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Burning Man Participation

Burning Man 2019 art theme Metamorphoses this year opens up the gates to the event on August 25. A lot of people want to be there and tickets are hard to come by. In the latest The Jackrabbit Speaks, the newsletter sent out by Burning Man there is a very spot on letter written by a lady named Marian. It talks about burning Man participation and what that really means.
You can read it here,
https://journal.burningman.org/2019/02/philosophical-center/tenprinciples/cultural-course-correcting/

I want to highlight a few excerpts,

“I am disappointed with the attitudes of the mutant vehicle and art car folks. Their gatekeepers are very discriminatory on who they let ride. I was actually told, ‘No, it’s too late for old people to be out, anyway,’ ‘you’re not pretty enough,’ and ‘we’re only picking up hot girls right now.’ I asked other camp members and heard similar stories. One gay couple said they had tried for 3 years to get on a vehicle and they were denied every time.” -Retired Artist, Male, 70 [1]
That just broke my heart. How did we get here? Who thinks saying this is okay on or off the playa? This isn’t Burning Man."

"Surely you’ve seen examples. Whether it’s commercial photo shoots, product placements, or Instagram posts thanking “friends” for a useful item, attendees including fashion models and social media “influencers” are wearing and tagging brands in their playa photos. This means they are using Black Rock City to increase their popularity; to appeal to customers and sell more “stuff.”

"One of the most distressing trends is the increase of participants (both new and experienced) who don’t seem invested in co-creating Black Rock City, and are attending as consumers. Mass consumption in our default world, ticket scarcity and some elaborate luxury camps have contributed to the rise of a playa “convenience culture.” In some cases, camps or companies are offering “all inclusive” pre-packaged Burning Man experiences, claiming they will preemptively meet all of their client’s needs. Burning Man is anything but convenient, and therein lies its transformative potential!"

"Black Rock City requires significant investments of time, energy, and resourcefulness. Part of what makes Burning Man unique and powerful is that everyone has to work hard to be there. Planning, securing a ticket, packing, building, organizing, contributing, and engaging are part of the journey everyone should experience. Though it manifests differently for each one of us, personal effort is integral to the social agreement we make with our fellow community members when we decide to participate in Burning Man."

