September 2008 Archives

even when sick...

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I had to come home early from work today because Karla called that Tesla threw up. I'm glad I did because Tesla continued to be sick. She threw up in the car all over herself coming home, then later twice on both of us and the sofa while we chilled in the living room (each time with a full clean-up and change in between).

Now she's laying in her favorite spot, in our bed. I keep checking in to see if she's fallen asleep, but she's just lying there half dozing, but half not. Just now, I leaned over, caressed her hair, cuddled blankie around her, gave her kisses, and whispered, "I love you" to which I heard a faint whisper back, "I wuv u..."

Not that I truly cared, but now it's totally OK that she barfed all over me...: )

dance party

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Last night we went to Sofia's for dinner, and when we arrived, she had on a cute ballet dancer outfit. She kindly brought out a pink tutu for Tesla that matched her pajamas. So until bedtime, we put on classical music and the gals danced around.

At times, Tesla looks like she's doing capoeira, but it's her version of elegantly raising her legs while dancing.

Daddy joined later, obliging Sofia by wearing her tiny white butterfly wings. Daddy also did a puppet play with Fia's toys. When bedtime rolled around, Tesla was more than ready; she actually walked up the stairs to her regular bed at Fia's all by herself!

We had brunch with our neighbors last weekend, and we chose a place with no lines and kid-friendly on 24th street, Sunshine Cafe. M brought lots of artsy stuff to keep the kids busy. Tesla wore her Hello Kitty backpack.
I love watching Fia and T together. A lot of times they seem to do their own thing, but they do love being together.

Jeremy plays a lot with Tesla, and I got to catch T's face when they were playing a game where he made faces, and she copied.

Treasure Island Music Festival

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Last Saturday, we went with M and J to the Treasure Island Music Festival. Bumped into Randy and Robertta too. The line-up was fantastic. My highlight was Hot Chip, but overall, it was all amazing, and I felt so lucky to have a full day of great music. Since BM was rather busy, having this whole afternoon to enjoy music with Dav was special...almost like a snippet of BM. We shared a babysitter with M & J from noon til night. Special!!
This year they had more non-music stuff to check out such as art exhibits and shops. The graffiti artists caught my eye, and I enjoyed checking in on their work throughout the day. One guy worked all day.

The graffiti was part of a marketing event for new spray paint called Montana, and although it was marketing, I thought it was smart because they were supporting the artists, giving art to the event, and educating people about their product but also about graffiti.

They had a table where Mel Waters was doing renditions of people's names. I went by several times, wanting one for Tesla, but there was a line so I passed. Then later in the afternoon, I found no one. Dav and I were on our way to Amon Tobin, but I couldn't resist, so I told Dav I'd meet him later...and I'm glad I did. It was cool seeing Mel Waters take his time to figure out how to do Tesla's name (on canvas), and I chatted with one of the company people who had spent time in Japan (she recognized a character I have dangling from my phone that only exists in Japan so to know it, you have to have been there). And the final rendition was worth it. I'm going to frame it for T!

Monterey Bay Aquarium

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In their million gallon Outer Bay tank there were tuna, hammerhead sharks, and giant schools of fish. We sat there and marveled for quite some time. I'm going to eat a lot less tuna.

More catch-up from when my mom was here:

We went to Monterey with mom and Elida. Rachel and Cesar were going to come, but Rachel woke up sick that morning. Our plan was to check out the aquarium, then drive along the coast a bit to enjoy the beauty. In reality, we spend all our time at the acquarium, and since I had scheduled a gift massage at Kabuki for my mom, we had to leave to make it back in time. I was pretty bummed I didn't get to show my mom the coast as she wanted. Plus, it was too much driving for one day, especially for Tesla. We should have spent the night.

Still, the acquarium was worth it. The jellyfish were amazing. Elida's set is here.

