Weird year.

Share your pictures and video. Tell us about the sights, sounds, and scents, as well as the rumors and truths found at Burning Man.
Ano
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Weird year.

Postby Ano » Mon Sep 07, 2015 8:04 pm

I think this is the first time I've ever come back from Black Rock City and considered - maybe I shouldn't come back next year.

It wasn't the art - all of that was fantastic. Wow - the soup kitchen in deep playa. I finally found the BIjou. I somehow missed the observatory, again, but oh well. Open playa didn't feel empty this year, after getting spoiled by CORE. The Man pavilion was even awesome, after the amazingly underwhelming Souk. Mad shoutout to Austin for bringing an AMAZING midway.

It wasn't the weather - I actually loved getting real dust storms and real weather for my first time in five years. I had miserable playa lung a few days in and now I'm thinking about going to the doctor. It was freezing cold, and I actually giggled pretty hard at some incredibly under-prepared people I found in Deep Playa on the really cold evenings who had gone out in search of a deep playa dance party wearing booty shorts and pasties. Whoops!

It wasn't anything palpable, really - I did get annoyed at the apparent working reception this year, because I think we should disconnect out there... I worked a lot with Gate, which was awesome, even if working at the Airport Gate was not so awesome (and showed me a side of the event I wished didn't exist), but I had a blast.

Maybe after five years I'm getting to the point where I'm ready to graduate from Burning Man, for at least a year? I don't know. I felt really uninspired this year about a lot of things - I'm tired of having to lotion myself up every night, or else! I'm tired of shitting on a pile of other peoples shit in a porto-pottie that hasn't been cleaned in a long time because every other bank is just as nasty as this one and USS is seemingly behind. Maybe it's the constant stream of people asking me if I caught the XXX sunrise set or if I was at YYY Camp for ZZZ set - when I really just like finding a good camp to groove at sometimes and I don't care about the DJ (they're nearly all the same, anyway). It could have been the fact that certain camps seem to attract a crowd that only visits that one camp all week - and nothing else. Seriously - there is more to Burning Man than Robot Heart and DISTRIKT! Maybe it was the constant stream of people climbing up the Panorama Bar to get cell phone reception to call their playa date... or the obvious turnkey that very obviously were allowed to continue operating despite the apparent attempt at abating turnkey culture. I don't know. Something felt off. Too many darkwads? Maybe I'm just a radically different person at 26 than I was at 22.

I'll probably be there again anyway. See you next year!

gradschoolinsomniac
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Re: Weird year.

Postby gradschoolinsomniac » Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:35 am

Thanks for sharing your story. What happened at the airport gate? I imagine loads of wealthy headed to concierge camps.
The last time I went I felt the same, so I packed up and left on Thursday. Felt right. You know when you need a break.

gradschoolinsomniac
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Re: Weird year.

Postby gradschoolinsomniac » Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:42 am

As for hearing about your airport experience, I'd be interested to hear if concierge camp attendees seemed to have some change or transition between arriving and leaving...

Ano
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Re: Weird year.

Postby Ano » Tue Sep 08, 2015 11:18 am

Honestly - the airport is really fucking cool. It's certain people that use the airport that are not very cool. I would recommend riding out there and spending an hour or so at the bar (I think there is one, I never confirmed it though but I did hear people talking about it...) to get a feel for why some folks might find it weird. Or, hell, volunteer for it. Volunteering is uniquely awesome at Burning Man - you can join Gayte and volunteer for the brand new airport gate, or just go and do customs/border control out there. It's fun!

My favorite quote - "The bar didn't have ice OR a cup I could use. I paid (XXXX) for this?"

I just had a really weird year. My significant other had an energy problem and kept dragging us home to go to bed. The virgin I brought hated Burning Man and caused a ton of drama (but wants to return next year?). The friend I invited to join me on Gate was not very good at volunteering and kept name-dropping me to try to get out of trouble. My bike was an uninspired pile of garbage that was difficult to ride, but refused to break down. The kinds of people I saw at certain camps seemed to be a plague across the playa - "Anyone know where to find the Robot Heart?" The number of people asking me why I wouldn't pay $XXX or $XXXX to have a camp deal with my problems rather than deal with it on my own seemed disproportionately odd. The jacket I spent all year working on to wire with cool lighting.... broke on day one, and I couldn't repair it. My entire tent filled with dust after less than 12 hours because I arrived right before a massive dust storm... and we forgot the broom.