Speaking for MYSELF, I have been to Burning Man six years in a row now and I am hoping to attend again this year if I am lucky to get a ticket. The first time I heard about Burning Man was when I was out camping somewhere in the middle of Nevada at some hot springs in 2003 or 2004. Some people me and my ex boyfriend met thought we would just love Burning Man and we did want to go but it took me all the way forward to 2013 to actually attend my first Burning Man. I was prepared to go in 2012 but did not get a ticket in time. You want to attend Burning Man? Make sure you understand how the whole ticket process works. There is way more demand than supply. The Playa could easily hold 100 000 people but for now the cap is at around 70 000 give or take a few thousand.
Is Burning Man inconvenient? Yes it can be, depending on your own personal level of comfort but it should be somewhat inconvenient and even then it is SO worth it. White out dust storm? Bring it on! It is FUN and an experience! Sore ass from biking all day? I love it, I get so much exercise at Burning Man. I have stayed at the Playa in a tent and an RV, I prefer being in an RV for the comfort BUT if my only option would be a tent in order to attend I would absolutely stay in a tent. It is more work but still kind of fun when the wind rips a hold of your tent and you lay inside bundled up in a sleeping bag just grateful to be RIGHT THERE.
The first two times at Burning Man I was just taking it all in, dancing and exploring, the third time I was showing a Burgin around, aka Burning Man virgin. I am one of the people taking pictures and a ton of pictures but I have been taking pictures of stuff for years. Of all kinds of things. I do not see the problem in wanting to take pictures at Burning Man, people want photos to look back at moments and remember stuff by. On the other hand I do not agree with the increasing number of people I see dressed up in the "right" (not really) Burning Man garb that spend hours picking out their outfits and doing their make up, only to go pose in front of the art pieces and then put it up on Instagram. You are lame OK. Those people would not stay in a tent, those people are too preoccupied with looking "perfect" when in fact they are posers. If you go to Burning Man mainly to take some photos of yourself for your Instagram then in my opinion you are not there for the right reasons. Besides your Instagram is lame. I can understand that those would be the people Burning Man wants to weed out. Because they do not contribute much. YES, I have pics of myself in front of art pieces at Burning Man but I also have pics of the art itself and everything else in between. I have also spent hours describing the event in written form.
Art cars.....I have been on ONE art car and that was last year and I think I lasted 30 minutes and then I got off and walked back to my camp. Art cars are not for me.
I would personally not stay in a turnkey camp and I think Burning Man needs to address that issue and also the airport at Burning Man. I think the airport and the luxury turnkey camps go hand in hand.
After being at the event a few times I felt like I needed to participate in more ways than just being there. So I started volunteering as a barista at Center Camp, not in hopes to get something out of it like tips (I donate the tips) or a free ticket but because I want to participate in Burning Man because Participation is one of the 10 Principles. As far as picking trash, I do that in regular life too, basically every day. If you know me you know that I do. Leaving No Trace is one of the 10 Principles as well.
I completely understand that if a person never been to Burning Man before then the first time will be about just being there and basically taking it all in. It might take a few times before you discover just how you can get more involved and some people volunteer right off the bat. I also know people that have been going for longer than I have who show up, set up camp and party all week long and then go back home again. That is their Burning Man experience. I want it to be more than that for me. Look, just because somebody went to Burning Man like 20 years ago or have attended the event ten times does not automatically mean that they are contributing to anything besides their presence. Some people go once and do more for Burning Man that one time than those that have been a lot.
To me Burning Man is ALWAYS present, I talk about Burning Man year round. I tell people how amazing it is....today I went to Stumptown Coffee downtown Portland and put out several Burning Man magazines to share with others.
Burning Man is amazing, even though the people that have been going for a long time (over a decade usually) see changes that they are not happy with. Even I can see things, people and behaviors after attending only six times that I don't think belong at Burning Man but I still have a wonderful time and I am definitely far from a perfect Black Rock Citizen. I think I have peed on the Playa maybe three or four times. When you are far out on the Playa and far from a bathroom (porta potty in this case) you just have to pee sometime. I don't feel too bad because I know that the rain will wash away my pee and it's not like I pee on the Playa every day I am there. Besides that I think I am a fairly good Black Rock Citizen but there is always room for growth and improvement. I will volunteer again of course and it would be really cool to get more involved with Burning Man in the future.




XOXO



Helloooooo it is February 14 and that means it is Valentine's Day so if you are reading this TODAY - Happy Valentine's Day! ❤️
Of course boxes of chocolates, chocolate dipped strawberries and bouquets of flowers are flying off the shelves today, big profits for retailers. I personally do not like cut flowers, flowers belong outside or growing in pots....to me having flowers on display at home slowly rotting away in a vase only to get thrown out after about a week is a complete waste. Poor flowers, I actually feel bad for them.
It is raining (again) in Portland. The winter storm that the city frantically prepared for like it was doomsday came and went, basically strong winds, wet snow that melted away and more rain. WOW what a storm! Not.
I am going to spend today on the couch and in bed with my cuddly fur babies. I got two movies to watch, Bohemian Rhapsody and A Private War. So Bohemian Rhapsody is about Freddie Mercury, one of the best vocalists ever and an amazing performer.



I remember hearing Radio Ga Ga on the radio a long time ago and I thought it was weird....I didn't get the gaga thing.....like what did it mean? But I always thought Freddie's voice was very strong and beautiful and according to what I have read he was a beautiful human being as well. Gone too soon unfortunately. A Private War is about Marie Colvin, a very brave journalist that lived a fascinating life. I very much admire journalists like her. She too is gone too soon. People that made a difference. I admire those.



