Archive for March, 2009


What matters most

Photo by flickr user nitelynx, used under Creative Commons license

Photo by flickr user nitelynx, used under Creative Commons license. Click photo for link.

Lessons for and from my dear friends

Hold on to what matters most, what gives you strength to keep going.

Forget the petty differences and arguments.

The ones that weren’t so petty?  Well, you don’t need to forget, but remember that they are human too and none of us are perfect.  Listen to what matters in what they say and do next, not just their past actions.

Don’t judge others if you haven’t been in their situation.  Even if you have, and they chose a different path, there’s no one right answer for everyone.

Don’t regret your past or your mistakes, it’s made you who you are today.

Right now, you are exactly where you are supposed to be.  It won’t do any good to compare yourself to others, or schedules you had for your life.

Try to keep a sense of humor and adventure.  It beats the alternative.

True friends/family will be there with you when times are roughest.  If someone has let you down, either they are struggling as well, or maybe you are better off not relying on them.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help, or a hug.

Money is just that.  None of us will starve or be homeless, as long as we have each other.

No matter who you are or what you do, you have changed someone’s life for the better just by being here.

Together we can make it through anything.

I’ve still been feeling a little bit of that blue funk that hit me before I got sick.  I can’t put my finger on it.  I’m fairly sure that if I didn’t have Random around, I would be in bed for a whole week with no sign of moving.  (The realization yesterday, as I had a sick day, that my iphone really does everything and I didn’t even need to get to my computer does not help in this situation.)

I don’t have any huge stresses, but lots of little ones.  Worries about the economy and friends who have lost jobs.  Thinking I’m relatively secure from worrying about that for myself, and trying to stay positive, but knowing the unexpected could happen.  Friends who have health problems/family health problems.  While I am so concerned for them and how they are doing, the thought of someone losing their loved one does something to me deep down, which makes part of me want to push anyone that close to me away.  (Doing my best to resist that.)  And, enter guilt about not spending enough time with my family.  Le sigh.

I think another thing bothering me is just the great unknown of the future.  I have no idea in 1-2 years where we will be living, working, etc.  (Yeah, at least the “we” is not an unknown, which is an awesome thing.)  While the freedom and options of that excite me, I feel like I’ve been constantly waiting waiting waiting for change, out of indecision or based on external variables.   And now, it’s not necessarily the time to be adventurous is it?  I think regret that I didn’t do more to work towards where I want to be when I had more freedom (in terms of financial/job security) is bugging me.  It’s one thing to blame myself, but now I feel trapped by the economy.  Am I really, or would I be just as indecisive just without a scapegoat if the situation were different?  I think the only difference is that I can point fingers at something other than myself.

What to do?  I love the quote about how the cure for anything is saltwater: Tears, sweat, or the ocean.  Well I’ve been teary enough in what feels like PMS overload some days.  Hate exercise but trying to get back into hooping more.  Weekends have been packed with car shopping and roadtrips for other commitments, so I don’t see any ocean time happening.

Usually I throw myself into a project.  Already have one, Playa del Fuego and my art project for it.  Easter weekend I need to make major progress on that.

Sunday we made it to our first conclave rehearsal.  Random has a part in it, and so far I’m doing safety.  I don’t feel like I’ve picked up my poi enough in the past 6 months to perform in it, and I’m not that skilled with a fire hoop yet.  Safety meant having to attend less practices, but Random being chosen to do parts of the piece means more practices, so now I’m feeling a little jealous :P  But it’s all good, I feel like I’m back in my stage crew roots – I like being behind the scenes.

The weather was wonderful and we enjoyed being in the park, but the rehearsal was cut short.  I had been taking some photos of the first run at a formation so that those in it could see what it looks like, and we started watching the orange-ish sky and thunder rolling in.  I took some pics just before it started hailing and everyone ran for their cars.  I love moments like that, when the weather changes dramatically and it’s very exciting without being too life threatening.

Lest anyone thinks I’m miserable… I am happy.  I know how blessed I am, and I am grateful for everything that I have.  I feel bad for wanting something more/else on top of that.  It’s just a bit of a funk and I do know it will pass (usually writing blogs like this is cathartic and helps it along).  I think there are opposites within me battling it out – one wants a concrete plan on where life goes next, the other wants to just hang on the reins and ride.  One wants to do more (do everything!), and one wants to do less and live more simply.  Whenever I’m in this state I just crave balance of some sort….

