Bad Ass

My parents, and in particular my father, don’t fully approve of my involvement with Burning Man.

Over a shared meal, my father called it a “cult.”

And he’s said REPEATEDLY that he can’t wait until this “phase” of my life is over.

Oh really?

You object to me finding something fulfilling in my life that adds value and provides learning, leadership and growth opportunities?

How interesting!

I’m a kinder person because of Burning Man.

I’m more responsible with resources.

I’ve learned to appreciate diversity and embrace people from all backgrounds.

Burning Man has helped me along the path of consciousness as I develop into a fully actualized human being.

You can make jokes about the Orgy Dome, Slutgarden, and Pussy Portrait Studio.

You can call it a “playground for adults.”

But it’s also a global movement to be kinder and gentler to your neighbors.

It’s the expression of difficult and challenging concepts through art and music and community.

And it’s all-inclusive.

Nowhere do I feel more accepted and more seen than on the playa.

I have words for my critical father who is judging the way I live my life by the standards of his 90-year old values:

It’s not a phase

You just raised a bad ass.

Boobalicious

I’m a woman who wears lots of dresses.

I mean, I have jeans and slacks and stuff but most of the time I’m in skirts or a dress.

I decided it was time to buy some new pants and at the top of my list to get is a pair of camouflage pants.

I found a pretty cool pair for cheap on Fashion Nova:

But when I went to buy them, I got a Prop 65 warning that the PANTS contained something CARCINOGENIC in them.

How can they even sell carcinogenic pants to people?

I don’t understand.

So I scrapped that idea and decided to buy slightly more expensive camo pants from Forever 21 which are non-carcinogenic:

Overall, this is the look I’m going for:

Of course, I’ll have to wear a more substantial top since stuffing my G’s into a tiny star-shaped bikini top is likely to produce a very boobalicious result.

I’m not sure if there will be a 2021 burn in Black Rock Desert but I’m keeping my wardrobe up-to-date so that I can easily pack and be ready.

At first, I thought I’d accessorize it with a camo helmet fit with devil horns á la Henck Roling from The Big Flower Fight, but then I thought of Ariana Grande’s long sleek ponytail and I bought a cheap one off of Wish:

It’s Ariana Grande meets Tank Girl.

Here’s me crossing my fingers hoping Burning Man happens in 2021!

Colorful kilts and sari skirts

I’m working on an inspiration board for Burning Man 2021.

I’ve got a collection of LOOKS going on and I’m excited at the idea of working on outfits for the burn.

First, I’m loving the look of this model in a bright kilt:

You can find online versions of contemporary kilts HERE for $59.78 and HERE for $100.

Truthfully, I’m in love with this Indian-inspired skirt.

I’m so in love with it, that I checked out sari-style skirts online and found some very playful sari skirts which would look great at Burning Man:

But overall the themes to my 2021 Burning Man Inspiration Board are:

Transparency, fringe, rainbows, aliens and galaxy prints:

I’m also MADLY in love with this look for a man:

Overalls – HERE for $38.33 or HERE for $38.52; horns – HERE for $45+, and HERE for $190.

The Last of the Costumes

My strawberry dress FINALLY arrived!

I’ve been waiting and waiting for it to get here and NOW IT’S HERE!

I don’t know what to do with myself, I’m so excited.

Finally, a strawberry dress that fits.

There’s one teensy tiny problem, however.

It’s virtually see-through.

Yeah.

See-through clothing is fine for Burning Man and the like but not so great for day-to-day wear.

Therefore I MUST buy a pink slip to go under the dress.

No big deal.

The royal blue hat and heels arrived as well.

Sadly, I think the shoes will not work.

They hobble me in minutes.

So I bought a pair of the much sought after Penny Loves Kenney electric blue velvet heels:

I’ve sworn to Nadine that I’m going to use my funds for investments and not costumes anymore, so we’ll see how many costumes I put together for 2021 – could be not many at all.

But I’m still scrolling though Pinterest looking for inspiration.

Lately, I’ve been impressed with some styles for men:

But I’ve been looking at a few designs for women which appeal to me, most notably THESE braids and a foam wig:

But since Burning Man 2021 is a long way off, I’m just perusing the web for costumes but INVESTING my money in stock.

Nadine will be so proud!

Ethos

Smiling in the dust

I’ve got Burning Man on the brain on account of the course I just took called Burning Man:  Then and Now.

I already knew this, but after taking the class it is clear that Burning Man is more than just an art and music festival in the desert.

Burning Man may be a temporary community that pops up in the Northern Nevada Black Rock desert once a year but it’s also an experimental community that operates YEAR ROUND.

As a participant, I may think that Burning Man culminates in the burning of the man on Saturday night before Labor Day, but as an educated historian I know it’s much more than that.

There are groups operating year round to offer art not just as something to be observed, but also to be EXPERIENCED and INTERACTED WITH.

Sonic Runway in San Jose’s Playa to Paseo art exhibition is a good example of art moving from the playa to an urban area.