The best thing you can do for your significant other (if you have one) and do not be sad if you don't because a lot of relationships are far from the perfect picture people (often the woman in the relationship) pretend it is on social media. Sometimes it is better to enjoy your own company or the company of loyal and loving pets....BUT if you do have a significant other I think the best thing you can do is to give a long and thorough foot rub. Don't be lazy, massage your woman's feet, her head, neck, shoulders and back too. Why are you expecting your penis to get attention if you can't give attention to what feels good to the other person?
I had a boyfriend a while back and NOW I am SO eternally GRATEFUL that we are not together anymore, it ended in a bad way but I do think it would had ended in an even worse way had we stayed together because he was just a ticking time bomb and now he can go off in drunken rages at his current (also a drunk) partner instead of subjecting me and Chhaya to his awful moods and behaviors. Anyhow he would come home and just expect me to jump for joy at the sight of his erection when in fact it didn't do much for me because that it all it was....a hard penis. First of all, any guy would be lucky to have me as a girlfriend because I am just THAT amazing, Thank You YES I know this about myself. So you do something for me instead of acting like a cranky child over your penis because that is NOT sexy OK. If an erection is all you have to offer then you don't have much.
Actually four years ago at Valentine's Day I was sad and crying and today this Valentine's Day I won't be crying. I am not pretending that life is perfect because it has it's ups and downs but I am good.
And lo and behold that asshole called me one evening after he had betrayed me in the worst way and even stolen from me only to tell me that he had made a mistake and how much he missed me and bla bla bla some other ramblings that I do not recall anymore.
No motherfucker, I am glad we are not together anymore although it took me a while to get over the shock of the betrayal.....being with you for as long as I stuck around was a mistake on my part. I should had listened to my gut/soul when it told me to leave several times, the first time about six months into the relationship and a few times afterwards but one of my faults is that I am loyal, too loyal even when people don't deserve it. It would had been way better for me if I would had left him, better both emotionally and financially. He is now exactly where he belongs, in a white trash drunken stupor together with the handsome woman he fits so perfectly with. Don't worry ol' lady, I do not want him back. Several people came forward afterwards and said that they alway thought I was way out of his league. And you know what....those people are right.
Anyhow, gentlemen.....give your significant other a nice massage without expecting anything in return. XOXO



Depeche Mode:101

Last night I saw a documentary called Depeche Mode:101 about what else.....Depeche Mode. The screening was inside the Whitsell Auditorium at the Portland Art Museum and it was a full house. The documentary was filmed in 1988 and they (DM) look so young....OMG I was a young teenager back then and I loved Depeche Mode and I still do. 30 years have went by since then....I'm not a teenager anymore but still kind of feel like one most days. So back then Depeche Mode had four members, now they are three. Alan Wilder quit the band years ago.
I liked all that had to do with Depeche Mode in this documentary, their stage performances especially but I could had easily skipped on the footage of the group of fans because that was completely uninteresting. The fan footage reminded me of MTV's Real World before the first Real World had even been thought of.
Will there be another Depeche Mode tour in the future? If so, I hope I can go (again), I have seen them in concert twice.






Cancelled

When I arrived at school today I did notice the lack of cars in the parking lot....I guess I was one of the few that did not get the memo that classes were cancelled due to weather. Weather? It looked perfectly fine to me, sure it got cold and snowed last night but the snow melted away during the day today. So I do not see the reason to cancel anything. Like why? These people obviously have zero concept of winter. You know...droves of snow, challenging driving conditions and freezing temperatures. There is no winter in Portland right now, not what I call winter at least.



As you can see in the pic, it is absolutely impossible to safely maneuver around in these horrendous conditions. Much safer to stay at home!



So I went home and ate. Nutella croissants....SO YUMMY!



And then I studied, until my eyes got heavy and I needed a break. I have crammed in so much new information into my brain. I am sure I have forgotten half of it and the remainder is mixed up into confusion with what I do recall and understand.
Not a lot of energy for the blog right now. Sometimes I miss it, writing here....it sure gave me something to do during many boring days and nights spent in Alaska feeling lonely but lately I have been quiet busy with studying and taking care of dogs plus other stuff and I am definitely not feeling lonely anymore. And I don't live in Alaska anymore! I still have a lot say but then I think how many times can I write about what I have already penned over and over again? I might pick up the pace of writing again or not but there will be an occasional blog entry now and then for the time being. There is definitely still a lot to talk about and perhaps some things to get off my chest, maybe. Who knows, I might be writing two entries daily next month if I feel inspired to do so.



Another Day Another Latte

Another day another latte, I tried Stumptown Coffee Roasters on 3rd Ave in Portland today. My latte was very good, so I would definitely go back but I do not like that you have to pay to park downtown Portland. So I have to feed the parking meter before I feed my latte addiction or spend money at local businesses? That's lame. The parking downtown Portland is FREE on Sundays BEFORE 1 PM, so if/when I go back to Stumptown I will be there by noon. I don't mind spending money but paying for parking to shop or eat doesn't feel right.





