Burner Handle(s): Squeezie and/or LiLi
Defaultia Region of Origin: Ohio, around the Dayton area
Years Burning/home burn: I think this is my third year??? I mean, I think I've always burned without attending an actual event (or I'm just crazy). My home burn is Lakes of Fire, though technically it should be Mosaic since it's closer.
Years of Servitude, ahem, volunteering: Three years! I mean... I don't know how to have fun without actually working. It's this foreign concept that doesn't compute.
Role(s): Gate Co-Lead and all around annoying ass person. Otherwise I just volunteer to learn new things.
Why do you do it? Why shouldn't I do it!?! Someone has to keep your wild butts contained in my mental experiment... Err... I mean safe from interlopers in the event. Honestly, it's the only position that I have 100% chimed with.
How does your dept matter? See... above?? Gate is a rather fun and interesting place and we organize and keep track of who is in the event. We have names and wristband numbers, and we make sure we know which child really does belong to the other bigger child (adults). We honestly help keep the event safe by being very nosey and taking away EVERYTHING THAT IS FUN but unsafe. I mean... give us some credit. <3
How does volunteering improve your burn/make you happy/work for you? It just does. I am someone who always feels out of place no matter where I go due to anxiety. Working is how I get around my anxiety and meet new people. I get to meet so many new and wonderful people at the gate and allows me to have a face and interaction in a comfortable situation for me. In doing so, when I see you in the event, I am more likely to converse than try to hide behind a big art project or my eyes to the ground.
Why should someone consider volunteering for you? So I may come across as snarky and rather crazy (not denying), but I think I can be rather fun to work with. There is always time to cut lose and have fun (especially jokes) at gate. And if you think I'm fun, you should volunteer with the other gate people, I pale in comparison. It's a great group of peeps (don't eat us without consent).
What's your favorite volunteer story? There's too many... Working gate on a rather dead and slow period of time, sitting down joking with all the other volunteers on how our other jobs for some odd reason are worse than the current one we are doing. It honestly wasn't all that noteworthy (except I was my actual self) until I watched a video of one of my volunteers accidentally set his hair on fire, on stage!, during the Nutcracker. It just resonated with me so much and made my night, and still does to this day when I think on it.
Oh... and all the wonderful foods you peeps bring us at the Gate (don't stop that).
What's your best burner skill? Being calm and patient with a dose of understanding, but honestly, I'm not going to put up with your crap. I balance... a lot.
What's your choice nugget of wisdom for a virgin burner? Don't be scared, we're all crazy here! It's a lot to take in for some people, but there are a good amount of us out there that would love to hang out with you in a quiet spot (ME, ME, ME!).
Why do you love burning? Because I get to be me and around so many others like me yet different in their individual ways. All the art and how the community works is rather amazing. It's my home. (sappy...)
How have burns changed your life? I speak out more in defaultia world and no longer feel shame for how I want to dress.
What does consent mean to you? Everything to the power of yes. There are several ways to define it for me, but it means in it's simplest form that when things aren't enthusiastic in a positive note, maybe it shouldn't be done. You can always help someone try something new which they may completely fall in love with, but it isn't always the best to force them when they're not sure of it themselves. This translates to everything in life (except taxes. Damn doing those things).
Which principle is primary for you and why? Communal Effort... I think? So many of them are so close together in rating it's hard to pick one out. We'll go with this one this time. Without everyone doing their work, we'd still be being our crazy selves out in the world trying to connect but the hard way around (and possibly not as safe). I'm also a backpacker, so Leave No Trace is always my number one, but I wanted to do something new.
What keeps you sane in Defaultia? Reading, dancing, and nature. And I'd like to point out that I like to read and dance in nature (clothes sometimes not required). Otherwise, my son. I think he drives me more crazy every day, but I do sane things because of him.
What do you want to be when you grow up? I REFUSE!!!! I am currently studying Behavioral Neuroscience in Psychology. I want to watch how behaviors from neurological diseases fire and change how your brain works. Well, maybe not yours in general, but human brains in particular.
What's your snack of choice? ....? Anything peanut butter, and not the added sugar type of peanut butter either! Fruit, love fruit. And Cheetos, Oreos, Cheddar Ruffles. (I'm not big on chocolate)
What groceries do you bring to a burn? Fancy vs easy? Easy, all the way. I have this wonderful little jetboiler that boils water for me. I take that boiled water and put it into dehydrated food or into noodles and eat them. All my fancy eating is from wonderful gifts from wonderful cookers at the event.
What are your top 5 decomp tips? Cry, argue with yourself, reflect on what happened, find something to snuggle and SLEEP, remember and reach out to your community if/when you need us.
I'm not the best at decomp tips... I just kinda do it.
How has burning changed Defaultia for you? It hasn't... people are still assholes.
If you could go to a burn anywhere in the world, which one would you attend and why? Kiwiburn! Because... why not!? I've heard a lot of cool and crazy things happen there.