So a little more rambly and self introspective than I usually get (on this public blog at least).  And wordy – some days I wish I could be as succinct yet powerful as some people are in their blogs (like Jen Gray).  Well it’s cheaper than therapy and you can click away at any time. :P

And we’ll all float on okay.

Sleepy Thursday

I haven’t posted much lately about much other than schedules and cool stuff I come across… So get ready for stream of consciousness blogging today.
I’m more than a bit sleepy after a grey morning, and a late night hooping and playing rock band.  As soon as our friends left, we both bought Spore for the iphone and played it a bit until we relaxed from rocking out enough to crash.  (Thanks Elaina!)
Oh yeah.  The iphone.  I haz one.  I thought I knew how cool it was, I’ve texted and looked up websites on my boyfriend’s.  I thought I would never leave Verizon.  But when I realized it was time for a new phone AND a new ipod, and my contract was up with Verizon, and I got a tax refund, it all fell into place.  I’m thrilled to be able to listen to my music collection again.  And the phone is not just cool.  It’s so. freaking. amazing.  I got more apps in one day than my love got in one year.  (Highly recommend: the game Sway, and of course Spore – we got the paid version but there’s a lite free version too.  We both have played Spore on the computer, and I even had it on my verizon phone, but it was NOTHING like the iphone one.)

It’s also redefining how I use twitter and such – I can now keep up with all the updates I subscribe to rather than only the most recent dozen or so.  And it’s easier to tweet myself. I need to learn all these new tweet-isms, like the whole #followfriday and keyword stuff – it’s complicated and not all in one easy place.  I just learned what RT is recently.

So what else? Oh yeah – it’s officially spring and I NOW realize I have indoor hooping space.  In my laundry room for my complex.  That pile of laundry I have?  Now looks like hooping time.  Of course it’s about to be nice outdoor hooping weather soon, but until then and on rainy days, it’s my rec room.

dryer isolations

dryer isolations

(If anyone wants to come over just holler.  There’s a low ceiling so limited over the head stuff, and not as good for poi, but nothing breakable really. easily fits 4 hoopers, possibly 6 if no one else is really doing laundry at the time :P)

What else?

I love my love.  (I LOVE sharing every day of my life with him, and having new adventures! We had a great time hiking on Sunday and want to start geocaching.  I know that our lives will never get boring! :D)  I love our friends.  I love rock band and my iphone.  I’m tired but really happy today.

Weekend plans – Wine bottling (we took part in a make-your-own-barrel adventure, which we’ve missed every single step of except for this last one!) Friday night.  Car shopping in south jersey Saturday.  Fire conclave practice in Philly Sunday night.  Hanging with friends in between the two.  Monday is going to come wayyyyy too soon.  Deep breath.

Oh – I blogged about Hollis? She’s back in the states, and showing AMAZING signs of progress. YAY!  Check out the news here.

Link of the day – Le Love.  The most recent post is a stray from the usual postings, but still a powerful site.

Have a fabulous day!!!

It’s hard sometimes to explain why Burning Man and regionals are a community, and not just festivals or scenes.  I think this pledge challenge by Burners Without Borders goes a long way in explaining it.

I will assert myself and apply my myriad talents toward the achievement of radical self-reliance, uncompromising self-expression, immediate participation, and unlimited inclusion. Whether I do this through building community, advancing the arts, aiding disaster relief, gifting alternative energy, greening the planet, or some other means, I will be a badass from now on.

Will you bring it?

Summer is a-coming!

Because Playa Del Fuego tickets are on sale this Saturday!

You all hear me talk about this all the time.  Tickets are sold in two batches – the first will surely sell out fast, second, who knows… so be on time! If you have ANY questions, holler!

Playa del Fuego
The Mid-Atlantic Regional Burn
Odessa, Delaware
Memorial Day Weekend
May 21 – 25

playadelfuego.org/

The first tier of tickets will go on sale on March 21st at 12:00 noon. Please go to playadelfuego.org/ to verify your login before they go on sale! The second tier will go on sale on April 21st at 9:00 PM. Tier 2 will only stay open for 1 week to allow time for mailing and lost ticket procedure. There will be 1000 tickets available at $35 each. If any tickets are not sold before the second tier closes, the remaining tickets will be sold at the gate for $40, CASH ONLY. A reminder: minors must be accompanied by their legal guardians.