An underground tunnel leading down to the underbelly of Portland. Kind of creepy. I think these tunnels are called the Shanghai Tunnels. You can take a tour of them, I might have to do that.



Also there was a super blood wolf moon tonight with a lunar eclipse. I was hoping to see it, I saw the eclipse but no red moon. I took pics but nothing came out good. Of course.

Yumminess

I went to a place called Broder Söder in Portland located inside Nordia House which is a place for Scandinavian things. ("Nordic Northwest is a nonprofit organization focused on the five Nordic nations: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The mission of Nordic Northwest is to preserve, communicate and celebrate Nordic culture, heritage and innovation" from nordicnorthwest.org.) At Broder Söder I had the Danish pancakes....reminded me of beignets. I don't know why the pancakes come with lingonberries....I never had pancakes served with lingonberries in Sweden. We (at least I) prefer to have my pancakes with a sweet jam like strawberry jam or mixed berries jam.



Me opening up the door to enter Nordia House - I really like these beautiful doors.



One of the best discoveries I have made in a long time, I found a place that could make me Prinsesstårta. !!!!!
That is like my FAVE dessert ever, I grew up eating it and one of the first things I eat when I arrive in Sweden, if not the first thing I eat, is Princesstårta. It is SO good. Baker & Spice made it for me and they did a good job but they could improve, I will give them some specific instructions, of the constructive kind, next time I order it.



Pretty yumminess!



I am not the only one loving this dessert. Check this out.....



And today I went to Papa Haydn and had Boccone Dolce. They have so many good desserts at Papa Haydn, this one is DELICIOUS!




Dentist

It's getting late.....I just ate a bowl of ice cream, whipped cream and a sliced banana. Had a late night craving for it.
I have spent the last few days studying. I recently started pursuing something new and it involves quite a bit of studying but that is all I have to say about that for now.
So.....about a month ago I went to the dentist. I have not been to the dentist in probably over a decade, yep over ten years for sure. So I had a check up and cleaning. No cavities and the cleaning was not bad, it was actually kind of fun. So when the actual dentist came into the room the dental assistant had already taken several X rays of my teeth and poked around in my mouth with dental instruments for a while. He sits down and asks if my wisdom teeth are giving me problems. I was like, no not at all.....why? So I guess the dental assistant had told him they probably should be pulled. He looked in my mouth and told her there is nothing wrong with my wisdom teeth and I would had definitely went for a second opinion had he agreed with her. Or just not done anything at all since my wisdom teeth don't bother me at all.
Here is what I think.....this is what some dental clinics do to generate more money. Tell people they need procedures that they really don't. This is, as most know not uncommon and there are cases of physicians that have order cancer treatments on healthy people. Like chemotherapy. Insurance fraud. Lots of income for the doctors.
A few years ago I took a friend to the dentist. She had Medicaid. The dentist pulled five teeth on her in ONE sitting. The four wisdom teeth and one more tooth. She was in and out of that place in 15 minutes. I was kind of shocked and very concerned when they rolled her out to me so I could take her home. I was like, "you pulled out all five teeth that fast?" He must have yanked those teeth out of her mouth. And later on that evening her mouth was bleeding so much that she had to go to the emergency room because she was in pain, her mouth was infected. That dentist office was basically a conveyer belt for dental procedures for low income patients. So wrong. Is it even safe to pull out that many teeth in one session? And that fast? It was a disturbing experience, I felt bad for my friend.
And now I am reading about a two year old that died a few days ago because some dentist had recommended a procedure that the child most likely did not need in the first place (the child needed crowns and root canals - for a toddler???) and that involved anesthesia and the boy never woke up. Unreal.
The complicated medical industry definitely needs a major overhaul. You want to trust the people that give you medical advise and care, you should not have to be worried about getting mislead due to some unethical greedy person wanting to cash in.


Denis Mukwege



I got this tea today at The Spice & Tea Exchange. I feel grateful for the tea.
Before I forget (again) I have been wanting to write about Nobel Peace Price winner (2018) Denis Mukwege. He shares the 2018 Nobel Peace Price with Nadia Murad. So Denis is that kind of a human being that makes you think, well it makes me think at least about my shortcomings as a human. He is amazing, he does so much good, he is brave, intelligent, educated, he helps others and makes an enormous difference. If you want to learn more about him you can do so easily online.
I have read his Nobel Lecture and if you want you can as well. I recommend reading it.
https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/peace/2018/mukwege/55721-denis-mukwege-nobel-lecture-2/
Here is just a part of it,

"My name is Denis Mukwege. I come from one of the richest countries on the planet. Yet the people of my country are among the poorest of the world.

