Disappointed

The Swede is not coming to Burning Man.

I would say that I’m sad about it, but in truth I saw it coming and was resigned to it before it even happened.

I was really looking forward to having him there and seeing Burning Man through the eyes of someone who has never been there before.

He was a good sport about it, and I have to give him credit for that.

Not everyone wants to spend a week in a hot and dusty desert surrounded by freaks, hippies, ravers, artists and musicians.

I think he initially agreed to go simply because of my enthusiasm for the event.

But it’s not like I’m going to Burning Man by myself.

I’ll be traveling with Tejas and I have my whole camp there as my small community within the larger Burning Man community to keep me entertained and connected.

Still, it gives me pause.

I will miss The Swede.

And even though I was expecting this, I am sad to lose his companionship.

I will have to send him pics and texts from the burn.

It’s not the same as being there, but it’s the best I can do to let him know that he is missed.

Stressed

The first thing you need to know about producing a “burner-esque” event in the Santa Cruz Mountains is that IT IS A LOT OF WORK!

It would be ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE without the help of a team of talented people helping to organize it.

I spent the better part of Wednesday pouring through emails, creating spreadsheets, picking up checks, and putting out fires.

It’s the last minute details that will get you.

The thing about burner events, is that nothing goes as planned.

Everything has a kink in it.

Which is STRESSFUL for someone who PLANS THINGS OUT for a living.

But yes, I must agree.

In my experience Burning Man is what happens when you plan something wonderful, and something extraordinary happens.

So TECHNICALLY, I shouldn’t be stressed.

Because no matter what I do, things will be EXTRAORDINARY!

But I’m stressed.

So stressed, I’m reduced to self medicating with alcohol.

Vodka lemonade, to be exact.

I’ll survive, I know I will.

It’s just being at the forefront of an event designed to entertain and enthrall guests that has me SUPER STRESSED OUT.

Do you think it’ll be easier next year????

 

Cuddle Puddle

cuddleI’m pretty sure my first experience in a cuddle puddle was at a HAI Level 1 retreat at Harbin Hot Springs.

There was a break in the activity and some of us opted to lay down on a pile of pillows.

Snuggling and cuddling just happened.

Try to imagine prickly, stuffy old me being invited into a cuddle puddle with a bunch of relaxed, down-to-earth people.

But I’ll try anything and so I did.

I laid down with virtual strangers and gave myself over to the experience.

And it was amazing.

Now I know it’s hard to picture me enjoying snuggling.

Everyone knows I’m an action girl and I scoff at snuggling (at least until after the main event).

But this appealed to me.

The smiling. The hand holding. The gentle touches. The bodies cuddled up to mine.

I was relaxed and enjoying myself.

Fast forward eight years and I’m at SoulFire in a cuddle puddle with two women and a man.

Same result.

Relaxing, snuggling, cuddling, soft sensation.

It was all too brief but satisfying.

So here I am looking at my inbox today and there’s a new invitation to a Santa Clara cuddle puddle.

Do I want to go?

Hell yes.

Then what’s stopping me?

Probably the fear that it won’t be my scene. That I won’t feel a connection to any of the people there.

Maybe I’m a little bit afraid of the person I might become if I finally let my hunger for intimacy out into the open without the post-coital justification there to mitigate it.

Maybe I’ll have to admit there’s more to intimacy than just sex.

And that I am woefully BAD AT IT.

Maybe…

 

SoulFire (aka the night I lost my pants)

I can’t BELIEVE I haven’t told this story yet.

As you know, SoulFire is near and dear to my heart.

And it’s because of the people and cherished memories.

So many loving hugs, smiling faces, and open hearts!

Each time I’ve gone to SoulFire, it’s with my BFF Tejas.

The first time we ever went, we took his Motorbeast (the RV) and did a “mock up” of Burning Man.

To see if we could live with each other.

Within minutes of arriving and setting up, I was making Tejas a cocktail.

A margarita.

He handed me his cup, which was a LARGE MCDONALD’S cup that used to hold soda in it.

I made him a QUADRUPLE!

Actually, what I should say is that I MADE HIM A QUADRUPLE WITHOUT TELLING HIM!

[I call it a QUADRUPLE, but really I have no idea how big it was.  I just kept pouring tequila.]

I thought it would last the next several hours.

Well, he drank it down, not realizing how much tequila I put in it. . .

. . .and proceeded to forget the rest of the evening.

No memory of having dinner. No memory of getting nicknamed by a sexy woman.

Nothing.

I, on the other hand, proceeded to walk around naked (it was a naturalist resort, btw) then semi naked in a tank top and booty shorts.

Let’s just say when I woke up in the morning, I couldn’t find my jeans!

Late into the evening however, someone came to fetch me to bring Tejas home to his RV.

He was sitting on a bench, happy as a lark, ready to go to bed.

And do you know, I managed to get him to the RV, undressed, and even got his C-PAP machine on him before I went to bed.

I am one hell of a good friend (or good at making up for being a BAD friend and getting my BFF wasted).

Tejas and I always have a good laugh about it now.

The night I got him drunk, lost my pants, and put him to bed!

SoulFire 2016: The Shirtcocking Chronicles

Do you know what shirtcocking is?

It’s when a man walks around naked wearing nothing but a shirt (often an unbuttoned short sleeve shirt) with his peen hanging out underneath.

Shirt + cock = shirtcocking

Shirtcocking is tolerated with amusement at Burning Man and regionals.

It is thought that shirtcocking originates when a man wants to walk around naked (a perfectly acceptable past time at a naturist retreat) but he’s worried about burning his chest, back, and shoulders, so he puts on a shirt.

There was A LOT of shirtcocking at Lupin this past weekend.

Maybe because of the 95 degree heat.

The only thing to do was get naked and jump in the pool to cool off.

I went to the pool and saw a lot of peen this past weekend.

It seems like there’s always at least twice as many men as women at the pool.

But hanging out at the pool was great.

I love seeing body diversity – tall, round, short, squat, slim, and everything in between.

Of course as my friend The Blonde Goddess put it, “There’s nothing like being at a nude resort to make you feel fat.”

I had my issues, but I fought them and in the end had a wonderful time.

I’ve drunk my fill of naked men and women.

And those shirtcockers?

Well, I just let them shirtcock.

And giggled on the inside.

Here’s my picture of all the cocks that were shirtcocking:

bratwurst

SoulFire 2016: The Heat Stroke 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

Shirtcocking

Since it looks like The Swede is coming to Burning Man, I’ve been keeping an eye out for items which are suitable for him to wear on the playa.

Sunblock, for one.

A hat, for another.

But also. . .

These:

I can’t tell you how much I ADORE these tank tops.

One, because they are cool.

But also?

Because they will show off The Swede’s arms and tattoos.

And there’s nothing I want more than to snuggle close to that man and have him wrap me in his arms.

And who doesn’t love SCORPION tattoos?

Yes my friends, The Swede is a Scorpio.

Just like me.

In fact, he “shares” a birthday with my little brother which means that TECHNICALLY I’ve been celebrating on his birthday since 1978.

Isn’t that a pleasant thought?

Well, regardless of when his birthday is, he’ll at least have some good tanks to wear on the playa.

I sent him pictures of the tanks and HE LIKED THEM.

Which is nice.

I always enjoy it when people like the gifts I pick out for them.

Now, we just have to figure out what he’ll wear on bottom.

Ain’t no shirtcocking Swedes here!

Yes, that is exactly what you think it is (men who wear shirts on the playa and are naked below the waist).

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.