Y'all's Opinions, Please

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Hangin'Chad
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Y'all's Opinions, Please

Post by Hangin'Chad » Sun Sep 09, 2007 10:07 pm

Howdy, folks.

So, I'm thinking about next year, and what to bring as gift and/or barter items. Barter isn't a big issue for me, as we were about 90% self-sufficient this time round, but I'd really like to have good stuff to barter/give away if the opportunity arises. I'd like to run a few of my ideas by y'all and see what you think of them.

First, a couple of things we had this year and couldn't find on the playa because they were too well packed.

We found pacifier party favors in blue and pink and bought 10 of each color. I'd intended to give them to fellow first-timers this year. I'm thinking putting them on a string or leather thong to wear 'round the neck would be a good idea for next year.

I also bought some popsicle sticks intending to make "Playa Pops" out of them, but didn't because I ran out of time. I'm thinking making Burning Man mobiles if I can glue them properly to get the proportions right.

I found plastic glow in the dark stars at the local X-Mart. What would you think of those if you received a set strung together as a sort of BRC lei?

Now, ideas for next year I only considered for this year but didn't even get started on:

One of the things I do is rune work. Both passive (e.g., divination) and active, which isn't something you encounter very often. I was thinking of taking little slips of wood and carving certain beneficial runes individually on them (think Wealth, Harmony or "natural cycle/movement", Joy, Gift, etc.) on them and having those to give away. Maybe even making them into necklaces, too.

Another thing I *could* do for barter or as a gift is a runic divination reading for folks. Would you be interested in that? Given that I hope to have completed my historically correct set using the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc rune row by the next Burn, it will certainly differ from any previous rune readings you've ever had.

I'm also thinking of picking up a few extra flashlights at the dollar store and keeping them on my bike. When I see some fool out on the open playa in the dark riding in blackout mode, I might just hand 'em one with batteries already in place as a public service to my fellow citizens of BRC.

Please, y'all lemme know how these ideas sound to you.
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theCryptofishist
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Post by theCryptofishist » Sun Sep 09, 2007 10:18 pm

Those led flashers would also be good to give out to unlit folks.

Yeah, there's a part of me who wishes to let Darwin have his way, but that's really too painful.
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Post by phil » Mon Sep 10, 2007 8:19 am

I offer an opinion with the understanding that it's just my opinion. Mine. And opinion. Many will disagree, and I have no problem with that.

It seems to me you over-did it on the gifts. Cut back. Things that are wonderful ideas at home sometimes turn out to be too much work on the playa. If you're more into giving than being there, fine. But there's just too much to see and do to spend time on complicated constructions.

Gifts to first-timers is good, though. Pacifiers? I don't know what they are; some may take offense, but probably very few. No thongs around the neck, though - put those thongs where they belong. :->

Glow in the dark doesn't last long enough on anything I've seen.

I had people who wanted to do card readings, massages, recite poetry for me as gifts. No thanks. I'm not interested in spending the time it takes for that stuff. If it takes longer than "Here, have a [thing]," it's taking too much of my time. Giving away little slips of wood? Some people would call that MOOP.

I'm sure I'm cynical, uncaring, and rude, but standing in the sun or dust storm while someone does a performance of something I have no interest in whatsoever is just not my cup of tea.

Flashlights with batteries? Now that's a gift. Some fool on the playa without lights _needs_ one. Maybe two. "Here! Have a light." That's about as long as a gift should take. Gifts should not be burdens on the recipient.

Again, I'm giving my perspective. No reflection on you, your ideas, or the quality of your proposed gifts - just on me.

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Post by trypical » Mon Sep 10, 2007 9:29 am

One of our camp mates had a bunch of LED finger lights. we all started out with three or four. By the end of the burn we gave all of ours away or only had one left. I had a head lamp, light on my bike as well as El wire on my bike.

If I saw someone going to the jots at night with out a light or someone walking with out a light I gave them a finger light.

This past year was my first. I was appalled at how many people came unprepared. I worked my ass off to be self reliant. I studied and read all I could about the event before I went. I made sure that I had more than I needed to get by for a week in the desert.
I did not have many material gifts to give. I spun my poi and danced. The greatest gifts I gave were taking care of fellow burners when they got heat stroke or just needed some reassureance or a hug.

Though I enjoy the material gifts I was given, I prefered the non material ones. I like the idea of a reading though. I think the wood pieces should be made into necklaces, less chance of moop.

(sorry for the spelling I am terrible at it.)

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Post by FairyRebel » Mon Sep 10, 2007 11:13 am

I make rune stone sets out of Fimo (or similar, other brand names like Sculpey) clay. It'd be easy to stick a jewelry pin through individual stones and bend it to a loop at the top so that you could hang them on necklaces. Then you could hand them out... The clay comes in a wide range of colors, including a lot of UV responsive and glow-in-the-dark ones. It's not a light, but it'd be fun to wear anyway, IMO.

