Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream

It’s that time a year AGAIN!

Not only is it my FAVORITE holiday (Christmas), it’s also time for all the Santa Cons to commence.

So get your red Santa suits ready to party because it’s the season for a festive bar crawl!

I personally love going to Santa Cons.

Not just because I love dressing up.

Or because I get to meet cool new people.

No, I like Santa Con because it’s fun to see all the looks on people’s faces when we show up en masse with all our holiday costumes on!

Little kids love seeing us as we dash from bar to bar.

The awe struck looks on their faces says it all.

And because I do it every year, Santa Cons have just become a hallmark of the holiday season for me.

Like breathing in and breathing out.

This year, I’m supposed to go to two Santa Cons – Santa Cruz and San Jose.

Last year I was a reindeer.

The year before that I was The Grinch.

And the year before that I was Mrs. Claus.

Heaven knows what I’ll pull together this year.

But given my collection of costumes, I’VE DEFINITELY GOT OPTIONS.

So if you feel like going merrily along your way, look up Santa Cons in your neighborhood and join in one.

I guarantee you’ll be in the holiday spirit in no time!

Don’t make me Barf

In keeping with the Multiverlse theme for Burning Man 2020, I’ve been looking into creating a BARF costume to emulate comic funnyman John Candy.

While browsing the internet for ideas, I came across inkfall’s pic on Instagram and I suddenly knew what I had to do – get a tan short set (à la Steve Irwin)

Here’s what I’ve come up with:

A gold velvet romper from Fashionnova.com, which I can remove the sleeves from to make it more playa-friendly.

Dog ears and a tail, from the Pawstar etsy shop.

A Barf patch, from etsy as well.

And that my friends, is how I make a Multiverse playa-friendly Barf costume from Spaceballs.

My only worry is that khaki is the color of Burning Man Rangers and I don’t want my costume to be so close to their uniform that I get mistaken for a ranger.

However, if I add that spot to my face, I’m then unmistakably Barf and not a ranger, right?

Multiverse

Burning Man just released the theme for next year’s burn – The Multiverse.

Of course, I immediately started thinking of costumes that would go with that theme.

I’ve come up with a list of outstanding sci-fi movies and tv shows which I think should be reflected in my burning man costumes for 2020:

  • The Fifth Element
  • Spaceballs
  • Star Trek
  • Star Wars
  • Babylon 5
  • Doctor Who
  • Firefly

I’m sure there are others, so if I’m missing any iconic sci-fi flicks or shows, shoot me an email at michelle@unblunder.com or post a comment below.

There’s one small problem with using these entertaining TV shows and movies for costume inspiration – their iconic looks are pretty clothing heavy, which isn’t great in one hundred degree heat in the Black Rock Desert.

Other than the white and orange costumes for Leeloo Dallas, obviously:

I don’t really want to wear a long sleeve Star Trek dress, even if it is a mini dress, on the playa.

It’s just going to be too hot.

But in keeping with the Multiverse theme, I will probably tweak each costume so that I stay cool but also capture that sci-fi look.

More to come as I work out my costumes for Burning Man 2020.

Bawdy Storytelling

I happen to love some musicians who skirt the edges of appropriateness with their music.

Have you ever heard of Richard Cheese?

He cracks me up.

He takes hits and sings them Lounge Singer Style.

Hits like Rape Me (by Nirvana), Me So Horny, and Only Happy When It Rains (by Garbage).

It’s like a comedy act and a musical performance rolled into one.

I also happen to like Garfunkel and Oates – a comedy-folk duo performing satirical songs about things like blowjobs and sex.

My sister has jokingly suggested that our family song be “The Loophole” – a song about anal sex.

Today I was introduced to Rachel Lark (by my friend Dante) who, in my humble opinion, is one of the greatest bawdy storytellers out there.

Her song “Warm, Bloody, and Tender,” is about a woman trying to have a tryst with a man while simultaneously hiding the face that she just got her period.

Genius!

Have we all been there ladies?

I think we have.

And the song “You Only Live Once (The Asshole Song)” is about a woman who is trying to convince her boyfriend to let her rim him.

OMG!

Not safe for work?

You bet.

But funny like a drag queen at a Monster truck rally.

Maybe I’m just warped that way, but I love me some inappropriateness and sexual innuendo.

The best part:  Rachel Lark is a burner and performed at Burning Man 2016 at Center Camp and Dustfish.  And I got to see her.

So take a moment, turn up your speakers, close your eyes and. . .

. . . enjoy at your own risk!

Quinceañera

The quinceañera party for the 15 year anniversary of the Village took place on Monday afternoon on the playa at the local bar, aka the bar I worked at from 10 pm to 12 am serving drinks to thirsty guests.

I got dressed up in all my quinceañera finery:

It was fun to celebrate with other villagers and even though only ONE OTHER PERSON got dressed up in theme (thank you, Moonbeam), I had a great time drinking spiked horhata and eating churros.

Of course, as I was bartending, I had to card everyone before pouring them a drink.

In my quinceañera dress.

A couple of young kids, barely legal (but legal, nonetheless) came by and asked for drinks.

I carded them – they looked YOUNG – and noted that they were all 23 or younger.

They asked me why I was so dressed up.

“It’s my quinceañera!” I told them.

One snarky young lady said to me, “Now I need to see YOUR ID!”

They all laughed heartily at her joke.

Rude!

But true.

A 45-year old woman in a pink frilly dress and a tiara is not something you see everyday.

Unless you’re at BURNING MAN!

Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras on the playa takes place at 8:30 and Esplanade at the French Quarter.

It’s right across the street from Pink Heart, which is so brightly colored in pink lights and hot pink faux fur that you can spot it miles away from deep playa.

For Mardi Gras, musicians just show up and start playing – saxophones, trumpets, drums, and even tubas.

One tuba player showed up with a FLAMING tuba.

That’s right.

Flames were shooting out of the top of his tuba while he played.

I danced.

I sang.

I snuck to the second floor of the French Quarter (up a rickety flight of stairs, I might add) and had a glass of bubbly served to me by a Furry.

There’s just no place like Burning Man.

Getting wet

Burning Man is a Leave No Trace event.

That means whatever you bring in with you, you take out with you.

If it doesn’t go in the portos, then you collect it and haul it out when you leave.

This means all the water you use for dishes must be collected.

What you spit out when you brush your teeth must go in a container.

And when you shower, all your water must be collected in a graywater container, removed and disposed of properly.

My camp had three showers for 41 campers (although RV campers used their RV showers).

Two of those showers had privacy shelters.

The third on was scenic.

And by ‘scenic’ I mean that it had no privacy shelter, it was JUST OUT IN THE OPEN FOR EVERYONE TO SEE.

So pretty much everyone made do with the two privacy shelter showers.

I never even considered using the scenic shower.

Who wants to be watched while they shower by 40 pairs of prying eyes?

Not me, thank you.

I’ve heard of camps however, where there’s nothing but scenic showers.

But lo and behold, nearing the end of the burn, I saw a couple go in and use the shower.

Together.

It was no big deal.

So that shower eventually got a little use.

But be prepared if you go to Burning Man in a tent and you need to shower, you might want to inquire after the facilities.

Ours was decent, even with my lukewarm solar shower.

I took a shower on Thursday.

And then again on Sunday in my sister’s waterfall shower after I left Burning Man to visit her in Reno.

But the experience of showering at Burning Man had me so conscientious of water usage, I merely jumped into her shower, lathered up, and jumped out.

Burning Man does funny things to your perception of waste and excess.

And I’m pretty sure that’s a good thing.

Running on Empty

I left for Burning Man Saturday afternoon with Nadine and her kid, riding in Nadine’s RV.

We left around 6 pm.

We finally pulled off onto the playa at 4:12 am, nearly 12 hours later.

As luck would have it, we pulled into our parking space at our camp at 6:15 am, meaning it took us a mere 2 hours to get through Gate.

OMG!

The universe was working with us.

But I’m not surprised.

Nadine and I seem graced with good luck and serendipity.

I managed to catch a brief one and a half hour nap in the RV but overall, that was all the sleep I got in a 36 hour period.

I was ready to sleep Sunday night.

The first day at Burning Man is always a blur of setting up camp, day drinking, and reuniting with the camp community.

I cracked open a cold one once my tent was set up and enjoyed my Corona Premier (so named because apparently it’s lite beer, not REAL beer) while watching the city spring up around me.

I ate a can of little weenies fully expecting that would be the extent of my sausage experiences at Burning Man [HINT: it was].

burning man 2019My food bin, filled to the brim with snacks and booze, managed to make it to the playa with zero casualties.

As hot as it was (it was in the 90s the entire time we were there), I managed to stay cool in the shade and before I knew it, I was going for a ride with Nadine and scoping out some of the awesome art and cars out on playa:

Not shabby at all for my first day at Burning Man, running off of 90 minutes of sleep!

Altered

I spent the better part of the burn slowly drinking a million gin and tonics, with a few margaritas, picklebacks, and rum and cokes thrown in for good measure.

On Thursday I loaded up my backpack with water, goggles, lights, dust mask, and a few gin and tonics and I went to the Grateful Floyd camp to watch rare footage of Pink Floyd Presents Delicate Sounds of Thunder.

I went with two friends – Yummy and Nadine.

We dragged chairs with us and the Grateful Floyd camp passed around snacks for one and all to enjoy.

It’s mind-altering enough to watch Pink Floyd sober, let alone is an altered state.

I found myself mesmerized by the images on the screen – a combination of concert footage cut with odd bits of minutiae.

The film was captivating and I found myself lost in the most haunting version of “Comfortably Numb” that I’ve ever heard.

Also, and I’m just going to go ahead and put this out there, I think “Wish You Were Here” is one of the most beautiful songs ever written and I could listen to it on repeat for days.

All in all, we had a TON of fun at the Pink Floyd movie and I was really happy that Nadine and Yummy made me step out of camp and watch the video.

The music was incredible, played over an obviously well-thought-out sound system.

I found myself transported to another time and place by the music and the imagery and in my altered state, I had a blast relaxing and pretending like I was in 1987 in the Omni Coliseum in Georgia listening to Pink Floyd live on stage.

Thank you Camp Grateful Floyd!

#BurningMan

Recently, I received an email from representative of Burningman.org discussing the commodification of Burning Man.

One of the reasons why I love Burning Man so much is because it encourages participants to live their lives free of the mass marketing media blitz we live with on a regular basis.

Everything has a label.

A price tag.

Not so at Burning Man.

At Burning Man, you only pay for ice and coffee.

It’s refreshing to not hemorrhage money at this community event in the desert.

One of the things they mentioned in their email is the importance of posting REAL photos of Burning Man, not just models marketing special specialized beverages, makeup, accessories, clothing labels, etc.

So here are my Burning Man photos, for your enjoyment.

Totally unscripted and real:

If you want to read more about decommodification and the challenges facing the org, please check out this link.