People: Mario

Mario CisnerosMario was a lead for a camp called Moonbow Camp that was, when I started my burner adventure, a special place on the playa. They were at 3:30 and A when I first went to their camp for the Official Gay Burner Meetup in its day. He brought us the official gay meetup and the Gay Pride Parade that started at the man.

Up there to the far left is Mario with the bullhorn. This to the right is also him in his better days. He was a force to be reckoned with and an inspiration for me in the work I have done to make Queer Burners into something. Because of him and a parcel of other people it is why I am determined to make this project a success.

I put a link to the picture above, taken by another amazing human in our community from Burner Buddies. It shows the first Gay Pride parade at Burning Man orchestrated by Mario and his friends in 2008.

When Mario passed in 2012 it was a deeply felt shock. I wish people could appreciate that someone like him had such a brief and profound impact on me in the community. We spoke a matter of days before he passed on the phone and he cheered me on. I had no idea how sick he was. He cheered me on and spoke words of encouragement. Then I left memories of him at the temple and tried to carry the torch he carried a few more years longer.

  • The previous posts talking about our burner leaders was posted under the collective name. This one is more personal. This one is from me.   Toaster


Community Care in the Big Tent

(x-post from Comfort & Joy mailing list)

As many of us prepare to leave for the Playa in a few days, I wanted to bring up a subject that I feel very strongly about —- caring for our community in our big tent (and our camp in general).

We are not anybody’s mothers, but we need to keep in mind that for some of our guests our big tent is a completely new (and hopefully magical) experience. They may NOT be ready/able to fully practice self-care, and may need us to look out for them.

If you see anybody who looks out of it, lost, or freaked out, it is always good to politely ask “are you OK?, “Do you need some water?”, or “Can I help?”. If needed, find out if they are here with friends and get them. If you need to wake somebody up because you think they may be out of it, then do it. If you feel someone needs medical attention, then insist on it. Someone passing out is a medical problem and should be handled (with love and without judgement).

Part of the magic of C&J is our sex-positive energy. This can be abused (especially against people experiencing it for the first time). Excess alcohol/etc can cause people to lose the ability to provide consent. This loss of consent can result in unwanted sexual advances or non-consensual unsafe sex. If something doesn’t look right, you are empowered to step in and investigate. If you feel that someone is out of it and unable to consent then end it. You may make someone unhappy or cause a scene, but this is our camp and we need to care for our guests. If you can’t do this, then find another camp member who can.

I’d love to hear any discussion from others of how to best keep ourselves and our guests safe while we are in Comfort & Joy.


Photos by Dot on the Playa

This year I will once again be bringing my camera to the Playa. This is meant to be my gift to the camp, and I also want to respect everyone’s privacy. Here is how I approach my photography:
  • I will try to always ask permission before taking photos of people at our camp. The once exception is people who are doing a performance on stage. I will not be offended if you do not want to be photographed. On the other hand, I will be delighted if you approach me and ask to be photographed with a special outfit or friend.
  • Photos by Dot
    Photos by Dot

    Feel free to ask if you want photography for your event. I may not be able to accommodate all requests, but will do what I can.

  • I never take photos of sexual activity in the big tent (and neither should anyone else)
  • I will make all of my photos available to the camp (and the public) via Facebook, and other internet sites. I will honor any requests to remove any photos of you that you decide should NOT be shared. I am happy to give you full resolution files for any photos that you are in. This allows you to print/edit photos for your own use. I do NOT tag images on FB unless I know you very well and am confident that you will approve. My account does not allow 3rd party tagging in FB. Thus you should NOT find unexpected photos from me suddenly showing up in your timeline.
  • Photos may be used for C&J promotion and fundraising. No other uses will be allowed without permission of folks in the image.
  • Photos with nudity are always an issue. On one hand I want to capture the full joy and freedom of C&J, and on the other hand people may not want nude images of themselves around. The last few years I posted black censor bars over genitals in photos unless I was told directly by participants to remove them. This has a weird anti-body feel, but is the best I’ve found so far.
  • I do most of my photography at dusk when the light is best. I don’t do a lot of night photography. Ask if you want to be sure that I’ll capture your special look.
  • let me know if you want to do a special photo shoot on the Playa. I’ve done this in the past, and its been lots of fun.
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Stiffy Lube 1

Talked with Tim Bates today ~ an old Stiffylube team leader who helped deal with media inquires as far back as 2001 (projects include media liaison about the infamous nude assfucking mural censorship drama from

Tim Bates sports a classic playa Fyerfli original embroidery vest.
Tim Bates sports a classic Fyerfli original embroidery vest.

Comfort & Joy’s first year that you can read about here). He’s volunteered at Touch (for me directly, he was great with some surprise errands, very constructive/low-drama, independent do-er, etc.)

Fun Facts: When Comfort & Joy was throwing our first series of “play plus” dance parties like Afterglow at Antler’s, many of our group attended Stiffylube events organized by Sister Porn to learn about how playparty dynamics work.

