...Not the kind of wheel you fall asleep at...


Friday morning. It is still raining a bit, so I sleep through my yoga class knowing I will just be uncomfortable and soggy if I go (everything here is outdoors), so I head out instead for my 10:30 Basics of Auto Mechanics class. The instructor never shows which is a bit irritating since I've arranged my schedule to accomodate a class that I've always wished they'd offer and wondered why they hadn't in prior years. But things even out for the afternoon because of the performances--I get to see Alix Olsen slam out her poetry. Also get to see Tribe 8 play (perhaps their last ever performance) which is crazy fantastic fun. Lynn Breedlove is insane (which awes me because she wrote one of the most entertaining and well-written new books I've read in a while a couple years back as well: Godspeed).

I must pause to discuss the following topic which I'd forgotten to do earlier: smiling. One huge part of what I love about the festival is the energy that swells between all of the women here, and one way in which it manifests itself is the smiling. Pretty close to every single woman who walks by you here takes the time to say hi to you or at least smile. And the smiles are so full of warmth and generosity that it is difficult not to feel recharged, simply from these small acts. Maybe I am just ultra sensitive to it, given that I work in a place where I can (swear to god) walk by someone, make eye contact with them, hold the eye contact, smile and offer them a Hi or Good Morning and have them not even acknowledge it with a word or a smile in return--just a cool black slate of corporate coldness. So maybe it means more to me than most to feel this energy, but it is beautiful. And it's also beautiful because I feel such positive energy pour out of me in the smiles I exchange with others as well--other places, exchanges are so sterile and mechanical that my smiles are just really tight lips stretched across gritted teeth. But here, my smiles are like waterfall energy spilling everywhere with nourishment. When I smile, I mean it. I smile because I love it here, I smile because I love the women here, I smile smile smile smile smile with every muscle in my goddamn face. It's quite fantastic.

So back to other things. Friday afternoon I decide to head over to Camp Trans (my first time) with M to meet up with my sister and her girlfriend as we'd tentatively planned over the phone the week before. The plan is to wander over there and pray that I run across her--neither of us are sure how many folks ATTEND camp trans, what the layout is like, etc., and so we're just keeping our fingers crossed that I am able to track her down. We haven't even left the grounds yet, we're dragging our asses through the thousands of cars parked in the grassy lots, when I hear someone shouting, and M says, Isn't that your SISTER?! It seems that my sister just HAPPENED to be walking down the dirt road at the exact same time we were about to head over and start looking for her. Ah the powers of sisterly psychic energy! We spend an hour or two chatting while scuffling up dirt as we walk along the dirt road and while roaming through the woods and Camp Trans to check out her tent and the area. It is always great to see my sister--she is a source of stability and peacefulness to me--so I am very happy that things fell into place so neatly. It was too short, but hopefully I will see her again sometime in the next month.

We head off to our evening. The music is great again--the Indigo Girls!--as well as the comedy of Elvira and BETTY. And the highlight of the night is when all the performers accumulate on stage to sing Closer to Fine with the Indigo Girls, particularly joyous and fun because Lynn Breedlove--her punk-ass, hardcore, feminist, gender queer, butch, dildo-toting, knife-waving self--sang her ass off to every goddamn beautiful word of that song with a smile smeared messily across her face. Fantastic.

Wide awake still, we decide to check out the burlesque show at the Twilight Zone. The Twilight Zone is the camping area for the hard-core, noisy, don't-sleep-all-week party folks (and s & m-ers). We stick around and get to see a bit of striptease, but as it hasn't even gotten into full gear and is still dragging along at even 2 am, we head back.

I did, however, get to see six shooting starts in the space of an hour--did I mention how fucking beautiful and clear the night sky is here?

Tomorrow night we plan on returning after Night Stage to check out the pudding wrestling. Tee hee.




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