I need a dog

Pints and Pups was this weekend.

I dragged myself out of bed, picked up Barbara, and headed over to Golden State Brewery in Santa Clara for some snuzzles with doggies and BEER!

It was fun to see old friends and to hang out with Barbara.

Drinking beer.

Barbara, in case you didn’t know it, is my “sister.”

We look so much alike people mistake us for sisters.

I got to check out the rescued dogs brought to the event by Thulani Senior German Shepherd Dog Rescue.

They rescue senior German shepherds that have been abandoned by their owners in their old age.

It’s heartbreaking.

I got the feeling like these dogs were searching the crowd for their person and not finding him or her.

They kept looking off into the distance.

Oblivious of my attempts to garner their attention.

But I loved on the doggies anyway and perhaps even signed myself up to volunteer with Thulani next weekend.

Of course, you MUST know that my favorite breed of dog is German shepherd, on account of I’ve had two and they were THE BEST DOGS.

I miss them terribly.

So I was incredibly pleased when friends took it upon themselves to paint an image of my Wendy girl from a picture I gave them.

It’s stunning!

Warms my poor little heart to see her again, in a painting.

This is actually a picture of Wendy around 3 years old, taken when I was rescuing her from the Tri-Valley Animal Shelter.

She somehow managed to sit long enough for me to snap a photo.

Wendy was never the sort to sit still for any length of time, so I was especially pleased I managed to get that photo of her.

And just like this picture of Mac (below), my first white German shepherd, it has become my quintessential photo of Wendy.

I need a dog.

 

 

Share Yourself

I’m going to a birthday party in less than two weeks.

Even though the birthday boy’s birthday is in January, he’s celebrating in September and I’m totally down with that.

September 22 is also the day that I celebrate Douglas, Ruby, Mac, Wendy, Andrew and Zachary – my lost beloveds.

I refuse to be sad remembering them.

So a party is a perfect way to remember them and put a little happiness in the air for them.

It’s an INTERACTIVE birthday party which means that everyone has to bring something to share.

We’re talking more than just food here.

We’re talking musical performances, demos, and more.

I am personally going to a give a demo on my hat making skills.

I’ll take a Chinese military captain’s hat and show how to convert it to a stellar Burning Man captain’s hat complete with rhinestones, ribbon and spikes.

I used to make lots of these hats and sold them for $200 – $250.

The market on etsy is now SATURATED with blinged-out captain’s hats so I’ve retired my business.

But I’m happy to do a demo for those who are interested.

I’m also going to wear my Ashley Graham-inspired dress:

You know which one I’m talking about – the one with the white mesh bodysuit and strappy black bra underneath.

And, of course, the outfit wouldn’t be complete without one of my captain’s hats to go with it – specifically my silver/black captain’s hat:

image1(1)As far as party ideas go, this one is a REAL WINNER in my book.

It involves more than dressing up and bringing food to share.

You have to share yourself, and that’s the most amazing gift you can give anyone.

Kudos to the Birthday Boy!

I’m a blogger

I’m a blogger.

My life appears on the internet for other people to read and absorb.

I write because I have a bad memory and a diary is the best way for me to keep track of what happens in my life.

I put it on the internet because I’m trying to connect with other people, even if it’s just through a story.

I think there’s wisdom that can be gleaned between the lines of my life, if not by me then by someone else.

Everybody I write about, I fall in love with.

They represent a character in my life and whether temporary or permanent, they always play a part in my development.

Some people I clearly adore: my children, my family, The Swede, Tejas, Barbara, Michelle, Marina, and so many more.

Other people pop in and out, like Coke Can Dan, Jack and Jill, and The Photographer.

Rest assured they’ve all captured a place in my heart.

There is little I enjoy more than writing about a friend, new or old, who has captured my attention.

I never do them justice.

Personalities are far too rich and nuanced for me to capture in my simple writing.

But I try.

And honestly, nothing is better than reading old posts and being reminded of old friends I haven’t seen in a while so I pick up the phone and call.

