Day 2: Adventuring

The day started with a dust storm to end all dust storms.

It was so dusty that they closed Gate and were turning people around at Nixon because no more cars were allowed on the playa.

Crazy!

And back at camp, my camp mates and I were trying to set up a 20 foot by 20 foot shade structure during the worst of the dust storm.

You try it and see how far you get.

Nevertheless, chores were completed.

Naps were attained.

And I even took a “shower” with baby wipes before getting out of camp for the first time.

My first stop?

Ali Bar Bar!

I went to find friends and say hello.

After Ali Bar Bar, Tejas and I rode out to Planet Earth where it was 80s night.

I was served a very small margarita by a very flirtatious bartender.

She held my hand.

Gazed in my eyes.

We had a moment.

Then Tejas got lost and we wound up at Hardly’s Saloon where I partook in a SHOTSKI (a row of shot glasses affixed to a “ski” or board which makes everyone take a shot at the same time).

Mine was apple schnapps, I think.

Finally, on to HomeBrew Camp where we chatted up the bartender and drank beers.

And finally, we went home. . .

. . .where we were met by a dear friend enjoying his first burn.

He shared an ENTIRE bottle of Oban single malt with us before I finally crawled into my bed and slept.

Burning Man, I love you!

And then I peed my pants

Elton JohnThe first thing you need to know about my trip to Tahoe to see Elton John is that I am in my early 40s. And although I didn’t realize it at the time I was buying the tickets, that makes me a little young for Elton’s demographic.

When I pointed this out to my sister, the man sitting in front of us said, “I heard that,” and gave us a scowl.

The second thing you need to know is that even BEFORE WE HAD DINNER at a nearby restaurant, my sister and I polished off a fifth of vodka. Yum yum! Thank you very much. We had a nice buzz going which is why we had two glasses of wine each with dinner.

Yeah, I know. You can see where this is headed already.

So we had dinner and drinks and then called a cab to take us to Harvey’s to see Elton John.

My sister had ordered two stadium seats for this event specifically and she told me, “Make sure we don’t forget them.”

Yes, I’m sure you can see where this is going.

While we each drank 4 Lagunitas Sumpin Sumpin beers, Elton John performed:

  • Bitch (which Lisa and I agreed was Gavin’s theme song)
  • Benny and the Jets
  • Goodbye Norman Jean
  • All the Young Girls
  • Levon
  • Tiny Dancer
  • Love
  • Daniel
  • Philadelphia Freedom
  • Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
  • Rocket Man
  • I Guess That’s why They Call it the Blues

And then I got too drunk to actually write anything else down that makes an iota of sense to me now.

But THE BEST PART was how Lisa and I got home.

We actually were so drunk and turned around we couldn’t find our hotel a mere 4 blocks away so we HOPPED INTO A PRIVATE CAR WITH A COMPLETE STRANGER and my sister paid him $40 to drive us 4 blocks to our hotel.

BUT THERE’S MORE…. I had to go to the bathroom so bad, I peed a little in my pants when we were in his car.

Yup.

I peed my pants.

Nice, eh?

What a night!

When you drink with your sister

Start with a mini bottle of Champagne Pink Pop. Pick it out because it’s in a pink bottle and you think it’s pink. Discover it’s not pink and be disappointed. Try champagne and be even more disappointed. Add orange juice to make it drinkable.

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Try OREgasmic Ale by Rogue Farms, because it’s supposed to be OREgasmic. Discover OREgasmic beer tastes like dirty feet and pot ash. Definitely not orgasmic. Be disappointed.

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Try cheap stacked wine which comes in its own glass. Have low expectations. Have low expectations met. Feel foolish for trying wine which comes with a pull off lid.

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Try Blood Orange Mimosa. Suspect it’s a headache in a bottle with a screw top lid, but love it anyway.  Make your sister drink most of it after dosing it with vodka.

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Graduate to bonafide liquor – making really strong mai tai and screwdriver. Decide to hop in the hot tub naked. Have to hang foot out of hot tub because of new foot tattoo (which effing HURTS). Have sister yell at you when you accidentally dip it in the water. Feel sheepish. Snap selfie anyway.

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UPDATE:  Get RAGING cellulitis (skin infection) from dipping foot in hot tub.  Deal with your sister’s “I-told-you-so’s.”  On antibiotics.  Feel even more sheepish.

Diapers to drink

When I was in college at UCSB, we drank Keystone Light at parties.

It was our go-to beer for the college crowd – cheap, cheap, and cheap.

Fast forward 30 years, and I wouldn’t dare drink a Keystone Light.

