Experiences in Center Camp

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

Re: my experiences...

Postby TestesInSac » Fri Sep 12, 2003 2:01 pm

girlie wrote:and they definitely never taste as sweet as the random drinks pretty much any camp will offer you when you go visiting.


Just don't ask about the 'secret' ingredients.
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Ehheemmmm...(where's that soapbox?)...

Postby Rob the Wop » Fri Sep 12, 2003 3:29 pm

Kinetic wrote:Off Topic....but what is the deal with Absinthe? What's so special about it? Anyone care to enlighten me?

Maybe I was so out of it this year that I missed out on another cool thing...besides the e-playa meet & greet!


Absinthe (or absynthe) is a <b>distilled</b> beverage made of various herbs, the primary one being wormwood. All the other herbs are basically an attempt to kill off the <b>incredibley</b> bitter taste of the wormwood.

You <b>need</b> to distill abysnthe for it to be real. Why? I'll start with the process to make the stuff as per the 19th century "Dick's Absinthe" recipe. Start with 85-95 percent alcohol. Add wormwood, hyssop, calamus, melissa (lemon balm), anise, fennel seed, star anise, and coriander. Soak for a week. Add water. Distill.

<i>At this point the distillation removes the massive bitterness yet <b>leaves in the proper thujone amount</b>. Thujone is the active ingrediant in absinthe and is classified as a convulsant (some classify it as a nuerotoxin). Ouzo doesn't have any that I know of, and simply soaking wormwood in vodka will result in the end result being too bitter to drink by the time you have enough wormwood for the thujone count. You could add oil of wormwood, but this is <b>a bad move</b>. How potent is the oil? How much do you add? Want to experiment with your nervous system shutting down? Absinthe is legal in the states too- as long as the thujone count is low enough (ie. no fun). You can buy it down in New Orleans.</i>

After the distillation is complete, add mint, melissa (lemon balm), wormwood, citron peel, and liquorice root. Theoretically, it would take 20 gallons of mash and 2 distillations to get 1 1/2 gallons of <b>real</b> absinthe.

The effect is hard to describe as it is somewhat unique. You can liken it roughly to a mix of the feeling from smoking a cigar, taking a shot of expresso, and having a pint- rolled into one. A very relaxing buzz that doesn't impair you mental facilities, but makes you want to talk about things. It's why the poets, philosophers, and artists used to drink it in absinthe bars in France.
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And...

Postby Rob the Wop » Fri Sep 12, 2003 3:36 pm

If you're interested in just the taste, get a bottle of Pernod. The Pernod distillary was the first to make a commercial absinthe and continued to do so until it was outlawed. They then took out the wormwood (or thujone- I've never personally had Pernod) and left the rest of the recipe.

<b>Real</b> absinthe is differentiated by a couple of unique properties. It is between 150-180 proof. It varies between clear yellow-green to clear dark green. When water and sugar is added, the liqued turns milky. Traditionally you pour a shot of absinthe into a glass, placed a slotted spoon with a sugar cube on top the glass, and dribble water slowly over the sugar until it is dissolved. And it will have a bitterness to it.
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Postby PetsUntilEaten » Fri Sep 12, 2003 5:32 pm

the night before I became ill we drank absinthe at the absinthe bar - over at 3:15 & dogma. I drank very little that night - just a few sips. On previous nights I had a solid sampling of a few in more than small quanity.

however - even though i know its not to blame - the thought of it makes me nauseous.

my lovely companion was obcessed with it & the bar itself. he said he loved the conversation there.
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Postby Kinetic » Fri Sep 12, 2003 8:32 pm

I'm going to try and order some in from Europe, if it can make it past customs....as a lot of things do these days, I want to try it.

Thanks for the info.
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Postby Flux » Fri Sep 12, 2003 8:42 pm

Kinetic, FYI:

I was doing some reading about absinthe, and came across this:

But several modern Spanish and Czech brands actually contain no detectable thujone (and therefore can be presumed to have been made without A.absinthium) while some pastis -- fake absinthes introduced after the bans -- may contain more than 30 mg/Kg. Some vermouths -- the name is a derivative and corruption of wormwood which is used in flavoring these blended wines -- contain more a-thujone than many absinthes. Thus the martini is a chemical cousin of absinthe!

