June 2nd, 2012

burn baby

On the flip

Graham and I went to Flipside last weekend, which is a Texas regional Burn event. I think it's one of the larger regional events outside of California in the country. 2500 people in the middle of central Texas for a long weekend of fun and friends.

In some respects, this was sort of a honeymoon for us. It was our first time away with one another since we got married. We didn't put as much effort into it as we* usually do, in part because of the wedding, in part because a good hunk of our friends weren't going to be there, and in part because it was the middle part of a long series of events that require a lot of attention (wedding, Flipside, Graham's surgery**, kitchen remodel, Burning Man and/or more elaborate honeymoon).

Graham left a few days before I did in the Suburban. He volunteered to be the camp lead for our group of 70 people or so, and he wanted to be there to scope our site out before everyone else got there. This meant that I packed for my trip on Tuesday evening, randomly throwing crap in a bin without paying too much attention. I have tons of old/vintage polyester slips that I use as dresses on these sorts of events. Comfortable, easy to get in and out of, and they look cute on me. Threw those in along with a corset, a tutu, and the thing I planned on wearing for our Abraham Lincoln rampage that I was vaguely aware of. Graham took care of camp infrastructure: Practical things like our tent, bedding, food, lighting.

But really, I had no idea what was going with me. And on Friday, I dropped off Celosa at my parents' house, went to work, picked up a friend on the way out of town, and was Flipside bound without having given the event much thought.

I got to our camp approximately seven minutes after Graham left for the first of three nights in a row of djing. I dropped off some fried chicken I'd picked up on the way in, quickly changed into a white slip (complete with robe) and went off in search of Graham.

What I really loved about this particular Flipside was that I really didn't have much in the way of planning. Graham was DJing every night, so I was on my own for a few hours each night. During the day, we either hung out at camp or went down to the creek. And we really got to know our campmates. I knew a hunk of the people with us, but not everyone. And those I didn't know, I really got to know.

I missed last year because I was having a lot of trouble dealing with the after-effects of the wreck, and the idea of Flipside was too overwhelming for me. This year, I was relatively unburdened. And I really enjoyed myself.

Our camp was out on the far reaches of the city. It was a good ten minutes to get to most of the center of town. But it was nicely shaded to the point that our tent never had sunlight on it. And there was always a nice breeze. We had lots of space, too, which meant that we weren't right on top of one another, and the nearby camps were far enough away so their noise and generators didn't bother us in the slightest. I suspect that the campers in their thirties and forties (with two in their sub-twos) enjoy this sort of campsite a bit more than the twenty-somethings down in sound camps. To be fair, we had friends of all ages all over the place. But we certainly enjoyed where we were.

As with most Burn events, I loved seeing all the pretty people. Everyone always looks so good. My guess is that people are so comfortable, and they are really expressing who they are and you get to actually see what people actually look like. The sheer creativity in attire helps a lot too. I love seeing what people put together every year in their costuming.

I really hate the idea that people on television, in movies, on advertisements, aren't "real". But they tend, more often than not to conform to a particular standard with little variation. But all these beautiful people at Burn events are all over the map in terms of size and shape. I wish there were a little more ethnic and racial diversity, but baby steps, I guess. At any rate, most people only get to see the standard beautiful people in various states of dress. We Burners get to see pretty much everyone with lumps and bumps and scars and hips and boobs and flat stomachs and bulges and taut muscles and ailments and everything in between. It's refreshing. And I sometimes feel sad for the population whose beauty standards have been limited to what their society have told them is beautiful.

Graham's DJ sets were great. Each was a little different, and I think a lot of people enjoyed it. I know he certainly did. He didn't really have to DJ that last night, but he wanted to. And he attracted quite a crowd. I danced and danced and danced.

I think I'll remember this particular event fondly. Nothing bad happened. I made some great new friends. We were comfortable and had fun.

*And by we, I mainly mean I.
** Nothing life threatening, just something that it's really nice to have health insurance for. Yay marriage!