Hugs needed

I’m missing my Burning Man community something fierce.

I’ve managed to keep in touch with some people, like Nadine and Tejas, but overall I’m missing the camaraderie of the larger burner community.

There used to be get togethers every week, it felt like.

Now, we’re all sheltering in place in our own personal spaces, missing one another.

I for one can’t wait until the Shelter in Place order is lifted and small group gatherings are permitted.

More than anything, I DREAM about having a weekend campout, perhaps at a certain nudist resort in the Santa Cruz Mountains, with my friends.

I have costumes to test out, after all.

And I have free hugs to give (and receive).

Plus, there’s naked swimming and naked pool volleyball to be had.

I can just picture myself lounging in the hot tub, tasty beverage in hand, laughing with friends.

I suppose this is all just a way to say I miss everyone I used to see regularly at Burner events and I can’t wait to share hugs and affection with them when we do gather together again.

It’s hard to believe we won’t be at Burning Man together in 11 weeks.

Normally, I’d be in the throes of preparation for my trip but instead I’m just reorganizing supplies and dreaming of TTITD.

Hugs needed.

I’m lonely.

SoulFire 2016: The Heatstroke Chronicles

white witch michelleMaybe it was just me.

Maybe everyone else did just fine.

But I managed to get myself good and overheated as well as dehydrated at SoulFire TWO DAYS IN A ROW!

Tejas and I arrived on Friday at 10 am and set up camp in the heat. Once camp was set up we drank rum and cokes until I started to worry that I wasn’t getting enough liquid so I drank 3 diet cokes.

Just a word of advice: Diet Coke DOES NOT PREVENT DEHYDRATION.

No it does not.

Because at about 9 pm after battling a dehydration headache for about two hours, I gave up and went to bed with 3 Tylenol RIGHT WHEN THINGS WERE GETTING GOOD!

I laid there, freezing cold, wanting a bed partner to snuggle with while I recovered.

But no, there were no bed partners to be found.

I laid in bed until about 1 am, then got up to party only to find that the party was winding down.

So back to bed.

Try again another day.

Cue Saturday.

I’m drinking TONS of coconut water to keep me hydrated and yet with the 95 degree heat I still manage to overheat.

Dante took me to the Restaurant to sit in air conditioning and cool down.

I was dizzy walking up the hill to the Restaurant (even though I was wearing nothing but pink ruffled panties and a crochet bikini fringe top).

There was an art exhibit going on in the Restaurant and I found that if I positioned myself just right I could stare at a picture of a dolphin while the vent blew cold air up my butt.

It was amazing!

So, lessons learned:

Diet Coke is not the same as water

Coconut juice will not prevent overheating

Do what you need to take care of yourself

However, if you fuck up (like me) then friends are so helpful when you’re not feeling well.

Love to Tejas for giving me Tylenol and love to Dante for cooling me down.

michelle and tejas

Egyptian princess

I have a beautiful Egyptian collar that I bought for roughly $25 in 2016.

I have never worn it, but I love it and REFUSE to donate it, even though all it does is take up space in my jewelry cabinet.

So I’m thinking the perfect thing to do is to build an outfit around it, maybe even a burner outfit.

I got inspired by THIS photo on Pinterest:

Turn the white dress into a white bathing suit and add a gold belt (preferably not beaded so that it doesn’t MOOP) and you’ve got a LEWK!

But it doesn’t stop there.

Oh no!

Because I also fell in love with this gold and turquoise Egyptian look:

I think it’d be fabulous to take a diaphanous white or gold fabric and make those arm bands with them.

For makeup, I’m loving the look on this model:

And there you have it, everything I need for my Egyptian princess look.

I have only one hesitation.

Is it culturally appropriate for a Nordic woman to wear an Egyptian style costume or will I catch hell for wearing it?

The Girl from the Song

The other day I joined a Netflix Party and watched The Girl from the Song, a film made at the Burn in 2015.

It tells the story of a clueless but talented British guitar player who falls in love with a carefree young lady and follows her to Burning Man to sing a song he wrote for her.

Overall, I give the movie a B+.

I found the characters a little one-dimensional and some of the dialogue a little unrealistic.