(from http://www.chem.ox.ac.uk/mom/absinthe/absinthe.html)

Of course, I can't vouch for the accuracy of this (or any other!) Internet page, but it might be worth investigating whether what you're getting is anything more than just expensive imported booze.

I'm not sure of the thujone content of the vermouth I use, but this might partially explain my particular obsession with Bombay Sapphire martinis...
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Postby Kinetic » Fri Sep 12, 2003 8:48 pm

Flux, I appreciate the warning. The stuff I'm ordering was recommended to me by someone who e-mailed me in private...he knows quite a bit about the stuff and helped me learn fast. He also guided me towards some places to order from. This should be a good experience providing the shipping comes off without problems.
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Postby nymphgonebad » Fri Sep 12, 2003 8:51 pm

along with a staggering array of mind altering substances i consumed at bm this year ( best drugs ever ) one of my campmates had a bottle of absinthe. i took a swig from the bottle - we didn't have the niceties of water and sugar cubes out on the playa. tasted truly godawful, but i could feel a perceptible shift in cognition. i know what your thinking: the mushrooms hadn't kicked in yet, i'm sure of it. however, the opium may have had something to do with it.
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Postby Kinetic » Fri Sep 12, 2003 9:36 pm

I did a little more experimenting this year than I expected. I stayed away from mushrooms, Erowid had a blurb out there that potency varies wildly and you can't be sure what the effect will be. I hadn't made a lot of new friends yet and didn't want a bad experience to mess up anyone else's time so I passed. I also advised Dragontear to stay away from the stuff for the same reason. She got lots of offers of it, but she passed.

As for E, I came across some but it wasn't pre-measured out...I think I overdid it because I ended up taking some, riding out to the man, then coming back to my camp where I crashed, and crashed hard. The dreams were intense but it wasn't like anything I had read about or heard of.

As for anything else...I wasn't going to ask around for it so I kept my experience kinda light. Also I had my provigil prescription and didn't want to mess that up. It works great for keeping you going...Saturday I was up by 9 and went to sleep for 2 hours Sunday afternoon then got up and was up until right before the sunrise on Monday morning. It's good stuff, and if you get a script it's legal too. The Air Force guys love it, I know why.
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Postby Flux » Fri Sep 12, 2003 10:33 pm

Kinetic,

Cool, let me know how the absinthe experience is. I might like to order some as well, especially if you have a good experience with it.

Sorry to hear that your E-xperience left something to be desired. As you know, I had some of the same batch. I took some and shared some with a friend, and we both had a fine old time. I guess, as with everything, your mileage may vary.

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Postby Kinetic » Fri Sep 12, 2003 10:41 pm

At least I can say I tried it...while I didn't have the same experience some do, those were some totally awesome dreams....complete with out of body type experiences.....when you think you were flying over BRC maybe 10 feet above everyone else and was flying all over the place, well let's just say I'm not complaining about the experience. I wish I had my girlfriend or someone cute close by along with a smaller amount when I did it...it could have been interesting.

As for the absinthe....when I get it I'll definitely share my experience.
And Flux, you made my experience at BM. When Tiff's bike came up missing, you let us borrow yours and you salvaged the trip for us. I really mean it when I say Thanks....
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Postby Flux » Fri Sep 12, 2003 10:59 pm

...when you think you were flying over BRC maybe 10 feet above everyone else and was flying all over the place, well let's just say I'm not complaining about the experience.

That sounds pretty damn good to me! I think I'll try going to bed before it wears off next time...

And Flux, you made my experience at BM. When Tiff's bike came up missing, you let us borrow yours and you salvaged the trip for us. I really mean it when I say Thanks....

My pleasure, my friend. I thought you and Tiffany totally rocked, and I was happy to be able to contribute in whatever miniscule way to your and her experience. Here's something funny: I never rode my bike at all this year, didn't even get up on the saddle for a second. I've lived on my bike in previous years, but it just never came up this year. So I'm extra glad Tiffany was able to make use of it! Otherwise, I would have dragged it all the way out to BRC for nothing.