And you know what else??? This year, PEX is expanding their events to host a summer festival!! There is no way I’m missing this.
The Philadelphia Experiment Presents:
PEX Summer Festival 2009 – An Experiment in Joyful Self-Expression through Music and the Arts

July 3-5 2009

The PEX Summer Festival is a multi-faceted, multi-dimensional music and arts celebration! This will be a place for harmony amongst joyful adventurers in self-exploration. On July 4th weekend, we are looking forward to our largest collaborative effort to date in the gathering of like minds and compassionate spirits. We will be uniting for three days and nights of amazing music, art, education, dance, participatory shared experience and conscious connection on 200 acres of private land, just one hour south of Philadelphia.

Featuring:

200 Scenic Acres including a Spring-Fed Pond
Over 40 DJ’s, Live Bands & Performers
Olympic-Sized Swimming Pool w/ Daily Pool Parties
Dormitory Style Cabins w/ Showers & Toilets
4th of July Barbecue Before the Effigy Burn on Saturday
½ Mile of River Frontage
3 Sound Stages
Fire & Drum Circle
Labyrinth
Live Performance Art & Art Installations.
Outdoor Amphitheater
4,000 Square Foot Outdoor Pavilion
Basketball, Tennis & Volleyball Courts
Ropes Course
Canteen & Hot/Cold Beverage Bar
Lectures & Workshops Including Yoga, Aerial Silk, Fire Staff, Poi, & Capoeira
Meal Hall w/ Optional Standard, Vegetarian & Vegan Meal Plans Available
Therapy Sexploratorium
Tent & Car Camping
Free Drinking Water
Free & Secure Parking

Conveniently located one hour south of Philly.
(Only 45 minutes from Baltimore, 90 minutes from DC and 3 hours from NYC)

Tickets & Additional Information Available April 1st, 2009!

WWW.PEXSUMMERFESTIVAL.COM

All this planning going on – let me run down my calendar of events (for public events only) to share with you.  Contact me for more info on any of them!

March:
21- PDF tickets on sale

April:
4 – Fundraiser in Philly for a women’s fire troupe – I wasn’t able to join because I already signed up to participate in the Burning Man conclave (fire performance), but will be trying to help out as much as I can. This fundraiser will have yoga and massages and lots of fun stuff going on!
20 – Second round of PDF tickets on sale
25 – Ag Field Day – Rutgers College spring festival, burners usually attend and hang out here for the day

May:
21-25 – PDF!!!! (and the 1 year anniversary for me and my love!)

June:
12-14 – Figment – Free arts festival at Governor’s Island, NYC
19-22 – Wildfire – Fire arts retreat in CT.  Usually sold out in advance, but you may snag tickets closer to the event. I’m not going this time.

July:
3-5 – PEX summer festival!

August:
31-Sept 7 – Burning Man

October:
8-12 – Fall PDF

Yeah, I’m kinda overwhelmed already, and there’s things like weddings and such not even listed that are on our schedule.  But I’m also REALLY excited about all this!  Our theme camp for PDF is looking hawt, I’m hoping to help out more with PEX and maybe Figment this year, would love a chance to work on some large scale artwork but not sure if that will happen (I swear I’m gonna learn to weld! :P), and Random and I are safeties/possible minor parts in the conclave fire performance for Burning Man.  Once it all starts, it’s a lot of fun, I just have to not freak out about how we’ll fit in everything we want to do.  What’s meant to happen will happen. :D

Inspiration

Sun is shining, not sure how much it’s helping but it’s definitely not hurting.  I want to share some recent inspirational finds…

Ink on my fingers – a blog about combination of decorating, art, life, creativity…  heartfelt and peaceful are the words that come to mind first.  (I can’t wait to try to join her e-course in May!)

She pointed readers to this blog just now, and with once glance I’m hooked and ready to book a flight.  Little Brown Pen moved her family to Paris.

