Don’t Despair. Create.

bourbon ballsThis time of year, I always think about local Seattle journalist, Megan Seling from The Stranger and her piece from a few years back . I’ve probably posted about this before. What’s great about it is that it speaks of the things we do to get us through the long winter months of dark and grey. I’m having a great December so far, personally, but it’s been rough in the world around me. Today I’m making (or attempting to make) bourbon chocolate truffles and bourbon balls. The picture is of the last batch of bourbon balls I made a few years ago. The secret is great bourbon and never, ever using any recipe that calls for Nilla wafers. Seriously, it’s just not right.

Wish me luck as I hopefully come out of this day with edible confections!

Early Burning of the Man

from Laughing Squid

They’re promising to rebuild the Man for the weekend burn. This just all seems ridiculous to me. Of course, this is because I went to Burning Man for the first time in 99, about 2 years after it was last “cool.” I went in 2000 and 2004, and my last burn was really not all that great. It was too big, and it was starting to show the stresses of the population. I really believe that once you get a certain population density, even for a brief period of time, like a week, you’re going to start having some of the same problems that other American cities have. I’m talking about everything from sanitation to crime. The larger the population, the more infrastructure by the Org required to keep things seeming like nothing has changed on the surface. The Man no longer sits on top of hay stacks, and now they have a well oiled emergency services and the risk of DYING at Burning Man is pretty low. Hell, the risk of an unintentional fire is pretty low. They put out the man in 26 min, and it was not fully consumed.

While I do think arson is bad, I find it amusing that Burning Man has been the haven for people who like to blow shit up, burn it, prance around naked, do drugs and give the finger to the Law. Burning someone elses art is also bad. The thing is, I don’t consider the Man art any more because it’s trademarked and a brand. And besides, it was MEANT to burn. Isn’t this just what the over-commercialized, over-run event needs? A reminder of how EPHEMERAL the event is supposed to be? It seems that one of the wonderful things about Burning Man is that the burn symbolizes the end and beginning — it’s a modern ritual in understanding impermanance and letting what’s burned stay burned, at least for the year. Why build another man to burn the same week?

One year. One Man.

To me, it just says, “How American.” This year is called “Green Man.” Some people have called for an increased emphasis on envioronmental sensitivity and sustainability wrt the event. There are a lot of resources poured into the event — fossil fuels, lumber and sanitation are just parts of the infrastructure, let alone what people bring in – RV’s, generators, etc. Whatever happened to dealing with a non-recouperable experience and moving on? I think in 2K one of the Man’s arms didn’t go up for the burn. Did that mean that it didn’t burn and we waited for it to be fixed? Sometimes things don’t happen the way we want. It’s not like the Temple doesn’t burn at the end of the week.

Whatever happened to packing up all your stuff with a tent and rations and water, going out and having a great time with the threat of death?

It’s just crazy.

I’ll repeat at the end of this: I don’t think it’s cool that someone lit the Man on fire early. I do think that people should just let it stay burned and not build another man. “Suck it up and deal.”

Settling Into Winter

Today is the 2nd anniversary of my arrival in Seattle. It’s been a wild ride, and I don’t think I ever imagined that moving to a new city would change my life so much. To this day, I marvel at all the changes that happened because of that move. Since I’m not really religious any more, or believe in that woojie stuff that makes things go — like fate or destiny — it’s still rather wonderful that my life has fallen into place in such a short period of time.

Winter means rain in the Pacific Northwest. Rain and darkness, a great bit of time to pursue angst and bitterness as a hobby, and use those favorite drugs of caffeine in the form of our famous coffee, and alcohol in the form of our hoppiest beers to drive the winter blues away and ease our weary spirits.

As for me, I’m settling into nearly a year at my current job, already finding it not as challenging as it was when I first started. I love a good challenge, and I love “wowing” people. I think this is why I love customer service — almost as much as I hate it.

My hopes for this winter start with a change of dwelling — a brand, spanking new place nearby that will offer a bit more space for the two of us. I’m also hoping, ironically, to find that social energy that I’ve been lacking with my hectic schedule. I’ve settled into the state-working drone persona, and now I’m longing for something with a bit more pizazz. This includes friends, associates, and other amusing types that are outside of my realms of work. The virtual friendships lodged within these Internets are simply not enough. I worry I’m growing stagnate, and I long for professional and personal development.

And a sexy pair of shoes, but that’s another story altogether. I want to look, feel and be fabulous. It’s not just an effort to lose weight, it’s an effort to be powerful and healthy — the kind of person that can climb a mountain, or maybe just climb the hills in Seattle without stopping for breath. The kind of person that doesn’t cower, with lungs aching, at climbing the tower in Volunteer Park. The kind of person that will revel next spring in exploring the great outdoors of this fine state with the only survival questions being those of mosquito and tick fighting, not out-running a bear. Well, I think even a perfectly fit person might have a problem with that, but you see where I’m going, I hope.

Incidentally, as the holidays come up — along with my birthday — please take note of the following —

I like jewelry (necklaces, rings (size 7 or 8, depending what finger it will go on) from Tiffany’s
Macy’s and Aveda are places I commonly shop.
Coldwater Creek, Eddie Bauer and Land’s End are a few catalogs I gawk at.
Coach makes the handbags I just absolutely love

I’m also wanting picture books of Mucha.

Gift certificates are always welcome. 🙂

And with that, I end this rambling blog post.

Here’s to a great winter!


I was just going to copy and paste the William S. Burroughs “A Thanksgiving Prayer”, but instead I’m just linking to it.

Thanks, BoingBoing for reminding me of that. I believe they posted that last year. It’s really a brilliant piece.

As for me and my T-day celebration, I’m spending it thousands of miles from my family, feeling a bit homesick for Chicago, and even Kentucky (I was reading Kentucky related things on Wikipedia yesterday). Jon and I will be making some tastey food and bringing it to our friend’s house. Mostly, all I want is a relaxing day.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.