I gather from these message boards that the whole hippie / lovefest / utopian view of Burning Man is considered kind of gauche in these latter days, but I gotta admit that that's still pretty much where I come from. From a purely selfish perspective, I get more pleasure out of giving shit away than I do out of keeping / using / receiving it. Mi bicicleta es su bicicleta -- and, for that matter, anything else I have is yours for the asking. Sorry, that's just the kind of whacked out freak I am.

Sorry, went off on a tangent there. Seriously, though, you're totally welcome. Any time. Now, tell me you're coming to Decompression!
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Postby Kinetic » Fri Sep 12, 2003 11:04 pm

Decompression...I'm on a tight budget as I have foot surgery I've been postponing and teeth work to do. But I should be able to get air tix to come out. The question is where to stay in the city? I am in the middle of figuring it out now...do I fly into Oakland or SFO, how good is transit in the city, can I take BART from either airport, and once there how will I get around, what else do I want to see, and where in the world will I sleep? Besides decompression I want to walk or ride across the GGB again. Beyond that everything is wide open. Got any ideas on what would work? That's why I'm sitting here at 1:10 on a Saturday morning, trying to figure it out.
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Postby precipitate » Fri Sep 12, 2003 11:33 pm

> Oakland or SFO, how good is transit in the city, can I take BART from
> either airport, and once there how will I get around, what else do I
> want to see, and where in the world will I sleep?

Either airport. Whichever's cheaper. There is a shuttle (~$2) to BART from
Oakland. SFO's a little bit more of a pain, I always used to take a hotel
shuttle to Union Square (~$8) and then public transit from there. Public
transit is excellent, if sometimes slightly confusing for the newcomer.
Getting around shouldn't be a problem in the city - you've got BART,
MUNI, and cabs. Dunno what you want to see, ask someone who lives
there. And I always stayed at the Super 8 on Lombard, but if you're
alone that might be pricey.
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Postby nymphgonebad » Fri Sep 12, 2003 11:35 pm

i'd fly into where ever is cheapest. you can now take bart from both oakland and sfo and transit around the city and to and from the east bay is pretty reliable. as to where to stay, i'd invite you to my abode, but my fiancee is still pissed that i invited he didn't know to our decompression.
sheesh.

still and all, you can call me if you make it here ( send me a private e-mail and i'll toss you my digits ). i'm not attending the decomp on sunday or going to the movie - on sat nite, my friend is throwing a dekompression for kamp krotus in sf and sunday is dim sum.
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Postby PJ » Sat Sep 13, 2003 5:58 am

princess strych-9 wrote:i was wearing a watch - but no clothes. does that make me a spectator?


Everybody appreciates punctual spectators.

Ever since I became self-employed I no longer wear a watch in the Real World, unless I'm flying. (Then it's part of the backup navigation means--radical self sufficiency and all that, y'know, in case the DOD shuts down GPS with no notice.) But at B.Man I do wear a watch, so as to not miss something amusing I found in the What/Where/When pamphlet.
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Postby Kinetic » Sat Sep 13, 2003 8:29 am

Besides forgetting my real shoes and getting playa foot from wearing sandals for a week, the other thing I forgot...is a watch. And except for missing the e-playa meet & greet and greeters's shift I really didn't miss it. I love playa time. The only times of day I concerned myself with was sunrise...so I could sit on the playa and watch, and sunset....which everyone else did a great job of reminding me to look West and see it.

Otherwise it was all playa time. Too bad I have to wait another 50 weeks to experience it again.
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Postby PetsUntilEaten » Sat Nov 01, 2003 12:55 pm

Raising the dead thread for Organgeboy.
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Postby Kinetic II » Sat Nov 01, 2003 3:21 pm

But you raised the dead a day too late. Halloween was yesterday!
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Postby Ivy » Sat Nov 01, 2003 5:26 pm

Dia de los Muertos. Let's not be so anglocentric. :)
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Re: one other perspective

Postby BlueBirdPoof » Mon Nov 03, 2003 4:31 pm

Jp wrote: this year I found myself relaxing there with a cup of coffee fairly often. The reason: I was rangering and it was conveniently located next to Ranger HQ. Java from the cafe helped keep me going.


