See-sawing on the 'Stache Saw, screaming "THE DRUGS ARE TRYING TO KILL YOU!!!!!!" at the top of my lungs.

Running into a strange group of people wearing fake beards and stovepipe and red-white-and-blue campaign hats lines up on bleachers singing "Bohemian Rhapsody." The energy was so powerful people who thought they had achieved Escape Velocity staggered around as though snagged by their souls with the Rhinestone Tractor Beam of Queen, joining in with manic, entirely mandatory glee. As a long-time choir singer, I've experienced magic in group performance on many occasions, but this was by far the most powerful experience of it's kind I've ever had, and it happened so fast I didn't even realize it until it was half over. With the enormous variety of sexual preferences, fabulous clothing, and human freedom, I don't think Freddy Mercury could possibly have been more proud.

Another Major Energetic Musical Moment was the two times we walked by Drum Camp. All of the swirling split personalities suddenly collapsed into a single clarifying unity the closer we go to the drums. Never have I so fundamentally understood their power and direct connection to the human psyche. Nothing else I've ever experienced while tripping was so...clean. And the effect faded in direct proportion to our retreating distance. I returned to drum camp later, with only two and then one person playing, to kneel before the altar and let the drums work me over for a good ten or fifteen minutes, until the player brought things to a halt. I bowed in gratitude and continued on.

Being completely breath-taken by the Well of Souls after making a request to get out into the nature a bit more for a breather. It was definitely one of the most convincing and visceral connections with spirit I've seen from an art display.

After about six or seven hours, we stopped by Purple Taco and ended up splitting up. I had a snack, then struck out on my own.

Riding Fatima, one of the Four Rocking Horses of the Apocalypse, in what turned out to be a very sexual way. The feeling of the smooth, rounded, sensuous body shape, combined with the crotch-grinding saddle-configuration and the twitchingly responsive rocking gait had me going for a good five or ten minutes before I decided to see what sensual pleasures awaiting me in War.

Riding War was very different, it was big and heavy and chunky, which turned to be perfect for dancing. I got the horse itself rocking to the beat of the nearby gypsy music, and it was more than stable enough for me to lift and the saddle and dance with the rest of my body.

Ended up at Burning Soul, where my good friend and ex-girlfriend and several other old-skool people from my early firedancing days were camping. I was struck, not for the first time, of how grateful I was and how novel it was that I had such old friends. As a kid, I was forced to move every few years until I got into junior high, so I had almost no ability to maintain long-term friendships. Austin and the burn scene is the first time I've ever had the opportunity to do it, and it feels so good and right, like a something inside myself that's been disconnected for ever was repaired.

Danced at several different locations. I can't say I generally get super into dancing while modified, although ingested weed can have that effect. I generally consider Flipside to be a major downgrade in my dance experience, but this time it was at least fun. I definitely missed Ish and it's amazing dance experience.

Spent some time communing with my yurt, and how it represented the fun, healthy new direction my life was going in. I had previously been intending to raise the doorway, because I have to duck slightly when I go into it. However, I had the revelation while running my fingers over the wood that there was a powerful metaphor lurking in the mild inconvenience. When we cut down on our life to find out what we really need (ducking through the door), then a little more (standing up again) feels like luxury. Without this exploration, our consumeristic culture just programs us to want more and more. It's such a perfect explanation of what I'm trying to accomplish, I decided to keep the stoop.

Ran into an old British friend from way back in my early Flipside days. We hung out for hours discussing simple living, camping, and my yurt, which we finally managed to find after over an hour looking. I escorted him home.

Continued wandering and experiencing as dawn crept up. I realized that the end of the effigy field near Ice Camp look a *lot* like the end of the field at Rec Plant, the original location of Flipside when I started going in 2002. There was an empty spot where Circle of Fire used to be on the old property, and it definitely brought me back. I watched the sun rise, and probably 12 hours after it started, my journey was complete. After two weeks of taking care of my relative and being locked in a room with cigarette smoke and Fox News, I had needed it. I went to bed a happy man.
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
So Flipside starts in exactly one month. In that period of time, I will:

1) Publish my second iPhone game, also the first I'll be asking money for. I've hardly started on this project yet.

2) Fix the Metro, which is currently not starting despite days of work and about $75 in parts so far.

3) Move completely out of the Master Suite of the house, where I've been living since 2004, *without* moving in anywhere else in the house. Everything I will need to live from day to day will have to be easily portable, probably for about a week. I have an ungodly amount of shit that needs to be sorted, sold, given away, or trashed before this is possible. I will be moving into a tiny room in the garage, but only *after* Flipside is over. In the meantime I'm going to be something of a vagabond in my own home.

Oh yeah. I also have to prep for Flipside. That, too.

I'm in.

