Skinny Kitty Teahouse: not nice.

Skinny Kitty Teahouse: not nice.

Postby jyesika » Wed Sep 05, 2007 8:42 am

This is the first year I've had any sort of serious breach of neighborly etiquette with a camp. The perps: Skinny Kitty Teahouse. Invited by one of their members to ride an art car to watch the oil rig burn, we arrived early and helped load a piano onto the car. We asked both the driver and some other organizer if it was OK to be there. We were first on. A good half an hour later, some late members or friends of the camp arrived and instead of booting the latecomers some hippy hag came over to me and said she didn't recognize me so we needed to get off. I protested, told her of our prearranged checks and attempts to be rational and pleasant. She was joined by some other belligerent toe rag and we got into a rather curt shouting match about "private parties".
I protested, not only because we had been invited, confirmed our invitation and helped with the preparations, but also because a "private art car" is very much at odds with the community of burning man. I think it is also at odds with the licensure agreement. Some neighbors later told me that they had been walking next to the skinny kitty art car (the next day!) and overheard others rudely being banished in a similar way.
I understand limitations of art cars, and obviously it's fun to organize camp parties. We weren't demanding booze or anything unreasonable. The skinny kitty camp people really soured my experience.
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Skinny Kitty

Postby playababe » Wed Sep 05, 2007 9:09 am

OMG! I had a terrible experience with them as well. We were rambling around looking for a camp in their area and wandered over to them to ask for directions. Apparently we walked into some sort of "members only" party, because instead of being helped we got yelled at! :evil: :?:
skinny kitty? Should join up with camp bad vibes.
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Postby Teo del Fuego » Wed Sep 05, 2007 10:21 am

what you guys described was bad news. Just out of fairness, I have to say that the camp members I interacted with were all right on positive. The home brew they served freely and kindly was outrageously good and I detected nothing but good hospitality there. I s'posse one or two members can make a big difference one way or the other.
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Postby Dr. Pyro » Wed Sep 05, 2007 12:54 pm

I had just the opposite experience. I helped them unload their piano off the art car, and had a fabulous time. They were friendly, attentive, and some of the nicest people I met on the playa. One of their members even gave me a foot massage while sipping cabernet savignon. So you'll pardon my cynicism, but are you sure you have the right camp?
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Postby jyesika » Wed Sep 05, 2007 1:32 pm

Well, both of our experiences involved piano toting art cars, so I'll bet I'm right about the name. (And they had dead cats in front of their camp).
I did visit your camp one occasion this year and 3 years ago, (Barbie Death Camp and Wine Bistro?) and had a very pleasant time. Props to you Dr. Pyro.
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Postby ZeeKitten » Thu Sep 06, 2007 1:39 pm

I didn't encounter them, but did encounter another art car that denied us in favor of a private party - it made me sad enough that I didn't even ask any other art cars for rides and that was one thing I really wanted to do on this, my first Burn . . . :(
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Same at Disorient Dex Bus

Postby vshake » Fri Sep 07, 2007 10:30 am

Similar story for me and my girl at the Disorient Dex Bus at the Deep End on Thursday. She was feeling like she was going to pass out so we climbed up into the bus and chilled out for a bit. Anyhow after about 30 mins I noticed the vibe around the bus was getting a bit aggro - apparently their amps were over heating and their relay of the Deep End music was cutting out. Obviously, unfamiliar with the "deal with and enjoy it" approach to the Burn these guys started flipping out. Next minute they were telling everyone on the bus they were leaving and started throwing in partition boards and gear right in on top of us. They were way uptight and aggressive. Next time I hope they check their egos at the door! Disorient is an apt camp name - those guys hadn't a clue.
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Private Party Art Cars

Postby barnz » Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:15 am

Last year my wife and I rode on "The Casbus" and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I believe that we were offered treats from the bar, although we did not partake, we just had a lovely time travelling the playa and meeting people while resting our tired dogs.

