Saturday, June 21, 2008

Mazo Manor - S1E02 - Kingpin in Training

I was alone today (June 21st), so I filled the backpack and took the motorcycle to Mazo. On the way, I stopped at the gas station and grabbed some food for the beach.

No bug spray was needed -- the mozzies were surprisingly sparse. The water level was just fine, slightly high but there was plenty of beach available. Almanac said the water was 77 degrees, and that the water may still be a little polluted from the flooding. The beach seemed calm for a Saturday, and consisted of the Elders and random people scatted around the rest of the beach.

I asked about the garlic mustard issues from last time. It wasn't a prank. Captain Planet and Gaia (who were there today too) put it there themselves, and the caller thought that someone else did it. Another blog has posted a picture of this event. (Hmmm.... were they the ones that called Smokey?)

I took a walk around the beach. It's funny that the Elders were chatting away, and most everyone else was dead silent. There were no other chatty groups on the beach. The demographics were surprising today -- there were attractive couples there my age, maybe even a bit younger. There was even a group of just females, my age, which is a very rare sight for any US nudist venue.

Kingpin detected a newbie couple towards the back of the beach. I knew that he would want to talk to them, since he likes to meet everyone on the beach. Ok, maybe just every newbie group that contains one of more females. This is for good reason though: More females that are encouraged to be at the beach means it's more comfortable for other females and brings the gender balance closer to even. Men don't really need the encouragement.

I was curious as to how a professional such as himself would approach them, so I waited. This is really a bigger issue than it seems! A single man walking up to a couple to chat could certainly make the female uncomfortable, meaning they won't come back. The answer: Kingpin waited until she was in the water alone (and after they had been there a while), then walked over to the guy and started with a joke about his very white butt. As they were chatting, and in good terms, she came back to join in the conversation. If the woman didn't like it, she would've stayed in the water. There's a very good chance I'll be using the technique too, assuming my girl isn't along. (A couple approaching another couple seems OK, as long as it's not right away... People need time to adjust.)

Kingpin is actually great at making newbies feel welcome. I've put myself to be a "Kingpin in training", because I'm really good at watching over the events and status of the beach....when I'm there. I'd love to welcome and encourage more people of my generation, because some of us may become the new Elders someday. Also, I'm very much an "information booth". I can almost always answer any question thrown at me accurately, and know more about the news issues that people bring up than they do.

There was another couple around that were my age, but I didn't get a chance to talk to them. Also, I wanted to talk to the group of younger ladies just to figure out their story of how they made it to the beach with no men, but didn't.

While chatting with Kingpin and the newbie couple, Kingpin brought out some photo books. One was his collection from when the religious zealots were blocking the trail to the beach. The other was of him and friends, and a giant "Team Mazo" written with nude bodies on the beach, and taken from the guy that occasionally flies a helicopter to the beach. I hadn't seen these pictures, and was unaware of that event. It was probably before my time... Either way, his "brag book" impressed the newbies.

There were two groups of non-nudists in the area. One was a larger group of canoers that stopped on the unreachable island, many were younger and most were loud as they played around. Another group of 3 guys 2 girls, who walked all the way to the beach, only stripped down to bathing suits on the edge of the beach. They waded out to the reachable island for a while. It's only a guess, but I think they went to the beach to drink, and they were probably underage.

One of the guys I talked to told me a little more about the beach history. He was wondering is they were going to have the Nude Olympics on the 4th, like they have in the past. I haven't heard anything about it if they are, but I assume people will bring games and stuff on the 4th anyway. He said that attendance is way down compared to the past.

From my point of view, the beach is getting more disconnected. This disconnect makes the beach less strong, and makes it hard to plan events and have a sense of community. The web presence of the beach is primarily a group of completely out-of-date sites, a Friends of Mazo Beach yahoo group, and bloggers (All Nudist and me, are there more?). Blogs and forums are limited tools, and are all competing with each-other. I believe that the answer is in a central, community-driven site that provides a variety of tools for collaboration. If I could get the WWNCW to catch on, all sorts of wonderful things would happen.

Lastly, I asked Kingpin if he knew a "Steve & Angie". He didn't recall right away, until I mentioned Skippy. Of course he knew them! However, he didn't know anything more. Sorry guys, I can't send cookies (per your earlier comment) unless I have a last name, address, or another year. Being newlyweds, you're not listed as "Steve & Angie" (or any similar names) in the phonebook just yet. Of the 4 Steve&Angie's I found in the Madison area, none match your house. (I used Microsoft's 'Birds Eye' view, and one of the houses was for sale recently so I could see the inside of the house.) Besides, if I got cookies in the mail from someone I never met -- I probably wouldn't eat them!

All-in-all, I had a great time, but I think I overdid it. My skin has three shades of red: Light red means that it'll fade away and be just as white as before. Medium red turns into a nice tan. Dark red means it's burnt. At the beach, it appeared to be the perfect medium red.... It looked a lot darker when I got home. Oops! Promise me that you won't laugh at my peeling skin on the 4th, ok?