I met so many "delivery guys" in the gate lanes dropping off massive RVs - all of whom were paid to drive an RV out and then fly home on a plane. With early access from certain camps and valid tickets. "Great" use of tickets/EA passes, and I feel terrible for the burner who was shut out so someone could spend two hours dropping off an RV and then flying home.

I met so many people who seemed to think of Burning Man as just another festival. I'm not one to judge how one burns, but... too man people were talking on their cell phones or texting friends to find locations. I want to slap whomever decided to get cell service working out there. Too many folks chastised me because I chose to miss some set that happened on the playa. And as I was riding past the big white party on Wednesday that happens every year, I seriously heard the DJ plugging his new promotional/event producing company over the microphone. :evil:

I just feel really weird about this year.

But I'll probably be back next year because I'm some kind of masochist.

DoctorIknow
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Re: Weird year.

Postby DoctorIknow » Tue Sep 08, 2015 11:46 am

Ano wrote:...My bike was an uninspired pile of garbage that was difficult to ride, but refused to break down.

:D

:D

:D

:D

:D

:D

gradschoolinsomniac
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Re: Weird year.

Postby gradschoolinsomniac » Tue Sep 08, 2015 1:18 pm

I've had friends who are regular folks (not celebs or CEOs) who have flown out there in the past, coming further than CA. It sounded like fun in the past, maybe it's all different folks flying in these days.

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Nipple
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Re: Weird year.

Postby Nipple » Tue Sep 08, 2015 2:17 pm

Worked the airport gate as well. There were different levels of people flying in. I could kind of tell who was whom by their perception of me. Some of the folks were regular folks who interacted with me normally, but to some, I was perhaps some kind of hazy indistinct figure that they could barely perceive... until I said "WHOA WHOA WHOA! I need to see some stamps and a ticket."

We were warned against using "Gate Theater", but through my shift I found that the more theatrical I was in my interactions, instead of institutional, the more ALL the people interacted with me.

I only pulled one airport gate shift, since it was new. Largely I found it to be VERY slow, since it was early in the week. My partner did one later in the week and had a TON of traffic.

But I too came away from this year ... like, I want to go back next year, but if my partner wants to take a skip year, I could be into it. I worked 80+ hours in various GP/E departments, and honestly, if I returned... it would be primarily to work with those fuckwads.

Even you, Ano.

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forty_eight
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Re: Weird year.

Postby forty_eight » Tue Sep 08, 2015 2:20 pm

Heard a rumor about ticketless arrivals at the airport.

Was that really a thing?

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uncle sticky
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Re: Weird year.

Postby uncle sticky » Tue Sep 08, 2015 2:37 pm

Not a gate thing, but two years ago I thought "Probably never again", but convinced myself that maybe it was my camp that made me not love it that year, since I'd been going obsessively since 2004. This year, in spite of pretty good success with my camp concept, and a good art car (albeit one that broke down on Thursday), I walked away thinking "Never again."

Nothing really wrong with it, just lost that loving feeling. My wife is sober now, and my interest in pharma dabbling is very low these days. I'm less interested in all day drinking, and although the art is better every year, it's not wow enough year after year to draw me out into bad conditions. I don't think the event is all that different than it was in 2004, but I am. Still, it's hard to let it go.
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pretty_monster
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Re: Weird year.

Postby pretty_monster » Tue Sep 15, 2015 5:13 pm

this was definitely my darkest, scariest, most brutal burn so far.

being totally solo (drove alone, camped alone, no volunteering) sounded like it would be "WHEEEEEE I CAN DO WHATEVER I WANT!!!" and turned out to be "I hate long drives and left completely to my own devices I become a downward spiraling self-destructive alcoholic". it was a bad scene a few times :\

but I survived and I'll do it again some year but this was the first time it ever occurred to me that this is maybe a bad idea.
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maladroit
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Re: Weird year.