This year I wanted to say hello to Lucky and his brethren and tell them how much we appreciated their bus last year. I saw them parked in front of us at the derrick burn, and although their bus appeared to be about half full, we were greeted by a closed door with a note saying burn nights were exclusive for 'friends and family.' Now perhaps we could have negotiated induction onto the "friends" list, but that didn't feel like something we wanted to do. :?
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Postby plcb4 » Fri Sep 07, 2007 2:58 pm

Jyesika, and a little bit Playababe I am sorry to hear that you had a bad experience with our camp this year. loading a piano into an art car AND being offered a ride by a Skinny Kitty should most certainly award you a free ticket. To ease your mind a little, i don't know who offered you a ride on Latusha (not even skinny kitty's art car) but they had no idea how many people were going to be on it, or how many it would carry. Now normally art cars should be able to take anyone that hops on but in this case we were going to have an exclusive tour and.. well… To many people just got on. The person who offered the ride to you just didn’t have enough info. AND to make your mind a little more at ease and relaxed… when the thing finally started after FOUR calls for only skinny kitties (it was getting way too heavy) I looked around and noticed almost NO skinny kitties on it anyway. So I left too. And. She busted just around the corner because it was overloaded.

Art cars are hard, ask anyone, so before you start typing out of anger I suggest you try running one sometime. The mechanic that works on her gets very little free time for himself at all (even less when it breaks down). The only harder job it deciding who gets to stay whether or not it is an exclusive. People just don’t get off and art cars can break.

The way things should have worked was only a certain amount of people should have been offered a stamp or branding or whathaveyou and only they should have been let on board. Then only the brander gets shit.

BUT the woman you refer to as a “Hippy Hagâ€
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Re: Skinny Kitty Teahouse: not nice.

Postby madmatt » Fri Sep 07, 2007 3:04 pm

jyesika wrote:This is the first year I've had any sort of serious breach of neighborly etiquette with a camp. The perps: Skinny Kitty Teahouse.


Not everybody in every camp treats everyone exactly the same all the time on the playa.

Me and my gang came into Skinny Kitty several times and had a great time. Their teas were fabulous and really helped me several times with being overheated and exhausted. They were all nice when we saw them.

IMHO you just got unlucky and caught someone at a bad moment. Maybe that one person was just a dick.
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Postby bighairgal » Fri Sep 07, 2007 10:51 pm

I wasn't able to make it there this year but someone i know wrote and said:

"...As they're driving off I hear a slightly nasal woman's voice saying over the speaker system "Skinny Kitty Crew only. It doesn't mean we don't love you, but you can't be on the car. If you're not with the Skinny Kitty Crew please get off the car. We all know who we are, so we'll recognize you. Don't hope we won't notice!" etc...."

kind of a suck-fest owning an art car huh?
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Postby Rat Bastard » Sat Sep 08, 2007 12:10 am

I brought the Cum Back Inn, a two story Chicago brick house, all the way from Chicago. That was hell in it's self.

Once I got it together I had a blast with it. We cruised real slow and picked up all kinds of riders. Even limoed a couple to their wedding. On burn nights it was my camp and our next door neighbors. No room.

A sign on the huge space boat behind us said it best. "We gave all week, tonight is for us."

I'm fully aware of the DMV regs on MVs and giving rides. I also know the BRC regs on MOOP left in my truck, people jumping on while I'm in motion. Playing chicken on a bicycle against my 2 1/2 ton beast of a truck. There's also MY regulations of being a passenger on my vehicle. It's my work, money, gas, insurance and ass on the line.

Some of my best times were cuising and giving people a different way to see BRC. My max capacity driving was 22 people I think. For the burn I had 34 on at one time (parked). I thought my max would be 20. Suprised she held up, it was one of the most rewarding gifts I could give to the community. It was stressful at times and a LOT of work but it was worth it. And because of my efforts of such a large gift, I felt totally justified having a private party in my own mutant vehicle with my friends and family at my burn on my dime.