I’d rather shave my head with a cheese grater while chewing on tinfoil.

I’m all about craft beer, as evidenced by my membership in the Southbay Beerhounds – an unpretentious haunted house of eccentrics who love beer, dogs, and other oddities.

Yes, sir.

Just like there are wine snobs, there are also beer snobs, and I’m one of them.

My oldest son has now joined the ranks of the college crowd and you know what their favorite drink is?

Coors.

It kills me that he drinks Coors and the other day my sister and I were chatting about my son’s wayward taste in beer.

She too scoffs at Coors.

According to her, it’s a waste of time and alcohol to drink Coors because you have to pee all the time.

The alcohol goes straight through you.

We’re not even sure you can get drunk of Coors.

One thing is for sure, if you’re going to drink Coors, you’ll need diapers to drink.

One man’s high. . .

In my life, I have handled all sorts of drunks.

The angry kind.

The physical kind.

The belligerent kind.

The happy kind.

The horny kind.

And everything in between.

If I had my pick, I’d choose to be around happy drunks.

Which is a reason why partying with Tejas is so damn fun.

He hits his limit and I’m left with what I would call one very happy drunk person.

He’s perfectly willing to follow my instructions to get dressed for bed, get into bed, and go to sleep.

Except this one time.

The best we can tell, Tejas got dosed by somebody with a drug neither of us was familiar with.

Instead of being his happy go lucky self, he started talking gibberish.

Religious nonsense.

And when I tried to get him to go to bed, he just sat in his chair and told me he would be going to bed in my bed.

I became very uncomfortable.

I walked up to the first couple I saw and told them I was scared.

The man went up to Tejas, suggested he go to bed, and then told me he thought he was okay and only needed to rest.

Later, Rangers came by and I even told them I was uncomfortable.

They assessed the situation, figured out that Tejas just needed to sleep off whatever was in his system as well, and they helped me get him to bed and followed up the next morning with a visit to our camp.

The next morning when we talked, Tejas recalled all the random drinks, jello shots, and cookies that he ate the previous night.

There’s no way to tell what really happened.

But this much is true – I was genuinely worried for him and I’ve certainly learned a valuable lesson.

One man’s high is another man’s nightmare!

Post Playa Recovery

Have you ever seen the picture of me post Burning Man 2015?

My hair was a rat’s nest and my cuticles were mangled.

It took a team of hairstylists and nail specialists to FIX ME.

This year I’m taking recovery a step further.

I did go to see a hairstylist.

Just to get a decent blowout.

And I did get a mani and pedi at my local nail salon.

But this year RECOVERY also means giving up BOOZE.

Yes indeed.

I’m going dry for at least a month, maybe longer.

I want to see how it feels to not walk in the front door and make a beeline for my wet bar.

I want to judge my social skills on dates WHEN I HAVEN’T CONSUMED 2 GLASSES OF WINE.

And, of course, I want to see if I will lose any weight when I cut out all those liquid calories from my diet.

Naturally, when on “vacation” at Burning Man, I imbibe a lot of booze.

When Burning Man ends, I am inevitably filled with the urge to remove my liver, place it in a warm saline bath, and detox the hell out of it.

This is the first year I’ll be doing just that.

Quitting cold turkey.

Hopping on the bandwagon.

Getting grounded.

Wish me luck!

Burning Man 2015 Flashback: Scotchfest

Mystical Mysfits Village at 4:30 and B held a Scotchfest celebration at Burning Man 2015.

The “price” of admission was a bottle of scotch.

I managed to navigate my way there all by myself. I was so proud.

I sat and chatted with people while we waited for the ice to arrive.

Scotchfest was taking place during a wicked duststorm.

The man in charge was GORGEOUS and wearing my old school tartan in a green and blue kilt with no shirt, a tanned chest, and a perfectly muscular body.

I nearly creamed myself when I saw him.

He had dark wavy hair with bright blue eyes and looked like he belonged on the cover of a magazine instead of in a dusty den in the Nevada desert.

He poured me my first drink – a lovely, peaty Lagavulin.

After that, I sampled a few more scotches – Laphroig, Caol Ila, Glenmorangie, and God I forget the rest.

At one point I went up to him to get a pour of Bowmore Black Rock (I’m not kidding, it was called Black Rock scotch). I was putting on chapstick just when he turned to look at me and I got flustered and dropped the chapstick cap straight down my cleavage (which is impressive).scotchfest3 scotchfest1I paused for a moment.

“You want me to get it?” he joked with a grin that made my knees weak.

