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Center Camp Coffee Shop Barista

So I volunteered this year (again) as a Center Camp coffee shop barista.....it is so much fun! This year I did four shifts and a shift is four hours so about 16 hours, you always stay a little longer. You gets tips and I am going to donate my Burning Man barista income to a local spay and neuter fund. My last shift which was the last Sunday was the most fun because I had a super fun co barista next to me. The shift before my last which was on a Thursday was the worst cause my cashier sucked and so did my runner.....they were just two annoying girls that had zero clue. When you do the barista thing you get divided up into "teams", one cashier that takes the orders and the money, one barista, one runner that gets the non espresso drinks plus there are other people that take the dirty spoons and give you clean ones, empty the bins with the coffee grounds, fill up the coolers with milk and milk alternatives (almond and soy), get you clean rags to clean your machine with etc. If the cashier sucks then I get thrown off.....some people have no clue, in real life and at Burning Man. Oh well. But yes....doing the barista thing at Center Camp is a lot of fun to me. It is supposedly the busiest coffee shop in the world for that week but I think it was much busier last year. Perhaps because you can find other places to get free coffee at Burning Man, the drinks at Center Camp coffee shop are not free and the prices went up since last year and more people come in RV's which means they can make their own morning drinks. Of course you can make your own coffee if you sleep in a tent too but in an RV it is easier....cause you have a stove inside already. But I like Center Camp in general I go there every day whether I volunteer there or not, there is art everywhere and stages where people perform and talk.....it is a great place to start your day with a tasty latte or end your night with a hot chocolate or chai.







The blend of beans created for Burning Man.



Orgy Dome

I think I spent at least half of my time at Burning Man inside the Orgy Dome in a naked haze.....no not really actually. But I did want a picture with the Orgy Dome sign so I took McKenzie to it. And she donated some baby wipes to them because that is what they needed. As you can see, the Orgy Dome also offered some educational workshops, you never know what you might learn at Burning Man.









No Orgy Dome for me....I actually DID go inside once a few years ago because I wanted to see what was going on in there, just to look definitely not participate and I think I lasted about 30 seconds in there before I started laughing so hard that I had to leave. It's not for me....but I think it is a great option for the people that want to enjoy themselves in there.

Dust

The first couple of days there were some dust storms. In fact I heard that they shut down entry into Burning Man for several hours on Monday because of dust storms. I dragged McKenzie through the dust on our bikes, glad that she got experience it. I got my bandanas on, covering my face and hair. Dusty eyelashes and brows....breathing in the playa and loving it.



Limited visibility in Center Camp.



Checking out what Black Rock City has to offer this year in "What Where When".



Once the first dust storms ceased it was actually great weather the rest of the week....the playa was smooth and easy to bike on. I am ready for the day ahead....



This was the year that Larry Harvey, the founder of Burning Man passed away. I never met him (that I know of) but I am forever grateful to him for Burning Man. A truly amazing adventure that really can't be described in words - it has to be experienced - Thank You Larry.



Arrived

The gates to Burning Man 2018 opened at 12:01 am on Sunday August 26. We got there at 12:44 am (yeay I finally arrived in good time) and got to camp at 3:07 am, so not bad at all with waiting in line to get in. A lot of people were already settled in. People get early arrival passes to set up camps and others are there weeks in advance to build stuff, after all Black Rock City is basically a fully functioning city that supports around 70 000 people living there for the duration of the event. Putting on Burning Man is a huge undertaking.
A pic from the line.



This year I went with a girl that had never been to Burning Man before (a burgin!), McKenzie. As soon as we got the bikes out and a few things taken care of I took her out on the playa so she could see some stuff. And learn how to get around and find her way home to camp. The full moon was out and it was calm and clear - I felt happy to have arrived.
Center Camp and the moon.





We didn't stay up for that long, we were probably in bed by 5 am. A whole week at Burning Man was ahead of me, I knew that time was going to fly by. It always does. I was signed up for 16 hours of volunteer "work" (fun) as a barista at Center Camp and I was also going to DJ at Planet Earth this year.....check back tomorrow for more of my Burning Man 2018 experience.