Now let's please talk about the golf carts that are too small to carry anyone! Two seats? come on!
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Postby RINGMASTER » Sat Sep 08, 2007 6:28 am

[quote="Rat Bastard"] Even limoed a couple to their wedding. [/quote]


was that on saturday pre burn over to the temple? if so, thanks! if that was you guys, i was the one who officiated over the wedding!
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can't golf carts get respect?

Postby bighairgal » Sat Sep 08, 2007 11:04 am

i really like the idea of golf carts altho not as many people can climb on board. Aren't there different size golf carts that can haul 4-5 people including the driver? If i were so bold as to create an art car, i'd go with the smaller easier-to-control-the-vibes vehicle.
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Postby jofezasa » Sat Sep 08, 2007 12:58 pm

My understanding is that cars licensed by DMV are by nature public and you should not be denied space or kicked off as you were. Let DMV know and perhaps these cars from these camps will not be licensed in the future.
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Postby Rat Bastard » Sat Sep 08, 2007 12:59 pm

Ringmaster,
No, that wasn't me. The couple I drove got dropped off at a camp near the esplanade. I want to say it was Thursday but it's all kind of a blur!

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Re: Same at Disorient Dex Bus

Postby The Bass » Sat Sep 08, 2007 3:49 pm

vshake wrote:Similar story for me and my girl at the Disorient Dex Bus at the Deep End on Thursday. She was feeling like she was going to pass out so we climbed up into the bus and chilled out for a bit. Anyhow after about 30 mins I noticed the vibe around the bus was getting a bit aggro - apparently their amps were over heating and their relay of the Deep End music was cutting out. Obviously, unfamiliar with the "deal with and enjoy it" approach to the Burn these guys started flipping out. Next minute they were telling everyone on the bus they were leaving and started throwing in partition boards and gear right in on top of us. They were way uptight and aggressive. Next time I hope they check their egos at the door! Disorient is an apt camp name - those guys hadn't a clue.


vhsake - sorry about that - some of our camp members got a little over heated at each other on that particular occasion, and i'm very sorry if they were dickish as a result!!!!

generally i think we have a fairly decent track record of hospitality, both vehicular and otherwise... again, many apologies!!!!
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Postby barnz » Sat Sep 08, 2007 4:01 pm

I have to give props to the people showing up saying "yeah, that was us, and we're sorry if we were kind of dicks at that moment. Oops." :)
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Postby trilobyte » Mon Sep 10, 2007 6:51 pm

Sorry to hear of your experience, vshake. My experience with Disorient and DEX has been the opposite over the last several years.

But ask yourself how much money out of your own pocket you'd like to shell out to replace burned out amps and speakers for their vehicle so they can happily say "it's the playa, deal with it?" I know, art cars are public conveyance. But they have to keep riders AND their gear safe. Having worked with Disorient on an event on Wednesday night, I know that they had been having a problem with amps and speakers blowing out. On Wednesday we were over an hour late because they had to replace 5 big speakers and 5 power amps. That's fucking expensive gear. I can completely understand the idea of one of their camp/crew getting a bit worried about another big meltdown. Don't take the experience personally, that bunch of people had already suffered thousands upon thousands of dollars worth of damage to their equipment by then, and they were probably focused on preserving what equipment they had left.

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Postby LeChatNoir » Mon Sep 10, 2007 10:20 pm

Rat Bastard wrote:I brought the Cum Back Inn, a two story Chicago brick house, all the way from Chicago. That was hell in it's self.

Once I got it together I had a blast with it. We cruised real slow and picked up all kinds of riders. Even limoed a couple to their wedding. On burn nights it was my camp and our next door neighbors. No room.

A sign on the huge space boat behind us said it best. "We gave all week, tonight is for us."

I'm fully aware of the DMV regs on MVs and giving rides. I also know the BRC regs on MOOP left in my truck, people jumping on while I'm in motion. Playing chicken on a bicycle against my 2 1/2 ton beast of a truck. There's also MY regulations of being a passenger on my vehicle. It's my work, money, gas, insurance and ass on the line.

