Category: fire

Fire love

Ahhhh… two weekends in a row full of fire and friends.  Last weekend was the backyard burnhouse burn, this past one was a housewarming (and BOY did we warm it up! ;o)

Last night the fire conclave rehearsed using fire for the first time.  I was really nervous.  Not sure why – just the idea of having so many of us so close together, and an audience of people passing by in the park who stopped and watched.  As soon as we lit and got in positions though, the nerves went away.  Still I focused more on just burning safely than always being 100% in time with the other poi performers – timing will come to us. 

My new fireheads burn longer and brighter/hotter, a little nervewracking when I have to stop in a position (can’t keep them hanging in one spot or my hands will get too hot!) or when we are close in a line up, but I am getting used to them and really love them.  I’m suddenly really excited to be part of this performance – not that I wasn’t before, but it’s becoming more real.  I never was much into doing fire for performance, but the idea of being part of the circle spinning in front of the Man was exciting.  Now, I’m really appreciating the practices (despite the commute) and spending time with so many amazing people.

(If you are near Philly, you are welcome to come watch a practice. I’ll be there the next 3 Sundays for sure, 6-8, western Philly area. Contact me for details.)


I am at work (last hour or two is always nice and quiet, immediate neighbors are all early morning folks and they are gone) and realized I had a hair elastic on my wrist still.  Not usually an issue but these brand are heavy duty (and yet still have trouble staying in my hair :/ figures) and I don’t wear them on my wrist because it cuts off circulation.  Well I put it on last night intending to put it in the drawer next time I got up (the kitten is a thief and LOVES hair elastics!) and forgot about it.  It hurt as soon as I took it off, but I never noticed the constriction until now.

Made me start thinking of things we adjust ourselves to accepting as normal, and it can hurt to stop/get out of the situation, but once we do we know we’ll be better off….

Yeah.  Deep thoughts over a piece of elastic.  Well it’s monday afternoon what do you expect?

Phoenix Rising and PDF are just around the corner…. I can’t wait, and yet I know I won’t be ready when it’s time.  But it doesn’t matter what I end up wearing or eating, I just want to be around my fire family and spin some fire!  Burned the last two nights and know what?  Even though my hands/wrists are a little sore (different hold on the poi, and heavier heads – just need some time to get used to it), I just want to go out and do it again and again. ;o)

Where I’ll be…

Stealing this idea again from people on tribe.  I’m always trying to invite all my friends to things I do, but I assume some people are on the same lists I am, or I forget that someone expressed interest in joining me…  So here’s important dates coming up, where I’ll be, and whether you can come too and how ;o)  Don’t tell me I never tell you about these things!

Saturday April 19th – Backyard Burn in Northern NJ. I’m not recruiting for this LMAO anymore than I have. If you are on the NJ burner email list or friends with the hostess on tribe, you know about it and how to get more info.  I hope to see many familiar faces there!!!

Sunday April 20th – (private) – Baby Shower

Sunday April 20th – evening – Possibly BPAL Will Call out in PA…. Anyone want to go with me? I don’t want to drive alone.

Friday April 25th – Morristown Critical Mass Bike Ride and Happy Hour – out on the town, I believe this time.

Saturday April 26th – privatish – Housewarming up in Lake Hopatcong! (privateish in that I could bring a friend, but can’t publish the details for the world!)  I MAY do Ag Field day beforehand, need to find out what time the housewarming starts.  

May 1 – Wildfire tickets on sale

May 10th – PEX Phoenix Rising! One of only 3 PEX parties in Philly this year, in a new location, LIMITED IN ATTENDANCE!!!!  You MUST check out the PEX tribe on and send in your invite request ASAP!!!! (If you are stuck and need an invite, let me know.)

May 22-26 – PLAYA DEL FUEGO!!!! Tickets still available!!!!

June 12-16 – WILDFIRE!

July 12 – NJ Burner Beach Bash

July 18-21 – TRANSFORMUS!

August 9 – PEX Compression Party

August 25-Sept 1 – BURNING MAN!!!!  Where I will be performing in the fire conclave with Aish Tamid, a Philly fire conclave group, if we get accepted!  We’ll also be doing the performance at PEX’s camp earlier in the week.  I’ll be camping with my friend from Reno again (with the yummy home brews!) but will be spending much more time in Camp Jersey and PEX than before.  If anyone needs a place to stay in Reno, my friend’s house is open to any burners.

September 5-7 – privateish – Lhiapalooza (silly girly slumber party with lots of drinking!)

October 9-13 – PLAYA DEL FUEGO!