Postby maladroit » Tue Sep 15, 2015 8:31 pm

forty_eight wrote:Heard a rumor about ticketless arrivals at the airport.

Was that really a thing?


I know the details of one story involving that, and will NOT share them in order to discourage any similar attempts. But can also guarantee that it was not "ticketless" because real, paid-for tickets were absolutely required and were definitely involved.

marcmerlin
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Re: Weird year.

Postby marcmerlin » Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:18 pm

maladroit wrote:
forty_eight wrote:Heard a rumor about ticketless arrivals at the airport.

Was that really a thing?


I know the details of one story involving that, and will NOT share them in order to discourage any similar attempts. But can also guarantee that it was not "ticketless" because real, paid-for tickets were absolutely required and were definitely involved.


I'm a pilot and can tell you that they're very serious about requiring you to check that your passengers have tickets before you land, and they do check as soon as you land.
Does it mean it's impossible to jump the fence? probably not, no more than you can't find a place hide inside an RV, but let's just say that it's not that simple and they are looking out for that.

I still think it's probably easier to get dropped from a plane and land with a chute in the middle of the event somewhere :)
(then again it's probably going to cost you about the same than the price of a ticket, if not more)

maladroit
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Re: Weird year.

Postby maladroit » Mon Sep 21, 2015 10:38 pm

marcmerlin wrote:
maladroit wrote:
forty_eight wrote:Heard a rumor about ticketless arrivals at the airport.

Was that really a thing?


I know the details of one story involving that, and will NOT share them in order to discourage any similar attempts. But can also guarantee that it was not "ticketless" because real, paid-for tickets were absolutely required and were definitely involved.


I'm a pilot and can tell you that they're very serious about requiring you to check that your passengers have tickets before you land, and they do check as soon as you land.
Does it mean it's impossible to jump the fence? probably not, no more than you can't find a place hide inside an RV, but let's just say that it's not that simple and they are looking out for that.

I still think it's probably easier to get dropped from a plane and land with a chute in the middle of the event somewhere :)
(then again it's probably going to cost you about the same than the price of a ticket, if not more)


No one sneaked in here, but I'm still amazed at the situation I'm recalling. I can confirm that you definitely want to have tickets with you :)

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Re: Weird year.

Postby Elderberry » Tue Sep 22, 2015 10:14 am

uncle sticky wrote:Not a gate thing, but two years ago I thought "Probably never again", but convinced myself that maybe it was my camp that made me not love it that year, since I'd been going obsessively since 2004. This year, in spite of pretty good success with my camp concept, and a good art car (albeit one that broke down on Thursday), I walked away thinking "Never again."

Nothing really wrong with it, just lost that loving feeling. My wife is sober now, and my interest in pharma dabbling is very low these days. I'm less interested in all day drinking, and although the art is better every year, it's not wow enough year after year to draw me out into bad conditions. I don't think the event is all that different than it was in 2004, but I am. Still, it's hard to let it go.

It's called getting O.L.D.! :wink:
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Re: Weird year.

Postby Elderberry » Tue Sep 22, 2015 10:15 am

pretty_monster wrote:...this was the first time it ever occurred to me that this is maybe a bad idea.

Going alone or Burning Man?
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Token
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Re: Weird year.

Postby Token » Tue Sep 22, 2015 1:13 pm

Ano wrote:Maybe I'm just a radically different person at 26 than I was at 22.



Nonsense, you just need an RV so you don't have to deuce on strange.

After my 5th year I got a travel trailer and that bought me another 5 before I called it quits.

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Captain Goddammit
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Re: Weird year.

Postby Captain Goddammit » Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:27 pm

I've never gone without an RV, nor would I ever. One of the keys to not having a shitty time out there is having the ability to escape when you don't feel like being dusty, cold or hot, dirty, and playa-ed out.
And its not a money thing, all you need is a cheap old piece of crap. Some fabric, paint, scrubbing and fixing stuff and it'll be super comfy and provide everything the big-bucks rigs do.
I say "fuck this shit" every few years anyway though.
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somebodys-mom
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Re: Weird year.

