Opening night brought out as much of my past in the journal pages as it did in my friends. Mike was there when I walked into Mrs. Englehardt’s fourth-grade classroom as the new kid. Forty-five years later, he’s in my basement opening up a special bottle of wine he brought to commemorate this momentous occasion: a Bordeaux-style bottle of 2003 Krupp Brothers, ‘Veraison,’ Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon. Oenophile that he is, Mike brought THIS bottle from his personal cellar with a tremendous amount of brain-fucking behind the choice. In true sommelier fashion he explained that veraisonis a French viticulture term meaning “the onset of grape ripening.” It refers to that crucial time when a grape’s skin color deepens from an opaque green to a dark purple, marking the start of the countdown to harvest. Veraison signals and opitimizes change. Sensorialy, the wine was rich with rich black currant, smoke, raisin, caramel and hints of violet perfume. Conceptually - it was right on the nose.
When Spyder (Steven's playa name) and I were at Burning Man in 2012, the theme inspired artists and participants to contemplate the tendency of any being or living system to create abundant life and interpret it. We chose to wake up for the sunrise and do a photoshoot out near the perimeter fence. Spyder was the photographer, and I was the sub-orbital traveler dressed in mirror-ball disco pants, Timberlands, and a long-sleeve white turtleneck. My space-helmet was nothing more than a full-scale child’s toy. The images themselves looked surreal enough to border on apocalyptic, but we never expected them to be prophetic. Burning Man’s theme the following year -“Cargo Cult” – described as a time when Black Rock City ‘will court the return of our benevolent Visitors from Elsewhere... We feel sure our theme will attract many alien Visitors, and hope this will stimulate our planet’s faltering economy.’ Spyder’s boss (head of Trenz® for Perfumery) asked him, “How did you guys know what the theme would be a year before?” Truth is, it’s only about six weeks before, but either way, we didn’t know. The photoshoot we did was to support the signal we had already been tracking for the past two years on all things galactic, alien, and space. Once it was announced, we took advantage of the theme as it validated our Trenz® work. It was the edge being delivered on a silver dust-covered platter.