Some of my best times were cuising and giving people a different way to see BRC. My max capacity driving was 22 people I think. For the burn I had 34 on at one time (parked). I thought my max would be 20. Suprised she held up, it was one of the most rewarding gifts I could give to the community. It was stressful at times and a LOT of work but it was worth it. And because of my efforts of such a large gift, I felt totally justified having a private party in my own mutant vehicle with my friends and family at my burn on my dime.

Now let's please talk about the golf carts that are too small to carry anyone! Two seats? come on!




The guys at the tire shop in Lovelock were talking about you when we pulled in to get a replacement for our spare. They wondered if you'd make it all the way back to Chicago or not. Looks like you did. Glad to hear it.
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Postby Rat Bastard » Mon Sep 10, 2007 10:51 pm

Yes we made it back. The tireshop owner was a nice guy wasn't he? After Lovelock it was easy sailing all the way to Chicago.
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Postby Fat SAM » Mon Sep 10, 2007 11:34 pm

I've had a couple of experiences with art cars on both ends of the spectrum. Last year, all of my camp liquor was donated to an art car with the promise of a ride to the Burn. The liquor was hijacked and my campmates and I were left standing in the dust after the art car driver ditched us. This year, I had my first dj gig on an art car and tried to get as many of my campmates on as possible, but it seems that the camp who owns the art car gets dibs. That's just how it goes. Next year, a friend of mine is planning on building and bringing out his own art car and he understands and has expressed to me that it's his art car and that seems perfectly reasonable to me. It's a personal item. It's built on sweat and isn't public by any means. Sharing is up to the individual. Everything else is a gift and 'gifting' is done according to whim, not law.

It's the shits that you guys helped out and got the short end of the stick. Like I said, I know what that's like. You just have to be ready to roll with situations like that on the playa, though. Plans change, circumstances change...don't let it sour you on a whole camp or even on the people that seem to have disrespected you. There was probably some reason for what happened even though right now it seems irrational and unfair.
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Postby Lassen Forge » Tue Sep 11, 2007 4:40 am

One of my bummers this year was realizing that the art car we built only had the capacity to haul 2 people, 3 at the very most. Really bummed me out. THe one time we loaded it (4 people and someone's stuff for a run out to the gate) the linkages started binding bad (shit) and the tires started leaking air pretty severely (tripleshit).

I think next year (if I go) I will fit some kind of overload suspension on it (like gas shocks or something) and try to find those solid rubber tires so they don't go flat again. You have no idea how bummed I was to be driving along and not be able to give others rides...
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Postby pinemom » Tue Sep 11, 2007 8:24 am

same here: no we didnt have an art car this/last year...we WILL have one
THIS/next yr

and one of my big things is to have a people trailor in back, cause man we got stuck out in open playa on foot in the middle of the heat, with no oppertunities to grab a hitch back.
So this yr I wanna do some recon to go out see the playa and grab up poor dried up frogs off the playa! And get them at least to the first spot of shade and a cocktail!
Poor frogs..I was one in 2006, I almost crystalized in the sun, and I was on a BIKE!(I was a silly hungover virgin, trying to make my way out to the waffle, with both water and Bloody mary in my basket, but still I almost became playa art!)
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Postby Rat Bastard » Tue Sep 11, 2007 12:35 pm

BBS and Pinemom,
All I can say about building a MV that can carry people is if it can't carry them before mutation, it won't after. Yes, golf carts are convienient but they don't hold shit. If you want something that will hold people, start with a base vehicle that can do so on it's own. Check out a junk yard and look for some drug dealers SUV that got rolled. You only want the driver's dash to keep anyway.

Next year I might do a trailer. Then I could haul 40 instead of 20+ kids chanting "your so awsome for giving us a ride". I had the trailer at BRC but no decorations.