The troubling reality is that the abundance of our natural resources – gold, coltan, cobalt and other strategic minerals – is the root cause of war, extreme violence and abject poverty.

We love nice cars, jewellery and gadgets. I have a smartphone myself. These items contain minerals found in our country. Often mined in inhuman conditions by young children, victims of intimidation and sexual violence.

When you drive your electric car; when you use your smart phone or admire your jewellery, take a minute to reflect on the human cost of manufacturing these objects.

As consumers, let us at least insist that these products are manufactured with respect for human dignity.

Turning a blind eye to this tragedy is being complicit.

It’s not just perpetrators of violence who are responsible for their crimes, it is also those who choose to look the other way.

My country is being systematically looted with the complicity of people claiming to be our leaders. Looted for their power, their wealth and their glory. Looted at the expense of millions of innocent men, women and children abandoned in extreme poverty. While the profits from our minerals end up in the pockets of a predatory oligarchy.

For twenty years now, day after day, at Panzi hospital, I have seen the harrowing consequences of the country’s gross mismanagement.

Babies, girls, young women, mothers, grandmothers, and also men and boys, cruelly raped, often publicly and collectively, by inserting burning plastic or sharp objects in their genitals.

I’ll spare you the details.

The Congolese people have been humiliated, abused and massacred for more than two decades in plain sight of the international community.

Today, with access to the most powerful communication technology ever, no one can say: “I didn’t know”."

It makes me think about my own role on this planet and what I do or don't do to make things better or worse. I have more means to contribute and make better choices than the people who live in difficult conditions. I understand that their main focus is survival. But I am safe, I sleep in a warm bed and I eat every day. I can go and buy myself tea to enjoy later while laying on my couch. I can do more for others and for the world. Can you?
I know that Denis Mukwege won't read this but I am deeply grateful that people like him exist. Thank You for all that you do. You deserve every price and recognition there is.

2019

Well.....Happy New Year everybody - 2019 is here. I started the morning of New Year's Eve with a vanilla latte, the last latte of 2018.



New Year's Eve was celebrated inside with food and friends, furry and human. It was fun and nice, I stayed up until 2 am and the first thing I ate after midnight was peppermint candy ice cream.
I got served breakfast in bed when I finally woke up because I am a real pillow princess, a cup of coffee and a bowl of blueberries and strawberries.



After lounging around the house and reading a bit....I am currently enjoying these three books by Jacqueline Frances, it was time for a walk on the beach. Hello 2019!



First sunset of the year.



Three pics of me from last year. Didn't the year go by fast, like always?







What can be said about 2018? I feel that it is becoming increasingly dangerous for women out there, where can one be safe? So many cases of absolutely senseless violence against women....all over the world. I used to want to explore the world and thought nothing of doing everything by myself. I don't know about that anymore. I rather be safe than sorry I guess.
As far as politics go....I agree with Noam Chomsky (what an interesting human he is!), "he characterizes the U.S. as a de facto one-party state, viewing both the Republican Party and Democratic Party as manifestations of a single "Business Party" controlled by corporate and financial interests." I think many feel the same way.
The last thing I ate today by the way was peppermint candy ice cream - ice cream what a yummy way to start and end the year.....



Here are a few more pics before the first day of the year is over.





I am hoping for a good year with positive personal growth and doing small things of niceness for others - animals, nature and humans. You know, in between just doing the regular everyday mostly mundane things that most of us have to do.


Christmas and Birthday

Another Christmas and another birthday came and went. I was actually due on December 25 but decided to wait until the 27 my Mom told me.
This year I spent my Christmas and birthday on the beautiful Oregon coast.
On Christmas Eve I walked the beach with the dogs....



Tomten was waiting.



We had glögg.





Hello Kitty sparkling rose, I just had to have it.



The sun setting on my birthday.







My beautiful love Chhaya, with me always and forever. ❤️



Then we left the beach only to return today, ringing in the New Year here.