I hope they know how much I love them.

Making Peace

I friended an ex-boyfriend on Facebook recently.

It’s been at least 6 years since we really spoke or saw each other.

I must say, more so that any other person in my life (besides my children) he has indelibly altered the course of my life.

Everything that I do now, from Burning Man to boudoir photos, I do because he taught me to explore life outside my comfort zone.

Test your edges, he used to say.

And then he pushed me to test them.

I think it was easy for me to make him the bad guy when things fell apart, specifically because he was so insistent that I explore new activities and interests.

In case you didn’t already know, change is hard.

It’s easy to sit in your comfort zone, with all the things you know and are familiar with.

It’s much harder to get out and try new things – things you might not understand too well or be instantly good at.

So. . .

I made peace with it.

And him.

Steve and Anthony

When my boys were little, there were two men who helped me through all those sleepless nights – Steve Irwin the Crocodile Hunter and Anthony Bourdain the American Chef.

Late at night, there’s not much TV to watch and so what did I do at 3 am when Duncan or Gavin needed a feeding?

I watched Animal Planet and The Travel Channel.

Quality entertainment at breastfeeding o’clock in the morning.

When Steve Irwin passed away in 2006, I was heartbroken.

It was as if I’d lost an intimate family member, such was my grief.

Now, upon hearing the news of Anthony Bourdain’s suicide, I am filled with the same grief.

Those two men kept me company when I was up all alone, taking care of my boys, trying to get them to go back to sleep so that I could then go back to sleep.

My ex-husband was still sleeping in bed, but Anthony and Steve, they were with me.

I have plumbed the depths of despair myself, when my oldest son passed away from cancer in 1998.

I know what it’s like to feel like the burden you carry is too much to go on.

My heart breaks a little when I think of the suffering that someone must be going through to actually take their own life.

There’s no way to make sense of premature loss from suicide but there is a way to help prevent them.

We need to remove the stigma on mental illness, which is just as rooted in biology and biochemisty as any illness so that people can get the help they need without fear of judgment.

I promise to all my family and friends who love and care for me, that I will always take my mental health seriously, and that I will reach out when I’m not feeling all that great.

I also promise to make myself available at 3 am, when things are rough, and they just need someone to talk them though the night.

Just like Steve and Anthony did for me.

Lesson Learned

I am notorious for buying outfits for themed events – such as the Star Wars Party or 80s Rock Stars Party – and then not trying the clothes on until just before the event.

Sometimes, this results in a few snafus.

For instance, I got this lovely dress for the Teal and Lavender Party.

I’m going to tell you right now, how I managed to find the PERFECT dress is a total mystery to me, but there you have it, a dress with TEAL and LAVENDER!

I snapped it up.

Unfortunately, it didn’t REALLY come in my size so I had to hope that the forgiving cut of the design would accommodate my curves.

There I am, getting dressed in the hotel and I try to slip on the dress and OH GOD, IT’S STUCK ON MY BOOBS.

Sure enough, the dress was long and flowing but the under slip was tight and form fitting and I SWEAR I HAD TO STUFF MY BOOBS INTO THAT SLIP LIKE I WAS STUFFING A WATERMELON INTO A SAUSAGE CASING.

Fortunately, it made wearing a bra totally unnecessary.

I turned to look at myself in the mirror and that’s when I noticed. . .

The dress was pretty much see-through.

Yup, if you stared at it, you could see everything – my panties, my lack of a bra, my nipples, even my flipping belly button!

Now, what you need to know is that I had a second dress with me.

A long tie dye maxi dress.

So I technically COULD HAVE changed into that.

But I was so determined that I was going to wear that beautiful ombre dress that I refused to change.

Instead I brought the second dress with me as a “wardrobe change.”

I spent most of the evening sitting in the shade at the party, trying to hide my nakedness from the partygoers.

Until it came time to jump in the hot tub.

Then the clothes came off. . .