(cooking class) dinner with friends

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This is a catch-up post about an evening when Rachel came over to cook rhubarb pie for my mom. Back when she came with me to Tokyo, my mom had mentioned how much she missed rhubarb, so Rachel kindly promised to freeze some so they could make a pie together since my mom also wanted to learn how to cook rhubard. So while my mom was here, Rachel came over (meaning, she brought ingredients and cookware all the way over from Oakland), and first at Michelle's house since I was still at work, she started the pie crust. Later, they moved to our house and baked the pie, cooked Thai shrimp that Elaine and everyone else wanted to learn how to cook, and my mom contributed some Japanese dishes too. We had Elida, Elaine, Manisha join in addition to Rachel, Michelle, me and my mom. Was totally a gal night!

I was very happy that my mom got to experience hanging with my special friends. As each person left - it being a weekday night - the group slowly got smaller and the discussions more intimate. Michelle was able to stay til the end, and my mom shared a lot of our family background. I'm glad M got to hear that too!

Tesla has some potty power!

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Today, for the first time, at Karla's, Tesla peed in the potty!

"Potty Power" refers to a dvd Tesla got into that is about toddlers using the potty. I recommend it. She's not super interested in it now that she's seen it so many times, but she knew it was for her as in her story and not a show for us, and it gave us vocabulary to talk about the potty with her. For example, we congratulated her today saying, "you got potty power?" and she understood what we meant.

Sarcasm doesn't fit me...

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Dav sent this link to me and a bunch of friends tonight. There was no explanation in his email so I clicked, and diligently watched.

I didn't get it. I watched in earnest, and as much as I admired the parents and their belief in their baby, I didn't get the story. Their baby was fine 2 years later. Who cares about delays as long as the baby is OK and does what is in their own time. Right???

So I emailed about everyone.

Then Dav let me know it was a joke. Then Jeremy kindly emailed the same.

And as much as I want to laugh at myself, it made me sad. I just don't get things...A LOT of the time here. I don't get sarcasm AT ALL. It will probably never make sense to me. It's probably the most opposite behavior to have vis-a-vis Japan.And I miss the majority of pop-culture references to boot so I'm quite doomed.

Thus tonight, I tumbled in the, "I don't really belong here" feeling because I don't 100%. Yeah, I love a lot here, and yeah many people aren't "American" here too. It's still important that in my reality, I don't feel 100% because there is so much I miss...and so much I don't even know I'm missing. I know I wouldn't feel 100% in Japan either because I look "half" and have different values, but at least I can navigate and have a sense of what's going on.

I have these delicate moments from time to time. I think this hit me because my mom was here. And I miss her now that she went back to Japan, just yesterday. I miss having a person who understood, and brought out the parts of me that I don't get to be normally when here (thus hanging with my high school friends is so precious and necessary). I miss having someone who also didn't get things. I miss having someone who knew without having to say anything.

Anyway, no conclusion to the story. Just a sharing of a moment.

p.s. Now that I've typed up this post, I realize how off I can be. I knew that tiny wheelchair for the baby was strange. Never seen it, and why not just use a stroller? But my brain was so into taking word for word from the daddy. I have a friend, SASSY, who will be my trainer in sarcasm. She is the master and I just realized how much I need her to teach me!

Where's my Waka?

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Picture is thanks to Mika.

[no worries...this is a good story...]

Everyday, when I get home from work, the usual routine is: put away the groceries I bought, check mail, feed the kitties their well-deserved wet food, make T's dinner, feed her, begin our dinner, give T a bath, and either eat while T is awake or put her to bed so we get an adult dinner. In general, busy...until 8pm

Today, however, Wakame didn't come out when I came home. Both Kats and Waka sleep all day in one closet or another, and come out once I'm home. I knew pretty quickly that something was weird, but as mentioned above, there's a lot to do until 8pm. I imagined she didn't hear me, or maybe was stuck somewhere. I've had many a nights worrying about my kitties only to have all be fine, so I didn't react. I fed T. We put her to bed. We had dinner. Then I got worried. Worried enough that I voiced to Dav that I'd be surprised if it were Waka who left us before Kats since he has a heart murmur. I know cats are known to go off on their own when that time comes. Dav scoffed and told me to search with a flash light. So I did.

