Theric and the Hippies


I'm at a retreat right now with the English department. We're hashing out curriculum for next year and other equally exciting things. The nice thing is being three days in Point Reyes and getting paid for it. That is good. The bad thing is spending three days of my summer vacation without Lady Steed. That's a total bummer.

Yesterday was the summer solstice and just down the road from us is a nonadvertised but famous-among-NorCal-hippies solstice party at a commune with "Solstice" in its name. One of my fellow teachers is an annual attendee since the early days of the party. Back when you could park at the party. Not when you had to park a couple miles away and take a shuttle in.

Anyway, she was stoked that she could do both the retreat and the party and invited us to attend with her. I was happy because this meant I would get to stay alone at our house and get some editing done. Somehow I ended up going instead. Not sure how I decided to do that. I guess a lifetime of spoilsporting is finally catching up with me.

Anyway, we get there, park, cram into a van (total occupancy: 23 people), pass a cop who pointedly looks away, arrived at the party. Learn this thing costs twenty bucks. Well forget it. I don't pay to go to parties. For a number of reasons. 1. I don't like parties. 2. I don't like lots of people. 3. I don't do booze nor week. 4. I've never paid for a party in my life. 5. Twenty bucks? Are you kidding me? 6. I'm not fun and will not be having fun and I could be having fun more productively for free. 7. I could go on.

Anyway, because my fellow teacher is a longtime attendee or whatever, somehow I get in free. I first go to the drum circle which is a bunch of hippies and nearhippies surrounding a fire and listening to drums and guitar and digerridoo and singing about Mother Earth as the spirit strikes them. I like drums. This is okay. It's just another religion and I try to attend other religion's services now and then.

The three teachers I'm with find me at the drum circle. We leave and pass the Goddess of Pee (a special tent built over a trench for ladies to pee in) and go into the house where we take off our shoes and meet the guys who had just uploaded this video to Vimeo and submitted it to a film festival. As we were leaving the house, we discovered that the band had started playing (called, I believe, Hansoleia --- clearly a Mos Eisley Cantina houseband coverband). They were good and they were loud and I pretty much got the idea.

Then we passed by the food (mostly raw vegan, but also a venison stew) to the hot tub where people were trying to get stoned and drunk enough to take their clothes off. (This finally happened about ten minutes later, just as we were about to leave the area.) We hit the drum circle one more time then split with our guide and waited for a shuttle to take us back. While we waited we hung with the firemen who had come with their ambulance to check out some dude's chest pains.

Then I drove us back (yes: you had better believe *I* drove us back) so we could get enough sleep to get our final ten hours of work in tomorrow.

And that's pretty much the story.

And I have to say: parties are so boring. I just don't get the appear. Noise and crowds and this desperate need for fun. My favorite part? Coming back into our place with two other guys I like and talking about music and film and teaching for an hour or two. That's my idea of a party. People I like.

(Incidentally, Lady Steed attended just such a party this same night with people I like even more. Wish I could have been there.....)


  1. As somebody who helps produce live events for a living, I completely agree. If I'm going to run the risk of doing something that could cause me embarrassment for the rest of my life, I'm going to do it with the few people I can trust not to use it against me. That, or I'll do it on the Internet.

    Also, we host an all-day party every new years day, but it's kind of an open house sort of deal and only for family and anyone specially invited. It's not meant to be exclusive in a snooty way, though. It's the tradition my wife and I have established in the hopes that when our kids are grown and gone, there will be at least one thing that draws them back to us each year.

    I think the last time I went to a party that wasn't a family or church party was... high school?

    And as for the sit-around-and-talk kind of party, um, does home teaching count? Because I really don't have many real-life friends anymore. Not ones close enough to visit, that is.

  2. .

    When home teaching is a party, home teaching is being done right. I think Spencer Kimball said that.

  3. .

    I should also mention that although there were nearing a thousand people there, best I could tell, everyone was a friend of a friend. The thing isn't advertised at all. Best I can tell, this is the biggest writeup on the Internet.

  4. That's pretty incredible. I wonder how many years it took for it to get so big.

  5. What the What! A Solstice Party! You people are supposed to be working!

    Glad you got in for free.

  6. .

    No way I would have paid. I had my book. I could read for a couple hours while waiting.

  7. Interestingly enough, this is exactly why my roommates and I were recently discussing that we're not big fans of our (YSA) ward's FHE activities...I mean, the big social event part of this you point to. Clearly, there's nothing on an alcohol front going on there...

    Just a random thought. I think there should be some type of alternate home evening for people who are shy or who don't like being forced into large groups of people they don't know.

  8. Or a book club or something.

  9. .

    "Books"? Now you're sounding like a nerd.....