There are also groups which offer humanitarian support to communities in need, because we’ve learned a thing or two which can benefit others when it comes to creating intentional communities.

And surviving inhospitable environments.

A great example of this is Burners Without Borders helping out after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

The 10 principles (Communal Effort, Civic Responsibility, Decommodification, Gifting, Immediacy, Leave No Trace, Participation, Radical Self-Reliance, Radical Self-Expression, and Radical Inclusion) are the overarching elements which guide our trajectory.

Whether we’re helping a community to rebuild after a disaster, whether we’re installing solar panels on the local Paiute Indian school, or even if we are raising money to fund art installations around the world, one thing is sure.

Burning Man is more than a party in the desert.

It’s an ethos that captivates people all around the world to live more consciously and authentically in community with one another.

And I for one am proud to be a part of that.

Thanks Larry

I learned something new about Larry Harvey, one of the founders of Burning Man.

He and his brother were adopted and you can read about it here.

In case you didn’t know, I was adopted with a sister (who I’m very close with) and a brother.

My sister and I share absolutely no DNA yet we couldn’t be more family than if we were identical twins.

Such is the story with Larry and his brother Stewart.

There’s something magical about being an adoptee.

As if having transplanted roots early in life makes you more likely to spread your wings and transform into whatever you want.

When you don’t know your story, you can make up a million stories about yourself.

And so I too, am a storyteller.

I have a blog, after all. . .

I always felt like I was super special, because my parents told me that and because our adoptions were never hidden from us.

But that’s not all I have in common with Larry Harvey.

I also was born with a strong desire to build community around me.

And it is precisely at Burning Man where I feel most in touch with my ethos.

Just like Larry.

Thank you.

2020 Costumes

2020 was a pretty slow year, as far as socializing goes.

No burner parties, no social gatherings.

Just sheltering in place.

And while I sheltered in place, here are the outfits I worked on in 2020:

My vinyl Velma costume, complete with red vinyl skirt and orange knee socks.

My Fleur Delacour costume from Harry Potter.

My smokeshow costume – to be worn at Burning Man 2021 (hopefully).

My witchy woman costume, worn for the Micro Burn (the one time I did go out).

Who doesn’t love themselves some Spaceballs?  Here is my Barf costume for Burning Man 2021.

My Egyptian costume, just a fun outfit for Burning Man.

My red sheer dress outfit.  I’ve got all the accessories, now do I have the balls to wear it?

Wednesday Addams, because she’s a bad ass bitch!

Pretty Woman costume, because I just couldn’t help myself.

Cher from Clueless, I bought two versions of the same costume, only one fit.  So my cousin Jennifer got the one that was too small.

Miss Piggy – only my most EPIC Halloween costume EVER!

An electric blue velvet jumpsuit, because you can never own too  much velvet!

The strawberry dress.  I’m so in love.  Enough said.

So maybe I didn’t work on as many outfits as I would have if covid had not happened, but I worked on a tidy bunch of costumes and I think they turned out great.

Now I just need to take pictures in them.

Serendipity

Every now and then I wonder about my strange and unusual background.

HAI workshops.

Landmark.

OneTaste.

Burning Man.

Lots of fringe activities, exploring self and relationships with others.

I don’t often talk about it on this blog because it’s hard to put into words what it feels like to probe the edges of myself and explore the depths of my identity.

But that’s the task I was faced with yesterday after conversing with an old friend, who just so happens to be Swedish.

I am forced to admit that all these things I’ve done suddenly made more sense to me.

Even learning the Swedish language to impress a man who is now married to someone else.

Instead of feeling like a collection of failed hobbies, I feel like a whole and complete woman.

Strong.

Independent.

Ready to take on the challenges before me and see what lies ahead.

Bring it on.

Red Hot Mama

I’ve had this idea.

But it’s a little morbid so bear with me.

For my funeral, instead of hosting a funeral I want my family to host a party.

Because that’s the best way I can think of celebrating my life.

With a final red-themed party.

I want them to send out red invitations in red envelopes  to Michelle’s Red Hot Mama party.

However old I am when I pass.

We’re gonna call it a Red Hot Mama party and it’ll take place at Burning Man where they can take my pictures to the temple and celebrate my life.

The way I would.

With song and dance.

Food and drink.

And I’m writing it here, just because I need to write it SOMEWHERE that I want my kids to be there.

Yes, at Burning Man.

My final gift to them.

A trip to the Black Rock Desert during August and September to celebrate their mom’s life in the place that meant the most to me.

Nice, eh?

Fake Vehicle Pass

I know a lot of burners out there with Burning Man vehicle passes stuck to their RV or car windows, displaying how many years they’ve been attending the burn.

Sadly, since 2020 didn’t take place, there will be a gap in their attendance, no?

No!

Check out this FAKE 2020 Burning Man vehicle pass, for the bargain price of $8.87 (plus $2.99 shipping):

I already bought one for Nadine.

Go get yourself one, if you’re so inclined.

P.S.  I get no commission or kick back for recommending this.  I just think it’s a cool idea.