I looked everywhere...and know for sure that if I call, she'll come out or at least meow. I had called from our door to the hallway that leads to the building entrance and garage, but nothing. At the very last of my search, I got my shoes on and went to the garage. Sure enough, as soon as I called, "Waaakaaa," she meowed. She somehow got herself down to the garage but was too timid to make it back up until I was there with her. She used to be so much more independent, but now that we're in this apartment, she's super fearful. So she was stuck.

The one nice thing about feeling that loss and then finding her is getting to hug her and give her treats that make her happy. Even Dav said to her, "so you had an adventure, eh?" while he pet her. Tonight, we shall cuddle!

Burning Man 2008 - three views

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As I gathered pics for these BM posts from Dav's, friends', and my pictures, these 3 struck me.
This was from Jeremy's collection of his friends dancing while wearing EL Wire. If you don't know the context, it's quite striking. Where else would you see such? As much as I love exploring the city during the day, night is more amazing to me. The sounds and lights highlight just how big the city is, and it's so other-worldly to see the denizens of the city walking around decked out in lights.
It's hard to explain why I like this picture. When visiting museums, photography exhibitions usually resonate with me the most. I love seeing people, current and past, captured in a moment. At times they are mundane moments, but you wonder what's going on in the subject's mind. Other times, there are weird moments and it's hard to tell what's going on or why anyone/anything is placed the way it is. If in 30 years someone comes across this picture in a dusty box in some attic, what would they think? There's Jeremy atop the RV dressed like a superhero oil sheik, I'm doing whatever, frozen between moments, and Kitten is in the corner looking up. Such an odd composition...but makes perfect sense to Jeremy, Kitten, me, and Dav who took the picture. Click to enlarge to see details.
Here is Dav and I about to Ranger the burn perimeter on Saturday (by then we were ready to go home to Tesla but had signed up to work the shift so were staying, but we were definitely feeling the pull to home). There was a big dust storm so the burn was put "on hold," so we waited in Center Camp. We happened to meet our friends Jessica, Colin, and Sassy. I like how this captured BM, on shift, parents, old-time burners. Thanks, Colin!

Burning Man Fashion 08

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A few years back I did this post, and many days, if you google "burning man fashion," Kokochi comes up first. Quite surprising, but I decided to post another fashion post so that folks have something else than 2005 stuff to see.
The first one is just something I happened to have on during the day, and wasn't really planned, but Dav captured it nicely with the sunset, and I think it represents a certain BM vibe. Second is the first new outfit I've made in 2 years. I used a traditional 50s dress pattern. I envisioned wearing it more elegantly as if it were the 1950s...just with fur...but I was tired that night and chose my comfy boots and attached ears to give a little extra something...I'll probably wear it to Decompression, and will try to complete it better.
A slight Fetish angle which I tend to like...but is much better when standing with 2 gorgeous friends!
At the Lingerie Party chez Douglas' Dust City Diner camp. And on the way over there, posing with M.
Everyday the dust. Nothing special, but still, even when hanging at home, I dress differently when on the playa. Here is M and I in the last dust storm before leaving. Then there is Brad F. and me taking cover in the RV.
M made this awesome silver top for both of us, we coordinated our skirts, and M had some playful decorations for our hair. We had fun riding around as twins, and totally got comments on our twinness. I had fun like a little girl running around with a friend dressed up.

And from 2007...

Allow me to add some wonderful Tesla pictures since she had style last year, and we sorely missed her this year. I want to include her in my 08 updates.
Great for baby/toddlers: attach a cute backpack and voila! Her other accessory that is seen in many pictures of her that playa year...the bottle with water and a splash of juice. I made sure she drank lots last year.
Then 2 with mama...I really didn't dress up that much, but a few times when we went for adventure walks close to home, I put something on for fun.

And our favorite. This picture by far is among our top and is framed in the living room. Click to enjoy a bigger version.