Now Tim lives in Wisconsin but is driving to Reno a week prior to construction to visit friends. He’ll meet the Comfort & Joy Opening Crew on Monday & werque the full construction week (IF we can get him an Early Arrival pass from one of our sister camps that had to cancel, which I’m 70% sure will happen). Tim is a trained former chef & bringing 400 pds of food so I’m hoping he can connect with Mona about integrating this into our supplies. I also encouraged him to prepare his tray offerings when his faerie senses tingle as Guest Services tra in the main tent.
Tim Bates on Facebook:

Life at VW BusCamp

BusCamp is made up lotsa folk including many veteran Burners who can make the trip every year. I soon met up with Bill and Merileu – a couple from Oregon that I met on my 2007 BurningMan Trip. They went out of their way both this year and 2007 to welcome me and it was very nice to see them again. I also caught up with Gary – who is the Bus Camp commissioner and always leads the yearly organization of the camp. BusCamp was already pretty well laid out by the first day and included a central area with a small bar lounge and a place to host BusZilla – a VW art car that was constructed by Bus Camper Heather and a dedicated crew of folks.

flickered momentarily…….

Along the beginning of the week – I got to meet more of the Buscamp folk as they arrived as well as more veterans that I managed to miss in 2007. A buscamp couple Paige and Kurt were married on Tuesday evening at BurningMan and the wedding party all rode in Walter – the world’s largest VW bus. Walter was HOT !

















It was a beautiful night for a wedding and there was a fantastic sunset i tried to catch.

During the week I brought out the Dutch oven a couple of mornings to share with campmates. It was always interesting to get up in the morning to make cobbler and see BusCamp quietly asleep.






























Several ( many?) folk at VW BusCamp have involved with “Hooping” – which as it implies – involves Hula Hoops. I really did not know much about Hooping – but I have a new respect for it now and what a great work out and dexterity activity it can be.
















Of course – an evening of watching folks use Hula Hoops that were on fire – certainly added to visual fascination.









I managed to catch a lot of great pics with the new Ricoh on long exposure.


More Fire Spinning images on Flicker here


Later that week – Joel, Ramona, Matt and I had some more fun with the camera and some glow sticks













More glowstick images on Flicker here

Other activities at BusCamp during the week included a Tye-Dye workshop hosted by Annie and Silkscreening with Joel and Heather. All fun and really brought out the folks at camp and beyond. Later in the week – the camp hosted a Red party potluck as well.










A great camp and group of folks to hang with at Burning Man and the constant VW tech talk is all FREE!

More information on Walter the Worlds largest VW bus here

More information on VW Bus Camp here

More information on Buszilla here

Days gone by…

Another year has come and gone. It went by so quickly and with that some of the biggest events to date, not to mention Burning Man’s own Rite of Passage with ticket sales and other grand schemes.

22 effigies under the CORE project burned on Thursday night and the single largest burn ever attempted. Some went up with mind blowing beauty while others quietly passed along, all of which celebrating the hard work of their communities.

There were something close to 800 art pieces out there according to the Artery and they crossed from the simple to the divine themselves! Who can see ALL of them… and how many try? What about the interactive ones and the ones one just watches to marvel at the creative genius behind them.

What is Burning Man about? The focus seems to be largely about the art as it takes center stage and is featured in the hearth (Center Camp) of the event. How many great projects were clamoring for money while some were funded easily? There is no cosmic balance on how that works, but the finish line is getting it out there the best you can.

It went by so fast.

Comfort & Joy Announce Repost

I hesitate to put this in the Events Calendar. This is actually pretty huge and something I was hoping I could participate in this year. Comfort & Joy posted this today.
From Facebook:

Kd Calfee April 4 at 9:55pm Reply • Report
Dear Comfort & Joy friends –

Making a pilgrimage to the faerie sanctuary of your choice for Beltane is a popular tradition for many Comfort & Joy folks.
Travel plans are brewing!

What is this thing, Beltane? It’s a traditional May Day celebration of fertility, renewal, awakening & new beginnings that heralds the arrival of summer. Way older than Easter. (More fun, too) Learn more here:

This year, many San Francisco faeries are celebrating Beltane at Short Mountain. Lucky bitches.

In New Mexico, the Zuni Mountain Faerie Sanctuary works to create an earth-oriented rural permaculture which supports both our individual & collective spiritual creative growth. Word on the street is that their Beltane Celebration just keeps getting better:

There will also be a special San Francisco celebration (stay tuned for an exciting announcement soon). And of course, up in Oregon the Wolf Creek Faerie Sanctuary is going to turn Beltane out like a “subterranean rumble.” Can you feel it?

There’s a certain vibration, coming up through the bare soles of your feet on damp and warm soil. The subtly felt roar of a warming world, the roots extending, the seeds bursting up, and the eggshells breaking open. That’s the magic of spring life growing. Very worth celebrating!