Certain things, like a Greeter being rude and the scene where everyone plays in a pile of mud (definitely not a Leave No Trace activity), I had to suspend my disbelief over.

My experience of Burning Man and the filmmaker’s experience of Burning Man are vastly different.

But then that’s what makes Burning Man so special.

It’s never the same for any two people.

And I respect her experience.

There were some things I LOVED about this movie.

A scene which featured Alexander Milov’s Love sculpture caught my eye.

It features two wire figures sitting back to back, while inside the figures of their inner children reach out for one another.

Posing the actors in front of Love as they were struggling with their relationship definitely sent a powerful subliminal message and I loved remembering my own experience at this dramatic art piece.

And of course the filmmaker managed to capture the complete and utter joy and awesomeness of Burning Man by filming some of the magnificent art pieces that grace the playa – like Revolution:

I was at the Burn in 2015 so the art and scenery were familiar to me and made me so nostalgic for HOME.

The man burns in 488 days.

Sigh.

Pink

I’m not much of a pink person.

I leave pink to my cousin Jennifer, who looks smashing in pink.

But for some reason I’m in a mood to put together something PINK for Burning Man (2021, of course).

[Let’s hope there IS a Burning Man 2021 and that the coronavirus doesn’t completely destroy the finances of the Burning Man organization.]

I’ve been looking at transparent pink dresses:

I’m specifically drawn to longer lines and bright colors.

I’m excited by the playfulness of each dress and I WISH THEY MADE THEM IN MY SIZE.

Perhaps I might have to take up sewing clothes again, in order to make what I really want and custom fit it to my exact dimensions.

I’ve never been one for making my own clothes.

I just didn’t have the patience to complete a clothing project, which is ironic since I’ve finished about fifty quilts.

What you’ve got to understand is that the amount of time it takes to pick out a pattern, select fabric, cut out the pattern, and sew is often so laborious that it’s much more cost effective to just BUY the dress already made.

A few years ago, I bought a pattern for a nightgown that I loved.

I have yet to crack open the pattern and sew.

So my track record of buying and sewing my own clothes makes me feel like it would be a gigantic waste of time (and money).

Honestly, it’s much easier and better for me to just lose weight so I can fit into standard sizes.

I mean, what does it say about me that I’d rather LOSE WEIGHT than sew clothes?

Pretty telling, huh?

Bee-you-tiful!

I have a SLIGHT obsession with bees.

I remember as a child going out in the backyard and seeing bees all over the flowering bushes.

Nowadays the only time I see a bee is when they’re lying on the ground dead or near death.

I have a strong hankering to start my own little bee farm and I’ve noticed several of my friends on Facebook have started bee houses in their yards.

I even dated someone who was a beekeeper but never got around to picking his brain and starting my own colony.

I did get a jar of fresh local honey from him though, and it is GLORIOUS!

This is all just a segue to say that I fell hard and fast for a pair of BIG FUCKING BEE EARRINGS.

I found them on etsy and I love them!

I also discovered this stained-glass raven necklace which I love as well:

It reminds me of a friend who rehabilitated a raven with a broken wing only to discover how smart and loyal a bird it was.

I’m going through a bit of a wild animal phase right now and wondering how I can tap into it for another costume project.

I know Burning Man is going virtual this year but costume planning is a year-round activity for me.

It also helps me to cope with the strain of the coronavirus.

And I’ll take relief any way I can get it.

Smoke Show

Once upon a time, I bought a silver tribal necklace for Burning Man:

I wound up wearing it at unSCruz in 2018.

Originally, I purchased it from a store in etsy run by CValentina.

She has some INCREDIBLE Turkish statement necklaces, and I’ve been thinking it might be a good time to pick up another tribal-style necklace.

Mostly because I’m not sure where I put my original necklace after I had a repair to make on it.

Naturally, I was pleased to see that the store is still up and running on etsy.

And she’s got some delightful NEW NECKLACES that would fit the bill:

Most run from approximately $75 to $125 in price and are well worth the investment.

If you can keep track of them.

I’ve had mine since February 2018 and it’s only ever required one small repair to a jump ring.

