In dust we trust

This one time, at Burning Man, I rode the Partysmail during an epic dust storm to the man to watch him burn.

It was Saturday night, and instead of feeling happy and excited, I was pissy and irritated.

Me and dust storms DO NOT GET ALONG.

Also?

It was cold.

Very cold.

I was wearing rainbow velour pants and my neon green faux fur long jacket.

And I was still cold.

I took out my camera and shot a few seconds worth of the dust storm.

Later on, I looked at the footage and realized it reminded me of something out of a Star Wars movie on desolated Tatooine, with a collection of oddballs and assorted mutant vehicles all trying to weather the dust storm.

When people ask to see photos and video of my experiences at Burning Man sure, I show them the picture of a hot blonde chick in a white under-the-bust corset, toe shoes, and NOTHING ELSE.

She was part of my 2015 burn.

But I also show them the video of the dust storm.

Not just to warn them of what may lay ahead. . .

. . .but to remind myself that I’m actually one pretty tough chick myself.

I may not stumble around on toe shoes in nothing but a corset, but I can weather a freezing cold dust storm.

Honestly, I’ve been to a few burns now, but that experience of getting disoriented in a dust storm, of watching people materialize and dematerialize in the dust, sitting hunkered down on a mutant vehicle with my goggles and mask on, that experience made me more of a burner than any of my previous burns ever did.

No place like HOME

Ah, my 2017 burn. . .

Fucking HOT, it was!

It was in the 100s during the day and in the 90s at night.

All those faux fur jackets I brought were a total waste of space.

Recently, Gigapan released their aerial map of Burning Man 2017 by Todd Huffman, some sort of amazing aerial photographer.

And this is what we looked like:

Kinda brown, huh?

A little bit dusty, no?

Yeah, I thought so too, but then I zoomed in on Tejas’ Motorbeast where I stayed at 6:30 and F.

See that yellow circle?

That’s the Motorbeast, my home at HOME.

And see that AQUA CIRCLE?

That’s my friendly neighborhood dive bar, run by a bunch of outstanding scallywags and mischief makers.

I seriously believe one of them blows things up.

For a living!

So there you have it – one of the reasons why I love Burning Man so much.

I am stumbling distance (and I DID STUMBLE) from the bar to my bed.

If you look REALLY close, you can see my favorite ride along pleasure – the pink Partysnail – parked in the middle of the bottom of the frame.

I took a snooze coming back from the burn with two warm bodies in the plush pink bed of that truck.

Ah!

The memories!

Holy shit! Toilet paper!

I posted “Shock and Awe” last Friday to capture my excitement that The Swede is coming to Burning Man.

Woooooooooo Hooooooooo!

How very American of me to say that.

But I don’t care, I’m happy.

I would literally scream that out loud, riding on the back of a horse, wearing a cowboy hat and a pair of boots, waving my hands in the air.

I CAN’T WAIT to see the playa all fresh and new through The Swede’s eyes.

I’ve gotten some good advice from burners who read this blog, but by far THE BEST ADVICE I got came from Wristy’s response to “Shock and Awe.”

He advised me that when he brings burgins (Burning Man virgins) to Burning Man, he puts together a “Burner in a Box” kit for his newbie.

It’s got all sorts of goodies in it that he thinks will be useful for his burgin – travel size hand sanitizer, a light on a lanyard (for nighttime porto trips), chapstick with SPF, nasal spray, you name it, it goes in there.

What a BRILLIANT idea!

Of course, I have a lot of these supplies already – headlamp, hand sanitizer, extra roll of luxurious 1-ply toilet paper. . .

I suspect that with The Swede and I, something gets lost in translation, but I do think he will enjoy (perhaps not yet understand why he was given them) the items I select for him.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I don’t think he’d react to a gifted roll of 1-ply toilet paper the same way I would.

Me: Hold shit! Toilet paper!

The Swede: Holy shit! Toilet paper?

This is why I sent him my handy dandy first timers guide which directs him to all the resources he will need to learn about Burning Man as best he can BEFORE he goes there.

I’ve been holding off for a little bit because I remember how OVERWHELMED I felt when I was researching Burning Man for the first time.

Like a kid with one stick of jerky and a pack of 12 hungry dogs.

How do you make it all work?

The answer is, ME.

Because one way or another, I was able to take the impossible and make it possible (with a little help from my friends).

So The Swede is in good hands.

This ain’t no BDSM convention

So I’ve come up with what I think is a GREAT idea to dress up the “Spanking Dome” at unSCruz.