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Mazo Manor - S1E01 - Garlic Mustard Mystery

It was the perfect afternoon to be at the beach! My girlfriend and I Off'd ourselves before starting on the long walk to paradise. About half-way down the trail, a car was parked in a suspicious spot with nobody around. Not only that, but the car was covered in garlic mustard. I joked that it made horrible camouflage, since we could still see the car. From the air, the bright-colored car would probably be invisible -- that's how much of the plant was on it! The only reasonable conclusion I could come up with is that they were keeping it off the ground so that the seeds don't spread.

Further down the trail, we saw Captain Planet and Gaia pulling the invasive plant. It was obvious that the car we saw belonged to them. They recognized me, since they saw me only a couple weeks earlier for the road cleanup. (Which, by the way, the nude hiker agrees with. Get out and do this too!) I offered bug spray, which they readily accepted since theirs was in the car. I didn't say anything about their car, even though the obvious question was right on the tip of my tongue.

Once we finally made it to the beach, we settled down next to the Elders. I already knew them from last year because, obviously, they are always at the beach. The Elders are always fun to talk to, because they are very opinionated! They proceeded to tell me how bad the Diligents are, though not as bad as the Contenders. I'm friends with the Diligents, and can understand their opinion, but I don't agree with it. I'll approach the Contenders at a later date and see if the accusations hold true.

After complaining about other sub-groups on the beach, they mentioned that they might start their own. They wanted to learn how to start and maintain a website, since one of the members has a lot of time on their hands. They wanted an official organization, with open books and better communication. I told them that the web work has already been done, and it's called the WWNCW. All they need to do is participate. If everyone participated, we'd have a very strong beach!

Kingpin enlightened my day when he said I was the "future lifeblood" of the beach. (In context, he was talking about my generation, but I can take it personal, right?) As Mr. Future-Lifeblood, my goal is to get everyone at the beach to work together instead of splitting into a million sub-groups and stepping on each-others toes. I didn't say any of that to Kingpin, but probably will next time!

Smokey got a call, and he couldn't stop laughing. Someone informed him about the garlic mustard covered car. Apparently it's wasn't on purpose -- it was a prank. Whodunnit? Nobody knew, but I'll ask about it next time to see if the mystery is solved. It must've been a lot of work to put that much of it on the car, so someone was serious with their intent.

After a bit, Captain Planet and Gaia made it to the beach and kept their distance from the Elders and us. It was late, and the beach was thinning out, so we decided to put our clothes on and head out. As we were leaving, we were called over to where Captain Planet was. He asked for my email address, which I gave him, and he said he'd be in contact.

So far, nobody has emailed and there have been no new users on the WWNCW. Steve and Angie posted that they were at the beach. I don't remember any "famous beach dog" being there, so they must've been there in the morning. I'll catch up to them eventually! They seem to be the dominant Mazo-area blog, despite being the younger of the two, which means they must have really good social connections. If I could achieve their support, it would be a great benefit to the beach and to nudists in general. (I know they're listening.)


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Mazo Manor - S1E00 - Pilot

I've already been frequenting Mazo Beach. As a social chameleon, I've accidentally made friends with two opposing groups. What played out is something that reminded me of the TV show Meerkat Manor -- the only soap opera on TV where everyone is naked and fuzzy. So here is the official start of: Mazo Manor! The text-only show portraying the natrual lives of au natural tribes.

I'll try to keep things anonymous, but stay true to the developments as I witness them. The people at Mazo Beach will likely be able to figure out who's who, and I doubt that any would learn of new developments via this blog. The word spreads pretty quickly there, even between groups. Plus, I'll have at least a week of delay before I post things to ensure that it's all old news. If there's any trouble, I'll edit/terminate the series as needed.

Hopefully this series ends up being better than Maslin Beach (review), and a bit more exciting than the Mazo posts at All Nudist. I'll show the drama, comedy, conflict, and adventure of life at the nude beach. I'll try to mingle my way into each of the groups (which I planned to do anyway since I like everyone there), and approach issues from all of their observed angles. My goals, opinions, and experiences will be shared in the storyline.

The groups are as follows: The Elders, who aren't exactly old, represent a group that have been regulars to the beach for a long time. They have impressively dark tans and are always well prepared for a day at the beach. It's safe to say they know everything, and everyone, at the beach. The Diligents, who are a small group that organize the road cleanup, and occasional other events. The Contenders, who certainly put on a show when they're around. The South-Enders, who hopefully stay out of the show. And The Clusters, an always-changing group that forms in a specific spot, and has an unusually even gender balance among members.

Specific actors that I've met and named so far include Kingpin, Smokey, and Almanac from the Elders, Captain Planet and Gaia (pronounced Guy-ah) from the Diligents, and the elusive Steve and Angie ('All Nudist' bloggers) who I believe are part of the Clusters. Just like the meerkats, group names and actor names will be created as needed. I don't mean to offend anyone with the names, but I don't want to use real names either...except those who already have open blogs.

Without further to do -- let's start the show!