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!

Burning Man 2015 vs Burning Man 2016

R-evolutionBurning Man is ALMOST here and I am getting really excited about making the trip to Black Rock City.

It feels like just a few weeks ago I was suffering through Burning Man 2015.

Nothing went as planned for my burn last year.

I got ditched then dumped.

So I’ve made the executive decision this year to NOT PLAN A THING.

Oh sure, I know I’ll hang out at Ali Bar-Bar getting my drink on with friends.

And I’ll hit up Retro Frolic to get my Cock Sucking Certification.

And the Sauna Dome is a definite.

But everything else? It’s all up in the air.

If you know me, then you know that this is HUGE.

Because I’m a planner. Literally. IRL. My job is event planning.

Last year I took 16 travel bins with me with all my gear. This year I have 6 bins.

What a difference a year makes.

Since I’m not into EDM, I’ve gotten a few tips from friends on where to go to dance to 70s, 80s, and 90s tunes.

And, of course, I want to see art.

Lots and lots of art.

I also want to visit the Temple.

This year I plan to watch it burn.

Last year I was discouraged to attend the Temple burn.

And I deeply regret staying behind.

The bottom line is I BASICALLY CAN’T FUCK UP THIS BURN because nothing will make it as bad as last year.

Although I just found out my lover won’t be attending this year.

Sad face.

Regardless, it’s going to be a great burn.

They say the playa provides and I think this year, it’ll give me the exact experience that I need.

The universe has a way of working out like that.

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.

Damn fine photos!

My mistrust of photographers is something I’ve written about from time to time.

It hearkens back to the day when I was 19 and the KSJO photographer invited me to his place for a portrait session which turned into a “let me help you out of your clothes and take nude pictures of you” session.

Nevertheless, despite my misgivings, I’ve managed to let a few photographers sneak into my life.

The Photographer, for one, who is quite charming and so far has only offered to take professional photos of me for my blog.

Then there’s Yvonne, Tejas’ ex-girlfriend, who is a wedding photographer and took lovely family photos of me with my boys.

So you can imagine my surprise when ANOTHER photographer joined the ranks of my FRIEND CIRCLE.

And this one is a COMBAT PHOTOGRAPHER.

I know!  Wow!

We were at Burning Man, watching an art piece burn when he saw me not utilizing the camera on my iPhone properly.

He offered to take a few pictures for me, and they turned out SO MUCH BETTER THAN THE ONES I TOOK I HAD TO ASK HIS SECRET.

And he showed me.

Kind of him, don’t you think?

In any case, I decided right then and there that he was good peeps and voilá, we became friends.

So there you have it – even deep seeded biases can be overcome by the goodness of Burning Man.

And they can lead to some DAMN GOOD PHOTOS in the process!

Below is my ORIGINAL photo of the burn:

Followed by his AWESOME photo:

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Knowing when to say when

MichelleI have been really, truly, near hospitalization sick only once in my life.

It’s a place I never want to go again.

That’s why I keep an iron grip on my health.

My routines.

My medication.

It is with great sadness that I report that Burning Man disturbs those routines and puts me at risk for getting sick again.

Now that I’m back home, my family and friends ask me what it’s like reentering the Default World.

Well, the truth is I never left it.

I took it with me and lived solidly in it for as long as I could during this burn.

But then, I started getting sick.

After that, all I wanted was to get back home to my boys, my family, and my routines.

Don’t feel bad for me.

I’ve had a good run of it.

And I can say that Burning Man is not for me not because I had a ruined burn like I did in 2015, but because I had a great burn and STILL couldn’t stay healthy.

At least I made up for last year’s ATROCIOUS burn.

It’s been an amazing, life changing journey:

  • I’ve seen a tuba player blow fire.
  • I finally experienced the reverence of a Temple burn.
  • I’ve had my naked body washed by 4 people at the same time.
  • I’ve had outrageously wonderful sex on the playa.
  • I’ve seen the sunrise.
  • I’ve made out with dodgy men.
  • I’ve gotten tipsy and danced my heart out.
  • I’ve been lost in a dust storm. Several, actually.
  • I’ve ridden the back of a snail.

And I’ve fallen in love with Black Rock City and its citizens.

Nevertheless, when I bid the playa farewell this year, I had the feeling I was saying my permanent goodbye.

Tears.

Burning Man 2015 vs Burning Man 2016

R-evolutionBurning Man is ALMOST here and I am getting really excited about making the trip to Black Rock City.

It feels like just a few weeks ago I was suffering through Burning Man 2015.

Nothing went as planned for my burn last year.

I got ditched then dumped.

So I’ve made the executive decision this year to NOT PLAN A THING.

Oh sure, I know I’ll hang out at Ali Bar-Bar getting my drink on with friends.

And I’ll hit up Retro Frolic to get my Cock Sucking Certification.

And the Sauna Dome is a definite.

But everything else? It’s all up in the air.

If you know me, then you know that this is HUGE.

Because I’m a planner. Literally. IRL. My job is event planning.

Last year I took 16 travel bins with me with all my gear. This year I have 6 bins.

What a difference a year makes.

Since I’m not into EDM, I’ve gotten a few tips from friends on where to go to dance to 70s, 80s, and 90s tunes.

And, of course, I want to see art.

Lots and lots of art.

I also want to visit the Temple.

This year I plan to watch it burn.

Last year I was discouraged to attend the Temple burn.

And I deeply regret staying behind.

The bottom line is I BASICALLY CAN’T FUCK UP THIS BURN because nothing will make it as bad as last year.

Although I just found out my lover won’t be attending this year.

Sad face.

Regardless, it’s going to be a great burn.

They say the playa provides and I think this year, it’ll give me the exact experience that I need.

The universe has a way of working out like that.

The dangers of WEARING wasabi

ImageThe sign at the all-you-can-eat sushi bar said that if you order more food than you can eat, you will be charged the a-la-carte price for your sushi.

This weighed heavily on our minds as my sister and I surveyed our table filled with sushi. We were stuffed to the gills and were trying to figure out how to make 20 extra pieces of sushi disappear.

Oh my god, could we do it?!

Being the honest sibling, I just started eating sushi… doing my best to just chew and swallow and not think about how full I already was.

But Lisa, being a little more clever and deceptive, opted to take a different approach.

SHE SHOVED THE SUSHI INTO HER CLEAVAGE!

The waitress came by to check on our progress.  I noticed sushi peeking out of my sister’s cleavage. As the waitress spoke to us, Lisa’s eyes were getting bigger and bigger.  The waitress left.

“What’s wrong,” I asked.

“Listen, we’ve got to get out of here so I can get rid of this sushi. The wasabi is BURNING MY BOOBS!”