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Post by BitterDan » Mon Sep 10, 2007 1:00 pm

I made these little guys. People seemed to enjoy them:

Image

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Post by actiongrl » Mon Sep 10, 2007 1:08 pm

Honestly, I politely decline offers of cheap plastic battery operated blinky gifts or glow gifts. I don't want to wear them because I feel goofy in them, and I make a point to stay cognizant enough when walking around to stay the heck out of the way of vehicles and oncoming bikes. If I do need to illuminate myself (like I want to sit down on the playa for a minute) I use my LED headlamp, but I don't want something that will glow for one night and then go to the landfill attached to my person, and I'm not a raver and don't want to look like one.

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Post by Lassen Forge » Mon Sep 10, 2007 1:47 pm

My favorite gift - to give or get - has nothing to do with plastic or batteries (usually).

It's the gift of talents. Anyone can go to Malwart or whatnot and get 3 dozen Tiawanic Lightning Rave-o-matics for a dollar two forty nine a gross...

But if you can turn a wrench? Direct people in a white out? Pump up a tire on someone elses MV? Make someone's burn a little happier or better?

And it costs more than money - it costs time. THAT is THE most precious gift out there - to share your burn time with someone... a most precious gift, Imo.

OK, there were goodies I did gift people. And I did get some really sweet and pretty things. But the best thing was to be able to do stuff for people they would have otherwise not been able to do with. THOSE were the ones I cherished, and got the most joy out of giving.

Actually, that is what saved the event for me this year - Not worrying about what I got out of the burn, but being able to gift others. In a morass of dusty zsu-zsu stuph, it was certainly a high point of the week. And I'd fucking do it all over again, too. Yeah.

First time I've ever been able to say that. And it is GOOD!!!

Hugz...

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Post by blyslv » Mon Sep 10, 2007 1:57 pm

"Your gift is my MOOP."


Giving a gift that is truly appreciated is very difficult indeed. i would go with quality, not quantity. Maybe, if you come later in the week, you bring a cooler of fresh produce and make a great dinner of fresh food for people who've been out there for a while.

Trinkets are OK, but not great. i remember coming home the first year and archiving them as though I was a museum curator. Now I can't find them, although I still use the bottle opener someone gave me. So the gift of utility is nice.

If you want to gift, spend an afternoon looking for people to help. Maybe they need some labor for their art project or maybe they're just having a hard time putting up their tent.

Cold champagne is often appreciated.

During exodus once, someone came up and cleaned our windshield and that was nice fare-thee-well to the playa.

During your life what gifts do you still remember with gratitude. Think about why you do and try to replicate that.
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Post by dr.placebo » Mon Sep 10, 2007 2:04 pm

First, give the gift of kindness. Give it to yourself, to your camp mates, to your neighbors, to everyone you meet, and to those you do not meet. Act kindly and speak kindly.

Second, give the gift of time. Volunteer to do something that helps the whoe city, or just one other person. Slow down when things are frantic. Be absolutely still when the sun comes up over the horizon.

Third, give the gift of awareness. Listen to somebody's story. Pay attention to what goes on around you, and see if someone needs help.


It's nice to do the other gifts, even the silly little plastic ones, but the big gifts are not material. Although I had a very good response when I passed the cookies around.

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Post by BitterDan » Mon Sep 10, 2007 2:06 pm

But the best thing was to be able to do stuff for people they would have otherwise not been able to do with. THOSE were the ones I cherished, and got the most joy out of giving.
yeah I can see that. I spent a lot of time during dust storms helping people keep their tents erect. You'd be amazed and what an extra pair of hands and some duct tape can accomplish.

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Post by Hangin'Chad » Mon Sep 10, 2007 9:14 pm

Thanks for the input so far, folks. The gifts of food, water and ice were stuff we already gave out this year, and I plan to be ahead on food and water going in next year just in case. We gave time as well, when we stopped to help out some folks whose car broke down about 1/4 mile out of the gate. We also received that gift when our neighbor Zeus helped us out after the final Friday dust storm.

Keep 'em comin', folks. I'll have a lot of time to make stuff between now and next burn, and I appreciate the input of those with more experience at BM than I have!

Aside to Phil: the pacifiers (little sucker toys that wean babies from bottles, ya know?) were bought thinking they aligned with the idea that your first day at Burning Man symbolizes the start of a whole new life. Virgins are therefore babies, ya see?

FairyRebel: As a Germanic reconstructionist, I'm pretty dead set on only working with runes in wood, bone, horn/antler, or metal except when I'm using them to write a note to myself. My blood (or the recipient's, if I give one away) or blood mixed with acrylic paint, red ocher powder mixed with linseed oil, or burning the design in to the wood are the only ways I'll usually color them, too.