Tie Dye vs Ombre

Don’t you just LOVE Geminis?

I know I do.

I grew up with one (my sister).

They are incredibly loyal and fiercely protective of those they love.

But Geminis have two sides to them and you do not want to cross them.

You’ll feel the heat.

I will be celebrating another Gemini’s birthday this weekend.

MotherP is having a birthday celebration.

The theme is her favorite colors – teal and lavender.

All my lavender and teal clothes are “work appropriate” and not exactly “party material” so of course I had to go shopping for something better.

I found this tie dye dress which seemed to fit the bill.

But it’s coming from Hong Kong, which means sizing and on time delivery are questionable so I HAD to get a backup dress:

This one I LOVE.

It’s so pretty with all it’s colors bleeding into each other.

Way more subtle transitions than tie dye.

Of course, I’m not sure the fascinator hat I bought will work with BOTH outfits:

Which one do you like?

unSCruz 2018: Playground for adults

The thing about unSCruz is that it’s EXACTLY LIKE A PLAYGROUND FOR ADULTS.

All the things you wish existed out there in the world for you to enjoy exist within unSCruz.

Art.

Music.

Would you like to join in a cuddle puddle on a flying ship?

Done.

Take nude photos with a professional photographer?

You can have it.

Learn about kinks you never knew you had?

Wish granted!

Something that TOTALLY BLEW ME AWAY this year was the Rainbow Trike Track.

Basically someone built a mini tricycle track inside one of the warehouses at unSCruz and you could hop on one of the rainbow trikes (think Big Wheels for adults) and get squirrely on the track!

I know!

So much fun!

Open bars?

Yes please (though no outside alcohol is allowed in unSCruz)!

In my heart of hearts, my home away from home will always be Ali Bar Bar.

And they had a magnificent new marquee!

And of course, the best and sexiest bartenders!

unSCruz even had a BURN!

And it was a great burn because the man lit up beautifully but didn’t fall down for quite some time.

More blaze for everyone to enjoy!

All in all, quite the magnificent trip and so worth all the effort that went into planning and executing.

unSCruz 2018: Appreciations

All right.

The overwhelming story that emerges from unSCruz 2018 is one of community.

Despite the fact that we took up more space than we were alotted, we managed to squeeze everyone but the largest camper into our little plot of unSCruz real estate.

It was a beautiful thing to be living in community with so many wonderful, lovely people.

And of course when it was time to gift spankings and cookies to the crowds, everyone stepped up and played their part and we ran like a smooth well-oiled spanking and cookie baking machine.

I must give a shot out to all my campmates who really killed it food-wise for our Saturday potluck.

And then stuck around on Sunday to help tear down the camp, load my truck, and just generally being awesome people I loved spending my weekend with.

We had two women camping with us who were newbies to regional burns and they really rocked their outfits and spent time socializing with their camp mates.

I heart them for embracing the Burning Man culture, despite not having experienced a Burn.

And then there were the fabulous trio of men who complimented me and flirted with me ALL WEEKEND LONG.

They also were fabulous chefs and magnificent company the entire time.

And of course, who can forget the ladies, especially Marina who walked around in a tutu and bra and looked smashing!

Then there’s Yvette who gave out the MOST AMAZING HUGS and really made all of us feel loved and cared for.

GQ, who I swear is my brother from another mother, was a most excellent volunteer and really took on the role of helping out everyone in camp and in the larger community.

“MotherP” and Tejas deserve special kudos for looking after me (more on that later), and of course who can forget Dan and his girlfriend who really added color to the event and our camp.

I also have to thank Ned for bringing his hot tub and then soaking with me in it.

But no weekend recap would be complete without mentioning our fearless leader (and his lovely wife) who made the entire event possible by producing it with the incomparable Sass.

Without Twisty and Sass, there would be empty fairgrounds and no festival.

So much more to say, but for now, just thank yous all around and my unending appreciation for the extraordinary individuals whom they are!

Hugs and kisses for everyone!