Feb. 25th, 2011 01:12 am
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
Got my Flipside ticket confirmation today!

errantember: (Default)

I'm looking for as many as three Flipside tickets. Critical Flake Out should start soon as reality intrudes, and if some of those extra tickets could be steered my way, I'd be ever so grateful. I can have cash in your hand the same day.
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
This year's Flipside was the closest it's ever come to feeling like I'd had a bad time overall, but the ending saved it. One major realization that I had was that Rangering graveyard (2 AM to 8 AM) is pretty un-fun, because no one is awake and none of the art is running. It's nice because it's cooler and not much happens, but that second part is pretty boring. It's choosing to walk around a really exciting event at the least interesting time. And the you have to sleep until 2 PM to be functional. Next year I will sign up for different shifts.

Part of it was timing, too. Although I only spent 20% of my Flipside waking hours doing volunteer/setup work, it was *all* right at the beginning of the event. While there was a lot of satisfaction involved, there wasn't really much fun, and three days without fun is a long time at Flipside.

There was one really, really fun thing that *did* happen in [ profile] gailmom's yurt that actually resulted in visible steam rising from various orifices afterward. :)
Read more... )
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
Mom reports that they have located the leak (by jackhammering the foundation!) and will probably have it fixed by tonight, which means the rest will be clean-up and drying stuff. She does have homeowner's insurance to cover the water damage, and hopefully people to come in and clean up, set up fans, etc. Right now it looks like I'll make it to Flipside OK.

I also just discovered the chicken waterer was leaking, so I had to my first (but clearly not last) visit to a home improvement store to fix it. It seems to be fine, now. I don't want the dog sitter to have to do anything with the chickens except pick up eggs.
errantember: (darth bobo)
I got a call from my Mom about noon today telling me that her house is flooded from an unknown leak somewhere in the walls. The timing couldn't possibly be worse, as I was planning on leaving for Flipside tomorrow around 3 PM, and she is in the 4th week of 6 weeks of not being able to put any weight on her left foot. She also just had a new hardwood floor placed down in her bedroom which is currently buckling and popping up. The water in the house is turned off, and plumbers are on the way, but there is a possibility that I may have to drive up to D/FW to help her out and will therefore have to miss some or all of Flipside. Several friends and neighbors are on the scene helping right now, and I'm not sure what help I would be at this point, anyway, but I'll have to make a final decision before I leave tomorrow.
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
After over 150 ft. of taping, I managed a test-assembly of the 6' Stretch Hexayurt in the living room tonight. Assembly is definitely harder than the 6', and having an extra person would really help. After checking the real dimensions of the fanfolded roof, I elected to transport it in three pieces so that they could all be collapsed down into a single triangle, rather than three offset triangles. This way the roof will still fit *inside* my vehicle, leaving only the top to go on the roof. I think stability will be fine once all the final taping is done, although the tack-taping was awkward. The break in the center of the 8' walls pushed outward as I was trying to get the sides of the roof up, so I created a rope to hold the gap together until the rest of the roof was in place I'm not certain if I'll have any additional time for things like velcro or venting, but I'll try it if I do. As it stands, I could take it out and assemble it on-site the way it is right now and still have a pretty good experience. I took a brief siesta inside it with the puppies after finishing the very iffy tack-tapping assembly.

Unlike the 6', I'm fairly sure the best way to assemble the 6' Stretch is to put the roof together on the ground, then life it up and tape it to the already-assembled walls. This would obviate the need for the support rope while assembling.
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
So when I decided to turn my 6' hexayurt into a 6' stretch, I didn't want to lose the convenience of having it transportable in only two pieces. As you can see here, upgrading the walls simply means adding two more 4'x4' panels to the existing 6 for the wall, and you're done. That part was easy.

It was the roof I was worried about. The existing 6-piece roof fanfolds neatly in exactly the same way the walls do, but how was I going to make the new roof, with it's lack of radial symmetry, do the same? All the scenarios I could think of in my mind involved at *least* three if not four pieces total, which would be *much* less convenient than only two. Not only that, but while the current roof, *un*like the walls, actually fits inside my Honda CR-V, I was really afraid that the upgraded version wouldn't. How could I keep it inside the vehicle?

Inspired by a showing of Oh Brother Where Art Thou, I found the answer:

Hexayurt_stretch 1
Read more... )
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
I just got done on the first half of converting my 6' Hexayurt to a 6' Stretch, and I'm *shocked* at how much bigger the structure is! I only have the walls set up in my living room (where they barely fit) and I'm almost embarrassed at how much space I'll have/be taking up. As you can see here, the Stretch has 70 sq. ft. vs. the 6' version's 41 sq. ft. That part I groked. However, what I *wasn't* thinking about is that it's almost 50% of the size of the 8' Hexayurt, which is 166 sq. ft. I loved Smash Camp's two air-conditioned 8' Hexayurts last year at Flipside, but they were *huge*, and now I, personally, will be taking up half that much space.