LOL, there's not really a "blank" rune, either, just in case you've bought a questionable book.
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Post by Bob » Mon Sep 10, 2007 9:48 pm

Why don't you make something out of dirt?

Fucking hippies.
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Post by FairyRebel » Tue Sep 11, 2007 12:35 pm

Nothing wrong with hippies. :P

And there are some nice clays which are technically dirt so...

Chad, I can imagine plenty of reasons why you would only work with those items. The sets I make are for "beginners," (people who usually buy "occult" things from bookstores and the like) and they don't contain a blank rune either.

I've made a fair amount of rune sets on wood discs as well. Usually all from one branch with the bark still in tact. Seeing as I put so much more of myself into those, I rarely make a set for anyone I don't know well. I think I may be a bit overly cautious when it comes to handing things out that I feel carry so much of me with them... if that makes any sense.

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Post by sputnik » Tue Sep 11, 2007 12:50 pm

My gift this year, as in most previous years, was my time. I gave my time, hands and help during the wind and dust to my neighbors who needed it. I also made up margaritas and passed them out to a similar set of folks. It was nice to hang close to camp and get to know this small set of people better.
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Post by Batmoose » Tue Sep 11, 2007 1:01 pm

I'd dig it if I ran into you out there and you offered me a protective Rune!

Now I have to figure out something equally cool to gift back! Yay!

I may not have the requisite cynicism yet due to it being my 1st burn and all, but I did not come away from the playa with any extra stuff other then a man necklace that was left in the BRC Bank ATM, and I for one would not be adverse to having more little bits and pieces to bring back to remind me of things that might be a bit hazy.

We did not have much to gift other then our time, and some really tasty frash Grapes, but I was able to give a backrub to remove a headache and I was also able to be a shoulder to cry on, and so I feel that I came out of it ahead of the game.
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Post by Burp! » Tue Sep 11, 2007 1:11 pm

Sorry, I'm on the "Keep your shwag" side. I'd prefer you put some time into a fun engaging camp or thing to play with out on the playa. The necklaces and stuff were very cool when they first appeared, but now 7-8 years later it's just shwag and to me an excuse to not do something a little more significant.

IMO

T.

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Post by FairyRebel » Tue Sep 11, 2007 2:45 pm

Isn't it possible that this shwag could be given as the prize in an engaging camp game? I know I'd stop at a camp that was offering readings, and I'd be seriously jazzed if I got to carry a handcrafted rune with me afterwards to remind me of the experience.

The same goes for anything really. Our camp this year gave out drinks for prizes, and where I definitely won't forget playing our games with people, the little name tag that I came back with is a solid reminder of the fun I had every time I see it hanging around my room.

Of course it'd be ridiculous to expect that you need some sort of solid reminder in order to maintain special memories. Really for me something sort of meaningful, or something that I know someone put some thought or effort into is still special, and I'd cherish it if it was offered to me.

Also just because you want to spend some time off the playa creating things to give as gifts doesn't mean that all of your time on the playa is 'excused.' Who says you can't give both items and something significant when you get back to BRC? It's not like you can only choose one or the other. Besides, who can say what is "significant" and what isn't?

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Post by AntiM » Tue Sep 11, 2007 3:34 pm

I don't know, some people love the schwag. I do. I was gifted a most amazing glass pendant, and the Lazy Ass fuckers gave me a marvelous enameled piece. I also got some stickers and pins and some nice art, and very cool earrings. Plus some handmade neck coolers, and a bandanna or two, a lovely patch, and well, I'd have to look in the schwag box to know what else all. I even found a glass marble in a treasure chest of gifts to bring to my brother; he collects marbles and was thrilled it came from a glassworker attending Burning Man.

But then, I do run the Home for Wayward Art, and people feel moved to give me things when they're adopting art. I don't require gifts, but I will not say no if offered. But really, talking to people about what art moves them and why they want different pieces is gift enough for me. Very exciting to know my favorite pieces went to meaningful homes where they will be cared for. So disappointing when someone just takes a piece without bothering with the three line card. I can hardly wait to dig out the art cards and read who adopted what. I'm bad with names, but I do recall the folks who love the art. Wanted to do that today, but mylarry put them in the wooden crate with the propane tanks on top. Sigh.

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Post by EB » Tue Sep 11, 2007 5:22 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:Those led flashers would also be good to give out to unlit folks.
Brilliant! (pun intended)
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Post by ZeeKitten » Wed Sep 12, 2007 10:33 pm

FairyRebel wrote:I make rune stone sets out of Fimo (or similar, other brand names like Sculpey) clay. It'd be easy to stick a jewelry pin through individual stones and bend it to a loop at the top so that you could hang them on necklaces. Then you could hand them out... The clay comes in a wide range of colors, including a lot of UV responsive and glow-in-the-dark ones. It's not a light, but it'd be fun to wear anyway, IMO.
Personally, (and maybe it is because I'm a girl) - I love schwag necklaces!!! I saw some great FIMO ones this year on the Playa and was hoping to be lucky enough to receive one (but didn't) . . . so I think that those are wonderful gifts to offer fellow Burners!

