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Wednesday, September 24, 2003

 
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bah! what do you mean the national "do not call" registry might not take affect? *tries to keep from screeching*

 
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grrrrrr.... blogger already ate this post once.

according to the "which rejected character are you?" quiz (which i am including here for alex in part because i want to go to the animation show at cinema 21 next week. :), i am spoon guy:
"you are spoon guy. you should have planned ahead buddy, or packed a bigger lunch."

[update: alex, philip & sven are all bananas, and philip further comments, "i have to admit it was something of a relief to find a quiz that wasn't created by a high school girl obsessed with anime and/or vampires." alex offers another quiz: perfume or supervillain?]

last night michael, bill, bill's friend, sven, alex & i went to see bubbahotep. it was okay. a little too crass for me, but some parts of it were strangely sweet.

randomness (the type that markalope would pull out into numbered items): sven now has a blog (ee!). john's trying to get me to play a roleplaying game. where's rob, damnit? sorry; lack of sleep must be making me testy, but i miss his essays in the desert. somehow i missed this nytimes riaa cartoon. i'm getting closer to the seattle trip: i have a place to stay (thanks, cindy & steve!), plans on oct. 4 w/ brian, a "yes" from dan, a "possibly" from rachel even though she'll be taking the lsat that weekend (go, rachel!). cindy introduced me to a concept called cuizam, which sounds interesting and something i might try if i lived in seattle. alex finally guilted me into actually finding npr's "talk of the nation" interview with neil gaiman. *goofy grin* i keep forgetting how cool british accents are. yum. alex has also managed to convince more people to join friendster, including john & michael. and it turns out that alex & lynn work mere cubicles away from each other! what a small, small world!

plans for the day: finish this long posting. clean john's bike & coolers & return them tonight. poke around craigslist job listings. poke around carquest to see what i might want to do, as i'm beginning to suspect i might have to play that card. go buy trader joe's tortillas, which i have been sorely missing. stop at zupan's while i'm out. my major guilt, other than the art room, is that i haven't gotten back to any of the craigslist people i put on hold for burning man. the timing has felt weird. i can't leave them hanging, but i'm afraid to begin things i'm not sure i can finish, and everything feels in limbo right now. :(

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

 
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i've adopted 10 tazo tea crates thanks to portland freecycle. they are likely to become shelves, but if anyone has any other ideas, i'd love to hear them.

in other news, i have been validated as philip's friend and brian's gotten past the first interview round to become a boeing senior technical fellow. happy equinox!

Monday, September 22, 2003

 
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oo! i love learning new things, especially when they're things i thought i already knew: "...traffic detectors at intersections [are] not triggered by weight, but by the magnetic anomaly created by a ferrous metal passing over the sensor wires. The sensors are particularly sensitive at the corners..."

more info about traffic sensors available at how stuff works.

 
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according to the what feeling do you represent? quiz, i am hope:

You represent... hope.

"you're quite a daydreamer and can be a hopeless romantic. you enjoy being creative and don't mind being alone at times. you have goals, and know what you want in life... even if they are a little far fetched."

[update: philip, ken, sven & michael are all naivete (!); mark is angst]

also, it turns out safari is working w/ friendster now.

Sunday, September 21, 2003

 
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well, that was a lovely blur of a weekend. :) michael is finally done with inventory (yay!) so i gave him some time off, which i spent mostly at sven's place watching "that guy who directed amelie" 's other movies (delicatessen and city of lost children). we walked around the neighborhood a bit and cheered on a slug as it crossed the sidewalk. i finally met his partner, alex (who made us soup this afternoon!). i picked up michael this afternoon at john's: we thought we were going to see bubbahotep with that group, but they never called. oh, well, more time for homemade caramel!

two nifty things happened to me friday:
* when i got to my car that evening, someone had rearranged the "a" and "play" magnets to compose "playa," then used those magnets to secure a twilight photo of the 6 o'clock road to burning man and a necklace with a lamplighters pendant! i have no idea how they knew i had been to burning man, as i no longer have any evidence outside or inside (except the dust), but yay! it's exactly the kind of thing you hope will happen to you. i'm leaving a string of poetry beads i hope they find (fire/artist; sing/play; heart/dance).

