As my blog is spinning away from me, more on that shortly, I find myself needing to truncate and merge postings. Which in a way defeats the purpose of my blog, at least one of my original purposes of said blog aka web log, that being to help me keep track of the happenings of my life.
These days there has been a lot going on and not enough hours in the day.
So, onto today's dualistic post:
The Myth and Allure of Pirates
This year when I announced that I was going to return to Burning Man, a friend from my Atlanta circus world offered me a place in her camp, Circus Combustus/Funk Pirate.
An offer I couldn't refuse, Circus, Fire and Pirates.
And what a wonderful camp it was, in every way imaginable. From the moment I rolled in late Sunday night to when I had to unceremoniously take off and leave before the Temple Burn and before the break-down of camp the following day(s).
Odd as it may sound, I regret not being able to help out my camp-mates more than missing the burning of another structure.
As much as I like watching stuff on fire, the spirit of community is what I appreciate more about Burning Man.
My first year, last year, out in the desert, I managed to ride but one "art" car and even then it was a short ride.
This year on my Burning Man "to-do" list, which is practically an oxymoron itself, I was determined to do try to ride more art cars.
And lo and behold within an hour or so of landing, I was on the Funk Pirate ship, cruising on the playa.
I would spend a lot of time riding on and around that glowing crescent of an art car.
International Talk Like a Pirate Day
How time flies?
Last year at this time we were in the midst of leisurely crossing the country as a family.
Yes, we always seem to be in the midst of crossing the country, but seldom is it leisurely or as an entire family, so last year's tour, was rare indeed.
We were actually in Las Vegas staying at Treasure Island on International Talk Like a Pirate Day, completely by coincidence.
I used these random occurrences as an excuse to buy a bright green pirate skull glass full of slushy neon grossness.
A couple of days ago on TLaPD, I attempted to use it as a tent-pole for a series of home-school lessons.
I had found and book-marked several videos of pirate history, came up with various lesson plans and discussions ranging from the marketing of pirates, to what it meant to be a pirate, now and back in its heyday.
I had planned on going to several sites of the local legendary pirate, Jean Lafitte, including the little town south of NOLA that owes its name to him.
My use of a contrived "holiday" to come up with a contrived lesson plan ended up falling on its face, so to speak.
As is often the case with my home-school adventures, there is a lot more material and info out there than we have time to take in and digest.
We ended up on a rushed hike in the bayou, driving through pelting rain, which I don't mind, I actually love, but it could have been anywhere in Louisiana and it offered very little in regards to Jean Lafitte and/or other pirates.
We did happen to stumble up this really cool looking water fountain, water-receptacle filling device.
If only we had our water bottles with us...
Yep, we drove down to Lafitte Louisiana and couldn't/ didn't find the Lafitte museum or monument or....
We drove right through the little down because it was raining buckets and eventually stumbled upon a "local" restaurant.
Now, I've had this go both ways.
I've found amazing food off the beaten path and I've found crap food, straight out of the microwave.
Being in Louisiana, a place known for its regional, down-home cooking I was thinking the deck was stacked in my favor.
No such luck.
We overpaid for a less than wonderful, on-the-edge-of-edible couple plates of food. As a public service I feel like naming names, however I don't feel like being "that" guy today.
We headed back up to NOLA, stomachs filled, but less than satisfied.
And we were both over the pirate-themed lesson plan.
Back to Burning Man....
The Funk Pirates really did have some of the best tunes out on the Playa and I ended up dancing a lot around that lovely good ship not called lollipop.
In this photo, I look half-asleep. Couldn't be further from the truth.
I was really just avoiding, without much luck, getting hit in the face repeatedly by those dang banners which looked great but....
I was feeling much more like my compadre weilding the sword or is that a scimitar or...
The point is, I had a grand time up in the crows nest of the funk pirate ship.
I didn't make it on any other art car.
But does that really matter.
I had do much fun being a Funk Pirate and was so glad to be included in the gang's merry making.
Although I did get a little paranoid, truth-b- told, at one point when I was riding alongside them on my bike.
My chain popped off and I watched in horror as they "deserted" me in the deep Playa.
My mind raced with all sorts of feelings of abandonment,which is not such an unusual response when as a 6 year-old, you were lost above 10,000 feet in Yosemite, overnight and then year's later, you receive luggage for your eighteenth birthday which on the family calender says, "Bye, Bye Jon" instead of perhaps, "Happy Birthday" or some other sort of more traditional well-wishing.
That feeling dispelled when I came upon my fellows an hour or so later and was greeted with hugs, but little concern...
I think they thought I peeled away from them to play and adventure elsewhere.
I do that on occasion.
Honestly, I was a bit anxious about where I would be camping. I only really, kind of sort of knew one person there.
I was facebook friends with several others mostly because of our Atlanta circus connections but still.
And while I've dabbled in the circus arts, I've never played with anything while it or me is on fire, at least not in a long time.
So I decided to do what I do well.
I offered my services whenever and how ever I could.
If dishes needed to be cleaned, I jumped in.
If I could lift and carry something, I was there.
And in the end it worked. I felt like I had made a contribution.
We had amazing performers and craftsmen and artists, spinning and playing with fire or performing up in the air.
I happily danced and watched as they did remarkable things.
Nope, I'm not in the picture.
I am really bad at being around for the group photo.
Always have been, usually off adventuring, hopefully not getting into too much trouble.
These were my amazing camp-mates that made the dust and desert an oasis.