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So, did I miss anything while I was gone? - The inexplicable charisma of the rival [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
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So, did I miss anything while I was gone? [Sep. 9th, 2005|05:28 pm]
Just me.
From The SF Chron:

Black Rock City is almost entirely sealed off from the news of the world, and word of Hurricane Katrina's devastation is only now reaching the playa. An informal survey of 50 people Thursday found just 15 knew the nation was in the midst of its worst natural disaster since the San Francisco earthquake of 1906.

The above mirrors my experience pretty accurately. Our last day in "civilization" was Monday, when the paper we read in Alturas, CA said the Hurricane was on its way and would be bad. After you get to Burning Man, there is (except for a limited elite, aka BM staff or national media) no internet, no cell phone, no TV, no newspapers. The nearest "town" is like 10 miles away by car, and while you CAN leave the event to get there, it's kind of a hassle to leave the playa (and you have to pay $20 to leave and come back) and I'm not sure that you'd have cell service there anyway, though you could probably buy a newspaper at the gas station. So even those of us that had a personal stake in finding out what was going on were pretty in the dark.

People who arrived at Burning Man on Thursday or Friday had -some- news for us: we understood the potential scope of the disaster, but not the anarchy that followed or how dire the situation was for the people that had survived the flood. I spent Labor Day/ Monday morning reading a stack of the last few days' Reno newspapers at the place we were having breakfast and trying to piece together what had happened and if people were safe by this point.

My family lives 60 miles from NO in Baton Rouge, and when I finally talked to them on Monday, they'd lost power for 5 days, but other than that were okay. I found it sorta amusing that as I'd been off in the desert voluntarily living without electricity or plumbing and (mostly) eating non-perishable foods, my parents had been doing the same thing, except without the costumes, art or
Dicky Box (worksafe, despite the name) to keep them and their unfortunately-timed houseguests to keep them from being bored.

My best friend Dave lives/d in Jefferson Parish, and while he'd been leaving messages on my cell phone while I was gone (I hadn't talked to him before BM and hadn't told him I'd be incommunicado), it took two days before I could finally reach his cell; even though he was safely in Mississippi, 504 area codes are problematic with the way cellular systems work. So he and his wife and pets are okay, though his workplace is toast, and he's found himself suddenly taking an assignment in Kentucky until his employers figure out what happens next. His house is relatively undamaged, but there's still the question of if there's going to be a city to return to as far as living in it is concerned.

The only "big" hurricane to hit while I lived in Louisiana, Andrew (1992), stranded Dave with me, my then boyfriend, and Dave's then-girlfriend in Baton Rouge in my tiny rental house in August. I can't say my experience remotely compares to that of the people stuck in the Superdome this time, but even a decade later, the memory of being stuck in a house for 2-3 days without much food, any electricity, no fans/air conditioning, and nothing to do other than read or chat is pretty awful, and that was without martial law, looters, rapists, or broken toilets to contend with.

So yeah, I went to Burning Man and came back to the destruction of Life As We Knew It in Louisiana. So it seems pretty pointless now to talk about what I did there, but maybe later.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: jtemperance
2005-09-10 03:13 am (UTC)
I remember reading that Chronicle article and thinking that it was basically written about you! Glad your family is okay.
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[User Picture]From: lemur68
2005-09-10 11:28 am (UTC)
Yeah, I was thinking about you when I knew you went to BM and probably didn't know what was going on down there.

"He also is 'seeing a lot of boobs,' when women voluntarily press their nakedness against the Plexiglas."

I want a Dicky Box!
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[User Picture]From: lara7
2005-09-10 10:59 pm (UTC)

dicky

>>"He also is 'seeing a lot of boobs,' when women voluntarily press their nakedness against the Plexiglas."

he actually kept "hash marks" on the plexiglass walls for every boob or butt displayed to him.

bad side of being Dicky: lots of people tapping on the glass while you're sleeping, just like assholes at the zoo.
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From: scax_e_one
2005-09-12 08:01 am (UTC)
The nearest "town" is like 10 miles away by car, and while you CAN leave the event to get there, it's kind of a hassle to leave the playa (and you have to pay $20 to leave and come back) and I'm not sure that you'd have cell service there anyway, though you could probably buy a newspaper at the gas station.

What town is that? Gerlach?

M_P
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[User Picture]From: cookalexv
2005-09-14 09:37 pm (UTC)
Consider it a blessing to miss the inundation of diaster footage of places we both used to go. It was and still is really difficult to tke in, yet impossible to not watch. I'm glad Dave made it out OK. We had teh same experience as your parents, pain-in-the-ass, but how do you complain about not having power with that nightmare going on down the road?

I was hoping that there would a shot of the latex fist from that place in the quarter, floating down decatur, but no dice
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[User Picture]From: lara7
2005-09-17 03:04 am (UTC)

hurricane andrew

at least this hurricane you didn't have "RT" trapped in a house with you.

I wonder what happened to her. okay, not really, but I'm curious to know what kinda unique midlife crisis she might have.

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[User Picture]From: cookalexv
2005-09-17 06:51 am (UTC)

Re: hurricane andrew

I believe its of the married and church-going variety. I knew a friend of hers that said she was the most prolific yet horrible painter she knew, so maybe she translated her mastery of fashion to acrylics and canvas
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