I also got a fun necklace from the Lazy Ass Fuckers camp, and will treasure it! They don't become MOOP for me, or get forgotten/lost - every special button/necklace I've received I either often wear later or remember with fondness and love and thus I'd really value and enjoy being gifted with a rune from someone on the playa.

It is wonderful to give (which I did do and enjoy doing) and receive the gift of fellow BRC citizens' time and talents, but it is equally special to be given a physical reminder of each year's experiences at BM (and I don't mean STDs or other such "gifts") - something someone made with their hands to share their skills and joys in making things.
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Post by Trixy » Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:18 am

My gift is my fashion!

You know, most people talk about what "costumes" they are going to wear. And that's fucked up! This is NOT halloween! You should not try to look like "someone else." You are you, and you should represent yourself as such.

Don't try to be or look like anything other than what you are. Save the "costumes" for that fall holiday with your kids.

And as far as "giving" anything, it means NOTHING to me if you bought it.

If you didn't make it, create it, or design it, you can keep it.

I'm not looking for gifts or barter, I'm FULLY self sufficient, I don't need/want your stuff.

I DO need your input, your laughter, your joy, your passion, your.......whatever makes you, you!

Give of yourself, and give yourself, not junk!

You can't BE the gift, if you give a gift.
Chillax, dude.

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Post by ZaphodBurner » Thu Sep 13, 2007 12:01 pm

In 2005 I put out this little mechanical flower next to our root beer bar and people started using the flower pot as a gift repository. Man...we coulda gone to jail...

A few weeks later we got the entire camp back together in Portland, dumped out the flower pot and split up what was there. By far the most popular schwag was the stickers...mainly because we're all musicians and could stick 'em on guitar cases, congas, the van, etc. Also the little pendants. At some point gifting trinkets is ridiculous; we never got to that point.

The individual gifts, regardless of how big or small, that had their own story behind them are by far the most valuable, though. A trinket that makes you smile six months or a year later is the best of all.

It really is the thought that counts.
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Post by Eric » Thu Sep 13, 2007 12:38 pm

I only keep 3 gifts around me- my troll doll ("Gardenia") that was given to me my first burn and Fishies glass pendant from last year, both of which sit on my desk- I can see them both now; and from this year a poloroid that a nice couple took of me & a friend when we gave them shelter during a whiteout (can't remember if it was Thursday or Friday)

None of the gifts that mean anything to me have the "Man" image anywhere on them, and none are even dated. There's just something special about them.

My gift is (was) working on Piss Clear & talking to people when they came into our camp. Lord only knows what I'll end up doing next year (*insert maniacal laughter here*)
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Re: Y'all's Opinions, Please

Post by Smudge » Sat Sep 15, 2007 5:21 pm

Hangin'Chad wrote:Howdy, folks.

I found plastic glow in the dark stars at the local X-Mart. What would you think of those if you received a set strung together as a sort of BRC lei?

Now, ideas for next year I only considered for this year but didn't even get started on:

Please, y'all lemme know how these ideas sound to you.
I believe most anyone would greatly appreciate getting lei'ed at BRC.
It's all that special question of who you give it to.
You wear it most of the week and save giving it away to find the person who appreciates you and it the most.
You tell them they were the best lei you'd given all week.

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Post by motskyroonmatick » Sat Sep 15, 2007 6:07 pm

Personally I love---FUCKING LOVE dog tags. I like a little bit of schwag but not too much. I dislike glow sticks but have to accept them at times.

I give the gift of repair and modification so that people can get back on playa with their transportaion. Most of my fixes are transport others are...you name it. I get the huge satisfaction of knowing that I fixed your thing and now you get to enjoy it and others get to enjoy it for the rest of the burn. This was my best burn yet and it was all about helping out.
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Post by skeetsh00ter » Sat Sep 15, 2007 7:08 pm

my campmates and I all stopped at a camp to make our own dog tags, that was a great idea! we all had lots of fun designing and stamping our own.

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Great Gift Ideas!!

Post by JediDale » Sat Sep 15, 2007 7:38 pm

This year I gave away some blinkies. They are always appreciated, and there is a cheap (as in buck) store that had a bunch of them! If you can find the ones with the extra batteries, then thats even better!! The "BM POGS" are a fantastic idea, and are a nice personal touch that several camps and individuals did this year for gifts.


Genuinely,


JediDale Of Reno


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You don't have to..Believe Everything I Say...because your unconscious will hear this.
Your unconscious can Do anything It wishes..
But your conscious mind isn't going to do
anything of Importance for Now. And...My Voice Will Go With You...

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