When I wore it, I got lots of compliments on it and I think it’s a really beautiful eye-catching piece that can be worn with lots of different outfits.

Here is my tribal outfit, in its entirety:

And here is my latest version, Smoke Show:

Burning Man Reflections

Now, in the midst of all the sadness over the cancellation of Burning Man, I want to take a moment to reflect on what has happened in my life since I first landed a lucky ticket in the Main Sale of 2015.

I could never have known then how very much it was going to change my life.

From finding my “tribe” to developing new passions, it’s been a journey that began with one simple desire:

Write a series of blog posts about going to Burning Man.

I’ll never forget the panic that set in right after I purchased my first Burning Man ticket.

Here I was, a single 40-year old woman getting ready to go camping for a week in one of the harshest environments known to man BY MYSELF.

I knew I needed to find people to go with.

My very first “burner” event was a costume exchange and workshop in the Santa Cruz Mountains hosted by the South Bay Burners.

I met the event organizer for the first time at that workshop and after talking to her, I was more convinced than ever that I could do this.

Since that time, I have attended Burning Man every year and each year has been a different experience but one thing is sure:  I grew as a person because of my experiences there.

I developed a passion for costuming and cosplay.

I grew to love EDM music and dancing until all hours of the night.

I learned all about new campmates and developed lifelong friendships.

I see lots of Burning Man pictures on the internet.

Most involve scantily clad women posing by art in a dusty and barren environment.

To me, that’s the least of what I’ve seen at Burning Man.

For me, Burning Man is alive and well and living in the effortless dusty grins on the faces of my friends and all Burning Man participants.

It truly is a magical wonderland and I for one will always be thankful I stumbled upon it, even at the ripe age of 40.

I’ve always been a strong advocate for lifelong learning and for me, Burning Man is another way to continue to grow and develop as a person.

It’s not just a way in which I continue to develop new skills and explore who I am as a person, it is (in my opinion) THE BEST way to do it!

I encourage everyone to come see what’s it’s all about.

If Burning Man is too much of a commitment for you, try a regional burn like unSCruz or Precompression in the city.

There’s a million ways to get involved.

What are you waiting for?

Stayin’ Alive

Burning Man 2020 has been cancelled.

I am crushed but resigned to the fact that our lives are going to be dramatically altered in order to combat COVID-19.

Honestly, it makes a lot of sense to cancel Burning Man.

People have to get together and congregate in order to build the art and critical infrastructure that is needed to create Black Rock City.

Burning Man has been careful to emphasize that Burning Man isn’t cancelled, just the container of Black Rock City which gave us a city to practice the 10 Principles.

I’m not going to lie.

Burning Man in Black Rock City is a HUGE part of the Burning Man experience for me.

I knew that while I was sitting in line at Gate the first time, watching people get out of their cars and party in the lanes with music, beers, and festivity that this city was something special.

It does something extraordinary to the people who attend.

Now, in order to keep the Burning Man vision alive, we will need to find novel ways to combat isolation and once again gather together virtually and spiritually.

If I don’t seem too concerned, it’s because I’m not.

Burning Man for me is a YEAR ROUND experience.

From themed birthday parties to fundraisers to backyard entertainment, Burning Man is alive and well and living in the hearts of all my friends.

What I am MOST concerned about is the internal layoffs at Burning Man.

What a terrible time to be unemployed.

My heart goes out to the hardworking Burning Man staff who create the container that is Burning Man for the rest of us to enjoy.

The Burn will rise again triumphant, I have no doubt of that.

We will keep it alive until we can all get together again.

Customization

So I got a hat for a Burning Man outfit.

It’s a camel colored felt hat with matching hat band:

I like the bohemian feel of the hat but I don’t like the matchy-match-ness of the hat band.

So I went online to etsy and found an artist who creates custom hat bands and I purchased one of theirs to go with the hat:

I like the natural fibers and the rustic feel of this hat band more than I like the other.

It should go very nicely with my felt hat, which in turn will be great at keeping the sun off my head and out of my eyes.

Check out the full outfit:

Hopefully, it won’t be too much for the weather at Burning Man, but I imagine with a skirt that’s as ventilated as the one I’m wearing I’ll be just fine.