the olympic games are over. in my household, where between 2 of us, we have 3 nationalities (american, which we share, and then respectively, hungarian and south african), watching the games and deciding who to root for has been a schizophrenic experience. the latter 2, though,  featured so little, that i suppose we had to root for them by default! though we will not discuss south africa’s medal count! uh-uh! not going there!

though, I definitely have a gold medal in olympic watching. or maybe i take silver seeing that gold goes to  lasz who surpassed even me. admittedly, he did warn me before the games that he’s an olympics junkie – and he wasn’t kidding! at least i have an excuse for being a sofa spud the last 2 weeks. seeing that i’ve been under par for the what feels like forever, i’ve spent days on the couch watching other people at the pinnacle of the various extremes to which the human body can push itself. i think i could feel my ass spreading, fusing with the couch as i watched  people with lithe, ripped bodies exceed and succeed. talking about lithe, ripped bodies and exceeding – need i mention usain bolt? yelena isinbayeva? pamela jelimo? and uhm, some geeky guy called michael phelps? and special mention to maria mutola who at 35 was running in her 5th olympic 800m final. at these games, world records were dominoes just waiting to be toppled.

my living room has been transformed into a screening room for the past few weeks, with a projector set-up which has been the envy of most of my friends. we’ve been able to watch the olympics almost life-size, which i have to admit, is THE way to do it. 

needless to say, i feel like the original sloth. i’ve just taken the dogs for a walk in the park and i need to go and take a nap (this from someone who 3 weeks ago was running 10k’s! – illness can be so debilitating!)  maybe now that i can no longer watch other people exert themselves 18 hours out of every day, i’ll get back to some exercise myself. that is, if my lungs will ever recover from this pharyngitis and upper respiratory infection which, 2 courses of antibiotics later, will not quit! maybe i’ll step out of the olympic rings and into a few of my own! 🙂

Hula Olympics pictures

image found here

burning man – going home

it’s that time of year.  time for burning man. my burner friends from all over the world are packing their crazy costumes, faux fur, blinkies, neon everything, fire toys, fuel, bicycles, art cars, gifts, portable showers, power bars, water, hula hoops, everything needed to sustain life for 10 days, especially everything sparkly and glittery  – all of which, within moments of arriving on the playa, will be covered in tenacious, alkaline, moisture-sucking, skin-cracking, wonderful white playa dust.

it’s been 3 years since i last was able to go and i can guarantee that even here, 10 000 miles away on the other side of the world, i can go into my storage room and i’ll find you some playa dust. i’m so jealous of everyone heading to black rock city for a fresh supply. heading to  black rock city which, at this moment, is growing from an empty, dry salt pan, to one of the largest cities in nevada – at least for the next 10 days.

they’re going home. and those of us who’ve been and who aren’t able to go, feel an inexorable longing. i feel all the playa dust that i’ve inhaled, absorbed into my skin, packed up with my belongings, become magnetized to the true north which is black rock city and it is only my very pedestrian circumstances which keep me stuck here while my every cell is extended like an olympic rhythmic gymnast, legs outstretched, toes pointing, fingertips reaching toward, yearning for the nevada desert. 

i first got to burning man in 2003 (on a whim, with almost no planning, but scooped up in the circle of some fabulous hoopgirls (christabel of hoopgirl, anah (hoopalicious), the eve of hoop-dancing)- booking my ticket midnight thursday, leaving saturday). it was beyond belief.

like long-lost family, people met me with huge hugs and a “welcome home!”. i thought they were freakishly weird. what do you mean, “welcome home?”, i’ve never been here before!  hippy-dippy. and yet, by the time the week was up, after spending most of the time observing, getting thoroughly steeped in playa dust and burner community, clicking happily away with my camera, trying to capture it all, i realized that after a long circuitous route, mainly detours,  i was finally home. i felt like i’d been asleep for years, cocooned in a 10 year marriage, becoming invisible, forgetting who i really was. at burning man, after what felt like eternity, i seemed to bump into myself again. the real me. and it made it impossible to go back. within months my husband and i had separated and i was on a journey back to me. i had become a burner.

p.s. (my blog banner is an image i photoshopped of me on my bicycle on the playa in 2005)