And that’s what happening at Wolf Creek from April 27th – May 3rd. The caretaker team just send out a Beltane call & registration info, which excerpted below. Is this the year you dance the Maypole at Wolf Creek? If so, here’s what to do.

First of all, read the Good Gathering Guide, or get slapped by Miss Manners! (see link below). Also, it’s fabulous faerie etiquette to Register Early, which is an excellent way to show your love. (the kitchen crew is always thankful)

Bring your bright drag, your bright intentions, and your bright-fucking-attitude! After a winter like this, there’s no reason at all to hold back. It’s time to be magical. It’s time to love & give.

The energy we raise is what will be given back to us and the world. We want you to be aware that this is an awakening like no other, and there’s no room to let others wake up for you.
Bring it! Do it! Live it!

Put on the pageant drama, strike up a band in the field, plan that unbelievable dinner (with chocolate mousse, please), work up your spells for the spring ceremony – and every moment is a ceremony, if you make it so. So what are you serving this spring? Volunteerism is always in season honey. See a list of opportunities in the Good Gathering Guide

If you want to help the caretakers at Wolf Creek turn it out, contact the Sanctuary via or Phone: (541) 866-2678. The Caretakers are having a focus meeting for organizers and other contributors on Thursday, April 7th, 7:30 pm. Contact them to find out how to be a part of that meeting; conference call realness is available.

Naturally, a Maypole decorated with long brightly colored ribbons and flowers is an important element of most Beltane festivities. As dancers revolve around the base of the pole, interweaving the ribbons, a colorful pattern emerges that symbolizes union in community. We are those colors, woven in a interlocking web of amazing diversity, more fabulous together than apart.

It’s our confluence – the people, the spirits, the land – that creates our shared awareness of the holy, so please, plan on serving the community in your own special way. This isn’t a disposable party. It’s time to come together to fertilize your dreams with action, and make a fresh start.

Beltane is a time to create new connections and renew familiar ones. It’s about community: civics is chic, honey!


A sliding scale donation of $5-$35 / day per person is requested. It’s extremely stylish to Register & Donate Early. It’s what the beautiful people do, and you’re awful pretty honey. Plus the kitchen team loves having an attendance count.

To Register:

(1) Read the Good Gathering Guide (!) & pick a volunteer proj& download the registration form here:

(2) Fill out your form & email it to If you can’t edit/type on the PDF, just write the same info in a regular email. You can also leave a message at 541-866-2678.

(3) Make your Registration Donation here:

Analog faeries can mail the form + a check to:

Wolf Creek Sanctuary
P.O. Box 312
Wolf Creek, OR 97497

For more info about the Wolf Creek Sanctuary, visit:

See you in the garden!

Burning Man Food….watch me work!

Hey Folks,

OK, not really like me, but I’m going to shamelessly pimp my blog, 3 Day Chef about food and I promise I’ll post about my Burning Man meals. Right now, we’re just getting ramped up with delights like Cajun Roast Beef, Ravioli 3-way, and other savory favorites including vegetarian pepper beef.

In my mind (OK, I don’t entirely look like one, but I’m a bear at heart), food is a quintessential part of celebrating with friends and Burning Man pretty well fits that bill.

Hope to see many of you watching my culinary exploits!

Lotsa Love,


A very BurningMan evening…..

a clip from my blog you can find here –>   Mot’s blog

A very Burning Man evening

A early week snafu ended up cancelling some evening plans for me and left me in a funk for the evening. ( And let me tell ya – I know how to Stew..) But in a odd twist – my funk was crashed by strangers who managed to pull me out for a very fun – very Burning Man / very not Tom evening.

It began basically out on Center Playa while I took sunset pics from a great temple. I was trying to put the brakes on my SNIT FLYWHEEL** ( which was hitting about 14,000 rpm) by distracting myself.

**- You may find that phrase strange unless you are genetically related to me – **

After a couple of conversations with very nice folks and a stop back at camp – I headed back towards the playa for some evening pictures and an attempt to walk off my funk.

But it was not meant to be!

2 strangers promptly stopped their 4 person bike and asked me to get on and then evening promptly took another direction. A wonderful Burning Man kind of experience to suddenly team up with people you have just met to share the evening touring the night sights of the playa.

We stopped by a neat camp called Big Pink Heart and had our pic taken. The photographer Aaron Dressin had a neat set up that reflected in the eyes of the subject if you look carefully. I ended up at a camp all the way across the playa drinking rum(?) and hanging with some very funny people. It was a fun end to the night.

I still contemplate the evening for some reason.

I note how I can shut myself off when in such a bad mood – yet a random act can so quickly pull me out

I think i also focus on how startled I get to have 2 straight guys just want to be buds. The whole straight guy ” you’re gay??” awkwardness thing is too ingrained on my experience. I expect it always and on the rare occasion it does not happen… I just get spooked. I think you can almost see it in the picture. ( Which I love BTW) I have spent a lot of time since then thinking how/if this jades my daily life or whether BurningMan was the exception.

How to keep the windows open despite the rain?