Postby somebodys-mom » Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:49 pm

Having an RV doesn't mean you won't get your share of dust inside. I also don't recommend you fully give up on the potties as you may find the holding tanks on your RV don't last as long as you may want them to. Still, I'm pretty sure I don't want to come to Burning Man in a tent. I like the ability to store everything in one trailer and not need extensive set-up when I get where I'm going (holds true for default camping, too). I'm lazy; it's who/what I am. :)
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Captain Goddammit
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Re: Weird year.

Postby Captain Goddammit » Tue Sep 22, 2015 6:38 pm

somebodys-mom wrote:Having an RV doesn't mean you won't get your share of dust inside.


You are correct, however if you set it up right you can keep the dust out. I tape or otherwise seal every dust entry point, keep everything shut and run the A/C. Shoes come off at the door.
In the event of a hull breach and dust entry emergency, I carry a Rainbow vacuum, the kind that filters the air through a bowl of water. It'll clear it up.

Everyone - EVERYONE - keeps saying you can't have a dust free place at Burning Man. Yes you can. I've been doing it for years. Ask anyone who's been to my little playa place how nice it is in there!
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FIGJAM
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Re: Weird year.

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Sep 22, 2015 6:52 pm

I don't have to tape over any vents since I built it without any!!! 8)
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Captain Goddammit
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Re: Weird year.

Postby Captain Goddammit » Tue Sep 22, 2015 7:03 pm

Lol yeah Fig and I remember you almost suffocating a few years ago!
"Hmm... Why won't my cigarette light? Oh shit! No air!"
:)

Actually I worry a bit about sealing up too well because of that incident.
GreyCoyote: "At this rate it wont be long before he is Admiral Fukkit."
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FIGJAM
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Re: Weird year.

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:11 pm

That all came about due to an old travel trailer that was almost impossible to keep warm.

When I was gutting it for a remodel, I discovered six 3" vent holes in the floor that went directly outside. (I could see the ground through them)

So when I built the pod I made it dust proof, but I have to remember to either leave the cooler air intake hatch open, or leave the only window slightly open!!! :lol:
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skippy3k
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Re: Weird year.

Postby skippy3k » Wed Sep 23, 2015 6:14 am

I'll agree with the Captain on a couple of points. I've gone to BM in a huge Moroccan tent, an RV and most recently hexayurts. As I sat there in the hexayurt, loving the design and authenticity of it, I knew I would be happier this year in our trailer RV. Maybe it was weather, maybe it was my age, maybe it was the look on my wife's face as we laid there for 3 hours waiting for the wind to stop, but I knew if we went back, it would be in an RV again.

And more to the point of this thread (because I don't mean to fire up the "RV vs everything else" debate) I bring this up because it's something we've identified as to why this year was so...weird...for us. With the strange energy and emotions and weather this year, we longed for that one "downside" to an RV; a place to hide and collect ourselves.

Second, I'll agree that if done right, you can prevent dust in an RV. I don't know if you can say "dust free", because for me that means literally not a speck of playa dust anywhere. But it can be dust free enough for it to not be a problem at all.
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Re: Weird year.

Postby mudpuppy000 » Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:10 am

This was the first year I wished I was in an RV. I got sick of sitting out in the dust storms day after day, so I'd just go sit in my truck for a while with the A/C on and listen to BMIR to gather my wits. The highlight for me was hanging out with my campmates, but the rest of the burn felt like too much effort for what I got out of it. I'm looking forward to going to a regional next month where I can set up under some nice oak trees and only have to drive 2 hours. :D

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Re: Weird year.

Postby AntiM » Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:25 am

On Saturday pre-event, the guys got one of the clamshells up, but no end walls. We bundled up, masks and goggles, and napped in the camp chairs. Dust would pour off of us if we got up. We had a basket of snacks from the ride out, and a small cooler, plus our water. Not too far from the potties. It wasn't great, but it didn't kill us. If I rode my trike to the potties, the wind would push me down the street as if I had an assist motor. That was fun. I did get stuffed into the truck eventually, so I could breathe a bit. That was lonely.