Photo by Little Brown Pen

Photo by Little Brown Pen

There’s so much in her photography that you just CAN’T find in the states.  I want to sit at one of those tables and have french bread/pastries.  I miss England, Paris, Belgium.  I miss traveling and seeing things so much older than our oldest cities.  There’s so much more of Europe to see.  Le sigh.

And someone I’m honored to have as a friend, the inimitable Victoria Skydancer has released her CD!!! :D  I may have been the first to place an order…

Late Winter Malaise

It’s hard to pinpoint.  A complex mix of emotions.  Winter is coming to an end, and where did all that hibernation time go?  I’m supposed to be well rested, instead on a rainy morning after the spring ahead time change, I can’t drag myself out of bed on time.   We were teased with spring – temps up into the 60’s last weekend.  It’s coming, but not soon enough.  And of course, once spring arrives, there’s barely any time left to breathe.  Yeah, I can’t wait for Playa Del Fuego, but the thought of it reminds me of the to-do list of projects to be done before then.

I don’t know.  I can’t place it.  I don’t know how to remedy it.  I am pretty sure that if N wasn’t here, I would be holed up in my apartment depressed.  Usually when I feel this way, turns out to be PMS.  *checks calendar*  Nope.

I hope it passes quickly.  Maybe I just need sun – even the warm weekend was overcast, and we didn’t take advantage of it except for some car maintenance/cleaning.

Saturday, I’m going to be in the St Patrick’s Day parade.  I’m doing it for Kendra.  And to make sure I don’t spend all weekend in bed.  Unless it ends up raining, because then that’s exactly what I’ll do.  So if you see a green fairy riding a bicycle with the Morristown Green bloggers, say hi, I’ll be passing out candy as well.

For Hollis

I don’t know this woman, but she is one of the many volunteers that helps build Black Rock City (the temporary city of Burning Man) and the community is rallying to help bring her home.

She was in a motorcycle accident in India and is in a coma.  Funds are being raised to fly her back to the states, if there is any way you can help, please do.   If you are in/near NYC there is a fundraiser tomorrow night for her.  For latest info and details, go here.  (Despite the initial request below, help in getting quotes on air medical transport is not needed at this point, and she’s been moved to a hospital that is providing better care. She is breathing on her own!)

Together, we CAN make this happen

To help: go here

http://friendsofhollis.blogspot.com/

Hollis and her boyfriend in India at the start of their trip

Hollis and her boyfriend in India at the start of their trip

This is the letter from Hollis’ boyfriend who was there at the time of the accident:

Hello friends and family,

So as many of you know, and many of you don’t as I have not even talked to you in a while.I am in the midst of a crazy tragedy here in southern India. I was travelling with my sweetheart Hollis by motorcycle and the worst possible scenario has unfolded. She was in an accident that took a freak turn and I will spare you the gory details (and they are gory) but end result, she is in a coma with the most serious injury one can sustain. She has a serious brain stem injury. This is the part of the brain that controls and is connected to everything. The accident happened at 11:30 am on Tuesday Feb. 24th, it is now 5:30 am on Monday March 2nd as I am writing this (I don’t sleep).

This is what’s going on… The treatment she is receiving is okay, for India. There are however huge rats scurrying about on the floor. I am sleeping on the ant covered floor outside her room as I am not allowed in and the water they have used for many procedures is not even purified.

Today as the final straw they would not allow her own mother who has just flown here from Tennessee with emergency support from the US consulate to see her own daughter when she inquired. She has been allowed some of the time but they sort of shame you/are mean to you to make you not ask for visitation. They are not observing her brain pressure and have done nothing to alleviate the swelling in her brain. These are things that can make or break her early on in her recovery and healing process. Her chances are slim. Her chances are slimmer here in Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, India.

So we miraculously got her accepted to Stanford which is one of the best hospitals in the world. Also, as a charity case which is very rare, since she has no insurance. So what we need now is to get her there. I am reaching out to everyone I know to help us get an ICU Plane (a.k.a. air ambulance) to fly her back to California. Anyone who knows anyone with a plane we could rent or has anybody in the Air Ambulance industry or a doctor who could volunteer their time to come and get her and fly her to Stanford and reduce the cost… those things would be amazing.