October 18-19 – Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival – I’ll be taking an out of state friend up and we may get a hotel for the night.

October 25 – PEX Decompression/Halloween Party



Spin Jam Pic by Abject

© abjectphoto April 5, 2008 Philly

© abjectphoto April 5, 2008 Philly 


He still has more to upload, this is from my first spin of the night… Thanks Abject!!! His photos from the night can be found here.

PEX Spin Jam pics

IMG_0853, originally uploaded by k8et.

Sammykaykes is hawt!

IMG_0760 copy, originally uploaded by k8et.


IMG_0955, originally uploaded by k8et.

Liana in a backbend!!

Welcome Home

Last year, I wrote and posted the blog entry below on Tribe and Myspace… I want to share it again, with some additional comments.  To shift focus from some drama on Transformus discussion lists, people have been sharing their favorite memories.  I haven’t been before, but I can share why I’m going.

Like a drug, I’ve become addicted to this amazing community of people called “burners”.  I’ve come to realize that term is misleading, because many people belong in this group who have never heard of or attending Burning Man or any other “burn”.  And so, this is the Year of the Burn for me – I have a summer packed full of PDF, Wildfire, Transformus, Burning Man, and who knows what I’ll do after that but I think I’ll always return to PDF no matter what.

Over time, I’ve been working on not keeping this part of my life segregated from my mundane life.  I’ve come out of the burner/fire artist closet to people at work, to my parents – I held back on the fire spinning because I knew my mom would worry!  I’m trying to realize that in this world of “muggles” (forgive the overuse of quote marks, but it’s hard to convey this in written tones sometimes) that not everyone is the close minded, judgemental, prejudicial, conservative stereotype that they can appear to be at times.

The burn community is not about events, it’s about the people.  Charlotte Martin wrote a song/album titled “Stromata” – by definition, “The connective tissue framework of an organ, gland, or other structure, as distinguished from the tissues performing the special function of the organ or part”.  But to her it was more a representation for the networks that connect us to each other as humans.  (I want to quote her more but I can’t access my old interview with her, at work here (Shhhh) the browser crashes each time I try – you can read it though, hopefully, here. ;o)  Burning Man and other burns are our stromata, our connections, woven like a spiderweb – we are always together and never alone. 

And that’s what my favorite memory of any burn is – the people.  Not the ticket process or bickering online.  Not the bad weather or good weather.

My favorite memories include: Hugs from new friends and old, especially when I’m feeling the most fragile.  Meeting amazing people that are now part of my life.  Sharing the gift of fire performance – watching it, learning it, teaching it. Spontaneous performance art.  Sharing camping supplies and food.  The gift of music.  A soft place to rest.  Support to become a better person.  Artwork that inspires and touches.  A caring shoulder to cry on.  Glitter when your world is lacking it.  Fire when you feel cold or passionless.  Laughter.  Memories.  Possibilities. 

I do not yet have a favorite moment from Transformus, but I know I will.  Already I look forward to meeting someone from across the country that I spoke to on Tribe, and have been welcomed to camp somewhere puffy and yellow.  Most importantly, I know I’ll be at home at Transformus, because that’s what any burn is to me.

BM home 

Welcome Home (Written July 2007 – after attending BM05, PDF 06 S&F, PDF 07S, Wildfire 07S, and PEX 777 party)
Forgive me for the sappiness, I may still be running on too little sleep and too much caffeine. But I have some ramblings in my head that need to get out. ;o)

As we turned around a bend in a road, for the first time we could see our destination in the distance. Rocky mountains and desert brush gave way to a wide flat area where a temporary city had been built. A black smoke ring rose from the city and floated up in the air, above the dust trails from cars and the city of tents. Inching closer, we could see the figure of a wooden man standing taller than anything else in the city.

At this moment, I remember thinking, what have I gotten myself into.

I am in the middle of the desert in Nevada, traveling with someone I only met in person two days ago. I’m usually a pretty self reliant traveller, but she is providing my transportation and lodging, and there’s no escape route if I need to run away to civilization, a shower or air conditioning. Oh, and I’m not that much of a camper either.

Luckily, my hostess and I hit it off better than I could have ever hoped for. We know each other from an online community, and while I had met some wonderful friends from that source it was a risk to spend so much time with someone I never met. While shopping for supplies and driving from Reno, we felt an immediate kinship.