The dome is no more than a red 10 foot by 10 foot EZ Up canopy with three walls.

The walls will block off the consentual adult activities from the street so they can’t be seen.

Basically, spankings.

So how do you decorate an EZ Up so that it’s, well, APPROPRIATELY festive enough for spankings?

I happen to have two 10 foot curtains of lights which I think will make a fabulous backdrop for the spankings.

Not only are they moody, they also will provide much needed light to the dome.

So our spankers can see who they’re spanking, so to speak.

But curtains of Christmas lights don’t exactly scream “Spank Me” so I bought off Amazon four panels of sheer black curtains (to the tune of $3.95 a pair) to hang OVER the curtains of light to add a little mysterious ambiance to the dome.

Throw a black tablecloth over a card table to hold spanking implements, and call it a day.

I mean ideally, I’d have candles and a decadent chandelier hanging from the center of the dome, but I’m making do with what I’ve got – a candelabra and some red candles.

Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.

I mean, it’s no dungeon, but this ain’t no BDSM convention.

Bonus!

One of the things I LOVE about Village Meetings is that they usually have a THEME and people get all dressed up.

Last month, our host picked the theme ‘’Orange” for his Village Meeting.

Yesterday he changed it to STEAMPUNK, on account of the Airpusher Steampunk-themed event in San Francisco that same evening.

So people can get dressed up and go to BOTH events without a wardrobe change.

We are burners.

We take our outfits seriously.

In any case, I am glad I won’t have to drag out the ONLY orange clothing I have – an orange tunic and several pairs of orange print leggings.

They are such a MOM thing to wear.

I’d look like a bad LuLaRoe ad.

In any case, I also don’t feel like dragging out ALL MY STEAMPUNK clothes.

That’s the one complaint I have about the Steampunk style – so many layers and accessories.

So I did the next best thing:

I bought a pair of Steampunk leggings off of Amazon.

I also happen to have a Steampunk-ish jacket I can wear with it (though the buttons are ALL WRONG):

I also have a pretty cool brown Steampunk hat which I got off of ebay.

A milliner at The Great Dickens Faire once told me it was “busy” but WTF, I don’t care.

Here’s the remainder of the outfit –  minus the accessories:

I’ve finally reached a point in my costume catalog that I no longer need to go shopping for new outfits when there’s a new event.

Bonus!

Of course, the trick now is FINDING it!

Comforts of home

One of the things I’ve noticed about going to Burning Man is that I now oogle RVs and shade structures.

It’s an interesting phenomenon.

I never used to care when I passed an RV.

I never paid attention to shade structures.

Now, I’m all about them.

Shade structure with walls, awesome!

How long does it take to set up?

Thirty foot RV!

How much water can it hold?

Wood on a woodpile?

I can make that into something!

I’ve become a bit of a scavenger.

If I think I can reuse something, even if it’s on the garbage pile, I grab it.

I’m not the only one who does this.

My friends all suffer from the same affliction.

Garbagerecyclitis.

Shadestructureenvy.

RVlust.

I can tell you this much, burners are some of the cleanest people I know.

Okay, maybe they’re not clean, but they’re neat.

They’ll chase a paper bowl blowing across the playa for a quarter of a mile to pick it up and put it in the trash.

So there’s that.

Recently, I bought a shade structure for Burning Man.

Now, I ALREADY have a shade structure for Burning Man but it’s 20 feet by 20 feet and is a bitch to set up.

This one is 10 feet by 10 feet and it has WALLS!

It should be MUCH EASIER to set up.

We’ll find out for sure at unSCruz, though.

I’m thinking I might take it to the playa (the playa will destroy it though).

It’ll require quite a few rachet straps to keep in tethered to the ground during the wind storms.

So in case you’re wondering what I think about as a burner, it’s basically how to set up camp faster, neater, cleaner, with recycled products, and still have all the “comforts” of home.

There is no such thing as too cold

It’s going to be COLD in Watsonville during the night for unSCruz.

Like in the 40s.

For a California girl (who is sleeping alone), that’s COLD!

I’ve gotten an offer from one man who is willing to sleep with me for the duration of the event.

And while he is a handsome, hot-blooded, American male, I think I’m going to pass.

I should be able to stay warm for a few reasons:

  1. I recycled my 10’ x 14’ tent and am now sleeping in an 8’ x 7’ tent. The smaller the tent, the less bodies it takes to heat it up, right?
  2. I’m bringing a sleeping bag rated to 10 degrees. I plan to layer it under my comforter to stay nice and toasty warm.
  3. I bought an electric blanket off of Amazon that runs off of batteries! Who even KNEW these existed?!