* a guy in the car next to me blew me a kiss and we passed each other for several miles on highway 26. he rolled down his window and shouted something at me, but it was lost in the rush of wind at 60 miles per hour and the roar of the other traffic. ee! nobody ever flirts with me. :)

Friday, September 19, 2003

 
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i love brian, and the fact that he forwarded me an l.a. times commentary about the power of dissent is just one of the reasons why.

whereas dan just sent me an article about ancient giant rodents. hmmm. ;)

 
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i mean, yarrrrrr! i can't believe i almost forgot about talk like a pirate day was today! i'll be swabbin' the deck, to be sure. arrrr!

 
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hello! i didn't know there was a whole category of "unmarried" literature, starting with unmarried to each other, and including living together: a legal guide for unmarried couples and the alternatives to marriage project, which has a reading list containing those books & more. hmmm.

 
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i crashed again last night while watching the german thriller "M," which is really too bad because it seemed so interesting! seriously, i'd like to try watching it again when i am more conscious: i fell right past exhaustion into stupor, to the point where i couldn't form words and my limbs felt like they were 1000 pounds each. what's up with me?

Thursday, September 18, 2003

 
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i got invited to friendster today. thanks, alex! thanks, sven! [update: unfortunately, i have to use i.e. instead of safari, which limits its practical application for me. but apparently i'm connected to 1,644 people in my "Personal Network", mostly through alex's friend edgar.]

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

 
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i knew i forgot something else in tidbits: dan has actual video of people in the faraday cage at burning man (in this case, people who do not appropriately respect... the... fucking... cage!). what the video captures that the still images don't is how loud it is.

also, i added an update to the entry about pix's "concoct your own dessert night": sven scanned the pictures & menulets. we ordered the ingredients entirely without consulting the other person (who knew we were both sparkler people, or would make the same mistake with candied angelica? ;)

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

 
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other tidbits:

* support freecycle portland, which was just started today! i've been looking for something like this for years. it's a place to post anything you're getting rid of so someone else can have it. the more who join, the more successful it is!

* i'm making an effort to get to seattle before i get a job. it'll be a chance to see the burning man folks (dan, rachel & monica), steve & cindy, and brian (ee!).

* sven sent me the coolest thing ever ("it's funny 'cuz it's science"):
Acocdrnig to an elgnsih unviesitry sutdy the oredr of letetrs in a word dosen't mttaer, the olny thnig thta's iopmrantt is that the frsit and lsat ltteer of eevry word is in the crrecot ptoision. The rset can be jmbueld and one is stlil able to raed the txet wiohtut dclftfuiiy.
[update: markalope says this was on slashdot yesterday, too. update 09.09.03: more analysis here.]

* tonight sven & i are going back to pix to see amelie, which sven has never seen and pix seems like the perfect place to see it. :)

 
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this is some of my favorite rain: rain w/ sun, storm clouds cracking the blue sky in half. rain falling so hard in shadow it looks like snow; in sun it looks like a blizzard of diamonds.

 
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eeeee! brian just (just!) interviewed for the senior technical fellow position. *holds breath* he says he should know about the results of this interview in a couple of weeks *releases breath* but then there's another one in november. *holds breath again* everybody say, "go brian! go brian!"

[update: markalope says, "good luck, brian!"]

Monday, September 15, 2003

 
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random fact: 15% of my poems have the word "moon" in them (14.89%, to be exact).

 
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arrrr! don't forget friday is "talk like a pirate day"! (much obliged, philip!)

[update 09.16.03: sven sends this quote to set the mood: "Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats." - Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956)]

Sunday, September 14, 2003

 
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too tired to write everything in prose:

philip: "have you been out here long?"; wall of voodoo's "ring of fire"; philip's hell house; i call rob & mel on the way to corvallis to see if they want to come; darkest of the hillside thickets: cthulhu strikes back; straight to food, then the outer circle, then the inner circle; john keeps running into people he knows; i can't keep anything in my hands; john beats one of the tug-of-war champions; none of us really cares about the jousting; my burning man pants are popular (from deek and bryan's next adventure); we all pitch in to get kettle corn; john: "where's that road go?" (a cemetary & the scariest forest ever); me: "i don't remember going through pedee;" an underestimated pink blush sunset which became liquid gold and flame and so large it made the storm clouds on the other side of the sky purple; why does it seem so much longer to get back?

trixie's back seat seem adequate to transport passengers, though the gap is still puzzling. despite my best intentions, her dashboard is still coated in playa dust and she is still covered with poetry magnets, which people are still surprised at & playing with (including the kids outside sven's house & at the renfair). i should start an faq (most oft-asked question: "are those magnets?" second most oft-asked question: "do people steal the them?" *sighs* third most oft-asked question: "where did you get them?").