So as I feel sudden dread at the sight of our home for the next week, she asked me what I was thinking. I said something along the lines of feeling like I was going down the rabbit hole and not knowing where it would lead me. Excitement overcame the nervousness and we were greeted at the entrance to Black Rock City with a hearty “Welcome Home” by a guy wearing a hat and a messenger bag, and…. nothing else. He dared me to roll on the playa (the dry lakebed that hosts the city, an alkali dust that WILL get everywhere) and not one to turn down a dare, I made a playa angel.

As it was my first time, I was able to ring the virgin bell and proclaim my arrival to my new home. Did it ever feel like home? It felt like a wonderful magical world, which I knew would never last — thankfully, somewhat, because I am not nomadic enough to live without modern conveniences. It was like running away and joining a circus, as I sat in Center Camp watching performers just having fun. It was better than Cirque du Soleil!

I entered another world for a week, another planet, or galaxy. When we left it was with mixed feelings of sadness and anxiousness to get back to real world comforts. It took a long time to get used to going back to work, and not seeing crazy unexpected things at every corner. Like waking from a dream that you try to go back to, and never quite can succeed.

I started looking into regional events closer to home. Playa del Fuego (PDF) was a regional burn closest to me, held twice a year in Delaware. I went the spring after my first Burning Man, not knowing a soul, but after a week stuck in the middle of the desert, how scary can a weekend 15 minutes from a Dunkin Donuts be? I volunteered as a greeter, camped with Camp Jersey (a loosely organized group of people from New Jersey), and got to know some camp neighbors.

Greeters at PDF also say “Welcome Home” when you arrive. But it was still all so new. I thought I “got it”, but I realize I still felt like I only had a traveler’s visa to this strange country.

I made new local friends, and started doing more things with them. From parties in the summer and at New Years, to the fall and next spring PDF, the mermaid parade in Coney Island, any excuse to dress up and have fun. I started to be interested in poi, or fire spinning (although if you asked me a year ago I would have said I’ll NEVER do fire, just the glow toys!) and drove to Philly to take poi classes. This spring, I took the plunge and spun fire for the first time, and went to a weekend of fire arts classes and fun called Wildfire.

It used to be really hard for me to go out and meet large groups of people I didn’t know, but I started to get used to expecting the unexpected, and knew at these events that there were no strangers, only friends who haven’t met yet. It started feeling comfortable, less like this was a one week event in the desert, and that it could almost be a full time way of life.

Despite going to Philly for poi classes and some spin jams, I had never made it to their large parties. I’m not a raver, and oontz-oontz music was never my thing. (Although since Burning Man, that sound, like tarps in the wind, is not a nuisance but nostalgic!) So when I planned to go to their 777 “Recompression” party, I half expected that it would be fun but not really my scene, but there’s always fire performers to watch and drinks to drink!

I helped a little with set up, and was the first greeter of the night as people in costumes started showing up at the door. About every ten minutes, someone I know would arrive, and there would be hugs and kisses and spankings for those who love them, and people I didn’t even know greeted me by name. While I’m getting used to seeing the Jersey folks more often, I don’t see the Camp Sexy Rochester crew except for PDF, or Chad and the other Boston people that I just met at Wildfire. With a friend of mine that I’ve known for years (who is a burner at heart but never attended any kind of burn event) standing by me, I felt like my various worlds were colliding. (You know that feeling when people you know from work, high school, college, etc. suddenly are talking to each other at a party you throw? That kind of feeling.) And it felt good.

It makes sense now. Yes, at BM and PDF, you are welcomed home, and those events are starting to feel like a home not a vacation.

But the true meaning of the word home is the people. This “new” home is not a place, it’s not an event that you buy a ticket to get into, and leave when you pack up your car. You carry it with you where ever you go.

My home is this amazing network of friends and friends who I haven’t met yet, who delight and surprise me at every turn, who accept and support me, who are genuine and good and amazing authentic people. Whose hearts burn bright with love, not of just a wooden man in the desert, or an annual camping trip. But a love for the amazing connections between all of us, who are, and what we can be.

Welcome home. We’ve always been here, even if we didn’t realize it.

Fire Conclave

So.  Let me set up the scene.Burning Man. It goes Monday to Monday. The energy and the number of people each day grows and grows.

Saturday, as soon as it’s dark, suddenly the mass of 50,000 people and numerous art cars that were running around in chaotic directions up to now all start to migrate to one place.

The middle of the city is where the Man stands. And tonight, he burns.

You sit down as close to the man as you can. Rangers stand guard to protect the inner perimeter. Drinks are passed, you make new friends with the people sitting next to you as you pass the time.

Suddenly, you hear a drum beat. a procession of drummers and keepers of the flame walk around the inner circle

The processional members eventually reach their destination in various places around the man.