On the other hand, I'm fairly certain my 'yurt will be able to take The USS Monitor in battle.
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
I found this groovy set of Abercrombie and Fitch khaki cargo pants, perfect for Rangering burn events, at the thrift store recently. The only problem was that they had a BUTTON FLY (NOOOoooooOOO!) Button flies are clearly for losers, and the fact that I have time to sleep in until 3 PM each day does *not* mean I have an extra 10 minutes to spend dealing with my penile hardware/software interface every time I take a leak. One of the many things my life entitles me to is a 1 minute bathroom turnaround time, including hand-washing. To correct this grievous affront to my privilege, I got out the old sewing kit, brutally ripped the crotch out of a perfectly good pair of size 5 green leather Gap pants, and stitched that twitching zipper right over the still-bleeding button stubs on the khakis.

I just did a drive-by of the local porcelain business district, and we are *in* the *money*!

errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
Tickets for Flipside must be registered on the website and postmarked *between* January 20th and January 27th. Details are here:
errantember: (Default)
Many of you have heard of my Hexyurt adventures. My 'yurt has been the best place I've ever camped in really hot environments like Flipside and Burning Man. It's kept me cool until between 1 and 2 PM at least everywhere it's been, and, properly ventilated, it's kept me cool throughout the hot day. My only complaints are that the panels are large and fragile, and therefore somewhat hard to transport, they are degrading pretty fast despite being fully taped, and despite the fact that I've fanfolded the walls and top to create only two pieces, I still have to re-use a lot of tape every time I set it up. So, I'm looking into reproducing the thermal benefits of the design in a more portable format.

Read more... )
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott) pretty cool!

I'm fighting the urge to call my hastily constructed, 10-foot-tall kung-fu warrior with a 7 foot flaming pole arm China, but I think I'm losing...

Fixed it.

May. 21st, 2008 01:58 pm
errantember: (Default)
Fabulous, and Thank You Circus Boy Tym! I added some braces that cross the front just below the knee, like on the set that Tym built for me years ago, and I was at least able to take a few steps without the aid of the tree. There's still some fine tuning to do, but overall I think we're good.

I'm still not certain about the height. It will depend on how much stuff there is to hold onto. At 10 feet, it's hard to even hold someone's hand so I can remain stationery. If I lost a few inches, it might be easier. Luckily that's a fairly trivial on-site mod.
errantember: (Default) I decided that I wanted to firedance on stilts again for the Procession this year. I spent a lot of time and effort finding various stilt-related bits to use, including some medical foot immobilizers that looked perfect for improving the ever-problematic calf-ankle stability. So far, they've gone through three or four modifications, and they still aren't working right. I've tried both with the stabilizers and without, and looked at several online sites for stilt-making, taking the best features of each design. So far, not go. Naturally, I'm pissed off. I could just Let This Go in the Grand Tradition of Last-Minute Projects, but instead I think I'm going to Take It Personally in the Grand Tradition of Last-Minute Projects.

Now, one could argue that, strictly speaking, I don't *need* to be 10 feet, 2 inches tall just to make a good impression, and the fact that the lift on these stilts is almost twice the highest of any other's I've made would certainly account for a lot of the torsion drama occurring around my most-hard-to-repair joints. If *all* else fails, I may start taking off a few inches at a time to see how much that increases the (relative) sanity of the situation.

Considering how little other prep I've got done for Flipside this year, things aren't looking good. Hopefully a little mod that Circus Boy Tym showed me will save the day.
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
After having scored a Transformus ticket in under 24 hours by posting a request here, I suppose it's worth a try to do the same for Flipside. While I, personally, already have a ticket, DJ Warhammer and partner would very much like to bring the Industrial Dance Experience of Camp Krieg to Flipside, and need two tickets to do so. I've already got them on Bob's list, but I know a lot of friends do their ticket networking on LJ, so I'm also posting here.
errantember: (Default)
Instead of going to Flipside this year, I went to my cousin's wedding in the Bay Area. With no illusions that it would be more fun than going to Flipside, which I haven't missed since 2002, it was a pretty fun trip. Click here for a long-winded but link-and-picture-filled summary, including One Star Hotels, Death Guild, Bondage-a-Go-Go, the Mannequins of Market Street, and the Picky Homeless.

Read more... )
errantember: (Default)
While everyone else is partying at Flipside, I'll be in San Francisco for my cousin's wedding, after which I'll be loose on the town there for a few days.

I didn't really realize how important Flipside had become to me over the past 5 un-interrupted years until I suddenly wasn't going.

I'm going to have a blast in SF, but my heart will be lost before I go. :<
errantember: (Default)
...and I'm not even *going* to Flipside.

Which, we'll note, just about makes me cry.


I am, however, going to San Francisco. And there, I will need clothes. Many, *many* clothes.

Luckily, I seem to have purchased ALL of them today. I dropped about $50 in $2,$3, and $4 increments. In addition to a substantial amount of gender-bending gear, I also found an absolutely pre-destined pair of black leather pants, perfect for the bondage club event I'm planning on attending in SF, and also perfect for fire dancing. Between this batch and what I've already got, I should be, well, stoked.

Rarely have I been as profoundly and devoutly grateful to God as upon hearing of the death of Jerry Falwell. May he rest in silence. The Chariot will indeed have to Swing Low to take him to his final destination.


errantember: (Default)

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