Saturday, September 13, 2003

 
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when we last left our intrepid readers, i had mentioned something about the pastry restaurant pix, which hosts a "concoct your own dessert" event the second friday & saturday of every month. pix is a tiny, tiny place packed with a ton of people that serves tiny, tiny desserts packed with a ton of drooling goodness. in this case, we filled out a slip of paper which asked for some of this and a little of that and one of those and oh, yes, a sparkler! they bring you the ingredients you ask for on a silver tray and you make something up! it was tremendous. then they take your picture & ask you to name it: sven's got the pix & menulets he says he'll scan soon. [update 06.17.03: pix pix are now available!]

then i took sven to the waterfall behind keller fountain and i ended up crashing at his place in part because of this thinly excuciating sugar headache i was experiencing which is just now beginning to let me feel normal and it was worth every second. :D

michael & i replaced the back seat in trixie tonight and it feels pretty sturdy, but there's a mysterious gap between the back seat and the trunk which wasn't there before. hmmmm. tomorrow philip, john & i go to the shrewsbury renaissance faire, so it's off to bed with me now.

 
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according to the which of the greek gods are you? quiz, i am morpheus:

Morpheus


update: michael is (guess!) athena; ken is poseidon; sven is also morpheus. philip is also athena, though he admits to being morpheus before "tinkering" with his answers.

 
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*coughs, gasping for breath in stunned surprise*

michael... is... writing... in a.... BOOK!

Friday, September 12, 2003

 
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that's amazing: every month i'm certain i can't squeeze another month from my finances but then it turns out i can! (though i really think this is the last time i can say that.) i'm good through known october bills but november is a big scary abyss. i really can't complain because i've enjoyed not-working and it's like i'll have had five months of vacation. :) more time, more time....

 
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the meeting at psu went well, i think, though they won't have a need for contract work until after their fall quarter term begins sept. 29, so i expect to hear something in october. *knocks wood* they even brought in the director of the division. i was smart & brought extra copies of the resume & the essay i had to write for the last psu job i applied for. next time, bring water! i haven't talked that long in a while.

then i hung out at pioneer plaza for a while. i really must pay bills today. and attempt to finish the trip report (as markalope says, "hey - quit writing to me and finish your burning man report, already!")

tonight sven & i are going to pix patisserie for "concoct yo' own dessert" night. mmmmm....!

 
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bah! i didn't know johnny cash died! how can i ever play "ring of fire" with the same carefree joy i used to feel (and the crazy dancing)? what else would make such a perfect burning man anthem?

Thursday, September 11, 2003

 
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so last night i finally got to see sven's entry for last year's h.p. lovecraft festival! it was really pretty cool: "madness from the sea" is a film composed from silent still images strung together to form narrative w/ soundtrack, ala ken burns. it should win an award for "most innovative use of a song from the akira soundtrack." too bad he doesn't have one for this year!

as i was trying to park in front of sven's house, i almost ran over some pre-teens practicing skateboard tricks in the street. they stared at me as i drove past & through them until i got out of the car, at which point one of them said, "that's the coolest thing i've ever seen on a car! can i play with them?" buh! of course!

today i had lunch with half of the librarians at psu doing inventory. i had only meant to go with 3 of them, but it blossomed into 8 by the time we left the building. i haven't done lunch w/ coworkers in 4 months now & i forgot this is how it works. there should be a corallary: the size of the group you want to come to lunch is inversely proportional to the the amount of people who actually do.

tomorrow is my interview-y thing w/ maggie mcvay lynch and tom luba for potential psu contract work. wish me luck!

 
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a postcard from rachel! hey, thanks, rachel! what a great idea!

 
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burning man: this hexayurt appeared right next to monica very near the end of the week. they were some of the last to leave, so in the photos you can see what black rock city looks like when there is nobody around! :)

btw, have you all missed the "gretchin thanks everyone for helping her get to burning man" page? in case you missed it,

THANK YOU!

nothing was wasted; everything was appreciated.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

 
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hey, what's this? new blogger features just appeared in my "create new post" space! spellcheck, draft, and time stamps. whee! thanks! (and they have the sweetest message to their "pro" users, to whom these features had been exclusive.)

 
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i had no idea steve d. was so scathingly sarcastic:
WMD'S ARE MORE LIKELY TO BE FOUND IN LESLIE & STEVE'S BACKYARD

Portland, Or -- Senior Bush administration officials were forced to admit today that charges that Iraq possessed WMDs were fabricated because "President Bush is a stupid moron, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld is a psychopathic megalomaniac, and Vice President Cheney is a greedy corporate tool, who are all bent on complete world domination." The officals also admitted that WMD's are more likely to be found in Leslie and Steve Dustin's backyard, but "there's no oil there."