Will I want an RV some day? Sure. Now? No, not yet.

I had dust in my bra, not strange considering my top has a lace neckline panel, but how the fuck did it get into the BACK of my bra band?

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Re: Weird year.

Postby Molotov » Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:28 am

My little egg type travel trailer stayed fairly dust free throughout the two weeks I was in BRC. I have a foam furnace filter covering my ceiling exhaust fan grille and the air intake in the bathroom has foam filters inside and outside. My dust accumulation was limited to just needing a quick wipe down of hard surfaces (including my wood flooring) once in a while. I didn't open the roof hatch and run the exhaust fan during dust storms, and also minimized in/out traffic during the worst storms. I spent most of my time outside, hunkering down during dust storms in refuges of opportunity, and wearing bandannas or dust masks. I did my "playa laundry" (shaking the dust out of my clothes) outside before entering.

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somebodys-mom
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Re: Weird year.

Postby somebodys-mom » Wed Sep 23, 2015 12:12 pm

Captain Goddammit wrote:
somebodys-mom wrote:Having an RV doesn't mean you won't get your share of dust inside.


You are correct, however if you set it up right you can keep the dust out. I tape or otherwise seal every dust entry point, keep everything shut and run the A/C. Shoes come off at the door.
In the event of a hull breach and dust entry emergency, I carry a Rainbow vacuum, the kind that filters the air through a bowl of water. It'll clear it up.

Everyone - EVERYONE - keeps saying you can't have a dust free place at Burning Man. Yes you can. I've been doing it for years. Ask anyone who's been to my little playa place how nice it is in there!



But then you have to run a generator all day and that's no fun for the people around me. I don't belong to a large camp that shares a large genny so everyone has to bring their own.

It, of course, would have helped had I know prior to the event that the seals around my slide-out had failed. Oops? :D
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Captain Goddammit
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Re: Weird year.

Postby Captain Goddammit » Wed Sep 23, 2015 5:46 pm

somebodys-mom wrote:But then you have to run a generator all day and that's no fun for the people around me.

Once again, right you are! --- unless you have really quiet generators, which are quiet enough for BM as-is but if your people are that sensitive you could baffle-box them. At that point, any whiners should be directed back to the Reno public library.
We ran power 24/7 anyway because we had a pair of big freezers.

I brought extra sheets of plywood so I could construct and gift a baffle to any neighbor who fired up one of those lawnmower-engine noise factories, but fortunately there was only the hum of little Hondas all around. If you want absolute silence, wrong party.

Add an air compressor and blow-gun to your playa gear, which does a fantastic job of clearing the dust off of and out of stuff, and you are set for Total Dust Control!

Fucking playa dust... it must be defeated.
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Re: mad year.

Postby Simon of the Playa » Wed Sep 23, 2015 5:56 pm

[media]
Frida Be You & Me

Ano
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Re: Weird year.

Postby Ano » Wed Sep 23, 2015 8:44 pm

Y'know, I'd love a little trailer or an RV to have a mini sanctuary away from the dust, but I'm just on in a position in life to be able to afford one, let alone store one, or even rent one. I live in Oakland, in a tiny apartment, and my Burning Man storage (Read: Parents house) doesn't have room to take a trailer or RV. Not to mention, I don't have the knowledge to properly maintain one or not get screwed on a used one. I've considered it a lot, but when I look into things it just doesn't seem plausible for me.

But I do know an RV/Trailer would make my time much easier out there. My buddy has an RV, and one day when he and his girlfriend left, I went inside and just sat for awhile and sipped on a beer. It was amazingly refreshing and recharging... I want to say it was Thursday Day, during a mini storm on the 9 o clock side. I was done with dust and wind and just wanted to sit somewhere quiet for a bit. After a week out there at the time, I needed a bit of recharging.

Also, before anyone gets up in arms about me using their stuff without them around, my buddy keeps the RV open for camp members and stores a key somewhere in camp so we can get in and out. We use his fridge/freezer, and occasionally the microwave, and he also lets us poop in there. Glorious poops, those are.


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