And from 2006...

Tesla was pretty much always in my arms (and we really didn't go out much at all) so dress was about comfort and convenience ; )

So yeah...I missed Tesla a lot this year! Didn't matter what I enjoyed wearing this year I'm gonna make matching outfits! And that means for you too, Dav. Triple matching!!

Burning Man 2008 - 3 (of 5)

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Here are snippets of our RV with dome...before the rest of our camp fully showed up. By the end, the space was pretty packed. Our group had 6 RVs all together! We all used to be tents only...

When Douglas came to visit us, he brought our old Campalicious sign/banner that he so kindly had stored for a few years. We stuck it on our windshield. We also covered one side of the windows with tinfoil to reflect the heat...very effective!

We didn't use our dome the past 2 years since it was more hassle when we had so much baby stuff to bring. So it was nice to hang out in it again, with the hammock, chairs and a table. Dav decided to sell the dome after this year, however, and get a better square structure that we can put against the RV to make a continuous shelter (but low and behold, the day we got back, Dav left the dome polls in front of our garage while we went to get lunch...and someone stole them!!)

Burning Man 2008 - 2 (of 5)

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There were quite a few major dust storms this year. One was 6 hours + long. I love them. Where else can you experience such force? As long as you know what to expect, have goggles, dust mask, water, and patience.

Bunny was on the playa, and we wanted to see each other. Old campmate I totally bonded with...we get so little time together but we make the most of each snippet. She came with a swanky nice camp, but the first time I visited she wasn't home. I got to tour their amazing place nevertheless...nice showers, hallways to the living room and kitchen, etc. Very nice set-up. Since she wasn't there, I left a note on the white wall, and added Michelle's lovely creations to make Bunny smile. Later, she found us at our camp and we got to hang out leisurely for several hours. Loved it!!

Loved these bikes...I decorated my bike my first year with some flowers and what not. Ever since, nada. This year I added a big pink alien on my seat out of necessity because my butt seriously ached after 6 hours of Rangering on a bike. That alien used to be deco for our dome but now it's my seat. Never bothered much with my bike, but that majestic lion inspired me...and with T joining next year, I'm thinking of a family 3-some theme for our bikes....

Next is a breakfast one morning. Kitten knocked on our RV door one morning saying she craved Japanese so we started talking. I didn't have much Japanese ingredients in the RV, but low and behold, our Irish photographer friend had furikake and rice. Kitten had pickled cucumbers, I had salmon. Itadakimasu...Best playa Japanese breakfast!

Various sunset views from atop our RV. The city was already quite populated.

Scene at camp...dressing up as I please for the afternoon.

2nd pic is another camp's kitchen cooler storage area. They kicked-ass. (And I love checking out how kick-ass camps organize and accomplish what they do.) This was the Dust City Diner lingerie party we went to. Full bar...and an exquisite layout of beautiful nibbles. Our beloved Douglas - who was the only person to witness our wedding and took our treasured pictures for us - was with the Diner camp this year. Every night, they went out on the playa with their diner and served grilled cheese and drinks. I missed them out there, but got to see the amazing diner. I have to say, Douglas is totally a natural burner, and since I met him as a newbie, it's great fun to see him fully having fun. He stopped by our camp to say hi, in short cut-off jeans and subtle blue eye-shadow. He arrived via an art-car that stopped while he caught up with us even though the car was full of riders swealting in the heat. I want more time with Douglas...he'll be around though, I know.

While Rangering, I saw the Bunny parade. Huge, and they were in full force heading to center camp. Loved it. Next was the cutest little girl I saw at Center Camp. I fell in love with her, totally envisioning Tesla. She had an apron with her name on it, her back butt cutely exposed, and fur booties!!! I think Sofia may come to BM next year, and M and I must create the most cute, furry outfits for our girls. I was in heaven seeing this completely happy little girl...and those giant glasses? She actually was trying them on for everyone. Sooooo cute!
Complete blinky guy...pretty impressive and hard to miss. Couldn't help but take a few pics.