When asked about the economy, the officials pointed and said, "Look, is that a terrorist!?" and quickly scampered off.
it's part of a press release announcing his vitriolic "bush sucks butt" party, which i suspect i'll be attending.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

 
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so i've been running across web development positions i could do in my sleep, but besides a resume & a salary range they want something i can't give them: samples. damn the instructional development complex which uses templates and courseware! most of my development work is behind a password. what isn't usually was part of the campus template. bah. i need to figure out how to create a decent portfolio since most of what i've been doing for the last 5 or 6 years has been content-driven and anything prior to that was cutting edge circa 1995. :P

 
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i totally spaced that we were supposed to go to alex's to see in the mouth of madness last night, but michael remembered, and it really wasn't a bad flick at all (i've seen much, much worse lovecraftian movies). which reminds me, the lovecraft film festival runs on the same weekend as the eastside portland open studios tour. hmmmmmmm. tough choice, that. i suspect i'll try to do both.

Monday, September 08, 2003

 
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today's weather: rain, sun, rain, sun, rain, grey, sun, rain. have i mentioned lately how much i don't miss california? :)

the burning man pix are finally up! usually i just toss stuff in a directory and let apache create an index for me and i don't feel badly about it at all. but so many of these pix seem like they need explanations & context that i might actually create a page for them. but not today. i worked on the trip report all saturday and i'm amazed at how far along it isn't.

dan also posted two stories about the event, which will give you a little preview into the part of my trip report which talks about dr. megavolt *shivers w/ delight*. dan's a better writer than i am, though, so you should read this stuff, anyway.

Sunday, September 07, 2003

 
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i looked up from the wood wife and thought, "will it rain? i see a storm coming." and suddenly there was hail. hail! i opened the windows & breathed. i know i will regret this in february when all i want is the merest brush of sun, but right now there's thunder and lightning and a swiftness to the air and i am, as always, enraptured by this combination.

Saturday, September 06, 2003

 
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michael's stuck doing inventory for the whole weekend (& most of next week, i think). he tried to convince me to come along: it's not that i don't like cataloging library books, but i have better ways to waste time here at home. for instance, i'm still unpacking & writing the burning man trip report. and i should finish applying for this art modeling job. and i, uh, have to wrap alex's present. and, um, i'm sure i have other things to do. have you noticed how dirty my fingernails are? i'd better get right on that.

the poundcake we didn't end up using at the party but made such an excellent foil for the short-lived blackberries for weeks afterward is still edible. it's kind of scary to think how many preservatives must have been pumped into it.

Friday, September 05, 2003

 
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more from the burning man pix parade: joe's got some pix up now (as you can tell between these pix & dan's, the shithouse singers, ending with the classic "still gonna die," were a big hit), and so does richard (you have to use my email address to access them, but he does have the only picture so far of kamp kalamazoo, and you'll know which one it is because it's the only one which isn't of a partially naked woman ;).

alex is having a birthday bbq tomorrow (his actual birthday was yesterday): i guess this means i have to have at least one coherent story to tell (and i should probably return the comics he lent me that i didn't end up reading on the trip :). i also decided it wasn't going to work to write the "afterburn" report on the blog: i'll probably write it out on packetwarp and then link to it.

last night i crashed pretty hard but feel better for it today. michael was just asking after dinner what i wanted to do (watch buffy? read?) when i lay my head down for just a moment and suddenly it was 11 p.m., which i recognized just long enough to go back to sleep & woke again at 7 a.m. so i got almost 12 hours of sleep. finally. :)

Thursday, September 04, 2003

 
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stayed up too late last night (thanks, sven!). tired. sticky. amelia is still a hassle. blah blah blah. so let's talk about burning man, because that was so much more fun! :)

dan is much more on the ball than i am and already has photos up! he also sends a link to the sf gate burning man 2003 photos as well as to a fairly good sf gate opinion piece which contains the most succinct reason why i wanted to go and was glad i went:
"What [Burning Man] is, really, is 30,000 people who erect this bizarre gorgeous temporary fully functional art-filled dust-drunk city in the middle of nowhere sans money sans phones sans work sans rules and tear it all down a week later, and that, in effect, is what makes it so gorgeous and strange."
(peter, being from s.f., also sent the gate links along.)

