Sunday, June 08, 2008

Nerdy Tattoos & Starscape 2008

This weekend was one where I think we were invited to about 400 things. Cool things. Things we wanted to go to. Probably one of the things we most wanted to go to was a seriously cool cluster balloon launch that my crazy yet intriguing friend Jonathan orchestrated and totally pulled off! (YAY)!

However, we didn't think we'd be able to go to any of them. Tim was in Florida all week and was supposed to have a show on Sunday. This wasn't going to allow enough time to drive to NC in time or get back in time. Then, the Sunday show ended up being canceled, but of course not in enough time to hike down there for the balloon launch. So, with about 2 hours each of pre-planning, I decided to go check in on my sister and Tim decided to go to Starscape 2008 in Baltimore, proving yet again that Tim and I operate either via meticulous planning or fly by the seat of our pants improvisation. Nothing in between.

I'll back up though.

Morning: We wake up to a day imported straight from Manila. We decide to play frisbee. We lose our body weight in sweat. We drink it back in water. We look around all that we have to do at the house and, apparently, quickly decide to leave. If we can't see it, IT ISN'T THERE.

I got ready for dinner in Mount Joy with my sister where I'd meet some of her new friends. Dinner was very nice, even if it was short. I arrived there at around 6:15pm and was on the road again by about 9:00pm.

Tim got ready to spend the entire night dancing in a beautiful setting with hundreds and hundreds of strangers.

In hind sight, I wish I would have gone with him. However, he didn't ask me to go, and he prefers to do his own thing at parties. But I felt sad when he showed me all of his videos, I saw that there was a really cool lightening storm that came through, and Dieselboy was there. We used to go to the Planet of the Drums together every year. Tim is probably correct that I wouldn't have appreciated the close quarters in a humid tent when it started to rain, but how I would have reacted in real life can't really be predicted. Depends on how hot I was, how many people were trying to touch me (the chemically altered your so soft state is only entertaining sometimes), and how tired I was by then.

Tim did take some very awesome videos and edited them. They are great and definitely worth checking out. Anyway, I'll turn it over to Tim for more on his experiences.

2008 was quite an experience. The first being the very serious realization that walking almost a mile from my car to the gate in the severe heat and humidity may very well kill me, not to mention the thousands of other attendees overly dehydrated from the side effects of Methylenedioxymethamphetamine.

Not having to worry about that, I was more concerned with what the temperature would do to my body after only 5-10 minutes of dancing. As it turns out, I didn't have to worry about this for long. About 2 hours after I arrived. a nice refreshing breeze blew into the drum'n'bass tent which was down by the water's edge, effectively cooling us all off and reviving the crowd.

[Pretty good results with the Canon Powershot and no tripod]

Unfortunately, this cool breeze was brought to us via the darkest, most terrifying-looking mass of swirling black clouds I've ever seen.

As it slowly approached, the music played and people watched both the DJ (Cannon Boyz at the time) and the happenings overhead with great interest. Then, once thick bolts of lightning began slashing from the sky to the ground, all attention turned to the weather. A few minutes later, the torrential down-pour commenced, leaving the brave souls out on the pier to come scambling back for cover. The music and lights faded and left us to ooh and awe fireworks-style at the hundred or so streaks of lightning.

Eventually, the rain subsided, leaving a much cooler and less humid environment. Still waiting for the music to come back on, the glowstick crowd returned to the pier and allowed me to capture this video as the departing storm flashed it's last.

After a few more minutes, the lights resumed, the bass rumbled back on and the DJ's came back to the tables for the rest of the night, uninterupted. I stayed for the most part down by the water at the drum'n'bass tent, given the fantastic lineup of:

POLTERGIEST Feat Glue & Feight

Being there by myself, I didn't do much socializing, however I did have 2 interactions...both originating from my tattoos. The first was a group of people sitting by the rocks on the bay, who spotted my Cancer symbol and shouted out, "Hey! Are you a Cancer?! We're all Cancer's over here!". The second was a girl who wanted to know what the anandamide structure was, and who then shared her own "nerdy tattoo": a depiction of Darwin's first sketch of the Tree of Life.

I stayed till sunrise. If you leave Starscape before you watch the sun rise, you might as well not come.

It was a really fun time. I danced hard- I probably need to replace my sneakers (torn apart by the roughly paved surface) an am still feeling it. (I'm not in my twenties anymore and doing this every weekend). It was good to be back dancing.

It was good to see Dieselboy again.
Even with the ridiculous facial hair.