I learned an awful lot about building an MV this past year. The biggest thing I learned was that I was glad I did it from a truck frame and not a car or golf cart. I had the power, suspension, tires and rigidity I needed without spending $$ for modifications, outriggers, airbags etc. If y'all have any questions, feel free to discuss them with me.

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Re: Same at Disorient Dex Bus

Postby vshake » Tue Sep 11, 2007 1:02 pm

[quote="The Bass"][quote="vshake"]Similar story for me and my girl at the Disorient Dex Bus at the Deep End on Thursday. She was feeling like she was going to pass out so we climbed up into the bus and chilled out for a bit. Anyhow after about 30 mins I noticed the vibe around the bus was getting a bit aggro - apparently their amps were over heating and their relay of the Deep End music was cutting out. Obviously, unfamiliar with the "deal with and enjoy it" approach to the Burn these guys started flipping out. Next minute they were telling everyone on the bus they were leaving and started throwing in partition boards and gear right in on top of us. They were way uptight and aggressive. Next time I hope they check their egos at the door! Disorient is an apt camp name - those guys hadn't a clue.[/quote]

vhsake - sorry about that - some of our camp members got a little over heated at each other on that particular occasion, and i'm very sorry if they were dickish as a result!!!!

generally i think we have a fairly decent track record of hospitality, both vehicular and otherwise... again, many apologies!!!![/quote]


It was my girl's first time and I had watched her go from initial shyness and apprehension to absolute wonder and opening up. While sitting on the bus, after three days of almost stunned silence, she began to tell me how special it was for her to be there and to see this other way of being. She said she had missed out on so much, having tangled with dark things for too long, and this had really brought the truth home. Man, I couldn't tell you how happy I was to hear those words. I had brought her to the Burn for the very hope. Three years chipping away... Enough was said and we just looked on onto the Deep End with smiles on our faces.

So you can see the partition boards in the face and aggro tore this moment and brought us crashing back to earth again. Her guard went up again and never dropped the rest of the trip.

I appreciate the expense of equipment and the effort that is put into art cars but these are all (or used to be) props/facilitators for what I think Burning Man is really about: human interaction on a more profound and meaningful level. Man, we're all tired of the stunted crippled interactions we have to deal with in the real world. Some can't handle it and seek escape. Others just zone out and go through the motions - stop listening.

I hope the Burn will continue to be an oasis of dreams for what can be when we starting thinking a little less of ourselves and more of others. I thank you for your apology - you have single-handedly restored my faith. We will be back next year and will stop by Disorient incognito.

Words are so much better than boards!

Thanks,


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Postby AntiM » Tue Sep 11, 2007 3:56 pm

I think you may have just hit upon the default underground theme:
"an oasis of dreams."
These are not my fuckos.
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Postby The Bass » Wed Sep 12, 2007 12:53 pm

thanks, Vshake -

honestly, thanks for calling us out on this - it helps us remember that the whole point is giving - not taking - in many different senses

definitely stop by next year as incognito as you like ; )

Trilo - thanks for giving perspective - and yes, we did have some poppin' gear - but of course it doesn't justify being rude to guests in our Dex. thanks for letting us be part of wednesday night!
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this thread is pretty amazing

Postby kitten_sf » Thu Sep 20, 2007 4:22 pm

I love how an issue got raised... and evolved into mutual understanding by the end of the thread.

Yet another example of why the people are my favorite thing about Black Rock City. Y'all shine so brightly....
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skinny kitty

Postby vic » Thu Sep 20, 2007 5:17 pm

We had a number of good experiences at Skinny Kitty at the 4:30 plaza. We were also camped in the neighborhood, and from my experience they were good neighbors. It was great to get high quality hot tea late at night. Also, their camp earned major style points.
That is a big camp, and it does not seem at all fair to dis the whole group because of some crappy behavior by a couple of people.
Most of those in my camp tend to hold back on the night of the burn - the high expectations seem to bring out unpleasant behavior in many. Shouting at each other, telling each other what to do, arguing about who should and should not be on art cars. IMHO it is better to hold back a little and enjoy the lights from a distance.
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