so i retyped everyone's contact info and thought it might be a good excuse to list the trip's cast of characters so that it doesn't get confusing later (though i suspect confusion will ensue despite the precautions).

imagine 8 people completely randomly camping next to each other in a place known as "hushville" (repeat after me: no generators, no loud music, clean up after yourself) and discovering that they're actually quite well-suited to each other. they are for the most part campers who came alone, many are here for the first time and there seems to be a heavy northwest bias. all three girls are redheads. another three of them speak the same amount of meager first-year russian. then add a couple of small and friendly nearby camps like the civilized explorers and kamp kalamazoo, and it became a surprisingly homey corner of the playa to return to after being out all night.

our cast of characters includes the members of our ad-hoc camp (joe, richard, rachel, ron, peter, monica, dan, and me) as well as the guys from kamp kalamazoo (dave, tim & steve).

there will be a quiz later. :)

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

 
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i feel more coherent today, though i had dreams about rats starting fires. it feels strange to be mundane again, to be thinking of making grocery lists and sorting recycling and putting the dishes in the dishwasher and making dinner. michael & i unpacked the car last night and i washed out one of the coolers; today i'll begin the unpacking process in earnest. probably. all i can say is i'm so very glad i don't have to go to work. who knew unemployment would come in so handy? :)

speaking of which, as i warned you before, i was not qualified for the most recent psu job i applied for because i didn't have a master's degree. but the committee chairperson emailed me while i was at burning man to say i was one of their top 3 candidates and that she'd like to speak to me about future contract or part-time work. and like i said before, i'm ambivalent about being so damned good at something i'm not sure i want to do anymore. so i'll be happy to talk with her, but i'd love a locksmith job to land in my lap in the meantime.

yesterday i suddenly realized one of the big differences between burning man and the rest of the world: here, people try desperately to avoid your eyes.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

 
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argh! sven called not too long ago to say the moon was "tomato red"! michael & i raced to the roof, but it must have set behind the hill because there was no trace of the moon anywhere in the sky. merr. :/

 
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hee! i took dan-from-burning-man-who-lives-in-seattle-not-dan-from-colorado-then-l.a.-and-thanks-for-packetwarp-'s rodent mutation test:
You are sometimes impulsive, but often cautious. You have a dislike of strong electric shocks. Spinning makes you dizzy, though you would prefer not get too dizzy. You have a deep-seated need for oxygen.

This is the classic profile of a proto-rodent.

Inside, you are aching to come forth, squeak loudly, and claim your true place in the world. Don't deny the hidden potential that's waiting in your chromosomes. Begin the mutation.
and it's true, you know it is! i guess i'll be spending what i was previously calling "decompression" instead "transmogrifying" into a rodent. i'm looking forward to the glossy pelt and tail.

[update 09.04.03: dan says an in-person evaluation of body type and head size is required. since he lives in seattle, it's unlikely this will happen any time soon. argh! why didn't we do this when we were at burning man? i'd be well on my way to twitching my whiskers & learning to burrow. *pouts*]

 
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so, so, so much to say and so little attention span to say it with. i haven't yet decided how i'm going to handle the blow-by-blow descriptions, though i hope something will come to me when i'm a little less sleep-deprived.

i got home last night/this morning at 1:30 a.m. to discover michael had drawn the chain across the door & so i spent the next 5 minutes hoarsely whispering "michael!," flipping the lights on/off, knocking & making the jangly bells on the door ring. i was certain one of the neighbors was going to wake up first and i would be forced to sleep in the car one more night. i guess i learned a valuable lesson about calling ahead, didn't i? :) but before coming home i left a note & present for sven: "back from burning man & here's the dusty pinwheel to prove it."

people are already doing searches for "burningman2003" and finding my prep pix because they end up at the top of the list (why? who knows? google loves me, i guess). i should add the rest of my meager photos relatively soon, though i didn't take a lot because there never seemed to be a good time to stop & take some. [update 09.04.03: leeann says, "the trick is to talk in a thick french accent, then it is art. and space must be made for art. and people comply."] i'm relying on the other members of our ad-hoc camp to come through with better pix. :) more more more more about our ad-hoc camp and more about burning man as events allow and sleeping becomes less of a priority, but in short, yes, i had a lovely time.

in non-burning news, my pet rocket scientist is briefly famous! brian told me about being able to see your shadow by marslight and though i didn't get a chance to try it at burning man, npr's "all things considered" quotes him (go to about 2:55 in the clip).