“No,” I squeaked. “I can get it. Some Bowmore, please,” and with that my humiliation was complete.

scotchfest4Only me folks, only me.

scotchfest5

One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, FLOOR

photo-5While my sister was visiting, we had the brilliant idea of making margaritas at home.  I decided if we were having margaritas, we also needed to do shots and so I insisted we pick up a bottle of Patron to do shots with.

Now the thing you need to know about my sister and I growing up, is that she was the naughty one but I always got in trouble.  Somehow she always managed to skate free.  I claim that this is because I used to cover for her.  She claims she didn’t get in trouble because she was not naughty.  LIAR!

In any case, Lisa and I were about one deep in margaritas and two deep into shots when my sister asked me for another shot.

Sure thing.  Coming right up.

As I’m pouring it, my mom comes into the kitchen, looks at me and the tequila, and says, “Really Michelle?  Another one?” and walks out.

I’m left standing there feeling reprimanded and indignant.

I follow her.

“Just so you know, it’s for Lisa,” I tell her.

Yes, I was a tattletale.

But I felt a whole lot better and my inner child rejoiced for not being labeled the naughty one.

Just the enabler.

Ha ha!

[What I did after 2 shots of tequila and 2 margaritas is a different post]

Tahoe Trip: The Bar Chronicles

I took a little mini break to Reno/Tahoe this past weekend to see Sting and Peter Gabriel in concert in Rock, Paper, Scissors.

Getting there was a HUGE hassle.

My Thursday evening flight was cancelled.

And I did all my nervous flyer prep – 2 Ativan, 1 Makers on the rocks, 2 beers, and a downloaded movie (Avatar) to distract myself.

So when the young lady at the counter suggested I use a credit from Alaska Air to DRIVE to Reno, I was in no condition to drive.

Fast forward to Friday morning.

I’m finally on a plane heading to Reno/Tahoe airport.

There was a whirlwind of activity when I arrived:

  • Breakfast with my sister
  • Packing for the overnight in Tahoe
  • Buying food in case we get the munchies after the concert
  • The short drive to Tahoe, which I scored the music for
  • And finally, checking in to our hotel – Harvey’s

And so it was, at 1 pm, that we commenced with the drinking.

I think I had, over the course of 6 hours, 5 gin and tonics (they were small), one mojito, and one VERY POORLY MADE SAZERAC.

sazeracNEVER ORDER A COCKTAIL IF THE BARTENDER ASKS YOU HOW TO MAKE IT!

I got rye whiskey on the rocks with a splash of simple syrup and a dash of Angostura bitters.

Garnished with a lemon wedge.

No absinthe wash, no Peychaud’s bitters, and IT WAS SERVED ON ICE.

Ok, enough with the rant.

My sister and I drank so much that we opted to just drink water at the concert.

This, I think, saved us both from hangovers the next day.

And, unlike our Elton John debacle, we actually remember the WHOLE CONCERT!

Tahoe Trip: The Bar Chronicles

I took a little mini break to Reno/Tahoe this past weekend to see Sting and Peter Gabriel in concert in Rock, Paper, Scissors.

Getting there was a HUGE hassle.

My Thursday evening flight was cancelled.

And I did all my nervous flyer prep – 2 Ativan, 1 Makers on the rocks, 2 beers, and a downloaded movie (Avatar) to distract myself.

So when the young lady at the counter suggested I use a credit from Alaska Air to DRIVE to Reno, I was in no condition to drive.

Fast forward to Friday morning.

I’m finally on a plane heading to Reno/Tahoe airport.

There was a whirlwind of activity when I arrived:

  • Breakfast with my sister
  • Packing for the overnight in Tahoe
  • Buying food in case we get the munchies after the concert
  • The short drive to Tahoe, which I scored the music for
  • And finally, checking in to our hotel – Harvey’s

And so it was, at 1 pm, that we commenced with the drinking.

I think I had, over the course of 6 hours, 5 gin and tonics (they were small), one mojito, and one VERY POORLY MADE SAZERAC.

sazeracNEVER ORDER A COCKTAIL IF THE BARTENDER ASKS YOU HOW TO MAKE IT!

I got rye whiskey on the rocks with a splash of simple syrup and a dash of Angostura bitters.

Garnished with a lemon wedge.

No absinthe wash, no Peychaud’s bitters, and IT WAS SERVED ON ICE.

Ok, enough with the rant.

My sister and I drank so much that we opted to just drink water at the concert.

This, I think, saved us both from hangovers the next day.

And, unlike our Elton John debacle, we actually remember the WHOLE CONCERT!