The reality of the situation is that we need to raise $150,000 dollars, now for the quote we have.
[so far we’ve reached $20,000] There is a blog that Hollis’s best bud Eliza (from her bicycle dance troupe the SF Derailleurs) started: www. friendsofhollis. blogspot. com and it has a donate button on it. I would like to urge everyone to give something to this button even if it is 5 dollars and then pass it on to everyone they know. Hopefully we can all figure out a way to give $1,000 whether it be by sheer generosity or organizing a fundraiser where ever this reaches you.

Send it to people who know her and send it to anyone who is a compassionate person and knows what its like to lose a bright brilliant star of a person. She is an amazing performer, heart, bicycle and food activist and so much more, in San Francisco (and everywhere) and we need to do everything we can while we have the possibility, to bring her back. It was crazy to go through my contacts to select everyone to send this to and see the amount of amazing people who are no longer alive on it and how badly I don’t want to add her to this group. Please help however you can even if its just keeping her in your thoughts and sending healing energies and endless love. You can write me with any questions or support or call/text anytime, day or night.

Thank you more than anyone can be thanked, for everything you have all done so far, you have kept me going in my darkest hour. Please forward this on. Put it on myspace, facebook, your blog, craigslist, tribe, tell everyone.

love and teary thanks,
Harrison

Life is precious, Never waste it.

Travel arrangements had been made in advance, and a flight was booked for the steampunk family – Doctor Red, Professor Green, and Master Blue.  They were excited about their trip, and settled into their cushioned tissue seats for the journey.

“Is there a radio on in here? I keep hearing voices” said the Professor.  But the Doctor and Master Blue insisted it was his imagination, or the drone of the airplane engine.

Upon their arrival at the destination, over 2,500 miles away, they were relieved to stretch themselves after the ride.  They were also a bit sore.  “Hmm” said the Doctor.  “The tissue seats are normally much more comfortable than this.   In fact, there’s a definite lump here” as he punched the spot in question.

“OOOF!” said a voice.  The steampunk poppets stepped back.

Digging through the tissue, a family of not one, not two, not even three but FOUR stowaway poppets was found!

Professor #2 and #3 tried to come up with a reasonable explanation, saying their flight was overbooked and they were bumped onto this one… Master Blue #2 looked very un-masterly and depressed, and Doctor Red #2 was too concerned about everyone’s aches and stiffness to realize the situation at hand.

Professor #3 and Red #2 went on an exploratory mission, and braved the dangers of a large species of feline unknown to them.  (Click photos to see larger)

IMG_5929

Professor #3 kept his distance, but Red #2 was much too curious and ended up much too close.

IMG_5937

He ran for his life when the massive feline looked the other way.

IMG_5938

He caught up with Professor #3 outside of the building, and was dismayed to find it cold and wet.

IMG_5957

“This is definitely NOT California!  What is this white cold substance??? How do we get back home?”  Red #2 complained.

Luckily the two stowaway professors had connections, and soon a flight home was arranged.  They had a brief tour and history lesson, and learned that their unexpected adventure landed them in the state of New Jersey, in a town where George Washington spent a winter during the Revolutionary war.  Professor #2 explained how the soldiers had to live in the cold substance outside, called “snow”, for a brutal winter.  The other poppets huddled under a blanket, and looked forward to the sunscreen days of California.

New Jersey

Cabin from Revolutionary War era

NJ Map

Professor #1 (the new resident) said it was a shame they had to leave, as the beaches in NJ are quite nice, even if they aren’t like those in California. Doctor #2 said they may come back for a visit, though they were wary of the “hotel” suggested to them by a stranger…

Check out any time you like, but you can never leave.

The resident steampunks reassured them that there’s always room to stay for a visit, and that the two felines were domesticated and presented no danger.

Unsure of whether they believed that, the stowaways packed up their souvenirs and got settled for the journey home.

It was a grand adventure for sure, but they were happy to be going home until the day they find a new place to live permanently.  Something tells me they may be destined for the desert…

Office Poppet sees the stowaways off safely!

Office Poppet sees the stowaways off safely!

* Note, original stowaways were not placed in any danger for this photoshoot, in fact, the new resident steampunk poppets were stunt doubles on their behalf.  Master Blue already was at his day job, and had to miss the events.

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