The man, for the first time all week, has his arms reached above his head.

And as the drums pick up from a slow beat into a tribal rhythm that you can feel through the ground you are sitting on, the Conclave starts.

The Conclave is the word for the fire performers who perform at this special moment.

Troupes from all over the country and world apply to be part of this. They work on their choregraphy and costumes for over half a year.

when they are done, fireworks will engulf the Man and he will burn.

and guess what….

I’m going to be part of it!!!!

I joined the philadelphia fire conclave group!!!! I’m equal parts scared and excited.  Many of the people in the group are just OUTSTANDING artists, and I’ll have to bust my ass from now until Burning Man (last week of August).  But I’m excited about how much better I’ll be by then, and the people in the group are amazing and supportive.

Now I need to figure out a character/costume for the first part of the piece – we are supposed to pick something that represents America, a stereotype or symbol of the melting pot of the country.  My only idea so far is from Halloween – I dressed up rockabilly/50’s style (I didn’t know what rockabilly was, but it’s pin-up type style, like the opening credits on LA Ink).  I’d have to redo a dress, because it needs to be natural materials (so they don’t melt if hit with fire ;o)   But, I was also thinking of really chopping my hair before BM and coloring it funky.  So the hairdo would be more difficult… 
Still pondering, if you have any ideas for a costume I’d love to hear it! ;o)
 Mr. Green
(All photos in this post are from the photo galleries. Sorry I didn’t pull proper credits on them…)


For those I’ve tried to convince of the awesomeness of PEX parties… If you want a sample of what you’ll find there, check out some amazing videos that Hedy and Eric have created — they are great people and very talented as well! Heartburn is this Saturday, Feb 16th, invite only, $20 at the door with costume ($50 without).

Right now I have 5 extra invites, and only a few “maybes” of people thinking of coming.  Come let me pour alcohol down your throat at the ice luge!!!  Holler if you want to claim an invite.

Ice Luge? What Ice Luge?

1-26-08 035

Plans for 08

Cross posted from Myspace:

OK so sometimes I promise I’m going to tell people about events and then forget who I promised… heehee…. Here are some big events coming up that I’ll be doing, if you have any interests in joining then you can contact me.

Feb 8-10 – Wicked Faire in Edison NJ although the site is wonky lately. I used to do henna there. I’m not working there this year. I’ll be attending (probably Saturday afternoon only) to do some shopping cause I like some of the vendors.

Feb 16 – PEX “Heartburn” – party in Philly. This Philly Burning Man camp puts on a kick ass party, all kinds of music, performances, fire dancers…. Invite only, I MAY have some spares or be able to get you some quickly so let me know if you are interested. goes from 10 pm (I get there earlier to help set up and will be volunteering on the ice luge 10-11) until after dawn. It’s $20 with costume, $50 without. So dress your ass up!!!! (Anything fun and obviously not street clothes/jeans is prob. fine)  Sign up on their mailing list if you want to hear about future parties (I think it’s about 3-4 a year?)

May 23-26 – PDF (Playa del fuego) in Delaware. Our regional “burn” event – tickets will go on sale March 22 and April 2 and may sell out almost immediately. I’ll try to grab ones for you if you know you are going.

June – most likely either June 6-8 or 13-15 – Wildfire – fire arts weekend with classes on poi, staff, hoop, breathing, etc.  Location not final, probably 45 minutes south of Boston. Ticket sale date not announced yet.

August 25 – Sept 1 – BURNING MAN! I’ll hopefully be performing in the philadelphia fire conclave the night of the big burn! (the conclave needs to be accepted but it shouldn’t be an issue) Tickets on sale now, and will only go up in price. they MAY sell out, and they will NOT be selling any at the gate regardless of whether they sell out.

I don’t have many other things planned.  After Burning Man, there’s Fall PDF, and maybe, MAYBE fall wildfire. 

 The veggie board retreat, I may or may not be able to go, depending on whether it’s driving distance and whether I have enough vacation time.  Same for any paloozas (for those who don’t know, it’s a nickname for parties with friends from a private message board) — Lhia’s is for sure, anything in NJ/NY/CT most likely.

From the end of February until mid August, I’ll be driving to Philly most Sundays for conclave practice.  (So – those in or near that route, if you ever want to do lunch or something let me know! I have to be in North Philly from 4-6 pm those days.)

Money probably will get tight for all these things, but the more pressing issue is time.  Vacation time.  We’ll see what happens.  Spring PDF, Wildfire, and Burning Man are definitely going to happen, one way or another.