Got Out

I got out from the playa and Burning Man.....I got back home yesterday early evening. I have a lot of pictures to go through....even my Mom asked me when my Burning Man pics will be up and I told her that it will be a while. I need sleep, a bath, I have stuff to take care of, do and unpack and wash because I am now back in the default world now. What is the "default world"? It is, according to Burning Man community, "the rest of the world that is not Black Rock City during the Burning Man event". To learn more Burning Man glossary check this out
burningman.org/culture/glossary
I still have my Burning Man hair though....I might keep it a fe more days. So give me a while and the Burning Man 2018 pics will be up! :-D
As always it is over way too fast.



My new necklace and my Burning Man manicure.



And when I checked my email last night, my phone was set to airplane mode for the whole duration of my burn, I saw this beautiful poem that a friend wrote to me.
How sweet! Thank You! I appreciate YOU!

I hope your adventure is all good vibe.
Amongst all the desert souls in your tribe.
I wish your soul soar high with excellent lift.
Your love, and your passion, is your gift.

Running Loose

Yesterday while driving around swamped with a ton of stuff to do I saw a dog running loose. A lost dog. I can't just continue driving and leave a dog on its own where it can get hurt so I pulled over and tried to get the dog to come up to me. The dog was scared but after a few tries I managed to put my sarong around her collar. She was wearing a collar with no tag. Since I was quite busy she had to ride along with me for a few hours and she seemed to be OK with that. She laid down and relaxed. Later on I had to drop her off at the Humane Society. I hope things work out for her, she is a very sweet and well behaved dog. Situations like these are difficult. I hope the owner comes forward but her toenails were long and her teeth were in rather bad condition, in fact when I gave her a treat it looked like she was uncomfortable chewing. Perhaps a nice and caring person will adopt her. Little Mama....such a cutie.





Hello

Hello. I haven't been here for a while because I am trying to deal with and adjust to my new "normal" and that is all I can say for now. But I am still here....and life goes on for all of us even when it's almost too painful to live. It feels like my soul is on fire right now.
I hope that everybody had a nice weekend. Back in the day I used to get anxiety on Sundays....more so when I was still living in Sweden and Sunday night meant that there would be school the next day. That anxiety or more of an uneasy feeling stayed with me for years afterwards and I know that it is a real feeling for many. Some have a really hard time on Sunday nights.....But before you know it the weekend will be here.
Here are some things that I have been doing since I last checked in....
My garden....so pretty, so colorful. I have veggies growing....WOW! I gave this big red tomato to my friend Mr.B that happened to drive through here last week on his way to a different destination. Mr.B is so very nice and a tomato is not really a worthy "gift" for such a good friend but that is what he got. We had coffee and talked for hours, it felt good.



More tomatoes......my Mom told me that this picture reminds her of when she would pick tomatoes and put them in her shirt, a long time ago when she was a young girl. I miss my Mom.



I found a place with locally grown and organic vegetables.....a super cute place.





That visit resulted in this.....pickled cucumbers! I am bringing two jars to Burning Man.



Yes....I am going to Burning Man. Sixth year in a row now. I am slowly preparing, I lubed the chain on my bike, one of the tires needs air.



I ate at my fave food cart, Ma'ama Jama's. Yummy.



What else? I signed up to volunteer at the Humane Society. But it's not a done deal yet....first there are some formalities and training next month and who knows, I might go in the first day and decide it is not a place for me. You never know. I love animals though.....



We had a pajama party at work all weekend. How many girls dressed for the theme?
Like three. I was one of them. The girls did not want to be without their platform heels and their usual outfits, they felt that they would not make money dressed in pajama stuff and slippers. Yes...those high heels make wonders for legs and butts. I got these slippers at Walmart for $9, they are great. I felt short compared to how tall I am when I wear my seven inch platforms and my feet were happy.
I got a guy kicked out....well the bouncers decided to kick him and his group out after he had mouthed off a bit too much to several girls, I just happened to be the wrong one to get smart with. And he was from Croatia.....yeah no wonder he thought he was being better than the rest of us. I know plenty of people from former Yugoslavia and I can say this....many of the guys from there have a crappy attitude towards women. His friends that were cool, said that he was an asshole in general and he just would not quit mouthing off to me even when I tried to be nice and ignore him. Finally it got kind of heated and the bouncers were like....what is going on here? I stepped to the side and they decided he had to go. Bye.



I got acquainted with this French mastiff (Dogue de Bordeaux) today, a big and friendly boy - Quincy. He lives with another mastiff and two pugs in an amazingly animal friendly house.
I want to live like that one day.