Thank you for bringing this up. As a member of ESD caffine was a really nice addition to an 8 hour shift. As for taking from Chai Guy or another free offer, dosing authority figures is a problem on-playa, and so having a "clean" source of such is a consideration.

Of course, I'm such a naif that I thought you could gift into the tip jars.
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Postby Ivy » Mon Nov 03, 2003 4:38 pm

having a "clean" source of such is a consideration.


I agree with you in principle on this; many a time I've turned downa gift in consideration of what it might contain. However, I personally wouldn't rely upon the cafe.
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Postby BlueBirdPoof » Mon Nov 03, 2003 4:55 pm

blyslv wrote: It was basically vodka with green stuff in it that made it taste bitter.


Wormwood is supposed to be the magic ingredient. And it causes all sorts of nasty side effects, including blindness. But it's romantic because of the association with Van Gogh and Toulouse-Lautrec.

The actual banning of it was way back--late 19th, early 20th century, so I tend to think of it as a substance so nasty that even at the dawn of the public health era it stood out.
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Postby Badger » Mon Nov 03, 2003 4:59 pm

Can't remember when or where but I seem to remember someone mentioning that wormwood was NOT the active ingredient in absinthe. Anyone know otherwise?
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Postby tzimisce1313 » Mon Nov 03, 2003 5:10 pm

the active ingredient in absinthe besides the gross amount of alcohol is thujone, which is found in wormwood... so, by proxy you're right.

thujone is a hallucinogen (? on spelling), a very deadly one. it was banned in this country because it had been known to cause cancer, and outright kill people, though research actually states that it's similar to alcoholism. and it could also be linked to the fact that people would also put laudinum in absinthe.

if you're interested in getting a bottle of absinthe with thujone, you would have to buy a bottle from europe from an importer that knows how to get around customs. it'll cost you a lot of money, but i think it would be worth it.
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My best center cafe moment

Postby BlueBirdPoof » Mon Nov 03, 2003 5:10 pm

Post-event 2002, during the dust storms. Just watching the paper lanterns being tossed in the wind and desolation of a dissapering city and thinking that this was Rome after the emperium. . .
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Postby BlueBirdPoof » Mon Nov 03, 2003 5:12 pm

Ivy wrote:
having a "clean" source of such is a consideration.

However, I personally wouldn't rely upon the cafe.


Dang. Well maybe I'd having a fighting chance at finding the creep and holding him/her down until he/she coughs up the ticket money he/she has thereby forefitted. . .

Hey, I can dream, can't I?
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Postby Isotopia » Mon Nov 03, 2003 5:13 pm

Yep. Pretty much every one leaving except for the DPW and the post-event playa pirates who look over the site not unlike the Visigoths ready to sack what remains of Rome.
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Postby BlueBirdPoof » Tue Nov 04, 2003 7:03 am

Isotopia wrote:Yep. Pretty much every one leaving except for the DPW and the post-event playa pirates who look over the site not unlike the Visigoths ready to plunder what remains.


Nicely phrased, Isotopia. Gets to the heart of the experience and made me laugh.
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Postby Angry Butterfly » Sun Nov 09, 2003 10:40 pm

PJ wrote:
princess strych-9 wrote:i was wearing a watch - but no clothes. does that make me a spectator?


Everybody appreciates punctual spectators.

Ever since I became self-employed I no longer wear a watch in the Real World, unless I'm flying. (Then it's part of the backup navigation means--radical self sufficiency and all that, y'know, in case the DOD shuts down GPS with no notice.) But at B.Man I do wear a watch, so as to not miss something amusing I found in the What/Where/When pamphlet.


AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH How can you be self employed and not wear a watch! I can't even sleep without wearing one!
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
Just the thought of not wearing a watch freaks me out. I have worn one since ( I am not making this up) 4 years old. I am a pretty easygoing person but for my watch obsession. They are just so cool, and usefull.
I took the road less traveled, and now I would like to go back and find the paved one.
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