Burning Man 2008 - 1 (of 5)

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Finally...I feel I can update Kokochi about BM 08. I think this year is probably the most difficult to summarize. The main reason was we didn't have Tesla with us. That was the hardest. When people asked, "so how was BM this year?" I didn't have the simple, "It was great!" reply. We missed her.

Also, simply put, we have a 2 year old. Even though she wasn't with us, preparing for BM and the clean-up post Burning Man was quite a lot of work in addition to our daily life with our wonderful, energetic 2 year old. It took every ounce of energy I had to trudge through all we had to do along with daily life with T and work. So blogging was low on my life is slowly returning to normal. Whew. share BM08...

First is my last picture of Tesla before we hit the road. We actually were ready around noon on Friday (we had early arrival tickets), but Tesla was napping. So Dav and I decided to take the RV to pick up a friend, then head back home to say bye once she was awake. Now, I can't believe I was able to leave my baby knowing I had a week plus ahead of me without seeing her. I brought a bunch of pictures of her to have with me. Second pic is the first on the playa...although apprehensive, I was nevertheless happy to be "back home."

[click to enlarge]

Part of our complaints from the past few years was that BM was getting big and crowded very quickly in the week. We used to arrive on Sunday and enjoy seeing the city build. The initial days were precious because we met fellow burners who were about community and sharing...vs the end of the week when the city became filled with weekend partiers which changed the atmosphere. But since a few years ago, it seemed that even by Monday, the city was crowed with raging partiers...and frankly, we were disappointed but were distracted because we were at camp with our baby. This year BM was strict about early arrival. And since we were working as Rangers, we were able to get in early. Honestly, the early pre-opening days this year were the best. Things were slow, there was space, and it felt like the old days. Everyone was either working or building a theme camp. Everyone was super friendly and all about sharing. I celebrated the open space!

Dav calculating how much space we needed for our camp & friends: As early arrivals, we had to be "placed," but that meant going where we wanted to camp and making sure everyone around us was cool with the space we needed...and being blessed by the "placer." It was all about meeting everyone's needs. I liked that. We considered several spaces within a few blocks and everyone around us was extremely accommodating. We basically chose our spot based on great location, not too close to porta potties, and cool neighbors.

Second pic is Playa Information. No one there...yet!

Silly pose picture...but I was so happy! A flaming tuba player...I saw him later surrounded by a crowd so I was glad I got to see him warming up.
My first Ranger shift. 6am on Sunday...before BM officially opened. Only DaMongolian and I were on shift so we got to roll around the city in a golf cart. I was surprised that so early in the week we found a person recovering from a night out, so we helped her home (later she left a gift for us as a sweet). We also drove by a camp and smelled bacon and started talking about how yummy that would be (Rangers can't accept food/drinks while on shift)...later, we happened to run by a camp of 2 experienced Rangers and a few newbies...and they had just fried up a full skillet of bacon. Being fellow-Rangers, we could accept. Quite the "ask and you shall receive" sort of moment. Thanks, DaMongolian for an awesome first shift!!
Next day, Monday, I did another Ranger shift starting at 6am to noon, but this time, I got to do the shift with Dav. 2nd pic is Dav riding with the sunrise. Funny thing is, I totally thought we'd have an easy shift and get to enjoy it together, but we had to deal with a pretty involved situation with all sorts of Ranger protocols that I wasn't familiar with. Good quick lesson, and I learned a lot, so overall I was happy, but it was a bit stressful. We totally had to deal! Later...we were called to switch quadrants to a more quiet side of the city because us newbies had been in a busy area for sure!
Post-shift. Tired!

3 little oysters

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From a much needed date night Dav and I had on Sunday, after Tesla went to bed, thanks to my mom being here. I've been very busy on many fronts since BM...a bit overwhelmed. I want to summarize BM and create a post, but am waiting until I have the time and space to do so...hopefully in the next few days. BM took a lot out of me!