And that's it. I am not sure when I am writing again. It could be this week or it might be after I get back from Burning Man....I just don't know. I sometimes feel that I have said everything I want to say, that I am done with the blog. I have felt like that this whole year. But then another part of me loves writing, sharing my thoughts and taking fun pictures to go with the writing. Another reason for not wanting to write the blog anymore is that I simply do not want certain people to know anything about me anymore. That is how I feel....not sure what to do. Anyhow....it's almost 1 am and I am going to bed.

Frugal

Today I decided to bring out my frugal side....oh yes I have one of those. When I find change on the ground I get ecstatic!
I am always eyeing the ground for change, hawk style.
Anyhow....Oregon charges a ten cent deposit per glass bottle (not all bottles count though) when you buy whatever beverage that comes in a bottle. I have until now recycled all my glass bottles by putting them in a container outside my place when there is pick up for recyclables. But today I took my bottles to one of the bottle redemption locations and got $3.20 for them. You basically get your deposit back per bottle. So this is what I will do from now on. My daily latte is $4.75 plus I leave a tip of course. All that extra change that I find and bottle money will pay for a percentage of my lattes. Yeay!



Squash Blossoms

I have squash blossoms (aka zucchini flowers) growing in my garden. I heard that you can eat them but I never tried them until yesterday. I went to a local place for dinner and saw that the restaurant had them.....so of course I wanted to see what it was all about.
I am not sure what they tasted like because they were filled with a cheese that made them taste like....cheese. They looked pretty on the plate though. Now the question is.....should I eat the squash blossoms that are growing in my garden? I'm scared! :-)




Disclaimers

So the night I put up those collages at the club is also the night they got taken down by one of the managers. He took them down after we (the dancers) were gone and put them in the office. I did not work at the club again for almost a week and I noticed they were gone when I returned. I had a talk to the other manager about it (we have two) and he took a look at them and thought that some of the images could perhaps be offensive to some of the girls. ???
I mean, the collages in MY opinion are funny, spot on and relatable and they are made by a dancer so how could they be offensive? If that is considered offensive to one of the other dancers then she must be a very whiny politically correct annoying person in general and I am myself definitely not politically correct. And I sincerely doubt any of the girls at the club would find this offensive.
Manager two pointed out a couple images in particular, one that is called "Menstrual Man" and the other one has a girl doing a pole trick when her baby happens to pop out.
OK, let's discuss those....yes I know that a large percentage of men are scared of menstrual blood (OMG GROSS), in some places women are shunned when they are menstruating and have to go hide somewhere until they stop bleeding. Getting your first period as a girl is often considered somewhat embarrassing and these matters should not be talked about loudly so a drawing depicting a man as a bloody tampon is of course cringeworthy for men. They can't handle it. On the other hand women should looooove getting semen all over their faces, preferably from a group of guys at the same time and we should enjoy swallowing it too, like it's a gourmet meal or something. Newsflash to men......that if anything is GROSS. And that is my opinion and I think majority of women agree. So period blood is disgusting and semen is like a nectar. I beg to differ. Period is natural and there should be no tabus about it.
Now the girl with the baby. First of all it is a joke OK. No baby has fallen out of a womb while a dancer has been on stage. Are there pregnant dancers? Yes of course. In fact we had a girl dancing until she was about eight months pregnant and no guys knew because she concealed it well and she was doing pole tricks. Somehow (I just don't know how) the baby managed not to fall out. In fact she is my absolute fave dancer at the club and she came back a few weeks after giving birth and looks amazing, better than most girls that never gave birth. I doubt she would get offended over the baby drawing.
I stood my ground and brought up the matter of the taken down collages with the owner.
He said he does not believe in censorship, this is America after all. And I was given permission to put them back up, although he too was a bit concerned that some random dancer might get offended. Well guess what, I am offended that you are offended. One more thing that I reacted over was the obvious mansplaining. Here we have men telling women how we should feel and react. I am completely convinced that we can make our own decisions over what we find offensive or not, we do not need a man telling us how to react. We work in an environment that is deemed adult oriented but some manager is deciding on our behalf that some collages made by another dancer might be offensive. Really?
I did have to write some disclaimers stating that the collages are not the views of management. I had no problem doing so. And the collages are back up on the wall.