I really wish The Swede could be there with me.

He’s going to be in Sweden where it’s MUCH COLDER than 40 degrees and where he SCOFFS at my California girl complaints that it’s too cold.

LOL.

He is a Viking.

There is no such thing as too cold.

Shock and awe

One of the things I LOVE about The Swede is that he’s a newbie to the burn.

It’s so much fun acculturating someone to the principles and what to expect when you’re on the playa.

Apparently, the acculturation starts now, though.

While we were FaceTiming, I happened to mention that I bought a ticket to the burn for him.

He said, “I have to go to Burning Man now.”

Of course I told him I could sell it in a hot minute, no problemo.

But it cracked me up that he didn’t know tickets sold out in 30 minutes when they went up for sale.

He’s blessed to have me as a friend looking out for him!

I still am not 100% sure he’ll be at this burn.

I’ll believe it when he buys his ticket from me; that’s when I’ll know for sure he’s coming.

When he’s got skin in the game.

I think we will be tent camping at Burning Man.

  1. Because I can’t afford an RV on my own.
  2. So we can get some privacy (i.e. no Tejas).
  3. Because I kinda feel like everyone needs to experience their first Burning Man in a tent.

There’s something about having to figure out how to live out of a tent for a week in the desert that really drives the experience home.

You’re quite literally LIVING IN THE DUST.

You have to insulate your cooler.

You get to experience blazing hot temperatures in your tent during the day and freezing cold temperatures at night.

You have to fancy about with a shade structure, in the hopes it’ll help keep your tent cooler than a sauna.

In 2015, for my first burn, I had precisely 18 totes with all my supplies for the burn.

Eighteen!!

That’s how prepared I was.

Fortunately for The Swede, I have all the gear we’ll need to camp this year.

So he only needs to figure out what to wear.

Still, I can’t wait to see the look on his face when we hit the Gate line.

Shock and awe, folks.

At it’s best!

Barely there underwear

I packed for the Pagan Bunny Burn and managed to keep my costumes down to one and a half totes.

Plush oneies take up a lot of space, apparently.

Also, tutus and bunny masks.

None of which I wore, ironically.

It was too cold to wear anything besides onesies.

At the last minute, I realized that I FORGOT panties!

It figures, I’d pack absolutely EVERYTHING I need for a pagan bunny burn EXCEPT underwear.

And socks.

I almost forgot my socks.

I find this VERY amusing because at the last burn, I forgot my panties and had to go around commando for the last part of the burn.

Normally, this isn’t a problem.

Many of my costumes REQUIRE that I NOT wear underwear.

Who needs to see my panties poking out under some hot pants or short shorts?

But at the Bunny Burn?

Under a tutu?

It’s a MUST!

Dealing with panty issues is pretty common for me.

I’m always trying to find the right thing to wear under each outfit so that my panties don’t show or they show and are appropriate for the outfit I’m wearing (i.e. pink ruffle butt panties under a see-through pink tutu).

So finding these babies on Amazon was a Godsend:

The “Knicker Sticker” which you stick to the crotch of your clothing.

Perfect for my black short shorts that lace up the side.

It’s a nice little adhesive patch that will keep my shorts from getting (ahem) moist.

Then there’s the Shibue Strapless Panty which is like an adhesive thong.

Same principle and use, just a little larger surface area.

Also, and this is a BIG ALSO, these adhesive panties will literally take up NO SPACE in my clothing tote, so BONUS!

Disposable , barely-there underwear?

I’m down for that.

Hormone Shower

It comes as no surprise to ANYBODY that I like men with beards.

The Swede, however, prefers a clean shaven face.

And this is fine with me.

He has such a handsome face.

Great bone structure!

But when that guy gets SCRUFFY, boy does it get me going!

The other day he placed a video call to me.

And his face popped up on my screen and HE WAS SCRUFFY!

My ovaries shuddered a little bit from excitement.

I LOVE a scruffy man.

Personally, I think The Swede should do it more often just to play with me.

My favorite pic of him was taken two days into unSCruz 2017 when he had an extra day’s growth and wild hair.

Of course, I ALSO like The Swede in a suit and tie, with a smooth face, and perfectly combed hair.

He does lumberjack AND business professional EQUALLY GOOD.

But let me tell you, it gets me a little excited to think of him at Burning Man, for a week, not shaving.

My Lord!

I will be BESIDE myself with hormones!

A nice little hormone shower, that’s what I’ll be taking WHILE WE’RE ON THE PLAYA!