Saturday, August 21, 2010

Monkey See, Monkey Do

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in where nature may heal  and cheer and give strength to the body and soul. — John Muir

This will likely be my last post before heading into the wild, wild west.

Promise me you'll miss me when I'm gone and that you'll read me (again) when I return.

Trying to explain what Burning Man is and why I go to Burning Man is, well... complicated.  

Each year I walk away from the experience mentally and physically exhausted but knowing that I took part in something BIG. 

There is a deep level of personal growth that takes place here - sometimes its hard and sometimes its joyful beyond words.  

The human connections are deep and sincere.  People give freely of themselves.  

I'd go if for no other reason then to photograph the art and the people.  Both, are amazing!

Exactly how many people does it take to build a temporary city in the middle of a barren, wasteland?  50,000  
And we each play a vital role in making this city thrive!  

Simply put, it's radical self reliance... 

and radical self expression...

rolled into one.

It doesn't always make sense...

but, damn it's fun!

This year I am taking part in a project called WDYDWYD? - A worldwide comminity-art project that combines image and text when asking the simple question "why do YOU do what you do?"  I'll be taking pictures and acting as a "conversationalist" - trying to get people to reach down deep and pull up something real, raw, and true to themselves. 

by Renee Benes | graphic design & mother

I will also be taking part in Live Brush Strokes, a living design collaborative painting using GPS technology, people and data visualization software.  I will be one of many who will be wearing a GPS tracking device during Burning Man that will track my movement and translate it into a visual narrative.  How cool is THAT!

(first test drive)

One of my favorite things to do at Burning Man is something called Monkey Chant. MOnkey Chant is an amazing kinesthetic meditation where movement and overlapping vocalizations come together.   It's energizing and entertaining.

Monkey Chant at Center Camp photo by Gabe Kirchheimer

Each year at Burning Man a Temple is constructed so that people have a place to reflect and honor those they have lost.  This years Temple is called Temple of Flux.   My gift to the Temple is a collection of letters, pictures, poems and names submitted by people who have lost someone they love to suicide.  My project is called Love Letters to the Temple.  This will be my 6th year compiling the book.

This year a talented artist and Burner, Frederick Jay (aka Jaybird) has dedicated one of his amazing Temple flowers to my son Kerry.   Thank you Jaybird!  

I will be spending the next week sewing, packing and fine tuning all the projects and preparation necessary to make this amazing journey inward, outward, upward and beyond!  

Until next time....  Monkey Love and Laughter,  Shannon

The original Green Monkey tagged with a red heart - Temple of Honor - Burning Man 2003
Someday I hope to meet the person who placed the monkey inside the temple and sparked the beginning of my healing.

AMAZING photo's by Phil Steele at
Gabe Kirchheimer at
and Monkey ME

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

SPANX My Dear?

With Burning Man less than two weeks away it's a mad rush to complete a host of crazy costume creations and well intentioned playa projects.

Last year I managed to keep everything caged in the "cat room" - a spare, second floor bedroom.  This year the cat put her paws down and insisted that her room be kept clean (minus the clumps of cat hair).

Uncluttered Cat Room

Faux fur, fishnets, boots, bandanas, goggles, gloves, tutus and tails...due to the cat's demands, a calamity of chaos litters the loft ...

all the way down to the living-room.

This corner is reserved for faux fur, animal attire, hats and tutus.

No more formal Sunday dinners - our once dull, drab, dining room table has been transformed!

A line of boots, predetermined zip-locked daywear, and gothic garb.  

Not ALL this is mine you know.  Check out my husbands tiger hat, tail and boot cuffs. 

As hard as it is to imagine, I still have a few stray items that I need to pick up so yesterday - in celebration of Connecticut's "tax exempt week" - I headed to a local department store armed with a 15% Off Total Purchase coupon.

First on my list - a playa staple - black boots.  After 7 years of service, my bad-ass black pleather boots disintegrated and I had high hopes of snagging Fryes.

I was greeted by an overly eager senior sales manager who insisted on calling me "DEAR."  The only person I want to hear call me dear is my mother and my husband.

I am a rare breed of woman who doesn't like to shop.  As a rule, I don't like to be SOLD anything.  I prefer to be left on my own until its time to ring me up but, against my wishes, I was being assisted by TWO sales clerks.

I especially don't need a frumpy, sixty something sales associates opinion on what looked good and what is in style, AND I certainly didn't expect to be insulted when I reached for a studded, knee high, 50% off flat heeled boot and was told I was "too old" for that.

THIS is why I shop online - zero chance of slapping someone!

All I could see was RED.  I tossed the boots aside and, in a pumped up rage, told my sales associate that not only did I not NEED or ASK for her opinion, but that I had an opinion of my own. I then informed her that her over-caked makeup did NOT match her skin tone nor did it compliment the hue of her outdated suit.  (I get mean when I'm mad - not something I'm proud of)

I was half way out of the store when I remembered I still needed power panties.   There was no other way I was going get the snaps closed on my black pleather nurse's costume without SPANX.

The people at Spanx are evil geniuses.  Their latest undergarment is ultra sheer and, according the label, a delight to wear.  So much so, that the "directions" give you 3 options.

Wear 1 to firm...
Wear 2 to support...
Wear 3 to TRANSFORM!

Who in their right mind would wear 3 pairs of panties AND at $42.00 each, thats... (let me get my calculator).... $126.00 dollars for (lets be honest with each other and call it what it is)... a girdle!

Exactly how many panties will it take to close the snaps on my nurse's outfit?
And, how much am I willing to pay?
Where does the extra flesh go?
Am I too OLD for costumes?

I left the department store with nothing but my 15% off coupon, a bad attitude, and a less than perfect opinion of myself.  

photos of Spanx, Fryes and rubber undergarments courtesy of Google image

Green Monkey Tales © 2010 Shannon E. Kennedy

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monkey needs your Help

I LOVE summer and am committed to enjoying every minute of it.  But somewhere between white tiger taming and trapeze class I temporarily misplaced my brain. 

A week or so ago, I read a post about a writing contest that asked for a story on young love and how it effected you in 700 words or less.  The deadline is tomorrow - the 17th of August.   

So....I rewrote First Taste of Summer and asked my dear friend Marilyn to edit (we all know I am grammatically challenged).  I completed my self imposed assignment but can't remember where to send it.  

Does this sound familiar to anyone?  

If you know, or think you know, or know anyone you think might know, could you let me know.  


Monkey ME :)  

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Today, Monkey Me is being feathered on Laugh Out Loud

Laugh Out Loud features the BEST of the BEST in humorous blog posts! 

They have an ADULT section which you may or may not enjoy (Monkey has a freaky/kinky side)

Today they are featuring a post I titled "PUMP ME UP

Whats great about this post is all the penis pump spam I picked up.

Want to participate?  no, not in the penis pump spam, but in LOL...

Then all you need to do is: 

1.  Follow along on Friend Connect
2.  Grab a button 
3.  Pick a few of your FUNNIEST posts and forward them to 

and if you get a chance to COMMENT that would be great.  Apparently, some readers are NOT amused by me.  WHAT???   Say it isn't so!!!   I laugh at myself OFTEN and to me, thats what truly matters.

Thank You For Encouraging My Joy of Writing

Thank You For Encouraging My Joy of Writing

Shannon E. Kennedy


Photo by Joan Harrison